Toga Party

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I eye the cocktail costume and shake my head. “Not my size.”

I know the women in wardrobe and I’ve baked them cookies in exchange for the longest skirt possible. “Can’t you let the hem out?” I ask.

“Oh stop.” Angela snatches the plate of goodies and points toward the dressing room. “You’ll look like all the other goddesses and you’re lucky, the Vegas girls have to wear Cleopatra ponytails.”

“I’ll look like a moron.” I snick the door shut behind me, take a took a closer look at the outfit, open the door and stick my head out. “Where’s the rest?”

“That’s it.” Angela plucks a second cookie from the plate.

With a baleful glance at the door, I shuck off my shirt and jeans and toss them on the chair. Rob is right, I’ll make more money on the casino floor than I will pushing papers in the food and beverage office. A lot more. I grab the gold trimmed toga, slide down the zipper and eye the industrial strength corset and cups.

Who’s kidding now.

I tug the outfit on and try the zipper, but there’s a four-inch gap across my back. Hah, I knew it wouldn’t fit. “I need a bigger size.”

Angela opens the door and I jump. “Turn.” She barks through a mouthful of pins.

When I comply, she grasps the sides of the dress and yanks them together. “Zip.”

Blowing out a breath, I follow instructions and my waist shrink three sizes. I inhale and my breasts pop high above the neckline.

My cheeks heat. “But?”

“But nothing.” She laughs. “Not so worried about the hem length, now are you?”

I shake my head.

She hands over an oval cocktail tray and shoves me toward the hallway.

The Tahoe property is small, and long before I’m ready, I push onto the casino floor, wobble past a bevy of towering Amazon Barbies and hide between the slot machines.

I give myself a pep talk.

Everyone I know at Caesars wears a uniform. Why am I embarrassed?

It’s not like I’ll ever see my folks in the casino, so I step into the flow of traffic and blanch.

“There you are.” Rob grins, but he’s not alone. “Mom, Dad, this is Kelly.”

I register silver hair, impeccable dress, smiling faces.

Oh, holy crap, dressed like Jezebel and face to face with June and Ward Cleaver. The tray trembles in my hands and I suffer a full body spasm. I’ll kill him. The minute Rob’s parents are out of sight I will kill him.

Oblivious, he rattles on, but eyes twinkling, Betsy clasps my hand in hers and smiles.

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