The VIP Doubles Down
Page 41

 Nancy Herkness

  • Background:
  • Text Font:
  • Text Size:
  • Line Height:
  • Line Break Height:
  • Frame:
“You, of all people, know how much money Julian generates. No one is going to give that up without a major battle.”
Gavin spun to face Hugh. “Aren’t you tired of playing the suave, indestructible super spy?”
“Not at all,” Hugh said. “It’s an iconic role.”
Gavin went back to garden-gazing. “I didn’t know what a responsibility it would be.”
“Walk away. You’ve launched careers, generated box-office gold, and lined the pockets of many an agent and producer. You don’t owe anyone anything.”
Gavin shook his head. “Not like this. Not when the damned movie ended with a giant question mark.” He was tempted to tell Hugh about the recent feeble stirrings of his creativity, but he was afraid to touch the fragile feeling in case he killed it.
“What is it? Irene?”
“I threw her out.” Gavin remembered the astonished expression on her beautiful face and felt a flicker of satisfaction.
“More people should.”
Gavin pivoted to lean his shoulder against the window frame. “You mentioned the PSA. Are you here for the kids, too?”
One thing Gavin and Hugh shared was a difficult childhood, although Gavin suspected Hugh’s had been far worse than his. The actor spent a lot of time and money helping disadvantaged children. Hugh would undoubtedly visit several of the many shelters he funded, but no one would know about that except the kids and staff. He didn’t do it for the photo ops.
Hugh gave Gavin a look that said he knew the subject was being changed deliberately. “A fund-raiser . . . which you are not donating a penny to. You gave far too generously at the last one.”
“It’s only money.” Gavin believed in giving back. No one should keep as much money as he had.
Hugh swirled his beer in the bottle. “Too bad it doesn’t buy happiness.” He laughed without humor. “I don’t know where the hell that came from.”
“From the heart.” Gavin came back to his chair. “Shall we talk about it?”
“I’m just in the doldrums because I’m between movies.” He gestured toward the discarded script. “Which is why I’m considering this rom com. It’s not bad. Clever dialogue, unusual setting, emotional without being sappy.”
“You let me know if you want to discuss something of importance,” Gavin said. “Shall I take a look at the script?”
Hugh slid it across the table. “Not really your genre, but I’d appreciate it.”
“I might pick up some pointers,” Gavin said, the corners of his mouth turning up. “I’ve been told that Julian needs the love of a good woman.”
Hugh gave Gavin the kind of evil smile Julian Best reserved for his enemies. “That will piss Irene off royally. Do it.”
Allie skimmed the lint roller across the quilt on her bed while Pie complained outside the closed bedroom door. Gavin might not be allergic to cat hairs, but she’d winced at the number that had adhered to his wool trousers when he sat on her bed.
Excitement buzzed through her at the prospect of seeing Gavin again soon, overcoming the fatigue caused by a night of making love and an afternoon of wrestling with her conscience.
Technically, Gavin was no longer a patient of hers as of Friday, but she knew how she had thought about him all week. Did that make what she had done last night and this morning wrong?
She’d reread the physical therapy code of ethics. Not surprisingly, there was no mention of the correct amount of time to wait after therapy was completed before having sex with a patient.
Part of her guilt was that Gavin needed more therapy, and she could no longer provide it. She would have to find him a new therapist . . . and that would be awkward. Not to mention that, as of tomorrow, she would be sleeping with her employer.
She moaned, slamming the lint roller against a pillow before forcing herself to face the facts. She needed money and she wanted Gavin. He’d offered her both tied up in one gorgeous package with a great big bow, and she didn’t have the strength of will to hand it back to him unopened.
Or maybe it’s that she was beginning to believe she deserved to have something good happen for a change.
Pie let out another ear-piercing meow. Allie couldn’t stand it any longer, so she opened the door. “Pick one spot and stay there,” she said as the cat leaped onto the pristine quilt.
Now she faced the daunting task of deciding what to wear to greet her rich, famous, sexy-as-hell lover. Rummaging through her closet, she nearly despaired until she pulled out a hanger that had gotten wedged behind the rest. Okay, she had shoved it to the back of the closet.
It was the skimpy black bandage dress Troy had bought her to wear for a New Year’s Eve party with his theatrical friends a few years ago. He had told her that her usual wardrobe was boring, and he wanted everyone to know he had a hot wife.
She’d worn the dress, even though she had felt uncomfortable the entire night because the tight, stretchy fabric emphasized every curve and hollow of her body. The skirt was so short that she couldn’t bend in any direction for fear her panties would be on display. Her heart had hurt as Troy strutted around with his arm imprisoning her waist, sliding his hand down to squeeze her bottom when he saw someone watching. The whole performance had made her feel cheap and vulgar.
Now she would have the satisfaction of using the dress for her own pleasure.
She rooted around for high-heeled sandals with thin black straps that crisscrossed her arches and ankles.
Then she pulled open her lingerie drawer. She picked up black lace panties before she let a devilish grin curve her lips. She dropped the undies back in the drawer and closed it.
Allie was dressed, if you could call it that, and experimenting with hairstyles when her cell phone rang.
“Allie, I’m on my way now.” Gavin’s voice had a slight growl in it. “And I wanted to share my plans with you.”
All the breath seemed to whoosh out of her body. “Your plans?” she squeaked.
“The ones I told you I’d be working on during dinner.” He began to talk.
Allie had to sit down on the bed by the second sentence because her knees went weak. Her nipples were so hard, she could feel them pushing against the tight elastic of the dress. Inside, her desire liquefied and pooled in her belly.
“Stop,” she finally said as she lay on the bed panting. “I don’t think that’s even possible.”