Conflicted – Chapter 88

“Which one do you want to play?” Xi Men asked, looking around the casino; where there are gambling tables and slot machines’ segment.

“Umm… I am not good with cards…” Xiao You said. “Can’t really grasp the idea,”

“Hmmm. Alright then,” he said, putting his hand over her shoulder. “So… slot machines then,”

She smirked, “Can’t understand about the part that you are encouraging me to gamble,”

He chuckled. “Get it right, miss. I ask you to gamble for the sake of it because we are in Macau. I am not encouraging you to adopt that hobby,” he said.

But what he said plays in his mind immediately, and that prompted him to look at her

“You won’t get addicted if I teach you how to gamble, right?” he asked worriedly.

She looked at him and then she smirked, “Well…”

“If you will, then I am not going to teach you. Or, if you are unsure, it is best I don’t teach you. Or…”

“Don’t panic just yet,” she interrupts him.

He looked at her.

“I am pretty stingy, you know,” she said. “If I don’t buy stuffs… I don’t think I am willing to gamble,”

“Everyone is different. Some are not willing to spend it on food, but has no hesitation in gambling,” he said.

“Please don’t get stressed out. I am just kidding with you. I am not going to get addicted,” she said.

“Seriously?” he eyed her skeptically.

“Yes. I’ll just treat this as some fun times, some games. Play for fun,” she said. “Like you have said,”

“Alright. I’ll trust you completely in that,” he said, putting his hand around her shoulder again as he looked around, eyeing the slot machines.

She looked at him. “And… what are you doing?”

“Looking for a slot machine to gamble,” he said.

She frowned, “What is that supposed to mean? Can’t you see all the slot machines in front of you? Aren’t these slot machines?” she pointed.

“I mean, looking for the particular one that attracts you,” he said.

“Ah?”

“You picked slot machines randomly to play, but often times, there are some that attracts you or speaks to you,” he said.

“Speaks to you? Really?”

He smirks. “Yes. You won’t know if that spells lucky,”

She looked at him.

Seriously?

Such a strange thing to hear.

And such a strange thing to say too.

Not gonna believe it.

She smirks at him, “Alright,”

“That one,” Xi Men smiled and pulled her with him.

As she gets dragged along, she didn’t even know where and which one they are heading to. And then she stopped at a slot machine with him.

“Here, sit down,” he said, pointing at the chair in front of it.

“You said you picked a slot machine that attracts you or speaks to you. You picked this. Why don’t you sit?” Xiao You asked.

“Hmmm. Yeah, you are right. It attracts me and not you…”

She rolled her eyes.

He is still saying such an odd thing.

“But it is okay. I need to teach you how to play, right? So it is good to start with the machine that attracts me since I have to show you. And when you have a gist of it, then you’ll go for a machine that attracts you,” he said.

“Umm…”

“Sit down, darling,” he said, patting on the chair.

“You are playing, why don’t you sit instead?” she asked.

“It is okay. I’ll sit at the one next to it, since no one is playing this machine,” he said, sitting at the chair that is allocated for the machine next to it.

AHHHH…

A CHAIR!

MY LEGS!

“Now, you can sit,” he said to Xiao You, pointing at the chair in front of the slot machine they are going to play.

She bites her lower lip, and then sits down as directed.

He took out a piece of $100 cash from his wallet, “So, most of the machines are the same and what I am teaching you is the basic concept. Now, this is the slot where you put in the money,” he showed her, and then puts the money into the machine.

She couldn’t believe that he is teaching her how to gamble.

She listens to his explanations and looked at where he pointed; the screen, the buttons, the hints… and so much more.

“So, that’s basically the concept. Differs with some machines. But overall, the basics is the same,” he said.

She nodded. “Okay…”

“Here goes,” he said, pressing a button on the far right.

And she looked at the screen, watching the wheel (on the screen) changes.

Stops. Nothing.

“And then you repeat bet,” he said, pressing the button again.

Stops. Nothing again.

He pressed the third time, and this time sees some result.

Win 10 credits.

“Oh, 10!” Xiao You excitedly said. “Winning!”

“I am betting 50 credits per round, baby,” he said, slightly deadpanned, but can’t exactly blame her for her excitement because she doesn’t understand yet.

She looked at him, and her happiness died, “Ah, so… you still lose 40?”

“Yes,” now he pointed on the screen where there’s number, “This is what I am betting,”

“Oh…”

He presses the button again.

ALARM!

“What’s going on?” Xiao You asked, panicked upon hearing it.

She heard a few of this since she walked into the casino, but to hear it up close…

Alarm fades.

Xi Men smirks, “Winning,”

“Winning?” she asked. “How much…?”

“Hmmm…” he looked at the screen, where the slot machine is paying out the credits. “Written over there,”

She looked at the screen. “Whoa, 2000 credits!” she said as the screen is processing the winning credits.

He smirks, and then pressed the button for a new spin, “The higher you bet, the higher that amount is. And I am betting at minimum… because I am not a gambler. I just play for fun,” he smiled.

She smiled too.

“This slot machine attracts me, and I somehow just feel like it. So I picked this machine. And know when to stop or change machine. Especially when you are bored,” he pressed the button again.

ALARM!

“Wow,” Xiao You said. “Another win,”

He smiled. “Wanna try?” he asked, retracting his hand from the button.

She looked at him, surprised. “Me?”

“Why are you so surprised? I have been teaching you how to play with the slot machine since we sat down,” he said.

“I know. I mean… I am… afraid,”

“Afraid? You just have to press the button. The button won’t eat you,” he said.

“Just afraid of…” she looked at him.

He kinda knows what she meant.

Lose money.

Haha.

He smiled. “Don’t be afraid about that. And this is your first time, right? Let’s see where your beginner’s luck goes,”

“Beginner’s luck?”

He nodded. “Yes. Legend has it that beginners have better luck because it is their first time. Well, I did win some money at the first time I gamble. And well, there are some that didn’t win at their first time. And now, we should see your beginner’s luck,”

She bites her lower lip.

“Just push the button. It is okay,” he said. “And don’t worry about winning or not. Just have fun,”

She looked at him, and then she turned her head to the screen. Her eyes then lowered to the buttons, “Just this button?” she asked, pointing at the button on the furthest right.

“Yes,” he confirmed.

She pressed the button as said.

Spins.

DING!

Win.

20 credits.

“Ah…” she looked at the screen.

Xi Men smiled.

“So, do I press it again?” she asked, glancing at Xi Men.

“Yes,”

Xiao You pressed the button again.

No winning this time.

She pressed the button again.

Xi Men tilts his head and smiled, watching Xiao You concentrating on the slot machine.

“I wonder if this is the look on your face when Lei is teaching you as well?” he asked.

“Huh?” she asked, glancing over at Xi Men.

“You look so adorable when you are paying attention like that,” he smiled, and then he turned to look at the screen.

She pressed her lip together. “Hey,”

“Hmmm?” he turned to look at her.

“Isn’t this your slot machine? You picked this, right?” she asked.

He smirks, “So?”

“You should press the button since you picked this,” she said, retracting her hand.

He smiled, “Why? You are bored already?” he asked, extends his hand out and pressed on the button.

Spin.

“No, it’s just that you said the machine attracts you…”

ALARM!

Xiao You paused.

Both Xi Men and Xiao You looked at the screen now.

“This is different compare to what you win earlier,” Xiao You said. “What is this?” she asked, pointing on the screen.

Xi Men smirks, and then lets out a small laugh, “A special feature. Well, I just hit a bonus round to win more money,”

Xiao You’s jaw dropped. “Wow…”

“Some machines speak to you,” he winked at her.

And then she chuckled.

Right.

Nothing happens when she plays, but the moment he presses the button, he hits the bonus.

Awesome.

*****

“See any that you like?” Xi Men asked as they walked around the casino.

Looking left and right of the 2nd hotel’s casino they are in, Xiao You now turned to look at him, and she shook. “No. None attracts me,”

He smiled. “It is okay. Just continue to look around. There are so many casinos here in different hotels,” he said. “I hope you’ll go to one and play before we go back to Taiwan,”

She smiled. “Totally depends if I can ever see one that attracts me and makes me want to play,”

He just smiled. He holds her hand and they walked, looking left and right.

“Actually, how do you learn to gamble?” Xiao You asked.

He smirks. “Mei Zhuo taught me,”

“Mei Zhuo?!” Xiao You exclaimed.

Xi Men nodded. “Mm hmm,”

“How… how on earth did he learn…”

“Thru some girls he was seeing when he was young,” Xi Men smirks. “And then we made a trip together to Las Vegas and he taught me how to gamble; both on slot machines and on the table,”

“Waaaaaooooo…”

He chuckled at her reaction, as she couldn’t believe it was Mei Zhuo after all.

He leaned over and kissed her temple.

She smiled after he kissed her, and she continued looking around.

She then looked over to the right, and her gaze landed on one…

“That one,” she suddenly said.

He looked at her, and then looked to where she is looking now.

Oh? A slot machine?

“That one seems interesting,” she said, walking towards the slot machine.

He smiled.

Finally.

After walking thru rows and rows of slot machines, many identical, Xiao You finally saw one she wants to play at.

They head over and she sits down on the chair in front of the machine. “The graphic looks very nice…”

He smirks as he sits down on the chair next to her and passed her a $100 note. “Go ahead and play,”

“Okay,” she took his money and puts it into the machine. “So… do I press this…” she asked.

“This one,” he pointed, and she pressed the button as mentioned.

He looked at her looking at the buttons for a while.

“So… did I press them all correctly and can I start?” she asked, glancing over to Xi Men.

He smiled and nodded. “Yes,”

“Okay…” she said, pressing the button on the right.

Xi Men sits back and relax now, watching her looking at the screen and presses the button.

While she looked at the screen seriously, he folds his hands on his chest and looked at her with a smile on his face.

And this is a perfect time to rest his legs.

He turned his head around and looked at other people gambling, some winning money too.

DING!

He returned his head to look at the slot machine that Xiao You is playing.

Win 10 credits.

*Press button.

DING!

Win 20 credits.

*Press button.

DING!

Win 50 credits.

Impressive.

*Press button.

Spins.

ALARM!

Xi Men sits up straight and looked at the screen.

“Hmmm?” Xiao You looked at the screen too, and as this is something she has never seen before, “What is this?” she turned to look at Xi Men.

After seeing the icons on the screen, Xi Men immediately lifted his head up and looked at the bigger screen above the slot machine.

His jaw dropped.

He then looked at Xiao You. “You are going to win one of the five prizes above. The minimum is $1200 and the maximum is $250,000,” he pointed at the screen above.

She lifted her head up and looked at the screen he is pointing, and her jaw dropped too.

“Wow, so… this is my beginner’s luck? Cool!” she said.

**********

Xiao You looked at the beautiful view from their hotel room’s window.

She looked at each and every hotel out there from the window.

Beautiful.

*Slides his hand over her waist.

“Hi,” he whispered.

She smiled. “Hi back,”

He smiled, leaning over and kissed her on her cheek. “So, what are you looking at?”

“The view. Macau is very beautiful when the light comes up,” she said, turning her head to look at him. “Just like you have said,”

He smiled and nodded, as he looked at the view. “Yeah,” he nodded. “Well, I hope you had fun,”

“You mean this trip or at the casino earlier?” she asked.

“I am sure you have fun at casino. Who wouldn’t feel the fun for winning $2500 in total, huh?” he asked.

She chuckled, “So, I assume you are talking about the trip then,” she said. “Yes, the trip is marvelous. Thank you,”

He smiled.

‘You know this trip is to win you, right?’ he thought to himself.

‘I can feel I am winning,’

‘I can feel the changes,’

‘I can feel that you are going to accept me after this date ends,’

‘Tomorrow,’

‘Tomorrow at 10am, this date ends and you will be with me…’

‘I can’t wait,’

‘But I am worried too,’

‘What if you did not?’

He looked at her, (she) smiling at the beautiful view in front of her.

‘Appreciate all the time left now,’

‘And use these few hours to leave impressions on you; eliminating all the chances of you rejecting me…’

He raised his hand up to her jaw and gently turns her head towards him.

“Hmmm?” she looked at him.

He smiled, without saying anything, he leaned over and kissed her on her lips, with the beautiful night view of Macau from their hotel room completes the picture.


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