Tonight. Nana Malone

Tonight - Nana Malone

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to steady her. Big mistake. Touching? What kind of idiot was he? But even though his brain gave the command, he didn’t let go. When he managed to force the words out, they tore from his chest. “You okay?”

      She nodded but didn’t move for several breaths. Every sharp inhale brought her butt into tighter contact with his throbbing erection. Torture.

      She turned in his arms, glancing at him from half-lowered lids. “Yeah, fine. Thanks.”

      Something was wrong with this picture. Her pupils were dilated and her voice was breathy. Her tongue peaked out to moisten her lips and he bit back a groan, promptly letting go of her waist. She wanted him too.

      * * *

      Syn could ignore him. Hell, she would ignore him. It couldn’t be that hard. Never mind that she’d been locked in a flying tin can with him for the better part of an hour from Los Angeles to Vegas and his subtle musky cologne had started to weaken her defenses.

      The blinding lights of the Strip dragged her focus from him as the limousine turned toward the hotel. “Wow.”

      “You’re screwing with me.”

      When she turned to face him again, Tristan was staring at her. “What?”

      “You look like you’ve never seen the Strip before.”

      She shrugged. “That’s because I haven’t.”

      “How is it that a woman named Syn has never been to Vegas? Surely you’ve had some debauched girls’ weekend or something.”

      She set her jaw. There wasn’t a lot of time for fun weekends when she had her sister to look after. “I’m always working. One of these days I’ll come just for fun.” Yeah, like when she didn’t have to worry about Xia’s tuition.

      “It’s a shame. Even you have to have fun sometime.”

      Her mouth dropped when they pulled up to the circular drive of the hotel. Decadence really had pulled out all the stops. The driver opened the door for them, and Synthia stared up, speechless. Thankfully her brain automatically shifted into work mode, and she turned on record on her phone so she could make impromptu notes as they went.

      Behind her, Tristan chuckled. “I bet you were one of those nerdy girls who sat up front and took careful notes, weren’t you?” His breath whispered on the back of her neck and she shivered.

      She gave him a bland smile over her shoulder. “I’m surprised you were ever in class long enough to notice them. Didn’t they excuse jocks from class in your college?”

      He smirked. “I was Honor Society, actually.” Then he shrugged and added, “And quarterback.”

      She rolled her eyes. “Of course you were. Look, let’s just stay out of each other’s way while we’re here. I’m sure that will be easy enough. I’ll do my thing and you’ll do yours.”

      “Fine by me, Princess. And if you need me for anything at all...” He slid his gaze over her, lighting little blazes everywhere his gaze landed. “Just look for where there are people having fun.”

      “I won’t be looking for you.”

      He smirked. “Sure you won’t.”

      The gold-ribboned black marble reflected the light from the hanging chandeliers in the lobby. Synthia looked up and the crystal shimmered with rainbows of bounced light. Given the sheer number of guests for the grand opening, it should have felt crowded, but the lobby still seemed expansive, yet somehow warm. Greek gods of old were carved into the expansive pillars lining both sides of the lobby, and a massive statue sat in the center with an ornate water fountain surrounding it. Thanks to the lights in the fountain, the water appeared a deep burgundy color. As if mimicking wine. Maybe the center figure was supposed to be Bacchus, the god of wine and intoxication. She snuck a glance over at Tristan and he grinned. Of course. This was exactly his kind of place. There was an energy and a humming vibe of life that probably spoke to someone like him.

      There were several sitting areas decorated with understated opulence. The furnishings were modern and simple, but the rugs were Aubusson and as decadent as the hotel’s name would suggest. The clientele was classy, wealthy. Clearly had money. But they were young. Tallying the average age of the guests milling around the lobby, she would have said no more than thirty-five. They were young with disposable income. These were not the young family types, though. More like young professionals looking to unwind.

      Bella Bliss really had pulled out all the stops to get the lowdown on her competition. Syn and Tristan had VIP access to tonight’s opening of Excess Club and Lounge. Synthia had never been to Las Vegas before and even she had heard buzzing of the new, about-to-be-it bar. Rumor was tonight’s event was supposed to be star-studded with movie stars.

      Synthia wasn’t usually one for parties, but she was actually looking forward to it. If she was lucky, she might have a celeb sighting. Xia would be pea green with envy. Not her thing, personally, but she told herself she owed it to her sister to at least try to enjoy the experience even though she was stuck with Tristan.

      At the check-in desk, she handed over her ID. All she wanted was a hot bath and a chance to get to work in some peace and quiet. First things first, she’d ask for a tour of the rooms, then get a hold of the concierge and make nice. She already had her cover story. Looking for an upscale bachelorette weekend venue. That should get her access to all the ballrooms and conference rooms.

      The pretty blonde behind the reception desk smiled at her warmly. “Welcome to Decadence. I hope you enjoy your stay here.”

      “Thank you.” She smiled. “I’m sure I will.”

      From beside her, Tristan stared. “Is that a Synthia Michaels smile? I’ve heard tell of such a thing, but you know I’ve never experienced it for myself, you see.”

      “I smile. Just not at you.”

      He just laughed.

      The blonde handed over her keys. “There are two keys in here for you and Mr. Dawson. If either of you should lose these, just come back to the front desk and we’ll replace them free of charge. Since your room is one of the penthouse suites, you’ll take the private elevator, located...”

      Synthia blinked. “Wait a minute, did you say the keys for me and Mr. Dawson?”

      The blonde nodded.

      She shook her head vehemently. “Oh no, there must be some mistake.”

      On this, she and Tristan were united. He dropped his voice low and leaned forward. The poor girl behind the counter didn’t have a chance. Synthia knew how hard it was to concentrate with those electric-blue eyes pinned on you. “Now, what did you say your name was again?”

      The woman licked her lips. “It’s, um, it’s Lisa.”

      He turned the charm up a notch. “Pretty name. Listen, I think there’s been a mistake, Lisa.” The way he said her name sounded husky and seductive and the poor girl flushed bright red.

      Synthia barely managed to refrain from hitting him. After all, her future rested on his ability to flirt their way into two rooms.

      Lisa gave a nervous smile. “I’m sorry, but you’re booked in the south-facing penthouse suite. It’s got a great view of the Strip.”

      He frowned and leaned in even more as if they were conspirators and he didn’t want anyone hearing their conversation. “I think we’re supposed to have separate suites.”

      Lisa shook her head, wavy locks swinging over the shoulders of her jacket “I’m sorry. I wish I could move you, but it’s opening weekend. We don’t have anything else available.”

      Not happening. Synthia needed space from Tristan, not more alone time. Alone time was trouble. He’d already gotten a glimpse of her emotions when he looked into her eyes as he’d helped her with the suitcase. He’d known then. No doubt he’d use it to his advantage.


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