Star Struck (Lights, Camera #2) by Laurelin Paige-bilion (Page 30)

Star Struck (Lights, Camera #2)(30)
Author: Laurelin Paige

Her cheeks colored. “Good to know.”

He followed her to the set’s living room, planting himself in a doorway as he watched her mosey around the space. She wandered to the back of the couch and trailed her hand along the back of the furniture piece. “You know,” she said, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye, “another week and we won’t need condoms. Assuming you’re clean.”

“I am.” He missed her touch already, but what she was saying made up for its absence. He strode toward her, stopping at the end of the sofa. “So we’re planning to have sex again?”

She shrugged. “I’m just saying that if we did then we’d be safe.” She circled the other end of the couch to face him. “Of course, first I’m going to have my period, so we’d have to wait past that.”

“I’m not afraid of blood.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?”

He hated having the couch between them, but even more than the physical barrier, he hated the unspoken circumstances of their last sexual encounter. It had to be cleared up before they could move on. Otherwise, he’d be walking on eggshells with her. And he was not a walking on eggshells type. “If we did end up f**king again, how can I be sure you aren’t going to freak out?”

“How can I be sure you aren’t going to jump in bed with Bobblehead?”

His brow furrowed. “Bobblehead?” She had to be talking about her costar. Bobblehead actually fit the eager-to-please woman. To be sure, he asked, “You mean Natalia?” There was that jealous blaze in Heather’s features again. It warmed him to see it. Yet he couldn’t stand that Heather thought the little wisp of an actress had anything on her. There was no one who compared to her. Certainly not for him. “Let me assure you, I have zero interest in Nat.”

“Nat,” she said under her breath like a curse word. “You were sure giving her your attention. And not just tonight.”

She’d been watching him. Good. Yes, he’d spent time with Natalia the last several days, but it was always she who had sought him out. He didn’t give her any reason not to, though. Maybe he’d been trying to stir Heather up.

He repeated his last words. “Zero interest in Nat.” She scowled, not satisfied. “Would you be happier if I told that to her?”

“I would.”

“Done.” He was making a commitment to her with that agreement. Normally that would have his stomach churning. Instead, he felt oddly relaxed.

But he wasn’t the only one who needed to give assurances. She hadn’t yet answered his question. “Are you going to freak out on me again?”

She shifted from one foot to another. “I don’t know.” She turned away, this time going to examine the prop photos on the wall. “I’m not sure myself, really. I don’t think I will. Did you always want to be a carpenter?” Her voice lilted up with the abrupt subject change. “Or work on movies?”

“Not exactly. And yes.” He didn’t want to talk about that. First of all, it reminded him he was lying to her. Second, the topic she was avoiding was the one that interested him. “Maybe it would help if you told me what set you off. When you freaked out, I mean.”

“Maybe.” But she jumped right back to the lighter conversation. Lighter for her, anyway. “Then if not a carpenter, what would you want to do?”

“Design.” He tried not to flinch as he said it, barreling into his next question for her. “Was it the sex itself?” He hoped not. Just remembering her bent over her dining table as he pounded into her made him hard again.

“No, it wasn’t the sex. Design? Like set design?”

“Production Design.” This was his opportunity. He could tell her the truth—that he already worked in design, that he was good at it. It was understandable why he hadn’t said anything before. He’d tell her he hadn’t wanted the cast of the plays to know. Then it just never came up. He could say he took the job on her film simply as a favor to a friend. He could even tell her that part of the appeal was that she’d be there.

But even though they’d jumped some hurdles in their relationship, or whatever it was they had, he remembered why he lied in the first place. Because he wanted her to want him even if he was the person that she thought he was—a set carpenter. Because that was who he used to be. That was where he came from. He was proud of that. If she couldn’t accept him as that guy, then there was no future between them, just like there had been no future with him and Erica.

Huh. That was weird. He hadn’t been thinking about Heather in terms of long lasting, but now that he had, it didn’t sound half-bad.

So he let the opportunity pass, and turned the truth time back on her. “Did it bother you that we barely know each other?”

“Not that.” She shook her head to emphasize her answer. “Production Design’s pretty ambi—”

“Then the spanking,” he interrupted, focused on getting to the bottom of her freak-out. Focused on not discussing what he did for a living.

She took a deep breath in and then let it out.

Bingo. It was the spanking that had bothered her. “You liked it though—your body did anyway.” He took a step toward her and stopped when she took a step away. “But not your head. What’s up with your head, Heather?”

“It’s just…” She lowered her eyes. “I can’t. Seriously, I can’t talk about this.”

He wanted to push her. Partly because he thought he understood, but also because he was pretty certain she’d feel better if she talked about it.

But after all the progress they’d made, he wasn’t about ready to scare her off. Instead he asked, “So if I were to spank you again…”

She turned toward him, a shy smile spreading across her face. “I would like it.” Then her smile faded. “Are you planning to spank me now?”

“No.” He laughed. Now that she’d mentioned it, he was sorely tempted. “You probably deserve it. For being a bitch last time and not talking to me about what was really going on.”

“I suppose I have that coming.” She met his eyes, holding his gaze with such steadiness he wondered what she saw when looking at him. A guy who worked with his hands. Who didn’t measure up. Who didn’t fit the mold of her perfect fairytale life.

Or maybe she saw what he hoped she could see. A like soul. Someone who made her face her bullshit, but didn’t leave her alone to do it. A guy who could take care of her but never make her feel weak while doing it.