To say I wasn’t doing too well is an understatement. I’d never been a big gambler, but sometimes fate conspires. My dad had died a few months back and the horse races were always a favorite of his. He was a regular, even had a lifetime box seat at his local derby. I guess the trouble started when he died. It was sudden. Ugly.
A few weeks later I started getting invitations from his old friends to come out to the tracks. I suppose they didn’t know how else to express their sympathy. I went because I wanted to pay my respects to my father’s lifelong hobby with his oldest friends. I kept going because… Maybe I hadn’t dealt with everything, maybe I wanted to see what was so goddamn appealing about horses that he spent more time with them than with me. Maybe gambling just runs in the blood.
I started losing. Badly. Three months and I’d burned through my inheritance. Five and I’d dented my savings and hit three credit limits without batting an eyelash. Some of my dad’s friends — hardened gamblers — started muttering about therapy, about taking time away, about working through my issues. They didn’t want to see Frank’s kid end up in the hole and I had shovels in both hands.I ended up in Illinois for the Arlington Million that summer. I flew in the day before in order to scope out the betting landscape. I got in my rental and drove down to off-track betting. I hadn’t even had breakfast yet.
It was pretty empty there. A couple older people staring at the monitors with that glassy-eyed look that I didn’t want to recognize. I checked the odds of some races and was heading to the restroom when somebody stopped me.
“Hey,” the guy said, “you dropped this.”
He was holding my wallet. I hadn’t remembered taking it out.
“Oh,” I said, taking the wallet and making eye contact briefly. At least I tried to make it brief, but ended up getting stuck looking at him. His eyes were golden, or nearly golden, but as I kept looking I realized it was a trick of the light. They were just hazel. Normal.
“I don’t know how I dropped it. Thanks.”
“No problem. Happens all the time,” he said.
This guy was darker skinned, not black exactly, but close maybe. It was hard to tell. His accent was hard to pin too. It seemed like everything about him was…mutable.
“Do I know you?” I asked.
“Sometimes. Sometimes not.”
He extended a hand. “I’m Luck.”
I took it. Shook it. “Luck?”
“Luck. Chance. Favor. Fortune. Whatever.”
I started to laugh, but then his eyes shifted back to gold and then hazel again. He definitely wasn’t normal.
“That I am,” he said, “would you come into my office? We should talk privately.”
“You have an office at the OTB?”
He smiled. Perfect teeth. “I have an office at every house of chance.”
I agreed to go with him and he took me through an unmarked door which opened into a plush office with a view of Lake Michigan. I was no longer on the ground floor of a betting place. Hell, I wasn’t even in the same zip code.
“How is this —”
Luck waved a hand. “Parlor trick. Sit down. Coffee?
I said no, but did sit in a big black chair while Luck, in his dark polo and form-fitting jeans leaned up against his oak desk. He looked at me and folded his finely muscled arms over his chest.
“Kirk. You’re burning out of luck.”
“Burning out of luck? That’s not possible,” I argued “and even if it was, I’ve barely won anything. I’m way down.”
He shook his head. “Doesn’t matter. If you looked at your ratio of wins to losses it’s still incredible considering how you’re gambling. Anyone else would have been completely tapped out by now.”
“I am tapped out. I’ve got maybe a couple thousand left to my name.”
“I’m not talking about money,” Luck let the conversation lapse into silence for a moment before continuing. A moment of high drama. “You’re Touched, Kirk. Your father was Touched and now the blessing has passed on. You have my favor, but you’re pushing it. Your father never played nearly as hard as you do. If this continues, you’ll suffer, and not just in gambling.”
“I’m Touched? Like…lucky? I don’t feel very fucking lucky.”
Luck gave me a sympathetic look. It was almost fatherly.
“I know this is a lot to take in, but I’m just here to tell you the facts. I didn’t have to meet with you like this, but I did. You’re a decent guy in a bad place. You’ve burned through too much of your luck and it will take some convincing before I loan you any more.”
“How do I convince you?”
“Two things,” Luck held up two fingers, “first: stop gambling. Second: worship.”
“Worship? As in prayers?” I asked, but already I knew he meant something different. I could feel the charge in the air. My mouth went dry.
“In a manner of speaking, but perhaps more direct.”
Touch him. The thought came from nowhere, but it was just shy of a compulsion. I stood up. For a moment I considered sitting back down again, but whatever I was going to do had already been set in motion. There was no taking it back now.
I took a step forward. I didn’t know what to do with my hands and I didn’t trust them at that moment, so I put them in my pocket. Luck just stood there with his arms crossed and his face unreadable.
I swallowed and took another step forward. His arms were so thick and covered in fine black hair. I had to touch.
Luck unfolded his arms and pressed them against the desk. I touched them both, gently kneading the muscle underneath, marveling at how hard they were. I slid my hands up to his shoulders through his shirt sleeves and cupped them, working his dark soft skin through my fingers. It had been months since I had touched another man and I had never touched a man like this one.
I slowly moved my hands down from his shoulders and across his chest. His pecs were firm and prominent in his polo and he let me rub them. I massaged them lightly at first and then harder. Soon I was groping them roughly, but he didn’t seem to mind. His golden eyes just stared at me and his mouth parted slightly. I trailed my hands down to his waist and then began peeling the shirt up off his body. He took it up over his head and then tossed it across the room.
Once shirtless he was more believable as the embodiment of Fortune. His body was perfect, exactly what turned me on. My hands got shaky, but I continued. I touched his abs and he tensed and flexed them for me. I went over and back over them at least a dozen times before reaching down and sliding my hands into his jeans. I toyed with his warm, damp, soft pubic hairs but avoided going lower.
Eventually I couldn’t wait any longer. I undid his belt and jeans. He didn’t assist me, but didn’t hinder me either. I pulled his jeans down to his ankles and sucked in a sharp breath. His still flaccid member was nestled in his simple white boxer briefs which hugged his broad legs. I started at his feet, massaging them up to the ankle and then up the back of his calves. I kept moving up his thighs until I reached the beginning of his underwear and then slowed. I wanted to take my time and take in Luck’s magnificent body.
I applied pressure to his outer thighs with the palms of my hands and squeezed the inside with my fingers. His cock stiffened and lengthened. My own was already irresponsibly hard in my pants. This scene was almost too much. A bit of wetness began spreading where his head met the cotton.
I leaned closer to smell him. He was musky and deep, inherently manly and erotically charged. I moved his underwear aside and pushed my hands up through the legs. I massaged his thighs again, right under his cock which bobbed and pushed against my right hand. I cupped his balls and trailed a finger lower between his legs while starting to stroke his cock. Something sublime passed through me, something hot and cool at once. He was filling me with luck. I felt like I could do anything.
I started stroking faster without knowing it. My head was spinning. My body felt light. I heard Luck groan and felt his orgasm first in his balls and then splashing against my hand, against the inside of his underwear, through his underwear onto me. I didn’t have time to unbuckle my pants before my own orgasm hit. It was suddenly and powerful. My cock strained to release itself and my body shivered.
I think I cried out. I don’t know. I lost consciousness after that.
I woke up in my hotel in Illinois. My wallet lying on my chest and my clothes folded neatly on the corner of the bed. I don’t remember how I got back, but I took it as a sign.
I quit the races that day.
It’s been months since I last gambled and I’m slowly starting to make up for what I lost. The money is the easy part, it’s the trust of friends and family that will take a bit longer.
I still get called into Luck’s office every once in a while to earn my favor back, but I can’t say that I mind. In fact, when I get down on my knees and look up into those golden eyes, I count myself pretty damn lucky.