(Reservations, Book 1)
Wildly successful entrepreneur, Thane Walker is stubbornly set in his ways and adamantly resists the shackles of commitment. He’s seen enough unhappy endings to learn the best way to play is by keeping his men on the payroll.
Levi Silva’s dream of graduating from one of the country’s top medical schools is in his grasp, until news from home changes everything. Now, he’s raising his two teenage brothers and trying to keep everyone’s head above water, emotionally and financially.
When Levi’s new job puts him in Thane’s path, their chemistry explodes, but their fear of being involved in relationships keeps them apart. Unfortunately, despite the intense desire drawing them together, neither man can move forward until they get past their own…Reservations.
Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited for the first 90 days.
♡ Excerpt ♡
Levi closed his eyes, dropped his head back on the headrest while his brain shifted and started ticking off his contacts out in the professional world. His buddy from high school worked in a call center for Tropicana. Levi had a working knowledge of vitamins and some herbal remedies. Maybe he could use that to get a night job, answering customer service calls when Logan and Luke were home asleep. Surely that kind of job paid reasonably well.
Just as Levi lifted his hand to put the car in reverse, his phone vibrated, drawing his attention down to the screen. Julian’s name popped up with three back-to-back text message notifications. He picked up the phone and opened the message.
“I thought we agreed upon seven. Let me know when you’re coming.” That was immediately followed by, “Don’t be a puss and wimp out. Just come see what we’re all about.” Which was followed by, “Why do I have this feeling you’re freaking out?”
Levi typed a quick message to a guy he didn’t really know but who, for some reason, was dead set on helping him and his brothers. Even that kindness seemed suspicious now. “I’m here, but this isn’t going to work for me. I wore blue jeans. I didn’t realize there was a dress code. I don’t know why I didn’t know. I should have.” Levi lifted his thumbs from the keyboard. What else could he say? It wasn’t like he was ungrateful, he was very thankful, but this was way out of his league. After pausing for a second, he pushed send then quickly followed with another message. “I appreciate everything. I do, but I’m going to look for another job elsewhere.”
Levi dropped the phone in the cubby and put the car in reverse. As he started to back out, he flipped on the headlights and caught a glimpse of Julian walking out the front doors with the phone stuck to his ear. Levi’s cell started ringing. He stared at the phone then lifted it slowly to his ear, glancing in Julian’s direction as he said, “Hello.”
“Is that you way out there?” Julian lifted his hand and waved in his direction as he walked to the end of the sidewalk, flanked by the valet guys. “Come up here and come in. I’ve been waiting on you.”
“I don’t know,” he hedged.
“There’s nothing to know. Come on. You came this far, you might as well see.”
Why did the guy sound so reasonable? Damn it! Levi let out a big sigh. It took a second more to make up his mind, but he finally put the car back in drive, rolled forward into the spot, and cut off the engine. As much as he didn’t want to get out of the car, he forced himself to follow through.
Embarrassment was something he’d learned to live with a long time ago. “I’m in a T-shirt and jeans. I don’t know why I didn’t think to dress up.”
“There’s not a reason to.” Julian disconnected the call and started walking toward him. They met in the closest parking lot to the front doors. Julian was dressed in a perfectly fitted suit, with no tie. He looked like a million bucks. Levi shoved his phone in his back pocket before shoving his fingers into his front jeans pocket. He hadn’t even gone inside and already felt so out of place.
“I should go.”
“Stop trying to leave and get in here.” Julian placed a hand on his back then gave a little push to get Levi moving.
As they got closer, Julian clasped his arm, pulling him toward a side entrance. The sense of relief overwhelmed him. Luckily, he didn’t have to go through those main doors.
“Generally, the restaurant side fills up about five thirtyish and stays packed until about nine. There’s a firm dress code for the restaurant. This is the employee entrance to the lounge.”
He followed Julian inside and down a long hall to a set of double oak doors. As soon as Julian pushed one open, the sound intensified.
“About this time of night, we begin a slow build with music and lights to help entice the diners over once they’re finished with their meal.”
Curiosity began to win out over nerves. The song playing was nowhere near the ear-splitting volume of the music in the nightclubs he’d gone to before. The ethereal glow and the erratic flashes of light were all the welcome he needed. They made him wonder what kind of show could be taking place just beyond the threshold.
Julian lifted his hand and motioned in the direction of another door, encouraging Levi to enter first. He stepped through and the beauty and tranquility of the room struck him immediately. His trepidation eased as all the negative images he’d imagined began releasing their hold.
“This is nothing like I imagined.” Elegant wasn’t a word he’d ever thought he’d use to describe a club, but this place was just that. Elegant. The lights danced hypnotically to the electronic beat, their beams bouncing off the dozen or so massive crystal chandeliers filling the space above him. They sent prisms of rainbows dancing throughout the room, bouncing off the chrome and glass bar.
The music and lights almost seemed out of place for the grandeur of the club. The sweeping black granite set of steps arched gracefully from the lower landing where he stood with Julian, his shoes planted firmly on the polished stone as he took it all in.
Julian shifted closer to him. “I don’t know what you expected, but you should see it when it’s full of paying customers.” Julian gave him a wink. “Feels even better when there’s more than just us and the DJ and lighting guys. They’re working on getting the timing just right for when the doors open tonight.”
The dance floor divided the large room in two equal spaces. The atmosphere, from what he could tell, had a laid-back vibe. Tables and chairs filled the floor space. Oversized booths lined the perimeter. They weren’t the standard diner cubicles, but a more intimate seating arrangement. Zebra-striped chairs and purple rope lights ran along the floor, giving the marble a soft glow. A leather-cushioned bench provided comfortable seating along the long expanse of the back wall.
Two heavily stocked bars with chrome and mirrors anchored opposite sides of the massive space. Throughout the room were several large ornate cages draped in the same crystals decorating the chandeliers, but hanging in various heights. A long neon-lit runway led to a larger main stage with several smaller platforms shooting off the end in a starburst pattern with a single pole positioned vertically through the middle of each smaller stage.
“We don’t officially open until eight. I should have told you that so you didn’t needlessly worry about your clothes. Come this way.”