A humble heart, p.25
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       A Humble Heart, p.25

         Part #1 of Hollywood Hearts series by R. L. Mathewson
 

  She snuggled into his leg. Edward watched her for a long time. This beautiful woman was sticking by him. She gave him a family, love, and understanding. From day one she treated him like a regular guy. It made his heart swell.

  If possible he loved her even more. She was carrying his children and sticking by him through everything. Neither one of them would ever lead a normal life now. It was impossible, but they were staying together. It made this situation livable. He promised himself their children would lead normal lives. Exhaustion finally caught up with him. He let his head drop back and allowed himself to drift off.

  Dana woke up when she heard a strange sawing noise.

  She looked up to see it was coming from Edward. She sat up and stretched. Her stomach rumbled and she realized she hadn’t eaten since that snack she had when she was cleaning earlier.

  The snacks Edward fixed looked good, but she wanted something heartier. She quietly moved through the house towards the kitchen. One look at the clock had her sighing.

  It was only ten thirty at night. The last couple of days, hell, weeks had been so exhausting. Poor Edward, he was taking the brunt of everything on his shoulders.

  He was taking care of her, the kids, the house, moving by himself, plus his usual hectic schedule. Since he came home he hadn’t had a guy’s night out. She was going to change that. Tomorrow night she was pushing him out of the house. He needed that, deserved it.

  She looked at the calendar. Tomorrow was Friday, a good day for him to get out and unwind and then he could have the guys over sometime this weekend for a game.

  She was sure there would be a game on of some sporting event. She wrote up a list of food to pick up. She would make a huge spread for the guys and take the kids out to a water park or something with Deana’s help and hopefully some security.

  The phone rang. She ran over to it, wishing it to quiet down so it wouldn’t wake up Edward. “Shh, I’m coming,”

  she hissed at the phone. She picked up the phone on the third ring to the sound of a little girl screaming in the background.

  “Hello?” she answered, wondering if it was a prank call.

  “Dana? It’s Jim.”

  “Hey, Jim, is everything okay? Is Cole okay?” Dana asked. Clearly Jim’s daughter Beth wasn’t okay from the sound of it.

  “I’m afraid Beth got a little scared when the cat ran under her bed. She thinks it was a monster and we can’t convince her otherwise. Poor Cole is being such a good sport, but we’re thinking we should bring him home. Beth isn’t going to calm down anytime soon.”

  “I’ll come get him. I could use a good walk,” Dana said.

  “Are you sure?” Jim asked.

  “It’s no problem, Jim. I’ll be there in a few.”

  “Okay, see you then.” Jim hung up.

  Dana scribbled a note. She walked into the living room and placed the note on the cushion next to Edward. She leaned in and kissed his chin. He stirred slightly, but continued to snore.

  She grabbed her cell phone and keys and headed out the door. Of course the media was still set up in front of her house. She was tempted to get in her car, but that would be pointless since they would probably just block her. It was only four houses down. She could be there and back in less than ten minutes.

  “Dana, are you leaving Edward?” a man yelled.

  Cameras were pointed at her and clicking away rapidly, their bright flashes blinding her. She lowered her eyes to the sidewalk in front of her and walked at a quick pace.

  “Do the other girls in Edward’s life make you jealous?”

  “How’s the sex?” another yelled. She bit her lip.

  Paparazzi were known to say some pretty crude and disturbing things hoping to get a rise out of people. She said nothing and continued on.

  “How’s it feel to be a second rate author?”

  “I hear early reviews of your film suck.”

  “I have pictures of Edward getting a blowjob in England, wanna see?”

  “He was caught in a strip joint. I’ve got pictures!”

  “He’s screwing around. Sucks, doesn’t it?”

  In five minutes she was walking up a long winding driveway. She knocked on the door, glad the paparazzi had enough brains not to trespass. Jim opened the door with Cole standing by his side, wide awake and smiling. She saw Diane holding her daughter in the living room. The little girl was screaming at the top of her lungs about the monster.

  “Hi, sweetie, are you ready?” she asked Cole.

  He smiled. “I’m ready, Mommy. I missed you!”

  “I missed you, too!”

  “Sorry about this,” Jim said, looking embarrassed.

  “Don’t worry about it.”

  Jim looked past her towards the media vans that had followed her to the end of his driveway. “Uh, maybe I should walk you both home.”

  “We’ll be fine.”

  He looked unsure. “I don’t know how you do it. I couldn’t get used to having every bit of privacy and simple human freedom taking away.”

  “Thanks a lot, Jim,” she said dryly.

  He chuckled sheepishly. “Sorry.”

  “Bye, guys. Let’s go, buddy,” Dana said. Cole high fived Jim and grabbed his mother’s hand. They walked down the driveway.

  “Are they going to take our picture again?” He pointed to the paparazzi that were going nuts now.

  “I’m afraid so.”

  He shrugged. “It’s okay, Grandma says I’m very cute.”

  She laughed. “You most certainly are.”

  “Where’s Daddy?”

  “Sleeping.”

  “He snores like a bear, Mommy,” Cole said matter-offactly.

  “Okay, just hold my hand and don’t let go.”

  He nodded and tightened his little hand in hers as they stepped onto the sidewalk.

  “Edward let’s you walk by yourself at night, doesn’t he love you?”

  “What are you going to tell him when he’s older? Are you going to tell him you chased off his father?”

  “I hear you won’t let his father see him.”

  “His father doesn’t want him, you must be a real bitch.”

  “Mommy?” Cole said, nervously.

  “It’s okay, honey. Ignore them.”

  “Why do you let them call Edward daddy knowing he doesn’t want them?”

  “I heard Edward say your kids were brats.”

  “Hey, kiddo, are you going to be okay when Edward leaves?”

  She heard Cole start crying. “It’s okay, baby,” she said, trying to get him to walk faster.

  “I just got word that Edward is moving out.”

  Cole stopped short on the sidewalk and looked up at Dana with tears streaming down his face. “Daddy’s leaving?”

  “No honey, they’re lying.”

  “I’ll be good I promise!” he began to wail.

  “Shhh. Cole, Daddy isn’t going anywhere.”

  “No! They said he’s leaving!” He pointed at the mass of paparazzi. “I don’t want daddy to leave! I’ll be good!”

  She went to put her arms around him, but he pushed away from her and ran. She ran after him only to watch him trip and fall down. The next second he was screaming bloody murder. Dana rolled him over. Cole’s hands were bleeding. She looked down his body, thankful for once for the bright lights their cameras produced that allowed her to see that his pants were torn. His knees were skinned badly and bleeding.

  She tried to pick him up. He pushed away from her kicking and screaming in a full tantrum like nothing she’d ever seen from him before. “Daddy! I want Daddy!”

  Chapter 14

  The house phone ringing woke Edward. He reached out blindly and picked up the phone. “Hello?” he said groggily.

  “Hey, Edward, it’s Jim. I’m just calling to make sure they got back safely.”

  “What?” Edward asked confused.

  “Dana and Cole, aren’t they there?”

  Edward’s eyes shot open he loo
ked around. “Dana?”

  he yelled. No answer.

  “No, they’re not here.”

  “Oh no, Edward, they left here twenty minutes ago.”

  “Shit!” Edward said.

  “They were walking.” Jim said.

  “Thanks, Jim.” Edward hung up and saw her note on the couch next to him. “Damn it, Dana.” She should have woken him up. When he got his hands on her he was going to spank her ass. He opened the door and ran down the driveway onto the sidewalk, ignoring the paparazzi that waited for him.

  About twenty yards ahead of him on the sidewalk was another large group of reporters. They were having a field day with something. He could hear a child screaming. It was Cole, he realized. His little boy’s screams made him run faster. He saw Dana kneeling over him.

  Edward dropped to his knees in front of Cole. The little boy’s eyes were closed. “Daddy!” he screamed. “I want my daddy!”

  “I’m right here, Cole.” Edward said.

  Cole’s eyes shot open and he practically jumped into Edward’s arms. He stood up with Cole firmly attached to him. He reached back and grabbed Dana’s hand. They made their way back home with Cole sobbing hysterically into his neck.

  Edward watched silently as Dana cleaned and kissed every scrape on Cole’s little body. He was so exhausted from crying by the time she tucked him into bed that he was asleep before his head hit the pillow. Edward had to promise him damn near a hundred times at least that he wasn’t leaving him.

  Dana walked past him to their room. He followed her.

  “Edward, I would appreciate it if you saved the lecture for later. I know I should have told you I was going. I’m sorry it was stupid of me to think a simple walk to get our son was okay. I just want to soak in a hot tub and have a good cry before we have this talk.”

  He nodded and backed off, allowing her to do what she needed. He was pissed, but he wasn’t a jerk. He could tell she was pretty shaken up from the experience and he wasn’t going to push it. He watched her grab a silk teddy and a pair of lacey panties and head out of the room. “I thought you were taking a bath?” he asked.

  “I am,” she said. He followed her curiously as she went into her office and grabbed a copy of the script for their new movie. Then she went to the far wall of the room and pushed a piece of wall paneling aside, revealing a small electronic key pad.

  Dana pressed the code in and waited for the hidden door to slide open. She always felt 007 when she did this.

  This room was the main reason she purchased the house.

  Not that she would tell anyone. She had no idea it was here until the homeowner took her aside and asked her if she liked baths.

  At first she thought the man was coming on to her, but he was very serious. Turns out the man absolutely adored baths. He was an investment banker and had a great deal of stress so he liked to sit in a hot bath an hour each day.

  With a wife and four daughters he never got the chance to have a relaxing bath so he had this huge bathroom built. He decided to guard it like a treasured secret. He wanted one room that was totally for him and a huge bathtub he didn’t have to worry about hair clogging it.

  If anyone asked Dana, she would tell them she bought the house because it had more rooms than she or her children could ever use, that part was true and as well as the brand new roof, the pool was well cared for as was the lawn, the windows were double insulated to keep in cool air, all the appliances were brand new and energy savers, and the neighborhood was one of the safest in California.

  But the truth was she bought the house because of this room.

  As an avid bather she fell in love with the room instantly.

  She actually hugged the guy when he showed it to her. To the left of the room was the largest Jacuzzi tub she had ever seen. She liked to call it her “little pool”. There was a toilet and sink to the far right, black to match the Jacuzzi. A huge flat screen was on wall above the tub’s faucet. It had a killer sound system, which she used often to relax and listen to music. A double mini fridge was custom made and adjacent to the tub, which she filled with juices, waters and most importantly pints of Ben and Jerry ice cream. She had framed posters of all her favorite movies hung on the walls.

  It was the ultimate relaxation room, well, in her opinion it was.

  Edward stepped into the room. His mouth was open and his eyes were bugging out. The room was beyond cool, for a bathroom that is, ah hell, for any room. He checked out the room and bent down to check out the mini fridge.

  Everything was impressive. His eyes were drawn to the posters that lined the wall.

  “The posters?” he asked while he checked out each one.

  “They’re from some of my favorite movies,” she said.

  There was one from her movie of him and Jennifer. He wasn’t surprised about that, she was proud of the book and had every right to be. The movie was still number one at the box office. What did surprise him was a poster of him from an earlier movie. It was the movie that gave him his real start, made him famous.

  She followed his gaze and shrugged indifferently. “It was a good movie.”

  Dana turned her back on him, allowing him to take in the room as she filled up the tub. She picked up the stereo’s remote and pressed play. Alternative rock came on. She pulled off her clothes and turned around expecting to see Edward leaving. Instead he was already naked.

  Her eyebrows came together.

  “What? You’re not the only one that could use a good bath,” he teased. “Why didn’t you tell me about this room before?”

  “It’s my secret room, duh,” she said with an exaggerated eye roll that earned a chuckle.

  Dana grabbed a juice and stepped into the tub. Edward stepped in cautiously. He sat down and leaned back. The tub edges had the perfect incline. Yeah, the guy who built this room was a genius. They sat at opposite ends relaxing.

  She sipped her juice and read the script.

  She giggled at something funny.

  “What?”

  “Nothing, I really like this script. I think it will be fun.”

  “It has some pretty steamy sex scenes,” he said casually.

  “Where?”

  “Page fifty-seven,” he said, watching her.

  She quickly flipped through the script and read. He watched her cheeks flush. “According to Amy that’s the first scene we’re doing. They want to do all the love scenes before you start showing. There are a few scenes where you’re stomach will show those will be done soon too.”

  “Oh. Interesting,” she said nervously.

  He moved through the water to her. “Hey, it will be okay.

  You’ve done it before and it came out great.”

  “Yeah, but I wasn’t turned on doing it. I didn’t embarrass myself.”

  He smiled hugely. “You’re afraid you’ll be so turned on with me that you’ll scream my name at the top of your lungs?”

  “You think you’re being cute, but yes,” she said, feeling mortified.

  “It will be okay. I’ll make sure we have fun. I won’t let you take it too seriously,” he said, settling next to her so he could put an arm around her.

 
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