Come a Little Bit Closer - Bella Andre Page 0,1

in her tracks.

She turned to look at him without the slightest bit of the flirtatiousness that the two dozen women he’d just been speaking to had been pouring all over him. “Yes?”

“Do you and Tatiana have everything you need this morning?”

“Everything’s perfectly in order, thank you,” she said in a crisp voice. “Do you need anything from us before filming begins in—” She looked at the slim watch on her wrist. “—an hour?”

“Just to let me know if you or Tatiana have any problems, or need anything from me at all.”

She nodded, her pretty mouth softening slightly as she said, “Thanks. We will.” Unfortunately, just then her gaze caught on the clump of telephone numbers that had been pressed into his hands, and her eyes narrowed in disgust.

And yet, even with her lips pressed together in clear disapproval as she walked away, she was beautiful.

Smith turned back to his fans and thanked them all for their support one more time before heading back to the trailer that was doubling as his office during filming. Dumping the women’s numbers on his desk without giving them a second thought, he grabbed his script and laptop and walked back out. He was just sitting down in the makeup trailer as his phone buzzed, alerting him to a lighting issue that needed to be worked out before filming could begin.

It was just the beginning of what would be an incredibly busy day, on a set that was all his this time. And as Smith dealt with the first problem of what would surely be many before the day was through, he knew he wouldn’t want to trade his career for any other. Not for the beauty of his brother Marcus’s winery in Napa Valley, not for the thrill of Ryan’s World Series wins pitching for the Hawks, not for the speed of Zach’s race cars.

Smith couldn’t wait to begin filming Gravity.

The young woman in the middle of the sidewalk was utterly beautiful, and yet, the way she moved, dressed, wore her hair with pink streaks, her makeup artfully smudged and dark around her eyes, gave her away in an instant as an overwhelmed early-twentysomething on her own in a big city for the first time. With wide eyes she took in San Francisco; the buildings, the traffic, the people rushing all around her, the fog that was rolling in from the bay. For a moment, her mouth almost curved into a smile, but a flash of something that looked too much like fear held that smile back from her full lips.

A stray dog skittered over her cheap red plastic boots and the longing on the girl’s face as she squatted to reach out to the mangy animal was almost painful. Instead of coming toward her open hand, the dirty little dog turned and ran as fast as it could in the other direction.

Big green eyes suddenly filled with the slightest sheen of tears, then were blinked away just as quickly. It was impossible not to wish for her to find happiness, and love, and everything else she’d come to San Francisco to find.

Down the street, a businessman dressed in a dark suit, impeccably tailored and very, very expensive, was talking on a phone and moving fast, faster than anyone else on the sidewalk. His conversation held his complete attention, his expression forbidding as he issued directives one after another in a hard voice. Everything about him spoke to his power...and to just how closed off his heart was.

Fury crossed the man’s face a beat before he spoke loudly into his phone, his entire attention turned to his conversation so that he didn’t take notice of anyone on the street around him. There wasn’t even the slightest pause in his gait as he kicked the girl who was still squatting, staring after the dog who hadn’t dared to trust her.

Thousand-dollar Italian shoes jabbed hard into her stomach, and as she cried out in pain, that was when he finally stopped cursing into his phone, looked down at the dirty sidewalk, and noticed her.

It was the ultimate picture of how far the girl had fallen. And yet, in that moment when she should have been cringing, her fear and sadness finally receded.

This time, she was the angry one, and even though the man had kicked her hard enough to shove the air from her lungs, she was young and agile enough to be back up on her feet and in the man’s face less than thirty