Photo (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Photo (open) Photo (close) The incense of cigar smoke and liquor permeated the run-down shack of a saloon. At the back of the rectangular building sat a makeshift wooden stage with stained, velvet curtains and gaudy fake gold cappings. Four girls in stockings, bustled skirts, and corsets that left little to the imagination pranced about on the stage kicking their legs high over the heads of the men who crowded around them. Just to the left of the stage sat an upright piano. On the honky-tone keys this evening was a spindly little man with a spattering of dark hair atop his head and a red face from taking to the bottle too much during the performance. A mahogany counter about nine bar stools long with a large mirror and cabinets full of bottles as a backdrop sat closer to the swinging doors of the saloon. Tables filled the rest of the empty space where men in cowboy hats and spurs conversed, drank, or bet on card games. At one table in particular, near the wall across from the bar, sat an auburn-haired woman with an audience of three or four men. Her dress was modest compared to the other wenches who worked in the saloon. A loose blouse settled just under her shoulders, showing off her smooth, unblemished skin and just enough of a line in the middle of her chest to suggest what might be hidden underneath. An under-bust corset hugged tightly to her waist and ended just above her hips where the thin fabric of her skirt took over and flowed down to her calves. Her feet were clad in supple leather boots, no spurs. In her hands she held a deck of cards, shuffled them, and skillfully dealt them out to each player with a flick of the wrist. She was the blackjack dealer. "I'm gonna win this time, just you watch!" one of them crooned. "Nah, you ain't got the smarts for it," another countered. "I'll bet Joe's the one who walks off with our money tonight." "I wish that'd be the case!" the one called Joe hooted. "But I ain't got the luck in me tonight." A mysterious smile flickered across the dealer's full lips as she flipped over the first card. By the time all the cards were laid out on the table, Joe was declared the winner. Cursing and back-slapping carried on between the men as the dealer scooped her cards into a pile and arranged them into a neat deck again. Lifting hazel eyes from her task, she briefly locked eyes with a man sitting a couple tables away by himself. From the looks of it, he'd been watching her for quite some time. Immediately, her gaze fell back to her shuffling.