“All in” Melissa pushes all the chips to the middle of the desk. This is a sure win. She has a strong hand and the victory is hers. Whether her opponent calls or folds, she would be carrying home a lot of money. She still can’t believe what has started as a mere fun play has turned out to be such a money maker.
“Call” Asher challenges. The carefree smile on Asher’s face, her relaxed composure and the way she is also using all of her chips for a single showdown makes Melissa shocked. She had seen incredible bluffs but for someone to risk everything like this is absurd. The thought that it is not a bluff came to her mind but her hand was just too strong for that. There is no way she could lose.
“Showdown”, the dealer declares. Melissa can’t believe the cards she is seeing in Asher’s hands. It is impossible. How did she do that? “Asher takes all”, the dealer declares again.
All kinds of emotions are flashing in Melissa’s mind. Ever since she started gambling, she always had great luck. She was also smart enough to calculate thoroughly and see through most facades. She had even thought of herself as a great gambler. One who always emerges victorious.
Without even noticing, her entire body is shaking. Maybe it is anger or sadness or fear. She isn’t even sure, herself. It all shifts to anger when she sees Asher smiling that carefree smile again. It feels like a sarcastic one now. The smile of the strong, the victorious. The pride in Melissa wouldn’t let Asher have this win.
“I want another match” Melissa almost shouts. Asher smiled even deeper and in a calm voice replied, “You don’t have any money left, Melissa. But I propose, we play with our lives, all our belongings and even our soul. Winner takes all.” Asher let out a throaty laugh and continued. “So, will you play, Melissa?”
This again greatly shocks Melissa. Is Asher crazy or high on drugs? But Melissa knows she will never be able to gamble again if she backs down. The shame would be too much. “Yes, of course. Let’s do it.” Melissa tries to pull her lips to form a smile, but to no avail. They both sign the contract the dealer presented to them.
The dealer gives the cards out again. Melissa is serious, she knows she can’t lose. On the other hand, Asher is completely calm with the carefree smile again. She changes a card and randomly changes the positions in her hand, all the while humming to herself.
For better or worse, Melissa is given good hands again. They are good, but not the best. She can either change or keep her cards. It might have been the most crucial decision in her life. She decides to change. So does Melissa. They keep changing cards until the final showdown.
When the cards are revealed, Asher has a really weak hand. Much weaker than Melissa’s original hand but stronger than the one she has right now. And just like that, Melissa has lost again, this time with even greater debt.
“From this moment onwards, the life, belongings and soul of Melissa Thompson belongs to Asher Rune.” Asher laughs heartily, clearly overjoyed at her victory. “Please get me a pair of scissors and a rubber band. I have immediate business to take care of.”, Asher directly addresses the dealer who obeys her command.
It all happens so quickly that Melissa has a hard time thinking. Her head is throbbing and her breath isn’t stable. She is under so much stress and disbelief that she cannot even move her body. Somehow, she knows what is happening around her but she cannot react to the stimulus.
Asher moves behind her and the fragrant smell of her perfume enters her nostrils. Slender fingers comb through the long curly auburn hair. It is so highly maintained and shines even in the dimly lit room. The fingers gather and pull all her long curly hair up. In a professional way, all the heavy hair is tied up. The ponytail is then tugged and tugged cruelly by the scissors until the shortened bits start wandering around Melissa’s face.
In no time, Asher is holding the prized ponytail up and touching the silky hair tenderly. A loser is not worthy of such beautiful hair. She again orders the dealer to throw the sore loser out of her sight. Asher smiles warmly as she thinks of all the ways she could play with Melissa before making her another employee in her gambling den.