Money can't buy love. But it might just buy a second chance...
A Fortune story.
Lauren Tollson can't believe it. She's just run into her old flame--in a sex club, of all places. Since winning a huge lottery jackpot, she's not big on trusting any man's motives. But David Fairfield could be just what she needs to satisfy that nagging little urge. At least temporarily.
Once, long ago, David made the biggest mistake of his life by letting Lauren slip away. Now that he has her back in his life, he's not going to let her go. Ever. He's older now. Wiser. Or at least he's trying to be.
If Lauren becomes wise to his secret, though, it could ruin any chance she'll see him as anything other than a freeloader--not the forever kind of man she deserves.
Part of the Fortune series with Fortune's Deception and Fortune's Promise.
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March 09, 2009
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Excerpt from Fortune's Chance by Karen Erickson
"I want a man who doesn't give a crap about how rich I am."
Brittney snorted. "Good luck."
Maddie shook her head, dabbing at the corner of her mouth with her napkin. "Oh stop. You can do it, Lauren. Britt lucked out finding Charlie. I don't know how I snagged Tanner. Your time will come, I promise."
Yeah right. Lauren gulped from her wine glass, polishing off the smooth cabernet in one giant swallow. "It's my birthday, damn it. I should be able to find someone tonight who'll want to kiss me for me, not because I can give him a million dollars without blinking an eye."
"Sweetie, you need to lay off the alcohol." Maddie placed a cool hand across Lauren's arm but Lauren yanked it away.
She didn't want to hear Maddie's mothering tone tonight, didn't need it. No, she wanted to drink more alcohol, consume more calories and find a sexy man to flirt with for the rest of the evening.
When was the last time she actually kissed a man? Really kissed a man? With searching tongues and wandering hands for hours and hours on end, 'til her head spun and her limbs were weak. She hadn't done something like that since college with her first serious boyfriend. Before they'd finally given in and had wild monkey sex, they used to make out for long, delicious hours.
Tonight she wouldn't mind some delicious kissing and wild monkey sex. She wanted the quick stripping of clothing, the mingled ragged breathing filling the air until finally--full body contact, warm skin on skin. The weight of a man's heavy body on hers, her arms wrapped around him, holding him close.
Oh yeah it had been far too long since she experienced something as good as that.
"No one knows us," Brittney whispered, glancing about the busy nightclub. "We're anonymous here. If you want to go pick up on some random guy and have a little fun who are we to judge you? It's not every day someone turns thirty."
Lauren closed her eyes. Thirty years old and rich beyond her wildest dreams. She could do whatever she wanted, be whomever she wanted. She could travel the world, start her own business or never work again. Charlie had made sure of that, invested her money wisely so if she chose, she'd never have to do anything but just be.
A year after winning and she was bored out of her mind, lonely to the depths of her soul. She hated it, every freaking minute of it.
She remembered how worked up she'd been over committing to that last lottery ticket. They'd been playing for a little over six months and getting nowhere. She'd been extra broke that week, her car had broken down and cost a fortune to repair. Handing over the ten dollars had been the hardest decision in her life. She'd even gone home that night and cried about it over a grilled cheese sandwich.
The next day they'd been declared millionaires and her life had never been the same.
"Maddie will judge me." Lauren watched poor Maddie try to dissuade the attention of some nerdy looking guy, feeling bad she wasn't coming to the rescue. But she needed to talk to Brittney first.
"No she won't. Listen, I was the biggest slut in town and Maddie always stood by me. We're friends, we don't judge. She has Tanner now and they do all kinds of wild things in bed and beyond. She told me." Brittney smiled. "And even if we did judge you we wouldn't tell you."
Lauren laughed, causing Nerdy Guy to glance in her direction. Maddie shot her a pleading look, and Lauren jerked a thumb over her shoulder.
"Isn't it time for you to leave? She's with me."
Nerdy Guy's eyes widened and he scrambled away, shooting an odd glance in Maddie's direction. All three of the women burst into a fit of giggles, Maddie finally able to speak first.
"Lauren! You just implied we're lesbians!"
Lauren shrugged, grabbed for her wine glass and realized it was empty. She needed another drink and fast. "You wanted him to leave you alone, right? Besides, with the type of crowd hanging out at this club, I don't think he's too surprised."
It had been Brittney's idea to take them to an exclusive members-only nightclub in San Francisco for Lauren's birthday weekend. Rumor had it that it was an exclusive sex club but nobody really knew. Brittney had been dying to find out so she did what she always did--used her subtle female persuasion and a few extra dollars to get in, much to Charlie's chagrin.
Turned out the place was most definitely a sex club. Men outnumbered the women two to one, and Lauren definitely felt on display. The men were checking out Brittney almost to the point of flat out ogling her with their tongues hanging out. With her beautiful face, curvy body and blonde hair she always received a lot of attention.
A fact that drove Lauren crazy. Sometimes it didn't pay to bring Brittney anywhere. Considering Lauren was the only one without a boyfriend, it really could make a girl bitter.
"Isn't Charlie upset you're here?" Lauren couldn't help asking. Her friend's relationship was too perfect to be real. Those two loved each other like she'd never seen before. It made Lauren a little jealous.
Brittney shrugged. "He wanted to come but I told him it was a girl's night out. Because he's stubborn and loves to surprise me, he drove to San Francisco, showed up a little while ago. Now he's waiting in the hotel room for me."
"Thank God we're not sharing a room," Lauren muttered, envious that her friend was getting some tonight.