The Billionaire's Rock Star - Lori Ryan
PJ Cantrell laughed and waved her arm over her head one more time for the crowd before stepping off the stage. It would take her a few minutes to catch her breath and change into clean clothes, then she would head out to the side stage door to sign autographs.
Meeting with her fans after every show and thanking them for coming out to see her could take an hour or more, but it made the difference between a great concert and an amazing experience they wouldn’t forget. That was important to her.
Her tour manager met her backstage and immediately shuffled her toward her dressing room with more urgency than usual. Lydia was always tightly wound, but this was different.
Flanked by Lydia’s assistant—who also happened to be Lydia’s younger brother—Ellis, and PJ’s security detail, Carl and Jeff, it quickly became clear she wouldn’t be signing autographs tonight.
“What’s going on?” PJ asked, glancing over her shoulder and spotting Ellis’s concern as they rushed down the hall, not stopping for any of the people calling out to her.
He wasn’t very good at masking his feelings and he looked especially distressed tonight.
“Let’s get you to the dressing room first,” Lydia murmured as they rounded the corner.
Ellis spoke from behind her. “It’ll be all right, PJ. It’ll blow over quickly, I’m sure,” he said, earning a scowl from Lydia.
The crush Ellis had was one-sided, but he was endearing and completely devoted. PJ had already recognized his importance on her team in the six months he’d been with them, even though an outsider might not see it right away since he often seemed like all he was doing was hanging around like a lovesick lapdog.
“It’s Kurt Tolleson,” Lydia said as she pressed an iPad into PJ’s hands.
PJ groaned and rolled her eyes. “What happened? I thought the media never picked up on the fact he was still dating me when he started dating his groupie?”
Getting over the awful breakup with the lead singer of Visceral Bond last year hadn’t been easy. She hadn’t been in love with Kurt, so his betrayal had been more humiliating than hurtful, but at least it had stayed quiet at the time.
No one had known he’d actually gone straight from her bed—quite literally—into his groupie’s on a routine basis, completely fooling PJ the entire time.
Lydia was talking, but PJ wasn’t listening. All she could do was stare at the screen.
“Debra is already working on getting this taken down. By the time you wake up tomorrow, we’ll have it spun––” Lydia said.
PJ knew her manager, Debra Manning, would be in her Los Angeles office no matter how late it was, working to handle this for her. It’s what she did.
There was no way PJ could pull her eyes off the screen as she watched a reporter read an entry from PJ’s journal during an interview with Kurt Tolleson.
Her very private journal that no one should have been able to get their hands on. She heard her words, her embarrassing words about the first time they’d slept together, being read for all the world to hear.
Then her words when she found out about the breakup. How humiliated she’d felt. How ticked off she’d been when the betrayal became apparent.
All of the details about his cheating, how she’d discovered the other woman’s underpants in his pocket one night after a show, the way he’d laughed at her when she confronted him, calling her nothing more than a cheap piece of ass he could get anywhere—all of it was laid bare for the world.
She watched as Kurt flushed when they asked him about the ‘indiscretion.’ So far, the interview didn’t seem that bad. At least she came out looking better than him.
But, what really had her panicking was the fact that they had her journal—or, at the very least, parts of it. This cannot be happening. PJ swallowed hard and tried to focus on the interview on the screen.
“PJ is a really wonderful girl and is still a good friend,” he said to the camera, his arm slung around the same groupie he’d cheated with as he flat-out lied about having any kind of friendship with PJ.
He turned away from the camera and walked off, but the video kept going for several seconds. And then PJ heard it.
A mic somewhere on one of the cameras had picked up his next comment to Erika—the woman he’d left PJ for. It was fuzzy and poor quality, but the words were unmistakable. “A little needy and sort of