Excerpt from Hot Off the Red Carpet
HOT OFF THE RED CARPET
Once she and Trevor were seated in the back of the limo, Addison gave him a sheepish look. “I’m sorry about the mix-up with the limo.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Trevor said.
Though his handsome face gave nothing away, there was no mistaking the brusqueness in his deep voice, and Addison flushed. He wouldn’t fire her over this, would he? It was her first day, after all. Shoulders slumping, she turned to stare out the window.
Neither of them spoke the rest of the way back to Beverly Hills. When they got to his house, Addison was surprised to find the producer and director already waiting for them. She glanced at her watch and was shocked to see that her mistake back at the television studio had completely thrown them off schedule.
“They’ve been waiting for almost an hour,” Maribel whispered, throwing a nervous glance over her shoulder at the two men in the living room. “I was afraid they were going to leave, so I’ve been trying to appease them with hors d’oeuvres.”
Trevor scowled. “I’ll take care of it. Thank you, Maribel.”
Addison gave the cook a grateful smile before hurrying after Trevor. God, she hoped this didn’t cost him the part.
But Trevor was extremely good at smoothing any feathers that had been ruffled, and after a few minutes, both men were more interested in discussing their movie than they were in the fact that Trevor had been late.
As Addison listened to them talk, her gaze strayed to the array of hors d’oeuvres on the table. She hadn’t eaten since lunch and the sight of all that shrimp, lobster and caviar was making her mouth water. She was just wondering if it was acceptable for personal assistants to eat during a meeting with their boss’s potential employers when it suddenly occurred to her that all of the hors d’oeuvres had been made with seafood. Oh crap. She was supposed to tell Maribel that the director had an aversion to anything with seafood in it.
Hoping Maribel hadn’t already left for the night, Addison murmured something about checking her messages, then hurried into the kitchen. Fortunately, the cook was still there. She quickly explained the situation to the other woman.
“Do you have anything else we could serve?” Addison asked.
Maribel shook her head. “I make all my hors d’oeuvres by hand.”
Great. Addison chewed on her lower lip, trying to come up with an idea. “What about cheese and crackers. I know it’s not as fancy, but at least it’s not seafood.”
Maribel was silent as she considered the suggestion, but then she nodded. “I do have some cheese.” She opened the refrigerator. “There are crackers in the pantry. Top shelf on your right.”
The pantry was more like a small food store, so Addison had her pick of crackers. They were all fancier than anything she’d ever bought for herself, so she chose two boxes at random, then set the crackers out on a plate while Maribel sliced an equally fancy assortment of cheeses.
Ten minutes later, Addison was back in the living room with a huge plate of cheese and crackers in her hands. Trevor was going over some lines for the part he’d be playing, and it was all she could do not to stop in her tracks and listen to his sexy voice.
Careful not to interrupt, she set the plate of cheese and crackers down on the coffee table, then sat down in the overstuffed chair. She’d never really given much thought to how an actor went about getting a part in a movie, but the whole thing was extremely fascinating. Not nearly as fascinating as Trevor, though. Hearing him read for the part of a no-nonsense cop was almost enough to make her swoon.
Somehow, she managed to control herself, but only because Trevor had finished going over the script and was now discussing set locations. Noticing the director could use a refill on his coffee, Addison picked up the carafe and at his nod, began to pour some into the cup he was holding. As she did, she made the mistake of glancing over at Trevor. The moment her eyes met his, she completely forgot what she was supposed to be doing. The next thing she knew, the director was howled of pain.
Addison jerked out of her trance to find that she’d spilled hot coffee all over the director’s pants.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” the man demanded, jumping to his feet.
Heat suffused her face. “Oh God, I’m so sorry!” She set the carafe down on the table and grabbed a handful of cocktail napkins. “Here, let me—”
The director grabbed the napkins out of her hand. “I think you’ve done enough,” he snarled, giving her a hard look as he wiped his sodden pants.
Addison felt her color deepen. “I…” she began, but he had already turned his attention on Trevor.
“We’ll be in touch,” he said stiffly.
Throwing the napkins down on the coffee table, the director pushed past Addison and stormed out of the room. The producer murmured something to Trevor she didn’t catch before he left, too. A moment later, she heard the front door slam.
Addison gave Trevor a sheepish look. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention, I guess, and…” The words trailed off at the dark look on his face.“I-I’ll go and apologize.”
She turned and started for the door, but Trevor caught her arm.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. Like Clive said, you’ve done enough damage already. I’ll go.”
Addison’s bottom lip trembled as she watched Trevor walk out of the living room. If her carelessness had cost him this movie, she was done for, she was sure of it.
Blinking back tears, Addison picked up two of the plates of uneaten hors d’oeuvres and carried them into the kitchen. Maribel frowned at the cheese and crackers.
“They didn’t like that, either?” she asked.
Apparently, Maribel mustn’t have heard the shouting. Addison set the plates down on the granite countertop. “They…um…had to leave.”
The other woman’s frowned deepened at that, but Addison didn’t offer any more details. It was bad enough she’d embarrassed herself in front of Trevor and his guests. Going back out into the living room, she collected the rest of the plates and carried them into the kitchen. Maribel was covering the cheese and crackers with plastic wrap, and Addison grabbed one of the crab puffs before the women could do the same to the other hors d’oeuvres.
She was just working on her second one when Trevor walked in. From the look on his face, Addison couldn’t tell if his talk with the director had gone well or not, and she braced herself.
“When you’re finished here, I’d like to speak to you, Addison. I’ll wait for you in your office.”
Addison swallowed hard, the piece of crab puff almost getting caught in her throat. Well, at least he hadn’t fired her in front of Maribel. Avoiding the other woman’s curious gaze, she slid off the stool she’d been sitting on and left the kitchen.
She made her way down the hallway on leaden feet. She’d never gotten fired from any job she’d ever had, and the prospect of being given her walking papers after half a day as Trevor Braden’s personal assistant made tears sting her eyes. If her sister found out, she’d never live it down.
Addison stood outside the door to her office for a moment to collect herself. Finally taking a deep breath, she walked in.
Trevor was leaning back against the desk, his arms folded across his broad chest, and Addison’s pulse quickened. Even on the verge of being fired, all she could think about was how incredibly sexy he was.
“You wanted to see me?” she asked in a small voice.
He pushed away from the desk. “Close the door, if you would.”
Addison did as he asked, and then turned to face him. She waited for him to say something, but he only stood regarding her with those soulful dark eyes, his arms still crossed over his chest.
She looked up at him from beneath lowered lashes. “Y-you’re going to fire me, aren’t you?”
She blinked, not sure that she’d heard right. “You’re not?”
“No,” he said again. “But I am going to make sure that we don’t have a repeat performance of what happened tonight.”
Addison frowned, not sure where he was going with that. “I don’t understand.”
“Which is why I intend to make myself perfectly clear.”
Taking her arm, Trevor marched her over to the leather couch that was set along one wall. What was he going to do, sit her down and lecture her? She was just about to say that wouldn’t be necessary when he sat down and pulled her unceremoniously over his knee.
Addison was so startled that for a moment all she could do was lay there draped over his muscular legs and stare down at the plush, beige carpet. What the heck was he doing? She craned her neck to look over her shoulder at him and was shocked to feel a sharp smack on her upturned bottom.
"Mr. Braden, what—?” She gasped as his hand came down again, this time on her other cheek. Oh my God, he was spanking her!
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