A few nights later, Perion exited The Rose Bush. She had broken the news to her boss about needing some time off for a trip to Las Vegas. As she’d expected, Newsome took the news badly. A night without Wild Innocence meant a night without her share of the money.
“You’re the goddamned main draw, Thorn, don’t you care?” Newsome bellowed.
“No,” she replied, “you know I don’t. Why ask? Besides, I want to get married.”
Newsome laughed sarcastically. “Married? To that skinny prick? Oh great, what a pairing. I don’t approve, but I guess if I don’t give you the time, you’ll quit on me, won’t you?”
It was Perion’s turn to laugh. “You bet your ass.”
She then gathered up a few things and made her way out to the alley. When she stepped out the door, she saw Lein chatting away with the night security guard. Once he noticed her, he tapped the guard on the shoulder, and the guy nodded and went back into the club. Lein then leaned against the wall, never looking away. It was too late for her to go back inside, he had seen her, and he wouldn’t let her go back in.
“What are you doing here,” she asked, exasperated. Hadn’t this scene played out before?
He sighed. “Why do you always ask that? What do you think? We need to talk, Perion.”
“Let it go,” she said, near tears.
“No way,” he said, and approached her. He placed one hand on the side of her face. “My God, Perion, what are you doing? It’s obvious that you want me, not Blaine. Right now, it’s in your eyes. When we made love, I felt it.”
She viciously slapped his hand away. “Mind your own damned business,” she snapped.
“I thought I was,” he said. “What is it? What do I have to do?”
“I’ve told you, Lein, you have to leave me alone.”
“And I’ve told you...I can’t.”
Unable to help himself any longer, he kissed her. During the kiss, his hands found her breasts. Her own moved down his back, onto his ass, and back up again to entangle into his hair. Temporarily, Perion forgot she was about to marry Blaine in a few short days. But some of her senses remained within her.
She broke the kiss and shoved Lein backward. “Go away...stop this, please stop doing this to me,” she begged quietly.
“You know I can’t, and I don’t think you can, either.”
She sighed. “Just go away and leave me alone, it’s that simple. I have to get out of here.”
“Please don’t do anything you’re going to regret forever,” he said softly.
She sighed again, and then laughed sarcastically. “I think I’ve already done that.”
“You don’t mean that.”
“Yes, Lein, I think I do,” she said, knowingly lying through her teeth. “I told you before, he’d never give up, and I don’t think I can trust you,” she said through light tears.
Shocked, Lein spat out, “Perion, I-”
She held up her hands defensively, to cut him off. “Forget it, forget me. I have to go.”
Without giving him a chance to say anything else, she turned back toward the club and went inside.