Or thought he loved her.

“I’m so lucky,” she managed to say softly, “that I have a brother as understanding as you.” Looking up at Max, she asked, “Aren’t we going to be late for your reservation?” Her eyes pleaded with him to ride along.

Not missing a beat, Max turned to Vassi, saying, “I’m afraid your beautiful sister’s right. We need to go now. Let’s catch up next time.”

Seri fluttered her fingers at Vassi. “See you.”

Vassi watched the two leave.

Plan Fucking B was clearly sailing smoothly. One only had to observe the way Rockford looked and talked to Seri—-

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the other man placed a ring on Seri’s finger soon, and his jaw tightened at the thought.

Damn it.

Why the fuck did he still care?

Turning away so he would be spared the sight of the two holding hands as they walked out of the building, Vassi headed back to the elevator to get to the basement parking. The doors slid open almost right away, and their co-actress Daniela almost barreled into him as she came flying out of the elevator.

“Oops, sorry, oh, it’s you!”

The rush of words was typical of Daniela, who he had been working with for years, and despite his mood, Vassi found himself smiling briefly as he helped her regain her balance. Older than him by a year, the half-Italian girl had a pixie-like beauty with her boyishly cut hair, large dark eyes, and small, triangular face.

“What were you in a hurry for?” he asked.

“Well, I was hoping to catch you.” She grimaced. “I thought you were about to leave, and I had a favor to ask.” She showed him the rolled-up script in her hand. “It’s actually your sister I need a favor of, but since I don’t really know her well, but umm, then—-” She paused, and in an almost embarrassed voice, she whispered, “I saw you from the third floor, you know.”

He gazed at her quizzically. “And?”

“I’m used the glass lift?”

She actually looked pained…for him. Marveling at that, he asked, “And?”

She cringed. “Come on, dude. Do I really have to spell it out?”

He said honestly, “I have no idea what you’re getting at.” But then, he thought in amusement, Daniela had always been like this. Even though she was now considered one of the industry’s fastest-rising models and predicted to follow in Cara Delevingne’s footsteps, he had found her unchanged in all the years they had found themselves working on the same campaigns.

She was still tactless, clumsy, amusing. In fact, she was like the little sister he had always wanted—-

“I saw the way you looked at her.” Daniela looked up at him unblinkingly. “At your stepsister Seri.”

His smile disappeared, and this time his voice was noticeably cooler as he said, “I’m afraid I still don’t see what you’re getting at.”

And if she knew what was good for her, Vassi thought, she would drop it then and there.

But Daniela being Daniela, she didn’t.

“All I’m saying,” she said in an unusually serious voice, “is that I caught you looking at her the way I used to look—-” Her lips curled in an unusually self-mocking smile. “Who am I kidding? It’s the way I still look at my stepbrother. But because I held myself back, he’s married another girl, and now every stupid holiday I have to play the doting aunt when what I really wanted to do is to play house with him.”

When he didn’t speak, she made a face, saying wryly, “Why am I not even surprised you’re not saying anything?”

“Because there’s nothing to say,” he said simply. “You’ve misread—-”

“Yeah right.”

He said mildly, “You’re bordering on slander.”

She pretended to shudder. “So scary.” Daniela shook her head. “But hey, it’s your life.”

“It is.”

“But if I can only say one last thing—-”

Vassi let out an exasperated sound.

“I’m serious. Just one last thing, and it’s…” She was blinking furiously all of a sudden, and her voice had a scratchy note to it as she muttered under her breath, “If I could do it all over again—-” Her voice turned fierce. “I wouldn’t have held back.”

Daniela’s head lowered, and he watched her take a deep breath.

When she looked up, it was the old Daniela again, with the same carefree smile. “Now, about that favor.” Her tone turned wheedling. “It’s my first time to do something like this, so I’m nervous as hell.”

“It’s my first time to do voice acting as well,” he reminded her.

“You’re too beautiful for people to ever hate, Grachyov,” she dismissed. “Your voice acting can be absolutely shitty, but the fangirls will still love you.”

His lips twitched. Daniela had been the only girl he had worked with who had insisted on calling him by his last name, and in return he had taken to calling her—-

“Your jealousy is showing, D.”

She stuck her tongue out. “Shut up. I’m simply telling the truth, however unfair it is.”

Tags: Marian Tee Erotic
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