“The Manager” – Kristen Callihan

“The Manager” – Kristen Callihan
“The Manager” – Kristen Callihan

How lucky - they moved me to first class on my flight to London! I thought I hit the jackpot… until HE sat down next to me. Gabriel Scott. Sinfully beautiful, but ice cold. Nothing and no one can break through its walls.

Scott is a legend, manager of one of the most famous rock bands in the world, super sexy… and an arrogant ass who looks down on me!

I decided to have fun by provoking him during the long flight. But I didn't expect to feel so attracted… And now I want it like crazy!


Biggest surprise? He wants me too. But in a way I never imagined…

If I accept his offer, I risk falling in love with the only man I can't control. But I'm tempted to say "Yes"… Because the man behind those stiff suits and tough facade might be the best thing that ever happened to me. And I might be the only one who has a chance to melt his heart…

Kristen Callihan is an acclaimed author, three-time RITA Award nominee and winner of two Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Awards. Callihan is known to Bulgarian readers as "Idol". Lives in Washington with her husband and two children.



Jules is yelling in my ear because the Kill Johns are in their vortex and nothing can be heard:

– How are you honey, are you ok?

I probably don't look good when he asks me. I force a smile and reassure her:

– Yes. I'm just a little tired.

She nods but looks at me anxiously.

I lied to her, but what should I tell her, “Last night Gabriel tried to rob me.” Not that I'm 100 percent sure. But what's wrong with me? To not be able to judge whether someone is taking me down or not? Just thinking about last night, going over the details and my head is a mess.

I kissed him on the cheek and he hugged me like he couldn't control himself. My heart jumped into my throat and a warm wave washed over me. I wanted him to kiss me so bad!

But he didn't kiss me. He looked at me somewhat bored and I wondered if I had made a mistake with the kiss. I was worried and started crying. I might be a puzzle, but I couldn't ask him why he looked at me like that – not at that moment. In the morning I plucked up the courage, but Gabriel was once again reserved and a little grumpy as usual.

I don't know what to do. He claims it's not about sex. He might be sincere, but either way, I'd never tell him I wanted more. Not to Ice Gabriel Scott! Call it pride, a sense of self-preservation, or whatever you want, but I won't give up that easily.Nothing that is difficult for me. I will focus on work, which is hardly a punishment.

The concert is boiling and seething. The boys play with enviable inspiration. I sneak between their legs and take picture after picture. Killian jumps high with the guitar in one hand, Jax is bent over the Gibson, his arms flexed, his bare chest reddened by the spotlight. Rye is focused on the huge amp, biting his lower lip and shaking his hips, while Whip is pounding the drums and waving his arms around with sweaty hair sticking to his face.

The crowd goes wild when Killian sings "Hombre al Agua" by a Spanish band from the nineties. At this moment, "Kill John" reigns over thousands of people captivated by the music. Beauty! I give in, put down the camera and start dancing. As usual, I feel Gabriel's gaze and turn around.

Our eyes meet and it's like I've been punched in the stomach and chest. When he works, he doesn't smile or show any feelings.But tonight is different. So different! His white teeth glisten on his handsome, tanned face and the small dimple shows. I can't catch my breath. He stands in the shadows like a withered, untouchable sculpture, his smile reflecting the admiration of the audience as well as mine and his. This is the hidden Gabriel, the Gabriel behind the curtain, whom I see for the first time, and his smile assures me that he is content with life, but does not show it. In fact, people do not know him - he is not cold and unfeeling, he is disguised, and so I want him to show his hidden boiling energy and emotionality. One day I will break down this barricade of her pride, I will challenge him as only I can, and if he doesn't give in, I will somehow manage to live without him.

Gabriel rushes over to hand Jax the guitar for the next song. His eagle eye watches everything and everyone. One of the heads of the recording studio stops him and they talk backstage.

Kilian's riff splits the air. Time flies in sounds and colorful lights. I capture and photograph the fleeting moments. I seal forever a series of sincere, spontaneous and wonderful moments that will not be repeated. I am proud to have immortalized them.

The concert is over, but I'm full of energy. We're going to some club and I'm going home for a quick shower. I change, put on red lipstick and I'm ready. I leave the bathroom and see that Gabriel is waiting for me. I can't get used to not admiring him - he's so handsome! He's leaning against the bedroom door with his hands in his worn jeans, his white T-shirt stretched across his broad shoulders and bulging biceps. He's so used to suits that I hardly expect him to be uncomfortable in any other clothes, but here he is looking lovely and smiling at me.

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