It’s Release Day!
WHEN IT DOESN’T STAY IN VEGAS
by Amy Valentini
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Things that happen in Vegas need to stay in Vegas…
After in indulging in too much champagne and a one-night stand in Vegas with a very sexy man, Abby Matheson prays what happened there stays there. Only she can’t get the incredibly passionate night with the amazing man out of her head.
Mitch Braxton can’t forget the incredible woman he spent a passionate night with only to find her gone in the morning having left no note behind—only her crystal heart pendant. Unable to even recall her name, he fears he will never see her again.
When it doesn’t stay in Vegas…
When Abby discovers her mystery man is the CEO of a company her boss is determined to take over, she must forget the man as well as that night. Her hope is no one finds out about Vegas because the merger and her job are now on the line. Discovering Mitch at his sister’s wedding is the last thing she expects and even as she tries to keep her distance, she wants him even more. Is it once more just lust or is there wedding magic in the air? And will she lose her heart as well as her career?
The cocktail lounge was subtly lit with luminary lights on the tables set up around a brightly lit circular bar. There was a low hum of conversation blending with the low volume music playing through speakers strategically set around the space. When a sudden burst of feminine laughter floated across the room and he heard his little sister’s all too familiar snort, he knew Caroline and her wedding party were just on the other side of the bar. He smiled, suddenly eager to see his kid sister and for the first time since he embarked on this trip, he was truly excited for her.
As they rounded the bar, he heard more than saw his sister. She squealed and came running toward him, threw her arms around his shoulders and hugged him so hard he thought if he died in that exact moment, he’d die very happy. Even though she wasn’t a blood sister, he loved her as if she were. A little girl of ten years old to his fifteen when his mother married John Stephens, they had taken to each other as if they’d always been siblings. She was his little sister always, and forever.
“Digger, I’m so happy you’re here. I just couldn’t imagine getting married without my big brother.” Caroline hugged him again, squeezing him so hard he coughed. “Oh my, you must be Elise.” He heard her say through a haze caused by lack of oxygen, and then his lungs expanded hard when she released him, only to hear a loud humph of air expelled from Elise’s chest when his sister squeezed her just as hard. “I’m so glad you’re both here.”
Then she wrapped her arms around both of them and pulled them in close. “I know all about what’s really going on and my lips are sealed. I just want you both to have a good time.”
“Thanks, kitten face, I appreciate it,” he whispered before giving her another hug. “By the way, where are my mom and John?”
“I think Martha is getting some last minute fittings done on her dress and Daddy is probably playing golf.” She winked at him. “I think you’re in the clear for a while, at least until tomorrow’s rehearsal dinner. I told them you weren’t arriving until tomorrow morning.”
“You little devil, you. That’s why you’re my favorite kid sister,” he said with a deep laugh before making a smooching sound against her cheek making her giggle.
“Ha! I’m your only kid sister.” Caroline suddenly pulled back and moved to his side. “Abby, come here! I want you to meet my big brother, Digger, and his girlfriend, Elise.”
Mitch turned and his heart nearly exploded in his chest, his knees threatened to buckle, and his hand instinctively went to the hidden glass heart in his breast pocket. Standing in front of him was the girl of his dreams who he’d begun to think might have been just that—until now.
Abby nearly dropped the two drinks she was carrying when she came face to face with Mitch Braxton. No, no, it can’t be. He was here, in Virginia, in Alexandria, in the same hotel and even worse, he was no more than four feet away.
Mitch Braxton was Caroline’s brother. No, it couldn’t be. Caroline had never referred to him as anything but Digger. She always wondered how a guy got a name like that, but never would she ever have imagined that Digger was the same man she’d spent an amazing night with in a Vegas hotel suite making mad passionate love with, and whom she’d hoped she’d never, ever, see again. The same man who her boss wanted a ratified contract from to purchase his company. The same man who because he hadn’t answered her many requests had caused her to put off her boss for nearly two weeks. Hell, she’d even sneaked out of town to avoid Morgan and hoped he wouldn’t track her to Virginia but now it had all caught up to her and the same man she’d tried so hard to avoid was standing right in front of her. This wedding weekend had just turned into the wedding from hell, and the beginning of the end of her once promising law career.
“Digger, this is my best friend from college, Abby Matheson. I can’t believe it’s taken so many years for you two to finally meet each other,” Caroline exclaimed with so much excitement Abby thought her friend might hyperventilate. “You’d already moved to California and then neither of you ever seemed to both be with me at the same time, especially since you’re in Chicago now.”
Nudging Abby’s side with her elbow, she beamed. “But here you are now.”
Abby explored Mitch’s expression for any sign of recognition, all the while hoping he wouldn’t remember her and yet wanting him to remember every minute of his time with her. She handed Caroline a margarita and transferred her own to her left hand before wiping her cold wet hand down the side of her jeans.
“Hi, nice to finally meet you, Digger,” she said in a voice she hoped sounded nonchalant yet friendly.
“Please, call me Mitch. Kitten face is the only who calls me Digger and I’ve never really figured out why,” he said with a tilt of his handsome head toward Caroline who was standing there with a silly grin on her face.
Thank God, he doesn’t seem to recognize me.
“Wait till you see the dress I picked for Abby, she’s going to look gorgeous,” the bride-to-be said rocking back on her heels with self-pride.
“I’m sure all of the ladies will look beautiful, Caro. Speaking of which, where are Annabelle and Beth? Didn’t you say they were in the wedding party too?”
Abby watched him glance around and when his gaze settled on the table where the other members of the bridal party had taken seats, he took hold of the arm belonging to the petite black-haired woman with more curves than were decent and who’d stood quietly by during the most awkward introductions ever made, and headed off in that direction.
Abby released a loud audible sigh of relief. He obviously hadn’t recognized her. Why that suddenly disappointed her so much, she wasn’t sure. Was I so unmemorable?
Shaking her head, she told herself it didn’t matter because relief at knowing he hadn’t recognized her, was what she’d needed right now. Besides, he was with a gorgeous woman and the way she was clinging to him told her all she needed to know. What happened between them in Las Vegas was to stay in Vegas, never to be revisited.
About the Author:
In addition to being an author, Amy Valentini is a free-lance editor here at Romancing Editorially and romance reviewer at Unwrapping Romance as well as an Avon Addict—a super reader group for Avon/HarperCollins. She has always loved reading, working with words, and creating stories that make readers think, laugh, cry, and escape the realities of everyday life. Writing romance keeps her belief in true love alive.
A graduate of Mary Washington College in Virginia, now the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in English, she has always had a dream of being a published author. Finally achieving that goal with her debut romance, SEEKERS OF THE PAST, she hopes readers will love her new series, the Seekers of the Past, a journey that will take the reader into the past as well as the present…where the past meets the present and love lives forever.
Amy lives in Virginia where, in her spare time, she reads and reviews romance, and misses taking walks with her favorite guy—her Rottweiler, Marco.
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