Twenty years ago, the movie Hollywood Stardust defined a generation of teens and changed the four actors’ lives forever.
Typecast as the villain both in front and behind the silver screen, Logan Alexander has purposely allowed his star to fade. Now with the 20th Anniversary of the movie on the horizon, he is the only one fit to step into the spotlight, deal with the unwanted publicity, and make sure that things meant to be left on the cutting room floor remain there.
Ivy Vermont has always longed to be a leading lady, yet her paralyzing stage fright has relegated her to stay behind the scenes as a fact checker for Chargge.com’s entertainment webcasts. However, when her one-time poster-boy crush walks in to the studio demanding only she be in charge of his story, she knows she must take advantage of her big break.
Now, Logan tightropes between old loyalties and new love, while Ivy struggles to stay in reality with her ultimate fantasy.
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EXCERPTThe joy of being Logan Alexander. He had almost forgotten. Since the first day he had stepped into the studio with the other three stars, he had been typecast, but of all the roles, his was the most fun. “Action!” the director with no name called out, and his sassy little reporter found herself with a huge case of stage fright. The introduction music played through the set.
Of course, being Logan Alexander came with its share of crap no one would ever imagine. The side no one knew, and the side he needed to keep on the cutting room floor in order for all of them to live the lifestyle, or appear to live the lifestyle. The godforsaken anniversary of the movie that would never die thrust them all back into the spotlight and him right back into the lead role he never wanted. Over the next few weeks, he would need some distraction to get him through.
However, in less than an hour, he accomplished his goal of distracting everyone away from asking questions he refused to answer. Unfortunately, he managed to paralyze the poor angel who he thrust in the middle of his mess, or maybe it was for the greater good.
The music ended, but she remained motionless, her skin pale, her cheeks glowing brighter than the studio lights.
Good thing for the woman who liked the villain that Logan Alexander would take over, as always. Like it or not, he rescued the world with a sly remark and an insult since he was typecast.
He let out a laugh and grabbed her hand, pulling her toward him and acting like they were in mid conversation. “Yes, I have always lived in Southern California, and to this day, it’s hard to drive down Hollywood Boulevard without having flashbacks. Now, Ivy, you wanted to know what my favorite part of the movie was?” His action received the desired reaction and she looked into his eyes.
“Sure?” Her whisper brushed against his lips.
“Hm.” He paused and toyed with her fingers, not only to keep her mind elsewhere, but more than enjoying her hand in his. “I have to say it’s the scene when we visit my grandparents and she bakes cookies. I remember those were the real deal, fresh out of the oven, because they wanted us to show the joy of a home-baked treat.” The mention of the scene didn’t naturally lead into questions he didn’t want asked.
As if she could see the image in front of her, Ivy smiled.
He started to ask another one of his questions and vomit up another pre-rehearsed answer.
“So, b-b-back on topic, how often do you see your other cast mates?” Still keeping hold of his hand, she sat up. “Are you still friends?”
Well, well, she not only recovered, she got right back on the on-ramp to the questions everyone wanted to ask, shaky voice and all. He had to give it to her for starting with a lead-in question, but the next one would undoubtedly be about Drew, which sped right to everything else.
“Of course we keep in touch.” He offered the most benign answer possible.
“All of you?”
At least the woman stayed focused.
He tilted his head and ran his thumb across the back of her hand, wishing he could explore her smooth skin elsewhere. “I would rather talk about what we are going to do tonight to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of one of your favorite films.” He smiled the same smile he produced the day the talent scout discovered him and called him a natural. Little did he know back then there was no such thing. Her eyes widened and her hand trembled in his. “What’s the worst part of being the bad guy?”
Not expecting her to keep on track, he responded with the first thing to enter his mind. “Do you know that I never get the girl?” Right as the words left his lips, he wanted them back. Of all the subjects, he needed to leave his love life, or lack thereof, out of the conversation.
“Do you ever wish you would have?”
“Oh, tough question.” Again, she surprised him by pressing forward instead of asking if he were attached at the moment, or ever, but he needed a second to reformulate his plan. “What if I tell you after we look at a clip?”
They both stopped and stared into each other’s eyes. If they weren’t surrounded by a multitude of people and their relationship was more than an hour old, it would be the perfect time for a kiss. He bet her lips tasted sweet with a bit of tang, and was thankful no one put any of that horrendous gloss on them.
“You have ninety seconds and people are online commenting already,” the director announced. “Ivy, maybe you should introduce our guest?” “Oh, man.” She shut her eyes for a moment, pressing her free hand to her chest.
Logan knew he played dirty, but even with her stage fright, she threw plenty of mud of her own. In fact, he just managed to avoid the splatter. “You’re fine.” All women loved the bad boy, even if art imitated life and he never got one long term. No matter, there was always another one, but not many quite like the sultry vine that made up Miss Details. “Take your time and remember to breathe.”
When he had arrived at the studio, he’d heard her defend him, and upon entering the room, it had pleased him to find her appearance matched her voice. Dark hair that glowed with a tint of red under the lights framed her face and highlighted her huge gray eyes and perky lips. The second he had seen her, he’d almost expected a cartoon bird to appear and eat out of her hand while she waved her magic wand of facts as her weapon and won.
“Thank you, Mr. Alexander.” She opened her eyes.
“Logan.” He leaned in even closer, wanting to remind her of the name she would be screaming out tonight in ecstasy. “Keep your eyes on mine, and don’t forget to ask me about the new DVD set we still have to sell.” Or more accurately, get her to a different line of questioning.
“Okay, we’re coming back in five, four, three, two, one.”
“Now.” He squeezed her hand.
“I’m in the middle with my conversation with Logan Alexander, one of the stars of Hollywood Stardust.” She nodded. “So, Mr. Alexander, can you give us any sneak peeks to what we can look forward to with the movie’s rerelease for the twentieth anniversary?”
His tactic worked and he exhaled. Better yet, the woman took direction, a fact he wouldn’t forget between the sheets. “Was there anything you were hoping for?”
She glanced up at him through her lashes. “How about a little secret?” Something about her seemed as if she were out of a different time or place, and it wasn’t only her chic vintage clothing. He almost wanted to invent a little nugget of juicy gossip to please her, but he would please her plenty later. “I know the DVD package will include the director’s cut with some deleted scenes, but I’ll have to check about any secrets.” “Maybe you could tell us some secret we don’t already know.” She licked her lips.
If he answered honestly, he would tell her he never had seen the movie all the way through, but Logan Alexander wasn’t about honesty, he was about illusion. “The car in the film is actually mine, and the day after we wrapped shooting, I got a ticket.”
“Were you speeding?” She let out a little giggle.
He nodded. “Always.”
The director approached the set and held up one finger.
“Before we have to say good-bye, are you going to tell me if you wish you would have gotten the girl?”
Sharp. She got back on point and that made her even more alluring.
“Maybe I never found the right girl to get.”
At last, she graced him with a smile. “Well, I know we didn’t get to spend much time with you today, but we will definitely have some follow-up stories online. I want to thank you for taking the time to talk to me this afternoon.”
“My pleasure.” Using his character’s signature move from the film, he turned his head and pointed to his cheek. Perhaps he needed to act like his character and turn his head and have her kiss land on his lips, but maybe such a move wasn’t Internet-show appropriate.
She gave him a slight shake of her head, but finally leaned in and pecked his cheek. “I still have more questions.”
At her whisper in his ear, he shuddered. “Sorry, time’s up.” “Cut!” The director came forward. “That was sort of different, but on the bright side, you didn’t lose your lunch.”
“You have to give me more. I barely got anything.” She pulled back.
“You know everything I’m going to put on the record. After all, you studied me. You can fill in. I’ll never tell.” He kept hold of her hand. “However, tonight you will get everything you want, so no pouting.” She swiped her hand away and stood, but he wasn’t sure if this was where the scene should end. Yes, she would make the perfect distraction.
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