By: Kim Karr

His body jerks like John Travolta in Grease when he sees Olivia Newton-John’s transformation. And like John, I swear he’s electrified, his gaze brightens that drastically. “Good thing I’m an excellent poker player.”

My breath catches and holds, until I let it hiss out between parted lips. “Just how excellent?”

Just then his tongue sneaks out to wet his lips, and I feel myself getting wet somewhere else entirely. “It’s all or nothing, sweetheart. All or nothing.”

“So you’re an all in kind of guy then?”

His nod is wicked.

We’re standing very close. If I step an inch in his direction, I’ll be pressed up against him. I imagine the push and pull of the muscles in his arms if I put my hands on them. And I start imagining so much more. I dare myself to take that one step.

“Tell me, Maggie—” he starts to say.

Just then Cam shoves a shot in his hand. “Come on, man, you need to catch up.”




Tell me, Maggie, what? Should we take this to your room? Do you prefer the top or bottom? Do you like to fuck in the shower? Against the wall? On the floor? What? What!

Our gazes remain locked until somehow Cam manages to put himself between Keen and me.

That’s when the guy-fest starts all over again. Talk about Keen’s job, Cam’s job, New York, California. And toasts. Lots of toasts. The Jameson Irish Whiskey goes down smoother and smoother with each shot, though, I have to say. Soon the liquor makes my belly feel like a fire is being stoked deep inside me. Or is that the burning stare Keen is giving me?

Makayla has stopped drinking and is looking pretty out of it right about now. She’s a lightweight, and doesn’t usually drink so much. Which is evident by her having to lean against Cam for support. Noticing her wobble, he leans down and whispers something in her ear, and she whispers back with only a slight stumble.

Cam looks over at me. “We’re going to head to our room. Will you be okay here?”

Ummm . . . hell yes! “Sure, I’ll be fine.”

Makayla gets up on her toes to find my ear. “Go get him,” she slurs.

I raise a brow. “I intend to.”

She’s talking about Brooklyn, of course, but that’s not who I’m going to get.

No, my sights are set on Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome, and when I say tall, dark, and handsome, I mean . . . the Wall Street wolf in his designer pants and hundred-dollar haircut who looks like he just stepped out of GQ magazine.

Heaven help me.

Just as the lovebirds leave, and Keen takes a step forward as if to pounce, his brother spots him. “Keen!” Brooklyn hollers loud over the music.

Keen darts his head in his brother’s direction and grins from ear to ear.

Brooklyn is on the dance floor with three women, and he’s waving his brother over.

“Brooklyn!” Keen calls, looking as if his brother is made of fabulousness, which clearly by the happy expression on his face, in his eyes, he must be.

Me, I’m not so happy with my fake date right now.

“Hey, I’ll be back,” Keen tells me.

Then, just like that, he struts across the dance floor. And I swear the pulsating lights only seem to highlight his gorgeous silhouette as the distance between us grows ever wider.

More than a little stunned by his rapid departure, I watch as the jutting lines of his shoulder blades urge me to chase after him, but then he disappears into the crowd and I realize I’m left standing here all alone.

Hey, wait!

What about me?


New Year’s Eve is about resolutions and change and everything new. This one means more than that to me. It marks the start of my reemergence into the real world.

Everyone said fashion wasn’t the field for me because I hate to match. The thing is, I do match. Stripes with polka dots. Studded boots with frilly dresses. High heels with casual shorts. Leather and lace. One black and one white Converse. They are perfect combinations. I’m a fashion merchandiser with my own sense of style. But sadly, no one approved, which is why I was fired from almost every major boutique in SoHo and ended up in Laguna Beach lifeguarding for the past few years.

But I found the solution—men’s apparel, not women’s—and in two days, my life will forever change.

I can’t wait.

Focusing my attention on the here and now, though, I am not any too happy about my current situation.

Returning from the ladies’ room yet again, I’ve pinned my hair up and tossed some cold water on my face to help sober me up. I walk around and then when I see a space open up at the bar, I lurch for it. As soon as I take a seat, the bartender gives me his immediate attention.

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