Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An Interview With Leila Montgomery

If you read the excerpt from yesterday, you saw that Leila's first run-in with the press after Jacob announced that they were dating didn't go so well. :(

Before heading back to the US, Leila decides to give a gossip site an exclusive interview. Read below to find out if she fares any better with celebgoss.com!

I lowered myself into the patio chair, pushing aside my last minute reservations. Jade Simone, a blogger with celebgloss.com, would be calling any minute for an exclusive interview--my first since the train wreck in front of Rachel Laraby’s hotel a few weeks ago. Jacob had his reservations about it, but I knew I needed to do something to warm me up for what was waiting after the Whitmore jet touched down in the States.
My cell hummed in my palm, the vibration amplifying the rattle of my nerves. It was her. 
I brought it to my ear, gulping. "Hello?"
"Hi Leila!" Jade’s voice sounded like cotton candy, sticky and sweet. It matched the picture on the website: bleach blond hair, deep brown tan, and freakishly white teeth. "Is it okay if I call you Leila?"
I nodded, forgetting that she could not see the confirmation. "Yeah, Leila is fine."
"Awesome," I heard rustling on her end, like she was pulling up, ready to get to work. "Thanks for responding to my email. Ever since Jacob announced that you were a couple, everyone's been dying to sit down with you. I'm so glad you picked us for your first interview." She took a breath. "So--who is Leila Montgomery?"
I shifted uncomfortably. "Well, I grew up in Douglas Heights--"
"Douglas Heights?" she interrupted. "That...quaint neighborhood outside the city?”
She said ‘quaint’ like she really meant ‘poor’. I grit my teeth. “Yes, that one.”
“Wow,” she whistled. “I guess there's hope for us little people after all then, huh?"
A slight warning bell rang in my head but I ignored it. I’d met people like her before. Absolutely zero tact. Completely oblivious of the power of their words. You should get used to it...at least she didn’t ask if Jacob was as great a lay as he seems.
"I graduated with a degree in public relations,” I said after taking a breath. “I’m the assistant to the CEO of Whitmore and Creighton."
"An assistant to the CEO?” She parroted back, a frown running beneath the words. “You work for your boyfriend, right?” She didn’t wait for me to confirm the obvious. “That must be really awkward. Especially with all the rumors about you sleeping your way into the job."
Our interview had taken a turn down a road I had wanted to avoid, but I kept my voice measured. "Well, I'm here to put those rumors to rest, once and for all. My professional life and personal life are separate."
"But how is that possible?” she probed. “Your boyfriend is your boss. Isn't that kind of a conflict of interest?"
My nostrils flared indignantly. "Ask me anything you want about my professional life, Jade. But my personal life is just that--personal."
She chuckled, a haughty thing with an edge that made my stomach drop.  
It had been a mistake to answer her email. 
I had expected fluffy, easy questions about my hobbies or if Jacob was a good kisser. The front page of Celeb Goss was filled with stories about the latest Kim Kardashian sighting and red carpet triumphs and failures; celebrity gossip and fashion. I was not looking for hard hitting journalism. The fact that Jacob’s attraction played a role in me going from a research aide to personal assistant still made me feel guilty.
I clutched the phone, pulling my knees to my chest. Just drill the talking point home. "I'm not going to talk about my personal life. Period."
There was a long, gut wrenching silence. It was so quiet that I made out the notes of the wind rippling across the pool. I felt the creak of the house behind me, like it was leaning in, waiting with bated breath. Blood screamed in my ears as my pulse raced.
"Well," Jade said finally, all cordiality gone from her voice. "I can assure you that no one cares about anything except why Jacob Whitmore is dating someone like you. Some people may call you Cinderella, but I'm not into fairytales. I think you're an opportunist."
My hand trembled as the word hit me like a blow to the face. She got her soundbite. 
Leila Montgomery, the Opportunist. 
"This interview is over." I ended the call, slamming the phone onto the table beside me. 
How could I have been so stupid? 
The patio door swung open, solid steps moving toward me. I cast a look over my shoulder, locking eyes with Jacob and shaking my head.
His voice was warm, stroking me as gently as a caress. "That bad, huh?"
I slowly rose to my feet. "Can't we just stay here?" I groaned. "The local press seems to have found something more interesting than us." I roped my arms around his neck. "We can live off the land."
He smirked, blue eyes sparkling. "As appealing as that thought is, we can't run from them forever." He leaned down and pressed a kiss against my lips. A kiss that almost erased all the worry in my heart. 
As delicious as his lips were, there was still no denying the fact that the Italian press were only a fraction of what I had to look forward to back in the U.S.
He read me like an open book. "Just give it time. Once they see what I see, they'll love you." 
I melted into his arms, wanting to believe that so badly. As long as I had him--everything would be okay. 
It had to be.
"Alright, love birds," Isabella's sharp voice sounded behind us. She cocked her head toward the door, dark locks flapping in the breeze. "Your car is here."
I moved back to the scene of my second press failure, picking up my phone from the table. The screen was illuminated with a text.

Jade Simone

Your story will be live just in time for your return to US. Good luck, Mrs. Montgomery...you'll need it.


Stay tuned tomorrow for the Venice Nights soundtrack and Thursday, the cover reveal is being hosted by Sammie's Book Club. Be sure to like their page so you don't miss the first look at the steamy new cover! :)

3 more days!!! <33