What’s the worst that could happen?
Mom’s words taunted fate, daring it to bring its A game. The minute I stepped through the doors of Cole Productions, I knew fate would deliver in spades.
The lobby looked like Andy Warhol had vomited all over the place. The walls were highlighter yellow, pink, and green. Oversized throne inspired chairs were splattered around the neon room, the cushions wrapped in loud animal print. Black and white photos hung at odd angles and on closer inspection, my stomach tumbled. They were shots of crotches and breasts with censor bars censoring absolutely nothing. The only thing that didn’t make my eyes hurt or my stomach churn was a white desk in the center of the lobby. A scantily clad woman was perched behind it, flipping through a magazine and twirling a platinum blonde lock around her pinky finger.
There was something familiar about her that I couldn’t put my finger on. When the girl looked up and her blue eyes rounded with glee, it clicked into place. The hair, complete with one side shaved, the safety pin earrings, and Nirvana shirt was a copy of one of my signature looks before I went back to brunette–and stopped trying to be edgy.
When my twin left her desk, and I saw that she rounded off the ensemble with a pink miniskirt that barely covered her vagina and knee high combat boots, I winced. I had probably looked just as ridiculous.
“Hi,” I began, clearing my throat uncomfortably. “I’m–”
The blonde skipped the formalities, throwing both arms around me and squeezing so hard she nearly cracked a rib. “Are you kidding? I know who you are! You’re Miiia!” She turned a two syllable name into four. Her teeth were blindingly white. “I’m such a huge fan. The biggest.” She pulled back, stars in her eyes. “I’m Tempest.”
I couldn’t help but smile. Tempest was dialed up to 100, and I always enjoyed meeting fans. “Badass name. It’s nice to meet you.”
Tempest hitched a breath, her intensely blue eyes welling with tears. “Nice to meet me?” She nibbled on her bottom lip as she fanned herself. “I can’t believe Mia Kent thinks it’s nice to meet me!”
“We have an 11:00 appointment with Mr. Cole.” Mom ended our moment with her rude, clipped tone. For a woman that seemed hell bent on micro-managing my career, she always had little to no patience for my fans. She forgot something key–there was no Mia Kent without them. The day I took them for granted, or failed to appreciate how amazing it was that people stood in all kinds of weather to get my autograph, bought merchandise from my show, or even emulated my style, was the day I stopped deserving them.
I flashed Tempest an apologetic smile. “Is Mr. Cole available?”
She returned it with a toothy grin. “I’ll let him know you’ve arrived.” She skipped back to her desk, a dial tone sounding above the trance music thumping from the speakers.
A gruff voice answered after four rings. “What is it?”
Tempest was either used to it or so happy go lucky that she was unfazed by her boss’s growl. “Mia Kent is here for her appointment.”
“How long have you worked here, T?” He didn’t wait for her to answer. “Nearly a year. You know I don’t want my VIPs waiting.”
The light in Tempest’s face dimmed. “I’m sorry, Sol.”
“I don’t want you to be sorry,” he berated her. “I want you do your job. I swear if you didn’t look hot as hell in a skirt, I’d fire your ass.”
The light went out completely. Tempest slumped in her chair like she wanted to disappear. The rumors were true–Solomon Cole was a dick. And it was obvious that they had done this song and dance before. From the way Tempest’s voice trembled, it still hurt every time.
“It won’t happen again,” she said softly.
He hung up on her.
I exchanged a look with my mother, but there was no sympathy on Mom’s tight, wrinkle free face. There was only impatience. “Let’s go, Mia. Mr. Cole is a busy man.”
Tempest scrawled our names on two visitor’s badges and handed them over with a broken smile. “Sol’s office is on the 15th floor. It’s kind of a maze up there, so Liam, his assistant, will meet you at the elevator.”
I thanked her, then followed my mother into the elevator. More trance music was pumped through the speakers. Instead of inspiring the need to dance, it filled me with dread. I had reconciled the meeting by telling myself the rumors about Sol’s douchebaggery were exaggerated by disgruntled ex-employees and diva former clients. He’d just dashed that argument in one fell swoop by degrading his secretary and flat out saying he only kept her around so he could ogle her.
I drew a barely steadying breath as the doors slid open. When I left the family channel, I knew I might have to deal with the ugly side of Hollywood, but I wasn’t expecting this. I was debating leaving my mother with Sol and making a run for it when I saw him.
He had to be 6’3 because I had to look up to meet his electric green eyes. They were the warmest eyes I’d ever seen. Like an embrace, a kiss that sent warmth sprawling over my body. His hair hung in dark brown waves that dusted his green eyes. I bit my lip to keep images of running my fingers through his hair at bay.
His lips were luscious as they spread into a smile. Two dimples winked in his cheeks and I knew that he belonged in my bed. His cobalt blue button down shirt was rolled up to the elbow and I saw the tease of color beneath the cuff. Tattoos? I dropped my gaze to what was going on beneath the equator–and it was just as muscled and tempting as the rest of him.
Desire clouded my view. The handsome stranger jutted out his arm to keep the elevator door from closing.
“Hi.” Hs voice was deep and hypnotic. “I’m Liam.”
Liam. I caressed the name in my mind, but the pulsing lust quickly stalled. Liam–the personal assistant that would be delivering me to Sol Cole.
I hesitated, time standing still. Should I go with the devastatingly hot guy who would take me to the devastatingly jerky guy? I swallowed, debating it until my mother gave me a small push in his direction. It was the smallest of motions–and it sent me crashing into a wall of muscle and scent. Liam smelled like Irish Spring soap, cloves, and heaven. I held on a little longer than was necessary, wondering if he was thinking what I was thinking as his smile broadened.
“Thanks for catching me,” I purred. Screw playing coy. I pushed my chest against his. My body approved, nipples aching against the thin material of my bra. Lust, rooted deep in my core, came rushing to the surface. I bit my lip as my wet juices kissed my panties.
“Anytime.” His voice stroked me as his eyes darkened in a way that made me melt. Was there anything about this guy that wasn’t deliciously sexy?
Only one way to find out…