I parked in the hotel garage and told myself not to get out of the car and enter the forbidden building with the beds in it under any circumstances.
“Thanks for the ride,” Nikki said.
I did not look at her in my passenger seat. All of the looks had to stop or I wouldn’t be able to.
“It only took a minute and a half so don’t worry about it,” I told the steering wheel.
“You coming up?” she asked, bold as shit. I didn’t answer for at least 30 seconds. I spent 25 of those seconds trying to determine if this whole scenario was real or a dream. I had never cheated on my wife and, as ballsy as I might seem, I had never showboated myself this close to Siren Isle before.
“Um … I don’t think that would be a good idea,” I finally said.
“Good answer,” she immediately said, shocking me almost as much as her question.
Now I looked at her. Yes, I wanted her. No, I couldn’t have done that to my wife and children. Yes, I was glad she said what she said.
Nikki broke our stare, got out of the car, closed the door and came around to my side. The window was already down. Another chink in my defenses she could exploit.
“I respect you even more now, Steve,” she said, kissing my cheek.
I’m damn sure I blushed like a maiden — definitely not an Iron Maiden.
“If I weren’t married …”
“I know, but you are.”
“Then why did you torture me tonight?”
“I don’t know. I guess maybe I wanted to find out if all men cheat … or just my father,” she said, looking down at her boots and sounding so sincere that I was less pissed off than I should’ve been for being the subject of her seduction experiment. “I’m sorry,” she added, looking at me again.
“Don’t be,” I said, not sure why I was so quick to let her off the hook.
“No, I shouldn’t be like that … but sometimes you have to be a little shit to find out the truth.”
“Or a big shit, in my case. It’s what I am and what I do for a living.”
“You’re good at it,” she said.
“You will be, too.”
“I don’t know about that, but thank you for helping me learn a better side of the truth tonight. I wasn’t sure it existed.”
“It does … barely,” I said with a smile and a wink. “You’ll find more of it if you look in the right places.”
“Right faces,” she corrected me, staring at me again. I wasn’t so sure it was an experiment. The chemistry between us was undeniable.
This time I broke the stare.
“I’m leaving now,” I said, starting up the car.
“Thanks again,” she said, sullenly waving as I backed up — a reluctant, one-mile-per-hour retreat from the edge of an unforgettable night that would’ve ruined all my other nights.
“See you on TV, Nikki Blue. You’re way too hot to handle in person,” I said, driving away with a new-found hatred for the bloody person who invented monogamy.
From “Nikki Blue: Source of Trouble”
Pub date: 10-9-15
ARC date: Available now on NetGalley