The Ex Factor
About 10,200 words
Once half of the most powerful ‘it’ couple in Hollywood, actress Susan Ainsley is tired of shallow guys or men who only want to bask in her spotlight. When her ex can’t seem to stop trashing their relationship even though he’s remarried, she looks to Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand service to help her find a real partner.
Susan has starred in director Jared Thornwell’s dreams for years. But after divorcing her cardboard husband, it seems she’s out on the town with a new guy every other week. Jared wants nothing more than to be the man who fulfills her dreams too, but even with Madame Eve’s help, does he stand a chance with her for longer than one night?
Like something out of a horror flick, the white rose advanced. So pure and delicate, its petals caught the candlelight with a soft but brilliant glow. But how…? “How did you get that?”
Amusement flickered across his features. “I assure you, I didn’t sneak into anyone’s yard and snip it.”
She glanced around. “Was it already at the table when you sat down?”
“You….” She must seem an idiot, but she couldn’t fathom it. “You?” Her 1Night Stand date?
“Me,” he said sheepishly.
“There’s been a mistake.” Madame Eve’s first, apparently. And wow, what a doozy. “I specified a date with a real person.”
Mirth practically bubbled up. “I am a real person.”
“No, I meant, yes, of course you’re a real person. But you’re a director. A world-famous director.” About as far from ordinary as anyone could get.
“I’m still real.” He held his arm out. “Want to pinch me?”
She gently shoved it away. “No.”
He rose to a crouch. “Maybe you’d rather pinch me somewhere else?” He swung his rear toward her.
A chuckle escaped. Great butt. Tempting offer. She gestured for him to sit. “No,” she whispered. “I’m simply explaining there’s been a mistake. I have to text Madame Eve.” She whipped out her cell.
His hand enveloped hers. “No, there hasn’t.”
Her shoulders slumped in defeat. Oh, this poor man. If she wasn’t dead set on finding someone who hated movies, she’d be tempted to—
He leaned across the table, the white rose between them. “Madame Eve’s reputation remains untarnished. She filled both our requests.”
Holy hell. He arranged a date, too.