C is for Cheating: A Billionaire Rock Star Romance
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When Madison Hart, a young pop star, finds out that her husband is cheating on her on the same day she loses her unborn baby, she wants revenge, and she knows the perfect way to get it: by having a very public affair with her husband's business rival, Nathan Kimberly. Self-made billionaire Nathan Kimberly has fancied Madison for the longest time. Pretending to have a fake affair with her might just kill him, if Madison's husband doesn't. Why then, does he find himself agreeing to participate in her mad charade? This sweet, spicy romance with a happy-for-ending is bound to set your pulse racing and leave you wanting more.
I woke up in the early hours of morning in a pool of my own blood, and thought I was dying. It took me only seconds to realise I wasn’t.
This was something much worse.
Ever since I had taken the new migraine medication John had got for me, I had been feeling unsettled and nauseated. I had gone to bed early, thinking I would feel better, but kept waking up again and again, the sense of unease only growing.
It was only after midnight that I had drifted off into a fitful sleep.
A quick glance at the glow-in-the-dark digital clock on my nightstand told me it was just after three am.
It felt like sharp claws were ripping my lower belly apart.
“John,” I whispered, feeling for him in the space next to me on our bed, my hand trembling like a reed in the wind. He wasn’t there.
A part of me felt oddly relieved. John hated any kind of mess.
Pressing one hand to my stomach, I reached for my phone on the nightstand with the other, dialling 911 with tears blurring my vision.
It was a miracle that I could speak at all, considering how choked my throat felt.
The paramedics would be there soon, they assured me. They tried to keep me talking but I couldn’t. In the dim light of the night, I tried to keep my eyes away from the dark stain spreading farther and farther along the crisp white sheets.
The hand on my lower belly was turning sticky with blood, but I pressed it harder against my belly, trying impotently to keep my baby inside me.
As the paramedics wheeled me away, I couldn’t help thinking how John had never wanted the baby.
And John always had his way.
Two months later…
I nearly turned on my heel, deciding to walk away from the lavish, ultra modern waiting area of LayMan Records’ office building in West Hollywood, but Nathan Kimberly’s personal assistant spotted me and shot out of her chair; a large, almost fanatic grin splitting her face.
“Oh my God! It really is you,” she gushed, pressing her palms to her cheeks.
Her enthusiasm was infectious, and even though I had interacted with masses of ardent fans before, there was something different about these one-on-one interactions in civilised settings. I smiled.
The expression felt alien on my face after the ordeal of the last two months. When I extended my hand, her jaw dropped and her eyes widened.
“I’m going to shake hands with you. I am actually going to shake hands with you,” she whispered to herself.
My smile broadened as I shifted my clutch to my left hand, discreetly wiping my clammy right palm on my trousers before we shook hands.
I liked this young woman, and not because she was so star-struck with me. She had a sunny, vivacious personality that put me at ease, even though her pronounced North London accent made me yearn for home.
What was I doing here? The wise thing to do would be to pack my bags and leave this country for good, after obtaining a divorce. But then, letting John get away with what he had done would make me as responsible for what had happened, and I couldn’t live with it. He had to pay.
“I’m Agatha,” she said, pulling a face as if apologising for her name. “But please call me Aggie. My mum was a fan of Agatha Christie and didn’t think twice before saddling her only daughter with a name that went out of fashion at least half a century ago.”
She pressed her hands to her cheeks again.
“And now I’m rambling. But I suppose you are used to crazy fans.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
My voice did not betray my nerves. After having been in the public eye constantly for over two years, I had learnt to hide my anxiety well.
She nodded gratefully.
“Nate is going to be done with his meeting in just a few minutes. He’s instructed me to make sure you’re comfortable while you wait. The meeting went on longer than he’d expected. He doesn’t like making people wait.”
My eyes widened slightly at the familiar way in which she addressed her boss. Nate, not Mr Kimberly. Was there something more to her and Nathan’s relationship than that of a secretary and a boss? If there was, would it affect the success of my plan?
Aggie pulled herself together as she led me to the antechamber of Nathan Kimberly’s office.
She wasn’t much older than my twenty-two, perhaps I might even be younger than her, but while her eyes held a sparkle, a zeal for life like most young adults, I knew mine were dull and filled with shadows.
She was dressed in a pair of figure hugging denims and a crop top. A riot of short black curls framed her round face, enhancing the appearance of youth. She was a couple of inches taller than my five-foot two frame, but then, most people were.
In sharp contrast to Aggie’s youthful style, I had dressed in a vintage white Chanel pantsuit. My blonde hair was poker straight, highlighting the hollowness of my cheeks and the angles of my face. I wore makeup today. Blue eyeshadow, the same colour as my eyes, to make them appear seductive and overdrawn lips to make them look fuller, sexier. I had even dabbed a few drops of my favourite Burberry fragrance on my wrists and neck, prepared to play dirty if that’s what it took to get Nathan to agree.
When I had finished making myself up this morning and looked in the mirror, I had almost not recognised myself. The woman in the mirror was older, sexier, sophisticated. A seductress.
And I desperately hoped Nathan Kimberly would be attracted to her.
If our previous interactions were anything to go by, I had reason to believe Nathan was attracted to me, but I could be wrong. I was notoriously bad at ‘reading the signals’.
Taking a deep breath, I channelled the woman I had seen in the mirror this morning as I sat down on one of the overstuffed chairs in the antechamber.
Aggie stood near me, shifting from one foot to the other.
“Umm… do you think I could get a selfie with you?”
I smiled. “Sure.”
She rushed to her desk, but came back quickly, disappointed. In a different world, in a different lifetime, we might have been friends.
“My phone is dead.” She looked so thoroughly dejected.
I pulled out my phone from my clutch and handed it to her after unlocking it, hoping she hadn’t noticed the slight trembling of my fingers.
“Use mine. Feed your number in there, I’ll send the photo to you.”
“Oh my God. Oh my God. This is actually happening!” She pressed her hands to her cheeks, before taking the phone from me. Letting out a little squeal, she quickly came to stand behind my chair. We took a couple of photos before she left me.
I had declined refreshments. The wooden screen and the indoor plants separating the waiting area from this space partially hid me from Aggie’s view, but I could see her throwing awestruck glances my way.
I couldn’t help smiling. But then, I remembered what I was about to do, and my heart began to drum against my ribs. Forcing myself to take a few deep breaths, I studied the antechamber.
In stark contrast to the brightly lit, all-white outer space, this space was painted a mellow, muted lilac and had warm lights hidden in the sunken ceilings. Several overstuffed chairs were strewn around a couple of coffee tables.
Studying the space had distracted my mind for a bit, but my nerves soon returned. My knuckles were white as I grabbed the clutch with all my might, pressing my knees together to stop them from shaking. A sudden wave of nausea hit me.
There is still time, I told myself. All you have to do is get up and leave.
Yes. Yes, I had to leave.
What I was trying to do was nothing short of mental.
Taking a deep breath, I gingerly got to my feet, just as the wooden panelling at the other end of the room slid to one side, and out walked Nathan Kimberly.
I let out a little yelp, which I quickly disguised behind a quick, forced cough. I didn’t even know there was a door there; it was so cleverly hidden. Things had changed since the last time I had come here. The only time I had come here.
My throat went dry, and I found it difficult to breathe, as if someone had sucked the air out of the room. Although I had met Nathan many times after marrying John, it had always been in public, and always with John around. This was the first time I was alone with him since our first meeting, when he was trying to get me to sign with LayMan Records. I had just won Britain’s Most Talented. Both John’s label and Nathan’s label wanted me to sign with them.
I remembered that first meeting with Nathan very well, remembered how he made me feel. He still had the same impact on me. Hell, even when I met him in public, he always made me feel tingly and unsettled.
The way he said my name sounded like a caress. Or a threat?
Stop being fanciful, I chided myself, willing myself to look at him after rearranging my features into a seductive smile, just like I’d practised in the mirror.
My voice was a breathy whisper as I met his eyes. I don’t know what it was about Nathan Kimberly, but every time I looked at him, my heart started pounding. He intimidated me. With his six-foot-four frame and his broad, muscular shoulders, he towered over me. He was a dangerous man from the wrong side of the tracks. A self-made man who hadn’t let circumstances impede his ambition.
So different from John.
John, the darling of America. Boyish, charming, blue-eyed, blond-haired John. The boy next door from a family so fucking respectable, he had Roman numerals suffixed to his name. He had been voted the most eligible bachelor by plenty of different trashy women’s magazines. And according to the paps, I had managed to ‘snag’ him.
‘Luckiest woman on both sides of the pond’, they’d called me. And I had made myself believe it. I’d believed the lie, even though there had been hints all along.
Fucking glow signs even.
But I ignored them until it was too late.
“To what do I owe this pleasure?”
A corner of his mouth lifted into a lop-sided smile that made heat pool in my belly.
“Can we talk privately?”
One of his brows rose questioningly, but he stepped away from the door frame, gesturing toward his office with an exaggerated sweep of his hand.
My legs felt like lead as I put one foot in front of the other, my heart hammering against my ribs so loudly, I was sure he could hear it.
I was really going to do it.
I was really going to follow through with my insane plan.
I’d been intrigued when Aggie had told me yesterday Madison Hart wanted to meet me. What possible reason could she have?
Sure as hell wasn’t for business, not when she was the wife of John Huntington the fucking III.
Two years ago when Madison had won Britain’s Most Talented, LayMan records had tried to get her to sign her with us. She had been seriously considering it too. Until Huntington personally got involved.
He swept her off her feet, and she fell for him. Hard and fast. At least, that’s what they’d both said in the multiple interviews they had given immediately after their marriage. I had stopped watching the interviews when I realised it made me physically sick to see Huntington pretending to be besotted with her.
Maybe he really was besotted with her, and I only thought it was a pretence because I couldn’t bear to believe Madison and Huntington were really in love with each other.
How could Madison not see Huntington for
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