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Authors: Casey McMillin

Seeing Clearly

BOOK: Seeing Clearly
13.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub










Casey McMillin




No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the author.













Copyright © 2013

Casey McMillin

All rights reserved.



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 1




Why couldn't I have just coughed up the money and let Maggie choose my dress?
I was getting hot flashes as I regarded my closet because it was an hour and half before I needed to be at Rachel's party and my "
Plan A
" dress wasn't working.

"Plan B, Plan B, come on Plan B," I chanted as I stared at the clothes hanging in front of me. It was a semi-formal affair, and I only had a few things that could pass. None of which I really liked.

It was a cool sixty degrees out, so I opened the sliding glass door in my bedroom to let in some fresh air.
No reason to get all hot and bothered about what you're going to wear,
I told myself, as I breathed in the cool outdoor air. You certainly couldn't call Los Angeles air "fresh air" but the stuff on my balcony was better than the stifling cloud of
nothing to wear air
that was hovering near my closet.

Plan A dress was out of the question since it had a hole I'd forgotten about. There was no way I could repair it in time. The other dresses I was considering were both short and sexy. Tonight I'd been shooting for classic and timeless, but at this point I couldn't be picky. I was already nervous about the amount of
attention I'd be receiving as a result of bringing Caleb Scott. He's a huge soap opera star who I'll be working with when I start my new job at Paradise Island. Caleb's appearance at the party tonight could certainly cause some head turning, and I hesitated to add to the spectacle by wearing a short and sexy, attention getting dress.

I wanted Rachel to be the star tonight. It
her party after all. Not that I thought I could outshine Rachel even if I tried. The girl was gorgeous, like an exotic princess or something. She and Collin were an absolutely stunning couple, and both such sweet souls. I was happy I had the chance to plan tonight's party. None of this was in my job description as Rachel's assistant, but it was the least I could do considering what an awesome boss she had been for more than a year. In fact, I was the one who'd come up with the idea of having the party in the first place. They each had family and friends who didn't get to come to their impromptu Vegas wedding, and I thought a celebration party would be just the thing. Right now, though, I was furious with myself for being so consumed with other details that I had forgotten to check my outfit.

There was really no question when it came to which one of my two alternates I'd be choosing. It would have to be the green one. The black one was
too revealing. I pulled the vintage inspired mint green ensemble off the hanger, and stood in front of the mirror to try it on. It had a fitted bodice and a full skirt that fell several inches above my knees. The dress reminded me of something Jackie O. would wear, and I felt good in it, but it was still an adjustment since I had my mind set on the gray number for weeks now. I stared at my reflection in the mirror, having to reassure myself I looked fine in mint green.

How had I forgotten about that tear in the
gray dress?
I couldn't stop myself from thinking about what a stupid mistake that was. I normally wasn't a space case, but the past couple of weeks had been a tad overwhelming. A week ago, against all odds, I landed a leading role on the longest running daytime drama on television.

I had been having trouble finding a good agent. I talked to several people, but finding good representation is nearly impossible if you haven’t
obtained success. I had to wonder how anyone ever made it in show business.

The answer (and also the key to a happy life) is: you meet a big-time producer at a coffee shop, and you flirt with him.
my friend, is the difference between getting an audition and not getting an audition in this town. Max Mitchell, producer of Paradise Island, was an easy guy to flirt with. He was sweet, smart, and really handsome… but I chose to ask Caleb Scott (my co-star) to come with me to the party tonight. I couldn't see myself being a hundred percent comfortable with Max. For some reason I got the feeling he thought I
him something for getting me the audition. I didn't think the amount of flirting I'd done warranted any assumptions on his part, but something in his manner made me feel as if we weren't quite square.

Anyway, bottom line: I asked Caleb out tonight, and I was sure Max (whom I may or may not owe something) would hear about it eventually. How would he respond to the news…
was the question. An even better question was why I was worried about it? I had the job already, and I ultimately had my own acting skills to thank for it, not Max Mitchell. I auditioned just like everyone else. So what if I would have never landed that audition if I hadn't met him that day in the coffee shop? Everybody deserves a lucky break sometimes, right?

Caleb would be here in just over an hour. He and I had been texting back and fourth quite a bit today, and I was looking forward to seeing him. His character on th
e show was a bad-boy type, and although Caleb wasn't quite as rough around the edges as his character Ashton, he definitely had that look. I caught myself doing a mental comparison of Caleb's brown hair next to Joel's, which was longish like Caleb's, but almost black.

Freaking Joel!
Why had everything been coming back to Joel Perrin lately? Joel is one of Rachel's clients. He's a chemist who developed a type of plastic that changed everyt
hing in the world of goggles, thus changing everything in the world of swimming in general. I had to wonder if the type of plastic used in goggles
make that much of a difference? I assumed the answer was yes since the guy was revered as some sort of god among swimmers.

It was obvious to everyone
, including Joel and me, that we shared chemistry on some level; I just didn't think we'd be a compatible pair. We got along just fine as friends, and both of us knew it'd be better if we kept it that way.

Then why can't you stop thinking about him?

I focused on my reflection in the mirror. I was giving myself an exasperated look for not being able to get the guy off my mind. It would've been okay if this were the first time he had crossed it, but lately I'd been thinking about him way too much.

Right now, at this very moment, however, I had other things to think about, like having to make some adjustments to my prior makeup plans since the gray dress hadn't worked out. I decided to stick with the whole Sixties era thing my dress was inspiring, so I went with thick liquid eyeliner on my upper lids in a cat's eye effect. My hair was cropped in an angular bob that went right along my jawline. It was a fresh haircut that looked presentable after only a few minutes of flat ironing.

Caleb looked me over as he came into my apartment. "You look like Marilyn Monroe's red headed sister, or maybe a vintage Playboy Bunny or something—"

?" My hands flew to my chest in an attempt to cover up somewhat. "I knew it was a little low cut, but God Caleb, what am I gonna do? I'm definitely not going for Playboy Bunny."

"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it like tha
t at all. I meant it as a compliment. It's just different and gorgeous, and that's just the first thing that crossed my mind. It's not even close to Playboy. Believe me I'd be happier right now if it were."

"Well it does have this little jacket that goes with it." I grabbed the
cap sleeve jacket off of my dining room chair and began to shrug into it.

"No, no, don't cover up because of what I said. Oh, come on Gretchen, I'm sorry."

But I was already planning on wearing the little jacket anyway. It was made to go with the dress and I knew they'd look good together. After I got it on, I held my arms out and did a little twirl for his inspection.

"Okay, I was just lying when I said forget the jacket," Caleb said. "You should definitely keep it on. I think you just got sexier with
more clothes on, if that's even possible."

"You look good too. I was hoping you wouldn't show up in ripped jeans and a wife beater like on the show."

"Would you still have taken me to the party with you if I had?" he asked.

"Yep," I answered with a smile.

"Good," he said, smiling. He was looking at me like he really did think I was beautiful.

I was blown away at how my life had changed
in a matter of a few weeks. A month ago, I was happy to get a date with a broke musician whose rock band practiced in a nasty, old storage unit on the bad side of town. Now, Ashton from Paradise Island was escorting me to a party.

"You really do look amazing. Please don't think twice about what I said earlier. Seriously, I do
much better with girls when I have writers telling me what to say."

Caleb was only twenty-one, but he'd been playing Ashton Voss on Paradise Island for twelve whole years. He basically grew up on national TV with all of America watching. I couldn't imagine what that would have been like. Part of me envied him and part of me pitied him for growing up in the spotlight. He seemed perfectly content with his life, though. He had a taste for the finer things, and his career supported that. He picked me up in a sports car so exotic I didn't even recognize the name brand. There was barely enough room for the two of us to sit inside.

"Are we going, to the moon?" I asked, as I settled into the passenger's seat.

"I think I could get us there if I had the right kind of ramp. We could try it at a skateboard park, but if it works, you'll miss the party." He was
deadpan serious and I knew right then that I liked his personality a lot.

"Yeah, I guess you're right. We should probably stay on Earth for tonight, you kno
w, because of the party and all," I said.

"Okay, but if you ever wanna try it, you know who to call."

"My own personal rocket service?" I asked, wide-eyed.

"Anytime, angel."


Caleb brought us right to the place we needed to be. He had been to the venue at least a dozen times. It was an L.A. hotspot called The Mirror Garden. The place was booked two years in advance for a Saturday night, but I knew someone who knew someone who slipped us in when there was a cancellation.

I felt a certain responsibility to make sure things went smoothly tonight, so Caleb and I were the first official guests to arrive. We were thirty minutes early, but he was a real sport about having to show up pre-party like eager beavers. He knew how concerned I was with making the party a success so he sweetly asked, "Is there anything I can help you with?"

BOOK: Seeing Clearly
13.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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