Sexiest man alive.
Playboy movie star.
Will Baker, better known as "Fitz," is back, and the world has questions.
Where did he go"
Why is he back"
Who is Maggie Sharp, the girl who found him"
As Will and Maggie flee her family"s troubles, they return to a world most only dream of, where privacy belongs to the highest bidders, and loving Will might cost Maggie everything she has.
Secrets mean betrayal, and Will"s are bigger than most.
As he returns to a life of wealth and excess, will he fall back into his old vices too" Or is loving Maggie Sharp the one thing that will save him"Books in Series:Discreet Series by Nicole FrenchBooks by Author:Nicole French Books
The flame flies high, translucent in the bright sun. I let it run until the metal burns my fingertips, and finally drop the lighter in my lap so I can suck the sore spots away. I wait a few minutes until it cools enough to touch, then start the whole process again.
I swear to God, I could rip these walls down. Throw the furniture through these fucking fish-bowl windows. Maybe take a match to the angora carpet and watch the whole golden palace burn. I"ve been sitting in this fancy rattrap for two weeks, ever since Benny practically airlifted me out of Newman Lake right as the entire neighborhood was overrun by photographers looking for their next big payday. I know how it works with the paps. Celebrity photography is a bidding war. Twenty-five dollars for the shot everyone else has"but a shot of me" After four years where everyone thought I was dead" That could earn one of those bastards tens of thousands, maybe more.
So, yeah, after Maggie slammed the door in my face, I had no choice but to cut and run. It was either that or bring the whole fucking circus down on her. And I won"t do that. Ever.
"Yo, F. Do you think you could limit the pyromania to the rooftop" I"d like to avoid burning down my apartment."
I extinguish the flame, set the lighter back in the box of incense on the coffee table, then turn around to face Benny, my agent and best friend, who"s looking at me like I need a straitjacket. Well"he does know me better than almost anyone else.
"Sorry," I grumble, leaning forward onto my knees. "I"m in a mood."
"Yeah, yeah. What else is new""
I snort, but don"t answer. Benny doesn"t need it. He"s a schmuck, but the best kind of schmuck"jaded and opportunistic, but fiercely loyal to a select few. Benny grew up in one of the shittiest parts of New York, then proceeded to make himself into one of the most in-demand agents in the business. He"s a shark in negotiations and a charmer everywhere else"ask most women in Manhattan, and half in LA too.
We owe each other everything. I began his career by making him my agent when he was starting out, and he helped me put mine behind me. Four years ago, when I left the business for good, Benny was the only one who knew what really happened and where I"d gone. We planned it together"the crash, the escape, all of it. He managed my accounts, sent out the press releases, and funneled every inquiry in the right direction so that although no one officially declared me dead, it looked that way to the point people believed it anyway. Sure, I paid him decent coin to do it, but people don"t keep secrets like that without loyalty.
And I"ll never, ever forget it.
Benny drops a stack of thick manila envelopes on the glass coffee table in front of me. They land with a loud thud.
I look up. "What are these""
"What do you think""
I pick one up. "Scripts, huh" Fucking vultures don"t waste time, do they""
Benny shrugs while he flips through his phone. "You"re the hot news. I know you say you want to stay out, man, but there"s some top-shelf material in there. Everyone"s drooling. Van Sant. Soderberg. Shit, I think even Ava sent something over."
He straightens his cuffs, checking his suit, pocket square, cuff links and hair in one of the many mirrors lining the walls of the living room. Benny says they make the apartment look twice its size, not that it needs it. My friend has done very well for himself since I"ve been gone.
"Plus," he added with a smirk, "the ladies love looking at themselves while I""
I grab the lighter and flip it open, not wanting to hear the rest of that sentence.
"Yo!" he exclaims, snatching it out of my hand. "I said cool the flames, man!"
I shrug. "Sorry."
"There"s more, you know." Benny goes back to smoothing his hair. "You can take your pick of Late Night, and the Today Show"s been blowing up my phone. SNL wants you to host, and every single ladies" talk show is begging to have you on. Who"s it gonna be, papi" Who gets the first interview""
I sink into the couch and stare at the stack of scripts. They might as well be shackles, the way their existence weighs on me. Part of me wants to flip through them, see what kind of things are coming my way. I waited most of my career for this kind of demand, after spending so many years as a child actor, then working to break my way into more legitimate roles. Getting requests from some of the most important directors in the world, the ones who define artistic merit rather than abide by it"it"s every actor"s dream come true. I don"t care how famous you are; it feels good to be wanted by the greats.