Lady Sass(Witches and Werewolves Book 1)(8)By: Jen Talty
“If you change your mind, the offer is always there.”
“I appreciate it.” Jackson, totally aware his arm was on the back of the sofa behind Amanda, shifted, dropping his hand onto his lap.
This woman had him completely unhinged. A low rumble formed in his throat. He needed to shift and run in wolf form, relieving him of all the tension she put in all the places he didn’t welcome.
She was out of his league, in more ways than one.
Besides, he was sure his contract, considering his last two co-stars, would specifically state that he couldn’t sleep with her. He almost laughed out loud.
As if Lady Amanda would jump into the sack with a werewolf.
Much less the son of the man who killed her uncle.
Amanda heaved in a breath, only to have it cut short and burn her throat.
Panic hadn’t been anything that she’d ever experienced before, not even when she performed live. Acting, whether it be on the stage, in front of a live audience, or on a set, she’d never felt a pang of fear. She’d given speeches as a member of the Royal Coven to tens of thousands of people and on live television to millions and not once did she feel anxious to the point she felt ill.
Nerves? Yes. But those weren’t anything like not being able to breathe.
She sat on the bench with her head between her legs in the hallway of Media-Max’s lobby where the press couldn’t see her.
Two strong hands massaged her back and shoulders. She kept trying to shrug them off, but their owner wouldn’t go away.
“Relax,” Jackson said. His lips were so close to her ear she could have sworn he had kissed her, only she knew better. No way would he press his mouth to her cheek. He could barely stand to look at her. During their meeting, he kept darting his gaze away and shifting as if sitting near her made him crawl right out of his human skin. She bet if he could have, he would have shifted into a wolf and sat in front of her, baring his long, sharp teeth in a bone-chilling growl.
“Where’s my father?” she managed.
“Do you want me to get him?”
The air she sucked in singed her lungs, and she couldn’t get enough oxygen to stop her heart from racing wildly out of control. She remembered the lead actress her senior year of high school having a panic attack ten minutes before curtain call. Oh, how she had wanted to cast a spell to make sure that poor girl couldn’t go on stage, so she could take over as understudy. But she chose not to, and Amanda ended up watching from backstage.
“All right. I think he’s still in the lobby.” Jackson’s voice rumbled inside her, sending warm pulses through her body. The second she’d laid eyes on him in Paul Ricter’s office, her palms felt tacky with perspiration, and every erogenous zone she had went into overdrive. She’d found him attractive in pictures, but damn, in person those different-colored eyes would knock any woman out. His right eye was a reddish-orange, and his left eye the color of the deep blue sea. It was difficult to pick one to focus on as each commanded attention.
His dark, wavy hair flowed to his shoulders. His scent, a mixture of orange with a splash of mint, filled her nostrils, making her even more dizzy when she stood in front of a dozen reporters, all of which she’d met before, while Paul and the top executives gave a statement about the film and the co-stars. She’d fielded a couple of questions, as did Jackson, but as soon as they ended the session, she made a beeline for a private corner to fall apart.
“Fuck. This isn’t like me,” she muttered, not knowing why she felt the need to quantify her behavior, as if she had any control over a panic attack. Once one journalist brought up the murder, the room had grown silent. She knew she had to be the one to assure the press that the Royals held no ill will toward Jackson and asked that everyone leave the past where it belonged.
That had been the moment terror gripped her skin like a million tiny needles penetrating her flesh.
She clutched her chest. Maybe she was having a heart attack at the ripe old age of twenty-eight.
“Look at me,” Jackson said with a tender voice that brought the boiling of her mind and body to a simmer, calming her.
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