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Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Author:Marissa Meyer
Language: eng
Format: azw3, epub, mobi
ISBN: 9780312642976
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published: 2014-02-04T06:00:00+00:00


BOOK

Three

“The cat has caught the bird, and she will scratch out your eyes as well.

You will never see your Rapunzel again.”

Thirty-One

The girl returned from her trip to the bar, setting a drink against Thorne’s wrist so he would know where it was.

He tilted his head toward her and lifted the cards. “What do you think?”

Her braids brushed his shoulder. “I think…” She tugged at two cards in his hand. “These two.”

“Precisely the two I was thinking,” he said, taking hold of the two cards. “Our luck is changing, right about … now.”

“Two to the blind man,” said the dealer, and Thorne heard the cards slapping down on the table. He slid them up into his hand.

The woman clicked her tongue. “That’s not what we wanted,” she said, and he could hear the pout in her voice.

“Ah, well,” said Thorne. “We can’t win them all. Or, apparently, any of them.” He waited until the bidding came around before folding. The woman leaned closer from behind him and nuzzled his neck. “The next hand will be yours.”

Thorne grinned. “I am feeling lucky.”

He listened as the bidding went twice around the table and the winner claimed the pot with jesters and sevens. From the man’s gruff voice, Thorne pictured a scraggly beard and an excessive belly. He’d drawn up detailed mental images of all the players at the table. The dealer was a tall and skinny man with a fine mustache. The lady beside him was elderly and something kept jangling when she took her cards, so Thorne pictured an abundance of gaudy jewelry. He judged the man to his right to be scrawny with bad skin, but that was probably because he was winning the most.

Of course, the woman who had draped herself over Thorne was viciously hot.

And not at all lucky, it turned out.

The dealer dealt out another hand and Thorne raised his cards. Behind him, the girl let out a sad whistle. “So sorry, love,” she whispered.

He pouted. “No hope? What a shame.”

The bidding opened, moving around the table. Check. Bet. Raise.

Thorne tapped his fingers against his cards and sighed. They were useless, judging from the woman’s sad inflection.

Naturally, he put his palm against his chips and slid the entire stack toward the center of the table, listening to the happy clatter of chips falling against one another. Not that he had a lot of them. “All in,” he said.

The woman behind him was silent. The hand on his shoulder didn’t even twitch. Nothing to acknowledge that he’d gone against her suggestion.

Poker face, indeed.

“You’re a fool,” said the scrawny player, but he folded.

Then the bearded man snorted with a sound that made Thorne’s spine tingle—not from concern, but expectation. This was his man.

“I’d raise if I thought you had anything left to bet,” he said, followed by the clicking and clacking of chips.

The last two players folded. The dealer passed out cards to replace the throwaways—two to Thorne’s opponent.

He kept all his cards. If his lady disapproved, her statuesque hands hinted at nothing.



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