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Chapter One


Breathe, Addison Mattingly told herself.  But the whole in-through-nose-out-through-mouth thing was a little hard to do when she was sitting in front of the palatial Beverly Hills home of the hottest actor in Hollywood, Trevor Braden.

She still couldn’t believe the guards at the gate had let her in.  She’d been sure the men would see right through her charade.  In all honesty, she was still a little bit afraid the cops might show up and drag her off at any minute.  Then again, the guards really didn’t have any reason to suspect she wasn’t who she said she was.  Her name was listed on the access roster as Trevor Braden’s new personal assistant, after all.

Okay, to be honest, her name wasn’t on the access roster – her sister’s was.

Her twin sister, Madison - the perfect one - had gotten the job as Trevor Braden’s personal assistant.  She always got everything she wanted, usually with little effort on her part.  It had been like that from the time they were little.  Everything just seemed to go the other girl’s way.  Of the two of them, Madison had always gotten the higher grades, the cuter boyfriends, the better job offers.  She had “over-achiever” stamped all over her resume.  When she had applied for the position as Trevor Braden’s personal assistant, it had been on nothing more than a whim.  But of course, she had gotten the job.  She hadn’t even had to go to LA for a face-to-face interview with the actor.  Her resume was so impressive that his manager had hired her over the phone.

While Addison had stopped being jealous of her sister’s accomplishments a long time ago, the fact that Madison had managed to land this job had really hurt.  Addison idolized Trevor Braden.  Well, maybe not idolized him.  But she definitely had a huge crush on the man, and Madison knew it.  To think that her sister would be spending practically every waking hour with the gorgeous movie star had almost been enough to make Addison scream. 

But then, two days before she was supposed to move down to LA, Madison had decided she didn’t want the job anymore. 

“Sure, Trevor Braden is a hottie,” she’d told Addison.  “And while being his personal assistant would have its perks, I don’t feel like spending my time babysitting some spoiled Hollywood actor.  Where’s the long-term potential in that?”

Then Madison had announced she’d taken a job as a personal assistant to some two-hundred-year-old Wall Street banker instead.  Addison had just stared at her sister in disbelief, unable to believe that she would give up the chance to work for Trevor Braden.  But apparently, Madison had visions of Manhattan penthouses, stock options, and a corner office at a prestigious big name firm.  Who cared if the guy she was going to be working for was old enough to be her grandfather?

“If you think being Trevor Braden’s personal assistant is so great, why don’t you do it?” Madison had sneered.  “Oh, I forgot.  You couldn’t get the job – not even in your dreams.” 

A few hours later, Madison had left for the East Coast, but not before she’d asked Addison to call Trevor Braden’s manager and tell him that she had changed her mind about taking the job.

But Addison hadn’t called.  Deciding that she’d had enough of her sister’s gloating, she had put on the only suit she owned, thrown the rest of her clothes in a couple of suitcases, and driven down the coast to Los Angeles.

Now, sitting in front of his house in her rather beat up Camry, she was too petrified to move.  What the hell had she been thinking?  She couldn’t pull this off.  She didn’t know the first thing about being a personal assistant.  Before she’d left San Francisco, she’d done some research on the Internet to get an idea of what the job entailed, and from everything she’d read, it sounded more than a little demanding.  Madison might be a Grade-A bitch most of the time, but she had been right about one thing. Addison could have never gotten this job on her experience. 

Though Addison had gone to a good college, it hadn’t been the Ivy League school that her twin had gone to.  And whereas her sister had known exactly what she’d wanted to do, Addison had taken a little of everything.  While she had enjoyed it, she’d ended up graduating with what amounted to a four-year liberal arts degree.  Though it was nothing to scoff at, it hadn’t helped her figure out what she wanted to do with her life.

So, while her sister had gone on to get her Master’s degree in business administration, which had led to a very prestigious intern position, Addison had moved from one job to another after college.  Even now, at twenty-eight, she still wasn’t sure exactly where she was headed.  But she was damn sure she was going to like it when she got there.

Addison looked up at the huge, two-story house again and debated about what she should do.  Common sense told her she should turn the car around and go back home to San Francisco.  But how could she pass up an opportunity like this?  If she left, she knew would end up regretting it for the rest of her life.  On the other hand, if she stayed, she ran the risk of completely humiliating herself in front of Trevor Braden.  She cringed at the thought. 

Chiding herself for being such a coward, she started to turn the key in the ignition when a flash of movement in one of the upstairs windows caught her eye.  She blinked.  Oh God.  It was him.  Trevor Braden.  Had he been pulling on his shirt?  Was he just getting dressed?  Or better yet, undressed?  She blushed at the image that thought conjured up.

Before she even realized what she was doing, Addison was out of the car and hurrying up the front steps to ring the doorbell.

Unable to believe she was really doing this, she stood there holding her breath, her pulse racing.  She should have run a brush through her hair before she got out of the car, she thought.  And checked her make-up, too.  God, she hoped she looked all right.  But before she could think about it anymore, the door swung open. 

Addison had expected a maid to open the door.  Maybe a butler.  Or even a bodyguard.  Heck, even his manager.  Anyone but Trevor Braden himself.

But there he stood.  All mouth-watering, six-foot-four inches of him.  And even more gorgeous in person.

She’d known he was tall, of course, but in real life, he seemed taller.  His shoulders seemed broader, too.  And his soulful dark eyes a more golden brown.  His dark hair was slightly tousled as if he’d just run his fingers through it, and there was a slight scruff of beard outlining that amazingly chiseled jaw.  He hadn’t bothered to tuck in the button-up shirt he was wearing, and beneath his jeans, his feet were bare.  She’d been right.  He had been getting dressed. 

“Hi,” he said, giving her a smile.  “Come on in.”

Addison blinked.  Trevor Braden, the most gorgeous, in-demand, sexiest hunk in Hollywood had just spoken to her.  And she was just standing there staring at him like a dufus.

When she didn’t reply, his brow furrowed.  “You are Madison Mattingly, right?  My new assistant.”

“Addison,” she automatically corrected.  She was so used to people getting them mixed up that she’d done it without even thinking.

His frown deepened.  “Oh.  Sorry about that.  I thought Murray said your name was Madison.  I must have misheard him.”  He flashed her another grin.  “And I’m usually pretty good at remembering names.  Comes with the job.”

Addison would have laughed at his joke, but she was too busy calling herself an idiot.  How the heck could she expect to pull this off if she was already making mistakes like that?  Crap!  But she supposed it was too late to backtrack now.  Even if she could, though, she wouldn’t.  For some ridiculous reason, she wanted Trevor Braden to call her by her own name instead of her sister’s.

“It’s Addison, actually,” she explained, giving him a smile.  “But it’s easy to see how he could have mistaken it for Madison.”

Trevor nodded.  “Addison it is then.”  He took a step back.  “Come on in.”

Addison took a deep breath and stepped into the entryway.  The inside of the house was as beautiful as the outside.  Though obviously expensive, it wasn’t ostentatious at all.  Instead, it was decorated in sleek, modern lines.  Designed with an open floor-plan, it had two sweeping staircases that met in the middle and underneath them, Addison could see a set of French doors. Beyond that, there was a huge patio with a beautiful swimming pool.

“So, how was the drive down?” Trevor asked as he shut the door.

She turned to look at him, her pulse skipping a little at his words.  Good heavens, from the way her body was reacting, you’d think he’d just asked her go to the Oscars with him or something.  He was only making small talk, for heaven’s sake.

Addison reached up to tuck her long, blond hair behind her ear.  “Fine, thanks.”

He nodded.  “That’s good.  Well, if your car is unlocked, I’ll go grab your bags and bring them up to your room.”

She looked at him in surprise.  Hollywood actors didn’t offer to carry suitcases for the hired help.  Or at least she’d never thought they did.

Abruptly realizing he was still waiting for an answer, she opened her mouth to tell him that she could bring in her bags herself when a man’s voice interrupted her.

“Don’t be silly. That’s what Bob’s here for, Trevor.  He can go out and get them.”

Addison saw Trevor’s mouth tighten at the words and she turned to see two men walking into the entryway.  One was tall with dark hair and built like a football player; the other was closer to her height, bespectacled, and didn’t look athletic in the least.

The man with the glasses held out his hand.  “You must be Madison. I’m Murray Siedle, Trevor’s manager,” he said.  “We spoke on the phone.”

She reached out to shake his hand.  “It’s Addison, actually,” she said.

The small man looked at her in confusion for a moment, and Addison felt herself tense.  But then he laughed, much to her relief.  “I must have gotten your name wrong, I guess.  Sorry about that.”  He glanced at Trevor.  “I’m going to go get Addison up to speed.  Let Bob get her bags and take them up to her bedroom, would you?”

Trevor looked like he wanted to say something in reply to his manager’s words, but Murray didn’t give him a chance.  Instead, the man took Addison’s arm and hurried her toward the back of the house. She barely had time to glance over her shoulder at Trevor before Murray hustled her into a room and shut the door.

Addison tottered a little on her four-inch heels as she came to a stop. She looked around the room and saw that it was an office, and a very well-equipped one at that.  She wondered if it was Murray’s or hers.  Did a personal assistant even have an office?

Murray walked over to the desk.  “Your resume is very impressive, Addison,” he said as he picked up a thick leather-bound book.  “Trevor’s going to be in good hands with you, I know it.”

She felt herself blush at the less-than-professional image the manager’s words conjured up. 

Murray didn’t seem to notice her heightened color as he flipped through the day-planner in his hands.  “Everything you need is in this book, so familiarize yourself with it.  It has all the important contact numbers, as well as Trevor’s schedule.  He has two appointments this evening.  One is a talk-show interview at a studio down in Burbank in a couple of hours, and the other is back here later tonight.  He’s meeting with a director about a new movie.”

Trevor was making a new movie?  She hoped it was one of those action/adventure flicks where he took his shirt off a lot.  Those were her favorites.  Before she could ask, though, Murray continued.

“For the interview in Burbank, you’ll need to coordinate with his driver so make sure you do that right after we get done here.  He’s usually out back in the cottage.  Or you can call him if that’d be easier.  The number’s in the book,” he said.  “I don’t know if you did this kind of stuff at your previous position, but just give him the standard info.  The pick-up and drop-off times on the sticky note there.  Which studio you’re going to.  Things like that.  Oh, and make sure to check that the limo is well stocked with Dasani Lemon.  Trevor prefers it to the regular and I think that damn driver is sucking it down himself.”

Dasani Lemon, huh?  That was a new tidbit of information about Trevor that she didn’t know.  And she thought she knew everything about him!

“When you get to the studio, take Trevor to his dressing room, and then talk to the producer doing the show, make sure he knows which questions are out of bounds,” Murray continued.  “Get with stage manager, too.  Trevor hates having studio lights pointing right in his eyes.  Oh, and no autographs afterward.  Trevor will want to sign them, but don’t let him.  He’s on a tight schedule and I don’t want him late for his meeting with the director.  Speaking of which, tell the cook not to make any kind of hors d’oeuvres that have seafood in them.  The director has some sort of thing against fish and won’t touch the stuff.  Piss off the director and Trevor can kiss the part goodbye.”
  
Addison felt like her head was spinning.  She was just thinking that maybe she should ask Murray to run through the list if instructions again so she could take notes when the manager announced that he needed to get with Trevor about a photo shoot he’d set up.

“Oh, by the way,” Murray added as he left.  “Your bedroom is just down the hall from Trevor’s.  Bob will show you where it is.  If you need anything, my number is in the book.”

Addison was so excited about her bedroom being down the hall from Trevor’s that she barely heard the rest of what Murray said.  Not only would she get to see the gorgeous Trevor Braden every day, but she’d get to sleep right down the hall from him.  If she weren’t so afraid someone might see, she’d do a little happy dance right there in the office!

Abruptly remembering the day-planner she was holding, Addison paged through it until she found the number for Trevor’s driver.  He answered right away and she gave him all the necessary information.  She even remembered to mention the part about making sure the bar in the limo was stocked with Dasani Lemon.

Thinking that she should probably take Murray up on his suggestion to familiarize herself with Trevor’s schedule, she took a few minutes to look through the day-planner. There were talk-show appearances and photo shoots mixed in with his regular filming schedule, plus some red-carpet events, including the premiere for his new movie.  God, he was really busy.

A knock interrupted her and she looked up to see Bob standing in the open doorway.  “Sorry to interrupt,” he said.  But Murray wanted me to show you to your room.”

“Oh, okay.”  She closed the day-planner and slipped it into her shoulder bag.

“I’m Bob Davitt, by the way,” the big man said as she stepped out of the room.  “I’m Trevor’s bodyguard.”

From the way he was built, Addison should have guessed.  “I’m Addison Mattingly,” she said, and then realized he probably already knew that.  She reached up to tuck her long, ash blonde hair behind her ear. “Thanks for bringing my bags up to my room.”

“No problem,” he said.  “I’ll give you a quick tour of the house on the way.  That way you’ll know where everything is.”

The house was so big that Addison thought she might actually need a map to find her way around it.  In addition to the spacious and very plush living room, there were three formal dining rooms, a huge gym, a media room that could have doubled for a movie theater, a recreation room with a pool table and video games, and another office like the one Murray had taken her to, not to mention more bedrooms than she could count.

When they stopped by the kitchen, Bob introduced her to the cook, Maribel.  Or personal chef, as Bob called her.  Plump with dark hair that had gone gray in places, the other woman gave her a warm smile and told her that if she needed anything, she should just ask.  It wasn’t until Bob was leading her upstairs a little while later that Addison remembered what Murray had said about the hors d’oeuvres.  Rather than go back right then, Addison decided that she’d just stop by and talk to Maribel about them before she and Trevor left.

The bedroom Bob showed her to was huge, not to mention absolutely beautifully decorated, and Addison couldn’t help but gasp.  Her entire apartment would fit in here.  Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration.  But the room really was big.

“If you need anything, just yell,” Bob said before heading back down the hall.

“I will,” Addison said.  She started to close the door, but then poked her head out.  “Bob?”

He turned.

“Do you know where Trevor – Mr. Braden – is?  We need to leave for the studio soon.”

“He’s probably in his bedroom getting ready,” Bob supplied.  “Two doors down that way,” he added, gesturing with his finger.

She nodded.  “Thanks.”

Addison started to shut the door, but then hesitated.  Maybe she should check in with Trevor.  Just to see if he was actually getting ready.  She didn’t want them to be late, after all.

Smoothing her hands down the front of her skirt, she made her way down the hall to his room and knocked on the door.  “Mr. Braden, it’s Addison,” she said.

“Come in,” Trevor called.

Addison had to bite her lip to stifle a moan.  God, he had a sexy voice!  Taking a deep breath, she turned the knob and pushed open the door.

Trevor was standing in the middle of the room, dressed in a pair of jeans and nothing else.  Whatever Addison had been going to say fled her mind at the sight of his bare chest.  She’d seen him without a shirt in movies and magazines, of course, but they paled in comparison to the real thing.  Damn, he was built!

“Which one do you think?” he said.

She was vaguely aware of him holding up a shirt in each hand, but she was too mesmerized by his chiseled chest and washboard stomach to even glance at them.

“Addison?”

She dragged her gaze away from his incredible body to find him regarding her curiously.  “Wh-what was that?” she asked.

“Which shirt do you think I should wear for the talk show?” he asked.

Addison barely glanced at them.  “Th-the dark blue,” she stammered.

Trevor regarded it for a moment, and then shrugged.  “I was kind of leaning toward the other one, but I think you’re right.”  He flashed her a grin that made her pulse flutter.  “I’m lousy at this type of thing.”

Addison watched as he tossed the other shirt on the bed and shrugged into the one she’d picked out, wondering why he even bothered wearing one at all.  Heck, with a body like his, he should just go shirtless all the time.

“So, what can I do for you?” he asked as he buttoned his shirt.

For starters, he could sweep her up in his arms, set her down on the bed, and make mad, passionate love to her.  She imagined him ripping her clothes off like the guys always did in the romance books.  The image brought a rush of color to her cheeks, not to mention a delicious, little tingle to her pussy, and she almost moaned.

“Addison?” he prompted when she didn’t answer.  “Did you need me for something?”

She blinked in confusion, trying to remember what she’d come to his room for.  He was going to think she was an idiot.  “I...um...I came to tell you that we need to leave for the studio in...” She glanced down at her watch and was startled to see that they were already running late.  “Oh no!  We were supposed to leave ten minutes ago.  The limo is probably already waiting for us.  We’d better go.”

Addison didn’t give him a chance to reply, but turned and hurried out of the room.

As she had predicted, the limo was waiting for them in front of the house.  Bob was talking to the driver, and both men turned in their direction as she and Trevor stepped outside. 

Bob sat in front with the driver, whom he introduced as Leo, leaving Addison and Trevor alone in the back.  As she settled into the seat, her slim skirt slid up her thighs, and she noticed Trevor’s dark eyes caress her legs before he leaned forward to grab two bottles of Dasani Lemon from the bar.

He held one out to her.  “Do you need a glass?”

She shook her head. “This is fine.” 

As she reached out to take the bottle, their fingers brushed, and it was all Addison could do not to squeal with delight.  To stop herself from doing just that, she quickly unscrewed the cap and took a sip of the flavored water.  To her embarrassment, some of it went the wrong way, and she ended up having a coughing fit.

Brow furrowing in concern, Trevor reached out to pat her on the back.  “Are you sure you don’t need a glass?  Or maybe a straw?” he asked when she could finally talk.

Addison shook her head, totally embarrassed.  “I’m fine.  Really,” she said.  “I just drank too fast.”

From the way Trevor was looking at her, she thought he might insist about the glass, but then he sat back in the seat beside her and took a swallow of water from his own bottle.

The rest of the drive was uneventful, much to Addison’s relief.  Though she was pleased Trevor had chosen to sit next to her, part of her would have preferred that he’d taken the seat across from her instead so she could have spent the drive looking at him.  Even so, she still managed to steal several covert, sidelong glances without him knowing.  Actors probably weren’t used to their personal assistants fawning all over them, she reminded herself.  She had to keep a rein on her inner-groupie.

When they arrived at the television studio a little while later, Addison was surprised to find security keeping a mob of screaming fan girls at bay outside the door.  Trevor took it in stride, however, giving the women a wave and flashing that sexy grin of his as Bob escorted both of them into the studio.

Once inside, Addison was all set to wait in the green room with Trevor when she abruptly remembered Murray’s instructions to talk to the show’s producer about the kinds of questions that were off limits.  Telling Trevor she would be right back, she hurried out of the room.

Finding the man took a little while and it wasn’t until she finally tracked him down that she realized Murray had never told her what kinds of questions were off limits.  Since she didn’t know, she decided the best thing to do would be to ask the producer what the show host was going to talk to Trevor about.

“His new movie, mostly,” the producer said.  “And what other projects he has going on.  That type of thing.”

That sounded okay to Addison.  Giving the man a smile, she thanked him for speaking with her, and then headed back to the green room.  As she did so, she had the nagging suspicion that there was something else she was supposed to do before the show, but for the life of her, she couldn’t remember what it was.  She really should have taken notes when Murray was rattling off his list of instructions.

Addison had always been glued to the television whenever Trevor was on, but she had to admit that it was a lot different in person.  Not only were there all the cameras and lights, but there was the studio audience, too.  Not surprisingly, it was almost all female.

She was so caught up in watching the clips from her boss’s new movie that she didn’t even notice the spotlight was shining directly into Trevor’s eyes, forcing him to spend the whole interview leaning to one side in his chair.  It was then that she remembered the other instruction Murray had given her.  Crap, she was supposed to talk to the lighting guy.  She was just making her way over to him when the show host announced that they were going to take a commercial break.  She thought that would have made it easier to get the lighting guy’s attention, but she’d barely finished speaking to him about the spotlight when the producer announced that they were back on the air.

Now that the spotlight wasn’t shining directly into his eyes, Trevor looked a lot more relaxed, Addison noticed.  Right up until the show host mentioned a rumor he’d heard about Trevor hooking up with some actress.  Though Trevor tried to hide it, Addison saw from the way his jaw tightened that the question bothered him.  Clearly that was one of those things that were supposed to have been off limits.  Well, there was nothing she could do about it now.

On stage, Trevor smoothly turned the conversation back to his new movie, telling the show host that he’d have to wait and see whom he brought with him to the premiere.  That seemed to satisfy the other man, who laughed.

Addison held her breath for the rest of the interview, half afraid the show host would ask something else he shouldn’t, but to her relief, the man didn’t bring up anything else controversial.

Bob met Addison and Trevor offstage, ready to escort them out to the limo.  When they walked outside a few minutes later, however, the car was nowhere in sight.  Her brow furrowing, she looked at her watch, wondering if they’d gotten done taping the show earlier than they were supposed to.  But no, they were right on time.

Telling Trevor she would check on the limo, Addison dug into her shoulder bag for her cell phone and flipped it open, then thumbed through the list for Leo’s cell number. When she got hold of that limo driver, she was going to give him a piece of her mind.  When she finally got him on the phone and very politely asked where he was, however, the man told her that he was waiting right where he had dropped them off.  Addison opened her mouth to argue with him when something made her frown.

She covered the mouthpiece with her hand and looked at Bob.  “Did we come out a different door?”

The bodyguard nodded.  “Yeah.  We always go in the front and come out the back.  Otherwise the fans mob Trevor.  Murray didn’t tell you that?”

It was on the tip of tongue to say no he hadn’t, but then Addison saw Trevor regarding her thoughtfully and she flushed.  Had Murray said something about that?  She honestly couldn’t remember.  Turning her attention back to the limo driver, she gave Leo their new location and hung up.  The man was Trevor’s regular driver, so shouldn’t he have known where to pick them up? 

Dropping her phone back into her bag, she lifted her gaze to find Trevor still regarding her with those beautiful dark eyes.  “I’m sorry, Mr. Bradon...” she began, but the rest of what she’d been about to say was drowned out by the mob of screaming fans heading their way.

Addison stared at the stampeding women in wide-eyed amazement.  For one wild moment, she thought they might actually trample her to get to Trevor.  But Bob stepped in front of them, spreading his arms and ordering in a booming voice, “Stop right there, ladies!”

Clearly intimidated by his large frame, the women stopped in their tracks.  Then as a group, they began to beg for autographs and pictures.  Remembering that Murray had said not to let Trevor sign any, she was just about to say something when he stepped forward and told Bob that he didn’t mind signing some while they waited for the limo to get there.

Addison bit her lip, wondering if she should dissuade Trevor from the idea, but quickly decided against it.  Between not remembering to talk to the lighting guy and the confusion with the limo, she’d already messed up enough for her first day on the job.  With that in mind, she stood off to the side and watched while Trevor furiously signed one autograph after another for his adoring fans.  She wondered if she could get him to sign one for her.  Of course, she’d have to say it was for someone else.

She was just about to check with Leo again when the sleek, black car pulled up.  Sighing with relief, Addison walked over to Trevor and going up on tiptoe, put her lips near his ear and announced that the limo had finally arrived.

Trevor nodded, but getting away from his fans was easier said than done.  There always seemed to be one more woman that wanted an autograph.  Bob had to finally step in and practically drag Trevor away from the mob.  Even as he allowed his bodyguard to urge him into the car, Trevor was still all smiles and waves.  His fans squealed and waved back.

Once she and Trevor were seated in the back of the limo, Addison gave him a sheepish look.  “I’m sorry about the mix-up with the limo.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Trevor said.

Though his handsome face gave nothing away, there was no mistaking the brusqueness in his deep voice, and Addison flushed.  Surely he wouldn’t fire her over this, would he?  It was her first day, after all.  Shoulders slumping, she turned to stare out the window.

Neither of them spoke the rest of the way back to Beverly Hills.  When they got to his house, Addison was surprised to find the producer and director already waiting for them.  She glanced at her watch and was shocked to see that her mistake back at the television studio had completely thrown them off schedule.

“They’ve been waiting for almost an hour,” Maribel whispered, throwing a nervous glance over her shoulder at the two men in the living room.  “I was afraid they were going to leave, so I’ve been trying to appease them with hors d’oeuvres.”

Trevor scowled.  “I’ll take care of it.  Thank you, Maribel.”

Addison gave the cook a grateful smile before hurrying after Trevor.  God, she hoped this didn’t cost him the part.

But Trevor was extremely good at smoothing any feathers that had been ruffled, and after a few minutes, both men were more interested in discussing their movie than they were in the fact that Trevor had been late.

As Addison listened to them talk, her gaze strayed to the array of hors d’oeuvres on the table.  She hadn’t eaten since lunch and the sight of all that shrimp, lobster, and caviar was making her mouth water.  She was just wondering if it was acceptable for personal assistants to eat during a meeting with their boss’s potential employers when it suddenly occurred to her that all of the hors d’oeuvres had been made with seafood.  Oh crap.  She was supposed to tell Maribel that the director had an aversion to anything with seafood in it.

Hoping Maribel hadn’t already left for the night, Addison murmured something about checking her messages, and then hurried into the kitchen.  Fortunately, the cook was still there.  She quickly explained the situation to the other woman.

“Do you have anything else we could serve?” Addison asked.

Maribel shook her head.  “I make all my hors d’oeuvres by hand.”

Great.  Addison chewed on her lower lip, trying to come up with an idea.  “What about cheese and crackers?” she asked after a moment.  “I know it’s not as fancy, but at least it’s not seafood.”

Maribel was silent as she considered the suggestion, but then she nodded.  “I do have some cheese,” she said, moving over to the refrigerator.  “There are crackers in the pantry.  Top shelf on your right.”

The pantry was more like a small food store, so Addison had her pick of crackers.  They were all fancier than anything she’d ever bought for herself, so she chose two boxes at random, and then set the crackers out on a plate while Maribel sliced an equally fancy assortment of cheeses.

Ten minutes later, Addison was back in the living room with a huge plate of cheese and crackers in her hands.  Trevor was going over some lines for the part he’d be playing, and it was all she could do not to stop in her tracks and listen to his sexy voice.

Careful not to interrupt, she set the plate of cheese and crackers down on the coffee table, and then sat down in the overstuffed chair.  She’d never really given much thought to how an actor went about getting a part in a movie, but the whole thing was extremely fascinating.  Not nearly as fascinating as Trevor, though.  Hearing him read for the part of a no-nonsense cop was almost enough to make her swoon.

Somehow, she managed to control herself, but only because Trevor had finished going over the script and was now discussing set locations.  Noticing that the director could use a refill on his coffee, Addison picked up the carafe and at his nod, began to pour some into the cup he was holding.  As she did so, she made the mistake of glancing over at Trevor.  The moment her eyes met his, she completely forgot what she was supposed to be doing.  The next thing she knew, the director was letting out a howl of pain.

Addison jerked out of her trance to find that she’d spilled hot coffee all over the director’s pants.

“What the hell is wrong with you?!” the man demanded, jumping to his feet.

Heat suffused her face.  “Oh God, I’m so sorry!”  She set the carafe down on the table and grabbed a handful of cocktail napkins.  “Here, let me...”

But the director grabbed the napkins out of her hand.  “I think you’ve done enough,” he said, giving her a hard look as he wiped his sodden pants.

Addison felt her color deepen.  “I...” she began, but he had already turned his attention on Trevor.

“We’ll be in touch,” he said stiffly.

Throwing the napkins down on the coffee table, the director pushed past Addison and stormed out of the room.  The producer murmured something to Trevor that she didn’t catch before he left, too.  A moment later, she heard the front door slam.  

Addison gave Trevor a sheepish look.  “I’m sorry.  I wasn’t paying attention, I guess, and...” the words trailed off at the dark look on his face.  “I-I’ll go and apologize.”

She turned and would have hurried to the door, but Trevor caught her arm.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he told her.  “Like Clive said, you’ve done enough damage already.  I’ll go.”

Addison’s bottom lip trembled as she watched Trevor walk out of the living room.  If her carelessness had cost him this movie, then she was done for, she was sure of it.

Blinking back tears, Addison picked up two of the plates of uneaten hors d’oeuvres and carried them into the kitchen.  Maribel frowned at the cheese and crackers.

“They didn’t like that, either?” she asked.

Apparently, Maribel mustn’t have heard the shouting, Addison thought as she set the plates down on the granite countertop.  “They...um...had to leave.”

The other woman’s frowned deepened at that, but Addison didn’t offer any more details.  It was bad enough that she’d embarrassed herself in front of Trevor and his guests.  Going back out into the living room, she collected the rest of the plates and carried them into the kitchen.  Maribel was already covering the cheese and crackers with plastic wrap, and Addison grabbed one of the crab puffs before the women could do the same to the other hors d’oeuvres.

She was just working on her second one when Trevor walked in.  From the look on his face, Addison couldn’t tell if his talk with the director had gone well or not, and she braced herself.

“When you’re finished here, I’d like to speak to you, Addison,” he said.  “I’ll wait for you in your office.”

Addison swallowed hard, the piece of crab puff almost getting caught in her throat.  Well, at least he hadn’t fired her in front of Maribel.  Avoiding the other woman’s curious gaze, she slid off the stool she’d been sitting on and left the kitchen.

She made her way down the hallway on leaden feet.  She’d never gotten fired from any job she’d ever had, and the prospect of being given her walking papers after half a day as Trevor Braden’s personal assistant made tears sting her eyes.  If her sister found out, she’d never live it down.

Addison stood outside the door to her office for a moment to collect herself.  Finally taking a deep breath, she walked in.

Trevor was leaning back against the desk, his arms folded across his broad chest, and Addison’s pulse quickened.  Even on the verge of being fired, all she could think about was how incredibly sexy he was.

“You wanted to see me?” she asked in a small voice.

He pushed away from the desk. “Close the door, if you would,” he said.

Addison did as he asked, and then turned to face him.  She waited for him to say something, but he only stood regarding her with those soulful dark eyes, his arms still crossed over his chest.

“Y-you’re going to fire me, aren’t you?” she asked, looking up at him from beneath lowered lashes.

“No,” he said.

She blinked, not sure that she’d heard right.  “You’re not?”

“No,” he said again.  “But I am going to make sure that we don’t have a repeat performance of what happened tonight.”

Addison frowned, not sure where he was going with that.  “I don’t understand.”

“Which is why I intend to make myself perfectly clear,” he said.

As he spoke, Trevor took her arm and marched her over to the leather couch that was set along one wall.  What was he going to do, sit her down and lecture her?  She was just about to say that wouldn’t be necessary when he sat down and pulled her unceremoniously over his knee.

Addison was so startled that for a moment all she could do was lay there draped over his muscular legs and stare down at the plush, beige carpet.  What the heck was he doing?  She craned her neck to look over her shoulder at him and was shocked to feel a sharp smack on her upturned bottom.

“Mr. Bradon, what...?” she gasped, only to let out a yelp as his hand came down again, this time on her other cheek.  Oh my God, he was spanking her!  “Trevor, what are you doing?!”

“I told you,” he said, smacking her again.  “I’m making sure that we don’t have a repeat performance of tonight.”

She yelped as his hand connected with her ass again.  “By s-spanking me?!”

He met her gaze, his hand resting on the curve of her bottom.  “It’s the best way I can think of make sure you take your job seriously.”

“I do take it seriously,” she protested.

He lifted a brow.  “Is that why you forgot to talk to the lighting guy?  Or inform the show producer that personal questions were off limits?  Or tell Leo to pick us up in back of the television studio?  Or spilled coffee all over the director?”

After each question, he delivered several spanks to her upturned bottom, which was quickly beginning to sting.

Addison couldn’t believe they were having this conversation while she was draped over his lap.  Could anything be more embarrassing?  “It’s not like I did any of that on purpose!  I honestly didn’t know about the limo thing.  And I only spilled the coffee because I...”  Was looking at you.  Her voice trailed off as she realized what she’d been about to say.     

“Because you what, Addison?” he prompted.

She chewed on her lower lip, hesitating for a moment.  “B-because I wasn’t paying attention,” she finally stammered.

“Then a spanking will help you to focus more,” he said.

Before Addison could reply, he lifted his hand and began to smack her ass even harder.  He worked back and forth, moving from one cheek to the other with an easy rhythm that made her wonder just how many women he’d spanked.  While he wasn’t spanking her as hard as he probably could have, the spanks still stung, and she let out a little yelp each time his hand connected with her bottom.  Trevor, however, paid no attention to her protests, but simply held her down with a firm hand on her back as he continued to spank her.

She didn’t know what was burning more, her face or her bottom.  No matter how much she squirmed, she couldn’t get away from his hand.  But the embarrassment was even worse than the spanking.  How could she possible look him in the eye after he had spanked her?

But then, just as quickly as it had begun, the spanking was over and she was back on her feet.  Unable to help herself, Addison reached back with both hands to cup her tingling bottom.

Trevor reached out to gently lift her chin with his finger, forcing her to meet his gaze.  “After that, I trust you’ll pay more attention to your job.”

All Addison could do was nod.  When Trevor continued to just look at her, she wondered if he expected her to actually answer.  But apparently, her nod must have been good enough because without another word, he turned and headed for the door.

Addison stared at his retreating back, still unable to believe that Trevor Bradon had actually put her over his knee and spanked her like a child.  She should go up to her room, grab her bags, and leave, she told herself.  But instead, she stood there rubbing her stinging bottom.