[b]"Vega opted to scream into the microphone with the intensity of an alley cat on LSD- " "Vega dresses like an overly emotional teenager- " "His greatest achievement is getting blonde bimbos to fall for his tortured act- " "A living breathing STD- "[/b] Steven stopped reading the quotes and looked up at her, "Laura, what the hell were you thinking?" Laura shrugged. "You tell me. You're the one who decided to print it." Steven chuckled. "You're damn right I printed it.
I'll admit you didn't so much write about the concert as used 2000 words to slaughter Derek Vega's character, but it'll sell like hot cakes." Laura smirked. Score. After the embarrassing ordeal that was their one night stand. Laura had been hell-bent on getting some good old-fashioned vengeance. Even after the dust had settled for a week, she still couldn't believe him.
He'd fallen asleep. Asshole. She didn't understand what had happened to her. Why the hell had she slept with him? She could blame the tequila all she wanted, but deep down, she knew she'd wanted it. At least she was on the pill. She stifled a groan, not wanting Steven, a professional gossip, to find out any more than he should. "When are we getting the preliminary numbers for the circulation?" Laura asked. "Sometime next week. Seriously though, you've written lots of pieces for us before, but never anything like this one." Laura narrowed her eyes, "What do you mean?" Steven raised his hands in defense, "Don't get me wrong, you're a perfectly adequate writer, but your pieces have just lacked…passion.
Like you haven't really been paying attention to what you've been writing about." Laura rolled her eyes, "It's hard to get excited over Heidi Montag's new boobs." Steven hit his desk lightly with the rolled up magazine. "But for some reason, you got excited about Derek Vega, didn't you?" Laura's eyes bugged out comically. Oh she'd gotten excited. "I don't think so." "Oh don't try to deny it, he got under your skin, didn't he?" Steven asked, innocently enough.
She'd never wanted the earth to open up and swallow her like just then. "I don't know, I just really didn't like him." "I'm surprised you managed to get these quotes from him though, I mean, this is outrageous stuff, even by your standards." "I've told you before, Steve," Laura sighed, "I can do my job and I can do it well." Steven nodded to himself. "I'm starting to see that. I know the tabloid industry isn't perhaps the best fit for you, but we just need to find you suitable pieces like this one." Laura couldn't help the tiny smile that broke out on her face.
"I don't think another story like this is going to magically fall into my lap, but I appreciate the vote of confidence." Steven looked uncomfortable and smiled at her awkwardly. "Yeah, about that…" She was beyond suspicious now. Steven had always been like a father figure to her, ever since she first started at Glitterati.
He was never scared to give her critique or tell things to her straight. What was so awful that he was having trouble forming into words? "Just spit it out, so I can yell 'Nooooooooooooo' obscenely loud." Laura sighed.
Steven grinned, "I'd prefer it if you didn't and rather listened to what I have to say. The manager of The Immortals called me two days ago." Laura perked up at that. She knew that a lot of the other reporters had been pulled into long court cases for slander and other misdemeanors, but she'd always managed to keep herself out of trouble.
Until now. She couldn't think of another reason for Derek's manager to be contacting her boss. "Was he mad?" Laura asked, unsure of what the protocol was. She couldn't get into any legal trouble or lose her job, she had a teenager to feed! Steven shook his head, "Surprisingly, no. He actually wanted to call and thank us." Laura looked at him disbelievingly, "Is this a joke? I tore his lead singer a new one!" "I was shocked too, believe me.
Apparently all the buzz surrounding your article has been excellent PR for the band. I guess it's true what they say about any publicity being good publicity." He laughed to himself.
Laura was furious. She'd wanted to destroy the jerk, not lift him up to new heights! Why was she being punished? She was a good person. She flossed, gave money to the poor, and made an effort to stop her little brother from turning into a complete stoner. Life just wasn't fair. "Laura, are you listening?" Alaric roused her from her thoughts. "Yeah, sorry, I just needed a minute to clear my head," Laura said and tucked a stray strand from her tight bun behind her ear.
"Well anyway, we got to talking and we decided we should…for lack of a better term, collaborate." He looked at the ceiling as he finished his sentence, obviously having an issue looking her straight in the eyes. Laura crossed her arms across her chest and raised her eyebrows. "Collaborate how?" Steven grinned. "Here's where the story gets really funny.
You're joining The Immortals on the first leg of their tour." "No." Laura replied immediately. He had to be out of his mind. There was no way she'd ever spend another minute in the presence of that low-life scumbag, even he had kind of called her beautiful. Laura shrugged the disturbing thought to the back of her mind and gave her attention back to her boss.
"Now, I know you said you don't like him, but…" "But what? It's my call, Steven, I won't do it. Besides, even if I wanted to, I couldn't just leave Jeff alone for that long." She worked very hard to keep her voice steady. "Laura, I'm your boss. I can't exactly force you to do this, but I strongly recommend it.
And Samantha and I can easily accommodate Jeff for a few weeks, it's not an issue." Laura exhaled deeply and closed her eyes, "When you say you strongly recommend it…" Steven shook his head quickly. "Don't worry, I'd never make you choose between your job and this piece, but Laura, this is for you own good." She looked at him skeptically. How was it in any way good for her to spend 2 months travelling in a dingy bus with the man she hated more than anything else on the planet?
Steven sighed. "This is a stepping stone, Laura. The big chiefs read your story on Vega and they loved it. You didn't hear this from me, but this could result in a pretty big promotion for you. All you need to do is follow him and his band around, and write about everything you see.
Spare no details" Laura cringed. He really was an excellent fit for a tabloid editor, he knew just what strings to pull. She needed money.
A promotion was something she'd dreamt of ever since she started her job a year ago. She would earn a little more, and have more leeway with the topics she chose to write about.
If Derek Vega was the way to achieve that…She did have a mortgage to pay. Did she had a choice? But was it even ethical? She'd slept with the man and then let her personal feelings about him affect her writing.
It was uncharacteristically unprofessional of her. She could feel a tiny migraine coming. "I don't know, Steven, Can I have a little time to think it over?" "You have until tomorrow night.
The bus takes off in 3 days." Steven said. Laura nodded. She excused herself and walked out of his office with shaky legs. She sat down behind her desk and placed her head against the cool wooden surface. Life really was unfair. To choose between a brand spanking new title and the devil incarnate…I might as well have been called Sophie, she glumly thought. "What's with the tortured writer act?" A cherry void asked.
Laura didn't raise her head. "I'm being kidnapped by rock stars." "Jeez, did you just wake up today and decide to re-enact Almost Famous as a one-woman show?" Audrey laughed at her friend's spontaneous movie reference. "I'm not kidding, Drey, Steve wants me to cover the first leg of The Immortals' tour." Laura raised her head just to glare at her friend.
Audrey looked at her incredulously. "Seriously? Glitterati isn't known for pieces like that. Are you going to do it?" "I don't know. Maybe. I haven't decided yet." Laura muttered, already tired of the subject. "But why wouldn't you?" Audrey asked. "I'm only an intern. But isn't that a huge break from writing gossip blurbs?" Laura looked at her pointedly. "You're right, you are just an intern, but that doesn't mean you're any less…right." Sometimes she cursed the world for having such a smart best friend.
How her friend was only fresh out of High School and already getting her life on track, she had no clue. She felt like a failure in comparison. "You're not telling me something." Audrey raised an eyebrow at her. Laura cursed the other girl in her head. She was a natural-born journalist, smelling scandals a mile away. Laura looked at the tiny recorder lying on her desk. It looked innocent enough, but what it contained…She hadn't gotten around to erase the interview yet.
All of a sudden, she was bombarded with very vivid flashbacks and she couldn't help but blush. The man might've been a sleaze, but he knew what he was doing. Slut Laura commented inside her head. Enough with the slutty day dreams, Reporter Laura joined in. "I'm gonna get it out of you sooner or later." Audrey threatened her playfully. Laura looked up at the clock, 4:30 pm.
She stood up and started gathering her things. "It's a good thing I need to pick up Jeff from school then, isn't it?" Audrey rolled her eyes. "Fine, use your loser brother as an excuse to not talk to your best friend." It was Laura's turn to roll her eyes as she slung her bag over her shoulder. "What is it with you two?
You're at it like cats and dogs wherever you're in the same room." Audrey shrugged, "You learn a lot about a person's character when you got to school with them.
Don't get me wrong, Jeff's a nice guy, but we just have completely different values." "Anyone ever tell you that you're kind of judgmental?" Laura commented.
"You." Audrey instantly replied. "Pretty much every day, I might add." "As long as you're aware." Laura teased and placed her recorder inside her purse. She'd wipe it clean later when she got home. "Are you really not going to tell me why you don't want to go?" Audrey stared at her with her wide hazel eyes, trying to guilt her into telling. Laura raised her hands. "Don't even try that with me. I'm a brick wall, babe." "Fine." Audrey huffed.
"Bye, Ms. Forbes." Laura grinned as she walked away. She said goodbye to a few more of her coworkers before walking over to the elevators and punching the button. She tapped her foot on the floor impatiently. She couldn't wait to get home and change out of her stuffy office clothes. True, she rocked her polka dot skirt and white blouse quite well, but she craved the comfort her jammies would bring her. She said a silent prayer as she heard the telltale sound of the elevator arriving.
Just as she was about to walk in, she stopped due to what she could only guess was a heart attack. There, leaning against the back of the elevator, was Derek Vega. He smirked gleefully as he saw her. "Well, if it isn't just the girl I'm looking for." He stood up and started walking towards her. Laura started bakcing away slowly, "I'm just gonna take the stairs." She was in no state of mind to deal with him, her day had been turbulent enough.
Just as she turned away from him, she felt a hand grasp her wrist and pull her inside the elevator. She fell smack against his chest and grabbed his shoulders for support. As she straightened herself, she glared at him lethally.
"Sorry, Princess, you and I need a serious time-out." He said as the doors closed and the elevator started going down. Laura huffed and leaned against the wall. She had nothing to say to him. Even if he did look particularly delicious, decked out in a simple black tee and black leather pants. She could see his muscles ripple underneath his shirt and the way the pants hugged his lean form…Laura groaned. That was not of the good. "Since 20 floors doesn't seem like enough time to hash this out…" Derek trailed off before punching the stop button.
The elevator came to a halt abruptly, causing her to stumble a bit. She reached for the wall for support as he smirked at her. "You're just falling all over yourself because of me, aren't you?" He asked and winked at her. Laura crossed her arms. "You better get this elevator moving fast before…" "You ride my hot, tight body to new levels of carnal pleasure?" He asked, batting his eyes innocently.
Laura took a deep breath and willed herself to calm down.
"No, before your inflated ego takes up all the air in this metallic box of death and I die from asphyxiation." He shook his head, grinning at her madly.
"I don't get your stuck-up, prissy act. We had a perfectly nice night, and then you go and call me names in a nation-wide article. You really hurt my feelings." "I stand by every word." Laura cocked her eyebrows at him, challenging him.
"I think it was terribly one-sided and missing some extremely entertaining facts." "Such as?" He gave her a lopsided smile. "How the author is a hypocritical bitch who couldn't wait to jump my bones." Laura rolled her eyes, "That was your fault. You got me drunk." He chuckled. "Do you always get that frisky when you're hammered? If so, I may seriously need to re- stock the bus before you hop on." She sighed. She couldn't deal with this right now.
"First of all, no amount of alcohol will ever get me to touch your filthy body again. Second, I'm not taking the job so you can stop trying to convince me." Laura could almost see something akin to hurt flash in his blue eyes, before the emotion was masked with a familiar layer of indifference.
"I hate to burst your bubble, but I don't want you to take job. I came here to talk you out of it." Laura frowned. "What?" "Seriously? You compared me to venereal diseases, mocked my clothes, talked trash about my singing, and made all my groupies mad. My brother, the ever dutiful manager, might think you're good for business, but I don't want you anywhere near me, Lauren." "It's Laura." She gritted out. "And you had it coming." He waved a hand as if to shrug it off.
"Had what coming? You're not mad about anything I did, you're mad about being another notch on my guitar strap." Laura smiled at him devilishly. "Gee, I can't imagine why your harem got mad at you, you're such a sweet talker!" He glared at her. "Well, this was a lesson. I should never pity fuck the needy and mentally unstable." She couldn't help it, his comment got to her, even if she knew his words were said in the heat of the moment.
Matt had always said she was boring in bed, after all. Suddenly, she found herself getting angrier and angrier. She stomped over to his side of the elevator and pushed him to the wall by his shoulders.
Derek's eyes widened slightly, before he gave her his trademark smirk. "You want another round then?" He cocked his head slightly and licked his lips. "I want you out of my life!" Laura hissed out, their faces separated by only a few inches.
"Here's what's going to happen. We tell them Jesus and Lucifer will be having afternoon tea before you and I work together.
Then, we never, ever, see each other again. Understood?" Derek nodded, "Perfectly." "Exactly." She breathed out and for a second, her gaze fell down to his lips. She didn't know who started it, but before she knew what was happening, she was kissing him passionately. She bit on his lower lip, taking out all her frustration on him. Derek placed his hands into her hair, unclipping it from the tight bun, causing it to cascade down her back in loose waves.
She moaned as he grabbed a fistful of her hair and pulled her body closer to his, until they flush against each other. Laura reached for the button on his pants and pulled them down, smirking. Did the man own underwear? She grabbed his thick, hard length, enjoying the hiss he let out. "Do you enjoy all your pity fucks this much?" She asked against his lips. Derek grabbed her by the waist and pulled her skirt up. Before she could even comprehend what was happening, he slid her panties down her legs and brought his right hand to her heated center.
She swallowed a moan and closed her eyes. "Still the hypocrite, aren't you? You love having me move inside you, owning that body in ways no one ever has or probably ever will." He whispered into her ear.
"You're such an asshole." She whispered, her eyelids fluttering. "And you just love that, don't you?" Laura answered by shoving him on the floor, moving to straddle him, despite his painful groan. "Just because we got drunk one night, doesn't mean you know anything about me." He looked at her with feverish eyes, "Likewise.
Though at least I can own up to being an asshole, can you admit you're a hypocrite?" "I'm here, aren't I?" Laura asked. It was insane. She was insane. There was something about him. Something that made her forget everything else around her. Oh God, she'd never be able to look at the elevator the same way.
She kissed him deeply, exploring his mouth with her tongue. Occasionally, she nipped at his lips with her teeth, an act that got him even harder than he already was. Laura felt his hard length brush against her stomach and moved herself upwards, until she was in place.
Without asking from permission or needing one, she sank down on to his cock. "Fuck…you're so tight…" Derek breathed out, grabbing her ass to pull her tighter against him.
Laura closed her eyes and started moving on top of him. She couldn't help her tiny mewls as her walls contracted with each of his powerful thrusts. "Derek…" He started guiding her movements by gripping her hips tightly, leaving tiny bruises on her olive skin.
She didn't mind, too lost in the haze of her own pleasure to feel anything but him pulsating inside of her. Suddenly, he flipped them over causing her head to collide with the carpeted floor of the elevator. She groaned, mostly annoyed with him stopping.
He stopped moving inside her and looked at her, "Tell me you want me." Laura looked at him disbelievingly. "No." He pushed himself deeper inside her, and she couldn't help the moan that slipped out of her mouth. He raised an eyebrow at her. Laura huffed. "My body might want you, but me, the person residing inside, definitely does not." He chuckled, "Not only is she a hypocrite, but she's also a liar.
I hate to break it to you, but your body in only doing what you, the person residing inside, is telling it to do." That made her pause. She knew he was right, and she didn't have a witty retort to throw back at him.
If she was honest with herself, he was the best she'd ever had, which was more than just a little sad. "Fine, you win." She sighed. He kissed her quickly before placing her leg around his waist. "I always do, but that doesn't mean you have to lose." He started pounding into her, with fast, hard thrusts.
Laura clawed at his back, needing to hold onto something. He angled his thrusts so that he was simultaneously stroking her clit, and Laura had to literally bite her lip to keep from screaming out. She tried so hard to hold on to her control, but resistance was futile. She felt herself tumble over the edge and she came heard, contracting around him, milking him for all his worth.
Derek followed her a few seconds later. As soon as Laura came down from her high, she fell back to reality with a harsh thud. She pushed him off her and felt her breathing quicken.
"Oh my God…" "Derek words too…" He quipped, still lying on the floor. Laura looked at him in the mirror and wanted to scream.
She looked fucked.
Literally. She started combing her hair with her fingers and straightening her clothes. Did she have tissues in her purse? "This is bad, this is very bad." She mumbled while desperately trying to clean herself up. This was not the behavior of a responsible, 25-year old reporter.
Derek pulled his pants up while leering at her. "I don't see why you're making such a big deal about it. You had fun, it's over, we move on." Laura looked at him incredulously, "One, you're a pig. Two, this is the last time we ever see each other, so take a picture, it'll last longer." Laura took one last look in the mirror. She still looked back…just not quite as disheveled. She looked down at the floor and cursed as she saw all her purse's contents scattered everywhere. She started picking them up, and throwing them haphazardly into her bag.
Derek leaned against the opposing wall and looked at her. "You know, I change my mind. I think you and I working together would be a lot of fun." Laura looked up at him in shock, "Seriously? What the hell is wrong with you? You can forget about it, I'm not going to lose my integrity just to play 20 questions with you." He shook his head.
"Sweetheart, you lost what little you had left of your integrity about 15 minutes ago." Derek bent down beside her and picked up something.
Laura could feel her blood run cold. He was holding her recorder.
He must've seen her shock, because he grinned, exposing his perfectly white teeth to her. She'd never seen him look more gorgeous, or more dangerous. "Give it back." Laura said slowly. Derek gazed at the recorder, then back at her, obviously pleased with himself. "I wonder…Did my very own Ace Reporter keep a little souvenir from our last tryst?" He clicked play.
After about 20 seconds of her moaning out his name, he pressed stop, looking smug. She pounced on him, trying to get the recorder back, only for him to hold it up high above his head. "Give it!" She yelled. He waggled his eyebrows playfully, "Now, now, Laura, play nice." "You're the one who took it from me!" She retorted. All of a sudden, she had a terrible urge to stick her tongue out, despite the gravity of her situation.
"It's only fair, you're the one who decided to record our sweet lovemaking." He said, gazing at her dreamily to add to the joke. Laura made a gagging sound. "Ugh, just give it back." He pressed the button on the wall and the elevator started moving once more. "Sorry, this is leverage. Either you come on the tour, or I leak this." She looked at him incredulously. "Seriously?
You'd risk your reputation just to make me miserable?" He smirked. "Baby, I'm a rock star. If I'm not screwing gullible reporters. I'm doing it wrong. Thanks for helping me see that by the way, you're a real treasure." Laura wanted to crawl into a hole and ide.
Her crappy day had turned into a legitimate disaster. He had her. She couldn't let him release the audio. No matter what it did to his reputation, it would surely ruin hers for good. The elevator door opened and Derek walked out, skipping comically. He turned to face her and waved the recorder and waved it in front of her face. "See you in 3 days. Oh and by the way, you're not a bad writer. You just lack perspective." Laura shook her head and stared at him, feeling too tired to care.
"And you can give me that?" He shrugged, "I guess, we'll see." With that, he turned around and left her standing in the middle of the open elevator. With shaky fingers, she grabbed her phone from her purse and dialed Jeremy's number.
She was thankful to reach his voicemail, not feeling mentally capable of holding up an entire conversation. "Hey, Jeff. I'm really sorry, but I can't pick you up right now, something came up at work.
I'll see you at home, okay? Bye…" She sighed and put her phone back in her bag.
In 3 days, she was going to become a glorified groupie from an egomaniac rock star against her will. She winced. Life really wasn't fair. Author's Note. I know, I'm late. I can't thank you guys enough for the positive votes you gave on the first chapter.
I hope this chapter lives up to your expectations. Like always, have a good day or night!