Betsy Majors, co-owner of the adult-themed Fantasy Ranch has her romantic sights set on Ian Mitchell, her brother’s best friend and resident wedding officiant. She knows he wants her too, but he seems determined to hold her at arms length. When her ex-husband shows up and demands the money she stole from him, she’ll need Ian’s help to beat her ex at an old fashioned treasure hunt and protect a secret she’s never told a soul.
Tempted past the edge of reason by his best friend’s sister, Ian is ready to leave the ranch to protect them both from a relationship that can’t possibly work. But when Betsy’s wild past catches up with her, he has no choice but to keep her safe, even if that means putting both his life and his heart on the line.
Warning: Ice water not included. Some scenes may not be suitable for minors.
Betsy Majors slid the tray of empty champagne flutes onto the counter, adjusted the white lace collar over her chest and then reached for a fresh round of drinks. Deep breath in, deep breath out, and smile, she coached herself before backing through the swinging door into the lavish dining room. Silverware clattered against white stoneware plates over the low rumble of voices, ringing in her ears as she made her way to the other end of the table. She leaned over to replace empty glasses with full, keenly aware of eyes glued to her cleavage and fingers grazing her ass and thighs as she worked. It came with the French maid costume, and in the two years she’d been playing the part she’d learned that constant motion was the best offense.
“Another drink, monsieur?” she purred in her best French accent, placing a flute in front of an older gentleman to her right. He smiled shyly and nodded as she moved to the right. The group was part of a business conference currently taking place in Reno that had booked the Millionaire Mansion for a fun and exotic night out for its VIP crowd. So far everyone had been on good behavior, but that was to be expected. The rules of conduct for the Fantasy Ranch were strict and laid out when each booking was made, then again when each individual arrived. No violence, sex only between consenting adults and no abuse of the staff were the top three, and every fantasy scene included several burly security guards to make sure everyone complied. Betsy and Harley had wanted the ranch to be a safe place for people to explore their fantasies.
She glanced through the open double doors into the hall at the stately grandfather clock. Eleven o’ clock. The party would be shifting into the parlor soon for brandy and cigars, and she’d start cleaning up while the other girls served after-dinner drinks. Tucking her now-empty tray under her arm, she started back toward the kitchen just as the man at the head of the table clinked his knife against a crystal glass.
“I’d like to thank you all for coming tonight,” he said as the rumble died down to a low murmur. “It’s been a great conference, and your support is what keeps our company running.” There was a smattering of applause in return before he held his hands up to quiet the crowd. “I’ve been informed that we have brandy and cigars in the parlor if you’d like to join me down the hall.” The guests clapped again, chairs scraping back against the tile floor as everyone rose almost at once. Betsy stood still against the wall just to the side of an ornate marble buffet table. She knew from experience that it was safer to stay put when such a large crowd was transitioning from one room to another. A smile pasted on her face, she idly watched the faces go by.
Then one caught her eye from across the room and she froze, feeling the blood drain from her face as she watched him walk past on the other side of the table. “No,” she whispered, her pulse pounding as she fought the urge to run. “It can’t be…”
As soon as the man went through the doors she pushed through the crowd to the kitchen, stopping only long enough to set her tray on the counter and tell one of the other girls she had to leave. Then she sprinted out the back door and through the alley, cautious to avoid the main road as she ran toward the chapel at the back of the compound.