by: Rebecca Taylor
It was supposed to be a getaway, a chance to have some fun and let her hair down but Maisie Monroe had found everything but what she was looking for. And all in front of the tux and bridal store. She had been out for a walk, sightseeing – checking out the interesting facets of Vegas. She thought maybe she’d find one of those pawn shops she was always seeing on television and stop in – maybe even meet a celebrity or two. Instead, she had found reminders of past heartbreak and despair in the form of her ex-fiancé’s brother. To be fair, the engagement had ended three years ago and Maisie was glad that she had seen fit to end the relationship before she married a man who claimed to love her yet refused to accept that she was entitled to have opinions about things. He had tried to use his love to hold her back from meeting people or advancing in her career. Thankfully, she had seen the signs before it was too late.
“You’re the last person I expected to see in Vegas,” said Tom Banyon.
“Why is that?” asked Maisie, “You didn’t think someone like I could be attracted to such a booming city?” The edge in her voice made it obvious that the pain she felt from Ryan’s behaviour still existed.
“It was just a statement,” said Tom, “How’ve you been?”
“That’s good. We’ve missed you, Maisie, just because you broke up with my brother doesn’t mean you had to cut us all off.”
“Generally that’s how broken engagements work,” replied Maisie, “in order to respect your ex, you don’t become friends with his family anyways.”
“I know Ryan did and said some things to make you leave, but that doesn’t mean you and I couldn’t get a cup of coffee – after all what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas right?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” answered Maisie.
“Come on Maisie, just because my older brother has issues, doesn’t mean you and I have to, what would a cup of coffee hurt? It’s not my first time in Vegas either, let me show you around.”
“See it starts off a cup of coffee and then ends up being the sights, what next a Vegas wedding chapel? We are standing in front of a bridal and tux store. If that doesn’t send up red flags for you.”
“Are you superstitious?”
“Wouldn’t you be?”
“Why don’t we start with the cup of coffee and see where it leads. I promise I will not marry you on this trip to Vegas,” answered Tom with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
“Thank you,” answered Maisie, “that means that when I get back home and see sense I will know I didn’t do anything that I cannot undo.”
“You can undo a marriage – especially a Vegas fast one,” said Tom, “if you want a chance at making it to the alter.”
“That’s not fair,” answered Maisie walking away.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. It was supposed to be all in fun,” said Tom following her.
“Do you think it was easy for me to admit that I made a mistake and had to walk away from Ryan and your family? But it wasn’t meant to be, there was no happily ever after there.”
“Want to talk about it?” asked Tom gently.
“I think we’ve dredged up enough of the past.”
“It’s obvious that you’re not over what happened. You wouldn’t be so upset if you were.”
“Do you have a degree in psychology now?”
“No, but I can see when someone is hurting.”
“Please, just leave it. I should be getting back to the hotel anyways.”
“It’s early still and Vegas doesn’t sleep.”
“I need time to think. It was nice to see you again.”
“If you change your mind about coffee or whatever, I’m staying at the Round Tree Hotel.”
“Are you kidding me?” asked Maisie, “So am I.”
“Good, then I’ll walk with you.”
Back at the hotel, Maisie reluctantly agreed to meet Tom for supper later. After all, they were going to be in the same dining room. It was hard to refuse. In her hotel room, Maisie screamed into her pillow. So much for her plan to see some sights, play some slot machines and be free of deadlines and responsibilities for a few days. She hadn’t spoken to any of the Banyon family for three years and now, she was eating supper with the ever so handsome Tom. And to make matters worse, she liked him, and always had. Is it a coincidence that I found him where I did? Ryan’s engaged again, I read that in the paper. What if I have a chance at love, even if it is with his brother? Slow down, Maisie, it’s just supper. We will see where this leads, and wherever it does, I will have to proceed with caution. I know what I want this time, and I’m open to the opportunities supper brings, but I won’t get swept into the romance, first I will think with my head and then ask my heart what it thinks. I won’t let a Vegas romance take over. What happens in Vegas, really should stay there. Unless it doesn’t…anyways, I will have something to tell my friends back home.