She was clearly very confused.


“WHY AREN’T YOU ANSWERING your phone?” Kiki demanded the minute she stepped from Josh’s black SUV. “We’ve been trying to reach you for over an hour. When you didn’t answer, I decided to come on out here. Besides, I didn’t want to miss out on the chance to be in on this very important decision.”

There was accusation in everything Kiki said to Meagan, and she didn’t understand it. She’d tried to break through it, to bond with the other woman over the show and it just didn’t seem to be happening.

“She dropped her phone in the hotel parking lot,” Sam explained before Meagan could answer. “Someone ran over it before we could get to it. The driver came damn close to running over Meagan, too.”

“My God,” Kiki said, her tone dripping disdain. “How in the world did you manage that?”

Sam glanced at Josh. “I left you a message to be sure everyone knew to call me if they needed Meagan.”

“Sorry, boss,” Josh said. The honest guilt on his face meant that either he really hadn’t checked his messages, or he was a darn good actor. He inclined his head at Meagan. “My apologies for not listening to my voice mail.”

“I’m sure you both had your hands full,” Meagan said, repeating her earlier comment, immensely appreciative to both Sam and Josh for covering for her, but angry at herself for needing to be covered. Then to both Josh and Kiki, she asked, “Why aren’t you two at the hospital?”

“I left one of the production assistants to supervise Tabitha’s medical treatment,” Kiki replied.

“Which P.A.?”

“I don’t know.” Kiki sounded snippy and impositioned. “Debbie, I think.”

“Darla?” Meagan asked, hopeful.

“Yes. Darla.” Kiki waved a hand. “But it doesn’t matter now. I just hung up with Darla. She called me because she couldn’t reach you. Tabitha is fine. All is well in tooth-fairy land.”

Over and over Meagan had asked Kiki to start remembering everyone’s names. She treated the cast horribly and tension jumped every time she was around. If Kiki wasn’t related to one of the executives that had approved her show, she’d already have talked to Sabrina about firing her.

“What exactly does that mean?” Sam asked.

She shrugged. “You’d have to ask the P.A. What’s going on here?”

“I called Darla myself,” Josh said. “After the hospital checked her out, a dentist fitted Tabitha for some sort of temporary tooth held in with a mouthpiece, and she’s now in her room resting.” He glanced at Meagan. “Sam likes answers. I try to have them.”

“Thank you,” Meagan said, but she felt that announcement like a blow. She couldn’t get answers, but Sam could?

“Why don’t we head down to the property?” Sam suggested. “Then everyone can get some rest back at the hotel.”

“Yes,” agreed Meagan, her gaze touching his. “That sounds like a good idea.”

Sam motioned her forward, falling into step beside her, while Josh and Kiki followed them. Sam glanced behind them, apparently making sure they had some distance away from the others, before softly saying, “You’ll have to tell me who you ticked off to get saddled with Kiki.”

It helped to hear she wasn’t being overly sensitive about Kiki, and that Sam read Kiki the same way she did. “I didn’t make anyone mad, except for you, that I know of. I’m pretty good at that.” If there was a God of dance, she’d have said that was who she’d angered. In that case though, she would have thought her knee would have been the ultimate sacrifice, but apparently not.

“I think it’s the other way around,” he commented. “I’m good at making you mad.”

“You are a master of that craft.”

He laughed and darn it, she felt the sultry male baritone of it in every nerve ending of her body. There was so much about the man that appealed to her, and so many reasons not to act on what she felt for him. Yet he’d been there for her tonight in so many ways.

They cleared the trees, bringing a large shadowy property into view and Meagan paused, drinking in the cool, clean ocean air as it washed over her, calming her, if only slightly. “I already love it here. I love the ocean.”

“I sure hope there are lights,” Kiki said, stopping next to Meagan.

“There are,” Sam answered, motioning Meagan onward, and she had the distinct impression that no matter how attractive Kiki might be, Sam wasn’t impressed. The idea pleased her a little more than it should have. Another reaction she wasn’t going to try to analyze at present.

Sam ran down the basics of the property as they walked. “The house is 5,000 square feet with a 2,000-square-foot mother-in-law house in the back of the main property.”

Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Stepping Up Romance