BY EVELYN SOLA
I was not a gambler. No way. I’ve built an existence free of risk and adventure. From my career to a small life with my closest family. I was not going to do anything to jeopardize my heart. But when my neighbor and number one menace to my safe plans showed up in Vegas, I did what every adventurous (not!) woman would do. I got drunk and married the man.
What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas. Then, I went and married Mellie Dupree. That woman I’ve been chasing for two years is now my wife. She claims she doesn’t remember our wedding, but I was there, and I know she’s not telling the truth. Then again, neither am I.
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The down pillow contours my head, shielding me from the cool air coming from above. The temperature in the room is not only due to the ceiling fan, but to the extremely efficient central air. I sigh happily and cover myself with the white, down comforter, basking between sleep and reality. I don’t remember ever being in a bed so comfortable.
I smile and reach for another pillow to hug, but my hand hits something else. Skin. I think I’m touching a stomach. A very hard and toned stomach, which I think belongs to a man. I touch it again, and whoever the stomach belongs to moans softly. I quickly pull my hand away and wait for things to come into focus.
I might not know where I am, but I know where I’m not. I don’t have a ceiling fan in my room, and the air conditioning in my bedroom at home works well, but not as efficiently as this one. Besides, I live in Boston, and if there’s one thing I don’t need in Boston in January, it’s air conditioning. I’m not in my bedroom at my brother’s two family house, in the first floor apartment where we live. The one I share with him and his family.
I’m in Sin City celebrating my friend’s wedding.
One of my best friends got married yesterday. It was a big group, full of her family and friends. It wasn’t the typical Vegas wedding with Elvis officiating the vows. It was a beautiful formal affair held in the ballroom of the Bellagio hotel. I cried when I watched her father walk her down the aisle, the epitome of happiness with her wide smile and inner glow. I’d wiped my wet cheeks with a tissue I had in my purse, and when I had looked up, it was to find familiar, piercing blue eyes watching me from across the aisle. I normally look away from his stares, but that time, I held it, and even in the big room, the electricity between us sizzled.
My phone buzzes from across the room. Despite not having a headache, I know I must have had some drinks if the dryness in my mouth is any indication. It’s so bad it feels like something died in there days ago. My bedmate moans again, turns over in the bed, and wraps an arm around me, forcing a loud gasp out of me by his sudden movement. He takes it a step further and puts a heavy leg across my thighs, keeping me securely in place. He nuzzles the back of my neck and sighs in contentment.
I stop breathing and my body goes completely still. I close my eyes and squeeze, hoping that when I open them again, I’ll be at home in my bed, and this will have been nothing but a dream.
But that doesn’t happen, and a dooming feeling hits. My stomach drops, and I feel my heart start to accelerate. I don’t want to do this, but I take a deep breath, and I turn my head, refusing to look at him, hoping and praying that it’s not who I think it is. But his scent is a dead giveaway. No one else smells like that, and in this instant, I know I did something I can’t take back. Images of last night start to surface, but I push them back down, refusing to acknowledge the reality of this situation.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been intimate with a man, and I squeeze between my legs. When I feel no soreness, I expel a breath of relief. I know whatever happened in this room does not extend beyond sleeping. Unless whoever that is has a small package. I shouldn’t have doubted it. He never would have done something like that. Besides, he’s wanted me for such a long time that I know he’d want me to remember.
Or maybe it’s not him. The altitude is not the same in Vegas as it is in Boston, and I’m sure more than one man uses this cologne. Maybe I went out and decided to let loose. Leaving behind the January northeastern weather will do that to any girl. I remember telling my sister-in-law about my plans to find a man for a night.
“Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” I had winked at her and nudged her shoulder with mine. She laughed and told me to have fun.
My bedmate lets out a snore, and I push his leg off. Making as little noise as possible, I take a deep breath and turn to face him. The cover is now askew, leaving exposed a long, muscular leg filled with dark hair. I close my eyes and say a short prayer.
Yeah, now you pray, Mellie, you heathen. God ain’t about to listen to you now.
He’s in black boxer briefs, and his morning wood is saluting the ceiling. I swallow involuntarily and do everything in my power to stop myself from wrapping my hand around the steel pipe of a dick that’s just inches away, but I chase the thought out of my dirty mind. Yeah, no way was that thing inside me. It would have ripped me in half. It’s not this particular dick that’s got my mouth watering. It’s the lack of dick in my life that’s making me yearn for this one.
His ribbed white t-shirt has ridden up, and a perfect six pack is on full display just inches away from my greedy hand. I let out a whimper, knowing for sure that the Lord did not in fact hear my prayers. Or maybe he did and decided to ignore me. It would serve my heathen ass right.
I exhale and continue to look past the broad chest. I see the familiar gold chain around his neck with the signature cross, and I know that God has indeed forsaken me. Again.
My hand itches to touch the chiseled chin with about three days worth of stubble. Just like it does every time I see him, but I can’t confirm my worst nightmare. He has a pillow covering his face. I’ve come too far to stop now though. I gently pull the pillow and close my eyes in resignation. I count to ten, and like I’m pulling off a band aid, I open my eyes and learn my fate.
The bottom falls out from under me. It’s my worst nightmare. It’s him.
Adam Flynn. Lying in bed next to me in nothing but a t-shirt and boxer briefs with his eyes closed, looking like a Greek God.
But he’s Irish, Mellie, not Greek.
He’s gorgeous. Always has been. There is no denying it. Perfect skin with just a tinge of pink. He has full lips, and I yearn to run my tongue along them. His thick, dark hair is a mess and sticking out from all sides, and that only makes him look sexier.
I jump off the bed as if I’m on fire and look down at my bare legs. I’m in nothing but my underwear and a white tank top. The one I had on underneath my sheer kimono top. I look around the room like a cornered animal, relieved only when I see my clothes perfectly folded next to the big screen TV. I quickly put on my jeans. Adam moans again, and when I look at him, he shivers and goosebumps spread over his body. I tiptoe to the bed, careful enough not to wake him, gently lift the comforter, and cover that perfect body of his.
This room is much more extravagant than mine. A suite with a couch and minibar. There are two bottles of champagne on the table, one of them still sitting in an ice bucket. I walk over there and pick one up. Some French name I can’t pronounce. I find my phone and do a quick search of that champagne. The price ranges from three to five hundred dollars, and I can only imagine the up charge the Bellagio adds. And he got two. What an idiot. I know he can’t afford this on a middle school vice principal’s salary.
I refuse to give in to my guilt since I didn’t make him buy it. I’m pretty sure I tried to talk him out of it. I don’t even remember any of it.
Needing to make my escape before he wakes up, I look around the room for my shoes. I see the black peep-toe wedges underneath the bed, and I get on my knees to reach for them. When I do, something catches the light, a sliver of sun coming through the blinds. I follow the flash, and I blink twice to erase what I’m seeing.
I hold up my hand, and right there, on my left ring finger is a fat, round, and crystal-clear diamond ring. It’s so clear that it must be fake. It’s bigger than the one my brother gave his wife. I could be mistaken, but I think it’s even bigger than the pink diamond ring one of my friends have. And right next to it is a platinum wedding band with small diamonds all around it.
“It can’t be real,” I whisper. I pull the ring off my finger and examine it, unsure of what to look for. A memory from last night hits. Drinks at a bar. Grabbing him and pulling him out of that bar and away from a tall, skinny bitch. There was a dare, but I chase the memory away. He would do this. He would put a wedding ring on my finger as a joke. I put both rings on the nightstand, but there’s an official looking form already there.
Curious, I pick it up. My stomach drops to the floor and the food I ate last night threatens to come up.
Party 1 – Flynn, Adam Finnegan
Party 2 – Dupree, Melanie Elyse
Another memory hits, but I refuse to dwell on it. I do something much worse instead. I look back at the document in my hand. My mouth has gotten drier, and my heart is beating so fast, I’m afraid it’s going to wake my sleeping—I can’t even think of the word to describe him.
My eyes finally land at the top of the form, but I close them before they can focus on the words. I inhale, say another prayer, convinced this time that I will be delivered. And once again, I’m forsaken. Right there in bold, black letters.
Clark County, Nevada. Certificate of Marriage.
A hand flies to my mouth and a sound of despair escapes. The piece of paper slips from my hand, floating in the air conditioned breeze until it lands on the floor. Without a second thought, I grab my shoes and purse and run out of the room, not even sure where I am, but when I step outside the door, I know I’m still in my same hotel, so I sprint to the elevator in my bare feet.
When I get to my room on the twelfth floor, I run to the bathroom, drop to my knees and empty the contents of my stomach. My eyes water and my throat burns. There’s no bitter taste of rancid alcohol or the putrid smell of last night’s dinner. Hardly anything comes up, and I end up gagging for what seems like forever. My body is like a ragdoll’s, hunched over the toilet as if I have no spine to support me. A loud sound escapes, and I realize I’m crying. I don’t remember the last time I cried, but in my Vegas hotel room, with no one there to witness it, I give in and weep.
What the hell have you done now, Melanie?
ABOUT EVELYN SOLA
A Boston native, wife, mother, and wine enthusiast. If she’s not writing, thinking about writing, you will find her with a book in her hands. While a new publisher, she’s been writing for years, and she will continue to write for many years to come.
Evelyn is obsessed with assertive and confident men who will stop at nothing to get their woman. Her stories are filled with love, passion and humor.
She currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and two daughters.
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