Capture, p.17
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       Capture, p.17

         Part #1 of Seaside Pictures series by Rachel Van Dyken


  I'd messed up.


  And I'd done plenty of stupid shit in my life, shit that could have landed me in prison or at least on probation.

  If there was a list of the many sins of Lincoln Greene, her name would be at the top of it, circled in red pen, with the word LUST written in giant, all-capital letters next to it.


  I downed the last of my bottled water and tossed it in the trash while I waited for Pris and Jaymeson to finish the rest of the house scene, where the love fest between her and her real husband, Alec, had started.

  My hands shook as I checked my watch, waiting for the damn day to end. I didn't want to have to see Dani. Seeing her would cause me to do something else stupid, like tell her I wanted to kiss her again.

  Or worse, actually follow through without warning and scare the crap out of her.

  Who did that? Just mauled a girl because he couldn't control himself? The last time I'd lost control like that had been in the sixth grade when someone called my mom a whore.

  Granted, it had been true. It had been all over the papers.

  But still.

  It had pissed me off, so I beat the kid senseless, and when the teacher pulled me off him, I simply shrugged and said, "Should we go to the principal's office now?"

  I had been a cocky little shit.

  Acting had helped me grow out of some of the anger I'd felt at having such a public life. Weird how sometimes the cause can end up having a different effect.

  "Hey!" Alec jogged over to me. Great, the absolute last person I wanted to talk to. He might as well be Dani's father with how protective he was of her. Almost as bad as Demetri, just less vocal about it.

  Demetri told you he was going to shoot you then pulled the trigger.

  Alec pulled the trigger first then said, "Oh, by the way, you're dead."

  "She's seventeen." His first words.

  "I know how old she is." I folded my arms across my chest. "I'm also aware she's a female. That was what you were going to say next, right? She's seventeen, underage, a female, off limits?"

  His gaze narrowed. "Don't screw with her."

  I rolled my eyes. "I'm an actor. I acted. That's my job, Alec." The lie tasted bitter in my mouth; my body screamed in outrage at the outright ridiculousness of the words pouring out. "She's just a girl."

  "Really?" If anything Alec looked surprised as his blue eyes widened a bit. "That's all she is to you?"

  "I'm her boss." I swallowed and looked away again. Thank God, Jaymeson was finishing up with his last line. "She's a great girl, but she's just a kid. Now, can you please stop thinking about where you're going to bury my body?"

  "Seals." Demetri said from behind me. "I had some plans drawn up, paid a pretty penny for them too. Basically, you get eaten…"

  I sighed.

  "… and die," he finished.

  "Good talk, guys, as always."

  "Where's Dani?" Demetri ignored me and looked around.

  "Last I saw she was—" Shit. Definitely not watching the scene a foot away from me.

  Swallowing, she tucked her blonde hair behind her ear and gave us all a timid wave, then looked left, right, almost doing a little circle like she was confused, and walked off.

  "Think she heard?" I whispered.

  Demetri braced as if he was going to run after her, but Alec tugged him back.

  "And if she did?" Alec asked. "What's it to you? She's just a kid, remember? Or were you lying?"

  "And before you answer…" Demetri crossed his arms. "… seals, remember the seals."

  "How?" I pushed away from them. "All I want to know is how the hell your wives live with you."

  "Easy." Demetri smirked. "We're really good in bed. Any more questions? Oh, and the answer's no, I won't be giving you pointers, but if you want to know how to piss a girl off, pretty sure you just did it."

  "Can't win for losing," I mumbled then took off after Dani.

  I didn't have to go far. She was huddled on the steps of my trailer. I took a few cautious steps toward her.

  Dani's head jerked up, and a smile flashed across her face. She typed on her phone then stood.

  Dani: Trailer's locked, need to grab my purse so I can go home. Unless you need me for something else?

  I did.

  In fact, I wanted to make a list, and at the top of it? Making out like a teenager, something I hadn't done in years. Why make out when most girls I'd been with had been so aggressive the kissing had lasted maybe five minutes, and suddenly my pants were on the floor, and their tops were flying onto the nearest piece of furniture?

  There was no savoring.

  But Dani? I wanted to learn to savor.


  "Um, no." I shoved my hands in my pockets, my fingers coming into contact with my wallet and the tickets to Newport Aquarium my publicist had given me a few weeks ago.

  She'd wanted me to go when I had a day's break from filming. Something about Shamu being back, and it being good PR to be friendly to the animals.

  But I had a very serious whale… thing.

  As in, I was a bit terrified of them.

  So I'd told her she'd have to send someone else.

  Dani started to walk off without her purse.

  "Wait!" I quickly ran into my trailer, grabbed it for her then handed it over, all the while wondering how I was going to get her to spend more time with me.

  She turned, her eyes cautious.

  "The Newport Aquarium, how far is it?"

  She frowned then started typing on her phone again.

  Dani: A few hours, why?

  "We need to go."

  Yeah I just said we.

  Dani: We?

  I nodded. "It's a PR thing. I don't have any filming for two days, so I thought you could take me and help me."

  Dani: You need help driving?

  My body felt itchy as I tried to think of a good excuse.

  "No." I cleared my throat. "Not like that. It's just never smart for me to go out by myself. If I'm recognized and not with someone, I usually get mauled, but if people assume you're my girlfriend…"

  Her eyes went completely dead.

  As in the light that I'd somehow left there after she'd overheard me call her a girl — vanished.

  She shook her head no.

  "But…" I licked my lips. "… I'm paying you. Being my assistant is your job, and that includes doing things that sometimes you don't want to do."

  I was actually blackmailing her to go to the aquarium with me — to see a whale that had the first name Killer, and all because I wanted to make it right.

  Or kiss her?

  Or just spend time with her?

  Hell, I didn't even know anymore.

  My phone buzzed.

  I looked down.

  Dani: I'm only saying yes because I don't want you to fire me.

  I groaned aloud. "Dani, I'm not going to fire you."

  Dani: Pick me up tomorrow at six. We'll take my car. Unless you wanted to hire some sort of limo to cart your ass everywhere?

  I grinned at her limo comment.

  "Would that make it easier for you to ride in the car?" I asked honestly.

  She hesitated then rolled her eyes and typed more on her phone.

  Dani: All cars suck. But I've never ridden in a limo so jury's still out. Tomorrow.

  When I looked up, she was already walking away.

  Without missing a beat, I clicked the home button on my phone and spoke. "Siri, what's the closest limo service?"

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