Bounty One: Prestoria's Dance

Gyrations was one of the most popular dance clubs in town. It attracted a wide range of clientele. Everyone from your standard hypocritical politicians to your average working stiffs who were only looking to get drunk and watch the beautiful dancers up on stage. The club also attracted more shadowy types. That was where the new girl came in and it was here where he first saw her.

He came in every other night after putting in 12 hours at the refinery to relax and enjoy the show. Maybe once in awhile, if he was drunk enough and the girl was pretty enough, he'd splurge for a table dance. Since he usually did get drunk enough and all the girls who danced at Gyrations were pretty enough, he splurged quite often.

It had been an especially grueling day that night he came in. He had ordered three blasters to start off with. The girl was up on stage one.

She moved smoothly with the music like poetry in motion with long, beautiful legs that seemed to never end. He asked and learned that she had only started dancing there the night before.

He loved her sassy raven hair that just barely touched her shoulders. The stage lights reflected off emerald green eyes and her little turned up nose was as cute as any button you could find in your cute button drawer. After she had finished her dance, he signaled the hostess to ask her to come on over. The hostess asked. She came over.

"How 'bout I buy you a drink?" he asked.

"How 'bout I accept," she replied, immediately pulling up a chair and joining him at the small table.

"Blaster?" he asked her.

"Make it a double," she confidently answered.

"Wow," he said, "most girls can't handle a single blaster let alone a double."

"Well, I'm not like most girls," she coyly replied.

"What's your name?"

"Prestoria," she replied.

"That's a pretty name."

"I was named after my Aunt Victoria," she explained with a smile that could melt cheese, "and Elvis Presley."

"Elvis Presley?" he laughed.

Prestoria nodded, "Yeah, my Mom had a thing for him."

"OOOkay!" he said, "so what's your last name?"

"Lets just stay with first names for now," she replied, this time with no smile.

"You're kinda a mystery woman, huh?" he smirked.

"More of an enigma," she teasingly answered.

He did notice that she had kept glancing over his shoulder to the back tables. After he ordered their drinks, he casually glanced back himself and saw some really well dressed slob of a guy, who seemed to act like he was some sort of big shot wheeling his money around and buying table dance after table dance from three or four of the other dancers.

"That guy a friend or yours?"

"Not a friend" she replied, in a tone that told him she didn't want to talk about it.

"So, you're new here, huh?" he asked, trying to keep the conversation going as the waitress brought them their drinks.

"Yeah, brand new," she answered, as she chugged down the blaster without any reaction.

"Have you ever danced at any other places I might know?"

"No," she softly answered, "this is my first time."

"Oh, you do something else," he inquired, "like go to school or maybe work another job?"

"Yeah," she nodded, "I work another job."

"What do you do?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," she flirtatiously replied.

"Oh, you interest me more and more by the minute, Prestoria" he said, "listen, I know its probably against the club's rules and I swear to you, I've never asked any of the girls here this question before, but I'd really like to take you out to dinner some time."

Prestoria smiled charmingly.

"Well, you're right," she replied, "it is against the club rules and I highly doubt that I'm the first girl you've asked out on a date here before."

"Well, you yourself said you're not like most girls," he noted, "I just feel like there's some type of chemistry between us."

"What you feel is called lust!" Prestoria lightly giggled.

He laughed, "Well, maybe some of that too but I mean it. I'd like to really take you someplace nice. Get to know you away from here."

Prestoria smiled and subtly nodded her head. He couldn't tell if that was a yesto the date or she was just sub-consciously keeping time with the beat playing over the club's sound system. But he had noticed she didn't answer his question.

"Well," he finally said, "at least think about it."

"I will," she sweetly answered.

Suddenly, she once again glanced past his shoulder. This time he could see her pretty face take on a look of fierce determination. Suddenly, she jumped up from the table and pulled a handgun from a thigh holster she had hidden under her black mini-skirt.

She moved quickly over to block the well dressed slob was now heading to an exit with two dancers on his arms.

Using the gun, she slapped the slob hard across the face and kicked him in the groin, which not only confused him but brought him down to his knees. The two dancers on his arms scattered, as did the crowd.

"Pierre Marquette!" Prestoria yelled out, while pressing the gun to his forehead, as she slapped a pair of cuffs onto his wrists, "under Bounty Warrant 532, I'm placing you in custody!"

Marquette didn't answer except to groan about his groin.

Prestoria pulled him up to his feet and started to walk him out the exit, while the crowd just stood back and watched. As she passed the table where her new friend sat in shock, Prestoria leaned over and whispered in his ear.

"How 'bout you give me a rain check for that date."

"A..Ab..Absolutely!" he stuttered, as he watched her walk out the door with her bounty in tow.

Bounty Two: Prestoria's Night

Not many women ever came around. But even if there were a beautiful dozen sitting at the bar that night, she would of still stood out. Now, I was no suave sophisticated player with a smooth line. I was just a working stiff from the sulpher mines, but when I glanced down the bar that night and saw her sitting there, well the liquid courage I'd been drinking kicked in just enough that I decided to go ahead and approach her.

She was sitting all hunched over, drinking something clear in a tall, thin glass. She wore a light long coat over a tight mini-dress that revealed long shapely legs. Her page-boy raven dark hair was loose and frisky. I wandered over and sat not right next to her, but one barstool away to prove in my gentlemanly drunken way that I was honorable.

"I don't suppose you would allow me to buy you a drink?" I asked her. It was the only thing I could come up with, so sue me, okay?

She glanced my way to reveal the face of an angel. Her light skin glowed even under the dim bar lights. Her thin lips complemented her cute turned up nose, which in turn, served as a contrast to her large beautiful green eyes that didn't as much look at you but right through you.

Hey, maybe it was the whiskey that was talking but I had to agree with what that whiskey was seeing. Surprisingly, she didn't tell me to buzz off.

"You can, if you know that its only the drink that you're buyin," she said, in a soft voice that had a tone of cynicism way beyond her young age. I motioned for the bartender to bring us another round of what we were drinking.

"So what brings you to a place like this?" I asked.

"You mean, what's a nice girl like me doing in a place like, blah, blah, blah?!" she replied, as a slight smirk crossed her lips.

"Yeah, something like that," I answered, as the bartender delivered the drinks.

"I'm looking for someone," she replied, as she gulped down the rest of her drink and reached for the one I had just ordered for her.

"Tall, dark, and handsome?" I asked, rather stupidly.

I did get a smile out of that.

"More like ugly, sleazy, and wanted," she replied.

"Are you a cop?" I asked obviously.

She giggled a girlish giggle, "Don't insult me. I work the bounties."

"A hunter, eh?" I smiled.

"A hunter!" she answered, as she gulped down the second drink.

"I hope its not me you're looking for?" I said.

She gave me the once over.

"If it were, honey," she sternly stated, "you'd already be cuffed and on your way downtown!"

I laughed and shuddered at the same time. Because years ago, I had smuggled canary diamonds. I had hoped the statue of limitations was up on that one.

"What's your name?" she asked, with a wide smile that revealed her pearly whites.

"Roger and yours?"

"Prestoria," she softly said, offering me her hand.

We shook. Her hand was softer than velvet.

"Well, Rog," she said, "how about another drink? It looks like my bounty is not coming around tonight."

So I ordered another round.

I noticed she had glanced at her hand right after we shook but I thought nothing of it. Maybe she was checking to see if her hand was dirty after shaking mine. As I would soon discover later that night, she was checking on something more than just cleanliness.

Anyway, we talked awhile longer. She said she was a free-lance bounty hunter. I asked her how a girl like her got into the bounty business. I mean, did she come from a hunter family? Did she always want to be a hunter from the time she was a kid?

She suddenly got a far away look in her eyes.

"I don't know," she answered quietly, almost as if she were talking to herself, "I don't remember. Maybe I never was a kid. Maybe I was always a hunter. Maybe I always was, always am, and always will be."

It was the only moment that evening where she seemed almost vulnerable. But just as quickly, she seemed to snap out of her philosophical trance and asked for another drink. I obliged.

Well, we talked awhile longer. This time it was more about me than her and, as they say, one thing led to another so we ended up at a cheap hotel a couple of blocks away.

Now I won't go into any of the details, after all a gentleman like myself always respected the ladies enough not to gossip but let me do tell you, she was great. I don't mean in a cheap animalistic way, either. She was gentle and loving.

I swear at one point she started to cry and it wasn't anything I said or did. It was like she suddenly remembered something from her past, something nice that she sadly missed. It turned out to be a beautiful night, except for in the morning.

When I awoke, I found myself handcuffed to the bedpost. No, its not what you're thinking!

Prestoria was dressed and standing at the foot of the bed.

"What's going on?" I asked but I inherently knew the answer.

"Sorry, sweetie," she replied, "but I had a clear plastic print saver on my hand at the bar last night. After we shook hands, I checked your prints and it revealed you still had a warrant out for some smuggling. There's not much of a reward for you but since the big bounty I was after last night didn't show, you're the best I could come up with."

What could I say? Nothing. So I didn't. Prestoria didn't say anything either, as she walked me to her car (a classic Jaguar) and we made the short trip to the local authorities.

As they led me to the detention room, I glanced back one last time. I just had to. She was watching, as she waved and blew me a kiss. I smiled and waved back.

Hey, I'm not mad at her. She was just doing her job, you know?! As Prestoria would've said, If you do the crime, you have to do the… blah, blah, blah!

Bounty Three: Prestoria's Wedding

"Hey, let me tell you a story," I said to the bartender on this very slow night, in this very empty bar.

"Ya wanna 'nother drink?" the bored bartender replied. I nodded.

"So, what's yer story?!" the bartender asked, as he poured the drink.

"Well, it involves a woman," I began.

"Don't they all?" the bartender snickered.

"Well," I continued, "this wasn't any ordinary woman."

"Yeah, ain't they all not ordinary?" the bartender knowingly replied.

"No, I mean it," I began, "I first met her just a few weeks ago, of all places out on the fishing wharf by the lake. I had heard the Bass were biting that day, so I went out to see what I could catch, and there she was."

"The Bass?!" the bartender asked.

"No," I replied, "A woman! A most beautiful woman! Just laying back on a deck chair, sunning herself. The sunlight glistened off her dark hair. And her body? My God, was she sexy! But I kept my cool, as I walked past her then dropped my fishing line into the lake and waited.

She raised her head, lifted her sunglasses and glanced my way. Her beautiful green eyes glowed, even in the daylight."

"Excuse me?!" she called out, her voice soft yet strong.

"Yes," I replied, trying to sound cool.

"You're blocking my sun," she said.

I noticed my shadow was far away from her.

"I think you're mistaken, miss," I replied, "the sun's almost directly overhead."

"But it won't be in a few more hours," she answered, "and by then your shadow will be blocking my tanning."

I laughed. She laughed. I stopped fishing. She stopped sunning. So we talked.

She said her name was Prestoria Pripet. She worked as a dealer over at the casino. I said I used to go over there a lot but since the last time I was there I lost the equivalent of two weeks pay. I had decided to stop.

"Then you should of played my table," she coyly said, "I would of brought you luck."

"Guess I should of," I replied, in an oh, well tone.

We talked some more. I felt really comfortable with her. I don't know why. Usually, I get really tongue-tied talking to a woman as pretty as she was, but she just was different.

Anyway, we went out. Dinner. Dancing. The whole deal. Dating her was like being caught in a whirlwind. She had so much energy.

"How was she in bed?" the bartender asked.

"A gentleman doesn't answer a question like that!" I said, in defense of my Prestoria's honor.

"Well," the bartender replied, "as soon as a gentleman comes in here, I'll note that but in the mean time, how was she?"


The bartender laughed, as he poured another drink.

"So for the next few weeks we were," I continued, "what they used to call, an item and I tell you she brought out the poetry in me. So I did a little shopping at that jewelry store just out side of town and I did it."

"You did what?" the bartender wondered.

"I asked her."

"Asked her what?!" the bartender densely asked.

"To marry me!" I excitedly answered.

"Oh, boy!" the bartender said, rolling his eyes, "so what did she say?"

"She said yes!" I answered, the memory of her answer still fresh in my mind.

"Congratulations," the bartender cynically said.

"Thanks, uh, no, don't congratulate me!" I confusedly replied.

The bartender shrugged, "Okay, non-congratulations then."

So I continued.

"I had wanted a large wedding. Honestly, I wanted to show off to all my family and friends what a beauty I had nabbed. However, Prestoria just wanted a small affair. Invite a few of my friends and family. Use a justice of the peace. She said she didn't have any family and didn't want to make a big fuss. So we compromised. We would have a small, intimate wedding at a chapel. I'd invite my best friend Leo and my brother Clyde."

"That is if I can get Leo to work it into his schedule," I had told her.

"Is he a busy guy?" she had asked.

"Yeah, he's got a couple of businesses he runs," I answered, "but he and I have been friends since high school. He'll make time for me and he's gonna fall in love with you!"

She just smiled.

"What about your brother, Clyde?"

"Oh, he'll come," I said, "he hasn't worked in years and he's got nothing else to do and if there is the possibility of some free food, he's there."

Prestoria just laughed.

So I contacted Leo and Clyde. After all the how much ya payin' her and she must be blind jokes, they both agreed to attend. We decided to get married three days later. So we set up the wedding at that local chapel on the other side of town. Prestoria went out and bought a wedding dress that she wouldn't show me.

"Its bad luck for the future groom to see the future bride in her wedding gown," she had told me, "besides, it'll give you an incentive to show up."

She flirtatiously smiled.

"You're the only incentive I need, babe!" I had replied.

So the next day, Leo and Clyde came by to meet Prestoria and to take me out one last time for a bachelor party.

Prestoria was extra charming and both Leo and Clyde fell in love with her and approved my choice.

Leo said he couldn't believe a beauty like her would agree to marry a slob like me and Clyde teased that he was going to ask her to break off our engagement and marry him. I think he was serious.

Anyway, the bachelor party basically consisted of me getting drunk and throwing up at a little downtown dive. No dancing girls or prostitutes were involved. Neither me nor my brother had the money anyway and Leo was too cheap to splurge.

So the day finally arrived. I stood at the altar in the chapel. Leo was my best man. Clyde, my groomsman. The minister was ready, as his wife played a recording of the wedding march.

I turned around and suddenly saw my future bride walking down the aisle. My Prestoria!

She wore a white lace, one piece mini-skirt, that showed off her long, beautiful legs. Little petals were sprinkled in her dark hair, as she held the bouquet of pink carnations I had bought her. She looked gorgeous.

She subtly smiled, as she took her place up on the altar right next to me.

Then the ceremony began. I confess I was so caught up in the surreal atmosphere, I can't remember what the minister said. I just remember Leo handing me the ring and me putting it on Prestoria's finger.

I also remember when the minister must of asked me the question, as I felt Leo nudge me in the back, so I automatically said, "I do!"

But the rest is kind of a blur because of what happened next.

Just as the minister started to pronounce us man and wife, Prestoria suddenly reached for something under the hem of her skirt. At first, I thought she was reaching for her thigh band, or whatever you call it. You know when a bride tosses it into the crowd? But there was no crowd there.

Well, the next thing I know, she had a gun in her hand and was pushing me out of the way and slapping some cuffs on my best man Leo!

"I'm placing you into custody under the jurisdiction of Bounty Warrant 336!" she yelled.

My brother Clyde had already by then, dived to the floor.

I stood in shock, as she led Leo back down the aisle holding her gun to his neck the whole time. Leo appeared to be in shock, as he wisely offered no resistance.

Just before they both left the chapel, Prestoria turned back, smiled and winked at me.

"Maybe another time, honey," she sweetly called back, as she exited with Leo in tow.

That was the last I ever saw of her. I checked the casino, where she was supposed to have worked but they had never heard of her.

"That's quite a story," the bartender said, "your bride was obviously a bounty hunter, but what was your friend wanted for?"

"Well, I knew he dealt a little in off track betting," I answered.

"Guess he bet a little too much off the track," the bartender wryly commented.

"I guess," I had to agree, "but I still love her and miss her so!"

"Yeah, I understand," the bartender began, "but you do realize, she played you like a fiddle. She somehow found out you were friends with her bounty and somehow knew you were going to be at that wharf and took you on a whirlwind romance. Even agreeing to marry you and showing up at the chapel just to get her man, which turned out not to be you but the guy standing next to you. So how can you still love and miss her?"

"I don't know," I replied, "I just do."

"Well, in that case," the bartender replied, "I can only give you one piece of advice that might bring her back."

"Oh and what's that?"

"Go out and commit a crime," the bartender advised, "if there's a bounty out on you, she'll show up."

Bounty Four: Prestoria's Lament

As Prestoria Pripet entered her run down gamby house, she followed the smell of cigarette smoke and cooked noodles to try and locate where her lazy sister and her sister's equally lazy boyfriend were hanging out. She found them lounging on the couch in what passed in the house as a living room.

For Prestoria, being a bounty hunter was a feast or famine affair. Lately, it had been more famine, so she was forced to take in her sister Spidoria (nicknamed Spider) and her boyfriend Webster (Web) in exchange for whatever they could pay from Spider's unemployment and Web's welfare. Prestoria walked on in.

"Well, well, well, look who just dragged her butt back in," Spider said. Stick skinny with platinum blonde hair that never seemed to ever get washed, Spider just kicked back on the couch and lit her twelfth cigarette of the day.

"Pres is back!" Web cried out, as he poked his Emo head out from the kitchen, "where in the hell have you been?! You've been gone for weeks!"

"Well, its so nice to see all of you again, too!" Prestoria replied sarcastically, as she reached down and stole one of Spider's cigarettes from the pack on the table, "I've been out working. Which, as I look around, is more than I can say for the present company I'm in."

"Yeah, you've been out working alright," Spider remarked, "out working the poker tables."

"Or the horse races!" Web added, laughing.

"Oh, yeah," Prestoria replied cynically, exhaling a puff of cigarette smoke, "that's just what I've been doing."

"Maybe what you need, " Web remarked, "is a man in your life to give you some direction."

"Oh! Please!" Prestoria angrily replied, "gimme the number to male chauvinist pigs anonymous and emergency medical!"

"Why do you need the emergency medical number for?" Web asked.

"Its for you, Web! After I kick your scrawny ass!" Prestoria yelled.

"Well, don't kick his ass, yet," Spider quickly added, "at least not until he's finished cooking dinner."

"Speaking of dinner!" Web replied, quickly ducking back into the kitchen to check on the noodles and to stay away, for now, from Prestoria.

"So what have you been up to during the last few weeks anyway, sis?" Spider asked, as she lit up cigarette number thirteen.

"Well, if you must know," Prestoria answered, as she sat down on the far side of the couch, "I nabbed three bounties, while sitting in a bar, dancing at a strip club, and almost getting married!"

"What?!" Spider replied, quickly sitting up.

"Huh?!" Web said, poking his head back out of the kitchen, "you got married?!"

Well, technically," Prestoria continued, "the wedding wasn't official because, as the ceremony was concluding, I nabbed the best man for an outstanding warrant."

"Who cares about that!" Web said, "tell us about you dancing at that strip club! What type of costume did you wear? Or did you even wear a costume at all?!"

"Oh, go take a cold shower, pervert boy!" Prestoria replied, rolling her eyes,

"I just worked there long enough to corner some sleaze head who was a frequent customer."

"So how did you nab the guy at the bar?" Web wondered, as he brought out a large bowl of steaming noodles.

"Oh," Prestoria explained, "I was actually waiting to grab a bigger fish but that one didn't bite, so I had to settle for a smaller fry, who took a liking to me."

"I bet he did!" Spider said, "How much of a liking?"

"A lady never answers," Prestoria coyly replied.

"Well, I don't see any ladies here," Spider mischievously grinned.

"So you can answer," Web laughed, as he served the noodles.

"Ha! Ha!" Prestoria mockingly replied, "you guys are so funny. You should go on the road as a comedy team. You both look funny anyway."

"Well, if you did nab three bounties," Spider said, "then how much moola did you make? By the way, your rent is overdue."

"My rent?!" Prestoria replied with surprise, "you guys need to cough up something to help me out."

"Well, just put it on our tab," Web casually replied.

"Your tab?!" Prestoria shot back, "your tab is adding up pretty fast around here!"

"Yeah, well you didn't answer my question," Spider pointed out, "how much did you make for your three bounties?"

"I don't think she has the money anymore, right Pres?" Web interrupted.

"Well, I, uh," Prestoria stammered.

"You're right, Web! She doesn't have it!"

"How'd you loose it, gambling?" Web inquired.

"It wasn't my fault," Prestoria explained, "that horse was supposed to be a favorite to win!"

"Of course," Web said.

"Both of you can go fuck yourselves!" Prestoria shouted, as she dashed out and headed towards her bedroom.

"Oh-Oh! Prestoria is mad," Web said.

"Don't you think you pushed her a little too far this time, Web?" Spider asked.

"Hey," Web replied, "you're the one bringing up about her paying the rent!"

"Yeah, but you knew I was just teasing her," Spider pointed out.

"Then you go tell her you were just teasing," Web replied, "and I'll tell her we've already paid this month's rent."

"Just don't tell her how we got the money to pay," Spider reminded.

"She won't miss any of her clothes we sold to the thrift center," Web confidently smiled.

Meanwhile, Prestoria locked herself in her room. She let the tears flow. She cried like she never had before, at least what she could remember.

"I need to get out of here," she mumbled to herself, "I don't need to take any more crap from any of them! They both don't appreciate what they have here. They need to start pulling their own weight around."

Prestoria lay in her bed and just stared at the ceiling.

'Why do I hang around here, anyway?' she lamented, "its sure not for the appreciation that I never receive. Or the respect I never get."

She sat up on the edge of the bed and wiped away her tears.

But why do I really stay? she wondered, Why?

Then she suddenly realized the answer to her question.

"Its because I have no where else to go," she said to herself, "in my business you don't have time to make any real friends and Spider is the only family I have left."

Just then there was a soft knock at her door.

"What do ya want?!" Prestoria tried to sound as angry as she could.

"Pres?" she heard her sister's muffled voice say, "could we come in and talk to you for a moment?"

Prestoria unlocked then opened the door. Spider and Web wandered in.

"Well," Prestoria angrily began, "I plan on going out tonight and follow up on a lead I had on another bounty, okay? If I can nab him, then I'll be able to pay this month's rent."

"Uh, Pres about that rent," Web began.

"Yes?" Prestoria suspiciously said.

"We were just joking," Spider answered.

"Joking?" Prestoria hesitatingly replied.

"Yeah," Web grinned, "you know us, always the jokers!"

"Yeah, well, you're both a couple of jokers all right," Prestoria added, "in more ways than one."

"And Spider has something else to say too," Web said, nudging her in the ribs, "don't you babe?"

"Uh, yeah," Spider replied, "I like what you've done to your room."

"Spider!" Web sternly said.

"Y..Yeah, okay," Spider stammered, "hey, don't worry about the rent. We've already taken care of it this month."

"So what did you both do to get the money to pay?" Prestoria wondered.

"We just set aside the funds," Web lied.

Prestoria looked both of them deeply into their eyes to detect any slight trace of a lie. She couldn't detect any but she knew they were both accomplished liars, like she was.

"Well, okay," Prestoria replied with suspicion.

"So we cool then?" Web asked.

Prestoria eventually nodded, "Yeah, we cool."

"Then let's all go back and finish our noodles, okay?" Spider said, "then maybe you could tell us more about that bounty you were thinking about going out to get tonight."

Prestoria smiled, as they all began to file out of her room, then noticed her clothes closet door was open to reveal a lot of empty hangars. Then it dawned on her what had happened.

"Spider! Web!" she called after, "get both your asses back in here right now!"

Bounty Five: Prestoria's Gambit

The scent of a casino can make one nauseous after a few hours at the roulette wheels and poker tables. The cigarette and cigar smoke, along with the smell of spilt whiskey and stale beer, only subtracted from the ambience.

However, this casino still didn't lack for gamblers, who always were convinced that their fortune lie just around the corner with the next bet and the roulette table had a half dozen people still placing those bets.

Suddenly, Lady Luck walked up. She was wearing a long, black, tight-fitting evening dress, that was cut high above the knees and down low in the front. She smoked a cigarette, on the tip of a long slender holder that gave her an extra air of class. Her dark, neatly styled hair, cascaded down to just gently brush her elegantly bare shoulders and framed a pretty face that featured large green eyes and a pixie like turned up nose.

She sat down slowly at the table and placed a handful of chips in front of her, then quickly placed four of those chips down for the bet. The dealer spun the wheel and lady luck won.

She repeated her routine three more times and won twice.

"Looks like you've played this game before," a sleazy looking guy, sitting next to her said. He had already won the last dozen spins.

"Oh, I've played many games before," she coyly replied, "and seeing the number of chips you have in front of you right now, I'd say you've played this game a time or two yourself."

"Yes, I have," he smarthly replied, "maybe you showing up will bring me more good fortune."

"Maybe," she replied, "if you're real lucky and play it just right!"

She placed another bet and won once again.

"Wow!" sleazy guy said, "you've got your mojo working tonight!"

"That's not all I've got working," she breathily replied.

After a few more plays, with both of them winning bet by bet, Sleazy became bored.

"What say you and I go get us a drink at the bar," he said.

"I say why not?" she flirtatiously replied.

They collected their chips and headed to the bar, where he bought her a gargle blaster.

"What's your name, Lady luck?" he asked, as she chugged down the blaster.

"Pripet," she softly replied, "Prestoria Pripet."

"Pleased to meet you, Prestoria Pripet," he said "I think this is going to be a most profitable night for both of us."

"Well," Prestoria replied, "I know its definitely going to be a profitable night for me!"

Suddenly, she took her one hand and pulled a gun from deep below the top of her dress and with the other, a pair of cuffs from inside the hem of her skirt.

"Well, I like the cuffs but the gun I could do without!" Sleazy reacted, as Prestoria slapped the cuffs tightly upon his wrists.

"Heinous Callaway!" she stated, "I'm taking you into custody per Warrant 415!"

She then quickly escorted Heinous outside the gaming rooms, to a side hallway.

"Oh, we gonna make out first, Ms. Pripet?" Callaway lustfully stated.

"Puhlleeeasse!" Prestoria replied, "don't make me sick! I haven't eaten yet. But I do want to know one thing."

"And what's that, baby doll!" he replied, with a crooked smile.

"Well, the Casino put out the bounty to catch you because you're a notorious cheat!" Prestoria stated, "you've always cheated, mainly at card games like poker and black jack in which you count the cards and sideslip the chips, but you've never worked the wheels before. How are you cheating at roulette?"

"Well, maybe if you uncuff me," he teasingly replied, "we could get a room and put to better use those handcuffs of yours and then maybe I'll tell you."

"Oh, just forget it, sleaze ball!" Prestoria replied, rolling her eyes.

The police soon showed and she handed him over. His bounty was worth a 1,000 dollars.

As Heinous was escorted away, she noted he may have been a good cheat but he was no pickpocket, or he would have noticed she had used some of her own sleight of hand as she was cuffing him. Prestoria had pocketed some type of small rectangular electronic device she noticed he had been using under the roulette table.

She figured this was what he used to cheat and she wanted to know what exactly it was and how exactly it worked. She headed back home to try and figure it out.

As Prestoria entered her apartment she noticed there were no signs of Web.

Probably out goofing off, but pretending to look for work, she figured.

However, she quickly detected the sounds of snoring that permeated the air.

Her sister Spider was sound asleep, passed out on the stairs.

"SPIDER!" Prestoria shouted, as her little sister was suddenly jarred awake and literally levitated three feet off the ground, with her eyes opened wider than a saucer.

"What! What! Whhhhaaaattttt!" Spider groggily replied.

"I want you to tell me what this is," Prestoria asked, handing her the small device.

"Oh, a gift for me?!" Spider cheerily asked.

"No! No gift!" Prestoria sternly answered, "just tell me what you think it is."

"Oh," Spider replied, disappointed, "its not a gift?"

"No, no gift!" Prestoria replied, irritatingly.

"Okey-dokey!" Spider giggled, "let me seeee what this device could beeeee!"

Spider held the device close to her left eye, in some strange Spiderian way to try to examine it.

"Me thinks!" Spider excitedly said.

"You thinks, what?" Prestoria replied in anticipation.

"Me thinks, I should check…. on the net!" she said, sitting quickly down in front of a computer.

"Let me see…what Pres won't give to me!" she mumbled, as her fingers danced across the keyboard.

"THERE! THERE!" Spider suddenly shouted, pointing at the computer screen.

Prestoria stepped up to gaze at the screen. The display showed a 3D image of the device now in Spider's hands.

"It's a mini-micro-matter-mover!" Spider said.

"What's a mini-min-micro-matter? Oh, hell," Prestoria said in frustration, "try saying that three times fast!"

"Mini-micro-matter-mover! Mini-micro-matter-mover! Mini-micro-matter- mover!" Spider quickly replied, with a smug look on her face.

"Okay smart ass," Prestoria replied, "what exactly does it do?"

"According to Wikipedia, it creates a teeny, tiny, bit of invisible dark matter to move small inanimate objects!" Spider explained.

Huh?!" Prestoria replied.

"A demonstration if you please, maestro!" Spider announced, as she took the device and pointed it at an empty carton of noodles discarded on the kitchen table. She pushed a slide switch along the device's side and the noodle carton moved a quarter of an inch.

"So that is what it does!" Spider smiled.

"Ahh, I get it now," Prestoria smiled back, "ol' sleazy Heinous used this to move the roulette ball just enough to assure it landed on the number he had bet on! Clever device."

"And there is a reward for its return!" Spider added, looking at the computer screen.

"Who and how much?" Prestoria asked, "and I don't care in what order you answer!"

"Well well, then," Spider replied, "the who are the military guys and how much is one million smackers!"

"One million?!" Prestoria excitedly said, "Sign me up! Who do I see about collecting the reward?"

"Let me see," Spider mumbled, her fingers gliding across the keyboard, "its all top hush secret. Nobody supposed to know it even exists!"

"So thus it's on Wikipedia?" Prestoria shrugged.

"Like go figure," Spider shrugged back.

"Then how did some punk like Heinous get this?" Prestoria wondered out loud.

"I don't know," Spider replied, "but I have a suggestion."

"Oh, and what's that?" Prestoria asked, skeptically.

"I think you should forget all about it." Spider seriously said.

"Forget?" Prestoria wondered, "Why?"

"Cause this is bad karma karma chameleon," Spider explained, "if it is supposed to be so secret, then no one needs to know. If no one needs to know, then by turning it in you know, but you don't need to know, so you shouldn't know and those guys will see to it that you will never know by seeing to it that you never exist ever again!"

"Spider!" Prestoria replied, "I don't know how you did it but what you just said I understood and, God help me, it made sense!"

"Yea for me!" Spider cried out in joy, "I made sense!"

"That reward is such a temptation, though" Prestoria said, "but I guess the best thing to do is dump the damned thing in the river."

"TAKE IT TO THE RIVER!" Spider sang, way off key.

"I'm going to but…." Prestoria got that far away look on her face.

"Oh, oh!" Spider noted, "Pres is thinking. That could be dangerous."

"Well," Prestoria finally said, "I just happen to know a casino that just happens to be located right next to a river. I'll take it over there to dump it."

"And what's the catch?" Spider wondered.

"Oh, no catch," Prestoria winked mischievously, "just before I throw it into the river, I just might test it out at that roulette wheel one last time. Wanna go with?"

"I dunno," Spider replied nervously.

"If I win," Prestoria added, "I'll buy ice cream!"

"Ice cream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!" Spider happily cried out, as they both headed for the door.

The End.