Take Two (Page 38)

Take Two (Lights, Camera #1)(38)
Author: Laurelin Paige

“Yum.” He groaned. “French fries and sex…now that’s what I call a perfect evening.”

“Post-coital fries are the best. You sound like you don’t get that very often. I’m going to assume you don’t usually eat french fries.”

“Not on my diet plan. But I figure we’ve been burning enough calories that I could indulge.”

She giggled as she stuck a fry in her own mouth. “No french fries, no girlfriends…you kind of make it seem sucky to be a Hollywood star.”

He gave a dramatic sigh. “You have no idea.” He resumed reading his script.

She picked up another fry and chewed on it slowly, watching Micah as he closed his eyes and silently mouthed his lines. It had been a great day, waking up with Micah, sex in his trailer, a perfect shoot. Then, after she’d cleaned up the set and stopped in her hotel room for a change of clothing and some personal items, she’d arrived at Micah’s hotel room. They ordered burgers and fries from room service, and while Micah was supposed to have been reviewing his lines, occupied their wait with more physical activities.

They still hadn’t talked about their arrangement, and though that was what they agreed on, she still couldn’t help feeling anxious. Was all of this new for Micah or had he been with a woman longer than one night before? What was the best way to balance getting to know him under the covers with getting to know him outside of the bedroom? How should she act with him around others? Could she expect that she was with him in general until further notice or would she have to wait each day for an invitation to his bed? They were standard new relationship questions, but because of who Micah was, they felt heavier.

He reached up and stroked her arm. “Hey. What’s going on in that pretty head of yours? You seem to have gone someplace serious.”

“Not too serious.” She decided that if she didn’t share her thoughts, she’d never get to know him. “I was wondering how long you’ve had your no-girlfriend rule.”

His hand rested on hers. “Wow, not too serious at all. I must not be very entertaining.”

She slipped her hand out from under his and poked him in the ribs. “Oh, you’ve been plenty entertaining. Now answer the question.”

He sighed. “Seven years. Right about when I signed with my manager, Stu. That was just after I met you, actually.”

She bit her lip. “And, in seven years, you’ve had no long-term anything?”

Micah tossed his script on the nightstand. “Now I didn’t say that.” He spoke carefully. “I dated a model about four years ago. For several months. It was all over the tabloids. Maybe you read about it.”

Maddie’s breath caught. She vacillated between jealousy and hope. Who was the bitch? And did that mean he was open to a relationship again?

“I don’t read the gossip mags.” She spoke as cautiously as he had. “What happened?”

“I, uh, do you really want to hear this?”

“Yes, I really do.”

“Okay. Nichelle was her name. And she’d just started getting some major jobs when I met her. Then we started going out and I decided to break my rule and give the whole relationship a try.” He blew out a heavy breath. “That’s when I discovered yet another reason Hollywood relationships don’t work. You can never tell who’s into you for you and who’s into you for what you can get them.”

She tensed, realizing that whatever this Nichelle had done to Micah had made an impact. “What did she do?”

“Turned out she wanted a part from a director I was working with. She pushed me to introduce them so I did. Then when he didn’t give her the part, she dumped me.”

“Are you kidding me?” Maddie felt a wave of nausea, but she kept it to herself. The man had such a jaded opinion about romance in the first place, then to have someone use him like that? It would make her goal of getting close to Micah that much more difficult.

“I’m dead serious.” He stared at her, sensing her anxiety, perhaps. After a moment he asked, “What about you?”

“No one’s ever used me to get a part in a movie.” She took another french fry and fed it to him, hoping to remind him of the awesome parts of girlfriends, such as post-coital french fries.

He sneered at her. “Have you had anything serious?”

“Who says I don’t have a boyfriend right now?”

“Ha-ha-ha.”

“What?” She tried to hide the hurt from her voice. “Does it seem utterly impossible that I’d have a boyfriend?”

Micah gave a genuine laugh this time. “No, it seems utterly impossible that you don’t. You’re incredibly smart, beautiful, creative, sexy as hell…” He waggled his eyebrows suggestively. “But you wouldn’t be here with me if you had a boyfriend.”

“I don’t know.” She smiled coyly. “You could persuade a girl to forget her man for more than a minute.”

“But you wouldn’t do that. You’re too decent.”

Her cheeks warmed. Why did that make her blush? Yes, she was decent. No, she wouldn’t cheat on a boyfriend. Even for Micah.

Micah’s eyes twinkled, enjoying her discomfort. “Plus, I think you’re secretly hopelessly romantic.”

She lowered her gaze. “No way.” But she really was a hopeless romantic. She wanted the whole thing: the awesome guy who loved her and only her, the ring, the wedding cake…

And Micah knew it. “Yes way,” he said. “And perhaps the fear that you won’t ever actually find ‘the one’ is what keeps you so emotionally unavailable.”

She gathered the comforter around her, suddenly feeling very exposed. How did this conversation turn to her, anyway? “I’m not emotionally unavailable.”

“You so are.”

“I’m here with you.”

“Yes, you’re here with the guy who declared he was also emotionally unavailable. Way to prove your point.” He grabbed a handful of french fries and stuffed them in his mouth.

Maddie furrowed her brow. His remark about his unavailability stung. Didn’t they say they weren’t putting preconceived barriers on their relationship?

But more than that, was he right? About her? She didn’t feel emotionally unavailable. Yet how many guys had she dated since college? Not very many. Besides the casual fling here and there, there had been almost no one.

Because I hadn’t met anyone.