A desperate writer must learn to embrace her inner bombshell when she lands a covert job as the world’s first celebrity sex reporter. Cassie has hit hard times. She can’t find a job, her mother is prison bound, and her love life jumped a plane and fled to another continent. What’s an ardent fangirl to do? When a handsome new acquaintance offers her a lucrative position writing for his online celebustalk publication, TenFootPole, Cassie jumps at the chance to make some real money doing what she loves. The only catch is the subject matter. She’s assigned the gossip rag’s new beat, the sex desk, and must score with big names and tell all. In graphic detail. Publishing under the Tinseltown Temptress pseudonym is supposed to shield her, but she soon realizes that no amount of anonymity would be enough to protect her from the repercussions of her notorious stories. As her personal life circles the drain, Cassie grasps for handholds in all the wrong laps and struggles to keep her head above the shark infested water. When her investment in a friend’s all male revue is put in jeopardy, she must rally her seductive forces or sink forever under the waves.
James T. Wilcox, Cassie’s boss
at TFP.mag, just roused her out of bed early in the afternoon to discuss his
plans for her upcoming article. She’s busy making excuses.
“An appreciative, philandering movie star is hard to find?”
“You should have gone after SEK like I suggested.”
“I love his characters way too much to ruin it with fangirl
sex. Plus, he might have turned me down too.”
“He would have taken the bait, guaranteed.”
“Am I, personally, the bait? Or just my genitalia?”
“Don’t read too much into fishing metaphors. It’s a
ridiculous hobby to begin with.”
“Wait, does he fish or something?”
“I don’t fucking know. Look,” he took a silver pen out of
his pocket and uncapped it. His other hand slowly breached the distance between
them and touched her shoulder. He slid his fingers down, lightly brushing the
side of Cassie’s breast where it pressed against the inside of her arm. His
caress continued down, and now she held her breath. He stopped at Cassie’s
wrist, encircling it and drawing her hand up toward him over the counter. She
thought he was about to kiss her palm. Instead, he started writing on it,
“here’s his phone number. Call him and set up a date.”
She let out my breath explosively and jerked her hand away
so the last number, an 8, had a long trailer on top. “What the hell do you
mean, a date?”
“I know him, all right. He wants to meet you.”
“Meet me? And go on a date? Let me guess, it was his
suggestion that I write an article about him. Which means sex.”
“If things go well.”
“So now you’re pimping me out to your friends?”
“Hardly.” He stood and gulped down the last of his coffee
before starting around the island toward her.
She backed away, terrified that his nearness would break
some barrier she had created and she’d be powerless to resist his attentions.
He stopped his advance and shook his head, giving her a
knowing, disappointed look before starting for the door. “Fine. Look Sid, do
you need a place to crash? You could always use the little townhouse downtown.
You remember it right?”
The little townhouse that they’d most recently copulated in.
“Yes, I remember it.”
He just watched her face for a few beats, licked his lower
lip. “I’m hardly ever there and it mostly just stores all my stuff that doesn’t
‘go’ with the house. Which is all of my stuff.”
“No, thanks. I’ve got it covered.”
“I’ll text you the lock code just in case your plans fall
through. It sits empty in between vicious bouts of legal separation. Someone
should use it.” He stood near the door with his hands in his pockets. “And you
should go after SEK. You deserve a nice night out for a change.”
“I don’t know. I really love his films.”
“That’s why I’m positive he’ll be a better story than RG.”
“Take it from a person who occasionally has feelings and
emotions, I really like the RG story as is, despite the rejection. I think it’s
my favorite so far.”
“That two-bit hack was your favorite lay of this whole
“Of course not, we didn’t even consummate, as you’ve so
carefully pointed out over and over. He’s been my favorite article of the
series and the most satisfactory individual case study on the subject matter at
As they spoke, something invisible seemed to draw them
closer and closer. “Which is what if not sex?”
“Oh it’s sex, but not how you mean it.”
“Fine. Redefine sex. Your satisfaction means the world to
me.” He swung her door open and took a few steps away from her. He turned and
stood in her doorway looking like a Wall Street Journal centerfold. It took
every bit of self-control Cassie possessed not to pull him back in and peel him
out of his suit. Instead, she gripped her robe even more forcefully closed and
counted backwards in her head. She felt desperate to get the wolf out and the
door safely re-locked.
“I have a deal for you.”
“Are we about to modify my contract, again?”
“I’ll publish the RG piece as written, has been, prick, lead
singer finale and all. If you’ll try SEK out. When I get your article on him,
I’ll pay you out for both at once.”
“Should I bother to counter offer?”
“Not unless you’re going to invite me back inside.”
“Fine. I’ll text him.”
“Thanks. I forgot for a second that you’re both so old. I’ll
“Thanks. And fix your hair.”
Her hand shot up onto her hair knots while bolting the door,
Wilcox safely on the other side, and she inwardly cursed herself for forgetting
she still had them in. It was then she remembered she’d wanted to change the
end of the article to better obscure the identity of a certain lead singer.
Wilcox would demand even more concessions from her for the favor so she decided
to forget it and let it lie. Cassie thought of all the strategies she’d cooked
up to avoid screwing around with her boss and wondered again why she even
bothered. His personality (imagine, waking someone up and then criticizing the state
of their hair!) should have been more than enough.
Needing another start to her day, Cassie turned on the
coffee pot, covered her knots up with a pink shower cap and got into a steamy
shower to shave. Remoisturized, she took out her hair and got her part in,
leaving the rest loose and bouncy. She wrapped herself up in a seen-better-days
beach towel and detoured into the kitchen for a mug to sip on while she got
dressed. Cassie splashed in her cream and sipped it once before turning to head
back to her bedroom.
“Any left for me?”
She jumped and spilled some coffee on the hardwood but
didn’t scream. She would know that voice anywhere. She spun to see MH sitting
relaxed on her couch, all huge, golden and beautiful in jeans and a tee. He was
in her apartment. Shit, Lenny’s apartment.
She took a deep breath and got a hold of herself. “Of
course.” She held onto her towel carefully while reaching up to the second
shelf to get him the Darth Vader mug. “Cream?”
“However you take it will be fine.” His voice was even,
calm. He didn’t sound like a man guilty of breaking and entering. Maybe it was
the Nordic accent he let slip into his words. He got up and stepped into the
middle of the living room area. A bit closer to her. “I really like your
“Thanks. How’d you get in?” She gestured at him with the mug
before setting it on the edge of the island.
“I climbed up a few patios. Your window was unlocked.” He
stood there in her living room, unmoving, but at her unflinching, waiting
posture he hung his head. He snorted some air out and admitted, “I followed
that ass clown here and waited for him to leave.”
The window in question was fifty plus feet off the ground,
and inaccessible without a fireman’s ladder as far as she had thought, but she
decided not to push the point. “Why?”
“Not sure I even know except I had to see you. See if you
were really you, like the you I remembered.” MH squinted and screwed up his
face, as if to see her better and she wondered if he was a little drunk.
“I thought you never wanted to see me again.”
“Never, ever. But I changed my mind. You changed my mind.”
He walked forward finally to claim his coffee and she retreated a few more
steps to give them both some space.
“Don’t put this on me. How did you know Mr. Wilcox was
coming here?” She absolutely could not wrap her head around the notion of him
on a stakeout.
“A little birdie told me. Don’t ask any more questions, does
“I guess not if you’re not going to tell me. How about you
enjoy your warm beverage while I throw some clothes on. Then you can tell me
what you want.” She turned away and took two steps toward the hall before his
front crashed into her back and his ridiculously long arms wrapped her up from
“You know what I want as much as I do.” He said it like it
hurt him and Cassie’s breath caught in her throat. “Sorry.” His arms loosened
until he held her so lightly her towel unbound and began to slip. “Until I saw
him leaving here, I just wanted to talk to you. Show you what you’ve done to
me, tell you some of the consequences of what happened between us. Knowing he’d
been up here with you, it drove me mad and that’s just stupid.”
His arms let her go then but his body stayed pressed against
her, and Cassie wasn’t sure what to make of his declarations. MH seemed a bit
unhinged, and though she didn’t feel the slightest bit afraid she did wonder if
she wasn’t erring on the side of lust here. She would have gladly murdered
someone to be this close to him again and she found that no matter what the
risk, she just didn’t want to fight her physical response to the man. She
slowly turned to face him, their bodies millimeters apart.
He continued, “Now I feel foolish for hating you and I don’t
give one shit about consequences. Are you sleeping with that odious man?”
“He’s my boss. I wouldn’t sleep with my boss.” This came out
as a breathy whisper.
“But you have slept with him in the past?”
“And you. But if it made a crucial difference I doubt you
would have climbed up my neighbors’ patios and climbed through my window to
surprise me fresh out of the shower.”
His faced changed while she spoke and when she finished MH’s
hand inched forward and grabbed the edge of her towel. She relaxed her grip and
let him pull it off of her. His eyelids sank fractionally and his nose flared
at her exposed flesh. Cassie leaned away slightly, pushing her shoulders back
for her best breast display and she watched as his will to resist her snapped.
His hands came around the back of her neck to pull their faces together and his
lips sank into hers with a tender warmth she hadn’t expected. He kissed her
slowly and deeply like a man without cares or reservations.