Lady Sass(Witches and Werewolves Book 1)(9)

By: Jen Talty

The last thing she wanted to do was stare into his eyes, much less look at any inch of his taut frame. Having his hands on her was too much to bear.

“I’m fine.”

“You’ve had one of these before?”

She sucked in a breath, only to cough and gag on it. Shaking her head, she tried to fill her lungs, this time slowly.

“Trust me when I say it will pass. You just have to ride it out and be as calm as possible.”

“Because the great Jackson Ledger’s never panicked in his entire life.” Sarcasm had always been her go-to in private situations with family and close friends.

Jackson was neither.

He laughed. “I’m not great, and I used to have these kind of attacks all the time when I was younger and first starting out in this business.”

“Well, I’m not starting out, and I’ve…” she coughed as her lungs once again deflated.

“Don’t talk, just breathe.” He rested his index finger under her chin, tilting her head. “Like this.” He took in a slow, controlled breath, his warm exhale easing the tension in her face.

She gasped, catching his gaze, but soon relaxed as she mimicked his movements. Before she knew it, her breathing had returned to normal.

But not her pulse.

Nor her raging desire to shove her tongue between his luscious lips.

Now that wouldn’t be lady-like at all.

Fucking werewolves.

“Come on.” He stood, tugging at her hand. “Let’s get out of here.” He curled his fingers around her bicep.

“No one is telling me what to do or where to go.”

He glared at her for a long moment, the sun hitting his eyes, making the kaleidoscope of colors glimmer. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve had only a few hours to process us being in a movie together. We start rehearsing next week, and the only thing I really know about you is what I’ve seen in the newspapers, and that is very little since I’ve tried like hell not to know anything about your family.”

“I don’t think that’s a compliment.” She pinched the bridge of her nose, following him to the rear parking lot, which was totally empty other than one black, soft-top Jeep. The warm sun beat down on her already-flushed face. She’d been in over a dozen films and on numerous television shows. Not once had she ever lost it.

“It’s not. But it’s also not about you.” He opened the passenger door. “Please text or call your father so he doesn’t do something crazy like call the police.”

She shoved his hand off the door as she climbed in and slammed it shut. “I’m not going to respond to that.” But she did pull out her cell and texted her father, who responded immediately with, ‘call if you need me’. He father had never been the overprotective, overbearing father he could have been, especially since he’d had four sassy girls, each having a mind all their own, and none of them had been afraid to express themselves.

The Jeep roared to life. Jackson shoved the gear stick into first.

“Wow. A manual transmission. Don’t see that too much these days.”

“You know how to drive one?”

She laughed. “Learned when I was ten. My father secretly wanted boys, so he did his best to take us hunting and other stuff normally reserved for father-son bonding in the Royal Family.”

“You’re lucky you had a father to teach those things.” He glanced at her as he pulled onto the main road inside the studio, heading toward the back gate. “And spend time with you.”

“What about your mother?” She expected to see sadness, or at the very least, an emptiness in his shadowy eyes from a childhood without a father, but instead rage simmered behind the swirling colors. It didn’t matter who the anger had been aimed toward, working with a man carrying this type of wrath would be the downfall of the movie.

What the hell had she gotten herself into?

“She worked two jobs to keep a roof over our heads until I made enough money to support the family.”

All the reports she’d read about Jackson over the years painted him as a lone wolf. Perhaps a bit of a recluse, which was almost unheard of when it came to werewolves with their strong bonds to their pack. But no one ever described him as angry or difficult to work with. Even through his public break-ups, he’d remained quiet, while the women went after him with all they had, making them look like vindictive bitches. Heidi had said she left Jackson because he had a mean streak and cheated, but everyone had seen her nasty side when she tossed a drink in his face at a party after a major award show.