Stripe Tease

By: Milly Taiden



Vincent Tigris stared out his office window on the fiftieth floor of his high-rise hotel, Striped. The lights of the adjoining hotels blinked down the Vegas strip. He loved Sin City. It was loud, crazy, and it was where he’d made a living and gone from a tiger who’d left his father’s pride to strike out on his own to the owner of an empire.

The sound of someone knocking on the door brought him back to the present. He knew it was his oldest son, Cash. Owning multiple successful hotels was no problem for Vincent. Being a father to three tigers that just didn’t want to settle down? That was harder to handle, especially when his mate, Suzanne, left him in charge of helping their “boys” find the right women.

It was funny. Sort of. Maybe. Okay, not really. He’d puffed his chest out during the chat with Suzanne the previous week, telling her he could do a better job finding women for his sons than they did. His mate took him literally. Now here he was, about to send his first son to pick up his prize: a mate. He could only hope the boy had some sense and realized he’d done this for the boy’s own good. He scrubbed a hand over his jaw. Nah, Cash would probably want to return her the minute he realized what his father had done.

“Come in,” Vincent called out. He turned to face the door.

“Father,” Cash said, marching into the office with the prowl of a predator. Pride grew in Vincent’s chest. He’d raised his boys to be pure alpha males. Unlike his own father, Vincent had allowed his kids to choose their destinies. He’d encouraged them to do as they wished. Cash had taken over one of his hotels and managed it.

“Son. Come in. Sit. Sit.” Vincent went around his desk, walking to the bar to fix his son and himself a drink, not that he needed liquor for what he was about to do. He was a strong man, and he was doing this for Cash’s future. Thank goodness Suzanne wasn’t there, or she’d laugh at his inability to say anything without a drink in his hand.

“Are you okay, dad?” Cash asked, his voice deep with worry.

Vincent turned to face Cash. “I’m fine.”

It was Cash who might not be fine once he realized what his father had done. He filled two whiskey tumblers midway and brought one over to his son.

Cash took the glass, his gaze intent and features impassive. “You needed me?”

“Yes,” Vincent said. He took a seat across from Cash, sighing as he got comfortable on the large, black leather sofa. “I was playing poker the other day with some friends.”

Cash’s brows drew down, deepening his frown. “And?”

“I won something for you.”

“Dad, you know I don’t need anything.”

Not according to Suzanne. Suzanne felt all her boys needed a woman, and urgently, or she’d be the only one amongst her friends with no grandbabies to bounce on her lap. Suzanne had said that. Not Vincent. Nope. Nu-uh. Vincent had nothing to do with it. Not at all.

“Well, whether you need it or not, it’s yours. I won a prize for you. All you have to do is go pick it up.” He refrained from using the word “her” so Cash wouldn’t become suspicious. As it was, his son was giving him a strange look.

Cash sighed and nodded. “Alright. Where do you want me to go get this prize?”

“Charlie’s Bar,” Vincent said, standing and heading toward his desk. “He’s got it for you.”


Vanessa Soler stared at her father like he’d grown a second head. “What do you mean you bet me on a poker game and lost? What the hell does that mean?”

She gripped the chair in front of her with all her might. Her entire life she’d spent working at her father’s strip club, first as a waitress and more recently as the costume designer. She did not do the stage. Though Charlie’s was a different kind of joint, featuring curvy strippers, Vanessa had never felt the need to go onstage. She wasn’t a dancer. She was the kind of person that could trip while standing still. Stripping required more balance than she possessed.

“Lower your voice, hija!”

She huffed out a growl and pushed her stupid curls away from her face. “I will not lower my voice,” she hissed the words. “You cannot just bet me on a game, Dad. What the hell is wrong with you?”