Bride for the Billionaire One-Night Stand – Kate Tilney

IMOGEN The bride-to-be stands and raises her glass to give a toast. At least, I think that’s what Penelope seemed to be trying to do. In the process of getting to her feet, she started swaying and had to grab the end of the table to keep her balance. Only, she didn’t quite reach the end of the table. With a shriek, she fell forward, knocking every drink—and the $500 bottle service—off of the table. It happened so fast, yet somehow in slow motion. None of us was able to move quickly enough to stop it. By the time I could get up to help my roommate, it was too late. The ground around us is littered with broken glass. And the beautiful bride was flashing her bare ass to everyone in the club. “Let that be a lesson,” one of the other partiers mutters under her breath. “Always wear your panties.” “The VPL is worth the risk,” another agrees. “I told you we should’ve rented a cabana at a pool instead of getting bottle service at a club.” “Total Vegas fail.


” While the rest of the women chime in with their own critiques of the party and our sloppy drunk friend, I scramble to help her stand. I would chastise the women. But I don’t. For one, I can’t remember their names. Two, as the only one of Penelope’s friends who didn’t go to college with them, I’m kind of the odd girl out. I’d hate for them to completely turn on me before we all go back to our respective homes tomorrow. And three, Penelope is flailing about so much, it takes all of my energy to help her stand. “Hey,” one of the bouncers from the club calls out as I finally get Penelope upright. “You ladies are going to have to leave.” There’s a murmur of whining and groaning, but the girls dutifully pick up their clutches and persons, straighten the hems of their skin-tight dresses, and get up from the table. I wrap an arm around Penelope’s waist and hold one of her hands on the other side of my neck. “Where are we going?” she asks, as I start toward the room. “We’re heading back to the hotel,” I say. “Now? I thought we were going to close the place down.” I narrowly resist the urge to sigh.

“We did.” The truth hardly matters now. Based on how much booze is on her breath, I doubt she’ll remember many of the circumstances around our departure. Thank goodness for that. Besides, getting kicked out of a club is almost as “epic” as closing it down. And that’s what Penelope wanted: an epic night to cap off an epic bachelorette weekend in Vegas. Fortunately, someone in our party has the sense of mind to call the limo we ordered for the night. We’ve barely made it out of the club, through the casino, and to the curb by the time it pulls up. Penelope flashes her bare butt once more as she climbs into the back. I’m about to follow her when I realize I don’t have my purse. Turning to the rest of the crew, I ask, “Did anyone happen to grab my bag?” They glance around and shrug. “I didn’t,” one of them says. “Me neither.” With a sigh, I nod. “Okay, give me three minutes, please.

I’ll just run in to get it and be right back.” “Yeah, okay.” Getting in and out of the club takes much less time without having to carry another person’s dead weight. I’m back out to the street in under three minutes. But when I arrive, the limo is gone. “Are you kidding?” I glance up and down the strip. The traffic is usually a nightmare. It can’t have gotten too far. Only, it’s not easy to pick out our car. There are at least a dozen identical limos packed in traffic. “Screw it.” I reach for my phone. “I’ll get my own way back to the hotel.” Pulling up a rideshare app, I blindly turn as I type in my information and run straight into someone. “Oh.

” I gasp. “I’m so sorry. I wasn’t looking where I was going.” I glance up and into a familiar face. My jaw falls open as recognition lights his rich brown eyes. “Imogen?” he asks. I nod. “Taran. What are you doing here?” Taran Sterling, my brother’s best friend from business school, holds my arms to keep me steady. “I had a meeting.” “In a casino?” I arch an eyebrow. “At this time of night?” His lips curve into a half-grin and my heart skips a beat. He’s wearing an impeccably tailored suit. Instead of a tie, he’s left the top buttons open on his crisp white shirt revealing a hint of the muscle underneath it. His built arms seem to flex under the expensive fabric, and my panties go damp.

Was Taran always this handsome? I don’t remember him being so handsome. In my defense, I’ve only met him once. At Huntington and Taran’s graduation eight years ago. I’d still been in high school, and I was annoyed with my parents. They’d made me spend the week before at Colonial Williamsburg instead of letting me go to the beach with some friends. I’d been too busy pouting to do more than say “hello” to anyone. “Business meetings happen at all hours in Vegas,” he says. “We did it here because I own the building.” My jaw falls open. “You own a casino?” “My company does. Along with some other real estate in the area.” I don’t know much about real estate prices, but for his company to own multiple buildings in Vegas, he must be loaded. My brother did always say Taran was the smartest and savviest of their bunch. “What are you doing here?” he asks. “Bachelorette party.

” His gaze flickers to my left hand. “Are you getting married?” “Not mine, my roommates.” He nods, his face relaxing. “Where are your friends?” “They left without me.” “You’re kidding.” “I wish I was.” I shake my head. “I was just going to call a car to take me back to the hotel.” He winces. “Good luck with that. It can take hours to get a ride around here if you don’t already have one booked.” Great. Now my evening has gone from annoying to maddening. “Well, crap.” “I can give you a ride,” he says.

My heart skips a beat, even as my mood perks up. “Really? It wouldn’t be convenient” “Not at all. It would be my pleasure.” The way he says that word has my pulse beating a bit faster. He gestures toward the door. “How about we grab a drink first? We can let traffic die down a little.” Looking back at the crowded street, I see he’s right. It’s probably better to wait it out instead of sitting in traffic. “Sure, that’d be great.” He flashes me that devilish smile of his and takes my hand as he guides me back inside. His warm hand envelops mine and sends a jolt of lust straight to my belly. Uh oh.

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Updated: 15 September 2021 — 03:10

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