Owned by the Bad Boy

By: Vanessa Waltz

Admiring glances from men follow me as I walk through the uncoordinated mess of this casino. A small thrill runs up my spine when I see a pair of hot eyes quickly glance away. I feel them on my back, slowly stripping me away. I’m dressed in the same uniform that the employees wear—a tight black dress that restricts movement but allows my tits stand out. I think about how it would feel to have this fucking dress ripped from my body and all those admiring gazes fixed on me. Damn, that would be hot. The seductive, heady scent of cologne clings to the air and I shiver as if a draft moved across my bare skin.

Stay focused.

But I can’t. This casino reminds me of sex. It reminds me of how long I’ve been working. It’s been night after night without reprieve, struggling to earn a lousy fifty dollars just to pay the bills that somehow keep stacking up no matter what I do. Life as an orphan is fucking hard, but what preoccupies my mind now isn’t bills or the job I’m supposed to do—I think about wet lips on my neck. I want one of these rich assholes in suits, the ones who openly stare at me, to wrap a strong arm around my waist and whisper filthy things in my ear. Something very forward that will make me want to slap him, want to kiss him, want to feel his hands all over my body and twist my nipples that are hard as diamonds now.

Stop thinking about sex.

I can’t.

The one-night stand from a month ago was seriously lacking, and I haven’t been able to date since then because of my crazy schedule. The dildo I have stashed in my underwear drawer (cliché, I know) just doesn’t cut it anymore. I imagine every halfway decent-looking guy I see naked. How big is his cock? Will he fuck me the way I want, or is he like most men these days, too afraid to make the first move?

God, I need to get laid, but not tonight. Tonight’s about work. It’s always about work.

Despair clutches my throat like an angry hand, squeezing. I shove it away.

Work, damn it.

Right. Work.

I belly up to the bar, and the bartender’s keen eyes zero in on me.

“Who the hell are you?”

“I’m filling in for Emily.”

Poor Emily will probably lose her job once the casino finds out she let me bribe her to stay at home. A twinge of guilt nags at me.

“Do you have experience in the VIP poker rooms?”

I’ve never actually been in a casino. “Of course.”

Doubt narrows his eyebrows when he hears my flippant tone. “Whatever. I don’t have time for this shit. Take this tray and go.”

The harassed look on his face sends a jolt of unease through my heart. I don’t like the way his eyes slip from my face—how eager he is to hand me off. Then I steel my guts and palm the tray of drinks, slipping into my role.

I get hiring a private investigator to catch your cheating husband red-handed, or in this case, to catch him gambling with cash from the couple’s restaurant business, but I don’t like doing it. Being the one who has to gather the evidence sucks. I’m glad that Phil, my boss, actually sits down with them and breaks the news to them, and not me. I know he keeps a stack of tissue boxes in his office just for that inevitable moment when he spreads the photographs over the table, the damning contents staring the client in the face. Then, a catch of breath, breaking into heartrending sobs. I hear that noise all the time outside his office door.

It’s a nasty business.

The tray balances precariously in my hand as I move in this constricting dress that wraps around me like bandages. As I approach the VIP lounge, the guard’s eyes flick up and down my body and he gives me a curt nod. Once I pass through the door, opened for me by the heavyset guard, a shiver of panic runs up my leg.

A room filled with cigar smoke. One poker table. Six players in a high-stakes game. I spot the target, sitting right there, wedged between a man with horn-rimmed spectacles and a Japanese businessman. I scan the room, the drinks heavy on my hand. There are guards behind me—and two lounging in the back.

Hitching a bright smile on my face, I lock eyes with the target, whose crumpled face relaxes when he sees the pretty girl smiling at him.

In and out. Get the shot and leave.

The contents of the drinks sway dangerously as I bend over the poker table, making sure the hidden camera catches the pile of cash sitting right beside his folded hands. The air is really still—tense. I take shallow breaths as every head in the room turns toward me. I grab his drink from the tray as my heart pounds and set it down. Suddenly my insides go rigid as if a hand reached inside me and clenched my guts. My eyes flick up.

A man wearing a navy-blue suit stares at me with such an intense gaze that I’m surprised I didn’t feel it. Across the room he folds his arms over his chest and a dimpled grin widens his handsome face. Heat slowly burns my cheeks.