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Beautiful Bombshell by Christina Lauren Read Online (FREE)

With a pat to Max’s shoulder, Johnny turned and left us. Max returned to his seat, reaching for his drink. I lifted my chin toward the doorway Johnny had stepped through, behind a black curtain. “What was all that about?”

“That,” said Max, “was about the room that is being prepared for you.”

“For me?” I pressed my hand to my chest, shaking my head. “Again, Max, I’m going to pass.”

“The fuck you are.”

“You’re serious.”

“You’re bloody right I am. He told me you’re to head down that hall”—Max pointed to a different doorway than the one through which Johnny had disappeared—“and head to Neptune.”

I groaned, leaning back in my chair. Although this club seemed like the best of its kind in town—or anywhere for that matter—on a list of things I wanted to do tonight, getting a lap dance from some random Vegas dancer ranked barely above eating bad sushi and getting violently ill.

“Just walk down the hall like a fucking bloke and get your knob rubbed by some girl dancing on you.” Max stared at me, his eyes narrowed. “Are you taking the piss with this whingey shite? It’s your fucking stag weekend. Act like the man you used to be.”

I studied him, wondering why he seemed so firmly planted in his own chair while he encouraged me to leave mine. “Did Johnny give you a room to visit as well? Aren’t you getting a lap dance?”

He laughed, tipping his scotch to his lips and mumbling, “It’s a lap dance, Ben. Not a fucking trip to the dentist.”

“Asshole.” Lifting my drink, I gazed at the thick, clear liquid. I’d known going into this that there would be women, and booze, and probably some activities that might push the limits of legal, but the truth was, Chloe had known this, too. She’d told me to have fun, and her eyes had never shadowed with worry or mistrust. They had no reason to.

I brought the drink to my lips, downed it, and muttered, “Fuck it,” before standing and heading to the hallway. My companions for the evening were—surprisingly—classy enough to not cheer at my departure, but even still I could feel their attention on my back as I made my way to the hallway to the left of the main stage.

Just beyond the doorway the carpet changed from black to a deep, royal blue, and the space felt even darker than it had out in the main room. The walls were the same velvety black, and there was just enough illumination from tiny crystal lights on the wall to light a path ahead of me. Along one side of the long hallway were doors with the names of planets on them: Mercury, Venus, Earth . . . Down at the end, at the door labeled Neptune, I hesitated. Would there be a woman already inside? Would there be a chair for me or, worse, a bed?

The door was ornate and heavy, like something out of a castle or, fuck, some sort of creepy Gothic basement sex dungeon. Fucking Max. I shivered and turned the knob, exhaling in relief when I saw that there was no iron cross or handcuffs, and no woman inside yet, only a long chaise with a small silver box in its center. Tied to the box with a silky red ribbon was a white card with Bennett Ryan written in neat script.