So with THIS MAN and THE PROTECTOR coming to screen soon with PassionFlix, it was only right for the two men of the hour to meet.
And what an interesting meet it was.
Tosca, Joany and Jina all sat in a row at PassionFlix HQ mulling over the casting options. It had been a long, gruelling day of counting abs, listening to hot men reel off lines, and generally drooling over male actors in an attempt to narrow down their search for the lead in the next PassionFlix project. They were exhausted and more than ready for a vodka. Or ten.
‘It’s definitely one of these three.’ Tosca said, as the last audition wrapped and she set the final portfolios in a row before them.
Joany tapped the tip of her index finger on the middle guy, an excited thrill coursing through her. ‘Him.’ she said dreamily, a little sigh escaping. ‘He’s perfect for the role.’
Jina chuckled while gathering the files together and tidying them into a neat pile. ‘You don’t get to choose, Joany. That’s the Founding Members’ job.’
The three woman all made to stand, set to go search for that vodka, when the door to the casting room swung open, pulling all of their eyes across the room. Each of them froze on the spot mid-rise, and each of them lost all control of their jaw muscles, their mouths hanging open unattractively.
And Jina began blinking rapidly, certain she was seeing things.
Because a man that devastatingly handsome surely couldn’t exist. Yet there he was, flesh and blood before them – with his tall, solid physique, his dirty blonde hair that looked like he’d half attempted to get into some semblance of a style with a quick rub of wax, and his insanely intense green eyes. This man was so gorgeous, they were almost in pain. Their blood hot, their bodies trembling, and their hearts pounding, all of them were instantly reduced to puddles of awe.
‘Is that…?’ Joany whispered, her voice nothing but a breathy wisp of desire-drenched air.
‘I’ve never seen anything like him.’ Jina breathed, still blinking, as if to clear her vision. But the man still remained at the doorway, keeping the women in place with his green gaze.
‘Um…can…’ Tosca cleared her throat, straightening as she tried to search through her empty head for words to say, any words to say. ‘Can we help you?’ A quick elbow nudge in the arms of her friends snapped them out of their ridiculous inertness, too, and Jina and Joany straightened, flicking disbelieving eyes at each other.
‘I love my job.’ Joany whispered out the corner of her mouth, only just loud enough for Tosca and Jina to hear.
The man frowned, fine lines crinkling his perfect forehead as he gave each woman a moment of his attention. ‘So you three head-up this PassionFlix business I’ve heard about?’
‘Yes.’ Jina all but squeaked, certain her knees were about to give out at any second.
The man nodded decisively and took long, confident strides across the room to a tub-chair, lowering his finely-tuned body down onto the seat as the women followed his path, waiting for him to confirm who he was. He had a presence. An intense presence, his sheer magnificence on the verge of being otherworldly.
Flipping the collar of his Ralph Lauren shirt up, he gazed around the room thoughtfully before his green eyes landed back on the women with a bang. They all felt like they could burst into lusty flames every time this man’s glistening greens were on them.
He. Was. Divine.
In an attempt to appear composed, Tosca re-took her seat and threw a quick glare to her colleagues to follow suit, which they did hastily, though Joany and Jina’s arses hit their chairs with more of a thud. ‘And you are?’ Jina cocked her head, vehemently fighting her eyes desire to focus on his broad chest and bulging biceps that were hidden under the taut material of his polo shirt.
‘It’s him, I know it.’ Joany whispered, her hands twitching on the table. She wanted to touch him. To make sure he was real.
A semblance of a roguish grin grew on the man’s face, his elbow resting on the arm on the chair, his index finger brushing lightly across his cupid’s bow in the most seductive manner. Jina guessed the even peppering of stubble gracing this man’s face was roughly three-days-worth, and she was prepared to shave him right this minute and spend the next three days with him to confirm that.
Green eyes sparkling knowingly, he let that semblance of a grin spread wide, as if he was privy to what they were all thinking. He was cocky. Almost arrogant. And it just made him even hotter. ‘My name is Jesse Ward.’ He spoke quietly, his tone rough, and all three women shivered at the confirmation, like his words were stroking their skin. “But many people call me ‘The Lord’.”
The gasps of Tosca, Joany and Jina were so loud and drawn-out, they were impossible to hide, only making Jesse Ward’s grin move into face-splitting territory. He was a god. He knew it. Everyone with sound eyesight knew it. He had rendered them stupid, and his ego was delighting in it.
‘Oh my God.’ Tosca stiffened in her chair, eyes wide and unable to move off the unholy good-looking beast of a man.
‘It’s suddenly even hotter in here.’ Jina started fanning her face with her coffee coaster.
‘He’s even more scrummy in the flesh.’ Joany was beside herself, virtually vibrating in her seat with a mixture of awe and excitement. ‘I hope he’s here to make friends.’
Tosca nearly choked on thin air, the thought alone of what this man was capable of in the bedroom increasing her already booming pulse. ‘I suddenly feel a little senseless. He might need to fuck some into me.’
‘And I think I owe him an apology.’ Jina added, head tilting in contemplation as her eyes dropped to his groin.
The three women all snapped their mouths shut when Jesse cleared his throat, silencing them. ‘So I hear you’re putting me on screen.’ His eyebrows rose, and Tosca surmised that it was in warning. She’d heard of The Lord’s reputation, they all had, and she knew that his ego was as big as London. Fucking huge. He meant business.
Pulling her big girl business knickers on, she pushed her hair behind her ears and squared an even, sure look on Jesse Ward. She meant business, too. ‘Correct.’
‘Under whose say so?’ he questioned, never taking that intense gaze off of her.
‘That would be your creator, Mr Ward.’ She sensed he wasn’t all too pleased about that, and she wondered if Jodi was about to be trampled. ‘Jodi signed the contract. If you have a problem, I suggest you take it up with her.’ Tosca was mentally locating her phone in her bag to call Jodi and give her the heads-up. She was certain now that Jesse Ward was about to go on a trampling mission. What she didn’t know, however, was whether she was full of dread for Jodi, or if she envied her.
‘Oh, I don’t have a problem with it.’ Jesse mused casually, running a hand through his dirty blonde hair, roughing it up a bit more. Tosca rolled her eyes when she heard Joany and Jina sigh from either side of her. She was thinking she needed to gain some control here, because the notorious Jesse Ward had a reputation for getting what he wanted, and she wasn’t about to let him come in here and trample all over their plans to…
Her thought process ground to a halt as what he’d just said registered in her jumbled head. ‘You don’t mind?’
He shrugged nonchalantly. ‘Of course not.’ Jesse stood, raising slowly to his full height, and the women’s eyes slowly followed. ‘Women want more of me.’ Another cheeky shrug, backed up with that adorable, roguish smirk. ‘What can I say?’
‘I’ll take a countdown.’ Joany blurted without thought, quickly slapping her hand over her mouth to stop anymore inappropriate words from spilling out.
Ward smiled to himself as he strolled over to the table where they all sat, resting his palms on the wood and dipping to get to their level. They all sat back, as if more space between them and Jesse Ward might make his insanely gorgeous looks easier to deal with. It didn’t. They were doomed.
‘Ladies,’ he purred, his eyes running back and forth over all three of them constantly. ‘I have a reputation. I am a god among men.’ All of their heads bobbed limply as they gazed up at him, all dreamy-eyed. They were under his spell. He could demand anything in that moment and they would all agree. ‘I doubt you’ll find any actor as hot as me, but try.’ he ordered. ‘Try real hard.’ He straightened as they nodded in agreement. ‘No pussy…ish twats, either. And make sure they can count backwards.’ He pouted, thinking. ‘And he must have a huge—’
Jesse was cut off when the door opened again, and he turned away from Tosca, Joany and Jina, who all craned their necks around his big body to see who had entered.
More gasps. And not just from the women. Jesse visibly started bristling, his chest puffing out like a threatened bear. He grunted, standing taller, rolling his shoulders and cricking his neck.
‘Oh my, this day just keeps giving and giving.’ Joany said quietly, eyes fixed on another god in the room.
‘Is that who I think it is?’ Jina murmured, taking in the vision filling the doorway.
They weren’t short of talent around these parts; they’d just spent all day salivating over endless actors, but this…this right here, these two drop-dead, downright gorgeous creatures in such close proximity, and at the same time, was enough to send any woman with decent vision into meltdown. And Tosca, Joany, and Jina were right in the middle of an epic meltdown. It was too much. Jesse Ward, and now…
Scanning the room, the man slipped his hands into the pockets of his suit trousers, not in the least bit fazed by the bristling presence of Jesse Ward. He had an air of quiet confidence surrounding him, confidence mixed with undeniable power. His dark hair was peppered with grey at his temples, his dark eyes twinkly, and he carried himself with complete coolness across the room.
The women’s eyes followed his every step, while their eyes tugged in their sockets, wanting another fill of Jesse Ward, too. Their brains were in chaos over which man to admire.
‘Who the fuck are you?’ Jesse muttered, looking him up and down.
The man stopped, turning his eyes onto Ward, and returned his gesture, running his dark eyes up and down Ward, his stance confident. ‘And who the fuck are you?’
Tensions were running high, the atmosphere suddenly thick, chests puffing out all over the place. It was a pure testosterone fest, and Tosca, Joany, and Jina sat back in their chairs and took the opportunity to enjoy the view. ‘It’s definitely him.’ Jina whispered out the corner of her mouth, pointing her pen at the broad chest of the man, a delighted smirk growing as she slowly cast her eyes onto her friend’s. ‘That’s Jake Sharp.’
Tosca and Joany jolted in their chairs, struggling to control their dribbling. ‘The Protector.’ they whispered in unison, spending some pleasurable moments drinking him in.
Before them was sex on legs. Two of them. The temperature of the room was bordering stifling. They were struggling for air.
‘Wait.’ Jesse laughed, though it was slightly uncomfortable, his finger waving in thin air, motioning up and down Jake’s chest, which, frankly, Jesse thought could use some work. He was buff, no doubt, but a few extra press-ups wouldn’t have gone a miss. ‘You’re Jake Sharp?’
‘That’s right.’ Jake turned toward the ladies, disregarding Jesse’s animosity. ‘I’ve received intel that you’re making a movie about me.’
‘Yes, sir.’ Joany mumbled, her eyes round.
Tosca flashed a file, mentally preparing her argument should Jake Sharp veto their master plan. ‘We have the contract right here.’
‘Well, Jodi’s the boss.’ He shrugged his big shoulders, pulling in the lapels of his jacket as Jesse scoffed, gaining Jake’s attention. It was then realisation dawned on Jake. He smiled, though it wasn’t friendly. ‘You’re Ward.’
‘That’s right.’ Jesse stood taller, his eyes narrowing on the notorious bodyguard. ‘Or you can call me “number one”.’
Jake laughed softly on a mild shake of his head. ‘According to who?’
‘She wrote my story first.’ Jesse wasn’t growling, but he was pretty damn close. He’d heard Jodi had gone on to create a few more men for women to swoon over, and he wasn’t best pleased about it. Just as long as she remembered which man that pretty little head dreamed up first, he might spare her a trample.
Jake, cool as a cucumber, nodded, as if agreeing, his lips pouting as he cupped the scruff of his jaw. He was thinking, and he was being sarcastic with it. ‘And she gave you three books, right?’
‘That’s right.’ Smug on the inside, Jesse went on. ‘She also gave me The Manor.’ He wasn’t beyond telling this Jake Sharp that Jodi had also given him a huge dick and the ability to use it. The gloves were off.
‘Oh, the sex club for the rich and beautiful? I’ve heard about it.’ Casually, and maybe a bit cockily, Jake dusted a speck of lint off the shoulder of his suit jacket, breathing in deeply. Then he slowly cast a sharp stare onto Ward. ‘But she didn’t give you a gun, did she?’
Ward balked at his nerve, quickly gathering himself and stepping forward, his chest meeting Jake’s. Oh, the gloves were definitely off. ‘Are you threatening me?’
Tilting his head a fraction to the side, Jake narrowed his eyes a little, not liking this man’s attitude. Yes, he’d heard all about him. Yes, he was Jodi’s first. But he knew for a fact that he couldn’t fire a gun, and Jake’s Heckler was currently pulsing against his back, itching to be drawn and aimed at this cocky prick’s temple, if only to shut the fucker up. He wasn’t intimidated in the least bit.
Chest-to-chest, Jake applied more pressure, not prepared to back down, taking his face closer, their noses virtually touching as they bristled and snarled at each other. ‘I hear my movie comes before your TV series.’ Jake added, purposely rubbing Jesse up the wrong way. Yet Jesse didn’t bite, though Jake could see the flash of surprise in his green eyes, telling him this was news to The Lord of the Fucking Manor.
Jesse smirked. ‘I get more airtime than you. A TV series. That’s a lot of me.’
Jake showed complete indifference. ‘I’m more of a “get in and get the job done” kind of guy.’ He smiled. ‘Besides, I get more bang-bang time than you.’
Jesse chuckled softly, looking away as he pinched the bridge of his nose. ‘You sure, mate?’ Returning his laughing eyes to Jake, he cocked his head. ‘You’re forgetting I own a sex club.’
The men’s pissing contest was interrupted when three girlie chuckles filled the room, drowning out the sounds of rushing testosterone. ‘Now, now, boys.’ Tosca stood and split her attention between the two ego-maniacs. ‘That’s enough.’ Walking around from behind the table, she pushed between the two men to split them up before all hell broke loose, but she soon had to retract her hands from their chests, the feel of things so sharp and solid beneath each of her palms risking making her brain malfunction again. ‘There is enough airtime for both of you. Now, shake hands and stop being so egotistical.’ She levelled them with an expectant, confident look, but, truth be told, she was trembling on the inside. These two men were formidable each in their own right. Together, they were creating all kinds of tension.
It was Jesse who offered his hand first, and Jake graciously accepted. ‘Good luck.’ Ward muttered.
‘Yeah, you, too.’
Tosca pointed to the door, relieved. ‘Now, if you don’t mind, we have passion to make. You’re welcome on set anytime.’
‘Good.’ Jesse started toward the door, looking back over his shoulder. ‘I have a reputation to maintain. I want to make sure whatever lucky actor you cast as me is up for the job.’
Jake laughed lightly, following on behind. ‘Just make sure mine can hold a gun right.’
‘Consider it done.’ Jina called, staring at Jake’s arse as he strutted away.
The moment the door closed behind the two prolific men, the women of PassionFlix just stared at the wood for a few minutes, each of their minds trying to process what just went down.
They couldn’t. Jesse Ward and Jake Sharp in the same room at the same time? All oxygen had been sucked out of the space, making breathing increasingly difficult, even now the men had left.
‘Wow.’ Joany said, shaking her head in disbelief. ‘He really does trample all over the place. But, damn, that man could do anything to me and I’d forgive him.’
‘And I want Jake to protect me.’ Jina swooned, dropping her head in her arms on the table. ‘And offer me a banana.’
They all laughed and collected up their bags, set on heading to the bar to get that vodka they’d promised themselves, which was now needed more than ever.
They had much to do before they started filming THIS MAN and THE PROTECTOR, but for now, after that unexpected encounter with Jesse The Lord Ward, and Jake The Protector Sharp, they needed alcohol and time to process what just happened. Their heads were full and fuzzy, but they knew one thing…