Planning on Prince Charming(4)

By: Lizzie Shane

Her teal eyes flared with panic as she heard the voices too. And damn if his instinct to save the damsel in distress didn’t kick in like never before.

Acting on instinct more than thought, he grabbed her arm and tucked her between his body and the door of 312 so she wouldn’t be as obviously visible if Miranda came around the corner. He waved his keycard in front of the sensor, hoping he wasn’t actually staying in 321. If this wasn’t his room they were so screwed, but after only a second’s hesitation the door beeped and popped open. Hallelujah.

Together they stumbled inside, Josh snapping the door shut behind him with his foot. He held his breath, listening against the door for some indication that he’d been seen smuggling a Suitorette into his room.

Shit. What had he been thinking?

“Was that…?” the girl whispered.

“Miranda,” he confirmed direly.

“What happens if they find us together?”

“I get fired and you get kicked off the show. And the tabloids run the story for weeks.”

Teal eyes widened. “I can’t go out there.”

“No,” he agreed, without hesitation.

“So we’re…”

“Stuck here.”

To his left, the abandoned half-bottle of six-year-old scotch taunted him from the wet bar.

To the right, a light illuminated the bed like a spotlight, casting a glow over the massive expanse, piled high with pillows and an overstuffed comforter.

And in between stood the picture of temptation in pink yoga pants and a freaking Tinkerbell T-shirt.

If Miranda came to check on him, there was no way he’d be able to explain this away now. This day just kept getting better and better.

Chapter Two

Sidney had gone looking for Mister Perfect and found Josh Pendleton.

She tried not to read too much into that. Sure, they were trapped together in his hotel room, but nothing could happen. He was famous for being happily married, for crying out loud—not to mention a million miles out of her league. And she was going to meet the man of her dreams tomorrow.

Maybe. Provided it was Daniel.

But in the mean time she was trapped with one of Us Weekly’s 100 Hunkiest Hollywood Hotties in his hotel room.

The room was posh. Luxurious. Easily double the size of her own, with a sitting area, a wet bar and a giant gift basket overflowing from the small coffee table. Stepping deeper into the room, she turned in a circle in the center of the sitting area. “Your room is nicer than mine.”

“Well, I’m the talent,” he said with just enough faux arrogance to be self-deprecating.

She felt her lips curving in a smile as he crossed to the wet bar—which looked like it could host a rock band for a week without needing to be restocked—and put the ice she’d nearly knocked out of his arms on the bar, next to a half-empty bottle of something golden.

Normally she would feel uncomfortable, alone with such a disturbingly attractive man. Chiseled features and the kind of toned body that was more commonly associated with action stars—the man was lethal. But her tongue wasn’t tying itself into the usual awkward knots. Maybe it was the fact that he was so clearly off-limits. Or maybe it was the three mini-bar bottles of liquid courage. Or maybe it was the familiarity of the warm, understanding brown eyes that had gazed sympathetically at countless Suitors and Suitorettes over the many seasons of Marrying Mister Perfect as they had their countless hearts broken.

Whatever the reason, she wasn’t nervous with him.

“Would they really fire you?” she asked as he filled a pair of glasses with ice water.

“In a heartbeat. Thou shalt not screw around with the Suitorettes is commandment one.”

“But nothing happened.” She rounded the couch and came over to accept one of the glasses from him. “And you’re so popular. I bet there are thousands of viewers who tune in just to see you each week.” Not that she would ever admit to being one of them. “There are fan sites devoted to you.”

“And whoever they replace me with will be younger, have more rabid fans and draw an even bigger audience. Welcome to Hollywood.”

“Such a cynic. I had no idea.”

“I mask it well.”

“You’d have to.” He was so charming every week on Marrying Mister Perfect. So upbeat as he encouraged the contestants to follow their hearts and leap headfirst into love. She’d always thought they had that in common—the foolish romantic optimism—but if this was how he really was…something sad panged in her chest. “You’re shattering my illusions here.”

He grimaced, downing his water. “Never meet your heroes. It will only disappoint you.”

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