“You’re struggling to write?” he asks.
He picks up a glass of water and drinks from it. Captivated, I admire the way his full lips curve around the rim.
“It’s the book that’s due in a month?”
“Aye.” I groan. “I’ll manage it.”
“How much have you written?”
I shrug. “Not enough. I’m just not feeling the words. I’m sick of Orion. I’d put a bullet through his head if my publisher let me.” I have no clue why I’m telling him any of this.
“If it helps, I really like Orion.”
I snort. “I’m paying you to be my PA, not kiss my arse.” Not that I have any reason to disbelieve his love of my character. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be averse to his lips being pressed against that part of my body—or anywhere else for that matter. I stuff some of the avocado toast into my mouth. It tastes a bit too good.
“I’m not.” The blush across his cheeks deepens to scarlet. “I’m being honest. I know he’s a bit surly, but he’s got a kind heart, really.”
I huff. “He’s a crotchety arsehole.”
Archie laughs. The sound reverberates through my body, almost making me want to laugh along with him. Part of the reason I hate Orion is that he’s too much like me.
“But I’m stuck with him for this book and another one. At least.”
“My contract runs out after that, but knowing my publisher, I’m sure they’ll try to sweet talk me into signing up to write another three books about the grumpy fucker.”
Archie smothers another laugh behind his hand.
“What?” I demand.
“You don’t strike me as the kind of man who does anything he doesn’t want to.”
I narrow my eyes. What else does he think he’s figured out about me?
“I’m not, but this is different.”
Archie tilts his head. “How?”
I open and close my mouth a couple of times, which probably makes me look like a fish drowning in air. “My publisher calls the shots,” I say eventually. Self-publishing under a pen name gives me the creative freedom I crave. Not that I’m going to mention that to my sexy PA.
“Surely they’ll understand if you tell them you’ve run out of steam? Especially if you pitch them a fantastic new idea.”
I shake my head.
“I’ve read all your books, sir. You’ve written so many amazing characters. I’m sure you could come up with a concept that would blow Orion King out of the water.”
I stare at the food on my plate.
“If you could write anything, what would it be?”
Aside from hot, passionate, if unrealistic stories of men falling in love? “I don’t know.”
“You should think about it,” Archie says as if it’s as easy as calling lightning from the sky. “But right now, you need to find a way to fall back in love with Orion enough to finish this book and write another.”
“I know,” I grumble.
“Is there anything I can do to help the words flow?” Archie asks.
I jerk my head back. “What?”
That’s not even remotely part of his job description. Then again, it’s only halfway through his first day, and he’s already made more of a positive impact on me than any of his predecessors.
“Can I help?”
Be Lee Lawson’s muse. Lie naked on my bed while I write about how glorious you are.