Chapter One :Chapter 1

It was Rachel’s 28th birthday and she was having the time of her life with her girlfriends who had organized a surprise birthday party for her at The Black Hat.

It was a popular nightclub in town that she’d been looking forward to visiting but had never had the opportunity to. So, she was delighted to find out that it was the venue of her party.

She hadn’t planned anything special for herself for the day, and that was why this unexpected get-together brought happy tears to her eyes.

“You girls are the best,” said Rachel, emotionally. “I didn’t see this coming, but I appreciate your thoughtfulness and love. Thank you, babes.”

“Hear, hear,” said Brittany, raising her glass with a big grin. She was the brain behind this surprise party and being an event planner, she had no problems setting up the little bash within two days with the help of her other friends.

The four friends sat at one of the VIP lounges in the club, enjoying their drinks and occasionally gyrating to the upbeat music booming from the loudspeakers. Each of the ladies was successful in her own right and they’d all been friends since high school.

Rachel Lane, the birthday girl, was a part-time dance instructor who teaches ballet to little children at her brother’s dance studio, and she was also a lifestyle YouTuber with over 200,000 subscribers.

Brittany James was a badass realtor, married to an engineer, and has an adorable toddler son named Jason. Leticia Silva owned a thriving restaurant and was in a long-term relationship with an older guy named Ben Williams. Fiona Atkins was an accomplished realtor who is mostly single but never shies away from a random hookup with an attractive guy.

Rachel was the only one in the group who was eternally single, after swearing off relationships when her last boyfriend broke her heart nearly two years ago when he cheated on her and married the other woman within three months.

They’d dated for three years and he’d featured in some of her highest-grossing YouTube videos, so she’d had to keep those videos up on her channel even though it broke her heart to watch them and see how happy they’d been.

Fiona had once suggested to her that she should take down the videos, but she’d said no. Yes, the videos always broke her heart, but they were still raking in good coins into her bank account, so, they’ll stay up. End of story!

“Fiona, that should be your last drink for tonight, ‘cause we don’t want a drunk woman driving us all home,” said Rachel to her blond friend.

“Who says I’m driving? Everybody is doing Uber tonight. Don’t kill my vibe, girl.”

Everyone laughed. It felt good to just let loose like this and have fun, especially on a Friday night. What an exciting way to ring on the weekend.

“You know what, I think we should have gotten a cake,” said Brittany the redhead. “How is Rachel supposed to make her birthday wish now?”

“I don’t need a cake to make a wish,” Rachel scoffed playfully. “I can do it over a round of margaritas.”

“I like the sound of that,” Leticia giggled. “Let’s do it. Where are those waiters?”

Rachel looked around to see if she could find a waiter nearby to call, but the club was so crowded tonight and it seemed as if all of the waiters were stretched thin, attending to multiple tables.

“You know what, I’ll go to the bar and fetch out drinks,” said Rachel, getting up.

“Oh, no, no, no,” Fiona protested. “You’re the birthday girl, you stay here and I’ll go get the drinks.”

“It’s ok, Fiona. I’ll go get them. I can’t risk you going over there and flirting with the barman, and keeping us waiting here. Thank you, but no, thanks.”

“You know me so well, my friend,” laughed Fiona. “All right then, if you insist. But don’t take too long.”

“Sure thing,” said Rachel. She stepped out of the VIP lounge with a happy smile on her face. She’s having such a great time with her friends, she can’t imagine anything more exciting happening tonight. What a way to celebrate her twenty-eight year on earth!

Derek Fraser has experienced many successes in his career and one would expect that by now, he should be used to it, but he wasn’t.

The rush of adrenalin that coursed through his body after sealing a good deal was still there, and so was that buzzing of excitement in his gut when he landed another massive account for his burgeoning business empire.

This feeling of satisfaction was what drove him to keep pushing himself to do more, to keep pushing his limits. Money had never been his motivation, not when he’d always had an abundance of it, coming from a wealthy family.

His motivation had always been the thrill of success, and as long as he had that, his billion-dollar conglomerate would continue to expand.

He’d come to The Black Hat to celebrate his latest win with his best friend, Jonah Branson, but his pal had flaked on him at the last minute for some obscure reason.

Undeterred, Derek had decided to have a solo celebration, but he was now regretting that decision because the club was packed and even the VIP lounges were all taken. The club owner had offered to clear up a lounge for him, but he’d declined.

He would just sit here at the bar and enjoy his Martini, then maybe call Carrie, his current flame, and ask if she’d like to spend the night with him.

“Hi, can I get four glasses of Margarita?”

Derek turned to the left where the voice came from, and he came face-to-face with a stunning auburn-haired lady with grey-green eyes.

She wasn’t his usual spec

he preferred skinny blonds with long legs like runway models

, but there was something… fresh and exciting about this buxom chick with the perfectly rounded bum. There was some kind of bubbly energy about her that he found attractive.

“Kim Kardashian, is that you?” He asked her with a grin.