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Authors: Darien Cox

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Fit for the Job

BOOK: Fit for the Job
3.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub





Fit for the Job






Darien Cox


Fit for the Job

© 2014 by Darien Cox



Cover Art © 2014 by Skyla Dawn Cameron



First Edition July 2014



All rights reserved under the International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.


This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

















Chapter One


Jay checked himself in the car’s rearview mirror, regretting his decision to get a haircut right before the job interview. He usually left his blond hair long and straight, hanging just below his chin. As a fitness professional, he’d learned that slicking it back into a ponytail was more effective for combating sweat in the eyes than keeping it short. Also, he hated the way he looked with short hair. He’d tried it for a while and it made him look too young, too boyish. And though he
a grown man, some things from childhood stuck, like the taunts from his older brothers. They’d all inherited their father’s Mediterranean complexion and thick black hair, while Jay was the picture of his mother. As a little kid, his blue eyes had bulged a bit, too big for his face, and his fair skin allowed the tiny veins in his lids to show, earning him the nickname ‘fetus face’ by his ever sensitive older siblings.

With age, he’d grown into his features, but despite his conviction that he was now comfortable with his looks, he still held onto the habit of using his hair as an accessory to take the focus off his face. Thus, he’d opted for a medium-length haircut, still long around the temples, but short enough that he wouldn’t look like a total hippie upon meeting Eben Wright today. He wasn’t completely happy with the result. The outfit he’d chosen—tanned dress-pants with a white shirt and blue tie—combined with the shorter, thicker locks, made him look more suited to a yacht club than a gym.

He got out of the car, adjusting his tie, and looked up at the large, pretty house tucked back behind a wall of shrubbery. The blue glint of the Blackstone River was visible beyond the house down to the left. This was one of the wealthiest areas of Providence, and the house was sure as shit expensive, especially right on the water, but Jay had still expected something more lavish, considering it was a movie star inhabiting it. Perhaps he’d seen too many reality TV programs about celebrity excess.

He supposed it
only a rental for Eben Wright, a place to hang his hat while he spent most of his time out working on his new film. Also, the actor was known for relishing his privacy, and the modest, gated house set back off the road was likely perfect for blending in unnoticed while he was in town.

Nervousness tingled Jay’s belly as he made his way up the long walk to the front door, still not certain as to exactly what job he was interviewing for. He was sure Eben Wright had his choice of personal trainers to accompany him on the road. Not only was Jay fairly small-time in the fitness world, but he worked mostly with women. Was Wright looking for someone to train his wife? That would be fine with Jay, yet it still intimidated him a little, as Ingrid Wright was also a well-known actress. But hell, if they paid him, he didn’t particularly care what the job was. With his pending legal problems, he hadn’t been working much at all, which was why he’d jumped at the invitation, money a far greater motivator than the prospect of working for someone famous.

Perhaps the actor wanted someone local to show him around, advise him on the best running trails and such in the area? He just didn’t know what to expect, which added to the jitters making him feel sweaty and claustrophobic in the early summer heat. Giving his collar a tug to loosen the tie’s grip around his neck, he pressed the doorbell.

When the door opened, Jay had to fight not to let his mouth fall open at the sight of the man standing before him. While he certainly hadn’t expected Eben Wright to answer the door himself, he realized now that part of him thought it would be some snotty looking butler type or a woman in a maid’s outfit.
Again, too much television
. But the man scowling back at Jay, looking him over with a hard expression, was nothing of the sort.

Pale brown hair was tied back in a short, somewhat tousled ponytail, a few random dreadlocks weaved into the mix. A black barbell pierced his left eyebrow, matching his tight black tee shirt, which barely shrouded a muscular physique, arms heavily tattooed with scrawling ink. While he was unmistakably Caucasian, with deep, sexy eyes a shade of grayish blue, his skin was golden with what Jay guessed was maybe a California tan, if he was a minion traveling with Eben Wright. A scruffy shadow of barely-there beard darkened his jaw and upper lip, and the faded jeans he wore had a rip in the right knee, a wink of tanned skin visible beneath the threads.

And here
was worried about looking like a hippie. Go figure

“Can I help you?” the man asked curtly.

Jay forced himself to stop gaping, and assumed a professional stature. “Hi, I’m Jay Capello. I have an appointment with Eben Wright.”

The man kept one palm pressed against the doorframe like he was guarding the entrance, his well-developed bicep popping. “You’re the fitness guy?” he asked, raising his pierced eyebrow. His tone was skeptical, lending the impression that he was both surprised and unimpressed.

“That’s me,” Jay said, forcing a smile. “Fitness guy.”

Finally the man stepped back, waving Jay into a large foyer with shiny marbled tiles. To the right, a structure of open, staggered shelves held various different bonsai trees. To the left, a small fountain tinkled soothingly. “You got a cell phone?” the man asked as he closed the front door behind them.

Jay turned to him, frowning. “Do I...what?”

“Cell phone,” he repeated more slowly, like he was speaking to the mentally impaired. “Do you have a cell phone on you?”

“Oh, yeah.” Jay pulled his phone out of his pocket. “I do.”

“Would you mind if I held onto your phone during your meeting? It’s just a security precaution. I’ll give it back to you before you leave.”

, Jay thought.
. That made sense. With the handsome, symmetrical face and killer bod, Jay had initially thought maybe he was an actor, like Eben Wright, despite his somewhat unconventional look. But now it was obvious, the stance and demeanor. This man had the vibe of a sentry.

“Sure, that’s no problem,” Jay said, handing over his phone.

Mr. Ponytail security guard took the phone and slipped it into the front pocket of his jeans. “Do you have any other phones on you? Any cameras or recording devices?”

“No,” Jay said, absentmindedly patting his empty pockets. “Nothing.”

Scratching his scruffy chin, the guard met Jay’s eyes, then looked him over from head to toe, scrutinizing him. For a moment Jay thought he was about to be asked to strip down and prove it. The sudden heat pooling in his groin at the thought of this man stripping him down shocked him, and he cursed his fair skin as he felt his cheeks reddening. Blessedly, his scruffy guide chose that moment to turn away and head out of the foyer. “Follow me, please.”

Jay trailed him down a long corridor, past a vast, high ceilinged kitchen, then they turned right down another short hall before stopping in front of a set of double doors. Jay tried not to stare at the lean muscles under that black tee shirt as the guy shifted to pull the doors open. As he stepped back and extended an arm toward the room, Jay caught a whiff of spicy cologne come off of him. Or perhaps deodorant? And that thought led to more intimate ponderings about what the man’s golden skin might smell like if he pressed his nose to it. Like sunshine, he guessed, with a bit of sweat mingled in. Jay bit the inside of his lip to keep his composure.
For Christ sakes, Jay, you’re here for a job interview. Focus.

“Go on in and have a seat. Eben will be with you in a minute.” With that, his broody guide offered a quick smile that brightened his eyes, then he left, closing the doors and leaving Jay alone in a vast, furnished room.

The sudden shift in the stranger’s demeanor—from stern and suspicious to polite and smiling—threw Jay off, and he stared at the closed doors for a moment, wondering if he’d see the guy again. Hoping he would.

But his nervous gut quickly reminded him of his purpose here, and he turned and stepped farther into the room. It was an office, but larger and more extravagant than any he’d ever seen, light pouring in through tall windows that ran along the wall. But he had barely a moment to take stock of his surroundings before he heard the door open again, and turned around to see the handsome, black-haired movie star step into the room. He smiled at Jay, then closed the door behind him.

Jay had two thoughts when Eben Wright crossed the room to shake his hand: he looked taller in real life, and he had woman’s eyelashes.

He’d never met a movie star before, never had any particular desire to. Colleagues he knew sought celebrities out for employment, viewing it as the golden goose of career success in the fitness world, but he’d always been busy enough with his run of the mill, non-famous clients...not to mention Rhode Island wasn’t exactly a hub of the Hollywood elite. But to his surprise, he found himself moderately star struck. Eben Wright was even more striking in real life than he was on the silver screen.

“Jay, thanks for coming.” He gave Jay’s hand a double pump. “Come on over and have a seat. Can I get you a drink?”

Jay had rehearsed this in his mind on the way over. If the movie star offered him a drink, would it be best to accept or decline? If he accepted, he might seem overconfident, too familiar. If he declined, he might seem uptight and nervous. Eben hadn’t specified if the drink he was offering would be alcoholic, or of the general beverage variety. Jay opted for balance.

“Water would be great, thanks, Mr. Wright.”

The actor smiled and moved past him. Jay followed him into a spacious office with a desk in the corner, cluster of leather chairs at the center, and a bar along the back wall.
A bar in his office.
He had the surreal sensation of being in an old Cary Grant film, where everyone drank Scotch at noon and offered cigarettes from fancy gold cases. Taking a seat in one of the chairs, he watched while Wright moved to the bar and pulled two glasses from the display, dropping ice in. Jay had always been considered tall, but Eben had several inches on him in height. He looked so much shorter in his films, more average in every way.

seen a couple of Eben Wright’s films, but wasn’t exactly a connoisseur of Hollywood and its players, a fact that had prompted him to do a mad, frantic Google search before coming here. There wasn’t that much information about Eben’s personal life, but the consensus seemed to be that beyond being extremely private, he was a nice guy, easy to work with, no tantrums or erratic behavior. Jay reminded himself of this, trying to force relaxation and slow his heartbeat as the actor approached from the bar, a glass of water in each hand.

“Call me Eben,” he said. “You’re not
much younger than I am. There has to be at least a twenty year age difference to get away with calling me ‘Mr. Wright’ or God forbid ‘Sir’.”

Jay laughed, but decided to keep his mouth shut beyond that, lest he try too hard to be clever and end up sounding like an ass. Eben took the seat across from Jay and handed him his water, then took a long sip of his own.

As Eben drank, Jay watched the muscles pulse in his neck. Fashion model tall, Eben was nearly devoid of fat, but he didn’t appear too lean. In fact, his muscles were beautifully sculpted. Jay noticed these things the way an architect might admire a building. While he surprisingly didn’t feel much attraction to the actor beyond admiration of his obvious physical appeal, Eben was, in Jay’s professional opinion, perfect.

In a simple gray tee shirt and blue jogging pants, Wright was the picture of a casual, healthy man in his early forties. There was no makeup here, no special lighting. Just the genetically superior mold nature had given him. The cheekbones seemed overly prominent, his face more angular than appearing in his films. And his eyes stood out in a startling way, sapphire blue with long dark lashes. The film camera, Jay decided, served to enhance the thickness of the actor’s physique, while downplaying the magnificence of his features. Even with the careless messiness of his short, thick black hair, and surprising appearance of a few rogue grays snaking around his brow line, Eben Wright gave off an otherworldly aura. Jay felt a twinge of envy.

BOOK: Fit for the Job
3.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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