Title: Just Another Con, Just Another Game

Author: Tinkerbell99

Disclaimer: Not my characters

Summary: She'll sit, she'll drink, and she'll twist that ring. He'll watch her the whole time, lick his lips at just how easy it would be. Another pretty lady whose husband ain't around. (Sawyer centric)

Note: Written for a cult ships challenge on LJ.


His fingers itch.

He's spent the last two months wiping tables and pouring drinks, tending bar and killing time until he found the right mark. He couldn't afford to wait much longer.

The upscale bar, dressed in neutral tones and dark wood, wasn't his usual preference. For all its pretense, it didn't pay much and he didn't care for the rich bitch attitude of the trophy wives that came in the door.

But they were good for the money, good for the con.

Pretty ladies whose husbands weren't around. He could take his pick and then take them for millions. Make them think he'd take them for a ride around the world.

Just another con to run, another game to play.

A blast of fresh air through the swirls of smoke turn his attention to the door. Almost closing time, and he wonders if it's her. He smiles to himself when he sees it is.

She's back. And she's alone.

He's watched this one, off and on, for the last few weeks. She's attractive, sure, but that wasn't what caught his eye. Most of them were attractive. It didn't mean much. No, he watched the clothes, the size of the rings, the cars in the parking lot. And this one was right on the money. Expensive, all of it, especially that diamond she twisted on her finger. Married with no husband in sight. Best of all, she had that look in her eye. The one that said she was desperate, lonely, the one that begged to play his game.

She comes in alone. No friends, no coworkers, no husband save that shiny little reminder on her finger. She'll sit, she'll drink, and she'll twist that ring. He'll watch her the whole time, lick his lips at just how easy it would be. And when she leaves, her eyes won't focus and she'll sway in those expensive shoes. If he were a better man, he'd wonder how she got home.

Joe pours her a drink and heads out back, done for the night. That leaves him alone to close up. The few businessmen that remained were comfortably out of earshot, telling stories of glory days long gone by. They're alone, and this is his chance. He takes a breath and puts down the towel. Choosing a bottle, he slides down to her end of the bar.

"Buy you a drink?" Coming from a bartender, not a very original line, but he knows it won't matter.

She startles at the sound of his voice. In all the weeks he's been there, they've never spoken. Her eyes are lifted from her glass. "I'm sorry?" Confusion fills her face.

He slows, pulls his words out one syllable at a time and lets her hear him drawl. "I said, Can I buy you…" he raises a glass "…a drink?" He props an elbow on the bar, glass raised in a question.

She blinks, surprised. "I…I've got one, thanks."

"Well, that don't mean you can't have another, now does it?" She tries to drop her eyes, but he tracks her, leans in close. "Besides," lowering his voice, licking his lips, "what you got…ain't the good stuff."

She tenses slightly and shakes her head.

Lightening his voice, he changes tactics, turns on the charm, and tries again. "Tell you what." He leans away, lowering the glass to the bar. "You can do me a favor." Smiling at her apprehension, he removes another glass and fills it to match the first. "Ain't no fun to drink alone. Have a drink with me."

Raising the glass to his lips, he watches her and waits for her play. Eyes large, she studies him, but doesn't move. "Aww, come on now, darlin', you're not gonna make me drink all by myself are you?"

Pleading eyes framed in sandy brown hair. It's only a matter of time.

She reaches for the glass. He smiles coolly.

When she swallows, it's quickly, and her throat tightens around the burn. Her eyes water as she inhales the smoke around them. She flushes and grins, just like he knew she would.

"What'd I tell you, darlin'?" Flashing a smile, he upturns his glass on the counter. "Nothin' but the good stuff."

Her lips curve to a smile, and she holds out her empty glass. Pouring again, he knows he's won.

Just another con, just another game.

And when they shed their clothes in the cheap motel it's all he can do not to laugh out loud. It's easy this time, just like all the others. Another pretty lady whose husband ain't around.


The next morning, he learns her name and how she got that scar on her back. This is how it always is, this part of the game. They'll tell him their stories, confess all their sins. He'll nod and smile and make them feel like the whole damn world just opened up right before them. She's no different than all the rest.

She tells him how she's lonely, with her husband too busy fixing other people's lives. How they've got a big old house and no kids and nothing to fill her time. How she's tired, unhappy, and looking for a way out. He tells her she's found it, and kisses her hard.

And if she stays with the husband long enough, and he runs the con right, they'll be good for the money. Husband's a damn doctor anyway, a surgeon, they're rolling in it. By the time the pretty little teacher figures out her lover stole her husband's money, he'll be long gone. Headed to Australia to settle a score.

Sarah gets left behind with her good old husband Jack and an empty bank account.

He smiles to himself.

Just another con, just another game.

Just another pretty lady whose husband ain't around.