“Call him back,” I order as I point to the phone.

“I can’t,” he says almost with a wail. “If I do, he’ll fire me.”

Okay, that hits home. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, so I say, “Fine. Give me just a moment.”

I take a few steps away from the concierge desk and pull my iPhone out. I shoot off a quick text to Micah. What’s Walsh’s phone number?

I wait a few moments, but I know Micah is awake in San Francisco at this hour. His phone is always on, and he never ignores a text from me.

He responds with the number before I can even start to tap my foot with impatience, adding on, Why?

I hate the lie, but I write back,Came to Vegas for the day. Thought I’d see if he could meet up for lunch. Haven’t seen him in years.

Cool, he writes back. Tell him I said, “what’s up, douche?”

I roll my eyes as I text back, Real mature. Love ya. Later.

After I save the number to my contacts, I open a new text to Walsh. Let me up to see you or I’m going straight back to The Wicked Horse to satisfy some further curiosities I have.

I hit send and then walk back to the concierge desk. I merely lean one elbow on it and watch Bentley with a silent smile. The phone rings about ten seconds after that.

Bentley’s eyes fly to mine as he listens, and then says, “Yes, sir. Right away.”

When he replaces the receiver, he says, “I’m to show you to the penthouse elevator.”

“Thank you, Bentley,” I say brightly.

He scurries out from behind his desk, and I follow him through the main floor of the casino to a locked door that he opens with a security card. This leads to an elevator that opens when he pushes a button, and then with another swipe of his card on the interior, he pushes a button that says Penthouse Suite.

Nice.

Bentley gives me a smile before he backs out of the elevator and the doors close.

I have no clue how tall The Royale is, but I’m guessing twenty floors or so. The ride up is swift, though, as there are no floors underneath to stop at.

When the doors open, I’m momentarily stunned to be looking at a living room, as I hadn’t expected the elevator to open right into Walsh’s apartment.

“This better be good, Jorie,” Walsh growls, and I turn to see him laying on a couch to my left with a tennis ball in his hand. He tosses the ball up casually and catches it. He tilts his head my way, one leg laying straight, the other propped up casually.

And wow… he looks good in casual. Just a pair of track pants and a t-shirt that’s not overly tight but fits his form nicely. His feet are bare and the top half of his long hair is pulled back in a ponytail.

“What are you doing?” I ask instead. “Brooding?”

“Not in the mood for your sass,” he mutters as he sits up and puts the tennis ball on the coffee table. He plants both feet on the ground and props his elbows on his thighs to watch me with a flat expression. “Had enough of it during your tween years.”

“Stop it,” I say swiftly.

“Stop what?”

“Stop talking about me as if I’m a kid to you,” I tell him.

“But for the years I was around you, you were a kid,” he reminds me. “That’s how I remember you best.”

“Liar,” I say softly as I walk toward him. “You remember me best by what we did last night.”

Walsh’s jaw tightens as he watches me come closer.

“I’m curious,” I continue as I come to a stop on the other side of the coffee table. “Had you ever thought about me in a dirty way before last night?”

A muscle starts jumping right where his jaw meets his ear. The flash of guilt in his eyes and his silence tells me he did. A flood of triumph and desire courses through me as I realize that last night wasn’t just a fluke.

“Walsh,” I say as I take a step around the coffee table.

“Don’t,” he snaps at me as he stands swiftly from the couch and moves the opposite way to keep the table between us. “Just don’t come near me.”

I blink at him in surprise. For a moment, I think I might have made an unwise decision. Maybe Vince did more damage to my self-esteem than I had originally thought, because my first reaction is Walsh is keeping me at bay because last night was a fluke and he’s repulsed by me.

I flush with embarrassment and take two steps backward. “Um… I think I might have—”

“Christ,” Walsh snarls as he rounds the coffee table and takes me by my shoulders. “Don’t get it in your head that you did anything wrong last night. I can see it written all over your face. You are the sexiest thing I think I’ve ever laid my eyes on, but Jorie… you and I are not going to happen again. Ever.”

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