Tough Luck: A New Adult Billionaire Romance (The Vegas Billionaire Obsession Series Book 3) (4 page)

BOOK: Tough Luck: A New Adult Billionaire Romance (The Vegas Billionaire Obsession Series Book 3)
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Chapter 7

Drew

The glow of an early Las Vegas sunrise peeked into my window. I shielded my eyes from the sun and caught a glimpse of Leslie as she slept beside me. She looked so peaceful, I decided not to disturb her. I got up and closed the window blinds so the light wouldn’t wake her. Max would be ready to head out for golf anytime, so I went to have a shower. He knocked on my door the minute I was done in the bathroom.

“Good morning,” I said when I opened the door. “I’ll be ready in just a few minutes.”

“Morning,” he answered, peeking around me when he noticed someone was still in my bed.

“I see you got lucky last night. Way to go, big brother!”

I pulled the door closed and stood in the hallway to speak with him. “It’s not like that, man.”

“Well what is it then? Who is she?”

“It’s Leslie. The girl from work. We’ve been seeing each other.”

“Well good for you, man. She’s hot. So, is it serious?”

“It’s all really new. Come on, let’s get ready and headed for golf. I’ll explain everything then.”

“What about clothes? Do you need any? I notice you just had a small travel bag. You look like you’re my size. Why don’t you check through my closet and see if there’s anything you want to wear that will be more comfortable for golf?”

“Sure why not. Thanks Max.”

I nodded and checked through his things while he sipped his coffee. He had probably ordered room service, because there were two large trays of hot and cold breakfast items on the counter as well as a carafe of coffee.

I found the simple golf shirt and slacks, and went back to my room to get dressed. Leslie was still sleeping when it was time to leave. I wrote her a short note and placed it on the nightstand beside where she slept before leaving with Max.

 

***

 

“Tell me more about our father’s will, Max,” I asked as we rode in the cart to the next tee-off. We were halfway through our golf game, and not doing too badly.

“I gave you the high points last night, and there’s so much more to it, it’s probably better if you ask me specific questions. Tell me what you want to know.”

I hesitated. I wasn’t sure what to ask. It’s not like someone showed up before and told me I was the heir to an oil tycoon. “I guess for starters, I’m curious about what it means to work as a VP for the company. Will they be looking for us to work full-time?”

“Let’s put it this way, Drew. I think it’s safe to say you and I can work as few or as many hours as we want in the business that belongs to us. Dad was a workaholic, and even then he still had a CEO that ran things. The company has over a thousand employees in the United States.”

“And it’s not because I’m shying away from work or anything, it’s just I know what I love. And more importantly, I know what I don’t know.”

“I’m in the same boat with your brother.”

“What about decision-making?”

“It’s the same deal. If you want to be more involved you can be; if you don’t, you don’t have to be. The company will be running for very long time under the CEO and the Board of Directors. We get to decide how much we will participate. The point, to Dad, is that we stay connected to Gorber Oil.”

“And will I have to change cities?”

“The company headquarters is in Dallas, so no. But we have offices in several cities. You’ll have options.”

“What about timing for all of this? Am I going to get to this reading of the will next week and be told I have to start work the following Monday?”

“No, Drew. It’s nothing like that. Even if you wanted to start right away, things will take a little bit of time to get you an office, to settle on what position you’ll take, to get you trained and oriented to the company. Nothing’s going to be overnight. And there’s still tons of paperwork to take care of.”

“Okay. That’s fair enough. And what about financials? I don’t want to sound greedy or anything, but are we going to have a salary if we have to work for the company?”

“Of course you’ll have a salary. No one expects us to work for free. There’s also a trust in your name. I don’t remember all the details of how much. Just know that you will not have to worry about money again. Ever.”

“Wow.” I raked my hand through my hair. “This is really a lot to take in, Max. It doesn’t even seem real.”

Max reached over and squeezed my shoulder. “Believe it. It’s real.”

We were silent in our thoughts for a few minutes, before Max spoke up again.

“So tell me what’s going on with you, Drew? You work in TV. You sound like you love your job and career. Aren’t you married? I distinctly thought you told me you were still married.”

“Officially, I am. I’m going through a divorce right now. The judge has already finalized the judgment. It’s just a matter of all the paperwork catching up so I finally say I’m single again.”

“You’re lucky, then. Leslie must be very understanding of your situation.”

I looked over at him. “Actually, she doesn’t know yet.”

“What? Are you crazy? How could you be sleeping with her and she doesn’t know?”

“I started this new job two weeks ago, and I met Leslie on the first day. Things have kind of gone really fast, and then she won the lottery. We really haven’t had a chance to talk about anything else. Needless to say, this news about our father adds to the complexity of what I have share with her. To be fair to me though, I did offer to tell her everything last night. And she didn’t want to know.”

“Two weeks. Wow. You move quickly. I thought the two of you were in a long-term thing when I saw you together in the lobby.”

“I’ll tell you something Max. I left my ex-wife over two years ago. It had been over a year and a half before that, and I stuck around. I went all that time without getting into anything serious. I wasn’t looking and honestly, I wasn’t sure if I trusted my judgment anymore. When I met Leslie, we had a few bumps, but overall we just clicked. Things just fit and made sense, and here we are now.”

“You sound like you’re in love, big brother. Leslie looks like a good catch. I’m not going to meddle or anything, but if you really like her that much, you should tell her now. I don’t think you should wait.”

“I agree with you. Things really did happen so fast, and they still are.”

“We’ll take a word of advice from me. Settle all of your affairs with your ex-wife before you sign any of the papers. In fact, see if you can settle it this week before the reading of the will. The last thing you want to do now is having an ex-wife to deal with.”

“And she’s crazy too.”

“Well there you go. I’d say take care of it. Fast. We’re talking about billions of dollars here. You want to make sure you surround yourself with the right people going forward. Leslie sounds like a gem, though.”

“She is.”

“Good.”

I didn’t know what to say. “Are you single, Max?”

“Very. I’m twenty-four. I’m not looking to settle down. And besides, look at us. We Gorber men don’t fall for women, Drew. Women fall for us.”

“Max, you sound like a man with his head on straight,” I answered. “Wait, hold a minute. Aren’t you about to star in a new reality series to find a wife? Leslie made me watch some kind of two-hour-long promo on TV the other day. It was you. What was that name? Something like billionaire gets a wife or something. Am I right?”

“Sheesh. I don’t know what I was thinking. I got approached by some producers, and before I knew it, I said yes to doing the show. None of it is real, anyway. My symphony director knew one of producers. They convinced me it would be a great way to get extra visibility as a concert pianist. The things we do for recognition, huh?”

“I guess. So do you go through with a real marriage? Or is it all fake?”

“None of it is real.”

“You mean you have twelve women chasing after you, all hoping to be your lawfully wedded wife and sink their claws into your billions, and it’s all a show?”

“Yup.”

“And the women know this too?”

“Yes. We all signed contracts. It’s all transparent for the participants. For the viewers, that’s another story. It’s a show.”

“Leslie would be so bummed to learn that. All this time she thought it was real.”

“Yeah? She drank the Kool-Aid, huh?”

“I think so. Welcome to reality I guess.”

“Exactly. Hey, there’s my ball. I think I’ll get a double eagle on that one.”

Max stopped the cart and we got off to start the next leg. Clearly I had a lot to think of. Now I just had to decide whether I tell her here while we were still in Vegas, or wait till we get back. Either way, it was not going to be easy. I had a sinking feeling she wouldn’t like it now or later.

Chapter 8

Leslie

I woke up alone in Drew’s bed. Because of the blacked out curtains, I had probably overslept. I smiled, hugging myself. I was brimming over with happiness. Our first night in Vegas was a blast, and I couldn’t wait to get more of what it offered during the day. I saw Drew’s note that he was out with his brother, and was getting dressed when I heard a text message coming in on my cellphone.

I grabbed my purse and pulled out the phone. I groaned. Ten text messages and three voicemails were up on the screen. I skimmed through them. They were all from Monica.

Hello! Are you alive? Where did you go? What are you doing? Leslie, this isn’t funny.

The messages continued, each one getting more frantic than the last, all ranging from after midnight to six o’clock in the morning. I was about to listen to the voicemails, when I heard phone vibrate. Monica was calling again.

“Hello?”

“Oh my God, Leslie... is that you?” The sound of Monica’s agitated voice came through louder than ever on the phone.

“Of course it’s me,” I said. “Who else?”

“I’ve been worried sick. When you didn’t come back to the room, I didn’t know where you could have gone. I called…I texted…I even knocked on Max and Drew’s hotel room door and no one answered. Where are you?”

“I’m next door, in Drew’s room.”

There was a long pause on the phone.

“You were there all night?” She sounded annoyed and upset.

“We got back here just before midnight.”

Again, a long pause followed. “If that’s the case, then why didn’t you answer the door when I came… not once, but twice?”

I couldn’t remember hearing a knock on the door, but then again, we were back in his room, caught up in each other. “I guess we were a little preoccupied. I’m getting dressed now. I’ll be right over.”

“Okay.”

“So what about that guy you met?” I asked as I searched for my shoes. Oh yeah. I probably left the shoes in the limo. I smiled, remembering the wild ride.

“Right,” Monica mumbled. “That didn’t go anywhere after you guys left. The man had the personality of a paperclip.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll be there in a bit, okay?”

“Sure.”

I disconnected the call, found my purse and left a note for Drew that Monica and I would be out most of the day.

 

***

 

“So what’s on the agenda today?” Monica asked after we ate breakfast in the main floor bistro of our hotel.

“Site-seeing on foot and some shopping.”

“Good thing I wore comfy shoes. Lead the way, then.”

The first stop we made was at Sin City’s iconic Caesars Palace. There was no way we would miss checking it out, having come all this way. Monica went directly to the casino floor. She threw a twenty dollar bill into a fruits and diamonds slot machine and pulled the lever. By the time she was done—in less than three minutes—her twenty had turned to fifty cents.

“This is why I don’t gamble,” she joked. “Let’s see if the men are hot.”

I followed her as she stalked around the game tables, attracting the attention of every warm-blooded man in the place. She really made her presence felt everywhere she went.

“Let’s go, Monica, before you have an army in your entourage.”

We strolled the indoor stores at the Forum shops—it was an experience all by itself. We stood enthralled at the sky-blue indoor ceilings, got a little out of hand in the luxury brand shops, and took pictures in front of the largest aquarium I had ever seen. Of course, given I was with Monica, we couldn’t go street-side until we stopped and had a bite at the Cheesecake Factory. Thankfully this was a day with lots of walking, so I could burn it off.

We slipped on our sunglasses and went into the great outdoors. The South Strip was bustling with tourists, the odd street performers and shirtless male beefcakes for tourists to snap shots with. Monica made a beeline to the full grown Mickey Mouse smoking a cigar. Only in Vegas. From there, we took the monorail and made stops at New York New York, the St. Mark’s Square gondolas, and the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas.

We were carrying bottles of water, but we both agreed to a glass of specialty wine at the Downtown Cocktail Room. After that half-hour of kicking back, we headed over to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, where in addition to taking photos with carbon copies of some of Hollywood’s top performers, music and television stars, sporting legends and superheroes, we made a point of getting a shot with a white tiger.

“Les. This is as close as you’re gonna get to a hangover re-do this time I’m afraid.”

“What? No chickens clucking and running through our suite tomorrow morning?”

“Not a chance,” she joked.

“I feel jipped! That should come as a standard upgrade with the room.”

“I’d like to see you make
that
room service call.”

“It’s alright. I’ll settle for a visit to the Mob Museum.”

We took a cab there, and got our money’s worth in details of organized crime and the mob’s role in establishing and expanding Vegas. Our feet had done a lot of walking, so we hopped on the Deuce bus—one of those double-decker buses that rambles up and down the Strip—and took in an elevated  view of some more of the sites.

A weekend didn’t seem long enough to take in all the major landmarks, but we tried to make do. Somehow, it seemed like we were climbing in elevation as the afternoon wore on. We took photos at the Bellagio’s famous jumping fountain, and made another stop to catch the Big Shot and the X-Scream—two of the four heart-stopping thrill rides on the Stratosphere Tower. It was a good thing we hadn’t eaten for a couple of hours. Monica looked green after the Big Shot, and I still forced her on the next ride with me.

It’s impossible to tour Las Vegas without stopping for pictures at a wedding Chapel. The one where we stopped was not one of the more notable sites, but it did the trick.

“You and Drew would look great outside this one,” Monica said out of the blue.

“What?”

“You heard me.”

“Come on, Monica. You and I know we’ve only known each other for two weeks.”

“I didn’t say to get hitched this weekend, Les. I just said you’d look nice here.”

“Monica, you know, you’ve never been the type to jump in with both feet when it comes to relationships.”

“What can I say? I’m a free spirit kinda gal.”

“Yeah. I noticed last night.”

She laughed and tugged me inside the chapel. “Yes, he was cute for a while, but was missing something. I’ve got high standards for the random guys I sleep with, you know?”

“Oh trust me, I noticed.”

She stood with me under a neon
Just Married
sign and took a selfie of us.

“We should send this to Sam at the station. She’d get it to all the staff before the weekend is out. That’s sure to cause a sweet round of fresh office gossip.”

“Yes. And just wait until it gets on Facebook. Come on, Monica. Lets’ get a couple more hours in. Drew asked if you and I want to spend the day with him tomorrow. He said Max has got a few things planned.”

“I’m up for it if you are. I’m easy, remember?”

“How could I forget?” I teased.

“Oy. Watch it, sista. I didn’t mean it that way.”

“Yeah, yeah. Let’s go before we have our first lover’s quarrel.”

We rode the Deuce again and zigzagged up and down the Strip as we stopped off at the Luxor, Pharaoh’s museum, Palazzo, Mandalay Bay and the city center. I had no idea if or when I’d be back in Sin City, so we made the most of it.

On our way back to the hotel, we took a cab to Wynn Las Vegas, and I wished we had gotten a room there instead. It was gorgeous. While we walked the terraces, Drew sent me a text to see what we were up to. While I was sending him a text back, Monica pulled me to the bottom of an ornate spiral staircase and took a selfie of us.

“We haven’t taken enough photos, Les. You want to remember this, don’t you?”

“Of course. Let me finish this text to Drew.”

“What’s up?”

“He wants us to join him and Max for dinner.”

“Sounds fancy. I think I’ve got a cocktail dress for tonight.”

“No no. We’re not wearing anything we brought to go out to dinner.”

“Seriously Les, you’ve spent enough on those dresses from last night.”

“No I haven’t. I won’t be shopping when we go back to Dallas, Monica. There’s nothing this…adorable!”

I caught sight of a red and gold, floor-length, silk scarf-hem dress in one of the windows. It was luminescent, and beautiful under the store’s mood lighting.

“We’re getting these,” I said, dragging her inside behind me. “Look. There’s purple. And pink too. And this one has those lovely sleeves. Come on, Monica. When do we ever get to wear clothes like this? Let’s try these on.”

She didn’t take much convincing this time, and the first one she tried fit her perfectly.

“Well, it does look good on me.”

“Yes it does.”

“That red is great on you, Les. And the gold is amazing with your new hair color.”

I had to agree with her. We stood in the mirror and admired the look.

“Drew is going to love that on you.”

“You think so?”

“Yes. He’s really into you, Les.”

“Did he tell you that?”

“No, Les. Anyone can look at him and tell. He’s got the bug. Come on. Get that credit card out, and let’s pay and head back. I could use a foot massage and a nap before dinner.”

“How about a little stop at the spa when we get back? But we’ll have to skip the nap, though. I told Drew we’d meet him in front of Caesar’s in an hour.”

“Deal.”

 

 

BOOK: Tough Luck: A New Adult Billionaire Romance (The Vegas Billionaire Obsession Series Book 3)
2.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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