Capture, p.15
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       Capture, p.15

         Part #1 of Seaside Pictures series by Rachel Van Dyken


  Son of a bitch.

  I'd kissed her sister and nearly made her teeth bleed because I couldn't seem to get into the scene — then imagined myself kissing her, and it had been all rainbows and shit.

  And now? Now I get to kiss her.

  Well, at least I wouldn't have to act — nope that would be all Lincoln Greene.

  In that moment, I wanted her to talk. I needed to hear her joke about kissing me. I needed the conversation before the kiss that set me at ease. Because at least through conversation, I could maybe gain insight into her feelings. But all I had to go off was body language. And as usual, she seemed indifferent about the whole thing.

  I stared harder.

  Maybe she was sweating?

  I eyed her neck, hoping for a racing pulse.

  Instead, she jerked her head to the side and stumbled as she mouthed, "What?"

  "Sorry." I nearly stuttered. Great. Add that to my list of epic fails for the day. "Just, um, thought I saw a mosquito bite."

  Smooth, Lincoln, smooth.

  She quickly touched her neck.

  "It's gone." You know, because it was never there in the first place, and I was staring at her neck like a starved vampire. Good times.

  I cleared my throat and silently hoped that Jaymeson had somehow changed the scene.

  The beach house was set up with at least two hundred extras. A huge lit-up stage was built right in front of it. The idea was to shoot the party scene and then have the guys do a pretend live concert so they could get footage for the music video.

  "Hey!" Demetri jumped off the stage and jogged over. Had the guy been single, I would hate him with every fiber of my being. He was like a lost Californian surfer who'd somehow gotten washed up on the Oregon shore, like a freaking mermaid with magical music powers.

  Yeah, I was really overthinking things. Shit.

  "How's my girl?" He pulled Dani into his arms and twirled her around. "Lincoln giving you hell?"

  I rolled my eyes. "Hardly."

  She shook her head no then patted Demetri's head like he was a dog. He seemed to like that though. He gripped her hand then kissed it and called Alec over.

  "Well, well, well." Alec jumped off the stage. His black boots hit the ground hard, and sand went flying everywhere. I was sure the extra didn't mind. In fact, she looked so enamored with the sand he'd propelled onto her leg, I wouldn't have been at all surprised if she'd collected it and put it in a jar labeled Alec Daniels.

  I imagined that was what their lives were like. Lots of star struck people just gaping at them with awe. What was it about musicians? Bastards. All of them.

  "You've grown." Alec winked, pulling Dani into his arms then kissing her head. "Really though…" He kissed her head again, his scruff rubbing against her soft hair. "… you look good, Dani."

  The familiarity they had with her rubbed me the wrong way. Not because I was jealous. I barely knew her! Maybe it was because I was pretty sure if I tried to kiss her head, she'd probably karate chop me or knee me in the balls.

  I cleared my throat.

  Alec turned his attention my way, his light blue eyes narrowing. "Has Lincoln been treating you alright?"

  Dani shook her head no.

  My mouth dropped open.

  Then she grinned and winked — yes, winked at me. Knees trembling, I almost needed a moment to sit down. The last thing I needed was bad PR, and yet, the reason I was trembling? She'd freaking winked.

  Damn, she was pretty when she was happy.

  And maybe that was the saddest part of all — she seemed so tight all the time, like being happy was a chore, but being sad? Just the way life was.

  It wasn't my job to fix it.

  And I wasn't one of those guys who took on projects where I threw up those stupid self-esteem posters all over the place then told the girl to go get a makeover, and charge a new wardrobe to a credit card. Besides, she was gorgeous as it was. I just wished she would enjoy life. Hell, she was so young.

  Too young to be that sad all the time.

  "How's the first day?" Demetri asked.

  "Well…" I nodded. "… playing you officially sucks. You do realize what a bastard you were to Nat, right?"

  Alec burst out laughing. "Amazing how he just got on my good side."

  "To be fair," Demetri argued, "I was high most the time so… yeah, I blame drugs."

  "Sucks he can't blame them anymore," Alec muttered.

  "HA!" Demetri shoved him. "Hilarious, and you're just cranky because you got zero sleep last night, and spilled your coffee on your favorite jeans."

  "Damn it, they were Diesel!"

  "Dude, they're jeans," I said.

  Both guys gaped at me like I'd just announced that I liked to wear leopard leotards and tiaras.

  "What?" I shrugged as my phone buzzed in my pants.

  Dani: Never get between rock stars and their jeans.

  "Uh, sorry?" I offered.

  "Changes for the script." A PA walked up to our group and circled the scene with me and Dani. "You'll be kissing twice here and again in the music video."

  Dani's eyes widened.

  "Uh, music video?"

  Demetri rolled his eyes. "Uh, why else would we be here?"

  "No I mean… why am I in the music video?"

  "Because you're playing me…" Demetri grinned. "… and I'm a rock god, so yeah, you're in the music video."


  "Places!" Jaymeson yelled into his megaphone, which just happened to be near Alec's ear.

  To his credit, he only flinched and gave Jaymeson the finger.

  I would have done a hell of a lot more than that.

  "Whoa, there." Demetri grabbed Dani by her shirt and tugged her back. "That means they're going to start shooting. You can stay back with us."

  Her face reddened.

  Was she embarrassed she would be kissing me?

  "She's with me." I gently grabbed her hand and started to lead her away.

  "What?" Demetri's eyes narrowed. "But you're about to start the scene."

  "She's in the scene."

  "Dancing?" Demetri guessed while Alec and Jaymeson started arguing over something on the script.

  Dani shook her head.

  "Pretending to pour beer?"

  Another shake.

  "Tell me you're a wallflower who sits in the corner. The one with lots of clothes."

  She gulped.

  "Hell, no!" Alec shouted.

  "I think he found out," I whispered to Dani.

  She gripped my hand harder.

  "It's probably best to run and get you into makeup so you don't have to witness a fight. If you witness, you have to testify."

  She giggled.

  We turned and took off for the makeup trailer. I only needed touch ups, but I knew they would probably put a crapload of makeup on her, because one, she was a chick, two, she was supposed to look like a slut — probably why Alec was trying to pull Jaymeson's head off — and three, she had to look smoking.

  Her wide doe eyes stared back at me through the mirror; her lower lip trembled a bit as the makeup artist pulled back her hair and started the very tedious process of shading.

  "You okay?" I asked.

  One nod.

  "Want me to stay?"

  Her shoulders slumped as if she felt bad for asking me to.

  "Actually…" I pulled out a chair next to her and put my hands behind my head. "… I'm a makeup pro. I even know the difference between lipstick and mascara."

  "And yet he makes more than me. Imagine that." Jean, the head makeup artist said under her breath with a low chuckle.

  I fake gasped then grinned. "Jean taught me everything I know."

  "Poor boy cried the first time I put lipstick on him."

  "Jean," I warned.

  "Bawled like a damn baby because it made him look so pretty."

  A burst of laughter came from Dani's direction before she clamped her lips shut.

; "Seriously…" Jean swiped some dark concealer across Dani's cheek and nose. "… finally, I had to tell him it was magic man juice that helped aid in muscle building."

  "I was twelve." I held up my hands. "And you lied!"

  "We caught him trying to steal lipstick from set. When the director cornered him, he started crying and said, 'I just want to be strong!'"

  By now, Dani was full on laughing.

  "Great, any more embarrassing stories you wanna get off your chest, Jean?"

  "Had to pee his pants for a role, and when they tried to attach the pouch to him so that it would look real,, he shouted, 'No, I do all my own stunts. I got this.'"

  My phone buzzed.

  Dani: Tell me you were still twelve.

  I winced. "Yeah, I may have been fourteen."

  Jean chuckled.

  "I should have gotten an Academy Award for that performance, and you know it!" I shouted.

  Jean moved on to the airbrushing; in swift movements, she ran the gun over the front of Dani's face.

  Amazing what contouring did to a woman.

  Hell, it was amazing what it did to a guy.

  Her cheeks were more pronounced, almost sharp. Her nose looked a little more prominent, and her eyes full on sparkled.

  And we were only on the base layer of whatever the hell they were going to do to her.

  "Linc, have you heard from Wardrobe?"

  "No." I licked my lips and pried my gaze away from Dani. "Why?"

  "Well, they said to do her makeup heavy. I don't want it to conflict with her outfit."

  "On it." I grabbed the walkie-talkie and spoke into it. "Wardrobe."

  No one answered.

  "Wardrobe, it's Jean and Linc at Makeup."

  "Wardrobe?" a woman answered.

  "Hey, we need the costume for Party Girl One."

  "Can you send someone to grab it? We're all busy searching for AD2's pyro jeans."

  Dani smirked as if to say, "Told ya."

  I sighed. "On my way." I stood and dropped the walkie into my pocket. "I'll be back. Make her gorgeous, Jean."

  "She already is," Jean scolded.

  "Yeah…" My eyes met Dani's in the mirror. "… I know."

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