Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

Not long ago I was the personal assistant to handsome -albeit eccentric- movie star Jonathon Roberts. To me, though, he was not just some claim to fame. He wasn't someone to swoon over and ask to sign my breast. He wasn't a means to an acting gig or a way into an elite social circle.  Sure, he signed my paychecks, but mostly he was my best friend, confidante, and trusted partner in crime. His career was soaring to the top and I was his jet fuel. It never occurred to me that something could come between us.

Call me dramatic, but in my tear-stained eyes, the little bit of wrong I'd done overshadowed all the good. Before I knew it, I was crawling back to the smoggy city where it all happened, tail between my legs, in search of a job.

The May sun felt bright and unrelenting despite the haze of pollution that lingered in the skies above me. Aside from the blinding light and gaseous fumes, I could not complain about the weather. With the temperature at a moderate 74 degrees, a faint breeze touched my skin as I opened the door to The Redbury.

It would be my makeshift home while I searched for the next chapter of my professional life. In its defense, there was nothing makeshift about it.  The bedroom had been decorated in such a way as to make it look like it was a room in someone's house rather than a temporary space.  It was homier than the London flat I had found myself moping around in for the last couple of months.  Not to mention, it saw its fair share of celebrities and I needed to brush elbows with the right people if I ever wanted to get employed again.

Even knowing that, I fantasized about being somewhere permanent.   I wanted my own personal space that I designed and arranged that said something about who I was... whoever that was.

Being back in Los Angeles... Being in California... Even being just in the United States, was a bit unnerving, whether deserved or not. I had done the right thing; quitting my job, leaving the city, state, and country where my ex-boss- who also happened to be my ex-best friend- was now living with his girlfriend. I was not the one who lied. I was not the one that made promises and then broke them. I was not the one that acted jealous and insecure. I did, however, get romantically involved with the wrong man and there was no denying that was the catalyst that led to all of the problems in my personal and professional life.  It was time to face that fact and prove that I was better than one mistake.  It was time to move forward.

A familiar melody started playing, each note swiftly moving from purse to eardrum. I quickly pulled my cell phone from the side pocket it nested in. Every item had a place. The phone number was not one I recognized. 

"Holly Preston speaking," I answered in my most accomplished voice. Aside from new business contacts, very few people had my new phone number.  One can never be too careful.

"Miss Preston, this is Tony Cordova... I'm sure you've heard of me and the professionals I work for."  I didn't appreciate the superior tone but I knew who he was; Any agent with clients as famous as his had reputations that proceeded them. The question was 'what did he want with me?'

"I'd of had to be born in Timbuktu to not recognize the name.  What can I do for you Mr.Cordova?" I asked, intrigued, though not as impressed by him as I'd insinuated.

"I hear you're looking for a job and it just so happens that I have a client in need of an assistant. I think we can come to a business agreement that would be advantageous to both of us. I play golf with Marcus Franklin. He mentioned that a client of his had lost a useful asset. As you can guess, that was you. I took the liberty of calling Joan Whittaker to ask what she thought about you and Jonathon Roberts."

My body involuntarily cringed at his name.

"It's no secret that he was a shitshow a year and a half ago, but what's is surprising is the turn-around he had this past year. She said that you had a great deal to do with that. To be blunt, I don't want my client hiring a relative or friend. I want him to have the best. That is where you come in. I'm prepared to offer you twice your previous salary," he offered confidently, as if it were a done deal. Typical.

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