You can do this, Rae. You can do this.
I took a deep breath, steeling myself when Tad – I think that’s his name – ran a hand down the side of my hip suggestively, his focus still on the roulette table. Being on his lap meant that I had the misfortune of feeling Little Tad hard and desperate beneath me. No matter how much I tried to inconspicuously shift away, Big Tad made sure Little Tad was always in contact and, to my horror, shifting around only made Little Tad happier.
Damn, I thought, my eyes casually flicking to Darryl Winer’s table. Talk about a rock and a hard place.
As soon as I got to Vegas late afternoon and had time to think, I decided that being alone in a casino would only draw attention to myself. Looking around, I noticed that almost every woman was attached to at least one man and donned skin-tight, thigh-length dresses as an unspoken uniform. So I had to latch onto a guy and wear a skin-tight, thigh-length dress as my unspoken uniform – despite the cool Nevada evening. I’d tamed my mass of inky curls into a chignon that put my cheekbones on show and squeezed myself into an indecent little black dress that put everything on show.
Tad – or whatever he was called – approached me as soon as I stepped into the elevator of the Kamenev Hotel above the casino. Short, stout and wearing a ridiculously large cowboy hat, he’d proudly informed me that he was a wealthy stockbroker having a “chilled-out weekend”. He’d boldly grabbed my hand and led me to the roulette table where he was on a winning streak. I didn’t complain because I had a great view of Darryl Winer sitting comfortably in a makeshift VIP section that consisted of some expensive-looking leather couches, glass tables and some cronies I could only guess were business associates of some sort.
Tad jumped, squeezing my hip with glee. “You’re my lucky charm, babe,” he murmured cheerfully, after winning yet another substantial bet.
I looked at the dealer, who gave us a strange look like he thought Tad was pulling a fast one somehow. Annoyed, I looked away. Just how much of this was I supposed take?
I glanced over at Darryl, willing him to get up and go so I could get up and go. But he was in the middle of what looked like an important discussion and didn’t look like he’d be leaving anytime soon.
Suddenly, one of the guys with him looked up and met my eye. I knew I was supposed to look away that very instant to avoid being remembered but, for whatever reason, I found that I couldn’t. Unlike the rest of his posse, he wasn’t in a suit, favoring jeans and a faded grey T-shirt that did wonders for his torso, even from my vantage point. His eyes were, if I wasn’t mistaken, an intense, pale blue and they were unwaveringly focused on me, his expression blank but his gaze so powerful I could physically feel it sifting through my very soul.
I tore my eyes away, worrying my bottom lip. Just what was I doing making eye contact with
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