Authors: Jamie Wesley
THIS IS TRUE LOVE
EXCLUSIVE! Which movie star is moving on with her ex’s BFF?
Hollywood A-lister Felicity Chambers has managed to walk away with her cheating husband’s share of their production company in their highly publicized divorce, sources close to the situation tell us. Even more scandalous? Their business partner, Alex Graham, knew nothing about it until the papers were signed, sealed, and delivered. After coming oh-so close to acquiring the shares he was promised, Alex is not happy about the change in plans.
Although she denies it to anyone who’ll listen, those in the know say that lately Fliss has been noticing more than Alex’s business acumen. Like his broad shoulders and sexy smile and…you get the picture.
The truly shocking part? The feeling may be mutual. Very mutual.
Not that Alex intends to admit it. Ever. Even if it kills him. He’s set on convincing Fliss to sell her stake to him and then staying far, far away from the alluring star. A solid plan…except our sources tell us he needs her help in securing a business deal.
So who’s going to come out on top in this battle of business smarts and hearts? We don’t know, but we can’t wait to find out!
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To Grandmother, who never let me forget I was loved. I miss you. I love you.
For the third time in the last three minutes, Alex Graham pounded his fist against the solid oak door. He was going to kill Fliss as soon as she showed her face. If she ever did. Was she hiding from him? Too damn bad if she was. He
find her and tell her exactly what he thought of her stupid prank.
he could control himself enough to speak before going after her neck.
After another knock went unanswered, he stepped back and turned, taking in the lush green of the lawn and the circular drive surrounding it. Where was she? He knew she was here. He stilled. Wait. She was here, right? But where else would she be?
She’d mentioned more than once that this place, located near Lake Arrowhead, was her sanctuary, a home her grandparents had built decades ago. They’d deeded the house to her on her twenty-fifth birthday a few years back. Only her family and a few trusted friends knew she owned the isolated, log-style home. Not that he qualified as family or a trusted friend, but that was beside the point. Her red Mercedes was in the driveway, so she had to be here.
She’d better be.
He hadn’t driven up here, his air conditioning giving up the ghost halfway through the journey, for nothing.
Still, there was no sound or movement coming from the house. His anger momentarily replaced with equal doses of uncertainty and concern, he stepped off the porch, the soles of his shoes crunching on the walkway’s loose gravel, and headed toward his car to see if he could hear or see anything. He’d only gone about ten feet when he heard it. A tinkle of music. A piano, maybe? He stopped, perking his ears to determine its direction. The backyard. How could he have missed it? Well, that was easy enough to answer. His single-minded determination to get to Fliss and chew her ass out for putting him in this situation had blocked out his other senses.
He reversed field, wiping sweat off his forehead, and rounded the corner of the house. As he stepped into the backyard, the song, highlighted by a female vocalist wailing about a failed relationship, got louder. Fliss loved Adele.
But where the hell was Fliss?
Alex shaded his eyes with his right hand and peered around. A state-of-the-art pool to the left and a garden full of flowers to the right filled his vision. Behind the garden, the lawn ended at an expanse of woods with mountains in the distance. No woman hid behind a tree, even though that was the best place for her to be if she knew what was good for her.
Over the music, he heard a splash. Alex whirled just in time to see Fliss shoot to the pool’s surface. She gasped for breath and slicked her long black hair back. He swallowed hard and sent a quick thank you heavenward that one of the world’s most perfect bodies remained underwater.
Then she spotted him. A huge grin broke across her face. She swam a few short strokes to the pool’s edge and climbed the stairs inch by excruciating inch. Alex couldn’t have looked away even if someone had chosen that moment to offer him an unlimited budget to make the movie of his dreams. Not when perfection stared him in the face.
Perfection named Felicity Chambers. Movie star.
reigning “Most Beautiful Person in the World.” His Kryptonite.
As more and more of her delectable body was revealed, Alex felt the pull of her Siren-like allure drawing him closer to certain doom. He hardened instantly. Not good. Horrible, actually. He prided himself on always maintaining his control in every situation, but as he was learning, he was just a man.
A red-blooded man. A red-blooded man who lusted after his best friend’s wife.
She wore a red bikini. If the scraps of material could be called that. The suit was simple, but that was the beauty of its magic, the source of its power. The wet triangles of the top molded to the slopes of her full, mouthwatering breasts, her nipples poking against the material. His eyes drifted to her bare torso with its flat stomach and the sexiest belly button he’d ever seen. It dipped in like it was begging a tongue, his tongue, to dart inside for a taste. Her trim waist curved down to shapely hips that gently swung side to side as she climbed the stairs. Hourglasses weren’t made any better.
The sensible thing to do would be to turn his back, if only to search for a towel to offer her so she could cover herself. But his feet refused to budge, and his eyes were rendered incapable of searching out another target. He breathed a small sigh of relief when she grabbed a towel from a pool chair and patted herself dry, temporarily covering parts of her body. At this point, he’d take what he could get.
His relief proved to be short-lived. She resumed walking toward him. For most women, being without makeup, their hair molded to their scalps, would be too harsh. Fliss wasn’t most women. If anything, the style enhanced her natural beauty. Smooth and creamy cinnamon-colored skin, elegant cheekbones, plump, pink lips, and a heart-shaped face. She didn’t need any enhancing. Damn her.
Fliss stopped directly in front of him, less than three feet away. It felt like three inches. Alex refused to move. Damn it, he would remain in control of his wayward desires even if it killed him. He kept his eyes trained squarely on her face. Droplets of water clung to long eyelashes and luscious lips still stretched wide.
He balled his hands at his sides to keep from reaching for her and caressing her flawless skin, which he now knew was soft thanks to
. So soft. Would she mold to his touch if he pulled her into his body? Would she raise her lips to his and accept his kiss? Actively participate in it?
“Alex, what are you doing here?” She sounded honestly surprised to see him.
He gave himself permission to look into her whiskey-colored eyes. They were mesmerizing, large and almond-shaped, and he found himself drowning. By sheer force of will, he dragged himself back to the surface and dispassionately studied her eyes. As he suspected, they were dancing. She was laughing at him.
It was the reality check he desperately needed. He was supposed to be mad. Scratch that. He
mad. He narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. “You know exactly why I’m here. Don’t play games with me.”
“It’s nice to see you, too.” She quirked an eyebrow, clearly not intimidated by his no-nonsense tone and demeanor.
“Fliss…” he warned.
“Why don’t you chill? It’s time to celebrate. Didn’t you hear? I’m officially a free woman now.”
Yes, he’d heard. Which was why he now realized coming here had been a very, very bad idea.
Fliss squeezed the excess water out of her hair and patted the strands dry with the towel while she waited for Alex’s response.
He was so hot, literally and figuratively—his dark chocolate eyes glittering down at her, his hard jaw set, thick lips pressed into a thin line, his muscled arms crossed. A red T-shirt complemented the smooth mocha color of his skin. Better yet, the shirt, dampened by sweat, clung to his impressive chest. How had she missed his hotness for years? Dumb question. When a man made it clear he could barely stand to be in your presence, his looks became a touch less important.
But she was noticing now.
Not that it mattered. Getting involved with someone,
when that someone was Alex, ranked right above getting bitten by a shark on her to-do list. From the moment she and Alex had met, they’d had an uneasy relationship. He didn’t approve of her or her quick courtship with her ex-husband, Keith. Oh, he’d never voiced the opinions out loud, but the cool reserve in his eyes and in his attitude toward her spoke volumes. She’d done her best to ignore it, ignore him, but in her less charitable moments, she’d had some not-so complimentary thoughts about him. Like thinking he should try taking the stick out of his emotionally stunted, unromantic butt. So, no, it didn’t matter that she’d taken note of his admirable physical attributes.
He didn’t speak, although his glare never faltered. She ordered herself to maintain eye contact and not let her smile drop.
Yes, she knew why he was here. Because she had something he wanted.
Now that he’d shown up, she had to get him from angry to amenable. If she could. Setting forth the reasons for her actions, no matter how valid, might not be enough. Not when he was in this mood. Alex didn’t like surprises. He clearly wasn’t happy about the one she’d sprung on him, but he’d get used to it. She hoped.
She clutched the towel to her chest. “Let’s go inside and get out of this heat. You must be tired and hot from the drive up here. There’ll be plenty of time later for you to yell at me about my supposed transgression.”
His lips tightened even more, but he didn’t argue, instead following her inside. On the way in, she detoured to the audio system, turning off Adele in mid-lament. Although he didn’t speak, she was tuned into his every move—his long, purposeful strides behind her, the angry breaths he was trying to control. At five seven, she was taller than the average woman, but he still towered over her.
Fliss dropped the towel on a dining room chair on their way to the kitchen, but her step faltered when the air conditioning pebbled her skin. Oh yeah. She was almost naked. Should she go back for her towel? She didn’t want Alex to think she was trying to
him or anything crazy like that. God no.
No, she’d only be drawing more attention to her clothes-less state if she acted embarrassed. At least her butt was greatness, or so
claimed anyway. Continuing toward the kitchen, she looked over her shoulder. “What do you want to drink?”
Short and not so sweet. Okay. Obviously she had her work cut out for her.
She retrieved two bottles from the refrigerator and passed him one. He leaned against the counter, opened it, and took a long swallow, glaring at her over the top of the bottle, almost making her miss his usual look of disapproval. Almost.
She hopped up on a barstool at the kitchen island and took a swig of water to give herself a moment to decide her next step. She gripped the bottle hard, glad she had something to occupy her hands, which had an annoying tendency to fidget when she was nervous. And she was definitely nervous. About what she’d done. About what he thought about what she’d done. Plus, they’d always had Keith to act as a buffer. Now that was no longer an option. But it would be okay. She hoped.