Chapter 3 - A gift from las vegas


I walked out of my sister's restaurant watching the sun sinking behind the snowy peaks that surrounded Aspen. My family and I settled in the city twelve years ago when we came from Greece at the invitation of my father's aunt, Nia Evangelous, who owned a Hotel and ski resort on the outskirts of Aspen. Since then, my parents had been opening a network of shops there.

I managed the snow sports stores, while Callie managed the restaurant with my mom. Lara had returned from Portland a few months ago when she graduated from college, and to our surprise, she had a daughter in her arms.

This was a big shock for everyone, especially as we didn't know anything about the child's father. Anyway, we did our best to support her in raising that little girl, we would never leave her alone. I can't even imagine what I would do if I were in the same situation as her.

And Evangeline, who was about to graduate, came back regularly to visit, often bringing a few friends along to enjoy all that Aspen had to offer tourists.

I tightened the overcoat I was wearing a little. We were in the second week of September and the temperature started to drop, especially in the late afternoon, when the wind lowered the thermal sensation even more. I loved the life there, and a few weeks ago it got even better.

“Honey, wait for me” Harper called me, then leaving the restaurant, holding my arm, making me smile.

“You were so excited talking to my sister that I thought you'd rather stay,” I explained, putting my arm around her.

Harper and I had started a relationship after my cousin Gregor's wedding in mid-August. The two of us were old friends and I always knew her feelings for me, but I was a little reluctant to start something that could spoil the friendship we've cultivated all these years. However, I was wrong, we had been together for almost a month and I couldn't be happier.

It's to be expected that the beginning is like that, at least.

“I was making plans with her for the weekend. We're thinking of going down to Denver to do some shopping.” She smiled, snuggling up to me.

"Are you going tomorrow or Sunday?" I questioned, leading her down the street, heading in the direction of my house.

“Tomorrow, and we're leaving very early” she broke away from me when she reached the corner that would lead to her apartment “so I'll sleep in my bed tonight, honey.”

I frowned at that response, I had some plans for the evening and my sister had screwed up, but I had already been warned not to interfere with their friendship so I decided not to protest.

Harper was my older sister's first friend when we arrived in town. The two were the same age and soon identified each other. The fact that my sister was dating Harper's cousin, Adam Goodwill, brought them even closer together.

When I told Callie about Harper and me, the first thing she did was warn me that if I hurt her friend, she would make me sterile. Not that she needed to worry about that, I would never think of disrespecting or cheating on my girlfriend for growing up with so many women. In truth, I wasn't one to do crazy things, my brief fling with Samantha in Las Vegas had been my biggest and only exception.

"Come on, I'll walk you home" I pulled her back into my arms waving to old Mrs. Peterson who was leaving the grocery store.

We walked into the lobby of his apartment when my cell phone started ringing. I disentangled myself from her, reaching for the smartphone in my pants pocket. I frowned when I saw Samantha's picture plastered across the screen. We haven't had any contact since I returned to Colorado, and despite the assurance that I would be in touch if I returned to Las Vegas, I didn't understand the reason for the call.

"Who is it?" Harper asked casually, reaching into her purse for the key.

"Nobody." I rejected the call before putting the phone on silent.

I couldn't answer in Harper's presence anyway. If Samantha called me back, I would explain my new situation and ask her not to call again.

"What's up? Is Casper calling you?" she scoffed before leaning over and kissing my cheek.

"Kind of like that," I offered a wan smile, "but it's not relevant at all."

"See you tomorrow night?" She accepted the answer without question, much to my relief.

"Of course." My smile widened a little, despite the fact that I noticed that she hadn't invited me inside.

We said goodbye and I walked alone, watching the sky turned orange by the sunset. The wind ruffled my hair as I watched the sky.

I took out my cell phone to check the time, but found three missed calls from Samantha there.

I noticed Adam and Gregor coming towards me down the nearly deserted street and decided to end the mistery at once. I was about to return Samantha's call when my cell phone rang again.

Is she in Colorado? Why would she call me after so long?


"Theon, hi!" her voice sounded anxious "It's me, Samantha. I don't know if you remember me, we met..."

“In Las Vegas, yes, of course I remember you, Samantha. How are you?" I interrupted her, nodding to the two young men who stopped beside me.

"I'm... fine..." she spoke quickly, "no... I'm not fine, I'm... I don't know!"

She let out a nervous laugh, increasing my confusion.

What is happening with this woman!?

"Are you okay or not?"

"And how are you, Apollo?" She ignored my question.

“I'm fine,” I reply, not knowing how to continue that conversation.

Samantha and I got along really well during our time together. She was beautiful, sexy, fun and very hot. So hot that we barely had time to talk that week. But, the most personal thing I knew about her was her last name!

Silence prevailed on the other side of the line, making me wonder if she had hung up on me.

“Sorry, I shouldn't have called,” she groaned, before ending the call without giving me a chance to say good-bye.

"Who was it?"Adam asked as I stared at the smartphone with a confused expression in my face.

Weird call!


"The dancer who stole you from your friends?" Adam mocked.

"She didn't steal me from anyone," I muttered, walking again, followed by the two.

"I disagree. It was my bachelor party, you were supposed to be with us the whole time, and we barely saw you after the first night" Gregor joked "I only forgave you because she was so hot!"

“You shouldn't call her. Callie would kill you if she knew,” Adam scoffed.

"It wasn't me who called, it was her. And Callie doesn't have to know anything because I have no interest in anyone but Harper."

That's when my phone rang again.

“Someone's been missed,” Gregor crooned beside me. “You've made quite an impression, Cousin.

I rolled my eyes, ignoring him as I answer the call.

"Sorry I hung up, but I need to talk to you" Samantha released even before I said anything.

“You can talk, but ” I started, thinking of letting her know I was in a new relationship, but decided to reconsider.

Maybe she just had a problem.

“Theon, I've been avoiding this call for the last fortnight and it's been hell for me.” I thought I heard her sniffle.

"Are you crying?"

“I'm sorry, I just don't know how to start and… I'm so sorry.” All my doubts were gone, she really was crying.

I stopped walking, worrying about her. Samantha had a serious problem and if she thinks I can help her in any way, I must listen to her request.

"Samantha, what happened?" I tried to convey some safety to the girl.

Vegas this week

ha…" I


an n

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to say it right now" I took a deep breath "I

lurted out at once, l

what she had just said, unable to find m

l that came out as my

she continues "but I assure you that you were the

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, it had to

in bad

f the tests and... If you have any doubt that it's yours, I don't mind

d on a bench that was on the edge of the sidewalk, making Adam and Gre

ing at that club. I hadn't even re

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to formulate "I'll... I'll digest

?" she asked a

hoping she would accept that answer, while mentally doing th

appear, please." Her v

d pretend it didn't happen, and live my lif

r do somethi

give me some time," I a

Gregor questioned, si

resting my elbones on my knees

s a nig

topped beside m

you?" Gregor put a

can't be

" Adam

nt.” My voice came out

, mouth still hidden in my hands

gnant?" Gregor r

t doesn't m

moaned, throwing my head back

appen right now. Children were not

. But that doesn't mean it

! To get the girl pregnant, both of you managed to put your

a great point," G

throat, "we got a litt

Theon!" Adam snor

ay by the moment,”

is moment," A

ht not be yours,” Grego

I don't think she would do that if

y referring to thi

e DNA test, right?"

n't know, I need to think a

ter at the restaurant. Will yo

anding up and letting th

o go home. I'll have to talk to S

ooked pretty youn

roaned, thinking of what her mind

ing me for the last fortnight. I think


I would freak out if Agatha g

," Adam sa

who responded with a wave as he walk

tch up, leaving me al

e were some pictures of a blood test on Samantha M. Hurst's name, and an ultrasound. It was already possible to


it in my pocket before hurrying hom

be I should take advantage of H

he think about this st

my head. As soon as I got out of the shower, I had managed to come up with an accept

id you forge

are of over the weekend, so I have to

e?" she asked

o with Gregor" I tho

problem to solve in Vegas? Are y

e I don't have a girlfrie

omething, hasn't

want to lie to her, but I also didn't want to tell he

day morning.” I d

you for lunch th

my cousin's number in the address boo

?" Gregor answered

we're going to

other side, as if I'd

rious, you're c

heard Agatha's voic

rper you're coming with me.

u now that I have a lovely wife and I'm s

Agatha ques

Vegas,” he

gone crazy?" she

pped "there's nothing

akerphone." I

Vegas, you already enjoyed a lot the wee

need Gregor's help to solve it" I appe

ad too much fun," Gregor c

ble would you have

g problem,”

growing," my cousin joked, makin


lease me, you'll have

o?” Agatha aske

is time." I heard the sm

description on this. Harper

She a

g, we spent some time together.” I ru

le time together,"

lled me

" Agatha's voice rose, clearly irritated. "If you want to

egor interrupted his wife, “it'

hat i

o say she's preg

Gregor seemed to be e

o tell Harper something like this without being sure,” I explained. “I told h

ay, Theon,” she finally b

Sunday morning,

she accepted a li

t, cousin,” Gregor warned. “W

by your house tomorrow, Gr

gratulations, Theo

e, I didn't think I'd hear anyone cong

going with me, it's one