If love were by design, p.27

If Love Were By Design, page 27


If Love Were By Design

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  “Great. I left the girls with the parents. This is nice to get away. Thanks for doing this. I think I needed it.” Nora said. “Hi, Veronica.” Nora grinned.

  They all greeted each other and made small talk while waiting for bags. Colin, Travis and William talked about how good it was to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Vegas again, as they had the year before. “Well, once again we’re arriving in style.” Travis said when they all got into the limo. “You don’t do anything low–key, do you William.”

  William shook his head. “Not me.” He said and pointed to Colin.

  “Don’t blame, Colin. You would have gotten one, anyway. I heard all about last year.” Nora said and laughed.

  “Last year was a blast!” Travis said.

  “Last year was insane!” Colin added. “I have never been that drunk before or since.”

  “And hopefully you never will be again.” Nora scolded as she queried, “Was it you who jumped from one balcony to another thirteen stories up?”

  “That would be Brice.” Travis said.

  “Who lost a half million at a poker tournament in one hand?” Nora asked.

  “Colin.” William said grinning. Colin smiled and shrugged as if it was nothing. “But it wasn’t one hand. I thought he was going to win there for a while too, but he lost half of it in one hand, and went all in on the next. Then he was out.”

  “Sometimes I’m lucky, but most of the time I wouldn’t bet with me. Unless you have money you can afford to lose.” Colin said and laughed.

  “No, I’ll always place a bet with you.” William said.

  “It’ll end up costing you.” Colin warned him. William shrugged, saying half the fun was losing.

  “And who got sick after drinking an entire gallon of milk?” Nora asked.

  “William!” Both Travis and Colin said at the same time.

  “It was a dare! I can’t back down from those. And I didn’t even drink it all.” William clarified. “I couldn’t.”

  “I’ll tell you what. The first thing I do after checking in and putting on a dancing dress is burning through a hundred bucks on roulette.” Kimmy announced. “Anyone can lose money with me, if they want!”

  “Oh, I’ll join you!” Nora said. “In fact, us three girls should hit the bar and then meet up with the guys later. It’ll be fun that way.”

  “Yeah!” Veronica said. “We should meet you three on the strip, and we can walk around and buy those long plastic cups of alcohol I heard about. I want one.”

  “But you three can’t be jumping off balconies.” Nora said, laughing. Then she eyed Colin until he promised to be safe.

  “I won’t!” Colin said, beaming at her. “I like that you’re worried about me though.”

  “I didn’t say that.” Nora retorted. “I’m looking at you because you’re sitting next to me. I can’t help it.” Colin grinned.

  “We won’t be crazy.” Colin assured her.

  “I’m not making any promises. I’ve done nothing but study and work for months. I’m going to have fun, and if I’m a little crazy I’m sure no one will blame me. But I’ll wait until we meet up again before I’m too crazy. Okay, Baby?” Kimmy asked and quickly kissed Travis.

  They pulled up to the hotel and checked into four rooms. William and Veronica were next to Kimmy and Travis, and Colin and Nora had separate rooms across the hall. “Kind of lucky you could get these rooms on such short notice.” Veronica said as she changed into black, designer pants with a pink blouse and matching scarf. She wore calf–high black boots that were comfortable, which is why she packed them. She could easily walk around in them for days.

  “Oh, it’s not luck. I booked six rooms last year to make sure I got them, but last year I came with a lot more people.” William said.

  There was a knock on the door, and Veronica answered it. Kimmy walked in. She had already changed into a silver dress. “Let’s go get Nora.”

  “Okay. I’ll get my purse.” Veronica said. William handed it to her. “Thanks.” He quickly embraced and kissed her.

  “Do you have your cell phone?” He asked and she took it out of her purse. “I’ll call you then. When should we meet back up?”

  “What time is it?” Kimmy asked.

  “Three.” William said.

  “Okay, how about five o’clock. We can all have dinner.” Kimmy suggested.

  “Perfect.” William said. He kissed Veronica one last time, and walked her to the door. Travis and Colin were waiting in the hall with Nora. They were all ready to go.

  They split up, and the three girls went down to the slots. “Should I buy us a round of drinks?” Veronica asked.

  “I’d love a Cosmo.” Nora said.

  “Me, too!” Kimmy said.

  “I’ll meet you at the roulette table then.” Veronica proposed, and she went straight to the bar. It was early for drinking, but it didn’t matter at this point. They had been drinking all day, and up since the early hours of the morning. She ordered three Cosmopolitans and waited. She drummed the counter with her fingers as she impatiently passed the time.

  “I’ll have a whiskey on the rocks, and whatever she’s having.” A man said to the bartender. He turned to her. “What are you drinking? Let me get it for you.”

  “Sorry.” Veronica said and held up her hand to show him her ring. “Someone already get’s all my drinks.”

  “Well he’s not here, and this is Vegas. Rules don’t apply in Sin City.” He said and smiled at her.

  “I got it.” A man said from behind Veronica. He touched Veronica’s back, and she turned around to see Colin. Colin was looking at the man who was sitting next to her, and then he took his seat when he left. “He can’t leave you alone for a second, can he?” Colin asked with a smile. “Nice rock, by the way. When did that happen?”

  “Christmas.” Veronica grinned.

  “I’m surprised Nora hasn’t noticed.” Colin said. He paid for the drinks when Veronica got her three Cosmopolitans, and asked, “Can I get a whiskey sour, and two rum and cokes. Actually double that order.” He dropped a couple more twenties.

  “Well, I’ll see you in a bit.” Veronica said. “Thank you for the drinks.”

  “Congratulations.” Colin said. “You make him happy, you know. I’ve never seen him this happy. And I’ve known him a long time.”

  “Thanks.” Veronica said. “If you knew me, you’d be saying the same thing.”

  “I don’t know you that well, but I can tell you are, too.” He smiled. “Anyway, we’ll be in the bar if you want more drinks.” He pointed to a table in the back corner. Travis was talking animatedly with William, and they both laughed a second later. Veronica smiled seeing him happy. She couldn’t help but smile. She loved him.

  “Nora has the next round. I’ll let her know.” She said to Colin. Then after a quick goodbye, she left.

  When she found Nora and Kimmy they were still waiting to get onto a roulette table. She came over with drinks. “We had to cash in my money for chips.” Kimmy said. “Oh, thanks.” She took a long sip of her drink.

  “We got you some, too.” Nora said while handing a few chips to Veronica.

  “I feel lucky! Today is my day.” Kimmy exclaimed. They all moved forward from a small line that was made around the table. It was finally Kimmy’s turn to play. She clapped her hands with excitement, and then placed a bet of twenty dollars and guessed a number saying, “Three,” when the dealer said to place their bets.

  The white ball was spun in the opposite direction that the wheel was turning. They watched it jump around. The ball bounced a few more times until it came to a rest. “Oh, my gosh!” Kimmy squealed. “I won!” She laughed and then bet all the money feeling encouraged. She guessed, “Seventeen.” Once again the ball looked like a rock skipping on the water as it rebounded from number to number, until it finally came to a halt. “I can’t believe it! I told you I’m lucky!” Kimmy took a sip of her drink as if it would help her concentrate. “Okay, everything on twenty–one.
” Kimmy said. All three of them, Kimmy, Veronica, and Nora held their breath. The ball seemed to move in slow motion.

  “If it makes it that would be the craziest thing!” Nora said almost too pained to look.

  Suddenly all three of them screamed. The ball landed on twenty–one. “No way!” Veronica yelled!

  “Okay, so can I choose a color now? Is that how it works?” She asked the dealer.

  “You can. I can double your money if you get the right color.” The dealer informed her.

  “Okay, everything on black.” Kimmy said.

  Kimmy was once again right. She bet a few more times until she won over $4K. “I think I should go play dice.” Kimmy said almost in a daze.

  “You have to tip him with a chip.” Nora said. Nora gave the dealer one of hers and thanked him. He nodded. “You are going to get us kicked out if you keep winning like this!” Nora laughed.

  “It’ll be worth it!” Kimmy said, grinning.

  “It would, wouldn’t it?” Nora said and laughed.

  “So you want to play craps?” Veronica asked.

  “Craps is the dice game?” Kimmy asked.

  “Yes.” Nora said.

  They walked over to the table to play, and when it was their turn Kimmy bet half her money. Nora who seemed to know a little about craps had given a brief tutorial on the game while they waited to play, but when Kimmy placed her bet Nora didn’t hesitate to say to Veronica, “Put your money on the Pass Line.” They both put half their money on her bet as well, and to their amazement Kimmy once again won by rolling an eleven. “Shut up!” Nora said.

  “Um, what do I do?” Kimmy asked Nora.

  “I can’t remember. I think you’re supposed to roll sevens. Or roll until you hit a seven.” Nora considered it a moment before adding, “Like I said, it’s been a while.”

  “I’ll put my money right there, where it says seven.” Kimmy said pointing to the table. She asked if she could put all her money onto the seven. They had to wait to get permission.

  “Are you sure you want to do that, Kimmy?” Veronica asked her. “I think the odds are super low! That isn’t what I meant.”

  “I’m sure.” Kimmy said. “I feel it.”

  “I will, too then.” Nora said. The dealer took her chips and placed it at the table. Veronica reluctantly did the same.

  “I’m so nervous!” Kimmy said. When she had permission for the bet, she closed her eyes and rolled the dice. There was an explosion of screaming from everyone around the table. Kimmy opened her eyes and looked like she was about to faint.

  “Okay, you should quit and cash in your chips, or we’ll get kicked out!” Veronica said, giggling.

  “One more time, on the sevens!” Kimmy said. Nora and Veronica weren’t as gutsy. They backed out. Kimmy had Veronica and Nora blow on her dice. She tossed them down the length of the table. Kimmy screamed as the dice rolled. Then a second later, as the dice rolled a three and a four, everyone cheered and patted Kimmy on the back. Kimmy covered her face to laugh. She did it! She rolled seven!

  “Yeah, I think I’ll cash out.” Kimmy announced and tipped the dealer. She took her chips and they all went to cash in, all while in a daze. Her winnings were so large the casino wrote her a check.

  “I have never won anything.” Veronica said joyfully, but she managed to win almost two hundred dollars. Nora won four hundred, and Kimmy won thousands.

  “I’m buzzing from that win. I want to take this check up to my room. I’m going to pay off my schooling! I’m buying us all drinks, too, while we walk around.” Kimmy said. “Should we meet in that bar?”

  “Okay.” Veronica said.

  They separated. Nora and Veronica went to the bar and sat at the booth. The guys were no longer at their booth. Nora quickly asked, “Oh, they were down here?”

  “For a little while. Not long.” Veronica guessed.

  “Which means they probably had a drink, took shots, and are now walking around Las Vegas buzzing. I hope they don’t do anything stupid!” Nora said and laughed. “Not that William would do anything . . .”

  Veronica waved a hand. “You don’t have to say that, I know. If the worst he does is drink milk until he throws up, we’re fine. That’s nothing.” Veronica laughed, Nora didn’t. Nora was staring at Veronica’s hand. Nora looked up to her. Suddenly Nora jumped on her, and flung her arms around Veronica’s neck.

  “You make him so happy! If that were all I knew about you I would love you for it. But you two are great together. You’re amazing!” Nora squeezed her. Veronica laughed. “I love you like a sister, already. I’m serious!”

  “Thanks.” Veronica said. “Colin said the same thing.”

  “Did he? He knows? He doesn’t miss anything.” Nora said. “Did you tell our folks?”

  “No. It happened Christmas Day.” Veronica said.

  “Good thing I went to my folks for Christmas or he would’ve been so nervous he probably wouldn’t have done it. He’s chocolate, seriously. Sometimes, I don’t know who is worse, him or Colin.” She laughed. “He would’ve been a total basket case if I was there.” She laughed again, “I’m so happy! This is great, my baby brother getting married! I need this. I’m really happy for you two!”

  “Thanks.” Veronica said grinning.

  “Can we get two more Cosmopolitans? Three, actually.” Nora said to the bar tender. She giggled when she saw Veronica’s ring again. She picked up Veronica’s hand and jested, saying, “That thing must weight a ton!” They laughed.

  “Four carats.” Veronica divulged. “It’s the car William was going to get me.” Nora laughed.

  “Thanks.” Nora said, and paid the bartender a little extra for a tip. Nora pushed a drink over to Veronica. Veronica took it and drank. “That puts my old wedding ring to shame.” Nora laughed. “If I ever get married again, I’ll buy my own ring, and get one as big as yours. That’s so beautiful. And a heart, too, that’s so cute. William is right, you are sweet.” She changed the subject; “I bought a pair of your shoes the other day, by the way. I love them.”

  “Did you? You should have told me you wanted a pair. You wouldn’t have had to buy them. I gave Kimmy a pair for Christmas—that and a purse. I could even make you a pair. It might take a while, though.” Veronica said.

  “Oh, no, I’ll buy them. I placed an order for another pair, anyway. I really liked the shoe that had all those straps like belts.” Nora said.

  “Yeah, I like that one, too.” Veronica said.

  “Okay, what did I miss?” Kimmy asked running up to the bar out of breath.

  “Veronica and William are engaged!” Nora said.

  “I found out on the plane.” Kimmy said with a grin. “I admit I’m kind of jealous.” Kimmy laughed. “Did you see Travis’s reaction? What, get married? What is that? Who does that, anymore?” She laughed, “I’ll be sixty by the time I get married.”

  “William seems to think you two will be married within a year (seven months now), and in Vegas of all places.” Veronica said with a laugh.

  “Really?” Kimmy asked, looking at her curiously. Kimmy took a big gulp of her Cosmo and once again shivered. She quickly took another. “Drink, girls. Let’s guzzle these, and go outside. I want a big drink, and walk around.” Kimmy said. She shivered after taking another sip. “Wow, okay, that’s strong.”

  They all quickly drank their Cosmopolitans, and left the hotel.


  Veronica was officially drunk, and it was only five o’clock. Kimmy, Nora, and Veronica were making their way back to the hotel to meet up with the guys. She had a text from William asking them if they were hungry, which they weren’t because of all the alcohol. Nevertheless, they decided to meet outside the front doors of the hotel. Travis was looking drunk and in high spirits when they saw all three of them again. The first thing he said was, “I won fifty grand playing craps.”

  “I won thousands, too! I’m going to pay my schooling!” Kimmy said, and giggled. She threw her arm
s around Travis and kissed him.

  “It must be our day.” Travis said and grinned, and Kimmy agreed.

  “I lost about a grand.” Colin said. “Seriously, I’m jinxed, so don’t bet with me.”

  “William lost all his winnings that way, and after that he quit.” Travis said, laughing.

  “I’m better at poker.” William shrugged, and then added, “We should walk this way. We already came from the direction you three walked up.”

  “Let’s go.” Nora suggested. “Oh, wait, William, congratulations!” Nora hugged him. She said something in his ear that made him smile and nod.

  “Thanks.” William said and then smiled at Veronica. He thanked Nora again, before she let go. Nora beamed at him.

  They walked down the strip. Travis and Kimmy held hands and talked excitedly about their good luck. Veronica and William walked with Nora and Colin. They walked slowly so they could window–shop, and they bought more tall drinks and nursed them.

  “It’s insanely crowded. I forgot how many people come here for New Year’s Eve. What are we going to do at midnight? Stay out here, or go back to the hotel?” Colin asked.

  Travis and Kimmy turned around to answer that question, “We are going to the chapel and getting married at exactly midnight.” Kimmy announced.

  “What?” Everyone asked simultaneously.

  “Doesn’t that sound like fun?” Kimmy asked.

  “They’re thinking it’s crazy! But today is our day.” Travis laughed before adding, “Don’t look so shocked. Lots of people do it.”

  “Yeah, celebrities and weirdoes.” Nora jested. “Can I be in the wedding?”

  “Yes! Veronica can be my maid of honor and you can be my bride’s maid. I’m so excited! This is going to be so much fun!” Kimmy said with a grin. She screamed and then jumped on Travis and kissed him.

  “That leaves you as the best man.” Travis said to William as Kimmy attacked her new fiancé with kisses.

  “I can walk her down the aisle.” Colin suggested.

  “That’s perfect!” Kimmy said.

  “So, let’s go. I’m too excited to hold still, now.” Travis said.

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