Star Struck (Lights, Camera #2) by Laurelin Paige-bilion (Page 5)

Star Struck (Lights, Camera #2)(5)
Author: Laurelin Paige

Seth cut him off before he could say more. “Maybe Heather has personal issues that have influenced her opinion.”

Heather’s head swung to face Seth, daggers shooting from her eyes. “I’m not sure what you mean by that but my opinion is influenced by the fact that I’ve done the plays for five years in New York and three years in L.A. and they’ve been fabulous as is. I don’t understand the idea of fixing something that isn’t broken. But you’re probably a fixer type.”

She crossed her arms, increasing the abundance of her cle**age and he corrected his earlier thought—her br**sts were above standard package. Way above.

It didn’t matter. Beautiful tits did not make up for a holier-than-thou attitude.

“Patrick, I’m sorry to interrupt.” Janice Shafer, Patrick’s sidekick from Montblanc, leaned in from the other side of him. “We’re having a small issue with the Urban Arts scholarship performer. Would you mind giving your opinion?”

“Excuse me a moment,” Patrick said to Heather, and Seth detected relief in his voice, as if he were grateful for the chance to end the conversation. Patrick turned his chair toward Janice and the Urban Arts rep who sat beside her.

Seth listened halfheartedly as the rep explained that the teenager scheduled to sing at the plays had a problem with her guitar and that it might not be ready for the show on Saturday and did Patrick have any suggestions for getting a replacement.

But his mind was on the blonde beauty next to him and the tension rolling off her body in thick waves. Her tension fueled his irritation. First, he was just irritated at himself for being reeled in by her, for believing he’d seen something different in her. Then he was pissed at his Johnson for still being very interested in the woman despite her pettiness.

But the more he thought about it, the more he was furious at her. Was she really that shallow? Or was he reading her wrong?

He shouldn’t say anything. He should just let it lie.

But he had to know. “You’re not upset about using a set, are you?” He kept his voice down so that only she could hear him. “You’re upset that you were flirting with someone who builds sets.”

Heather’s mouth dropped open. “I was not…” She lowered her voice to a tense whisper. “I was not flirting.”

“You most certainly were too.” Seriously? How could she deny it?

“I was not.” She stabbed her index finger into the table as if to enforce her point. “I was talking to you like I talk to everyone. I’m very charming.”

“You’re not that charming.”

“I am so charming.” She shifted in her seat and he could see her anger revving up. “How dare you, anyway?” She hissed. “You don’t know. You don’t even know me.”

He wanted to say that he did know her. He knew her type. Conceited, arrogant. She expected the world to fall at her feet, and when it didn’t she demanded an explanation as to why. Wasn’t that what she’d just done with Patrick?

But he couldn’t bring himself to be that honest. It was too cruel.

Still, he couldn’t drop the conversation. Not yet. Not when she’d played with him like she had. “I know that you didn’t flirt with anyone else who talked to you here tonight.”

She sat back, her eyelashes fluttering. “Were you watching me? Are you, like, obsessed with me?” She huffed out a thick breath of air. “Typical.”

“And I know your reputation does not label you as charming.” It was a low blow. Everyone truly in the Hollywood realm knew reputations were often a bunch of bullshit. But he was pissed.

“My reputation? That’s…you can’t believe…”

He had her where he wanted her—flustered and out of defenses. He went in for the kill. “And wasn’t it funny how your charm went away the minute you discovered what my involvement with the plays was? When you figured out you were flirting with a crewmember.”

“I have nothing against crewmembers.”

“Then it’s just carpenters.”

She rolled her eyes. “God, this is ridiculous. You’re totally twisting this around to be about something that it’s not. You’re taking my opposition to using a set and making it about you. Self-centered much?”

Fuck polite. She’d gone cruel first. “Well, isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black. Stuck-up, much?”

“Asshole.”

“Bitch.”

Her eyes blazed with indignation. Then she scooted her chair back and stood with a hmph before escaping to the corner of the room, phone in hand.

He felt better having spoken his mind, but also worse at the absence of her warmth. And while he’d wanted to slap her with his words, which he had effectively done, another part of him wanted to follow after her and wrap her in his arms.

What the f**k was that about?

For the second time that night, he shook his head. He’d have no sympathy for her. He’d come from nothing, had built himself up from the ground. It had been tough and he wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but he’d never forsake his roots. That was why he’d been so impressed with the Urban Arts Partnership. They respected the less fortunate and gave kids a chance to shine through art. Art had been his own savior in his early years. It was why he’d approached the organization and offered to contribute a set. So he could give back, could be a part of the good they did.

Heather Wainwright represented exactly the opposite of what he was hoping to accomplish here. He’d made the mistake with Erica, trying to hide his past, but he’d learned. Now he’d rather be associated with the underlings than the highbrows any day.

He took a long pull of his beer and made up his mind to remain anonymous in the production. He needed to get Patrick on board. He focused on Patrick’s conversation, which seemed to be nearing an end. One of the Urban Arts reps had volunteered to find a music store to donate a guitar for the event. Problem solved.

When it seemed like a good moment to cut in, Seth scooted over to Heather’s seat. “Hey, Patrick.” He waited until the exec had excused himself from the others and gave Seth his full attention. “I wanted to ask a favor.”

“Shoot.”

Seth leaned in so he could talk quietly. “I’d rather you didn’t tell anyone that I’m the one donating the materials for the set or that it was my idea. I’d prefer it if everyone just thinks I’m a carpenter.”