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Kissing Scene, Love Simplified
As soon as the elevator door opened, Lance grabbed my arm hard and led me down the hallway to his office. His grip kept me from stumbling. I felt very much like Jane being dragged off by Tarzan. I briefly made eye contact with Shannon before he roughly guided me into the room. Fear danced across her features and transferred to me. But before I could escape, I stood in the lion’s den.
Lance released me, turned and slammed the door shut. Every picture on the walls rattled with the force. I half expected to see the glass panes fall from the window.
Lance whipped around and faced me, his anger so hot I felt like sunbathing. “Have you lost your mind?”
“I had a plan. Everything was under control.” I said.
He ran his hand through his hair and paced in a small circle before returning to face me. “Your plan included getting crushed?”
He stepped closer, further highlighting the fact that he towered over me. “Then what was your plan? To create mob scene on a public street?” he growled, his brow furrowed.
“No. I took advantage of a good publicity opportunity. It would have gone better if you hadn’t overreacted.” I spat back.
“I overreacted? You stir up a crowd of people with no security and I’m overacting. Why would you do something so…” he waved his hands in the air.
“Stupid?” I stepped closer, giving him my best I-dare-you-to-call-me-stupid look.
“Stupid!” he yelled. His secretary probably heard that. And everyone else on the floor.
“No you didn’t just call me stupid.” I stepped closer.
“You willfully put yourself in a dangerous situation. What would you call that? And for what?” he inched even closer and now we stood nose to nose. “We have less than a month left in production-“
I let out a sharp laugh. “That’s what this is all about. Your precious show.”
“This isn’t about the show.” He paused. His brow unfurled slightly and his eyes softened. “You could have been hurt.” His voice lowered with each word and the last one came out almost as a whisper. His expression held such a mix of emotions that I couldn’t peg. Anger, yes, but something else. Something just as strong as his rage.
And something that sent my stomach dropping to my toes. The crowd had grown rowdy and I didn’t think they would hurt me. They were my fans, excited about seeing me. But the truth remained that if Lance hadn’t pulled me out… I swallowed hard. He stood less than an inch away, his breathing still uneven from yelling.
“I-I didn’t think they would hurt me,” I said, averting my eyes. I found myself staring at his chest. A muscled chest barely contained in his gray tee. Did someone raise the temperature in the room? I returned my gaze to his eyes. Maybe he didn’t see me checking him out. His expression told me he had. His perfect hazel eyes held mine, long enough for me to notice the tiny green flecks in them.
Before I could catalog all the emotions coursing through my brain, he brought his hand up to my face and ran his thumb along my cheekbone. I sucked in a breath. The side of his thumb brushed my earlobe, making my earring sway and his fingertips slid into my hair. The coarseness of his touch sent every nerve on the back of my neck into a frenzy. A flicker of fear clouded his eyes as he studied my face. My own stomach did a flop. He leaned down and I found myself stepping up to the tips of my toes.
When his lips connected with mine, it felt as loud as the door slamming, sending shudders through my body. But his tenderness surprised me, like getting kissed by a breeze. He brought his other hand up to cup my face and changed the angle of the kiss, still gentle. Our mouths moved in perfect sync. Not like when Darryl and I kissed and our teeth collided. Darryl tried to impress me, forcing his kiss on me but Lance shared the kiss with me. A soft give and take.
My brain tried grasp the fact that I was kissing Lance within throwing distance of his secretary and enjoying it. Me. A girl who’d never been in love. A girl currently dating three men on national television. A girl who’d never had anyone make me feel like I did at this moment, especially by someone I mostly hated. I couldn’t ignore this kissed erased years of loneliness and sent my heart soaring but I couldn’t be falling for Lance.
As if he could hear my thoughts, Lance slowly pulled away but still cupping my face. All the anger had left his eyes and had been replaced with confusion. He studied me like I had grown horns since he’d brought me into the office. I took a tentative step backwards. Reality rushed into between us, chilling the moment. He’d just totally violated all my personal space…again. He couldn’t just kiss me without permission. Who does he think he is?
So I did what any self-respecting girl would do. I slapped him. Hard. “You had no right.” I tried to sound angry but my voice betrayed the fact that I felt like I’d just lived through an earthquake. He touched his hand to his face where my slap had landed, which had already started to turn red. He stared at the floor, his jaw worked for a moment, but he didn’t say anything. I wanted him to yell at me. Threaten me like he always did. But instead he stood stock still.
I rushed out the door before he could move from where he stood. I purposely turned my head so his secretary couldn’t see my face, since the only way to make what’d happened more obvious was to write I KISSED LANCE on my forehead with a Sharpie. I tromped down the hall to the elevators, feeling my resolve go the farther I got away from him. This cannot be happening, but my stomach confirmed that it was. Love wasn’t supposed to make you feel like you were going vomit, was it?
I jabbed my finger on the down button three times before the elevator pinged and opened. I stepped inside, thankfully alone. I punched the close door button and the doors lazily rolled closed. But not fast enough for me to miss Lance calling my name before the doors shut.