A Night in Sin City [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Amy Redwood
eBook Category: Erotica/BDSM Erotica
eBook Description: Susannah books a trip to Las Vegas. Before that, she forges an email to her brother's best pal, Brian. Because ten years ago, Brian broke her heart. Not a child of sorrow, she recovered with lightning speed. Still, the opportunity to spend a sinful night with him is too much temptation to pass up. When Brian receives an email from his friend, asking him to keep an eye on Suzie while she's in Vegas, he is royally pissed. Since when is he a fucking babysitter? He hasn't seen her in god knows how many years. Getting rid of Suzie as fast as possible is Brian's first objective. But she isn't playing by the rules and he's in over his head before he knows what hit him.
eBook Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2009
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12 Reader Ratings:
"I hate to be alone." Susannah Gardner slapped the steering wheel as she drove up the driveway leading to her brother's house. All her friends had vanished to various vacation spots, sentencing her to have a gloomy birthday night. There would be no freaking party. No champagne, no music, no hugs, and zero kisses. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to my birthday tomorrow. She would be alone, and that was a first.
At least Randall was taking her out for dinner tonight, yet tomorrow, he would desert her, too. Tough luck. Nothing like a quiet evening to celebrate your twenty-fifth, she thought as she parked her coupe. She shouldered her purse, got out, and slammed the door. God, I'm totally doomed.
She walked into the hall, ready to call out a greeting when she heard Randall on the phone.
"...convention? Geez, Brian, when was the last time you took a vacation? You'll have a heart attack before you turn thirty-five. Take some time off for Pete's sake."
She sucked in her breath and retreated a few steps, worried he'd notice her and hang up. Her heart pounded in her throat. Come on, Randall, switch to speakerphone. But Randall didn't, so she imagined Brian's deep voice ... which was surprisingly easy.
"Sorry, Brian, but I can't come to Vegas," Randall said. "I'm off to Europe tomorrow morning."
Her brother sounded way too excited, and she snorted silently. Yep, everyone was going somewhere except for her own lonely butt.
"Why Europe?" Randall asked, and she scowled because she'd like to know, too. Why her brother was so ill-timed as to pick her birthday to fly to god-knows-where. "Business as usual," he said, "just a couple of days, and sadly, I'll have to leave Suzie alone tomorrow. You know, it's her birthday ... ah well, I'll buy her a gift from Europe--that will cheer her up." Randall paused, and she stepped around the corner to see him frowning as he listened to Brian. "Spoiled? No, she isn't spoiled--"
She'd heard quite enough. "Hey, it's me!" she called, walking up to her brother.
"Brian, have to go, let's catch up soon. Remember, you still owe me for the business deal I threw your way." Randall, smiling widely, hung up. "Good to see you, Suzie."
She flinched, but swallowed a sharp answer. Randall was the only one allowed to call her Suzie. She let him envelop her in an embrace, and then escaped his almost fatherly affection. He was overprotective to a fault. For Randall, she would always be a little girl--he might not have noticed yet that she wasn't a second-grader anymore.
"Who was that on the phone?" she asked, casually. Hearing Brian's name gave her a cheap thrill. He was her brother's oldest friend; they had founded their first company together. They had looked great in the newspaper pictures, with her brother standing next to the fair-skinned Brian, giving the black-and-white photos a deeper meaning. The start-up had been so successful that when a software giant had offered ten million after only one year, they had sold and gone their separate ways.
"That was Brian," Randall said, and her stomach flipped as expected. "He's speaking at a convention in Vegas. Wish I could go. I haven't seen him in a while. He's always too busy, and I think he misses out on life." Her brother sighed and then looked up. "He hasn't been here for years. You do remember him, don't you?"
"Oh, yes," she answered, keeping her voice even, even though her breathing hitched. "Brian."
She followed her brother into the lounge and dropped into a squishy sofa. As she sank deeper into the leather, she watched how Randall fed his fishes. The blue and yellow striped angelfish bumped eagerly against the glass of the huge tank. The saltwater aquarium was her brother's favorite hobby, and she wondered how two people as different as her brother and Brian could stay friends over such a long time. While her brother dabbled in various projects, his easy lifestyle had begun to show around his middle. Brian, however, was the CEO of his own company. If she trusted the business world newspapers, his company's worth had tripled in the last years. And if she trusted the pictures that complemented the articles about him, then only his smile was easy and there was nothing extra around his middle.
"I remember him fine," she said softly. With a sigh, she got off the sofa, followed Randall into the kitchen, and accepted a glass of chilled soda. Her brother chatted about his trip to Europe, but she didn't listen closely, only nodded occasionally, her mind focused on Brian.
What self-respecting woman would forget the guy who once turned her down? She sipped her soda, wishing it was vodka, and thought back to the evening of her fifteenth birthday.
Her brother had been outside in the garden, preparing the pool party. The party she'd planned for weeks, looked forward to for weeks because she'd asked Randall, as off hand as possible, to invite Brian. She'd spent sleepless nights, unsure if he would actually turn up to her party.
And then ... then the day was finally there. She'd been alone in the kitchen--the very kitchen she stood in now. She'd been wearing a new dress, feeling very grown up as she'd waited for her guests to arrive. Her heart had skipped with happiness when Brian had come into the kitchen. So tall and rugged and a real man, not like the guys in her school. He had smiled at her, his green eyes shining.
"Hey, birthday girl!" he'd said, making her face flush. Brian had bent close to give her a brotherly kiss on the cheek. When she'd felt his mouth on her skin, she'd turned her head, wrapped her arms around him and had given him a full-blown kiss on the lips. For one glorious moment in her teenage girl's heart, he had belonged to her. Until he'd shattered her dreams by pushing her away, laughing his ass off.
"Suzie, you're too young for that. Besides, you don't want me to tell your brother what you just did, do you?"
"I'm fifteen, and my name is Susannah!" she yelled in Brian's laughing face. Tears blurred her vision, turning tender feelings into embarrassment. And hot anger.
"Well, never mind. Let's keep that confidential. And don't worry, you're not the first girl I turned down. Only the youngest." He patted her on the head as if she were a child. "Please, wait another ten years before you hit on me again."
His laughter had rung in her ears as she'd turned heel and stormed away. She would have done everything for a smile from him. He'd ruined her first kiss.
If not for Brian, she would have punched--what was his name?--as he'd tried to kiss her at the end of the party. So, she let him even grab her breast through her dress, enduring his sloppy kiss, yet it had restored somewhat of her hurt pride. Randall had caught her making out with the guy. It had earned her one month house arrest and an embarrassing lecture about birth control.
She sighed. Definitely not one of her better birthday parties. And here she was today, ten years later, facing another.
"It's ten years later," she whispered, and the thought kicked something up in her stomach. She slammed the soda glass hard on the kitchen counter. "It's fucking ten years later!"
"...and then I said to him--what?" Randall interrupted his speech mid-sentence. "Stop using that kind of language, Suzie, and what's ten years later?"
She inhaled, ignoring her brother's puzzled gaze, and tried to come to terms with her discovery. Ten years ... Revenge might be a dish best served cold, but she didn't feel particularly cold toward Brian. And it wasn't that she still held a grudge against him. He had done the exact right thing by not kissing her. Logic and the law was on his side, hands down. After all, she had been just a kid and he an adult.
Nevertheless, revenge sounded sweet. The green girl of fifteen was long gone, and the idea blooming in her head grew rapidly. Gift from Europe? I don't think so, my dear brother. I want something much better. Because, really, what else was there for her to do on her birthday? It would be fun.
"What's ten years later?" Randall asked again.
"Forget it," she answered, cursing herself for the outburst. Even ten years later, it wasn't an event she wanted to share. "I need to use your computer. Won't take long."
"Why?" she echoed, thinking quick. "You know, the company who came forward with the great job offer?" Her brother nodded. "I promised to be in touch today. A quick email will do."
"So you'll accept?" he asked, approval in his voice.
"Yes. I'll tell you over dinner more about it."
"Great decision. But why did you have to leave that to the last minute?" He checked his watch. "We have a dinner reservation. Hurry up."
Sure it's a great decision. And I already emailed and signed the contract this morning. "Gimme just a minute." She didn't wait for his reply, but stormed off into his study and switched on the computer. As the hard drive started, she opened her purse, searching for her credit card.
"Here we go." She clutched her card and logged into a flight-reservation website. She filled out all necessary information until a message on the screen confirmed her successful booking. Perfect--sunset in Vegas. She would arrive at five in the afternoon.
"Suzie," her brother called from the kitchen. "We really have to go!"
"Stop pushing," she called back, and hoped he would stay where he was. She let her fingers fly over the keyboard as she opened her brother's email account, typed in his password--startrek--and scrolled impatiently through his address list. Yes! One click on Brian's name and a new message window opened. She typed, muttering under her breath.
"Brian, we just spoke on the phone, but I'd like to call on a favor (after all, you owe me). Remember, I told you about Susannah's birthday--"
No, Randall wouldn't call me Susannah. She deleted the last two words and continued. "Suzie's birthday tomorrow, and I finally know the perfect present for her. She has always wanted to see Vegas, but I've never allowed her to go alone--"
Yeah, right, as if. She had stopped listening to her brother when she was sixteen, but Brian didn't need to know that. "She's been dying to go forever. I thought it would be great if you could pick her up from the airport, show her around, and--"Make her come her brains out. She laughed silently. "--keep an eye on her. Suzie will arrive tomorrow at 5 pm. I know it's short notice, but it would mean a lot to me. She's my little sis. I trust you implicitly. If I had the time, I would go with her, but you're the next best thing. There aren't many people I'd trust to take care of her. BTW, I'm taking an earlier flight, so no need to reply. I won't get your message. Thx Randall."
A rush spread through her, tingling all over her skin, and she circled the mouse arrow around the send button. The point of no return. She laughed out loud and clicked Send. Brian would get the email soon enough--she was sure he had total Internet access in Vegas.
"Suzie, are you ready?" Randall appeared in the doorframe, and she hastily closed his email account.
"I'm as ready as you can be," she answered, thinking about Brian. She frowned, trying to picture his face when he received her email. Would he buy into it? One call from him to Randall, and she was royally screwed. But it wasn't her email, it was Randall's. His best pal. Yeah, he would swallow it, hook, bait, sinker and all.
Now all she had to do was figure out how the hell she was going to get him into bed.
Brian Watson took a cab to the airport, pissed off with the world and Randall in particular. When he'd read Randall's email this morning, he'd wondered if his friend had lost it. Since when was he a fucking babysitter?
In all fairness, he knew why Randall was that overprotective--he was much more like a father to the girl. He still remembered when Randall's parents had died in that tragic accident, leaving Randall alone at twenty-one to raise his nine-year-old sister.
"Suzie," Brian said quietly, remembering some of Randall's complaints. Suzie had been prone to tantrums and tears. He suspected that she'd played her brother quite a bit. Then again, it must have been tough on her too, growing up with an older brother who had his head buried in computers and software. He would bet that she'd been alone often.
He rolled down the window of the cab and closed his eyes as the warm afternoon breeze hit his face. Randall had never asked him for any favors before, and, yes, he owed him big time. He wouldn't turn down his request, but for the hundredth time he wondered why Randall thought a night in Sin City was the perfect birthday present for his baby sister.
After he'd paid the cabdriver, he walked into the airport terminal and bought himself a double espresso in the hope it would help against his splitting headache. Taking a sip from the lukewarm brew inside the Styrofoam cup, he checked his watch. Suzie's plane should have touched down. He glanced at the arrival screens to determine at what exit she would arrive. His headache got worse.
He groaned, rubbing his temple. Last night in the bar had been late indeed. He thought about the leggy blonde he'd chatted up over a couple of drinks. Her eyes had been promising when they had agreed to meet in the same bar at eleven tonight.
Damn, he needed to get laid.
Randall's sister wouldn't be a problem. I'll show her around, keep an eye on her, but before the clock strikes eleven, I'll send her to bed with her favorite soft toy.
He focused on the exit as travelers began spilling into the terminal. Searching, he realized that he didn't quite know for whom. He frowned, visualizing the awkward, gangly girl he recalled: black hair parted in thick pigtails, glasses balanced on her upturned nose, and an unpleasant air of know-it-all. Overall, little resemblance to Randall. When was the last time he'd seen his friend's sister?
Something nudged at his mind, and then he remembered that he'd seen her on her birthday. Strange coincidence. She'd been what? Twelve or thirteen?
The memory of her pigtails tied with pink ribbon got clearer. There was something else ... He laughed in his coffee cup. She'd jumped him on her birthday. How could he forget the clumsy, yet enthusiastic kiss she had sprung on him?
"Wonder if she still rocks the pigtails," he muttered, checking the crowd around the exit, but couldn't spot a familiar face. Maybe she had missed her flight. That would be a relief. Taking another sip coffee, he noticed that his headache was gone.
He froze as someone placed hands over his eyes, and he inhaled an earthy perfume that mixed oddly with the coffee aroma under his nose. The voice was a clue the statement came from a woman, and the body pressed against his back was definitely female. Breasts were a dead give-away.
"Suzie?" He pulled the hands away from his face, turned around, and looked straight into a pair of familiar hazel eyes.
"Long time, no see, Brian."
He took two steps away from her too close face, and the cup slipped out of his hand. It hit the floor with a dull thud. Shit. The coffee formed a puddle next to his feet, and he risked looking up again.
Black heels, bare legs--he gazed further up--still legs, finally a skirt, narrow waist, her chest--damn--and again that pair of hazel-brown eyes in a heart-shaped face, framed by a sea of dark curls. No pigtails. He gave himself a mental kick in the ass.
"Suzie, you haven't changed a bit. Let's go." He walked toward the airport exit, listening to her heels clicking on the floor as she followed him. The spiky heels looked downright lethal, nothing more than badly concealed weapons. His headache came back with a vengeance.
"Only my brother calls me Suzie." She fell into step next to him, keeping his pace on her ridiculously long legs. "Everyone else calls me Susannah."
"Think of me as your second brother." He kept his gaze on the floor, and then scanned the people around him. He needed time to adjust. The woman beside him that flaunted too much bare coffee-colored skin claimed to be Randall's little sister, which was, well, worrying, but sooner or later he had to face her again. He shot her a quick glance as she ran her hand through her dark curls. A sparkly purse swung from her shoulder. Shit. She still looked like sex on legs.
"Don't you have more luggage?" He didn't care to return to the airport because she'd forgotten to pick up her stuff.
"I don't need much," she answered cheerfully, and he wondered how she could not only walk, but bounce while wearing these shoes, when she said, "I'm only staying for a night. My toothbrush fits inside here." She held up her purse. "I don't need PJs. I always sleep naked."
He stopped dead short. No, forget it, she absolutely didn't say that. He stared after her as she walked on, giving him a good view of her rear swinging from side to side. She would look great sleeping on white linen sheets. Someone pushed a baggage trolley against his calf, and pain seared through his leg. He swore, waving away the excuses from the person behind him, and hurried to catch up to her. Suzie had turned around, waiting for him.
"That must have hurt," she said as they stepped out into the open air. "Are you all right?"
No, I'm not. "I'm fine. You're staying at the...?"
"Where do you stay?" she countered, a laugh in her voice.
He suppressed a groan, wondering why she spoke differently, too. He remembered vaguely her girly voice--when had squeaky turned smoky? He signaled a cab.
She gave his shoulder a push. "Brian, I asked where you're staying."
"The Bellagio." And I hope you stay at the other end of the strip.
"Same here, and by the way," she said, "you haven't congratulated me to my birthday yet." She closed her hand around his shoulder.
Her wide smile looked suspiciously like he missed something, but he couldn't say what. Maybe he should have bought her a present? "That's thoughtful of Randall to give you a birthday get-away."
"Yes, isn't it?" A self-satisfied expression settled on her face.
Spoiled brat. "Happy birthday, Suzie." He winced, hearing the definite lack of enthusiasm in his words. God, get a grip. He leaned forward and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, but it was enough to taste her smooth skin and inhale her perfume. Damn.
She stared at him and a flicker went through her eyes. He wondered if she, too, remembered how she had frenched him all those years ago. Nah, never.
He racked his brain for some small talk, because the silence between them became uncomfortable, but decided to take action instead and signaled again for a taxi.
He breathed a sigh of relief when one stopped. "The cab stopped," he said, glad to be on solid conversation ground.
"I can see that."
The smile she gave him was disconcerting, and he searched her face, trying to find the girl she had once been, when she said, "I'm hungry, can we go eat somewhere?"
He opened the cab's door and motioned her inside. "Sure, what do you want?"
"Burger will do." She slid into the backseat, revealing even more leg. "Or maybe ice cream?"
Ice cream? "On me." Thank god, she's still a kid. He closed the door, and then sat next to the driver. At least he could put her naked legs out of sight for a while, even though he couldn't get them out of his mind.