She studied her reflection in the mirror in the hallway outside his hotel suite. She knew what he’d see. A young ingénue eager to soak up his knowledge and wisdom. And possibly his cock if he thought she was legal and he could finesse her into it.
He was beyond predictable. While doing his college campus speaking tours, he’d only grant interviews to guys who clearly wanted to be him. Or pretty young women he could impress and seduce. She might be young and pretty, but she had no interest in his knowledge and wisdom. And even less in his dick.
She checked the time on her phone then opened the recording app that would send everything straight to the cloud and activated it as she knocked. Hugging her notebook to her chest, she widened her eyes and bit her lower lip while she waited for the door to open. The perfect picture of butterflies and nervous admiration.
He opened the door looking surprised. It was just as practiced as her expression of innocence. No…more so. He stood there with his shirt sleeves rolled up to reveal still muscular forearms, his white dress shirt unbuttoned at the neck and the tie he’d worn to the book signing long gone. In one hand, he cradled a snifter of what looked like brandy. “Oh, Miss…Camden, is it? I’d completely forgotten you were coming.”
it was a struggle not to roll her eyes.
“Please come in.”
He gestured for her to enter the suite, and she stepped past him, nearly brushing against him as she did. It wasn’t calculated on her part. That was all the room he’d allowed her.
“I was just having an after dinner drink. Why don’t you join me?”
She smiled slightly and glanced down at the floor as she shook her head. “I’m not twenty-one, yet.”
He bumped his shoulder into hers and winked. “I won’t tell if you won’t tell.”
She pretended to consider it and bit her lip again. “Okay. Maybe just a small one.”
“It’ll be our little secret.” He grinned at her. His thinning, silvery hair glinted under the dimmed lights of the chandelier hanging above the living room area in the suite.
Crossing the room, he turned his back to her as he poured her drink. Surprise, surprise.
“Just a little one,” she reminded him with a giggle.
He chucked. “I promise. I won’t get you in trouble.”
“So, do you write in your hotel rooms when you’re on tour like this?”
“Getting stared on the interview already, huh?”
“Well I’m so excited! This is like a dream come true–I mean, your Regina Jones Mysteries are just so tense and exciting.” You know… if you like serial rapists and murders.
He chucked again. She was really beginning to hate that sound. “When I’m on the road, this is where the magic happens.”
“Would it be okay if I took a few photos of the space? You know–to use with the interview?”
He turned momentarily, his brows drawn together, but then he smiled. “Sure, go ahead.”
She flipped the camera on the phone to take a quick selfie, making sure her nail polish was in the shot, then reversed the camera to get a wide angle shot of the room, including, Dirk Rook, author of one of the most popular genre fiction series, headed her way with a second snifter of brandy.
She took the glass then spun in a circle as she took more photos around the room while discreetly dipping her finger in the drink. “I’m sure you get asked this all the time, but what’s your process like? How do you produce such tightly written novels at the rate you do?”
Settling into the seat across from where he sat on the couch, she glanced at her nail polish. It had turned color. “Oh, wait! Before you answer that, can I get a shot of you on the couch. With the drink on the coffee table next to your laptop, it’s the perfect shot to open the article with.”
He grinned, clearly pleased and rested his arm across the back of the couch. Predictable to the core. “Okay, one more quick photo.”
She raised her phone again and took a quick selfie making sure that the roofie alert nail polish was in the frame then quickly took a few of him. Pretending to take a small sip of her drink, she set it on the end table next to the chair. “Whoo!” She giggled. “That’s strong!”
He inclined his head slightly. “Well, it’s good brandy. Probably not what you’re used to at college parties.”
“Plus I’m a total lightweight. She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Okay, this aspiring writer needs to know. How do you do it?”
She wrote his answers in her notebook, plying him with more questions while occasionally pretending to sip at her drink. She didn’t ask him any of the questions she really wanted to ask–like why he relied on horrifying racist stereotypes and why he was such a misogynistic piece of shit. She just threw him softball questions and feigned drunken lightheadedness.
When she finished her last question, she staggered to her feet and stumbled forward, notebook in one hand and phone and glass in the other. She lurched forward as Dirk sat forward.
She stumbled forward again, and her notebook flew out of her hand hitting him square in the face. The papers she’d tucked inside flew everywhere. Most were copies of articles about him.
“Oh no!” she wailed. “Those are the stories I’ve been collecting about you!” As his gaze drifted to the fluttering pages, she lurched into the coffee table and quickly exchanged her glass with his. Then she pushed herself up to a standing position, closing his laptop lid as she did.
His face darkened with anger at her touching his belongings. But he schooled it as she smiled adoringly at him and held up her glass. “Let’s drink a bread! No…” She squinted at him. “A toast!”
He stared at her, seeming more bemused than anything else right now.
“Where’s your drink? You need a drink.” She looked around as if searching for it.
He picked up the glass and stood. “Okay, what should we toast to?”
She leaned across the table and brushed her hand across her chest and looked up at him with what she hoped was a drunkenly earnest expression. “The best writer in the whoooooooooooooolllllllllllee world.”
He grinned, and she raised the glass to her lips and took a huge gulp. He did the same, a predatory glint brightening his gaze.
She raised her glass. “This is good–we should have more!” She took another swallow, and so did he.
Suddenly, his legs wobbled and she scooped the glass out of his hand and set it on the table right before he sat down hard on the couch. “You–what–you…”
“Close your eyes, Dirk. I’ll be gentle. I promise.”
That’s it for me this week, but be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories by clicking on their names below.