written for the writer's cramp contest (750 words)
"Flush" and with that final word she slid the set of cards down in a smooth cascade onto the table. A smirk stretched across her face breaking the inscrutable mask of indifference that she so cleverly held for the duration of the game.
"That's endgame boys" taunted Ariana as she piled her winnings into a satin sack. She picked up one of her own chips and pressed her lips to its surface, staining it the same red that coated her lips, before throwing it to a particular gentleman. Captivated by the sultry woman before him he let out a laugh as the chip landed in his palm, watching her with delight as she strutted out of the VIP room before her opponents had a chance to examine her. Picking up the pace, her strut began to resemble a gait as she dashed down the stairs to join the crowd on the casino floor. Her elegant red bottoms all but kissed the ground of the first floor when in her peripheral she noticed a mass of black race towards her.
She paused for a second glance. The mass now resembled four burly, smartly dressed men whose stride and countenance meant business. And they were looking her way. She froze. Rooted to the spot. Her foot suspended mid-air and her sweety palms gripped the banister for support.
'That's it. they know. I'm done' she screamed with her inner voice. In that moment Ariana swallowed down the anxiety coursing through her body like a debilitating virus. Masking her inner turmoil with the beguiling persona she wore moments earlier. "Hide in plain sight" Jonah had advised. "If you act like you have nothing to hide then you will look like you have nothing to hide". With that thought spurring her on. She flashed a tantalising smile towards the approaching threat and continued with her foot forward, one charming stride after another, passing them with the assertiveness of a 'got nothing to hide' kind of chick. She reached the exit and turned one last time, the boys in black were just reaching the top of the stairs. Won't be long now before they reach the VIP section and learn of her deception.
Outside the Casino, she scarcely stopped a minute, before a sleek black car pulled up. The window of the passenger seat rolled down to reveal Jonah's thrilled appearance. "Hop in sexy" he quipped. Ariana didn't wait to be told again, and all but jumped through the window in her haste to get away. "Wohoooooooooo" she howled as they pulled out- finally able to let in the exhilarating thrill of a high-stake steal.
The next morning, sat at her desk with her fake prescription specs worn low, Ariana acted the role of a dutiful, nerdy assistant to business magnate Mr. Moral. A mid-forties self-made billionaire with an appetite for beautiful women and bigger fixation with money making card games. "Ariana!" sounded the big man as he stormed into his office, with a scowl on his face and an infliction for her to solve. One that she was anticipating. He placed both hands on the desk and looked her square in the eyes. "Two million!" he spat with seething venom. He pulled something out of his pocket and slammed it on the desktop with a firm hand. "I don't understand sir" she quipped with feigned confusion, whilst peering at the chip he placed before her." Counterfeit chips!... she! That conniving blond..." continuing his sentence with a string of curse words. She purposefully left behind a clue; she derived a sense of satisfaction at almost being caught. She also had to admit the chase left a delightful taste in her mouth. If Jonah knew how she risked their lives he'd be livid with her.
Ariana ran her hand through her mousy brown hair. Recalling how itchy the blond wig had been the night of the big game. A game that she had managed to infiltrate with the help of her best friend to steal the win from right under her boss's nose. She had taken a chance and succeeded, putting all her trust in Mr. Morel's self-absorbed nature. The narcissistic oaf did not recognise that it had been her all along. "what's so funny" he said noting her amused expression. "Oh sorry, nothing Sir" she returned in that demure manner he was used to and carefully listened to him reiterate how he planned to catch the blond chick who swindled two million from him last night.