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Four months after Be The One ended
I stare at Jett, wide-eyed, and want to scream.
So fucking loudly it would wake the whole damn city up.
“You’re kidding me, right?”
He pulls a face, and without him having to utter another word I know that he’s not. Pulling me close, he says, “Sorry sweetheart, but they’re running the story tomorrow. Tom threatened them, but they’re assholes. I’ve got my lawyer ready to file a suit against them once it runs.”
I scrub my hand over my face as anger flows through my veins. Stepping out of Jett’s embrace, I say, “I am so over these guys, Jett. Why can’t they just leave us alone?”
The paparazzi have trailed us the world over while we travelled for three months, and now they’re staking us out in Brisbane. We’ve only been home for a few weeks, and so far we’ve had four run-ins with the assholes.
Jett frowns and hooks his fingers into my jeans so he can pull me back to him. After brushing his lips over mine, he says, “I’m hiring extra security. I promise you I will fix this. And as for this story, everyone knows that magazine is rubbish.”
I pull a face. “Yeah, everyone except the millions that read it. And then others will run with it and turn it into even more lies. When does it end?”
“It doesn’t, baby, but you knew that going into this relationship.”
Sighing, I nod. “I know. Doesn’t make it any easier, though.”
The story they’re running this time alleges that Jett had a threesome on a boys’ night out recently while I spent the night at the movies with Erin. The photos they’re using are from a few years ago when Jett did have a threesome. Way before he ever met me. Previous stories have run insisting he’s cheating on me, but none have had photos like these. I trust him completely and have never questioned him on any of this, but it’s getting old, and I’m getting angry.
“It doesn’t,” he agrees before adding, “Okay, enough of this. You’re going to put on that sexy red dress of yours, and I’m going to take you out for the night. And fuck the paps. Let them follow us, and let them take all the photos of me loving on you. I want the world to see us together. Hiding away like we have been is total bullshit.”
I haven’t left the house for five days, and Jett’s stayed with me most of that time. He isn’t a homebody like I am, but he hasn’t wanted to leave me alone, so I know he’s going a little stir-crazy being cooped up. He’s right, though, hiding away will only fuel this story.
I smile as I loop my arms around his neck, determined to relax as best I can. “Where are you going to take me, Mr. Rockstar?”
He grins. “I’m not telling you until I’ve got you in that dress and in the car.”
Five minutes later, I’m about to have a shower when my phone rings. It’s the wedding planner Tom insisted we hire to help us plan our wedding. I’m not a fan of her; she flirts endlessly with Jett and practically ignores me. Plus, her attention to detail is lacking. I’m surprised she’s calling me, because she usually calls Jett with any little question. And that seems to be all the time. I’m fairly certain she manufactures questions just so she has an excuse to call him.
I answer the call. “Hi, Molly, what’s up?”
“Well,” she starts, all snippy, “I’ve been trying to call Jett, but he’s not answering. Is he there with you? Can you put him on?”
I stiffen, annoyed. “He’s not with me right now, but I can help you.”
“Yeah, no. I’ll keep trying Jett.”
Yeah, no, fuck her. If I wasn’t so wound up about the threesome article, I’d probably handle this differently, but she’s caught me at the wrong time. “Jett’s not available tonight, so whatever you need to know, you’ll have to ask me. And for the record, I really don’t appreciate being spoken to like that, so please don’t ever do it again.”
And then, “I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to, Presley. And as far as asking you, my client is Jett, so I’ll wait to talk with him.”
I grip my phone harder, my anger levels soaring. “No, your clients are both of us. But you know what? We’re not your clients any longer. You’re fired.”
If I thought her voice was snippy before, I was mistaken. Now it’s snippy. “I have never understood what Jett sees in you, and you’ve just proved me right. You’re a silly woman who thinks she can play in the rockstar playground and win. If you think your marriage is going to last, I’ve got a newsflash for you. It won’t. I give it two years at the most. I’ve planned weddings for hundreds of celebrities, and most of those marriages have ended in divorce. Now, as for firing me, I don’t take orders from you. I’ll talk with Jett and Tom tomorrow.”
The line goes dead after that, and I stare at it furiously.
How fucking dare she?
I am firing her. She clearly doesn’t understand my relationship with Jett. We’re equals, and if I want her gone, she’s gone.
I’ll plan this wedding myself.
Jett won’t care whether she does it or I do, so long as it happens.
I watch Presley as she dances with Erin. I can’t keep my eyes off her. She’s wearing the tight red dress I fucking love, but even if she wore a sack I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes off her.
West nudges me. “How are you two? Tom told me that story is publishing tomorrow.”
He’d called me just after I’d told Presley I was taking her out for the night, and had asked us to come to the opening of the club we’re at now. I’d already organised with Erin to meet us out so she and Presley could spend the night dancing, so this club was a good option. While I want Presley to myself, I know that spending time with her friend makes her happy. I figure I’ll have all the time with her later tonight. And besides, watching her dance and laugh is one of my favourite kinds of foreplay.
I drink some of my beer. “It’s been rough on Presley, but we’re doing okay. She starts work again next week, so I’m concerned about that.”
“She’ll be travelling for work. Her first tour is in the UK, and she’ll be away for two weeks. I can travel with her for a while, but I’m really fucking hoping that Van gets his shit together soon so we can get back in the studio. If that happens, she’ll have to deal with the paps on her own. I’ll make sure she’s got more security than she needs, but she won’t have me there to talk her off the ledge if it gets too much, you know?”
Presley’s decided to shift her photography business to focus on photographing bands on tour. She loved working with us so much that it felt like the next step for her. I’m more than fucking happy for her, but I’m also hesitant to fully embrace it due to the spotlight on us at the moment.
“Yeah, I get it,” he says just as the girls come back to us.
Erin holds out her hand to West. “Come dance with me.” These two have hooked up a few times that I’m aware of. As far as Presley’s told me, Erin’s not interested in anything with him other than sex, and West isn’t interested in settling down, so it seems to work for them.
He grins and stands. “Always, gorgeous.”
Presley sits on my lap as they leave, curling one arm around my neck and the other around my body. “I love you, Jett Vaughn, and I’m sorry I’ve been so grumpy lately about everything.”
I smile at her alcohol-induced good mood. Dropping my gaze to her tits, I run a hand down from her throat to cup one of her breasts. If the fucking paparazzi want some photos, they can have this.
I kiss her for a long time, unable to get enough of her. When we finally come up for air, I say, “Sweetheart, you don’t need to apologise.”
She bites her lip. “I do. And I also need to let you know I fired Molly tonight.”
I laugh at the way she seems so nervous about telling me this. “Why?”
“That woman is a bitch, and she was all over you. I’ve had enough, so when she called me and was awful to me, I told her we were done with her. You can expect a call tomorrow, because she told me I’m not even her client, so she doesn’t take orders from me.”
My laughter gives way to anger. I’d picked up on Molly’s attitude towards Presley, but didn’t realise it came from this belief. Over my fucking dead body will she get away with treating my woman like that. “I’ll tell her where to go, and then I’ll let Tom know what I think of his recommendation.” News will travel fast in this industry, so I’d imagine her business might take a hit. As far as I’m concerned, she should have thought of that before messing with Presley.
“I don’t want to hire another planner, Jett. I want us to plan our wedding together.”
I tweak her nipple through her dress. “I’m down with that. Whenever you’re ready to try on dresses, I’ve got a front row seat. Hell, I’ve got the only fucking seat.”
A huge smile spreads across her face. “No, baby, that’s the one thing you can’t have anything to do with. You can’t see me in that dress before the day.”
I grin. “Okay, fine. Erin can do that part of the planning. But I’m all over the lingerie planning. And the clothes shopping for the honeymoon. It’s important we get those clothes right, even if it takes us months of fittings to perfect that wardrobe. And the cake. That’s my job, no one else’s. Understood?”
Her eyes lock with mine and fill with so much love that even a blind person would be able to sense it. She brings her lips to mine and kisses me. When she’s finished, she says, “How did I ever get so lucky to find you? You’re so good to me. Thank you.”
I keep on grinning. “You were really fucking lucky, that’s all I can say.”
She swats me. “So damn cocky.” Bending her face so her mouth brushes my ear, she says, “And by the way, I don’t think we’re going to need many clothes for the honeymoon. Just sayin’.”
My dick is already hard for her, but that promise out of her mouth gets me harder. “Right, you need to get up. Right fucking now. I’m taking you home, and sinking my dick as far as I can inside you for as long as I fucking can.”
Her eyes light up. “I was hoping we’d get to this part of the night soon. You took your time.”
Presley was wrong. She wasn’t the lucky one finding me. I was the lucky one finding her, and I’ll do everything in my power to keep her safe from the bastards trying to break us apart and fuck with our lives.
Anything it fucking takes.
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I can’t keep my eyes off Presley. Since we arrived in London two days ago, she hasn’t stopped. I haven’t seen her for close to fifteen hours today while she’s been working with the band, so I’m a starved man. Unfortunately for me, I’m going to have to wait another hour or so before I get her to myself because we’re stuck at an after party with about a hundred other people.
“Hey man, your girlfriend is fucking amazing.”
I turn to find the lead singer of the band she’s working with grinning at me. His band has only been around for three years and shot to the top of the charts fast, so they’re still figuring out how to deal with the fame and the spotlight. While they’ve all done some dumb shit, Karl is the worst offender. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to come with Presley. She’s too giving, and I don’t want her to be taken advantage of.
I take a swig of my beer and nod. “Yeah, she is, so don’t fuck her around, okay?”
His grin grows. “I’ve heard you’re protective where she’s concerned.”
“I am, and she’s too nice for her own good. If I hear you guys are taking advantage of her, you’ll answer to me.”
He lifts his hands in a defensive gesture as his grin dies. “We’ve got no plans to take advantage of her, dude. No need to get all threatening and shit.”
I nod. “Good, let’s keep it that way.” I don’t give a fuck if I’ve pissed him off. And I hope he spreads the word to anyone thinking of working with Presley that I’m watching them.
He takes a step away from me while muttering, “Fuck, they weren’t fucking kidding about you.”
I catch Presley’s eye as Karl leaves me, and I nod my head towards the door to signal we should leave this party. She shakes her head letting me know she’s not ready yet. She’s then interrupted by a guy who can’t keep his fucking eyes to himself.
I’ve sworn off letting my jealousy control me, but this shit is hard. Especially when she’s surrounded by a bunch of assholes just like this one. I’ve spent the night watching them approach her, one after the other, and I’m slowly losing my cool.
“Jett,” a smoky voice says as she slides an arm around my waist. “It’s been way too long since we’ve seen each other.”
“It hasn’t been long enough, Cathy,” I say as I move out of her embrace. I could go ten centuries without seeing her, and it still wouldn’t be long enough.
She pouts. “Why do you have to be like that? Is it because you’ve settled down now? You know I never care about that with a man.”
I return her pout with a scowl. “It has nothing to do with Presley. I just don’t like you, and you know that.” We had a standing arrangement for sex whenever we were in the same city a couple of years ago, but I killed that once I learnt her true nature. Cathy likes to fuck and tell, and happily shared photos and my personal information with the gossip mags. She also manipulates any situation she can, which caused me issues with other bands and musicians.
Moving closer, she runs her hand down my chest towards my jeans, and says, “I’m a changed woman, Jett. And I could make you feel so good right now. I can see how much your girlfriend is neglecting you.”
I push her hand away. “Not that it’s any of your fucking business, but she’s not neglecting me. She’s working. Something you know very little about, because unlike Presley, you prefer to earn your cash by selling people out.”
A hard glint flares in her eyes. “Fuck you, Jett. You used to be one of the nice guys in this business, but you’ve changed. And you’ve just messed with the wrong woman.” With that, she turns and stalks away from me. Not fast enough as far as I’m concerned.
I glance back at Presley and find her engrossed in a conversation with the same asshole as before. Needing to get the hell out of here, I make my way to one of the doors that leads outside. It’s cold out there, but it’s my only option right now.
When I’m alone, I pull out my phone and call Tom, our band manager. It’ll be morning in Australia so he should be awake.
His groggy voice comes on the line. “You got any fucking idea how early it is here, Jett?”
I chuckle as I look down on the city streets while the cold air slices across my face. “Yeah, and shouldn’t you be out for your morning run?”
“Fuck you, asshole,” he mutters. Tom hates exercising, especially now that his doctor is forcing him to do it.
“I’m killing time while I wait for Presley to finish up at the after party. Thought I’d check in to see if you’ve heard from Van?”
“I haven’t been able to get in touch with him yet. When did you speak with him last?”
“About three weeks ago, but it was a quick call. He was on his way to the airport. You think he’s still in Canada?”
“I’ve got no idea. I can’t read him at the moment, and the fact he’s keeping us all at arm’s length doesn’t help. Hell, I still don’t know why he’s really taking time off.”
I was hoping he’d have more information for me. Van’s not sharing much with me either. I hate that after all this time as friends, he’s not allowing me in to help him.
“I guess all we can do is wait and see what happens.” I just hope that he’s doing okay. He hasn’t been in a good way for a while now.
“So can I go back to sleep now?”
“Fuck no. Get up and do that run.”
“Anyone ever tell you you’re not fucking funny?”
I smile. “Only you. I’ll check in with you again soon.”
I end the call and turn to go back inside. It’s colder out here than I thought it would be. However, Presley has joined me out on the balcony and steps into my embrace.
“Hey you,” she greets me. “What are you doing out here? It’s freezing.”
I brush a kiss across her lips as I slide my hands down over her ass. “There were too many assholes in there with their eyes all over you.” We’ve agreed to always be honest with each other, so I go with the truth. I know it’s likely to cause a discussion about my jealousy issues, but I’m committed to our agreement. No fucking way do I want to do something that might jeopardise our relationship.
She frowns and stiffens in my hold. “You know that I pay no attention to any of them, right?”
I tighten my arms around her. “I know, but that doesn’t make it any easier for me. I’m not going to react, though. I just wanted to be honest with you about this.”
She’s silent for a beat, and I can tell by her expression and the way she shifts her gaze from mine that she’s got something to say that I may not like.
I tip her chin up so our eyes meet. “What?”
She takes a deep breath. “Did you tell Karl that you’re keeping on eye on the band for me?”
She pulls a face. The kind that lets me know she’s not happy with my actions. “Jett, you can’t do that.”
“I can do that, Presley, and I will continue to do that. You’re finding your feet in this business, and that’s the perfect time for people to take advantage of you. I won’t allow that.”
She tries to wiggle out of my arms, but I keep her close, earning me another pulled face. “I don’t want you to fight my battles. If I’m going to earn respect, I need to do that on my own.”
“You’ll earn respect by your professionalism. I guarantee you that. But the kind of assholes who’ll try to play you, they aren’t the kind of guys you even want respect from.”
She places her hands against my chest and pushes, signalling that I need to let her go. Reluctantly, I do. After she takes a step away from me, she says, “I hear you, but you need to hear me, too. I want to stand on my own two feet.”
“I am hearing you, baby, but I’m not changing my stance on this.” I’ve seen the ugly side of this world we work in, and I refuse to let any of that shit happen to the woman I love.
Her lips flatten. “You’re serious about this? You’re really not going to let me run my business how I choose?” Her tone is pissy now, and I know this is going to become a battle. But it’s not one I’m going to back down from.
I rake my fingers through my hair. “I’m deadly serious about this.”
Before she can reply, the door to the balcony flings open and a woman grins at Presley. “There you are, chick! We’ve been looking for you. The guys want you to come take some photos.”
Presley nods at her. “I’ll be there in a minute.”
The woman grins some more, her eyes flicking between Presley and me. “Cool.” And then she goes back inside, leaving us alone again.
Presley glances back at me, annoyed. “I’m deadly serious when I say you need to back off. I don’t want you getting involved in this. I appreciate you looking out for me, but I’m a big girl and can deal with these guys on my own.”
She turns to leave, but I reach for her hand to stop her. “You’re going to leave? While we’re in the middle of a discussion?”
Her eyes meet mine. “We’re not in the middle of a discussion. It’s finished. I’ll take these photos and then we can leave.”
With that, she leaves me, and I stare after her wondering where this will all end up. I have no intention of backing off. And knowing my woman like I do, I know she’s not likely to give in either, which doesn’t leave us in a good place.