Capture, p.36
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       Capture, p.36

         Part #1 of Seaside Pictures series by Rachel Van Dyken


  I didn't realize how much of a creature of habit I was until Dani started working for me. It was semi-embarrassing to give her daily lists of my weird quirks that, up until now, I'd never realized were even odd.

  I only wanted my blinds open in the morning. I had to have them closed, blanketing me in darkness around six at night if I was still on set. The Today Show always had to be playing when I walked in. And coffee needed to be available at all times.

  Not too bad, if you asked me, but then, the whole Skittles thing was next on the list. I needed Skittles at all times. And if my bowl for some reason became empty, I felt… panicked. Great, so Skittles were my comfort food.

  Add in only two brands of bottled water I'd drink.

  And the special laundry detergent, and I seriously felt like a freaking diva. I was trying to rewrite my list for her for the next day, crossing things out, trying to make myself seem less like a tyrant, more easygoing, when she burst into my trailer with a bag of hot, steaming food.

  "Please," I said in a hoarse voice, "let that be a hamburger and fries!"

  Dani gave me a tired smile and placed the brown sack on the table. "Go crazy." With a huff, she sat on the couch and held her head in her hands. "Hey, if I asked for a thirty-minute break, would you fire me?"

  "You haven't taken a break all day?" I glanced at the clock on the wall. "Dani, it's nearing two in the afternoon. You started work at six and haven't stopped moving since."

  She let out a quiet yawn. "I know, but Jay needed me today."

  "Come again?"

  "My brother-in-law," she repeated, "needed me because his assistant's sick or something."

  "Jay's assistant—" I laughed. "—isn't sick."


  "No. Because Jay's assistant doesn't exist. He's never had an assistant."

  "No!" Dani let out a pitiful groan. "No, no, no." She punched the couch. "So I've been at his beck and call for no apparent reason? I kept praying his assistant would have a miraculous recovery! I was on my knees, Linc!"

  I burst out laughing. "Seems to me like he's trying to keep you too busy and tired to be with me."

  Dani curled up on the couch and laid her head on the pillow, tucking her hands under her cheek. "Well, he succeeded. I'm exhausted and hungry."

  With a sigh, I opened the bag of fries and lifted one to her lips. "Eat."

  She opened her mouth.

  And ended up eating my entire lunch.

  Not that I cared. Feeding her was… kind of nice. In fact, just having her near me was nice. It calmed me better than any sort of yoga shit or alcohol. Her presence alone was enough to make my head clear.

  "Thanks, Linc," she whispered, her eyes closed. "You didn't have to feed me."

  "But I wanted to." I kissed her forehead, my lips lingering, tingling with the need to taste her, lick the salt from her lips, do anything but pull away and go back to work.

  "Small nap?" she asked, eyes still closed.

  "Take as long as you need. I pay you. Jay doesn't." I kissed her one last time and made my way out of the trailer, body aching, heart clenching. When had it happened? How had a small, seventeen-year-old girl wiggled her way into my life in the short span of two weeks?

  Panic set in when I realized we'd only film for another two months, and then I'd be out of Seaside.

  I glanced back at the trailer. Something told me that wasn't going to happen, and that Seaside was going to claim one more from Hollywood. Huh, maybe there was something in the water.

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