ACE:Las Vegas Bad Boys(3)

By: Frankie Love


“Hey, you take your work seriously, not going to fight you on that,” he says, raising his hands in defeat, a smile pressing across his face again, like he knows something I don’t. “But before you go, what’s your name?”

“Emmy,” I tell him. “Emmy Rose.”

I hustle away, tray in hand, and make it into the kitchen without falling over my own two feet. Because even though I just walked away from his offer, I don’t want to trip on my ass in front of him.

I hope he’ll remember my name and look me up later.

When I’m not at work.





2





EMMY


I drop the tray on the counter in the kitchen where we refill our drink orders. Ugh. Sometimes I have my shit together, and other times, I am just a complete wreck.

There is nothing I wanted more than to allow that hallway stranger to take me to a hotel room and have his way with me … because I am just plain tired of running at this speed. Work. Hospital. Bills. Work. The hamster wheel is spinning so fast, I just want to crawl into bed.

With that guy.

Well, honestly, any guy—but, after being stopped by that man, my sights are a little higher than normal. He was so fucking hot.

“Hey, you okay, chica?” Claire asks, coming up behind me, surprising me. “You seem all flustered.”

“I thought you would’ve left already for your date?” I sigh, sort of jealous that she’s going out on the town while I’m working. Even if it is a supposedly high-end gig tonight. “Where is your date taking you?”

Claire pulls out a compact and applies bright red lipstick. It looks great with her platinum hair. She’s a total Marilyn Monroe: light skin, lighter hair. She even has a perfect upper lip beauty mark. In her white mini-dress she’s a dream.

She’s one of the rare Vegas women who are never fazed by money or fame. Her date tonight is a local guy, a modest employee at a car dealership who bowls. At like, a bowling alley.

“I know. I’m late. We’re going off the strip, obviously. We’re getting pizza at Tommy G’s.”

“Yum,” I say, nearly drooling, thinking a thick slice of pepperoni pizza sounds amazing right about now. Since getting this job, I’ve been conservative with my calorie intake in a way I’ve never been before. There is no room for a pizza-belly in this one piece.

But Claire can pull it off. She can pull anything off.

“Thanks again for covering me tonight,” she says, squeezing my bare arms. “I know Carla is all intense about it, but don’t let it bother you.”

Carla’s the lady in charge of this gig. She’s intense about everything, so Claire’s advice is solid. “No pressure,” I say, thinking for the ten thousandth time in the past five minutes how I actually want to get the pressure off.

“Hey, before I go, did you hear back from the detective?” Claire asks. “Any news?”

She’s asking about my sister’s case. We still don’t know who was driving the car she was in the night of the crash. The night she went into the coma. She was a passenger, and the driver fled the scene. I’ve been waiting two months for some sort of lead.

Of course, it would be easier if she was awake.

“Nope, but what’s new? He’s been such a flake. I just wish I had real money to hire someone who could take care of things for me. I’m so over my head.”

“Okay, well, keep me posted. Text me tomorrow—we both have the day off, right? We could do brunch?”

“Yeah, I have tomorrow off. I’m going to the hospital, but I’ll text you and we can meet up.” I smile at Claire, grateful I’ve met someone in this town who isn’t trying use me. I have an ugly history with guys who aren’t so nice … right now I only have time for friends who have my back. “And Claire, thanks for asking about my sister. It means a lot to have someone in my corner.”

“Hey, that’s what we girls gotta do.” Claire kisses my cheek, and I’m sure she’s left a bright red lip mark. “Oops,” she says, pulling away and grimacing. “You should probably wash that off before you go to the poker room. Carla says this party is as high-stakes as it gets.”

“I hope I don’t trip in these fucking heels,” I say. “I need a foot masseuse like nobody’s business. I don’t know how you’ve worked here for four years. Four weeks, and my body is begging me to get hired as a receptionist.”

“It gets easier, and the money is better here than an office job,” she says. “Anyways, about this gig, apparently the game happens once a month. Carla was pretty private and hush-hush about the players, and she’s gonna be pissed I’m not there … but no worries. Act confident and don’t let her intimidate you, okay?”

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