SPOILER ALERT: The following is a brief excerpt for California Girl Chronicles: Brea's Big Break, which is the second book in the series due out in summer 2012. If you hate spoilers, read no further. If you love spoilers, enjoy!
I arrived at the Tea Leaf, and he was sitting out front reading his Blackberry, engrossed in something. He looked up, smiled and set it down. I pulled out the iron chair, which made a scraping noise on the pavement. Curtis had two cups sitting in front of him and slid one across to me.
I looked down, smiled and asked, “For me?”
“I took the liberty of ordering hazelnut.” He smiled. “I noticed you liked it.”
“How sweet,” I replied. “Thanks!” I said and took a sip.
Curtis looked at me with a curious tilt to his head, grinned and asked, “You have a manager?”
“No,” I replied. “Kale said they’re all bloodsuckers and to get an entertainment attorney.”
“Kale said?” he asked with a strange look.
“Well, yes,” I replied and frowned.
Curtis looked down at his coffee cup and seemed to weigh his response. He then carefully spoke, “I think you need a manager – someone to take you to A-list writer’s status. You need someone to think ahead for you. You know, watch out for you.”
“Kale watches out for me,” I said plainly.
Curtis slid forward and lowered his voice. “Kale watches out for Kale. Don’t be so naïve.”
I sat up straight. “I’m not.”
“Yes, you are,” he said and stretched out his arms. “This is Hollywood, baby.”
“And what’s your point?” I retorted.
“My point, baby, is you need me,” he said in a low voice as he slid his hand on top of my thigh.
I looked down at his hand and back up at his face. He was serious. I looked back down at that hand and cautiously slid it off. “Not sure what you’re suggesting, Curtis.”
Curtis moved in even closer and whispered, “You know exactly what I’m suggesting.”
He sat back in his chair and had the smuggest look on his face. He was still my boss. I felt a surge of adrenaline and fear. I sat there and wasn’t sure what to do or say. He could do damage no matter what. I needed him on my side, but I didn’t want him on my side this way. He was eye candy that was for sure, but he was also potentially dangerous.
“I’ll think about it,” I replied in what seemed like a pat answer to buy me time. “But maybe you ought to woo me a little.” I smiled in my own creepy way just to needle him and put him a little off balance, too.
Curtis sat up a bit and looked at me in surprise. He laughed. “Maybe,” he replied.
I took another sip of my hazelnut-flavored coffee and let it slide slowly down my throat. I looked off for a moment in the distance so I could think. Curtis grabbed his cup and briefcase and stood up. He walked partway round our little table, leaned over and kissed my cheek. He then leaned in and whispered with his hot breath right into my ear, which made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. “Maybe,” he breathed in a soft, seductive way.
I tilted away just slightly and looked up into his eyes – our eyes locked in a showdown. He leaned in and kissed my other cheek this time. I let him.
“I have a meeting,” he said. “See you.”
He took off and left me sitting there alone, pensive and nervous. He could hurt me. I knew that much. I could tell Kale, set off a war in the office and destroy the production that way, too. Just as I was fretting over my dilemma, I heard a terrible and familiar voice. I looked up to find Drew standing over me.