Royal Chase(9)By: Sariah Wilson
This. This was why I wanted to stay away from Dante and focus my attention on Salvatore. He had just given me one of the most amazing kisses of my life and ten seconds later he had another girl draped all over him. It made my stomach turn. I didn’t need this.
I didn’t need him.
Dante flashed me a satisfied grin as if to say, “See? I told you it would work.”
I’d never wanted to punch somebody so badly in my life. But I didn’t know whether I wanted to hit him or her. Both, probably.
I refused to look at or talk to Dante for the rest of the night. And just as he had predicted, Salvatore didn’t leave my side. Before I hadn’t even existed, but now I was the center of his universe. He was funny and charming, but not as funny and charming as Dante. But it didn’t matter. I refused to go down that road. Tonight was a spectacular example of why.
That soft, sweet kiss had very nearly made me spontaneously combust. I wondered what would happen if he ever kissed me and meant it.
I wouldn’t have to wonder for long.
I explained the situation with the girl in the bathroom to Taylor Hodges, my former sorority sister and recently promoted field producer of Marry Me. She was on a headset faster than a hare with a hot foot, talking to whoever was in charge, and the decision was quickly made that the girl in the bathroom would have to be let go. They ascertained that her name was Brittney, and they located her luggage, returned her stained dress even though I didn’t get the chance to clean it, and had her in a taxi and on her way to the airport before I even knew what was happening.
And she took my blazer.
An order went out to sequester all of the girls in their hotel rooms so the production team could find out who knew what. As far as the team was concerned, the show would be ruined if even one girl suspected Dante had a title.
An emergency meeting was called in the conference room, and Dante was invited. He nodded his head toward the door, letting me know that he wanted me to come too. The room was crowded with executives and crew members, all talking at the same time on their phones and to each other.
Assistants ran in with reports from each of the girls. Brittney had told two other girls about Dante, and they were sent home just as quickly. The other women still appeared to be in the dark.
Unfortunately, the show only had two alternates, which left them with one slot open.
“We could just do it with twenty-four women,” said one of the executives.
Another executive, a woman with a severe silver bob, shook her head. “But we always have twenty-five! Always! Not only will it upset the viewing audience, but the other girls will wonder why we’re one short. It will tip them off that something’s going on. We can’t risk it.”
“We’re filming the first episode tonight,” said a heavyset man with a baseball cap. “Everything’s been set up and ready to go, the permits have been pulled, and if we delay things even a day, it will mess up the entire schedule.”
“We can’t afford that,” someone else said, and several people nodded their heads.
“Matthew is going to kill us if we mess this up,” said a small, accountant-looking man in a three-piece suit.
Matthew Burdette was an executive producer. He owned a massive conglomerate with a very famous production company, and he had his fingers in television and movies and owned a crapload of radio stations. His wife, Stephanie, was a former A-list movie star turned talk show host. Together they ruled Hollywood. He was not a man you would ever dare cross, especially in my line of work. He could effectively keep me from working with any TV or radio show ever again if I made him mad.
And he had a temper.
“Who’s going to call him?”
The room fell silent. Nobody was willing to risk professional suicide.