The Billionaire's Toy(3)

By: Penny Wylder

She laughs, but she shakes her head. “I’m serious. Just walk like you’re trying to get a guy to look at your ass, but you’ve also got a stick up that same ass, and you’ll be fine.”

Liquid bubbles out of my mouth and I reach for napkins as I laugh, unable to control myself. “Is that what you think about when you’re walking in shows?”

“Hell yes.”

“This makes your runway bitch face ten times more hilarious.”

She cracks a grin, and I know that runway bitch face is going to have more trouble at her next show. “Seriously though, go to the casting. It’s tomorrow. You’re not going to schedule any interviews by tomorrow anyway.”

I take another sip of my drink. “The real question is if you’re going to let me leave this bar without actually signing up for the call.”

Fleece sweeps her blonde hair over her shoulder and smirks. “Not a fucking chance.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.”


This was a terrible idea. I’m not as early as I wanted to be. Some people might call it “late,” but I’m choosing to call it “fashionable.” I admit that one popped into my head and made me laugh more than it should have. Probably because of the nerves. I’ve been debating just not showing up all morning. I don’t think I can do this. No matter what, it’s not as easy as Fleece says.

I finally walk up to a white storefront in downtown Manhattan. I don’t come down here that often, but I know this is the place. There are tall, beautiful women milling around the entrance to the store; some talking, some leaving.

A woman in her forties with a headset and a clipboard is standing in the doorway. I’m guessing I need to speak with her. I jog up the couple of steps to where she’s standing and smile. “Hi, I’m Delia Cameron.”

She gives me a once-over and looks down at her list. “You’re late.”

“Yeah, sorry.” I give her apologetic smile. “Train delays.” The one lie that everyone in New York City will believe.

She purses her lips. “Yes, well, if you’re cast, Mr. Xellum will expect you to be punctual. His time is literally money.” She waves me inside. “You’re the last one. Come on, we’ll get you in some clothes while the others are finishing up. I’m May, Mr. Xellum’s assistant.”

She leads me through the store—a bright white space filled with clothes in surprising shapes and colors. They’re all something I would buy if I weren’t broke. It’s a total New York dream: wall-to-wall windows and racks of stunning clothes. Soft club music plays in the background, and a model is walking back and forth in front of a table with several people.

May stops at the edge of the room, and we wait as the model finishes. “We’ll see what Mr. Xellum wants you to walk in before having you change.”

The table has three people behind it, and only one man. Holy. Fucking. Shit.

This is the kind of man that appears shirtless on a beach in perfume ads. He is—should be—a model, not looking for them. He’s relaxed in his chair, a lazy grace that contrasts with the look on his face. That look could take down anyone, and I’m not sure I want to be on the receiving end of it. Especially not since I was late.

The model finishes her walk, and Mr. Xellum gives her a curt nod. “Thank you for coming in. We’ll be in touch.”

She walks off towards a changing screen, and May ushers me forward. “One more, Mr. Xellum. Last one.”

Suddenly I’m pinned to the spot because his gaze has fallen on me. He hasn’t even moved, but it’s like something shifted. His eyes travel up and down my body, and I blush, because the gaze is intimate. He sees everything about me, through my clothes and down to my bones. At least that’s how it feels.

He stands, straightening his suit, and steps out from behind the table. He holds out a hand to me, a small smile on his face, which only makes me look at his jaw and damn that’s a pretty sight. “I’m Andrew Xellum,” he says. “And you are…?”

“Delia Cameron,” I manage to get out, though my voice sounds like I’ve been running for ten blocks. Get it together girl.

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