Doctor’s Orders: Prologue
Las Vegas, a year earlier
I shouldn’t have answered the call. I should have let it go to voicemail and enjoy my time with my mother in Auburn Springs.
But I did, and after listening to my panicked boss begging me to go to the Las Vegas conference in his place, here I am two days later—the job done, by the way—but needing something to do before I get on my flight for New York in the morning.
I should head back to Auburn Springs and resume my vacation, but after securing the account here in Las Vegas, I want to get the thing started. After all, it’s my biggest account so far and I want my name on it even though I have a suspicion that my boss will take all the credit like he does everything else.
Still, I can’t think about that right now. I need to, at least, enjoy myself. So far, I’ve been nursing the same drink for the last hour while watching some sports team I don’t recognize on the big screen.
I’d been looking forward to see the hottest show in town but it’s sold out. Not a single seat available unless I want to pay ten times more than what the ticket costs if I go with scalpers hanging around outside the hotel. So much for a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to see my favorite band perform but there’s no way I’m throwing away money like that. Maybe when I get that corner office, I won’t think twice about dropping a few thousand dollars for a seat, but until then, I’ll have to come up with something else to entertain myself with for the night.
I could wander along the Strip and check out the sights but I don’t want to be in another crowd of people, not after spending the last two days inside the convention center. I just want something low key for the rest of the evening. Maybe it’s not too late for me to check out that circus act across the street. It’s supposed to be an adult version of their usual shows that run throughout the year and considering it’s been a while since I’ve seen rock hard abs in person, I might as well give it a try.
I down the last of my drink and swivel out of my stool. My elbow suddenly hits something cold and hard, knocking a man’s drink from his hand, its contents spilling all over his shirt and trousers.
“Oh my God! I’m so sorry!” I grab a bunch of napkins from the bar and make a sad attempt at patting his shirt dry. But it’s useless. His drink must have been full for it’s soaked through his shirt, revealing a hard set of abs.
“It’s okay, Miss. Really, it’s fine,” he says, his hand gripping my wrists as I pull away, embarrassed. Did I just pat down his crotch?
“I’m really sorry.”
As he tells me again that it’s okay, I’m struck by his blue eyes. They’re gorgeous. No, he’s gorgeous. The whole package. The abs. The slim hips and toned thighs, evident from the soaked fabric of his trousers.
“I’ll have someone clean this up,” a server walking by says as she hands him a few cloth napkins. “I’ll be right back.”
“Oh, God. I feel so bad,” I mutter under my breath as he dabs his shirt and the front of his trousers with the napkins. “I hope this isn’t going to make you late for anything.”
He shakes his head. “Nah, considering how my day’s going, this is probably the most excitement I’ve had.”
I laugh. “You’re in Vegas. How can you not have fun?”
“When you see your ex-girlfriend kissing your best friend,” he says wryly.
“That’s not cool… at all.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.” He shrugs again. “But what can you do, right? We did break up a month ago so she can see whoever she wants but my best buddy? No wonder he’d been avoiding me this whole conference.”
“You said it.”
I hold out my hand. “I’m Ava, by the way.”
“Parker.” He grips my hand in a firm handshake. “What about you? Were you going somewhere? You seemed like you were in a hurry.”
“In a hurry to go nowhere,” I say, chuckling. There’s no way I’m telling him I was going to check out some adult circus show to ogle abs. “What about you? What were you going to do?”
He pulls out a pair of tickets. “I was just on my way to the ticket counter to give one of these up. Figured someone out there would be interested. But with all the people hanging out in the main corridor, I thought I’d take a shortcut through the bar and… well, here we are.”
My eyes widen when I see the tickets he’s holding. “How can you give those tickets up? That’s the hottest show in town.”
“No shit.” Parker laughs. “I bought them a few months ago when my girl and I were still together. I don’t mind seeing the show alone but I’m sure there’s a waiting list of people who want a seat.”
“Hell, I want one and I’m willing to buy it off you,” I exclaim.
He looks at me, his eyes narrowing. “Seriously?”
I nod. “I was just at the ticket counter and they said it’s sold out. I mean, people are selling them for so much more so I’ll understand if you’d rather do that.”
Parker shakes his head. “I don’t care about the money, but if you really want to see it, we can see it together. And no, you don’t have to pay me anything.”
I stare at him, looking for signs that this guy is pulling my leg but he’s actually serious. So serious he even hands me the ticket. “At least let me buy you a drink or something. Or maybe even a late dinner.”
Parker grins as he looks at the soaked shirt that’s clinging to his unmistakable six-pack abs. “Since the show starts in half an hour, why don’t I change into something dry and meet you down here? You can buy me a drink after the show.”
I nod. “That’ll work.”
He winks playfully. “Although this time, I’d prefer not to wear it.”
* * \\*
After the show, we find a dark corner at the hotel bar. We haven’t stopped gushing about the show, both of us unable to stop talking about the songs that took our breath away.
Sweet Emotion. Love in an Elevator. I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing. I still can’t believe I got to see the show and that I saw it with someone as wonderful as Parker.
As the server comes back with our drink orders, I realize I’ve never had this much fun in my life. Maybe it’s the thrill that comes with hanging out with a gorgeous stranger. We’ve also graduated from the hey-let’s-hang-out phase and we’re currently deep in the I-can’t-keep-my-hands-off-you part of the evening. Maybe it was the songs being played, the emotions each one brought out of us, and the fact that tonight is the first night of the band’s Las Vegas residency and so, the energy in the auditorium was just out of this world. Or maybe it’s because Parker had front row seats and we even got to stand right in front of the stage screaming our hearts out.
I’ve never had this much fun in all my twenty-seven years. Add the way Parker looks at me like I’m the sexiest woman he’s ever met, and I’m putty… and horny as hell.
I don’t even care if I’m imagining it all, not when his fingers playfully draw circles along my shoulder as he asks me what I do for a living and I tell him that I’d rather talk about what I’d like to do to him before the night is over. When he leans closer to ask me exactly what it is I want to do to him, I tell him.
“I want to see if those rock hard abs of yours are real,” I murmur. “But first, I want to start with this.”
And that’s when the kiss happens. One minute, we were sitting in a dark corner at the hotel bar and the next, we were in his hotel room where I get to see and taste Parker’s rock hard abs (and more).
I don’t even care that I’m totally like a wild woman around Parker, eager to try everything I never got to try with anyone else before. But it’s not like I’ve got a reputation to protect. Right now, I’m just one of the millions of people in Sin City getting laid.
Besides, as they say in Las Vegas—what happens here stays here—and that’s exactly how this will go.
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