“What’s this one?” she asked, showing him the card with the young man.
“A knave,” he said, folding the card back into her hand. “You’re not supposed to show me your cards, Princess.”
“But what is that symbol?” she pressed on, ignoring his advice and showing him the card again. “I have four of them.”
“Four?” he asked in disbelief. When she showed him the evidence of her apparently outlandish claim, he guffawed and said, “Of course.”
“Of course what? Is there something wrong?”
“Only that I dealt you one card shy of humiliating me on the first hand.”
“And is that such a bad thing?”
He chuckled. “Depends on who you ask, I suppose.”
He walked her rather patiently through the finer points of the game, and—despite her better judgment—she placed perfectly good coin on the hopes that she would get the card she wanted in exchange for the card he assured her she did not need. Trusting that he wasn’t lying, she gambled and sipped carefully of the rum in her mug.
Her gamble paid off.
Gian shook his head as he gathered the cards laid before him. “I have a feeling if we were playing for our clothing, I would be stark naked within five hands,” he said.
Heat burned her cheeks without remorse at the bold statement.
He chuckled. “Do I offend, Princess?”
“Do you—do you often play—for your clothes, I mean? With ladies present?”
Gian laughed. “Darling, it would be rather pointless to play for such stakes with anything other than the finer sex.”