A/N: This extra between Victoria and Senior is a little longer since it takes place at casino night and includes the next morning. I hope you’ll enjoy this peek into what was happening away from Edward during chapter 17 from Along Came a Spider 2. The most notable confirmation from this one is that we know Victoria’s whereabouts, which is important considering the last conversation between Angela and James. Enjoy!
/ /\ (oo) /\ \
“Hello, Dr. Swan.” The older man reaches out, touches her elbow gently, then kisses Bella’s cheek.
“Roy. How are you?”
He grins as his eyes pass over us. “Much better now that I’ve found this table of beautiful women. Clearly, I’ve been spending time with the wrong crowd when I could have been here instead.” His face fills with concern once she stands. “Are you leaving?”
“I was going to take a much-needed break and find Alice.”
He nods toward our small group. “Tell me, who are your friends?”
Bella smiles. “This is Deedee. She’s married to one of your players, Marcus Volturiski.”
Deedee chuckles. “Yes. It’s nice to meet you, Mr. King.”
Roy . . . King?
I piece together.
As in the Roy King?
“What a shame. We could have had so much fun together.”
I watch as he kisses the back of her hand.
“And this is my business partner, Dr. Victoria Sutherland,” Bella says.
He smiles, waving his cigar toward me. “And who are you married to, sweetheart?”
I snort. “No one. And that’s quite presumptuous to think I’m sweet.”
His eyes sparkle with mischief, and he hums at my retort. “Are you all enjoying yourselves this evening?”
“We’re having a blast,” Bella answers, then nods toward our table host. “Vladdy is our favorite blackjack dealer.”
Roy’s smile falls slightly with her praise. “Hmmm. I was thinking of trying my luck at the craps table next.” His slate blue eyes shift to mine. “Dr. Sutherland, would you be willing to join me?”
I chuckle. “Sure. I have no idea how to play, but I would love to watch an expert in action.”
His grin widens with my emphasis. “Flattery will get you everywhere.” He offers the crook of his arm, escorting me toward the nearby table. “I could teach you a thing or two. How do you feel about whiskey?”
“Blech. Never touch it.” I shake my head.
“I suspect you’ve only had the cheap stuff.” Roy lowers his voice. “I have a bottle at my place that I promise will knock your socks off.”
“Only my socks?” I raise a challenging eyebrow, testing the waters between us teasingly. “How disappointing.”
His pleased expression at my sassy tongue bolsters my confidence, and I have a suspicion it’s exactly what he’s looking for tonight.
“Hold my glass.” Once I do, he returns his cigar to his mouth, watching me while removing his suit jacket. A man appears out of nowhere to take it from him. After rolling up his sleeves, Roy asks, “Ever smoked a cigar?”
“Would you believe me if I said yes?”
“Oh, Dr. Sutherland.” His voice is raspy, and he leans close. “I would pay to see that.”
“How much?” I quip cheekily.
“Whatever it takes.”
“To a charity of my choice?”
His eyes lock with mine once again. “I’ll give you a blank check if I can choose the shade of your lipstick.”
“Kinky, and you have yourself a deal.”
“The first of many, I’m certain.” He wiggles his eyebrows.
/ /\ (oo) /\ \
“Will you give us a minute?” Roy asks his driver.
Once his driver steps out into the early morning light, we’re alone in the backseat and Roy’s eyes travel over our brick building.
“I prefer unassuming,” I correct.
“A hidden gem—like you.” A hint of a smile tugs at the corners of his lips.
“Thank you for the sunglasses.” I slip the glasses off my face, offering them back to him.
Roy only looks at my hand, then shakes his head before his eyes return to mine. “Keep them. Your eyes are one of the most fascinating things about you. They should be protected.”
“Ooooh, it sounds as if there are other fascinating things about me—tell me more.” I taunt with a lick of my lips.
I wait, but he keeps those to himself. I can feel him growing more serious by the second, and our time for playful banter is rapidly coming to a close.
“May I hold your hand?” he requests.
“Go for it.”
It’s the first physical contact he’s made with me all night.
“I had a wonderful time,” he reveals. “You’re . . . a breath of fresh air.”
He’s not at all what I expected, and I wholeheartedly agree with his assessment.
“I could say the same about you.”
His thumb brushes across my knuckles delicately. “I’ll have your car delivered here.”
“Your patients await,” Roy declares, but makes no move to open the door.
And he’s a case study in patience. I have yet to figure out his angle, and despite his lingering flirtations, he’s been a complete gentleman with me.
I smile. “I’m positive I’m one of the first to arrive.”
Roy nods, then knocks on the window of his door, waiting until his driver opens it. Something is said between them before he walks around the back of his car, opening my door. After offering his hand, he helps me from the vehicle, then places my hand in the crook of his elbow. As Roy escorts me toward the entrance of our practice, he releases a steady breath until we turn to face one another. I smile, unsure what else to say and wonder if he’s waiting for a kiss of some sort.
“So. This was . . . fun.”
“Definitely fun. The most fun I’ve had in years. Have a good day, Dr. Sutherland,” he croons.
“You, too,” I say softly.
“It’s already been quite spectacular. There’s only one way to go from here.” Roy winks.
He pulls open our office door, and I feel his eyes follow me until I step through the doorway as it closes quietly. I don’t look back. I don’t watch him return to his car or fill my head with any dreamy, naïve expectations where he’s concerned. If I learned anything about Roy King over the past twelve hours, it’s that he’s an extremely lonely man. He seeks companionship more than anything, and I was happy to provide that during our time together.
Roy is smarter than he pretends to be, and I would guess most people underestimate him, based on his dashing good looks and mountains of charisma he exudes. His love of chess surprised me, but especially, how gracefully he took the losses I dealt. I have zero doubt my cooking breakfast fed into some sort of 50s housewife fantasies he could be harboring, but I’m definitely not the demure type.
Will there be—?
“Dr. Sutherland?” Rose’s voice pulls me from my wandering thoughts before I get too wrapped up in the mysteries of our state’s richest man.
“Oh, good. There’s coffee. Rose, you’re a saint. Do you know how to do an IV stick?” I tease.
She laughs, then asks, “Is that the dress you wore to the auction last night?”
I quirk a smile and sing-song, “May-be.”
“Sounds like you had a good time.”
“I did. I could also use the change of clothes in my office and a toothbrush. My mouth tastes horrible and I reek of smoke—don’t tell Bella.”
“My lips are sealed,” Rose promises. “I didn’t see your car go by the window. Did someone drop you off?”
Rose waves toward my chest. “You’ve got—is that confetti or . . . “
Looking down, I recognize the corner of the folded white piece of paper I tucked into my bra earlier and remove it from the safety of its stashed location.
“What is it?”
I chuckle while marveling at how he didn’t think twice about writing this check. Something so little to him that will make an enormous difference in more lives than he can imagine.
“Half a million dollars for a women’s shelter I volunteer at,” I reveal.
Her eyes go wide. “Holy shit! Who gave you that?”
“Roy. Fucking. King.”
Rose gasps. “Victoria!”
She lowers her voice. “You spent the night with Roy King?”
“And morning,” I confirm.
“Wow. When are you going to see him again?”
“I have no idea.”
If he’s interested, he’ll find me. I’m not the type to chase after anyone, and that includes someone as rich as Roy King—no matter how much it could benefit me or our practice.
I believe Roy knows and appreciates that, which is why I have no doubt we’ll see him again.