Billionaire's Unwanted Sextuplet BabiesBy: Ella Brooke & Jessica Brooke
Sandra Gaines sighed and leaned against the bar. The Atlantis downtown was the place to be for Washington, DC’s movers and shakers. They all came here after work on Capitol Hill to grab a drink, flirt shamelessly with each other, and sometimes share secrets from each other’s respective congressional office. Oh, and it was definitely the place where they acted like junior masters of the universe and lorded it over the staff. Sandra would know. She’d been a waitress there, serving gin and tonics and shots to the lobbyists and aides, for almost three years.
Normally, she’d be anywhere but Atlantis on her night off. The clientele wasn’t really her sort. Some could be nice, but often the guys there were just too smug. However, her best friend, Tonya, had a bartending shift that didn’t end until midnight when Mitch would come to relieve her. Once she was off, they’d be hitting The Grinder down on New York Avenue to see The Grilled Lincolns.
She had to kill a couple of hours. Not a huge problem, as she already looked cute in her stilettos and short, black lace dress. However, her mood had soured considerably since that morning. Her boyfriend, Zane, had given her the short shrift. She’d gone to lunch with him, hoping that he’d agree to come with her to meet her parents for Thanksgiving in a few weeks. Instead, he’d decided that he wasn’t ready for more commitment, even after almost a year.
To say she was upset was an understatement. To say she was more depressed than she’d been in her entire twenty-four years of life might be a bit much, but she did feel like crap. If she hadn’t already spent fifty dollars on the tickets, Sandra would have called the whole thing off with Tonya and crawled under her covers with a carton of ice cream.
But she was committed now.
She was also drinking more than she usually would at a bar, starting on her third shot of tequila. Her heart hurt, and there was nothing she wanted more than to numb the pain from losing Zane.
“Hey, you should pace yourself,” Tonya said, frowning. “I know you’re not technically drunk enough for me to cut you off as a bartender, but as your friend I think you need to stop drinking till we get to The Grinder. You’ve powered that down in like thirty minutes.”
Sandra shook her head. “Zane’s an asshole.”
Tonya’s face brightened. “I’ve been telling you that for months! What changed your mind?”
“Hey, ladies, this isn’t social hour!” Daryl, the club manager, called from the floor. “Tonya, keep working. And Sandra? I hope you aren’t trying to pull ‘employee discount’ on the drinks.”
“I’d never,” Sandra replied, knowing full well that Daryl never let anyone get a discount on anything at all. “I just needed something to soothe my soul.”
Daryl twitched his mustache thoughtfully but kept his eyes narrowed on her. “Good. Don’t distract Tonya, and then you can buy whatever top-shelf stuff you want.”
Sandra laughed and held up her shot with a mock toast. “I can barely afford the stuff that burns my throat.”
“Then at least keep paying,” Daryl said before returning to work.
Sandra set her drink down and rubbed at her temples. A headache was flaring up that had nothing to do with her tequila and everything to do with the stress and sadness of the day overwhelming her. She closed her eyes and took a deep, shuddering breath. She barely noticed the man who sat down next to her until he spoke.
“Are you alright?”
Frowning, she picked her head up and looked at him. She expected the usual hipster-age dude with a skinny tie complementing his suit. The usual eager intern or new congressional staffer that tended to come early in the night to Atlantis.
Instead, what she saw as she turned around was a man with high cheek bones that were set in a swarthy face with just a hint of stubble at his chin. Green eyes glittered back at her with a piercing gaze she couldn’t resist, and his thick, jet-black hair was kept overly long so that it curled over his ears and down toward his chin. His classically tailored suit fit his muscular frame like a glove.
For a minute, Sandra almost forgot how to speak. “I…uh…what?”
He chuckled and then spoke again. “Are you alright? I have some aspirin if you need anything.”
She shook her head. “No, it’s just been one of those days.”
“We’ve all been there.” He extended his hand. “I’m Xavier Clifton, and you are?”
“Sandra Gaines,” she said, taking his hand and expecting him to shake it. Instead, he surprised her again by kissing the back of it. “Oh, you didn’t have to do that.”
“I find it rude not to compliment a beautiful woman. You deserve more than a handshake.”