White. Everywhere. Startling white sunlight blasted her eyes open. More white surrounded her. She blinked, then ducked her head under the cloud of bedding.
This isn’t my bed.
Only hotels had bed sheets bleached this white. Alexa’s heart jumped. Where was she? London? That was a month ago. A stopover in New York. A weekend in Vegas. Oklahoma for Christmas.
Dallas. Last night. The slamming New Year’s party.
What time is it?
The vodka-induced pounding of her head muddled her mind. She had no clue where her dress was—or her underwear. A heavy ache anchored her legs, and her stomach roiled.
Alexa hadn’t allowed herself to get that drunk in years. The hangovers. The stupid decision making. The calories.
Melissa, her New Year’s Eve accomplice, probably wondered where she was. They had a lunch appointment with good-luck black-eyed peas and collard greens. She could use some luck to pull her year out of the ditch. She was sputtering already, and it was only day one.
First, she had to leave the warm bed, find her clothes, and get the hell out of…wherever she was.
A masculine, sleep-rasped voice snatched her breath. Alexa snapped upright then yanked the duvet up over her bare chest.
There he was—smiling, naked, and awake in more ways than one.
His eyes were half open, sleepy, and wanton under a fringe of golden brown lashes. Her eyes slid down the lean stretch of muscle and tanned skin next to her on top of the covers.
“Why can’t you disappear in a puff of smoke?”
Her heart thundered as if she’d finished an hour of wind sprints. Somehow, the words that sprang up in her head had come out of her mouth.
Graham woke up steeped in the satisfaction of his New Year's Eve success. The details blurred, but he could practically feel the firm ass in his hand, soft lips on his, and the tight squeeze on his cock. An easy, pleased-with-himself grin spread across his face.
She stirred, rustling in the cocoon of bedding.
She shot up. He caught a luscious view of dark-tipped breasts before she clutched the comforter up to her chin. Ginger ale eyes widened at him. She pressed her lips tight, beguiling dimples appearing in her cheeks.
Graham wanted to banish Miss Prim and bring back the woman who’d bucked and clawed astride his lap a few hours before. She threw her face into her palms.
"Why can't you disappear in a puff of smoke?"
“That’s not the magic act I do, but drop the sheet, and I’ll show you another trick.”
“Then I’ll disappear.”
She swung away from him, fighting the bed sheets to get her feet on the floor.
“Don’t go. Come on.”
He touched her back, and she arched away and jumped out of bed. Graham got a fantastic view—long, naked curves of creamy café au lait skin.
“No. I’m not…no.”
She scrambled to snatch her dress, handbag, and lace underthings off the floor, then raced into the bathroom. The door snapped shut.
Graham leaned out of bed to grab his cell phone out of his pants pocket and reorient himself with the world while she attended to herself for several minutes.
The muffled rush of water filled the room—first from the sink and then the shower. A clang of objects against the hard countertop surprised him. How much could she have in that tiny purse?
And what would she look like in the shower? Rivulets of water streaming down the curves of her naked body. Her back would arch, pushing her breasts forward and up.
His hand roved down to his twitching groin, but then he slapped his thigh and thought about football. The Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo. Defensive line woes.
He couldn’t have her walk out and see him tugging on himself like horny teenager who’d just seen his first boob. Plus, he still hoped to convince her to stay. He’d need that hard-on.
Then, the door flung open as purposefully as it had been slammed shut. Somehow, she looked polished and bright—even in last night's spangly mini-dress.
"I have to go.”
"I have plans. I'm probably already late. What time is it?"
Her dispassionate tone sliced off each word flung in his direction. Graham sat up and turned the clock on the nightstand toward her.
“Shit.” She flipped her gaze around the room, dark curly hair bouncing, then found her shoes tumbled over in the corner. Balancing like a dancer on one leg at a time, she strapped the spiked heels to her feet. "I have to get back to my hotel."
"Give me two minutes. I’ll drive you."
“No. I’ll manage.” She strode toward the door. Another second, and she’d be gone.
"Where do you have to be in such a hurry on New Year's Day? I figured we could relax. Go have breakfast. Or order room service."
She turned to face him. With the morning light dancing off the silver sequins of her dress, she looked like an angelic go-go dancer. His body stiffened again, which he made no attempt to hide from his guest.
Her eyes darted to his erection and then locked back on his.
"I told you. I have plans. And I need to go back to my hotel and change."
"Let me drive you. It's the least I can do."
Her hand flew to her hip in a fist. "Since I did you the favor of having sex with you?”
Shit, she was a beast. His interest wavered even as she threw her sparkling hip to the side in an unwittingly way. "I'm attempting to be nice."
She huffed. "Fine. Are you going to shower or something?"
"Yeah. Two minutes."
Game on. So what if she was a little bitchy? Her body was killer, and he love another turn.
Graham bounded to his feet and into the bathroom, not bothering to close the door. He threw on the shower and stepped inside. As soon as he closed the shower curtain, he heard the heavy thud of the hotel room door.
Damn. He didn't even remember her name.
Alexa strutted across the posh lobby of the Ritz Carlton as if taking a turn on a fashion runway—not a walk of shame.
She needed a ride and a coffee and a toothbrush.
When she hit the valet stand, the shining sunlight blinded her. A headache split her skull like an ax, and her stomach did another pirouette.
“Do you need a cab, ma’am?”
“No. I have a ride on the way.” Alexa glanced at her phone, checking the progress of her Uber. “Two minutes.”
She held the phone up to indicate that she was on top of the situation.
“Quite the party last night.” The valet gestured toward the lobby bar.
Alexa scoured her memory for details of her New Year’s Eve. She and Mr. Mystery hadn’t gone to the bar. They left the house party around one a.m. and checked into a room at the Ritz. Or maybe he already had the room? No. He’d stopped at the front desk. Slips of details surfaced like old receipts in her purse.
What was his name? She knew he’d told her. Ryan something? As far as Possibly Ryan knew, her name was Lola. She and Melissa argued about her using her fake name while inching through the line for the bathroom.
“How are you going to connect with the guy if he doesn’t know who you are?”
“I’m not looking for anything long-term, and every guy here is only looking for a party anyway. A party doesn’t require a name.”
Melissa had pressed up to her tiptoes to shout into Alexa’s ear. “That guy is smoking hot. And he’s into you. You could do better than a one-night stand.”
“I’m not going to have a one-night stand with him. I don’t know him. We’re just dancing.”
The bathroom door had opened, and Melissa headed inside. “Whatever. Let’s get more of those fruity shots. Those are really good.”
Alexa’s stomach wrenched at the memory of the sweet, alcohol-laden mini glasses of hangover. As soon as she got back to Austin, she was doing a cleanse.
She fell into the back seat of the ordered car and willed herself not to throw up. Alexa had a stellar rider score and intended to keep it that way.
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