Spencer Marshall was done moping. After catching her boyfriend cheating with his secretary, she decides to have a girl’s weekend in Vegas with her best friend, Ryan. Lady Luck must be looking out for Spencer, because the hottie that has caught her eye at her new gym is on the same flight to Vegas.
Spencer is old-fashioned in the sense that she feels the guy should make the first move, but this hottie hasn’t approached her…until they have one hot dance in Vegas that leaves her questioning his motives.
Will her hottie finally speak to her, or will he continue playing a game of flirtation that may lead to nowhere? And will situations from their past keep them from taking the next step?
Despite what people say, not everything stays in Vegas, especially when you work out every day at the same time and at the same gym.
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When life hands you lemons, they say to make lemonade. Well, life just handed me a whole lemon tree. Three weeks ago, I felt like nothing in my life could go wrong. I was in Hawaii with my best friend, Ryan Kennedy, her boyfriend, Max, and who I had thought to be the love of my life, Travis.
Travis and I met almost two years before at a New Year’s Eve party that Ryan invited me to. Her boyfriend had just made partner at his law firm and threw a huge party at his house to celebrate his promotion and ring in the New Year.
Travis was an attorney at the firm as well and I would like to say it was love at first sight, but looking back, it was never love. I was instantly attracted to Travis but it had taken us a few dates to actually click. He had short brown hair, green eyes and a sweet, innocent, charming side to him. The side that opened doors for you, pulled out your chair and even cooked and cleaned up after himself. I thought I had met the one. Wrong.
“All right, Spencer Marshall, it is time to get your ass off the couch and start acting like you have a life again,” Ryan said as she came storming into our house stomping on the hardwood floors with her heels. She stopped walking when she reached the couch I was sitting on—the couch which was starting to grow accustomed to my daily and nightly ritual and had formed the perfect indention of my butt. “You’ve been moping around here for two weeks and I’m no longer going to let my best friend waste her life away over a guy.”
“Go away!” I shouted at her as I stuffed my face with a spoonful of mint chocolate chip ice cream. “I’m fine.” Ryan was right though, I needed to stop moping. My mom always told me that no man was worth my tears. But in all honesty, after dating someone for almost two years, aren’t you allowed a few tears and some depression after you walk into his office and find him banging his secretary on his desk? I had just wanted to surprise him and take him to lunch. I didn’t realize he had a surprise for me, too.
“Tomorrow night I’m going to scope out that new gym Club 24 that opened near my office. My boss is writing a story about it and asked me to use the free two-week membership pass we got to do some research and get the low-down so she can use it in her article for the website.”
I worked as an Executive Assistant to the CEO of a start-up internet company based out of San Francisco called Better Keep Jogging Baby or better known by our website, www.bkjb.com. Our company was dedicated to providing fitness and nutrition information to the world.
“Spencer, you better or I will kick your ass when you get home and drag you to the gym with me on Tuesday morning.” Ryan and I met our freshman year of college at UC Santa Cruz nine years ago when we were eighteen. Over the years, I’d learned that her threats were really promises. She was not kidding.
“All right, all right, I’ll go pack my gym bag…after I finish this bowl of ice cream.” Ryan rolled her eyes at me and I stuck my tongue out at her. I appreciated her support and enthusiasm, but I had never been a morning person and I wasn’t about to start now.
My Monday workday dragged on and on, and all I wanted to do was go home, get in my PJs, and watch The Voice. When five o’clock rolled around, I honestly had half a mind to bypass the gym and do exactly that. I remembered Ryan’s threat, and I sure as shit didn’t want her waking me up at 5:00 a.m. to go to the gym before work. Regardless, it was part of my job, and at least my boss had promised me extra vacation hours for doing this for her.
All right, time to get this shit over with. Club 24 was an up and coming chain and I needed a new gym anyway. I used to go to the gym with my ex, Travis, or as Ryan liked to call him now, TravAss. I really hoped that I would never have to see him again, so thankfully this gym opened over a month ago and was close to work and home.
The gym was packed with the usual after-work crowd, but there were two treadmills open next to each other. Claiming one of them for myself, I popped in my iPod ear buds and started to walk briskly for my warm-up. Listening to music while running always seemed to clear my head and right now I needed to let my mind go numb.
After running for five minutes, I thought I was going to pass out. I envisioned myself rolling off the treadmill as I had seen a few times on The Biggest Loser. That was all I needed with this packed gym. I slowed the treadmill back down to walk for a few minutes to catch my breath. Shortly after that, I noticed that someone had stepped onto the treadmill next to me.
I glanced to my right and that’s when I noticed him for the first time. Trying not to get caught staring, I eyed him with my peripheral vision. Always a plus to have eye candy when you’re doing something you really don’t want to do. He was about six feet tall, appeared to be around my age of twenty-seven, had chestnut brown hair that was just long enough to have a messy spiky look, and broad shoulders…and oh wow—a smile that made my heart stop.
Of course, he caught me staring. Shit.
I reached for my phone and quickly texted Ryan.
Me: OMFG, I have my very own Gideon Cross at the gym. Hot guy running on the treadmill next to me! 🙂
Ryan: Jealous! Don’t tell Max, LOL…I want all the details TONIGHT.
When I looked into the mirror in front of me, I noticed that my face was bright red. It was either from being exhausted on the treadmill or from being caught checking him out—probably a mixture of the two. After a few minutes of walking, I thought to myself, all right, you can’t let this guy think you’re that out of shape. I sped back up to what I considered an energetic pace and started jogging again.
It had been at least a month since I had been to the gym. Before I discovered TravAss having a nooner with his secretary, Misty, we were in Hawaii. What a sad cliché, right? Little did I know that when Travis said he was getting texts from work, he really meant texts from Misty about what she couldn’t wait to do to him when he was back home.
After another twenty minutes of jogging—and a few covert glances to my right—I couldn’t take anymore. I stopped the treadmill and wiped it down. While backing off the treadmill, I peeked at his ass. What a perfect ass…Yep, my endorphins were flowing now. Taking a few steps towards the locker room, I glanced over my right shoulder to find him staring at me. Holy shit. Our eyes met and he gave me that heart-stopping smile he flashed when he first got on the treadmill. More a smirk than a smile, it still made my heart skip a beat.
Ryan was waiting for me when I walked into our house. “I ordered Chinese. It’ll be here in ten. Go shower and then we can veg and you can tell me all about this hottie.”
“There isn’t really much to tell.”
“Anything is better than nothing. I’ve been with Max for three years. I need to live the single life vicariously through you now.”
“Gee thanks,” I said, and we both giggled.
After getting out of the shower, I smelled the aroma of the Chinese takeout Ryan had ordered. Great, I just went to the gym and now I’m going to have a three thousand calorie meal.
“What’s on the menu tonight?” I asked as I walked into the kitchen and started opening the Chinese take-out boxes on the breakfast bar. Ryan’s parents owned the house and rented it to us. They’d remodeled it for us as a graduation present and the kitchen was one of our favorite rooms. It was spacious and modern with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, but its white oak cabinets also gave it a homey feel.
“Only our favorites—Kung Pao Chicken, Broccoli Beef, Fried Rice and Cream Cheese Wontons.”
Yep, that was an easy three thousand calories each. I gave an inward sigh.
“All right, spill,” Ryan demanded as she forked a piece of broccoli and bit into it with a crunch.
I paused to dip a Cream Cheese Wonton in sweet and sour sauce before stuffing it in my mouth. Savoring the creamy filling with a bit of tangy sweetness, I licked my fingers and sighed in contentment. “Like I said, there isn’t much to say. I went to the gym and there was a total hottie running on the treadmill next to me.”
“Well, what did he look like?”
I reached into the cabinet and grabbed a couple of wine glasses for us. Retrieving a bottle of chilled Moscato from the wine fridge, I poured a glass for each of us. I handed one to Ryan, we went to the living room and sat down on the floor by the coffee table. “Well, I’d say he’s about six foot, around our age, with kind of short light brown hair…you know, just how I like them, and a smile…man, that smile makes me melt. I couldn’t stare long enough to get a good look though. I just hope he’s there again tomorrow.”
Ryan continued to quiz me, but as I had told her repeatedly, I had been at the gym for less than an hour and hadn’t even spoken to him. I had just snuck a few glances here and there. Well, hoped I snuck a few glances; I was caught a few times.
After polishing off all of the food and watching a two hour episode of The Voice, I was beat. “All right, I’m going to call it a night. I’ll see you tomorrow when I get home from the gym,” I said as I walked into the kitchen and put our dishes in the dishwasher.
“Wait, we forgot about our fortunes,” Ryan said, tossing a fortune cookie to me.
Not only did we sometimes play the lotto numbers on the fortunes, but it was also tradition to add “in bed” at the end and giggle like little girls. “Oh right. What does yours say?” I asked as I cracked mine open.
“Courtesy is contagious… in bed.”
“I bet Max would like that fortune for you,” I said, laughing at her.
“I bet he would, too,” she said, laughing as well. “What does yours say?”
“Be prepared to receive something special…in bed.”
Ryan snatched the fortune out of my hand. “I bet that hottie at the gym has something to do with this!”
“Yeah right, I’m sure I will never see him again or get up the courage to talk to him.”
“Uh huh. If you don’t talk to him by the end of the week, I’m going down there.”
Knowing Ryan and her threats, I hoped something did happen before she took control. It was also more motivation to get my ass to the gym. I had already decided that tomorrow I was going to go back and try the free kickboxing class they offered twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Tuesday and Wednesday, I didn’t see him when I went to the gym. I was starting to think that I would never see him again. I walked into the kickboxing class on Thursday night and there he was in the second row. I almost tripped over my own feet when I noticed him.
I was running a little late, so I stayed in the back of the class. Good thing, because it gave me the opportunity to stare at that perfect ass. About halfway through the class, the teacher told us to partner up so we could work on our abs by doing crunches.
I glanced up from beneath my lashes and he was looking at me with that smile I remembered from Monday. He didn’t make a move toward me and I didn’t move toward him, though I badly wanted the guts to say something. Then the woman next to me offered to be my partner and I lost my chance.
While I was holding her legs, I glanced over and he was looking at me again. At least I thought he was. I casually glanced around to see who else he might be looking at, but the only other person it could have been was one of the guys who had partnered up on my right. Great—it’d be just my luck if he was gay.
After the class ended, I headed to the locker room. Just as I was about to enter, I heard a man’s voice say, “excuse me”. My heart stopped. When I turned around, it was only one of the guys who had been on my right side during crunches. “I think you forgot your towel.” Disappointed that it wasn’t my hottie who had stopped me, I thanked him as he handed me my towel, then hurried into the locker room to change and head home.
Friday night I headed straight home after work. It had been a long day and all I wanted was to take a long bath, heat up a Lean Cuisine and watch a chick flick.
I was halfway through Serendipity when Ryan stormed through the front door. She and Max always made Friday night “date night” and normally, she would spend the entire weekend at Max’s place. “Hey, what are you doing home?” I looked at her more closely and noticed that she had been crying, I quickly jumped up to give her a hug. “Oh my God, Ryan! What’s wrong?”
Ryan accepted my hug and took a minute to collect herself. Sitting down with me on the couch, she hugged her knees to her chest and tried her best to talk through her tears, her breath hitching every few words.
“Max and I went out to dinner and we started talking about getting married eventually–you know I’ve been hinting at a ring for months now. We were talking about what kind of house we’d buy together and how many rooms we’d need, and I said we’d need at least four bedrooms. Then he asked why we would need four bedrooms, because it’s not like we were going to have kids or anything.” Ryan had always pictured a life living in the suburbs with a white picket fence, a loving husband, a dog and at least two kids. “And I said, ‘What do you mean we’re not having kids?’ Then he said that he works sixty-hour weeks and there was no way in hell he has time for babies. He just wants to spend his spare time with me and he’d rather be relaxing in Cabo than changing dirty diapers.”
“I thought you and Max already talked about this and that he’d told you that he did want kids,” I said, rubbing her back lightly to comfort her. “But hold that thought for just a sec. I’m grabbing some mint chocolate chip ice cream.” I jumped up to grab the carton from the freezer and a spoon for each of us. We always kept the fridge stocked just in case we had a stressful day and this was always our go-to ritual for moments of crisis like this.
Ryan shoved a big bite of ice cream in her mouth before replying. “Well, apparently he changed his mind. Maybe he was just saying that to get me into bed. I don’t know, he said that he can’t ever see himself being tied down with ‘rugrats’.”
“I’m so sorry, Ry. I know how much you really want kids. Maybe he will come around in time?”
“Fuck that, Spence, I broke up with him,” she said angrily.
“You did what?” My mouth dropped open in shock.
“Why should I waste any more time on someone who doesn’t want what I want?”
She was right, but she had just broken up with him, what, thirty minutes ago? I knew she was madly in love with him, so no way had she given this decision enough thought.
“Don’t you think that was maybe a little hasty? I mean, I know how much you love him, maybe he just needs a little time to get used to the idea that it’s a deal breaker for you if he doesn’t want to have kids. Give him a chance to change his mind or think about it more seriously. Maybe you could try going to counseling together?”
Ryan still looked furious, but then her shoulders slumped and she bit her lip uncertainly. “I don’t know, Spence. Do you think I fucked up by breaking up with him?”
I took another bite of ice cream and sighed. “I just know how good you guys are together and I think you could have put more effort into trying to work it out first.”
“Maybe, but I was just so mad. It felt like he’s just been lying to me all this time.” Fresh tears burst into her eyes and she tossed her spoon on the coffee table.
Putting the ice cream down, I hugged her tightly again. I pulled her up off the couch to march her to the bathroom. “What you need is a long, hot shower then off to bed with you. You’ll think more rationally and feel better in the morning after a good night’s rest.”
“Like I could sleep,” she muttered, but she turned the shower on.
“Well, you know I’m here for you if you need me,” I said, and closed the bathroom door.
A little while later after Ryan got out of the shower, I heard her go into her room. After my movie was over, I headed to my room. First, I stopped at Ryan’s door, wanting to check on her. As I leaned my ear close to the door and heard her crying, my heart ached for her. Ryan had always been tough, but even tough people needed hugs. I wanted to go comfort her, but decided I would let her have some alone time while she processed everything. In the morning, I would start my best friend therapy for her. I prayed to myself that they would eventually be able to talk things through and get back together because they were perfect for each other.
The next morning, I woke up early so I could cook us breakfast and make Ryan’s favorite: chocolate chip pancakes and bacon. Just as the bacon finished, Ryan walked into the kitchen looking extremely depressed with puffy eyes from crying all night.
“Sit, I’m making your favorites,” I said to her as soon as she entered the kitchen.
“I’m not hungry.”
“Too bad, I got up early just to make you a special breakfast.”
“Fine, you know I can’t pass up bacon.”
“That’s my girl.” Setting her plate on the breakfast bar I said, “You know what? No more moping around thinking of the men in our life. Let’s go to Vegas on Friday and enjoy a girl’s trip!”
“Oh my God, Spence, let’s do it!”
Ryan was always up for Vegas. I knew I didn’t need to ask her twice. It was just the thing—we both needed a mini-vacation to process everything that had happened the last month with both of us. If Ryan still wanted Max back when we got home from Vegas, operation “Get Max Back” would be in full force.
The next week flew by. At the gym, I saw my hottie a few times, but he just smiled at me, same as he did every time he saw me. Maybe he was just being polite. I had already given up any hope that he would ask me out and I was too chicken to say anything to him. Call me old fashioned, but the guy should make the first move. Besides, I’d given him plenty of flirtatious smiles to let him know I was interested and Ryan already forgot her threat because of the whole Max ordeal.
On Friday after work, Ryan and I headed to the airport. “I can’t wait—long drunken nights followed by tanning by the pool during the day. This is going to be a blast,” I said to Ryan.
“I know. What do you want to do first?”
“I don’t know… let’s see what clubs we can get into tonight with those free passes they give out on the Strip.”
Ryan and I were no Vegas virgins. With it being only an hour and a half flight from SFO, we usually went to Vegas at least once or twice a year, or maybe more.
As Ryan and I approached our gate, I noticed him. My left arm and hand had a mind of their own as they launched out and grabbed Ryan’s right arm. “Ow! What the hell, Spence?”
“Holy shit! The guy from the gym is sitting over there.”
“Shut up! Oh my God, are you serious? Where? Which one?” Her head swung around to look for him.
“Dude, don’t make it so obvious.” I pinched her arm to make her stop looking. “Look casually…by the window between the guy and girl,” I said while nudging my head in their direction. Of course, at that moment he decided to look up and caught me staring at him again. Without skipping a beat, he flashed me that heart-stopping smile. I felt as if my legs were going to give out on me at any moment.
“Damn!” she said, dragging out the word. “He is hot, Spence. And I think he’s going to Vegas, too.”
“Seriously?” My pulse jumped as I thought of the possibility of us seated next to each other on the plane.
“Well, it does look like he is waiting at our gate.”
I was starting to feel giddy, but then I saw him smile and dip his head to listen to something the girl next to him was saying. Please tell me that is not his girlfriend. My heart began to sink.
I didn’t know if being on the same flight was fate or pure coincidence, but it didn’t matter if he was already taken. Regardless, I couldn’t sit at the gate with him and kill myself wondering for the next hour. Sighing, I tugged on Ryan’s arm. “Let’s go grab a drink at the bar.”
When we boarded the plane I saw him, I wasn’t sure if he noticed me since Ryan and I sat at the back of the plane and he was toward the front. I’m not sure what I would have done if we’d been seated close together.
If I wasn’t so shy, I might have approached him and struck up a conversation. The last thing I’d expected upon arriving at the airport was finding him there, and I was certainly not expecting him to be on the same flight as me. I wondered where he was staying and why he was going to Vegas. I scolded myself for wondering—none of that mattered if he had a girlfriend.
We landed in Vegas around eight. After an hour, Ryan and I finally made it to our hotel. We spent the next hour getting ready to go out by freshening up our make-up and downing a bottle of champagne to get a head start on our night of partying. We decided to change into short skirts with sparkly tops and strappy high-heeled sandals that were sure to make our feet hurt from all the dancing. Looking in the mirror at ourselves and striking high fashion model poses, we giggled as we took one Facebook photo after another. Over the years, we’d sometimes been mistaken as twins, but more often as sisters.
“Hey, what color eye shadow should I put on?” Ryan asked as she squeezed into the small bathroom where I was getting ready.
“I like the purple. It will bring out your brown eyes,” I said, running the flat iron through my hair.
“Cool, what color are you going to wear?”
“I’m digging the silver.”
“Oh, I like it. I think it will look good with your brown eyes and blue top.”
“Yep, that’s what I was thinking.”
When we were ready, we set out to find a club. We knew if we showed some skin, we would get a lot of attention from guys and hopefully score some free drinks. It’s not like we were looking to hook up with random men or anything, but buying drinks in Vegas clubs was the fastest way to empty a girl’s bank account. We just wanted to have a good time, dance and hopefully not have too bad of a hangover the next morning.
We walked down the Strip soaking in what some people called “Disneyland for Adults”. It had been a while since Ryan and I had last been to Vegas, and we were like little kids in a candy shop.
We finally found a guy who was passing out club passes. He handed us two for Lavo at The Palazzo. Thankfully, we were able to skip the long line and get in for free. When we made it into the club, I gave Ryan a little booty bump with my hip and grinned at her—it was gorgeous inside.
The bar was packed, I was finally able to nudge my way between people and ordered two redheaded sluts. “I’m going to need at least one more of these before I’m able to get on the dance floor,” I yelled so Ryan could hear me over the loud music, and she nodded in agreement.
We quickly drank our shots, I turned around to order another round, but the bartender handed me two more before I said a word. “This is from the gentleman over there.” He nodded towards the other end of the bar, “The one in the black shirt.” I quickly turned my head to see what nice guy had bought us a drink. Of course, it was him.
I turned back to Ryan, slapping her arm to get her attention. “Holy shit, Mr. Hottie just bought us a drink!”
“Who?” she said, as she scanned the room.
“The guy from the gym. What do I do? Oh my God, what do I say? Maybe he doesn’t have a girlfriend after all.” I was starting to freak out a little. He bought me a drink—I had to make the first move to talk to him. All right Spencer, time to put your big girl panties on.
I turned to go over and thank him but he was gone. What the fuck? He was there one second and gone the next. Was he some sort of ninja? I swear he was just standing there. I scanned the room that was packed to the brim, but I didn’t see him.
My face fell. “Ahh Ryan… I think he left.”
She shrugged. “Weird. Oh well. Drink up so we can dance.”
We clicked our glasses with a quick cheer, threw our shots back and made our way onto the dance floor. The dance floor was lightly lit with colorful strobe lights surrounded by cushioned booths on the outside edges.
We had been dancing for at least a half hour with different people; sometimes a group of girls, sometimes guys. I was just about to leave the dance floor for a quick break to rest my tired feet when I felt someone start dancing with me from behind. Whoever it was placed their hands on my hips. As buzzed as I was, I didn’t really think anything of it and continued to dance. About a minute later, Ryan turned to say something to me. Her eyes grew big and in that moment, I realized who I must be dancing with.
Desire overtook my emotions. I had waited almost three weeks for his touch. Fantasized about it a few nights when all I could do was think of him and his smile when I tried to fall asleep at night.
The music pounded in my head. His arms wrapped around my waist from behind, pulling me against him. I could feel the hard muscles of his chest against my back. His hips moved against mine. With his hard length pressing into my ass, I could feel how much he wanted me. I wanted him just as badly.
Jeremih’s hit Down on Me featuring 50 Cent played as our bodies moved with the music. I reached up with my right hand, held onto the back of his neck and slid my fingers through his hair. He pulled me harder against his erection. It felt as if the whole club had disappeared. All I could do now was close my eyes and enjoy the ride that I had longed for.
Our hips rocked and popped to the song. Just like the song was saying, I was grinding my ass into him. I felt his face bury in my hair as he kissed my neck lightly sending tingles down my entire body. Moisture starting to build between my legs. My heart started beating faster and my breath caught.
The strobe lights flashed over the dance floor, reflecting off a rotating disco ball as the beat of the music thumped in my ears. It felt like we were dancing for hours. Everything seemed to be in slow motion; however, Jeremih and 50 were still singing.
Just as the song ended, the DJ started playing the next song. It was one of my new favorites, a remix of Alex Clare’s song, Too Close.
He spun me around so his right leg fit snugly between my legs. He looked down at me, his mocha colored eyes locked with mine. I wrapped my arms around his neck and ran my fingers through his hair again, loving the silky texture. He slid his hands down my back and cupped my ass as we rocked, swayed and gyrated to the pounding music.
My skirt was very short, it was slowly sliding up my thighs which gave the front of my panties contact with his jean-clad thigh. My heart raced as my panties dampened and my clit throbbed with an almost painful need for more. His fingers tightened against my ass as he pulled me harder against his leg. Sweat rolled down my back—it was almost too much.
He was grinding his thigh against my clit as I thought of how badly I’d wanted him for weeks. I was finally dancing with him—though I still didn’t even know his name. In the midst of my thoughts and the overwhelming feeling of touching him and dancing with him, I couldn’t have stopped my climax even if I’d wanted to. I couldn’t believe the intensity of the feelings I was experiencing there in public with him, surrounded by people.
I tugged tighter on his hair while trying not to collapse from the surge of pleasure running all the way through me. I leaned my head into his chest to muffle the moan that escaped my mouth as I climaxed. I tried to stop dancing to enjoy the orgasm, but his hands grasped my ass tighter as he kept me pressed hard against his leg so our bodies continued to sway to the music.
If he had asked me to go up to his room at that moment, I would have said yes. I had never hooked up with a stranger, let alone in Vegas…at a club. I had never had sex in public, never had an orgasm in public for that matter. I didn’t care.
At last, we slowly stopped dancing. He was still pulling me hard onto his leg, his eyes locked with mine. He gave me his smile I remembered so well. I was trying to relax and let my heart return to normal, but looking into his eyes only made it race more. I still couldn’t speak—could barely breathe. A few seconds later, the song ended. He bent down, nuzzled my neck and I could feel his warm breath against my cheek as he whispered, “Thank you,” and then walked away.
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*Currently only on Amazon and Audible