Home > A Hollywood Deal (Billionaires' Brides of Convenience #1)

A Hollywood Deal (Billionaires' Brides of Convenience #1)
Author: Nadia Lee

Chapter One


The immaculate hall is shaking with music as I follow the hotel manager and security personnel in crisp suits. It’s after one in the morning, but when my job calls, I roll out of my bed and put on my work clothes.

This time, I need to save my boss from himself.

The manager slides his keycard over the electronic lock. “After you, Ms. Johnson.”

As soon as I open the door, my skull throbs to the beat of the incredibly loud music. I’m surprised my eardrums don’t explode.

It’s dim inside, but I can make out women, either barely dressed or altogether nude, gyrating everywhere. If they think they can get anything even remotely long term out of Ryder, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and baddest boys, they should give up now. Ryder doesn’t have relationships. He has the H&D—the Humped and Dumped.

Yeah. Some reporter who considers himself a lot wittier than he is coined that term for the groupies Ryder allegedly slept with.

I sniff. The suite smells like booze, sweat and perfume.

And pot.

“Dear God, or whatever being is looking out for me, don’t let it be Ryder smoking pot,” I mutter under my breath.

And no hard drugs. Ryder doesn’t have a history of doing drugs, but you never know. After all, it is Hollywood…and he has too much money and too much time on his hands these days.

And he’s looking for an excuse—any excuse—not to have to travel tomorrow.

I flip the light switch on, prompting more than a few people to suddenly shield their eyes, and search for the source of the music. I can’t even hear myself think in this noise. Finally, I spot the plug and pull it out. The music dies, thank god, even as groans and curses come my way.

“Turn that back on, you bitch!” one of the women yells.

“Shut up before I call the cops on all of you,” I say in my no nonsense voice. I turn to the hotel manager and his security team. “Can you get the women out of here? I’ll deal with Ryder.”

The security detail, all guys, look over the heaving sea of scantily clad female flesh and nod. At least someone will have some fun tonight.

The suite’s a mess. The floor is littered with the remains of gilt crackers, empty bottles of all types of liquor, and something black and slimy—probably caviar. The four vases sit empty, their flowers strewn everywhere. One of the bare-bottomed women is holding a lily in her butt crack.

There are a couple of prone and naked women on the grand piano in the corner with their eyes glazed over, and several others spread all over the living room area. They’re a sorry sight in the light, hair hanging down, and mascara and eyeliner smudged.

Almost all of them are of a type—young, tall, skinny with extra large breasts, thanks to implants. Their hair probably isn’t real either. I spot a few dark roots.

Breathing shallowly through my mouth, I walk purposefully into the bedroom. More women on the bed. One of them offers me a joint with a stupid grin. I roll my head to unkink the tension in my shoulders and neck and charge into the giant master bathroom, which has a spectacular view of L.A. It also comes with a sparkling marble double-vanity—or at least it used to sparkle—and a hot tub. There are five women in the tub along with Ryder Pryce-Reed.

Or Ryder Reed, if you only know him through his movies.

People assume Ryder is extraordinarily photogenic. There has never been a bad picture of him. If god had any sense of fairness, Ryder would be un-photogenic. Unfortunately, he isn’t. The world is just like that.

His face has the cleanest and sharpest lines I’ve ever seen. Articles claim those are the Pryce traits he inherited from his mother, and it’s probably true. His father, Julian Reed, is blond and of unremarkable stature, while Ryder has towering height, thick dark hair and a broad, solid frame covered with a good dollop of muscles.

He waves. His wide, white smile is so perfect and handsome, it’s almost enough to make me forget that his antics have dragged me out of bed at this godforsaken hour. “Babe!”

He rarely calls me by my given name. It’s always “babe” or “doll” or some such…which would get ninety-nine point nine nine nine nine percent of male bosses in trouble for sexual harassment. But not Ryder. He can get away with anything. If there’s even one female juror, he will be found not guilty.

Then there’s his voice. It caresses your most sensitive parts and makes your breath catch. When I first started working for him, I thought he was doing it on purpose. Now I know it’s just part of him.

I clear my throat. It’s ridiculous he still has any effect on me, but when you’re Ryder Reed, you have that effect on every female with a pulse. I know what his agent Mira Brasson will do if she finds out I’m attracted to him—fire me on the spot. She warned me on my first day.

There are at least ten empty bottles of champagne around the tub. The women probably helped, but I guarantee he drank most of it. He drinks like a very, very large and thirsty fish. Either his liver is about to explode or it’s made of titanium.

I grab a robe from the closet and hold it out, my face averted. “Get out of the water.”

“Why? Plenty of room for you too.”

“No! She’s so fat!” one of the women whines.

He gives her the searchlight-intensity smile. “I like ’em soft and curvy.”

“C’mon Ryder. Let’s go.” When he doesn’t move, I grit my teeth. The women are pissing me off; they’re clinging to him like freaking octopuses, running their hands along his body and rubbing their breasts all over him. He’s practically pinned in the tub by silicon. “You know you have to go to your cousin’s wedding tomorrow for the rehearsal dinner.” I hate the way I sound, like a curfew enforcer. “You can’t miss it. Your mother’s going to be there.”

Even drunk, the mention of his mother makes his face scrunch. “Jus’ had to ruin the moment.” He pushes to his feet, then almost loses his balance.

I catch him before he falls and breaks his face. It would serve him right, but it’s my job to keep him safe, among other things.

He’s extremely heavy. And extra warm from the hot water.

“You know you’re not supposed to drink and get in a hot tub, right?” I mutter under my breath as I labor to keep him upright.

“Stop nagging.”

I resolutely keep my eyes on his face, but I can feel the every hard line and plane of his body flush against mine even through my clothes, which are currently getting wet and plastering themselves to my skin. My mouth dries. I’ve been working for him for four years, but I’ve never had him against me like this before. And no matter how annoyed I am with him, I would have to be dead to not feel anything when the Sexiest Man Alive—multiple-time winner—is hanging onto me…even if he is currently drunk.

The women from the tub reach out and try to pull him back. I glare at them, but they are either too drunk or too intent on him to pay any attention. Maintaining balance suddenly becomes a lot more difficult.

“Hey!” I yell.

Then two of them actually pull me into the tub, apparently deciding that may be the easiest way to free Ryder. I crash head-first into the water. The roaring of the jets is deafening.

I try to get up, but a hand pushes my head down. I claw at the person, but it’s no use.

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