Title: The Straight Chase
Character/s: Gwaine, Morgana
Summary: Modern AU. Sometimes, it's not about luck. Sometimes, it's about diligence.
Word Count: 990
Prompt: #101, lucky
Though it’s the middle of the day, the middle of the week, the middle of everything that’s ordinary about this bloody country, Gwaine sees her almost as soon as he steps onto the dusky casino floor. She stands at the end of a roulette table, dark hair spilling down the fine arch of her back in a spray of wild curls more suited to the stormy dales of Yorkshire, her bright eyes fixed on the wheel as it spins around and around. The other onlookers give her a wide berth, wary without understanding why.
Gwaine smiles. Fools. But their distance certainly makes this easier.
He skirts the edges while keeping sight of her table out of the corner of his eye. A brassy cougar in a floral blouse cut to show off what she probably assumes (erroneously) is her greatest asset swears at a penny slot when he passes by. Two young men with shaved heads and nicotine teeth huddle around a cash point, as if fearful someone will scarper off with their money. Neon and bells do everything they can to distract him.
They fail. He’s not sure anything has the power to pull her away from him.
He can’t refuse her orbit for long, even if he wasn’t here specifically for her. He saunters to the side of the table, studiously keeping his gaze averted. One spin goes by. Then another. A couple standing between him and Morgana loses for a third consecutive time and walk away grumbling.
His eyes cut to the empty space, then lift to find Morgana watching him. Up close, her perfection steals his breath. A lesser man might retreat. Gwaine takes the icy exterior as the challenge she means it to be.
He turns back to the table and tosses a couple chips onto twenty-seven. When fifteen comes up, he shrugs it off, then replaces his loss with more chips.
“You must like to lose.”
Her low voice reaches across the chasm separating them like the hook he’s been hoping she’d cast. Gwaine suppresses the urge to wink at her and steps closer to her side.
“What makes you say that?”
If she’s surprised their accents match, she gives no outward sign. “Your number has already come up. Three spins ago.”
“So maybe I’ll get lucky and it’ll come up again.”
“This is Las Vegas. Nobody is that lucky.”
She’s clad in low-rise jeans and a scarlet vest, the silk straining across her soft, full breasts, the denim painted over her ass. Though she doesn’t touch Gwaine, the heat of her exposed skin bleeds through the air around her, adding to the thick wall of stay away she exudes and sinking through his shirt until he feels like dry tinder ready to ignite at a single match. Keeping his eyes on the table is harder in such proximity, but he manages because that’s what he always does, watching as his number loses again.
Morgana stretches the few inches necessary to murmur in his ear, “Told you.”
Her breath tickles his hair across his neck, and his cock thickens against his thigh. He can’t say he’s surprised at his physical response, though he refrains from acknowledging it. Yet.
He stretches to replace his chips. On twenty-seven again.
She snorts. “You’re a fool.”
“Care to make a wager on that?”
“No need. You’ve already proven it.”
“What if I win?”
“But what if I do?” He cocks his head, giving her his most wicked grin. “What would you give me?”
His direct query throws her off-balance, just a little, just for a moment, not so anyone else can see but Gwaine does because he’s the only one looking for it. He doubts many have ever witnessed that vulnerability. Her armor is her most prized possession.
It’s back on when she straightens and stares down at the table. “Someone with luck like that deserves whatever they want.”
She only says that because she holds no hope he will actually win.
Except he does.
Her breath visibly stops as the croupier calls it out and begins sliding his winnings toward them. She wants to run. Anyone can see that. But pride and shock keep her rooted, reactions he’d been counting on.
Gwaine scoops the chips into his pockets, uncaring of the few that scatter to the floor. “Let’s take this someplace private, shall we?”
He saunters past her without looking back. She might not follow. He knows that. It’s a risk he needs to take, just like he did at the roulette table.
Just like at the roulette table, it pays off when she joins him at the lift.
“What do I call you?” she asks. Not What’s your name? because she understands all too well how easy it is to lie.
“Gwaine.” The truth is often the greatest lie of them all.
He smiles. She’s not nearly as clever as she thinks she is. It really is his lucky day.
Up in his suite, the best the Bellagio has to offer, she wanders to the window to gaze out over the darkening horizon. He pauses at the door, as much to appreciate her stunning silhouette as it is to empty his pockets. His phone is amongst the chips, but he prepared the two word message long before hitting the casino floor. All he has to do is hit a single button to send it.
It’ll be a nice surprise for Arthur when he wakes. It’s been less than two weeks since Gwaine agreed to look for his sister, but as Gwaine comes up behind her and nuzzles into her neck, he decides that perhaps he might take his time getting her back to London. The important thing is she’s found.
Besides, once she discovers his intention, he has no doubt she’ll try to run again.
Unseen, he smiles into her skin. At this point, he’s counting on it.