Take Two (Page 46)

Take Two (Lights, Camera #1)(46)
Author: Laurelin Paige

“I’m sorry, Maddie, but that’s the truth. You need to see Micah in his realm. You know, the world of flashbulbs and red carpet and pretty people saying pretty things to pretty people with microphones.”

“It’s a totally different side of Micah,” Fudge agreed.

Maddie chewed the inside of her lip, considering. Though she was certain she’d still be attracted to Micah in his realm, she didn’t have any idea where she fit in it, if at all.

“You need to know what it would be like,” Bree continued softly. “If you stay together.”

And that was the real reason Maddie hadn’t wanted to go. She was happy being Micah’s secret girlfriend on the set, but that didn’t translate to girlfriend in real life. She was afraid to find out what that would be like. Afraid it would be awful. Afraid that he wouldn’t be able to make room for her there.

“I get that you’re scared, Maddie. But you have to find out. Please respect yourself enough to know what you’re getting into.”

Maddie’s resolve was diminishing despite her protest. “We haven’t even discussed a future.” But she thought about it constantly, despite her one-day-at-a-time promise. And now that their time on the shoot was running out, they’d have to make a decision about going forward. Could she handle his real life?

She needed to find out.

“All right,” Maddie sighed. “I’ll go.

Chapter Twenty

Maddie took a sip of rosé wine as she scanned the doors of the Buell Theater lobby for the millionth time. Still no Micah. Who made up the stupid rule that actors were supposed to show up to charity functions so late anyway? Probably the same person who decided that the production crew had to show up on time.

God, she was nervous. She had thought about texting Micah to tell him she was coming, but she wasn’t sure what his reaction would be. At least she looked good. Even though she wasn’t a girly-girl, she could clean up. The silver organza baby-doll dress Bree had sent her hit mid-thigh and, thanks to running, she had nice legs. The sweetheart bodice embellished with rhinestones did awesome things for her boobs and matched the rhinestones that decorated her black stilettos. Yeah, she looked damn good.

“You have to try these crab cakes.” Joe balanced a handful of hors d’oeuvres he had swiped from one of the trays.

“I’m not really hun—” He popped one in her mouth before she could finish. The cake melted on her tongue and surprised her with its deliciousness. “Okay, that was good,” she said after she swallowed. Truth was she hadn’t been able to eat much of anything. She was too anxious about the evening, about spending the night with hundreds of people she didn’t know and the one person she was starting to know pretty damn well. Especially because she had to pretend she didn’t know that person so well.

“The bruschetta is awesome too,” Joe said around a mouthful of crab cakes. “Grab some when the next tray comes along.”

Maddie felt a hand at the small of her back and she turned, hopeful, to face the owner.

“Wow!”

Sam. Not Micah.

If Micah had arrived, there’d be more buzz. And he wouldn’t touch her in public. He didn’t on set, and he definitely wouldn’t here.

“You look stunning.” Sam’s blue eyes sparkled, not in the lustful way that Micah’s did when he looked at her, but in a way that spoke volumes about his admiration for her.

She blushed, unsure how to handle his crush. “Thank you. You look great in a tux.”

“Ah, this old thing?”

He said more, but Maddie didn’t hear it over the commotion at the front doors. Cameras flashed and people pressed against the ropes that created a mock red carpet for the VIP attendees. She had a good view from where she stood at the bar, and crowds began to gather as Heather Wainwright made her entrance.

Maddie tensed. Fudge walked in, wearing black sunglasses in full-out bodyguard mode. He held the door open for Micah, who strode in with a beautiful brunette on his arm. He was handsome as ever in his black tux and tie. He seemed untouchable and godlike. Like the president or a celebrity.

Of course that was exactly what he was—a celebrity. Sometimes Maddie forgot.

It wasn’t hard to forget now. Micah posed and waved as he walked down the carpet, his smile wide and his eyes twinkling. Lulu stepped aside with Fudge to let Micah have his glory alone, though Heather stood by him in many of the shots. She looked beautiful at his side, her blonde hair standing out against the red floor-length gown that hugged her tightly around her curvy parts.

Maddie felt an undercurrent of jealousy spark under her calm exterior as she watched the spectacle over Joe’s shoulder, despite all that she and Micah had worked through. Their tryst in the woods had worked to make filming the sex scene a non-issue. Maddie knew she’d had the real deal and that everything on set was acting.

But she couldn’t say that now, because even though Micah had brought his mother, Heather was the one who got to walk down the carpet with him. Heather was the one who could lean over and whisper in his ear and laugh at some interviewer’s question, her arm casually resting on Micah’s shoulder. Heather was the one who could be photographed with him.

Maddie got to admire from a distance. Like a fan. Like a mistress.

“Hey, was that shrimp cocktail?” Joe followed the caterer, stepping out of Maddie’s sightline, giving her a clear view of the man she was f**king on a regular basis.

She recognized the minute he saw her. He was joking for the press with a fellow actor, when he stilled mid-laugh, his brows raised in surprise, his stare piercing her like a hot laser. Jaw set, his eyes swept up and down her body, devouring her.

She straightened as the electricity that passed through his heated gaze ignited every nerve in her body, warming her. Her face flushed with desire, her lower belly tightened, and she’d bet money he was hard under his black pants.

But it wasn’t just sexual energy that passed between them. It was more—something intangible and unable to name. The lobby that had held hundreds of people just a moment before now held no one but him and her, and the raw emotions that encompassed them. It frightened and excited her, that he could affect her so with just a look, that she could affect him in the same way.

Then a flashbulb went off and the spell was broken. Micah was back in character, charming and charismatic for the crowd.

“It seems the talent has arrived,” Sam said, leaning into her so she could hear over the din. His body heat lacked in comparison to Micah’s penetrating eyes and she shivered in their wake. “For once I think the crew got the better end of the deal.”