A Gambling Heart: A BWWM Billionaire Romance

BOOK: A Gambling Heart: A BWWM Billionaire Romance
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A Gambling Heart

Published By Tiana Cole, 2016

 

©
2016 Tiana Cole

All Rights Reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locations is purely coincidental. The characters are all productions of the author’s imagination.
Please note that this work is intended only for adults over the age of 18 and all characters represented as 18 or over.
Kindle Edition

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Chapter 1 ( Sienna )

 

I cringed slightly as a girl left the room, slamming the door behind her. The banging sound hurt my ears. Someone should really tell maintenance to check on the door jamb; maybe I should just do it.

I realized my exhaustion made even my ears sensitive despite the fuzz clouding my brain. But it’s alright. In a little while I will be home and can sleep. Home. The idea never sounded sweeter. My bed is where I want to be right this minute.

I rubbed the back of my neck, hoping to ease the crick that had formed between my shoulders. I searched the room, looking for a familiar face among the women changing into street clothes.

I wondered where Chantal was. She texted earlier saying she wanted to see me after my shift. Probably wanted to pass by a food joint or something. I realized my last meal was yesterday at lunch and my stomach was grumbling.

I was about to call her when the door opened with a flourish. Typical Chantal entrance. There she was, eyes shining and all excited. I wondered why. Didn’t she just pull a long one today, just like me?

“They’re here, Sienna! They’re here…”

I wondered who was here. God, I hoped it wasn’t another emergency situation. We had to get out of here before Nurse Silva popped her head in to see who was still around.

“The Krazey Aborigines.”

Chantal said the name like it was an orgasm. It sounded familiar before I made the connection. The Krazey Aborigines, a band she had been following in the internet. She talked about them incessantly. It was her latest guilty pleasure.

From her excited bubbling I gathered that The Krazey Aborigines was playing in a local bar...for
one night only
. They would be signing autographs and it was a photo-op for their fans. Chantal was raring to go. She wouldn’t miss this for the world. Apparently I had the honor of being her date. God. Really? All I wanted was to curl up under the sheets till kingdom come.

Chantal was adamant. But she always is and I always end up giving in to her anyway. I shook my head, indicating it wasn’t a good idea. Not for me, at least. I hoped she would get the hint. No band, no matter how popular, was going to make me feel better. And right now I felt like I had just been through a meat grinder.

“C’mon, Sienna. How often will they be in this side of town?”

The whine in her voice was grating. This was one of those times I wished she wasn’t my friend and sat with me through good times and bad.

“I have to be back at work by six tomorrow morning,” I replied as I banked on my last reserves of perseverance. If I agreed to go out tonight that meant less than six hours of sleep. Not a good idea.

“We won’t stay long I promise. It’s ladies’ night tonight and all our drinks are at fifty off. We’ll grab a few beers than we’ll be on our way home. Pleaseeee…”

I tried to ignore the pleading look in her sapphire blue eyes. She was a master of persuasion. The girl is from Kentucky, typically blonde, svelte, and a knockout in her tight jeans and even tighter tees. Though petite, she is very confident about her sexy curves and often flaunted it.

Anyone who knew us wondered why we clicked. I stood at a towering 5’9’’ and my mahogany skin was Chantal’s surreptitious desire. She often said I should be working as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. I think my ass is much too ginormous for a modeling job. My boobs aren’t too bad.

But if she thought I had the makings of a fashion model, I won’t argue. I knew I wasn’t lacking in the looks department. I got the best traits from a black dad who married my mom, a black woman from Nebraska with European descent which probably explained my grey green eyes.

My shoulder length hair went well with the rest of me. Too bad that in our line of work we weren’t supposed to look like pageant beauties.

Which brought me back to the reason why I wasn’t too keen to go out tonight.

“If I miss my early morning shift or arrive at the hospital late tomorrow, Nurse Silva will kill me. We are short-staffed, you know that. Darn this virus that’s been going around. I pulled an all-nighter twice this week alone.”

I hoped my objection about how wrecked we have been would finally dissuade her. Wrong!

“That’s just it, Sienna. I did too. We deserve a break. And this band is the best. I promise. I’ve been following them on YouTube and their lead guitarist is to die for.”

When Chantal was in a fangirl mode, she could be extremely emotional. The thought of having to listen to a country boy band wasn’t my cup of tea. I preferred old classic Motown music – a quality I must have inherited from my dad – to the metallic twanging of country guitar.

“I-I don’t know…” Shit. My reserve of excuses dried up.

Chantal wouldn’t take no for an answer. I already knew she wouldn’t. I sighed with defeat. Chantal was persistent when it came to what she wanted. I knew her so well. But she was my best friend and would do anything for me. Besides, one or two bottles of beer wouldn’t hurt. It would help me sleep better and she’d get to watch her pesky band. Win-win situation.

“Oh, all right.” I pretended exasperation but now that I have agreed, I’m kinda excited at the thought of being somewhere else tonight. The hospital realm can be pretty boring.

“Yay!” Chantal warbled, happy to have gotten her way. Again.

I couldn’t help feeling apprehensive and guilty at the same time. I really didn’t want to be late for work and it was an early morning shift. I was torn between being a good friend and a model nurse. Frowning faintly, I nodded my head, succumbing as Chantal hailed a passing cab.

My anxiety bloomed when the cab came to a stop in front of a dilapidated building. The façade was typical of honky-tonk club with garish neon lights strung across its wide canopy.

I imagined a huge dance hall from the 1920s. The music from inside the club was pulsating even through the doorway. Chantal hailed the doorman and we were ushered inside a jam-packed room that was bursting at the seams.

I clutched Chantal’s arm as the girl doggedly elbowed her way to the bar that was a foot deep with regulars. A succession of ‘awwws’ and ‘watch it, bitches’ followed our progress. A few of the girls gave us dagger looks as we pushed and shoved our way to the front of the bar.

Chantal managed to order a pitcher of margarita. I protested wildly. Didn’t she say beer? But she ignored me as she carried the pitcher with aplomb until she spotted a vacant table, which she immediately commandeered.

“Lucky us.” Chantal smiled in triumph as she pulled a chair.

“Why did you order margarita? I thought we were having beer. You know tequila makes me crazy.”

I was shouting at the top of my voice. I immediately realized why no one wanted this particular table. Although it sat near the stage and had an unobstructed view of the musicians, immediately behind us was a huge sound system which was booming to the music of the boy band performing on stage. Conversation was impossible with the music blaring loudly in our ears.

Chantal smiled in response. I knew she didn’t hear a word I said.

Swell. I would spend the rest of the night shouting till I was blue in the face. I looked around and observed the motley throng of patrons in the jam-packed arena. The noise was mind boggling as I massaged my temple. A pain had begun to form inside my head.

Chantal raised her glass to a toast as I looked at my own drink with trepidation. I knew there was tequila in it. When God created tequila, I must have been somewhere else and didn’t get my dose of tolerance for it. Beer is okay. Even vodka is something I could take. But any drink laced with  tequila? Never.

I never liked the suck the lime, lick the salt, and sip from the glass ritual, which was exactly what Chantal was doing- licking the rim with her tongue. I felt grossed out. I sipped cautiously, feeling like a wet blanket. To my surprise the margarita tasted…wonderful. It must be the alcohol-free kind. The thought made me feel better and braver about taking another sip.

I was about to tell Chantal, but noticed her whole body was turned towards the stage. There was a flirtatious smile on her face as she licked the salt on the rim of her glass. I realized why as I followed her gaze. The lead guitarist was looking back at her. He was the guy she was raving about. The one to die for, I remember her saying. He was tall and lanky but muscular with hair that was longer than mine. Not exactly someone I would die for.

I tapped her elbow to get here attention. She moved her head towards me, never breaking eye contact with the guitarist on stage.

“This tastes good. Is this alcohol free?” I shouted in her ear, taking another sip from the refreshing brew.

“Yeah, I’m glad you like it. Another pitcher is on its way. Drink up,” she prodded, never once looking at my direction.

Confident and reassured, I took another swig and noticed that my headache disappeared. My ears had gotten accustomed to the blaring sound. The country music wasn’t so bad I thought as the tempo picked up a danceable tune.

I don’t know if it was in the middle of ‘Achy Breakey Heart’ that I got the courage to join the line dance that had formed on the floor. The steps were pretty easy to follow and I was soon joining in with the rest of the crowd. We were on our second pitcher of margaritas and I was feeling high and my adrenaline was on fire.

When the band segued to another dance tune, a huge man wearing a cowboy hat and boots came forward and claimed me. I hesitated initially but he took the lead and I was soon following an easy two-step dance. I realized I was having fun.

The band took a break and I sat down, feeling hot with perspiration running down my back. I reached for my glass of margarita and gulped it down to quench my thirst. I was raring to be back on the dance floor when the band resumed playing its last set for the night.

By then we were probably on our fourth pitcher. I should have realized I was losing control when I stood on top of the table and danced. Chantal was laughing, clapping her hand, and cheering me on. It didn’t seem like a huge deal because by this time everyone was dancing wildly and there was a feeling of easy camaraderie within the crowd.

I tottered and almost lost my balance when I stepped down and joined the rest of the crowd on the dance floor. When the band finished the set I felt a sense of disappointment. I wanted to keep on dancing.

Chantal appeared from nowhere carrying my purse and herded me out the door. She suddenly seemed in such a big rush to go home as I held back, doing the shimmy with my hips and shoulders. She kept pulling me along toward the exit door.

I had a fucking good time and told her. I wondered why I was slurring and having difficulty saying the words. I found that absolutely funny and had a laughing fit.

She was grinning like an idiot too as she hailed a passing cab. She pushed me inside and gave the driver directions before she closed the door. I realized she wasn’t inside with me and guffawed with laughter at her mistake. I opened the door and giggled like a silly school girl. Everything felt funny.

“Sienna, I’m not coming home with you. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

What the fuck was she talking about? Why wasn’t she coming home with me?

“Listen,” she replied, “I’m meeting Eric backstage. Be a good girl and go on home without me, okay?”

Eric? Who the heck was Eric? I was befuddled and the world was moving much too fast. Between bouts of clarity and confusion, it suddenly hit me. Eric. The lead guitarist. Somehow she had managed to get to him sometime during the night. But how? We were together the whole time.

I struggled, intent on knowing where she planned to stay the night, but she was telling the driver to go and I found myself alone inside the cab, on my way home. The images outside the car window were whizzing by so fast and the street lights felt inordinately bright they blinded me. I was getting a headache again.

I groped my purse in search of my wallet so I could pay the cabbie the minute I arrived and ended up spilling all its contents on the cab floor. Shit. I was still groping for the rest of my stuff when the cab came to a halt and I was home.

Thankfully I stepped out of the cab and wondered why the sidewalk undulated. I managed to get the key into the slot and entered our small apartment. The living room was spinning as I staggered to the sofa and slumped down on it. The few steps it would take to get to my bedroom felt like a colossal effort. Maybe because my whole body felt like jelly?

I wished the whole room would stop spinning so I could get up and find my bedroom door. Suddenly I got a ‘light bulb’ moment. Since the whole room was turning wildly I would just wait for my bedroom door to stop in front of me, then everything would be alright.

I must have been waiting when darkness overcame me. I was exhausted and the last thing I remembered was seeing two of everything before I finally closed my eyes and surrendered to the realization that I was dead drunk.

BOOK: A Gambling Heart: A BWWM Billionaire Romance
3.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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