Chance For Love (The Watson Brothers #1)(7)

By: Ann B. Harrison

Shame rushed up her cheeks. She’d been so nervous the whole flight over, she’d completely forgotten about the local customs she read about in the traveler’s guide book she’d picked up at the airport before leaving Australia. Precious money she couldn’t afford to spend at the time, now almost wasted because she’d forgotten almost everything she’d read. Nerves were getting the better of her.

“Sorry. Not thinking.” She hurried to grab her purse from the hippie bag on the small dining table and looked at the small amount of American change she had left over from the taxi ride. Until her new “husband” arrived, it was all the money she had left in the world. Every cent he’d already given her had gone straight to the bank.

Callie apologized again as she handed over the coins, her stomach sinking as she dropped them into his palm. “I have to change some more money before I go shopping. Sorry.”

“Thank you, ma’am, that is very kind of you.” He gripped the coins in his hand and turned to walk out of the room. The door shut quietly behind him, leaving her alone in a strange hotel on the other side of the world wondering, once again, if there could have been another option out of their predicament.

What the hell possessed me to think this would work? Callie walked over to the window and looked down on the famous Las Vegas strip. It was just after sunset and the lights of the casinos and the local attractions lit up the main street now packed with tourists. She wasn’t used to seeing so many people in one place, roaming, having a good time. Cars cruised up the road, tooting out greetings and ducking in and out of hotel driveways. She’d never seen so many stretch limos before nor had she seen so many colorful characters.

When she had walked into the hotel to check in earlier, she’d been assaulted by the noise of the casino and its gambling machines in the lobby. Blown away by the people around her looking as though they were all in party mode, she’d stumbled into a couple of scantily clad ladies, spilling the champagne from one of their glasses onto the tiled floor. They were both hanging onto the arm of a slightly inebriated man dressed like a cowboy. He was wearing tight denim jeans, a checkered shirt, and a large Stetson, jammed jauntily on his head. But it was his intricately worked boots that Callie noticed most of all.

“Hey, watch yourself.” One of the women pushed her out of the way and she stumbled backwards and fell to the ground, landing ungracefully on her butt. Her eyes filled with tears of exhaustion and embarrassment. The carved boots she had spied a moment ago which had in all likelihood hood distracted her more than anything, appeared in her line of vision.

Callie looked up. The man held out a hand to her and waited with a grin on his face for her to take his offer. Resting her hand in his, she let him pull her to her feet.

“Best you watch where you’re going, little lady.”

“Sorry, I was kind of amazed at all the goings on here. It’s not what I expected.” She stared as a native Indian in full dress waltzed past her, shooting fire from his mouth with the help of a flaming torch.

“Does kind of blow you away now, don’t it?” He gripped her hand tighter and she took a step back. “Now that’s not right friendly of you, darlin’.”

“Let me go, please.” She wrenched her hand free, gripped her bag firmly, and turned away toward the desk. The laughter from the cowboy and his lady friends followed her as she stood in line to check-in, now wary of all the strangers milling around her.

When it was her turn to step up to the desk, Callie gave her name, hoping she wasn’t going to be told there was nothing for her. She was still unsure if this crazy jaunt was going to amount to anything or if she would be left with no money and no place to go. The feeling of impending doom had stuck with her all the way over on her flight and ramped up now waiting to see if she had a room. To come all of this way on the man’s word alone was irresponsible and stupid, but it was a last ditch attempt to make some decent money and pay off the family’s debts.

“Yes, here we are, Miss Callie Lister, the Lido Suite.” The receptionist clicked a few keys and smiled at her. “Your passport please, Miss Lister.”

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