Title: Until Ashlyn
Series: Until Her #3
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Release Date: December 27th, 2016
Dillon Keck knew Ashlyn Mayson was drunk when she suggested they get married. He knew he should have taken her back to their hotel room and put her to bed. Instead, he did what he had been craving to do since the moment they met.
Claim her as his.
Waking up married in Vegas isn't something Ashlyn Mayson ever thought would happen to her. Having Dillon, her boss, a man she thinks is a dick, insist they stay married is absurd, but every time he touches her, she gets lost in him and wonders if maybe they are meant to be together.
But someone isn't happy for Dillon and Ashlyn and their new found romance, and they're willing to do anything to keep them apart. Even commit murder.
To every single person that believes in the BOOM
“Hey, Mom,” I greet, tucking my phone between my ear and shoulder as I shove another dress and matching heels into my suitcase. I smile while I do, because Dillon will likely flip his lid when he sees my choices in attire for the weekend, but there is not one damn thing he can do about it since we won’t be in the office. So technically, his stupid rules don’t apply.
“Are you all packed?”
“Almost,” I sigh, looking at the clock and realizing I only have ten minutes to finish before my cab is set to arrive. I wasn’t planning on going to Vegas for the dental convention, but Dillon insisted he needed me with him, and like an idiot, I agreed.
“Is Dillon picking you up?”
“No, I’m meeting him there. His flight left a couple hours ago.”
“Oh.” She lets out a defeated breath. “Is it just you and him going?”
“I hope so. I swear if the Wicked Witch shows up, I’ll sell her on the strip to the highest bidder, or pay someone to take her out to the desert and drop her off,” I grumble, digging under my bed for my tickler—just in case of an emergency.
“Call me if you need an alibi.” She laughs, and I smile, shaking my head, because I know she’s not lying; she would find a way to be my alibi if something happened.
“I’ll call,” I mutter, heading to the bathroom so I can gather my shower supplies.
“Dillon’s so nice,” she says quietly, and I grit my teeth.
Dillon is annoying, bossy, and… fine, he can be nice sometimes. Plus, he’s uber-hot, but I hate him. Okay, I don’t hate him… but I really, really want to.
“How long are you going to be gone for?” she questions, breaking into my internal rant.
“Just four days. My flight gets back Monday night around seven.”
“Promise you’ll call everyday and check in.”
“I’ll call or text,” I agree, grabbing my cosmetics case from under the bathroom cupboard, filling it with all of my makeup.
“Please try and have some fun while you’re there. Make Dillon take you out to a nice dinner or dancing.”
Snorting, I mutter, “Sure, Mom. I love you. I’ll message when I land.”
“Okay, honey, and don’t forget your dad and I leave Monday for Florida and we’ll be gone for three weeks.”
“I haven’t forgotten. Have fun, kiss Grandma and Grandpa, and tell Dad I love him.”
“Will do,” she promises softly before I hang up and shove my cell into my back pocket. Looking at the clock I let out a quiet curse, getting my ass in gear to finish packing so I don’t miss my flight.
Dragging my bag behind me toward the reception desk, I’m stunned by how many people are here wearing nametags stating they’re attending the dental convention. Dillon mentioned this weekend is one of the largest gatherings of dentists in the United States, but sheesh, this is crazy. Finally making it to the front of the line, I smile at the cutie behind the desk.
“How can I help you, gorgeous?” he inquires once I’m close, and I set my purse on the counter and pull out my ID, handing it over to him.
“Hi, I have a reservation.” I yawn, covering my mouth while I listen to the sound of slot machines going off in the distance. I love the slots—or penny slots to be exact, since I’m too chicken to play the real ones.
“I’m sorry, but there is no reservation under your name. Are you sure you’re staying with us?” he asks, handing me back my ID, and I frown.
“I’m positive. It may be under my boss’ name, Dillon Keck. He made the reservations,” I say, and he starts to type again then smiles.
“Got it. I see here that Mr. Keck has already checked in and requested we give you your own key to the suite upon arrival.”
“Uh… what?” I blurt, feeling something close to dread fill my stomach. “Are you saying he’s staying in that room too?”
“Yes, it’s a suite with two kings.”
“I don’t care how many kings are in the room. It’s one room. Right?” I panic, leaning half over the counter, trying to see his computer screen. “Please tell me you have another room available?”
“I’m sorry, but we’re completely booked. This is one of our busiest weekends of the year.”
“Of course it is.” I shake my head. “Can you recommend another hotel nearby?”
“Sorry, but I really doubt anywhere else has an opening.”
“Oh man… oh man,” I breathe, squeezing my eyes closed. “It’s not a big deal. You can share a room with him. You’re an adult, and it’s not like you even like him, right?” I whisper, balling my hands into fists.
“Um, so do you want me to get you your key?” Opening my eyes, I nod once and his face softens. “Call down and check. Sometimes we have people call off their reservations last minute. You never know. Something might open up between tonight and tomorrow.”
“Sure, I’ll call,” I agree, wondering what the hell I did to deserve this kind of karma as I wait there for the room key.
Standing in the hall outside the door to our room ten minutes later, I pause with my key card in my hand, not sure if I should knock or just go in. I seriously cannot believe Dillon booked us in a room together. Actually, I can believe it, because I think he gets off on annoying me.
“Screw it. It’s my room too,” I mutter to myself, shoving the key into the card reader, watching the light turn green. Pushing down on the handle, I turn, using my shoulder to hold the door open while I drag my suitcase into the room, fighting with its weight as the door closes, trapping it half way through.
Turning my head, I look over my shoulder and almost fall on my ass when my eyes find Dillon standing in the middle of the room, completely naked, with a pair of boxers in his hand. His once long hair now short and wet, and a tattoo I didn’t know he had along his muscled ribs on his side.
“Oh, my God,” I breathe, turning quickly while attempting to shove my suitcase back out of the room. I totally did not need to know Dillon looks hotter without clothes than what my mind had made up, and believe me—my mind had unfortunately tormented me with thoughts of him naked many times.
“Christ, you’re a mess,” is muttered from behind me while a very strong arm wraps around my waist, lifting me off my feet, and my suitcase is tugged from my grasp. Before I know it, my suitcase and I are both in the room and the door closes with a soft hiss, trapping me inside.
“Please tell me you’re not still naked,” I whimper, squeezing my eyes closed, feeling his arm release me and his heat leave my back.
“I’m not naked.”
Opening my eyes, I close them again when I see he’s only got on a pair of form-fitting black boxers and nothing else. “Put some clothes on.”
“Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a naked man before.” He chuckles, and the sound of his laughter makes my teeth grind and my hands drop to my sides.
“I don’t want to see you naked.” I glare at him while he buttons up a pair of dark slacks that fit him perfectly.
“You could have avoided all of this if you had knocked.”
“Really?” I raise a brow. “You could have ‘avoided all this,’” I make air quotes, “and gotten me a separate room.”
“They messed up the reservation.” He shrugs like it’s no big deal, and I feel my eyes narrow further.
“You should have called to tell me that, so I could have—”
“You would have avoided coming,” he cuts me off. “If you knew we were sharing a room, you would have found an excuse, and I need you with me this weekend.”
“Whatever,” I grumble, knowing he’s right. I would have canceled the trip if I knew we were sharing a room, even knowing that being here is a great way to build connections with other dentists. Especially, if I want to open my own practice in the future. “We need to set a few ground rules.” I cross my arms over my chest while I watch him walk across the room toward the bed near the window.
“Later.” He picks up a dark-blue, almost black, dress shirt and starts to put it on, which is unfortunate, because now that I’ve seen him shirtless, I’m thinking he should never cover up again.
“No, now,” I growl, annoyed with myself for being attracted to the dick.
“Later.” He holds my glare. “Right now, you need to get dressed. We have reservations in forty minutes.” He takes a seat on the side of the bed and starts to put on his shoes.
“What?” I look at the clock on the wall. It’s after seven at night and I’m exhausted. All I want to do is climb into bed, order room service, and watch some bad TV.
“We have a reservation in forty minutes,” he repeats, then stands. “The restaurant is twenty minutes away, so you have twenty minutes to get ready, unless you want to wear that.” He motions to my sweats, flip-flops, and hoodie. “I suggest you change.”
“I hate you.”
“So you say,” he says, just barely loud enough for me to hear, as he goes to the dresser, picking up his watch and putting it on.
“What did I do to deserve this?” I shake my head, pulling out my hair tie and running my fingers through my knotted hair.
“You may want to hurry.”
Holding his eyes for a minute, I give up my glare then drag my suitcase to the middle of the room and unzip it. After pulling out one of my favorite “going out” outfits along with my makeup bag, I go to the bathroom and try to slam the door closed, but it’s on one of those thingies that prevents me from doing that, which pisses me off even more.
“Stupid door. Stupid dick,” I mutter once the door is closed, then get to work on making myself look halfway decent.
Twenty minutes later, I look at my refection and lean forward, putting my face an inch from the mirror, and use my dark-red lipstick for the final touch on my dramatic makeup look. Since I didn’t have time to do anything with my hair, I brushed it out and put it up in a bun on top of my head then pulled out a few pieces to frame my face. Looking at my now blonde hair, I smile. I wasn’t sure I would like having blonde hair but Kim insisted it would look great on me, and she wasn’t wrong. Standing back, I place my hands on my hips and take myself in. My black sleeveless-top, with triangles cut out of the center of the chest and sides, is sexy but classy, and my red skin-tight pencil skirt, with its slit up the thigh, shows off just enough skin to draw attention while leaving everything to the imagination.
Slipping on my black, pointed-toe, four-inch pumps, I open the door to the bathroom, and mutter toward where I know Dillon is sitting, “Let me just change my purse and we can go.”
“You’re not wearing that.”
“Pardon?” I ask, pausing in my squatted position in front of my open suitcase to look at him.
“You’re not wearing that outfit. Go change.”
“I’m not changing.” I stand, moving to the desk so I can transfer what I need from my bag to my clutch. Hearing no reply, my eyes move to where he’s sitting on the edge of the bed, and I feel my skin warm up and butterflies take off in my stomach as our eyes lock and his darken.
Licking my lips that have suddenly gone dry, his eyes drop to my mouth and his jaw clenches. “I’ll meet you downstairs.” He stands abruptly and moves past me out the room quickly, letting the door close behind him with a swoosh without another word.
“What the fuck was that?” I ask the door, gaining no reply—not that I need one. I know exactly what that was; I just have no idea what to do with it. Dillon has always acted professional with me. There has never been a time that I’ve seen him look at me like he’s interested, but the look in his eyes a moment ago was primal and not one an engaged man should give another woman, or a boss should give his employee, ever.
Shaking off the strange feeling in the pit of my stomach, I finish changing out my bag then leave the room and make my way through the casino and into the lobby. Not finding Dillon inside, I head outside to the area the cabs and limos pick up and drop off, and spot him standing with a group of people. I’m not surprised he’s surrounded by a gaggle of women and a couple of men. He tends to draw attention wherever he goes, and it’s something else that annoys me. I hate being the center of attention, and I don’t really like people who need it to feel important. Needing a minute to get my head together, I stop a few feet away and tuck my clutch under my arm.
“Where you going, gorgeous? ‘Cause wherever it is, I’m there,” a drunk guy, who can’t be much older than twenty-one, slurs, stumbling up to me. His clothes are rumpled, his hair in disarray, and if he wasn’t such a mess, he’d be cute. But sadly, sloppy drunk works for no one.
Ignoring him, I untuck my purse, open it, and pull out my cell phone, knowing better than to engage with men like him in his current state.
“So you’re to good for me?” he slurs, snatching my cell out of my hand, and my eyes fly up.
“Give me my phone,” I say evenly, holding out my hand, and his eyes travel the length of me and his face scrunches up.
“Ho here thinks she’s too good for me.”
“Mike, come on. Give her the phone and let’s go,” someone says off to the side, but I keep my eyes on Mike, with my palm out toward him. My dad insisted I take martial arts with Jax when I was little. I hated it; I wanted to be a ballerina, not a ninja, but he was adamant about me being able to protect myself. Over the years, the skills I learned back then have come in handy, like now, when all I really want to do is kick the crap out of Mike but know better. One of the first things I was forced to learn was control, to never lose my temper. The second thing I learned was to keep my eyes on my enemy at all times. I was never really good at either, but I still got a black belt in the end.
“Mike,” I say softly, taking a step toward him. “I’m going to ask you nicely, once, to give me my phone. If you don’t, I swear to God I will unleash the Kraken, kick your ass in front of your friends, and send you home crying to your mother.”
Laughing, he looks around then his eyes widen as they move behind me. I really, really want to know what he’s looking at, but I refuse to turn my head and give in.
“Give her the phone.” The deep rumble of Dillon’s voice sends a chill down my spine. I’ve only heard him pissed a few times, and I know he’s pissed right now without even looking at him.
“I… I… w-was just playin’ man,” Mike stutters out, tossing my phone toward me. Missing my hands and causing my phone to crash to the ground, and my nostrils to flare as it shatters at my feet.
“Oh, shit. Oh, Christ. I’m sorry.” He drops to his knees and begins gathering the pieces of what used to be my phone then tries to get up, but falls face forward into my crotch, causing me to stumble back.
“I can’t believe this shit,” Dillon grumbles, catching me before I fall, then tugs me out of the way as Mike’s friends decide to finally step in and pick him up from the ground. “You had to wear that outfit.”
“You can not be serious right now?” I hiss, swinging my head back and finding him glaring down at me.
“Let me go.” I try to get free, but his hand on my waist tightens as his eyes leave mine. Swinging my head in the other direction, I find one of Mike’s friends standing a few feet away with my phone, looking anywhere but at us, and Mike off to the side, puking in a trashcan.
“Let me go,” I repeat, and his arm tightens for a moment before he finally lets me loose. I really want to scream or throw a fit, but instead, I calmly take my clutch and open it, holding it out toward the guy and letting him dump the now useless pieces inside. “You need to get him some Gatorade and toast,” I tell him, nodding toward Mike.
“Um, yeah sure. Than…” his words taper off, and the smile that was forming on his lips slides away as he looks over my shoulder. Rolling my eyes, I watch him turn quickly and go to Mike to help carry him away, feeling Dillon get close once more.
“Limo’s waiting,” he mutters, placing his hand against my lower back, making me tense.
“I’m not going.” I try to step away, but his hand slides around my waist, bringing my side into his middle.
“You are,” he growls, leaning forward, close… way too close.
“Fine, you want me there? I’ll go, but just so you know, I plan on getting completely wasted, so you have just become my chaperone for the evening.”
“You’re not getting drunk.”
“Wasted, not drunk. And you better make sure I don’t do anything stupid.” I pat his chest, ignoring his flashing eyes. With that, I step out of his grasp and start toward the line of limos then turn to look over my shoulder at him, realizing I have no clue which one to go to.
Smirking, he crosses his arms over his chest and raises a brow. “What’s wrong, blondie? Confused?” His mocking tone and the look of triumph in his eyes does it. I turn on my heels and head to one of the limos with the driver standing outside leaning against it. The moment the driver spots me coming in his direction, his back leaves the car and his eyes rake over me, making my teeth snap together.
“Can I help you, Miss?”
“Ashlyn Mayson, get your ass back here,” Dillon snarls behind me, making my palm itch to smack him.
“I’m sorry, pumpkin. I thought you said this was our limo.” I fake pout, turning to look at him and tossing my head to the side for good measure.
“Christ, you drive me fucking insane.” He walks to where I’m standing, tagging my hand, and then starts to drag me with him, grumbling under his breath.
“You know all I want in this whole wide world is to make you happy, pumpernickel,” I whine, batting my lashes while watching his jaw tic.
Leading me toward another limo with a driver holding the back door open, he growls, “Behave.”
“I swear I’ll be your good girl from now on if you don’t spank me,” I stage-whisper, and his hand spasms in mine as a smirk forms on his lips.
“You don’t behave, I’ll bend you over and tan your ass right here.” His words ring through my ears, making my insides liquid, and then I hear the sound of a male chuckle as I’m gently forced into the back seat of the dark limo before I can reply.
“You’re such a jerk,” I hiss, adjusting my skirt as I move across the leather seats.
“You started the show we put on. I just ended it,” he mutters, sitting down across from me and unbuttoning his suit jacket.
“You started it with the whole ‘blondie’ thing.” I cross my arms over my chest and glare at him.
“Can we not do this tonight? Can we get along for one damn evening?”
“You tell me. I’m not the one who’s bossy and annoying all the damn time.”
“No, you’re just crazy.”
“Crazy?” I snort, and his lips twitch ever so slightly. “I’m not crazy.”
“Babe, you told that kid you were going to unleash the Kraken on him then went on to tell his friends to get him Gatorade and toast. You’re the definition of crazy.”
He may have a point, but instead of agreeing with him, I turn my head to look out the window and watch the city of Las Vegas slide by.
About the Author:
Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who's husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She's married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it's beauty.