“Yeah.” I smiled. “I do.”
This was the new Aubrey. Carefree. I wasn’t going to get attached. I was going to loosen up and have fun with him.
Chance surprised me with his choice of bikini. There were some really skimpy string ones, but he chose one with a modest sports bra top and a bottom that covered most of my ass. It was white with little black polka dots and had a small ruffle over the back of the bottom. He also bought a pair of sleek black swim trunks for himself that hugged his ass beautifully.
We found two white lounge chairs next to each other and had brought snacks and magazines. It was late in the afternoon, so the pool area wasn’t as crowded. We’d both taken a dip together before returning to our spot to chill. So far, this might have been my favorite part of the trip.
“What do you want to drink?” he asked.
“Something frozen and fruity.”
Chance got up to head to the bar. A few girls were ogling him as he sauntered toward the other side of the pool. He didn’t seem to notice how often people checked him out. Maybe he noticed but just wasn’t affected by it.
After he returned with two daiquiris, we drank in silence.
Playing with the paper umbrella in my drink, I looked over at him. “This is nice.”
He smiled. “I’m pretty sure if there was anything I could choose to be doing in the world right now, it would be this.”
“This pool is beautiful.”
“It’s not just the place. It’s the company.”
As he looked over at me in that moment, his eyes were telling me a story. They were telling me that he’d truly meant what he said. I believed that Chance wanted me, that he wanted to be with me, but that he truly couldn’t. Whatever it was that was holding him back was something out of his control. Those pesky feelings I’d been trying to suppress began to creep up again, so I buried my face in an InTouch Weekly magazine. Chance was sucking on a red Pixy stick when I got a sudden craving for sugar and asked, “You have any more of those?”
“I just might,” he said, winking as he dug into the plastic bag we’d brought and handed me one.
I started to suck on it and barely anything was coming out. Then, I looked down and noticed that there was a hole at the bottom end of the stick. The orange powder had spilled out onto my stomach.
Chance laughed. “Messy girl.”
“Do you have a napkin?”
“No need,” he said. “Let me.”
Faster than I could blink, Chance leaned over me and lowered his head to my stomach. He slowly ran his tongue along my navel, licking upward in one straight line to just inches from my breasts. I writhed under him, feeling a total loss of control as he lapped up all of the powder.
“Mmm,” he moaned as he sucked the last bit of sugar off of my skin and licked his lips.
My breathing was ragged when he returned to his spot on the lounge chair. He’d left me sitting there, completely aroused but in shock. We didn’t talk about what he’d done. He said he had to use the bathroom at one point and disappeared for a bit.
Just like that, all of the resolve I’d built up today was obliterated.
Since the upper hand in choosing our activities was still mine, I decided I wanted to try a really nice restaurant for dinner.
We ended up at the Foundation Room, which had a killer view that was sixty-three stories up, overlooking the strip. It was themed like an old country house with a cozy vibe.
After we devoured the crab cake appetizer, Chance opted for the steak while I ordered the grouper.
Trying hard not to think about how it felt when he licked the sugar off me earlier, it was to no avail. Every time I looked up at his lips, I could still feel them on me.
We’d ordered two bottles of wine, which seemed to flow endlessly along with the conversation. We talked straight for at least two hours. Chance spoke to me about growing up in Australia and talked more about his years in training for a soccer career that never happened. We’d shared stories about our fathers’ battles with cancer. I’d divulged a lot of the details of my breakup with Harrison.
I was feeling even closer to Chance. By the end of the night, it was as if I knew everything there was to know about him, except where his life stood now. That seemed to be the big black hole.
Further adding to my angst, he’d gotten a phone call in the middle of dinner which caused him to get up from the table. I was pretty sure whoever it was had something to do with why he was holding back with me.
When he returned to his seat, my heart was racing as I asked, “Who was that?”
He looked me dead in the eyes, his tone serious. “No one important, Aubrey.”
Instead of grilling him, I poured myself more wine. With each sip, a false sense of happiness overrode my insecurities. I became happier and happier.
By the time we left the restaurant, Chance had to put his arm around me just to keep me balanced. I wouldn’t say I was piss-ass drunk, but I was definitely intoxicated. So was Chance.
We were laughing about nothing. At one point, we stumbled upon a chapel. There was a sign that read, Fake Weddings Here.
Chance stopped me in the middle of the sidewalk. The vapors of alcohol on his breath infiltrated my nostrils as he spoke close to my face. “Marry me, Princess.”
“We have an illegitimate goat—a fake child together.” He laughed. “It’s only proper that we partake in a fake wedding ceremony to make you an honest woman.”
“Shit, we can text a picture to Harry. How fucking awesome would that be?” His mischievous smile sent tremors of desire through me. “Come on, it’ll be fun.” He led me by the hand into the small white chapel.
A large man dressed up as Elvis stood alone in the entryway. “It’s a good night for a wedding,” he greeted monotonously.
“Do you need a reservation?” Chance asked.
“We’re slow tonight. We can take you right now if you want.”
Chance looked at me, his semi-drunken eyes glassy. “What do you say?”
I shrugged. “There’s no license. It’s not real. So, no harm, right?”
We each filled out a form with some of our basic information. For a cool $199, we ordered the full wedding experience that included a ceremony, five digital images, souvenir rings, a silk bouquet and my choice of borrowed dress. Before I knew it, I was being whisked away by a woman named Zelda with a mop of frizzy red hair. She brought me to a back room where there was a rack of assorted white dresses in different shapes and sizes. She had me try on a few different ones, and I ended up picking out a strapless, lace mermaid style gown that was a little too long. My boobs were also spilling out of the top. It was the one dress that I liked, though.
Zelda helped me do my hair into an updo with tendrils framing my face. I had no idea what to expect when I walked back out there.
Music began playing. “Are they starting?” I asked.
“Your boyfriend must have picked a song, so yes.”
“We’re supposed to pick the song?”
“We have a library of music, and we usually let the groom choose while the bride is getting dressed. That’s the best use of time.”
I recognized it as Marry Me by Train. Even though the whole thing was staged, I couldn’t help the butterflies that were swarming inside of me as the music played. As much as I knew this was fake, my nerves seemed every bit the same as they would have been were this a real wedding.