03 – The Reveal

 

Continued from The Discard

“If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you,” Paul Newman

*******

“Okay, shirt’s got to come off this time,” Sara insisted when her unexpected straight flush neatly beat his small straight.

Grissom’s curious rejoinder of “Whatever happened to loser’s prerogative?” only netted him a glare which plainly brooked no refusal.

Thinking two could play at this game, he took his dear, sweet time with the buttons. Which would indeed have been fair play, all things considered, except unfortunately for him his dawdling didn’t seem to faze Sara in the slightest. She simply sat there in her shoes and socks and nothing else, unabashedly bold as brass, not to mention uncharacteristically patient and apparently quite content in waiting for him to get on with it.

Once his shirt joined the rest of most of her clothes, she gave his topless form an openly appreciative once-over before shuffling.

“It was for your own good, you know,” she said. “You were starting to look a little… hot.”

Grissom tried and failed to suppress a groan.

“What?” came her blithe reply as she neatly divvied out the next hand, one that soon ended in her pair of cowboys being bested by his trip sevens.

Sara kicked off one shoe, than the other before lounging back cross-legged in her chair solely shod in her socks and utterly unconcerned about the prospect. She certainly had no reason to be shy about her body, though in Grissom’s experience she tended to be. But not tonight. He liked it. That openly flirtatious mien of hers. It was a stimulating circumstance to say the least.

He dealt. When it came time to discard, she took three cards, gave her new hand a cursory examination before saying, “You know, even without that shirt, you’re still looking hot. Drink, Gil? No, don’t,” she insisted as he started to rise. “I’ll get it,” she volunteered. “Even if you’re already up.”

She was duly impressed when he didn’t shift or squirm under her stare like most men she knew would. Instead, her husband coolly intoned, “Pointing out the obvious doesn’t make you intelligent, just observant, dear.”

True, it was rather obvious, to say the least. And true or not, it was the last straw, for Grissom in any case.

Fixing a firm hand about her waist, he halted her retreat towards the cabin’s small kitchenette before she could get much past the table, effectively abbreviating Sara’s litany of “So water? Agua dolce? Or something stronger? There’s still half a bottle of peach schnapps left over from yesterday unless you want to save it for more butterfly –”

She spun in surprise, her hands coming to rest on his chest, their bodies and faces so close Sara was certain he was only a breath away from kissing her. But he didn’t. He simply held her there for a long moment. A very long moment.

Causing her to mutter, “Tease,” under her breath.

“Tease?” Came Grissom’s incredulous echo. “Me?”

“Yes, you,” she assiduously maintained.

I’m the tease?”

Sara let out a laugh at this. But soon her eyes and gaze warmed and her impish grin gave way to naked desire. Still, she nodded intently before saying, her words punctuated by the light trailing of her fingertips down his bare skin, “You’re wearing far too many clothes for one.”

“I thought,” he said as she began to finger the button to his trousers, “that was supposed to be the point.”

Sara didn’t bother to protest this. She was far too busy working the fastener free.

Grissom let out a slightly breathy, “This mean you’re conceding defeat?”

She indicated her hand face down on the table. “See for yourself.”

He gave each individual card a desultory flip. His wife had nothing to speak of apart from the queen of hearts as her high card. It struck him as fittingly apropos.

“You were bluffing,” he observed.

“It is the name of the game after all. Literally. Poker from –”

“From the French poque which in turn comes from the German pochen ‘to brag as a bluff,’” Grissom finished knowingly.

That grin of hers was back. “Precisely.”

He shook his head. “You really are awfully smug for someone –”

“Mostly naked?”

“Who lost.”

Sara shrugged. “I never intended to win.”

Considering all his years of experience and her lack thereof, from a purely objective standpoint, she knew she had little hope of beating him outright. Little hope of besting him at all.

“Anyway,” she added, “you know what they say.”

For once he hadn’t the foggiest. “No, what’s that?”

It’s not whether you win or lose –”

It’s how you play the game,” they finished in unison.

“Besides,” Sara said, “I prefer to be unlucky at cards, lucky at love.”

“Lucky?”

“Very.”

This time he readily returned her grin with a knowing nod of his own. “True.”

“But, if you play your cards right, I’d say the odds are in your favor for your getting lucky tonight.”

“Tonight?”

“Is there an echo in here?” she laughed. “Now, if you keep that up.”

The thumb of the hand about her waist was aimlessly tracing that sensitive spot along her side. It was an intimate more than sexual caress, one, which almost, but not quite tickled, yet thoroughly tantalized in such a way which inevitably made her go weak at the knees. And he knew it. And didn’t desist.

Now.” Her tone was adamant.  She reached up to draw him in for a kiss.

His lips had barely grazed hers when he abruptly drew back. “You played me,” he said. Certain, amused and impressed all at once, it wasn’t a question.

“Not on purpose. Or exactly.”

His eyes and cock of the head plainly called bullshit.

Without question, Sara had managed to play him better than he’d been played in a long time. Strange thing was, he wasn’t all that sore at having been taken for a ride. Quite the contrary. Considering this was where they’d ended up, he certainly wasn’t about to complain.

“But,” she said with a self-satisfied smirk, “you really might want to reconsider your whole Sara can’t bluff worth a damn hypothe–”

He cut her off with a heady kiss.

*******

That night, Gil Grissom did indeed learn something he hadn’t known before about poker: it made for excellent foreplay.

*******

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