Billionaire Bad BoyBy: C.J.Archer
"Look, Annie, you're our last chance. You're the only agent under thirty here. Hell, you're the only agent under fifty. We need you on this one. We can't lose Dug-E to Jamiesons."
"Why not? He's a snotty-nosed little—"
"Now, now. It's attitude like that that sends the kids elsewhere." He wagged a disapproving finger at her but there was no real admonishment in his tone.
"But I'm no hip and happening young thing, Bob. I can't give Dug-E what he wants. I don't know what boys his age do."
"Don't worry. I've got the perfect person to teach you."
She narrowed her eyes. "Teach me what?"
"To ride a motorbike for starters."
"You're really going to make me get on one of those dangerous things? I could get killed."
"Calm down, Annie, you won't be killed. He's a great teacher. He'll make sure you don't even fall off."
She rolled her eyes. "Gee thanks. Is he going to teach me how to drink beer, swear like a sailor and flash my breasts at passing trucks?"
He grinned. "If you ask him nicely."
She crossed her arms and tried hard to swallow her simmering temper. Bob had been good to her, giving her a chance. He may have done it in memory of his best friend, but he'd stuck by her even though she didn't bring in as many clients as her father had. She owed him and she would love to repay him by getting Dug-E. But did she have to drink beer?
"So who is this amazing teacher?"
"A friend of mine. We've known each other for fifteen years."
"Fifteen? How old is he?"
"Isn't that too old to be a rebel?"
At least thirty-four was better than eighteen. He might not be as juvenile as Dug-E. Although he was male...
"He's perfect for the job."
She groaned. The noose tightened. "I can't wait to meet him. What's his name?"
She laughed, but Bob didn't join in. "The millionaire?"
"No. The billionaire."
"Why would Zack DiMarco teach me to ride a motorbike and drink beer?"
"Because we go way back."
"You must be close."
He shrugged. "I'll give him a call. I'm sure he'll free up some time to take you on as a student."
"Yeah." She sighed. "What better things does a millionaire have to do but teach me to be a rebel?"
Zack answered his cell phone on the third ring. "Yo."
"Zack? It's Bob."
Zack broke into a smile at the sound of his friend's voice. "Hey, Bob. Long time no see. How's business?"
"Great. The most lucrative deal of the decade just landed on McCallum and Horton's table."
"Yeah?" Zack saved the spreadsheet on his laptop and closed the file. The financials of Deet Electric could wait. It wasn't often Bob called him. It must be important.
"We've got the chance to sign up a young rapper, Dug-E Dug—"
"That's his name?" Zack laughed. "Sounds like a gardening tools manufacturer I bought last week."
Bob chuckled. "He's about as smart as a shovel too. But we haven't got him yet. He thinks we're too old for his image." He snorted. "What would he know? McCallum and Horton invented cool. We put the hip in hippie, the roll in rock 'n roll."
Thirty years ago. From what Zack knew of the music industry, McCallum and Horton hadn't signed a hot artist in at least ten years. Not since Bob's partner had died. Whereas McCallum had been the talent scout, Bob brought the business brain to the partnership. Together, they'd been a force in LA. Alone, Bob was a jockey without a racehorse. Going nowhere.
"So, how can I help?" Zack meant it. He really wanted to do something for Bob, especially now when things weren't going so well for the agency. It was the least he could do for the man who'd helped him get started on his own path to fortune.
"Mac's daughter works for us," Bob said. "She's a nice girl. A great girl actually."
By which Zack guessed he meant she was an ordinary agent. "I think you've mentioned her before."
"She's our best shot at getting Dug-E but she's a little on the...conservative side."
"Your late partner's daughter? So she's not a chip off the old block?"
"Not even a splinter. She was never into the scene like Mac."
Zack's personal assistant entered his office and handed him some paperwork on Deet then left, closing the door silently. He threw the file onto his To-Do pile without looking at it. He'd had enough of Deet, enough of spreadsheets and profit and loss analysis. He needed to go for a ride on his bike, maybe head out to his ranch for a few days to clear his head. Lately, nothing at work could hold his interest for long. Why anyone would think what he did was glamorous, he'd never know.