Wild Card

Summary: My hand hovered undecidedly over the deck of cards before dropping down and cutting it. I lifted the cards in my fingers, flipped them around, and looked at the bottom one. Surprise. GarretJordan






"Ferris Wheel?"




A wicked grin appeared on Jordan's face as she smoothly continued, "Zipper?" without missing a beat.

I paled.

"Not a damn chance."

"Killjoy," she grumbled, taking a half-hearted swing at my shoulder with a rolled-up newspaper. Her hair hung messy and untamed around her shoulders, the result of a windy day combined with myriad rides exposed to the breeze. "Sissy. Coward. Chicken." She would have kept on going had I not popped a strawberry sucker in her mouth when she opened it again.

"I get it," I interrupted with a scowl.

She grinned at me, not sorry in the least. I doubt the word's even in her vocabulary. "Buy me some cotton candy?" she asked, pulling the round confection out of her lips with a pop.

I scoffed at her. "As if you don't have enough energy as it is."

Chocolate coloured eyes sparkled at me brightly in the August sun. "Please?"

She knew it, I swear to god she knew that I couldn't resist her if my own damn life depended on it. Shit.

"Fine," I gave in, and only because she tossed me that sassy Jordan Smile did my thoughts for not the first time turn to romance. That smile did things to me that a million dollars or more couldn't do in a million or more years.

Hell, what was the point? I wasn't going to deny it. It was too easy to let my mind drift off, attempting to think of ways I could get her to make out with me in a swan boat. So I figured, fine. Let my heart do whatever the hell it wanted. If The Powers That Be didn't agree with me and my ideas for that ride, whatever it was called… the Tunnel of Love, I think… I had a bottle of scotch at home with my name on it. Take that, Powers. Hah.

It was really hard not to stare. Only Jordan could make eating candy one of the sexiest things I'd ever friggin' seen. So I rolled my eyes- making sure she couldn't see me- and let myself be pulled along to the next booth, which, unluckily for me, turned out to be a fortune telling booth.

"Not even-"

"Maybe, yeah, I know, give it up. We're going in anyway," she finished my sentence blandly. She'd done it a thousand times before. Before I knew it, she had an iron grip on my wrist and was dragging me inside the dark purple tent. I blinked, and we were side by side in two plastic chairs staring at a gypsy or something. Between us and the creepy woman with too much makeup was none other than a crystal ball.

Jordan must have sensed my compelling need to voice my thoughts about how ludicrous the entire thing was, because suddenly my compelling need to say "this is bull" was then "oww". Her hand, resting on my leg until then (dear god help me), shifted and her fingers pinched- hard. I clenched my jaw, forcing a smile. Under the table my hand found hers, and my fingers squeezed hers- equally as hard- and threateningly. She didn't look at me.

The creepy gypsy lady stared intently at me from four feet away. "You don't believe in me, do you?"

I jerked Jordan closer to me and hissed in her ear, "I was trying not to say anything, but now she's just asking for it."

Her lips brushed my cheek unintentionally when she turned her head. "Let her do her thing, okay? Suffer through this for me."

Oh, alright, fine. Since my skin still tingled where her lips came in contact with my cheek, I sat back, ignoring gypsy lady's question. Jordan offered her an excited smile and leaned forward expectantly.

Creepy gypsy lady gave a thoughtful frown. After a moment of thought, she pushed aside the crystal ball and produced a deck of cards. "I sense a different kind of energy during this time."

I rolled my eyes; I couldn't help myself.

"What's your name?"

"Jordan…" my companion replied cautiously, "Why?"

"Jordan. It suits you," Creepy gypsy lady smiled a tiny smile and continued. "I would like to have a minute here with your friend before I start. Do you mind?"

Jordan threw me a wicked grin. "Not at all. See ya in a while, Garret. Have fun, 'kay?"

I glared at her as hard as I could at her back as she sashayed out the tent.

"You told her yet?"

"'Scuse me?" I turned my attention back to the lady across from me. She had a smile similar to Jordan's on her face, which now, didn't seem quite as creepy as it had been. She seemed almost… satisfied with something. Nevermind. Still strange.

Wacko, I thought with an inward shudder. "Told her what?" This woman confused the hell outta me. "And who are you, anyway?"

She seemed to think for a long time about that. Finally she offered me another smile, a friendly one, and relaxed. "Call me Sam. I joined this place," she gestured with a wave of her hand, "about seven years ago. Ever since I was young I've had an extraordinary knack for being able to read even the most withdrawn individuals with incredible accuracy. I figured, hey? Why not do that… and get paid for it?" Sam shrugged at me. "My life story. Asleep yet?"

I found myself smiling back, tentatively. "No." It was easier to trust her now, although the entire story might have been a sham. Who knows.

"Yes, it's true. You can trust me." Sam winked at my surprise. "So, Garret, back to my question. "Told her yet?"

I opened my mouth, feigned confusion, closed it, and sighed resignedly.

Sam laughed. "I see. Well, I don't blame you. What a hard decision."

"Quit making fun of me," I grumbled.

Sam laughed again. "Alright, sorry." She drummed her fingers on the table, her nails making clicking noises on the table as she did so.

"What does your crystal ball say? Maybe that can help me." I smirked.

She shot me a Look. "Hey. Leave my baby out of this." She hesitated for a moment. "I'm going to try something… on one condition."

"What's that?" Uh oh.

"Do you agree?"

Never. "Sure."

Sam smiles. "The joker seals the deal. It pops up, you tell her."

"What the hell are you talking about?" I demanded.

"Do it," she reiterated, and called Jordan back in.

Suddenly a deck of cards was on the table beside the crystal ball, and Sam was talking to Jordan. "We had a nice little chat," she said, and Jordan gives me her Look. What is it with women and their Looks? Goddamn Looks…

Sam gazed at me with a secretive smile. I struggled not to laugh, clenched my fists in my lap. She's still a strange one, but in a fun way, I guessed. Sam motioned to the deck of cards and spoke out loud. "That's an ordinary deck of cards. They're not marked, they're not magic, and there's no secret up my sleeve. Check them for yourself if you like."

Jordan did. I did. I set it back on the table. "There's only one joker in it."

"It came with one," she replied cryptically.

"Alright, now what?" Jordan asked her, lips pursing into a frown. It was obvious she didn't like being left out of the loop. She'd know soon enough, I surmised, if Sam knew anything about what the hell she was doing, which she was… damn.

Sam sat back. "Garret." Her unnaturally blue eyes bored a hole through me. "Cut the deck." Remember what I told you, her eyes added silently.

Oh, I remember all right, I snipped back. Then she opened her mouth, looking straight at me. "If you really do, and I mean deep down in your heart, it'll be there. I promise. And I know you."

"Do what?" Jordan growled at me, and I grinned at her, reaching out over the table.

My hand hovered undecidedly over the deck of cards before dropping down and cutting it. I lifted the cards in my fingers, flipped them around, and looked at the bottom one.



Author's Note: Want more? ;)