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Authors: Nicole Christie

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Teen & Young Adult

Celeb Crush

BOOK: Celeb Crush
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CELEB CRUSH

 

By Nicole Christie

 

Copyright Nicole Christie 2014

 

All rights reserved

Copyright © 2014 by Nicole Christie

 

This is a work of fiction.  The names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, establishments, events, or locations is entirely coincidental.

 

 

 

SelfPubBookCovers.com/Lori

 

 

 

******

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

This sucks.  My first time in Paris, and I’m way too tired to enjoy it.

I have no idea what time it is.  It was bright outside when we landed…and that’s all I can recall from that interminably long flight.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had been able to sleep on the plane, but the guy sitting next to me would not shut up about his date in Paris with a girl he had met over the internet.  He showed me a picture of her on his phone, and that’s when I started feeling sorry for him.  Did he not recognize that famous actor from the television series with the angels and the haunted pig statue?  He’s not exactly clean-shaven.

Oh, well.  Not my problem.

The signs in the airport have English translations, but I’m too dead inside to do anything but follow the damp people from my flight.  They seem to know where they’re going.  I follow one guy into the men’s bathroom, and almost into a stall.  Honest mistake.

I stand in the passport control line for so long that my backpack starts to feel like my turtle shell.  I feel like I’m a turtle, blinking my gritty red eyes slowly, and swiveling my head by minute degrees.  I’m not the only one.  The little girl in front of me has wide glassy eyes, and her mouth is gaping open, caught in a permanent yawn.  Kid, I know just how you feel.  We lock eyes and engage in a little staring competition.  I win, and she cries.  Her mother glares at me like I’m the brat.

A short squat man with curly gray hair and dead shark eyes is there to pick me up.  He introduces himself as Pascal, and takes my backpack off my shoulders when I just stare at him blankly.  He leads me to a black Range Rover—and the whole time I’m thinking it’s some kind of white girl abduction.  I’m not sure why I continue to willingly follow him.  I’m only half white after all. 

I’m really tired.

I’m surprised to find Ivan waiting for me in the passenger seat.  He looks relieved when he sees me. 

“Andi, thanks so much for coming.”

He gets out of the vehicle and gives me a cologne-scented kiss on the cheek.  Ivan looks like he could be a content suburban dad, except for the designer suits that don’t quite conceal the paunchiness of his midsection.  I like him well enough, though he always manages to sound vaguely condescending whenever he talks to me.  I think that’s just a side effect from being a “power player in the industry.”  His words, not mine.

He gets in the backseat with me, holding onto his phone like it’s his lifeline.  Ivan is a super busy guy, so for him to be here must mean that things are pretty bad.  I’m almost afraid to ask, but I have to know.

“What set him off?”

“Oh, the damn paparazzi almost ran him off the road yesterday.”  Ivan snorts in disgust.  “It was a really close call—he almost plowed into a family with young kids.  It shook him up pretty bad.”

“I bet.”  I shake my head in sympathy.  “Why didn’t he call me?”

“He smashed his phone.  Just one of the many things he’s broken since yesterday.”  Ivan sighs and runs a hand across his forehead.  “I have to get with Kelly and Jessica.  We’re gonna need to do a lot of damage control on this.  I tell you, Andi—I love that boy like he’s my own…but damn if he isn’t responsible for all these gray hairs on my head.”

He trails off on another sigh, turning to look out the window.  “I know,” I commiserate.  Then I feel like I have to make excuses for him.  “I think his back is still bothering him.  And—I don’t know.  Ever since he won that Oscar, it seems like he’s been putting more pressure on himself.”

“Oh, absolutely.  And with the final Soul movie set to film in a few months—not to mention the back-to-back surefire blockbusters he’s signed on for right after—I really think it’s all starting to catch up with him.  I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I had already scheduled a break for him this summer.”

I’m nodding my head, but my eyes keep drifting shut.  “Sure,” I mumble.  “That radio keeper keeps talking.”

“Hm.  How’s school?  You take your finals soon, don’t you?”

“Oh…yuuurp.”  I open my eyes unnaturally wide.  “I’ve got finals in a week.”

Ivan smiles, and there’s something calculating in his expression that makes me wish my brain wasn’t completely numb at the moment.  “Excellent.  I suppose you’ve been very busy studying?”

Oh, god, I am so tired.  My head droops forward, much too heavy to be supported by my neck.  I can hear Ivan still talking to me, but his words don’t make sense.

“—double your salary, of course.”

I suddenly jolt upwards.  “Huh?”

“I’m sorry, hon.” Ivan’s tone is apologetic.  “You must be dead on your feet.  We’ll talk about this later, okay?  It’s at least a forty-five minute drive to the hotel with the way traffic’s going.  Why don’t you sneak in a little nap while you can?”

“Yes, why don’t you,” I say, and let my eyes fall shut.

 

I wake up with my face smashed against the window of the Range Rover.  Knowing that I’m about to enter a five star hotel, I decide that I should try to make myself more presentable.  I don’t have much to work with.  My long dark hair is twisted into a messy bun, and—what am I wearing?  I quickly slip on my black hoodie to cover up my hideous cat lady shirt.   I can’t do much about my old sweatpants, so I’m not going to worry about it, I guess.  At least no one will mistake me for a hooker.

In a daze, I follow Ivan into the hotel lobby.  If I were in a better state of mind, I would be able to fully appreciate the understated elegance of the black and gold décor.  The gorgeous marble floor is so polished that it looks like I’m walking over demonic black glass.  Well-dressed people are giving me discreetly curious looks.  I pretend to be fascinated with the ornate gold chandelier hanging from the mirrored ceiling so I don’t have to meet their gazes.

I cover a yawn as we get in the lush elevator.  “Are Micah and Nate up there with him?” I ask Ivan, just for something to say.

He briefly looks up from his phone.  “He’s not letting anyone in his suite.  Not even Nate.”

Oh, that’s not good.  Micah is Luke’s bodyguard, and Nate is his personal assistant and best friend.  He’s also Ivan’s son, and the one who introduced Luke to Ivan—who just happens to have connections to the top talent agencies in Hollywood.  Ivan took one look at Luke and the rest, as they say, is history.

Once we get to Luke’s floor, Ivan deposits me in front of his suite.  He thrusts my backpack at me, making me take a step back.  “Once you get him calmed down, give me a call, okay?”  he says in a rush.   “If the room is trashed, I’ll take care of it.  Don’t let any of the hotel staff in there until you talk to me.  Thank you, Andi!  You’re a lifesaver.”

I watch him walk away at a fast clip.  Then, with a sigh, I turn back to face the suite.  Might as well get this over with.  I pound on the door like a surly landlord trying to collect her deadbeat tenant’s rent.

Two minutes later, the door jerks open.  Standing there is Lucas Greyson, Hollywood’s hottest young actor—and possibly the most beautiful being alive.

“You’re here,” he says.

He lets me in.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

 

How did I end up being a handler for an award-winning grown-ass actor?

I met Lucas Greyson on one of the shittiest days of my life, about two years ago.  I had just caught my cousin and my boyfriend having sex in my bedroom.  See, the three of us had been roommates, living together (and apparently all sleeping together) in a crappy off campus apartment while attending Oregon University.

I lost my cousin, my boyfriend, and a place to live all in one day.  Afterwards, I got in my car, and I just drove and drove.  I ended up at a beach in northern California, in the sand with my knees drawn up to my chest as I watched the light fade from the sky.  That’s how Luke found me.  I don’t know what he was doing there in a tux, but there he was.  He introduced himself simply as “Luke,” and hit on me.  I kicked sand at him.

Of course I recognized him.  There was no mistaking those famous gold-green dragon eyes and those divinely sculpted features.  But I was too numb to be star struck and fangirly.  I told him everything.  It was horrible because he didn’t even ask me what was wrong.  I just opened my mouth, and all this crap started leaking out.  Instead of running away from me like a smart Hollywood heartthrob, he took me to a bar where we proceeded to drown my sorrows in hard liquor and pool.

I don’t remember much after that.  At some point his friend Nate joined us, and we started bar hopping from one sketchy dive to the next.   I think I might have been the one who started the fight with those scary biker dudes…I’m still fuzzy on all the details, and the guys weren’t sober enough to fill in all the holes.  I do remember I had a cue stick that I kept trying to break in half on someone’s head.  I am a violent drunk, I now know.

I woke up the next morning with a concussion, Luke’s name tattooed on my ass, and a team of lawyers in my face with a non-disclosure agreement and a job offer.

The job offer came from Luke, himself.  I was to be an assistant to his personal assistant, Nate.  The money was beyond great, and they were willing to work around my school schedule.  I gratefully agreed.  It’s a dream job for a poor college student like me.  I’d have signed servitude on my own forehead if they had wanted.  I didn’t have much pride left at that point.

It turns out that being an assistant—even an assistant to an assistant—to a celebrity means that you basically just hang out with said celebrity.  Yes, I get paid to go surfing in Hawaii, snorkeling in the Bahamas, and hiking in the Andes.  Never in my life did I imagine I would have the opportunity to experience such things.  Luke is pathologically generous.  Wherever I want to go, he’ll take me.  Also, I’ve turned down things from houses to fully paid college tuitions from him.  I don’t say no to everything, though.  When Lucas Greyson asks if you want an all-expense paid vacation to a luxury spa in St. Barts, you say yes.  Even if said vacation costs more than the tuition for your entire college career.  It works out somehow in my head.

The downside?  Well, there are a few things I could do without.

First:  the women.  Oh, the women.  They never leave him alone.  And being the healthy young heartthrob he is he definitely enjoys the attention.  I wouldn’t have a problem with this if I wasn’t the one who had to clean up the trail of broken hearts after him.  To be fair, Luke does warn every girl he hooks up with that he’s not looking for a relationship.  But I think what most girls hear is “Change my mind.”  I’m the one who has to set them straight, and that requires a very delicate approach because most of his conquests are celebrities themselves.  Their egos are both fragile and gigantic.  Occasionally, I’ve had to play a pathetic childhood sweetheart or baby momma, pleading with the other woman to back off my man.  That’s actually kind of fun.  Once, I told a bitchy pop star that Luke had given me a case of rhododendrons.  Just to see what would happen.  She freaked out, and right then and there had her personal assistant schedule her for an STD screening.  That’s where the rumor that Lucas Greyson had contracted a rare tropical form of VD came from.  I never told him it originated with me.

Second, Luke is an adrenaline junkie.  He always manages to make time out of his insane schedule to do something death-defying—and Nate and I, as part of his entourage are obligated to go along with him.  Cliff and sky diving, illegal street racing, extreme mountain climbing….you name it, we’ve almost died doing it.  That’s Luke’s motto:  You haven’t lived until you’ve almost died.  Stupid.  I’m getting paid an obscene amount of money to kiss his ass—and I can’t bring myself to say what an awesome time I’m having while we’re going a hundred and fifty miles in a metallic blue death trap during a race against someone named Loco G.

That was the last straw, by the way.  I had been thanking my lucky stars that I had survived, until I saw the flashing lights of the LAPD.  Then I wished for death—specifically Luke’s.  We were detained, causing me to miss my Statistics exam by three hours.  No hope for a make-up.  That’s when I lost it.

I had the kind of blackout rage that starts with a red mist in front of your eyes and ends with blood, and a disoriented—yet very satisfied—feeling in the end.  I tried to quit; Luke wouldn’t let me.  In the spirt of compromise, he agreed to tone it down a smidge.  I agreed to kick his ass whenever he was being an out-of-control dick. 

Now the third issue.  Luke drinks a lot.  A lot.  He claims he’s not an alcoholic because he can be as sober as a priest when he’s shooting a movie.  This is true.  But there are days when something sets him off.  He goes on these binges and gets way out of control—and the only person who can talk any sense into him is me.  Maybe because I’m not afraid to fight dirty.  Luke needs someone like me in his life.  He thinks so, too.  If he had his way, I would be at his beck and call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  Since I won’t agree to that, he settles for daily texts and phone calls.  And no matter where he is, we have to see each other at least once a week.  It’s a very unhealthy employer/employee relationship.  I’m not sure why he’s latched on to me, of all people, this way.  Actors are incredibly needy, I’ve discovered.

 

So, that’s my boss.  Six feet two and a half inches of sexy goodness.  Luke has the standard issue hot young action star body:  long, lean, sleek with muscles, and the requisite eight pack abs.  And, of course, that sexy V-shaped ridge just barely visible over the waistband of his conveniently loose jeans.  It’s a must-have accessory among the Hollywood elite, I hear.

BOOK: Celeb Crush
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