The Arrangement

Cassie Morris is an aspiring actress, though she struggles to land a successful role. After another failed audition, the role of a lifetime falls into her life. Does she seize the opportunity, finally achieve her lifelong dream even if it goes against every moral she's ever held herself to? Can she handle being attached at the hip to someone she despises?

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9. Not Too Bad

“Get in,” Justin said as he hit the unlock button on the key fob.

 

I was falling behind as he led me into the garage, and past an extensive row of expensive cars. I looked up to see the lights flashing on a sleek white car. I walked around the front, noticing the Ferrari logo on the hood. “Jesus Christ,” I muttered. This car alone probably costs more than my apartment. I opened the passenger side door and slid in, although it was so low to the ground I nearly had to squat to get inside.

 

He pressed a button on the sun visor, and the garage door in front of us slowly began to creak open. As soon as it was far enough up for the car to fit through, Justin sped through and suddenly we were flying.

 

I cleared my throat nervously and decided to turn my attention to Justin, so I wouldn't have to focus on the road ahead of us.

 

He really is good-looking, I thought to myself. It's a shame he's such an asshole. He had on black skinny jeans and sneakers, with a solid grey long sleeved sweater, although his sleeves were rolled up, exposing his extensive tattoos. “Do you wanna take a picture?” he asked, his eyes still on the road.

 

“Not really,” I said nonchalantly as I propped my elbow up on the tiny armrest separating us, and resting my chin on top of my fist.

 

“Then what the fuck are you staring at?” he asked coldly, still not sparing me a glance. I didn't mind much, I was surprisingly growing accustomed to how much of an asshole he was.

 

“Well, honestly I was admiring how good looking you are,” I told him, a smirk slowly spreading across his lips. “But I was thinking that it's a shame that you're such a dick.” I noticed his smile falter as his fist clenched the steering wheel.

 

“Fuck you,” he muttered.

 

I couldn't help the giggle that escaped my lips, though it only added fire to the flame. I couldn't stop myself though. “That's what I’m talking about!” I laughed. “You know, there's no reason to be so angry all the time. People would like you a lot more if you were nicer and didn't make an ass out of yourself every time you went out.”

 

“You don't know what the fuck you're talking about,” he muttered, absolutely fuming at this point.

 

“Right,” I said sarcastically as I nodded and settled into my seat a little. I glanced down at the speedometer, and saw that we were going at least 80 mph. “You know, though,” I said nervously. “I do have to admit, I was impressed by your acting skills back there,” I chuckled.

 

I noticed his fist that was gripping the steering wheel loosened a little, and the speedometer lowered to 70. That was a hell of a lot better than 80. “Yeah. I wish I could say the same for you, though,” he said.

 

My head snapped up in his direction, and I noticed his smug smile as he finally looked over at me. “Excuse me?” I asked, my arms crossing across my chest. “I'm good at what I do, this is how I make my living.” Although that wasn't entirely true. I still knew I was a good actress; otherwise I wouldn't be here.

 

“You know, you're pretty hot when you're mad,” he said, looking me up and down. He licked his lips as his eyes lingered on my chest. I glanced down and noticed that my crossed arms were pushing my breasts up. I immediately dropped them, earning a chuckle from him. “I mean, you're already smokin’ hot, especially in that dress…” He tore his eyes from the road again to continue ravaging me with his eyes.

 

I groaned as I noticed that this time his eyes lingered on my thighs. “God, you're such a pig,” I scoffed, shifting so I was looking out the window and no longer at him.

 

He chuckled, but he made no more snide comments. That was fine with me, I was currently done trying to be nice to him. Thankfully, due to Justin's outrageous speeding, we arrived at our destination soon after. We waited patiently in the car as the line for valet parking moved slowly ahead of us. “Now, do you think you can play nice? At least until dinner’s over?” I asked, batting my lashes and giving Justin a fake, sugary sweet smile.

 

He pulled the car up to the valet podium and put it in park as the men in suits and black ties looked on with amazement and jealousy. “Anything for you, babe,” he said sweetly before climbing out of the car, then quickly jogging around to my side. He opened the car door and suddenly his face was only inches from mine. “Stay close to me. Just smile and keep your head down. Think you can do that?” He said quickly, all joking aside. My eyes wide with concern, I nodded quickly. “Good. Let's do this.” With that, he offered me his hand, threading our fingers together like before, and I climbed out of the car.

 

And then I realized why Justin had given me such strange directions; as soon as I stepped out of the car, I was blinded by the flash of paparazzi camera lights, all flashing quickly as they snapped pictures of us. I did what I was told, giving a quick smile before ducking my head down. Justin led me through the sea of people and over to the podium. “Here you go, man,” Justin said as he handed the keys over, along with a 50 dollar bill.

 

“Thanks man,” he said gratefully as he accepted the keys and the tip, then handed Justin a piece of paper with a number printed on it. I gave him a polite smile as we headed past him and into the restaurant.

 

Justin approached the hostess of the restaurant, who literally turned to goo under his gaze. “Reservation for Bieber,” he said politely as she fumbled through menus and other stuff on her podium. “O-oh, yes! Right here Mr. Bieber, follow me,” she sputtered. Although I was just glad that he hadn't made some disgusting comment to her. Not yet at least.

 

I hadn't realized the death grip I had on Justin's hand until we were inside and away from the door, away from the crowd of people outside who continued to snap pictures of us through the windows. “Sorry,” I muttered as he let go of my hand and moved it to the small of my back to guide me through the large dining area.

 

“It's fine,” he chuckled. “I love getting my hand broken by hot chicks,” he whispered, shooting me a wink.

 

I laughed, slapping his arm playfully.

 

“Are you okay, though?” he asked, yet again all joking aside and completely serious in half a second. I was also surprised by his concern. “I know it can be crazy, especially if you're new to it.”

 

“Yeah, I’m okay,” I assured him. At least I think I was.

 

“Here we are, Mr. Bieber,” the hostess said as she stopped at a small private booth, in the corner of the room.

 

“I, um...I think there's a mistake,” Justin said. “This is supposed to be a large party, we're meeting other people here.”

 

She furrowed her brows at him, visibly growing nervous. “Um...n-no sir,” she said softly, tapping away at her little tablet. “It says here, 'Reservation for Bieber, party of two’.” She showed him the tablet, relaxing once again.

 

“Alright then,” Justin said, “my apologies.”

 

“No, it's okay,” she gushed, giving him a flirty smile. “Your server will be right with you.” She gave me a small, shy smile then quickly disappeared.

 

“So...it's just us?” I asked nervously as he turned to face me.

 

“Seems that way,” he sighed, then gestured to the empty booth for me to sit down.

 

“Your manager is pretty slick,” I chuckled, fully realizing the whole thing was a lie. There was no big dinner; it really was just us.

 

“Well, he's pretty much your manager now, too,” he muttered as he opened the menu.

 

“Yeah, I guess,” I murmured as I followed suit and began looking for something to eat.

 

Except all the menu items were in French. Along with their descriptions. The only thing I could understand were the prices, which made me cringe. “Justin,” I said nervously. He looked up, his eyes curious. “I don't know what any of this says,” I laughed.

 

He wrinkled his eyebrows at me for a moment. “Oh, right,” he mumbled. “That's okay, I'll order for you.”

 

“Oh,” I said, yet again, completely taken aback by his generosity. I wasn't sure when I would get used to his bipolar mood swings. “Well thank you.”

 

Almost immediately our server appeared. I smiled to greet him, but once he opened his mouth, I didn't understand a single word that followed. Thankfully Justin did; I stared at him in shock as he rambled off complete sentences in the foreign language, as if he was totally fluent. They exchanged a few words, then the server gave me a small smile before disappearing again.

 

“Okay then,” I said, feeling awkward. “So that's the second thing I've learned about you so far: you speak French.”

 

“Second?” he questioned, raising an eyebrow at me.

 

“The first being you're kind of a major asshole,” I said, giving him a sweet grin.

 

“Ha ha,” he enunciated, laughing sarcastically. “You're hilarious.”

 

“Why, thank you,” I said arrogantly as I flipped my hair off of my shoulder.

 

A moment later, our server returned with a large bottle of champagne inside a small bucket of ice, and two crystal glasses. Again, they exchanged a few words and he disappeared, much like before.

 

I glanced curiously around the room as Justin popped the bottle, and began pouring our glasses. I noticed that across the room, there was a paparazzi outside the window, trying to snap some pictures. I grinned as a thought occurred to me.

 

 “What are you doing?” Justin asked as I stood up out of the booth, then pulled my dress down slightly before sliding into his side of the booth.

 

“I'm playing the part,” I said as I smiled adoringly up at him. “There's someone outside taking pictures, so I'm trying to put on a good show.”

 

Justin glanced up, his eyes searching for the photographer. “They're fucking rats,” he muttered before wrapping his arm around my shoulders and pulling me close, gently kissing the top of my head.

 

This isn't real, my mind yelled at me as I settled into the crook of his arm. It's not fucking real, it's all fake!

 

“So,” I sighed as I got comfy. I held his hand that was around me, and watched our fingers as they played together. “I guess we should get to know each other, huh?”

 

“Yeah. We also need a story,” he added.  

 

“Oh, that's easy,” I scoffed. “If anyone asks, you came into my bar for a drink and we hit it off. Easy peasy,” I chuckled.

 

“I didn't know you were a bartender,” he said. “What happened to acting?” he asked; I could hear the smirk in his voice.

 

“I do act,” I defended as I sat up so I could look at him. “Bartending just pays the bills.”

 

“Right,” he said sarcastically as he moved his arm so he was no longer holding me. Instead, he hooked his arm through mine and held my hand again. He let our joined hands rest on the table as he watched our fingers play together again. “Just admit it,” he teased, looking down at me. “You suck at acting, just give it up.”

 

It was strange watching him speak; his voice and words were filled with nothing but condescension, but his eyes were filled with love. I would never again admit it to him, but he really was good at this acting thing. “You really think so?” I asked as I stared up at him.

 

“Yeah,” he scoffed. “I mean that whole thing back at the house, it was---”

 

I cut him off, sliding my hand up his chest to the back of his head, where my fingers knotted in his hair as I pulled his lips down to mine. He moved his arm again so it was wrapped around my backside, pulling me closer to him as our lips moved in sync. I bit his lip gently, earning a deep groan before I pulled away. “Still think so?” I asked, batting my lashes up at him.

 

I couldn't help but to laugh as I looked up at him. His eyes were flustered, obviously confused that I had stopped. His hair was slightly more disheveled than it had already been, but not by much. His lower lip disappeared into his mouth as he bit down, then slowly licked them. “Not too bad,” he finally replied, his eyes looking mischievous.

 

“The kissing or the acting?” I asked.

 

“Both.”

 

Author's Note: hellurrrr, hope you guys enjoyed! again i'm super sorry that it's been so long since i updated >.< classes started back and my jobs have been insane, so i'm sorry. i promise i'll update as soon as possible!

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