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   Chapter 5 Rhett's Game

Loving Lily- Sequel to Loving River By LadyRosabella Characters: 6132

Updated: 2017-12-20 15:59


"Bartender, bring us another round!" Mayor Vancolun called with a wide smile. He turned back to the other gentlemen sitting at his table. All were men of good families with good reputations. Well, most of them. Rhett Vermont had a rather questionable reputation but no evidence had ever proved the gossips true. The mayor didn't care either way about the man's reputation. That fact was, Vermont was from good stock and he had money. Lots and lots of money. True, Mayor Vancolun didn't really need Vermont's money, but the mayor was never the kind to turn a blind eye where green bills were involved. The mayor is a greedy man. A very greedy man. That was the true plain and simple. He delighted in anything that added to his prestige or his bank book. Though he had more then most men in the city, Mayor Vancolun was always searching for a golden opportunity. He did his work as mayor well. He was well-liked and respected in the fair city. Many viewed him as an example of all that a proper gentleman could be if he only had a a vision and exerted himself. Never one to disillusion the public, the mayor played the charade perfectly. In the eyes of the people, he could do no wrong. Why the man was the closest thing on earth to an angel!

Mayor Vancolun hid his sly smile behind his friendly generous facade. "This rounds on me." He informed the bartender and his friends.

"You are generous, my man." Rhett Vermont slurred. "Very generous indeed." The man had been at the drinking establishment since four and by now he was well into his cups. The mayor didn't mind that he was drunk at all, in fact the mayor preferred his opponents to be smashed. It made it all the more enjoyable when they came to their senses and realized all that they had lost that fateful night at the tables.

"Who's up for another game?" The mayor asked shuffling a deck of cards. All the men agreed like he knew they would. None of them wished to return early to the home that held their wives and families. Heaven forbid that prominent men actually have to spend an evening at home in dull company such as that. And so the men guzzled their alcohol and began another round of their game.

The mayor maintained a straight face as he reviewed the cards he held in his hand. He was going to win. He would walk away with over a quarter of Rhett Vermont's fortune. Feeling rather confidant and very well pleased with himself, he raised the bet. "I will throw in my daughter."

Smashed though they were, the mayor's bet caused several heads to raise. " You can't bet your daughter." One man hissed.

"Any why not?" The mayor returned refusing to be pushed around by his inferior friends.

"She's worthless. We're in this for gold, precious stones. Things of value, Vancolun."

Mayor Vancolun chuckled as he leaned back in his chair. "My daughter is of value, gentlemen. She is very young and beautiful. She has a generous dowery." He met the blurry gaze of all his friends and added with a sly smile, "And most importantly, she is untouched by men." His last sentence was me

t with silence and Vancolun was glad. It meant that he had penetrated their thick brains with his rather brazen offer. Sure, betting his daughter was a risky move. No true gentleman would every bet his dear sweet little girl. But Mayor Lawrence Vancolun was no gentleman. Besides, another glance at his cards assured him that he would not lose this bet.

Leaning forward, Rhett Vermont said, "I accept your bet, Vancolun." Hiding a smile of his own, he proceeded to lay down his cards. "I give you, a royal flush."

The mayor stared in disbelieve as the royal flush seemed to laugh at him. No. This couldn't be. He was sure he could win. How in the world did Vermont have a royal flush?

Sliding all the contents in the center of the table toward himself, Rhett addressed the mayor, "I'll be by your house tomorrow to collect your untouched daughter, Mayor." Stuffing the money in his trouser pockets, he stood. "And see to it that she doesn't give me any trouble. I won't abide a simpering female." Turning smartly on his heel, Vermont stride purposely from the room.

"I thought he was drunk." The mayor stared in astonishment as he watched the sober Rhett Vermont leave the drinking and gambling establishment.

----

With a flick of his wrist, Rhett hailed a cab buggy. He stated his address and leaned back with a smile. It had been such a delight to see realization cross that crooked mayors face. Rhett was known to be a tough man, a man to be reckoned with. As a general rule he preferred to play honestly, though he always kept a few cards up his sleeve for whenever he may need them. For Rhett, it was a game, a wonderfully enjoyable game to have others think him a drunken fool. He delighted in seeing them proved wrong. Most of the time, Rhett played an honest game. He had fully intended to during tonight's game. But something with the mayor didn't sit well with Rhett. Something fishy was going on in the mayor's life. Rhett was sure the mayor wasn't all that he appeared to be. The disappearance of his eldest daughter surely proved that. But when the mayor so heartlessly bet his daughter and her virtue, well Rhett couldn't stand it. He played his royal flush and won himself a woman. A woman with a mysterious past and a cad as a father. Yes, Rhett thought to himself, he would most certainly be by the mayor's house to collect his winnings. He would not leave such an innocent girl in her father's hands. Who knows whom he might attempt to pawn her off on next! A small smile graced his full lips as he thought of the mayor's youngest daughter. She was a beautiful woman. A woman most men enjoyed watching. Not only was she beautiful in form and face but she had an elegant grace about her that made you suspect she held a higher position than she let on. Her smile was delightful, her laugh was contagious. Rhett had always admired the sweet young woman from afar. And now, due to her father's unwise betting, she would be his. Yes she would, for Rhett had no intention of letting her go free. Unless of course, she asked him to.

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