My face softened. “Of course.” I kissed the top of her head and snuck out of the suite as quietly and quickly as I could. I thanked my lucky stars that no one tried to stop me.

The hotel had been stifling, but with the night air on my face, I felt my mood immediately lifted. Thankfully, John’s hotel was near the Strip where I could find a place to grab a drink.

I began walking toward it, relishing in the night air and smiling at the people, mostly drunk, I passed along the way.

Though I lived in Las Vegas, I rarely made it to this side of town and really only came down here when I had someone from out of town visiting. It was fun seeing all the lights by myself for the first time, just taking in the ambiance that made Vegas a truly unique city.

After about ten minutes, I found a bar and slipped inside and was immediately disappointed. Mellow jazz music filled the air from the band up on the small stage. People sat at small circular tabled, chatting with each other or simply sitting there, enjoying the music. Weirdly, the place was decked out in Halloween decorations and had small pumpkin centerpieces on each table, skeletons and bats hanging from the ceiling, and fake cobwebs decorating the corners.

While it was a place I’d love to visit any other time, perhaps on a date that wasn’t during Halloween, it just wasn’t what I was looking for at the moment. After spending time with Greer and my other friends for the last few days, I wanted something different, a place I could lose myself in. Somewhere I could be just another anonymous woman in the crowd, drinking and dancing to the loud music.

My friend made me sorely tempted to break my no-guys-for-a-year rule just to have a meaningless hookup. Maybe if I met someone interesting enough.

I made my way to the bar and waited for the bartender. He finished up with a customer and walked over.

“Hey,” he said, “what can I get you?” He was kind of cute in a former football player sort of way.

“I was actually wondering if you could help me.”

“Sure, what do you need?”

“I’m looking for a club, somewhere I can dance.”

The bartender thought about it for a moment. “I know just the place,” he said. “The Overground on Fremont St.”

I frowned, hoping there was somewhere closer. Going to Fremont St. would mean I’d have to call a taxi or an Uber.

“Is there anywhere closer?” I asked.

“There probably is, but the Overground is the place to be,” the bartender replied. “It’s fun. You’ll like it.”

“Okay, thanks!” I said and left the jazz bar.

Once I was outside, I contemplated my options. I could look for another club on the Strip or I could head to the club the bartender recommended. Unsure, I pulled out my phone and looked up the Overground on Facebook to see the reviews. They had tons of five-star reviews with people raving about how fun the club was.

That cemented my decision. I wanted someplace fun to kill a few hours.

Opening the Uber app, I requested a ride. Not quite four minutes later, a driver pulled up in a small white car and I hopped in.

“How you doing tonight?” the driver asked. He had a New York accent and looked to be in his early thirties.

“I’m good,” I said. “How about you?”

“Not nearly as good as you’ll be in a few minutes,” he joked.

I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant by that. Was it because he knew I was headed to a club and would likely be drinking?

I smiled and looked out the window while he drove.

A few minutes later, he stopped the car in front of a typical looking club. The building was black and had the words “The Overground” in flashing bright lights.

I thanked the driver for the ride, tipped him, and was halfway out of the car when he turned to look at me and said, “Have a good night.” There was something weird about the way he said it, like he knew something I didn’t.

Not responding, I got out, slammed the door, and walked into the club.

Once inside, my first thought was yes! This place was exactly what I was looking for. The Overground was dark but for the flashing lights, illuminating all the people dancing. It took me a second to realize the lights flashed images of witches and skeletons and jack-o’-lanterns on the walls.

“I guess I’m not going to escape Halloween after all,” I muttered to myself.

I walked forward and paid my cover charge. A woman dressed as Catwoman held a tray of cheap plastic masks thrust it out to me as I walked by.

“Take one!” she said enthusiastically.

I gave her a wane smile, but did what she requested, slipping it on as I looked around for the bar. It took some effort to get through the crowd. I had to dodge flailing elbows and thrusting hips along the way. Along the way, I saw that many of the dancers wore costumes too, dressed as vampires and devils and superheroes.

Nicole Casey Books | Erotic Books | Love by Numbers Series Books