Chapter Nine

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Damn.

That's the only word that got through to Tristan's brain before it short-circuited. One look at Jada and all his thought processes stopped. He felt like a total dog, sitting there drooling over her. And it didn't even make sense to be doing so. Tristan's been around hundreds of attractive women. From other high-class actresses to gorgeous models. He was used to wining and dining them without fail, with unshakeable confidence.

But Jada.

He'd always felt a certain enchantment when it came to her—and seeing her like this, as a certifiable goddess—amplified that entrancement ten times more.

She walked towards him, sauntering up to the car. He tracked the movement of her hips as she headed his way. She leaned over the passenger side door, giving Tristan an eyeful of her chest—and yet not nearly enough.

"See?" she said. "I told you I'd be ready."

"Yeah. Um, you look nice." Tristan managed to get out.

Before he could think of anything else to say, she opened the passenger door and slipped into the leather car seat. As she crossed her legs, Tristan realized how short her dress was. It was probably the shortest one he'd ever seen her in. And if it was just a wee bit shorter, he might be able to see something a lot more interesting than her upper thigh. Or if she would let him, he could reach over, slide his hand up said thigh himself, and—but the whole problem was there was no way she would let him.

Nope. There was no chance Jada would give him a peek at—or feel of—the forbidden land he was imagining. Which meant the growing bulge in his pants was of absolutely no use to him. This fact changed his mood from aroused to surly. He forced himself to stop staring and started up the car.

"So where are we going?" Jada asked innocently. Maybe too innocently. She had to know what kind of effect she was having on him.

"We'll eat, then hit up this lounge I know," Tristan said, more gruffly than he intended. Jada, of course, didn't miss the curtness in his tone.

"Is something wrong, Tristan?" And yes, she was definitely playing games. She had her doe-eyed look out in full force.

"Nothing at all." Tristan grinned back, feigning some carefree demeanor of his own. Two could play this game. Although, he wasn't sure quite how at the moment, meaning that the car ride soon descended into awkward silence. Tristan solely focused on the road, while Jada looked out the window. Finally, Jada perked up with a realization, snapping her fingers in a sort of "a-ha!" gesture.

"Oh, I forgot to mention this, but..." She let out a heavy sigh—immediately setting Tristan on edge.

"But what? You're not backing out, are you?"

"No, I've resigned myself to our pact, but my agent found out about the video. Obviously, she's not too pleased."

"Ahhh. Who's your agent again?"

"Avery Kane." Jada's look of torment said it all. Not that Tristan didn't already know the agent's reputation. Everyone did.

"Well, that's unfortunate," Tristan said, hiding a smirk. Catching it anyway, Jada smacked him on the arm.

"It's not funny. She's furious and wants me to meet her at her office tomorrow for me to explain everything. I have no idea what to say."

"Stick to the plan. Tell her the story we put together with Doug. The fewer people that know the true situation, the better."

"Yeah, but what if she doesn't buy it?"

"Of course she will. You're an actress, right? Have faith in your abilities."

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