Home > Intrigue (Infinitus Billionaire #3)

Intrigue (Infinitus Billionaire #3)
Author: E. B. Walters


CHAPTER 1

 

 

“The Versailles Palace,” Terri said, sliding in the back seat of the taxi. “Extra twenty if you keep your eyes on the road and don’t look back here.”

The taxi driver grinned and wiggled his eyebrows. “You’re in the backseat alone, Miss. What could you possibly be doing that’s bad?”

Why were taxi drivers so annoying? Just once she wanted one that didn’t leer at her. “Your windows are tinted and I have a dildo. Fill in the blanks.”

He blinked, clearly shocked at her boldness. He recovered quickly. “Can I watch?” He adjusted the front rearview mirror.

She flashed him her best “in your dreams, pal,” smile and slipped her hand inside her large bag. “I have a Taser and will zap you if you don’t adjust that mirror.”

“Women,” he mumbled, angling the mirror, and stepped on the gas. They followed the line of cars heading toward the Las Vegas Strip.

Just once, Terri wished she could get into the backseat of a taxi driven by an adventurous man with a hot body and something between his ears. A man who got her whacky sense of humor and was willing to flirt without prejudging her or expecting something in return. On the other hand, she hadn’t had sex in ages she’d forgotten what a naked man looked like. She desperately needed a booty call. Her life was too much of a hot mess for anything else.

Terri reached inside her oversize bag and pulled out a bellhop uniform. The sun had already set. The lights from the Strip and the lure of anonymity in the overcrowded city beckoned. She couldn’t wait to disappear again.

The driver stared straight ahead with his head angled, as though waiting to catch sounds from the backseat.

“Ooh. Oh, yes. That feels good. Ohmigod. I think I’m coming. Ah… ah… fuck! Yesssssss!”

He glanced over his shoulder and their eyes met. Sucker. “Eyes on the road, mister.” He laughed and shook his head, focusing on his driving.

Terri grimaced. Men were so easy.

She removed the bright red wig and shoved it in the bottom of her bag, then the fake nose ring and tongue and ear studs, before removing the rings from her fingers. She wiped off the heavy makeup and dumped the soiled tissue in the side pocket for later. Her outfit was also designed to draw attention because she’d learned that it was better to do the unexpected, like hide in plain sight, to fool the bastards tailing her.

She removed the mini dress and thigh-length boots and replaced them with gray pants with burgundy and white stripes and sensible shoes. She paused to check on the driver before removing her top and replacing it with a burgundy shirt with gray and gold details on the sleeves, collar, and pockets. The uniform was worn by bellhops at the Versailles Palace, her former employer. The gold buttons decorating the front had the VP logo on them. She brushed her hair before pulling it back and putting on the hat.

The VP was famous for their impeccably dressed staff, from bellhops to the hostesses at their casino, thanks to her. How she missed being the Director of Public Relations, the job she’d held for seven years before she had to disappear.

They pulled behind a line of private cars, limos, and other taxis dropping off guests as she tapped the driver’s shoulder.

“Stop here.” She gave him the fare plus tip, got out of the back seat, grabbed her bag, her suitcase, and a briefcase full of money. She hoped that all the driver saw was the back of her head as she hurried toward the front of the hotel.

The gray-haired doorman didn’t see her until she was right beside him.

“Mr. T.”

Morgan Taylor turned and gawked at her. She’d gotten him this job seven years ago and he was still the best doorman Vegas had. He knew what made this city tick. The number runners. The private gambling parlors. The movers and the shakers of Vegas. The latest whales and where to find them. His daughter, Claire, was one of the managers.

“Ms. Randal,” he whispered. Then he adjusted his glove, reached down as though to catch the bag on top of her suitcase from sliding on to the floor and straightened up. He pointed to the right. “Straight ahead to elevator three.”

“Thank you, Mr. T.” Terri swept inside the gleaming foyer. She only slowed down to reach inside her bag for the key card Morgan had dropped inside it. She headed to the private elevators.

The hotel was busy with arriving guests and gamblers heading to the casino. Anyone would assume she was just another bellhop seeing to the needs of a special guest. The private elevators were for guests in the penthouse suites. Unlike regular guests checking in at the lobby, a hostess checked in high rollers in the top suites while they sipped cognac or champagne in the Apollo’s Salon, a lounge off the lobby.

She held the card near the reader and the elevator doors slid open. She entered, keeping her head low while waiting for it to close. She knew exactly where the cameras were located and how to avoid her face getting plastered on the screens in the security room.

The ride up was smooth. The elevator opened into the penthouse hallway. The suites on this floor had one to three bedrooms and a panoramic view of the Strip. She used the same keycard to access the suite, and entered the private foyer. She blew out air and grinned.

“I made it.”

Instead of going to the bedroom, she went straight to the wet bar, poured herself a stiff drink, tossed it down her throat, and poured another before going to the bedroom. She put her suitcase on the bench at the foot of the bed. The curtains in the living/dining room were drawn and the lights turned off, but the glow from the sconces in the foyer was enough to show her the way to the bedroom and its king size bed. She sat and exhaled.

The first call she made was to Morgan. “Thank you. How long can I stay?”

“The entire weekend. Claire said some high roller booked it, but he called this morning and said he won’t need it.”

Great! That gave her three days. “Thanks, Mr. T. I owe you guys.”

“No, Ms. Randal. We owe you more than we could ever repay.”

He was referring to an incident that could have ended his daughter’s career had Terri not stepped in and helped. Plus, she’d taken a chance on Morgan and hired him when no hotel would offer him a job. She believed in giving people second chances.

“We’ll talk later, Mr. T.”

The next call was to a certain trendy bar in the southern part of Las Vegas.

“Lucky Barrel,” a sultry voice answered.

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