Hollywood Hero: A Sexy Billionaire Romance (The Director's Assistant Book 4)

BOOK: Hollywood Hero: A Sexy Billionaire Romance (The Director's Assistant Book 4)
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Copyright © 2016 Nikki Steele

 

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the Author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

 

This book uses the American spelling of most common words.

 

Edition 1.0.3

Please Read

 

 

This is the final book in a four part series. It is recommended that you read these books in order. If you do wish to read this book first, please read the ‘previously’ section on the following page, as the story is connected. 

 

It is a short,
Erotic Romance
. It contains strong, explicit, smoking hot sex scenes. You’ve been warned!

Previously

 

 

Several weeks ago, Josie started a
new job as a personal assistant to billionaire Hollywood producer Archer Williams. But what her handsome new boss didn’t realize was that Josie has a secret—she’s being blackmailed into betraying him.

Janus Inc., a corrupt mega-corporation about to be exposed by Archer, was forcing Josie to steal the evidence that Archer had on them. They had compromising photos of Josie, and owned the debt on her ailing mother’s house, too.

After two weeks of electrifying attraction, Josie and Archer made love one Friday night. After that, she couldn’t bring herself to steal the tape. She tried to avoid Archer for his own protection, but Archer wouldn’t take no for an answer. When they made love again, and Josie told Archer the truth about her mission, Janus took matters into their own hands, threatening to release the tapes of Josie and Archer’s trysts which they had been secretly filming.

Realizing that there was another Janus spy working for Archer, Josie set a trap to ensnare the unknown mole. After making love to Archer in an abandoned film set—knowing the spy would be there recording—she locked all doors remotely, and called the double agent out.

In the final passages of the
Hollywood Hype
, they discover that the spy is none other than Christian; Archer’s Intern, and Josie’s good friend.

The story continues now immediately after, in
Hollywood Hero.

 

* * *

 

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Chapter 1

 

 

“Hello Christian,” I said. “It’s
time we had a little talk.”

“Christian?” Archer asked, looking agape at his Intern. “Christian?” It seemed all he was able to say, though words weren’t needed to convey the disappointment in his eyes or the shock in his voice.

I wasn’t shocked. I’d suspected Christian, from the moment I’d figured out there must be another spy working for Janus—with the exception of myself, no-one else had the kind of access he did. And then there’d been his slip up about the two videos. That’s when I’d known for sure.

The shock in Archer’s voice was changing slowly to anger. “I don’t believe this. How could you do this to us?” He looked from Christian to me, then back to him again. “Why? Haven’t I always been good to you?”

“Archer.” Christian sounded tired. “When will you figure out you picked the wrong company to fight? Janus always wins in the end—this is just going to make things worse.” He looked at me. I’d expected to hear an apology. Instead, he shrugged.
What’re you gonna do?
his expression said.

“You were recording us just now,” I said. It wasn’t a question. It was a statement.

He nodded, hands in his pockets. “You got me. It helps that all these studios are set up for TV as well. Means I can sit in the control room and activate the cameras remotely.” He sighed. “I’m sorry Josie—I like you guys. I did try and warn you, remember? I really did.”

“I’m sorry, too,” I said. “Because I wasn’t kidding when I said the doors were locked. There’s nowhere to run.”

“What do you think you’re going to do—have me arrested? I’ll tell the newspapers all about you two the first chance I get.”

Archer shrugged. “It seems they already know. But I bet Janus would be interested in what you might have told us.” His hands went to his chin. “I wonder what they would do if I spread the word that you’d made a tape of
them?

“You wouldn’t. I didn’t.”

“Obviously,” Archer said, drily. “But it would be my word against yours. No offense, pal, but I think my voice would be a little louder than yours in a newspaper, if it came to it.”

Fear entered Christian’s eyes for the first time since we’d caught him. “You can’t. You don’t know what Janus is capable of.”

“I do know. That’s why I’m trying to bring them down.”

Now Christian looked at me. “What did you think you were going to achieve by locking me in here. Why are you doing this?”

I raised an eyebrow. “Well apart from the obvious—I don’t like having sex tapes made of me, I guess I hoped you’d be decent enough to apologize. Maybe tell us how you were working with Richard McNamara, and give us a chance to take him and Janus down.” I hesitated. “I know you’re a good guy, Christian. This isn’t the real you.”

For a second there, I thought I had him. The expression on Christian’s face changed, as though he was giving my words real thought. He didn’t want to be doing this, I just knew it;
I couldn’t have been completely wrong about him
.

Then there was static on the walkie-talkie. “Hey, Josie. Security need to start their rounds—just letting you know I’ve unlocked the fire exit so they can get through.”

Christian turned on his heel and began to run.

“No! Stop!” I yelled into the walkie-talkie. Archer took off after Christian, his lithe, powerful frame quickly closing the distance between them.

But not quickly enough.
Christian slipped through the fire exit, pulling it closed behind him. It relocked loudly just as Archer reached it.

“Open it. Open the door!” I screamed into the walkie-talkie, countermanding my last order as Archer pounded on the door. But by the time it unlocked with another click, Christian was gone. We searched for 10 minutes, security also on high alert, before we gave the game up as lost.

“Well, at least he didn’t get that third tape out,” I said, slumping down into a chair on the very same set Christian had escaped from earlier.

“Josie…”

“I mean, he didn’t have time to take it from the camera, did he. So we’re no worse off, even though he got away.”

“Josie…” Archer interrupted again, more firmly this time. “How do you think Christian was recording this?”

I shrugged, looking toward Camera One, still pointing at the faerie glade. “He said he used that. I guess he was going to take the tape out and give it to his boss after we’d left.”

Archer grimaced, then sat down beside me, pulling my hand into his. “Maybe 10 years ago,” he said carefully, “but not today. Unless you’re Tarantino, we don’t use actual film anymore – it’s all digital.”

I looked at him sharply. “Are you sure?”

He shrugged. “Well it
is
my studio, but even if it wasn’t, tapes are a lot louder than digital cameras. I would have known it was running.”

“So… what?” I asked, worried. “He would have had to put it on USB instead? He didn’t get time to do that either.”

Archer shook his head. “Raw files are too large for USB. The camera is linked to a central control room, and from there…” he hesitated. “It’s not your fault that you didn’t know this, Josie. I want you to know that.”

“What? Archer, what’s wrong?” The look in his eyes was starting to worry me.

He smiled sadly. “From the central control room, Christian could have uploaded it anywhere. I’m afraid Janus now has three tapes of us.”

Chapter 2

 

 

Mom’s house.
I seemed to
be spending a lot of time here lately. Archer had gone to see security; they were trying to electronically trace where Christian had sent the tape. I… well, I hadn’t known where else to go.

Mom wasn’t in the TV lounge, or the kitchen, either. She was in bed.

“Isn’t it a bit early for you to be turning the lights out?” I asked when I found her. She was sitting propped up against several pillows, watching an old movie on a tiny portable TV.

I frowned. Now that I’d come to think of it, the kitchen hadn’t been tidied and there were old cups of tea in the lounge room, too. “Are you sick?”

She smiled weakly. “I’ll be right as rain in no time. Just feeling a bit under the weather.”

I looked at her suspiciously, mentally trying to count the number of unwashed dishes I’d seen as I walked in. “And how long has this been going on for?

“Not long.”

I raised my eyebrows.

“Well maybe a couple of days. But I didn’t want to call—you seemed busy. It’s just a cold, that’s all. I’m a bit more weak than usual. ”

It’s funny how you think your life couldn’t get any worse
. That’s how I’d been feeling when I rocked up to Mom’s doorstep. And then a few short minutes later, you learn what’s
really
important. Suddenly a couple of videos didn’t matter
at all
.

“Mom,” I said softly. “With your condition—this could be really serious. You should have called me.”

She sighed. “I’m not a child, you know,” she said, looking at me. “Calling you for something like this only makes a fool out of me—proves you right when you say I can’t look after myself.”

I fought back the urge to cross my arms. Instead, I sat on the edge of her bed and took her hand. “Mom, I’m not trying to make a fool of you. And I know you can look after yourself. But you’re getting old, and you’re not well.”

She shot me a warning look, but I didn’t back down. “I won’t apologize. This is too important.”

Mom withdrew her hand from mine, shaking her head.

I smiled softly. “Mom, Remember what you said about always being there for me?”

She nodded sullenly.

“Well, I
want
you to be there for me, always. And that’s not going to happen if you kick the bucket because you’re too stubborn to call me so you can go see a doctor.” My eyes narrowed. “Or because you’re not eating. Have you had dinner?”

“No. I haven’t been out of bed all day.”

“You mean you haven’t had breakfast or lunch, either?”

Mom sighed, exasperated. “What did I just say? I wasn’t hungry.”

I turned away so she wouldn’t see the tears in my eyes. “I’ll, ah, I’ll fix you something.”

How could this deterioration have happened so quickly? I’d heard this was how it happened, sometimes. An older loved one took to bed, then just didn’t eat
. It couldn’t be like that, could it?
It was too soon.

Maybe Mom really had caught some bug that was bringing her down further than usual. Maybe this was a minor speedbump on a road that stretched much further into the distance.

In the kitchen I put on water for a pot of tea, then set about getting dinner ready. What would I do without her? I couldn’t begin to imagine. Her eventual passing… well, that was something I’d had to come to terms with not long after she was originally diagnosed with a bad heart. Still, I’d always imagined it wouldn’t happen for years—that we had a lot more time together. Maybe that was a mistake we all made, thinking we had more time with our loved ones than we actually did.

It was all so unfair
. If this was the end of our time together, if she was going to keep deteriorating at such a rapid rate, our last days would be filled with my anxiety. I wanted to be able to really enjoy her, to focus solely on her. To be with her, so she wouldn’t have to be alone or with a stranger.

Instead, it seemed that lately I’d been wracked with anxiety when I visited her; my mind in a million different places. I wasn’t really present—in the moment. I hated Janus so much for that, along with many other things.

I loaded the dishwasher and scrubbed the sink while waiting for the water to boil. While the tea steeped I gave the kitchen floor a quick mopping, too. I least, I thought wryly, those tapes had been put in perspective. I’d still have to do something about that, eventually, but for now Mom was more important. She hadn’t eaten all day. Had she eaten yesterday? And would she tell me if she hadn’t? How much longer would she be able to go without having round-the-clock care?
And how would I afford it, once she did?

I took a tray with sandwiches, soup and tea into Mom’s room, forcing a smile to my face. “What would you like to watch?” I asked, knowing there had to be a movie involved at some point.

“I don’t know. Whatever sounds good to you.”

I sighed. Was this the way it was always going to be? It was as though she’d given up already. Even
I
knew once a person gave up, that was the end.

“Mom. I want to help you. But I need your assistance. You have to meet me halfway. Please, let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.”

“You want to know what you can do for me?” she asked. I nodded. “You can stop being so worried and fretful all the time. Every time I see you, you look more upset. There are dark circles under your eyes, your skin is pale, you’ve bitten your nails down to nothing.” I looked at my hands—
darn it if she wasn’t right
. “If anything, I’m more worried for you than I’ve ever been for myself. It’s part of being a mother. You tend to care more about your kids.” She shrugged.

I smiled, picking up a half sandwich. “I wish there was something I could tell you to make you feel better. I really do.”

“Have things between you and Archer gotten any better?” she asked.

That much I could ease her mind on
. I smiled, the first time I had since I walked in the door. “They have. We made up last night.”

Mom’s eyes went wide. She sat up a little straighter. “Ooh, tell me all!”


Moooommm
… I can’t tell you things like that…”

She laughed. “That’s okay, you’ve told me enough already. No need to get into details.” Her smile lit up the room. “I’m so glad, Josie. See, I told you I knew that look in his eyes!”

“Well we didn’t even have to make up, not really. It was just something someone told me that turned out not to be true.”

“Is that what’s bothering you, then? This other person lying?”

Darn it.
“It’s complicated,” I said. “But, um, nothing for you to worry about.”


Josephine.

“Uh-oh. My full name…”

She chose to overlook the comment. “Nothing in life can be that complicated that you can’t talk to your old mother about it.”

I laughed, a little bitterly. “Mom. Sometimes life is just difficult. Messy. It is what it is.”

“Only if you think it has to be that way. When you get to my age you realize there are only a few things in life that really matter—love, family, a clear conscience. That’s it. There’s nothing more.”

“I guess…” I said half-heartedly.

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me!
I know.
Remember in
The Sound of Music
, when Christopher Plummer is called away to join the Third Reich? Right after he and Julie Andrews are married, too?”

I managed to smother a frustrated sigh. “Yes, of course.”

“Now did they run around, getting upset, saying ‘woe is me, and we’ve just got married,?’ No! They picked up their pants and moved on with life. They didn’t let it set them back. They knew, in the end, what was more important than their comfort in that beautiful house. It was love, family and a clear conscience. So instead of living in that lavish villa, they ran away. They did the right thing, even with all those kids.” She shuddered. “I can’t imagine traveling across an entire mountain range with all those children.”

I laughed, genuinely. “You have an interesting way of looking at things.”

“But am I wrong?”

“Well, it’s a rose colored outlook based on a fictional movie...”

“Actually, it’s not,” Mom said, surprising me. “The Sound of Music is based on a true story. There are some differences, of course, but the core story is the same. Maria, a nun, worked for the von Trapp family. She taught them to sing, and eventually married the father. When war broke out, they escaped to America to keep their family together and their conscience clear.”

“So what, I should move countries, is that what you’re saying? And how do you know all of this, anyway?”

She smiled, patting my hand. “I watch a lot of TV, that’s how I know it. And as for moving—I don’t know all the details, but I suspect changing countries wouldn’t get you far enough away.”

“Then what, Mom?”  I said, starting to feel frustrated. “What do I do?”

“You remember the important things—love, family and a clear conscience. If someone’s being lying to you…” She paused, thinking.

“Listen,” she said. “I know I look at the world through rose-colored glasses. I know I’m a little… out-of-touch. I tend to want things to be beautiful and special and lovely, and sometimes they aren’t.”

She looked at me. “I also know that not every Hollywood movie ending is how it would happen in real life. But here’s the thing—sometimes it does happen just like the movies, too. You’ve got to believe that, to have any chance of it happening to you.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“I know I am.” She smiled. “There’s a lot to be said for getting older and wiser. And that rose-colored glasses view…” Now her eyes hardened a little. “…it’s what gets me through the tough things. Sometimes I don’t like to be reminded about the less-pleasant things. Those reminders can make life… not so worthwhile.”

“I get it.”
She wanted me to stop reminding her about how sick she was
. All I did was make her feel worse.

“I have what matters to me. I have you. And I want you to be happy. I feel good about myself at the end of the day, knowing I didn’t hurt anybody. When you have those things taken care of, everything else sort of falls away.”

She let go of my hands, picking up her tea cup. “And if anyone ever threatens those things, remember the von Trapps—follow your heart. It would have been so easy for them to have given in to the Nazis. But they didn’t. They did the harder thing, because it was the right thing to do in the end.”

Mom began to talk about other things then, eventually switching on a movie. I nodded at all the right times, but my mind was a thousand miles away and whirring even faster. Mom had said something—something which had struck a chord.
Could I fight back? Could I try and do the right thing?
But how, when Janus held all the cards? Archer and I would need some sort of advantage, if we were to even have a chance.
But what?

I leaned back against the pillows with Mom. All that talk about love, family and conscience. It couldn’t be that easy, could it? Love, family and conscience.

Love, family and conscience.

Love. Family. Con-

When it hit me, I leapt from the bed in excitement.

“Josie, is everything ok?”

I’d been focusing so much on the big picture stuff that I’d missed something so crucial, so glaringly obvious, that it changed absolutely everything!

Mom sat up a bit higher. “Josie?”

I turned to her and grinned. “Just… thinking about what you said earlier, about what’s important.”

“Was it helpful, what I said?”

I leaned over, and kissed her on the forehead. “More than you could ever imagine, Mom.” Then I pulled my phone from my pocket, and sent one very important text message.

BOOK: Hollywood Hero: A Sexy Billionaire Romance (The Director's Assistant Book 4)
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