Authors: Danielle LaBue
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Copyright © 201
by Danielle LaBue
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my mom. Thanks for everything.
o my family who tolerated my crazy obsession with television (and always has since I was a kid). And of course, to the Book Cents crew! Thank God for you!
Blood. So much blood.
Fog swirled like an angry storm in front of Ty’s eyes, stinging his throat and filling his chest. A long corridor stretched out in front of him but he couldn’t see the walls.
Blood dripped from his fingers.
“Carrie. I’m here! Just hold on, I’m coming!”
Panic distorted his vision. His instinct propelled him, like running through wa
ter, his legs couldn’t keep up.
“Carrie! Carrie, answer me. Where are you?”
Finally, the fog thinned. It swirled and molded. He made out a figure in the distance. An angel? A
ghost? He blinked once, twice.
Then he saw her.
And the baby in her arms.
Her face expressionless and pale as her gown. Her long red hair fell in breast length tangles. Her sea green eyes stared blankly through him.
“I’m here now,” he whispered. “It’s okay. Let me have the baby
When she took a step forward, a staircase appeared. Steep and infinite, and somehow he knew what waited at the bottom. Her foot emerged from under her gown and hovered over the top step.
The child fussed in her grip. Little fingers, little toes swam in the fabric. He moved toward her, one hand outstretched, the other with his fingers curled in invitation. She didn’t take it. Instead she stepped back and fell, fading into the billowin
Ty Hawthorn bolted straight up, knocking his pillows from the bed. The sheets stuck to him like cellophane, and his body quaked with chills. Wide-awake now, but he still saw her. Smelled her scent of spring and spice and felt her skin on the pads of his fingers. This time he had almost reached he
r. Almost saw his child’s face.
The first time it happened, he thought he died. It was a strangely satisfying feeling to know he got exactly what he deserved. Unfortunately, he still existed. Even his d
reams didn’t spare him torment.
The white waves of the textured ceiling taunted his eyes, and the space around him, that had come to a stop, now spun like a carnival ride. A nightmare was one thing, but the added bonus of a killer hangove
r struck a nasty one-two punch.
er wild night in the Big Apple.
Or was it
? Definitely not Chicago
He could remember pages of script in one pass, but his location slipped his mind. He sat up, and his stomach protested the sudden move. The curtains, mercifully drawn tight, let in just enough light to show that last night had been eventful. The room looked like it awaited a claims adjuster. Broken wineglasses on the floor, boxers hanging on a lamp
a bra dangled from the bedpost. His insides lurched when he took a breath. Stale wine mixed with even staler sex.
“Well, well, well, so Ty Hollister is an early riser,” a woman purred from somewhere under the sea of rumpled linens beside him. “I though after last night you’d sleep in.”
Wonderful. He wasn’t alone.
“You a morning person, baby?” the voice asked. “Cause I was just thinking how we could spend the time.” Straw-blonde hair peeked out from the satin sheets, and her chipped, red nails clutched the pillow beside him. Her accent sounded
. He must be in
“I’m pretty wiped out.” His words sounded as ragged as he felt. “I can see why. It looks like
in here.” He brushed an over-processed strand of hair from his mystery companion’s raccoon eyes. “Did you sleep well?”
“Sure, what I got of it,” she cooed. “Anybody else who flew in from
would have had jet lag. Y
ou’ve got pretty good stamina.”
! That was it. He remembered filming a movie in
and flew back to the States last night. Or was it the day before? Were they stewardesses? No wait.
And then suddenly it didn’t matter. He was distracted by a hand that sna
ked around his morning hard-on.
“You feel like one for the road?” she asked, running her fingers along the shaft.
Was he at the Waldorf? No, he always stayed at the Plaza when he was in
. And he was with...
what the hell was her name? Ann? Ali? One of those names,
definitely started with an “A”?
With his free hand, he reached for the condom box from the nightstand beside him. When it fell to the floor, he broke the kiss and reached
down to pick it up by the flap.
? Shit, what was it? “Honey, it looks like we’re out of luck.” He held up the shredded box. “All gone.”
“Well, we certainly were ambitious last nig
ht, weren’t we?”
He glanced down at the three wrappers on the floor beside him. “Looks that way.”
“Well, I’m on the pill. And I’m clean.”
He let his eyes wander over her. He hated to assume the worst of every woman he brought to bed, but, unfortunately, it came with the territory. Never mind the STDs. He probably deserved a horribly painful disease that rotted his cock. But women saw dollar signs when it came to came to prospective Baby Daddies like him. Not that he cared about the money. It was more about sparing a child the torment of having him as a father. So he did what he always did when this plot-point arose. He smiled, lowered his voice to the soft gravelly one he used in his love scenes and said, “
oney, I’m not worried about me, I’m worried about you. I’ve been on location in pretty remote places these past few months. Drinking bad water, eating weird food. Who knows what's in me. I’d hate to pass it on to you.”
He snuggled in close, caressing her cheek. He waited a beat, then another for drama’s sak
e, than gave her one last kiss.
She looked up at him with swooning eyes, her fingers winding in his hair. “You know, I don’t care what those tabloids or that crazy ex-wife of yours says. You’re a real gentleman, Ty.”
Yeah right. If he was truly a gentleman, he would have at least r
emembered the poor girl’s name.
“How about a bath?” she asked, with her tongue in his ear. “I can run you one.”
Amy? Andrea? “Sounds good, honey. I’ll be there in a minute.”
He admired her honey-tan profile as she walked past him to the bathroom. Other than the boobs, it was obvious she had worked hard for her body. Toned, tight, petite. Perfect by any man’s assessment. Except for Ty’s. He’d had perfect, and Angie wasn’t it.
When she closed the door, he reached for the remote on the bedside table and turned the TV on to the entertainment news network. His pathetic, but necessary, morning ritual. The pretty talking head usually had more of a clue about his exploits than he did, and like anybody else, he liked to keep up
Sure enough, lead story. He pushed the “up” arrow on the volume control.
The creak of the bathroom door alerted him to Angie’s return. Still naked, she sauntered past him then curled up beside him like a kitten. “You ready, baby? You don’t want t
he water to get cold.”
He nodded as if he heard her. Her chin rested on his shoulder, her fingers traced the outline o
f his tattoo on his left bicep.
“Entertainment news,” he said. “I just wanted to hear what they’re saying.”
“Oh, I bet they’re talking about
again. It’s probably not big news in
, but everyone here has been talking about the DVD release.”
He shook his head. “I can’t understand why the world is still so into a TV show that’s been off the air for five years.
“Are you kidding? That had to be the most addicting show of all time. You and that girl were so good together. What do they call that?”
“Chemistry,” he said.
“Yeah, I remember. Jax Sinclair and Lexie Love. Two secret agents hopelessly in love with each other. Pretty hot for network TV.” She giggled as her hands wandered south
. “When does the DVD come out?”
“In a few weeks. It’s the ten-year anniversary since the show premiered. They’re making a big deal about it. That’s why I’m in
. There’s a press tour, and then there’s a big launch gala next month.”
“And then there was all that controversy about your co-star leaving suddenly at the end. What ever happened to that girl anyway? Did
n’t she get sick or something?”
He bit his lip. The memory of the nightmare he just had still lingered, and he pressed his eyes shut in effort to erase it. “I’m not sure,” he stammered. “We just worked together. I don’t know any
thing about her personal life.”
“Well she fell off the face of the earth. Although I shouldn’t talk. I haven’t had a single call back in three weeks.” Angie slid her legs around him, planting kisses on his neck. Her hand found his hardened shaft, rubbin
g the tip with a gentle finger.
He closed his eyes, and his mind flashed images of Carrie. The long red hair, the deep blue eyes, her pink lips, glossed ag
ainst the paleness of her skin.
“Take me please, Ty.”
He felt her again, her skin grazed his, her velvet touch aroused his deepest desires. He moaned, letting the urges take over, and followed her wherever she wanted him to go.
“Please, Ty. I need you.”
A loud bang on the door drove them to opposite sides of the bed. Ty jumped up and cursed. He scrubbed his stu
bbled face. “What’s up, Manny?”
“Hey Ty, it’s nine thirty.”
He craned his head around, straining to see the red digital numbers on
the bedside clock. “Yeah, so?”
“You have an interview at the
“That’s today? How the hell...
” He ran to the window, then threw open the curtains. The blinding sun stung his eyes. “Damn it!”
Angie laughed, retrieving her bra from the bedpost. “So you’re late for an appointment. You’re kidding me, right? You’re Ty Hollister. I’m sure they’ll wait for you.”
“You better get moving, Ty.” Manny called through the door. “We
can cab it over to the studio.”
Ty looked down at the city below. People lumbered shoulder to shoulder on the sidewalks, and cars idled on top of each other in the streets. Rush hour gridlock. If he was lucky, maybe he could get to the studio in an hour. Tha
t was if he skipped the shower.
Today, that wasn’t an option.
“Listen Angie, I’m sorry but I got to get going.” Ty grabbed his jeans from the floor and slung them over his arm. “Big appointment.”
“Yeah, with me, lover.” She grabbed him by the arm when he attempted to breeze by her. “Come on, one more time. I know you want it.”
“Please, Ty?” She planted her lips on his chest and sl
id her tongue down his stomach.
Her mouth slipped over him. His body went stiff, his muscles flexed, the teasing temptation no match for his half-ass resolve. With each caress his mind narrowed, until there was nothing there at all. Only animal instinct to bury himself further. The better it felt, the less he existed. No thoughts. No feelings. Just numb
He screwed up again.
She flipped her tongue across the tip and took him deep, as if she swallowed him whole. His building climax was a blissful punishment, and he sealed his eyes shut in submission. His fingers grasped the back of her head and w
her brittle hair. He was irresponsible, greedy, conceited, and angry. He groaned, pumping harder and faster into her. And when he came, he came hard. Letting whatever he h
eld inside him spew like venom.
She wanted it, so she got it.
When it was over, he left her kneeling on the floor and moved around her to the bathroom. He hoped she’d get the picture. Some girls were denser than others. When he finally heard the suite door close, he thanked God and cursed for thinking so badly about the poor girl in the first place. Who the hell was he to pass judgment on anyone? He turned the shower on full blast, and let the water scald him.
In minutes, he had a towel around his waist, and a toothbrush jammed in his mouth. He grabbed his jeans and leather jacket from floor and bolted out of his suite.
Manny waited, like any dutiful assistant should, sporting stylishly nerdy bifocals, frosted hair and a vintage Sex Pistols T-shirt. He gave his boss a once over then gasped a few attempts at speech before he finally succeeded. “Are you freakin’ kidding me? What are you doing? Put some clothes on!”