Chapter 2

Racetrack looked up as Mush was talking, and interrupted him upon meeting my eyes. "Jumps. Spot, tell me I ain't seein' t'ings. Tell me that's Jumps."

Spot looked over at me, his eyes widening, "No you'se ain't seein' t'ings, that's Jumps. If I eveh knew 'er, that'd be 'er."

Blink looked at them confused. "You sho', 'cause she says 'er name is Skitters."

"No, dat's Jumps." Race and Spot said at the same time.

I stared in wonder at the Italian and the Irish. I knew them because they were in my favorite movie, so that made sense but the fact that they knew me was difficult to understand.

"How did we meet?" I asked, shifting uneasily; I do not like being still, hence the nickname!

"Um... I believe it was..." Race seemed uneasy as well, but stopped when Spot interrupted.

"A pokah game. Couple o' yeahs ago." Spot said.

Boots face lit up and Crutchy started mumbling, "I doan believe it, a goil dat plays pokah."

Blink and Mush joined the circle. I followed and started to sit next to them but Race spoke up.

"If you'se in, you'se sittin' ovah he'e, Jumps." I glanced at him and he patted next to him, indicating that I would be sitting between him and Spot. Spot nodded in agreement, I had been intending on playing poker anyhow. So I sat between them.

Dutchy glanced at me. "So, ya played pokah befo'e." I nodded, "How often ya play."

I shrugged, "Used ta watch me fadda play, he lost eve'y game he evah played and still I would watch 'im play." I paused, tears bubbling under my lower eyelids, above my cheekbones. "I realized that it was the reason he nevah came home when I was neah ten. I stumbled upon his body the day I turned ten, when I realized he was dead I screamed and screamed. Some one found me and got help to take care of my father, as soon as my mother learned that I knew who did it we moved. Since then I refuse to play poker with money." I had lost the accent sometime while I was explaining my fathers real death.

I still felt the tears threaten and Spot put his hand on my knee as if to comfort me. I smiled up at him.

"And dat's whys we play wid no money too, Jumps, you'se de one dat sta'ted dat." I sent Race a smile as well. "So, you in?"

I nodded and he dealt the cards out to everyone, saying their names as he dealt to them, so I would know them. We heard giggling and the door opened. There stood Snitch, Skittery, and Bumlets. Mush looked up and started to introduce the new-comers.

"That's Snitch, Skittery, and Bumlets. Guys this is..." I fidgeted as he was interrupted yet again.

"Jumps." Bumlets said, not looking at me but at Spot and Race for confirmation, who nodded in return.

"How do you know 'er as Jumps? She told us 'er name was Skitters." Mush complained.

Blink suddenly glared at me. "So's ya lyin'. What is your real name?"

I shrugged, "I promised my best friend I would introduce myself as Skitters when I met new people, because that's what she nicknamed me. But I came in and Race and Spot knew me as Jumps, I don't know why but they did." I answered.

Bumlets spoke up, "I know her as Jumps, cause dat's what Spot and Race calls 'er when she was..."

"Don't finish dat sentence, Bums." Race threatened, a dark look in his usually happy eyes.

Now I really wanted to know how they knew me. Blink still glared at me with his lone blue eye.

"So, wadda we call you'se, then?" He finally said ending the glare.

"Since Skitters sounds close ta Skittery and Skittery is taken, we can go wid Jumps fo' 'er." Bumlets said.

There were nods of agreement around the circle, Race was upset and started getting huffy. "You th'ee gonna play?"

"How ya playin?" Snitch asked.

"No money. So ya in or not?" Race said exasperated.

"I'se goin' up ta da roof." Snitch said. Skittery went up as well, but Bumlets joined the group.

Race dealt him in and we started the game.

I lost the first round, but that's my strategy. I casually shook off my jacket, I grinned inwardly for wearing layers, layers in strip poker can be good sometimes. I won the next couple of rounds, folding twice before winning a few more. I lost another round due to carelessness and failing to see that Race was cheating, I removed my vest.

I didn't mind though, the game was more between Race, Spot and I, because everyone else was losing badly. Spot had lost his shirts, but he was wearing his suspenders on his shoulders and showing off his well defined bronzed skin. Race had lost his vest and over-shirt, he tightened his hat over his head in frustration. I smirked everyone else was down to bare minimum, reveling toned bodies, impeccable muscles and variously shaded healthy skin.

I glanced at my new cards, there was no way Race could cheat me with this hand. I smirked when several of the others folded, but not Spot and definitely not Race. We reveled our cards, Race and Spot managed to tie and groaned when they saw I had the upper hand.

They about removed their clothing when we heard a crash at the roof stairs. Looking towards them, we saw Skittery laughing up a few staps as Snitch lay sprawled at the foot of the steps laughing as well.

Some asked what happened and they answered that Snitch tripped, we all started laughing at that.

I turned to look around at all the newsies and saw that I was back at my uncle's house, laying on his couch. I glanced at the tv, the movie was almost done, Spot was getting a ride in Roosevelt's carriage. I got up and sighed, some dream, I didn't even get to learn how Bumlets, Spot and Race knew me.

I walked to my four year old cousin's room and peeked in on her, she was still napping. Good. I walked back into the living room and put my movie away as my uncle came in. He paid me and I walked home, jumping when my phone rang.


"Hey, Skitters."

(so when I started this I actually a really good plan for this but yeah that got lost. Started this chapter and realized that I had no clue what the plan was, then this mess happened. Hope you enjoyed it more than I did. Luvs Cassy.

Ps. My father is still alive and well, and he doesn't play poker and neither do I.)