More Than a Poker Game

Beta-Prompt 08-11: First Class/White Collar, something with Byron and June

Word Count: 700

The white kids didn't belong. They were rich, far richer than any other in the club.

June noticed them first since Byron was playing the back table. The man –honestly, he was barely twenty- stepped in first. He glanced over the busy room. He didn't react to the fact he was one of six white men in the club. The blonde girl was a step behind. She wasn't happy, but June didn't think that it was because they were on the wrong side of town.

June approached them, trying to keep the peace with the other customers.

"We could fit in," the girl was murmuring. "Just let me…"

"No, Raven," the boy ordered her. "We're here for an entirely different experiment." The boy saw June and smiled at her. "Good evening, madam," he addressed her as if she was a beautiful, rich, white woman. There was nothing patronizing in that smile. "We're looking for a poker game. Is there any to be had?"

June should have said 'no.' These two were nothing but trouble. Then Ezra decided that such rich marks were too good to leave alone. Ezra brushed by the man, picking his pocket.


The man caught his hand and retrieved his wallet, only to place it in his other pocket. He never took his eyes off of June. He was calm, the perfect conman under pressure. The girl though –there was something ugly –mean- in her eyes.

"Calm down, Raven," the boy said. He looked at Ezra and brushed his fingers against his temple (a tell?). "Sit in your chair and stay there until we leave." Ezra turned to do just that. The boy smiled at June once again. "A poker game?"

Byron's winnings had been slim recently. This boy could put a lot of money into play. June smiled at him. "Of course, if you'll give Lily your hat and coats…" Lily stepped right up to do her job. "Right this way."

The boy had perfect manners, June noticed, as he introduced himself and his sister to the whole poker table. Byron lifted an eyebrow at June and June offered what she thought the Charles Xavier's tell might be behind his back. Raven pulled up a chair directly behind her brother. Though she nodded at the other poker players, she didn't have Charles' impeccable manners.

The game started and June drifted away to attend to her hostess duties. Several times she met Raven's curious eyes. She had twisted in her chair and was watching the members of the club laugh, dance, sing and play. She looked intent and confused. Charles played as impeccably as he spoke and walked. He played well; it wasn't too long until the pile of money by his left hand grew. Byron's mouth crinkled in a manner that June knew that he was confused. June was sure that she had seen the finger-to-the-forehead tell several times. Byron had worked with less before. He shouldn't be losing. There was something different about Charles, more than being respectful.

Finally, Raven kicked Charles' chair. Charles sighed and expressed his regrets. He counted his money, handing a good wad to Raven. She pocketed it with a grin. The rest he split between the other poker players. "Thank you for the game, gentlemen," he said. "It was an educational experience." He stood and offered an arm to his sister.

June was waiting for him at the club's exit. Lily was ready with the Xavier's outer garments. Charles helped Raven with her coat and then slid into his own. He smiled at June and tipped his hat with as much style as anyone from the Rat Pack did. "Thank you for the wonderful evening, June."

June's blood ran cold. Byron would not have told this rich, white boy her true name. It had to be a warning, but a warning for what?

Why had Charles Xavier (was that his real name?) walked into their club? June suddenly felt like a mark, but she had no idea what the con had been. It didn't fall into a pattern of any of the cons with which she was familiar.

She would be checking the club safe as soon as possible.