‘Have you met Bradley Cooper?’ she asks a little incredulously.
I shake my head. While I have styled some of most well-known heads in Hollywood, I haven’t had my hands on that beauty. ‘I did once stare at him for a whole half hour from the other side of the salon floor.’ Because, up until a few months ago, I worked in one of L.A.’s top salons—a flagship store—where I held the lofty title of Art Director.
‘I’ll never understand why you came back to Scotland,’ Nat adds, not attempting to hide her disgust.
‘I just wanted to come home.’ I offer a quick shrug along with my lie; I’m getting pretty good at lying and all kind of evasion. And if this crappy village is my home, I may as well be homeless.
In front of me, Natasha purses her lips in disbelief before holding out her hands to mimic a set of weighing scales. ‘Auchkeld or L.A.? Old lady perms or Lady Gaga’s head?’
‘Who’s giving Lady Gaga head?’ June, Nat’s granny, pulls a mint-green cardigan over her thin shoulders, shivering as she enters my living room. ‘Deary-me. It’s raining cats and dogs out there.’
‘And we’ve got someone hung like a horse in here.’ Nat presses something on her phone, turning the screen to face us, and though neither of us can see exactly what’s playing on the tiny screen, the unmistakable sounds of sex fill the small room.
‘Is that one of those sex videotape things?’ asks a pink-cheeked June.
Her cheeks could be flushed from the cold outside, though if I know June, and I do, I’d say she’s probably a wee bit excited. She’ll have a stroke one of these days, and not the kind she’d like to receive, because I’ve seen the way she flutters her lashes at Mr. Poletti, the ancient barber from the shop along the street.
‘Is it the Gaga?’ she asks eagerly, hurrying her ancient frame across the room. She may be only a kick in the bum off her ninetieth year, but she can move pretty fast if there’s filth involved.
‘Oh, God. Harder! Yes—right there.’
‘Goodness!’ June exclaims.
‘It’s so much better with sound,’ Nat crows.
I begin to make my way around the low table to Natasha, if for nothing else than to stop her little show. But is it odd to think the audio—the girl on the receiving end of that sausage—sounds a little like me?
‘Fuck, that’s so good, darlin’,’ a deep voice growls. ‘Come on, get there. Get there for me.’
‘Is that a Scots accent?’ June asks her granddaughter a little excitedly.
That must be it—where I hear the similarity—or I’m imagining things because that sounds a little bit like . . .
‘Fuck me, Dylan. Fuck me harder!’
‘Aye, he’s from out west.’
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
Blood drains from my entire body, weighting my feet to the spot. I think it’s possible my heart actually stops because I do know those voices. And I know that sausage—I mean—that man. I also happen to be a member of the show playing out on Natasha’s phone. A cast of just two. It was another time, another place, and another person, but yes, that person was me.
Something twisty and needling pokes me in the chest followed quickly by a cool coating of relief. I must be in shock because I shouldn’t feel comforted by the fact that--
‘Gonna flip you over and make you come on my tongue.’
—comforted by the fact I haven’t forgotten the sound of him. That delicious husky rasp. The accent he’s famous for. And though I know his voice to be deep any time of the day, but during sex, there’s a huskiness to it that, even now, hits me right between the legs.
And a moment later, I hate myself.
‘Oh, God. Dylannnn.’
I sound . . . well, fucked.
‘Your pussy feels like heaven, baby.’
‘He’s got a terrible, filthy mouth!’ exclaims June, more compliment than complaint.
‘Edera . . . Sei molto bella!’ Grunting. Skin meeting skin. ‘Dolce figa . . .’
‘I wonder what it means?’ June squeaks over the top of Dylan’s dirty Italian.
Hurt, anger, longing, and lust are pushed aside as clarity hits me quite suddenly upside the head. Yes, the past me is getting screwed, but in the here and now, I’m about to be really and truly fucked as I recall two things:
1. I’m not the only viewing party here.
2. And things are about to go horribly wrong.
‘Is—is that?’ Still glued to the spot, I raise my arm, pointing my finger like some bloodless harbinger of doom. I expect I look just as pale.
‘Aye, Dylan Duffy’s massive schlong has just hit the internet!’ Much like June, Nat’s answer borders on glee, her eyes unmoving from the screen. Which is probably just as well, given the state of shock I’m in. ‘Lucky girl, whoever she is. She’s got a fantastic arse.’
‘Turn it off. I said turn it off!’
Panic balls in my throat as I remember, vividly, what comes next.
So this mightn’t have been the only time Dylan and I recorded our lovemaking.
So I may have watched it more than once or twice.
So I might know exactly what’s coming next. Me, obviously. The moans are a pretty big clue.
But more than that, this recording shows the essence of our relationship. As it was.
We’ll come—together because, yes, that is an actual thing—and moments later, Dylan’s arm will catch my waist and pull me up from my post-orgasmic collapse across the bed. He’ll crush me to his chest, and we’ll both look up at the camera he’s holding.
We’ll look so happy.
And so in love.
And when that happens, right here in my tiny flat above my newly opened beauty salon in the bum hole of Scotland, my friends will learn what an awful person I am. They’ll discover I’ve been keeping great whopping secrets from them. That I’ve lied. So many lies. And I’ll have to come clean and tell them the real reason I left Los Angeles—the whole sordid tale. I’ll have to admit I know the man currently screwing me on-screen a little more than just biblically.
Dylan damn-him Duffy.
One truth will lead to another, and I’ll have to confess that I not only went to bed with Hollywood’s hottest bachelor, but that I also married him without breathing a word to those I know and love.
And as if that’s not going to be hard enough to say, I’ll have to tell them it’s over.
And that it’s all my fault.
‘For the love of fuck, just turn that thing off!’
When Ivy Adams is summoned back to LA by her secret husband, it’s for the purpose of revenge, not a second chance. Estranged as long as they’ve been married, Ivy’s never told anyone she even has a husband, let alone he’s the Scots born movie star, Dylan Duffy.
Yeah, that Dylan Duffy. The sexy-as-sin bad-boy. The man whose rumbling accent has half the world’s panties damp.
But Ivy isn’t the only one keeping secrets, and screwing half of Hollywood hasn’t sated Dylan’s need for revenge. He’s hellbent on making Ivy pay for her mistakes in the most despicable way he can.
Two wrongs don’t make the pair even, but can they ever make their marriage right?
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Hailing from the North of England, she's a nomad at heart moving houses and continents more times than she cares to recall. A bit clueless rather than stateless, she once worked at a school like the one described in her Pretty Trilogy. Alas, there were no handsome millionaires hanging around there.
An eclectic reader and part-time perv, Donna's a huge fan of smart men and enjoys her protagonists with a large measure of inappropriateness.
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