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Authors: Rachel Blaufeld,Pam Berehulke

Electrified

BOOK: Electrified
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Everyone knows her as Sienna Flower.

Her curves and long lashes tease and taunt from her very own billboard where the desert meets the Las Vegas Strip. She’s the hottest stripper in town, known for her sultry and indecent moves coupled with her virginal eyes.

She’s a heady and unique combination, and a mystery to all who come to see her.

Sienna captivates crowds nightly at the Electric Tunnel, leaving them wanting to know more about the sensual enigma. But no one ever sees beyond the heavily guarded stripper onstage. She is Sienna Flower 24/7.

No one other than her closest friend and boss, Asher Peterson, who helped turn a young and frightened girl into who Sienna is today. Together they created the sexual illusion known as Sienna Flower. They will go to any lengths to protect her image, which is why Sienna is convinced she must remain unattached and alone.

Like everyone else in Vegas, Sienna is hiding something and playing a role. A good girl in her former life, she was raised to be obedient and accepting of her fate, but there are some circumstances no one should be expected to accept. She escaped to a world light years away from the one she was subjected to…the Electric Tunnel.

Now she can never be anything other than Sienna Flower. Not only would she be hurt, but everyone around her would suffer the consequences.

That is, until she meets private detective Carson Graham, the dark and mysterious ex-FBI agent who watches her dance every weekend. With his dark hair and chocolate-brown eyes, Carson begins to heat Sienna’s heart and body, melting away the layers and secrets. Sienna doesn’t want to get attached to Carson, but when another man surfaces and starts hunting her down, bringing out the scars of her old life, she can’t help but seek comfort in Carson’s protection.

With everyone trading on the secrets of her past, Sienna finds herself caught in an awful web of lies. Her ultimate fear is hurting her friends at the Tunnel, but she doesn’t know who to trust. Namely, Carson. Is he good? Or bad? Does she have the luxury of finding out?

 

 

 

 

 

This book is dedicated to my mom. For most of my life, it has been just the two of us, and I know you think you made mistakes and have regrets.

You didn’t. Not one,
except that time…

Really, you’re perfect, and I’m doing exactly what I was meant to be doing in life, thanks to you.

I love you.

Friday night

 

S
IENNA
F
LOWER
had only been at the Electric Tunnel for an hour when one of the younger exotic dancers, Sydney Luv, knocked on her dressing room door.

“Too many bachelor parties to count, every private room is filled, and the front of the club is lined with couples having drinks and watching the dancers,” Sydney reported to Sienna. “And I’m totally nervous to go onstage right before
you
tonight!” She wiped her brow, pretended to be faint, and then jumped up and down as if she’d just won the lottery.

Sienna smiled, patted her shoulder, and took in Sydney’s big hazel eyes brimming with excitement, her wavy auburn locks bouncing all around, and her sweet freckled nose. She nodded toward the quintessential all-American beauty, the complete opposite of herself. “You’ll be fabulous, Luv Bug. Plus, Petal is going to be there with you. She wouldn’t have asked you to join her if she didn’t believe in you, honey.”

“I know,” Sydney admitted before her eyes went wide. “But still…before
you
, Sienna Flower. That’s the most sought-after slot! Dancing right before your act made Petal a star!” She continued to prance around the dressing room.

Sydney was twitchy with nerves, excitement stealing her breath, forcing her to push her words out rapid-fire. Her enthusiasm was contagious, making Sienna feel warm and bubbly to know she was part of that.

“Aw, sweetie, just have fun! Only everything good is coming your way.” She leaned over to give the girl a quick hug, just as Petal popped into the dressing room to grab Sydney.

Before making her way out to the club, she surveyed her look for the evening. Tonight she had decided to wear a hot-pink lace thong and matching bra covered by a sheer light-pink baby-doll shirt, her blonde hair pulled up in a messy side ponytail, silver sparkle eyeliner to bring her baby blues to life, and five-inch-high strappy silver platforms to top it all off.

As usual she was ready early, so Sienna went to hang out by the side of the stage where she could watch her friends perform their first act together. She was a big fan of the idea of the two of them doing a duo, hoping that Petal’s new popularity would give Sydney a boost. Although Petal’s initial impetus had come from going on just before Sienna, her star was now shining brightly on its own.

She settled near the club’s back door stage entrance with Petey, an oversized young man who had recently moved up from bouncer to being in charge of security. She was chatting with him, automatically flashing her smile at a few patrons who spotted her in that out-of-the-way corner…when she saw
him
.

Tonight her new fan was sitting close to the front at a table for two, alone as usual, his big frame consuming the large leather chair he occupied.

Just past the stage, deep red and purple leather club chairs were tucked around mahogany cocktail tables in the area they referred to “the pit” in the club. Most men looked small in the oversized chairs, but this man was broad-shouldered and muscular, and barely fit in the chair.

Somehow he took masculinity to a higher level, even in the über-masculine decor. He was so dark with black hair, deep brown eyes, and olive skin. His persona screamed
danger
, but Sienna didn’t believe it. The man was as sleek a predator as a tiger at the zoo, yet she wanted to reach out and pet him with no regard for his bite or claws.

Standing there near the back door, Sienna had a fantasy of him sitting in one of the deep purple leather booths in the VIP area, resting his arms against the plush, midnight-blue velvet along the back wall, his legs stretched out in front of him, assessing her with those dark, brooding eyes while she did a lap dance for him.

Lap dance?
Where the hell did that thought come from? She never thought about giving lap dances.

Sienna quickly yanked herself back to reality and curiously watched Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome as he took a sip of his drink.

Is he going to look up at me?

Not fully knowing what possessed her, she turned and whispered to Petey, “Radio up to Ash that I’m going down front so I can see the girls’ act from there. Tell him not to worry.” She ignored Petey’s raised eyebrows and pushed off the wall. As she turned to walk away, Petey frowned while speaking quietly into his earpiece.

Ash is going to have the fit of all fits.
Asher tended to be a bit overprotective of her, more a big brother at times than a business partner.

Giving Petey’s huge shoulder an affectionate pat, Sienna slipped out a little farther into the club with only thirty minutes left until she had to be onstage herself, even though she never did this on a Friday. She took a deep breath, taking in all the smells surrounding her. Sweat, alcohol, lingering secondhand smoke, and a mixture of cologne—scents that meant nothing alone, but when mixed together formed a unique scent that she’d come to identify as home.

Moving like a caged animal set free, she wound her way around to the front of the club, flashing a few more dazzling smiles mixed with her signature innocent-yet-electric gaze to those who noticed her on the move. Like a heat-seeking missile, she landed right next to the dark-haired gentleman of her fantasies.

Coincidentally, the only empty seat up front near the stage was the second one at his table. Coming to a stop next to that chair, she gripped the edge of the wine-colored leather, praying she didn’t faint from nerves.

There was no way she could sit. She was already going rogue with being out in the club on a Friday. She felt Petey’s gaze on her back and saw the other bouncer, Big Mike, clenching his hands and watching her from the front entrance, and knew as sure as she was breathing that Asher was counting backward from a hundred before he barreled his way over there to rescue her.

The problem was, Sienna wasn’t acting on her own volition. Something altogether new was driving her.

Animal instinct.

Sienna made her own rules for a reason, and her most important one was staying safe and off the floor on weekends, when the club was filled to the max with adoring fans. Yet here she was, standing out in front, pretending to watch Petal and Sydney while a man stared at her profile. A man she wanted.

She wasn’t even sure what “wanted” meant, but there was some strange desire burning inside her. A fire whipped through her entire body, setting a blaze to her heart and sending tingles to the area down below, barely covered by the tiny scrap of pink lace.

Unsure of herself, she gripped the chair for balance, and had nearly convinced herself to walk away when she heard a deep
hello
directed her way.

A response bubbled up in her throat, but when she glanced at him and his intense dark gaze snared hers, she wasn’t able to get it out.

The music that pounded loudly around them seemed to fade away, the people surrounding them becoming suddenly insignificant, and the cavernous room shrank until it was only him, only her, just the two of them left in the universe.

Sienna gave a small nod and smiled back.

“Well,” he said slowly, “I guess I’m pretty damn lucky, Sienna Flower…” He ran a hand through his hair, obviously not knowing how to finish his sentence.

She ripped her gaze from his and gave herself permission to quickly check him out a little closer. Sienna guessed him to be almost forty due to the touch of gray at his temples, although his body said mid-thirties. His hair was cut short on top, just long enough for natural waves to form, and left a little longer on the sides, enough to curl around his ears. She couldn’t help but wonder what it would feel like to run her hands through the thick black ripples.

BOOK: Electrified
5.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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