By: Skye Jordan

The smokin'-hot, triple-D gave Troy Jacobs another one of those wicked I'm-gonna-fuck-you-until-your-eyes-cross grins from across the Venetian's concierge suite. Her attention should have excited him. Should have knocked him out of this damn funk. Should have guided his feet her direction.

But Lifehouse hung in the background singing “From Where You Are,” layering Troy's melancholy mood with an edge that felt more bitter than sweet tonight. He glanced at his watch and muttered a curse under his breath. He needed to stay and schmooze at least another twenty minutes to make the director happy.

So as the lead singer spoke of distance, wishes, loneliness, and regrets, Troy lowered his gaze to the whiskey in his crystal lowball, resisting the urge to glance out the window for the hundredth time since he'd walked into the suite. A suite with a perfect view of Giselle's gorgeous face splashed across a billboard crowning the Vegas skyline. He worked to repress the familiar blend of frustration and hurt that created anger. Anger that ate at his soul.

“Got somewhere to be?” Zahara Ellis, a member of Troy's stunt crew, strolled to his side with that loose, sexy sway of hers and set her glass of red wine on the window ledge. The scrape she'd earned on the set earlier in the day looked raw against her creamy skin.

“Anywhere but here,” he said. “How's that cheek? As soon as you bit the dirt, I knew it was going to leave a mark. It's bruising. You've got a very pretty blue halo going.”

She lifted her wineglass and pressed it against the scrape. “Feels better with something cold on it.”

Lifehouse's subdued tune transitioned into a fun, sexy riff from Nickelback's newest album, “No Fixed Address,” which helped Troy pull his mind from the topic that had been dragging him down for almost a month.

“Was worth it,” he told her.

“Easy for you to say.”

He grinned, thinking back to the clips they'd come here to watch after a sixteen-hour day. “The dailies rocked.”

“Thanks.” She grinned, but then winced and let the smile fade. Zahara wasn't an official Renegade, but she contracted with the group when they needed a quality all-around stuntwoman. “You're doing great work with Channing. I know you want to be the one doing the stunts, but you're teaching him a lot.”

Troy's gaze skipped to Channing Tatum where he was talking with the producer and director across the suite. “He doesn't need much coaching. He's the kind of actor who could put me out of a job.”

“Never.” She lowered the glass. “Casey's going to have to work magic with the makeup tomorrow. And speaking of Casey, I feel obligated to give you a heads-up. I overheard her and Becca talking. They've all but got you tied to the bed in your suite, taking turns until none of you can walk in the morning.”

He rested his hip against the windowsill and lifted his drink to suck down half the Kentucky Mule floating there, then scanned for the brunette again. Casey had been joined by another dark-haired woman, a production assistant Troy recognized from the set, and now they were both giving him the same look.

“Oh yeah?” he asked, trying to cover for the dive in his mood.

“Oh yeah.” The words dripped innuendo, along with a hint of disgust. “Hey, you deserve to play a little. I haven't seen you with a chick since you got here almost a month ago. But the murky depths of those women's minds scare me.”

“Thought nothing scared you.”

She hummed around a sip of wine. “It's tough to rattle me, but when they started doling out responsibility for the sexual paraphernalia-lube, cuffs, vibrators, anal beads, nipple clamps, cock cages-I have to admit, it turned dicey. I'm more than a little nervous for you. I think you ought to put 9-1-1 on speed dial in case you need to call in the cavalry.” Her hazel eyes focused on him. “And, dude, I'm only half kidding.”

He purposely tried to engage himself in the idea of a no-strings threesome with the bombshells. Z was right, Troy's schedule had been brutal, but not just for that month. He'd been traveling from gig to gig for going on fifteen weeks. He was in desperate need of extracurricular activity, but he was having trouble working up the interest. And the fact that he was still letting Giselle get to him seven years later seriously pissed him off.

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