However, my plans to keep my budding new relationship with Jackson and Caleb to myself didn’t last that long.
The girls wanted to go clubbing that night and they weren’t going to take no for an answer.
“The only way we’ll let you weasel out of it this time is if you’re dead,” Hanna had quipped.
Though I wanted to spend time with my friends, I also really wanted to spend time with Jackson and Caleb. Jackson and I exchanged phone numbers before we left the coffee shop and I reluctantly got out my phone to text him.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it to the club tonight, I wrote. My friends wanna go clubbing and insist that I be there since I’ve missed the last few nights.
You have to go! Jackson responded a minute later. Your friend is only getting married once after all. And since you live here in Vegas, we’ll have plenty of time to spend together once the wedding is over.
I sighed in relief, thankful that he was so understanding.
Crappy drinks, crappy service, and gross, grabby guys, We walked out of the second club that night, finding it to be a total bust.
“Where should we try next?” Sascha asked. “I’m not ready to call it a night because I haven’t even got to dance yet!”
“Oh, I know,” Greer said. “One of the guys said there was this great new club on Fremont Street. We should check it out!”
Sascha’s face lit up. “Yeah, let’s go!”
My blood ran cold. Realistically, I knew there was more than one bar or club on Fremont Street. I just wasn’t ready for my new life and my old life to collide just yet.
“What’s it called?” I asked, praying they’d name some club I’d never heard of.
“The Overground,” Greer said.
Hanna laughed. “What a strange name.”
“I haven’t heard great things about the Overground,” I said quickly. “It’s dirty or they gouge you on drinks or something.”
Sascha rolled her eyes at me. “Come on, Erin. We have to at least check it out before we call it a bust. Don’t you know it’s three strikes and you’re out? We can’t go home until we at least check out the Overground first.”
“Yeah!” Greer cheered. “Besides, this is my wedding week, so you all have to do what I say!” She burst into giggles because she was the least authoritative of the four of us.
All I could do was sigh and pile into the Uber behind them.
It felt really weird to walk into the Overground with Greer, Sascha, and Hanna. I trailed behind them, hoping they didn’t see the friendly wave Butch, one of the bouncers, gave me. I knew I couldn’t be seen at the bar where they would definitely recognize me. Thankfully, Hanna and Sascha volunteered to grab the drinks while Greer and I commandeered a small table along the wall.
“I love this place!” Sascha said when they came back. She danced to the music, the drinks in her hands threatening to slosh over the sides.
“I thought you said this place sucks, Erin,” Hanna said. “I like it.”
“What did Erin say?” a voice said from behind me.
“Oh, hello,” Hanna said in an unsure voice, looking behind me.
I turned around and there was Caleb looking hot as hell in another one of those tailored suits.
Despite my embarrassment, my heart began to beat wildly, excitedly, in my chest at the sight of him. He smiled at me.
“Do you two know each other?” Sascha asked. She’d stopped dancing and stared at us.
Caleb opened his mouth to speak. I interrupted him and quickly said, “We’re acquaintances!”
He wore a bemused expression. “Indeed,” he agreed.
“So how do you guys know each other?” Hanna asked, watching us intently.
Caleb grabbed an empty chair and placed it next to mine, forcing Hanna to scoot her chair over.
“We actually met at another club here in Vegas. I was looking for one to buy before I settle on this one,” Caleb replied.
Thank God he hadn’t told them the truth. I was neither drunk enough or ready enough for that particular conversation.
“Wait, you own this place?” Sascha asked, squealing in excitement. “We just got here and I already love it!”
“I do too!” Greer chimed in.
“So what do you do?” Hanna asked, her eyes flickering between me and Caleb.
“I’m something of a businessman.”
I downed my entire drink.
“Really? That’s so cool!” Greer said. “I hope to be soon too! I’m planning to open a yoga studio.”
“That sounds incredible,” Caleb said, smiling at her. Greer might be an engaged woman, but she still blushed scarlet from Caleb’s attention.
“So how did you become a businessman?” Sascha asked.
“Well,” Caleb began, “I consider myself a connoisseur first and foremost.” He glanced over at me and rested a hand on my thigh. “I set my sights on beautiful or profitable things and go after them.”