Betting on Bailey(Playing For Love Book 1)

By: Tara Crescent

A Playing For Love Novel



Never on a Sunday



Stephanie Rice has her sex life all figured out. She fucks six different men on six days of the week. Monday is the Chef. Tuesday, the Technician. Wednesday is the Playboy. Thursday, Mr. Buttman has his way with her. Friday, she has an appointment with the Doctor, and on Saturday, the Dominant works her over.

On Sunday, she normally does laundry. However, on this particular Sunday, her worlds collide. All six men find out about each other, and they are determined to give Stephanie an evening she will never forget.





1





In Armenia, on the Day of St. Sargis, single women fast all day and eat a slice of very salty bread before they go to sleep, so that they might dream of the man they are going to marry. The man that brings them water in their dreams is the man they are meant to marry.

from Bailey’s Journal of Interesting Facts from around the World





Bailey:


“Professor Moore,” Maria Rivera knocks at my office door and sticks her head in. “Do you have a moment? Sameer’s reviewing my grant application, and he suggested you look it over as well.”

I glance at the clock at the bottom of my computer screen. It’s a quarter to seven. I’m supposed to meet my boyfriend Trevor at seven thirty to watch him play pool, and he gets extremely irritated when I’m late. There’s no point telling him that my job is demanding and leaving on time isn’t always an option. According to Trevor, if my job was important, I’d make a lot of money. I don’t, therefore my career is not to be taken seriously.

“I have,” I tell Maria, rising to my feet and gathering the small pile of rings and bracelets that I’ve taken off to type, “exactly fifteen minutes, then I have to leave.”

“Thanks so much,” she says gratefully as I follow her into Sameer Shah’s office, slipping my turquoise ring on my finger and fastening the coral bracelet around my wrist. I like the gemstones. I dress, in typical New York style, in black almost all the time. The jewelry adds some color. “It’s the section on gender roles in the Taiga that we thought you should review,” she elaborates.

Ah. That makes sense. I’m the resident expert on the Siberian Taiga, having spent a year there as part of the research for my doctoral dissertation.

“Hey Bailey,” Sameer greets me as I walk into his office, his eyes glued to the computer screen. “Pull up a chair, will you? Can you tell me what you think of this bit?”

I read over his shoulder. Maria’s done a reasonable job describing why the people who live in the remoteness of Siberia are important and why they deserve study. She’s mentioned all the important points — the arrival of the Internet is eroding cohesion in the community, language is being lost and we are, in essence, in a race against time to study and preserve this slice of the world that has so far remained untouched by modern influences.

“Who’s funding this grant?” I ask her. “The National Science Foundation?”

She shakes her head. “No, the NSF’s budget has been halved. This grant is from a private company. Hartman. Have you heard of them?”

“Nope.” I’m not really listening to Maria’s words; I’m digesting the impact of her first sentence. Damn it. I knew the National Science Foundation wasn’t going to budget very much money this year for liberal arts. Everything’s about science and technology these days. It’s a great time to be in the STEM fields, and a terrible time to be in the humanities.

Thank heavens they’ve already approved my grant to go to Argentina in the fall.

Of course, thinking of Argentina reminds me of Trevor’s reaction last week when he heard I needed to be away for five months doing research on the myth and the reality of the gauchos in Patagonia. Let’s just say he wasn’t supportive.

Since I seem to be becoming an expert on ignoring the many reasons Trevor is wrong for me, I push those thoughts to the background and focus on Maria’s problems instead. “Okay,” I pull up a chair and reach for a pad of paper, pushing the bangles back from my right wrist so I’ll be able to write. “This is a great start, but you also need to add…”

I have multiple mechanisms in place to prevent me from being late. Alarms going off on my phone in fifteen minute intervals. Flashing screens on my laptop warning me to stop working. My computer is even programmed to shut down automatically at seven thirty.

But I’ve left my cell phone in my office, and engrossed as we are in strengthening Maria’s grant application, none of us hear the alarm when it goes off at seven. There’s another alarm that’s supposed to chime at seven fifteen, but if I can’t tell you if it went off — I don’t hear it either. When I finally look up at Sameer’s screen to check the time, I’m horrified to note that it’s seven thirty five. “Fuck,” I swear. “Fuck. And fuck again. Sorry, Maria. Pretend you didn’t hear me.” I don’t bother apologizing to Sameer. He has the office next to me. He’s heard me curse before.

She laughs. “Sure thing, Professor Moore,” she says easily. “Thank you so much for your help. This is fantastic.”

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