Warren’s face falls. “No . . . it’s . . . let me try another one. What did the duck say . . .”

I wrap my arm around his neck and squeeze, cutting off his air supply just a little. “Billy—remember what the doctor said about your voice?”


I turn to the girl, hoping to salvage Operation PPFW. That’s Premium Pussy for Warren, in case you weren’t sure.

“My friend here is a singer. Billy Warren? He has to save his voice for his next concert—doctor’s orders.”

Her eyes open wide and her tone is dim-witted. “My horoscope said I was going to meet someone famous today! Billy Warren—I didn’t recognize you. I totes loved your last single.”

Matthew calls, “Drew, come on—you gotta roll.”

“Right.” I fish a handful of quarters from my pocket and slap them into Warren’s hands. “Why don’t you kids go play the slots? You’ll be safer there.”

With a giggle, Blondie informs me, “The way the wheels go around and around is so funny! I love slot machines.”

“That makes so much sense,” I tell her.

Could you imagine the children these two would have? Maybe genetic selection isn’t evil after all.

I shove Warren away. “And remember, don’t f**king talk. At all.”

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He smiles and gives me two thumbs up. He looks so grateful and brainless, I can’t help but laugh as they walk away.

Twenty minutes later, Matthew and I are still on fire. Unstoppable. He’s taken over rolling, and I shift our chips around, betting big because we’re up by a lot. Matthew rolls a two and the room erupts in cheers. I give him a man shake and double our bet.

Which is when a certain semi-stalker flight attendant shows up next to me. Again.

“Can I give you a blow?”

My ears immediately perk up. “Excuse me?”

She points to Matthew. “The dice. Can I blow them for you? For luck?”

How about you blow me instead? I immediately think. Because I may be a man in a committed relationship—but I’m still a man.

That is the curse of evolution. Instincts. It’s why most guys have such a hard time with monogamy. Because our natural drive is to spread our seed around—offer it to as many willing partners as possible. We don’t have to act on it, but the impulse is always there. So the next time you think your guy is flirting with some random ho bag? Try not to get too upset. He’s waging an epic internal battle against his own body’s inclinations.

“Not needed,” I tell her. “We’re on a streak—never mess with a streak. These dice are doing fine on their own.”

My phone buzzes in my pocket. The text from Kate says the girls are finally ready and on their way down to the casino.

Flight girl leans over my shoulder and looks at my phone. “Cute kid. He yours?”

She’s referring to the picture of James on my main screen. I took it a few weeks ago, when I was trying to get James to eat a bowl of pasta. He wasn’t pleased with his meal and told me so by dumping the whole f**king thing on his head.


She moves close to my ear and cuts me off. “We don’t have to play these games. I have a hotel room waiting two blocks away. I want you. It’s obvious you want me. Stop fighting it.”

I lean back. “Did we forget to take our meds this morning?”

She laughs. Sounds kind of like Norman Bates, doesn’t she? Throughout my debauched pre-Kate years, I encountered my fair share of Fatal Attraction, I’ll-never-fuck-you-even-if-you-are-that-hot-because-you-obviously-have-several-screws-loose women. They’re out there and they’re not hard to spot. I was a master at avoiding, deflecting, and escaping their fanatical grasp.

But it looks as if I’m out of practice. Because before I can stop her, she swipes the phone out of my hand and moves back a few steps.

Anger flashes on my face and in my voice. “Give me back my goddamn phone.”

She smiles. “Come and get it.” She puts my phone down her frigging dress.

You have got to be kidding me. I turn to Matthew. “I don’t suppose you want to help me out with this?”

He looks down at the chips, then back to me. “There’s like a hundred grand here, man.”

Of course there is.

Have you ever seen Flash Gordon? You know that scene where Flash has to put his hand in the rock? The one with the grotesque, prickly snake thing inside it, just waiting to bite him? That’s pretty much what I’m feeling right now.

I crack my knuckles and shake my hands out. “Cover me. I’m going in.” Then I shove my hand down the front of her dress. I limit the physical contact as best I can, but the dress is tight. So upon entry, I immediately realize this chick is sporting a fake set of tits. And a nipple ring.

Don’t judge me. Do I look like I’m enjoying this, for God’s sake?

Psycho Flight Girl, on the other hand, seems to be enjoying it a whole bunch, if her moans are any indication. “Oooh, that’s nice. A little to the left.”

I roll my eyes and try to find a happy place. Then, the most improbable thing happens. Or, an absolute certainty, depending on your point of view.

“What the hell is this?!”

Care to guess whose voice that is?

I don’t even have to turn around, but I do. “Kate!”

I shake my head, trying my damnedest to deny that any of this is happening. “This isn’t . . . I’m not . . .” Yes, my arm is still biceps deep inside this chick’s dress.

I rip it out.

And point at her like an older sister accusing a younger one of wearing her favorite sweater. “She took my phone and won’t give it back.”

Sensing I’m in deep shit, Warren and Jack wander over to watch the show. Matthew just keeps gambling.

Kate struts forward and holds out her hand, simultaneously subjecting the woman to the thousand-watt bitch-glare.

The psycho woman rolls her eyes and takes the phone out of her dress. Kate gets an ever-ready bottle of antibacterial spray out of her purse, squirts the phone with it, wipes it with a tissue, then hands it back to me—spraying my hand for good measure.

After that, all of Kate’s pissed-off radiance turns back to the flight attendant. Her voice is low and deadly serious. “I put up with your shit on the plane because I didn’t want to spend the first hours of my vacation in the custody of federal air marshals. But we’re not on the plane now.” Kate holds up her left hand. “See this ring? It means I belong to him. And the tattoo of my name on his arm means he belongs to me. All of him. His dick is a compass, and I’m due north—it only points to me.”

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