Vegas baby, p.1

Vegas Baby, page 1

 

Vegas Baby
 



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Vegas Baby


  Table of Contents

  Vegas Baby

  Prologue

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-One

  Chapter Thirty-Two

  Chapter Thirty-Three

  Chapter Thirty-Four

  Chapter Thirty-Five

  Chapter Thirty-Six

  Chapter Thirty-Seven

  Chapter Thirty-Eight

  Chapter Thirty-Nine

  Chapter Forty

  Epilogue

  Teachers’ Pet: An MFMM Romance

  Claiming Cinderella

  Filthy SEAL

  Mr. Perfect O

  Pretend Daddy

  Double Dare

  Copyright © 2018 Amy Brent – All Rights Reserved

  Vegas Baby

  A Bad Boy’s Accidental Marriage Romance

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  Prologue

  ~Nicole~

  I’m sorry for the difficult situation you’ve ended up in, but I don’t quite see what you want me to do about it.

  I looked at the letter with bloodshot eyes, my hands shaking a bit. With rage or with hurt, I didn’t know.

  You’re a grown woman, so I’m sure you can figure out a solution. Until then, I need to focus on my own career. I wish you the absolute best, but I think we should keep our distance until this blows over.

  I couldn’t believe it. But then again, I was always everyone’s second choice. From the day I was born, those who were supposed to care about me the most had been tossing me aside; their second-rate obligation.

  Well that was fine. I would survive on my ow- No. I would flourish. That would show them.

  Crumpling the letter up, I got on the bus with suitcase in hand, and I never looked back.

  Chapter One

  ~Nicole~

  “Thank you so much for answering all of our questions, we’ll give you a call soon to let you know what we’ve decided.”

  “Thank you,” I said, standing and offering my hand. “I very much look forward to hearing from you.” Except they weren’t going to call me. I knew it, my interviewer knew it, and I was sure the woman at the front desk knew it.

  “No problem. If you want to step outside, the receptionist will show you out.”

  “Of course.” I gave them a polite smile, trying not to let my expression falter until I was back outside at the relative safety of the bus stop.

  I had been doing great, answering all their questions sincerely and I had the relevant experience, but the entire interview I could tell that something was off. Most likely they had already hired their quota and were just interviewing me as a backup if someone didn’t show up.

  Dammit!

  I’d been trolling around Vegas for two weeks and I didn’t even have a place to live yet. And I couldn’t find a place to live without a job. Sure, maybe I could have planned my departure from my hometown a little better, but I didn’t see why that was interfering with people wanting to hire me. People moved, didn’t they? All the time!

  Well, I could always be wrong. Maybe they would call me in two days and give me the job offer. But I doubted it. After so many interviews, I had managed to get a sense of when I was gelling with the interviewer or not.

  I sighed and checked my watch. I still had one more meeting before I could run away to my hostel for the night. If there was one thing I was grateful for in this entire situation, it was cheap boarding in the city.

  But money was running out and I couldn’t stay there forever. I needed a job and I needed it ASAP. Sure, I was saving tons by having a track phone and only riding public transportation, but I needed more money in and less money out.

  I just had to cross my fingers and hope that the next interview would be the one.

  I looked at my phone again. I could still just barely connect to the café’s wifi that was at the corner of the street. Pulling up the bus schedule, I had about a half an hour wait until my ride came.

  Well, that was no problem. After living in the frigid Northeast for so long, I was happy to just sit out and soak up some sun.

  But not without proper protection, of course. I pulled out some sunscreen from my purse and slathered my shoulders, my knees and my shins, which were all of my general burn zones. Unfortunately, I did have to leave my face bare, as I had been allergic to sunscreen there since I was a wee little girl.

  It was not a pleasant experience discovering it, believe you me, but I had quickly learned to never put anything with an SPF on my face again.

  Instead, I relied on big, floppy hats, which I promptly pulled out of my bag after replacing the sunscreen. Looking around, I found a nice tree to sit under on one of the medians in the parking lot and went about people and traffic watching.

  Vegas certainly was different from home, but that was what I was looking for, wasn’t it? Something so far away and so different that nobody could know who I was or the baggage following along behind me.

  When I had first arrived, I had imagined neon everything. And while I hadn’t been entirely wrong, the farther away from the strip one traveled, the more everything just started to look tired and desert-like.

  Not that that was a bad thing. The tiredness told a story. Ones of gambling and mobs and dreams both conquered and dashed. This was the kind of place someone could fall in love with or be crushed by. I just hoped that I was the former.

  The people were something else too. So many tanned, toned bodies, and people who seemed to already look like movie stars. While I knew I was no ugly duckling, these people made me feel frumpy, pasty and awkward.

  But that was okay. The last thing I was looking for now was a relationship. But I couldn’t help but think that, once I was gainfully employed, that I might dye my hair a crazy color like all of the unicorns and mermaids all around me.

  At least my skin color wasn’t what made me stand out. After growing up in a small, Podunk town in the middle of nowhere, being half Asian had made me stand out almost as bad as ‘that one black kid’ that was at our school for one year before transferring. But in Vegas… well everyone was a different color and no one looked twice at the mixed-race woman getting on the bus.

  Speaking of the bus, I was pretty sure that I saw my number rounding the corner. Had it been a half hour already? Time certainly flew! I felt like it was the first break that I had gotten all day and it was over.

  Oh well, all of the nose to the grindstone business would pay off when I had a job and an apartment. I just had to tough it through the uncomfortable parts.

  And if there was one thing I knew about myself, it was that I could tough out pretty much anything on my own. A lesson I had learned as a child, and I hadn’t forgotten it since.

  ***

  I looked up and down at the ramshackle building in front of me. Latching onto the wifi of the nearby M
cDonalds, I double checked the address and saw that yes, indeed it was.

  “That doesn’t bode well…” I murmured to myself, pacing back and forth in front of it.

  The windows were all beige with dirt and the venetian blinds were either crooked or broken. The front door had no sign and there were only two cars in the parking lot.

  …Oh dear. I knew that this couldn’t be good, but what choice did I have? Sighing, I opened the front door and headed in.

  Only to find no one inside.

  There was a front desk, alright, but it was completely empty, and there was a nice layer of dust all over everything. I walked around the room a couple of times and everything looked unused and incredibly old.

  “Ah! May I help you?”

  I nearly jumped out of my skin and whipped around, my heart in my throat. I saw there was a man standing at a door at the other side of the room, a sleezy car salesman smile on his face.

  “I’m here for an interview.” I said, regretting the words as they left my mouth.

  “Ah, yes! Nikki, right?”

  “Nicole.” I corrected.

  “Nicole, of course, I should have remembered! Right this way.” He gestured for me to follow him down the hall and I did, wondering if this was how I got axe murdered.

  He led me to an office that was almost as dusty as the front area, and the chair I sat in was creaky as all get out. It was about as uncomfortable as I could physically get without being directly attacked, but I pasted on my customer service smile and readied myself for the questions.

  “So, is the call center at another location?” I asked, looking around. I could already tell there wasn’t one here. There was no humming of the servers, or sounds of workers, or even toilets flushing. And call center employees took a lot of bathroom breaks. It was the only way to escape the monotony of taking call after call on a headset with people who forgot that you were human.

  “Great question!” Double uh-oh. “In the modern word with email, texts and social media, we realized the call center set up was inherently dated. So, we decided to throw the old paradigms away and start up entirely new!

  “You see, if you want to stand out nowadays, you have to stand out. And we think the best way to stand out is to meet face to face with our consumers! Connect with them on a personal level, you know?”

  I looked flatly at him, smile sliding from my face. “This is a door to door sales gig, isn’t it?” I asked dryly.

  “Oh, I can understand why you might think that from the outside looking in, but I think you’ll find that we’re tightly knit family hoping to expand our communities into-”

  There were a lot of sucky things in life I could tolerate but being duped for an interview was not one of them. Man, I should have noticed all the red flags, but I was so desperate…

  “Thank your time, but I’m not interested in canvassing or door to door sales.” I stood up and offered my hand, only for the man to start blustering.

  “We’re really not-”

  Ugh. I could see that he was still trying to pull the wool over my eyes and slide that sales grease all over me. If there was one thing that I had learned in my year and a half of call center work, there was a good way to sell things and a bad way, and this guy was screaming the bad way.

  “You have a good day now.” I said, dropping my hand and turning around to leave.

  I was able to find my way out, the man following me the whole time and telling me that I was making a mistake, but I ignored him.

  He was lucky I didn’t pop him one. But thankfully, I had gotten most of my temper issues out when I was a young kid who was tired of being called racial slurs on the playground.

  By the time I made it to the door, he was screaming at me that I would regret my choice, but I was so done. Rage and disappointment mixed inside of me, making me more nauseous than anything else.

  Walking back over to the McDonalds, I logged into their wifi and checked the bus schedule.

  “Well isn’t it my lucky day,” I groused to myself, seeing there was going to be an hour and a half until a bus came by that I could take to another bus before finally getting to the neighborhood where my hostel was.

  Or… I could take a bus in fifteen minutes right down to the strip and get drunk in a casino bar just for being there.

  …that was a good way to accidentally spend too much, but honestly, I needed the break.

  Treating myself to a cold glass of water and the cheapest food item they had, I headed back to the bus stop.

  I could start everything over tomorrow. For tonight, I just wanted to forget.

  Chapter Two

  ~James~

  “I’m gonna get so wasted tonight!”

  “Calm down, Jake, we’re going to a magic show. You don’t want to be messy.”

  “Yeah, why the hell you chose to go to a magic show on our first night in Vegas is beyond me, Missy.”

  I listened as the ten people in the limo with me bantered about. They were my top sales people from the past quarter, and they were certainly a lively bunch.

  Then again, I knew that. While my company had just hit our first billion in profit in a fiscal year, we were still small enough where I knew all of them, their names and their quirks.

  Perhaps it was a waste of resources to take my board and my top ten to an all-expenses paid, three-day getaway to Vegas, but we had earned it. We had been working so hard for so long, I had to do something amazing to reward them.

  Of course, part of that had involved a contest where the first place person got to pick what show we went to on the first night and the second place winning on the second night. Melissa Decanther had blown everyone away, winning the chance to choose for our premier night in Vegas.

  Unfortunately for some of our group, Missy was a magic enthusiast. She adored everything mildly hocus or pocus and when she found out one of her favorite magicians was going to be performing, she claimed that faster than a wildfire in California.

  Personally, I couldn’t care less. If I didn’t like the show, I could just slip down to the casino and have some fun. I was in the mood to go with the flow and have some fun; I wasn’t going to be particular about it.

  We arrived and pulled into the valet lane to get dropped off. We lucked out that there was room at the hotel connected to the casino where the magician was performing, and I booked all of my top earners fairly nice accommodations while I bought myself one of the most expansive suites with my own money.

  I honestly never would have thought that we would come so far in such a short amount of time. My business had been an idea for nearly a decade, but only up and running for three years. We had spent fourteen months completely in the red, so the thought that twenty-two months later we would be in our first billion of pure profit was insane.

  I felt no shortage of pride as I watched them all hid in. I took up the end of the procession, preferring to watch over them like little ducks parading through the hotel.

  We had our own guide waiting for us, one that I had made my secretary set up and everything. I had offered for her to join us as well, but she had declined as she would prefer to stay out of the city of sin. I, of course, thought that was ridiculous, but I didn’t tell her as much.

  “Hello!” The guide said, walking right up to us like she knew us. But I supposed that was her job. If I recalled right, my secretary had sent pictures of all of us as well as mini-bios with all of our likes. “How were all of your travels?”

  There was a murmur of generally positive phrases, and her smile just grew that much more broad.

  “Fantastic! Now you all arrived fifteen minutes before schedule, so that is fantastic! If you want to follow me to the bar, we’re whipping up the favorite drinks that were included in your profile, and then we’ll head to the show, where you’ll be in some of the best seats in the house!”

  “Oh my God!” Missy cried, jumping up and down. “I’m so excited, like so unbelievably excited. You don’t even know.”

  “Boy
, I know.” Vanessa said from the middle of our gaggle. “You wouldn’t shut up about it the entire flight. I could literally recite every single thing you know about this stupid magician in alphabetical order.”

  “Come on, I wasn’t that bad!”

  “Guys,” I said, cutting in. They all fell silent, surprised by my interjection. I was told I had that sort of effect on people. I wasn’t sure if it was because of my height, my broad frame or my deep voice, but whatever worked, worked. “I think the guide is waiting to get us those drinks.”

  “Oh, right…”

  They fell in line after that, and we walked over to the oversized, overwrought and overly lit bar that took up nearly an entire wall of the casino. It was styled to be retro, with plenty of attractive workers to sate people’s thirst with their specialty drinks.

  Casinos were funny that way. There was a whole slew of alcoholic beverages that they gave out for free; with a dozen or so servers walking across the floor offering them on the regular. These were to make sure people stayed tipsy or drunk, because inebriated people always spent more than they should.

  But on top of all those free libations, there were drinks you could pay more for. These were usually top shelf alcoholic drinks, or one that required a ton of ingredients. And, of course, every bartender’s worst nightmare: the mojito.

  I had made sure to buy us a package that included unlimited signature drinks however. Sure, it had been a pretty penny, but what was the point of making money if you didn’t spend it? Nothing. I was born without it and I would die without it. It wasn’t like I had any kids to pass it on to like my own Dad had.

 
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