Vegas love, p.1
Vegas Love, p.1Part #1 of Love series by Jillian Dodd
Table Of Contents
About the Author
Copyright 2015 by Jillian Dodd
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, distributed, stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, without express permission of the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Jillian Dodd Inc.
N. Redington Beach, FL
This book is for my partner in crime,
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Jillian Dodd is the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Keatyn Chronicles series and the That Boy Trilogy.
She grew up in Nebraska, where she developed a love for storytelling, Husker football, and Midwestern boys.
She currently resides in a small Florida beach town.
A Good Idea
I'm eating a healthy lunch on set and trying to avoid my asshole co-star, Kenton Mills, who I hear saying my name.
I cringe when he sits down next to me.
"I'm just not feeling the emotion from you in the scene we rehearsed today. Have you considered taking more acting classes? We have to constantly hone our craft."
Why did I ever agree to do this movie? I want to blame my agent, Cade Crawford, but I can't. On paper it was a good idea to bring this comic book classic to life and have the Academy Award winning, method actor Kenton playing the role of the scientist who discovers a strain of mutant genes and tracks down six of us with the mutation. We are freaks of nature living in hiding except for my character, who is bold, anti-establishment, and pretty much doesn't give a shit about anything. But it's the scientist's dream that we can band together and use our special talents to protect the world. He's brilliant, eccentric, calls himself Dr. G, and calls us the Gene Force, like we're superheroes instead of a bunch of freaks. Of course, throughout the story, each character grows and eventually we do join forces to save the world from the evil, bad guy. There are lots of stunts, amazing makeup, and numerous special effects. And my character can fly, which is pretty freaking cool.
With the money the studio is putting into it, I know it will be a box office success.
But whenever I see Kenton's face, I have to remind myself what I'm getting paid.
It's surprising that Kenton would agree to play a role he seems to think is beneath a serious actor such as himself.
I was nothing but nice to him when we started filming.
Now I dread coming to work because Kenton doesn't like me. He doesn't like how I spend my free time and how I'm always in the press. But when you're dating Zach Ellison, the oldest brother in the hottest boy band on the planet, keeping a low profile is practically impossible.
I hold my tongue to keep from telling the asshole that last time I checked he wasn't the director when my phone vibrates in my hand. No name pops up, but the number looks familiar, and I'd rather talk to anyone than him.
"Excuse me, Kenton, I need to take this," I say politely, walking away and answering my phone with, "Hello."
"Hey, darling," a familiar voice says.
"What do you want, Luke?"
"I miss you."
"You miss me? I haven't heard from you in over a year--when you walked out on me."
"I'm sorry, baby. I let fame go to my head."
"Don't fucking call me baby."
"Ash, really. I miss you. Can we have lunch or something? I want to apologize for--"
"Um, no, Luke, we can't. I don't ever want to see you again. You're an ass and you know I'm dating someone."
"I don't think he's the right guy for you, baby. We were good together."
"If we were good together, you wouldn't have left the way you did. Oh, and sorry to hear your last album was a flop. That must really suck for you."
I hang up--fuming--and immediately text my best friend, Harper.
Me: Guess who just called me? Luke. WTF?
Harper: What did he want?
Me: He said he misses me. Wants to apologize.
Harper: More like his last album bombed and he misses the publicity. What did you tell him?
Me: To go fuck himself.
Harper: Good for you. He's an ass. So, can you believe in less than two weeks you will be standing up for me at my wedding?
Me: I know! I'm so excited for you. Are you ready? All the planning going okay? Are you sure you don't want a bachelorette party?
Harper: I'm sure. You had a lovely bridesmaid luncheon for me. That's all I wanted. I'm sort of over the whole go to Vegas, get drunk, see male dancers thing. Speaking of Vegas. Aren't you going there with Zach this weekend?
Me: Yes. I think he's going to propose.
Harper: Really? Wow.
Me: You seem surprised by that--but, I gotta go. Makeup is calling me. Talk to you soon!
While I'm getting wings attached to my back, which is a process that takes about an hour and a half, my mom calls. I don't answer, because she only calls me for one reason--she needs money.
Me: Hey, Mom. I'm at work, so I can't talk right now. Is everything okay?
Mom: No. Everything is not okay. My rent check bounced and now my landlord says he's going to kick me out of my apartment.
Me: He can't kick you out just because your rent check bounced. Wait, why did it bounce?
Mom: The bank screwed up again. I need more money.
Me: Mom, what did you do with the money I sent you this month? It went into your account just five days ago. Are you telling me you've spent it all?
Mom: My car broke down again.
Mom: I don't need your goddamn lectures. I just need more money or I'll be living on the street.
Me: How many months rent are you behind?
I shut my eyes tightly, refusing to shed a tear. Instead, I text my manager, Bart.
Me: Can you please move more money into my mom's account?
Bart: She just got her monthly stipend.
Me: Apparently, she needs more.
Bart: How much this time?
Me: Four month's rent, she says.
Bart: We need to talk about this.
Me: We also need to talk about breaking my lease on the house I'm living in. I really want to buy my own home. I think it's time.
Bart: Your lease isn't up for a while. Once it is, then we'll talk about the next step.
I roll my eyes and don't bother to reply. We've been talking about the next step for almost a year. But then I feel guilty. I live in a gorgeous Malibu beach house. I should be happy the
But I'm not.
And I really don't know why.
Your Plus One
"She's giving me fuck-me eyes. I'm gonna make my move," Jared says, referring to the hot girl he's been drooling over since we got to the club.
As he starts to rise, I push his shoulder back down. "Don't."
"Why not? She's hotter than hell."
"Let her come to you."
"What if she doesn't?"
"Trust me on this."
"Fine. Whatever. So, hey, next weekend, I think we should go to that music festival. Lots of alcohol and free love to be had."
"Love is never free," I say, teasing him. "You should know that after dating Prada Pauline."
"She was certainly willing to let me spend my hard-earned money on her, but I cut her loose when she started going on about the C-word."
"Commitment, dude. I'm not ready for a house and the white picket fence just yet." He glances in the direction of the big-boobed girl again. "Too much fun to be had. So, should I get us tickets?"
"No, I have a wedding to go to in California."
"Family friend. Maddox Harper."
"The running back? Are you serious? He's marrying that hot-as-hell supermodel." He slaps my back. "Can you imagine how hot all the bridesmaids will be? Not to mention the guest list. I've always dreamed of being backstage at a Victoria's Secret fashion show. I bet that's what the wedding will be like."
"Except they'll have their clothes on."
"Dude, you have to take me. I'll be your plus one."
"It's a small wedding."
Jared picks up his beer and pouts. "You're gonna get laid by some gorgeous model, and I'm going to be stuck here." His eyes wander back toward boob girl.
"Stop looking at her. It makes you look desperate," I tell him.
"Did you see the tits on her? Hard not to stare."
"She looks like a mis-formed Barbie doll. Like someone blew her boobs up just to see how big they could make them without her toppling over."
He glances at her again. "Remember when we were freshman and how I was obsessed with titty-fucking?"
I laugh out loud. "Remember when you"--I laugh harder--"and Megan . . . Shaney?" I grab my drink napkin to dab my eyes, I'm laughing so hard--because we both remember.
"Dude, it was one of my proudest moments. I couldn't wait to tell everyone that I titty-fucked and gave a girl a pearl necklace all at the same time." He chuckles. "It had the makings of an epic sexual tale."
"Until . . . Until . . ." I can't even say it. I'm hysterical.
"Until she went fucking ballistic!"
"Might have helped if you had prepared her for it. Because then when she . . . She . . ." I can't stop laughing.
He laughs harder too. "Yes, she grabbed me by the dick and lead me down the dorm hall."
I double over with laughter, so clearly seeing it in my mind. His skinny, naked, white ass being lead by his dick on the way to the communal bathroom.
"Dave and I were sitting on the floor in the hallway, drinking gin and half-baked when you go walking by. She was cussing up a storm, your dick was in her hand, and she's got"--I'm dying with laughter--"a wad of it in her hair. And Dave turns to me and deadpans, You think she might be pissed?"
"It was crazy. The most amazing sexual moment of my life, followed by the scariest one. I'm living in a dorm. Feeling like the big man on campus. No parental supervision. Finally getting it whenever I wanted, and I was afraid she was going to break my dick off!"
"Then you asked her to our frat's winter formal." I slap the table. I can't stop laughing. "You're one brave motherfucker."
Boob girl sits down on the bench next to me.
"You two are having way too much fun." She leans forward just enough to give Jared a shot of her massive cleavage. I'd be afraid to know what's down there. It could provide shelter for a small army.
"You don't like fun?" I choke out, because I'm a fucking good wingman and already know what a girl like her's response will be.
"I love fun," she says with a cheerful smile.
My phone vibrates, so I hold my finger up to Jared to let him know I'm taking the call.
"Hey, bro. What's up?" I say, answering the call from my oldest brother, Cade. He's been trying to get me to come back home to work with him for a while now. When I was highly recruited to join the top corporate law firm in Seattle, I was honored to have been chosen, but now I'm just bored. And other than a few frat buddies still in the area, everyone I love is in Southern California.
"This is the last time I'm asking," he says.
"Yes," I reply.
"What? Seriously? Every time I ask you say no."
"Yes. Seriously. I'll take the job."
"Fucking awesome. It's loud, you at a club?"
"It is a Saturday night."
"Well, I'm still working."
"It's loud there. Doesn't sound like you're working too hard."
"Industry party," he says and I can practically hear his eyes rolling.
A soft voice purrs in his ear, asking if he'll buy her a drink. Cade is a master at making people come to him, particularly gorgeous women. He and my brother, Carter, are two of the biggest manwhores in all of L.A. When he responds with, My pleasure, I know our conversation is over. But he surprises me when he continues, "I need you to start Monday morning, so plan on coming here right after the wedding. You can move your shit later."
"I don't know about that. I love Mom and Dad, but I'm not moving in with them. I'm going to need some time to find a--"
"You can stay with Carter at the beach until you find something."
"Is he okay with that?"
"He doesn't have a choice, since he just lost our bet."
"What bet was that?"
"That I'd be the one to get you to come back home, securing my spot as our parents' favorite."
I laugh as I end the call.
When I get back to our table, Jared and massive-boob girl are making out and a pretty doe-eyed brunette is sitting in my spot, looking bored.
When I sit down, she holds out her hand. "You must be Cash. I'm Lana. You wanna get the hell out of here?"
"Hell yeah," I say, knowing exactly where this is going.
As I hail a cab, she slides her hand down the front of my pants and says, "My roommates are gone for the weekend."
"Perfect," I reply.
Against the Wall
I'm headed to the airport to meet Zach. I take a deep breath. I just know this is it. The weekend he's going to propose. I know we've only been dating for a few months, but they have been hugely, wildly romantic, and practically epic--like dating a real-life prince. It's clear to everyone that he's crazy about me.
I'm trying to imagine how he might pop the question when I get a text.
Harper: So are you still thinking this is it?
Harper: It just seems like he'd do something bigger and classier than a Vegas proposal. Isn't he more of a top-of-the-Eiffel-Tower-at-sunset kind of guy?
Me: He mentioned that we were taking a helicopter ride over the strip. That would be pretty cool.
Harper: And loud.
Me: Don't you think all the stuff he's done for me has been leading up to it?
Harper: Maybe. It just seems so soon. You've only been dating for four months.
Me: You and Maddox have only known each other for six and you're getting married.
Harper: Yeah, I guess you're right.
Me: Plus, it's just him and me. No music tour. No fans. And, definitely, no family. Not only am I expecting it to be romantic, I'm hoping for some hot, sweaty, we-don't-leave-our-suite Vegas sex.
Harper: Are you sure he's the right guy for you? I don't know, Ash.
Me: Why would you say that?
Harper: I just picture you with someone different. More athletic, maybe. I kind of thought when you we
Me: Carter and I had zero sparks, and I have no idea why. I mean, he's exactly my type. Former college quarterback turned sports agent, smart, great body, sweet and sexy. It's sad, really. It was like kissing my brother. Maybe it was because his brother, Cade, is my talent agent?
Besides, I like Zach. And I've met his family.
Harper: There's the key word: LIKE. You didn't say you're crazy in love with him. You didn't say he completes you. You didn't say that you can't get enough of him. And you've only met his parents while they were on tour. I'd think as close as they are, you'd have gone home with him and gotten their approval before he proposes. I just don't want you to get your hopes up. And Maddox echoes my thoughts. I know he's doing all the big gestures, but what about the small ones?
Me: What do you mean?
Harper: Has he ever surprised you with breakfast in bed? Made you coffee? Has he ever offered you emotional support when you needed it?
Vegas Love by Jillian Dodd / Romance & Love / History & Fiction have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on25 votes