I never thought I’d like Vegas. I expected to hate the place, and I totally fell in love. The March before I wrote Fulfilling the Contract, I left rainy, grey England for five glorious days in the desert sunshine and Vegas lights specifically to dream and scheme and get inspired for what would become the second novel in The Mount series, which The Initiation of Ms Hollyinadvertently inspired a few years before. During that time, I fell even more in love with the city and the desert that surrounds it. So what I’d like to do is share with you five things that totally intrigue me about Las Vegas.
Las Vegas juts up out of the Mojave Desert like so many gigantic glass and concrete erections. It's just so brazen, sky scrapers and lights and swimming pools in the most desolate place one can imagine all surrounded by high mountains and desert. It has OTT written all over it. Bright lights and decadence are all thrust up right smack dab in the middle of exquisite emptiness.
Vegas and the surrounding area is a visual feast second to none. From my hotel room on the 22ndfloor of the Elara, I could see mountains and desert beyond the compact city. I never knew there were so many shades of kaki and gold and beige all hemmed in by the blue of the mountains. And then there were the Vegas lights. All night long, there’s always a riot of colour and sparkle, glass and steel, neon and fountains. A simple walk on the Strip – even in daylight is a people-watcher’s paradise. I never wanted to blink, never wanted to look away, and often found myself wishing my vision was 360 degrees.
As an introvert, you’d think Vegas would be the last place I’d want to hang out, but the thing about Vegas is that it’s a place where everyone is friendly and yet everyone is anonymous. One of the things I loved most was walking the streets amid the crowd and feeling exactly like one of the voyeurs I planned to write about in FTC. Because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, it was easy to be anonymous in a crowd of people who were all anonymous, which leads me to my next observation.
When I say recreation, I don’t mean gambling, swimming, hooking up. Yes all of those things are happening. It’s all happening in Vegas. What I mean is more RE-creation, because in Vegas there’s a sense that anyone can be whoever they want to be for the time they’re playing tourist, and no one, no matter how bizarre, seems out of place. There’s something almost magical about being able to go somewhere and be someone else for a few days. For a writer, being able to go someplace and watch everyone being someone else and wonder who they are when they’re not in Vegas is like a gift from the Muse.
The Feeling of Permission Granted
Strangely, though prostitution is legal in the state of Nevada, it’s not in the city of Vegas, and yet Vegas feels, at its very core, like a city waiting to give permission for almost anything. I suppose to some degree any time one goes on holiday and does the touristy-thing, one is set apart, out of one’s own context, able to act differently, feel differently, breathe differently. But Vegas has with it that extra adrenaline boost of permission. Go ahead, be naughty, gamble, drink, have sex with strangers, dance naked in the fountains, and in the morning, no one will be the wiser. At the core of the city, the Strip, the casinos, the hotels, there’s a libertine feeling, and yet one only has to walk a few blocks in any direction to discover ordinary Las Vegans simply going on with their lives.
All of those feelings, those observations, those experiences helped to inspire and shape Fulfilling the Contractand made the voyeuristic and BDSM play feel somehow a little more set a part to me, a little more secretive and naughty, and of course, outrageously fun.
Fulfilling the ContractBlurb:
Limo driver, NICK CHASE’s bad night gets worse when he picks up TANYA POVIC at a bar only to discover the explosive sex they share lands her in breach of her very strange contract. Blaming himself that Tanya will lose the large completion bonus earmarked for her mother’s surgery, Nick negotiates with her boss, the tough and mysterious ELSA CRANE, to allow him to fulfill Tanya’s contract and secure her bonus.
Elsa runs Mount Vegas, which offers voyeuristic pleasures for a price. Nick’s job, with Elsa and her quirky team, is to give clients something worth watching through the plate glass windows of Vegas’s luxury hotels and beyond. The learning curve is steep and kinky. As Nick and Elsa’s relationship sizzles and ignites more than hotel room rendezvouses are exposed. In this sequel to The Initiation of Ms Holly things get positively dangerous as Rita Holly and her team are called in from London to lend a helping hand. Bets are being placed. Will Nick fulfill the contract? Will he and Elsa take the gamble? And will they find a way to win at the high stakes, double or nothing, game of hearts?
Fulfilling the ContractExcerpt:
‘Surely you can give Tanya one more chance,’ Nick said. ‘And really, it was my fault. I’d had a bad day and I wasn’t on my best behaviour.’
Elsa tossed the headset back onto the dressing table and rubbed the back of her neck. ‘Mr Chase, unless you want to fulfil Tanya’s contract for her, this conversation is over. It’s been a long day, and I’ve had enough. Pagan will escort the two of you back downstairs and since Tanya no longer works for me, I don’t care if you fuck her brains out. Now if you’d –’
‘Alright,’ Nick interrupted. ‘I will.’
Suddenly all eyes were on him. ‘Tell me what to do and I’ll fulfil the contract for her.
After all, it’s my fault she’s in breach.’
Tanya gave a little yelp that sounded like a kitten in distress and Elsa laughed out loud. ‘Mr Chase, you don’t even know what Tanya’s contract involves.’
‘I assume it has something to do with what’s going on in room 2031. It’s not prostitution is it?’
‘No! No, is not prostitution,’ Tanya said, the excitement nearly vibration through her voice. ‘Is nothing like that.’
‘Well actually it’s something like that,’ Elsa corrected. ‘My people get paid for sex.’
‘I don’t understand,’ Nick said.’
She nodded him over to one of the scopes set up at the bedroom window. When he balked, she nodded again. ‘Go ahead; check out what’s going on in room 2031.’
Nick nearly knocked the scope out of focus at his first view of the naked ass of a man pistoning his cock into a woman bent over a big bed. Her head was buried between the legs of another woman, who was pinching her own nipples for all she was worth and writhing beneath the serious tongue action.
‘Then they are prostitutes.’ Nick’s voice was suddenly a whisper, as though he feared he might disturb the people he viewed through the scope.
‘No.’ Elsa leaned close to him as though she could see over his shoulder. ‘They all work for me, and they get paid a lot of money to have sex with each other while someone else watches.’
With difficulty, Nick took his eyes off what was going on in the scope. He suddenly felt dizzy. ‘Let me get this straight, these people –’ he nodded around the room ‘– All of these people and those –’ he pointed to the scope ‘—have sex with each other and people pay money to watch.’
Elsa nodded ‘A lot of money.’
‘And that’s what Tanya was doing? That’s what the contract’s about, having sex and letting people watch?’
‘That’s what the contract’s about,’ Elsa said. With a smirk, she pulled Tanya’s red panties out of Nick’s pocket where he’d forgotten he’d stuffed after he’d picked them up from the parking lot at the Mango. She handed them back to Tanya and replaced them with a black business card, briskly patting his pocket as she did so. ‘I know how much you loath your job, Mr Chase, and I can almost guarantee you’d find what Tanya does a lot more satisfying. But –’ she ran a hand down and gave his crotch a quick grope ‘– It takes some serious balls.’
He elbowed her away and shoved past Tanya and Pagan. ‘You people are all crazy if you think I would … if you think I might …’
Elsa offered him a smile that he felt, much to his discomfort, right down between his legs. Then she lifted an eyebrow and gave a shrug that made the dark gloss of her hair shimmer in the subdued lighting. ‘You asked.’