Authors: Audrey Carlan
“Millie, that’s none of your business, but no, I’m not. And I’m not going to.”
“You might change your mind when I send you a picture of this cowboy. I was never into cowboys myself, but something about him is familiar, speaks to me in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling off because the young man gives me a déjà vu vibe. Hmm, no matter. You’re plane from Miami to Dallas will be booked tomorrow. Do you want to stay a few days in Miami, Dallas, or go home before you head to Texas?”
That thought made me smile huge. So huge that, when Wes walked into the room with a cup of coffee, he stopped in his tracks, tilted his head and an eyebrow rose in a silent question. “What?” he mouthed, but I shook my head grinning like a loon.
“Millie, I’d like to stay in Malibu for the few days before I have to meet my next client in Dallas. I’ll fly out of LAX.”
Wes did a little hip sway and ab curl move that made me want to remove his boxer briefs and suck on his cock. Straight up.
“Okay doll-face, I’ll set up the arrangements. It’s good you’re coming home for a bit. Let’s do lunch.”
“Sounds good. Love you.”
“Yes dear. And I you.”
Millie hung up, and I clicked off the cell and turned to my guy. “After this week, I’ll be in Malibu for six days. Wonder if there’s a place I could stay.”
With an absolutely blank face, Wes responded, “You have an apartment.”
I cringed. My apartment. I needed to just empty that place and put my stuff in storage. As a matter of fact, maybe I should add that on my list of things to do while I was in LA. No reason to pay rent for a place I hadn’t stepped foot in for the last seven months.
“Baby, I thought—” I was cut off by Wes slamming me into the bed.
“Gotcha!” He kissed me full, deep, and so completely I forgot I was supposed to be getting up to prep for rehearsal. “I so had you.” He nuzzled my nose with his and laid a series of sloppy, wet kisses on my neck. “Of course I want you with me. My parents have been bugging the crap out of me to get you back.”
“Get me back? You never had me in the first place.”
He sat up and placed his hands on my ribs where he pushed at the hem of my camisole and lifted the fabric inch by inch. “I had you.” I shook my head. “You were mine even then.” Another shake. “No?” Instead of pushing up the top and going for my needy, achy tits, he did the exact opposite and tickled me. His fingers dug into the sensitive area between each rib, causing loud bursts of laughter. “Admit you were mine!” he demanded. It was hard to hear over the peals of laughter exploding from my body. I shook my head and tried to grab his wiggling fingers. I couldn’t breathe. My body was no longer my own, but dammit, he was right. Ever since the first, he had me.
“Okay, okay,” I begged.
He shook his head. “Not good enough.” He pulled my hands to rest above my head. “Say it.”
I took about twenty deep breaths to try and stop the wracking, jittering feeling strumming along each nerve. Then I looked up into his eyes, and somehow I could tell that whatever answer I gave was really important to him. “You had me in January, Wes,” I choked out, my voice filled with emotion. “I didn’t want to believe it. Tried so hard to deny it. Shove it in a closet, high on a shelf where no one would find it. Not even me. Especially not you. But these things have a way of breaking free. I’m so glad they did.”
A single tear tracked down the side of my face. Wes leaned forward and licked it. “I love the taste of your tears. And you know what?”
“What,” I choked out wiping at my cheeks while his gaze focused solely on me.
“You had me too, sweetheart. Even then.”
Yesterday’s rehearsal was brutal. It didn’t help that Wes was there watching, growling, sending daggers toward Anton every time he rolled his body against mine and placed his hands on my hips. The role of seductress in this video was to entice the man, make him bleed with desire for her. Now secure in my own skin, Wes’s love gave me the confidence I needed to get past another man’s touch. Simply put, I was on fire. Scalding hot and burning bright. Maria was beside herself, and that happiness continued through each step as we filmed.
“Yes, yes, cut!” The cameras stopped rolling. Anton’s hands were digging in my hips, his face near my belly in a very suggestive pose. He popped back as if he wasn’t just rolling his nose from my knee, up a stocking-clad thigh pushing the tiny dress up with his teeth. Yet when they called
, it was done.
. Back to chill, friendly Anton who made a point to keep his distance. That plan worked because the fear of his touch, the anxiety I’d felt most of the month had dissipated, having mostly worked its way out.
Maria was right. Talking to Gin by phone, and going over it with Wes—two people that knew me in a way the others didn’t—helped get me through. I figured out that it wasn’t just about the touch from another man that triggered the response. Guilt drove the flashbacks, the anxiety, the niggling fear that crept into my experience with Anton. In the end, I had to accept that I’d made the right call. When it came down to it, saving everyone else with the decision I’d made, essentially saved myself. I could never have lived with the knowledge that those I cared for and thousands of people in need would have also suffered the consequences.
I walked off the set to the area where the stylist was. She held up the last outfit. This was going to be the test of all tests. A designer that Anton knew made the garment—if you could call it that. Essentially, finely woven pieces of fabric were tacked together in a patchwork that made it easy to tear. The makeup artist and costume designer fussed over me while Wes stood to the side and held his tongue. As a man who made movies and dealt with actors every day, you’d think he’d be a lot more considerate and accepting of the fact that I was playing a character and not think too much about it. Totally wrong. He kept quiet, a solid, respectful professional in the industry but I knew it cost him. The tight way he held his frame, the thin line of lips, the way his eyes flicked from naked pieces of my flesh to where Anton had been touching them. All these were signs that Wes was barely handling it.
“You know you can go back to the hotel. We’ll shoot the last scene, and we can have dinner with everybody,” I tried once again to get him to leave not really wanting it.
Wes shook his head. “Sweetheart, I’m here. Just do your job and we’ll take it from there.”
His tone was flat holding no emotion. I tried a different tactic. “I’m really glad you’ve stayed. Made it easier.” I blinked away the sensation of tears.
He came to me, lifted up my chin, leaned forward and kissed me lightly. The makeup artist behind me groaned and cursed. I smiled against Wes’s mouth. “You’re going to get me in trouble.”
Finally he grinned and waggled those brows. “I like getting you into trouble. I’m sure there are all kinds of ways we can get into more of it.”
Snickering, I pushed him back, sent an apologetic glance to the makeup artist and blew Wes a kiss. Wes licked his lips and petted the plump bottom one with his thumb. I loved that. So damn sexy.
. The final scene is a doozy. You ready for it?”
Wes would lose his mind when he watched what was planned for the finale. “Ready as I’ll ever be,” I confirmed but wanted to add,
for a woman who was about to be naked in front of room filled with dancers, crew, Anton and my man
. Briefly, I considered telling Wes what was going to happen in the scene, but decided against it. If we could get it done in one shot, the entire thing would play out organically, and he’d have no choice but to deal with it.
Everyone knew that it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. This was absolutely one of those times.
The stylist walked me to the new stage, hemming and hawing over the pieces of fabric, glitter, and jewels. When I say jewels, I mean those bedazzled rhinestones with the flat bottoms and the multicolored tops. The tips of my breasts were covered in gemstones that were glued in a way that the nipple and areola were covered but the fleshy globe was enhanced. A tiny thong, again made of sparkly gems, and a line of diamonds around each hip covered my hairless sex. Another thing Wes didn’t know about yet, as we’d done that horrific part in the private bathroom while he had lunch. All of that was hidden beneath the slip of fabric that really couldn’t be called a dress. Especially since I knew it was going to be ripped to smithereens in a couple of seconds once those cameras started rolling.
Carefully, I climbed up onto my pedestal. The heavy beat of Anton’s song surrounded us. Lighting flashed, blinked in a strobe effect making it hard to see without blinking. The wind machine hit me with that soft sensuous flow making my hair move wild and free. The loose curls drifted in the current of air in what I’d hoped gave the appealing result Anton and his team desired.
Wes stood in the darkness directly in front of me. I could primarily see his face, mostly those green eyes. His arms were crossed over his chest and his gaze focused on me. The room fell away. Dancers mingled around me as I pumped my shoulders, swayed my hips, and inhaled and exhaled as Maria had taught me to in order to achieve the breathy affect that made men stupid. Her words, not mine.
Anton’s character started in the back, I felt his hand stroke up the side of my body. I closed my eyes and opened them again, seeing nothing but Wes, and what I saw ricocheted up my spine and landed heavily in my gut. Lust. Carnal need so strong it hardened my nipples, the jewels pinching favorably. In the middle of a scene with a hundred people around me, Wes lit up my body like a torch. Anton continued to dance around me, touching me, lip syncing, begging. Every so often he’d touch a piece of the outfit and make a point by ripping a shred off. I jolted as instructed, as if he was tearing off pieces of my armor. I guess that was the abstract view. Him removing the armor of his seductress so she would be his.
The dancers dressed in swaths of black, gaping holes showing glittery skin whirled around me like phantoms. The metaphor in the choreography that Maria crafted alongside Heather’s suggestions was truly one of a kind. As the song came to a crescendo, the dancers crowded around me. The cameras were at every angle. At a hard thrust of Anton’s hips as he stood directly in front of me, each dancer tore away a piece of my outfit, and the rest fell away, leaving me in my jewelry lingerie. Anton dropped to his knees, I acted confident and powerful, really getting into the part. When Anton lifted his hands up, as if in prayer, begging to be mine, I cupped his cheek with one hand pressed the other against his chest, and the camera zoomed in close. With measured movements, I puckered my lips and mouthed the last words of his song perfectly in sync with the female voice on the soundtrack.
Then, as the cameras backed up, I crossed an arm over my breasts, shoved him back, and moved the other hand down to the apex of my thighs. Then I closed my eyes tilted my head to the side and down. The lights faded out.
“Cut, cut. That’s a wrap!” the director called out, a robe was thrown over my shoulders, and I was in Anton’s arms.
, you were a genius!” He kissed my cheeks, my forehead, temples, hairline, and finally, cupping both cheeks, he stared deeply in my eyes his intent clear. He leaned forward and kissed me softly on the lips. A mere whisper of a kiss but it was enough. The best part of the kiss was the fact that there was absolutely no fear. No flashback, just the comfort of a friend congratulating me. He held onto my biceps but then dropped them suddenly and a grin played against his features.
“I think that’s quite enough of you touching my girl, eh, amigo?” Wes spoke in a monotone.
Anton turned around and pulled Wes into a man-hug complete with hard slaps to the back. “You’re good for her, amigo. Now we celebrate!” One arm across my shoulders and another at my waist nestled me between Anton and Wes even in spite of Wes’s earlier warning remark. Anton didn’t seem to care; he lived life in the moment, and ignored Wes’s initial pissy attitude. That alone made Anton a special man. He lived life in the present, enjoyed his friends, his work, and celebrated it as often as he could.
Heather and Maria met us at the edge of the set with hugs and a bottle of Cristal. “Big spender,” I noted dryly yet sipping the awesome liquid, letting the golden, bubbly nectar swirl against my taste buds and dance on my tongue.
“You were amazing!” Heather pulled me into a tight hug.
“I had a great teacher,” I beamed at Maria, unable to contain my enthusiasm. Having this video play all over the world, knowing that people everywhere would see me…there really wasn’t a way to describe it. Amazing. Wonderful. Unbelievable. It was all of that and more. Couple it with having Wes, and three new friends, the world as I knew it rocked!
Bags packed, TV on low as the news reported the happenings around Miami. I zipped up the last bag filled with all the clothes Heather and Anton had picked for me. I’d take them to California and put them in storage along with all the other crap I needed to box up and move out of the Cracker Jack box apartment I rented.
I thought about the last week of my time here. Like Hawaii, one of the best of my life. Wes’s visit and our new-found relationship and commitment to one another was the highlight. He’d left the day after we finished filming on the video. Said he’d do his best to take the days off that I had available but would likely have to work a little. Mostly in his home office. For me, I only cared about being with him. Resting up for the next job.
Dallas, Texas and an oil tycoon. I didn’t know much about what he wanted me to do other than pretend to be his long lost sister. One he’d never met. So apparently, my appearance didn’t matter, only that my name and birthday were the same as hers. It took me a few days to realize that Millie had not mentioned his name. Turned out, he’s Maxwell Cunningham. I did some quick research on the cowboy. He owned fifty-one percent of Cunningham Oil & Gas, one of the top twenty-five oil companies in the world. For a man only thirty years old, it was quite an accomplishment. However, during my research I learned that he inherited his half of the company only a year ago. It didn’t say who the other forty-nine percent belonged to, but I knew in most giant companies, smaller percentages were often owned by the investors. Either way, he was paying me to be his sister, Mia Saunders. It was definitely odd. When I pulled up his photo, I felt as if I’d met him before. Made me wonder if he and I had been at one of the same swanky shindigs over the past six months.