Mick’s friend is seeing some success as an actor so Mick is making sure nobody in Hollywood ever finds out about their past abuse. When publicist Sarina Das mentions that her job is covering up secrets, Mick wants to make sure she doesn’t know anything already. He also wants to get far, far away because love and pain are tangled together for him. As much as he wants somebody to love, he is afraid of how much pain he’ll have to endure.
Sarina can’t figure Mick out. First he’s nice, then he’s rude, then he’s defending her and then he’s provoking her. When she finds out about the abuse he suffered, she realizes that sometimes it’s not about her. Can she be strong enough for both of them?
“Sources at Tom Ford, Pacific Grill, and Urth confirm Mick Forrester with Politz and Deckard,” Jami’s text said.
At the same moment, she heard Tanya saying, “That is perfect.” A deep male voice answered, “If it’s what you want.”
She thrust aside the curtain. Mick stood in the middle of the boutique, wearing a pair of black bike shorts, a white T-shirt, socks, and black sneakers. Tanya was trailing her fingers down Mick’s smooth chest. Were bike shorts always that form-fitting?
“Of course, what woman doesn’t want to be admired by a hot, half-dressed man,” Tanya said.
“You rat bastard,” Sarina shouted.
Tanya and Mick both jumped.
“You’re stealing my clients.”
Mick put his fists on his hips. My, what big biceps he had. “They were begging me to take them on.
“How dare you?” Sarina stormed across the boutique. “You don’t even know what you’re doing. They could sue you for fraud.”
“I can do a much better job than you can.”
Tanya stepped between them. “As stimulating as this is, I’d rather it wasn’t happening in the middle of my shop. Can the two of you take it in the back and down a few decibels?” She pointed toward another of her private showrooms.
“I would be happy to,” Sarina snarled. She stomped to the curtained door of the private showroom and turned to glare at Mick. Josie stood in the doorway of the other showroom with the pink dress forgotten in her hand. Tanya’s assistant had been arranging a window display but had also stopped to stare. Tanya hurried across to Josie, shooing her into the showroom. Mick hadn’t moved from his ridiculous superhero pose in his very tight pants, but when Sarina’s gaze connected with his, his eyes narrowed, and he crossed the room in five long strides.
“You are stealing my clients,” Sarina hissed at him.
“They asked me to represent them. They didn’t feel you were doing a good enough job.” He’d lowered his voice to a deep rumble.
“You don’t even know what the job is.” Sarina poked him in the chest with her fingernail. “I have my degree in Marketing and Public Relations. I interned with Candy for two years before I started taking my own clients, and I was a junior agent for three years.”
“So? I’ll figure it out. I’m already doing a holiday party for Jason Politz.”
“Really? So you’ve settled on a date and a budget? Politz is always surprised at how much these things cost. Good luck getting him to pay up. He thinks he should get to do everything on trade because of his star power.”
“I’ll work it out.” Mick smirked.
Sarina wanted to slap that smirk off his handsome face. Instead, she took a deep breath and pretended she was Candy. “You do that.” Not quite Candy, but she hadn’t slapped Mick, and that was progress. “In the meantime, don’t give up your day job.” She snapped the waistband of his very tight bike shorts. Contact between the back of her finger and his abs made her focus slip from her anger to the size of his package. Had it been that big when they were in the other room?
Mick caught her wrist. “I’m sure your friend would be disappointed if I did.”
“My friend?” She should be trying to get her hand away from him but couldn’t summon the will.
“Tanya.” Mick slipped her hand under his shirt and pressed her knuckles to his skin. His abs were tight and so perfectly defined. “She’s building her discount chain ad campaign around me.”
“I’m so happy for her.”
Mick drew her hand lower. “I’m sure you are, and maybe a little jealous.”