200 Harley Street: Girl From The Red Carpet Apr 2014
Behind the PR girl's smile... Lexi Robbins is determined to through off her ditsy daughter-of-a-celebrity image and make her own name as Head of PR for the Hunter Clinic. And if that means pestering gruff, super-sexy Scottish surgeon Iain McKenzie till she gets his co-operation she'll do it! She's going to shine up this rough diamond and make him a star! But Lexi soon learns that the last thing that long-grieving Iain wants... And with her own secrets to hide behind her dazzling Hollywood smile, getting too close to Iain is the last thing she wants!
Lexi tapped her pink fingernails on the desk with impatience. The clinic was in complete darkness. All caused by a little ‘phoof’ when she’d tried to switch on the lights in one of the consulting rooms. If only she knew where the main trip switch was.
She squinted at her watch using the light from her phone. Just after eleven o’clock at night. Where was he? He had to here somewhere – his car was parked just down the road. She’d already phoned the few members of staff that were currently in Drake’s wine bar and he wasn’t with them.
She spun around on her heels, a new determination causing her stomach to clench. “Iain McKenzie, you can run but you can’t hide.”
He’d been avoiding her all day.
She knew that.
And he knew that.
But two could play at that game. No-one escaped Lexi Robbins, Head of PR at the Hunter Clinic. She’d got tired of dodging his lame excuses via his devoted and Sergeant-Majorish secretary. She’d looked at his theatre lists today and knew exactly when he’d be available.
Except, he’d been in a meeting, then taking a conference call, then out picking up a sandwich. The final straw was when his secretary had said he was out picking up his dry-cleaning!
So, she’d waited. Lexi Robbins could be very patient. She was also very persistent. So far she’d been through the three operating theatres, the recovery room and the anaesthetic room – even though there were no patients in the building – all in her search for Iain.
She’d checked his room four times today. She’d checked the waiting room, the kitchen, the changing rooms and the treatment rooms. She’d been down to the gym and private swimming pool too – the thought of catching Iain McKenzie in a state of undress wasn’t exactly unappealing. Now, she’d started checking the other consultant’s rooms in the hope she’d catch him hiding somewhere.
As a kid she’d been her school champion at hide and seek and she’d no intention of being beaten now.
Iain McKenzie had met his match.
It was infuriating. He was infuriating. She was only trying to do her job and help raise the profile of the clinic to try and attract some more overseas clients. So far, she’d managed to persuade several celebrity friends, a few TV film stars, an international politician and the Sheikh of Amal to use the services of the Hunter Clinic. Interviewing and filming some of the staff members would help her publicity drive to even bigger audiences.
And with his shaggy hair, muscular build and Scottish accent Iain McKenzie was to die for. Their own personal version of Sean Connery. Women would love him and flock to this clinic from miles around if only she could get him onscreen and online.
She’d worked hard for this job and had no intention of failing. Leo Hunter had just let her know that they were linking with a charity, so raising the profile and income of the Hunter Clinic would be even more crucial than before. She was determined not to let him down, not when he’d given her an opportunity that others hadn’t.
Being the daughter of a family constantly in the media was its own cross to bear. If she had a pound for every time someone had said the words ‘You’re Penelope Crosby’s daughter?’ usually with an expression of disbelief in their eyes, she would never need to work again. Being the daughter of a former famous model with one of the world’s top selling range of beauty products was tough – having a father who interviewed all the top celebrities in the world, along with his billionaire status was even tougher.
No-one in her family respected her decision to go to university and get her degree. No-one in the family respected the work she did at the Hunter Clinic. The only time her parents had ever been happy with her choices was when she’d spent a few summers doing charity work because it gave them more good publicity than they would ever need.
That’s why she was so determined not to let Leo down.
No matter how hard Iain McKenzie tried to hide from her.
She could see it in her head right now. The publicity shot she wanted to use – Iain McKenzie in that dark grey suit he wore, with a white shirt and red tie, arms folded across his chest in front of the Hunter Clinic sign. He would look fabulous.
Or maybe she should put him in a set of navy scrubs – all his athletic muscles would be clearly on show? Or maybe she could persuade him to wear a kilt?
No. Scratch that. Old prickly guts would never agree to wear a kilt for her.
She pushed open the door to Mitchell Cooper’s room. Even though the lights were out there was plenty of light from the outside street lights on Harley Street. She could see around the room easily. Empty. Just like all the others.
There was only one left. Leo Hunter’s office. The boss.
She felt a flutter of excitement. Leo’s office was the most gorgeous in the building. Spectacular views over Harley Street, hand-picked opulent furniture and gorgeous soft furnishings.
She turned the handle carefully. It almost felt wrong creeping into the boss’s office while he wasn’t around. But she was determined to check every inch of this clinic.
But something was wrong. There were no gentle lights from the street, bathing the office in a partly orange glow.
The curtains were tightly pulled, leaving the office in complete darkness. She fumbled with her phone, trying to pull it from her pocket and use the torch app to see her way around.
A flicker of nerves danced across her skin. What was that faint noise? She held her breath, leaning forward a little and straining to hear. But after more than sixteen hours in stiletto heels her balance had deserted her. She tripped on the large Turkish rug Leo kept in the middle of his floor. She fell forward and let out a gasp, reaching out towards the blackness in front of her and hitting the edge of the chesterfield lounge – and a whole lot more.
There was movement. Sudden, powerful movement and none of it was hers. Lexi felt the breath leave her body as she found herself spun around and thrashed flat on her back onto the chesterfield lounge.
Her heart pounded in her chest, the thudding reverberating in her ears. She tried to reach and fight her attacker as the adrenaline surge hit her body. Fight or flight had never seemed more apt. But the arms holding her down were fierce. Fierce and strong, very strong.
Her breath seemed caught in her throat, her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. Her attacker’s weight was pressing down on her chest, affecting her ability to take a deep breath.
She still couldn’t see. It was just darkness, pure and utter darkness. Like your worst nightmare and most hated horror movie all rolled into one.
She heard a grunt. And it gave her the faintest glimmer of hope.
It was a grunt she thought she recognised. Usually when she was trying to persuade him to acknowledge her existence.
She fought to push the word from her throat. “Iain?” she croaked.