“Drink up. The band starts in about thirty minutes, and you need to drink however many drinks it takes you to get on the dance floor.”
I feel so relaxed and sexy sitting back in my chair, the slits in my skirt showing off my thighs. I take a long sip from my new drink, and lick the remaining sugar from the rim. Maybe I should have told her I don’t need another to make me dance, but I don’t have to because as soon as the first song blasts across the bar, I find myself on top of a table with Tiff as she teaches me some of her favorite moves from her shows.
The bar patrons cheer as we lose ourselves in the music. I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun or felt this free—no responsibilities sitting on my shoulders. Tomorrow is a new day. I just can’t bring myself to care about anything other than this moment. Throwing my head back, I close my eyes and let the music take me. Until the spell is broken by the bane of my existence.
“Get your ass down right fucking now.”
Dropping my head forward, I open my eyes to see Mr. Townsend standing there. He looks as hard as ever, with a jaw that could crack stone. For once in my life I’m actually taller than him because I’m up on the table. It’s not often a man towers over me with thanks to my height and my love of heels, but he does. There was no way to miss it, not when he hovered over my every move while I worked for him. He acted like I was an incompetent moron who didn’t know how to do their job. He gave me projects I could do in my sleep, and still micromanaged me. He never trusted me with anything, and it annoyed me every second of the past thirty days.
This past month has been daunting. At first, I bit my tongue because he was my boss, but then a few times I couldn’t help it and made a few snide remarks. When he seemed to like it, I decided to ignore him. It is difficult to do because even though I have the urge to kick him in the balls a few times a day, he is attractive. No. ‘Attractive’ isn’t the right word. He’s hard and gruff—so not traditionally handsome. The attraction I feel for him rubs on my nerves. I feel this draw to him, but I hate it. How can I want a man who thinks I’m a nitwit?
“Make me, Sir.” I throw out the title he hates so much. Every time I use it, he corrects me. Well, he’s not my boss anymore, so the most he can do is kick me out of his casino. I’ll be leaving in the morning anyway, so what do I care.
“Tiffany. Down,” he snaps at Tiff, but he keeps his dark eyes on me. Like everyone around here, she quickly jumps to his command.
“Fine.” I roll my eyes before awkwardly getting down from the table top. I plop into my chair, pretending Charles isn’t standing there. Picking up my drink, I take three big gulps, finishing it off. Why don’t I do this more often? My whole body feels warm and fuzzy. All the stress and strain I normally carry seem to leave my system with each drink I take.
Like always when I ignore him, he pushes himself into my space. “We have a seven o’clock meeting, and you're three sheets to the wind, Ms. Burch.” His voice is thick with irritation. Like he had to come down here and babysit me. This happens every time I stop somewhere after work and hang out for a little while. He always pops up and starts barking orders at whoever I’m with. Either that or asking me a million and one questions about his itinerary, questions he could easily find the answers to if he just opened his stupid phone and looked. A few times he would even track me down when I was having dinner, and join me without asking, just to ask me pointless questions to things he already knew!
“No, you have a meeting at seven,” I respond, correcting him. He’s not my boss anymore. Nope. Contract complete. A contract I only agreed to because the Cortez brothers asked me, and I’d do almost anything for them. They came into my life when I needed someone, and we made our own little makeshift family. We may not share blood, but they are my brothers. I worked as their assistant for six years, so when they came to me about taking up a thirty-day work contract with Mr. Townsend, I agreed. I could tell it meant something to them, and that he must have been holding something over their heads. I didn't ask and they didn't tell me. Knowing he blackmailed them only made me more pissed at the man. But it doesn't matter now. Time's up. I did my thirty days, and I’m free to go. I don’t have to play nice anymore.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean? Where I go you go.” He’s pissed and standing so close I can feel the heat of his body behind my chair. He did make me go everywhere with him because he didn’t trust me to do anything right. He had to oversee every detail of everything I did. I look over at Tiff and roll my eyes again. But she just keeps looking between us with a shocked look on her face. I don't blame her for not jumping in; she still works here.
“Not anymore. Contract is up.” My face is smug as I turn to look into dark eyes. Something I noticed a lot of people avoid, but I don’t. He’s closer than I thought, leaning over where I sit. The high-top chair brings me to eye level with him, and I watch as his eyes drop to my mouth.
“Sugar,” I say, referring to the sugar he probably sees on my lips. I’ve been licking it off all the martinis I ordered tonight.
“Sugar?” He mimics me, pulling his eyes from my lips.
I don’t know what possesses me, maybe the underlying attraction I feel towards him, or maybe the alcohol. Hell, maybe I just want to get a rise out of him and see what he’ll do. Mostly, I know it’s because, come tomorrow, I’ll likely never see him again. Vegas is a little city at times, but I can avoid crossing paths with him. I think all those reasons combined have me pressing my lips against his.