I yawned, glancing at my watch. “How far are we from Bellagio?”
“Five minutes. You feel like hitting the casino?”
I arched my brow at him. “Do I look like I feel like gambling? I’m three steps away from a cheeseburger coma.”
He laughed, scooping an arm around my waist and planting a soft kiss on my cheek. “Fine. I’ll forgo a chance to bleed MGM dry and get you into bed.”
He grinned down at me. “You have no idea.”
Sometimes you could see disaster coming, like an erratic wave that kept drawing, drawing, drawing attention to the beach until whoosh a swimmer becomes victim to its grasp.
Alexis was that wave, Brad was that swimmer, and I sat on the beach and watched the whole thing happen.
I awoke to an empty room, the pillow top absent one impressively large body. Rolling over, I stretched, my arms reaching empty space instead of hard muscle. I frowned, propping up on one elbow and glanced at the clock. 11:13 a.m.
“Good morning, sleeping beauty.” Brad strode in the room, rolling up the sleeves on a button-down shirt, looking ridiculously hot with a five-o-clock shadow and dress pants.
“What’s all ... this?” I gestured sleepily, my hand waving about in an attempt to include his head-to-toe hotness.
“What?” He frowned at me.
“You know what. You. All sexual.”
“I was going to hit the tables before heading to Saffire.”
“In that?” I sat fully upright.
He tilted his head at me, leaning back against the dresser and crossing his arms. “Yes. What’s the problem?”
“You are, in a sense, breaking up with her. Looking hot isn’t going to help matters.”
“You’re being unreasonable. I didn’t pack a lot of things, Julia. We came for one night.”
I sputtered, moving off of the bed and walking over to him, my new vantage point making the effect only more potent. “Then buy something at the gift shop. A furry sweater, pleated jeans.”
“What are you worried about?”
Gee, that gorgeous blonde who’s f**ked you countless times, the one who probably has an ‘I love Brad’ poster above her bed? Yeah, I have nothing to be worried about. “Nothing,” I mumbled, waving my arms and sighing dramatically. “Go on. I’ll be fine here.”
He bent, both hands gripping my waist and lifting me easily, my feet and arms flaying out as I struggled. Tossing me onto the bed he leaned over me, his face inches from mine. “Phillipe was going to set up some spa services. I assumed you’d want a massage.”
I rolled my eyes, turning my face to the side. “Among other things.”
“Want me to take care of you before I go downstairs?”
“No. I’ll have Phillipe get me a masseuse that can pull double duty.” I rolled over, burying my face in the pillow and trying to blot out the image of Brad’s deliciousness in front of a sultry Alexis.
There was a pause, and I felt his presence moving closer. Then his hand brushed my hair aside, and his mouth was in my ear. “Be careful what you wish for, sweetheart. You should know that would only excite me.”
I ignored him, ignoring the sweep of his fingertips along the nape of my neck. The trail of his finger down my back in one slow drag. I grinned against the sheet, desire curling in my belly as he dragged the sheet lower, exposing my back to the cool room. I felt his lips, soft broken up with the scruff of his stubble, on my back as he gave me a gentle kiss. Then he was gone, the suite door opening and closing with quiet finality.
I was in trouble the moment my name was spoken. I was half-asleep, cold cucumber on my eyes, a robe wrapped around my naked body, reclining in one of the suite’s soft leather chairs. My hand was held by a spa attendant, the final adjustments being made to my manicure. Two women had transformed my hotel room into a spa, putting soothing tones on the Bose radio, closing the curtains, and dimming the lights to an appropriate level. While I normally would have gotten services in the spa downstairs, this time—given our short timeframe—Brad had arranged the services to be done in our suite. Through the muted sounds of wind and rain, I heard my name and opened my eyes.
He was beautiful in all of the ways that Brad wasn’t. Thin where Brad was thick, blond hair where his was black. A tight polo that showed muscular arms, blue eyes that stared confidently out at me from a rugged face. Yum. I glanced down, tightening my robe and stood, sliding bare feet into slippers, padding gently across the stone floor ‘til I stood in front of him.
“I’ve set up the table in the bedroom. Are you ready?” the man asked, a hint of California surfer in his tone.
I nodded, and he gestured for the door, holding it open as I moved through into a dim room, lit candles littering the space.
“I’ll give you privacy,” he spoke from behind me. “Please lie face up on the table. If you need me, just call out. My name is Tyler.” I glanced over to him, nodding, my eyes catching the movement of the other attendants, their quiet and respectful departure as they left the suite. Then, the bedroom door closed, and I was alone.
I shed the robe, suddenly too aware of my nakedness, of his presence on the other side of the door. Candles filled the room with lavender and vanilla scents and danced flickering shadows over my skin. I laid on the table, pulling the sheet up to my chest, and then lowered myself until I was flat, my br**sts tickled by the soft fabric, my head encased in a soft pillow. I closed my eyes and waited nervously for him to return.
Why was I nervous? Massages, once a foreign treat, had become commonplace in my new life of luxury. My body had been accustomed to strange hands, to men and women alike oiling up my body, to nudity a hairbreadth from gentle touches. I should be calm, relaxed, and ready for a treatment I have had fifty times before. But I wasn’t. I was tense. Jittery. Wet. Why the hell am I wet? The panicked question flitted through my mind at the same time as I heard him enter.
The sound of the door first. It opened, then soft steps, the pad of feet against carpet, a sound I had to strain to hear. When he spoke, I flinched, my nerves a bundle of live wires. “Do you have any sensitive areas? Or places you’d like me to focus on?” He spoke softly, the husky tone sending a shiver through my body.
Sensitive areas? A few. Places I’d like him to focus on? Yes, please. “No. Just a normal Swedish massage, please.” My voice behaved, coming out casually and unaffected, the right amount of offhand decorating its syllables.