She dropped her towel on a chair and eased into the pool, and I fought back a growl as three cameras captured the action, the men circling her like lions moving in for a kill.
“Got it?” Dana snapped her fingers in front of my face.
“Yeah,” I snapped. “I got it. I’ve answered a phone before.”
“Great,” she said tartly. “Then, maybe we can knock this out before lunchtime.” She looked past me and into the sitting area, which was crammed with crew and equipment. “Glorya, you ready to make the call?”
“Is Emma in the pool?”
“Emma’s in the pool,” someone called out.
Everyone fell silent, and Dana nodded at me. I opened the fridge and pulled out the milk, glancing over when Emma’s fake cell phone, which was on the counter next to her purse, rang.
* * *
The fake call ended, and I was at the counter eating a ham and cheese. She came in, her cheeks flushed, skin glistening, a white towel wrapped around her body and tucked into her cleavage. I kept my gaze on the sandwich before me and listened as she circled the end of the counter and opened the fridge.
“Our drink selections suck,” she complained, pulling an orange Fanta from the door and pushing it shut with her hip. I tried not to notice her bare legs or the cling of the towel against her ass.
“Where’d you get the sandwich?” She paused beside me, close enough that I could smell her sunscreen.
I looked up and made, for the first time that day, eye contact with her. “I made it.”
“Wow, Cash Mitchell makes his own food.” She cracked open the can. “Shocking. I would have thought you had people for that.” She grinned at me, then took a sip.
I looked back down at the sandwich and prayed for this to just be over already.
“THIS IS BORING,” Dana said loudly. “Either start jacking him off or check your damn phone. I’m honestly fine with either.”
I could have imagined it, but I think her cheeks colored at that, which was strange. I’d always imagined Emma was a hellcat in bed, the sort who handcuffed you to her headboard before taking control. The idea of a meeker, less experienced Emma pulled at me in an unsettling way.
She turned away and the moment, if there had been one, ended. She reached for her phone, and I wondered what acting chops she had. She settled into the stool at the bar and swiped through the device.
I took another bite of my sandwich. Honestly, I hadn’t made it. A blonde crew member with pigtails and a Packers hat had given it to me, then added extra mayonnaise after she’d analyzed my first bite.
“What do you think of the show so far?” Emma set down her phone and tilted her head at me.
“Uh… what?” I glanced at the living room, where Dana raised her hands in exasperation.
“It’s weird, right? I mean, I’m used to being on camera, but it’s still odd. I was peeing this morning, and I could hear the guy on the other side of the door, waiting for me. I swear, there’s a sound clip somewhere of my urine.” She laughed.
Laughed. Emma Blanton, evil witch of the west, laughed. And it sounded genuine, which only moved my confusion higher. What was happening right now? Was this a genuine conversation? Because we were supposed to be talking about her phone.
She was looking at me. Waiting. What had she asked me?
I took another bite of my sandwich, and I didn’t know what the hell I was going to do with my hands once I finished it.
She waited for another beat, then sighed and picked her phone back up. She hunched over the screen, then looked back up at me. “This says that I just got a call.”
Finally. I nodded and worked to swallow the bite. “Yeah.” I coughed. “I called out to you, but you were in the pool.”
“So… you answered it?” She stood up, and she looked seriously pissed. So much so that I couldn’t tell if she was pretending because she looked furious.
“Uh, yeah. I took a message for you. It’s…” I looked for the piece of paper where Dana had written down a name and number. “It’s here somewhere.” I pointed to the drawer beside the fridge. “There. Open that drawer.”
She stood, and a bead of water ran from the end of her hair down in between her cleavage. Pulling open the drawer, she picked up the paper. I watched her face, waited for it to calm, but it only darkened. “Chet Morris. Vision Placements.”
“I suppose you were going to tell me about this?”
I shrugged. “Why wouldn’t I?”
She looked at me, and if she was acting, she was damn good at it. “I told Marissa yesterday that I was waiting for this call. You were right there.”