They're not mine and I'm not making any money…
I guess this is where my muse went, because this story won't leave me alone! I have the whole story line figured out, so maybe if I write it up I can get my muse back under control! Please enjoy!
What Happens in Vegas…
"Okay, Babe, you're ready to go," Ranger said, withdrawing his hand from the scrap of fabric I was calling a top. How he'd found somewhere to secure a mike, I'll never know… maybe that's what all the exploration was for.
I just gave him a hazy nod, and seeing my lipstick smeared all across his bottom lip, reached out a thumb to wipe it away. Pulling out my compact, I checked my own lipstick and found it mostly rubbed off so I applied a fresh coat before sliding out of the truck.
Taking another look down my body, I wondered yet again how I got talked into this. I was wearing an outfit that would more than likely be considered indecent exposure in Jersey, but since we're in Vegas anything goes.
I was doing a distraction on Donovan Riley, a white collar criminal, who'd been evading the Rangemen for some time now. They'd chased him all over Trenton, but he'd somehow stayed one step ahead. The night I'd been scheduled to do distraction in Trenton was the night he fled the state.
It had taken the guys a couple of days, but they'd tracked him to Vegas. Ranger had wasted no time calling in my promise to do distraction and of course I agreed. Who was I to turn down a free vacation to Vegas, even if it was a working vacation?
There hadn't been much chance for vacation though, since we'd been laying low trying to find Riley for the past two days. We'd finally found his hotel, which was across the street from a sleazy strip joint where he'd been spending all his time.
So, squaring my shoulders and giving my hips a bit more swing, I walked through the door. Spotting Riley on a barstool, I plopped myself in a stool a few down from him, but close enough to talk. Giving a dissatisfied huff and arranging a pout on my face I ordered a drink.
"Hey, Baby," I heard from my other side. Shit. "What's a sweet little thing like you doing alone in a place like this?"
"Just having a drink," I said as the bartender delivered my drink.
Someone else came over to talk to the guy just then, so I took the opportunity to slide a few stools closer to Riley.
"Excuse me," I said.
"Yeah?" he responded, lifting his eyes to me.
"Could you do me a favor?" I asked, leaning in and revealing even more cleavage.
"Sure, Sweetheart," he said, speaking to my chest. "What can I do for ya?"
"See that guy over there?" I said tilting my head towards the guy from before. When Riley nodded I went on, "He's really creeping me out. Do you mind if I just sit here with you so he'll leave me alone?"
"Only if you let me buy you another drink when that one's through," he said, shooting me a smarmy smile.
"Deal," I smiled, lifting my glass and taking a sip. Damn, I had to get him out of here before I could finish this one. It was quite strong and if I drank the whole thing I wouldn't be walking out.
"I'm Donavan Riley," he said, extending a hand.
"Stephanie," I replied, taking it.
"So, what are you doing here alone?" he asked.
"Well," I said, thinking fast. "Until about ten minutes ago, I was dating a bouncer and he was going to try to get me a job, but I kicked him in the nuts when I saw him making out with one of the other girls. So somehow, I don't see the job thing happening."
"That's too bad," he said, placing a hand on my thigh in what would be a comforting gesture if it was about four inches south.
"Yeah, too bad," I agreed, taking another sip of my drink.
"Any guy who'd cheat on you would have to be out of his mind," he said, squeezing my thigh where his hand was still resting on it. I really needed to get out of here.
Lifting my eyes to his, I gave him my saddest look. "He still cheated," I said. "In fact, I really just want to get out of here. You've been so nice; do you think you could walk me to my car? That guy from earlier is still around, and the parking lot wasn't lit very well."
"Sure thing," he said, laying some money on the bar.
"Thank you," I said, giving him a little smile as we headed for the door.
Staying a couple steps behind Riley, I was sure to be out of the way when the guys grabbed him.
"Donovan Riley, you're in violation of your bond agreement. On behalf of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, we will be escorting you back into the system," Lester said.
As the cuffs were snapped on his wrists, he jerked his head around to look at me. "Sorry," I mouthed. I really did feel a bit bad about tricking him. He was nowhere near as slimey as the guys I usually distracted and he did seem like a nice guy. Too bad he really is a felon, I had to remind myself.
"Ready to go, Babe?" Ranger asked, coming up behind me.
"Sure," I said. I really wanted to get back to the hotel and change out of this outfit.
"Then let's go," he said, leading me to a Bronco that had Tank sitting behind the wheel. "We'll head back to the hotel and Bobby and Lester will drop Riley off for a night with the police."
"Okay," I replied, rubbing my hands up and down my arms. It was kind of chilly in the desert at night.
"Here," Ranger said simply, slipping out of his jacket and draping it across my shoulders.
Climbing into the back seat of the Bronco, I heard the engine purr to life, but I was out like a light. No matter how dangerous or not a skip is I always get a rush of adrenaline when I bring them out. The downslide of that rush combined with the body heat that was still coming from Ranger's jacket along with the smell of Bulgari and I didn't stand a chance.
"Babe, wake up," was the next thing I heard.
"Huh?" I mumbled, cracking one eye open and finding that I was in my room of our hotel suite. Turning my head the other way, my cheek ran into a t-shirt covered chest. Ranger.
"We're back. You need to get changed, and then when the guys come back we'll go out for dinner."
"Sounds good," I said, squirming so he'd put me down.
"Unless you want to keep this on…" Ranger said suggestively once he'd stood me on my feet in front of himself.
"I think not," I responded,
"Too bad," he sighed, leaning in and giving me a kiss on the forehead before shoving me in the direction of my bathroom. "The guys should be back in about a half an hour."
"Okay," I replied, before entering the bathroom and shutting the door.
Leaning against it, I lifted one foot, unhooked the strap on my shoe and let it fall to the ground. Repeating the process on the other foot I sighed in relief when the heels were off.
Peeling myself away from the door, I stripped out of my scrap of fabric top and skirt and turned on the tap to the shower. I knew I didn't have time to completely start from scratch, but I wanted to get some of the reek of smoke from the club off of myself, so I clipped my hair on top of my head and climbed in.
The hot water felt wonderful, and as I let it course over me, I felt my eyes drift shut. Unheeded, the kiss I'd shared earlier with Ranger came flashing through my mind. Shit. I'd been doing so well controlling my feeling for him, and then he had to go and do something like that.
When I agreed to come to Vegas, I had assumed that he wouldn't be coming along. The last time I'd been to Vegas after a skip he couldn't come because of some legal difficulty with the state of Nevada. According to him though, 'it was all cleared up.'
I'd gotten the full story from the guys on the flight out here though. Apparently, they'd come after a skip, caught the skip, and then gone celebrating. They gotten a bit drunk and found their way to a strip club. While there, Ranger had decided he didn't like the way some guy was talking to the strippers and had pulled his gun. He didn't have a license to carry and the gun had been unregistered which hadn't gone over very well with the police. His lawyers had since then gotten the charges dropped, so he was once again welcome in Nevada.
Shaking my head, I pried my eyes open and forced my mind away from Ranger. I had to hurry or I was going to be pushing my time limit. Getting back to the business of showering, I grabbed my wash cloth and when I reached for the soap, I found the bottle of Bulgari I'd filched from Ranger's bathroom before getting ready for the job. Unable to help myself, I poured some out and after that there was no controlling my Ranger thoughts.
There was nothing more frustrating, I decided, than loving a man, lusting after him and not being able to have him. It really hadn't been so bad when it had only been lust. Then I'd at least been able to admonish myself for only wanting his body. Now I knew I wanted all of him. Too bad he didn't do relationships.
But Joe did relationships, I thought with a small, sad smile, as I climbed out of the shower and toweled myself off. Problem was, he wanted to do relationships in a by-the-book way, meaning date for a sufficient amount of time, get engaged, get married, have 2.5 kids and Bob. I love him, I'd admitted it to myself and him, but I couldn't live that life. I'd hate it and I'd start to hate him. When I tried to tell him this, I'd meant it to be a rational, mature conversation, but our Italian tempers had flared and it had turned into a screaming match. Needless to say, we were off, and we still needed to have the 'we can't make this work' talk.
Letting out a frustrated sigh at my screwed up love life, I started flying around my room looking for something to wear. Ranger had said we were going out to dinner, but this was Vegas. We could be going anywhere from an all-night diner to a fancy club.
Deciding I really didn't care, I pulled on a tight pair of jeans and a stretchy, glittery tank top. Once dressed, I rushed back into the bathroom and shook out my curls, pleased to find them still in pretty good shape. Adding a few swipes of mascara and some strawberry lip gloss I was ready to go. Snagging a pair of low heels, I rushed out of my room just as Lester and Bobby were leaving theirs.
"Hey, Bomber," they greeted me. "Ready to have some fun."
"Just so long as it doesn't involve shooting or getting arrested," I said laughing.
"We make no promises," Bobby responded as we entered the main room of the suite.
Spotting Ranger, I skipped over to him since I was feeling playful all of a sudden. "Will you make sure I don't get shot or arrested?" I asked.
"Of course Babe," Ranger said, smiling at me.
"You better watch it man, or you're gonna be no fun just like the Bombshell," Lester said, laughing. "You have a lot to live up to after last time we were here. You got arrested and almost shot someone."
"I don't think I can possibly live up to that one," Ranger said, looking at the guys but putting a steadying hand on my waist as I pulled on my shoes.
Straightening back up, I took a good look at the guys and I think my heart stuttered at seeing them all out of work gear. They weren't wearing anything more spectacular than jeans and t-shirts, but they still looked great.
"Enough talk!" Lester exclaimed. "Let's get out of here."
"Babe, you ready?" Ranger asked.
"As ready as I'm going to get," I replied. I don't think anyone can really be ready for a night out in Vegas with the Rangemen.
"Then let's go," Ranger said, wrapping an arm around my waist and we were out the door.
A/N: Please review and let me know what you thought!