I don’t want to be here. I was happy hanging out with my mother in in Auburn Springs when I answered the panicked call from my boss in New York telling me that Ryan couldn’t make it to Las Vegas for the conference and could I please please please make it in his place instead?
Just for the day, Ava. And since you and Ryan met this client at last year’s conference, at least, they’ll get to see a familiar face.
Yeah, right. Two days later and I’m still here, having just finalized plans for the client to submit his requirements within the next week so the company can get the job started. And right now, I’m tired. It doesn’t even matter that this is the biggest ad campaign I’ve secured so far, but the damn thing cut short my vacation with my mother. It doesn’t even matter that we hadn’t planned on doing anything other than hang out since I’ve been too busy working in New York City for the last six years, but it had been so long since I’d been home.
Instead, here I am in Las Vegas, exhausted from wining and dining that client but too wired to go back to my hotel room and sleep. And so I hoped to see the hottest show in town only it’s sold out. Not a single ticket unless I want to pay ten times more than what the ticket costs if I go with the scalpers hanging around outside the hotel. So much for a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to see my favorite band perform but there’s no way I’m throwing away my money like that. Maybe when I get that corner office, I won’t think twice about dropping a couple thousand dollars for a seat, but until then, I’ll have to come up with something else.
I could wander along the Strip and check out the sights but I don’t want to be in another crowd of people after spending the last two days inside the convention. I just want something low key for the rest of the evening. Maybe it’s not too late for me to check out that circus act across the street. It’s supposed to be an adult version of their usual shows that run throughout the year and considering it’s been awhile since I’ve seen rock hard abs in person, I might as well give it a try.
I down the last of my drink and swivel out of my stool. My elbow suddenly hits something cold and hard, knocking a man’s drink from his hand, its contents spilling all over his shirt and trousers.
“Oh my God! I’m so sorry!” I grab a bunch of napkins from the bar and make a sad attempt at patting his shirt dry. But it’s useless. His drink must have been full for it’s soaked through his shirt, revealing a hard set of abs.
“It’s okay, Miss. Really, it’s fine,” he says, his hand gripping my wrists as I pull away, embarrassed. “I’ll change it. No problem.”
“I’m really sorry.”
As he tells me again that it’s okay, I’m struck by his green eyes. They’re gorgeous. No, he’s gorgeous. The whole package. The abs. The slim hips and toned thighs, evident from the soaked fabric of his trousers.
“I’ll have someone clean this up,” a server walking by says as she hands him a few cloth napkins. “I’ll be right back.”
“Oh, God. I feel so bad,” I mutter under my breath as he dabs his shirt and the front of his trousers with the napkins. “I hope this isn’t going make you late or anything.”
He shakes his head. “Nah, considering how my day’s going, this is probably the most excitement I’ve had.”
I laugh. “You’re in Vegas. How can you not have fun?”
“When you see your ex-girlfriend kissing your best friend,” he says wryly.
“That’s not cool… at all.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.” He shrugs again. “But what can you do, right? We did break up so she can see whoever she wants but my best buddy? No wonder he’d been avoiding me this whole conference.”
“You said it.”
I hold out my hand. “I’m Ava, by the way.”
“Parker.” He grips my hand in a firm handshake. “What about you? Were you going somewhere? You seemed like you were in a hurry.”
“In a hurry to go nowhere,” I say, chuckling. There’s no way I’m telling him I was going to check out some adult circus show to ogle abs. “What about you? What were you going to do?”
He pulls out a pair of tickets. “I was just on my way to the ticket counter to give these up. Figured I’d grab a drink first and… well, here we are”
My eyes widen when I see the show the tickets are for. “How can you give those tickets up? That’s the hottest show in town.”
“No shit.” Parker laughs. “I bought them a few months ago when my girl and I were still together and I completely forgot about them. I don’t care about the money but I’m sure there are people out there who’d want it.”
“Hell, I want it,” I say, pausing. “Although it would suck to see it alone.”
He looks at me, his eyes narrowing. “Seriously?”
I nod. “I was just at the ticket counter and they said it’s sold out. I mean, people are selling them for so much more so I’ll understand if you’d rather do that.”
Parker shakes his head. “I don’t care about the money, but if you really want to see it, we can see it together. And no, you don’t have to pay me anything.”
I stare at him, looking for signs that this guy is pulling my leg and about to prank me big time but he’s actually serious. “At least let me buy you a drink or something. Or maybe even a late dinner.”
“Since the show starts in less than an hour, make it a drink after the how. How’s that?” Parker says, grinning as he looks at his soaked shirt that’s clinging to his unmistakable six-pack abs. “And this time, I’d prefer not to wear it.”
* * *
After the show, we find a dark corner at the hotel bar, both of us unable to stop talking about the numbers that took our breath away. As the server comes back with our drink orders, I still can’t believe I got to even see the show. But as Parker gazes at me with those beautiful green eyes, I realize it doesn’t matter.
For one thing, I’ve never had this much fun in my life. There’s a certain danger that comes with hanging out with a gorgeous stranger and going from hey-let’s-hang-out to I-can’t-keep-my-hands-off-you. Yep, that’s where we are right now after seeing my favorite band onstage and flirting with each other the whole time. Maybe it was the songs being played, the emotions each one brought out of us, and the fact that tonight being the first night of the band’s tour, they were filming the whole thing which made the whole event even more special. Or maybe it’s because Parker had front row seats and we even got to stand right in front of the stage screaming our hearts out.
I’ve never had this much fun. Period.
Add the way Parker looks at me like I’m the sexiest woman he’s ever met, and I’m putty.
And horny as hell.
I don’t even care if I’m imagining it all, not when his fingers playfully draw circles along my shoulder as he asks me what I do for a living and I tell him that I’d rather talk about what I’d like to do to him before the night is over. When he leans closer to ask me exactly what it is I want to do to him, I tell him.
“I want to see if those rock hard abs of yours are real,” I murmur. “But first, I want to start with this.”
And that’s when the kiss happened, one that takes us from that dark corner table at the hotel bar to his hotel room where I get to see and taste his rock hard abs (and more) and Parker gets to demonstrate all the things he’d wanted to do to me since the moment he saw me.
I don’t even care that I’m totally like a wild woman around Parker, eager to try everything I never got to try with Ryan when we were together. But it’s not like I’ve got a reputation to protect. Right now, I’m just one of the millions of people in Sin City getting laid.
Besides, as they say in Las Vegas—what happens here stays here—and that’s exactly how this will go.