12 Inches:A Secret Baby Dark Romance(10)

By: Alexis Angel

“Can I have your number?” he asks, smiling eagerly. Well, why not? I think as I grab his smartphone and key my number in.

“Call me,” I tell him before bolting out the door, dragging my suitcase after me as I march out of the air crew’s lounge. I’m not sure if I’ll pick up a call from him, but he was nice enough for me to give him my number. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to be friends with a pilot, right?

“Will do!” he shouts after me, poking his head out of private room. I wave at him awkwardly and then I’m back into the first class lounge. I stop for a few seconds to check the airport map, and then I go on my way, hurrying toward the arrivals area.

Cheryl’s car is already parked out front, a frown mounting on her face as she sees me walking toward the car.

“Where were you?” she asks me, getting out of the car and popping the trunk open. “Your flight got here almost an hour ago.”

“I was busy,” I simply tell her, but she wiggles her nose at me in that way that says you dirty rascal. Oh well. “What’s with all the rush? You didn’t need to come pick me up.”

“I sure did,” she says, getting behind the wheel. “In case you don’t remember, you threw out your publishing deal, and since I’m your PA, I kinda got the shaft as well. And that’s why I had to come here to make sure you don’t miss this meeting.”

Yeah, the meeting. Somehow, Cheryl got it in her head that I had to meet up with this model, Aidan Stone, a guy that used to model for romance covers and now is down on his luck. Kinda like me, I know.

Except this guy is down on his luck because he was fucking Alyssa’s sister backstage of a Romance Author Guild Association Awards dinner.

Like, who does that? Then he apparently came all over her.

I wasn’t there. My sales were doing so bad that Grady said it would be better if he gave my ticket to a real author – you know, one who was selling books.

So yeah, I saw everything I needed to when Eddie Cleveland was telling me what happened. And no, before you ask, Abby Cleveland is not related to Eddie Clevaland. I wish. But sadly, no. Which is still good for me though, right? Because he’s hot. And I love his bad boys. No, Eddie just helps me with advice and is always there to answer my questions. I love his group on Facebook too – where he writes you quickies.

Anyways, I’m getting sidetracked. What I wanted to say was I don’t wanna work with Aidan Stone. I’ve never actually seen him in person but I don’t need to see him to make that decision. Besides, Cheryl doesn’t want him to just pose for the cover; no, she wants him to co-write. I mean, really? I’m not that desperate; I don’t even know if he has the chops for it. And let’s not even get into the kind of reputation this guy seems to have; a complete asshole that goes through women as fast as I go through reruns of Grey’s Anatomy.

“Do we really have to do this? I don’t want to be working with a guy that can’t even keep it in his pants.”

“Oh, shut up. Don’t act like you’re a saint, Abby. And you need to face reality: without a publisher, you’re on your own. Which means you’ll have to self-publish, and without the backing of a publisher it’s going to be a true challenge to get you off the ground. You could use the name recognition.”

“Oh, God,” I sigh, pressing my forehead against the window of the door, watching the LA traffic. “Where are we going, anyway?”

“Del Posto’s. His PA booked a table for us there.”

“Well, at least there’s that. I always liked Del Frisco’s.”

To be honest, I’m just taking this meeting because of Cheryl. She’s been my PA since I started my writing career so many years ago, and if it weren’t for her I doubt I’d even have a career. In fact, I once almost lost everything. Hit rock bottom. But Cheryl was there, helping me get up.

So, yeah, I feel that I owe her this.

Thankfully, the ride from JFK into Midtown into Times Square to the restaurant is a short one, and we get there just in time for the meeting. Of course, the ride wasn’t short enough for Cheryl; I figure that she was already tired of my voice after five minutes of me complaining about the meeting.