A Sure Thing by Syrenslure

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She was still beautiful, even in death, but she lacked that daring, playful edge that had attracted him the most. He recognized her the first time that he had seen her with Nick, but it wasn't until he read the autopsy report that he knew her full name. Who she was and what she did was known to most of the people in this building, but he doubted that they knew very much of whom she actually was, either.

While prostitution was legal in certain circumstances, in parts of Nevada, it was still illegal in Las Vegas. Ironically, working at the LVPD removed some of the risk, since it was easy to become familiar with the players, and they with you. There was less need for subterfuge.

He appreciated the freedom that allowed him, because it wasn't a situation that came naturally to him. He seldom let his desires overcome him, but when they did, there was something to be said for the bartered intimacy, however false, instead of the gamble of attempting less sure companionship. This was a town of risk/reward ratios, and it was never wise to bet more than you could afford, especially when you weren't holding all of the cards. Poker may have been his game, but women were not.

Still, Gil had felt uneasy about seeking her out, even with Jim's tacit, yet mostly unspoken approval. She was just his type, with her long, dark hair, and trim, but not quite athletic figure. She had been around long enough to know the score, but not to be overly jaded, and was clean, safe and no real trouble, other than a bit of a smart mouth when she took offense to the attitude of the rookie officer handling her booking.

She wasn't surprised by his invitation to coffee, and she barely blinked when he discussed his requirements. After he had made his request and eliminated the risk of entrapment, she just told him it was his dime, and named her price with a come-hither smile. He had quirked his lips and quickly agreed.

It had been a pleasurable and rather enjoyable encounter. She played her part well, and he paid well for her services several more times over the next year or so, before her circumstances changed. She had acquired a boyfriend ÔÇ“ one who was rapidly moving into the category of pimp and was ruthless enough to make several of her regular customers uncomfortable with retaining her services. He took the same hint, and kindly and fondly bid her farewell, and returned to his former celibate state.

It was a shame that she had come to this, but he held no illusions about saving her, or anyone else. He couldn't afford them.