Authors: Rebecca Royce
She stood to shake hands with anyone who wanted to approach and talk to her, and then, poof, somehow hours had passed. When she turned around, Ian was waiting for her.
“I have to go. I was sick for the matinee. I may need to make a remarkable recovery for the evening show or I’ll get calls from the producers all night.”
Teirney nodded. “It was incredibly nice of you to come.”
“It wasn’t nice.” He did the hair thing again. “Can you help me with something? I mean, maybe, it’s not the time to ask only I’m doing it anyway.”
“Really, anything. I’d love a task which didn’t involve death or packing.”
He took her hand squeezed it for a second before dropping his fingers. She immediately missed the warmth.
“Your grandmother’s house?”
“Yep. Needs to go on the market.”
“Right. Well, my question is hard. Maybe something more to do with advice than anything you would need to do.”
She shrugged. “Answer still stands.”
“I’m not sure what to do. I’ve fallen for a girl. Hard. And I’m wondering if you could come up with a game plan for me on how to make her see I’m serious and I’m not leaving.”
Her heart pounded hard and he continued.
“When you figure it out, could you let me know how to make her understand? I’m hoping she thinks I’m worth it.” He leaned over, his mouth gentle on her cheek. “I’m so sorry, sweetheart. Call me if you need anything. Otherwise I’m giving you some space until you come up with a game plan for me.”
She opened and closed her mouth. Teirney was speechless.
Ian is falling for me?
When she had officially boxed the entire kitchen, she stopped moving. It was the first time in more hours than she cared to count since she wasn’t plowing through something. Her grandmother’s funeral the day before seemed a great blur. What had the minister said? She could, however, remember quite clearly what Ian had asked.
She shook her head before she leaned against the wall. What time was it? For a person always preoccupied by the very minute of every day, she had really let go. It was nine o’clock. She’d had no dinner or lunch for that matter. Breakfast had basically been coffee and burnt toast. Without Granny to care for, she wasn’t doing a very good job with herself. Did she have a yogurt left in the fridge?
Ian had asked her to tell him how to pursue her. It was a ridiculous question and yet with the way she had treated him when she had been in shock she couldn’t blame him for being unsure. It was amazing he still wanted her.
He hadn’t uttered a word about getting caught with her in the press. Had he not because he didn’t care or because they’d been at her grandmother’s funeral and it was such an inappropriate time?
The only one who would answer these questions was the man himself. If she hurried, she could find out.
The cars were lined in front of the theater and so were the fans. It always amazed her how people took the time to come out and wait for Ian if they hadn’t seen the show. Night after night, some of the same faces stood waiting for a moment of his time.
He was special. If he hadn’t been an actor, he would still have attracted people to him. Charisma helped make people successful.
“Ma’am?” It took her a moment to realize she was being called. Ian’s driver waited outside the car. “Do you wish to wait in here?”
She blinked. “Yes, actually. Great idea. Thanks.”
The show ended three minutes late. She knew because she stared at her watch.
What had they been doing to hold the show up tonight?
She sunk lower in her seat watching the crowds exit. Marie had been in charge for three days and things had already gone to hell.
In no world was Teirney missing another day of work.
With the large crowd waiting, Teirney figured Ian would be another forty-five minutes at least. She closed her eyes. What could she do to pass the time? No way had she meant to fall asleep.
“Teirney.” Her eyes darted open with her heart in her throat.
“What?” She blinked trying to make her eyes clear. Where was she?
Ian stared at her, a small smile on his face. “You okay, baby?”
“Yes. Sorry. I guess I dozed off.” A great idea seemed really foolish. “Sorry.”
“Coming in to find you in the car was the best surprise ever.” He pulled her against him. “I wasn’t expecting to see you tonight.”
“I had enough packing. And I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said to me.”
He raised his eyebrows and the car started moving at the same time. The whole thing felt straight out of a film. Ian raised his brows, and, like magic, the vehicle moved. Damn, she must be really tired.
“Did you come up with an idea for me?”
“I might have. Let me ask you something first.”
He stroked a finger down the side of her face. “Go for it.”
“How do you feel about being written about with me? Having me be the girl on those gossip sites with you?”
His finger-stroking made her lightheaded, yet she waited for his answer and somehow managed not to jump his bones.
“So you did see them. I wondered. I feel fine about it. For now, that is part of my life. There might come a day when they leave me alone. I think I should expect about ten years from today to be less interesting to the crowds. I’m fine with the idea. The Ian they portray there isn’t who I am inside. I’m still the kid from Texas with the genius sister who disappointed his parents by not doing more with my life.”
She took his hands. “My parents are endlessly upset with my career path.”
“Your parents didn’t show for your grandmother’s funeral yesterday. I don’t think they’re winning any awards for loving you well.”
There he was—the Ian who helped, who wanted to make things okay for her, who showed at her Granny’s funeral just because. She did see him and not only as the movie star she knew him to be.
“No kidding.” She snorted and rubbed her eyes. “So returning to it, you’re okay with being seen with me. I don’t think I can share you, even if it’s for publicity, even if some actress would make you look better and it’s all pretend or whatever.”
“I don’t think I could tolerate such an arrangement either. Nope. I don’t need that kind of press. What do you think about sharing it with me when need be? Can you deal?”
“Ian, I don’t really care at all. I can’t imagine I’ll be very interesting to anyone for very long. I’m kind of a loner who has figured out a job where I can use my strengths. They won’t dig up any gossip to put us on the front page.”
He leaned really close and she could feel the growth of his whiskers on his cheek as he rubbed it against hers. “I know tonight is really soon. Everything has been really intense. I’m committed to making things work with you. I’ve wanted you since I laid eyes on you during our first rehearsal. In my head, you’re mine. When you arrive at where I am, you’ll me know.” He kissed her lips, the briefest of touches. “I’m sure of it.”
Three months later
Teirney sighed. Today was the day.
Where are you
? The text buzzed in her pocket, and she looked down to read Ian’s words.
With shaking fingers, she typed her response.
In Brooklyn saying goodbye
Look to your left
She did just in time to see him coming around the corner. How had he known? She couldn’t help except remember three months earlier when he had sent the text which she always thought of as the beginning of their relationship.
“Are you stalking me, hot stuff?” She smiled and extended her hand, which he took when he reached her.
“No. I had a feeling you’d be here.”
“Hard to believe today is the day. I’ll be signing the papers, and some buyer whose name still remains private will be taking it.”
The person—people?—who had purchased the place had insisted on privacy. She’d see their names for the first time today on the closing documents. The cash they were paying with was already in her lawyer’s escrow account. Teirney supposed the money was all that mattered in the long run. Although it felt weird to still not know.
She agreed. Ian had been great helping her make the whole thing ready. The house still needed a lot of work, but it looked as if it might someday be beautiful again.
“I have to go to the lawyer. Did you take the subway here or is Todd around the corner?” Ian’s driver and she had become good friends over the last few months. The show was over, and Todd would be moving on to work for someone else soon. Todd worked for the producers of
; he’d been a perk for Ian. Now, he’d have another celebrity to shuttle about.
Meanwhile, Teirney had rehearsals for her new job, and Ian would be filming a pilot in New York starting the next week. Time moved on, and so did Granny’s house.
“Teirney, are you contemplating the passage of time again?”
She scratched her head. “So obvious?”
“Only to me. I took the subway.” He still loved doing it which made her smile. “And maybe you don’t have to say goodbye.”
“I’m not planning to randomly walk by the place.”
“The pizza around the corner is really too good to not eat.”
She squeezed his fingers, surprised when he let go to sit on the steps of the brownstone. “You’ll have to say goodbye to this pizza. We’ll find you something you love in Manhattan eventually.”
“Sorry, I simply can’t live without the pepperoni.”
Teirney put her hands on her hips. “I am not coming here once a week. It’ll kill me to pass the place. Maybe in a few years.”
“Or.” He cleared his throat and then patted the steps next to him for her to sit. She did as he indicated while she waited for him to finish. “Maybe the buyer would understand if you wanted to spend time here. Maybe he knows you’re not the kind of girl to go for a flashy ring. Maybe he thought this would show his love for you more completely. The work inside would intimidate most girls, but not the buyer’s lady. He saw her light more and more with every coat of paint and new piece of carpeting. Maybe he bought it for his love so he could tell her he wants to spend the rest of his life with her and won’t she make him the happiest man in the world by saying yes?”
If she hadn’t seen the tremor in his hand she might have thought him kidding. Only he wasn’t. Ian was dead serious. He had bought her house, and he was proposing.
Tears sprang from her eyes as she leapt at him, practically falling onto his lap to kiss him, hard.
With a laugh, he pulled away. “Is that a yes?”
“You didn’t have to do this, you know. I can never do without you. I know you know. You always get me. I’m sorry it took three months to be where you were immediately. I wish I could be more like you, more instant, more sure of immediacy. You make me feel safe, Ian Mackenzie. I’ll love you forever. Yes, I’ll marry you.”
He sucked in his breath. “We’re going to make our place a home again. For you and me. Outside of the lights. Here will be our sanctuary. For whatever comes next.”
Nothing had ever sounded better.
Thank you so much for reading
Under the Lights
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Under the Lights is a special novella in the Tempting Signs series. The series is written by twelve authors for each sign of the zodiac. Under the Lights had the Virgo sign in mind and dove right into the ideals of what happens when someone with that sign falls in love. Make sure you find all twelve stories throughout the year! Some are interconnected so you will see cameos from characters you love.
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Each title will be released in 2015 and 2016 during the time of their Zodiac Sign
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By Ranae Rose
Finally Found You
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Before the Rain
By JoAnne Kenrick
Under the Lights
By Rebecca Royce
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By Katalina Leon
Into the Night
By Virginia Cavanaugh
By Taryn Kincaid
By Cassandra Carr
Once Upon a Fantasy
By Lia Davis
As a teenager, Rebecca Royce would hide in her room to read her favorite romance novels when she was supposed to be doing her homework. She hopes, these days, that her parents think it was well worth it.
Rebecca is the mother of three adorable boys and is fortunate to be married to her best friend. They’ve just moved to Texas where Rebecca is discovering a new love for barbecue!
She's in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and tries to use all of these elements in her writing. She's been told she's a little bloodthirsty so she hopes that when you read her work you'll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. Rebecca loves to write series because she loves to see characters develop over time and it always makes her happy to see her favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.