Home > Breaking Hollywood

Breaking Hollywood
Author: Samantha Towle

Ava

Don’t cry.

Don’t you dare cry, Ava Simms.

You’ve gotten through harder things than losing your job.

I’ve lost my job.

Shit. I’ve lost my job.

My boyfriend left me a month ago. I’m homeless as of tomorrow. And, now, I have no job.

Okay. I’m going to cry.

My lip wobbles, and tears start to run from my eyes.

With my heels clicking loudly across the tiled floor of the lobby, I speed walk out of the building, ignoring the receptionist’s curious eyes on me.

Pushing through the rotating door, I’m out of there. Head down, I rush around to the side of the building where my car is parked.

I climb in, shutting the door behind me, and toss my bag on the passenger seat. I jab my key in the ignition and turn the engine on.

I just want to go home.

But I don’t have a home anymore. Not after tomorrow.

And here comes the serious waterworks.

Tears are pouring down my cheeks. I swipe a hand over my eyes, not even caring that I’m probably smudging my makeup.

It’s not like I have anyone to impress anymore.

I slam the shift stick in reverse and hit the gas.

A second later, I go over a small speed bump.

I don’t remember speed bumps being down here.

My head whips around, and I see a body vaulting away from my car.

Oh, shit.

It wasn’t a speed bump.

It was a person.

I just hit a person with my car! Could this day get any worse?

Scrambling out of my car, quickly drying my eyes with my hands, I rush around to find a guy on his ass on the sidewalk, holding his right foot, cursing, and groaning in pain.

“Oh my God! I am so sorry! Are you okay?”

“No, I’m not fucking okay!” he barks. “You just ran over my foot!”

His voice sounds vaguely familiar, like I’ve heard it somewhere before.

I can’t see his face properly, as his head is down, just a head full of dark hair.

“I think it’s broken,” he groans. “Fuck, it hurts.”

I get to my knees beside him, tugging my skirt down to cover my thighs. I knew I should’ve gone with pants this morning.

“What can I do to help?”

“I think you’ve already done enough,” he snaps.

His head lifts, and he stares straight at me.

Oh, Jesus, fuck no.

I recognize those penetrating dark eyes and that brooding, gorgeous face.

Gabriel Evans.

Hollywood’s resident bad boy and my current celebrity crush. I’ve had a few celebrity crushes over the years, but I’m all about the Italian Stallion nowadays. Not that the press calls him that. I just do in my head because he’s part Italian, and I like to think he’s a stallion in the sack.

And he’s stunning to look at. He has a smoking body and that whole badass thing going on. I just love him.

“No,” he says.

“No?” I echo, puzzled.

“No, you can’t have my autograph, and you most definitely cannot take a selfie with me.”

“I wasn’t going to ask for your autograph.”

“Just a selfie then?”

“What? No!”

“You always blush when you’re lying, Speedy?”

Speedy?

“I’m not lying!” My hands automatically go to my cheeks. They’re on fire. That’s what I get for thinking about how hot he is.

“Sure you’re not.”

“I’m not! I swear! And people really do that? Ask you for a selfie after they’ve run you over? Because that’s a really shitty thing to do.”

“You’d be surprised what people would do for a picture with me. But I’ve never been run over before. This is my first time, so I’ll have to get back to you on that.”

“I don’t want a selfie! Honestly! If I did, I would have asked for one when we met before. Six months ago.” When he blankly stares at me, I fill in, “We met at a club. My friend Charly Michaels is dating Vaughn West. Vaughn introduced us.”

“I don’t remember.”

Oh. I can’t deny that I’m not disappointed. I always hoped that, if I did ever get lucky enough to see Gabriel again, he’d remember me.

But then, why would he? He meets tons of people all the time, and most of them are probably women.

Well, he’ll definitely never forget me now.

Way to get your movie star crush’s attention, Ava. Run over him with your car.

“Well, no worries.” I smile. “My name is Ava—”

“You could be called Candy and strip off all your clothes right now, and I wouldn’t give a fuck. Right now, I just need you to help me get my shoe off because my foot is hurting like hell!”

“Do you think that’s a good idea? I remember when my brother broke his foot when we were kids. He pulled his sneaker off straightaway, and he was in agony. He couldn’t walk. My dad had to carry him to the car and take him to the hospital. He cried all the way there. The doctor said his sneaker held his foot together, and if he’d left it on until he got to the hospital, he wouldn’t have been in as much pain. He broke four bones in his foot. Had to have surgery. He was in a cast for months.”

“That’s a cheery story. Did you break your brother’s foot as well?”

“No! Of course I didn’t. He broke it after falling out of our tree house.”

“I don’t give two shits how your brother broke his foot! Did you not hear me say, my foot is fucking hurting? I don’t think it can get any worse! Now, will you just take my goddamn shoe off?”

“Okay. Jesus. You’re so damn testy.”

His response is a growl.

I untie the laces on his shoe and very gently start to ease his shoe off.

“Ah, fuck! That hurts!”

“I told you this wasn’t a good idea. Do you want me to stop?”

“No, just keep going.”

“Should I do it like a Band-Aid?”

“What?”

“Should I just rip it off like a Band-Aid?”

“No! Just take my shoe off like a normal fucking person takes a shoe off. No ripping off anything.”

“I didn’t mean that I’d literally rip it off. I just meant, quick, like a Band-Aid. God, you’re prickly, and you do curse an awful lot.”

His dark brows come together in an unfriendly frown. “You just ran over my fucking foot, and you’re complaining that I’m prickly and I curse too fucking much? How about this, Speedy? I’ll get in my car and run over your foot, and then we’ll see how that goes for you.”

“Jeez, I was only saying,” I mutter. “And please stop calling me Speedy.”

His lips tighten, his brows rising.

“Okay. We can discuss the use of nicknames later. Let’s just get this shoe off, and we can assess the damage on your foot. One…two…three.”

I give it a good tug, and the shoe is off. All the while, Gabriel yet again curses like a sailor.

“Motherfucking cunt of a son of a bitch!” he yells.

“Does it hurt more?”

He pauses, giving me a dark look. “What the hell do you think?”

“Well, I told you—”

“Don’t you fucking dare say I told you so.”

“I wasn’t going to.” I so was. I press my lips together. A beat later, I ask, “Do you want me to take your sock off as well?”

“No, I can do it.”

I sit back on my haunches and watch while he carefully peels off his sock.

“Ah, fuck,” he groans.

“Ooh, that does not look good at all.” I move in close, looking at his foot, which is a spectacular shade of blue. “It shouldn’t be that color and not this quickly. I definitely think it’s broken.” I glance up at his face.

God, he’s pretty.

“No shit, Sherlock,” he mutters.

And he’s an ass.

I stare back at his foot. “I don’t think that bone should be sticking up like that.” I point at it with my finger.

He bats my hand away. “Don’t touch it!”

“I wasn’t going to touch it! I’m not stupid.”

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