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For Wnne.   She made me do it.   What'd we decide this was a snippet or a day in the life?


Read her notes and you'll understand...


Because TR made me do it!!!


<<<Wnne’s Notes:   This is just pure inspiration from the job and TR!  She incited my mooses while I was at work today.  Of course, I kinda instigated the pointy‑stick use when I e‑mailed her...  But it's really her fault for saying something about mooses... hheheheheheheheee cough cough hack hack... no, really... I'm okay....


Explanation:   I came across the name of a company while running some court stuff.  (Public documents, no worries.)   My company (and you'll know it right away) is a product of my imagination.  It is in no way meant to resemble a real company.  Anywho ‑ I shared with TR, she incited my mooses, 'nuf said.>>>


completely unbeta'd




In the Cards

by Toni Rae

December 2000


Jim reverently pulled the new deck of cards out of its wrapper.  The cellophane wrapper was gently peeled back at the corners.  The box slipped carefully out of its packaging.  The box cautiously opened and the cards tumbled into his hands.  In complete silence, he bent his head slightly over the cards.  Slightly to his left, next to his large stack of poker chips, sat a pair of red dice.


“Come on, man, we’re playing poker here, not praying.”  Blair broke into the silence, impatient to get on with the game.


“Have a little respect here Sandburg.  This is a momentous occasion.”  Jim glared at his younger partner, before returning his attention to the deck of cards.  Without creasing a corner, he removed the jokers and other extraneous cards packaged in the deck.


Several moments later, H. echoed Blair’s earlier sentiments.  “Gonna deal those cards anytime soon?”


“Not you too?”  Jim looked up from his cards at the jovial detective.


Over the next ten minutes the remainder of the members of Major Crime – currently surrounding the kitchen table in the loft for the weekly poker game – chimed in with their own encouragements to the detective reverentially shuffling the cards.


“Come on, Jim, deal the cards.”


“Ellison, deal.”


“You planning dealing those cards anytime soon?”


Ignoring them all, Ellison continued to caress the cards lovingly as he shuffled, delicately not marring the pristine surface.

“Okay, so give.  What’s going on.”  Blair finally realized the no amount of cajoling was going to get Jim to get on with the business of playing poker and changed tactics.


“What?”  Jim looked slightly chagrined, his eyes widening as he’d been caught in the beginnings of a zone when his partner spoke.


“The cards.  What’s the deal?”  Blair noticed the slightly guilty look and smiled to himself – even though he hadn’t noticed the beginning zone.


“This, my friends,” Jim turned to include the entire table, fanning the cards out in front of him as he did so.  “Is the last deck of cards ever made.”


“Card making companies go out of business and we not know about it, Ellison?”  Simon began to chomp on the cigar in his mouth, his hands gesturing widely.


“Yeah, you wanna run that one by us again?”  Rafe looked puzzled.


Smiling to himself, Jim continued to play with the cards on the table in front of him.  Expertly he began to flip and wield the cards in a fashion that would make Las Vegas dealers proud.  “The last deck,” the smile grew.  “Make by the Cascade Die Company.”


“You mean that place out on the bypass?  You mean they branched out from molds?”  H. couldn’t resist teasing the other man. 


They all knew the place he’d mentioned, at one time or another every detective in the room had laughed about the small dice on the sign, wondering about a company who cast iron using dice as a logo.


Well, all except Megan.  “What I miss?”  She turned a puzzled look on each of her fellow detectives.  Sitting on Jim’s left, she absently picked up the dice sitting near her and began to play with them, waiting for one of the others to answer.


“There’s this place out on the bypass,” Blair began to explain only to have Jim hold a hand up in warning.


“They never did molds.  Well, not in the sense you think.”  Jim turned a hard look on H.  “The Cascade Die Company.”  He broke off as he noticed what Megan was doing.  “Be very careful of those.”  He admonished her.


“What?”  She began to worry the dice harder, confusion still evident on her face.


However, comprehension began to dawn on Blair’s face.


“The Cascade Die Company declared bankruptcy a few months ago.”


“Those are your lucky dice.”  Sandburg breathed into the silence.


“He has lucky dice?”  Rafe couldn’t help but laugh at the image of Jim at the gaming tables.  The older detective was so reserved, the idea of him gambling threw the younger man off balance.


“Those are my lucky dice.  And now they’ve gone out of business, there won’t be another pair like them.”  The sadness in Jim’s voice sobered the laughing Rafe.


“Um, sorry.”  He coughed to cover his remaining giggles.


“And the cards?”  Simon was beginning to worry the cigar less and he too began to grasp the situation.


“Last deck that rolled of the assembly line.”  Jim’s hands were still reverent, even as he continued to work the cards.


“Wow, man.  That’s like, sacred.”  Sandburg spoke for the group.


“Exactly.”  Jim looked at his partner fondly.


“I’m surprised you didn’t frame them or something.”  H. couldn’t resist the jab.


“Nah, I saved the framing for the pool cue.”  Jim kept a straight face, but couldn’t keep the sparkle from his eyes.  “Now, after a short prayer, and a small offering from each of you, we’ll play cards.”


Amidst the groans of the group, Jim began to expertly deal the cards.


“So what you’re saying is that the Cascade Die Company made gaming products?”  Megan spoke after all the cards had been dealt.


In response, the rest of the table threw poker chips at her.