Impossible Glamour, page 1
About this Series
Also by Maggie Marr
About the Author
An Excerpt from One Night for Love
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The Glamour Series
This book is dedicated to Margaret Eloise Marr
I love you and I’ve always known that you love me.
Something was wrong. There was no good reason that I’d be called to the dean’s office during my surgical rotation. During any rotation. But surgery? That was particularly stress-inducing. Surgery was the residency I wanted. The residency I’d worked toward for the past seven years.
My heart hammered against my ribs. I nodded to the dean’s assistant, who waved me by her desk. My fingertips grasped the cool metal doorknob. How unfamiliar, how unusual to be in trouble. I was first in my class, honors in every rotation; med school was a breeze. Only amongst my family was I considered an oddball troublemaker, but never in school. Never academic problems. Never, before now.
I opened the door. Dean Talbot with her easy grace turned toward me, a smile on her face.
“Ellen, always a pleasure.” She waved me closer and toward a chair. No trouble there.
The problem, my problem, was already seated on the couch. The primary problem I’d faced the past two weeks was Doctor Lynn Kazowski.
“Miss Legend.” Dr. Kazowski crossed her legs and leaned back into the sofa cushions.
We’d rounded together earlier that day, then I’d watched her perform a lumpectomy. She’d made no indication that she would be present at my meeting with Dean Talbot.
“Ellen.” Dean Talbot sat on the chair perpendicular to mine. “I suggested this meeting because Dr. Kazowski has some…” Dean Talbot paused and her gaze flicked from Dr. Kazowski to me. “Well, she has some concerns.”
My heart careened in my chest. Concerns? In my entire academic career, no one had ever voiced concerns when it came to me and my ability to achieve my dreams and my desired future.
I clasped my hands in my lap. I forced my expression to remain neutral. Deep breaths quelled the adrenaline now pumping through my body. I maintained my serious yet thoughtful expression and turned my gaze from Dean Talbot to Dr. Kazowski, expecting to hear some constructive criticism. Some way in which I might secure my desired academic outcome. How I could be a better student so that she might write the glowing academic recommendation for a surgical residency that I needed and, after all my years of sacrifice and hard work, deserved.
Kazowski’s gaze, which indicated my inadequacy, landed on me. Her face was absent emotion. She was round and soft, but beneath a maternal-looking exterior was a shrewd, cold, hard, skin-slicing surgeon.
“You are incapable of achieving your dream.”
My heart fluttered in my chest, and I pulled back from her words. What was she saying? How could she possibly be telling me that all my work and studying was for nothing? I still had one more year of med school and then residency and—
“I’m certain you’ll make an excellent doctor should you garner a residency, but I’m afraid, Miss Legend, that you simply don’t have the talent to be a surgeon.”
“Talent?” I nearly whispered. I glanced from Dean Talbot to Dr. Kazowski. “I don’t have enough talent?”
Her words echoed the pathetic mantra for my entire life. I was the one Legend in my überfamous family without God-gifted talent. I didn’t have talent like the other members of my family. I did, however, have brains and a work ethic and a near-photographic memory. “It’s only two weeks into the surgical rotation. I’m first in my class and I study—”
Dr. Kazowski waved her hand as though my words, my years of work, my straight As, meant nothing when it came to my dream.
“Those things do not a surgeon make.” She lifted her shoulders. “Certainly you must have all that—the test scores, the recommendations, the grades to be considered—but just because you have the credentials to enter a race doesn’t mean you have the talent to win.”
A race? She was likening my dreams to a footrace? Dreams for which I’d sacrificed year upon year upon year.
Dean Talbot leaned forward. “What Dr. Kazowski is saying, Ellen, is that you might be better served considering a different residency.”
A roaring sound rushed through my head. I looked from Dean Talbot to Dr. Kazowski. What were they… I couldn’t quite understand… Were they both saying—
“What I’m saying, Miss Legend, is that in this race you do not have the talent to win.”
I closed my eyes. She was a premiere surgeon, and if Dr. Kazowski told me that I didn’t have the talent to make the future I desired a reality—I opened my eyes—well then, I didn’t.
“You may finish your rotation, of course,” Dr. Kazowski said. “But I won’t be able to provide you with the recommendation that I’m certain you’ll want. Nor will I be able to reach out to my colleagues that chair the necessary residencies.”
My heart stalled in my chest. Yes, those were exactly the reasons why, the very reasons she mentioned, that I’d spent sleepless night after sleepless night for the past seven years securing perfect grades and test scores so that I might convince her, Dr. Lynn Kazowski, that I deserved her favor and her recommendation.
Her sharp gaze halted the words in my throat. I wasn’t meant to question her, this god set amongst mortals. I was merely meant to accept her edict and turn and walk away with my tail tucked firmly between my legs.
“Why…why…I have perfect grades, I’m first in my class, I’m—”
“Ellen,” Dean Talbot said, her voice soft.
“You’re academic,” Kazowski interrupted. The word sounded dirty coming from her lips. “You think and you ponder and you consider. One might even call you indecisive.”
“It’s a bad thing to consider all possible outcomes to a situation?” How unlike me to say anything back to this woman that I had admired.
She quirked her eyebrow, surprised by my question.
“Indecision when performing surgery can kill.”
“So can an incorrect assessment,” I offered.
Kazowski’s eyebrows pulled tight and her eyes slitted. She didn’t like what I’d said. Didn’t like that I was questioning her. No one questioned Kazowski. I couldn’t believe that I was questioning her.
Dean Talbot cleared her throat. “Ellen, we wanted to discuss this with you so that you have plenty of time to make your decisions. You are number one in your class, and you do have the most remarkable academic record, but as you know, you’ll need a recommendation from Dr. Kazowski, and I’m afraid she’s—” Dean Talbot pressed her lips together and her gaze slid from me to Kazowski. “I’m afraid she’s declined.”
My belly dropped to my toes. Still, my face remained calm. Like stone. I would not let either
Kazowski took a long breath as though summoning her patience to address me, someone well beneath her station. “Miss Legend, while your family might be used to getting everything because of their last name, I can assure you that surgical residencies do not operate on similar principles.”
“What does my family have to do with my lack of talent?”
“Nothing, I’d guess, other than it must be terribly difficult to accept that you, Miss Legend, are the only member not to garner any talent for the profession you so desperately want to enter. That, I’d wager, is a most horrible pill to swallow.”
Bricks thrown at my chest. Her words pressed the air from my lungs. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t swallow…I couldn’t…I could barely think.
There was not a particle of empathy in her gaze for my predicament. Cold. Hard. Unfeeling. She stared at me as though she might even be taking pleasure in her words.
Dean Talbot stood. “Ellen, please take the weekend and think about what we’ve discussed. My door is always open to you.”
She walked me to the door. I… Was this happening? I turned back.
Kazowski reclined on the couch, sipping a cup of coffee. She smiled. “Happy weekend,” she said and waved.
This conversation was over. My dreams were dead. My lack of talent hashed out and determined. The verdict? I would never have the profession I’d wanted and worked toward since I’d begun college seven years before. In one fifteen-minute meeting I’d been shuttled to the slums of nonsurgical medicine. I looked at my hands, the hands I’d hoped one day would hold the future of a person’s life in their fingertips. The ability to heal and save and fix the largest of medical problems. I dropped my hands to my side.
I walked out of Dean Talbot’s office knowing what I’d always feared but never thought possible. That there was absolutely no talent in my hands. Definitely not the effortless talent that every other member of my family had received.
“Steve, man, we’ve got to go.” I knocked on the door of Steve’s superswank trailer. The palace on wheels had set him back a cool mill. “We’re expected at this charity event in like ten minutes.”
For close to fifteen, I’d stood outside like a dickweed, cooling my heels. Lucky for me, I was the Webz and I had my phone. All good. Any cast or crew walking by would never know what kind of high-profile deal I was putting together when actually I’d searched ESPN to catch a good game once I was done escorting this old-as-hell, ass-chasing motherfucker, who happened to also be my biggest client, to this charity event.
The trailer door opened and out walked not one, not two, but three lovely ladies. A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead, just to mix it up. Bam! Mr. Legend still had it, or got it, on a regular basis. And that was how Steve Legend rolled. AARP bring it. The man was pushing seventy-something, but he could lay pipe like a plumber.
The beauties filed down the steps and gave me the side eye.
“The Webz, at your service. Any of you have dreams of starring in a film?”
The blonde winked and the redhead patted my ass. I think she was a Laker Girl. These ladies were f-i-n-e and did not need the Webzie to make their life complete. Which was cool. Really. I’m all good with the yes and I am all good with the no from the beauties.
I climbed the steps to Steve’s love shack on wheels. The place was the Taj Mahal of movie trailers. Absolutely gorgeous. All mahogany wood and gold inlay, wooden floors with thick rugs, and a lush suede couch—which I was abso-fucking-lutely not sitting on until this tricked-out bus had been steam-cleaned because the place smelled like high-dollar pussy. I mean three bitches in one small space? Hell.
Steve walked out of the back room tying his tuxedo tie, as cool and crisp as Don Julio. “Give me five and we’ll go.”
I swiped a beer from the fridge, leaned against the counter, and picked up the remote. Damn straight. If I needed to wait for Mr. Legend, I might as well catch a few games. Right? Right. I clicked the On button.
“Oh baby… Give it to me.”
“Yes! Yes! Yes!”
Whoa! Looks like today’s shoot didn’t happen just on set. Go, Steve! Wow, look at the titt—
“Daddy! I need to talk to you about—”
I jerked my head to the right. Ellen stood at the top of the trailer steps. Her gaze went from me to the homemade porno on the screen.
“What the hell, Webber?”
I pressed the Off button. “It was there. I just turned it on.”
“Took you a while to turn it off.”
“Babe,” I said, “I’m a young and single guy. You give me porn, I’ll give you hours of my time.”
Ellen crossed her arms and took a slow, deep breath. Her disdain for my humor was all over her highbrow face. Not even a hint of a smile for a damn good joke. I took a swig of my beer. Up. Tight. My eyes traveled over Ellen as she went to the refrigerator and snagged a Coke. How was Ellen a Legend? Truly, the chick looked like a homeless lady by way of an overpass on the 405.
Her identical twin sister, Sophia, was the biggest supermodel on the planet with lush black hair, toffee-brown eyes, and legs for miles. Ellen’s brother was a mega rock star, and her dad a true living Legend in film and TV.
Then there was Ellen, with glasses that looked like she’d swiped them from that retro dude Elvis Costello, a sweatshirt two sizes too big with UCLA plastered on the front, and baggy-ass jeans with a hole in the knee. Damn hard to believe she was hiding a Botticelli body under that bag-lady getup, but I’d seen her identical twin in a swimsuit, so I knew there had to be some goods beneath those rags.
She cracked open a soda and took a swig. “What are you doing here?”
“Nice to see you too, Ellen. Looks like you’re going for that homeless glam look.”
She raised an eyebrow and gave me her stink-eye. Damn good one, because I knew it was a stink-eye even through those Coke-bottle glasses.
“Whatever, Webber. You trolling for prepubescents, or are you going legal tonight?”
“Ouch, babe.” I put my hand to my heart. “It hurts me that you think so little of me. Never under eighteen, okay. Never. Just N. O.”
I nodded. “I do have morals, Ellen. I do. Maybe I failed my ethics class in college, and I didn’t get into med school like you, but I do have a heart. I even donate to amfAR.”
“You? You donate to amfAR?”
I nodded. “And numerous other charities. You’ve met my dog, right? Got her the same day you adopted Drummond.”
“You kept that dog? I thought it was just to impress the blonde you were with.”
“Clever girl. Hard to believe, I know, but I don’t actually have to work that hard to impress the ladies. Some of them actually dig the Webzie.”
“I bet they especially dig it when you speak about yourself in the third person.”
“Ellen, Ellen, Ellen. I know you think you’ve got me all figured out, and you’re correct that I’m not a complicated man. I love women. I love love LOVE my car. I love making serious ka-ching, movies, and my dog, but I also—seriously, Ellen—I love doing charity work. I do.”
She tilted her head and those brows that needed a weed-whacker scrunched together over her eyes. Again with the long breath as though she simply didn’t have the time nor inclination to wage war with me, Webber, and why would she really? I was a lover, not a fighter.
“How is Agnes?”
“Wow, you remembered. Pretty good for a girl who keeps her nose buried in an anatomy book. Agnes is good. So good. Beautiful blond bitch.”
Again with the side eye.
“Well, she is a bitch. I can say that and be perfectly appropriate. She’s a female dog and they are called bi—”
“I’m aware, Webber. Completely aware.” She walked to the couch and started to sit.
“Babe, you probably don’t want to sit there. Ixnay
“What?” She bent and looked at the couch.
“The TV, Ellen. Remember what was on the TV?”
Red flamed up her neck and filled her cheeks. She was cute when she was embarrassed. Maybe even cute enough to make Big Boy feel a little zingy between my legs. Maybe, or I could seriously need to pee.
Poor doll. I’d embarrassed her. Perhaps sex wasn’t priority number one when trying to get through med school to save the world? Instead, she walked over to the chair beside the table.
“Think this one is good?”
“I didn’t get very far into the screening, but from what I saw, seemed as though they wouldn’t be moving around the bus all that much.”
Ellen closed her eyes and pressed her cold soda can to her forehead. She was an uptight girl to be a member of such a thrill-seeking family. She and Sophia and their older brother Rhett were the result of Steve Legend’s affair with his housekeeper while Steve was still married to the biggest female star on the planet. Joanne and he had two kids, Sterling and Amanda, of their own.
“Med school? How’s the third year?”
“Harder than the first two,” Ellen said. Her voice trailed off and she looked past me and out the window. Was she thinking about school or just didn’t want to share? Either way, I’d lost her. Time to reel the brainiac back in.
“What kind of residency are we looking at here? Pediatrics? Third world infectious diseases?”
“I was thinking pediatric surgery.”
“Damn! Go big or go home. Mic drop. Ellen is OUT!” I took another drink of my beer. “How in the hell are you going to slice and dice little kids?”
She lifted a shoulder and shrugged. “I don’t know that I will.” Ellen held her hands out in front of her face. “I thought I had good hands, but…”
She did. They were good hands. Long, tapered fingers that were slim and lovely aside from… I grabbed her right wrist.
“What the hell is going on with your fingers?” I pulled her hand closer to my face, but she yanked it from my grasp and tucked both her hands under her thighs.
Other author's books:
- Broken GlamourOne Night for LoveImpossible GlamourLast Call for LoveHollywood Girls ClubMister WonderFULL (Wonderful Love Book 2)Wonderf*ckFast Glamour
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