Late night with andres, p.1
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       Late Night With Andres, p.1

           Debra Anastasia
 
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Late Night With Andres


  Cover

  Title Page

  Late Night with Andres

  ...

  Debra Anastasia

  ...

  Omnific Publishing

  Los Angeles

  Copyright Information

  Late Night with Andres, Copyright © 2013 by Debra Anastasia

  All Rights Reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher.

  ...

  Omnific Publishing

  1901 Avenue of the Stars, 2nd Floor

  Los Angeles, California 90067

  www.omnificpublishing.com

  ...

  First Omnific eBook edition, October 2013

  First Omnific trade paperback edition, October 2013

  ...

  The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

  ...

  Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publication Data

  ...

  Anastasia, Debra.

  Late Night with Andres / Debra Anastasia – 1st ed

  ISBN: 978-1-623421-01-4

  1. Suspense—Romance. 2. Humor—Romance. 3. TV Show—Romance. 4. Celebrity—Romance. I. Title

  ...

  Cover Design by Micha Stone and Amy Brokaw

  Interior Book Design by Coreen Montagna

  Dedication

  This book is for a little boy named Alex.

  Chapter 1

  Muffin

  MILLA HADN’T EXPECTED to see herself on TV in her lifetime, and surely not as the featured subject. But tonight her life was going to change. She’d been an author for a while—it was a comfortable place with sweatpants and ponytails. Tonight she’d dressed to the hilt, and her ridiculously expensive little black dress and strappy heels left her feeling exposed.

  When security showed her to the dressing room, she nodded gracefully and closed the door. But once she knew she was out of sight, she commenced a butt-slapping, hair-swinging dance of excitement and victory. She had no way of knowing she was being taped for the late night television show’s blooper reel. Not even a little hint. She added her pretend-I’m-a-drunk-stripper dance, complete with toe drags. Eventually, she petered out and chicken-danced over to her welcome packet the people from Late Night with Andres had thoughtfully put on the coffee table.

  She was to follow a long list of rules, including, but not limited to: no cursing on air; always cross your legs if you’re wearing a skirt; please don’t flush any feminine hygiene products; and of course, never ask the host about his bulletproof hair. Milla snorted to herself. That’s exactly the sort of thing she’d be tempted to ask about. Her online advice column, Milla Bites, had blown up recently when a troubled socialite on a downward spiral began quoting Milla’s snarky answers to her questions on Twitter. After magazine interviews, radio spots, and some pretty exciting meetings with publishing bigwigs, Milla was poised to appear on tonight’s show, billed as writing’s new, young face.

  She unleashed an unattractive squee when she saw a basket of baked goods sitting by the mini fridge. She unwrapped a muffin and smiled, but just before she could sink her teeth into her first piece of swag, a noise ripped through the air and sent her mind into a primal scream. Cowering, she fell to the floor, clutching her crumbling muffin like a good luck talisman.

  There was so much screaming! Milla crawled to the door, intent on locking it, when another gunshot shook her brain and her hold on reality. Her sweet taste of fame was being poisoned by what must be a weapon in the building. She had just about reached the door when the knob began to turn. She froze for a moment, and as the door began to open, the fire alarm also went off, so a piercing, flashing noise announced her new visitor. There was nowhere to hide as he slipped into her dressing room. Milla stupidly held her muffin in front of her face and closed her eyes. After a few moments, it became apparent—since she was still alive—that the man had not killed her.

  Milla peeked around the muffin and watched her visitor lock the door. He turned and took a quick scan of the room’s interior. His eyes widened when he spotted her crouched on the floor. He didn’t appear to be the one with the gun, because the gunshots were still sprinkling through the building—and her nervous system. The man stepped over her and frantically searched through the room. The best weapon he could come up with was a huge can of Big Sexy Hair mousse. The blaring fire alarm cut out, giving way to an ear-piercing silence. New guy set down his beauty product and began pushing the couch in front of the door. Milla set her muffin remnants down and moved to help him. They lifted the couch on his silently mouthed One, Two, Three. Then they stepped back and crouched down.

  The flimsy lock and the bargain basement couch did not instill any confidence, but Milla was glad she at least had what seemed like friendly company. He soon had the can of mousse clutched in his hand again. He eased down to his belly and motioned for her to do the same. Their shoulders touching, they watched the door and listened. Minutes passed like hours, and every move made way too much noise—including their breathing. The silence was just as bad as the gunshots because the madman could be anywhere, could want anything.

  Milla bit her lip as the tears began, doing her very best not to become hysterical. She sniffled, and her companion nudged her with his elbow—hard. He mouthed, No you don’t, while shaking his head. She tried to swallow her panic. It certainly would not help. She looked at him earnestly to prove her intentions of holding her damn act together, and she realized he was him. The famous him. The man next to her was wearing a hoodie, but his face was the one all over magazine covers and many women’s sexiest dreams.

  Gage Daxson was a singer by trade, but his hard-partying bad boy image made him a hot topic of many blogs and entertainment shows. She watched his face register her knowledge. She could almost hear his internal sigh: this again. He didn’t seem to have any idea who she was, and she tried not to let this bust a hole in her ego.

  Loud footsteps outside their door scattered her petty concerns to the wind. Both Gage and Milla flinched when they heard the sound of a door being kicked in. Then they heard crashing and banging in the room next to them and a man screaming about retribution. Milla closed her eyes. She didn’t sob, but her tears fell, wetting her cheeks as she began to pray.

  Chapter 2

  The Devil’s Fart

  FIGURED. GAGE HADN’T AGREED to do a show like this in years. His luck lately had been crap—most likely because of the horrible gloom he’d been carrying around like a dead dog for months. He was sick of it all. Being famous had run its damn course a couple million times over. He’d drunk himself silly, fucked girls until he was numb, and stopped singing for the sheer joy of it so damn long ago it hurt. There was no more rush from writing a new song, no pulling over on the side of a road and scrawling lyrics on his arm with a pen he’d stolen from the bank. All the people he’d been dying to reach with his songs were reaching back. They’d grabbed at him until he couldn’t even breathe, and no disguise was thick enough to hide. Between Twitter, Facebook, and cell phones, he was tracked as if he were marked for it. He’d even cut his distinctive locks, but still they found him. A horrible Grizzly Adams beard had also failed to give him back his anonymity. And no one wanted to hear a rich and famous person bitching about being rich and famous. It was supposed to be a dream come true.

  Tonight, while looking for a vending machine with a Coke in it, he’d been confronted by a crazy freak show. In response, he took off running and tried three doors before he found this o
pen dressing room. Now the girl next to him was crying, and he had not one damn way to get out of this room. No freaking windows, no doors leading to anything else. Finally he might soon be put out of his miserable depression, but in the worst possible way. The girl was doing her best not to make any noise, but he could tell she wouldn’t be any help. So, unarmed and far from his bodyguard, he decided to write his obituary in his head.

  The dressing room next to this one had been locked, but now the freak show was stomping around in there. The flimsy lock had not kept him out for a second. Gage felt his pocket vibrate and pulled out his phone. Cell phone! Damn it, why hadn’t I thought of that? The text was from Sydney, his huge, streetwise bodyguard:

  Where u at?~S

  On 3rd floor in a dressing room.~G

  Stay put.~S

  Gunman next room over. Tell mom I luv her. Luv you too, big guy.

  Get the hell out.~G

  He clicked send and turned his attention to the girl. They would have to work together somehow. He leaned as close as possible to her ear and whispered, “When he comes in here, we’re both going to jump him. Kick, punch, bite. Do everything you can. I’ll try to knock him out.”

  She wriggled and brushed at her ear. “I’m ticklish there. What do you mean when he comes? Maybe he won’t find us.”

  She faced him instead of whispering in his ear, but at least she was quiet.

  “Plus, I can’t do shit in these heels.”

  Gage pushed himself down to her feet and started working on her buckles.

  “These shoes are really complicated. You won’t—”

  When he slid the heel from her foot she stopped talking. He took off her second shoe.

  “Don’t look up my dress.”

  Gage set her shoes quietly aside and crawled on his elbows until he was next to her again. “I’m trying to save our lives, not get a peek at your black panties.”

  She punched him in the arm, painfully.

  “Did I guess right?” He smiled, trying to get her thinking rational thoughts. If he was going to have a chance of getting out of here alive, this girl needed to at least be a distraction.

  “I don’t remember what color they are. I’m just trying not to pee in them.” She looked back at the locked door.

  “Okay, stand up. Grab something, and let’s get ready to kick some ass.” Gage held out his hand, and she took the offered assistance.

  “I’m scared.” She picked up a curling iron off the vanity.

  He put his finger in front of his lips to hush her. The gunman’s footsteps echoed in the hallway. Milla’s eyes locked on the handle of their door. At the last second, Gage grabbed her arm and pushed her behind the couch. She wasn’t going to be any help.

  The door vibrated with the first kick. After the next it splintered. Gage dropped the Big Sexy Hair mousse and settled into his bar-fight stance. His last coherent thought was that he’d never been in a fistfight without Sydney to back him up.

  The sexy singer’s forearms were tense, the veins straining his skin as he faced the exploding door. Everything seemed to happen in both slow motion and at super speed. Milla’s heartbeat was so ridiculous that she could almost see her chest jumping. I don’t want to die now. That thought clarified her scattered mind. The gunman had taken to shooting their door when he encountered the resistance the couch provided. Gage Daxson stepped to the side and pressed himself flat against the wall. A few blistering seconds later, their door and the protection it provided was gone. The gunman’s mania and sheer craziness somehow allowed him the strength to shove the furniture out of the way. And he had his gun pointed at Gage before there was any time for epic ass kicking. They were at his mercy.

  Or at least Gage was. Milla realized she was still unknown, for now.

  “All of the things belong to me!” The gunman’s smell, along with his voice, filled the room. “All the things!”

  Gage nodded in agreement. “Yes, absolutely. Dude, I hear you.”

  He was a slight man, for all the ruckus he was creating. Milla would expect him to be a banker, not a crazy man. Maybe he was a crazy-man banker? Or at least in finance. A tax guy? He aimed his gun at the ceiling and fired two more rounds. Milla stopped wondering what the man did for a living.

  “Don’t call me dude,” he announced. “No one calls me dude. You know what that tells me? That tells me you don’t know me. And you want to take all the things. I own all the things.” He rolled his head on his neck and each blemish became pronounced. He looked like the Devil’s fart.

  Milla gripped the curling iron and tried to find her courage.

  “Get on your knees, asshole. Now.”

  Gage slowly complied. Milla could see how much he hated being put at this disadvantage.

  But the Devil’s Fart was still angry. “Don’t look at me like that. Wait—I know you. And I hate you.” The word hate seemed welcome in the Fart’s mouth. “My last girlfriend’s computer, phone, everything was full of you. Bastard. Before you die you’ll lick my shoes. I own all the things. Even you.” He screamed a bit, as if his rage was taking hold of his body.

  Milla took a deep breath and swung the iron at Fart’s neck. It bounced off, and she swung again as he whirled in her direction. Turns out a hollow, cold curling iron is a shitty weapon. Milla slapped Fart in the face with it like the French did with a glove before a duel. Fart backhanded Milla so quickly, she almost forgot to stagger in pain. By the time she could look back at the gunman, he’d backed up and was waving the gun between Gage Daxson and herself. Dear God, that’s scary. Guns are scary.

  “Off your knees, pretty boy. Stand next to your whore.” The Devil’s Fart began twitching.

  “I’m not a whore!” Milla stood prouder. If she was going to die, she wanted to at least defend her honor. And mostly her honor was her vagina. Gage Daxson elbowed her again, hard.

  “Look, we just want to help you,” he said. “I don’t even know this girl. I came in here when you started firing.”

  Milla looked from the gun to the singer. He was trying to charm the gunman. Be his best friend. Or at least be the person in the room with the least holes. Well, gun-created holes. Other holes, they were pretty much all even. The Devil’s Fart showed his teeth like a rabid dog. He had a huge hunk of green between two of them.

  Milla tried to ignore it, but apparently adrenaline made her wordy. “You’ve got something there.” She scraped at her own teeth to show him.

  Gage turned to her in disbelief. “Seriously? Can you just shut up for like a minute? I’m trying not to get killed here.”

  “What? He’s got something. I tell people if they’ve got weirdness going on. I’m trying to be helpful.” Milla shuffled from one foot to another. Gage Daxson’s jade eyes were pretty even when he was angry. He held one finger against his lips. She shrugged. “I’m scared.” Her cheek still throbbed. She hated being slapped.

  Gage turned back to the gunman, who, Milla noticed, was now watching them with a flared interest. There was an intensely awkward pause as she and apparently Gage realized The Devil’s Fart had his hand down his pants, massaging.

  “So you two don’t know each other?” Fart had a look of anticipation Milla didn’t like at all.

  They said nothing. Where were the cops? The sirens? Things that make a lot of comforting noises should be happening.

  Fart started grinding his hips and biting his bottom lip. “Kiss her, asshole.”

  Milla’s eyes widened. “You want him to kiss my asshole?” She covered her bottom.

  The gunman rolled his eyes. “No, I said Kiss her. And then I called him an asshole. As in Kiss her comma asshole.”

  Milla swallowed. “Um. I can’t do that. I have a boyfriend. ”

  Fart moaned. “I have the gun, and you’ll do what I tell you.” He sounded almost drunk, and his hand motions had grown more pronounced and vile inside his tented pants.

  The singer stepped closer to her. “We better do this.”

  Milla shook her head. “I
…my breath…oh.” Her eyes filled with tears.

  In all honesty, kissing this guy wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. And her boyfriend was actually her cat, named Boyfriend by the Humane Society where she’d adopted him. But reality was all the situation implied. Unless this guy had a kissing fetish, there would be more required of her.

  Gage Daxson tilted her chin with his finger. “Don’t worry, I’ve had a lot of practice.” He leaned down close to her ear and whispered, “I’m sorry. I think this might distract him.” Then he planted a slow, agonizing kiss on Milla’s slightly parted lips.

  Chapter 3

  Wintergreen Tic Tacs

  GAGE REGISTERED THAT SHE TASTED like wintergreen Tic Tacs even as he used her hair like a sheer curtain to peek at the gunman. He could kiss and do a million things. He’d even written lyrics on his phone once while French kissing a groupie a few months back. Turned out the song sucked just as hard as the groupie had.

  The gunman was totally slipping into his own creepy, self-satisfying world. Gage’s pocket buzzed again with his vibrating phone, so he moaned a bit to drown out the noise. Guaranteed it was Sydney. There was no way in hell his bodyguard would ever leave the building without him.

  The girl was stiff and unyielding, but apparently the gunman liked it that way. His hand grasping the weapon seemed to flop a bit. Gage made a big show of running his hands up and down the girl’s hips while he leaned in to whisper again.

  “When I move, you need to duck. Touch my hair if you understand.”

  The girl reached up and pulled a giant chunk of his hair, hard. She moved her lips to his earlobe and murmured, “If you touch anything I normally put in a bathing suit, I’ll kill your nuts.”

  “You’re charming.” Gage slid his hand into her hair and pulled it too. Not quite as hard as she had, but just enough for her to gasp.

 
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