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Leaving Nothing to Chance

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"Chance favors the prepared mind."
Louis Pasteur

"I abhor gambling, and as such, leave nothing to chance."
Ezra Standish


Vin wasn't much for numbers. He could count, of course, and learned enough about adding and subtracting to get by, but that was about all he'd learned and that had always been enough for him.

When he watched Ezra play poker though, he could tell that the gambler's keen mind was just a-whirl with numbers. Counting the cards, calculating the odds, figuring the size of the pot, how much to raise, what was at stake.... A body would have to be mighty sharp and keep their wits about them if they wanted to come out ahead. And Lord knew, Ezra always wanted to come out ahead.

But it wasn't only about the numbers. Poker was as predictable—or not—as the men who sat around the table. You add that into the mix, and this game of chance was anything but random.

For that reason, Vin wasn't all that bad of a poker player himself. He didn't have Ezra's smarts, but he was good at reading men, knew if they were bluffing when their words said one thing while the flick of their eyes said another. Knew when they holding back, keeping secrets.

No, Vin wasn't a bad poker player, but that wasn't the game he was really interested in.

Maybe Vin was wrong. Ezra played things pretty close to that fancy vest of his, after all, and had damned few tells to speak of. But Vin was good at reading men, and there was a secret flickering behind those green eyes. The very same one Vin was holding back, he'd stake his life on it. Maybe he was wrong, but maybe he wasn't.

Time would tell. Vin may not have known how to do 'rithmetic, but he did know how to be patient. He could wait to see how this all played out. Ezra wasn't the only one who preferred to leave as little to chance as possible. Vin wanted to come out ahead, too. If he was right, they both would.