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Contracted by Marni Mann (1)

Prologue

Max - Two Years Ago

“Get up,” Brett said as he walked into his condo. He’d left me on the couch, watching the Heat game, to go to the lobby of his building and pick up the pizza he’d ordered. “We’re going to James’s.”

As he went into the kitchen and grabbed a twelve-pack from the fridge, carrying it into the living room, I flipped off the TV. The look on my face told him exactly how I felt about the bullshit he’d just said to me.

“What?” he asked.

“Why the fuck are we going to James’s?”

“I just saw her downstairs with her stylist, and they need my approval on some outfits.”

James Ryne, Brett’s newest client, had recently relocated to Miami and was renting a place in his building. America’s sweetheart had escaped LA when a sex tape came out that ruined her whole career, taking her from one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood to unemployable. She’d hired our company, The Agency, to represent her, and Brett was now her agent.

Just because she worked with us didn’t mean I wanted to spend my downtime with her. I hardly got any time off. My musicians were as high-maintenance as Brett’s actors. So, when I wasn’t working, I wanted to relax and chill with my buddies.

Looking at some dresses wasn’t that.

What it sounded like was fucking hell.

“And what am I?” I asked him, unsure of why he couldn’t go to her place by himself. “A chaperone?”

“You’re the fourth wheel.”

I shook my head. “Not interested.”

“Her stylist is hot as fuck. Trust me, brother.”

Brett and I had the same taste in women. If he said she was hot as fuck, then I knew she must really be something to look at.

My feet slid off the cushion and dropped to the floor. “Now, I’m interested.” I stood, taking the pizza boxes out of his hand, so he could carry the beer, and I followed him to the elevator. “It surprises me that you let the realtor move James into your building.”

Jack and Scarlett, our other two business partners and best friends, also lived in downtown Miami high-rises. But not me. I didn’t want to share walls or risk the chance of running into a client or an ex in the lobby. My fucking luck, I’d end up living above someone I’d dated, and I’d have to see her every goddamn morning at the gym.

That shit wasn’t for me.

So, I’d bought a house on the water that was only a few minutes away. I didn’t have a hell of a lot of land, but I had a direct view of Biscayne Bay, which was prettier than any of those fuckers had.

“Why?” he asked.

“You won’t even bring the women you fuck back to your place because you don’t want them to know where you live, but you’ll let James be a neighbor.”

“It’s different.”

I laughed as we stepped into the elevator, Brett hitting the button for James’s floor.

“What’s so funny?”

He’d forgotten we’d practically been brothers since we were kids. All these years later, and I could still see right through him.

“Something tells me you didn’t mind running into her.”

“Jesus, don’t start with me.”

I continued laughing and shook my head. “I’m not starting shit. I’m just saying, if a girl who looked like James lived by me, I wouldn’t exactly be pissed off about it. But you’re not me, and going down to her apartment isn’t you.”

“She’s my client.”

“So, that makes this different? If anything, it should make it worse.”

“It makes her off-limits,” he snapped. “We’re going to her place to see some dresses. That’s it.”

He was getting worked up, proving my point even further, and that only made me laugh harder.

“Something you could do in the office,” I said.

“You’re fucking starting again.”

“And, now, I’m dropping it.”

Brett moved, so I couldn’t see his face. He’d done that on purpose, which was the final bit of proof I needed.

Damn it, I loved it when I was right.

Eventually, he’d admit it since he sucked at keeping secrets from me.

We stepped out of the elevator and walked down the hall. When we reached the apartment, Brett knocked on the door, but James wasn’t the one who answered it.

Jesus fucking Christ.

The chick standing in front of us was the hottest woman I’d ever seen. And that wasn’t something I said often, considering I worked in the music industry and was surrounded by the most beautiful women in the world.

Brett said hello to her, and then he immediately walked into the apartment.

I didn’t.

I stayed right where I was, not wanting to move a goddamn inch unless it was to get closer to her. I lifted my hand off the bottom of the pizza boxes and held it out. “Max Graham,” I said.

As she shook it, I felt the lightness of her grip, the softness of her skin, the heat that poured through her fingers.

“Eve Kennedy, James’s stylist.”

She was too gorgeous to be a stylist. She should act or model or stand naked in my office, so I could look at her every moment of the fucking day.

“Brett and I are partners,” I told her in case she thought I was the pizza delivery boy.

“Do you represent actors like Brett?”

“Nah, I work with musicians.”

Her brows rose, and I could tell she was intrigued. “Really? I need to hear more about this. I’m a music junkie.”

“How about you invite me in first?”

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to keep you standing in the hallway with food. Come in, please.”

Once I got inside, I set the pizzas on the table, and I grabbed a beer that Brett had put in the fridge.

“James will be right out,” Eve said to him. “She wanted to take a quick shower before she tried anything on.”

I held the pizza box open for Eve. After she took a slice, I got one for myself, and then the three of us went into the living room. Brett and I sat on the couch, and Eve took a spot on the ottoman.

“I spoke to your team and kept their recommendations in mind when choosing each dress,” Eve said to Brett, now in full business mode. “Several are black, but more than half are in jewel tones, which look incredible with James’s skin tone…”

I stopped listening.

I wasn’t interested in their conversation.

Instead, my mind was picturing Eve in the shower with water dripping down her skin. Her long, lean legs spread just enough that I could see underneath her pussy, her C-sized tits having the hardest fucking nipples.

When I realized she had caught me staring at her, I wedged the beer between my knees and took a bite of my slice. “When does the fashion show start?”

“Right now,” James said.

I looked in James’s direction but only for a few seconds because my gaze was being dragged back to Eve. She was speaking to Brett about the dress James had on, and I was watching the way her lips moved. How her tongue casually licked the inside corner of her mouth. How her eyes had turned so serious.

I wondered what her expression would be if I told her where I wanted to put my tongue.

“So, what do you think?” Eve asked Brett.

“It’s good,” Brett said. “Let’s see the next one.”

Neither of the ladies knew Brett like I did, so they had no idea he was doing everything in his power not to toss James over his shoulder and carry her to the closest bed. But his face and his voice told me how hard he was fighting that urge.

I wasn’t too far behind him.

This fashion show needed to end. I was more interested in spending time with Eve than watching James put on these fucking dresses.

“How many will she be trying on?” I asked.

“Twelve,” Eve said.

That meant we had eleven more to go.

The only good thing about this situation was that Eve’s attention would be on James, and that meant my attention could be on her.

And that was what I planned to do the whole time my ass was on this couch—memorize every inch of her, every twitch of her lips, every freckle I was able to see.

Finishing off my slice of pizza, I grabbed my beer, kicked my legs onto the ottoman, not far from where Eve was sitting, and said, “Looks like we’re going to be here for a while, so I might as well get comfortable.”

* * *

“Tell me some music dirt,” Eve said, smiling at me, as the two of us stood on the balcony outside James’s apartment. “I’ve only ever worked with actors. I’m so out of the know when it comes to your industry.”

Once James had finished trying on all the outfits, I’d gone out to get some air, trying to calm my fucking cock. It had been hard since dress two. The smirk Eve had given me during dress eight had me gripping the goddamn armrest of the couch, so she wouldn’t find herself tossed over my fucking shoulder and stripped naked on the way to a bedroom.

She shifted positions, looking at me from the corners of her eyes, and it sent me her smell. It reminded me of a New England summer night that had hints of orange and leaves.

Those were some of my favorite scents.

Fuck.

I glanced away for a second, and then I turned toward her again, catching the tail end of her grin. “What do you want to know?”

“Who doesn’t write their own lyrics? Who lip-syncs? You know…the dirt.”

Even her voice was sexy.

It was a little raspy, like she’d been screaming from all the things my tongue was doing to her cunt.

“You’re asking the wrong person,” I said.

“No, I think I’m asking the right one. Something tells me you just need a little incentive to spill.”

I heard the door slide open, and Brett stuck his head through the opening. “I’m going to head up.”

“I’ll be there in a little while,” I told him.

Once the glass was closed, my eyes went back to Eve’s lips and the long piece of dark hair hanging down next to it. The strands were caught in her gloss, and it took everything I had not to move them.

“What kind of incentive?”

The smile was back.

It was even larger now.

In the time I’d spent in this apartment, Eve had shown me she wasn’t shy or timid at all. She was smart. Witty. And she had one hell of a mouth on her.

Before she could respond to my question, she needed to know something about me.

“I’m a forward kind of guy. I say what I want, and I rarely use a filter. In other words, I don’t fuck around. So, just be straight-up with me.”

“I don’t fuck around either.”

Finally, it sounded like I’d met my match.

“Tell me what’s on your mind,” she continued.

I would do that, but I was going to show her, too.

I gripped her waist, pulling her against my body so that she could feel how hard my cock was. Then, I leaned into her ear, knowing my words were going to vibrate across her skin. “Your lips. That’s what’s on my mind right now.”

Her body tightened, telling me she wanted the same thing as me.

Her neck tilted back, and it gave me more of her skin to breathe against.

Then, she sighed into the hot Miami air. “If I give you my lips, are you going to stop there, or are you going to want more?”

My hands slid down her sides, keeping her body close to mine, and I tilted my hips forward, pushing my entire cock against her.

“Once I get a taste”—I inhaled, taking in her scent, as I brushed my nose across her hair—“I don’t think I’ll be able to stop.”