Star Struck


Star Struck : Page 6



Still, she couldn't stop hoping he'd pop up in the lobby. She wanted to see him again in the worst way. Wanted to see if that weird attraction she had for him was really as strong as she remembered, or if she'd heightened its intensity in her mind.


But the only people she encountered were writers and directors and actors signing in, as well as the stage manager's crew who were leading them.
When Heather's paperwork was completed, Vera gathered a few of the actors and gave them a tour of the stage while she went through the familiar spiel of how the next twenty-four hours would work. "You have ten minutes until intros start. Everyone will be there and you'll get matched up with the writers and the directors. There's six of each. After your intros, the writers will have all night to write their plays, about fifteen pages-fifteen minutes-in length. They'll include info from your intros in the plays they write, so if there's something you really want to do on stage that you've never done, that's the time to mention it."
Heather bumped h*ps with Angie, one of the other actresses. "I know you've always wanted to smack me. Now's your chance."
Everyone laughed.
"Exactly," Vera agreed. "The writers have until six in the morning to hand in a finished draft of their play. The directors will arrive at seven. They'll meet with their crews at eight to discuss tech, blocking, and this year, set construction."
Heather's heart skipped a beat at the mention of set-at the thought of Seth. She barely heard Vera continue with her speech.
"At nine, rehearsals start. You'll rehearse all day until the show goes up tomorrow night at seven. The whole shebang will be over by nine p.m. Then we party."
"What will they do with the set pieces after the show?" Matt Shone asked.
Good point. Just more proof the whole idea was a waste of resources.
But Vera's answer surprised Heather. "They're auctioning them off next month to raise more money for Urban Arts. You can't imagine how much some people will pay to sit in a chair that was sat in by Heather Wainwright."
Heather smiled weakly. It was true-her discarded trash made tons of money on eBay. Selling the set pieces was a great idea. An excellent idea. Maybe she'd judged the concept too harshly.
Of course, she already knew it had been the guy not the idea that had her in a dither the night before. He'd even rightly called her on it.
"And what do we do with the props we brought?" This was Matt's first year at the event and he'd been asking a lot of questions. He was younger than Heather and didn't run in her circles, but she'd met him a couple of times before.
She shook off thoughts of Seth. "Share your prop at the intros," she told Matt. "Then the writers will add them into their plays somehow. It's wicked funny."
"What did you bring?"
"Uh, uh. You'll find out when everyone else does."
The props were Heather's favorite part of the intros. Some of the items she'd brought in the past included a clown suit, a Chiquita Banana hat, and a large wooden moose. She'd had to make-out with the moose in that play. It had been the hit of the night. This year, she'd brought fur-lined handcuffs. It was sort of on the tame side as far as props went, but a good writer could make something awesome with it.
Except, now that she thought about it, she hadn't seen the handcuffs when she'd been stuffing her contents back into her bag after spilling it all over the car.
She slipped away from the group into the vestibule at the back of the theater. Dread began to rise as she rooted around through her purse, searching for the prop. Then dread turned into panic when she confirmed its absence.
Dammit!
She pulled her phone from its pocket on the side of her purse and pushed the speed dial button for Lexie. Before her upbeat voice could get out a proper greeting, Heather jumped on her. "Did I leave my cuffs in the car?"
"What?"
"My handcuffs. My prop for tonight. Did they fall out of my purse when I dumped it?"
"I don't see…" Heather could hear Lexie moving around in her seat and silently prayed her searching didn't cause an accident. "Oh…wait. I do see them." It only took half a second before she understood the problem. "Shit! I can race back, but I'm thirty minutes away."
"That isn't soon enough. They're starting in ten minutes. I'm going to have to find something else."
She hung up on Lexie mid-sentence and began rummaging around in her bag again, this time searching for a substitute. But everything in her purse was mundane and ordinary. Nothing that would even show up on stage from the audience.
For a brief moment she considered going without a prop. What would they do? Kick her out of the plays? She was the spokeswoman.
And that was exactly why she couldn't go without a prop. She was supposed to be the pro, the actress all the newbies would look to. The prop was one of the most important elements. She had to find something.
She stuck her head in the restroom next to the vestibule. Nothing. Not even a plunger. Then she scanned the empty security desk by the back entrance. Again, nothing. Maybe the small trash container under the desk would work.
She kept it as an option but wasn't ready to end her search.
She crossed the corridor to the workroom at the side of the theater and looked around.
Bingo.
The entire back counter had an array of tools-hammers, saws, screwdrivers, and tools she didn't know the name of. This was where Seth would be constructing the set pieces. These must be his tools. He'd touched these tools, used them.
She put her hand out and brushed the items as she walked along the counter, enjoying the rush that came from knowing they belonged to the sexy carpenter. Images of him using them filled her mind, turning her entire body to warm mush.
She let her hand settle on an electric drill. It felt strange in her grasp, not an item she'd ever find herself in contact with. She wasn't even sure she knew how to use one. It was perfect-an unexpected prop and one that a writer could have a lot of fun with.
But she couldn't take it…could she?
She heard voices from the stage and could tell the group was gathering. The intros were about to start. She had no time. She glanced around to see if she had any other options and spotted an older, more worn drill on the counter. Black sharpie marked it as "Property of Broad Stage". This drill was better. Bigger and more awkward, but she'd feel less guilty about borrowing it. Without another thought, she picked up the old drill and began wrapping the cord around its body.
"Did you get lost?"


She spun around at the sound of the familiar voice-the voice that made her slippery in her silk panties-and clutched the drill behind her back.
Seth stood in the doorway, one arm propped against the frame, his blue eyes freezing her to her spot. He wore a plain burgundy T-shirt and carpenter jeans. She hadn't imagined the intensity of her attraction to him-it was real. Just looking at him now made her chest tight and her lungs struggle for air.
Realizing he'd nearly caught her in the act of "borrowing" a tool, she threw her shoulders back and put on her best innocent look. "No, I was…just…trying to find some place I could be alone." She could feel her eyelashes fluttering as she spoke, as if they had a mind of their own. Whether they were trying to hide her guilt or flirting, she wasn't sure.
God, she was pathetic.
Seth narrowed his eyes and approached her with long slow steps, each making her heart beat faster. "There are lots of places in the theater to be alone. This isn't one of them."
It certainly wasn't. Though she was alone with him. His words pretty much acknowledging that fact made her lightheaded.
He kept coming toward her until he was right beside her. "Aren't you supposed to be at the cast Meet and Greet?"
"Aren't you supposed to be there?"
"I'll get there eventually." He leaned against the counter and gestured at her with a nod. "Whatcha got behind your back?"
His scent, a mixture of soap and sweat and cedar, wafted from his skin, making her weak in the knees. "Nothing." Yeah, that didn't sound childish. "I mean, none of your business." Oh, much better.
Why did speaking to Seth always get her so flustered? He wasn't supposed to talk to her, anyway. It was a rule all the crew was given-only talk to the actors when necessary for the show. That was the assurance given to protect the stars' privacy. She clutched onto that rule now like a life vest. "You aren't supposed to talk to me."
"Whoops."
Obviously, Seth didn't care too much about following rules.
And if he was going to be that way, she wasn't going to feel bad about borrowing a drill. She just had to figure how to get out of there with it. Glancing around, she spotted another exit just behind her. If she walked backwards, she could make it to that door without him spotting the drill. She had to try.
"Well, since I'm essential out there, I better go."

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