Dream Man (Executive Women in Love Book 1)

BOOK: Dream Man (Executive Women in Love Book 1)
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Table of Contents


Executive Women in Love Series



New York




Cover Design by Leah Suttle

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

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher.  The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law.  Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.

Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

Published in the United States of America by

Soul Mate Publishing

P.O. Box 24

Macedon, New York, 14502

ISBN: 978-1-61935-


The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

To all my wonderful critique partners,

beta readers and especially my dear ol’ Dad,

Sam Lucente, and my former teacher and aunt, Marie,

to whom I dedicate this book

for reading it, encouraging me,

and correcting my words.


Thanks to my editor and the Art Department for making a fantastic book.

Chapter 1

Felicity Burgess gaped at her panic-stricken production assistant as she rushed into the studio.

“It’s Jenny. Hurry,” Shantae urged, clearly out of breath.

What now?

Felicity fought the urge to scream. She couldn’t afford a disruption right at that moment. She was due to run live for her reality show. As much as she loved her sister, Jenny put her at wit’s end. She’d given Felicity more trouble, with both school and the law, during the last few months than she had for the past eight years since Felicity had taken over as her sole provider. At twenty-four, Felicity’s playing mother to her baby sister had worn thin and sometimes she wished she could get on with her own life.

“It’s serious,” Shantae whispered. The usual chaos surrounded Felicity as actors, camera operators, and members of the Applaud! television studio scrambled to prepare for filming. Ever reliable, as assistant and production second, Shantae Johnson knew to show discretion on the set. “She’s in the emergency room.”

“What?” Felicity’s heart pounded in her chest. So it wasn’t just one of Jenny’s shenanigans. Panic set deep to her core. “Where? What happened?”

Shantae rubbed Felicity’s arm. “She’s going to be all right. Take a deep breath.”

Felicity put her hand to her heart. “Tell me. What happened?”

Shantae grimaced.

Oh, no. It had to be bad.

“She’s been in a car accident. They will need to do emergency surgery. That’s all I could get out of them.”

“For heaven’s sakes, tell me where.”

“West Memorial.”

Crew members of the studio glanced over to Felicity, apparently curious. The last thing on her mind was the next take for
Teen View.
“To hell with the shoot. Shantae—you’re on.”

For a split second, Shantae seemed as though she’d protest. “Don’t worry, boss. I got it. Go take care of your sister.” Shantae’s easy going ways sprinkled with her African American charm made the stress of any day on the set melt away. And that day had to be about the worst. Felicity ran from the studio, ignoring the puzzled stares from her staff. She fumbled with the car keys, dropped them along the way, and scooped them up as tears spilled out of her eyes.

I have to get control of myself.

Felicity sped out of the parking lot without regard for the posted speed limit. The only thing that mattered was getting to her sister.

Maxwell Marx sat in his plush recliner in a rare moment of peace. He had finally completed his latest action thriller. Max would have a few weeks off before he’d have to resume playing his role as Jack Forth in Australia. For now, he’d devote his time to his pet projects, like
The American Playhouse
. Acting had provided him the escape he needed from his undesirable childhood and he wanted to provide the same opportunity for aspiring students who struggled financially in America as well as in impoverished third-world countries.

A couple of hours ago, he’d dropped off Melania Hernandez, a new student in his school. Only because she’d begged him, Max brought her to The Ivy for dinner. The big “in” spot on Sunset Boulevard. Normally Max avoided any public place where the paparazzi circled. Yet Max had given into Melania’s desire to go out with him in public capitalizing on his fame for her Miss USA pageant campaign.

Max stretched, got up, and headed to the bathroom. The phone rang in the den. He normally didn’t get calls at his home. It had to be important.

The caller ID told him it was Melania.

“Mr. Max, I’m not feeling well. Can you take me to the hospital?”

“What’s wrong, dear?” It could have been a mistake getting too friendly with Melania. She’d left her family in Costa Rica to pursue acting and modeling career. Her family had gathered every penny they had to send the young woman to the United States. Max feared Melania viewed him more as a father figure than an acting mentor.

“I dunno. We had wine at dinner. Maybe it didn’t mix with my pills. I’ve been sick ever since you took me home. Please, Max, help.”

No way.
Max was against the use of drugs of any kind. “What pills?”

“My diet pills. You know the ones—”

Ah, God
. Maybe they didn’t mix well with the alcohol. She’d only had two glasses.
. He wanted to turn in early, not sit in an emergency room.

“I don’t want to bother you, Mr. Max, but Sophia, Gabriella, and Valentina are out clubbing.”

They would be her roommates, also students of his school and from other Latin nations. Poor Melania. She was probably scared. He couldn’t refuse her.

“I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.”

As he rushed down Highway 407, his car wheels skidded several times because of the stormy weather.

When he arrived and got a gander at Melania’s ashen-colored face, he knew he’d done the right thing. He took her arm and guided her to his car. “Okay, then, take it easy. We’re not far from West Memorial.”

The rain pounded on Felicity’s ten-year-old Honda Accord. She swerved her car to avoid the other drivers who had trouble maneuvering in the storm. The speed limit was seventy miles per hour but cars had their hazards on and were going about twenty. Stuck behind several slow moving cars and unable to get over into the faster lane Felicity banged her hands against the steering wheel.

God! Help me get there. Dear God, please let Jenny be all right.

Felicity moved over into the faster lane but could only go fifty miles per hour. When she hydroplaned and almost hit the median, she scared herself into slowing down and inched her way along the thirty-mile distance to the hospital.

She should have replaced those tires. But, they were over one hundred and fifty dollars each. One hundred and fifty dollars times four she couldn’t spare.

Finally, she arrived at the hospital’s emergency room and rushed to the counter.

A receiving clerk reluctantly glanced up from her paperwork. “Name of patient?”

“Jenny Burgess. She’s my sister. Here’s her insurance.” Felicity pushed Jenny’s insurance card through the window opening. Felicity had Jenny covered on her work insurance policy.

“Okay. Fill out this paperwork and have a seat over there.” The nurse pointed to the empty chairs in the waiting room and pushed a clipboard with blank forms and a pen on a cord.

“But what about my sister? Can I see her?”

The clerk huffed. “Yes, you may. But I need the paperwork first.” She clicked at her screen and said, “She’s being prepped for surgery now. You’ll get to see her beforehand.”

Felicity scrambled to fill in the forms at the window.

“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to take a seat. We have other patients.”

Felicity gathered the paperwork and did as instructed but failed to see why the clerk had given her the brush-off given the empty waiting room.

She heard the front doors swish open. A man walked in with an impossibly thin, tall beauty leaning against him. She appeared rather sick. A nurse escorted her into the examination rooms.

Not any man. Maxwell Marx. The movie star.


Maxwell Marx. Whom Felicity had admired and idolized for years, ever since she’d seen him on the big screen. She’d sought any information she could gather on Max, be it industry news, tabloids, and, heck, even TMZ feeds on her smart phone. Yes, she admitted to being an all-out Max Marx junkie.

He looked gorgeous in his perfectly snug designer jeans and Abercrombie T-shirt that tightly covered his runner’s torso.

Emerald green eyes caught hers followed by a warm smile revealing dimples on the sides of his chiseled features.
My God, how could any man be that good looking?

Max breezed by her and greeted the receiving clerk. In record time, he’d completed
paperwork, all at the reception window, and an aide whisked him to wherever his friend, girlfriend, or whoever she was, had been taken.

A wave of anger swept over Felicity. Why couldn’t she get into see her sister right away? Just because some big-shot star arrived, the hospital staff put him ahead of her. It wasn’t fair.

Max had hoped to get Melania taken in right away. A nurse took her through the double doors for examination. He sighed with relief. By the way the admission clerk grilled him with questions, Max would have liked to feed her a happy pill—or something.

“Yes, ma’am, she has temporary insurance. She’s a foreign citizen on a work visa.”

“Has she any history of food or medication allergies?”

“I don’t know.”

She skeptically studied Max a few moments. “And your relationship with the patient?”

“I don’t get the relevance.”

“We need to document for the record—”

“She’s one of my students at the playhouse.”

A flicker of recognition flashed in the clerk’s eyes and then she morphed into smiles and blushes.

Here we go.

“You’re that famous actor . . . Max Marx. Oh my . . .” The nurse placed her hand over her heart.

Max couldn’t help rolling his eyes at the ceiling. “Ma’am, please, if there are any forms I need to sign I’d like to get in with Melania and talk with the doctors.”

“Well, I, I’m sorry, sir, but only immediate family are permitted.”

Max leaned in and winked. “I’m her family, okay?” The nurse stared blankly. “The forms please?”

Max completed them right at the window and the clerk promptly led him to Melania’s examination room. Melania lay on the bed and moaned quietly.
Good God
. Pity slammed into him and he couldn’t help blaming himself about the entire mess. Not that he had to, her parents would surely hold him accountable for the unfortunate situation.

A man in hospital attire soon walked in and introduced himself as Dr. Miller. “We will need to run a few tests to determine the cause of Melania’s ailment.”

“Will you be doing those tests right away?”

“Of course. We won’t know how to treat her until we get the results. It’d be best for you to sit in the waiting area. We’ll alert you as soon as we have more information.”

Melania eyes jetted between the doctor and Max as the doctor explained what tests he’d conduct and indicated the possibility he might have to resort to pumping out her stomach if the tests didn’t reveal the cause for her illness. Her eyes bulged when the doctor mentioned the stomach pumping and then she passed out. Max didn’t want to leave her but the doctor took his arm and escorted him to the waiting area insisting it’d be best leave Melania in the hospital staff’s hands.

Felicity had had the forms done before Mr. Famous went ahead of her. After he disappeared, Felicity promptly approached the window and handed in the paperwork.

“Can I see my sister now?”

The clerk stifled a yawn and pointed to the door. “I’ll buzz you in and meet you on the other side.”

Once Felicity bolted through the double doors, the clerk gave her a tight smile. “Come this way.”

She led Felicity past a number of twin beds separated by curtains. The sight of the injured and infirmed mixed with the awful sounds of pain repelled Felicity. Her heart pounded hard against her rib cage as the antiseptic odor assaulted her senses and worry filled her mind. Finally, she entered the area where Jenny lay, in a hospital gown, eyes closed. Her leg was raised in a sling and bruises revealed angry red streaks down her right arm. Felicity took a seat next to her and held her hand.

Jenny opened her eyes a few moments later. “Felice . . . it was so wet out. Ben lost control of the car. It was horrible.” Her eyes teared. “How is he?”

“I—I don’t know.”

“Please, you have to find out. We ran over . . . oh, God, I thought I was going to die.”

Felicity brushed the hair off her sister’s forehead. “Relax. I want you to be in a good frame of mind for your surgery.”

“Yeah, I will. I’ve got a fractured femur. I’m not going to be able to walk . . . for a while.”

“Don’t worry about it right now.”

“Please go find out about Ben,” Jenny pleaded. “I—we—there were no drugs and alcohol involved, Felice, I swear.”

“I’ll check on Ben. Promise.”

Jenny drifted into sleep.

Dear Mother of God, please let Jenny be okay.

Two medical staffers came in and checked Jenny’s vitals.

A man in official hospital attire came in shortly after introducing himself as Dr. Meyer. “Your sister suffered a hairline fracture of the proximal end of the femur due to front impact from the collapse of the dash board which impacted her leg. We will perform surgery, and I have every confidence it’ll be uncomplicated from the review of her x-rays. The surgery will take a couple of hours.”

“And how is the driver, Ben?”

“The primary impact was on the driver’s side. Ben’s injuries were limited and he suffered a mild concussion. After we complete a few routine tests he’ll likely be released tonight.”

Felicity numbly moved into the waiting area and slumped into the chair silently praying a series of “Our Fathers” and “Hail Marys.”

Jenny’s brilliance enabled her to outdo her entire class at Ritmoore High. She often got bored. She’d become an easy target for teasing by the other students because of her high intelligence. Felicity believed Jenny had gotten into so much trouble in an attempt to fit in.

Felicity noticed Mr. Famous sat in the waiting room reading a newspaper.

I wonder if I could talk with him?

Felicity didn’t know. But she should sure as hell should try. At a time like this, she doubted he’d want to deal with another doting fan. Yet here at one of the worst possible times in her and Jenny’s lives her Dream Man appeared. A man she’d fantasized about, admired, and would have died to talk with for years and years. She couldn’t miss the opportunity. She just couldn’t.

BOOK: Dream Man (Executive Women in Love Book 1)
4.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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