Seduced by the Playboy
A whole new playing field of passion
Fiery newscaster Angela Kelly wants nothing more than to take the Windy City by storm. But with her show’s dangerously low ratings, she stands to lose everything. The pressure is on to save her career, and a tantalizing exposé on wickedly sexy professional baseball player Demetri Morretti might be her last shot. That is, if she can handle the irresistible desire brewing between them.
Demetri sets out to teach the sensual broadcaster a lesson, and doesn’t think twice about trying to seduce her. And then a secret about Angela’s past is revealed. Now Demetri is determined to gain her trust and prove to her there’s more to him than just his playboy status. Because when it comes to love, he always plays to win.
After watching Eye on Chicago the previous night, and seeing his past transgressions in high definition, Demetri Morretti had stormed into his home gym, fuming mad. But it didn’t matter how many push-ups he did or how much weight he lifted because he still couldn’t get Angela Kelly’s voice out of his head. Or her blistering jabs. Demetri Morretti is an overrated, overpaid athlete with no class… His off-field behavior has not only disgraced the Chicago Royals organization, but his teammates and fans… If I was the league commissioner, I’d give Morretti the boot, once and for all.
Demetri clenched his hands into fists. He wanted to punch something, wanted to unleash the anger shooting through his veins. Another workout was definitely in order. He was tense, more fired up than a boxer on fight day, and those deep breathing exercises his conditioning coach had taught him weren’t working. They never worked. These days, he was more stressed than ever, and getting injured during the preseason had only made matters worse.
Now stepping out from behind the curtain shielding him, Demetri slid up against the back wall. Standing perfectly still, he zeroed in on the raised stage. Seated behind the V-shaped glass desk was the studio’s most popular broadcaster—Angela Kelly. The stunning twentysomething Chicago native with the girl-next-door appeal. Her beauty was jaw-dropping, as breathtaking as a Mediterranean sunset, and at the sight of her dazzling smile his mouth went bone-dry. Everything about her was chic and sophisticated. Her fuchsia blazer and shorts, her silky black hair, the way she spoke and moved. Angela Kelly looked well put together, as if she’d just stepped out of hair and makeup, and she spoke with such exuberance that the entire studio was filled with her positive energy. And Demetri Morretti hated her on sight.
“Thanks for watching this week’s edition of Eye on Chicago,” Angela Kelly said, staring straight into the camera and wearing her brightest smile. “Make sure you tune in next week for the conclusion of my Athletes Behaving Badly story. Until next time, stay safe.”
“That’s a wrap, people!” the cameraman yelled. “Great job, Angela. You really outdid yourself this week. Faking tears as you read the intro was a nice touch.”
“I wasn’t faking,” Angela said, unclipping her microphone and resting it on the desk. “Watching those clips of teenagers rifling through the garbage was heartbreaking.”
“Sure it was.” The cameraman winked and then patted her on the back. “I’ll see you on Friday. We’re filming two segments back-to-back, so make sure you bring your A game.”
“I’ll bring mine if you bring yours!”
The cameraman chuckled and then strode off the soundstage.
Angela slid off her chair, adjusted her blazer and ran a hand through her perfectly flat-ironed hair. Spotting her boss, Salem Velasquez, at the back of the room, she swiped her clipboard off the raised glass desk and stepped off the set. This was her chance to talk to Salem—alone—about the proposal she’d submitted last week for her new three-part series. Angela was determined to win her boss over. If she wanted to be taken seriously in the journalism community, she had to continue pursuing meatier news stories. Stories that would impact the world and change lives. Stories that she could be proud of. After eight years of covering celebrity gossip, Angela was ready for a change. She was ready for the big leagues. And if she wanted to be the station’s lead broadcaster by the time she turned thirty at the end of the year, she had to start pushing the envelope.
“Angela-wouldn’t-know-the -truth-if-it-slapped-her-in-the -face-Kelly,” a male voice said from behind her. A tall, hooded figure, decked out in all black, slid in front of her.
Angela stepped back with a yelp. “What the hell?” she snapped, touching a hand to her chest. Narrowing her eyes, she studied the lean, muscled stranger. His baseball cap was pulled low, past his eyebrows, a thick Nike hoodie covering his head, and his hands were tucked in the pockets of his sweatpants. His head was down, and his shoulders were bent. The man looked sinister, like the villain in a comic book, but he smelled heavenly.
“I need to have a word with you.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave. This is a closed set, and no one.” Angela’s voice faded when the stranger took off his hoodie. Her clipboard slipped out of her hands, falling to the floor with a clatter.
“I’d say it was a pleasure to meet you, but I’d be lying, and I’d hate to make a second trip to confession this week.”
Angela felt her eyes widen and her knees buckle. Not because she was surprised by the dig, but because Demetri Morretti—the reigning bad boy of Major League Baseball—was standing in front of her, live and in the flesh.
Her thoughts were running wild, but her gaze was glued to his handsome, chiseled face before her. Dark eyebrows framed his brown eyes, a thin mustache lined his thick lips, and his wide shoulders made him seem imposing, larger-than-life. The half Italian, half African-American star athlete was a force to be reckoned with on the baseball field. And even though he was casually dressed in workout clothes and had a very present five-o’clock shadow, he was still smokin’ hot.
His skin was a warm caramel shade of brown and so smooth and flawless-looking, Angela suspected he had weekly facials. Demetri Morretti was a pretty boy if she’d ever seen one, but she didn’t think for a second that he was soft. Angela had read enough about the thirty-two-year-old superstar to know that he was a spoiled, ridiculously rich athlete who pushed around anyone who got in his way.
Recovering from the shock of seeing Demetri Morretti in her studio, Angela hit him with an icy glare. “Tapings aren’t open to the public,” she said tightly. “And since you’re not an employee of the station, I’m going to have to ask you to leave, Mr. Morretti.”
“I will, as soon as you go on the air and issue an apology to me and my family.”
Angela almost laughed in his face but caught herself before a snicker escaped her mouth. No use antagonizing him. According to published reports, Demetri was impulsive, a hothead of the worst kind, and there was no telling what he’d do in the heat of the moment.
“My mother is very upset about the lies you told about me on your show, but I assured her you’d apologize once you realized the errors of your ways.”
“Apologize for what? Speaking the truth?” Angela rolled her eyes to the ceiling. She didn’t tell Demetri about the countless hours she’d spent reading articles and sports blogs about his background and twelve-year baseball career. The headlines about the gifted shortstop were damning and more salacious than a CIA prostitution scandal. There were reports of bar brawls, drunken Las Vegas parties and explosive run-ins with rival baseball fans. She’d found so much “dirt” on Demetri Morretti, and the other players featured in her story, she’d had enough material for a three-part series. And the viewers were eating it up. Her show had slayed the competition in the ratings last week, and everywhere she went people were talking about her Athletes Behaving Badly story. It was a hot topic, one that viewers couldn’t seem to get enough of.
“Don’t mess with me, Ms. Kelly, because when it’s all said and done, I will get my way.”