Well, and he was super hot. And famous. And charming.
And he’d kissed her.
This was so not like her. She was usually cool and collected and together, but Micah fuddled her up too much to sort out on her own.
Maddie pulled out her cell phone again and typed a text to Bree. He remembers me after all.
Yes! What did he say?!!?
He kissed me. She shook her head, not believing the words as she typed them. She rubbed her fingers across her swollen lips while she waited for Bree’s response, remembering the feel of his mouth on hers.
OMG. Did you jump him???
No! Maybe she shouldn’t have included the exclamation point. After all, she was considering it.
R U gonna???
Idk, that’s why I’m texting you. Maddie typed then paused. That would be bad. Right?
Long minutes passed before Bree’s response arrived. It’d probly b real good. Even though he’d break ur <3.
Maddie scowled. That was a bit dramatic. Just because she had a tendency to fall in love with every guy she slept with when she was in college didn’t mean she still did. She was older and wiser now. Probably. Whatev.
Her phone buzzed Bree’s incoming text before Maddie could return the slider. And make you cry.
Maddie’s scowl deepened. Was she really so fragile that she couldn’t sleep with a guy and not have it mean anything? She didn’t have to be. She could sleep with him and not become a weeping willow. Sleep with him and not be affected.
Rephrase that, sleep with him and only be physically affected. An important distinction as she liked the delicious effect he had on her body.
“We’re ready to shoot,” Joe said, interrupting Maddie’s thoughts of her and Micah rolling around in the grassy meadow in front of them, sans clothes. “Places!”
Maddie cleared her head of the ridiculous fantasy she shouldn’t be having in the first place and started toward the camera, toward Micah. She squatted on the dolly at the side of the Adam. “Sound rolling,” Chloe, the sound technician, called from her cart.
Sam stepped in front of the camera and read the clapboard. “Scene twenty-two, take one.”
Adam shifted as he adjusted the camera. Maddie rolled with the dolly as the second assistant moved them along the track, circling into the scene.
Micah began his lines, the very lines Maddie had read with him. As she watched him surrender to his performance, her body tingled. Not just in the usual physically turned-on way, but in the artistically turned-on way. He was really a good actor. She hadn’t paid attention before, trying her best not to notice him on the days since she’d arrived in Colorado. But now she saw it, saw how his whole body took on his character, his voice and movement changing into a persona very different from the man she had swapped spit with less than thirty minutes before. Yet at the same time, he was Micah Preston, more exposed and unveiled than she’d ever seen him.
Holy crap, she was gaga over him.
She let the realization settle as she followed the camera, adjusting the focus at the appropriate times.
Until Micah began walking toward Heather, and Maddie’s chest began throbbing.
She knew what came next—the kiss—and she didn’t want to see any more, didn’t want to watch Micah’s mouth possess another woman’s. But she had to watch, it was her job. So she did, the ache increasing with each passing second. By the time Micah wrapped his arms around Heather and leaned in for the kiss, the stab of jealousy was so tight Maddie wondered if she was having a heart attack.
Impulsively, Maddie closed her eyes, blocking out the action before her.
“Cut,” Joe called out and Maddie’s eyes flew open, realizing he’d ended before the scene was finished.
Shit. She’d missed her final focus. Shit, shit, shit. She peered up at Adam who was listening to Beaumont on his own headset. He looked down at Maddie questioningly.
“I missed it,” Maddie said softly. This wasn’t like her. She never missed.
“Adam, Maddie?” Joe asked. “What was with that last focus?”
“Miscalculation,” Adam said, not pointing out Maddie’s error in front of everyone. “We got it now. Sorry.”
“Let’s take it again.” Joe’s irritation sounded in his voice. “Reset.”
Dammit, Maddie thought as she helped the second assistant roll the camera dolly back to its starting position on the track. This, this was why she couldn’t get mixed up with Micah Preston. She couldn’t even watch him act a scene with a fellow cast member without being overcome with jealousy. Without screwing up her job—a job that she was usually perfect at. Surely if anything more happened with him, this feeling would only get worse. Right now it was already horrible. Achingly, maddeningly, horrible.
Maddie avoided Micah’s eyes as his makeup artist came in to retouch his lips. She took the free moment to pull out her phone and type a final text to Bree. I’m not gonna jump him.
4 the best. Luvs!
Was it for the best? She thought she’d feel better but her decision seemed hollow. She swallowed hard, stealing herself for the second take of the scene.
“Wait,” Joe said, his right hand lifted in a halting gesture. With his other hand, he pressed his headset tighter against his ear, listening to an order from Beaumont. After a minute, he pointed to Micah. “Micah, Beaumont wants to move your initial mark to here.” Joe tapped a spot on the ground with his toe. “Bruce, the light isn’t hitting the new mark. Can you arm it in, please?”
A lighting adjustment and a change in blocking. She’d have to refocus too.
She took a deep breath as crossed to the mega-fine actor, blushing as she remembered the last time she’d calculated a focus for him.
“Hey,” Micah said.
“Hey.” She didn’t meet his eyes, didn’t ask him to hold her measure, but instead put it on the ground at his feet. She felt rather than saw him pick up the end. “Thanks,” she muttered. She walked the steps back to the camera and wrote down the new measurements, then pushed the button to pull the length in, but it didn’t budge. She glanced back at Micah who still held tightly to the end. Seriously?
She trudged back to him. “Can I have it back, please?”
He crossed his arms, burying the edge against his chest. “Will you talk to me?”
Heather broke into a laugh a few feet away, pulling Maddie’s attention. Her eyes narrowed as she glared at the actress flirting with Joe, still bristling from having just watched Heather make out with her man. Whoops. Not her man. Definitely not her man.