Now he had her in his sights and it was taking everything he had not to go over there and strangle the nervous little recluse. For the past half hour he bided his time as he watched her, hoping his damn temper would go down. It hadn’t. So he watched as she sat at the crowded bar, sipping her drink as she cast wary glances towards the dance floor. Every now and then someone would bang into her as they signaled for the bartender and he knew even twenty feet away that she apologized each and every time.

Whenever a man approached her, the little recluse would blush bright red, mumble something, fidget in her seat and send the guy away. Then she’d watch him walk away, frowning. Why the hell was she here if she wasn’t interested in a guy or the very least, dancing? Since he spotted her she hadn’t left the stool.

Well, that was fine with him since it would make getting his hands around her neck a hell of a lot easier. He didn’t know why she was here, didn’t care and he sure as hell didn’t care that she looked sad. The only thing that mattered to him at the moment was that she f**ked with his night. With that in mind he made his way through the crowd.

A minute later he glared at the ass**le standing next to her until he moved away and he could take his place. She didn’t realize that he was there. She was too busy watching the dance floor to notice anything going on around her.

When a whole minute went by and she didn’t notice him he signaled for the bartender, a hot blonde with an inviting smile. One look at him had her ignoring the customers vying for her attention.

“What can I get for you?” she asked as she looked him up and down. As she dragged her eyes up his chest to meet his eyes she licked her lips. She’d been obvious about her perusal of him, he had not. In under ten seconds flat he knew if she was f**k worthy, she was.

Maybe he’d pick her up as a treat to himself for all the bullshit his little recluse had caused him tonight, but then remembered the shitload of work that waited for him back at the hotel. Oh well, it wasn’t like he wouldn’t find a willing woman or two during the tour. When everything calmed down and he got his little recluse in line then he’d allow himself to indulge, but not before then.

“Scotch on the rocks,” he said, noting the way his little recluse froze up at the sound of his voice. He kept an eye on her in case she decided to make a run for it as he picked up her drink and took a sip and nearly winced. Who the hell came to a bar to drink soda? Apparently his little recluse did, which was fine with him since it meant that she’d be able to work for a few hours with a clear head.

“Another Coke for the lady,” he said, gesturing to Jamie and not really caring about the ice cold glare the bartender threw at her.

He leaned against the bar and waited for Jamie to turn around. When she only continued to sit there rigid as a board he sighed heavily as he grabbed the seat, ignoring that beautiful ass of hers and turned her around. When her eyes widened and she noticeably swallowed he felt somewhat appeased. The moment he had her under his thumb he’d feel a whole hell of a lot better.

“W-what are you doing here?” she asked, trying to shift back on her stool and away from him.

“I came to help you,” he said absently while he watched the bartender move onto another customer. Well, it looked like he wasn’t getting his drink tonight.

“Help me?” she asked, frowning, not adorably, he decided. He didn’t find a damn think adorable or sexy about her. Not at all. He especially didn’t like the way her dress pulled up mid-thigh, giving him a glimpse of beautiful light golden legs that probably had other men groaning. He was not one of them and didn’t care if she looked good, really good, he decided absently a second later as he ran his eyes over her legs one more time.

“Mmmhmm,” he said, forcing his eyes up and over a sinfully tight short black cocktail dress covered body. Much better than that frumpy suit she wore the other day, he decided. “You obviously got lost on your way from your room to my room so I came to help you,” he explained tightly, mentally daring her to argue.

He wasn’t having it. Not tonight. He had too much to do and not enough time to do it in. If this tour was going to work then he needed to have her onboard and doing whatever he told her to do with minimal bullshit.

“Okay, I’m ready to go,” she said meekly as she stood and headed for the door with her shoulders slumped and her eyes on the floor.

What the hell?

Not that he was complaining. He wasn’t, but he just hadn’t expected it to be this easy. Hopefully this would be the last little act of rebellion that he’d have to deal with from her. At least it damn well better be, he decided as he followed after her.


“Oh my god, I love you, J.L. Lewis!” a woman screamed, startling her.

As discretely as she could she leaned to the side to see who was screaming, only to groan. A large woman wearing a homemade t-shirt with her penname plastered on it was jumping up and down excitedly with five other women sporting the same shirt.

Maybe it was time for a break? she thought, shooting a hopeful glance towards Nick only to see him shake his head firmly, once. That’s all it took for her to paste the weak smile back on her face and turn around in her chair to greet her next fan.

Only an hour into this and she wasn’t sure that she could do it any longer.

This was too much for her. She wasn’t used to this much attention and every time a new person stepped up for her autograph she had to fight back a surge of panic that threatened to drop her to her knees. This wasn’t her. If last night had taught her anything it was that she couldn’t handle things like this.

Why the hell had she sold her business and taken this job? Because she was an idiot and thought that if she forced herself into a situation then her survival skills would kick in and she’d be able to acclimate. It was a really stupid plan, she decided as she signed her name, barely able to register what the person in front of her was saying. When she walked away smiling, Jamie felt her shoulders slump in relief only to tense right back up when the next person stepped up.

This was a bad idea. She couldn’t do this. She didn’t care if they sued her and demanded that she give all the money back. She just couldn’t do this. This wasn’t her life and she didn’t want it to be, not anymore, and definitely not after last night.

She needed to go home to her small lonely apartment and resign herself to the fact that she was meant to be alone forever.

“Excuse me,” she said, her voice shaking as she stood up and knocked her chair over. She felt her face burn as every head turned in her direction with looks of amusement and confusion.

Tags: R.L. Mathewson Hollywood Hearts Young Adult
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