Mira Singh exited her flight into McCarran International Airport and was immediately flooded with the sounds of slot machines ringing and the flashing of bright neon lights, as she walked past them.
It had been a very long time since she had travelled anywhere, and certainly not without her half brother, Jahan, by her side, so the experience was both nerve-wracking and exciting.
Luckily for her, Mrs. Morris, her part-time babysitter and elderly, former neighbour, was more than happy to stay with Jahan for however long Mira needed her to. She found the whole idea of chasing after love, very romantic and Mira hoped that Nicholai would agree with her.
She’d come to Vegas to apologise and win back his trust, but she knew that with a man like Nicholai Bach, it wouldn’t be easy. As Natasha had told her before, Mira had really hurt him. So much in fact, that he’d left the State soon afterwards to focus on his businesses elsewhere.
Clearing the airport took some time, and then she was on the first available taxi to one of the most popular hotel and casinos on the Vegas Strip - which coincidentally was also owned by Nicholai. She had booked her room earlier, not knowing how she would be received by him and not wanting to be presumptuous.
Mira still couldn’t believe just how badly she’d screwed things up with him. She’d totally misjudged him. She’d thought he was a rich playboy, with nothing to do with his millions but play with the world like a monopoly board. How wrong she was. In fact, she couldn’t have been further from the truth.
It turned out that he had been an orphan.
She’d done some research on him. It wasn’t very difficult to learn about his past, as he hadn’t been hiding it. In fact, he had used his background to excel and to promote and motivate other kids like him.
He’d been in foster homes since he was three years old, never staying in any one place much longer than a year. By the time he was eighteen, he was immediately focused on making his first million by the time he was twenty one.
The press loved him. He was interesting enough to make the news all over the world and gorgeous enough to make the cover of celebrity magazines. He was reputed to be a playboy, but from what she had learnt about him, he was anything but.
She’d been working on her apology on the plane ride over. Her first task, though, was getting him to see her. She wasn’t above groveling if she needed to.
Natasha had been very helpful in organizing everything. Their relationship had started off rocky as Natasha wasn’t just Mira’s boss, but had also had a relationship with Nicholai. Things had eventually smoothed out once Natasha realised Nicholai’s interest in her intern was genuine and that Mira felt the same way.
Natasha also knew Nicholai’s schedule. He’d be in meetings all day today, but he was supposed to be at his nightclub tonight. She was hoping that the laid back setting and alcohol would put his guard down enough so he wouldn’t turn her away and refuse to speak to her.
The taxi dropped her off at her hotel; Mira settled in and prepared for tonight.
Mira took her time getting ready later that night.
She wore a little black dress that reached mid thigh and had a halter neckline. She left her hair open and flowing in dark brown waves around her bare shoulders. A smoky eyeliner, dark red lips and gold chandelier earrings completed her look.
The dress was simple but hugged her curves, emphasizing her small waist and flared hips. Five inch heels made her look taller, her tanned legs longer and she barely recognized the bombshell that stared back at her when she took a final look at herself in the floor length mirror.
If he’d been attracted to her wearing her boring waitress uniform, then he couldn’t possibly turn her away looking like this.
She knew she was right when heads turned and catcalls followed, as she walked past the long line curving along the side walk around the nightclub.
Natasha had made sure her name was on the List, but it seemed that she didn’t need it, because the burly bouncer gave her the once over, and immediately moved the stanchion that separated the people in the line from entering the club.
Mira shot him a smile in gratitude and entered the club.
The walls were practically pulsing with the waves of dance music that blasted throughout the club.
Mira took a moment to adjust her eyes to the darkened and foggy interior. Through the laser lights and swarm of moving bodies, she spotted the DJ in a booth, on a platform at the far end of the dance floor.
A circular bar was smack middle of the floor and glowed, eerily attracting patrons. She walked over to order a drink, hoping that some liquid courage would help.
Less than five minutes later, she was sipping on a martini and scanning the club. Natasha had told her that Nicholai usually hung out in the VIP area on the next level. Sure enough, when she looked up, she saw the dark hair and chiseled jaw of his side profile and immediately felt a punch to her gut in awareness.
He was gorgeous.
No wonder he had two women hanging on to every word he was saying. One was touching his arm, while the other kept giving him flirty smiles.
She couldn’t see his face clearly, but from the way he held his body stiffly, she could tell he was uncomfortable. She took that as a good sign that he wasn’t fawning over them as well.
Encouraged, she downed her drink in a large gulp, set her glass on the bar, and squared her shoulders.
This was it.
She made her way through the throng of gyrating bodies, and over to the VIP area, where two large bouncers were standing, blocking entry or exit. They eyed her warily when she approached.
“Uh, I’m here to see Mr. Bach.” She said, trying not to stammer.
They didn’t even twitch.
She frowned. They must get that a lot. She changed tactics.
“We have a meeting tonight.” She said, brightly, “Just call him over, he’ll tell you.”
Still they didn’t believe her. She turned to pull out her phone, from the clutch she was holding, to send a text to Natasha when a voice stopped her.
She whirled around at the sound of the smoky voice she’d missed and almost did a double take.
He looked different. His chest seemed wider, his biceps larger, as if he’d been spending more time at the gym. He also looked like he hadn’t shaved in a week. But instead of looking disheveled, he looked dark and dangerous.
He was looking at her like he couldn’t believe she was actually here. His blue eyes held his obvious surprise, but she also saw the underlying anger and knew he was still upset with her.
He waved the bouncers by and motioned for her to walk over to him.
He took her arm, not-too-gently and she had no choice but to follow him or be dragged to a quieter corner of the room. He braced her against the wall, his intoxicating scent enveloping her and making her slightly disoriented.
“What are you doing here?”
When he focused his laser gaze on her like that, she forgot everything she had planned to say to him - except one.
“I came to apologise.” She said quickly, before she lost her nerve.
In her heels, the top of her head barely met his chin. She tried to look up at him and found it difficult to not let her gaze stray to his lips, which were currently pressed into a hard line.
“I don’t want your apology.” His voice held a bite to it, “Nor do I need it.” He made a move to turn away from her but Mira caught his forearm boldly, making him face her again, his eyes blazing.
“Please Nicholai.” Her voice was soft and pleading, “Just hear me out.”
His eyes searched hers for long minutes, before his gaze swept down her body and back up again, making her squirm under his blatant inspection of her.
“Fine.” He spat out the word and put his arm around her waist, moving her with him again, “Later.”
They were moving away from the crowd and down a dark corridor. Nicholai pushed open a door and gave her a nudge inside.
A light was flicked on and Mira saw that they were in a small office. She heard a lock click and spun around to face Nicholai.
“Now pretty girl,” Nicholai made a predatory step towards her and she backed up until she felt the desk at her hip, “Show me how sorry you really are.”