A humble heart, p.4
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       A Humble Heart, p.4

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

  Edward held up his hand. “We’re supposed to talk about the book.”

  Dana hid her computer under the couch and walked towards the door. “You can come too if you want,” she said casually and made her way out the door with a very excited Amy.

  They walked off the lot leaving Edward behind. “Are you sure?” Amy asked once they hit the sidewalk.

  “Of course,” Dana said. She didn’t like people acting differently towards her. She missed being able to go into a supermarket and getting cut in line, her carriage rammed and being flipped off when she grabbed the last box of Lucky Charms, the good old days.

  “My brother is going to be super pissed,” Amy pointed out.

  “Why? I said he could come, too,” Dana said.

  “He’s used to be people falling all over him and doing what he wants. He’s not a jerk or anything. It’s just after a few years he’s gotten used to it.”

  “Well, he won’t get that from me,” Dana said as they walked across the street. She pressed a hand to her stomach and winced as a stabbing pain shot through her. In a matter of seconds it was gone.

  “Are you okay?” Amy asked worriedly.

  Dana forced a smile. “Sometimes the scar tissue from the last csection hurts. Nothing to worry about.”

  Amy nodded as they walked along the sidewalk.

  After a very hearty roast beef sandwich each they made their way back towards the lot. Of course they had to stop for frozen yogurt. They were still eating their yogurt as they made their way back inside the trailer.

  They were both surprised to find a very surly Edward sitting on the couch. “I cleared my free time expecting to work with you,” he said sternly.

  “And I told you that you were welcome to come with us.

  Now, if you’re done pouting we have an hour until you have to shoot so let’s get to work,” she said in the same tone she would use with her kids.

  “I’m not pouting,” Edward protested.

  “Yes, you are,” Amy said. He shot her a dirty look that made her smile wider.

  Chapter 3

  Edward watched the two women sit down and talk while they ate their frozen yogurt. He was pissed. He’d been a thorn in the director’s ass all morning begging for two hours in the afternoon to work with Dana and she brushed him off.

  What the hell was her problem?

  She was the reason he took this job. He was a big fan and excited about playing Christian, but working with her was the plus. Her reputation of being secretive was famous. He liked the idea of not only knowing what her latest book was going to be about before anyone else, but also having a hand in it.

  Now it looked like she was going to do her best to keep him out. She’d invited him to go, but only as an afterthought.

  Plus, he couldn’t go anywhere without security and he’d given them the two hours off so he could work. Now he was starving. He considered stealing Amy’s frozen yogurt, but little sister or not she would kick his ass.

  He was so nervous when he walked into the trailer. He wanted to meet her ever since he read her first book and heard she moved to California. He was surprised to see that she looked better than the picture on the back of her books. She looked younger, healthier. Her blonde hair looked like it was made from gold silk. He especially liked her cute little nose and pouty lips. He hadn’t expected to be attracted to her. It was a bit unnerving to find himself instantly attracted to a woman. That never happened before. It usually took a bit of time for him to warm up to a woman.

  “Edward, could you please grab my computer for me?

  It’s under your feet. Then we can get started,” Dana said pleasantly enough.

  “Sure,” he sighed, reaching for the computer. He knew where it was. He saw her put it away an hour ago. He’d been tempted to open it while they were gone and look at her latest work, but then he thought better of it.

  “Here,” he said, placing it on the table. He sat down next to her. “So, how do we do this?” he asked, knowing she was about to give him some lame ass story about working alone or telling him how he’d get in the way.

  She finished her small cup of yogurt and threw it away.

  Then she tossed the paper brown bag that she’d carried into the trailer in front of him. “I took the liberty of getting you a sandwich and chips.”

  He looked at the brown bag in front of him. He was stunned. People usually bent over backwards to make him happy. They could be a pain in the ass with their twenty questions over something as simple as what he wanted to drink out of fear that he wouldn’t be happy with something that wasn’t perfect, as if he would take a fit or something if god forbid there wasn’t enough mayonnaise on his sandwich. He didn’t understand that at all. Dana didn’t seem to care. She wasn’t trying to kiss his ass or please him. She was just being considerate.

  “Thank you,” he murmured as he opened the bag and pulled out a thick roast beef sandwich. Dana stood up and walked over to the mini fridge.

  “Okay, there are sodas, juices, ice teas and waters.

  What do you guys want?” she asked.

  Edward and Amy looked at each other in shock. Most people would have tried to order Amy to take those ten simple steps to the fridge. Hell, not three hours ago Jennifer tried to order Amy to sort through twenty bags of Hershey Miniatures. Ordering Amy to throw out the dark chocolate and then separate the rest of the flavors into bowls. Edward sent Amy to his dressing room to get her away from the spoiled actress. He always put his foot down when someone tried to order Amy around. That didn’t mean people didn’t try when he wasn’t around. He was more shocked, because in this case Amy was also working as Dana’s assistant.

  “Two Cokes, please,” Edward answered, trying to hide his smile when it dawned on him that Dana just might treat him like a normal guy. There would be no ass kissing or acting weird for his benefit. She would probably hand his ass to him on a silver platter if he tried to act anything but normal around her as well.

  This was great!

  She handed them each a Coke. She sat down and sipped from a bottle of water.

  “So, what did you have in mind for the book?” he asked.

  “This is about you, Edward. Tell me what kind of movie would be your dream movie.”

  He studied her face to see if she was pissed after making that comment. At first he’d been upset that they used her to lure him into another contract, but then he was excited. The only thing he didn’t know was how she felt about being pressured into babying him.

  “I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it,” he said, trying to sound casual.

  “That’s not true! All month you’ve been going on and on about what type of book you’d love to write!” Amy said.

  All of a sudden he felt all of those antics he pulled on her as a kid were completely justified. Even the time he poured Nair into her body wash. Dana laughed softly making it worse.

  “Okay, Amy, what did he tell you?” she asked, her blue eyes were wickedly amused.

  Amy folded her hands in front of her and looked at him.

  She smiled making him grind his teeth. He couldn’t remember why he let her work for him. Was he crazy? Oh no, that’s right his mother begged him. Dana Mathews was Amy’s favorite author after all and she was dying to do this.

  Their mother guilt tripped him for weeks until he caved.

  “A vampire book,” he mumbled while shooting daggers at Amy.

  Dana looked at him quickly. All signs of humor were immediately gone. “Are you serious?” she asked him.

  He suddenly felt self-conscious and began playing with his sandwich. “Well, it was just an idea. We don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.” He felt like an idiot.

  “No, that’s perfect. I was just afraid you would want to do some macho shoot ‘em up book or something like that.

  This is perfect!” Her excitement made him smile.

  “You’re not just saying that, are you?” he asked, trying to sound relaxed.

>   She opened her computer. “No, Edward, I’ve wanted to do this story for a while. I’ve been playing with it in my head for years now. No, this is definitely perfect.”

  “Really?” He couldn’t stop himself from grinning at her enthusiasm.

  “You’ve just made my day!” she said, logging onto her computer. Edward watched with great interest as she pressed her finger onto a little piece of glass set on the laptop.

  “What’s that?” he asked.

  “It’s a fingerprint scan. That and a password allow me to gain access to the computer,” she said. After a moment she looked up at him. “Okay, pick a name for our main character.”

  “I didn’t think of one,” he said uneasily. He watched as Dana’s brows came together. She looked over at Amy expectantly.

  “He likes the name Shea,” Amy said.

  “Amy, I swear if you don’t cut that out I’m going to-“

  “What?” she asked, perking up. “I have job security, brother dearest,” she said smugly.

  He ground his teeth. One day, very soon he would get her back. “Edward, if this is going to work you can’t hold back. Whatever you’re thinking I need to know,” Dana said encouragingly.

  “Fine, I like the name Shea,” Edward said, turning his attention to Dana.

  “Okay, let’s talk about our story. When you were thinking up this idea what did you picture?” she asked him.

  The encouraging smile she gave him made him relax.

  She wasn’t judging him, wasn’t expecting him to meet certain expectations. She really wanted to know what he thought. They began talking about what they wanted to do.

  She warned him not to settle into a plot, to allow the story to tell itself. He stopped himself from smiling. This was one of her secrets and she was sharing it with him.

  A pager went off. Amy took it off her belt and looked at it. “They want both of you on set now,” Amy said.

  They both sighed and laughed when they saw their shared expressions. Dana closed her laptop and placed it in her bag and put it over her shoulder before Edward could help her with it.

  “So, you must be excited,” Edward noted.

  Dana smiled. “I’ve always hoped this book would make it to the big screen. I never really expected it to come true.”

  He was stunned by her attitude. She was laid back.

  There was nothing arrogant about this woman. She had millions of fans around the world and it didn’t seem to affect her at all. She was definitely handling fame better than he was.

  For the last two years he had slowly receded from public life. He hung out with only his friends from his old life, half of them anyway. The other half wanted nothing to do with him. His family was his sanctuary. They provided him with a calm he found nowhere else.

  “Dana?” the director said, walking towards them.

  “My name is Andrew. I’m the director. Why don’t you come with me, you’ll get a better view,” he said, smiling.

  Dana nodded. Andrew looked at him. “Make-up’s ready for you on set. We’re just waiting for you.” He gestured for Dana to walk in front of him. Edward stopped short when he saw Andrew checking out Dana’s ass. He shook his head and went to the set. A beautiful woman like that on a Hollywood set was going to be a target for a lot of egos.

  Dana walked to a chair with her name printed on it. Not too shabby, she thought. She sat down and waited for her book come to life. She watched as a beautiful woman, someone who should be modeling for playboy, walked over to her.

  “Hi, Dana, right?” the young woman asked.

  “Yes.”

  “I’m Jennifer. I dropped by so I could say hello and talk to you about my character if you have a few minutes after Edward shoots this scene,” she said.

  “Yes, of course.” Dana said, willing to do whatever it took to make her characters come to life.

  Jennifer smiled and walked off to a large group of people waiting for her. Interesting, she had her own entourage. She found it more interesting that Edward didn’t. She knew he was more famous. Jennifer was new to acting and seemed to love the attention. Edward didn’t.

  “Ghosts?” Edward chuckled, immediately grabbing Dana’s attention.

  She realized they were shooting the first scene. She watched nervously as they worked through the first scene several times. Each time she found herself on the edge of her seat gripping the arms of her chair. Something was wrong

  something she hadn’t realized until this moment.

  Watching Edward act she realized he was Christian.

  She made Christian for Edward and never realized it.

  Edward was who she thought about when she wrote Christian, an easy going guy who was kind and generous.

  “Oh my God,” she whispered to herself.

  “Shhhh,” someone hissed.

  She bit her lip as she watched the scene to continue to unfold. Every now and then she would look around and wonder if anyone else had noticed that Edward was doing a perfect job of playing Christian and figured out why. It would be really awkward if that ever came out.

  ***********

  “Don’t kill me!”

  Dana and Edward looked up from the computer screen.

  She frowned as she spotted her assistant standing in the doorway holding an ice pack to her face. Then she looked at the clock and groaned inwardly.

  She’d been waiting for Jennifer to grace her with her presence for three hours. The actress made a big deal about getting together so Dana had asked Deana to watch the kids for a little while longer.

  It wasn’t a complete waste of time. Edward had turned out to be eager to start their work. So far they’d finished the prologue and the first chapter. It was going a lot faster then she thought it would.

  Dana looked back up to catch the first sign of recognition filter over her assistant’s face. She gasped, pointed and squeaked loudly.

  “Damn!” Edward said as he cupped his ears.

  Mid-squeak Deana suddenly broke off, closing her eyes and wincing as she pressed the ice pack to her mouth.

  Dana jumped out of her chair and walked over to Deana. “What’s wrong?”

  Deana held up a hand and shook her head.

  “I’m sorry, Mommy,” a tiny voice said.

  “No, it’s okay, sweetie,” Deana said, wincing. “It was my own fault, Dana. I was showing Elizabeth the proper way to eat a jaw breaker.”

  “Oh no

  .”

  Deana nodded. “I broke a tooth.”

  Dana took Deana’s hand into hers and gave it a squeeze. “Do you need me to take you to the dentist?”

  “No, I need to drop the midgets off, though. If it’s okay?”

  she shot a half-worried, half-worshipping look in Edward’s direction.

  “Of course. You’re hurt, Deana. So, we’re done.”

  “Are you sure?” Deana asked nervously. Dana knew the woman’s work history. Deana was still terrified at the thought of going back to her old job where she’d been treated poorly.

  Dana pulled her into a hug. “You’re part of this family.

  Don’t ever worry about it,” she whispered into Deana’s ear.

  Deana nodded and sniffled. “Thank you, Dana.” She took a deep breath and turned around. “Alright, guys, get in here and behave yourselves. Auntie Deana will see you guys tomorrow.”

  **********

  Edward watched curiously. All day Dana had gone out of her way to treat everyone like a good friend. She never once raised her voice to anyone. He was curious to find out if this was an act or not. There were so many fake people in Hollywood after all, but after seeing her with her assistant he knew without a doubt that
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