Here is a peek of Naked in Vegas. (Love it? Hate it? I want to hear from you! Email Devyn)
The woman stood alone. Leaning against the balcony railing, she stared over the vast city stretching across the Nevada desert.
Glittering nightlife. Glamorous entertainment. And women. Beautiful women, wearing fine clothes. Their smiles promised pleasure. Their bodies, pure sin.
Prince Casimir Miloslava wanted to be somewhere else. He had no idea why he’d accepted an invitation to a cocktail party thrown by the managers of a popular Burlesque show. True, he’d enjoyed the entertainment. Meeting and mingling with a cast of lovely ladies should have been a highlight. However, he just wasn’t in the mood to enjoy the company of random strangers. He’d posed for enough photos and shaken enough hands to last a lifetime.
A tight sensation closed around his lungs, squeezing. The scent of cigarette smoke, booze and too many perfumes splashed onto hot bodies invaded his nostrils. A sense of disconnection and discontent lingered at the edges of his mind.
He inhaled deeply, searching for calm.
The downside of being an aristocrat meant he was often thrust into uncomfortable social situations. Thinking fast and having grace under pressure was not only a requirement, but an attribute he’d worked hard to hone. Coming off his second tour of Iraq, he was going from the battlefield back to the life of a working royal.
Tired of smiling and making polite conversation, he slipped off to a quiet niche. A place where he could observe without being gawked at. All he wanted to do was unwind and relax. Preferably with a beautiful woman.
Enjoying his break, he visually probed the mingling guests. It didn’t take long for his attention to find and settle on the single woman who kept to the periphery. Like himself, she appeared to be uncomfortable among the substantial number of people.
That intrigued him.
He narrowed his eyes, entranced by the light breeze brushing golden locks across her bare shoulders. Unlike many of the women who were dressed to the nines for the late cocktail hour, this woman wore a splendidly simple floral frock. Instead of heels, she’d chosen sensible flats. The clingy material highlighted her slender figure; full breasts, a small waist and legs that went on for miles. By the glimpses he’d caught of her face, her make-up was simply done, a touch of mascara and pale lipstick. A natural beauty, he was of the opinion she needed no further enhancements.
Deep in his gut, he felt a connection. His rapidly beating heart seconded the feeling. Hard to explain, but true.
I could look at her forever and be perfectly happy.
An unpleasant interruption jarred his contemplations.
“You look at her as one bewitched.”
Recognizing the voice, Casimir immediately nailed the unwanted intruder with a frown. “She is the most interesting person
Lazlo Rostyslav glanced around at the strangers mixing and mingling. “I do not care for such gatherings myself. Why are we even here?”
“To be polite to our American hosts.”
Rostyslav grunted, barely interested. “We should go.”
Casimir sipped his drink, gin and tonic with a twist of lime. “I want to stay a little longer.”
“I have had enough of these empty-headed fools,” his companion muttered.
“I agree the conversation is less than stimulating,” he said. “But I’ve set my eyes on a pretty girl, and I’d like to get to know her better.”
“You mean you want sex,” came the sarcastic reply. “I do not think your father would approve.”
Casimir glowered at the short barrel-chested man resembling an angry bulldog. “You are my protection officer, not my moral compass.” If the older man had his way, he would be tucked into bed by nine with a book. Not quite the way a healthy young man wanted to spend an evening.
Brows taking a downward slope, Rostyslav sniffed. “I am getting too old for these late nights.” He sipped his own beverage, a simple glass of soda water with lemon. He never relaxed or indulged. His job was to protect his royal ward, even if it meant taking a bullet.
Attempting to ignore his unwelcome appendage, Casimir returned his attention at the statuesque beauty who’d caught his interest. She leaned over the rail, offering saucy peek of her firm backside.
A spectacular view, indeed.
Entranced, he felt his internal temperature rise. Even across a crowded room, the attraction was immediate and electric. The beat of his heart echoed the throb of blood through his veins. Strategic parts of his body were beginning to respond to her presence in ways that were not acceptable in public.
Clearing his throat, he loosened the top button of his immaculate white shirt, attempting to cool down. A thousand fantasies unfurled across his mind’s screen; caressing her soft bare skin, before enjoying the scrape of her fingernails across his bare back…
Rostyslav released an inelegant snort. “It is indecent for a woman to display herself in such a manner.”
Casimir barely refrained from rolling his eyes. One of the things he disliked about his life was the requisite bodyguard who accompanied him twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Most people didn’t understand a golden cage was a cage nevertheless.
To a certain extent, his life was not his own. Living under the glare of constant scrutiny was more than tiring. Service in the military had shielded him, but all that was about to end.
“Stop being so old-fashioned and come into the twenty-first century,” he muttered. “Sometimes I wonder if you’re even human. Unwind and enjoy some relaxation.”
“As long as I am assigned to guard you, there is no relaxation,” Rostyslav grumbled. “You are like a little magpie. Always looking, wanting more.”
“What can I say, my friend? I want to enjoy all life has to offer.” He cocked a brow. “Don’t tell me you aren’t attracted to at least one of these lovely ladies.”
“My wife would disapprove.” Rostyslav preferred his cigarettes to the entertainment around him. Smoking was allowed in public, and he took liberal advantage. “The ways of these Americans are…”
“Wonderful,” Casimir finished. “Which is why we are embracing our alliance with this country. With the instabilities consuming the Middle East moving into Europe, it is too dangerous for our country to remain neutral. Strengthening our ties to democracy will make us stronger.”
Frowning, Rostyslav shook his head. “I will agree politically, but morally, no. These half-naked women are indecent.”
Casimir grinned. “Women should be seen and in as little as possible.”
As an eligible bachelor, he had his pick of most any female he desired. He’d dated, and dallied with, some of high society’s most sought-after debutantes. None managed to capture his attention. Most of them were boorish, vain little creatures, concerned with looks, money and their standing in the social register.
Once he returned to his home country, he would be expected to fulfill many engagements handled by his parents. With age and illness, both were preparing to retire from public life.
His brother, Dimas, would soon ascend to the throne.
But what of his own future?
After six years of mandatory service in Dalibor’s military, he was soon to resume the stifling future that came with being the second son of King Sevastyan Miloslava.
Because of his rank and position, mapping out his own destiny wasn’t an option. Relegated to the role of “the spare”, he was doomed to a life of cutting ribbons, supporting charitable causes and making speech after speech that would encourage and inspire the people of his country to reach for a brighter future. Such was the expected function of a second son. To do good without doing harm.
It all seems so pointless. What purpose do I really serve?
His thoughts circled to his mother. She longed to hold grandchildren in her arms. As one raised to honor and respect his parents, he didn’t want to disappoint her. Having a wife, one charming and photogenic, would be an asset.
A prince needed a princess.
But Casimir had yet to meet a woman who enchanted him enough to forsake all other females to settle into a life of absolute monogamy. A marriage for the sake of placating his parents didn’t interest him. He wanted passion. True devotion. A lover who gave as good as she got, both in public and in private. A woman who wouldn’t buckle under the pressure of royal life.
She was out there, somewhere, in the world.
He just hadn’t found her.
Until he did, well there was no harm in a dalliance with a pretty girl. Las Vegas, a city known for its glitz and glamor, should offer many pleasures.
Copyright 2018 @ Devyn Quinn. All Rights Reserved.