They stepped out into warm California sunshine and a cool breeze. Rhett took one look at her wreck of a loaner and began laughing.
“I’ll be right back,” he told her.
She heard a car’s engine approach and turned as Rhett pulled up in a black Range Rover. He got out and tossed her a set of keys.
“It’s yours to drive. Don’t give me a withering look, Cassie. It’s not a mercy loan. It actually comes with the job. Carreen used it all the time. Sometimes, you’ll have things to pick up for me, like the mega-amount of groceries today, so you’ll need a lot of room.”
“And sometimes I’ll need to park in fancy-schmancy places, and you wouldn’t want me to embarrass you?” she needled.
Rhett mock sighed. “You’re absolutely right. You’re onto me. I am a shallow, selfish, stereotypical Hollywood star and wouldn’t want others to judge me by the broken-down mess my assistant drives.” He eyed her. “Come on, Cassie. You’ll have fun driving a Rover.”
“Hah! You have no idea where I live, Corrigan. It’ll probably be stolen from my parking lot before I make it to my apartment door.”
He shrugged. “So, I’ll buy a new one. You know us pampered Hollywood men and our toys. Get in it and follow me.” Rhett climbed into the sleek, blue Porsche and buckled up. “Let’s go,” he called out the window.
Cassie climbed behind the wheel of the Range Rover and fell in behind Rhett. Her heart pounded in her ears. How could he trust her with something so expensive, especially when she’d totaled one of his cars yesterday?
Who are you? Was she serious?
Every woman in America knew Dash DeLauria. He couldn’t pump his own gas or grab a latte in Starbucks. A stylist came to his house when he needed a haircut. How could she not know who he was?
Whoever she was, she was hot. Despite the sleek navy business suit and conservative shell under it that made her look totally establishment. Despite the dull brown hair, which didn’t seem to go with the rest of her. The remaining package?
It was everything Dash liked.
She was very tall and at six-three, he liked a tall woman. She had flawless, incandescent skin. Green eyes the color of summer grass that popped. Without a doubt, she possessed the most kissable mouth he’d seen in a long time. He already itched to put his lips next to hers and take them for a spin.
“Who are you?” he replied, turning the tables back to her. Maybe she was Monty Revere’s personal assistant. Or accountant. She sure as hell wasn’t his housekeeper—but Dash would love to play house with her. Anytime.
“I asked first.” She eyeballed him calmly but he saw the pulse point jump in her throat. Despite her cool and collected outside, he had an effect on this woman.
“Who would you like me to be?” he asked, mimicking Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
“Are you serious? You’re flirting with me? I don’t believe this.” Her eye roll would put any teenage girl to shame.
“Oh, baby, you’d know if I was flirting with you,” he teased, his interest in her growing by the minute. Dash was never interested in women. They were always interested in him.
She jerked the box from his hands and shoved the money at his chest. The minute she touched him, electric sparks shot through him like he’d never imagined.
London looked up and saw a dog bounding her way. The golden retriever crashed into her table, spilling her drink, soaking the song she’d been working on. He jammed his nose into her crotch. Mortified, London tried to push it away.
“Bunker!” she heard a second time. London saw Seth Walker dashing toward her, a leash with a dangling collar in one hand. No, not Seth Walker. The actor who played Seth Walker in her favorite movie franchise. His cobalt eyes shone bright, accentuating his tanned face and sun-kissed blond hair. If Adonis had come to life, he would be this man.
“I’m going to kill you,” the actor growled, frowning at the dog. “I mean it.”
The golden buried his nose against her leg.
London burst out laughing.
“I apologize for my dog’s lack of manners.” He reached for the dog but Bunker wriggled closer to London.
“I give up,” he said in frustration. “Do you think you could help me out?”
“It’s my favorite thing in life to help a man in need.”
Wait … was she flirting? She never flirted. Ever.
Amusement lit his eyes.
“Hand it over.”
He surrendered the collar, still attached to the leash. She pried the dog’s nose from her and slid the collar over his head.
Bunker’s owner knelt and tightened it. “I won’t fall for that look again,” he told the dog, radiating disapproval.
“What look is that?” she asked.
“The pathetic one that tells me his collar is too tight. The one that got me to loosen it up, which was all the invitation he needed to slip out of it and make his way lightning fast to the most beautiful girl on the block.”
London sensed the blush creeping up her neck. To distract herself, she reached out to pet the dog. Her fingers glided through his silky, golden fur.
“Mind if I sit?” the handsome actor asked.
“Be my guest.”
He sank into the chair next to her and ran a hand through his thick hair. London suddenly wanted to run her fingers through his hair and not Bunker’s. She averted her eyes and focused on the dog again.
“I owe you a drink. For Bunker making this mess.” He glanced at his watch. “I guess it’s too early for a glass of wine.”
She grinned. “It’s never too early for wine.”
Right away, Keely noticed the guy getting out of the black truck beside her.
Really noticed him.
He was probably six-two, wearing a navy T‑shirt that showed off enough bicep and a lot of strong forearm, one of her weaknesses. His faded jeans spotlighted an amazing ass, another weakness. If this guy had a sense of humor, he would be her trifecta. Light brown hair cropped close and what looked like a year-round tan rounded out the picture.
“Hi. Where are you going?” she asked, trying to be friendly—and see up close what color eyes he had.
Not that she was in shopping mode for a new man in her life. Starting a new film wasn’t the time to begin a new relationship, even with a man who looked this amazing. But it never hurt to look. Looking was healthy.
He turned and sized her up. Keely’s mouth went dry. Normally, she’d be pissed at a man checking her out so thoroughly. In his case, she’d overlook it.
Especially since she’d been guilty of doing the same.
Jax warbled at the stranger and Keely laughed seeing his reaction.
The man closed the gap between them. “What … was that?”
“This is Jax. And that … was his non-bark.”
The man’s espresso eyes studied her dog. “He’s a basenji.”
“How did you know? Most people have never heard of the breed.”
“I saw a movie—Goodbye, My Lady—about a basenji. Brandon De Wilde, the kid from Shane, was in it.”
Keely scratched Jax’s head. “You know Shane and Goodbye, My Lady. Are you a film buff?”
He shrugged. “My parents raised me on the classics. I go to the movies at least twice a week. Binge like a fool on Netflix. Attend film festivals.”
Keely loved classic films but some of this guy’s appeal faded. He had to be an actor. She’d dated her fair share of fellow actors when she’d arrived in Hollywood and decided she’d never do so again.
Still, curiosity led her to ask, “Are you an actor?”
“No. Stuntman and stand-in. Mac Randall.”
He offered her his hand and she shook it. Mr. Not an Actor’s appeal increased exponentially. She told herself to tamp down her interest but heard herself say, “I’m glad you know how to shake. Firm without crushing my hand. Most guys try to be cool and overdo it.”
“I’m not most guys.”
Scarlett pulled into a parking place and turned off the ignition. She handed Wynn the keys. “Thanks for letting me drive. I’d love to own a car like this someday.”
He passed the keys back to her. “It’s yours.” Wynn enjoyed seeing the dumbfounded look he’d put on Scarlett’s face. “Consider it a bonus.”
“Wynn, I haven’t done anything yet,” she said, her exasperation obvious. “I’m pulling out all the stops for you but it doesn’t mean the studio will go for this. I put our chances at sixty-forty, at best.”
“It doesn’t matter,” he told her. “You’ve done a lot for me. Already, I believe in myself more than I have in a long time.”
She clutched the keys. “It’s too much,” she said, but he heard the wistfulness in her tone.
Taking charge of the situation, he said, “Hey. I’m Wynn Gallagher. I’m made of money. I have half a dozen more cars waiting for me at home that need restoring.” His gaze met hers. “Take the damn car, Scarlett, and say thank you.”
She let out a long breath. “Okay.” A radiant smile lit her face. “Thank you, Wynn.”
Wynn would give Scarlett a hundred cars just to see the look of joy on her face.