First Undressing Blog Hop: THE STARCATCHER

I am so excited to hit “publish” on the sequel to THE PROFESSIONAL, a flash fiction piece starring a struggling actress about to make her big break sharing a fantasy kiss with the world’s sexiest man…under the too-bright lights of a mouthwash commercial’s set. 

THE STARCATCHER

When Philip Craig is hired to do the body shots on Ian Cunningham’s latest commercial gig because the star is secretly in rehab (again), it’s just anther day on the job. Until he meets Felicity Hale—and by meet, he means make out with—and she disappears on him. Fast forward to a flashy A-list only party after the premier of STARCATCHER. Felicity and Philip meet again, and, if the chemistry was sizzling on set, it’s practically volcanic when the two share a private afterparty in Ian’s guest house. 

 

THE STARCATCHER

It wasn’t like she hadn’t seen a penis before.

She’d seen plenty. Had played with a few when the mood struck her.

But there was a very real possibility she’d seen this particular penis on the silver screen not four hours earlier. And that was a first.

“You disappeared,” he said. His voice was a little raw and a lot accusing. “And in a town where everybody knows everybody, nobody knows a Miss Felicity Hale.” He leaned against the doorway, like he owned the doorway. And maybe he did. From this distance, with the light shining behind him, she couldn’t tell if the voice belonged to Ian Cunningham or his double. Philip.

Just like on set.

Felicity was hyper-aware that she was trespassing. She’d been overwhelmed by the crush of the Starcatcher afterparty and had found refuge on a linen couch in a guesthouse that had been clearly marked as “off limits.” She’d almost talked herself into rejoining the party. Then he came along.

But Ian-slash-Philip didn’t move into the room. Didn’t tell her security was on the way. He just stood there, as if he were unaware of how the haloing light set him off to perfection.

She almost choked on that last sip of her cocktail. This was Hollywood, he no doubt knew the favors the lighting did for him.

And his cock.

No, that wasn’t quite right. He had one hand wrapped around a longneck. A longneck that was alarmingly close to his denim-covered bulge—that’s really what she should be calling it. It was a bulge she couldn’t stop staring at. Not a cock.

Just a bulge, a benign entity.

Though that’s how it had started in the film, too, she recalled. Hands hovering over a button. A teasing promise. Just a little glint of metal peeking between long, strong fingers. “Soon,” that button had promised.

And then...

“I was beginning to think you didn’t want to be found.”

“I’m sorry?” If she was apologizing for bulge-staring or vanishing—or vanishing into memories of five minutes of totally gratuitous and totally glorious on-screen wanking—she’d never be certain. Shouldn’t be apologizing at all, idiot. “It wasn’t intentional.”

There, her voice sounded quite insouciant.

He brought the longneck up to his lips—lips she had possibly kissed so very many times. If he was Philip. But Ian or Philip, she’d be willing to give up next month’s gas money for her lips to follow her eyes’ path up his long, lean torso and the ropey muscles of his forearm. She suddenly didn’t feel quite so carefree.

 “I’m glad you’re here, Felicity.” The way he said her name made her want to toss back the rest of her drink and throw the glass into the unlit fireplace. “I wanted to see more of you.”

Oh, she’d seen plenty of him. Maybe. “Are you—”

“Does it matter?”

Yes. No?

Ian Cunningham, the man attached to the now-famous appendage, at least publicly, (she’d seen movie stills leaked on the web for weeks, but nothing compared to the breadth of the cinematic spectacle), had seen the raw footage of “their” commercial before he filmed his closeups and had been, as her agent had quoted, completely smitten with the fair Felicity. He’d messengered two tickets to the premiere of Starcatcher and an engraved invitation to his party high in the Malibu hills.

The fair Felicity wasn’t naïve. She knew nothing would come of the invitation—except maybe some great hors d’oeuvres and top-shelf drinks thankyouverymuch—so calling in “sick” to her night job and squirming through five of the most arousing minutes of her life in a crowded theater seemed a small price to pay for some face time with the movie-making elite.

“It matters,” she replied and half expected Ian-slash-Philip to turn and leave. But he didn’t. He just took another long, slow pull of his beer.

Then sauntered in the room, half in shadows, half in light.

Ian. Philip. Did it matter? Now that they were alone together, in a small room that might as well be miles from the rest of the party, it didn’t matter that she’d told herself she’d come to the party to network.

No, she’d come here to see him. More of the taut belly above the low-slung waistband of his jeans. More of the fevered, frantic motions of hands diving under cotton, moving over flesh.

Ian-slash-Philip sat on the armchair opposite and she had a flash of Rhett Butler at the bottom of the stairs. Those knowing eyes seeing right through to Scarlett’s “shimmy.”

She wasn’t wearing a chemise. Or a slip. Just a piece of diaphanous aqua chiffon that wouldn’t require much effort to remove. Felicity wished she were tied up in complicated undergarments so he could wrestle and curse as he worked to dispatch them.

He flicked on the lamp and low, golden light washed over him. Spilled over onto her. More movie magic, but this time without the crew and the crowds and the…

He tipped his face into the light, just a fraction of an inch. A scar bisected his left brow. Freckles.

“Philip....” Just saying his name brought up the specter of their very-public kisses. Those sweet, spicy, hard-candy kisses. “Hello again.”

His answering smile made heat pool low in her belly. And when she crossed over to his chair, and bent down low to taste his mouth, it felt like she’d captured a supernova.

Felicity worked at the buttons of his shirt, wanting to bare his skin to the golden light, to her lips, but he caught up her fingers in his big hands. “You first.”

When she hesitated, he dropped kisses all over her collarbone. Long, horizontal trails that made her wish her dress would just disappear. “Show me,” he beckoned, lips giving way to his tongue licking at her skin. He worked his way up her neck to her lips until their kiss threatened to rend the galaxy in two.

Philip drew back, smiled at her, his hand teasing the side zipper of her dress. Clever man. “Tit for tat?”

“But I haven’t seen any of your tattoos,” she protested, sure she was just as clever.

“Ah, but you have.”

“I know.” She walked her fingers down his chest, exploring the tight stomach she’d memorized on the second-to-last row of the theater, learning each dip and ridge of bone and flesh. “Here.” Felicity rested her open palm on his flank, rubbed over the denim covering it.

“Thirty fourth second in the fiftieth minute of Starcatcher. Continuity error,” was all he said before he raised his eyebrow and she nodded. It was easy, just a side zip and a swift tug over her breasts and her little slip of a dress fell between them and she was bared to his gaze.

To his candy-flavored kisses.

“Ah, Aphrodite,” he teased when his seeking fingers had stroked down and down her torso to her crumpled dress. “Let’s see what’s under these waves, shall we?” 

 

 

 

I described the #1stUndressing Blog Hop on Twitter as “undressier and sexier”—and oh boy, is it ever? I’ve been loving the stories this week. (And, of course, cursing the teeny tiny word count limit: 1500!) Check out my August 8th undressing-day friends Audra NorthJennifer Lohmann, and Shelley Ann Clark