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Jade Moretti’s job at Lovely Diamonds, the most popular gentlemen’s club in Las Vegas, pays well. She’s not a stripper but an accountant who loves running numbers and watching revenues rise. Lovely Diamonds is a family business, run by her former stripper mother for over thirty years. At twenty-three, Jade is ready to embrace adulthood and live life on her own terms.
As Jade catches the eye of a former popular classmate from high school from her past reenters her life. Her former best friend, international rock star Ivy Falls has returned, not only to shake up the town, but to jumpstart her relationship with Jade, who she left behind for fame and fortune.
Ivy wants a second chance, and won’t take no for an answer. Is Jade willing to forgive the woman who walked out on her, leaving her heart shattered in the process?
Five years is a long time.” She shifted toward me, her arm brushing mine.
Tingles shot down my hand from her touch. “Yes, it is. Too long.”
A loud siren went off behind us. Two women jumped up and down in front of the lit machine, and a robotic voice repeated winner.
“Someone won a big jackpot,” I indicated, now anxious to try my luck at my favorite slot machine. “Right before you stopped by, I was going to play one of the slots. Want to join me?”
“Sure. It’s been awhile since I’ve played.” She held out her hand for me.
I drew out a twenty dollar bill instead of taking her hand. “Off to the quarter slots.”
When I moved out, Ivy followed me. She was silent for some reason. I was fine with it because I was on a mission to win money. We passed the two women who had won a nice sum. They hugged and kissed. The majority of people ignored them probably more absorbed with their technique of hitting a button in the hopes of winning their own big prize.
Anticipation bubbled inside of me as I notice my favorite slot machine was vacant. It was next to two others, but I always chose the one on the far left. I parked my butt in the seat, and Ivy did the same next to me. I inserted my club card and the twenty dollar bill. The machine roared to life.
“Care to make a friendly wager?” she asked.
“What type of wager?”
“If you win the big progressive, you spend the night with me.”
I froze before pressing the button. She couldn’t be serious. “If I win the big jackpot, you want me to spend the night with you in bed?”
She snickered. “I never said anything about us in a bed, but if you want to up the ante—”
“Lay it out for me.” My entire body hummed with excitement. Whether the high of gambling or Ivy’s suggestive proposal, I couldn’t say.
“You, Miss Moretti have a dirty mind. The mention of us enjoying self-loving put your mind in the gutter.” She leaned toward me and dropped her hand on my knee. “I have a suite at the Deus, and I would love you to see it, perhaps sleep over like we used to do as kids. It would be innocent, unless you decide otherwise.” She traced a circle on my knee, making me restless.” I also have a hot tub that takes up half the living room.”
I pressed my hand on hers. “I’ve been playing this machine for years and never won the progressive.”
“I have a feeling the odds are in my favor tonight.” She turned her hand over and linked our fingers. “You giving me a shot proves that.”
The insinuation underneath her statement was loud and clear. A win for Ivy meant a win for me either way.
“Maybe I don’t want to win so much. I would have the headache of paying the taxes on it.” I hit the spin-reel button, and the spins circled around on the screen, stopping on three cherries that awarded me a dollar.
“Nice excuse.” She bent her head to mine, her mouth right under my ear. “But I can tell you’re open to the suggestion, so don’t try to deny it. What do you have to lose?”
I tapped the spin-reel button again. “I have a lot more to lose than you.” I didn’t mean the twenty dollars.
“Not anymore.” She nestled her chin on my shoulder and pressed the button when the spinning stopped.
“We’ll take turns and see.”
Ivy and I took turns, coming close to playing the progressive wheel but not hitting it. Ivy kept her chin on my shoulder, and our hands linked while we played. The air around us grew thick and muggy, but I didn’t mind. I felt like I was in my own personal bubble with Ivy.
After what must have been thirty minutes, I was down to my last dollar. Ivy cursed under her breath. It was our last chance…unless one of us added more money to sweeten the pot, to keep the dare alive.
My finger hovered over the button, but I paused and turned to Ivy. Our noses bumped together, we were that close. I didn’t jerk back but stayed still, waiting for her next move.
“If I asked you for a kiss for luck, would you give it to me?” she asked.
“A kiss isn’t going to change anything.”
“Make me believe it will.”
I kissed her cheek. She grunted, not pleased. Jabbing the button one last time, I claimed her lips, refusing to let go. She sighed and squeezed my hand as the spinning stopped on a row of tiny progressive wheels. The highest dollar number on the screen lit up, teasing me to try and win it.
Accepting the challenge, I kept my mouth on Ivy’s and held my breath for my shot at greatness.