Mariah Carey feat. Ne-Yo
Hugh Montgomery. Every time I thought about him, saw his name in the press, heard someone talking about him or caught a whiff of his brand of cologne on someone walking past, I felt myself aching to be near him. There had been so many times I’d tried to walk away, to forget him, move on and remind myself of the pain I would feel before and after I saw him, but the problem was . . . I loved him. It was that simple, that black and white. I felt like a glutton for punishment; Hugh was my self-destructive drug, and I was utterly addicted. Part of me wondered whether I was being punished for the mistakes I had made and the people I had hurt in my life—and my punishment was that the one person who could raise my spirits with just the thought of him was also the one person who could destroy me at any moment. It was cruel, life was cruel, was this really my fate? Was I really destined to spend the rest of my life with someone who would never just be mine?
I thought about this non-stop in the back of the town car after flying in one night for an event with a client. I felt my heart skip a beat when I realised how close I was to the venue, and wondered whether my argument with Hugh earlier would mean he once again wouldn’t turn up to an event we had committed to. Since we had begun seeing each other I had made myself available for everything he wanted me to attend. In the beginning it was always about making the most of the opportunities in front of me, and trying to be seen at the right events and mingling with the right people, but as time went on it became about respecting Hugh. If he wanted me to go to something, either with him or as a general guest, I made it my priority to attend whenever my schedule would permit. Sometimes I even rescheduled other obligations in order to make it.
Some events were mind-numbingly boring, but I went because Hugh wanted me to be there and I wanted to make him happy. Relationships were about give and take, and compromises, I told myself, but I felt like I was the only one making them. I rarely invited Hugh to events unless they were extremely important to me or I really thought that he would benefit from them. I was always afraid that someone would catch on to our chemistry and the rumor mill would begin. In this industry, neither of us could afford the damage to our reputations. This particular event was one that I really needed him to show up to . . . it was the ARIAS, the biggest break I had achieved for one of my first clients, and I needed to know he was there for me.
When we arrived there was media everywhere. I watched as my client walked into the venue, and followed a good distance behind. When I first started in the industry I decided that I didn’t want to be photographed with my clients—I didn’t want to be famous, I never wanted people to know my name, unless they were the decision-makers. The higher the profile of the client, the harder it became to stay out of the spotlight, but I managed it well enough. After all the meet and greets were done, we stood backstage and prepared for her shining debut on stage. My head was torn between work and wondering if Hugh had arrived yet. It was a huge milestone in my career, one of those pinnacle moments in life where all of your hard work is recognised before your very own eyes.
I looked out through the curtains to try to scan the sea of faces for Hugh. I couldn’t see him anywhere, but more importantly . . . I couldn’t sense him.
‘It’s time’ said one of the stage hands, and my head snapped back into work mode.
I watched my client perform her single. It was live, acoustic and very romantic. I had found a diamond in a sea of one-hit wonders, with vocal talents that were second to none. I had fought long and hard to get her as a client and had succeeded in gaining some incredible national and international press. Each strum of her guitar made my heart ache. No matter how optimistic I was about the performance, though, I knew Hugh wasn’t there, and I knew what the excuse was going to be before it even came out of his mouth. Once the song had finished my client walked backstage so excited and full of energy. It was time to put my professional hat on again and forget about Hugh.
At the afterparty we mingled determinedly. I wanted her in front of the right people, the ones who would be instrumental in making her a star, and all was going well. As the night wore on, sadness crept in. I saw so many couples together, enjoying the party in both business and pleasure capacities, and it made me so upset to think that I had wasted my plus one on a person who couldn’t even be bothered to turn up to support me.
When the deal had panned out for ARIAs I had been over the moon. I called Hugh and screamed down the phone, jumping up and down in my chair and begging him to come with me and hold my hand.
‘Hugh, seriously, you have to be there! It is going to be the who’s who attending and I really want you with me. Please!’ I said after calming down a little.
‘Ava, I don’t like events. You know I don’t really attend my own invites.’ As the words came out of his mouth I knew that it was going to be an uphill battle to get him to come. I don’t know why I couldn’t just tell him that I was petrified of making a fool of myself and really needed him there for moral support, but the words seemed impossible to form. I wanted him to see me as strong and independent and, more importantly, I wanted to convince myself. Deep down I felt that if he ever did anything to break my heart, there was no chance I would survive it.
‘I know you don’t like events, but please come—for me. There are going to be so many people there I really want you to meet. You never know what you could get out of it.’ I didn’t want to remind him that I had attended the last four events that he had asked me to.
‘I will see.’ His answer was short and it irritated me a little too much.
‘Look, I need to give the PR company names. If you’re not coming then tell me now, because I would rather have someone there that would actually be happy for me and want to get something out of it,’ I shot back, furious.
‘Ava, I don’t know if I can make it. You can’t just call me and ask me to go, and expect that I am going to be able to tell you straight away. You know I don’t like events, yet you insist on trying to drag me along to something I don’t really want to go to. I am proud of you and excited for you but it doesn’t mean I have to attend an event just because of that. How about afterwards we have dinner and drinks and you can tell me all about it?’ His tone was forceful and commanded submission. I felt my will bending with each word he spoke and I wasn’t strong enough to fight the hold he had over me.
‘Hugh, this is really important to me. I can’t just leave my client at the event and by the time it finishes it’s going to be too late to eat. If you have other commitments, I understand. It’s just that we’ve both been so busy lately, I thought with me flying into town it would give us the chance to spend some time together. If you can’t make it then we will just have to arrange to spend time together another day. I’m leaving the next day and that can’t be changed.’ I was defeated. I didn’t want to argue any further, and that’s exactly what would happen if I didn’t just say it how it was and leave it at that without any petty jibes.
‘Ava . . . I’ll go,’ he sighed. It was a hollow victory; he didn’t really want to be there and we both knew it.
‘If you change your mind, can you please let me know?’ I responded quietly.
‘Ava, you’re right. We haven’t seen each other as much as we need to. It’s little things like this that get between us and I can’t take it. I will be there’ He responded. It was a little more convincing than before, but not by much.
‘Okay. I’ll have your invite sent to the office. See you soon.’
‘I love you’ he said, hoping to end the fight. It was right at that moment that the song ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’ by Gabrielle Aplin came to mind.
I responded quickly. ‘You too,’ was all I could manage, then I hung up the phone immediately.
After an hour we decided to leave the afterparty early. I’d been ignoring my phone all night but finally pulled it out in the back of the town car to see a single text message . . . Hugh. I threw my phone back into the bottom of my bag. There was no excuse he could give me that wouldn’t hurt like hell. He hadn’t been there when I needed him and that was telling for our future. Was I really going to be in the same position in 10 years’ time? Was it really worth the pain for the sake of love?
I dropped my client off at her hotel and had the driver drop me outside the apartment that I had booked next door. As the car pulled up, tears threatened to flow down my cheeks when I saw him standing there, waiting. For that moment, time stood still. I looked into his eyes through the window and saw two things: a man who cared for me in ways I had never imagined possible, and a man who could destroy me without even trying. As the weight of both of these responsibilities hit me in the split second before the car door would open I hesitated, torn about whether or not I should actually step out of the car . . .
by Ava Reilly
The true story of an ordinary young woman plunged into the heady world of wealth and glamour through a passionate, irresistible affair with a charismatic millionaire.
‘The morning after meeting Hugh, I was heading out the door when I saw I had a new message. I opened it cautiously and saw six words that made my heart skip a beat.
I need to see you again.‘
Ava Reilly was just starting her career in PR when she was sent to meet one of the industry’s major players. She was naive to the ways of the entertainment business, but was determined to make a good impression. What she wasn’t prepared for was the electricity she would feel between them from the moment of their first meeting.
Soon they had embarked on a stormy, seductive love affair, with liaisons in opulent hotels across Australia and around the world. The thrill of their encounters was tainted by constant pressure to keep their relationship out of the public eye, as the danger of being discovered could put not only their personal lives but their professional lives at risk.
Ava also felt the weight of her conscience – she had never, ever imagined herself as the other woman. However, it had been a long time since she’d been able to truly trust a man, and Hugh seemed to be only one who could come close to breaking down the protective walls Ava had built around her heart.
Working day to day in an industry where secrets are currency, Ava’s lips were tightly sealed about what was happening between her and Hugh – until she began to make her confessions.
Confessions of A Millionaire’s Mistress is the true story of an innocent young woman who found herself swept into a passionate, irresistible romance with a charismatic, wealthy, powerful man who is used to getting what he wants – whatever the cost.
About the Author
Ava Reilly is a young Australian woman. By day she works in public relations. By night she writes her much-loved ‘Confessions of a Millionaire’s Mistress’ blog. This is her first book.