Michael Graydon has it all - looks, fame, and a couple of Oscars.
Does he see me in the crowd of paparazzi?
Does he know I sell pictures of him to the tabloids as if money could ever erase the feel of his lips on me?
Does he think I forgot the way he broke my heart?
Or does he know that I’ve ruined everything I’ve ever loved?
We were seventeen when I left, and I never forgot Laine. Not for one minute.
Since that day I’ve measured all women against her and every one of them has come up short.
We're in the same town, on the same block, in the same building, and the gulf between us is just too wide to cross.
Until I stop running from trouble long enough to throw her camera off a balcony.
She’s a career-killer. A PR disaster.
Loving her again is career suicide, and I don’t care.
This time, I’m running toward her, even if it ruins me.
** Star Crossed was previously released as Shuttergirl, and includes a brand new epilogue and previously unpublished, totally swoon-worthy and emotional new scenes.
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“Really.” I grabbed my camera. “Thank you for the eggs. Your apology is accepted, and your warning… I get it. Thank you. I’ll keep my eyes out.”
Fifteen steps to the door. Why were those lofts so damn big? What was I thinking?
Five steps, and I heard a shuffle behind me, the scrape of a chair. I picked up the pace, and I knew he was behind me. By the time I got to the door, his chest was against my back and his hand was over the door jamb.
“Don’t,” he said.
“I’m going to get between you and this. I don’t like anyone knowing where you are. I don’t like you walking around at night unprotected. Especially because of me.”
I turned, putting my back to the door. “I haven’t seen you in ten years. Now this?”
“I should say it’s that I feel responsible for what’s happening. But you’re in this business as much as I am, so it’s not that. It’s you. I was up half the night thinking about you in those bleachers. The things you told me. The stuff I told you. How I felt. Back then, I was so confused, and I left you without a call or checking on you for reasons that…” He shook his head. “The reasons were pathetic. No one would have approved of you, and I lived on approval.”
He touched my hair, and those long strands became nerve endings for desire. The little hairless spot on his chin shifted, and I wanted to touch it so badly that I did so without thinking.
“Whatever it was I felt before, I’m not hiding from it this time. This time, I’m not going to worry what anyone else thinks,” he said.
“What if I’m worried?”
“I’ll make you not worried.”
His breath warmed my cheek, and I believed he could change things, even as I knew he couldn’t. He could only drag himself down. This could only go bad. But I turned my face until my lips touched his, and he stopped being a movie star. He was the boy in the bleachers, the one who worked too hard and cared too much, and I became the girl who could be anything she wanted, the one who was accepted and whose life was about to turn around.
But I’d wanted it then. I’d wanted his hand in mine to be the warning bell for change. In the penthouse loft, with his lips and tongue growing more urgent and his hands on the sides of my face, I didn’t want my life to change. I’d done everything I’d set out to do since he’d left, and there he was again, ready to destroy everything I’d built in exchange for a mouth that fit mine like a palm curled over a fist.
I turned to face the door, still trapped by his arms, and opened it a crack. He slapped it shut.
“If you’re not busy, I want to take you somewhere.”
“I’m always busy,” I said, leaning into him.
“Taking pictures of Hollywood royalty.”
“Bring your camera then.”
About CD Reiss
CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn't pick up she's at the well hauling buckets.
Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master's degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.
She's frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn't ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.
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