For the first time since she put a bullet in that bastard Caesar's head, the courier was trembling.

She was wearing next to nothing, the breeze nothing compared to the cold metal pressed under her chin. Mama had told her never to play with strangers-now she wished she had taken that advice.

"You in, Pussycat?" That drawl, the arrogance in his voice made her shake harder. With rage. Desire. Fear.

It had started innocently enough, or as innocently as the two of them could manage. One final showdown. A duel for Vegas. The courier was in power, and Benny, determined to wrestle it from her, suggested a game of poker.

"Come on honey baby, you'll love it. Best part's the stakes! Winner gets Vegas. Loser...well the winner gets to deal with the loser however they'd like." He had pulled Maria out then, admiring her for a long moment before turning back to the actual woman in the room. "You know you can't resist."

And damn it, she hadn't been able to. She had the Strip under her thumb; one word from her, and the Secruitrons would have taken care of the little weasel. But the chance to flex her power, prove she could beat the master at his own game was too tempting.

An hour later there she was, nearly nude with Maria under her chin and only a handful of cards between her and death. Not that her partner wasn't in the same position; she had laughed when they discovered they had the same boring gray undergarments, her modded .44 wavering a bit at the soft part of his throat.

They were both standing at death's doorstep. The only difference was the look Benny was giving her. That goddamn beautiful smirk. She had seen it when she first stepped into his room at the Tops. When he was thrusting into her. When he took off at the Fort, claiming he'd never return.

The game was rigged from the start.

No matter how lucky she was, how skilled she was, she knew it wouldn't make a difference when she placed her cards down. "Full house."

He raised an eyebrow, doing his best to look humble. It failed miserably. "Not a bad hand, doll, not bad at all. You'd make a good head of one of these casinos, you know. But as for ruler of Vegas? Hate to break it to you, but looks like that's my job now." All five cards of his cards were on the table. Royal flush.

She couldn't help but laugh as she closed her eyes. This journey was going to end the same way it began. "Hope your aim improved."

After a quick chuckle, he adjusted Maria one final time, and pulled the trigger.

The pain and darkness never came. Instead, she heard a small click, and felt a familiar pair of lips on hers.

"You didn't load your pistol. Why?" The courier murmured into him, slowly placing the .44 down on the table next to the cards, gasping as his free hand brushed her inner thigh.

"Pussycat, I told you the winner gets to decide what they do with the loser. Now hush up baby, and lemme see those charlies."