Authors: Sarah Curtis
Alluring by Sarah Curtis Copyright
2015 by Jeanine Grasso
All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be replicated, redistributed, or given away in any form without the prior written consent of the author. The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarities to real persons, alive or dead, and events are coincidental and not intended by the author.
To my husband
Without his support and encouragement
this book would have never happened
I love you
Table of Contents
"You have to go. I have a ticket for you and everything," Steph wheedled over the line.
Alexis Taft sighed into the phone. She
did not want to have this conversation right now at six-thirty on a Wednesday night. She had just gotten home from her day job as the receptionist at a Mercedes-Benz dealership. She was exhausted and still had to eat dinner before heading to her night job, as a cocktail waitress at the Allure hotel and casino, on the Las Vegas Strip.
Being April Fool's Day, her coworkers had played jokes on each other all day, causing unnecessary mayhem. As the receptionist and focal point at the dealership, one of her duties was to keep everyone in line especially when they acted like children. She hoped the same thing didn't happen tonight.
"When's the party again?" Alexis asked.
"A week from Saturday," Steph said, sounding excited.
"Steph, you know I have to work Saturday nights. I can't afford to miss a shift."
afford to miss this event. Do you know how difficult it was for me to get these tickets? I had to sleep with Brad from accounting. Everybody who is anybody will be there. It'll be epic. So please say you'll go. Please. Please. Please. You're my best friend you have to do this with me."
Alexis felt her resolve slipping. She could never say no to Stephanie Willis once she started pleading. She was such a sucker. "I'll see if I can get someone to take my shift, but I'm not making you any promises." Alexis had to hold the phone away from her ear when Steph started whooping through the line.
"I know you'll find someone. There's always somebody wanting to make some extra dough. We'll go shopping Saturday morning. We need the perfect dresses."
"Okay. You know, I don't have a lot of money to spend, but maybe, I can find something on sale." At what point in this conversation did she become resigned to the fact that she would be going? "Now let me go. I only have an hour before I have to leave for work, and I still have to eat something."
Alexis leaned against the kitchen counter, spooning yogurt, and thinking about next Saturday night. Steph was right. The event will be huge. Allure was having a grand-opening party for their new nightclub, Pulled. People had been talking about it for months. She'd heard the owner of the hotel, Jackson Cole, always tried to think of new ways to revamp the hotel to keep it fresh. And it seemed to work, Allure was the most popular hotel on the strip.
Alexis started working at Allure two years ago when she turned twenty-one, and had met Steph her first week. The heel of Alexis's shoe broke during one of her shifts. As she stood in front of her locker, cursing the fact that she didn't have an extra pair of shoes, Steph walked into the lounge.
"What size shoe do you wear?" she asked, opening her locker.
"Seven," Alexis said, taking in the petite blond with big boobs and even bigger hair.
"These are a six and a half, but they're sandals so I think you can get away with it."
Alexis gratefully took the sandals. The heels were higher than she usually wore, but she would make do. "Thanks, you're a lifesaver."
"Don't think nothin' of it. Us girls have to stick together."
And they did, becoming fast friends. The recent death of her mother and her sister leaving for college, had left Alexis heartbroken and alone, and Steph had recently had a bad break up with a long-term boyfriend. The two kept each other company and helped each other heal.
And now because of that friendship, she would go to a party that she didn't really want to go to and couldn't really afford. But she would do it for Steph because Steph had done a lot for her.
Alexis parked her dark-blue Toyota Sentra in the employee parking area then made her way to the employee lounge to change into her uniform. Allure's cocktail waitress outfits were racy and although she hated how much skin it exposed, she didn't hate the tips that it produced.
The outfit was a black, one-piece, halter style bathing suit with an attached black and gold striped mini skirt that barely covered her ass. Thankfully, it had built-in bra cups because the back was nonexistent and wearing a bra would be an impossibility. Sheer, black stockings and three- inch, black pumps completed the look.
Alexis went to the mirror to touch up her fire-engine-red lipstick (that and mascara was all she usually wore) and looked at herself critically. She had mid length, curly, brown hair currently up in a messy bun and brown eyes. She hated her full cheeks and wished they showed more cheekbone definition, but her long, thick eyelashes made up for that. She was five-foot four with decent sized breasts and a flat stomach. Her hips and booty were a bit on the wide side because she hated to exercise, but over all, she was all right. Not gorgeous. Not ugly. Average.
Alexis left the lounge and made her way to the casino floor. All casinos had particular sounds and smells. Overhead music playing popular pop hits. The bells and dings from a variety of slot machines. The excited cheers and shouts of people winning. The light trace of cigarette smoke hanging in the air. The various brands of perfume and cologne. And the smell of desperation.
Alexis worked in the high roller section of the casino. Being a weeknight, the congregation of gamblers on the casino floor was small, but she did spot a few regulars that she saw almost nightly.
She stopped at a poker table that had four men sitting around it. Three, she knew by name. The fourth guy was new. After a moment of stunned staring, she reluctantly pulled her eyes away from New Guy's devastatingly handsome face. She had never seen anyone so beautiful. He made her heart beat faster, and she had a hard time swallowing. Trying to keep a professional expression, she said, "Good evening gentlemen. Can I get you something to drink?"
Hank, a gray-haired, distinguished looking man, impeccably dressed in a dark-gray suit, white shirt, and pink tie spoke first. "I'll have a gin and tonic."
She had her drink tray tucked between her hip and her left hand, as she wrote Hank's order on a pad of paper that rested on top of the tray.
Mike and Sam were thirty-something friends that came to the casino often and only played poker. Both were average looking. Mike had blond hair and blue eyes. Sam had brown hair and brown eyes. They were always well dressed and polite. They ordered their usual beers.
Alexis turned her attention back to the new guy. His light-brown hair was longish, falling over his ears and down his neck. The top was tousled, as if he'd ran his fingers through it and a large chunk fell across his forehead in messy disarray. His sharp cheekbones transitioned into a strong jaw, covered in at least a few days worth of growth and his firm, full lips sat under a long, straight nose, in perfect proportion to his face.
But, his eyes were what held her spellbound. They were a deep, forest-green surrounded by thick, dark lashes. Beautiful. "And you sir?"
"I'll have a water," he drawled, leaning back in his chair and stretching his arms over his head, causing his muscles to pull and flex. He wore a Cowboys football jersey that he seemed to fill out rather well, considering it was a baggy shirt. Alexis forced her eyes back to her pad as she jotted down his order. Then not daring to look at him again, she turned and walked away.
She stopped periodically, taking a few more drink orders on her way to the bar. Andy, a tallish, lanky, dirty-blond, surfer type was the bartender on duty.
"How's it going mi amigo?" He asked, in a really bad accent.
Alexis smiled. "Isn't it supposed to be amiga because I'm feminine?"
A stray lock of hair fell into his eyes as he shrugged. Tilting his head, he said, "There's no doubt that you are one hundred percent feminine."
"Just fill my orders, please," Alexis said, putting a stop to his banter. You would think after two years, she would be used to the flirting but she wasn't. She always felt slightly uncomfortable around the opposite sex but when they flirted or started coming-on to her, she got down right nervous. She blamed her awkwardness on never having a boyfriend while growing up. Going to school, working, and tending a fatally ill parent didn't leave much room for socializing.
And now, she still didn't have time to socialize. Having to pay her mother's medical bills and her sister's college tuition, she needed to work two jobs. She didn't have time to go out on dates or have a boyfriend so as pathetic as it sounds, she was still a virgin at the age of twenty-three. A couple of times, she thought about taking one of the guys who hit on her home, to get rid of her virginity once and for all, but in the end she couldn't do it. As corny as it sounded, she wanted her first time to be special and with someone she cared about. An impossible feat, she knew, if she never dated.
She circled her way around her section, dropping off drinks until she arrived back at the poker table. Mike and Sam joked and laughed about a famous actress that was recently in the headlines. As she set their beers down, she took a quick peek at New Guy. He had a slight smile as if he found Mike and Sam amusing, but he didn't participate in their revelry.
She set his water down by his elbow. He looked up and gave her a charming smile. "Thank you."
Between the smile and his voice, butterflies set flight in her stomach. What was wrong with her? He was simply another pretty face. She never reacted like this. She gave him a small nod of acknowledgment before turning her back on him to deliver Hank's drink. She had to get out of there fast. She was losing her grip on reality. A reality where, she didn't get flutters in her stomach or tingles down her spine from the smile of a gorgeous guy.
She was two hours into her shift when it happened. Heat seared her back, and a hand clamped down on her shoulder. She stiffened her spine when tingles raced through her body as a voice whispered in her ear, "You're so exceedingly beautiful, I can't seem to keep my eyes off you. Say you'll come home with me, so I can watch you all night."
Alexis took a step sideways, dislodging the hand from her shoulder and turned. Standing before her was New Guy. She felt a momentary ping of disappointment when she realized all he wanted was a one-night stand. If she were being truly honest with herself, she probably would have said yes if he had asked her out on a date. Her attraction to him was that strong. He'd put on a baseball cap, so his face was partially shadowed, but she remembered every captivating feature. He had to be more than six feet tall because even in her heels, she barely reached his chin.