“Wait.” He grabbed her hand. “Can I see you sometime?”
Maddie tilted her head to stare back at him. “Really? You don’t have to—”
“I know I don’t. I want to.”
She broke into a grin. “Give me your phone.” He did and she typed her information into his contacts, then handed it back.
“Thanks.” He nodded toward Bree. “Let me help you with her.”
“No,” Maddie said quickly. His questioning look prompted her to explain. “It’s just, I’d rather remember you right there, not fumbling around with my idiot drunk friend.” Plus she couldn’t subject him to dealing with Bree, especially with the hard-on she knew he still sported.
“Got it.” He adjusted himself. “Just as long as you are remembering me.”
“Oh, I could never forget.” She sighed to accent her point. He winked and she turned again to leave when a thought crossed her mind. She spun back to him. “Hey, I don’t know—”
“Micah,” he said, accurately predicting what she was going to say. “I’m Micah.”
“Nice to meet you, Micah.” She rolled the name off her lips, relishing its feel in her mouth. Then she gave him one last longing look before she left to help Bree.
Micah Preston couldn’t decide if he was irritated or glad to be left waiting in Stu Steeling’s front office for so long. On the one hand, he’d already been sitting there for more than half an hour. If this was any indication of the sort of attention he’d receive if Stu signed him as a client, he should bail now. Except Stu Steeling was the best publicity and image manager in Hollywood. Getting an appointment with him was nearly impossible, let alone getting a contract. And Stu had called Micah’s agent for this meeting, which was why Micah didn’t just up and walk out.
On the other hand, the wait gave him a chance to compose and focus before his interview.
Who was he kidding? He couldn’t focus—not one bit. His mind kept returning to the night before and the leggy brunette who had gasped and moaned so beautifully at his touch. Maddie. He could still taste her on his tongue.
He hadn’t wanted to attend the wrap party for his indie film. Not that he was averse to a good time, but his meeting with Stu was bright and early, and his agent had recommended that Micah keep sober and well-rested.
“You’ll never get a chance like this with Steeling again,” Priscilla, his agent, had said. “If he signs you, you will go from unknown indie films to big studio features. I swear it. He can make or break your acting career.”
So Micah had done a quick walk around the wrap party, making sure he said goodbye to the people he wasn’t sure he’d see again. Then, not wanting to be totally uncool and leave before midnight, he grabbed a beer and found a quiet spot to relax.
That was when he’d spotted her, making her way through the crowd with such purpose and direction it seemed as if she were coming to join him. She’d stopped to survey the spectacle at the pool and he’d had a perfect view of her long legs and firm behind. An image of her bent na**d in front of him had flashed through his mind and his c**k was twitching before she even turned around. When he did see her face—her perfectly plump lips, her deep chocolate eyes—he knew he had to touch her, taste her, feel her against him. And that he did.
He closed his lids as he remembered.
It was a good thing their encounter was interrupted. He hadn’t enjoyed going home blue-balled, but he’d been minutes away from taking her fast and hard in an empty bathroom of his producer’s house, and she deserved something more than a hot round of wham bam thank you ma’am. Micah wanted to give her that something more and he planned to take her out on a real date and end up in a bedroom, nice and proper.
Not for the first time that morning, he pulled out his phone and stared at her contact information, trying to decide if he’d seem too eager if he sent her a text. Ah hell, he didn’t care if he sounded eager—he was eager—to know her, to touch her again.
He began composing a text when the receptionist called his name.
“Mr. Steeling will see you now.”
Micah saved the draft and pocketed his phone. He’d have to save his fantasies for later—now it was time to focus on the biggest moment of his career.
A few minutes later, Micah found himself seated across from Stu Steeling, who perched behind an immaculate mahogany desk.
“I’m going to get right to the point,” Stu said after they greeted each other. “I’m not much for small talk—it’s a waste of time, and in this business, time is money. I’ve seen your work. You’re talented, there’s no question about that. And you’re good-looking. Priscilla tells me you’ve been working with her for”—he paused to study a small notepad he’d pulled from his pocket—“seven years. Most people would say you should have hit it big by now if you were ever going to, but I’m not most people. How old are you?”
Stu’s forehead creased. “Twenty-four is older than I like to start with clients, but it’s not a deal breaker. It just means that if you agree to work with me, you’ll have to really commit to the guidelines I set out for you, and I mean commit—one hundred percent, no f**king around. Building an image in Hollywood is not impossible, but it takes dedication and hard work. It’s grueling and not recommended for the faint of heart. What do you say?”
“I’m not opposed to hard work.” Micah had just finished three indie films in a period of just as many months, and was not any worse for the wear. He was tempted to agree to whatever Stu had in mind, no questions asked, but decided to play it cool and aloof. “Though I’d like to know exactly what you propose before I can commit to anything.”
“Excellent—a young man interested in the details before signing on. You don’t know how many people fail that part of this interview.”
Micah hid any reaction, grateful he didn’t jump on Stu’s offer. He sat back in his chair and waited for Stu to proceed.
“I’ll expect you to work on project after project. There are no breaks when you’re climbing the ladder. I will push you to audition, audition, audition. You’ll be so tired you’ll want to kill me. But that should all go without saying.”
“Now here’s the tough stuff. First and foremost, no drugs, no drunk driving, no excessive Brindsay LoSpears-type partying. I don’t care if you smoke a little weed now and then, but if you’re ever caught with anything harder than that—and you’re always caught—I’ll drop you immediately. Clear?”