Brush With Fame

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Chapter 2

A pair of strong hands grab my arms to steady me.

I am so embarrassed and prepare to apologize profusely.

“Oh! I’m so sorry! This is totally my fault. I wasn’t looking…” I stop mid-sentence and stare. If I had to say something at this exact moment in order to save my life, I wouldn’t be able to do it. But I would die happy. I gaze up into the most beautiful pair of blue eyes I have ever seen. He also has a gorgeous smile, a handsome face and thick dark brown hair.

Holy shit! I just ran into Ryan Paxton! Mr. Hollywood heart-throb.

“It’s ok. No harm done. Are you alright?” he asks with just a slight English accent. He still has a gentle grasp on my arms and he’s staring intently into my eyes, genuinely interested if I am ok.

Oh!!!

Talk Olivia! Don’t let him think you are a complete idiot, I think to myself.

“Uh, yes, yes. I’m fine. That is, other than being completely embarrassed. Thank you. I am really sorry,” I apologize, my face is blazing with embarrassment and I have trouble breathing.

“Come on Ryan,” one of his friends call. I don’t pay any attention to his friends. I cannot stop staring at Ryan Paxton.

“Well, you have a lovely evening then,” he says. He releases his grip and waves. I stare after him. He actually turns back, smiles and winks at me while he walks away.

Oh! I am in heaven. I can’t believe I just ran into Ryan Paxton. THE Ryan Paxton! Granted, I wish I hadn’t physically run into him and embarrassed myself, but I will take what I can. This vacation finally has a bright spot. I can’t wait to tell Ally. She is going to freak when she hears about this.

My happy bubble bursts a moment later when Craig comes out of the store.

“Here you are. Why did you come out here?” he asks. “I thought you were shopping.”

I ignore him. He sees me staring down the hallway. “What’s up?”

“I just ran into Ryan Paxton,” I tell him. “I mean, I physically bumped into him, almost knocked him over.”

“The actor? Really?”

I nod.

“That’s cool. Made your night seeing a celeb, huh?” Craig smiles and nudges me with his elbow.

I roll my eyes. Yes, me running into an actor has to make my night because you are a stupid ass who has ruined my life, I say to him in my head. If only I had the courage to say that to him out loud. I am really starting to look forward to going home and kicking him out.

I turn away from Craig towards the casino and wander around. The casino is packed full of people. I stop at tables to watch them play blackjack, poker, roulette, and even Casino war. People are actually betting money on playing war – high card wins. I watch them win and lose. Craig is still following me around. Why is he sticking with me? Is it just to pass time? Is he trying to annoy me so much that I tell him to get lost? Finally, Craig and I sit down at a blackjack table and play for a little while. Craig ends up losing about two hundred dollars. I win fifty dollars. Usually I lose so winning $50 is great. In the end I am too tired to gamble anymore and tell Craig that I’m going up to the room. He says he going to stay and gamble some more. At last, I am able to escape him.

The next morning, I wake up around 6:30am. Stupid internal clock. I roll over and look at the other bed. It’s empty and looks like Craig hasn’t even come back to the room. Dumb ass. Does he really think that I won’t say anything about him not coming back to the room? Most likely he gambled all night and I’ll find him down in the casino, probably at a poker table.

As I get ready, I think through everything Craig has put me through the past 2 years, ending with his stupid flirting last night. And it’s just damn common courtesy to call or text to let me know that he isn’t coming back to the room. I become livid and am fuming. Who the hell does he think he is treating me like this?

To hell with waiting until we get back home. He finally pushed me over the edge. I’m going to go find him and give him a piece of my mind right now.

Once I am ready, I grab my purse and stomp to the elevators to head downstairs. I don’t want to lose my nerve. It is about time that I am this upset about him and his flippant attitude. He is such a jerk! Why did I ever agree to come out here with Craig? I should have known he would do something that would totally piss me off and ruin my vacation.

Calm down, I tell myself. I am not pissed off at the world, just Craig. I put a friendly smile on my face in case someone is in the elevator already. It is certainly not their fault my husband is a jerk. I wait impatiently for the elevator to arrive.

After what seems like a never-ending wait, the elevator finally dings its arrival and a few seconds later the doors open. I freeze and all thoughts of my issues with Craig vanish. There in the elevator stands Ryan Paxton. As soon as he sees me, he flashes me a gorgeous smile.

“Well, good morning,” he says.

OMG. He actually recognizes me.

Then he holds up his hands and smirks. “Please don’t try to knock me over this morning.”

My goodness, he’s gorgeous. Inside, I am screaming and hollering. It’s a struggle to try to remain calm on the outside. I nervously laugh and smile at him.

“I’ll try to control myself this morning,” I reply. I need to move and get onto the elevator, but I am trying not to hyperventilate. He is really going to think something is wrong with me if I cannot move.

“Did you want to get on the elevator or are you going to wait for another one?” he smirks.

Oh, damn it. See!

I glower back at him playfully. “Getting on.” I reply. I gather my wits and step into the elevator. “I…uh…” Frustrated, my brows scrunch together. “I really am sorry about yesterday.”

“Please. Don’t worry about it. It was no big deal. Neither of us got hurt. Going to the casino level?” he asks.

“Yes, thanks.”

How lucky am I? This has just made my day great. I try not to gawk at him or fidget because I can feel him watching me.

“Did you have a good evening then last night?” Ryan asks.

He’s just a person, I have to remind myself. Talk to him like a normal person.

“It was…ok. Today will be better. Thanks for asking,” I answer.

I can see he wants to question why I say that. But I bulldoze on, “And did you have a good evening? I mean, after that crazy woman tried to run you over?”

He laughs out loud, his smile shines through to his eyes. “I did. I had a very enjoyable evening, even with that beautiful, crazy woman who tried to run me over.”

Oh my god. He is flirting with me. Ryan Paxton is flirting with me. Nobody is going to believe me. Pull yourself together, Olivia.

“Oh, good. I’m glad to hear that I … I mean, that the crazy woman… didn’t ruin your evening.”

I silently plead with the elevator. Please get stuck, please, please, please. No such luck, the doors open. Dang!

Ryan gets out on the second floor - spa, pool and workout area.

“Well, enjoy your day today,” he says as he moves to get out. “Hope it’s better than yesterday.”

“It already is. Thanks. Hope you have a good day, too. Oh, and watch out for crazy ladies trying to run you over. Don’t want that to happen again.” Yes, finally a good, witty retort.

He turns to look back at me and grins. “Well, I wouldn’t mind being run over again, as long as it was you.” He winks at me mischievously and the elevator doors close.

My mouth drops open and I feel my breath catch. I fall against the elevator wall. Ryan Paxton totally flirted with me. Me – just an ordinary person. And damn, he is so gorgeous, too. So much better looking in person than in the movies or in magazines and he looks pretty damn good on screen. And he is super nice. So nice he might just give an admirer a thrill? I try not to read too much into this flirting. I’m sure he flirts with lots of girls, knowing his effect on them. But, it makes me feel special and totally makes my day.

The doors ding open revealing the casino. Oh crap! Ally is going to kill me. This is the second time I’ve run into him and I forgot again to get a picture of him. I was concentrating so hard on trying not to sound like an idiot that I completely forgot to ask.

I stand there mulling over everything so long the doors start to close. I push the door open and scold myself to pay attention and do what I came down here to do - find Craig. There aren’t too many people in here this early so it should be easy to find him.

Easy? Right. When is anything easy with Craig? I walk around for about an hour, but don’t find him anywhere. I try his cell; he still doesn’t answer.

My great mood that was brought on by Mr. Paxton disappears. I’m back to being furious with Craig. On top of everything else, I can now be mad at him for ruining my special run-in with Ryan Paxton.

Wait. Why should I worry about Craig? He obviously doesn’t care. I shouldn’t waste any more of my time on him. I shouldn’t waste my vacation being pissed off at Craig instead of enjoying myself. This trip and the divorce will be the last time I have to deal with him.

Having made that decision, I feel freer. Like a weight has been lifted off me. I decide to go grab some coffee then walk around and go shopping at the shops inside another casino close by on the strip to hopefully make me feel even better.

I have a great time shopping and walking around for a couple hours. I enjoy the fact that I can go into any store I want and spend any amount of time looking about without having to be told every couple of minutes that it’s boring or be embarrassed by inappropriate flirting. I love to watch people interact while shopping. I also keep thinking about Ryan Paxton and his flirting in the elevator. That helps raise my spirits even more and I can’t keep the smile off my face.

Feeling like I am in a much better place to talk about Craig without ruining my mood again, I decide to call Taylor to give her an update. She answers right away. I tell her about Craig’s flirting and that he didn’t come back to the room the last night and that I couldn’t find him this morning. She calls him some names and tells me again that I need to get rid of him. I finally completely agree with her. Taylor whoops with glee that I’ve finally seen the light. She also hears how happy I am and wants to know why I’m so cheerful when Craig is pulling this crap.

“Well…Are you ready for this? Ryan Paxton is out here in Vegas. And he’s staying at the Bellagio, too.”

“Oh, yeah?” Taylor says slowly, sounding a little preoccupied.

“And well, I ran into him last night.”

“You did? Did he see you?” she asks, still engrossed with something and not understanding what I am telling her.

“Oh yeah, he saw me.”

“That’s cool,” she mumbles.

“Taylor. When I say I ran into him, I mean I physically ran into him” I tell her.

“Wait. What?!” Taylor exclaims. Sounds like I have her full attention now. “You’d better give me details.”

I tell her about dinner with Craig and shopping afterwards and how I rushed out into the hallway right into Ryan Paxton. I also tell her about Ryan flirting with me in the elevator this morning. Taylor is so excited she is practically shouting at me.

“What?! Oh my god, I am so jealous. Wow! Ryan Paxton! Did you get a picture for Ally?”

“No” I wince. “She’s going to kill me, isn’t she?”

“Most definitely,” Taylor confirms. “You know she lives for that stuff. Why didn’t you get a picture?”

As I talk, I wander into a Hawaiian store to mindlessly browse around, not really paying any attention since I am talking to Taylor.

“I don’t know, Taylor. I guess I was dazed. I wasn’t expecting him to be in the elevator. I barely remembered to keep breathing, let alone trying not to sound like an idiot when he talked to me. God, listen to me. I sound like a teenager with a crush.”

I take a step back and bump into someone.

“Oh! I’m so sorry. Excuse me,” I apologize automatically before turning around to whoever it is I ran into.

“Well. Hello again.”

No! I huff out a breath. I know that voice. “No, no, no!!” I whisper into the phone. I spin around to finally look at who I bumped into and groan out loud.

“Who was that,” Taylor whispers, like he can hear her over the phone. “Is that him? It sounds like him. Olivia! Is that Ryan Paxton?”

Of course, it’s him again. And I am pretty sure he has heard what I just said to Taylor. Crap! I can feel my face heat up.

“Taylor,” I say, keeping my eyes on Ryan. “I’m going to have to call you back. Um, I need to talk to Ryan. I ran into him…literally…again. So, I need to apologize…again.”

“Olivia!” Taylor exclaims as I end the call.

My phone rings immediately, but I send it to voicemail.

“Hi!” I say skeptically to Ryan.

“I didn’t mean to make you cut your call short,” he says, eyes twinkling.

My phone dings letting me know that Taylor left me a message. I’m sure she left an earful. I put my phone back into my purse.

“Oh, it’s ok. That was just my friend Taylor. She’ll understand,” I say waving my hand as if to brush it off. “I am so sorry about bumping into you again. You must think I’m a total klutz.”

“No, I don’t think you’re a klutz. Besides, it was my fault this time. I saw you here and came over to talk to you, but didn’t want to interrupt your phone call.”

“Well, I’m really sorry anyway.”

“Don’t you remember what I said this morning?”

Remember what he said? How could I? All my thoughts had left my head as soon as I had bumped into him, so I don’t have a clue what he is talking about. I give him a blank look.

He smirks and reminds me, “That I wouldn’t mind a crazy, beautiful lady running into me today, as long as it was you.”

“Oh! That,” I say.

Huh. Well, hell. I’m sunk. I can feel my face turn even redder. My heart is fluttering, like it is getting ready to take off. I still can’t believe that Ryan Paxton is talking and flirting with me. This is turning out to be the best vacation ever. As much as I hate to think it, thank god Craig made me come to Vegas.

“So, are you just window shopping today, since you have no bags?” he observes.

“Yes. For now, I’m just window shopping. I was trying to just relax and de-stress. And it worked. Window shopping and… people watching relaxes me.” I say that like I’m embarrassed about people watching. But there’s nothing wrong with that.

“I love people watching. I don’t get to do it very often anymore. I like to make up stories to go along with the people. If they’re happy or mad, having an affair,” he wiggles his eyebrows, “or are newly married. It’s really fun.”

“Yes! Exactly.”

“By the way, what is your name? We’ve bumped into each other a few times now. You obviously know who I am. And I really don’t want to keep calling you ‘hey you’’’, he smiles and extends his hand out to shake.

I accept his hand. Oh! His touch is powerful. It sends tingles throughout my body.

“I’m Olivia. Olivia Sterling.”

“That’s a beautiful name. It is truly a pleasure to meet you, Olivia Sterling. What’s next on your agenda?” He keeps holding my hand.

At that inopportune moment, a loud growl emanates from my stomach. Talk about mortifying. My face turns an even brighter red. I pull my free hand up to cover my face. Ryan laughs.

“Well, apparently you’re hungry.”

I have to laugh, too.

“I skipped breakfast this morning,” I explain. “I guess I should get a little something to eat. Would you care to join me?”

I stun myself by my own confidence. Where did that come from? I’m never this forward with anyone I just met, let alone a celebrity and one I have a crush on. But I do feel oddly comfortable with him. It’s probably because he is so nice. And I feel like I know him but that’s probably because of all his movies I’ve watched. Most likely he’ll just say no anyway. I am sure he has better things to do.

“I would love to have lunch with you, Olivia,” Ryan replies and releases my hand.

Seriously?! He just said he would have lunch with me!! Holy crap!

“Really?” I ask, astonished.

My face must reflect my amazement because he busts out laughing.

“What?” he says. “You did ask. Is it not ok that I said yes?”

“I… um… Yes, it’s fine,” I spit out. “Honestly, I didn’t expect you to say yes.”

“Why not?” I can tell he’s intrigued.

“Well, because you’re…Ryan Paxton,” I whisper, stating the obvious.

“Yes, I’m Ryan Paxton” he whispers back to me. “You’re Olivia Sterling. So what? I’m a person who just happens to act for a living. I’m hungry, too. So we’ll have lunch together; get to know each other a little better. Ok?”

I nod.

“Do you like Mexican? There’s a little place just down the hallway?” he suggests.

I nod again, but don’t move.

He smirks at me.

“Shall we?” Ryan asks and puts his hand on my lower back to lead me, humor still visible in his bright, blue eyes.

I get goosebumps all over from his touch. And every time he touches me, my heart takes off in a gallop. I feel breathless and anxious. What kind of reaction is this? I’ve never had this reaction to someone before. I hope he can’t hear my heart pounding.

We start walking towards the restaurant. Ryan gets some stares, some recognition, but he has on a stocking hat and sunglasses trying to be more inconspicuous, hoping most people don’t quite know if it is him or someone who just looks like him. A few people are brave enough to come up and ask if it really is him. Ryan is honest with them, then he takes a picture with them or signs something. I am in awe of how quickly he signs or takes pictures and moves people along before it gets out of hand.

I have hellish butterflies in my stomach. I am thinking of what to say to him, to show him that I’m not a complete dolt. It’s my chance to do something totally not me. I need to be witty and amusing. I have to keep up my end of the conversation. He also doesn’t know me and probably wont’ see me again, so I can be whoever I want to be. No pressure.

“So…um.” I clear my throat. “Excuse me. I need to get my mind working again.” Ok, so I go with being idiotic me and honesty. Whenever I get nervous, I typically just spit out anything without really thinking about it. Ryan just laughs again.

“What are you doing here in Vegas?” I ask then instantly frown. “Sorry, that sounded kind of rude. I meant, are you working out here… or taking a few days off?”

“A little bit of both. I’m in Vegas for some interviews. You know, to promote Surrender, but I’m also taking some extra days to relax and have fun before filming starts again for the sequel.”

“When do you starting filming again? Sorry. You’re probably tired being asked questions.”

“No, it’s fine. You can ask me anything, Olivia. I’ll answer the best I can,” he smiles. “Actually filming doesn’t begin for about another three months. A lot of the filming will take place in London. But I have other obligations that I have until then.”

“I can’t wait for the sequel to come out. Some friends and I saw Surrender when it opened and loved it,” I says smiling nervously.

“Thank you, Olivia.” He smiles while watching me.

“I’m sure you get that all the time.”

I remember that he grew up in London. I figure that is a safe subject to talk about. Thank you Ally! “You’re from London, right? Will you be able to see your family and friends while you’re there?”

“Yes, I definitely will see them all while I’m there.”

We reach the restaurant and I’m unable to ask what he means by that comment.

Per Ryan’s request, we are seated at a table in the back – as secluded as possible – by ourselves. We are at a square table. Ryan pulls out my chair for me. Then instead of sitting across from me as I expect, he sits in the chair to the left of me. We order and get our drinks.

“A toast,” Ryan says.

I pick up my glass.

“To unexpected but definitely pleasant run-ins in Las Vegas.”

“Cheers,” I say and take a gulp.

Ryan takes a drink, sets the glass down and looks at me.

“So how about you, Olivia? Are you in Vegas for work or holiday?” he asks.

I squirm. “Vacation,” I say with no excitement in my response while looking at my glass.

He frowns at me. “Are you here by yourself on vacation then?” he asks.

Crap. I don’t want him to ask that. But I decide to be honest. I make a face and sigh.

“No. I’m out here…with my husband.” I finally look up and watch him as I tell him this. I see his eyes cloud a little and maybe there is a little disappointment on his face. I see his eyes flicker to my left hand where there is no ring. I took it off Saturday after Taylor told me about Craig and his girlfriend. I didn’t want anything to do with it. His confusion replaces the disappointment.

“Oh boy. This is going to sound bad.”

Ryan looks at me questionably.

I sigh. “Alright, I’m going to be completely honest with you. Yes, I am out here with my husband. However, I haven’t seen him nor have I heard from him since I ran into you last night. So, it’s kind of like I’m on vacation by myself.” I unconsciously put my hand on Ryan’s arm. “Which is fine by me. I’m enjoying going around by myself. I get to do whatever I want. No snide comments about what I want to do or how long I take looking at things.” I stop abruptly because I realize I am babbling away and touching his arm. I pull my arm back like I got shocked. “Oh, sorry.”

“Please. You’re fine; no worries. Sounds like you need to vent. Where is your husband?”

“Who knows? I think he’s gambling. But I’m not sure.”

“That’s a really shitty thing for him to do to you.”

“Tell me about it. But not seeing him on this trip is not what I’m upset about. I actually hope I don’t see him.”

Ryan studies me for a little bit. Oh, God. Stop looking at me, I silently plead. I am very uncomfortable with him looking at me that way.

“Is that why you’re sad?” he finally asks.

I squirm yet again in my chair.

“I…What?”

“Yes, you have very sad eyes, Olivia,” Ryan explains. “I noticed them when you first ran into me last night – although you looked more pissed off, not just sad. At least they were until you realized who I was.” He smiles at me with that incredible smile again. “Then again this morning when you got on the elevator, you seemed more annoyed. But there was sadness behind the annoyance, and then your eyes sparkled when you saw me.” He winks at me.

“Well, who wouldn’t perk up if Ryan Paxton smiled at them?” I blurt out. “Oh, God.” What is wrong with my mouth today? My eyes grow big and I put my hand over my mouth to stop myself from saying anything else. I am mortified. I want the floor to open up and swallow me right now before I really say something I will regret. On the bright side, I am at least keeping Ryan entertained, even if it is at my own expense.

“You are truly the most delightful person I’ve met in a long time, Olivia. It’s very refreshing. You seem honest and very natural with me.”

I look at him, it seems like he really means it. I guess there are lots of fake people out there when you are a celebrity. I can’t even fathom what he goes through.

Before I can comment, our food arrives. The server almost dumps Ryan’s plate in his lap when she sees who he is. She apologizes profusely, completely flustered and leaves us alone. I snicker, relieved to not be the only one who embarrasses themselves around him.

I take a small bite of my food. It is good, but my stomach is still full of those butterflies and feels very upset.

“So, who were you with last night?” I inquire.

“You didn’t know who they were?” he asks, surprised.

Oh shit. Who else was with him? “I… I guess I didn’t really pay attention to them after running into you,” I say embarrassing myself once again with how obsessed I am with him. “Dammit! Who was with you?”

Ryan laughs. “It was a couple guys from Surrender; Michael Dosser and Jason Knight. They had to leave this morning, so we went out last night.”

My mouth drops open and I stare at him for a moment.

“No! Seriously? I missed Michael Dosser and Jason Knight? Dang. And it’s all because of you!” I lightly slap his arm, teasing him.

“All because of me? Why is that my fault?”

“Because I couldn’t stop staring at you to get a good look at the other guys. See how you are?”

He laughs again and I join in.

“Well, I do apologize for monopolizing your sight.”

“Apology accepted. You’re a good reason to have my sight monopolized,” I grin.

Ryan barks out a laugh. “Oh, Olivia. I’m so glad I met you.”

I grin at him and take another bite. I can’t believe I missed Michael and Jason.

“It’s really too bad I didn’t get to meet them too last night.”

“I don’t know. I kind of like keeping you all to myself right now,” he replies, his eyes twinkling again.

Oh, jeez. Him and his flirting. How am I supposed to respond to that and be able to function? Maybe he is just doing this to fluster me. Or see what kind of idiotic words come out of my mouth.

We each take a few bites in silence.

“Tell me more about Olivia,” Ryan requests.

“Hmm. Not much to tell. I live in Kansas City. I’m an accountant for a big firm there. Let’s see. I’m an only child. Love to read and hang out with my girlfriends. I live a pretty simple life.” I take a bite and chew. “See? Boring, right?” I purposely keep away from saying anything about Craig. Somehow he knows this and doesn’t ask any questions either.

“Simple and quiet is not boring. Do you like your work?”

“Yes and no. I love working with numbers. It gets extremely stressful during certain times of the year. But, you know, it’s a big firm. Working for someone else.”

“Have you thought about venturing out on your own?”

“Well, of course I’ve thought about it. It would be nice to be my own boss. I…uh… actually have a bunch of ideas and numbers and lists for starting up my own firm.”

Oh, Lord. I’m already opening up to him about my dreams; this is not good.

“Did you grow up in Kansas City?”

“No. I grew up in a small town a couple hours away from Kansas City. About 800 people in town.”

“Ah. So you probably knew everyone in town. Everyone looking out for each other,” Ryan conjectures.

“Yeah, you couldn’t do anything without someone knowing what you did. Everyone sticking their noses in your business. It sucked,” I whine, thinking about a certain incident in high school.

“And what did you try to get away with?”

“I…um, nothing,” I cannot stop embarrassing myself around him. “Anyway…I went to college and when I graduated, I found that there were a lot more opportunities in Kansas City, so I moved. I liked it and have been there ever since.”

Ryan sits there watching me, making me uncomfortable again.

“Well, how about you? Tell me about Ryan Paxton?”

I have to get him to stop analyzing me.

“Hasn’t everyone reported everything there is to know about me?”

“True. But I haven’t heard it from you. Who is to say if what I heard is true or made up?”

He thinks about that for a moment. “Fair enough. As you know, I grew up in London, did a few commercials, a few TV show appearances. I found out that I liked acting and that I was pretty good at it. Let’s see. I have two older brothers who are a pain in my ass, like brothers should be. But I love them. My parents are still in London and worry about me. My life is anything but boring, with people following me around everywhere. Everything I do is documented; not much privacy in my life.”

“That would be difficult,” I agree. “I’m not sure I could handle everyone in my business.”

I shudder trying to imagine what his life is like with paparazzi following him around. It is a little creepy and scary. I actually look around to see if I can spot anyone out of place or with a camera. He sees me and smiles, understanding exactly what I am doing.

“I don’t think anyone followed us, at least I hope not. But it is a part of the life I chose, so I deal with it. I would love some normalcy in my life, but not sure how I will get it.”

He makes it sound like a wish that he knows won’t come true. I bet he would like some normalcy and privacy, I definitely would.

“So do you like acting?”

“Most of the time, yes; I love it. It’s great fun becoming a different character for each movie. It’s challenging to play some roles, but others are easy.” He glances at his watch. “Shit! Time flew by talking with you. I’m so sorry, Olivia. I’m going to be late. I have an interview.”

“Don’t be sorry. Thank you so much for having lunch with me. I had a really good time. Highlight of my trip!” I tease.

“I think we can do better than lunch for the highlight of your trip. If you are available later, I would like to meet you for dinner. Does that work for you?”

“I’d love to,” I squeak out. Holy crap! Did he even have to ask?

“Great. How about I meet you by the Bellagio’s botanical garden entrance at 8:30?”

“Ok. Yes.”

“Great. You stay and eat the food you barley touched – I know you were hungry…” he winks at me. “And I’ll see you later tonight.”

He trails a finger down the right side of my jaw and gives me a quick kiss on my cheek before he gets up and walks out of the restaurant.

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