COMING SOON: BUT FOR NOW READ AN EXCERPT FROM
SCENES TO STEAL THE HEART
Danielle made sure to set the alarm to go off two-hours early in order to be on time for babysitting the Hollywood actor. From the back seat of her car, she removed a tote bag containing magazines and books to read in order to stay occupied while the actor did his or her thing on set. After paying for parking, she crossed the street to enter the Ritz hotel located on Public Square.
She grumbled the moment she walked into the lobby of the grand hotel. Looking around dumbfounded, the papers Lopez had given her did not contain a room number, but instructions to see Rochelle, the desk clerk. Tapping on the granite counters to get the clerk’s attention, Danielle cleared her throat. “Ahem, excuse me—I’m Officer Tate of the Cleveland Police Department. May I speak with Rochelle, please?”
The clerk smiled and replied, “I’m Rochelle. I will buzz the room and have someone come down for you, Officer Tate.”
Annoyed she lifted her hands. “Are you kidding me? Is this person so important that I have to be escorted to the room?”
“I’m sorry; I’m only following the orders given to me.”
“No, I apologize. I just don’t get all the secrecy; they’re a freaking actor, not God.”
“I understand, Officer Tate. Aren’t you excited to be chosen to be around someone of this caliber?”
“Well, I can’t get excited about an unknown person. Plus, I wasn’t given a choice. All I’m really praying for is this is not a child or teen actor that I will be sitting with all day,” she said making air quotes with her fingers.
“If it makes you feel better I can say it is not,” Rochelle said giving a swooning smile.
Danielle leaned in closer. “Can you tell me a name?”
Rochelle tucked her long auburn hair behind her ears. “I would love to be able to tell you, but I could lose my job.”
Smacking her lips, Danielle grinned. “The old hold the job over your head trick; works every time. I guess I will find out in due time.”
Rochelle nodded. “Indeed you will and I would love to trade places with you.” She looked away from Danielle’s direction. “Mr. Fitch is getting off the elevator; good luck, Office Tate.”
“Why is everyone wishing me good luck? I’m starting to think maybe I should not have agreed to do this.”
A tall, slender white man with wild, straight hair, and over-dressed for the warm weather, hurried towards her with his hand outstretched. “Office Tate, I’m Herman Fitch.”
Sarcastically, she took his hand saying, “Mr. Fitch; finally a name has been revealed from the secret hat.”
“Officer Tate, I understand your frustration but I don’t have the resources for a security company to handle crowd control if word got out.”
Walking into the elevator, she watched the man press the button to the floor housing the Presidential Suite. “Okay, I’m guessing this is not your ordinary class C actor, but one of substance.”
“You’re right. I’m very lucky my cousin was available to do this favor for me. I can’t wait for the press release to announce it.”
“Yes, you are lucky,” she said, stumped by who the actor could be. She watched television and went to the movies, but had a bad habit of remembering what actor starred in what movie.
He stepped aside to let her off the elevator first. “Here we are. Be normal and don’t believe everything you might have read about my cousin in magazines or on those talk shows.”
“Mr. Fitch, I can’t give any reaction since I have no clue who this person is, but, I assure you, I am not one to be star-struck.”
Her stomach did a small flutter as she waited for him to open the door. She was unsure of the flutters since her statement was true. She lived in Atlanta and had been around famous musicians from the area and outside of the area when her father would take her along when he did private security.
With the door open, she entered the suite that was larger than her loft apartment. The room was brightly lit with a view of downtown Cleveland from the picture window. The room was quiet except for soft music playing from behind a closed door.
Danielle sat her tote bag on the floor—she didn’t want to dirty the extremely white furniture. “I’m impressed. You probably could’ve hired a hoard of security on what you’re paying for this.”
“I’m not paying for this, Officer Tate. Make yourself comfortable while I get my cousin.”
“Um, Mr. Fitch, I’m curious. Just how many people are accompanying your cousin, and I am not responsible for them, right?”
“Please, call me Herman and my cousin is alone. Any extras will be paid for by my cousin and you’re not expected to do nothing but watch out for him.”
She smiled. “Okay, another part of the puzzle is put into place. I know your cousin is male, now all I need is a name.”
A masculine voice came from another room but did not make himself visible. “My name is Carlos Ramos, and you must be my bodyguard.”
She did a 360-turn waiting for the person to appear. “Yes, that would be me, Mr. Ramos?”
Now that she had a name, it clicked on like a siren. Carlos Ramos was the hottest male ticket in the film industry. He originally hailed from Málaga, Andalusia, Spain, and became an overnight success after his first attempt at acting. It wasn’t his acting abilities that got him noticed but his ravishing good-looks as a former underwear model. His face and body had been seen by millions splashed on billboards, print ads and commercials across the nation.
He’d been paired with the biggest and hottest females in the film and music industry and, was rumored to soon walk the aisle with super-hot, Latina actress, Consuela Cruz. His reputation of being a wild party animal and loving the nightlife and women that accompanied that lifestyle, had the gossip magazines reporting the wedding would fail due to Carlos’ inability to commit to one woman.
The beginnings of a small headache throbbed at her temples; unemployment could not be half as bad as trying to keep tabs on a man that loved the limelight.
Carlos entered the room wearing a thick, white bathrobe. “My apologies, Officer Tate; I was emerging from a bath when you and Herman came in.”
Danielle licked her lips subconsciously. The man was a Spanish god. His jet black hair was wet and slicked to the back of his head. This allowed his strong facial features to stand out. Light facial hair, neatly trimmed, enhanced his bright, toothy smile. His dark eyes were deep set and covered by lengthy, thick black lashes.
Her eyes traveled down his body, imagining what lay beneath the robe. He was tall but not exceedingly tall. A gap in his robe showed enough of his chest to reveal it was muscular with a small patch of black hair peeking through the opening. His legs were strong and muscular.
She didn’t remember many actors, but this one she did because of his bad-boy behavior, and the string of heart-broken women he left behind. Her own stare caught her attention. She blinked to clear her mind. “Mr. Ramos, how nice to finally meet you,” she said flipping her notebook open. “According to my boss, I’m only to be present when you’re at work. Once you’re done for the day, I am out of your hair. Is that correct?”
He came to stand before her. The aroma from his bath drifted under her nose, making her dizzy for a split second. Taking the pen and pad from her hand, he handed it to Herman. Lifting her hand, he kissed the back of it gently; not taking his eyes from her. “Officer, Tate, we just met. We don’t have to discuss business right away. May I offer you a cup of coffee or tea?”
His strong accent caught her off guard. She let her hand linger in his, briefly. “Um, coffee would be good.” Removing her hand, she felt the wetness from his lips. Not wanting to wipe her hands on her pants she folded them together and took the seat he offered to her.
“Herman, please get us some coffee from the kitchen. I made a fresh pot not too long ago,” he said ushering his cousin from the room.
He returned his attention to her. “I will be back as soon as I change into something more appropriate. Don’t go anywhere.”
Herman returned from the kitchen with a tray containing coffee and two cups. He sat them before her on the table separating them. “Here you go, Officer Tate. I have to take off in few but here is my card with my cell phone number if you need to reach me.”
“Wait, you’re leaving?”
“Yeah, I have a lot to do before noon.”“Mr. Fitch, I think you should stay and fill me in on where you are shooting and the times I’m supposed to be there.”