Tough Luck: A New Adult Billionaire Romance (The Vegas Billionaire Obsession Series Book 3)

BOOK: Tough Luck: A New Adult Billionaire Romance (The Vegas Billionaire Obsession Series Book 3)
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Tough Luck

The Vegas Obsession Series Book 3

Chloe Grey

 

Tough Luck

First edition. April 22, 2015.

Copyright © 2015 Chloe Grey.

Written by Chloe Grey.

www.chloegrey.com

 

 

 

 

“Her numbers were up, and it was time to choose.”

 

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Tough Luck!

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Chapter 1

Leslie

“Would you care for champagne?” The stewardess asked us, sliding ahead to face Max Gorber. She addressed him as well, smiling brightly and appearing eager to serve. None of this ever happened in coach. I felt a pang of guilt. Poor Drew was back there, probably wedged between some chatterbox ladies, having to pay for an extra bag of peanuts.

“Ladies?”

I smiled up at him, and nodded. Monica had probably had enough to drink, but hell, letting loose was the whole point of getting away. He instructed the stewardess to pour three glasses, and handed ours over gingerly before taking his own.

“Thank you so much.” I was surprised I could speak with such calm, given who I was talking to.

“Ladies, allow me to introduce myself.”

Monica squealed, cutting him off and shaking his hand repeatedly. “We know who you are. Well, Leslie does more than I do. Max Gorber, right? I’m Monica and this is my friend Leslie.”

“Great to meet you,” he answered.

He released from Monica’s death grip and shook mine hand briefly. His eyes never left mine during the introductions.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Gorber.”

“Please, call me Max,” he insisted.

The passengers who had seats in the row ahead of us eventually showed up, so Max stepped into the aisle. It was still too busy for him to remain there, so he nodded and said he would speak to us during the flight, or later when we landed.

Monica was virtually bouncing up and down in her seat. She turned to me. “I can’t believe this is real…first class all the way!” I took a sip of my drink and nodded.

Splurging a little, after winning so much, seemed like the logical choice. The money would appear in my account any day now, but shouldn’t exceed three weeks. It would be there long before the credit card bills came. I smiled, taking another drink of my champagne.

“What’s the first thing you want to do once we get our room?”

Monica tapped her lip, as if she had to think about it. “Scour for men.”

I wasn’t surprised by my bestie’s response, but despite what she said, I took little comfort in it. The truth was, my heart was slowly filling up for one man, and I wasn’t sure there was room for thinking about another, let alone searching Vegas for them.

And for some reason still unknown to me, the man taking up residence in my heart was sitting in coach, and had not told me he was tagging along for my girl’s weekend. I closed my eyes and leaned back on the headrest. I’d find out when he landed. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, once my head cleared from the buzz of our champagne—and earlier wine coolers.

“What about you?” Monica asked.

I turned to her, and noticed her glass was already empty. “I don’t know. I definitely want to help you
scour
for men, as you put it, but I need to make this weekend relaxing.” Her eyes widened, and I blurted out, “Makeover. That’s what I want to do. And see Celine Dion.”

“Let’s park Celine for a minute. Okay?”

“Sure. But I’m going to see her show this weekend, and you have to come with me.”

“Alright, alright. We’ll do Celine. Tell me more about the makeover. You really want one?”

“Definitely. Hair, nails, makeup, a nice outfit. The works. I want a total transformation.”

Monica looked me up and down, then grinned.

“What’s so funny?”

“I could totally picture you as a blonde.”

“You really think so?” I asked, pulling my glass away from my lips and lifting my other hand up to stroke my brunette mane.

“Definitely. It would be the right change for you.”

I thought about it. The idea seemed appealing. Convinced Monica was right, I decided that’s what we would do. We would find the salon closest to where we were staying, book the earliest appointment, and see myself transformed before my own eyes. This was my time to shine.

Monica muttered something undiscernible, and leaned her head on my shoulder. Her enthusiasm was quickly replaced by drowsiness. She had clearly had enough, and in these stilettos, there was no way I could help carry her off the plane when we landed. I gestured toward the stewardess at the front so she would take both our glasses. Settling in for the plane ride, I closed my eyes with new resolve—this weekend would be a turning point.

 

***

Drew

I sat in the plane, wondering how badly Leslie was going to tell me off once we landed. I should have told her I’d be going to Vegas, but as plans only came together at the last minute, there was no time. She was the main reason I had chosen to go, and there was also another reason—that reason was sitting three rows ahead of Leslie and Monica, and had handed them glasses of champagne before the plane took off.

One of the flight attendants came over the intercom.

“Attention all passengers. We are arriving at our destination, please prepare yourself for landing… Thank you for flying, and welcome to Las Vegas.”

I repositioned myself in the cramped seating and put the seatbelt on. I hoped I could get a minute with her before she left the airport. It would be easier that way. Monica had let me in on what hotel they were staying in, and it would be too much of a coincidence if we got there together. The plane began descending and I held on tightly. Flying was not my thing for two reasons—turbulence and confinement. The only time I felt better was when the plane was in contact with the runway. This time, when it did, a held breath escaped my lips, but the anxiety didn’t stop. It would not, until I talked to Leslie and took care of that other business.

When we received the go-ahead to start leaving the plane, I quickly got up and grabbed my stuff, knowing time was not on my side. I hurriedly made my way to the front of the plane, out the hatch and down a long hallway to the airport terminal. I glanced around the terminal. No Leslie. No Monica. A pit formed in my stomach when I didn’t see them.

I walked to the baggage claim and glanced around. None of them were in sight. I had only packed one piece of hand luggage, so I headed outside, hoping I could see her or Monica, both of whom were lost in the sea of passengers. That’s when I spotted her. They were getting into the limousine with…with Max.
Oh shit
. This meant I would have even more explaining to do.

I ran to a vacant cab, suddenly feeling a rush of adrenaline. “Follow that town car in the front.” I threw my suitcase in the back seat with me.

The cab driver did as he was told. He never lost contact, and after twenty minutes of driving past the many famous Vegas landmarks, he finally pulled into the hotel driveway. The cabbie held back, thankfully. I didn’t want to be seen right away. I got out and paid the cab driver, and headed inside. The lobby was massive. I had never been to Vegas, so my jaw nearly hit the floor. There were large murals, fancy crystal chandeliers, mood lighting, never-ending rows of pillars, and opulence everywhere.

“Wow…” I mumbled, suddenly feeling more insecure about my finances. Max had offered me a room in his suite, and I realize now, I should have graciously accepted.

I saw them checking in at the desk. It was time to face my fate. I walked up to the three of them, and cleared my throat to get their attention.

Max was the first to notice me. He turned and shook my hand, his customary gesture no matter how often he saw a person in one day.

“Drew, how was the flight?” His voice was as grand and authoritative as ever.

“Hi Max. It was alright.” I turned to Leslie, who had just finished with the hotel desk clerk. Max continued before I could address her. Or maybe she was avoiding me.

“So have you changed your mind about staying here with me? I’ve got lots of room up in that suite. And you and I have got a lot to catch up on. We might as well use this time to make some headway.”

“Sure. Yes I’ll stay. Thank you.” I’m sure Leslie overheard Max, but she didn’t react. I tapped gently on her shoulder, bracing myself for the wrath she might unleash. “Leslie, can I speak to you?”

“Oh, you know these ladies?” Max asked.

“Yes. I work with them, and Leslie is my…Leslie, can we have a word?”

Chapter 2

Leslie

We made it off the plane and I was still flying high. I made it to Las Vegas! A dream was coming true, and nothing would stop me from enjoying it to the fullest. Except this time, ‘nothing’ did not seem to include Drew. Admittedly, I had been flip-flopping since we landed, going from, ‘
he’s here so I might as well enjoy it’
to,
‘shit! he’s going to cramp our style’.
 

I had been tempted to look for him at the terminal, but as we had first class seating, our bags showed up faster than expected. I didn’t see him anywhere. It was a different story for Max Gorber. He seemed to gravitate to us when we touched down. He made casual conversation as we left the plane, gleaning details of our trip, hotel and itinerary from my loose-lipped, tipsy best friend beside me. Not that I would hold any information from the man—after all, he was a billionaire. My measly twenty-five million dollar lottery winnings were but a candle to his bonfire of wealth.

By the time we had made it to the baggage claim area, I thought he might have designated himself as Monica’s and my protector. He had his driver load up our suitcases with his. And when he found out we were staying at the same hotel, he insisted we accompany him in his limousine for the ride over. Had it been anyone else I might have hesitated, but this was Max Gorber. There was no way I was saying no to a ride-along. This was something I could tell my grandchildren one day.

During the ride over, while he was speaking on the phone, Monica tried to convince me he was into me.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Monica.”

“I’m telling you, Les, he hasn’t looked my way for a second.”

“Well I’m not going to discuss this right now. Besides, he’s sitting right there. I’m sure he heard us.”

“He’s on the phone, Les. And I’m using my library voice.”

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, well your library voice is sounding like your street voice right now. Next time, I’m cutting you off at two drinks when we fly.”

She giggled and it drowned out whatever Max was saying into the phone across from us. By now I figured he must have regretted inviting us along in the first place.

I decided it was better not to carry on a conversation until Monica sobered up a little, and turned to immerse myself in the sites that were unmistakably Las Vegas. I let out a breath when the driver turned on to the southernmost end of the strip. God how I wished we could stop and take a photo in front of the famous
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
sign. It was already dark outside, so its horizontal diamond shape was lit up in neon, and the signature chasing yellow lights were racing around the border. I felt fabulous just looking at it. From there I took in King Tut’s museum and the Luxor, and it got better and brighter with every block we passed.

Soon we were at the hotel. Two bellmen came to attend to us. One opened our door, and offered a hand to help us out of the vehicle and direct us to the reception desk. The other tapped on the trunk for the driver to let him get our bags out.  As soon as we got to the hotel reception, Monica made a point of asking whether there was a twenty-four hour spa and salon close to the hotel. There was, and it was nearby. While I checked us in, Monica made the appointment using the desk phone.

Max was being served when I caught sight of Drew in my periphery. I wasn’t sure what to say to him. Why was he here? Was he following us? Was he going to be at the same hotel? There were only questions. When Max greeted Drew like they had been old pals for years, I had no idea how to react. And when he invited him to stay with him in his hotel suite, I was even more floored. But here he was now, insisting he needed to talk to me, after hiding his visit from me all week.

“What are you doing here, Drew?”

“Oh very nice!” Max exclaimed to Drew in a booming voice, completely ignoring my question as he interrupted. “So you and Leslie are together? Congratulations! It’s nice to see my brother and I have similar tastes in women.”

His brother! Drew has a brother? And it’s Max Gorber? What in the hell…

I took a step back and looked back and forth between their faces. They stood at the same towering heights, had the same hair and eye colors, and the same distinctive jawlines; the resemblance was obvious, once you put them side by side.

“You and Max are brothers?” Monica beat me to the question. I was still in shock.

“Yes,” Max answered. “Well, half-brothers to be precise, but close family nonetheless.”

“Leslie,” Drew said again, this time cradling my arm so I would walk with him. “Please, can we have a word?”

I rooted myself in place. I didn’t care if I made a scene, though that may have been the residual effects of the alcohol. “I’m not sure what you could have to say to me, Drew. Why are you even here? And why didn’t you tell me you’d be here? We were together all week, and you didn’t care to mention it.”

“Can you please just come with me so we can talk for a few minutes?”

He had a determined look on his face, and I sensed he was not going to give in. Against my better judgment, I excused myself from Monica and Max, and took his lead to a quieter corner of the lobby.

“Just say what you have to say, and then leave me alone, Drew.”

I stood with my arms folded, looking up at him as he appeared to search for the right words. He must have guessed my patience was wearing thin, and my instincts were yelling, telling me to make a one hundred and eighty degree turn right back to Monica. He placed both his hands on my shoulder, and looked down at me with pleading eyes. Like all the times before, I was mesmerized like a deer in the headlights.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about this.”

“About what? That you were going to follow me to Vegas, or that you’ve got a brother who happens to be Max Gorber, the billionaire?”

“What difference does it make that he’s my brother?”

I hesitated. I don’t know why it bothered me that he didn’t tell me. “Well I guess it doesn’t matter, but it just goes to show how little I know about you, after I’ve pretty much told you everything about me, my family, my mom, my brother too.”

“Don’t think that way, Leslie. I’d happily tell you everything. And I’m sorry I didn’t mention the trip. The plan really didn’t come together until last night.”

“And what plan is that, Drew?”

“I’d prefer to sit with you and give you all the details, instead of stand out her in a lobby. Can we go up to Max’s room and talk?”

“Well I’m only here for the weekend, Drew. And I didn’t come here to spend it with you.” I regretted those words as soon as they passed my lips. He dropped his hands to his side after I said it. I tried to correct myself but the words wouldn’t come. “I didn’t even know you were coming.”

“Fifteen minutes. I just need fifteen minutes, upstairs in private, to tell you everything. Please?”

“Fine.” I pouted. “But not now. Monica and I have a spa and salon appointment right after we take our things up to our room. If you want to wait until we’re done, we can talk then.”

“I’ll wait up. What room are you in?”

“Twenty one ten. It’s beside your brother Max’s suite.”

“Okay. Thanks Leslie. I’ll clear this up. I promise.”

He leaned down and kissed my cheek. His touch was just as electric. I silently cursed at my traitorous body for warming me up to the core, just from that kiss.

“We’ve got to go now. I’ll talk to you later.”

We rejoined Monica and Max, who stood chatting beside the reception desk. The bellman had been patiently waiting, and Max signaled to take our things up. Max was pleasant and talked all the way up the elevator, but I felt some awkwardness toward Drew. We were probably all a little tired, but no one sleeps in Vegas, and I sure wasn’t going to miss out on my spa appointment.

Our room was closer to the elevator than the men’s. We said our brief good nights, and Monica and I filed in after the bellman dropped off our things. Again, Max insisted he would take care of the tip. Monica waved and closed the door, and I collapsed on the nearest sofa as she explored the rooms.

“Omg, Les, this place is huge!” she said when she came back. She grabbed my arm and tugged for me to follow her. “Look! Floor to ceiling windows, a stunning panoramic view of the Strip, two bedrooms with plush, heavenly king beds, and another sitting room at the other end of the unit. Can you believe it? And did you notice? We have our own separate bathrooms, all marble and with Jacuzzis, no less.  There’s a kitchen over here too. Les. Why aren’t you freaking out about this?”

“Everything’s beautiful, Monica.”

“So what’s the problem?”

She stopped in my master bath and activated the bidet to get my attention. If I weren’t so wound up about Drew, I’d be impressed. Pulling almost all my body weight behind her, she led me through the kitchen to the larger sitting room, and stood beside the minibar.

“Need a drink? Come on Les, look at where we are. Why are you moping at a time like this?”

“It may have something with my best friend tipping off Drew about our trip. Or that he has a brother who’s not only a billionaire, but about to star in my favorite reality series. Oh wait, it could be that I’ve slept with him and I don’t know a damn thing about him, yet he knows every intimate detail about me.”

“Come on, hun. Don’t be like that. Did you guys talk down in the lobby just now?”

“No. He said he’ll tell me everything when I’m back from our salon appointment.”

She looked at her watch and her eyes bulged. “Right! We have ten minutes to make our appointment! Let’s go. He’s a good guy, Les. Just give him a chance to explain, and don’t think about it now. Besides, it’s time for your head to toe makeover!”

Clearly Monica knew more than she was letting on, and if she wasn’t spilling to me, it meant there was something bad in the mix.

BOOK: Tough Luck: A New Adult Billionaire Romance (The Vegas Billionaire Obsession Series Book 3)
8.07Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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