It’s starting to get late. Coy wants to go into the casino and try out his poker skills. I’m hesitant. I have no idea why I’m so uncomfortable all of a sudden, but it doesn’t really seem like I can just tell him no. Wordlessly I follow him into the casino. It looks fancier than the one at the Stratosphere. Coy joins a table, and I hover behind him. I hope no one thinks we’re trying to cheat. I make sure my eyes don’t wander. Coy’s first bet is pretty low, which I find reassuring. As the game progresses, I can see that he has a decent hand. Good enough to win, anyway. Coy gives me a kiss for luck. I smile at the other people at our table. A guy our age who is obviously drunk says “Can I kiss your girlfriend for luck, too, man?” I blush, embarrassed. Coy winks at the guy and says he can if he wins the next hand. I swat his shoulder playfully. Luckily for me, Coy wins again. He increases his starting bet on the next hand, but I see he’s got nothing. He tries to bluff, but the other players see right through him and keep raising the bet. He folds, and excuses himself from the table.
I hope he’s not mad. I look up at his face, searching for clues to his mood. He looks back at me and smiles as if he knows what I’m doing.
“Uncle Jack was right,” he tells me. “My poker face is hopeless.”
“At least you had two good hands,” I say soothingly. “How much did we win?”
“We?” he teases.
“Good luck charms are entitled to fifty percent of all winnings,” I inform him.
“Ah. Well, we lost the last hand, so I’m doubting your luckiness.” I think he is pretending to be disappointed.
“Okay, we’ll split it forty-sixty and call it even. Final offer.”
He laughs. “How about we get dessert and I use the rest to pay for the room?”
There is a small café that sells gelato on the way outside, so we grab a treat to go and watch the fountains one last time before heading back to our hotel. The walk back is much more spectacular, as the dark has fully settled in. The lights are a sharper contrast, a rainbow of electric explosions. We walk more slowly than we did on the way down, stopping to point out our favorite displays. Even though it’s late in the evening, the air is still warm. It must be 90 degrees out here. We get back to the Stratosphere and head straight back to our room. Coy remarks that Uncle Jack probably managed to get in bed by himself, so we should be quiet in case he’s asleep. When we open the door to our room, the lights are on. No Uncle Jack in bed. Coy checks the bathroom. No Uncle Jack there, either. We face each other, and I can see that Coy looks frustrated.
“Maybe he went back to the buffet,” I suggest. “Or went to the shops.”
“Maybe he’s getting married in the Chapel in the Clouds,” Coy says, dripping sarcasm. “He’s at the casino. Of course.”
“But he said he wasn’t going to gamble!” I protest.
“No he didn’t. He told you to relax, he didn’t actually say he wouldn’t gamble.” Coy throws himself facedown on one of the beds and groans.