Meet Cute (Love, Camera, Action #5) - Elise Faber
I listened to the sounds of the party on the other side of the hedges, and I knew I should be out there, schmoozing and charming and making sure everyone was happy and having a great time.
This had been my idea, after all.
To surprise my friend, Maggie, and her fiancé, Aaron, with an engagement party after their return from Italy where Aaron had popped the question.
I’d helped Aaron pick the ring, run through the words he was going to say as though he were a fellow actor and I was helping him prep for a scene.
Then I’d helped Maggie do the same.
Because my friend knew what she wanted and needed, and that wasn’t waiting for her man to propose.
If she wanted to get married, she had no problem doing the asking.
And in the race down the aisle, Mags had won.
Not that it was a surprise. She was the smartest, most beautiful, most alive person I’d ever met.
If only there’d been a spark between us.
But that was the problem.
I didn’t feel sparks. I didn’t feel much of anything. I poured everything I had onto the screen. I worked until every emotion in me was gone . . . and then when they came back, I did it all over again. And again.
But even giving everything I could, the itchy sensation never went away.
I was FOMO-ing. I was missing out on something more.
I’d climbed from obscurity to leading roles. Most even with great scripts . . . or at least feel-good, fun storylines that were a blast to make. I had several houses and cars. I was the face of multiple products, including a delicious Chardonnay produced by none other than Aaron’s winery.
What could I possibly want or need or be missing out on?
Unfortunately, as much as I tried to pretend that wasn’t the issue, deep down, it was at the crux of everything. I had friends, good friends, but it wasn’t the same. I wanted what Mags had, what my other friends Artie, Pierce, and Eden had.
Which was . . . more.
Which was . . . everything.
But it was elusive, that everything, especially when I couldn’t walk down the street without being photographed, when I couldn’t be certain that someone in the business who wanted to date me wasn’t using me to move up, or worse, would sell me out to the tabloids.
I was one of the most successful men in the world . . . and I was lonely.
Sighing, I pushed off the tree I’d been leaning against—hiding behind—and knew this wasn’t a problem I could fix tonight. I needed to leave my safe little enclave and put myself back out there, to make sure my friends had the wonderful party they deserved.
Even though I’d given myself the mental pep talk, I hadn’t so much as taken a step toward the exit, when a woman walked in.
Or rather, limped in.
She walked right over to the tree I was leaning against, the one planted in the center of this walled and sheltered garden, and placed a palm against it, using her free hand to yank off her heels. “Ow,” she muttered, chucking one at the hedges. “Fucking heels.” She tore off the other. “Stupid, fucking death traps.” That heel sailed through the air, bouncing off the leaves and landing with impressive accuracy near its partner. Then she started lifting the edge of her skirt, muttering about “Stupid pantyhose,” and I realized my mistake.
I should have announced my presence before the disrobing began.
I should at least do it now.
But I found myself frozen, arrested by the golden skin revealed as she peeled down the stockings inch by inch, the glimpse of black lace when the hem of her skirt slid the wrong—or rather, the right, in my opinion—way.
Curves I could hold on to. Softly gilded skin. Ass. Hips. Breasts. Face. They were all incredible, but it was her legs that made my mouth go dry with the need to trace my tongue over. Every. Single. Inch.
In fact, I was so focused on the sight of her legs that I missed her arm moving behind her, missed the fact that one of those shapely thighs had a black holster strapped around it, that her luscious curves hid a gun.
A gun that was now pointed in my direction with rock-steady hands.
“Who the fuck are you?” she snapped.
My hands didn’t shake as I pointed the gun at the most handsome man I’d ever laid eyes on.
I was too well trained for