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Authors: Olivia Brynn

Falling Star

BOOK: Falling Star
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Falling Star
 

 

Olivia Brynn

Originally Published 2009

 

Copyright 2011, Olivia Brynn.

ISBN: 978-1449908355

             

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.

Manufactured in the United States of America

 

By Dark Mountain Books

 

Editor

Sharis Mayer

 

 

Cover Artist

Amanda Kelsey

 

This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogues in this book are of the author's imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.

 
Chapter One
 

 

 

 

"You forgot her birthday?" Adam's bodyguard shook his bald head with incredulous pity.

Adam didn't need Tyrell to tell him he'd blown it. He already knew he'd be in trouble. Carley was the one woman in his life that expected only one thing from him, and that was a card on her birthday. Just a card, nothing else. He'd failed to remember only one birthday in the four and a half years she'd been running his…well, his life. It was two years ago, but he'd never forget how she'd made the following week hell on him. She'd "forgotten" his dry cleaning, and sent emails to three different women inviting them on a date for the same night. Even Carley's husband joined in, and called to harass him. God, he didn't want to go through that again.

Adam scowled at the big man sitting across from him in the limousine. Tyrell might intimidate everyone else with his Mike Tyson look, but it sure as hell didn't scare Adam. "I didn't forget; I was busy."

Maybe he did forget. You can forget a lot of shit when you're falling over drunk. Adam and Tyrell had just returned from New York. After the last stop on his
Karina Live
tour two weeks ago, he'd made a whirlwind publicity drive with a stop at each of the late-night talk shows, followed by his stint in hosting
Saturday Night Live
. He was only a day late, and he
had
been out of town for Christ's sake. Maybe she'd understand. He ran his hands through his hair. Already he'd have to listen to her bitching about the debacle in Florida.

His stomach churned. It would take him years to live down that night in Miami three months ago. He never knew four beautiful women could cause so much damage to one hotel room. He couldn't even explain how the curtains caught fire, but he suspected one of them—Brandi, if he had to guess—had been lighting her crack pipe while already half passed out on the floor. He never used that shit himself, but he could just see how easily drugs could get linked to his name in the papers, with his less-than-sterling reputation. Thank God he had people on his payroll to cover that shit up.

He rubbed his stomach as it rolled again. Who the hell was he kidding? Nothing gets completely covered up. He wasn't allowed back in that hotel, so he couldn't keep that a secret. Even his band members were smart enough to separate themselves from him on the road. His publicist called two days later to ream him a new asshole. "Thanks to that bullshit, you lost two shows in the bible belt. Your career is going into the crapper, because you're acting like a goddamned fifteen-year-old left home alone."

He was right. No wonder the press loved to hate him. It wasn't until the morning after that ass chewing, when he'd woken up alone and hung over, that he'd realized how much he'd deserved it. He had to think hard to find a solid day in the four months before that night where he was completely sober.

His mother would be ashamed, which meant the first ass he'd have to kiss would be Carley's. He was pretty sure his mother paid her to chew him out when he acted like he did. He would really be asking for it if he went into that spanking without so much as a birthday card.

Adam stared morosely out the window, barely registering each glass fronted building as it rushes by.  The tiny flower shop on the corner looked out of place in the middle of the deserted street, almost as if it was placed there for him to see at this particular moment. "Wait! There…pull over." Adam knocked on the window behind his driver. He released his seat belt and reached for the door handle.

Tyrell blustered, "Hey, let me—"

Adam cut him off with a dismissive wave. "No one's around. I'll run in and out." Adam barely waited for the car to stop rolling before he hopped out. Out of habit, he shot a quick glance up and down the sidewalk before going into the shop to an electronic tone signaling his entrance.

"I'll be right with you!" a woman's voice came from the back room, from behind a set of wooden louvered doors that reminded him of the old west saloon on the set of the video for "Not Tonight", his first hit single five years ago. He'd been recording, touring or filming videos almost non-stop since then. Now, he had some time to himself before he went back into the studio to record next year's release,
Firestorm.

And he'd use every minute to relax, recharge and repent. No one would know what to think of the new Adam Nash.

He was the only customer in the place, and his shoulders dropped in relief. He'd never actually been inside a flower shop. Any floral purchases had always been done over the phone or through Carley. There was one wall lined with shelves and every conceivable spot had been filled with vases. Glass, porcelain, crystal and even wood. There must have been hundreds of vases on that wall. He walked around the huge coolers full of floral arrangements that dominated the center of the space, and into another corner of the room where a plethora of teddy bears sat piled on a tri-level table. One was about to fall off the side, and some strange compulsion made him reach down to adjust it.

"Sorry about that. I was covered in baby's breath."

He straightened and spun around. The owner of the voice stood before him, wiping her hands on a terry-cloth towel. She wore a pair of faded blue jeans that hugged her shape and rode just below her waist. Her compact body had just the right curves in just the right places. She had a canvas half apron on, with green handled tools poking out from the pockets. His eyes moved up the pink polo shirt, with the florist logo above her left breast—at least that was his excuse for allowing his gaze to linger for a fraction of a moment. Thirty-four C, if he wasn't mistaken, and he rarely was. Continuing upward, he took in a long graceful throat and a delicate-shaped face. One that reminded him of a painting he once saw at…who? Well, someone's house. Reddish blond hair was pulled into a thick ponytail at her nape, but curling strands fell free and brushed the flawless skin of her cheeks and neck. Jesus, she was beautiful! When he finally met her pale green eyes, he saw that she regarded him curiously. He had taken too long to respond, and she was probably getting nervous.

"I…uh, need some flowers."
Great Adam. Mr. Suave superstar with a brilliant opening line
. It did make her smile though.

Her eyes twinkled prettily. "You're in luck. I have a few on hand."

He smiled back; his famous pin-up poster smile, the one that won him a sponsorship contract with the toothpaste people. He waited for the recognition in her eyes, and braced himself for the myriad questions he knew he'd have to face before actually getting a vase full of flowers and leaving.

"Anything in particular, or should I just throw something together?" Her expression didn't change. Either she didn't recognize him, or she wasn't impressed by his fame enough to comment.

That was puzzling. Everybody knew who Adam Nash was. He cocked his head to look at her more closely. She didn't look stupid. She didn't sound like someone who wasn't in touch with reality. Why wouldn't she recognize him, and if she did, why didn't she act like she cared that he was in her little shop?

"I don't know." He looked around the room. "I've never actually been inside one of these places. I thought all flowers came from some phone number in cyber space."

"I understand." She laughed, a sexy throaty laugh that sunk through his clothes and into his skin. "Why don't you tell me the occasion, and I can give you some suggestions."

She turned to walk back toward the counter, and Adam was left admiring her round little derriere.
Very nice
. He'd barely snapped his attention back above her waist when she turned to face him and he realized she had expected him to follow. He did, on feet that suddenly seemed very large and heavy. Good God, he was acting like a bumbling idiot!

She smiled at him again. Or still. With the color of her hair, he expected to see tons of freckles on her skin, but it was flawless. Smooth and clear. Oh wait, there was a dusting of freckles on the bridge of her nose. That's cute. Most women he knew would slather on a thick coat of makeup to cover those. Come to think of it, she wasn't wearing lipstick either. He let his mind wander into thoughts of what those lips might taste like. When was the last time he'd kissed a woman who wasn't made up to walk down the red carpet?

"Birthday? Anniversary?" Her voice shook him back into the present.

"What?" Why was his heart pounding?

"The flowers. Is there an occasion, or did you just want to surprise her for no reason?"

Ah, so that's why she didn't show any interest. She didn't want to move in on another woman's territory. He didn't pause to think about how her lack of recognition fell into second place behind the fact that she wasn't attracted. "How do you know I'm buying them for a woman?" He raised an eyebrow the way his video directors loved.

Her smile faltered for only a second. "Oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to assume." She covered his fingers on the counter with her soft hand, and gave them a quick pat. "Does your boyfriend have a favorite flower?"

"No—oh God, that didn't—"
What's wrong with you Nash?
"No, I'm not gay. The flowers are for a woman, I was just trying—futilely—to give you a hard time." He tried the smile again. Maybe she'd recognize him if he threw in a wink. That trademark wink made the audience on talk shows scream wildly.

Nothing. Nothing except another pat on the hand, which was nice.

"How about lilies? She probably gets enough roses." The statement ended more like a question.

Damn. In the years he'd been in the public eye, this had to be the first time a woman didn't fall all over herself to either flirt with him, or barrage him with questions about one song or another. Hadn't he wondered what it would be like to walk into a public place and be treated like every other Joe Schmoe off the street? Well, here it was, and now he couldn't actually decide whether he liked it or not.

The electronic tones announced another customer walking through the door. Adam glanced over his shoulder and saw Tyrell step inside. Adam gave him a pointed look, and used only his eyes to gesture for him to leave. Tyrell knew his stuff. He gave one barely perceptible nod, and left as quietly as he'd come in.

Adam watched him stand against the door, folding his arms in his typical bodyguard stance.

"Well, that was weird."

Adam turned back to the woman, whose eyes were narrowed on Tyrell's outline on the glass.

"Kind of creepy," she continued. "Maybe I should call…"

"Nah, he's probably just looking for someone." He couldn't help smiling. Was this woman for real? How could she not recognize Tyrell for what he was: a big bald black guy, wearing a dark suit, opaque sunglasses, and arms crossed over his huge chest, as he practically blocked the shop door?

"I think I'd like to see those lilies," he said quickly. He wanted more time alone with her. A part of him wanted to enjoy the anonymity, and another part wanted to see her face when she finally recognized him.

"All right." She smiled again. "Let me put something together, I'll be right back." She cast another glance at Tyrell before pushing through the louvered doors and out of his sight.

Adam crossed to the door in three strides. He couldn't open it to speak to Tyrell, or he'd trip the motion detector. He knocked on the window to get Tyrell's attention, and waved him away. He barely made it back to the counter before she emerged.

BOOK: Falling Star
7.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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