Gambling For The Virgin:A Dark Billionaire Romance(10)

By: Dark Angel & Alexis Angel

I mean I know that what our little arrangement is like is different from a normal relationship. I’ve never been in a relationship, but even I know enough to know that this is just strange. Nothing about how we met, or how we’ll come to bed together tonight seems normal. And I’m pretty sure that based on how long our so-called ‘relationship’ has been in existence, it's a strange time for him to shower me with gifts or anything.

But that’s not what me going to the spa is. I still feel so inadequate next to Gian. He’s the most attractive man I’ve ever seen, and I want to be able to look like I actually belong on his arm.

I gulp, smiling at him as he leaves. Gian kisses my cheek — something so normal in the midst of all of our strangeness. The thought that makes me gulp? Even though Gian isn’t telling me to hide away in this room, I don’t actually know that he’ll have me on his arm. No, allowing me to go to the spa is not the same as being on his arm.

When I thought that Gian was some disgusting pervert and I was reviled by the idea of him touching me, it didn’t matter if he hid me away or had me on his arm.

Of course, I didn’t think he was going to keep me … but I also didn’t think that he was going to decide to keep me more permanently.

But now that I do like Gian, now that I do want his hands all over me, and let’s be real, now that I know I want him inside my body, it upsets me to think that I might be sequestered away. That I’m not good enough to show off.

Besides, I could be wrong about Gian. He could be frightening and only seem kind. If that’s the case, I definitely want to look like I’m anything but expendable. I need him to want me, because if he wants to discard me, then my brother might not get the help that he needs.

This morning, Gian told me that he’d bring me an update about the facilities that he sent my brother to, and I should expect it to take almost a week before they’d allow me to visit, and that even then, detox could be incredibly unpleasant. Of course I still want to see Tommy, because I need him to know how much I care about him and want him to have help.

I feel guilty worrying about my hair and thinking about fucking the man I was worried would hurt my brother not so long ago. I think I’m still shocked at how everything has turned out so far, and that focusing on small things are the most important thing to focus on right now. I don’t have to even worry about work for another day, so all I need to focus on today is looking like anything other than a broke nobody. Because on his arm or in his bed, Gian would never have someone who didn’t look the part. He’s far too handsome to have someone who makes it look like he’s slumming. I’m downright embarrassed at how I didn’t even dress anything like the girls that I saw in the casino last night. I remember what Gian said, and he seemed pleased with what I was wearing.

Still, I want to do better. I want to feel better … look better.

Heading toward the elevator, it feels so strange making this journey without all the fear I had before. Now I’m just worried about how to fit in with my world order.

When I get to the salon, a gal there is waiting for me. “Lucy Tomlinson?” she asks when I arrive, but she already knows the answer.

“Yes, thank you,” I say nervously, unsure of what else to say.

The woman who greets me seems to be about my age. She makes me feel like a child, though, when I look at perfectly manicured nails or even just the clean lines of her outfit. I’m just wearing what I wore the night before and I feel horribly out of place.

She can practically read my mind, because she takes me to the back room of the salon and she has clothes, in my size. Jeans … jeans that cost more than my apartment’s rent. When I slide into the dark wash denim I can’t believe how well they fit me. I had no idea that a pair of jeans could make me look so different, so together. “Mr. Sandoval asked me to pick up a few things for you,” she says, waving her arm around the room. Bags of clothing, all new, all my size, colors that look good on me. I'm in awe. Someone else pops in the room and carts everything off when I’m done getting dressed, taking it up to the penthouse.

I guess I should be excited? Or maybe insulted. I’m still not quite sure how I'm supposed to feel about being owned by Gian. I’m not certain what I actually feel. I can barely breathe.

“I know this is really overwhelming, Lucy. I’m Margot by the way,” she says, and places an arm on my shoulder and rubs. It's comforting and a small smile forms at my lips despite the confusion of today. “The truth is that I’ve never seen Mr. Sandoval actually take an interest in anyone since…well, you’re a blessed girl, let’s just say that,” Margot sweeps whatever she was about to say under the rug.

She takes me to get my nails manicured, and while they are drying, Margot does my hair. When that’s done, my makeup. I look like a whole new person … and I feel like one when Margot sits with me for pedicures. For just a moment, sitting there with her, it seems like I could be hanging out with a friend. If I had friends.

“Thank you for all of this,” I say to Margot. She shoots me a beaming smile that I can’t help but return. No matter how confusing everything else is, I feel like I can really trust Margot and that’s something to smile about.

Over the next few weeks, I come to Margot at the salon each day and during her lunch break we talk. We never bring up Gian again and I find that I enjoy talking about anything random with her.

Gian shows up at one of our lunches one day, which is odd because I normally don’t see him until the evenings. He leans in and kisses me on the cheek, and my whole body heats up. I can feel the heat in my cheeks and I figure I don't need the blush that I applied today from the products that Margot gave me. Before he withdraws from the kiss, Gian whispers into my ear. “You don’t need to keep working at the diner, you know. You don’t need to keep your apartment.”

Leaning back, I see him look at my face and run his lower lip across his teeth. He’s not sure how I’ll respond.

A week of living in the penthouse and traveling back to my former life has me unsure of how I want to respond either.

“I don’t know,” I say honestly, because that’s really all I can say for now.

“I’m going to work late tonight. Do you think you and Margot could have some fun tonight? I don’t want you sitting up in the penthouse bored,” Gian says. His concern sounds genuine, and I don’t think he actually wants to work late. Of course he doesn’t. He would rather be with me.

I’m touched. I’m also wondering why he assumes that I would just sit up in the penthouse alone. He’s right, but that’s beside the point, you know?

“Am I allowed to go somewhere else?” I say, surprised by the venom in my voice. I’ve thought of Margot as my friend this whole time, and the hurt that flashes in her eyes tells me the she must feel the same.

“You’re not my prisoner,” Gian says in a gruff voice. “You can do whatever you like. I just don’t want you to sequester yourself,” he says, measuring out each word.

Is it because he doesn’t know how to say what he means, or because he’s lying?

Margot is uncomfortable with the tension and interjects. “I have just the thing for a girl’s night,” she says with a wave of her hand.

Gian smiles, a little off guard, but leans in to kiss me on the lips this time. It's just a small peck, but it makes me close my eyes and forget everything for the seconds his warmth overtakes mine. “Have fun, Lucy,” he says and turns to walk away.

It's like a hurricane overtakes me when he leaves. The air's entirely sucked out of the room.

Margot places her hand on mine. “I really do have something fun in mind, if you’re up for it,” she says. That devious grin tells me that Margot has something in mind that's probably going to make me nervous.

She’s told me before that I need to live a little, and after the way I’ve kept myself in what she refers to as ‘cloistered as a nun’ I completely trust her to help me out of my shell. I feel guilty for doubting her earlier and I want to make it up to her. And I want to move on from being such a stick in the mud.

“Let’s do it,” I say. I feel instantly bolstered. “What is it, exactly?”

Margot laughs.

“There’s more than just a spa in this casino. Tonight is amateur night in the club, and you and I are dancing,” Margot says, standing up and tugging my arm. “Let’s go hoedown and shake our asses tonight, girl.”

Well, shit. What the hell am I letting Margot talk me into?



“You want me to wear this? And do what?” I can’t believe what Margot actually thinks I'm going to do it. I wanted to be on board, I really did. But this is insanity.

I look at a miniskirt I’m not sure will even cover my ass. The fishnets. I can’t breathe because the things she picked out for me to wear under them are even less.

“Yeah, amateur night is a real thrill,” Margot says. “I mean we aren’t going to be this young and hot forever, so why not dance and show it off?”

She’s serious. My eyebrows are so knit together I might go cross-eyed in a minute but Margot is being serious! She wants me to strip in Gian’s club!