Page 24 of Corrupted

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“I’ll work as fast as I can.”

“We’re shooting some other scenes tomorrow, so we won’t need these ones until the next day.”

From the corner of my eye, I spot the script. Christmas isn’t my thing, but maybe I’ll glance through it later. “I’m going to do my best to make that happen, then.”

His eyes narrow in on me. “Really? Who are you?”


“Why would you help?”

My phone rings, and I glance into my purse to see that it’s my father calling. I told him I was visiting a friend in Florida for the holiday. He’s probably calling to check in on me. Ignoring it, I turn my focus to my new friend. “The better question is, why wouldn’t I?” I say, and don’t bother telling him I’m doing this for me as much as for them. But I love the arts, can sew and I need to do something with these idle hands. “Get undressed, Santa.”

“Jeez, you didn’t even offer to buy me dinner first.”

I laugh as he grins at me and slips out of his jacket. “I can do this really fast, so you can get back out there.”

“No worries, she’s on to another scene.”

“Okay.” I spread the jacket out on the table to examine the work that needs to be done.

“Let me at least get you another coffee.”

I reach for my purse. “I’d really appreciate that.”

He holds his hands up to stop me. “It’s the least I can do.”

I smile as he disappears out the back way, and I take a deep breath, a sense of purpose building inside me. This is going to be fun. I sit myself down, and get to work, stopping only when Raphael returns with my coffee, and before I know it, the day has gotten away from me. I reach for my coffee, which is stone-cold, when someone clears their throat at the door behind me.

“You’ve been working so hard, everyone thought you could use another cup.”

Startled, I spin, and my hand goes to my chest. “Cason,” I say. “You scared me.”

His smile dissolves and he pushes off the doorframe. “I’m sorry.”

“No,” I say quickly as his long legs close the steps between us. My gaze rakes over him as he approaches. He’s now dressed in jeans and a dark wool coat. One of his designs, no doubt. My brain buzzes, the sexy look setting off fashion ideas inside my head. Ideas he’d probably never want to hear. “It’s okay. I was just so lost in my thoughts.” He stops in front of me, his big frame eating up the small room and overwhelming me. My breath flutters and I ask, “I... How long were you standing there?”

“A long time, actually,” he says, a softness to him that I haven’t seen in years. It slides over my skin, and my cheeks warm, despite the chilly room. “Your coffee is still warm though.”

“Why didn’t you say something?”

“I don’t know.” He hands me the coffee, a smile on his face as he looks at the old sewing machine, and I get a sense his thoughts are elsewhere. “I guess it was just your concentration. I remember when you used to get like this in college.” He taps the sewing machine. “I’ve never seen such focus, Londyn. You by far, were the most determined woman I’d ever known. I always admired that about you. Did you know that?”

“No.” I gulp, pretty sure he has no idea how much that compliment actually means to me. “Thank you,” I say quietly, then another thought hits. If he thought that about me, why did he say I was a joke, a silly little rich girl. I want to ask, but I’m not sure if I want to hear his answer, and I’m not ready to leave this place if we get into an argument. It’s crazy and not a great idea, but I want my full two weeks with him. Things have been easy with us, and I want to savor that for as long as I can. “Wait, how did you find me?”

“I was worried when you didn’t show up back at home.”

Cason was worried about me? That thought curls around me like a warm blanket, and hugs so tight it squeezes the air from my lungs.

Breathe, Londyn, breathe.

“I wandered the streets and asked people.” He steals a glance around the small space. “Heard you volunteered to help with the costumes.”

“Yeah, their designer is out sick.” I shrug and pat the pile of clothes beside me, but I brace myself inside. Is he going to think I’m ridiculous? “They’re students. I thought I could help.”

“I’m just glad you’re okay. I thought you might have been abducted by aliens.”

I chuckle. “Wow, aliens, huh? I never knew you had such a wild imagination.”