"Your bet."

"I know."


"Raise fifty."

"Seriously? Fifty?"

"Count 'em." I tossed the coins into the middle of the table and grinned into my cards. Waltin had nothing, and fifty cuvers would nearly bankrupt him. He'd be a fool to stay in.

"Damn it, Tom," he said, throwing down his cards. "How do you always know?"

Grinning openly now, I scooped up my winnings. "Trade secret."

Another of the men around the table spoke up. "You chew your lip when you're bluffing."

My glare could have melted glass. "Thanks a lot, Chal. You could have waited until he was out first."

The man shrugged. "You've been cleaning us out all night. Thought I could level the playing field a bit."

Muttering under my breath, I dealt out a new hand of cards. But secretly I was glad they thought my winning streak was due to nothing more than watching for a few nonverbal clues. In reality, it was a little deeper than that.

I read their minds.

Okay, okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. It wasn't like I could tell exactly what cards the guy had, most of the time, but I could easily get a feeling for how good his hand was, regardless of how well he thought he kept the information hidden. If that failed, there was another talent I possessed, but I preferred not to use it unless I was really desperate. It was too risky.

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