Chapter One

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"Another brilliant issue, Calem! This latest copy is flying off the stands!" Alfred Fennick, the owner of World Star Magazine, slapped Calem on the back, causing him to spill some of his hot coffee on his shirt.

With a quick swipe and a smile, Calem graciously accepted the praise. "Jackson Brewer is making my job easy. Every couple of days, he's hooking up with a different girl. Can't figure out his fiancée, though. She is either the most naïve woman ever created, or is a masochist who enjoys pain."

"They're a famous couple. What do they know about love? It's all about their interests and common goals. They use one another to get to where they are going. So long as she gets to open that restaurant she wants, she doesn't care what he does."

Calem hoped Fennick was right. World Star led the country in gossiping about the Hollywood Elite and the Rich and Famous because Calem refused to cut corners and print hearsay. If he couldn't back his accusations with hard facts, it didn't cross Fennick's desk.

Which meant Jackson Brewer, who played the character Rip Chisleton in the Kill 'Em All action series, enjoyed being promiscuous even though six months ago he pledged he was settling down with the love of his life and personal chef, Evelyn Quinn. If Evelyn had ever read Calem's column, she should have left Brewer ages ago.

"It feels good knowing the World Star will be in such good hands when I retire. I know you will take this magazine to new heights when you're in charge and I can't wait to see it."

Alfred looked upon Calem like a proud father does watching his son catch his first football or ride his bike without training wheels time for the first time and Calem had to admit it felt good.

"I'm going to step out for lunch. You want me to bring you back anything?"

Fennick grimaced. "I'd love to say yes but the Mrs. has me on a strict diet. She has plans for me once I retire, or so she tells me. Whatever she's plotting, she wants to make sure I'm healthy enough to enjoy it. It sounds promising but the food is terrible."

"So, you're saying you want me to sneak you a cheeseburger?" Calem grinned.

"I can neither confirm nor deny that allegation," Fennick stated with an even wider grin.

"Got it," Calem said with a mock salute and headed for the elevators.

"Boss, I got a call for you from..."

Calem looked down at his hyper assistant and shook his head. "Nope, hold all calls. I'm starving and want to grab something to eat before we have to work on next week's headlines."

"I can grab you lunch," Janice said, pushing her glasses up on the bridge of her nose.

"I know you can, Janice, but that would defeat the purpose of me trying to sneak out for awhile." Calem gave her a wink and Janice blushed.

"Oh, yeah. Right. Okay, um... I'll just get the notes ready for the meeting then?"

"Sounds great," Calem agreed as he stepped into the elevator, pressing the button for the lobby.

Once outside Calem took a deep breath in and sighed in contentment. Already today was starting out to be a great day.

______________

Somewhere else in New York, trouble was brewing.

"Seriously, you're going to do this to me again today of all days?!" Evelyn jabbed her pointed finger into Jackson's perfect pec.

"Ow! That hurts, Evie!" Jackson pushed her hand away and rubbed the spot where she poked him while sporting the look of a petulant child.

"You know what hurts, Jackson?! This!" Evelyn smashed the latest copy of World Star into his chest.

Jackson let it fall. "It's just a publicity stunt for the new movie, Babe. You know that you can't believe what you read in those gossip magazines. It's all garbage."

"So, I'm to believe because Monique is your romantic interest in the movie, you were both "acting" off-screen to draw more interest for the film?

"Exactly!" Jackson looked relieved that Evelyn finally got it.

"Uh-huh, and that success of your film requires to you shove your tongue down her throat while she's straddling your lap, right?

"She's my leading lady," Jackson explained while trying to pull Evelyn into his embrace, "but she could never replace you."

Evelyn didn't want to hear any more of Jackson's lies and pushed him away.

"So, then what about Tanya, or Rebecca, or the waitress that got fired at the restaurant that I work at, huh? What about them?"

"You got Stephanie fired? That's cold Evie. She's a hardworking woman, with financial obligations. I can't believe you'd stoop so low. Envy does not look good on you."

"I didn't get her fired, you jerk! She got fired when she showed up on the front page of World Star in the bathroom with her legs wrapped around you and her skirts pushed up around her waist as you had her back pressed against the tiled wall. You really think Raphael will tolerate that in his Five Star restaurant?"

"He should, I'm an excellent customer and I allow my fiancée to work for him."

"Allow? Did you say allow!?"

Jackson cringed knowing he got himself into trouble with Evie... again. "It's all that stupid magazine's fault. That... that gossip hag Sasha Miller is always up in my business trying to make me look bad. Look how she's turned you against me."

Evelyn threw her hands up in the air in exasperation. "Are you serious? Sasha Miller is the only person I can depend on for the truth anymore! You know what I think? I think it's time you know what it feels like."

Evelyn grabbed her clutch purse and her jacket and stormed towards the door.

"Where are you going?"

"To give you a little payback!" Evelyn opened up their apartment door.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"You'll see!" Evelyn said slamming the door behind her. She took the elevator to the lobby of their condominium and stormed out the door. She looked left and then right before spotting her target.

"You'll do, nicely."

Evelyn grabbed the unsuspecting man that walked by her. His hands loaded with takeout he couldn't even push her away. Not that he'd want to. Evelyn was an expert kisser. Her hands wound in his hair, her lips locked with his and she poured all her anger and passion into that kiss. Sure she was kissing a complete stranger but she didn't care. Neither did he, it would seem, as he dropped his packages and wrapped his arms around her kissing her back in a way Evelyn never experienced before. 

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