Runaway Attraction. Farrah Rochon
going to stop hounding you until they’re satisfied that they have the full story.”
“Which, if we follow the advice of the detective assigned to my case, they will not get until this creep is caught.”
“True, but at least you proved to them that you’re not going to cave under their pressure. That’s one good thing that came out of it.” Brianna tilted Bailey’s face up to her. “I just want to make sure you’re okay.”
“I am,” Bailey said, grateful that she didn’t choke on the lie.
She was a lot of things lately, but okay was not one of them. Flashbacks of being kidnapped assailed her with increasing frequency, stealing the breath from her lungs and causing her to break out into cold sweats. It was not a good look for a fashion model.
She had been trying so hard to reclaim her old life, but how was that even possible when the person who’d wreaked such havoc was still out there? How would she ever feel normal again if she was forced to live under the protection of bodyguards?
Of all the fears her kidnapper had caused, that was the worst of it—fearing that she would never feel normal again.
“Hey, Chris, did you find that footage from the Preachers for Prosperity scandal?” Micah Jones focused on his computer screen as he talked to his colleague on speakerphone. “I also need clips of Ezra Singleton’s most recent film for tonight’s interview.”
He lifted the papers scattered around his desk with one hand while he used the other to scroll through the online archives of The New York Times as he scanned the results of his most recent search. Micah wanted to double-check the source that would be cited on Connect, the hour-long entertainment news program he hosted and produced on New York’s WLNY cable channel.
Finding the preproduction checklist he’d been searching for, Micah tore his eyes away from the screen long enough to mark off the tasks he’d already completed. Scanning the list, he groaned at the amount that still remained. He could forget taking a lunch today.
Despite the mountain of work he faced, he still couldn’t shake off his biggest distraction.
His eyes traveled to the second computer monitor that sat at a right angle to his main screen, where Bailey Hamilton’s stunning brown eyes stared back at him from yesterday’s press conference at Lincoln Center, striking him in the chest with their staggering beauty.
Micah endured the now-familiar response his body produced whenever he saw her, his gut tensing with want. He leaned back in his chair and tilted his head toward the ceiling, his eyes closed tight against the current of desire that charged through his veins. He didn’t even try to fight it anymore. It took all he had just to survive the onslaught of need mere thoughts of this woman created within him.
It was probably a good thing he hadn’t been among the press conference’s invited media. If his body reacted this way to seeing a picture of Bailey, he wasn’t sure he trusted himself to be around her in the flesh.
At first, Micah had been upset about having to watch the press conference on TV like the rest of the masses. He understood that he wasn’t a member of the press corps that routinely covered New York’s fashion scene, but he had been the last person to interview Bailey Hamilton before the shit had hit the proverbial fan in September.
And there, no doubt, lay his answer.
Life had not been kind to Roger Hamilton Designs, and to Bailey in particular, since the evening she had been found passed out in a basement in Lincoln Center, allegedly clutching a bag of cocaine. Her family was probably trying to distance her from anything associated with that time period. Unfortunately, that included him.
Micah could only imagine how much it had hurt her not to participate in Fashion Week. He recalled Bailey’s excitement during their interview as she’d shared the story of being a little girl in the audience at her very first RHD fashion show, dreaming of one day strolling down the catwalk herself.
She’d brought those dreams to fruition in stunning fashion, becoming one of the most talked about up-and-coming models in the industry. That was why he and the rest of the press had been floored when Bailey had missed RHD’s show.
And hours later, when she’d been found with those drugs on her?
Call him a sucker, but Micah refused to believe the rumors running rampant throughout the media and blogosphere. The woman he’d interviewed a few months ago was not a drug addict. He’d seen enough of them in his day to know what a drug addict looked like, even one skilled at hiding their addiction. Something else was going on.
And, like everyone else, Micah wanted to be the one who uncovered the secrets one of New York’s biggest names in fashion was hiding.
Shortly after Bailey had been rushed to the hospital, Micah had made a quick visit to his friend Logan Smith, an NYPD detective. He’d tried to get the inside scoop on the Hamilton story, but Logan, as expected, had refused to release specific details. But Micah had been able to tell that there was more to the story. He needed to find out exactly what that more was.
And he needed to see her again.
That was what this was really about. He wanted—no, he needed—to see Bailey Hamilton again. Like he needed his next damn breath.
Despite her efforts to avoid the paparazzi, she had been photographed and videotaped at least a hundred times since she’d returned to New York last week. But random shots of her getting into cabs or entering RHD wouldn’t cut it. Micah needed to see her in the flesh.
He blew out a frustrated sigh as he forced himself to tear his eyes away from her picture. Just then, an instant message popped up on his screen, reminding him that he had a show to produce.
More important, he had an executive producer of local programming job to land.
That was what he should be concentrating on, instead of the fashion model who took up way too much of his mental energy. The moment their current EP had announced that he was taking a job at a station in San Francisco, Micah had decided to make his move. Was executive producer a bit lofty for a thirty-year-old? Maybe. But Micah sure as hell wouldn’t let that stop him from going for it.
He clicked on the link Chris had provided and downloaded the video, filing it with the rest of the materials for Connect. His show was the highest-rated program in WLNY’s prime-time lineup. It was a running joke among his colleagues that the only reason Connect pulled such high numbers was because viewers wanted to see Micah’s pretty face, but he knew it was all about his guests. He’d been lucky enough to land interviews with some of New York’s most popular celebrities.
Tonight he was interviewing Brooklyn-born-and-bred actor Ezra Singleton, who’d made it out of the same housing development where Micah had grown up. Micah sent his production assistant a reminder to have a montage of clips from Ezra’s past films ready for the lead-in, and then he printed out the list of questions he’d prepared for tonight’s show.
He read the first question three times without comprehending it before tossing the paper aside and pushing away from his desk. How could he concentrate on tonight’s interview when the best idea he’d had in his entire career had just popped into his head?
If he wanted to separate himself from his two colleagues who were vying for the executive producer position, he had to stand out from the pack. And he knew just how to do it.
There was one person in New York that everyone was trying to land for an exclusive, and he’d had the privilege of being the last person to interview her.
Could he convince Bailey Hamilton to sit down for another interview?
“You can damn sure try,” Micah said.
He pulled up Bailey’s number, his thumb hovering over it for a few seconds before he tapped the touch screen. Micah attempted to count the loud beat of his pulse pounding in his ears, but it was too rapid to keep up.