It was just that, though he adored his mom, she also brought him down. She’d remained single since she’d flown off to California when he was twelve and Micah worried about her being by herself. He couldn’t help but fear that she was sad and, well, lonely.
Sometimes that made him question his own decision to be alone.
But then he’d remind himself that he was nothing like Lulu. She’d given up love for a career and it hadn’t worked out. Micah’s sacrifice had worked out. He had the life most people only dreamed of. He had the life he’d dreamed of. He didn’t want for anything.
Well, almost anything.
He snuck a peek behind him at Maddie. He’d moved nearer to her to look out the window, but didn’t have the luck of brushing against her again. Now he saw why. She was leaning against her window, her beautiful body pressed against the door, away from him. Thick irritation emanated from her like a barrier between them. So thick it bordered on loathing.
Good. Hate him. It would make it easier to avoid her if she was also avoiding him.
He sat back in his seat and closed his eyes again. It was simpler now to fight any urge to make amends with Maddie. Now that he saw how turned off by him she was, he had no desire to ease the tension between them.
He closed his eyes again and succeeded in putting her out of his mind until they pulled up in front of his hotel. As Sam retrieved his luggage from the trunk, Micah stole one more glance at the brunette beauty beside him before he stepped out of the car. Only then did he realize that Maddie’s expression didn’t read as angry—it read as hurt.
Aw, shit. That wasn’t what he was going for at all.
He should have left it at that, painful as it was to see her distressed. But he couldn’t stand it. He swallowed. “Hey, Maddie Bauers.” She looked up at him, her eyes big with curiosity. “I got to know Adam when we were filming in L.A. He’s the best cameraman I’ve ever worked with. You must be pretty stellar to get his recommendation. Welcome aboard.”
“Thanks,” she said softly.
That wasn’t so bad. He remained professional yet seemed to lift her spirits. Problem was the smile she gave him had his c**k jumping again. He shifted, hoping she didn’t notice as he stepped from the car.
Fudge joined Micah at the bellhop station. He chuckled as Micah watched the SUV pull away down the mountain.
“What?” Micah asked.
“Nothing.” But the amusement remained on his face.
Damn. Fudge knew Micah too well. He was much more than an employee. The two had met in middle school when Fudge stood up for Micah after a bully had teased him about a commercial he’d appeared in. They’d been good friends ever since. Half the reason Micah employed him was for the company. The life of a famous Hollywood bachelor wasn’t as friend-filled as many people thought.
Not much later, Micah tipped the bellhop and closed the door behind him in his room. He threw his jacket over a chair and crossed to the large windows. The small town didn’t have the luxury hotels Micah usually stayed in, but the view from his room—a breathtaking landscape of mountains and wildflowers—couldn’t be topped. He took a moment to memorize the scene, wondering if Fudge had a similar view across the hall.
Maybe he would invite Lulu. She’d go gaga over this place.
And maybe being with her would make them both feel less lonely.
With a sigh, he drew the fire curtains. Heavy window coverings were one of his best friends. They shut out zoom lenses and the prying eyes of fans.
He rummaged through his carry-on for his iPad and stretched out on his king-size bed. Checking his email, he found his schedule for the next day. Seven a.m. call time. That left almost thirteen hours before he would see Maddie again.
Had he really just calculated that? Yes, yes he had.
He ran his hand over his stubbly chin, debating how to handle his Maddie thoughts. The night was still young. He could try to find a pretty young fan in the hotel bar, someone willing to suck off a star just so she could brag to her friends.
Or he could try to find her.
No, bad idea. Instead, he used the newly discovered information of her last name to look for her on Facebook. He didn’t have an account himself—just a fan page his publicist maintained, but he knew his way around the site.
He found Maddie’s profile easily. Her privacy settings didn’t allow him to see her wall, but her photos were set for public view. There were only two, but they were enough. The first was a simple headshot, her long gorgeous brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, her smile slight and professional. This was the one she currently had set as her profile picture.
The other, though, was the one that Micah zoomed in on. It was a candid shot taken with the ocean as a backdrop. Maddie held her loose hair out of her face with one hand the other hung at her side. The modest tankini showed off her body and verified what Micah had suspected, that her legs were gorgeous and never-ending.
His dick throbbed as he ran his finger over the screen, tracing the curve of her breast. He pretended he could remember the feel of it under his hands, her nipple taut against the thin fabric of her top. How she’d moaned and responded to his touch.
God, it was too much. He propped the iPad on the pillow next to him and undid his jeans, releasing his straining erection. With long strokes from root to crown, he fisted his pulsing shaft, fantasizing it was her mouth sucking and taking him in. Slowly she would tease him, licking along the thick nerve that ran the length of his penis. Then she’d curve her lips tightly around his tip and draw him in, inch by inch, her hands massaging his balls as she bobbed her head up and down.
He closed his eyes, imagining his busy hand was tangled in her hair. With a low grunt, hot fluid spurted over his fist, and still he pumped, not wanting the fantasy to end, while he came and came and came.
After, he basked in the pleasure of release, knowing from experience it would soon fade to a lonely ache. He looked at Maddie’s picture one more time, then turned his tablet off and made his way to clean up.
In the bathroom, as the dullness crept in, he stared at his reflection and groaned.
He‘d spent the last seven years on top of his game, focused on his career. He’d been tempted into love by the hottest women, offered the best drugs and the sweetest of sins and he’d always resisted. No hesitation or doubt.
But now he faced six weeks on set with a woman who once upon a time didn’t care about what or who he was.
Maddie Bauers just might be his undoing.
Micah sat in his director’s chair, script in hand, trying his damndest to get his lines down for the day’s scene. He usually was great at memorization, but in the three days since he’d arrived on set in Colorado, all his concentration had gone to shit. He blamed it on the mountains, told Beaumont he hadn’t adjusted to the altitude yet.