Read Gamble on Engagement Online

Authors: Rachel Astor

Tags: #mcmaster the disaster, #celebrity, #engagement, #paparazzi, #bridesmaid, #diary, #movie star, #wedding, #london, #scandal, #disaster diary

Gamble on Engagement

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Gamble on Engagement

 

McMaster the Disaster, book 2
Rachel Astor

 

Smashwords Edition

 

Copyright © 2011

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may
be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any
means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or
mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the
author.

 

 

 

 

~ PROLOGUE ~

 

 

As we walked, hand in hand, the paparazzi
cars pulled up and the photographers were fighting to get to us as
fast as they could. We continued to walk, pretending not to notice
them, although it was a little more difficult once the flashes
started.

Finally, Jake smiled and gave the cameras a
little wave. I took his cue and smiled along. A few of Jake’s fans
came running up: three teenage girls and one super cute little old
lady wanting an autograph for her granddaughter. The three girls
even knew who I was and, I’m sure just out of courtesy, they asked
for my autograph too.

Several minutes later, I cleared customs and
Jake was free to go, since he wasn’t allowed past security. We
tried not to, but there was absolutely no privacy, so we gave the
press a little something to run in tomorrow’s paper when Jake
kissed me goodbye.

“See you in a month,” he said as he walked
away, his hand lingering on mine for a few seconds.

I nodded to him. I was surprised that I had
to fight back a tear or two.

I continued past security and off to the
gate.

The waiting proved to be a lot more
difficult that I had expected. The corner of the confidential
envelope was peeking out, just a little, from my bag. I tried not
to think about it. I got up for a coffee. I took a trip to the
bathroom. I chatted a little with the lady sitting next to me.
After what seemed like an eternity, they finally called my flight
number.

I jumped up, first in line, and I headed
down the narrow hall to board my plane, the envelope clutched
tightly in my hand.

 

 

 

 

~ 1 ~

 

 

It was a miracle the envelope was still
relatively wrinkle-free the way I was clutching it for dear life.
Okay, maybe not for dear life exactly, but knowing that the
contents of the envelope held my fate for the next three months,
and also knowing I wasn’t allowed to open it until I left the
ground, was pretty much killing me.

The plane could not fill up fast enough.

And that’s when I started to panic.

What the hell had I been thinking, agreeing
to a job knowing so little about it? And what the heck did I know
about ghostwriting an autobiography for Pete’s sake? Cripes, I
didn’t even know where I was going to live for the next three
months. Well, England of course, but more specific than that? I had
no freakin’ clue. What if I was stuck out in the middle of some
forest or something with some creepy old Nobel Prize winner who
doesn’t believe in electricity or running water?

Dear God, what if I had to use an
outhouse?

My thoughts raced back to what the job
placement officer had said on the phone. “Other than in public, you
will have full access to the celebrity,” she’d said.

Okay, so that must mean this person at least
goes out in public, right? It was then that I realized I didn’t
even know whether this celebrity was a guy or a girl. Or young or
old. Jeez, I didn’t even know if it was an actor, a singer, or
what.

What was I thinking? Well, other than
running as far away as possible from my old life, not to mention
finally getting that vacation of my dreams to travel through
Europe.

Unfortunately the job was only in England,
which was great, but the dream had really been to travel all of
Europe. So, first order of business, find out what one of those
Rail ticket thingies cost. They have those, right? Yes, I’m sure
I’ve heard people talking about taking the train here and there and
everywhere around Europe.

But then again, maybe I’d be stuck working
the whole time. I mean, how long does it even take to write a
book?

My brain was getting all swirly again and I
wished more than anything that the stewardess was already on her
beverage cart. Of course, the stinkin’ plane would have to take off
for that to happen.

God, was this thing ever going to take
off?

I couldn’t take it any longer; I had to open
it. It’s not like anyone would ever know that I’d opened it early.
I slid my finger under the seal and started to rip. My heart raced
in anticipation, and a bit of panic that I might get caught. I
looked around again, making sure no one was watching.

Don’t be ridiculous Josie; no one cares what
you’re doing, I told myself. No one’s even paying an ounce of
attention to you. God, you’d think you were the Queen or something
the way you’re acting. I slid my finger under the seal again.

 

My phone buzzed, jolting me back to reality.
How did the Universe know every time I was doing something I
shouldn’t be?

Every time!

I grabbed the phone and quickly read my
text.

Have a great trip Jose. Be safe. Love
Jake.

Aw… how in the world was I supposed to live
without him for a month? And how on Earth could I have ever gotten
so lucky to have a boyfriend like him? I mean, he was a movie star
for bloody sake. A multi-million-dollar-per-picture movie star! It
was inconceivable.

I held my phone to my chest, allowing myself
a dorky girlfriend moment, just for a second, then sighed, smiling.
No one on the face of the planet was as happy or as content as I
was. It was quite the turnaround, really, from a few short weeks
ago when I’d thought my world had effectively come to an end.

I shook the negative thoughts out of my
mind. Nothing was going to ruin that perfect moment for me,
especially considering I still had the anticipation of opening the
most sacred envelope I’d ever held in my life. I tucked my finger
under the corner of the envelope again, glancing to the left and
the right, just to be safe. I started slowly moving my finger
across the seal, savoring the satisfying rip that promised to
release the name of its captor into blessed freedom.

“Eeee! McMaster the Disaster!” a scream
reverberated from the front of the plane, causing me to jump
practically right out of the plane, not to mention rip my sacred
envelop flap into a jagged mess.

I had two choices, ‘fess up to my
not-so-beloved (and now infamous) nickname, or slink down and
pretend I didn’t have a clue what a “McMaster the Disaster”
was.

The way the woman was barreling down the
aisle though, I doubted she would take the hint that I didn’t want
to be bothered. We’re talking full-out shoving people to get to
me.

“Oh my God! You are so my hero!”

I smiled and looked around in hopes that no
one else had noticed anything. But, since the girl had about the
same amount of discretion as a charging moose, my fears were
confirmed. Every single person on that plane was staring at me.

“Um, thank you,” I said, hoping to goodness
she wasn’t going to be sitting beside me.

But of course, my luck never had been that
good.

“I’m Missy, by the way,” the woman said. “I
just cannot believe I am sitting on a plane beside McMaster the
Disaster for an entire trip to Europe!”

I smiled, hoping it was hiding my horror.
“Yes, me either.”

“So are you still dating Jake Hall? Oh my
God, what’s it like to date a real live movie star?”

I smiled, wishing I could teleport to
England. “Um, yes, it’s um… very nice, I guess.”

Worst of all, there was no way I could open
my envelope. Not with this woman anywhere near me—she’d be over my
shoulder and have it read in a second flat.

I closed my eyes and tried to remember the
breathing techniques from the yoga classes I used to take. “Hee,
hee, hee, breathe…” I whisper-breathed, “hee, hee, hee, breathe.”
Wait, that seems more like I’m in labor. Right, the yoga was
breathing through the nose. I closed my eyes and sucked in a huge
breath through my nose.

I opened my eyes to see that even Missy was
looking at me weird, so I decided I should at least try to be
normal for a while. I tucked the envelope into my carry-on, with
Missy watching it like a hawk. I could tell she wanted nothing more
than to ask me what was inside, but she just couldn’t bring herself
to be that rude. A bit shocking for someone who’d just barreled
through a plane shouting my cursed nickname, but I was thankful
anyway.

I shoved the envelope back in my bag, but it
kept catching on something. I bent down to see what the problem
was, only to discover a blue velvet jewelry box that someone had
snuck in there. My heart skipped a beat as I pulled it out.

Missy gasped.

I couldn’t help but think how nice the
moment would have been had she not been there pretty much leaning
on my shoulder, but what could I do? I glanced at her, smiling
awkwardly and slowly opened the box.

“Oh my God!” Missy yelled, capturing the
entire plane’s attention yet again.

I slunk further into my seat.

But she was right in a way. The necklace
really was scream worthy. It was a charm shaped like a book, set
entirely with diamonds, with the word “Diary” on the front
cover.

A small note card with the words “Custom
Made” was taped to the inside of the box, and in Jake’s handwriting
it said, “Your diary will never be a disaster to me, Love
Jake.”

“Oh my word, that is so romantic,” Missy
said, clutching her chest.

I couldn’t help but let out a little giggle.
I mean, it was silly, but I was just so… giddy over it.

I didn’t even care when Missy insisted on
helping me put it on.

She gasped and pulled out her cell. “We’ve
got to get a picture!”

Which was just so weird. I mean, I’d been in
the papers once or twice, but it’s not like I was famous for real
or anything, though it would probably just be easier to humor her.
“Um, sure.”

She bounced in her seat, then leaned her
largely coiffed head close to mine, holding her cell out as far as
her arm would reach. “Smile!”

I smiled. Sort of.

I quickly pulled out my laptop while she put
her phone away, hoping Missy might take the hint and find something
of her own to do. Urg, why does the plane have to be so full? I was
already getting a little claustrophobic stuck on the inside with
Missy in the middle and another guy in the aisle seat. I pulled
down my tray table and tucked my elbows into my body as tightly as
possible, hoping Missy might do the same. But she just took it as
an opportunity to rest her ample arm all over the armrest, her
elbow hanging halfway in my seat.

She gasped. “Are you about to write a
Disaster Diary entry? Oh my God, can I watch?” She bounced in her
seat. “Eeee! I cannot believe I get to watch the famous Josie
McMaster write in her Disaster Diary!”

The man in the aisle seat shifted rather
uncomfortably, leaning heavily away from Missy and rolling his
eyes.

Of course she didn’t notice though.

“Actually, no, I wasn’t going to write in
the Disaster Diary. I was just going to do a little work.”

“Oh,” she looked so disappointed.

Not that I couldn’t write about this lovely
little situation of her making an ass out of herself, not to
mention me in the process, but she might take offense if I put it
that way.

Urg, why couldn’t I have gotten a
first-class ticket? Oh right, I did have a first-class ticket,
which I’d cashed in so I could do a little traveling around Europe.
Stupid McMaster, monumentally stupid.

“So what kind of work are you doing?” She
leaned in close, resting her chin on her hand, her elbow still
taking up my entire armrest.

Of course I hadn’t actually planned on
anything I was going to do on my laptop, I was more just taking it
out to distract her in hopes she would find something of her own to
do.

“Um, well, you know, just a little research
on this err… article I’m doing on…” I looked around, desperate not
to reveal what I was really supposed to be working on—goodness knew
what she might do if she knew it was a celebrity biography—but good
God, all I could see around me were men in orange safety jackets
holding onto their little orange directing thingies. “… the color
orange and how it affects moods.”

“Oh!” Missy said, brightening even more, as
if that was even possible. “I just love orange.”

Instantly, I spotted my mistake. The scarf
around her neck, the polish on her nails, and even her luggage,
were all a bright, safety cone orange.

“Oh yeah,” I said, letting out an
unenthusiastic laugh. “I guess you must like orange. Boy, that
luggage must be easy to spot coming around the carousel.”

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