As the go-to PR girl for the biggest jerks in professional sports, I know all about men like MMA superstar Jase ‘The Wrangler’ Rawlins, and I want nothing to do with him. Unfortunately, my dreams are finally within reach, and he’s all that’s standing in the way of me achieving them. But the more I get to know him, the more I wonder if I’ve gotten him completely wrong…
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Maybe it’s the fact my dick has some really great ideas about what he’d like to do with those gorgeous red lips, which are currently set in a sulky pout, or maybe it’s her instant dismissal, but I want to rile her. To ruffle up her silky feathers and find out just how mouthy she can get.
I step forward before her boss can intervene, and raise a hand. As expected, everyone falls silent, which only seems to piss the redhead off more. Fuck, we haven’t even gotten as far as exchanging names before she’s mentally convicted me. That’s the shitty part of being in the public spotlight. Everyone thinks they know me. They believe every stupid lie anyone tells.
Well, guess what? This girl doesn’t know a goddamn thing.
“Calm down, cutie pie.” I love it when her eyes chill to an icy blue, silently threatening to cut my balls off. Yeah, I knew she’d hate the pet name. Considering what she thinks of me, I don’t give a crap. “Turns out, I don’t want to work with you, either.” I raise a brow at Nick, my manager, and ask, “Is this really the best you could do?”
The redhead gasps, and I want to check whether she’s crossed her arms tighter over her chest, plumping her little tits up, but I resist the urge to look.
“We can go somewhere else,” Nick says. “I was told these guys are the best for miracles, but I’m sure we can find someone else just as good.”
“Now, wait a minute,” the stuffed shirt interjects. I wasn’t listening when he introduced himself so I didn’t catch his name. “Lena is the best there is. You won’t find anyone else.”
Finally, I succumb to the desire to glance at her and see how she’s taking this. I catch the tail end of an eye-roll, and it makes me soften toward her a little. She’s not drinking up the flattery the way some might.
Lena. I try her name out. It suits her. Pretty, bordering on pretentious but not overstepping the mark.
“Whatever puppy dog stunts Lena—” I emphasize her name now that I know it “—wants to pull, they aren’t going to do jack.” I address Nick. “I still don’t get why we’re here. Give it a couple of days, Erin will decide she doesn’t want to act on her threats, and the hubbub will die down.”
Lena’s face twists into a sneer. “Die down?” she demands. “The only way this shit-nado is dying down is if someone gets proactive about putting out your fires, and fast. Also, have a little respect for your girlfriend.”
“Whatever.” She says it like the “ex” part doesn’t matter. As if Erin and I didn’t break up more than two months ago now. “She’s not some problem that will disappear if you ignore her. Domestic violence is a serious crime, and you can’t just hand-wave it away.” Her nose crinkles like she smells something bad. “It disgusts me that you’re callous enough to think otherwise.”
I count to five in my head and remind myself she doesn’t know me. Her perception of me is based on what she’s seen in the news, and I have to admit, it’s damning. It also isn’t true, but I don’t bother saying that because this woman isn’t going to believe me. Stuffing my hands in my pockets, I decide the best way to deal with her is to call her bluff.
“Okay, so you say the problem isn’t going away. What did you have in mind to fix it?”
“I… I…” She flounders, and I can’t stop the smile that tugs at my lips. She’s all bluster and no bite.