Authors: Ashley John
By Ashley John
When rising superstar, Delilah White, is booked to perform on the Spanish reality singing show 'Música Increíble' she is less than impressed when she is forced to stay in the rundown '
' hotel. Thanks to her pop star lifestyle, she has grown accustomed to the finer things in life, with some even labeling her a '
Travel journalist, Nolan Rigby, is staying in the room next door and when he refuses to move rooms for Delilah's assistant, she realizes she may have met her match. Nolan is amused by Delilah's 'star' status and her constant tantrums, but Delilah only dates models, not divorced travel journalists.
When the two find themselves in situations where they are forced to spend time together, they start to see there's more to the other than first meets the eye. Nolan starts to see the softer edges of the promising starlet, but can Delilah get over her ego to let her heart fall for a 'normal' guy?
Copyright © Ashley John
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.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
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Other books by Ashley John
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Lost & Found (
Full Circle (
Saving Michael (
The George & Harvey Series
The Secret (
The Truth (
The Fight (
The Complete Boxset (
Unlikely Love (
“Excuse me...driver? Do you know where you're going?” Delilah called from the back seat of the car.
The old man glanced at her through the rear view mirror, for a fleeting moment, before looking back at the winding road, fidgeting in his seat.
“I go to hotel that you say,” he grumbled, in his deep Spanish accent.
He was speaking English, but it took all of Delilah's hearing to tell exactly what he was saying.
She glanced out of the window as the car drove slowly up the winding, bustling, cobbled street. They seemed to be heading up a very steep hill, filled with tiny women dressed in exotic fabrics, trying to sell trinkets to lost tourists.
“When they told me we'd been booked to play in Madrid, I got excited,” Delilah sighed, pulling her sunglasses up into her hair.
“I think he's going the wrong way,” her assistant, Marcus, mumbled, turning around in his seat to see a man with a goat following the slow car as it continued up the steep stone road.
Delilah sighed again and longed for her manager to be there with them. Tony would have never let them get into a car if he didn't know exactly where it was going, even if it had been booked by the label. Her assistant, Marcus, wasn't the brightest bulb in the box but he fetched and carried without complaint. If only Tony didn't break his hip.
“Driver,” Marcus said loudly and slowly, “do...you...know...where...you...are...going?"
The white haired man's eyes glared at them both through the mirror. His wiry eyebrows furrowed, making him look angrier with every passing second.
“I take you where you want to go,” he cried, picking up a sheet of paper from the passenger seat, “paper says
, I take you
“Maybe there's a resort on the top of this hill?” Delilah shrugged, pulling her phone from her designer handbag to check her social media, “There's no signal!”
“We're in the middle of nowhere!” Marcus moaned, recoiling his head as an old toothless woman smiled at him through the open car window, from the step outside of her house.
Whenever she toured, her manager always made sure she stayed in the most luxurious places. She might have been a girl from East London, but she'd been plucked from her normal life and dropped in to a pop star life, which had given her a desire for the finer things in life.
“Tony has never let us down.”
“What about that awful place in China?” Marcus said not sounding so sure.
“It's not their fault you ordered the dog!”
“It wasn't properly labeled!"
“It was...it was just in Chinese. They should have given us a translator.”
Delilah rolled her eyes and yanked her shades back over her face. The further they drove up the ever winding road, the more rural and rundown things seemed to become.
“How much further is this place?” Delilah asked slowly to the driver.
Just as the question left her lips, her worst fears were realized as they pulled up outside of a tiny hotel. A neon sign that should of read
, had half of the letters unlit, so it only read
. It was crammed in between what looked like two fake-designer clothes shops, with men on scooters lining the busy road. Delilah could feel all of the eyes on her through the open window. She wasn't sure how many tall and skinny blonde girls they got in this part of town.
“Is this a joke?” she tried to laugh as one of the men on the scooters smacked his lips at her, “This isn't the right place. It can't be!”
“What are we going to do?”
“You're my assistant! You sort it out!”
He pulled his phone from his pocket, but he didn't have a signal either. Delilah stared at Marcus to fix things, but he looked as clueless as she felt. The problem with giving most of her day-to-day control over to assistants, mangers, promoters and producers, meant that it had been a long time since she'd had to fix things for herself. Through her tinted sunglasses she peered up at the tiny hotel. She hoped that it looked dirty because of her glasses, but when she pulled them to the end of her nose, the brown-tint didn't vanish.
“Let's just go inside De, they might be able to tell us if there's another hotel with the same name around here,” Marcus didn't sound convinced.
“I'm not going in that place!” she laughed at the idea, wincing at the stained curtains in the dusty windows, “You can't make me!”
“Wait here then,” Marcus jumped out of the car leaving her alone with the driver.
She glanced to the hotel and Marcus nervously made his way towards the entrance that had a faded sign in the glass that read '
'. The driver met her eyes through the rear-view mirror. His brows were so furrowed, they looked like they were about to touch his chin, which was enough to make Delilah jump out of the car, grabbing their bags in the process.
The sweltering heat instantly hit her as she clutched her designer bag to her chest, leaving their suitcases in the road. She could feel her hair extension tracks already starting to free themselves from her natural hair. As she tiptoed on her skyscraper heels towards the hotel, she could feel the eyes of every man and woman in the street staring at her denim shorts and crop top. Normally, she'd like the attention, but she wasn't keen on middle aged men licking their lips hungrily at her in a foreign country.
Clutching the bag tighter to her chest, she brushed past the beaded curtain entrance. Part of her hoped that it was just a deceiving exterior, but the inside was just as grim. A small desk sat in the corner with a woman who looked visibly irritated by Marcus' questioning. A fan spun around on the ceiling, but it just seemed to be moving the stuffy air from one place to another.
“And you're sure this is the only hotel called
?” Marcus said loudly.
“Yes!” the woman snapped, holding her hands up, “you check in now?”
“Marcus? What's going on?” Delilah asked quietly.
“There must have been a mix up with the booking,” he sighed, “but I need to go somewhere with a signal so I can call the label to sort it out.”
“I'm not staying here!” she screamed, making a man sat in a plastic chair, in the corner, wake up from his afternoon slumber, “Don't they know who I am?”
“Do you know who she is?” Marcus asked the woman behind the desk.
The short, middle aged Spanish woman looked Delilah up and down from her long and thick blonde hair, past her perfectly toned stomach, right down to her black and red Louboutin shoes.
“Puta?” the woman smirked, arching her overly plucked brows.
“What did she call me?” Delilah cried.
“What did you call her?” Marcus repeated.
The woman smirked at them both for a second, enjoying the tourists lack of understanding, before pursing her lips and narrowing her eyes angrily on Delilah.
“Check in, or leave!” she cried, pointing to the door.
“I'm going back to the car,” said Delilah, “he can take us somewhere and we'll try and sort it out from there.”
She marched back into the road, handbag still clutched to her chest, but her heart dropped when she saw the empty road. Her eyes scanned the road, hoping the driver had parked up somewhere, but all she could see where the hungry men on their scooters, undressing her with their eyes, and their suitcases. In desperation, she ran out into the road and looked in each direction. She saw the tail of the black car disappearing down the long, winding road.
“Wait!” she called, running across the cobbles, “Come back!”
As she tried to run after the black car, she felt her heel catch in between the cobbles, and before she could catch her balance, she spun and planted down on the hard road surface. The men on the scooters hooted and whistled and the women sat outside of the shops, sniggered and whispered behind their hands.
“Get me out of this place!” Delilah growled as Marcus helped her up from the road.
“We might not have a choice De,” Marcus whispered apologetically.
Delilah knew what he was going to say next, but she knew she wasn't staying in the
. She wasn't going to give in so easily.
“Call a cab,” she demanded.
“We're in the middle of nowhere,” said Marcus, “we don't know where to go.”
“Marcus. I don't pay you to make decisions. I pay you to get me coffee, hold my purse and to get me out of shit holes like this.”
“Let's just stay here for tonight,” Marcus said, “I'll find a phone to call Tony and we'll get it all sorted out.”
Another wolf whistle came from the crowd, making her attempt to pull her tight denim shorts lower. She looked up and down the road, but the road disappeared and twisted a in different after the small row of shops. She couldn't believe what was being expected of her. Ever since her debut single stormed the charts in the UK, her US label had pulled out all of the stops, but she couldn't believe how tragically they'd messed up her first visit to Spain, to perform on the Spanish reality singing show '
“One night,” she sighed in defeat, wagging her finger in Marcus' tanned face, “but you better sort this mess out!”
“I promise, I will,” Marcus smiled, already heading back to the hotel, “and you never know. The rooms might not be so bad.”
Rolling her eyes, she pulled her sunglasses back over her them. She couldn't imagine the woman behind the desk having a keen eye for décor. Reluctantly, she hobbled back to the entrance, attempting to pull her shorts even further down as she felt the eyes of the local men drifting from her exposed chest to her long and bronze legs.
“Follow me,” the woman snapped miserably as she led them towards a narrow and dark staircase.
“No elevator?” Delilah asked.
“No elevator!” she laughed.
The wallpaper of the staircase was peeling and stained, which made Delilah hold her breath. When they reached the top of the staircase, a row of dark wooden doors stretched out along the width of the hotel. They marched up three more flights of stairs, with Marcus hauling their suitcases, before they stopped outside of room 15, on the top floor.
Compared to the other floors, it was a little nicer. A small window sat at the end of the hallway, which looked out onto a small pool.
“Is that your pool?” Delilah asked.
“Yes,” the woman said glumly as she fiddled with the key to the room.
“See, it's not so bad,” Marcus nudged Delilah, but she wasn't going to be convinced by a tiny and grubby pool.
“We're only staying here one night, so it doesn't matter,” Delilah whispered.
The woman glanced angrily over her shoulder before pushing the door open. Delilah caught sight of a few stray hairs poking out of her chin, which only added to her gruff exterior. She showed them into a small room with a cream tiled floor and cream papered walls. Double glass doors sat at the end of the room, which looked like they opened onto a tiny balcony. A small, single bed sat in the middle, which had a small light with a chain on the wall above it and a small white phone on the night stand next to it. A dresser sat opposite the bed, but the mirror wasn't nearly big enough for Delilah to fix her hair and makeup, and it was lacking the vanity lights around the edge that she had grown used to. In the corner sat a bulky and stained wardrobe, and next to the wardrobe there was a door which she presumed was for the bathroom.
“There's only one bed,” Marcus mumbled.
“You,” she said, grabbing the front of Marcus' shirt, “you in different room.”
Delilah wasn't surprised. She never had to share a room when she was on tour, especially not with her assistant.
“Next door?” Delilah dumped her handbag on the bed.
“Downstairs,” she barked, “come! Now! 1st floor!”
Quickly, Delilah tore the sunglasses over her face and cast them down onto the bed next to her black bag, before running out in to the hall after the angry hotel owner.
“No, you don't understand,” she forced a smile, “he needs to be closer to me. He's my assistant.”
“Hotel full now!” she barked before trying to drag Marcus back towards the dark staircase.
Before the window at the end of the hall, there was one more door. Room 16.
“You need to make someone move!” Delilah called after her, “You have to understand!”
“No moving. You move!” she growled over her shoulder.
Delilah could see the look of terror in Marcus' eyes as the tiny, but strong woman dragged him down the tiny hallway towards the mouth of the stairs.
Deciding to take the situation into her own hands, Delilah rapped loudly on the door of room 16 with her knuckles. She wasn't used to not getting what she wanted, when she wanted it. If Tony was there, he would have made sure they wouldn't even have had to step foot into the hotel from hell. She yanked down her top to expose as much of her breasts as she could, flipped her long hair over her shoulder and rubbed the remainder of her melting lipstick around her lips.
Leaning against the door frame with one hand, she waited patiently for the door to open.