"That's a new line. What's made you all high and mighty?" he demanded, yanking his wallet from the inside pocket of his sport coat. Angrily, he began to peel off bills. With a flick of his wrist he held out a wad of cash.
"I'm sorry, sir, we don't accept cash at the gaming tables. You can exchange for chips with the cashier." She smiled professionally, willing him to walk away. Turning her back to him, she began shuffling a fresh deck of cards, her hands moving effortlessly, the cards fluttering and flitting against the greet felt of the table. Her finesse, however, contradicted the storm raging inside her at seeing Jack again. Her heart pounded and she felt heat rising in her face. She remembered the small cross Daniel had given her for their second anniversary. It hung out of sight under her uniform, but it prompted her to pray. "Please, Jesus ... help me."
She turned her attention to the other gamblers perched on their stools and dealt two cards to each of them.
"Bids start at five dollars. Five dollars to start bidding, please." With effort, she kept her voice from trembling.
To her left she could sense Jack's eyes boring into her, still grasping the bills in his hand. She wondered what she had ever seen in him, how she could have been disillusioned by him for so long. "Jesus, I'm a new creation. I am free from the past. And from him." She forced herself to focus on her job. She flipped the upcard: the jack of diamonds. A few of the gamblers from her table groaned. One young man fiddled with his two remaining chips.
She lifted the corner of the hole card with her left hand and the casino lights glinted off the diamond ring she wore. The ace of hearts. The players at her table deflated.
"Black Jack. Sorry, folks. Looks like a bust all around."
Her hands slid over the table, collecting the cards and chips. She smiled at the patrons as they gathered their purses and drinks.
"Better luck next time," she said as her table cleared out. Then he was standing in front of her. His eyes were glassy and his hands shook. She almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
"Sorry, Angela. Or should I say..." He leaned forward and squinted at her name tag,"...Starla. I guess you have changed. Here's to your new life."
He let the money fall onto the table and walked out.
Linking up with The Red Dress Club. This week's prompt: 450 words with the first and last lines provided, but the middle was up to me! Thanks to Google and Brett for the rules to Black Jack. :)