Kai Morganstein is twenty-six and on top of the world. He’s won the 2011 Formula 1 championship.
After winning his fifth race of the current season, the team wants to celebrate. But all Kai wants is to go to a different party or go to sleep. However, this party is a little different because he meets a nice girl. His manager is really strict when it comes to alcohol, food, or women. Now Kai can understand why he has to limit his drinking and why he has to stay fit, and up until he met this girl, he even understood why he had to stay away from relationships, but he likes her too much to give her up. Also, he enjoys teasing his manager.
So he gets the girl, at least for one night. But he wakes up alone the next morning, without even knowing her name. And after the weird story she told him, he’s really suspicious and decides he wants to find and help her.
When he discovers her story, Kai ends up signing a deal with her boss. However, Joe Franco is pressed by a third party to accept the deal even though he doesn’t agree with it. And because of that he sabotages Kai’s races.
“And there he goes, ladies and gentlemen. The Iceman does it again. This is his fourth first place this season. He actually managed to pass Diaz on the last lap. Wow, what a race. If he keeps his pace, he might have a chance at winning another championship. Go Kai!”
The TV blares as I enter the apartment I share with my agent, Richard. He’s actually my pimp. Yeah, you read it right. My pimp. You know, the person who books appointments and talks with the clients. Being a proud Hispanic man, he likes to think of himself as an agent, and me as a very high-class escort, just fancy words for prostitute. But, no matter which words you use, I really am high-class. People pay a lot of money to spend a few hours with me, even though I only receive a small fraction of it.
“Yes! Did you hear that, Lily? Kai did it again. He won.”
I sigh. “Yes, Richard, I heard.”
Yeah, he’s a Formula 1 fan. Big fan. In a part of the world where the sport isn’t overly popular, the gathering of fans I know is unusually large.
I roll my eyes, stepping out of my stilettos and dropping my purse on the sturdy table in the hall. He’s dancing around the living room with his hands up. I find him kinda funny. Although I think F1 is more appealing than football, I still don’t see the thrill that Richard and the others get from watching some cars lap around some twisted track for two hours.
“Want something to eat?” I ask him as I head into the kitchen.
The apartment is nice and comfortable. I’ve ended up living with Richard because I can’t afford the rent at my old place, and he took pity on me after I signed the contract and started working in this shitty business. It has two bedrooms and a big bathroom with a large bathtub that we both love so much we fight over it. The kitchen is newly furnished and it looks shiny and clean with the white color Richard and I agreed on. Yes, we had a long dispute about what colors to use and were appropriate for a kitchen. Finally, we agreed on neutrals, and since we still couldn’t decide between cream and gray, we picked white.
I could have gotten a new place, but I spend too little time in the actual apartment to really care where I live.
“No, thanks, honey, I’m okay. I’m going to meet Joe in an hour and I’ll have something then.”
“Suit yourself,” I mumble.
Richard is actually a nice man and I really like him, but I’m in a foul mood this morning. My last client for the night had been an old man, an attorney, and I just hate screwing old farts like him—no matter how rich they are. His tool wasn’t even working properly. So you can understand my crankiness. I’m tired, sore, and sleepy. My eyelids, feeling heavy, keep falling.
Still muttering, I open the fridge and find it filled with all kinds of food. Some yummy and some not. I can smell garlic and tomato sauce, and I know Richard’s made his delicious recipe of chicken and vegetables. We have a lot in common when it comes to food, but somehow this morning I’m not feeling up to anything. I just yawn as I push the fridge door closed and turn toward the suspended cabinets, where I know I’ll find what I need.
Yep, there it is. My favorite bottle of gin. I smile with my eyes half closed, anticipating a good night of sleep. Err... make that a good day of sleep.
I pour some into a glass more suitable for wine and start toward my bedroom, taking the bottle with me.
“Lily, honey, drinking so early in the morning?” Richard questions. He’s sitting on the black leather couch now, after cheering Kai Morganstein’s victory. His handsome face is serious, but his chocolate eyes are glinting with mirth. I glare at him and a corner of his lips rises to match his joking glint.
“I prefer to think it’s actually very late at night.” And since I haven’t had much sleep, it kinda is.
He laughs, tipping his head back. I think of him as a very attractive male specimen—too bad he’s gay.
“You’d better get some good hours sleep. We’re going to a party tonight.”
The glass I’m taking to my lips freezes on its way. “A party? Tonight? Are you fucking kiddin’ me?”
“Sorry, honey.” Richard shrugs sympathetically. “Joe’s orders.”
“Well, fuck him! I’m tired.”
“I know. But this is big. I can’t help you. I’ve tried, believe me I have, but he won’t budge. He wants you on this deal.”
“Fuck!” I swear, bumping the couch with my foot. The move makes my hand waver and gin spills on the floor a little. Hurriedly, I straighten myself, not wanting to waste any more.
If my reaction to him isn’t an indication, I’ll tell you now. I hate Joe Franco. Yeah, his name isn’t really Joe Franco, but he prefers it to his real name, which nobody knows anyway. It makes him feel more powerful, and us, puny and insignificant. Unfortunately for me, Joe’s orders are just that—orders. I can’t disobey or else I’ll earn another year to my punishment.
So I just close my eyes, swallow my contempt and anger, then look at Richard with a sleepy smile as fake as Pamela Anderson’s tits.
“Nine tonight. I’m really sorry.”
“Good night, Richard,” I mumble, heading to my bedroom and waving the gin bottle at him.
“Sleep well, Lily.”
It’s eleven in the morning, so I have until six. Damn it! How on earth did those drivers manage to get up so early and race against each other?