Bryce Enterprises, Inc

"That's…one thousand, one hundred and fifty pounds, please."

"What?!"

"One thousand, one hundred and fifty pounds."

Her shoulders slumping, Lara's eyes fell to her dwindling pile of cash. With a sigh, she picked it up and rifled through it, counting under her breath. "I might have a…bit of a cash-flow problem."

"Oh. I see." A self-satisfied smirk on his face, Bryce leaned back against the armchair he was sat in front of, and nonchalantly examined his fingernails for a moment.

Lara, to his right and kneeling with a cushion on her lap, surveyed the Monopoly board and its township of houses and hotels, mostly owned by her new, and very smug, landlord.

Her own property list, however, was rather less impressive, and mostly mortgaged. Hillary was faring slightly better, having two houses on a single monopoly and having managed to scrape by for the last three rounds of the board using only the £200 granted by the Go square. It was a tenuous existence, relying solely on Lara's rent and his own good fortune to skip Bryce's little centres of upwardly mobile property developments.

The smug landlord's voice broke the melancholy atmosphere.

"I could…extend you a discount."

"You've not been offering me discounts!" Hillary protested loudly.

"In return for…?" Lara suspiciously asked Bryce, ignoring the butler's outburst.

"A kiss." Bryce grinned. Lara gave a wordless protest of shock. "Just a little one!" was the fast explanation. "An innocent one!"

Lara glared. "That's prostitution, you know."

"Do you have a problem with that?" Her opponent, not a little gleeful with the entire affair, regarded her with mock questioning.

Fixing her gaze on her rapidly draining wealth, Lara sighed. "No," she conceded at last, feeling hard done by.

"That's not in the rules!" Hillary dissented again, as Lara leaned forwards and planted a quick peck on Bryce's cheek, who received it with an extremely superior expression directed at the very affronted third party.

"It's great being a property mogul."

Lara smiled despite herself and Bryce, thinking along the same lines as her, couldn't resist further provocation. "It's not that I don't think you're a very nice person, Hillary, but I think I'd rather discuss different terms with you before we embark on any sort of bartering system."

The butler was shocked, to say the least; thoroughly offended, in the best possible manner.

"You know full well I wasn't asking for the same." Lips pursed, he snatched up the dice and sent them tumbling across the board, narrowly missing the community chest.

Lara and Bryce looked at each other, unable to prevent themselves from breaking out into full-gone giggles before Bryce returned his attention to the board, and the square upon which Hillary had landed.

"Ah. That's five hundred and fifty pounds, please. Do enjoy your stay, Sir."

The End