The reporter for Sass and Style held her pen to her mouth as she listened to the supermodel. “Kitty, Clarissa Goldenblatt handles some of the brightest talent in the business. You’ve starred in some of the biggest campaigns in the world. Why did you decide to part after so many profitable years together?”
“I got in a bad car accident. Needed stitches and everything. I was actually hospitalized for quite a while.” Kitty put on her best sad face and took a sip of mineral water. Where was the waitress, anyway? She needed to order another bottle. I thought the Four Seasons had top notch service? “Clarissa was completely cold about it all–she didn’t care about my injuries. She only cared that I ‘wasn’t profitable,’ in her words, and that I missed out on work while I recuperated.”
“How horrible for you.”
“Yes, it was a shock. There are enough sharks in this business without being repped by one, you know? So I ended my relationship with her. I feel pretty betrayed by the whole debacle. I mean, she and I were like family for so many years. At least, I thought we were family, but obviously she only looked at me as a dollar sign. Maybe this is a sign I should move on from modeling. Get a real job, like my sister says.”
The reporter perked up. “Celeste McClarren. Very successful model in her own right. So your sister wants you to find a new career? Perhaps become a mother and settle down, as she did?”
Kitty nodded. “Yes. But there really aren’t any eligible men I can think of. At least not at the moment, so I’m just trying to stay focused on my career. There are movie offers I’m considering. I’ve always fancied myself dabbling in film…I think I’d be good.”
“Speaking of men, Bobby Vitolli, renowned lady’s man and reputed mafioso, has been linked to you.” The reporter grinned and scooted her chair closer to Kitty’s. “What’s the skinny on you two?”
“There is no skinny,” Kitty said with a shrug. “I barely know him. I met him once, at a nightclub–”
“The infamous Deuces,” the interviewer exclaimed. “Most recently in the news for a murder, no less.”
Kitty ignored the interruption. “–but it was only briefly. The paparazzi just happened to capture us going in together but that was purely coincidental.”
A half hour later, Kitty breathed a sigh of relief when the exchange had wrapped. A few harmless white lies, Kitty told herself; at least she set the record straight. Her version of straight, anyway.
Over the course of the next two weeks, Kitty busied herself with meetings–meetings with producers, directors, and new potential agents. She was determined to nail down a new project, and something big. That cranky cow, Clarissa, would see just how profitable and desirable Kitty McClarren was!
Kitty’s cell rang while she was en route to an appointment with a high-powered talent agency.
“How’s my Kitty Cat been purrin’?” said Bobby on the other line.
“Just fine,” she said. “Been missing you, actually.”
“Oh, yeah? How ’bout we catch up soon….as in, oh, I don’t know…tonight? My place at seven?”
Kitty bit her lip. “You got it.”
“Thank God you weren’t seriously injured,” Bobby said. Kitty had just recounted her hit-and-run experience over a glass of wine at his place.
“Bobby, can I ask you a question?” Kitty took a deep breath. “I don’t mean to pry, but who exactly was that man I made the drop off to? He looked really nasty, like no one you would associate with. I got a bad feeling about him.”
Bobby sipped his Merlot. “Richie’s a business associate. I don’t see much of the guy outside a few times a month. It was important I get that parcel to him…he did a job for my company and needed his cut. I just couldn’t be there to drop it off myself. I really appreciate it, baby, you helping me out.”
Kitty looked Bobby squarely in the eyes. “Tell me something,” she said with a look of dead seriousness. “Do I need to be worried?”
“My life. My safety, my family’s safety. Do I? I swear someone followed me when I left Richie’s place, Bobby, and that person shot at me. Either to warn me to stay away or to really kill me.”
“Kitty, I honest-to-God would never put you in harm’s way. Never.” He stroked her cheek. “If I thought there was ever a chance of you being harmed…believe me, I never woulda asked you to help me out in the first place. I feel bad, I really do. I probably never should have gotten you mixed up in any of this.”
“Too late now,” Kitty said.
“I guess it is…you know, I read that interview you gave to the entertainment magazine. Style something-or-other. I really appreciate you down-playing everything, our association and all. Not that I’m ashamed of being linked to you in any way…but it’s best to keep things private. You’ve proved yourself to be trustworthy and I rarely meet anyone trustworthy. Or discreet. You’re a helluva girl.” Bobby grabbed the hair on the nape of Kitty’s neck and kissed her hard. Kitty’s extremities went limp as his lips tore into hers. She tried to catch her breath but Bobby wouldn’t let her come up for air.
God, this man is really fucking my head up…
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