Unbridled and Unhitched

By: Elle Saint James

The Double Rider Men’s Club 7



Chapter One



Las Vegas, Nevada



Alexis Sherwood needed a place to hide. Las Vegas was so busy she expected to blend in and be completely anonymous for her entire stay. So far her plan had worked, but now she had a new problem.

Force of habit these past few days caused her to glance quickly over one shoulder into the casino’s main floor to ensure no one watched or followed her. It was late evening, but still all the heads she saw were focused on the machines in front of them like they were mesmerized into spending every bit of their money one dollar at a time. No one in the room even paid the least attention to her. Excellent.

Strolling away from the blazing bells and other loud sounds of the main casino floor, she headed down the empty hallway at the back of the hotel looking for a place to conceal herself.

If only she could catch a couple hours of sleep in a quiet, out-of-the-way place, she’d be fine for tonight. Then she could save the cost of a hotel room. Money was tight when one was on the run. Cash was a luxury that she didn’t have this time.

Up ahead on her left she saw light suddenly spill out of a doorway. Had it opened? What was down there? Maybe a nice place to rest. She sped her gait to find out. Hopefully, it was a soon-to-be-deserted room where she could rest up for a few hours.

Running away to Las Vegas had been a great idea, but she hadn’t brought enough cash along. Worse, she’d accidentally left her credit card at home. Even if she had brought her personal card along with her, Alexis was afraid it also might be traceable.

It was better not to take the chance or agonize over the possibility. The only plastic in her wallet was her company credit card. Not only could she get fired for using it for nonapproved, non-company-related purchases, it could be traced very easily through the company.

If she dared use her company card even for a bottle of water, they’d likely track her down and fire her before she finished drinking it. She shivered. She absolutely could not use her company credit card here in Las Vegas for any reason.

Not to mention that the man she’d left behind to curtail his following her had a connection to her workplace. He was closely related to her regional supervisor, Silvia Madill. If he knew where she was, he’d follow her here. She needed a break.

Alexis mentally calculated how much reserve cash she had left in her wallet. Any way she sliced it, she only had enough money for three nights at this hotel. Four nights if she didn’t eat.

Unfortunately, she had five days left on her impromptu vacation. She’d taken a flight out of town under the cover of darkness, and no one who knew her would ever think to look for her in Sin City. As a precaution, she even turned her cell phone off and left it behind in her sock drawer. It was her company phone and likely could also be tracked. She hadn’t expected to need a phone on her vacation.

Brushing her hair out of her face, her nail caught on an unmovable strand of hair. It tugged a bit, but most of the time she forgot the fake extensions were there. Slight camouflage was another layer to her “hide out in Vegas” plan. She put faux purple streaks in her hair to add to her disguise.

As a part of her big plan, she pretended to be someone else while in Las Vegas. She did her best to stay in a different place than expected. She wore different clothing. And then she added streaks of riotous color to her hair, which were very unlike her professional norm.

However, Alexis kept forgetting they were in her hair and pulled on them frequently. It was a wonder she hadn’t yanked them out altogether along with a hunk of her own hair. Those artificial strands of hair were sturdier than she was at the moment.

The doorway with light spilling out was vacant, but she heard music coming from inside. A cleaning crew, perhaps? The lure of a possible place to hide pulled her forward into the long, darkened, and narrow hallway. There were several closed doors on each side as she passed, but the low light and beat of sexy music drew her further into the space.

The sensual music got louder the further she walked. She was led to the back entrance of a large room. Through the opening she saw twenty or so tables strewn about. Well-dressed patrons faced away from her toward the stage in the low-lit room. This was likely some off-line secret Vegas show for a private party. She could only see a part of the stage from the doorway. Not enough to see what everyone was watching.

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