12 Inches:A Secret Baby Dark Romance(7)

By: Alexis Angel

"What about the author I modeled for last week?" I ask. None of this makes sense. Not after the fucking applause I received at the RAGA conference. Say what you will, but the audience fucking loved me.

"That author's moved on, mumbled something about wanting to take her book covers in another direction," CJ replies.

"That's a fucking joke."

"Joke or not, we need to figure something out, and quick. Your reputation in the Romance book industry isn't good."

I jump back up on the pull-up bar and proceed through another 10 reps. So what? I may have fucked more women than I can count, and sure, I may have burned a few bridges, but those fucking flames are just lighting the way for others. People should be thankful, really.

"Can you just stop for a second? This is important," CJ says, her hands on her hips. The look on her face is all business, and the way the sun hits her auburn-red hair makes her look fiery. She's always been blunt with me; that's what I fucking love about her and why I fucking pay her the big bucks to be my PA. She's kind of like an over-protective older sister. But if she thinks I'm going to stop, she's wrong. Time is money, and because I get paid to make girls' panties wet, I can't afford to skip a few crunches.

"I'm listening," I say through exhales.

"The only gigs you're getting paid for now are erotica covers."

"Is that a bad thing?"

"Was that your plan all along? Erotica is limited; if we're gonna get you more gigs, we need to expand," CJ says matter-of-fact. "We really need to stay in the Romance market. That's where your real money will be, and always has always been."

"How hard can that be? I mean, look at me," I say, flexing and planting a kiss on my right bicep, and then my left. I watch as CJ rolls her eyes.

"It's hard, Mr. Muscles, if no one wants to work with you. The shenanigans you pulled at the RAGA didn't help."

"Give me a fucking break," I laugh. "What do you mean by that? Are you remembering the fucking applause I received?"

"Oh, don't act surprised. Everyone knows. Do you think cumming all over Susan Moore in front of a sold out crowd at the RAGA won you any favors? And in front of her sister, Alyssa Moore, no less; what were you thinking? Were you begging to be blacklisted from the entire Romance market?" she asks.

"All I'm saying is that there has to be someone willing to hire me. Some people fucking appreciated the performance."

"Is that what you're calling it now? A performance?" CJ thinks for a moment. She's looking out the window, watching the sun bounce off the city skyline. "Well, no one seems to want to work with you, but … there may be one option," she says.

"What's that?" I ask.

"I've heard rumors that there's a former top ranking author who's looking for a model for her book covers. She's had a dip in sales lately, but she's hungry to be in the top spot again. You could make a pitch to co-write a book with her."

"No way," I say, dropping down and doing a few pushups.

CJ gives me a serious look. "Beggars can't be choosers."

"I'm far from a fucking beggar."

"Not yet … but if we don't line up new gigs, that could change."

"I'm also not an author," I say in between pushups. "I'm the guy who gets girls to open up a fucking book in the first place."

"I think you'd be great … and it's a good way for you to get your foot back in the door … gain some respect back," CJ smiles, like she's had the most brilliant fucking idea on the planet. But I think it sounds like a disaster.

"I think you should make more calls," I say, dismissing her idea as crazy. How does her mind make the leap from model to author?

She shakes her head. "Look, all I'm asking is that you take a meeting with this author. How hard could that be? You never know what'll come out of it."

"I don't think so."

"You must really like doing pushups then," CJ nods, shrugging her shoulders.

"What does that mean?"

"It means that if you don't take this meeting, you might find your self back in the gym … permanently. You may have to go back to being a personal trainer full time."