Chapter Thirty-One

"What makes you think that this is the place?" Lucy asks Luke as they stroll into Monte Carlo's premier casino, both dressed in elegant evening dress. Dazzled by the displays of diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and other precious gems that seemed to be carelessly worn along with designer gowns and formal attire, Lucy can hardly keep her mind on her business. Luke, however, isn't awed by the ostentatious array.

"It's just one more curl on the pig's tail," he remarks as he saunters into the heart of the gaming establishment.

"What?" Lucy asks, mystified by this observation.

"Luce, darlin', what you see is nothing more than a bunch of people showing off what they've got, or what they want you to think they've got. It's all a part of the game. You've gotta learn to watch their eyes, not their diamonds."

Moving deeper into the room, he strolls over to where a crowd of people gathered around, watching as a fortune is being wagered. In the middle of a table, a huge pile of chips sits, and two men sit across from each other, studying the cards and each other.

One man, obviously worried, sweating and upset, takes one last look at his cards, and then in utter disgust, throws them down. "You win, Mr....."

"Jones. Frisco Jones."

Luke catches Lucy before she falls over, whispering, "Sweetcakes, the tide has just turned."

Luke waits until Frisco leaves the table, before he approaches. "Mr. Jones?"

Frisco pauses, then grins, "High time you got here. Where's Lucy?" Hmmmmmm?

"We're still stuck," Kevin reports to Maverick. "This wall is solid--the mortar isn't going to chip away anytime soon. Fortunato here found that out. I wonder who he was and what he was doing walled up down here. Come to think of it, have we ever established where here is?"


"I didn't think so. And no, you can't have the bones."

Just then, he hears a noise indicating that Felicia is about to come down, so Kevin dives towards the mattress, and closes his eyes, after artfully arranging the bricks around him.

Seeing what appears to be an unconscious Kevin, Felicia runs to his side. "Kevin?? Kevin!! Wake up!! I'm so sorry!! I never meant for this to....."

"To what?" Kevin asks, catching her wrists and pulling her into his arms. "To end like this? Or, had you planned to wall me up in here like Fortunato over there."


"Felicia, I've been sharing quarters with a skeleton!"

"That's nasty."

"No kidding. And, I'm getting out of here. Today."

Felicia, having spent the better part of an afternoon spying on Tom, has other ideas. "No, Kevin, you can't leave. Not now."

"I'm free, Felicia. I've got to go to Mac and clear my name."

"Kevin," Felicia argues, "you can't do that. Look. I know that I've been wrong locking you up down here, and that you have every right to want to kill me, but I've just stumbled onto something that scares me."

"And I don't?"

"Not anymore. Kevin, I've been wrong. So wrong."

She puts one hand against his cheek, ignoring the fact that he's scruffy, unshaven and unkempt. Her clear blue eyes meet his, and she smiles. "You won't hurt me, Kevin. You never would have." Hmmmmm

Stefan picks up his ever present cellular phone, and makes another call. This time, however, we are privileged to see the other party. To our surprise, Jax answers. "I was wondering when I'd hear from you. Everything is in place."

"Excellent! With any luck, our associates are about to hit pay dirt."

"And the wildcards?"

"May well turn out to be very lucky for us."

"Interesting," Jax smiles. "Something you ought to know. It appears that somebody--Lois Ashton, I think, has been checking us out."

"Has she learned anything important?"

"She knows that we are connected by a banking conglomerate. She seems to be feeding the information to someone else--Ashton, I'd suppose."

"Good. Nothing like a little financial exercise to keep one's wits keen."

"I had our mark followed today."


"And your plan succeeded. He's very upset."

"Did you find out who he was meeting?"

"He was meeting a pay phone, and apparently the call came in from a cellular phone."

"They're careful, damnit!"

"But, apparently, not all is well in paradise. Felicia Jones followed him today, too."

"That could be dangerous."

"That situation is being dealt with, as we speak."

"Good. You know how important she is in all of this."

"I quite understand," Jax answers. "Any more luck on the other front?"

"None, yet. They are careful, you understand, not to reveal their plan until the time is right."

"Do they know that you're involved in working against them?"

"No," he answers. "This game is for the highest stakes of all for me and mine. If I lose, my life, and that of my son's is forfeit."

"Does he know?"



Stay tuned!!! Jones, Frisco Jones?? How did he know that Luke and Lucy were coming?? Just how many players does this game have??? And, what did Felicia learn about Tom? Just what the heck is going on here, anyhow?? What is it that Jax and Stefan are doing, and why is it so dangerous?? Hmmmmmmmmm