Anyone U Want(8)

By: Evangeline Anderson

“The Pleasure Dome,” Holly said, surprising him yet again with her choice of hotel.

Grant raised an eyebrow at her. “The Pleasure Dome? You do realize that’s right in the heart of the red light district?”

“Yes, I realize that.” She met his eyes with an obvious effort.

Grant shook his head. “I would have thought you’d choose the Moon Hilton or someplace equally prestigious and shall we say, less disreputable. Everyone knows The Pleasure Dome caters exclusively to tourists looking for sex, scandal, and general debauchery. Explain your choice.”

Holly sat up straighter. “Staying at a hotel in the red light district instead of a more respectable location will throw Meeks off. He’ll think you’re there for the…distractions offered only on the moon instead of serious business.”

Grant nodded thoughtfully. Holly was always full of surprises but this one was more surprising than most. Still, she had an excellent reason for her choice and he liked her logic. “A very good point,” he said at last. “Very well, The Pleasure Dome it is.”

“Excellent.” Holly’s slim fingers hovered over the iThink. “When do we leave and what’s the length of our stay?”

“Hmm, it’s a nine hour trip by private shuttle and then Meeks wants to meet on Christmas day—I think he thought stipulating that would make me back down. But since I’m not all that eager to eat my mother’s latest efforts at roast goose, I agreed.”

Holly made a face. “She’s really going to cook a goose?”

Grant shrugged. “Her book club has been reading the classics lately and right now they’re doing Dickens. If Christmas goose is good enough for Ebenezer Scrooge it’s good enough for my mother.”

She giggled and then tried to pull a straight face. “I’m sorry. That isn’t funny.”

“Actually, it is,” Grant said mildly. “And it doesn’t make it any easier that she never goes near the kitchen until this time of the year. She barely knows how to turn on the stove but she suddenly expects to be able to whip up a ten course holiday dinner—this year including a chestnut and sage stuffed goose with leek butter and lobster infused crème fresh.”

“Ugh.” Holly made a face. “Sorry but that doesn’t sound very good.”

“I don’t expect it to be.” Grant smiled at her. “Which is why I plan to be two hundred and thirty eight thousand miles away when it’s served. And as there are bound to be many, many leftovers, I’m in no hurry to come back, either.”

“I don’t have any holiday plans either,” Holly said, her fingers still hovering over the iThink.

“So then—shall we say we’ll stay five days to a week? A little time for pleasure as well as business. You’ve never been to the moon, have you?” Grant asked.

She smiled slightly. “A ticket to the moon cost roughly what I make in a year. So, no, I’ve never been.”

Grant frowned. “Hmm, we’ll have to remedy that. I’ll get in touch with human resources immediately and put you in for a raise.”

“No, no. I mean—I wasn’t asking for a raise.” Holly’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment. “I just meant that, uh, ordinary people like me don’t usually get to go to the moon. That’s all.”

He leveled a look at her, holding her dark blue eyes with his gaze. “Miss Sparks,” he growled softly. “I have known you for nearly two years now and I am convinced you are anything but ordinary.”

“Oh…thank you.” Holly looked flustered which pleased him immensely. Even though he couldn’t have her, he still enjoyed making her blush.

“Book us into The Pleasure Dome for a week,” he said, nodding at the iThink. “And be sure to get us the best rooms they have. We non-ordinary people have to travel in style.” Already he was anticipating showing Holly everything the moon had to offer. The finest restaurants, the most cutting edge entertainment—he was going to take her everywhere.

This was going to be one business trip he really enjoyed.

Chapter Three

Holly couldn’t believe her luck as she unpacked her suitcase in the lurid red and purple room at The Pleasure Dome. The moon—she was actually on the moon! Ever since she could remember it had been the ultimate dream vacation. Of course, when the lunar atmosphere domes had gone up around 2060, the government had been hoping to make it a new colony to ease the overcrowding on Earth. But the incredible cost of getting there and back again made it impossible for any but the very rich to make the trip. Accordingly, the moon had become the new Vegas, complete with ultra luxury hotels, high stakes gambling, and of course, sexual variety that couldn’t be found anywhere else.

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