Inside Bet [Vegas Top Guns, Book 2]
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by Katie Porter
Category: Erotica/BDSM Erotica/Romance
Description: Zero to kinky in 3?2?1? Vegas Top Guns, Book 2 As junior partner of an accounting firm, Heather Morris is at the top of her game. Her straight-laced colleagues wouldn't believe the secrets she hides: her wild teenage past, work-of-art tattoo and nipple ring. Her orderly life veers off course when she's approached at a wine tasting by an arrogant pretty boy with a dirty mind and a hardcore dangerous profession. She finds herself tempted to step outside her respectable facade for some well-deserved excitement. Captain Jon "Tin Tin" Carlisle knows women. Loves women. One glimpse of the nipple ring under Heather's conservative blazer lights up all his instincts. He's stumbled upon a rare treasure: an exotic beauty with a sexy laugh and a taste for dares. After a red-hot hour of roulette, their simmering attraction bursts into an exploration of mutual passion that tests even Jon's erotic limits. Soon he craves something he's never desired before. More. But for Heather, more means trusting, and trusting leads to trouble. Now Jon must decide if the best sex of his life is worth chancing his heart on a woman who shields hers so well. Warning: Contains hot power play featuring a fighter pilot who comes from old money but knows all about bringing the dirty. Also: a nipple ring, sex on the hood of a hella sweet sportscar, and one teensy, tiny, wickedly naughty fluid exchange.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2012 2012
eBookwise Release Date: October 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [420 KB]
Reading time: 250-350 min.
"Tell me it's not bad news."
Heather Morris eyed her friend but found no reason to hope. This didn't look good.
Jenn slid her cell phone shut. "It's bad news."
"Well, unlike last time, there's no hospital involved. But I'm afraid our plans for the night are DOA."
Disappointment slinked between them and the good time they'd just been enjoying. The Magazine was a fabulously cool wine bar off the Strip. People with more money than sense had turned out for the bar's inaugural "Curiosities" tasting, which promised samples of exotic vintages from each continent, including a batch that had been aged at a research station in Antarctica. Another label from Malaysia boasted a pinot noir with the added healing powers of python venom, rendered inert by the bottling process.
Heather had planned to skip that one. But who could turn down the chance to taste a Tuscan merlot fermented in 24-karat-gold casks?
Jenn Kimble was the wine correspondent for an online culinary blog. She'd been the one to secure tickets, which included a complimentary sample of each selection. Then, just for fun, they were off to a new Spanish tapas place called La Rocca where reservations required a three-month wait. In appreciation, Heather had left her accounting firm two hours early to treat Jenn to a salon visit. They'd giggled like young girls, anticipating their big night out--the first they'd been able to wrangle in two months.
But now it seemed another family emergency would intervene.
"Mylie can't stay with the kids past nine because her dad can take her to the gymnastics meet after all." Jenn waved her phone. "That was Rich. I thought he was just checking in to say he'd arrived, but his flight's been delayed in Atlanta. The safety lights on the aisle aren't functioning, so they have to board another plane. Of all things!"
Heather grimaced. "And now he won't be back in time to relieve Mylie."
"Call someone else," Heather said, a smidge too desperately. "Anybody. Their school janitor if you have to."
Twenty minutes passed as Jenn tried every number in her arsenal while Heather eyed The Magazine's aggressively nouveau decor. The floor-to-ceiling windows, minimalist steel fixtures and bare light bulbs hanging from strings of braided copper wire seemed the perfect sort of bizarre place to let loose.
But it was after eight on a Friday night. At such short notice, finding a sober tourist would've been easier than finding a babysitter.
"No luck," Jenn said at last.
Heather knew her friend's disappointment would well outpace her own. After all, Jenn had two preschoolers and a husband who traveled a hundred days a year. "I'm sorry, honey."
Jenn shrugged. Her gleaming blonde hair was a crime against sisterhood, especially when it was done in a princessy updo. "It was just for work."
"No way. Don't pull that with me. I know how much you were looking forward to this."
"Well, yes." Jenn let out a faint sigh. "But at least you'll be here."
"I'm not staying at this freak show if you're not here with me. Who will I point out train wrecks to? That dress, for example." She nudged Jenn, who glanced toward a woman standing at the bar. A gold lame corset over a poofy pink lace tutu was never, ever appropriate. Except, apparently, in Vegas.
Jenn chuckled. "Double damn," she said again, more wearily this time. "Don't have kids, my dear."
"Hush. You love them."
"Okay, fine. Don't have kids until you can afford a full-time nanny."
"I'll get right on that. Maybe I can bet my retirement savings at the casinos."
"Beats the stock market." Opening her purse, Jenn rummaged until she found a pad of paper and a pen. "Take this, would you? I need six hundred words for my column tomorrow. Just take some notes on the snake venom and the Antarctica thing--the really novel ones. I already have enough about the bat-shit-crazy atmosphere."
Although Heather took the pen and paper, she wasn't ready to give up on her friend. "Are you sure? I can go relieve Mylie. You have work to do here."
"I appreciate the offer, sweetie. I do. But I haven't seen Rich in four days. That means when he finally gets home and the kids are snoring, I'll get laid. Probably very well." She kissed Heather on the cheek. "You stay here and go hunting."
Heather laughed outright. "Sure thing."
"I'm serious." She slipped a magenta wristband off her slender wrist and handed it over. "Give it to some halfway-normal guy and get blazing drunk."
"I don't get drunk and I don't pick up random guys."
"Are you sure you were young once?"
You have no idea.
Not even Jenn, her closest friend since moving to Vegas, had a clear picture of Heather's wild youth. Like everyone, she believed Heather to be the straight-laced Assistant Director of Internal Auditing of Hanover Financial Logistics. All true. But that hadn't always been the case. No one realized that being the only daughter of a sergeant major in the Army was shorthand for "spent my youth partying like a preacher's little girl on spring break".
The wildest part of Heather's current life was the fact Hanover specialized in casino accounts. That was enough for her mom, who continued to believe working on casino spreadsheets and quarterly reports was the same as hanging with Wayne Newton and the Osmonds.
Living in Las Vegas did, however, have interesting advantages. The Magazine was a case in point. If it could be done at all, it could be done bigger and better in Sin City. And all without the restrictions of good taste.
She waved her farewell as Jenn wiggled out toward the street-facing exit. It was entirely unjust for a mother of two to be so thin. Working out five times a week was the best Heather could manage to keep her curves from turning to saddlebags and a muffin top.
She found a table by herself. The waves propelling her evening had reduced to a flat calm, leaving her oddly restless. When the first sample was delivered by a waitress wearing an electric-blue sheath dress, Heather decided to enjoy the experience. Nothing lost.
She took a hesitant sip. Although loathe to pay $7,500 a bottle for the world's highest altitude wine, she found it imminently drinkable. In responsible memory of poor dear Jenn, she took diligent notes as another two samples arrived.
"Is this seat taken?"
Looking up, she found a pleasant surprise. A very pleasant surprise, truth be told.
A man in a smartly tailored three-piece suit stood with his hand on the back of the other chair. The pose and the suit, together with his trim physique, created a rather dashing picture. He had presence. Maybe even grace.
He was also young. Not young enough to make cradle-robbing jokes, maybe mid-twenties, but with an extra dash of boyish sweetness to his features.
That is, until he smiled.
Goose bumps dotted Heather's arms. Something about that smile, so slow and controlled, completely belied his youthful looks--while revealing an adorably sexy pair of dimples. Unbelievable.
He licked his lower lip, leaving his mouth slightly parted.
That did it.
"Help yourself," she said.
She watched him out of the corners of her eyes as he sat. Propping his ankle across his knee, he settled into the chair. But he didn't slouch. His odd grace meant square shoulders and a straight spine.
"So, what've I missed?"
Heather consulted her notes. "The world's highest vintage, the only vintage to be personally approved by the Crown Princess of Sweden, and one flavored with espresso."
The young man made a face. "Toute la nuit longtemps?"
"That's the one. What does it mean?"
"All night long." He offered a subtle sneer. "That stuff is a crime against tongues."
She didn't know which affected her more--that he automatically knew the name of a rare vintage, or how his mention of tongues dragged her attention back to his mouth. What would it take to get him to smile again? She hadn't felt that particular rush of oh, hello in ages.
And the French. God. Even if he was just a practiced wine snob, his low voice made love to each syllable.
"Would you like a wristband?" She assumed a guy so young wouldn't have five hundred dollars to blow on a wine-tasting event.
But he surprised her again by pulling back his cuff. There on his wrist, nestled next to an exquisite Omega dress watch, was one of The Magazine's wristbands.
"I've never been a fan of kitsch," he said, frowning at the tacky magenta thing. "But I'll endure just about anything for novelty."
The oddly suggestive timbre of his words had Heather shaking her head. He had some nerve. She'd give him that. But his Omega and fine wool suit forced her to reassess her initial impression. Either he came from money or tried very hard to look like it. In Las Vegas, one could never be sure.
Heather couldn't decide whether she wanted him to stay or hit the road. He perched smack between unsettling and interesting.
"You're here alone?" she asked.
Once more he unfurled that slow smile, dimples and all. The effect was elemental, like being chilled by the wind or warmed by the sun. This time Heather's physical reaction wasn't goose bumps but the subtle tightening of her nipples. His dark, narrow eyes crinkled at the edges, as if he knew what she was feeling.
"We'll see," she managed to say.
"Actually, I only stopped by to thank you."
He angled that slinky gaze toward her cleavage. "For being so generous."
The camisole she wore wasn't exactly revealing, especially not when topped by a cashmere blazer, but any time her bust line met with silk and lace, men drooled. Or...appreciated, as this one seemed to do.
Ha. Man. He was a snot-nosed punk who thought he could drop sexy innuendos and keep up with a woman who'd learned hard lessons about slick bastards.
Heather leaned against the table, intentionally posturing to give him a better view. "You're an arrogant little prick, aren't you?"
"It's not little," he said. "My prick, that is."
A clamped-down part of her unexpectedly relaxed. Why wasn't she creeped out? Or laughing her ass off? Either reaction seemed more appropriate than wanting to tell him to prove it.
The waitress returned, that electric-blue dress leaving nothing to the imagination. The young man, however, only took his eyes off Heather to pick up the latest wine sample. Rather than savor and consider the bouquet, he downed it in a single gulp.
Heather found herself staring and unwilling to stop. The contrast between his pale skin and dark eyes was striking. He had dark hair too, buzzed short with almost military precision. That certainly didn't fit with his suit or his smooth, angelic features, but the contradiction was delicious. No telling what was true and what was utter bullshit. He probably knew as much, using it to his advantage over unsuspecting females.
Heather wasn't unsuspecting. But she wasn't immune, either.
He matched her aggressive posture. His straight back made him look continuously eager. "No answer to that rather forward comment. I'm disappointed."
"Silence or derision were my options. It's too early in our acquaintance to discuss the size of your prick."
"I don't think that's true," he said. "I'm Jon, by the way. What's your name?"
"You don't look like a Heather."
"Sorry," she said tartly. "What do I look like?"
He tilted his head. She felt...assessed. Keenly aware of herself as a woman. Because of him. "More exotic. Definitely more curvaceous. Evangeline, maybe?"
Heather shivered. She was getting ticked off at this Jon character. He said everything like a dare. And it had been years since she'd been the reckless soul who indulged in dares. They always got out of hand. The hurt was never worth the risk, especially now that she had a career worth protecting.
"Sorry, no such luck," she said, trying to stay casual. His eyes weren't letting that happen. "Just the hazard of being born a girl in 1981."
"How about your middle name? Any better luck?"
He feigned the disappointment of a near-miss. "Oooh, another strike. You only have one more chance."
"So if my last name is Poots or Fusty or Hogblossom...?"
"Then I'm afraid my appreciation of your breasts will be the closest we get to carnal knowledge." He shrugged. "Standards, you see."
"My last name? Carlisle."
"It is, isn't it? But quid pro quo. Your turn." His voice was surprisingly low for someone so young, a soft rumble that tickled under her skin.
"And the damsel is saved," he said with a grin.
"You approve?" Heather almost frowned. Where the hell had that breathy question come from?
"Very much." Jon Carlisle picked her hand off the table and kissed her knuckles. For the briefest moment, she'd been sure he would bite instead of kiss. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Morris."