Authors: K.L. Middleton
By K.L. Middleton
This book contains adult content and is recommended for ages eighteen and over.
by K.L. Middleton
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I tipped the bottle of Patron back and took another swig, watching as the two girls rolled around in my king-sized bed, whimpering and moaning in pleasure as their tongues danced between the other’s thighs. The scene was straight out of a porno- two gorgeous girls, both horny, and begging me to join them. It was a fantasy many guys would give their left nut for. Hell, it used to be mine. These days, however, it was just another Sunday night in my L.A. condo.
Or was it Monday?
The brunette, some famous lingerie model, raised her head and gave me a sensuous smile. “Aren’t you going to join us, Ransom?” she purred.
Trying to focus,
I waved my hand at the blurred image. “Nah,” I answered in a thick voice. “Gonna sit this one out.”
She licked her full lips suggestively
. “Are you sure? Or are we going to have to keep begging?”
I smiled lazily.
“Not really sure of anything, sweetness.”
, thinking I was flirting with her, and then resumed pleasuring the red-head who was staring at me with hungry, adoring eyes. I rubbed a hand over my face, trying to remember what her name was.
It really didn’t matter.
To me, Spice-Girl was just another faceless groupie, one who’d caught my eye during my drummer Vance’s birthday party, earlier. She’d been wearing some kind of silver, sequined halter-top, her nipples poking through as she’d plopped herself onto my lap, whispering kinky shit into my ear, finally, offering to suck my cock. I obliged, taking her up on the offer in the bathroom, but in the end had to push her away. I couldn’t stay hard looking down at a girl who stared up at me like I was something I wasn’t.
I was by no means a “God”. God’s weren’t miserable, nor were they ruled by others.
Hell, I was both.
On the outside, my life was the stuff that dreams were made of. I was a filthy rich multi-Grammy rock star, with hoards of women, drugs, and alcohol at my disposal. I owned several cars, four homes, a private jet, and even a small island in the Caribbean. I was
shit, an All-American Rock-star.
what a fucking joke...
I was a
nothing but a prisoner, owned by the small print in my contracts, and managers who treated me like a child at twenty-five. I wasn’t allowed to write my own music, plan my own tours, or make any more important decisions about my life, let alone my career. Shit, I couldn’t even step outside of my front door without being monitored or chastised by one of my P.R. peeps. The only thing I could control was getting wasted, so I indulged as much as possible. As far as I was concerned, the fact that I still had control over what I did to my body was what kept me from drowning in their cesspool of non-negotiable rules. Or, hell, maybe it was pushing me under faster, I didn’t even fucking know anymore. The shitty truth was that even if I wanted to walk away from all of the glory, and stardom, my mug was plastered everywhere on magazines, television, billboards, and bathroom stalls. I couldn’t go anywhere without being followed by reporters or star-struck fans. Hell, I needed bodyguards just to go to fucking McDonalds for a shake. Then, there were the crazy, obsessed stalkers who’d sworn an undying love for me, convinced that we were soul-mates. Or the other fanatics who just simply wanted to destroy me.
I was Ransom, an icon to some, the epitome of sin and debauchery to others. In reality, I was a puppet with too many strings and no Blue Fairy in sight.
“Tiff!” hollered Sinclair. “Are you almost ready? We’re going to be late!”
My hands trembled as
I stared blindly into the mirror, trying not to throw up. In just a matter of two hours I’d went from giddy, to being terrified beyond belief. I wasn’t foolish enough to believe that it was going to get any better, either. Not in the next couple of hours, at least.
You can still back out
, I thought, tapping my foot on the ground nervously.
Save yourself from being humiliated and laughed at.
She knocked on the door. “Sweetie?
I sighed and stood up straight.
Oh, hell, I can’t let Sinclair down.
m ready,” I said, opening the door.
“You look awesome,” she said, taking a step back and nodding.
“Thanks,” I said
, stepping over Felix, who glared up at me with loathing. I narrowed my eyes and scowled back. “You’re cute but don’t think I’ve forgotten that it’s all a disguise.”
“I guess he has to ‘go’,” said Sinclair, smiling with amusement down at her cat.
He was the only cat I knew that used a toilet, and had little tolerance for others using
bathroom. Sinclair had somehow trained him to use it when he was a kitten, and I’d made the mistake of walking in on him a few months ago. He’d growled at me, and then the little turd had peed on my new designer purse, his message clear. Although I’d wanted nothing more than to drop him off of the balcony, I’d held my cool, which was good because the next day, Sinclair had went and replaced the three-hundred dollar purse I’d saved all spring for.
Felix rubbed up against Sinclair and then strutted like royalty into the bathroom.
I rolled my eyes.
I like that outfit,” she said, nodding in approval. “You now look like a mixture between a country singer, and a rock-star.”
“You think so?” I asked, biting my lower lip.
“Hell yes, I think so. You should, too,” she said, adjusting one of my curls. “Take it from me- you already look like a star.”
I thought I looked more like Cowgirl Barbie, but I kept that to myself.
Sinclair had spent hours curling my blonde hair, and applying my makeup with detailed precision. With my shaky hands, I would have never been able to pull anything off if it wasn’t for her. “Well, thanks for all of your help,” I answered. “I just wish I wasn’t so damn nervous.”
Why? Girl, you look beautiful, sexy, and ready to take on the world.”
“Well, looks are deceiving.”
Yes, but your voice isn’t. Once you open up that mouth of yours, and start singing, they’re going to be blown away.”
And what if I’m too nervous to sing?”
She touched my shoulder.
“You won’t be. Just calm down, Tiffany. You look great and your voice is amazing.” She tilted her head and nodded. “Honestly, I don’t think you could have picked a better outfit. You look like the girl-next-door.”
bing through my closet several times on this last minute decision, I’d settled on a short denim skirt, a plain white blouse with a blue camisole, and distressed brown cowgirl boots.
Sinclair straightened the silver locket around my neck. “I’m sure this will give you luck, too.”
I reached up and touched my mother’s locket. She’d given it to me in the hospital, three years ago, right before she’d died from a rare type of breast cancer. Inside of it was a picture of my beautiful, golden-haired parents on their wedding day. Unfortunately, five years after that photo, my father had been killed by a drunk driver. From what my mother had explained, he’d been jogging early one Saturday morning, when I was three, when someone had hit him, leaving my mother a devastated widow at the age of twenty-eight. Fortunately for me, my mother had pulled through a short stint of depression, determined to make sure that I grew up in an atmosphere filled with laughter and love.
And she had.
She’d raised me all on her own, while going to college, and working on the weekends at a nearby convenient store. Eventually, she’d graduated, and began a teaching career, which she’d adored, up until I graduated from high school and she’d been diagnosed with cancer. As far as I could remember, she’d always cherished life, and had made me the center of it. I only wished she was here now to calm my nerves like she had so many times in the past.
that nervous?” asked Sinclair, grabbing a brush from her purse. She ran it through her long, auburn hair, and I stared at her, wishing I was as self-confident as she was. Looking like a super-model and having a rich boyfriend obviously didn’t hurt.
Very. I’ll probably make a complete fool out of myself and get thrown out.”
. “You’re going to knock-them-dead, Tiff. They’re going to look into those big, blue eyes, and hear that beautiful voice of yours, and be completely blown away. I only wish I could watch it happen.”
turned to me, grabbed my shoulders, and shook me playfully. “Stop thinking that way. You have to go in there, and believe that
, will be the next ‘American Icon’. I have total faith in you.”
American Icon, a realty-show-slash-
singing-competition that traveled around the U.S. in search of its next big star. The winner would be given a record contract, and two-million dollars up-front. It had already launched the careers of six lucky people, who were now so rich and successful, they’d become household names.
sheepishly. “I wish I had your confidence.”
“Just stop thinking like that. In fact, I know this is a stupid cliché
, but if you’re really that freaked out, just try to imagine the judges in their underwear. Seriously.”
“Right, with my luck the judges will be hot, and I’ll be drooling.”
“Okay, even better. Pretend that they
your lovers as you’re singing, and then you can seduce those votes right out of them.”
I opened up a bottle of water,
and shook my head. “Easy for you to say. I still can’t believe that I let you talk me into this.”
“When you’re rich and famous, you’re going to thank
the hell out of me. Now, let’s go before we keep Jesse waiting, and he throws a hissy fit.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Jesse’s driving?”
“He insisted that he drive when he heard the news. He’s hoping to meet Taylor Blake.”
Taylor Blake, the host for American Icon,
hot. He also had the reputation for being a total scoundrel when it came to women. Rumor had it that he went through more women than hair-gel.
know what he’s getting himself into?” I asked, thinking back to the long lines of contestants they always showed on television.
Yeah, he said so. He also said that it was better than watching paint dry. I guess Daniel is painting Jesse’s new house, and he needed an excuse to get the hell out of there. You know Jesse; he hates any kind of physical labor. He’s afraid of getting dirt under his nails.”
I’m sure. So, how are those two love-birds doing?” I asked.
I guess,” said Sinclair. “Although, Jesse has been complaining about Daniel’s suggestion that they go on an Alaskan cruise.”
hy would he complain about that?”
He said something about it being a floating retirement home, and didn’t want any old coots checking him out.”
“Seriously? He said that?”
She nodded. “Jesse is sweet, but he’s also very vain.”
“Well, he’s certainly good-looking, so I can kind of understand it.”
“I know, but I’m sure it isn’t easy to live with, at least not for Daniel. Anyway, you ready to go?” she asked, grabbing her keys from the coffee table.
I swallowed the lump of fear in the back of my throat
. “I suppose.”
grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the door. “Relax. This is going to be fun.”
stopped abruptly. “Wait.”
Her green eyes narrowed.
“I…I just don’t think I can really do this,” I squeaked.
“Yes you can.”
I shook my head vehemently. “No, seriously, I think I’m going to throw up if I try and go through with this.”
She raised her hands.
“Don’t you dare, you’ll ruin your makeup.”
I backed away from her.
“I…I can’t do this Sinclair. I’m sorry for wasting your time helping me get ready today.”
She stepped closer and pointed h
er finger at me. “You can do this, and do you know why?”
I opened my mouth
to protest but she went on.
“Because God gave you that voice
for a reason. As far as I’m concerned, it was a gift, one that was meant to be shared with the world. Now, you’re going to march in front of those judges, with your head held high. Then you’re going to open up that mouth of yours and make theirs drop. I swear to you, this is your destiny, your moment to shine, I can just feel it. Now, buck-up, honey, because I’m not letting you miss this chance. You’re going all the way, girl. I feel it in my bones.”
I blushed. “You really believe that I’m good enough?”
She rolled her eyes. “Yes! What more can I say to make you believe me?”
“Nothing. You don’t have to say anything else,” I replied, clutching my purse tighter. “Let’s just go and do this.”
“Good. Um, by the way,” she smiled sheepishly. “I heard that Ransom is one of the judges, and I want you to try, and get his autograph.”
My throat went dry.
“Yes. I told my niece I’d
somehow get it for her. She’s totally in love with that guy.”
“Ransom?” I said,
still not quite believing it.
“Yeah, isn’t that great? He’s one of the original Icon winners. Plus, he’s from California. One of our own homeboys.”
“No. It’s not
really that great,” I said, putting my purse down.
“Because,” I said quietly. “I went to school with his sister, and… let’s just say that he’s a total jerk. I’ll never win if he’s one of the judges.”
Her jaw dropped
. “You actually
“Unfortunately,” I said, remembering the way he used to
tease and call me “Tiffy Taffy” or just plain “Taffy” for short. He also used to chase us around with water guns, and terrorize us at night during sleepovers.
“Wow,” she said, shaking her head in disbelief. “
You lucky girl.”
snorted. “Believe me, there was no luck involved. Anyway, I’m sure there must be some kind of rule against knowing one of the contestants.”
“When was the last time you saw him?”
I shrugged. “I guess I was about fourteen.”
” She waved her hand. “Oh hell, he probably won’t even remember you.”
“He’ll remember, believe me,
” I said, thinking back to the last time I’d actually seen him. I’d made a fool out of myself, and the thought of facing him was making me more ill than the contest itself.
“You weren’t friends, though, right?”
So, who cares if you knew him. You weren’t friends, and nobody needs to know that you were friends with his sister. Besides, he has met so many people being famous, he might not recognize you.”
Wow. I still can’t believe you knew Ransom,” said Sinclair, smirking. “What are the odds of that?”
“What about Ransom
?” asked Jesse, walking through the door. “And what’s taking you girls so long? I have my convertible down, and this heat is fucking up my hair.”
Sinclair walked over to him
, and began fussing with his drooping hair. “We were just leaving,” she said. “Did you know that Tiffany knew Ransom growing up?”
His eyes widened
. “You’re kidding? You knew Ransom?”
I shrugged. “
He took off his sunglasses and cleaned them with the edge of his shirt. “I’d
love to get my hands on that hunk. He is so freaken
. I met him at one of my parent’s parties and let me just say this, he’s even more gorgeous in person.”