Duke Covington let out a grunt when his back hit the wall next to the door of the hotel room of the buxom beauty who'd shoved him there before shoving her tongue down his throat.
She bit his lip, hard before pulling away to ask, "Do you want to come in?"
Duke opened his mouth to respond when his cell phone rang. He peeled her roaming hands, which were attempting to reach for his junk, off of him and reached into his pockets.
"Hold that thought. I've got to take this call," he said. "It's work."
He slid past her and walked a good distance away as he answered the phone.
"Vee, baby. Now's really not a good..." His eyebrows bunched at the unfamiliar voice on the line.
"Who the fuck is this?" He listened to the caller, and swore under his breath. "What's the address? I'll be there as soon as I can."
Duke hung up the phone and turned back to the woman, who was glaring at them.
"Who the hell answers a work call with 'baby'?" she asked.
"Maria!" she heatedly corrected.
"Right," Duke said, more focused on pulling up the rideshare app on his phone. "Something came up and I have to go."
"What's so important at this time of night that you'd pass up on a chance with this?"
He looked up to see her slowly unzipping her top, giving him a good peek of her huge breasts.
"Sorry, gorgeous," he said, turning to head for the elevator. "Duty calls."
If the woman he was on his way to retrieve didn't get arrested before Duke got to her, he very likely could end up in jail.
For strangling her inconvenient ass.
Had he known that this was the way things would turn out when they'd parted ways for the evening after they'd finished conducting business, he would have insisted they both go back to their hotel rooms.
Now, rather than getting into the woman he'd met at the hotel bar earlier that evening, he was getting into a car waiting for him outside.
Angry and horny.
Of course he was the one that would get the call. She'd listed him as her I.C.E. in her phone. In Case of Emergency.
Fifteen minutes later, he was pushing his way through a crowded bar, trying not to roll his eyes at the chanting of her name.
Ivy Noble was going to be the death of him.
There she was standing on the bar, with a shot in her hands as the patrons cheered her on. She threw the shot back and shot her arms above her head as the room rumbled with applause.
Moving toward the bar, he waved at an annoyed looking bartender.
"You the one who called from her phone?"
The bartender looked relieved.
"I cut tried her off awhile ago, but the people have been buying her more shots," he said, reaching under the bar. He passed Duke Ivy's jacket and phone.
"I'll take it from here," he said. He sighed and looked up at her, as she began to dance with the two other women who were on the bar with her. He tapped Ivy on her leg, and she shifted in his direction looking pissed until she saw his face.
"Duuuuuke!" she slurred. "How'd you find me?"
"Come on, Vee," he said, lifting his hand up to her. "Time to go."
"Aaaah, but I'm not ready."
"Hey," the man next to him complained. Duke had seen him passing Ivy her last shot when he walked up. "The lady was enjoying herself."
"Yeah, Duke," Ivy said in a pouty voice. "The lady was enjoying herself."
"The lady," Duke said, as he wrapped his arms around her legs and tossed her upper body over his shoulder, "is done for the night."
Her two dancing buddies whined in disappointed before shouting their goodbyes to Ivy.
"Hey," the man said, reaching out to grab Duke's free shoulder in an attempt to yank him around. "I've been buying her shots for the last hour, so if she's leaving with anyone, she's leaving with me."
"She's not going anywhere with you," Duke growled, tightening his grip on Ivy.
"Who do you think you are? Her bodyguard or something?" he asked, shoving Duke
This man had put his hands on Duke one too many times for his liking.
"Or something?" Duke growled, before hitting the guy with a hook to the jaw.
Duke turned and headed for the exit. This time, he didn't have to fight his way through the crowd. It parted like the Red Sea and Duke strolled out with a drunk Ivy Noble over his shoulder.
When they got back to the hotel, he pulled out the spare key to Ivy's room that she'd given him upon their arrival to the New York hotel they were staying in. They'd been scouting the city for where they would set up a pop-up studio for her family's personal care company, Noble Naturals. They were having a relaunch in a month, after New Years; and part of the promotion would be them having these 'impromptu' stores around the country, where they would sell products and give makeovers.
Or 'glam-overs' as Ivy was calling them. Hair and makeup experts would be on hand to give attendants complimentary consultations for products from Noble Naturals hair care line, as well as their new makeup products.
And Ivy would be there hosting the events. With Duke recording every moment.
This was their partnership. She was the face and he was the film. Had been ever since Duke had met Ivy when she came for a visit on the set of a music video her brother, Isaiah, had been directing and Duke had been one of the cameramen on the crew.
He'd thought her idea to be a travel vlogger, was insane. And just adventurous enough that he wanted to join her.
They'd seen the world together many times over. And as the years went on, they'd grown to become good friends...great friends. One would even argue best friends.
Which was why Duke was tossing her drunk ass on her bed and reaching down to unbuckle the strap of her crazy high stiletto heels off of her ankle.
"How the fuck you ended up on that bar and not on your ass, is beyond me," he murmured, reaching for the other shoe.
She didn't respond. By the time they got outside the club, Ivy was scrambling out of his arms and a moment later he was holding her hair back as she lost the contents of her stomach on the curb. She'd been in and out of consciousness ever since.
"Duke..." she groaned.
"I'm here, baby," he said, grabbing the duvet to cover her with.
He laid down in the bed next to her and she attempted to open her eyes, but her lids were heavy.
She still managed to give him a heart stopping smile, even in her intoxicated state.
"You always take care of me," she said. "I love you, Duke."
Duke shook his head and sighed.
"I love you too, baby. Now get some sleep. You're gonna have the hangover from hell in the morning."