Capture, p.28
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       Capture, p.28

         Part #1 of Seaside Pictures series by Rachel Van Dyken
 
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

  Lincoln

  "Cut!" Jay shouted for the five hundredth time. "Look, Lincoln, you're supposed to be trying to maul the girl. This isn't your first kiss. You aren't asking for permission. What the hell is wrong with you?"

  Several things. One being that we were shooting a bedroom scene, and I was with Dani's sister. It felt so incredibly wrong.

  I'd never struggled with acting.

  Not until now.

  "Head in the game," Jay snapped. "Some of us want to go home for dinner tonight."

  "Sorry, Jay." I shook my head, clearing my thoughts yet again as the scene was slated.

  Pris was in her bra and underwear. I was supposed to pick her up, slam her against the wall, then try to seduce her, and then bail.

  Ha.

  They do say that the truth is stranger than fiction. What are the odds that they'd changed my schedule again, and I had to film this scene right after my issue with Dani?

  With a deep breath, I focused on pushing away every thought of last night, keeping only one.

  The hungry look Dani had given me.

  I used that look and attacked Pris with everything I had in me, delivered my lines, and when Jay said, "Cut," I prayed it was enough.

  "I'd ask you if you were sure you like women," Jay said once the scene was over, and we were semi-alone, "but clearly you do since you were hitting on my little sister last night."

  "Not technically a blood relative," I muttered under my breath.

  Jaymeson grabbed my shoulder and flipped me around. "What was that?"

  "Hit him." Demetri's voice echoed through the set. "But don't mess him up too much. I want at him too."

  "Get in line," Alec's voice added.

  I groaned as both members of AD2 stalked toward me, their eyes crazy with rage, matching Jaymeson's obvious mood.

  "What?" I looked between the three of them. "Are we going to rumble or something? It's not what it looks like."

  "So the kiss was a figment of my imagination?" Jay asked.

  "No." I swallowed uncomfortably. "But the reason for it… Look, it's not like I seduced her or anything."

  "Did Lincoln Greene say he didn't seduce her?" Demetri asked aloud, slamming Alec in the chest. "He does realize that by breathing he seduces women all over the world."

  "Very funny. My breathing?" I rolled my eyes. "Really?"

  "A girl bought your sweat on eBay for a grand," Demetri said in a deadpan voice. "I rest my case."

  "Look." I held out my hands. "I don't want to fight. You guys should at least be happy that whatever was going on between us, it's over. I messed up. She's pissed, and I'm pretty sure if I was ever to get close enough to kiss her again, she'd probably bite my face off." My shoulders sagged. "She even flipped me off."

  "Ha." Demetri laughed. "That's my girl."

  Alec glared. "You need to stop teaching her things."

  "What?" Demetri lifted his shoulders in a lazy shrug. "Either that or knee him in the balls. Clearly she's been listening to my advice."

  "Demetri and advice…" Jaymeson sighed. "… two words that should never go together in a sentence. Almost like ketchup and bunny rabbits."

  "Drugs and alcohol," Alec added helpfully then winked. "Oh, I'm sorry. Is it too soon?"

  "Asses." Demetri popped his knuckles. "All of you."

  "Good talk, guys." I slowly started backing away. "Now if you're done chewing on my ass, I have to go meet with my publicist, and I'd like to have some ass left for her to chew off so I can actually walk home without it tonight."

  Jaymeson snorted. "Believe me, she's not going to be pissed. What happened in those pictures is media gold. If I didn't know you better, I'd think you planned it."

  I felt myself pale. "I would never—"

  "I know." Jaymeson sighed. "I know."

  Demetri narrowed his eyes at me. "I'll be watching you. I don't care that you got her talking again. You hurt her. And seals. There's more pictures where that came from."

  "Hold on." Jay held up his hand. "What? Talking? What the hell are you guys talking about?"

  Shit.

  Demetri closed his eyes and cursed while Alec quickly flashed me a similar oh shit look.

  "Speak," Jaymeson barked. "One of you idiots tell me what the hell Demetri's talking about."

  Demetri backed away slowly. "Dani talked to Lincoln."

  Jaymeson turned toward me so fast I almost stumbled backward. "What the hell, Linc? And you didn't think to tell me?" He gripped the front of my shirt.

  I pushed him back. "It wasn't my news to tell."

  "He's got you there," Demetri said under his breath.

  "Not now!" Jaymeson snapped. "Where is she?"

  I frowned. "At the house."

  "With Zane?" Jaymeson said, his voice rising in pitch. "You left an overly emotional teenager alone, at my house, with Zane Andrews?"

  It was as if the movie of Zane's many sins flashed before us. He'd never been seen doing things, but it had been whispered. And women didn't just adore him; they worshipped him, even said there was a magnetic pull about him that nobody with ovaries could ignore.

  "Dude," Demetri's eyes widened. "I've never actually met him in person before, but even I'm not stupid enough to leave an innocent underage girl with him!"

  "Shit!" we all said in unison as we ran off set and into the parking lot. I jumped into my truck just as Demetri and Alec got in the front seat. Jaymeson barely made it into the truck bed before I was peeling out of the parking lot, and driving like hell was licking my heels all the way back to his beach house.

  "If this ends badly, you end badly," Alec said in a deathly hollow voice.

  Great. Angry Demetri I could deal with. Even an angry Jaymeson didn't seem half-bad — maybe that was the soft English accent? But Alec? Well, let's just say I didn't want to be on his bad side. There was something very dark about him. Let's just say it seemed like he had the potential to kick my ass. We were matched in height and strength, but definitely not matched in crazy.

  I pulled up to the beach house, didn't even turn off the truck, and ran like hell up the few stairs and almost through the closed front door. At the last minute, I remembered that I'd need to turn the knob unless I wanted to just burst through it and make a Lincoln-sized body-print through the wood.

  Once I was inside, I yelled her name.

  Alec and Demetri collided into my body from behind.

  Jaymeson's many bloody hells clued me into him being last.

  "Shhh," Zane said as he slowly, languidly, got up from the couch and stretched his arms above his head in a catlike motion. He was shirtless, and I was going to kill him and bury the body in Demetri's house so he'd get blamed for the crime. "She's sleeping."

  "Zane…" I croaked out his name with death on my mind. "… if you touched her…"

  Zane's face broke out into an amused grin. "Does holding her hand while she cries over accidently grabbing a burnt popcorn kernel count?"

  "Huh?" Demetri asked.

  "Zane Andrews." Zane held out his hand to Demetri.

  Demetri stared at it like it was diseased. That was one thing I liked about Demetri. He was friendly, once you earned his trust, and only then.

  "I know your kind," he spat.

  I held my laugh in while Alec walked around us and peered over the couch. A smile formed across his lips as he stepped back and surveyed the kitchen, then finally glanced back at us. "She's sleeping."

  "I just said that." Zane yawned and then stretched again. I'd be lying if I said he wasn't a really built dude. No wonder girls threw underwear at him during his concerts. "I drugged her."

  "You what?" Jay shouted, pushing through Alec and Demetri.

  "Shhh!" we all said at once, waving our hands in the air.

  "You what?" His whisper was more of a whisper-yell, but whatever.

  "First, I lulled her in with talk of reality TV," Zane said in a bored voice as he made his way closer to us, "then I promised her popcorn, which was foll
owed by ice cream, chocolate, and finally we made s'mores in the fireplace." He peered back toward the couch. "Poor little thing was exhausted after all that eating…"His eyes narrowed in my direction. "… and crying."

  You could hear a freaking pin drop in that room as all eyes turned to me.

  "What?" I threw up my hands. "Seriously? I kiss her back, and you're pissed, then I tell her we can't—" I stopped talking.

  "Can't?" Demetri tapped his chin. "Make sushi?"

  "Can't… you know." I scratched nervously at my arm then sat on one of the barstools. "The point is, I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. I'm trying to do what's best for her."

  Dani made a little mewling noise in her sleep.

  My heart clenched as I glanced over in her direction. It wasn't until I realized everyone was silent again that I looked at the guys.

  They were… intrigued. As if they could read every damn emotion on my face, and see that being in the same room with her caused physical pain — especially since I couldn't pull her into my arms and apologize. Again.

  "Don't you have a dinner meeting?" Demetri pointed out.

  "Shit." I jumped off the stool. "Yes."

  Awkwardly, I made my way toward the door as the guys continued talking about Dani as if she wasn't in the room sleeping. Damn it. I wanted to stay. To make sure she was okay, but most of all I wanted to double-check that Zane hadn't tried anything with her.

  I wouldn't put it past him.

  Then again, Zane really wasn't the type to poach on another man's territory. I groaned aloud. Was that how I viewed her? My territory?

  A headache grew at my temples as I jumped into my running truck and made my way downtown.

  It was only eight at night.

  But it may as well have been midnight. I was exhausted and knew I needed more energy than I could muster, especially if I was going to have to deal with my publicist.

  She never slept.

  She rarely ate carbs, meaning she was always cranky.

  And she had to whiten her teeth on a daily basis because of the amount of wine and coffee she drank to keep herself from falling asleep during the day, and force herself to fall into a drunken stupor at night.

  My phone buzzed in my pocket. I read the text at the stoplight.

  Cameron: You're late.

  Lincoln: Be right there.

  I prayed for patience as I pulled into Seaside Brewery and parked the truck. All I needed to do was make sure to jump through her hoops, then I could go home and down some Nyquil to force myself into sleep.

 
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