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Susan Stone Susan Stone
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The Ruthless Tycoon Chapter one

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

I've been trying to write a Mills and Boon modern romance for years and have been reading dozens of them to try and pick up the style.  This is my dozenth attempt.I'm sorry but it won't let me put paragraph spaces in so it may be turgid reading

Chapter one
Lights were flashing, the latest hits resounding through the speakers as Alicia wove her way through the dancing crowds clutching her screenplay. She wanted to give the script to Viggo Adamson, the CEO of Zander Industries, the corporation which owned Eagle Studio, and she knew this was where the gossip columns often reported seeing him on Saturday nights.  Her agent had so far failed miserably to get any of the studios to read her script and she felt like this was her last hope if only he would prove to be there.  Faces flashed in front of her in the blinking lights as she searched for the handsome face so familiar to her from the photographs she had seen in gossip columns.  Finally, she saw him in a booth with 2 other people, a girl and a man.  Adamson was even better looking in the flesh was her first thought, and would he be kind or hostile was her second?  She had not been able to tell from his photographs how blonde he was although she’d looked his name up on the internet and knew it was Nordic and that he probably had Viking ancestry. His eyes glinted in the subdued light, and his hair caressed the collar of his jacket, longer than she had expected.  His shoulders were broad and his chest muscular in his black polo shirt.  He was tanned and handsome and her heart started to flutter, her womb lurching with desire.
Her legs started to shake and her fingers whitened on the script.  He was engaged in an earnest conversation with the man, his steel grey eyes probing his companion’s and she felt a  as if her insides were dissolving in a crazy sort of desire she was unfamiliar with.  Was she going to make a fool of herself?  Was he just going to tell her to get lost?  The three people in the big booth looked like they were having a private conversation and, although the club was crowded, no one had attempted to take the vacant seats around them.   Before she got to him she collapsed on to one of the seats backing on to his and took a large gasp of air.  Perhaps she should have had a drink before she got there
Her heart was pounding as the fast rhythm of the music changed to a slow, poignant melody causing her eyes to fill with tears.  It had been their song—hers and Tom’s. Her husband had died of a brain tumour two years ago after the year she had spent nursing him through this terminal illness.  She had given up her job to take care of him and working on the script in her spare time had kept her going, along with Tom’s praise and encouragement, the memory of which had given her the strength to complete the screenplay after his death and move away from her home town of Washington to Los Angeles.  She brushed the tears away as the man sitting next to her put his arm around her and pulled her close.
‘Hi, honey, can I get you a drink?’ He slurred, his hand stroking her leg. His breath stank of beer and she felt suddenly nauseous.
‘Excuse me?  She answered sternly, pushing his hand away, sorely tempted to slap his face.  ‘Get your sleazy hands off me.’  She struggled to get free of him but he was to strong.
‘I thought you wanted to join us,’ he murmured into her ear pulling her towards him.
‘Stop it!  Get off me!’ she shouted trying again to pull away from him.
‘I know how to defrost a frigid bitch,’ he growled, holding her tightly against him.
At that moment a shadow appeared in the corner of her eye and she turned to see Viggo Adamson standing by the booth.  ‘I don’t think the young lady is interested so I suggest you let her go,’ he warned, his tone laced with threat.  She hadn’t expected him to be so big, his muscular physique easily intimidating the smaller man and making him release her.  She sprang to her feet almost bumping into Adamson before she fell forwards into his arms.  ‘Don’t tell me you’ve been drinking too,’ he said his voice resonating against her ear as he held her causing a tingle there which spread rapidly through her whole body filling it with a sensual response she had never felt in the arms of another man, not even her dear beloved Tom.  It was just sex she warned herself while what she had felt for Tom had been deeper.  She refused to betray Tom’s memory by losing her head to the first good-looking man to hold her in his arms since his death.
‘Not a drop,’ she assured him as he pulled her away from holding her at arms’ length to study her face for signs of intoxication.  As she forced herself to pull away from him, he bent down and retrieved her script which had fallen to the floor.  
  ‘Is this yours?’ He asked, not paying much attention to it    
‘Yes,’ she stammered taking it from him and pressing it to her chest.  He cocked his head on one side then and tried to work out what it was.  Her body filled with another sudden heat. Should she to give the script to him now?  She wondered.  ‘Thank you,’ she said huskily wishing she could have a drink of water because her throat had become so dry.
‘Why don’t you join us for a bit, you look like you’re about to collapse,” he offered gesturing to the almost empty booth he was occupying with his two companions.  She pushed her nut brown hair off her face and slid on to the seat next to the girl where he quickly joined her, still too close for her to do as he had suggested, and pull herself together.  Waves of antagonism from the girl’s heavily kohled eyes washed over her as Viggo introduced himself and his two companions, Jed Harper, a film director and Natalie Harris, an actress.  Alicia was so nervous she forgot to tell him her name.  She recognized the director immediately, however.  She should give them her script, she thought, trying to pluck up the courage.  Perhaps it was rubbish, though.  This was harder than she’d imagined when she’d formulated her plan in the tranquillity of her apartment.
Jed Harper took a sip of his whiskey and studied her speculatively.  ‘What’s that you’re clutching?  He said finally.  ‘Get the young lady a drink.  She looks parched.’
‘Would you like…a drink,” Viggo offered.
‘Just a glass of water or soda will do.  I’m quite thirsty,’ she said, sure that her confidence would return as soon as she cooled the searing heat in her throat.  She was sure she must be bright red, unlike the girl who looked pale, cool and composed.
Viggo beckoned and, as if by magic, a girl appeared at his side and took his order.  The film director poured himself another whiskey and then Alicia loosened her grasp on the script and put it on the table where Natalie’s eyes seemed to bore holes into it immediately.
‘It’s a script isn’t it?’  She snapped as if it was something unpleasant she’d stepped in on the sidewalk.  “I should know: I’m an actress.’
Alicia felt better after a few gulps of water and her spirit sprang up in defence of her work.  There was no title on the front so she could have denied it, said it was a book or something and escaped without embarrassment but this meant too much to her. Her money was running low and she still hadn’t found the job as a legal secretary she was looking for.  She might have to resort to waitressing and she knew she wasn’t cut out for that sort of work. She had been badly sexually harassed when she had done it as a student.  But she was a qualified legal secretary and intended to put in some applications over the next few weeks, she told herself.  She had a good career to fall back on unlike some scrawny actress she didn’t even recognize.  
‘Yes it is a script,’ she answered firmly. ‘I’ve been hoping to get people to read it but I’ve had no luck so far.’
‘They receive thousands of them,’ Natalie informed her.  ‘It’s no use coming to Viggo because he owns the studio.  He doesn’t read unsolicited scripts.’
‘She’s right,’ Viggo agreed.  ‘It’s a policy of mine.  I come out to get away from business—relax a bit.  If I accepted scripts out of the blue like this I’d be inundated with them.  I have other business to see to.’
‘Yes you own oil wells as well as Spritzer Cola, I know,’ she replied.  She’d drunk Spritzer since she was a child.  It was a household name.  He’d been the CEO for ten years since his father’s death. Five years after which, he’d bought Eagle Studio because of his passion for movies.  She knew that if only she could get him to read her screenplay he would realize that she shared love of film.
‘You know all about me’ he said with a stunning smile.
‘Yes, and you were Executive Producer of The High flyer.  It was nominated for an academy award,’ she almost gasped taking another gulp of water. She’d studied him on the internet.
‘I’ve been producer on a few movies.   I’ve got more involved as time’s gone on,’ he said.  ‘You certainly know how to get to the right people.’
‘The High Flyer was a great movie,” she answered, her heart pounding at the intimacy of sitting so close to him as the club began to fall silent and people started to leave.
‘It’s not my favourite.  That was directed by this guy here.  He’s the genius.’
‘I don’t recall which one that was,’ she answered wishing she’d studied harder adding, because she sensed the evening drawing to a close.  ‘If you could just read my script, I’m sure you would like it.’
‘As I said, I come here to relax.  Now that you’ve finished your drink I think it would be a good idea if you picked up your script and took it home,’ he advised.  ‘I’d be happy to get you a taxi. Natalie here has one on order.’
So Natalie wasn’t going home with him.  Why did that make Alicia feel so much better? Nevertheless tears sprang to her eyes as she realized that her quest had come to nothing. She brushed by him and, with one lingering look from her large, moist eyes into his she disappeared into the departing crowds.
Viggo couldn’t understand his sense of regret once she’d gone.  The girl had somehow got to him.  He had so many beautiful women falling at his feet these days that he’d thought he was immune but her natural beauty amongst the surgically enhanced residents of Hollywood had thrown him. He regretted letting her leave without knowing her nam

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