Miami nights in November were not the coldest in America, but Lana Andrews felt the ocean chill in her bones when she realized what her husband had done.
“I love you,” she said with an exasperated sigh, “but you’re an idiot, Kenny!”
Her husband pursed his lips in disbelief. He had long given up searching his pockets for his wallet, which must have still be in the nightclub, because how else had they gotten in without their IDs?
“Trust me, I’m not loving myself much right now, either.”
“You’re lucky we already had sex tonight.” Oh, the evening had been lovely until they left the club and discovered someone’s wallet was missing! A wallet with Ken’s most important cards, cash, and both of their IDs! Lana’s skintight red dress didn’t have any pockets, and she didn’t carry a bag into the clubs if she could help it. For thirteen years it had been Ken’s job to hold onto the important shit while they partied. Granted, thirteen years without a fuckup wasn’t a bad run at all. Not that Lana was thinking that clearly when they were stranded in Miami with no cash or cards. “Otherwise you’d really be feeling those blue balls tonight.”
“Duly noted.” Ken pulled his phone out of another pocket. At least he had that! “I must have lost it in the private room.”
“You sure it wasn’t before then?”
“I paid for our drinks with cash. I must’ve had it by then.”
“I just hope to God that somebody didn’t steal it.” It was at a high-end swinger’s club, but that didn’t mean unscrupulous characters might not make off with Ken’s black and platinum credit cards. Let alone the hundreds of dollars in cash! “You can still get us an Uber back to the hotel, right?”
“Of course. The app is connected to Paypal. We’ve at least got that.”
“You getting us a ride now?”
Ken glared at his wife, currently leaning against the guardrail between the busy Miami boulevard and the half-busy sidewalks. This was the time of night the 2am clubs started letting out while the all-nighters boomed with kids on too many stimulants. It had been years since Lana could party all night like that. She turned into a pumpkin at midnight these days. If the party wasn’t popping by ten, she was out.
“No, I’m calling the club.” Ken held his phone to his ear. “I want to know if they have my wallet before I cancel the cards and order us new IDs.”
Lana groaned. All she wanted was to curl in the back of a car and go back to the hotel suite, where they would cuddle beneath the plush comforters and sleep in until noon. That was the dream when their night started. It didn’t matter if they found other people to play with or not. Most of the encounters ended the same, whether Lana and Ken flew solo in the sack or invited another one or two people to join them. Sex, kisses, and sleeping in until noon. What the fuck is better than that? Lana would have snapped her bag strap in two… if she had one!
Ken hung up. Lana knew the answer to their dilemma before he opened his mouth.
“No sign of it,” he muttered. “I told them to keep an eye out and let us know, but I’m going to go ahead and cancel the cards and get us new IDs.”
“Ugh! This sucks!”
Lana didn’t like this kind of vulnerability. She was practically naked in her skimpy dress. So were half the other women stumbling down the sidewalk, but that wasn’t the point. They had their wallets. They could get in their Ubers and go back home with their dignity intact. The police cruising up and down the street had no way to tell her apart from the other blond American billionaires. If we were back home, half the people we encountered would know who we were on sight.
“C’mon, Bunny. There’s an Uber coming.”
She reluctantly pushed herself off the guardrail and took her husband’s hand. You’re still in trouble, dumbass. Ken had lost all nudity privileges in the club for the foreseeable future. When he lost his pants was when he lost his wallet. Unless the club has a pickpocket problem. It would be a few days before Lana found out for sure.
They rode for ten minutes in silence. Lana stared out the window at the bright lights of Miami while Ken texted one of his connections at the DMV back home. The man in charge wasn’t awake yet, but Lana knew he was an early riser and would do his best to make sure new IDs were printed for them first thing in the morning. Until then, however, they were SOL.
“I’ve got cash and the spare card in the safe in the room. We’ll be fine, Bunny. Just a little setback.” Lana put her phone down in her lap. She almost regretted getting the phone back from her husband, because now he had silent ways to talk to her. “I’ll call the credit card companies as soon as we’re in our room. Why don’t you take a hot shower when we get back?”
Ken had too much faith in getting them back to their room. What were they going to do when they had to fly back home? Lana hadn’t brought her passport to use as a backup ID. What did you mother always tell you, girl? That woman always told her daughters to take their passports wherever they went, because they didn’t know when their rich husbands might fly them to a foreign country for work or pleasure. The one time Lana didn’t listen!
She really wished she had her damned ID when they reached the hotel and Ken realized the room key was in his wallet.
“I’m sorry,” the night auditor on duty said with little sympathy. “I can’t issue you a new key without an ID to confirm your identity.”
Ken attempted to smooth things over and explain what happened. Lana, on the other hand, had no patience for this shit.
“Excuse me,” she growled, leaning across the counter with her eyes narrowed and her finely polished nails extended, “but we don’t have time for this. My husband’s wallet was stolen and it had both of our IDs in it! Kenny!” She smacked him on the arm. “Do you have some kind of ID on your phone?”
“No. Do you?”
Lana snarled. “Of course I don’t. That’s not even a thing, is it? Fuck it. We should invent it!”
The night auditor folded her hands over her keyboard. “I’m sorry. I need to see real ID.”
“You listen to me.” For years people had chided Lana Andrews for being a shrewish harpy when she thought it most pertinent. She was that bitch who wasn’t afraid to get in someone’s face and put them in place, and some little tart in a cheap uniform wasn’t going to get between her and that shower and bed. That they had already paid for, no less! “We have had one helluva night, Ms. Jefferson.” Yeah, even when she was half-sober and half-asleep, she could still read those tiny nametags. “Right now we may be a couple of nameless mother fuckers, but we’re not faceless. Do you see this shit?” She jerked her finger toward her furrowed brow, wrinkling in ways her doctor claimed should no longer be possible. “This face costs thousands of dollars a year to maintain. You don’t get skin like this at my age without paying for it!”
“Very impressive, ma’am.”
Ken let out a low whistle. “Bunny, this isn’t…”
“Shut up! I’m tired!” Lana slammed her hands on the counter. Countdown to when security shows up. She didn’t care. the longer this went on, the more she was inclined to take the worst lessons she learned from her mother and turn the dial up to eleven. “I’m tired, and I want to fucking sleep in a nice bed tonight. A bed we paid several hundred dollars for tonight!” She inhaled a deep breath before the night auditor had the chance to press the button for security. “Does this not look like a face that occupies one of your nicest suites? Also, didn’t your underling take our IDs earlier and make copies of them? Or did I make that up? Surely your eyesight is good enough to compare these haggard faces to a couple of pieces of paper!”
The night auditor swallowed her pride. “Just a moment, please.”
“Bunny,” Ken said with the usual exasperation he sometimes held for his wife, “be nice to the poor lady just trying to do her job.”
“It’s ultimately your fault, you know.”
“You say that.” Ken leaned in closer to her. “But aren’t you the one who insisted I take these pants off and have my way with you?”
“That’s beside the point.”
“Is it really?”
“If you’re fishing for me to share in the blame, it’s not working.”
The night auditor returned, her face frozen in mild horror. “It’s all been taken care of.”
A new room key slid across the counter. “My apologies for the misunderstanding. Everything has been cleared up.”
Lana, of course, took this to mean that her usual intimidation tactic had worked. But she couldn’t help but notice her husband’s smug look as they entered the elevator and ascended several stories to their suite.
“What did you do, Kenny?”
He wrapped his arm around her waist and held her close. “Back in the car, I was texting someone.”
“Yes? Your contact with the DMV. What about it?”
“He also happens to personally know the mayor of Miami.”
“So your friend woke up the mayor in the middle of the night to vouch for us? And the mayor called the…” Lana jerked back in understanding. “Oh, Kenny, you’re so smart.”
“Except for when I’m losing my wallet.”
“We all make mistakes.”
They shared a kiss the moment the elevator doors opened. It wouldn’t be the last one that night.