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What Happens In Vegas…

(The Becky Chronicles, Book 4)


By: Sienna Duncan


When In Vegas…(The Becky Chronicles, Book 3) by Sienna Duncan

Text copyright © 2017 Sienna Duncan

Smashwords Edition

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Dedication

To my friends who see themselves in some of the characters in this series.



CHAPTER 1


I opened my eyes to the sound of the alarm. I groaned at the thought of having to get out of bed. Max chuckled as he wrapped his arm tighter around me. I could feel his arousal pressed against my back. I never know if he’s hard because he wants me or if it’s the bathroom calling his name. You never know with men. Where Max is concerned? It’s because he wants sex. As if reading my mind, he placed feather like kisses along my neck and finishing with a nip on my ear. The light stubble on his jaw always tickled my skin. I couldn’t help but smile.

Max and I have been together for two years. I can’t believe it sometimes. Time flies by so fast when you don’t really pay attention to it. I don’t have to worry about being pressured into anything with Max. He likes things just the way they are. So, do I. When my mama found out I was in a relationship with him, compliments of my brother, Trevor, she called me constantly with that hopeful sound in her voice that only mothers get. She’s like a blood hound sniffing out fresh meat. I nipped it in the bud as fast as humanly possible. I wasn’t going to let the past repeat itself. No way, no how!

My mama pushed me one too many times in the past. I was dating the one true love of my life, Chad Matthews, but we were constantly being pressured to get married. I mean, why the rush? I guess some people think you must be married to be happy. I was happy with Chad. We were being pushed too fast when we wanted it to go much slower. Well, the fact that my heart was broken played a factor in our relationship ending. I try not to think about it, because it makes me sad. I know Max can sense when my mind wanders back from time to time, because he is always there to bring me to the present. He’s right when he says the past should remain there. I know he’s right, but sometimes my heart betrays me. I have a long memory and many of them with Chad. Good ones.

“Did you fall asleep again?” Max chuckled in my ear.

I laughed. “I wish.”

I pressed back against him and he moaned as I rubbed my ass across his hard cock. Max turned me to my back and parted my legs with his knee. He hovered over me before kissing my lips. I learned a long time ago not to be shy about morning breath. Max told me he didn’t give a shit about it, and when he wanted a kiss he wanted right then. It took a while to get used to, but with time, I did.

His fingers skimmed the inside of my thighs until he reached the center he was aiming for. I sucked in a deep breath as he slowly rubbed my clit. He hissed through his teeth.

“You’re already wet for me, baby.” Max leaned down and captured my lips again, pushing his tongue into my mouth.

He continued to rub circles around my clit and I moaned in pleasure as he increased the pressure. Max pulled his finger away and I glared at him because he stopped.

“So greedy first thing in the morning.” Max shook his head, but I didn’t miss the wicked looked in his eyes.

Before I had a chance to voice my opinion, Max lifted both of my legs and thrust his hard cock inside me. I gasped and barely had time to catch my breath before he did it again. Damn!

“You feel so good, baby.” He leaned down and lightly kissed my lips.

I felt his thumb press down on my clit. I almost jumped off the bed because the feeling was so intense. He started thrusting into me again while rubbing in small circles on the sensitive bud. He pressed a little harder and I cried out as I started matching him thrust for thrust.

“Fuck, yeah. Give it all to me, baby.”

He pumped his cock in and out faster and the only sounds I could hear was skin slapping against skin. Something about the sound of that makes me that much more aroused.

“Yes… yes… Max. Don’t stop.” I could the pressure building until I finally reached my peak. I exploded in euphoric bliss.

Max pumped into me a couple more times before I felt his body jerk in his release. He leaned his forehead against mine and I could feel the droplets of sweat fall from his body onto mine. We looked in each other’s eyes as we caught our breaths. It’s in moments like this I feel the most vulnerable. The look on his face is so intense sometimes. Almost like he is looking for something. Maybe I am reading too much into it. I have been guilty of doing that before.

Max rolled onto his back and pulled me with him. I laid my hand on his chest and felt the rapid beat of his heart. He rubbed his hand up and down my back. Slowly our breathing evened out, and I knew he needed to get up because of meetings he has scheduled for the day. He kissed the top of my head before pulling away. I moved back to my side of the bed and watched him walk into the bathroom. I couldn’t help but admire his back side. He took such great care of his body and it showed. He looked over his shoulder and smirked. He knew I was checking him out.

“If you keep looking at me like that, I’ll be late for my own meeting.”

“Well, if you didn’t look so delicious I wouldn’t keep checking you out.” I got out of the bed and walked over to Max.

He looked me over as I approached him.

“Damn, woman. You’re gonna kill me.” He pulled me tightly against his body and crushed his lips to mine.

Max pulled away slightly and it took a moment for me to catch my breath.

“I’ll wash your back if you’ll wash mine.” He wiggled his eyebrows up and down.

I laughed. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

I sauntered past him and over to start the shower. He walked up behind me and ran a finger down the center of my back. It gave me chills every time he did that. I could hear Max chuckle behind me.

“You are so sensitive in the morning. I love that about you.” The trail he made with his finger, he followed with his tongue.

Damn! He is just too good at what he does, and he knows it.

I tested the water before stepping into the shower. Max followed me and pressed me against the cold tiled wall. As usual with us, it was a very long shower, because Max wanted to make sure he was very thorough. Not a part of my body was left untouched by his. No complaints here.

Max was dressed within a few minutes. The dark gray suit he was wearing fit his body perfectly. He oozed with sex appeal and power. Shit, I wanted to undress him right now and I have my wicked way with him all over again.

Max cleared his throat. I looked up and was met with his sexy, panty melting smile.

I smiled innocently. “Hmmm?”

Max shook his head. “I’ll be busy with meetings today, but how about we meet for dinner around six o’clock?”

I wrapped my hair up in a towel and walked over to where he was leaning against the door.

“That sounds good. Are you sure you’re going to be busy all day?” I walked my fingers up his chest and tugged on his tie. He leaned down until our lips were almost touching.

Max swallowed and then cleared his throat. “If you stop by I won’t get anything done. I’m a little behind because some little minx keeps showing up for lunch.”

“What? I wonder who that could be?” I looked away, trying to act innocent.

He grabbed my ass with both of his hands and pulled me against him. I could feel him becoming aroused. I sucked in a deep breath.

“My little minx.” He nuzzled the area just below my ear before placing a soft kiss there.

I turned my head and our lips met for a gentle kiss. That was his way of stopping things before they heated up again. I don’t think he was very successful considering I could feel the hardness of his cock against me. He growled a little when he pulled away. His eyes held promises of what he had planned for me later tonight.

I grabbed my cell phone and walked with him to the door. Max leaned down for one more kiss. I grabbed onto his shoulders as he deepened the kiss, and we both moaned when he pulled away.

“Tonight.” He winked at me before he turned and walked out to his car. I waved as I watched him drive away.

I went into the kitchen and decided make a quick breakfast. I grabbed an English muffin and opened the refrigerator to get an egg. It took a couple minutes to heat the pan. Just long enough for me to whisk my egg in the bowl. It took less than that to cook the egg. My muffin popped up from the toaster just as I scooped my egg out of the pan. I poured a small glass of orange juice and walked to the breakfast table.

I took one bite of my yummy egg goodness when my phone started ringing. I glanced at it. It’s Lynn. I knew it. She’s the only one who would dare call me this early. I picked up my phone by the third ring.

“Hey, Lynn.”

“Hey, slut. Whatcha doin?”

Gotta love a greeting like that.

“Eating breakfast.” I took another big bite because I didn’t want my egg to get cold. That’s just nasty.

“Without me? What are we having this morning?”

I rolled my eyes. “Egg on an English muffin.”

I could hear her gagging. “How can you eat that shit?”

“What? It’s good.”

“If you say so. It sounds awful. I’m picky about what goes in my mouth.”

I almost choked on my egg.

“Are you okay, Beck?”

I cleared my throat a couple times. “You need to prepare me before you say shit like that.”

Lynn laughed. “Yeah, but it wouldn’t get the same reaction.”

I shook my head. Lynn has been my best friend for years. We met in college and hit it off immediately. She was dating this asshole named Barry at the time, and later married him. It didn’t last very long. He was much too controlling and wouldn’t let her do anything without him knowing her whereabouts all the time. I was so happy when she finally got away from him. I’m not saying it was easy, because he gave her some problems for a while. When, he finally realized she was not going back to him, he agreed to sign the divorce papers.

I had no idea she was going to go wild after that. It all started with the two of us getting drunk to celebrate her being single. Soon she started talking to random men online and it was like living in the twilight zone from then on out. It got crazy at times. Two words. Train man. I still wish I could pluck out my eyes on that one.

“So where is that sexy man of yours?” Lynn always referred to Max as my sexy man.

“Max just left. He has meetings lined up for today. So, I’m all by myself right now. How about you?”

“Same old, same old.” She laughed. “Trying to get a few things done before I have to go to the store.”

Lynn’s parents owned a convenience store, but she manages the day to day operations. They just haven’t signed it over to her yet. Lynn expects them to announce their retirement at any time. I know it will give her a sense of relief when they let her make all the decisions instead of changing some of the things she feels will make it a better business. Oh well! Parents will be parents.

“I was thinking about coming to visit, but I don’t know when you’re going to be back in Fairhope.”

“Well, you could always come to New Orleans.”

Lynn laughed. “You know how much trouble I get into there.”

“True. Scratch that. I’ll be headed back sometime next week for a few days. How does that sound?”

“That works for me. Jeremy has been busy with the football season, so we don’t have any plans.”

Lynn has been dating, Jeremy Miller, a football coach at the high school in Arab. I was surprised when she seemed to settle down in a relationship with him. Lynn has been avoiding anything serious since her divorce. There was something about Jeremy that has grounded her in a way no one has been able to. She says the sex is great, too. So, there’s that.

We talked for a few more minutes before she had to go. I finished my breakfast and quickly cleaned the kitchen. I walked back to the master bathroom and took my hair down from the towel. After I picked in out, I turned on the hairdryer. It took me a little while to dry it since I let it grow down to the middle of my back. Lynn and Taylor still laugh about the time our friend, Shelby, and I decided to dye our hair burgundy. We thought it was going to look so good. Well, it did on her. Me…not so much. Now it’s back to its dark blonde color with a few lighter blonde highlights. Max was pleasantly surprised when the burgundy began to fade. He said it didn’t matter to him what color it was. I am inclined to believe him since we started dating when it was burgundy. He’s most definitely a keeper.

I knew I needed to get to work, so I walked into Max’s home office. My laptop was plugged up and laying on top of his desk. I unplugged it and carried it with to the living room. I liked to get comfortable on the sofa before I started sifting through emails and the like. I still work for Oasis, a travel magazine, but in a different capacity. I have Max to thank for that. He suggested at one time that I could become burned out because of the traveling, and writing the same sort of thing all the time. I loved where I worked, but I knew his claim was a legitimate one. I knew there were lots of options out there for me, but a friend of Max’s asked if our magazine was online. Of course, we were not. I know so many have gone to that, but we had not ventured there.

It got me to thinking. So, I contacted Gwen, who got me in touch with the right people at the magazine. After extensive discussions about the pros and cons of going online, it was finally decided we would be able to reach more people on the web. Because of my work history with Oasis, it was decided I would manage the online site. There have been days and weeks when I thought I was absolutely, crazy for mentioning the idea, much less be over the whole thing. I must admit, it has been extremely rewarding for me. To see it in the beginning, and watch its success, has been the highlight of my career.

It’s also been very lucrative for me.

The remainder of the day was spent returning calls and setting everything up for the next month’s edition to go on our site. My friend, Johnny, a fellow Oasis writer, called during that time to break the monotony of an otherwise tedious day. He never failed to make me laugh. When the first words out of his mouth are, “hey, pussy” you can either cringe or go with it. I must admit, when we first met, I was didn’t know how take his comments. Over time, I learned that it was just his way. Now, I can’t imagine not having his friendship. Johnny said he spoke with Lynn earlier, and we are all supposed to go out when I arrive in Fairhope next week. Word travels fast. Of course, Johnny wanted to know if Max was traveling with me this time. He’s like all my friends, and finds Max to be drool worthy. He is that and more. Unfortunately, I had to disappoint him with the news that to my knowledge, Max won’t be along for this trip.

I sighed as I closed my computer. Enough of that for today. I plugged my computer back up and closed the door to Max’s office.

I walked to the master bedroom and opened the closet to select something to wear. Weather in late September in the south is always unpredictable. It can be hot and humid one day and then ten or fifteen degrees cooler the next. Sometimes with less humidity. Thank God! The change in temperature is always preceded by a thunderstorm.

So, standing in the doorway of the closet, it is not always an easy choice to make. It got up to about eighty degrees today, so it’ll probably be in the sixties tonight. I grabbed my dark purple wrap dress with a three quarters sleeve. The hem fell just above my knee. It complemented my curves and didn’t make me look like a beach whale. I felt sexy in this dress and Max always gets this heated look in his eyes when I wear it.

Max sent me a text earlier asking me to meet him at the hotel and he would drive us to the restaurant. I finished applying a little make up and smoothed down my hair. I walked back to the closet and slipped my feet into a pair of black wedge heels (this girl does not wear hooker heels). I looked in the mirror and was happy with what I saw. I grabbed a black clutch and put my identification and keys in it. I set the alarm and walked into the garage. I opened the door to my black BMW X6 and slid inside. At the beginning of the year, Max finally persuaded me to trade in my trusty old Honda. I loved that car! I was having to put it in the shop every other month, and I caved after he threatened to buy me one himself.

Like that was going to happen. I don’t think so.

I pulled out of the driveway and drove to the hotel. It only took a few minutes to get there. This time of the day it always takes a little longer, because of the extra traffic trying to get home after a long day at work.

I pulled into the parking space beside Max’s Ferrari. Yes, it has taken me a while to get used to it. I roll my eyes every time we ride together in it. Too much luxury for me. Yes, there is such a thing as too much. He was standing beside the driver’s side door with his hand on the roof of the car. He was talking on his cell phone, but winked at me when I stepped out of my car. I clicked the lock on mine and walked up to him. He reached his hand around my waist and pulled me closer.

“Just send the report to my email and I will look at it later.” Max paused and looked at me. “Just take care it, Tom. I have a more pressing engagement waiting for me.” Max chuckled and ended the call.

“What was that all about?” I was afraid to ask, but my curiosity got the better of me.

Max rubbed a hand across his face before joining the other one around my waist.

“That was Tom Sheffield, my new manager at the hotel in Las Vegas. He had an issue with a couple employees and instead of speaking with Christine in the HR department, he called me.”

“Is it serious?” Curiosity got the better of me.

I leaned up and kissed the stubble on his chin. He tightened his hold around me.

Max sighed. “That’s just the thing; it is a minor issue I expected him to know how to handle.”

“Let’s go and forget about the day and relax.” I kissed him lightly on the lips.

He moved one of his hands into my hair and deepened the kiss. I sighed when I felt his tongue brush against mine. He pulled away first, being mindful of the fact we were in the parking lot. It took a moment to catch our breath.

Max grabbed my hand. “Let’s go.” He walked me to the passenger side and leaned in to buckle my seatbelt for me. His slowly slid his hand down my thigh and stopped at the hem of my dress. He held my gaze. and with his forefinger, Max lightly traced a path up my thigh, pulling my dress up with it.

I gasped and looked around to make sure no one was near.

“Max, behave.”

He chuckled. I knew that twinkle in his eyes was indicative of how naughty he planned to be tonight. I’m in big trouble.

He stroked my outer thigh and reached up with his finger and traced the lacy edge of my black panties.

“You make it impossible to behave when I want to be inside you right now.”

I sucked in a deep breath. He smiled at me as pulled his hand away. I felt its absence immediately. I narrowed my eyes at him and he laughed. He knew exactly what his touch did to me. Max closed the door and walked to the driver’s side to get in. After he buckled his seatbelt, he leaned over and nudged the side of my neck with his nose. I felt his lips softly kiss the same spot.

I glanced at Max and smiled. I loved it when he was this playful. It drove me crazy, but I still loved it.

He pulled out of the parking lot and within a few minutes we arrived at Antonio’s Italian Restaurant. He serves the best manicotti I have ever tasted. Max and I have dinner here at least once a week. Between Antonio’s and Mama Delphine (the first restaurant Max took me to in New Orleans) we only ate at home two or three times a week. Max enjoyed going out and talking to his friends. To look at him, you’d expect Max to only go to the finest restaurants. Aka expensive. He is a millionaire, after all. The thing is, he isn’t all about that. Yes, he does go to restaurants like that, but not often. He says he’s surrounded by luxury all day at his hotel, and it is nice to just be Max. I laughed the first time he said that, but the more I got to know him, I understood what he meant. He has an image that people expect because of his position. They don’t know the man I know. The real Max Roberts.

We were escorted to our table by Antonio himself. He said our dinner would be served in a couple minutes. I was a little confused and look at Max.

He smiled. “I called Antonio and ordered dinner so we wouldn’t have to wait. I ordered you the manicotti.”

I arched an eyebrow. “What if I wanted something different this time?”

Max chuckled. “You always order the same thing.”

“Hmm. Are you saying I’m predictable?”

He raised his eyebrows. “Is that a trick question?”

I opened my mouth in mock outrage. “You’re such a beast sometimes.”

A devilish smile spread across his face. “Yeah, but you love it when I’m a beast.”

I felt my cheeks heating up. Damn blushing. I didn’t miss the heated look in his eyes. I laughed and shook my head at him. Max knows how he affects me and he uses it to his advantage on a regular basis.

Our food arrived and it looked so delicious. He’s right. I always order the same thing. I am a creature of habit. That can be a good and bad thing.

We conversed about each other’s day throughout the meal. I was so comfortable around Max. He has a way about him that can put everyone at ease. Well, once you get to know him.

I was somewhat intimidated when we first met. You know, the whole millionaire hotel owner thing. Oh yeah, he is also one of the sexiest men I have ever met. He knows it, too. Women salivate when he enters a room. I don’t blame them. Unlike them, I know just how yummy he is underneath all those clothes. The things he can do to your body…damn. Besides all that…he’s just like the rest of us.

Sort of.



CHAPTER 2


I was so busy over the few days, time seemed to get away from me. It often does. I knew Max wanted me to stay longer, but I made plans with Lynn in Fairhope. I needed my bestie time. It was going to be so much fun having a night out with Lynn and my other friends. Lynn doesn’t come as often as she used to because of her relationship with Jeremy. Priorities change. I’m glad we at least make the effort to see each other once month. Lynn says she still needs a vacation from all the crazies up there. I am always happy to oblige.

I hadn’t been at my apartment very long when I heard someone knocking on my door. I peeked through the blinds. Lynn. I unlocked the door and was greeted by what can only be described as a megawatt smile. Happy looked so good on her. It made me feel all warm inside just knowing she found someone who made her light up like that.

Heaven help Jeremy if he ever hurts her. Just have-to put that out there.

“Mama’s come bearing a gift.” I laughed, but stepped back so she could walk inside.

My eyes zeroed in on the white paper bag in her right hand. Is that what I think it is? I looked up at Lynn and watched her wave the bag back and forth in front of me.

“Because I love you so much, I stopped at Midas Burger on my way out and got you a chicken sandwich. I made sure they put extra sauce in the bag for you.” She handed the bag to me.

“Oh, my gosh, Lynn! I haven’t had one of their chicken sandwiches in years.” I sat down in a chair at my small dining room table.

I unwrapped the sandwich and took a bite. Shit! Did I moan out loud? If the pleased look on Lynn’s face was any indication, I did. I looked in the bag and pulled out two small containers of sauce. I took off the bun and poured it on my sandwich. It always grossed my mother out when I did that. Maybe it was the way the sauce dripped off the sandwich when I took a bite. I used to tell her, only the messiest food was the best. She just didn’t understand.

I remember when Chad…I gulped at the memory as it automatically surfaced. I tried my best not to let my mind wander in that direction. The memory came to me just the same. I could see it as clearly as if it happened yesterday. He would rally beside me when my mother would start. That happened more times than I can count. Chad would pour extra sauce on his sandwich and lick his fingers when it started dripping. Then he’d dip his French fries in the sauce. The look on her face was priceless. I walked into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of water out of the refrigerator.

“Are you okay, Becky?” I could hear the concern in her voice.

I nodded as I chugged back the water.

“I was just remembering some old times.”

She arched her eyebrow, but chose not to say anything. I didn’t get anything past her. Ever. She knows me so well, probably better than I know myself.

“I ate on the way, so I’m good to go for the night. I called Johnny and he said the girls are excited about tonight.”

I knew they would be. It has been a long time since all of us hung out together. This girls’ night is way past due. I sat back down and finished my sandwich. I ate slowly so I could savor each bite. Hey, it isn’t every day I get one of these.

“I knew I made the right decision when I picked one up for you.” Lynn laughed.

I nodded. My mouth was too full to respond. I drank some more water so I could finally speak.

“That was so good! Thank you, chick.” I picked up the wrapper, bag, and empty water bottle, and threw them away.

“No problem. I’m going to put my stuff up and then we can catch up.” Lynn picked up her overnight bag and walked into the guest room.

I plopped down on the love seat and leaned back. I have no doubt my other friends will be knocking on my door any minute. Especially, Johnny. He is notorious for coming over just as soon as he walks out the door at the office. Then he wants to know why he has wait for us to get ready.

Lynn walked out of the guest room and walked over to the love seat to sit down beside me. She let out a sigh as she leaned her head back. I felt the same way. I could’ve sat there for the remainder of the night, but I knew Lynn would kick my ass before she’d allow that to happen.

There was a knock at the door. Lynn and I looked at each other and laughed. At the same time, we said Johnny’s name.

I walked over to the door and looked through the peephole. Yep. Johnny was standing outside with one hand propped on his hip and the other looked to ready to pound on the door again. I opened the door and he flashed me a smile.

“It’s about time, pussy.” He walked passed me and over to Lynn. “LYNN!! You hussy. You didn’t answer my last text.”

Johnny sat down beside her on the love seat. In my spot. Oh, well.

“Umm…hello! I was driving, remember?” Lynn turned toward Johnny and leaned against the arm of the love seat.

“Yeah, right. You were probably talking to Jeremy.” He rolled his eyes.

Lynn pushed his arm. “Don’t be jealous.”

Johnny laughed and started rubbing Lynn’s arm. He does that anytime he gets excited or wants to annoy us. I try not to encourage him.

“Yes, sister. You know I’m jealous of you and Jeremy and his BIG cock.”

Lynn laughed. I tried to ignore their conversation. Johnny is always talking about the size of some guy’s package. I never get a moment’s peace when Max is around. You can imagine all the comments Johnny makes. Max thinks he’s hilarious. It’s good to know he’s secure enough in his manhood that comments like that don’t bother him.

Johnny calls us lucky bitches.

He’s right.

I was lost in my thoughts until I heard Lynn call my name.

Johnny laughed. “Where were you, pussy?” He gave Lynn a knowing look. “She’s wishing she was with Max right now.” They snickered.

Lynn looked at me and shrugged. There is no way to win with the two of them together. They gang up on me all the time. It isn’t fair at all. So, I did what anyone would do in my situation. I picked up the pillow from the chair, and threw it at Johnny. Lynn burst out laughing at the look of outrage on Johnny’s face. He smoothed down his hair and straightened his shirt before glaring at me.

“Don’t mess with the hair, Becky love. You know this.” He sniffed and then looked off to the side.

I rolled my eyes.

Damn drama queen. Sheesh!

Lynn stood up from the love seat and pulled on Johnny’s arm.

“Come on, and stop pouting. We’re supposed to be going out tonight. I am not going like this.” She motioned up and down the front of her body at her clothes.

Johnny grimaced. “I should say not, sister.” He looked at me and shook his head. “Puss…”

I snorted. “I know. I know. I’m going to change.” I walked back to my bedroom.

I looked over my shoulder and watched Lynn and Johnny sit down on my bed. I raised my eyebrows at them in question.

“I just want to see what you’re going to wear, Beck.” Lynn laid down on her side and propped her head with her hand.

Johnny waved his hands at me, in a shooing motion, for me to continue.

Okay…

I walked to my closet. “I plan on wearing this outfit.”

I reached into the closet and pulled out the outfit I had already chosen for the evening. A light gray tunic and black leggings with my black ankle boots. Something comfy and cute. Johnny clapped his hands.

“I love it, sister.” He walked over to me and inspected the outfit a little closer.

Lynn sat up. “I brought a purple one that’s similar. I think I’ll wear it, too. We’ll almost be like twins.” She walked out of my bedroom to change.

Johnny laughed. “The world can’t handle two of y’all.”

Damn straight! It can barely handle one.

I pushed Johnny to the door so I could change. He said he needed to use the “facilities” anyway. That’s his code for the bathroom. I closed my door behind him. Not that it would stop Johnny from walking in at any moment. He always says he’s one of the girls and he has a vagina like the rest of us.

Umm...no. He has a sympathy vagina. Does that count?

I hurriedly changed my clothes. I opened my bedroom door and could hear Lynn and Johnny talking to Shelby. I knew it wouldn’t be long before the others started to show up.

I walked into the bathroom and looked at my reflection in the mirror. I looked tired. Well, I felt tired. If these plans had not already been made, I would crawl in the bed and call it a night. Since that is not an option tonight, I picked up my hairbrush and tried to tame my hair. Thankfully, it isn’t too wild today. I pumped a dime size amount of frizz serum in my hand, and smoothed it through the lower half of my hair. It has a yummy coconut scent. I wonder if it would work on the rest of my body. You know, slather it on for soft skin. Or would it just make me look greasy?

I know, crazy idea. Still…

I applied a coat of black mascara and some of my favorite lipstick, Berry Kiss. Satisfied with my appearance, I opened the door of the bathroom and walked into the living room.

I noticed Taylor had arrived while I was getting ready. She was standing beside Johnny and looked beautiful as usual. Happiness does that to you. She and Eric, our favorite bartender, got married last year. They dated for about a year and decided they were meant to be. I couldn’t agree more. If there is such a thing as a perfect couple, it would be them.

Shelby looked up as I entered the living room.

“Hey, chick.”

“Hey. Is everyone waiting for me?”

Johnny looked at me and nodded. “I have never seen Lynn get ready so fast before. I can’t believe she finished before you this time.”

I looked over at Lynn suspiciously. She was wearing a purple tunic, like mine, and jeans. Her hair and makeup looked perfect as always. Hmmm… I NEVER get ready before she does. That girl takes forever when we go out. Aha! She must’ve had help. There is no way she did it all by herself. I know my bestie better than that.

I looked at Lynn. “He helped you, didn’t he?” I nodded toward Johnny.

Lynn snapped her fingers. “Damn! I told you she’d figure it out.”

Johnny laughed. “Yes, you did. She knows you too well, sister.”

I rolled my eyes at their antics. I leaned in and gave Taylor a hug. I don’t get to see her as often as I used to since she got married. I miss her living in the apartment across from me. Sure, Shelby is still there, but it isn’t the same. I stared at Taylor for a moment. There’s something different about her tonight. I don’t know what it is, but something has changed. Maybe I’ll get to the bottom of it tonight. I picked up my purse and followed the others out of my apartment, making sure to lock it behind me. Besides me, only Lynn and Max have a key.

We agreed to meet a Mickey’s Bar, our favorite place. Oh, it’s also where Eric bartends. For Taylor, a girl’s night out obviously includes being close to her husband. What’s the point of a girl’s night if the men are close by?

Whatever…

I pulled up in front of the bar and was happy to see it was not busy yet. I hate the crowded bar and club scene. I know, most people my age are all about the bigger the party the better. I’m not like that. I never have been. That includes college as well. There were parties everywhere, but I avoided a lot of them. People are just too reckless at them and make complete asses out of themselves. I didn’t do anything I wouldn’t regret the next day. It helped that I had a dear friend, who later became my boyfriend, to help me navigate.

Okay… enough of that! My mind is so crazy lately. Chad keeps popping in my mind, and I don’t know why.

Shit! I need a drink.

I walked in behind my friends and walked to the bar. I looked over my shoulder and spotted the table they secured for us. I turned my attention back to the bar when I heard Eric say something about it being our girl’s night out. He glanced behind me. I know without following the direction of his gaze, that he is looking at Taylor.

They almost make me sick with all the lovie, lovie bullshit. I’m happy for them, but it’s almost gag worthy at times.

“What can I get you tonight, Becky? Strawberry Daiquiri?” He wiped off the counter in front of me.

I smiled at Eric. “Of course, but a little extra rum.”

He arched an eyebrow at me. “Rough day?”

I laughed. “Aren’t they always?”

He snorted. I know he sees it all working here.

My “rough” days are nothing compared to his. It isn’t that I’ve had a bad day. I don’t know how to explain it. I just feel a little on edge. I hate it when I feel like that. It’s like I am waiting for the ball to drop or something. Let me tell you, it always does. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

It isn’t always good either.

I watched Eric pour my drink from the blender. I took a sip. Perfect. He always crushes the ice just right. I could taste the extra rum. Even better,

“Thank you, Eric. It’s perfect as always.”

He nodded. “You don’t want too many of those or you’ll be hugging the toilet in the morning.”

I waved at him as I walked to the table. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him shake his head.

I sighed. Another sip is just what I need. I took another sip as I reached the only vacant seat at our table. Beside Johnny.

“Damn, puss. You started without me?” Johnny waved someone (her name tag had the name, Mary) over to take everyone’s order.

In a couple minutes, drinks were around the table. Everyone had one except Taylor. When we asked her why she wasn’t drinking anything tonight, she looked back toward the bar where Eric was mixing drinks. He winked and nodded at Taylor. When she finally turned back around, there was a huge smile on her face.

“I’m pregnant.”

Umm…what?

The silence lasted for a few seconds before everyone started speaking at once. Shelby was a little upset she wasn’t the first to know, but Taylor said they just had it confirmed at the doctor’s office today. One look at Eric’s face let me know just how excited and pleased the dad-to-be is about the baby. The next thirty minutes was filled with us talking about baby clothes and a baby shower. Taylor put the brakes on our planning by reminding us there was plenty of time. She was adamant about no shower until closer to the due date. She said she’s nine and a half weeks pregnant. That means, we should wait months to buy anything, according to her.

Bleh!

Taylor changed the conversation (she thinks she was being smooth by diverting the attention away) and she zeroed in on Lynn and Jeremy’s relationship.

“So, how’s everything going with you and Jeremy?”

Lynn sighed.

Uh oh!

“What’s going on, bestie?” I narrowed my eyes at her. She led me to believe everything was going great with them.

“Nothing, really. I mean…Jeremy’s great. I love spending time with him and he gives me lots of attention. I guess I’m just scared it won’t last. Y’all know my track record with men.”

I smiled at my best friend, because she does not know the truly wonderful person she is. Her ex-husband has made her second guess every move she makes where men are concerned. I just wanna reach over and hug her and maybe slap her a little. I sort of giggled at that thought. Lynn glanced at me suspiciously.

Oops! Did I giggle out loud? I guess I did. I reached across the table and touched the top of her hand.

“Lynn, I know Jeremy adores you. I know you don’t want to admit it out loud, but you feel the same way about him. It’s obvious to all of us. I want you to be happy. I have a feeling he is the one who will be able to do it.”

A couple tears trickled down her cheeks.

“Shit.” Lynn picked up a napkin and blotted the tears away. She sighed loudly. “I love him, and it scares the hell out of me.”

“Well, it’s about time you admitted it. Damn, girl! I didn’t think you ever would.” Johnny stroked Lynn’s arm.

I laughed at the resigned expression on her face. She pointed her finger at me.

“You’re one to laugh, Becky. How about your relationship with Max?” I looked around the table and it was just as I feared. They were all looking at me for an answer.

I can’t believe my best friend just threw me under like that. Wait. Yes, I can.

I know I sounded a little too sweet when I answered her question. “What do you mean? Everything has been great with Max.”

“No mention about…you know?” Taylor pointed to her wedding ring.

I laughed out loud at that. They all looked at me like I’m crazy or something. Maybe I am. That’s alright.

“Max told me a long time ago he is not the marrying type. It’s nice to be with someone I don’t feel any pressure about marriage. The only person who has desperately wanted to see me married is my mother. I think she has finally accepted it isn’t going to happen.”

“I think you doth protest too much.” Johnny said in a sing song voice. Everyone laughed in agreement with him.

Except Lynn.

She had a tight smile on her face and I knew there was something on her mind, but she chose not to say anything.

“All I’m saying is, you two have been together for two years. Two years, Becky. You said he has never been in a long-term relationship. Until now. That has to mean he wants it to be permanent.” Everyone voiced their agreement with Taylor.

“Marriage isn’t for everyone, Taylor. I get that you’re happy. I really do. Why can’t Max and I just be happy as we are? When you add the “m” word to the equation, it just…complicates things.” I looked away from my friends.

This conversation is so over.

Eric walked up at that moment. Bless him! He has impeccable timing. We all congratulated him on his new status as a daddy-to-be. He leaned down and lightly kissed Taylor on the lips. I would be lying if I said that didn’t melt my heart just a little.

You know it did.

I figured out a long time ago that wasn’t in my future. You know, a doting husband and children. I usually don’t think about it. Not until I see how happy some of my friends are, and then I have this indescribable longing. I usually blame it on crazy female hormones. That and the fact, I always heard my mama talk about the day she would see me happily married and with a family of my own. No pressure.

We spent the next couple hours drinking and just being silly. Shelby and Johnny were checking out all the man candy that came in. The outrageous things they tried to do to get their attention was hilarious. I think Lynn and I laughed at them more than anything else. We could’ve...possibly… given them some ideas. I won’t confess to anything. Just sitting back watching it all unfold was enough entertainment to last me for weeks. I’m not exaggerating, either.

I felt a tickle on the back of my neck. I squirmed a little in my chair.

It happened again. What the hell?

This time I realized some asshole touched the back of my neck with his grubby fingers. Now, if you know me at all, then you know I don’t like for strangers to touch me without my permission. I glanced at Lynn for help, but she was looking at the person behind me, and trying her best not to laugh. Thanks for nothing.

I felt him blow on the back of my neck this time and chills flooded my body.

Mother fucker!

Looks like I need to put this asshole in his place. I stood up suddenly and almost knocked my chair over. The asshole obviously caught it. I turned around to let him have it.

“Listen asshole…” I stopped in mid-sentence.

Max was standing there with his eyebrows raised and both hands up in surrender.

“Damn!” He chuckled. “At least now I know you won’t allow any other man to touch you when we’re not together.” He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me against him.

I smacked his chest with one of my hands. “You’re such an ass.”

A devilish smile spread across his face. “Yeah, but you love my ass.”

I shrugged. “Maybe.”

He took one of his hands from my waist and slapped my ass. “Definitely.”

I laughed. “What are you doing here? You know I have plans with Lynn and the others.”

Max looked over my shoulder at all my friends. “I wanted to see you. Is that so bad? I don’t think they’ll mind the intrusion.”

I turned my head toward my friends.

“Take her away.” Lynn and Shelby giggled.

“She’s been really naughty, so you’ll need to spank that ass a few times.” Johnny said with a seriousness I didn’t know he possessed.

Max’s eyes widened and then he laughed. “Oh, don’t worry. I know how to handle Becky when she’s being naughty.”

My mouth opened in outrage. I could feel my face heating up. Great!

Lynn laughed so hard she snorted. “TMI!! There are some things I don’t need to know about my best friend.”

She looked at me and mouthed for me to go.

“I have a key. Just try to keep it in the bedroom. That’s all I’m asking. I don’t want to see Becky’s white legs wrapped around any part of you. Or bent over the sofa.”

Max winked. “I’ll try, but I can’t make any promises.”

“Oh, hell.” Lynn shook her head.

Max and I walked out of Mickey’s Bar. I looked around for his car. He explained he took a plane so he could get here faster.

“You just saw me this morning.” I rolled my eyes at him as we approached my car.

Max grabbed my hand and lifted it to his lips. I sighed. How can I be frustrated with his intrusion when he acts like this most of the time?

“I finished up earlier than I expected, and I didn’t want to spend the weekend without you. If you want me to leave, then I will.” Max started to pull away from me.

I reached out to stop him. Max hesitated before turning back to face me. He reached up and stroked my cheek with the back of his hand.

“Let’s go.”

That’s all he said as he took the keys from my hand. Max opened the passenger door and I slid into the seat. I watched him as he walked to the driver’s side and got inside the car. After he buckled the seatbelt, he reached over and squeezed my thigh. I looked up into his dark brown and felt myself leaning toward him. I can’t help it. My body betrays me when he is near.

“Are you upset I came?” His eyes moved across my face, trying to determine my mood.

I shook my head. “I had fun tonight with the girls. It’s just what I needed, but I’m glad you decided come here.”

I meant it.

Max closed the gap between us and lightly kissed my lips. His fingers gently stroked my cheek. He pulled away too quickly for my liking.

“Now…how naughty have you been?” Max winked at me as he backed into the street.

“Very.” I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye.

The heat in his eyes promised I wouldn’t be getting any sleep tonight.



CHAPTER 3


Max stayed for the remainder of the weekend, but had to leave Sunday evening. A part of me was sad to see him go, but a part of me wanted…no, needed this time for me. Not that he smothers me or anything like that. Max has always been good about giving me the space I need when I need it. I do the same for him. It has been the perfect relationship. I can’t say it enough. Having no pressure is a lovely thing.

I stayed busy the next few days. I had meetings this week with Gwen and some of the writers at the Oasis office. By the end of the week, Johnny came back from a trip to one of the casinos in Mississippi. It was not work related, so I don’t remember which one. I know that makes me a bad friend, but he has been going to different ones lately, so I don’t bother to keep track of them anymore. I promised him we’d go out for drinks when he got back, and he informed me we were doing just that after I wrapped everything up for the day.

I was nowhere near finished with everything, but most of it doesn’t have to be done immediately. I set my own expectations of when I like to have certain tasks completed. Rarely do I allow anyone to distract me. Even Max knows better.

Oh well, why the hell not? I finished posting some Q&A on the site and closed it out for the day. I called Johnny and we agreed to meet downtown. I pulled up next to his car. My phone beeped with a text message.

JOHNNY: Inside Mickey’s. Got us a table.

I walked inside and nodded at Eric behind the bar.

“He already ordered you a daiquiri.”

“Thanks, Eric. How’s Taylor?” She was having some morning sickness this week.

He shook his head. “This morning sickness is about to get to her. She’s been sick all day just about every day this week. The doctor gave her some medicine yesterday to help, but so far, it seems to make her sleepy and nauseous.” Eric rubbed his hand over his face.

Poor Taylor! Eric looked so helpless. Knowing him as well as I do, he wishes he could do more and hates the fact he can’t do anything more than try to make her comfortable.

I leaned across the bar and patted his shoulder. “It’ll be alright, Eric. My brother’s wife was sick during her first pregnancy and it took a few days before the medicine helped her. Make sure you keep saltine crackers and ginger ale. I’ve been told that is all some women can hold down.”

He nodded. “She tried crackers and Sprite, but they came back up.”

“Have her try ginger ale instead. Ginger helps with nausea.”

“Okay, I’ll pick some up before I go home. Thanks, Becky.” Poor guy looked so grateful for any advice.

“No problem. I’ll visit her tomorrow.” I patted him one more time on the shoulder.

“She’d like that.” Eric turned his attention to one of the customers who walked up to the bar.

I walked over to where Johnny was sitting. He was sipping on his margarita. I sat down in the chair he pulled out for me.

“Pulling my chair out for me? I’m flattered, Johnny.” I laughed when he glared at me.

I took a sip of my strawberry daiquiri. I sighed.

“I can be a gentleman…sometimes.” He placed his hand on his chest in his usual dramatic flair.

Okay. Anytime Johnny calls himself a gentleman something is up. He NEVER calls himself that. He’s the one who says he has a vagina. He doesn’t…yes, I looked. Hey! I’m a curious girl. He caught me, though. I almost pissed on myself when he said I couldn’t handle what he had. I mean…what do you say to that?

After I took another drink, I looked very carefully at my friend. Hmm… He looked at me from over his glass.

He laughed. “What is it, sister? You have a funny look on your face.” He took another drink before putting it on the table.

“I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me what’s up?”

He raised his eyebrows in question. I pointed my finger at him.

“No way, Johnny. You don’t get to do that. Spill it, now.” I know him too well. This innocent act is not getting it.

He smiled broadly. I gave him time to gather his thoughts. This included taking another drink of his margarita.

“Antonio is back.”

Shit! I should’ve known it was something like that. Johnny and Antonio dated for a few months last year. Antonio is a nature photographer and travels often. They had a great relationship, but Johnny’s insecurity played the biggest part in their breakup. He was too busy wondering if Antonio was hooking up with somebody while he was in location, to appreciate what they had. On one of Antonio’s return trips, Johnny ended their relationship. To say Antonio was shocked is a vast understatement. He was devastated. We haven’t seen him since.

Johnny has been filled with regret. He was never given a reason to distrust Antonio, but it all seemed to be going too well for him believe it was real.

I reached across the table and touched Johnny’s hand in reassurance.

“Has he contacted you?”

Johnny nodded.

“He says he wants to talk. I don’t know why he would want to talk to me now.”

I looked at him like he was crazy.

“Come on, Johnny. He really cared about you, just as you cared for him. I know you still have feelings no matter what you try to say. The way your face lit up when you said Antonio is back…wow! There’s something still there. Just don’t be a pussy this time.”

Johnny had just taken a drink and started coughing at my comment. I reached over and hit his back a couple times.

“I love it when I get you to say pussy.”

I sat back down in my chair and rolled my eyes at him. “Asshole.”

He just laughed and finished his drink.

“When are you supposed to see him?” I asked Johnny after we gave our order for another drink.

“Tomorrow. We’re meeting at Culley’s Crab Shack in Daphne. Can you believe it? That’s where we met.”

I smiled. Johnny is lit up brighter than any light bulb could ever be. I have never seen him look so excited and…nervous. What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall when they meet up tomorrow!

Johnny promised to give me a call with all the details after he and Antonio have dinner. I am keeping my fingers crossed things work for them both. I walked out to my car when I heard my phone start ringing.

I glanced at it. My brother, Trevor. I wonder why he is calling. We keep in touch on a regular basis, but most of the time he calls when our mama is driving him crazy. Usually it’s about me. You’d think she would be too busy with her grandbabies to worry about what I’m doing and with whom I doing it with. I know she drives Trevor crazy, too. It’s different for him, though. He’s always been the favorite child. You know, star athlete. Star child. Married with kids. Your worst nightmare as a sibling. He had the audacity to be nice to me so I could never hate him like normal siblings do. Trevor always stood up for me where our mother was concerned.


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