Release Date: January 16, 2018
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It should have been easy.
I needed the money. He needed a babysitter to keep him from snorting himself to death.
I was cherry-picked especially for him. Responsible. Optimistic. Warm. Innocent.
The worst part is that I should have known better.
Alex Winslow. British rock star. Serial heartbreaker. Casanova with whiskey eyes.
“Don’t get near the devil in a leather jacket. He’ll chew you up and spit you out.”
Guess what? I didn’t listen.
I signed the contract.
World tour. Three months. Four Continents. One hundred shows.
My name is Indigo Bellamy, and I sold my soul to a tattooed god.
Problem was, my soul wasn’t enough for Alex Winslow. He ended up taking my body, too.
Then he took my heart.
Then he took my all.
Alex Winslow in another meltdown: arrested for DUI and possession of cocaine.
By Beth Stevenson, The Daily Gossip
British singer Alex Winslow was arrested again Tuesday night for driving under the influence and for possession of cocaine. The twenty-seven-year-old singer had been released from California’s Lost Hill Sheriff’s Station after a night in jail. A night during which, it is alleged, he swung on the bars of his cell and wrote the lyrics to his song “Wild Heaven” on the walls using a blue Sharpie given to him by a smitten station employee (a Sharpie he later used to sign her breasts).
As well as getting caught with three grams of cocaine in the glove compartment of his azure vintage Cadillac, the heartthrob is also accused of trying to seduce his way out of trouble when he got pulled over in the early hours on the Pacific Coast Highway cradling a nearly-empty bottle of whiskey.
The twelve-time Grammy winner allegedly unleashed his famous, one-hundred-million-dollar smile at the officer on the scene, a forty-three-year-old mother of three, saying, “You really are f***** arresting, love, but I reckon I’ll be the one doing the cuffing tonight.”
The “Man Meets Moon” singer infamously got arrested eight weeks ago for punching Steven Delton, owner of the website Simply Steven, and for stealing a Grammy statuette. Winslow stormed onto the stage at the Grammys mid-speech when fellow British singer William Bushell received the Best Album award, plucked the statue from Bushell’s hand, lit a cigarette, and launched into a rant:
“Are you having a laugh? Raise your hands if you actually voted for this wanker without getting bribed with a complimentary handjob. Come on. Come. The. Fuck. On. His whole album sounds like background music at McDonald’s. No offense. To McDonald’s, not to Bushell. There wasn’t even one creative track in the entire album. In fact, if creativity met this bloke in a dark alley, it would run the other way, screaming bloody murder. I’m taking this home. Doesn’t feel too good when someone steals what’s yours, eh, mate? Well, boo-fucking-hoo. It’s called life, and it’s a lesson you taught me.”
Previously close friends and former London roommates, Bushell and Winslow had a falling out two years ago over model/socialite sensation, Fallon Lankford, and have been labeled enemies since. Both Brits slammed reports concerning bad blood between them. It has been alleged that Winslow’s latest album, Cock My Suck—which peaked at number nine on Billboard and disappeared from the charts soon after, the worst in his career—had driven him into the arms of alcohol and cocaine.
Shortly after word got out of Winslow’s arrest, Simply Steven ran an article titled, “Alex Winslow: The End of an Era.” It is believed that Mr. Delton is now looking to sue Winslow, after the latter assaulted him with a jab to the face when asked about Fallon Lankford’s new love interest, Will Bushell.
Within hours of his second release, Winslow offered an apology through his long-time agent, Jenna Holden:
“Alex Winslow is deeply sorry for doing a number of things that were very wrong and for which he is ashamed. He would like to apologize to the officer who arrested him, stretching the apology to her husband, children, and the local church in which she volunteers. Winslow acknowledges his out-of-control behavior can no longer be overlooked, and for the sake of his loved ones, his fans, and himself, has decided to check himself into a rehabilitation facility in the state of Nevada. We kindly ask you to respect his privacy as he fights this very personal battle against his demons.”
Winslow’s former publicist, Benedict Cowen, who parted ways with the singer days after his Grammy meltdown, was not available for comment.
He is off-the-rails crazy. Also: off-the-rails hot.
Dude, McDonald’s background music? Richhhh. Winslow’s last album was so bad my ears bled for two weeks after listening to it.
(just kidding, he’ll probably shove a finger into an outlet or something if we don’t keep an eye on him.)
Guy’s a sociopath. You can very clearly see it in his art.
I echo that thought…but I’d still do him. 😉
Me too! Lol
Sadly, me three.
Good, because he’s not the kind
Of guy who can offer you more
than a quickie. He is bad news.
Six months later.
Tap. Tap. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
The soles of my shoes slapped against the granite floor like a persistent canary. I had to dig my fingernails into my thighs to make my legs stop bouncing to the rhythm of my restless, foolish heart.
Shut up, heart.
Chill out, heart.
Stop fussing, heart.
There was no need to panic. Not even a little. Not even at all.
I was going to get the job.
I elevated my head, flashing the woman sitting across from me my biggest, most enthusiastic smile.
“When we advertised the job for a PA position, we kind of, sort of, what’s the word I’m looking for…? Lied.” Slamming her chrome MacBook shut, she splayed her bony, manicured fingers on top of it, showcasing a ring that must’ve cost enough to buy the better half of my up-and-coming neighborhood.
My throat bobbed, and I smoothed down my tattered pencil skirt. Actually, it wasn’t even mine. It was Natasha’s, my brother’s wife, and two sizes too large at the waist. I only ever got called back from food chain restaurants that didn’t require a suit, so I’d had to improvise. I tucked my knotted ankles under my chair, sparing my interviewer my silver Oxford shoes, a hint of my personality I’d forgotten to disguise.
Everything in the woman’s office screamed excess. Her desk, white and sleek; the seats made of alabaster leather; and the bronze chandelier dripping down between us like liquid gold. The Hollywood Sign poured from her floor-to-ceiling window in all its promising, beautiful, broken promises glory. So close you could see the dirt clinging to the white letters. Her workplace was the size of a ballroom. There wasn’t a drop of color or personality in this office, and not by accident.
Jenna Holden. Powerhouse agent to the biggest Hollywood stars. Owner of JHE Group. She didn’t have time to get personal. Least of all with the likes of me.
“You’re not looking for a PA?” The forced smile on my face crumbled. I needed this job like Mark Wahlberg needed to show his real junk in Boogie Nights. Really, really bad. Case in point: I was living with my brother, his wife, and kid, and as much as they loved me, I’m sure they loved not having to share their one-bedroom apartment with a twenty-one-year-old avant-garde slob slightly more. My only source of transportation was my bicycle, which in L.A. was the equivalent of getting from A to Z on a dead turtle’s back.
“I’m looking for…something.” Jenna tipped her chin down, bowing a thinly plucked eyebrow. “And it does involve some assisting.”
My patience was hanging by a thread, ready to jump ship. I was hungry, thirsty, and desperate for the job. Any job. Summer had kicked my ass, and all the blue-collar positions had been filled by acne-ridden teenagers. This was the third time I’d come into JHE for this vague job this month. First, I’d gone through the HR girl who’d left me waiting for forty minutes because her pedicure appointment ran late. Then, Jenna’s personal assistant had grilled me like I was fresh back from an ISIS training camp. Finally, I’d met with the mega agent herself, and now she was telling me I’d been misled this whole time?
“Tell me, Indigo, how carefully did you read the job description?” She sat back in her chair and laced her fingers together. She wore a crisp, buttoned shirt tucked into black velvet pants, and a smug smile. Her champagne-blonde hair was pulled into a painful looking bun, and my skull burned just from looking at the way her skin pulled around her hairline.
“Careful enough to repeat it by heart.”
“Is that so? In that case, please do.”
My nostrils flared. I decided to humor her one last time before collecting my bag and remainder of self-esteem and walking away.
“PA needed: resilient, responsible, patient, and thick-skinned. Non-drinker, NO DRUGS, with a flair for arts and life. If you’re twirling on the sidelines of mainstream, have great attention for detail, and don’t mind long hours and endless nights, we’re looking for you. *NDA needed, criminal record will be checked.”
I pushed a copy of my job application, tapping it with my finger. “This is me. Sans the twirling part. I’m prone to migraines. Now, can you tell me why I’m here?”
“What I’m looking for is a savior. A nanny. A friend. You’re the closest thing to perfect I’ve found, but frankly, this whole thing is going to be a lot like an organ transplant. We won’t know if you’re a match until we put you two together.”
I blinked, studying her like she was a mythological creature. If this was a joke, I’d officially lost my sense of humor.
She stood up and began to pace, her arms folded behind her back. “I have a client. No, not a client. The client. One of the hottest names in the industry this decade. He got himself into hot water recently and now he needs a big bucket of ice to cool his name off. Drugs, women, ego the size of China—you name it, he’s suffering from it. Your job is not to book flights and make coffee. He’s got an arsenal of people doing that for him. But you will be there when he goes on tour. You’ll cater to his emotional needs. You’ll make sure he doesn’t snort cocaine backstage, or stay out late, or miss a show. You’ll be there to grab his hand and pull him away when he gets into an argument with a journalist or a paparazzo. Your job, in short, is to keep him healthy and alive for three months. Think you’re up for the challenge?”
Her words were so sincere and sharp, they sank into my skin like teeth.
A savior. A nanny. A friend.
“That’s…a lot of responsibility. Sounds like that someone is in big trouble.”
“Trouble is his middle name, a part of his charm, and the reason why I have a Xanax tab in my purse at all times.” She cracked a bitter smile.
TMI, TMI, TMI.
“If he’s in no shape to go on tour, why is he doing it?”
“He was supposed to leave six months ago and canceled for personal reasons. If he cancels again, he’ll have to pay thirty million dollars to the production companies. The insurance will never pay up, considering the cause of termination was him swimming in enough cocaine to bake a five-tier wedding cake.”
I tapped my toes against the shiny floor some more, gnawing at my lower lip. Jenna stopped moving around. She was now standing in front of me, her thin, golden Prada belt twinkling like a sad eclipse.
“Three months on the road. Private jet. Best hotels in the world. If you’ve somehow managed to hang onto the leftovers of your innocence in this city and want to keep it, I’d advise against taking the job. But if you have a thick skin and a taste for adventure, know this—this job will change your bank account, your path, and your life.”
She sounded serious. Concerned. Every word had a weight and it sat heavy on my chest. “You’ll sign a non-disclosure agreement. You’ll take what you see to your grave. And you’ll get paid mad bank.”
Mad bank? Who talked like that? L.A. showbiz people. That’s who.
“Mad bank?” I asked.
“A hundred thousand dollars for every month of your employment.”
Three beats had passed before I sucked in air, remembering I needed to breathe.
Somewhere in the distance, I heard office folk snort-laughing next to the vending machine. A printer spitting out papers. A spoon clinking in a mug. My gnawing intensified, as it did when my nerves got the best of me, and the metallic taste of blood spread inside my mouth.
Three hundred thousand dollars.
All my financial problems—gone.
“Who is he?” I looked up, my voice cracking like an egg. Did it matter? Not really. At this point, he could be Lucifer himself, and I’d still accompany him on a lengthy tour in hell. Natasha and Craig’s bills were piling up. Ziggy needed tubes in his ears—every winter my nephew cried and screamed himself to sleep. We had to tie socks around his little fists to keep him from clawing at his ears until they bled. We couldn’t even afford a new bed for him, and his chubby legs constantly got stuck between the bars of his cradle. This offer was a no-brainer. The only issue would be parting ways with my family, but even that came with a big chunk of relief. My brother wasn’t the best person to hang out with right now.
Besides, I’d been babysitting two-year-old Ziggy since the day he was born. This person was supposedly a grown-ass man. How hard could it be?
“It’s Alex Winslow,” Jenna supplied.
Evidently, the answer to my question is ‘next to impossible.’
Winslow was huge. His songs were shoved down your throat by every radio station like he was the only person on the continent with vocal cords. But what truly worried me was that he seemed unapologetically arrogant. Alex Winslow looked through people like it was an Olympic sport and he wanted to make the queen proud, which was just one of the reasons why he’d managed to create beef with every person with a pulse in Hollywood. That was common knowledge, even if you tried to avoid gossip like the plague, which I did. Wherever he went, a string of reporters and palpitating fangirls followed. I’d get heat the minute his fans spotted me. The paparazzi shadowed him everywhere but to the bathroom. I once read in a gossip magazine—dentist appointment—that some girl had to shut down her Instagram account after partying with Winslow because a dark net website put a bounty on her head. Twenty grand was collected to predict her death date—“fulfilling your prediction is entirely optional,” they said.
Last but not least, Winslow was the most antiauthority mainstreamist in Hollywood. Not too long ago, he was arrested for DUI, and I hated, despised, loathed drugs and alcohol. Which basically meant that our “organ transplant,” as Jenna had referred to it, would likely result in two casualties and one epic failure.
I cradled my face in my hands, letting out a breath.
“This is the part where you say something.” Jenna’s cherry red lips twitched.
I cleared my throat and straightened my posture.
Time to put on your big girl panties and make sure they stay dry for three months, despite him looking like Sean O’Pry’s hottest brother.
“I promise to keep him safe and sound, Ms. Holden.”
“Good. Oh, and I’m going to say this once to keep my conscience clear: don’t fall in love with the guy. He’s not the white picket fence type.” Jenna waved a hand and scrolled her phone, pressing her thumb onto it and making a call.
“I’ll try my best.” My jaw muscles twitched as I swallowed a sneer. Alex Winslow was beautiful in a way storms were—only from afar. Just like them, he had the power to sweep and ruin you, two things I was too busy surviving to entertain.
“If your best is good enough, then you should survive this. I’ll have my assistant print out the paperwork. Any questions?” She fired some instructions on the other line to said assistant, then ambled toward the door.
“When are we leaving for his tour?” I peeked over my shoulder, my fingernails burrowing into the armrest.
“That’s two days away.”
“Good at math.” She sneered. “That’s an unexpected plus. I’ll get the paperwork. The tour is called ‘Letters from the Dead’ and is supposed to revive his career. Be right back.”
I remembered that song. It was the soundtrack to my senior year, when everything looked so final and wrong.
Love is just a fraud,
Excuse me for being goddamn bold,
You asked me to believe,
As if I had some fucks to give.
With the door closing behind her, I sat back and blew a lock of blue hair away from my face. Crazy laughter bubbled in my throat, eager to pour out.
I was going to make three hundred thousand dollars and hang out with the biggest rock star in the world for three months. I looked up, and the chandelier winked at me mischievously.
I thought it was a sign.