Chapter 17

9 1 4

"How long do you intend for us to stay here in Las Vegas?" I asked, watching Myrla pull on a yellow tank top.

She glanced at me out of the corner of her eye. "I'm not sure. Aiden hasn't mentioned when he and the guys will be heading home."

I settled myself upon the couch and curled my legs beneath me. "You should ask him."

Myrla finished putting on her make-up. She dropped the tube of lipstick, the eyeshadow palette, and the small bottle of DKNY perfume back into her toiletry bag. Her eyes closed. She loosened her shoulders and flailed her arms in the air for several minutes. Opening her eyes, she turned and faced me.

"Chance, you know I can't."

I sighed and pulled one of the cushions into my arms. "You can, but you won't. The thought of leaving Aiden behind scares you."

"Of course, it does. He's the first guy who's treated me like I matter."

I understood the way she felt. Dillon made me feel the same way, too. Unfortunately, we couldn't keep running in their shadows. She had to realize that the guys were nothing more than a set distraction. The two of us were nothing more than two girls they'd picked up along the way. Groupies, that's what we were.

Her mouth thinned to a tight line. She shook her head and scrunched her eyes closed.

"I know what you're thinking."

"Do you?"

Myrla's eyes popped open. A bright sheen of moisture shone in her eyes.

"We're not groupies," she whispered, her voice cracking with emotion.

"Yes, we are."

"No, we're not. Haven't you noticed the way they treat us? We matter, Chance."

I settled my chin across the back of my right hand. "Sweetie, who's to say this is how they treat all the women they surround themselves with? We don't know how any of this works. Their world . . . It's nothing like ours. If I'm going to be honest, we're way out of their league. Our beginnings are simple. Theirs . . . they've got money out the wazoo. They do what they wish, when they wish."

Myrla dropped onto the recliner. She leaned forward, her hair falling across her brow.

"I hate it when you're right," she said, and sniffled.

My heart raced. "Are you . . . crying?"

"N—No."

"Liar," I said, tossing the cushion aside and sliding off the couch.

I sat down on the recliner's armrest and pulled her against me. "It's going to be okay, Myrla. You'll see."

She wrapped her arms around my waist. "I know. I just . . ."

"You wanted something good to come out of this."

She nodded and looked up. "You can't deny it's been fun. They're crazy, sometimes, but they do have fun whenever they get together."

I jerked my head at her in acknowledgment. "Yes, it has. But . . ."

"Yes?"

"This distraction with the guys is only temporary. At some point, we'll have to go back to the lives we've been leading."

Myrla let go of me and leaned back against the recliner. She shook her head.

"Not yet."

"You can't hide here in Las Vegas forever."

A muscle twitched along her lower jaw. "I'm not. I just want to spend as much time with Aiden before we all go our separate ways. Surely, you want to do the same with Dillon?"

This Life And The NextWhere stories live. Discover now