A humble heart, p.22
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       A Humble Heart, p.22
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         Part #1 of Hollywood Hearts series by R. L. Mathewson

  could I have your autograph? I’m a huge fan of your books,” the middle one said nervously.

  “No, that’s fine.” Dana said, chuckling. She signed as Edward looked on protectively. When the short one went to hug Dana he stepped forward.

  “Oops, sorry man,” the boy said, grinning nervously.

  ********

  “That was embarrassing,” Dana said as she followed Edward upstairs to his old bedroom. It was after five in the morning and everyone else was still asleep.

  Cole stumbled out of his room and walked into Edward’s room. “I want to sleep with Daddy,” he announced.

  “You and me both kiddo,” Dana mumbled, making Edward laugh.

  He kissed her. “I’m sorry. I’ll see you in the morning.”

  “I see how it is.”

  “Exactly.” He walked to his room and paused before closing the door. “Sorry, no girls allowed,” he said with a mischievous smile as he shut the door. She made her way back to the room Cole abandoned and collapsed on the bed.

  Dana woke up an hour later and made her way into the bathroom, feeling the need for a shower before everyone else woke up in the morning. She washed her hair and stayed under the hot water until she was completely relaxed.

  Afterwards she went downstairs and sat at the computer, knowing no one else would be up for an hour.

  The kids had to get up in an hour to get ready for school and for Deana. She decided to check her e-mail. She answered her fan’s emails twice a week.

  “Oh great,” she muttered to herself. They made the headlines last night. The lead stories were about the bomb.

  She read over the stories, most of them were pretty accurate. She didn’t appreciate the pictures of her kids scared and huddling on the ground when the gun was pointed their way.

  A headline caught her eye, “Dana Mathews is an unfit mother.” She felt her stomach twist into a knot. She read through the article which mentioned Cole’s burns from a few months ago, the fact that she was a single mother, well was officially, and left her kids with friends while she worked. If she was anyone else people would be saying she had great friends helping her out, but since she was sort of a celebrity she was abandoning them.

  The fact that Deana was both a friend and an employee didn’t make a difference to them. She read through the article until it mentioned her unborn children and the concerns for an unwed mother taking care of four children.

  There was an interesting interview from Jeff who surprisingly said he knew the kids were in great hands and he didn’t have a single worry.

  She read through a few more articles that informed her of things she wasn’t aware of. Apparently she used sex as a weapon with her ex-husband and was a recovering alcoholic even though she never so much as tasted a drop of alcohol in her entire life. Why make herself sick on purpose, that was her motto. There was several more claiming that she was a sex addict, very interesting

  well, she was addicted to sex with Edward, but who wouldn’t be?

  The man was incredible in bed.

  Edward apparently, according to several articles, was very unhappy in the relationship and looking to get out.

  Dana apparently was forcing him under her thumb because of the babies. There were pictures of Edward moving boxes out of his house. The article described how she laid down the law and made him move in with her. She was pretty sure she was the last one to know that he was living with her. Even the kids seemed to know before her.

  “Darn it,” she muttered. She got stuck on a page that wouldn’t back track. She hit the home key to refresh the screen and felt her heart speed up with an alert on Yahoo.

  “Sex tape of Edward Pierce and Dana Mathews leaked on web.”

  Her hand shook violently as she clicked on one of the links. It brought her to another site where a video began to play. Two bodies in a moon lit car were going at it. A man with what looked like brown hair was pumping into a woman with her legs wrapped tightly around his waist. “Oh no,” she mumbled.

  She had to do something. There had to be a way to stop this. She minimized the screen and ran quietly upstairs to Amy’s room. She would know how to handle this. After all she had a degree in public relations and management.

  That had to come in handy with a sex scandal.

  Dana opened the door and walked in. Elizabeth was sleeping on one twin bed while Amy was on the other, lightly snoring. She gently shook Amy. “Amy, wake up. I have a problem.”

  “The babies?” Amy shot up in bed.

  “No,” Dana said.

  Amy looked her over as she asked, “What’s going on?”

  “Come downstairs,” Dana whispered.

  They made their way downstairs without a word. Dane pushed Amy into the seat and maximized the page and hit play.

  “You woke me up to watch two people have sex?” Amy asked, sounding confused.

  Dana pointed to the small caption. “Oh my god! This is you? When?” Amy practically shrieked.

  Dana winced. “Last night or rather this morning. The police caught them. I bought the tapes. Well, I thought I got them all,” Dana said quickly.

  “Wait, this is my brother? I don’t want to see this!” Amy said, turning away in time to see Edward walk up behind them.

  “Who’s that?” he asked.

  “It’s okay, Edward. She knows,” Dana said.

  “Okay, but who are they?”

  “They are us,” she said slowly as if she were talking to a child.

  “Hmm, I don’t remember wearing a condom and I definitely don’t remember you having a tattoo on your ass, granted I was gone for nine weeks. Perhaps I should take a look,” he said, moving towards her playfully.

  Dana pushed his hands away and whirled on the screen. She replayed it and paid more attention. The woman had a tattoo on her backside and Edward was right, she didn’t have one. The man wore a white condom, well glow in the dark and he certainly hadn’t done that with her.

  “Hey, your car isn’t red,” Amy said. Now that she knew it wasn’t Edward she joined in on the viewing.

  “She’s right, look. It looks like a door to a-” Edward started to say.

  “Jeep,” Dana said, finishing for him.

  “What do we do?” Edward asked.

  “We only need to release one press release that will not only clear this all up, but send people flocking to Dana’s new movie,” Amy said with an evil grin.

  “What?” Dana asked cautiously.

  Amy froze the screen on the woman’s ass. “This tattoo, all anyone has to do is go to your movie to see it isn’t you,”

  she said confidently.

  “Oh,” Dana said.

  “What the hell are you talking about?” Edward demanded. Both women looked at each other.

  “You didn’t tell him?” they said at the same time. “You said you were going to.” They pointed at each other. It would have been a funny moment except for the brooding man standing between them.

  “Tell me now!” Edward demanded.

  “Perhaps I should go,” Amy said, looking longingly towards the stairs.

  “No, you’re staying,” Edward said. “Tell me you didn’t show the world your ass, Dana.”

  The words stuck in her throat. She looked to Amy for help. She was equally frightened. Her eyes were wide and her mouth was open in mid word. “When I read the script a few months ago there were only supposed be hints of skin.

  Are you telling me you showed more?”

  “What is all this yelling? There are two kids sleeping upstairs. My goodness, Edward!” Eleanor said.

  He jerked a thumb to Dana. “Do you know what she did?”

  “What, sweetheart? Oh my lord, is that a porno?” she asked as she made her way to the screen. “That’s not you, if you’re anything like you were when you were a baby you’d have a cute little dimple right about

  .,” she tapped a finger on the man’s ass now that they were in a different position, “there.”

  “No, i
t’s not us.” He clicked off the page. “Mom, do you know what Dana did?”

  “What are you telling on me like I’m five? There’s nothing to tell your mother. She was there all five days when we were filming those scenes!” Dana snapped.

  “You were there?” Edward asked, horrified.

  “Oh, you mean the love scenes? Yes, of course. I had to renegotiate her contract, plus she felt more comfortable if I was there, Amy stayed too. That Lucas has a really cute butt!”

  “Mom!” Edward said, appalled.

  She waved him off. “Oh, I still think your father’s butt is cute so don’t get all upset.”

  Edward pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. He was getting a headache now. “What exactly did you show on screen?”

  “Um

  ..,” Dana started nervously.

  “Her bottom and chest will be seen on screen. Don’t be so upset, it was done tastefully. Plus, she has nothing to be embarrassed about. Hell, if I had a body like hers I would take up that offer Playboy keeps pushing at her before the babies come.”

  “Mom!” Amy snapped. “You wouldn’t do that!” she said, mostly trying to convince herself that her mother wouldn’t do that.

  “Hey, you only live once,” Eleanor said, shrugging.

  “So, let me get this straight, you did an actual nude scene with Lucas? Please tell me he wasn’t also completely naked.”

  “Get over it, Edward, you’ve done love scenes before,”

  Eleanor pointed out.

  “Never fully nude!” Edward snapped back.

  “You should, you have a cute little bottom,” Eleanor said.

  “Oh hell,” Edward sighed. Now he had a migraine.

  “I don’t understand the problem. It wasn’t a porno. I thought the script was excellent and Dana and Lucas did an amazing job. Everyone thought so,” Eleanor said defensively.

  “The point, Mom, is that I don’t want every man in the world getting a good look at my wife’s body,” he said through clenched teeth.

  “You know what? I’m not your wife yet. I cannot believe you’re acting like this.”

  He opened his eyes, stunned. “Are you fucking kidding me? How did you think I would act when I found out you were parading your tits for the world to see?”

  “Edward Andrew Pierce, never in all my life did I ever think I would hear you speak like that to a woman!

  Especially one you claim to love!” Eleanor said sternly.

  Dana wiped a tear away with a shaky hand. “No, it’s okay, Eleanor. He’s allowed his opinion.”

  “Glad you agree.”

  “Given that, don’t talk to me for a while,” Dana said and turned to Amy. “Could you do me two huge favors?”

  “You want me to get the kids going and you want to borrow my car,” she stated, looking at Edward. “I don’t blame you in the least, Dana. If he wasn’t my brother I would slap that look off his face.” She handed Dana the keys.

  “I’m going to go get some things done. Call me when Rick and Eric want to meet, because I’m pretty sure they will,” Dana said.

  “No doubt,” Amy said, hugging Dana. “Don’t let him upset you. He always was a spoiled brat.”

  “Yes, he was,” Eleanor said sternly. She shook her head at him and left the room. Dana walked past Edward without a word and left him alone with Amy.

  “Jackass,” Amy snapped as she walked past him as well.

  “Daddy?” Elizabeth said.

  Edward turned around to find his precious baby girl with mused hair, standing behind him wearing rumpled pink princess pajamas. “Yes, sweetheart?”

  “Are you okay?”

  “Yes,” he answered, trying to force a smile. His head was killing him. “Baby girl, do you still love me?” he asked.

  “Of course, Daddy.” She walked over to him. He picked her up and kissed her cheek loudly. “Good. At least one woman still does.”

  *******

  Dana had one hell of a morning. First, she received a call from her father who screamed at her for embarrassing the family, again. He wouldn’t even allow her to explain herself before he hung up, but not before he told her she should consider herself disowned. That was special. It hurt, but not as much as it would have if they were even a little bit close. Then her ex-husband’s grandmother called, she was always close to her. She wanted to make sure Dana was okay. After Dana explained it wasn’t her and promised her everything was okay they said good bye.

  Sebastian, the little boy she saved on the bridge, well the young man now, called. He’d been sent home early from school after getting into a fight with someone over the video. She explained it wasn’t her. She had to calm him down before he got himself in more trouble. He was very protective of her, always had been.

  When Jeff started to treat her badly it was Sebastian who told him off. She promised he was still coming in a couple of weeks. He lived with his Grandmother and she couldn’t do much with the kids. They were well provided for, but she was too old to keep up with three teenage boys.

  So, Dana took him several times a year for a couple of weeks to help make up for it.

  She drove home and walked around the property for a while. Her sheds were completely gone. Everything inside of them was toast. The yard was singed beyond repair.

  After seeing all the damage she couldn’t help but feel happy that no one was hurt.

  Needing a distraction from what could have happened and the drama with Edward, she decided to clean her house. She cleaned the house from top to bottom. She even put Edward’s things away and broke down the boxes.

  After four hours she took a shower and threw a fresh outfit on. Subconsciously she grabbed her favorite motorcycle outfit, a white long sleeve tee shirt and jeans. It wasn’t bad ass, but it was the most comfortable outfit she owned when she rode her motorcycle.

  “The hell with it,” she said out loud, she was taking her bike out while she still could. First she called her doctor and ran it past him. He okayed it as long as she was careful.

  She pulled on her helmet and went for a drive. She rode around the beaches, loving the feeling of the open road.

  Her phone went off while she was stopped at a red light.

  She pulled over and answered it. It was Amy telling her the meeting she had to have with Eric and Rick was in one hour at Rick’s office. There was no time to go back and grab Amy’s car or hers so she proceeded on bike. She was glad she did. It was a nice relaxing ride. That is until she pulled off her helmet and saw Edward’s horrified expression.

  She rolled her eyes and ran a hand through her hair and walked past him still carrying her helmet. He went to the elevator, looking at her expectantly. She walked past him to the stairs and went the back way to the Rick’s office.

  Dana strolled through the chaotic minefield that was Rick’s floor. People were hurrying here and there frantically.

  Rick’s office was dead ahead and she aimed for it.

  “Dana!” a man said.

  She looked up, surprised to see Nick. He was a handsome man, always joking, and flirting with her and a real sweetheart, well in his own way. He always read her books just to see what she was doing. “Nick!” She hugged him. “When did you get back?”

  He lifted her off her feet and spun her around.

  “Yesterday. I read your new books, not too bad.” He set her down on her feet. “What’s this I hear you’re not only with Edward Pierce, but pregnant and engaged? Not my Dana.

  Not miss ‘I’m never going to date another man as long as I live,’ ” he said the last part mocking her Boston accent.

  “Oh great, are you going to harass me now, too?” she asked, teasing him.

  “No, I’m just wondering why you turned me down so many times

 
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