A humble heart, p.7
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       A Humble Heart, p.7

         Part #1 of Hollywood Hearts series by R. L. Mathewson
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  him smiling. “Yeah, I think she went a little overboard. It took everything I had to get her to relax.” She absently pushed a strand of hair back over her ear. Edward reached out and fixed it into place.

  “Did you know your sister actually tried to get me to wear a gown to this thing?” she asked, laughing.

  Edward easily returned her laugh. “I’m not surprised since she tried to make me wear a tux.”

  Dana reached out and ran a hand down his jacket smoothing it out. “That definitely would have been overkill.”

  Edward watched Dana smooth down his jacket and had to stop himself from grinning like an idiot. What the hell was wrong with him? He forced himself to focus on anything but her silky dress that seemed to cling to every curve of her body. “So, I hear the third book is coming out today,” he said casually.

  He was surprised to see the look of confusion on her face. “What day is it?” she asked him.

  “June twelfth.”

  Her hands went to her face. “Oh no!” she cried.

  Edward was instantly alarmed. His hands went to her arms and gently pulled her closer to him. “Dana, what’s wrong?”

  She dropped her hands from her face. She worried her bottom lip between her teeth. “It’s nothing, don’t worry about it. I just forgot about something.” She looked into his eyes and tried to force a smile. “Don’t worry about it.”

  Something was wrong. Granted, he’d only known her for a couple of weeks, but he knew this wasn’t her. It was like the life had instantly been sucked out of her. She stepped away from his embrace.

  “I’m all set guys.” The photographer informed them.

  “Mike, they’re all yours.”

  The reporter stepped forward. “Okay, where’s a good spot to do this interview?”

  “Dana’s trailer,” Edward said. He took her hand without another word and gently tugged her in the direction of her trailer.

  *******

  “Dana, I hear the third Christian and Bailey book is coming out today. That makes it your sixth book you’ve had published. You must be very excited,” Mike said.

  She nodded. “It’s still very overwhelming.” She tried to smile.

  For the last half hour Edward studied her. This was definitely not her. She ran a hand through her hair and looked at her watch every two minutes. She crossed her legs again. He sat back and let his eyes run over her long tanned smooth legs while he tried to figure out what was wrong. He wondered if she had a date and decided he didn’t like the idea and moved on to something else.

  “Edward, what do you think about writing a book?

  You’ve been an actor for the last six years. How does it compare?” Mike asked.

  He forced himself to look at Mike. “I find myself really enjoying the process. Acting is still my passion, but I can definitely see why Dana does what she does. It’s exciting and interesting.” So was she, he thought.

  “Dana, your very first book is being made into a movie, I hear you’re currently writing another book aside from the one you’re working on with Edward, you have two small children

  how has this affected your personal life? Or you able to have a personal life with a busy schedule like that?”

  Dana looked at him nervously.

  “Not to touch on too personal an issue, but I’ve heard from several sources that since your divorce you have kept dating to a minimum, why is that?” he pressed.

  Edward turned to watch her as he eagerly waited for her answer. “Well, my life is pretty chaotic at times. I enjoy spending my free time with my kids and weekends are completely dedicated to them. I’m a bit of a workaholic I guess you could say. I make it a point to write every day no matter what the day holds. Other than that I spend a great deal of time with my kids and friends.”

  Mike smirked. “That didn’t answer my question about men.”

  “I guess you could say I’m shell shocked from the whole experience. I would rather wait for the right man then go for the right here in front of me guy. I’ve gone out with several men in the last few months. They were nice, but there was nothing beyond friendship.”

  “What are you looking for in a man?” Mike asked and Edward had to fight the urge to kiss the man for this.

  She blew out a breath slowly. “Well, I guess I would like a laid back guy, someone who loves kids, funny, smart and kept it interesting.”

  Edward gave himself a mental overview. He believed he could meet that description. He hoped. For the past three weeks he tried to build up enough nerve to ask her out. That never happened to him before. Usually he asked a woman out the second the thought occurred to him, but with Dana he was a bundle of nerves. He was afraid he was already half in love with her. Amy teased him nonstop when Dana wasn’t around. And when she was, Amy made little innuendos that Dana seemed to either ignore or was completely oblivious of them.

  “Edward, I have to ask on behalf of the women out there.

  How’s your love life been affected by the addition of this book?” he asked Edward, but he was staring at Dana in a way Edward didn’t like.

  “I’ve taken myself off the market for now. I’m focusing on work and my family.” Edward glared at the man who saw staring at Dana with great interest. Dana didn’t seem to notice. She was staring at her watch when she wasn’t gently pulling the edge of her dress over her knee for the thousandth time, not that Edward was staring, but of course he was. He couldn’t help himself.

  “I have everything I need. You guys have been great,”

  Mike said, smiling. He stood up and shook their hands.

  Edward went to gesture towards the door, but was completely taken back when Mike put his tape recorder away and moved to sit next to Dana.

  “Dana, I have to be honest with you. I don’t usually do pieces like this. I took this assignment hoping to talk to you.

  I’ve wanted to ask you out since the luncheon we both attended two months back, but I couldn’t manage to work up the nerve. I was wondering if you would have dinner with me tonight.” Mike asked in a gentle voice, trying not to come off as intimidating or desperate.

  Dana’s eyes shot up to Edward’s. She looked nervous and

  .she was gauging his response? He was sure of it.

  He shook his head slightly, telling her not to accept. He would have screamed it, but that seemed too obvious to him. Dana bit her lip nervously. She seemed unsure what to do or what to say. He had no claim on her so he couldn’t say anything. The only thing he could do was wait for her answer.

  “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to put you on the spot,” Mike said apologetically.

  She turned to look at him. “No, it just took me by surprise that’s all.” She smiled.

  “So, would you?” Mike prompted.

  Edward opened his mouth to say something when she looked back at him quickly. Damn, she really didn’t know what to do. He never saw her act like this before. He personally saw at least ten guys ask her out a day and she always politely declined and he’d heard from Amy that she was asked out several more times when he wasn’t around.

  Dana sat nervously between Edward and Mike. She hadn’t expected Mike’s invitation and she was really uncomfortable mostly because Edward was standing there waiting a little too eagerly for her answer. He seemed to be more anxious about it then Mike was. When he shook his head she had to stop herself from asking Edward what was going on between the two of them in front of Mike. She could only think of one vague answer that would satisfy the situation and not hurt Mike’s feelings.

  “Off the record?” she asked.

  Mike thought she was teasing and chuckled. “Of course.”

  “I’m seeing someone and I was hoping to keep it private. I’m sorry. I really appreciate the invitation that was really sweet, Mike,” Dana said.

  Mike’s smile faded while Edward’s heart broke. “He’s a lucky guy.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Couldn’t hurt a guy to ask.”

  Edward saw him to the door. Dana walked past
them towards the bedroom. He sat down on the couch and tried to wrap his brain around it. She was seeing someone else.

  He hadn’t heard about this before. He was positive that Amy would have told him if she was. There was one person who would know and she would tell him.

  Edward pulled out his phone and called Dana’s home phone. “Hello?” Deana answered.

  “Deana, it’s Edward. I have a question for you. Who is Dana seeing?”

  “Oh, let me check my calendar. I don’t think she has any appointments today,” she mused.

  He held back his aggravation. “No, who is she dating?”

  That earned a hard laugh from Deana. “She’s not dating anyone. Why would you think she was? She’s practically in love with you-oh damn, I have to go.” Deana stammered.

  “What did you just say?” he pushed.

  “Nothing, I didn’t say anything. I really have to go I’m getting the kids ready. Please don’t tell her we talked.”

  Deana hung up.

  Edward dropped into a chair at the table. Did she mean Dana was in love with him? Was that possible? That would be

  perfect. Now he just had to work up the nerve to ask her out without ending up hanging out with his sister again.

  She hurried out of the bedroom before he could figure out how to do it. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Edward. Have a good night,” Dana said, trying to sound upbeat, too upbeat.

  He suddenly remembered he was worried about her.

  He gently grabbed her arm. “Dana, what’s wrong?”

  She looked at the ground. “Nothing. It’s fine, Edward.”

  “Dana, you can talk to me,” Edward said softly. Dana raised her eyes to his and opened her mouth to speak.

  “I was told to tell both of you that tomorrow we’re not shooting.” Amy said as she joined them in the trailer.

  Dana looked at Amy. “Oh?”

  “Yeah, something about a mistake in shooting permits.

  We shoot on Monday instead, so actually you have two days off,” Amy said.

  “Great,” Dana muttered under her breath. “Just what I need,” she sighed. “See you guys Monday then.”

  Edward was forced to let her go. He watched as she made her way to her Jeep and left. “What’s wrong with Dana?”Amy asked.

  He rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t know.” And he didn’t like it. He put his arm around Amy’s shoulders.

  “Come on, I’ll let you make me dinner tonight.”

  She ducked out of his embrace. “Sorry, big brother. I have a date tonight.”

  “What? Since when?” He tried not to sound too shocked, but this was his baby sister and she had never been big on dating, at least he didn’t think she had.

  “The photographer,” she said, grinning wickedly.

  “The photographer? Is that his name now?” Edward asked teasingly.

  She playfully slapped him. “No, it’s Tyler. You are such a jerk.” Edward watched her expression become suddenly somber. “Hmm, I thought she actually forgot. At least that’s what Deana said. I guess she remembered after all.”

  “What?” Edward asked.

  “I know why Dana’s upset,” she said, shrugging her shoulders as if it was no big deal.

  Edward waited patiently for her to tell him, but after a long moment it seemed she wasn’t going to spill. He put his hands in his pants pocket to keep himself from strangling her. “Well?”

  She seemed to come out of a trance. “Oh, her ex is coming today to see the kids. He’s here for the week.”

  “I thought she didn’t like him,” Edward said. He felt his stomach twist, dreading her next words.

  “No, she doesn’t. They’re on friendly terms for the kids.

  Sort of,” she said.

  “I don’t understand what the problem is. Surely she’s seen him since the divorce.”

  Amy rolled her eyes as if it was painfully obvious what was wrong. “This is the first time they’ve seen each other since that asshole proposed to his girlfriend, and he’s bringing her on this visit. He promised not to. Dana wanted him to focus on his kids, but his little girlfriend put her foot down. Apparently she’s intimidated by Dana and doesn’t trust Jeff around her.”

  “Oh.”

  “Oh?” She laughed darkly. “This is also the first time they’ve seen each other since it came out that he had cheated on her for three years. How would you like that shoved in your face?”

  Edward ground his teeth. “That asshole. I thought it was just a rumor.”

  “Nope,” Amy said making the word pop. “Little girlfriend decided to jump on Dana’s fame and announced to the world last week that not only had they had an affair, but she screwed Jeff in every room in their house.”

  His jaw was painfully tight now. “Bitch,” he muttered.

  “Yup, Deana has tried to convince her to have one of her many suitors come to the house today so she wouldn’t be alone. You know, someone to help take the edge off what they’re going to do to her. But she refused.”

  His head snapped back in her direction. “What do you mean many suitors? Deana said she isn’t seeing anyone.”

  She rolled her eyes again. “I’m talking about the single guys that ask her out every day. Even Jake asked her out yesterday when he came by.”

  “Jake did?” He was surprised that his friend would ask Dana out, especially since Jake knew how Edward felt about her.

  “I feel so bad for her. She wanted to keep busy during his stay, but now she has nothing to do for two days.”

  “He’s not staying with her is he?” he almost growled out.

  She laughed. “No, even if Jeff came alone he wouldn’t be allowed to stay there.”

  “Good,” he mumbled.

  Amy studied him for a long moment and then smiled.

  “You really like her!”

  “She’s a good friend. I don’t want to see her hurt, and I definitely don’t want to see those kids hurt.” He really liked her kids. They were well behaved and funny as hell. It surprised him more than anything since he was never really into kids. Now he looked forward to seeing Cole and Elizabeth every day. It melted his heart every time they called him Uncle Edward.

  “What time is he coming by?” he asked.

  “I believe six.”

  Edward looked at his watch. It was half past five. “I have to go. Don’t call me for the rest of the night unless it’s an emergency.” He took off without another word.

  **********

  “Mommy, Daddy is here!” Elizabeth yelled.

  Dana tore her eyes from the mirror to look at her daughter. “Okay, sweetie, let Aunt Deana open the door.”

  Elizabeth bounced up and down. “Daddy really came this time!” she said before she ran towards the living room.

  Dana took one last look in the mirror and sighed. Thank God she hadn’t cried. Not that she was upset that he was here or with her. But when she got pissed she cried a river.

  No matter what she wasn’t going to let him get to her. They were going to talk this over like adults and then she was kicking his fat ass out of her house. That made her smile.

  She made her way towards her large living room, trying to paste a smile on her face when she heard her kids crying. “What the hell?” she mumbled softly as she walked into the room.

  Elizabeth and Cole sat on the couch, sobbing. Instead of consoling their kids Jeff was comforting her. She wasn’t even crying. She just looked put out. Dana walked over to the kids and pulled them into a hug. She kissed them both on the head. “What’s wrong guys?”

  “Daddy

  .Daddy said he’s not spending the week with us. He said

  said

  .” Elizabeth broke down into louder sobs.

  Deana stepped towards the kids. “Come on, guys, let’s go to the kitchen and have some juice.”

 
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