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I’m being watched. I can feel it.
Relaxing at the hotel’s poolside, Elisa can’t shake the feeling that someone is
looking directly at her. She peeks over her sunglasses and tries not to look paranoid as
she investigates who may be checking her out. Everyone else around the pool is minding
their own business. But still, she can feel it. She looks up from her lounge chair, scanning
the hotel’s balconies, and her eyes immediately land on the balcony outside one of the
hotel’s enormous suites on the top floor.
She sees him, tall and dark, leaning over the balcony rail. He’s looking away, but she
knows it was him watching. She pushes her sunglasses further up on her nose and turns
back to her iPad. A moment later, she glances back up, careful not to move her head. She
knew it – he’s looking right at her. She smiles, not minding the attention.
Hell, if he’s going to look, I might as well give him something to look at. She gets up
from the chair and removes her wrap and sunglasses, showing off her bikini and perfectly
toned body. Pulling her long dark hair into a ponytail, she slowly walks over to the pool.
Diving in, she makes long, graceful strokes to the other end of the pool. She looks up
again when she comes up from the water and he’s no longer there. Guess the show’s
over. She chuckles as she gets out of the pool.
Some time later, Elisa returns to her room to get ready for the evening. Her phone
rings just as she’s getting out of the shower. Seeing that it’s her husband, she quickly
answers before it goes to voicemail.
“You know, I ought to wring your neck for sending me here alone,” she says into the
phone, her eyes narrowing slightly.
“Elisa, I promise I’ll be on the first flight out as soon as I get this worked out.
Besides, I know you can keep yourself busy with all those stores in walking distance,”
“I suppose I can make do,” she responds with a sigh.
“You can more than make do, woman,” he laughs, seeing right through her lonely
“Just get here soon, okay, Ryan?”
“Of course. When I get there, we’ll spend the whole day together. Just you and me.”
“Until you get called away on business again. Or you get into a two hour conference
“Elisa, babe, don’t be like that.”
“I could’ve stayed at home if you were just going to work the entire time or put me
on the flight by myself. I could’ve had Desi tag along.”
“Elisa, you know this is a big deal for me.”
“They’re all big deals, Ryan.”
“I only work this hard to give us the best life possible.”
“I’m good with the life we have now.”
“I don’t want to argue with you, babe. I’ll make it up to you when I get there.”
Elisa rolls her eyes. This isn’t the first time he’s done this. Their trip to Las Vegas to
attend the wedding of one his college football teammates is their first out-of-town trip in
months. But the morning they were to fly out, he got called in to handle some urgent
business on his latest project.
“Sure,” she says, not interested in fighting with him either.
“Elisa, have I ever broken a promise to you?”
“I wouldn’t let you,” she replies, her lips curving up slightly.
“I know,” he chuckles. “I’ve got to head back to this meeting. I’ll call you later,
They disconnect the call and Elisa sighs once more before tossing the phone on the
bed. As she continues to get dressed, her thoughts go back to the man watching her from
his patio while she was at the pool. She can’t help it – she likes that he was watching. It’s
good to know somebody still notices her. She wonders if she’ll see the mystery man
again, if he is as good looking up close as he appeared from far away. She couldn’t make
out his face, but she knew he was some kind of handsome. She pulls out the dress she
bought earlier that morning. She planned on wearing it when Ryan got to town, but if she
waits for him to get a free moment to take her out, it will just collect dust with all the
other unworn date night dresses in her closet. Might as well wear it now. She checks out
her reflection in the mirror once the dress is on, slipping into a pair of coordinating shoes.
The dress is a perfect fit, hugging her curves in all the right places, its emerald color
bringing out her butterscotch-hued skin and brown eyes.
“Yeah, I’ve still got it,” she says to herself.
Elisa grabs her purse and heads downstairs to talk with the concierge about where to
have dinner. Walking past the slot machines, she hears her name. Turning, she comes
face to face with Carson Royal sitting at the bar.
“Good evening, Senator,” she greets him. With a muscular build, deep brown eyes,
and smooth chocolate skin, he is considered one of the sexiest state Senators not only in
the state of Michigan, but in the country, according to the media. His charm and
approachability to the public make him extremely popular with his constituents.
Especially the female demographic. And Elisa is no exception. From the moment Ryan
had introduced them, she was intrigued by him. The way he carried himself, the way he
walked, dressed, spoke. He commanded attention from everyone the moment he walked
into a room. Even now, in the flashing lights and bells of the slot machines, she notices
people looking in their direction.
“Oh, come on Elisa, you know we’re too cool for formalities,” he says with a smile
that would make any girl melt. He gets up and gives her a huge bear hug, her feet slightly
airborne. His strong, muscular arms around her send chills down her spine. Once her feet
are back on the ground, it takes a moment before she lets go of his arms.
“Where’s my boy, Ryan?” he asks, making a motion for her to sit down in the chair
“Back at home. He had some business to take care of,” she tells him. “He insisted I
come out anyway since we were already at the airport when he got called to the office.”
“So you’re here by yourself?”
“That I am,” she replies nonchalantly.
He doesn’t speak right away, just looks at her with intensity in his eyes. Just like
many times in the past, she wonders what it would be like to be with him. Just for one
night. And now, here he is beside her. Once is all she’d need. But he’s married. So is she.
Maybe in the next lifetime.
“Elisa?” Carson says her name, breaking her trance. He smiles again, “Did you hear
“I’m sorry. I guess I was thrown off by the slot machines.”
“I asked if you wanted anything to drink.”
She smiles, “Sure, that’d be great.”
After she orders a pomegranate martini, he says, “I was saying I hope he’s not
delayed too much longer. The fellas are supposed to get together tomorrow.”
“Trust me, he won’t miss a chance to get together with the old crew,” she says,
referring to Ryan’s group of former football teammates, which includes Carson. She then
asks, “How’s your wife?”
“She’s good. She’s at home.”
“She passed up a trip to Vegas?”
“Yeah, she’s got Foundation business to attend to,” he explains. Well respected in
her own right, Carson’s wife is from an extremely affluent family well known for their
philanthropy in their hometown of Grand Rapids. She plays a key role in the family’s
foundation. Just then, the bartender returns with their order. They sit in silence for a while
longer as they start on their drinks.
“So you’re alone?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Well, isn’t that a coincidence?”
“No such thing. Only space, time, and opportunity.” He looks at her again with the
same intense look. She instantly knows what’s on his mind, and it’s more than the
conversation they’re having. Instead of returning his stare, she looks away and takes
another sip of her drink.
“So tell me, where are you off to this evening?” he asks a moment later.
“Not much. Just dinner.”
“Yes. Did you forget I’m married to the hardest working man on the planet? I’m
starting to get used to a table for one.”
“Well, you look amazing.”
“Thank you. Can’t let a good dress go to waste sitting in the closet.”
“You can catch a lot of attention in that dress.”
“Good or bad?”
“Depends. What kind of attention do you want?”
“Depends on who’s giving it to me.”
He chuckles before taking a sip of his drink. She reaches into her martini glass and
pulls the cherry out by the stem. Putting the cherry in her mouth, she sucks on it a
moment before pulling out the stem. From the side of her eye, she catches the longing
gaze he’s giving her. She finishes the remainder of the drink.
“Well, thank you for the drink, but I should get going,” she says as she slides out of
Carson catches her hand, sending yet another chill through her. He doesn’t let go and
she doesn’t bother to pull back.
“Tell you what, since you’re already dressed up for a night out, why don’t you hang
out with me? I was given tickets to a really good show,” he says, reaching in his suit
pocket. Pulling out a small envelope, he hands it to her. She looks at the tickets, then up
at him. “Isn’t taking these kinds of gifts frowned upon in your world?”
“I won’t tell if you won’t.”
“My lips are sealed,” she says, her amber-shaded eyes staring right into his.
“Anyhow, as you can see, there’s an extra here. I’d hate to see it go to waste.”
“That would be bad.”
“Yes, it would.”
She takes another moment to consider it. Not just the show, but also the possibility of
what could happen between them after the show was over if they keep this up. He doesn’t
belong to her, but there is something about him that she craves. Space, time, and
“So what do you say? Join me for the evening?” he asks.
“Okay,” she agrees. “Why not?”