When he lowered his hand, he took hers and twined their fingers together before turning toward their hotel.


“Hungry?” He asked as they stepped inside their hotel’s casino, the bright lights, the sounds of slot machines, and the overpowering smell of cigarette smoke assaulting her senses all at once.

“Starving. Have you ever been to this restaurant before?” Sierra asked as they walked down the aisles that intersected the casino floor, the bright red carpet and gold accents giving it an elegant, upscale feel.

“No. Vegas isn’t my thing. I’ve come out a couple of times, but I don’t frequent it enough to have tried many of the restaurants. How about you?”

“Once. I wasn’t disappointed, I know that much. My friends and I made it a goal to try a different restaurant each time we came. Needless to say, we’ve had both good and bad.”

Cole approached the hostess desk and offered his name. The girl glanced down at a book in front of her and then beamed a smile back at them. “Right this way.”

With Cole’s hand on her back, Sierra followed the woman through the dimly lit restaurant to a table in the back. Before she could do it herself, Cole pulled out her chair and waited for her to take her seat. Once he was seated, and their drink orders were taken, Sierra gave him her full attention.

“Tell me what you do for a living.” Sierra started the conversation, hoping she could get him to share some information about himself.

He didn’t seem to be any more forthcoming with information than Luke was, but Sierra figured there was a time and place for everything. With nothing else to do, hopefully Cole would find talking easier than staring blankly at one another.

“It’s complicated.” Cole said.

Sierra got the sense that Cole had some hidden insecurities, though based on what she had heard throughout the day, he was exceptionally sharp and communicated easily with the type of people they had been in contact with.

“I’m intelligent. I think I can handle an explanation.” Sierra grinned, then sat back in her chair as a waiter placed two wine glasses on their table, then filled them.

“Technically, I’m self-employed.” Cole took a sip of the wine, then nodded at the waiter with his approval. “Give us a few minutes.” He instructed the man hovering over them.

“What is it that you do?” Sierra asked when they were alone again.

“I contract out my services.”

Sierra’s eyes went wide. Was he saying…?

Cole laughed, a deep, thunderous rumble that went straight to her core, lighting up all of her nerve endings along the way. Unlike Luke, this man had a laugh that came out easily.

“Not those services, naughty girl.” He clarified. “Lets order and I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”

Glancing down at the menu in front of her, Sierra tried to focus on the words. She smiled despite herself. The way he called her naughty, thrilled her.

“You like steak?” He asked, interrupting her thoughts.

“I do.”

“My kind of woman.” And with that, they were silent for a few minutes while they both scanned the menu, placing their orders when the waiter returned.

“Back to what you do, you know, the services you contract out.”

“Aside from living off of my trust fund,” Cole began, watching her for her reaction, “I do various odd jobs. Sort of like a handyman might contract his services, I do the same, although not manual labor. For example, this conference, I’m filling in for Alex McDermott, the owner of CISS. I’ve got a head for business, and I enjoy the political aspect.”

“A public relation’s front man?” She asked.

“Exactly. I go in, learn what I need to know about a company, and then attend various events in their place.”

Sierra didn’t question Cole about his trust fund, though the way he had gauged her reaction told her that he expected her to. She wasn’t interested in the man’s money. She was interested in the man and Cole’s profession stimulated the intellectual side of her brain.

Sierra got the impression that Cole wasn’t much on offering personal information, appearing to be just as private as Luke. How the two of them managed to engage in the types of relationships they did, namely threesomes, was beyond her. Those seemed a bit personal in her opinion, but what did she know.

“Are you from Dallas originally?” She asked, resting her arms on the table, her fingers twined around the stem of her wine glass as she gave Cole her attention.

“No, I was born and raised in Oklahoma.” He responded to her question, and she saw the glint of shyness shining in his beautiful eyes.

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