I left the desk with a new pep in my step. It was approaching two in the morning, but I was far from tired, and still not feeling settled the way I normally did. Underneath the shallow excitement of my win, my mind was still clouded with stress. Deep down, agitation still soaked my spirit.
As I turned the corner, my eyes fell on the long bar that took up most of one of the casino walls, backed by a huge aquarium full of exotic fish. My gaze hung there for a moment, following a purple-bodied fish with delicate pink fins that ruffled and trailed behind it as it moved gracefully through the water. The fish was beautiful, but following it with my eyes led me to something much nicer to look at.
We were separated by maybe twenty feet, but I could tell there was something dark in the glass in his hand. He was draped over one of the seats at the bar, completely casual, relaxed, like he owned the place as he sipped his drink and looked around. Even with him sitting, I could tell he was tall, and the way his shoulders filled out that jacket… Jesus.
My feet started moving before my brain caught up.
I weaved my way through the crowd, doing my best to stay out of his direct line of sight. It wasn’t until I was a few feet away that he glanced in my direction, and his eyebrows lifted in recognition.
His eyes did an appreciative sweep of my body before they returned to my face, making me wish I had chosen something sexier for work that day. I wanted him drooling over me, fantasizing, barely able to keep his hands to himself.
I wanted… him.
“Changed your mind?” he asked, then raised his glass to his lips to drink. “You come to give me a chance to redeem myself?”
“Absolutely not,” I said in my lower, more seductive “work” voice, slipping onto the barstool beside him. I angled my body toward his, reducing some of the space between us. “I’ll buy you a drink though.”
His mouth curved into another one of those dimpled smiles, giving a boyish edge to his face. “Buy me a drink, huh?”
I shrugged. “Yeah. You’re not one of those men, are you? So steeped in traditional gender roles that you can’t accept a drink from a woman?”
“Not at all,” he chuckled, moving closer to me, enough that the warm, spicy-clean scent of his cologne wrapped around me, stimulating my senses. “I actually happen to appreciate an audacious woman… especially one who can see right through my best attempt at a bluff.”
I didn’t correct him. Why on earth would he need to know that I hadn’t seen through it, and was just out there playing for my life in that hand? Instead, I offered a sexy smile, and crossed my legs, a motion that his eyes followed.
“Well… here I am.”
His gaze flicked back up to mine. “Yes you are. What’s your name?”
I shook my head. “I prefer not to say.”
“Where are you from? How long you been playing poker?”
“Neither of those things are your business.”
“If you don’t tell me anything, how am I supposed to get to know you?”
“Right. That’s the point.”
“Why is that the point?”
“Why isn’t it?”
I grinned at the little tinge of frustration that crossed his face before he grabbed his drink from the glossy, tempered glass surface of the bar and took another sip. The feeling that had swept through me as I approached him sitting at the bar hadn’t left – if anything, it was stronger. Sitting here with him had me ready to indulge a need that hadn’t been met in more than six months, since I’d started my full position at Dream.
Maybe that would give me the relief that the poker tables hadn’t.
“So… I’m going to get right to the point. Okay?” I put my hand on his knee, biting the inside of my lip as I pushed it up his hard, powerful leg to reach his thigh. I kept moving, squeezing my legs together when my fingers brushed another part of his body.
“Damn,” he chuckled, covering my hand with his, and keeping it in place. “I can’t even get the drink you offered first?”
I grinned. “Well, you could…”
He gripped my hand a little tighter, looking me right in the face. Those deep, dark eyes of his were burning with a level of desire that made a shiver run up my spine. “Or?”
I nodded a little, then leaned in close enough to speak into his ear. “I have something else in mind.”