Mark Watts had suffered through another crummy day, and was drowning his sorrows at Asiate with about two million carbs and uncountable calories. In two days, guilt over tonight's meal would force him back to the gym, but for this one solitary evening he was looking forward to distracting his misery with food.
And it was all that damn Irene Russell's fault. Watts' only client who never gave him problems, the one filly in his stables who didn't constantly need a chaperone, a seemingly upstanding (for an actress) citizen who never graced the likes of TMZ or any of those tabloid rags.
And then the dumbass had to drop the N word while on Jimmy Fallon's show. Watts dropped his chin and ran one hand through his thinning hair. God, this world would be so much better without celebrities, he thought and, not for the first time, wondered if he should have been an accountant like his brother.
This debacle would sink him, no doubt. It wasn't as if Watts represented a bunch of A-listers like DeNiro or Clooney, who would call him and crack a joke and make him forget all the crap he was forced to suffer because of those stupid, selfish, immature star-wannabes and their continued efforts to bankrupt him.
He sighed and looked forlornly at his silenced cell phone, which had seven more messages than it did the last time he looked, ten minutes ago. He groaned inwardly and swore at Irene Russell. To make matters worse, he noticed Rose Shallot's name in his Recent Calls list. Another groan. Why wouldn't that girl go away? She was by far the neediest human being Watts ever had the misfortune of representing. He nursed his White Russian and wondered if maybe he should call his brother.
Suddenly the phone lit up. Watts frowned as he looked at the number he didn't recognize. More faux media, most likely. He nearly shut off his phone, yet continued to stare at the number. He took another swig of bravery from his glass and punched the green button with his thumb, "Mark Watts here."
The voice on the other end was deep and burly, and gravelly enough to make Watts unconsciously clear his throat, "Mr. Watts, my name is Detective Ainsley Burress. Sir, I have to tell you that Rose Shallot has been involved in a pedestrian hit-and-run."
Watts allowed his head to sink until his forehead lay flat atop the cool tabletop. He stomach tumbled and he hoped all the wonderful food he had been eating would remain right where it was. What the hell was that bimbo doing behind the wheel anyway? Hadn't she lost her license again? "Please tell me she wasn't drinking."
"No sir, you misunderstand. She was the pedestrian."
"She was the victim."