“If this is how you dress on Monday morning, I’d love to get a glimpse of you on Saturday night.”
I close my eyes even tighter. There’s no way he’s talking to anyone but me.
His breath inches over the skin of my neck as he whispers, “Just because you can’t see me, doesn’t mean I can’t see you.”
I thought he was fast asleep.
When I boarded this flight in New York City two hours ago, the man in the seat next to me was already belted in and silent.
It took me a few minutes to realize that his eyes were shut beneath the dark sunglasses he was wearing.
I used that to my advantage. I spent the first half hour of the flight blatantly staring at him.
Broad shoulders, day-old stubble covering his jaw, brown hair that is messed up just enough to promise a sexy, bad-boy beneath the tailored gray suit, black dress shirt and expensive tie.
“I’m West.” His deep baritone voice rumbles through every part of me.
If I could orgasm just from a man’s voice, this would be the one.
“And you are?” he continues talking even though I’m clearly not responding to him. “You’re not asleep. You can stop pretending you are.”
I bite the bullet and open my eyes. I turn to look at him.
I thought this man was hot when he was wearing sunglasses.
His warm brown eyes add another dimension to how devastatingly gorgeous he is.
“What’s your name?” He looks into my green eyes before his gaze travels over my shoulder length brown hair.
I turn my head so I’m facing forward again. I was the odd woman out when my friends and I decided to take this trip to Las Vegas. After a quick game of rock-paper-scissors, they lucked out and are sitting next to each other in the third row.
I was stuck with this aisle seat in the first row next to this stranger.
I can’t decide if that’s a bad thing or a very good thing.
“We’ll revisit the name issue.” He slides his hand to the armrest until it’s just mere inches from mine. “I need a vodka.”
“It’s ten in the morning,” I point out.
I catch a side glimpse of him sliding up the sleeve of his suit jacket to look at a silver watch. “In New York. It’s three in the afternoon in London so cheers.”
The flight attendant is pushing a glass of clear liquid into his hand before I can absorb what he just said.
First class definitely comes with perks.
“Can I get you anything?” She looks me over trying to hide the smirk that’s tugging at her lips.
One dose of self-esteem with a chaser of courage, please.
I wish that were on the drink menu.
“She’ll take one of these,” West says.
“I don’t day drink.” I glance in his direction again.
“You’re fucking kidding me.” He lets out a husky laugh. “You were sober when you got dressed this morning?”
I look down at the tight white tank top, bright pink tutu and white high heels I’m wearing.
Thank God I tucked the tiara that was on my head back into my bag after my friends took their seats.
“I’m not the only one dressed like this.” I jerk a thumb over my shoulder. “There are two other women on this flight dressed just like me.”
The plan we hatched a week ago seemed sane at the time.
Our mutual friend, Kendra, is set to marry her fiancé in less than a month. Since we’re all bridesmaids, we thought it would be fun to plan a one-night-only bachelorette party.
Unfortunately, the only night our schedules synced up was tonight.
We told the bride-to-be to meet us at the airport in Vegas since her flight from Atlanta lands thirty minutes before our flight. She has no idea that we’ll all be dressed in the same over-the-top outfit she wore in the pictures she posted to social media to announce her engagement.
That part of the plan was not my idea. I was outvoted. Twice.
“I don’t care about them.” He leans so close to me that his lips almost touch mine. “Something tells me that you’re the one who is unforgettable.”
How in the hell is this happening? This handsome stranger is flirting with me while I’m dressed like I’m about to hit up a Halloween party.
“Do you want a vodka or not, Miss?” The flight attendant interrupts the moment with her snippy tone and unwelcome question.
West doesn’t break our gaze as he polishes off his drink in one swallow. “Bring this angel a glass of vodka and a glass of orange juice. She’d like both.”
I’d like neither, but I’m too stunned to form any words. Angel ? Did he just call me an angel?
My gaze drifts to the flight attendant as she takes his empty glass and then steps toward the galley. When she disappears from view I turn and lock eyes with West again. “I was serious when I said I don’t drink during the day.”
“You’re headed to Sin City.” He glances briefly out the window next to him at the blue sky and wispy clouds. “You’re missing out on half the fun if you don’t drink before the sun sets.”
I attempt to smooth down the tulle of my skirt, but it’s useless. It’s just my luck to meet the hottest man I’ve ever laid eyes on when I’m wearing this getup. Why can’t I cross paths with a man like this when I’m tucked into one of the tailored suits or dresses that are waiting for me back in my closet in Manhattan?
I feel a sudden need to explain my current wardrobe choice to him. “I don’t usually dress like this. I’m meeting someone at the airport and this is part of the surprise.”
He studies me, his gaze focused on my face. “The other two women you mentioned are in on this?”
I nod, feeling a spark of relief that he’s seeing a glimpse of who I really am. I shouldn’t care what he thinks of me, but I don’t want him walking off this airplane with the impression that I’m a woman who parties non-stop in Vegas.
“That’s one lucky bastard you’re meeting,” he says smoothly with a lift of his brow.
The flight attendant appears again with two glasses in her hands. She places them both down on the wide armrest between West and me.
“Do you and your angel need anything else, West?” Sarcasm laces every single one of her words.
“Not at the moment, Sara, but I’ll let you know if that changes.”
I glance at the two glasses as she walks away before I turn my attention back to him. “I’m not drinking either of those and for the record, I’m going to Vegas to celebrate with my friends. There’s no lucky bastard waiting for me there.”
His lips curve up in an almost smile. “You’re wrong about that. There will be a lucky bastard waiting for you tonight at the Echo Resort and Casino. It’s on the strip.”
My gaze darts over his face. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m staying there.” He downs the vodka in my glass in one swallow. “I’ll be in room 2626. When you’re done with your day of celebration, join me for a night of sin.”
I laugh. “I’m not that type of woman…I mean, I don’t and I can’t.”
What I really mean is that I’ve never spent a night with a man I don’t know, but I’m not about to confess that to a complete stranger.
He looks down at where my hands are laced together in my lap. “I don’t see a ring. Are you married? Engaged? In a relationship?”
“No, no and no,” I spit back before I pick up the glass of orange juice and drink it all. I wish to hell I had gotten my hands on the vodka before he did. “Are you in a relationship?”
“If I were in a relationship, I wouldn’t have invited you to my room.” He tucks a lock of my hair behind my ear. “You know what they say about Vegas.”
“That what happens there stays there?” I don’t move back from his touch even though my common sense is screaming at me to turn around and stop talking to him.
“You can live out every fantasy you have there, and no one will be the wiser.” The pad of his thumb brushes my bottom lip. “You’ll go on with your life tomorrow. I’ll go on with mine and you’ll have a Vegas memory you’ll never forget.”
They aren’t just sweet words meant to tempt me. There’s a promise there too. I see it in the way he’s looking at me.
“Miss?” Sara, the flight attendant, is standing at my side, her fingers strumming over my shoulder. “Your friends have persuaded the man sitting across the aisle from them to switch seats with you. Normally, I wouldn’t be so accommodating, but I’m willing to make an exception this one time.”
I unbuckle my seatbelt. Two hours ago I wanted desperately to sit closer to my friends. Now, I’d be happy staying in place until the plane lands.
“It was a pleasure.” West lifts my hand to his lips and kisses it softly. “I’ll see you tonight, angel.”
I stand, smiling softly. It’s not a question. It’s an assumption. As tempting as his invitation is, I doubt I’ll ever see this man again. He doesn’t realize it, but he’s already given me a memory that I’ll cherish for a lifetime.