“Mom, we just talked and ate lunch is all,” said Samantha, “nothing else.” Her mom had been grilling her since she came back from spending the afternoon with her father.
“And he didn’t talk about me?” asked her mother while she sipped her margarita.
“Mother! I told you. We talked about the show, about Dax, about college. The only thing he said is he wants me to start coming to Newcrest more so I can see the rest of the family. Grandma Sofia and Grandpa Ben aren’t doing very well. He said he’d call you to work it out.”
“And then he just dropped you back off and didn’t stay?” She asked as if that was the most ridiculous thing he could’ve done.
Samantha was done. “Yes. Can I go now? I need to change my clothes before Dax gets here.”
“Fine, I need to change too. Ragnar and I are only going for an hour. That should be enough time to make the rounds. We have a meeting with a writer that wants us to read a script. Make sure you’re home at a reasonable time. By 11:00.”
“Mother! That’s embarrassing. At least midnight. NOBODY leaves before then.”
“Fine. Midnight,” she said and started to walk out but stopped. “Oh sweetheart. Let me see you before you leave. You are wearing the new outfit I bought you? Right? You know the paps’ll be there trying to get an exclusive. You want to look fabulous.”
“Yes Mom … Now go and get dressed!”
Samantha breathed a sigh of relief when her mother finally turned and went to her room. She couldn’t wait until she graduated. She’d move into an efficiency just so she could breathe. She downed the rest of her soda in one large gulp wishing she could have a margarita too. She was nervous about tonight because Felicity Ryder would be there, one of the new stars on the show.
She went upstairs to her own room to get ready. She put on the fabulous outfit because she didn’t want to argue with her mother. Actually, it isn’t bad, she thought as she checked herself out in the mirror. She was pretty sure Dax would like it. Maybe he wouldn’t look at Felicity. Felicity took pleasure in irritating Sam, both on and off the set.
She couldn’t help but stew over Felicity as she checked the dress out in the mirror. Ever since the script called for Felicity’s character to seduce Dax’s character, the tatted up vixen took pleasure in their make-out scenes. She’d walk up and tell Sam, ‘I hope you were taking notes sweetie. If you’re not careful, Dax might start looking for a more mature woman to satisfy him.’
Sadly, she’d caught Dax checking her out a couple of times. Felicity was hot. And even though she was playing an 18 year old, she was at least 23, maybe even older. Sam couldn’t possibly compete with that. Not when she was supposed to be younger in the show. But with this dress, maybe Dax wouldn’t look at Felicity. With that last thought, Same decided to put her hair up in the hopes it would make her look older.
She sat down at her dressing table and pulled her hair into a messy side bun. It showed off her neck and shoulders. She added the jewelry that matched. After she was done, she checked herself out in the mirror again. Not bad, she thought as she sprayed herself with perfume and touched up her lipstick.
As she looked at the final results in the mirror she thought, there Felicity Ryder – take that!
Sam took a deep breath and headed downstairs to get her mother’s seal of approval. She found her at the bar talking to Ragnar. He saw her and grinned, raising his glass. “Looking good Samantha,” he said. He always called her Samantha.
Her mother puffed up her chest. “I agree darling,” she said to Ragnar, “I must say, I do have excellent taste.” Then she directed her attention to Sam. “We’re leaving now dear. See you shortly. Mwah!” She blew her kiss. Sam groaned inside.
Dax walked in as they walked out. “Hi …. holy shit Sam. You look hot baby.” She felt self conscious as his gaze slowly traveled up and down her body.
“You clean up good too,” she said trying to hide her embarrassment, even though she was pleased with his reaction. He did look good. That wasn’t a lie. His clean, yet perpetually messy hair that he constantly brushed back with his hands, coupled with that scar running down his face and big full kissable lips – he could wear anything and it would make her heart race.
Dax pulled her close. “Mmmm. You smell nice too.” He sighed softly and touched her face. “We need to go before I lose control.” And me too, she thought.
Sure enough, when they pulled up, the paparazzi was there. She wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that the location of the cast party was leaked on purpose. She and Dax got out of his car and prepared to walk the gauntlet.
He tossed his keys to the valet before wrapping his arm around her. They made their way towards the door amidst shouts and camera flashes.
‘Sam! Who’s the guy you were with at the hotel today?’ ‘Dax, is it true you and Felicity are having an affair?’ She couldn’t hear the rest, but that was enough.
“Fuck!” said Dax as they finally made it inside and closed the door behind them. “Who the hell called the fucking media? Where’s Ragnar – that goddamn asshole!”
Sam tugged on Dax’s arm. “Dax,” she said under her breath. “Please, calm down. He probably staged it for publicity. It’s really no big deal.” Her heart was racing for a different reason. The questions about Felicity unnerved her. And Dax was overreacting instead of blowing it off.
“Well I’m fucking sick of it,” he said as he walked off and began to look for Ragnar.
“It’s okay,” said Sam, “Let’s get a drink and chill.” She didn’t understand why he was suddenly so wound up … unless … maybe … no! She had to stop doing that to herself and thinking the worst.
They didn’t have to go far for a drink. There were various drinks setup on tables right inside the grand entrance to their producer’s mansion. He always went all out for the cast party. Dax took a drink and kept walking. “He’s probably at the bar,” he grumbled.
While Dax asked one of the staff if they knew where Ragnar was, she eyed the drinks. What the hell, she thought, and took a glass of wine from the table. She also needed to calm down.
He directed them downstairs, where the music was coming from. It seemed that’s where most of the cast and crew had gathered. She remembered there was a dance floor down there.
When they got down to the party, Sam looked around for her mother, but she was nowhere in sight. She didn’t see the show’s producer either. They were probably upstairs, away from the noise, talking shop.
When she looked back around, Dax’s empty glass was sitting on the bar and he was drinking another. “Dax, are you okay?” she asked as she sat down next to him. He’d been fine until the paparazzi began to shout questions.
“Yeah,” he said and smiled, “better now, and besides, I’m here with the hottest up and coming starlet. What’s not to be okay about?”
“Daaaax …. baby, there you are.” Sam could feel the hair on the back of neck stand on end in response to that sultry voice. She didn’t have to look around to know who it belonged to.
Dax’s sweet smile immediately turned back into a sneer. “Get lost Felicity,” he said without turning around. He knew too.
Felicity walked around and stood between Dax’s legs and traced the scar on his face. “Now, is that any way to talk to your co-star?”
Dax didn’t push her away and Sam could feel her face turning red, but she was afraid to say anything.
“Felicity … cut it out … people are watching,” he said between gritted teeth. He seemed to barely have control of himself.
Felicity smirked. “Then let’s give them a show, shall we?” She pulled his body against hers and proceeded to kiss him full on the mouth. As she tried to take the kiss deeper, Sam felt her nails digging into the palm of her hand.
Suddenly some of the cast and crew did take notice, and the younger boys started to hoot and holler. That finally made Dax push her away. “Don’t ever do that again,” he said, his words low and harsh.
“But why? You loved it. I should give little miss teenage beauty queen lessons. I’ve been telling her she should take notes. I bet she doesn’t satisfy you like me. We’ll just have to practice more – on the set. See you around Dax.”
Felicity walked away, apparently finished trying to stir up trouble, and began to dance. Before they had a chance to discuss what just happened, Ragnar walked up and immediately filled the empty space vacated by Felicity. “Everything okay over here Dax?” he asked, having observed her ‘show’.
“She’s a fucking piece of work,” he growled.
Ragnar got in Dax’s face. “And you’ll fucking put up with her. The ratings got a boost now that the two of you are hot and heavy on the show. The love triangle sells.” He glanced at Samantha and then looked pointedly at Dax. “Mari and I are leaving now. I expect you to keep your shit together and not start anything. Understood?”
Dax just glared at him and didn’t reply.
“Understood?” he asked in a tone that said he wouldn’t take anything but yes for an answer.
Dax finally replied. “Fine.”
“Keep him in line Samantha. See you two tomorrow at the shoot. Don’t be late.” He turned and left.
Dax finally looked at Sam. “Baby, I’m sorry about all of that. She just won’t quit…”
Sam couldn’t hold back anymore and interrupted his excuses. “She was right. You liked it.” She was taking fast deep breaths to keep the tears at bay.
“No, I didn’t … I swear it Sam.”
It suddenly became clear. “That’s why you’ve been so pissed off. The rumors are true. You are having an affair with her. If not, then where did the rumors come from?”
“Nowhere – Sam.” He said the words slowly as if it would make it so. “They make shit up all the time. They probably think your dad is your secret boyfriend so I snuck off with her. It’s not true. None of it. You know it.”
Suddenly the lights went down and the music slowed setting a different mood. Sam thought over what Dax said and her breathing calmed. He was probably right and she was letting her insecurities get the best of her. She herself had even tried to trick the paparazzi, pretending her dad was her boyfriend.
“Come on,” urged Dax, “dance with me. I need to get my arms around you.”
She relented and let Dax lead her to the darkened dance floor.
After only a few minutes, she wanted to leave. “Dax, can we sneak out early? I really don’t want to be here with her. She keeps giving you lewd looks.”
“We don’t need to leave. We can just go upstairs and find an empty room. In fact, I have my pipe and I could really use a hit about now. How about you?”
“Sure. She has me twisted in knots.”
“I know. I’m sorry about that. Let’s go now,” he said.
Instead of turning to go, Sam impulsively kissed Dax. She supposed she wanted to stake her claim. But it was weird. After seeing the way Felicity kissed him a few minutes ago, she felt like a poser.
Dax was shocked at first, but quickly got into it. When he ran his tongue across the seam of her lips, she pushed away.
He didn’t let her go. “Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked, his voice husky and low.
“Not here. I can’t.”
He smirked at her. “Baby, you kissed me.”
She saw him look over her shoulder where Felicity was dancing with the show’s producer. The walls were closing in. “Can we just go, please?”
“Yes. Let’s get out of here.” He took her hand and pulled her off the dance floor.
They found an empty suite, went inside and locked the door. Dax turned and looked at her. “Better?”
“Yes. Thank you. I couldn’t breathe down there. I felt like she was stalking you, waiting to strike again.”
Dax came up from behind her and pulled her to him. “Is that why you kissed me?”
His breath made shivers roll down her spine. “Probably, she messes with my head.”
“Don’t let her Sam. You know I don’t want her, right?”
Her father’s words came back to her. She didn’t want him to be right about their age difference. Surly Dax was satisfied with her, he said he loved her, not Felicity.
She turned in his arms before speaking. “I’m sorry Dax, it’s just hard watching her come on to you like that, right in front of me and everyone else. It’s bad enough in the studio.”
“She likes to have the attention on her. I know she’s hard to take. But you heard Ragnar … don’t make waves. Let’s go out on the balcony and have a hit. Take the edge off.”
She followed him outside. He lit the pipe and inhaled. She watched as the tension seemed to leave his body with the smoke.
“Here, your turn.” He handed her the pipe. She was ready for it this time when she took it. She inhaled, holding it in for a second before blowing it out along with some of her own pent up anxiety.
Dax pulled her to him and began to kiss her neck. “I love you baby,” he whispered, “You know that right?”
“Can I kiss as well as her? I don’t want to disappoint you.” She had to know.
“You never disappoint me,” he said and turned her around to face him.
She looked at him still unsure. “She touched your scar,” she said even as she did the same, “It was so – intimate.”
“Sam!” he growled. “Enough about her. Who do I have in my arms right now?”
“I’m sor…” Before she could get the words out he crashed his lips on hers making her swallow them. He kissed her hard, not soft and sweet like he usually did, as he pressed his body into hers.
Finally he came up for air. “I need you now Sam. Let’s go back inside.” She needed him too.
He pulled off his tie and unbuttoned his shirt. “I’ve been wanting to take that dress off of you since I picked you up.” His eyes were hooded and his voice husky. He sat on the side of the bed. “Come here – let me unwrap you.”
This wasn’t their first time, but Sam was nervous anyway. This seemed different, serious, like she had something to prove, whereas before, she just enjoyed their time together. She was glad they’d smoked first.
As soon as her dress joined his clothes on the floor, Dax pulled her down on top of him. “I love you Sam,” he said again, and she finally relaxed.
Afterwards, as she snuggled in Dax’s arms, Sam became emotional. She felt like crying but wasn’t sure why. Maybe she was afraid of losing Dax. The day had been long and she was exhausted and couldn’t think straight. Sleep had already taken Dax, she could tell by the change in his breathing. Finally, she couldn’t fight sleep any longer either and gave in.
A few hours later ……
Sam heard something in the background. She thought it was a dream and moved to turn over. That’s when she realized she wasn’t in her bed at home, nor was she alone. She was with Dax. They’d fallen asleep after they’d had sex. The noise was her cell phone ringing.
She shot up and grabbed her phone just as it stopped ringing. Crap … it was her mom. And it was 2:00 am. “Dax – wake up!” she pushed on him then grabbed her clothes, “We have to go. We fell asleep. I’m in gonna be in so much trouble.” Then she thought if he’d been with Felicity, they coulda stayed all night together and not worried about anyone ‘getting in trouble’.
Dax began to rouse beside her. When he registered what happened, he jumped up and got dressed while she touched the missed call on her phone to dial her mother back.
“Samantha! Where are you? Are you okay? I was just getting ready to call the hospitals.”
“We’re on the way Mom. I’m sorry. We’re still at the mansion. We – fell asleep.”
“Get home. Now. And be careful.”
Dax walked her to the front door. When she stopped to say their final goodbye, she was hoping for at least a kiss. Instead, he reached in pocket and pulled out a packet of pills and pressed them into her palm. “Take these in the morning, so you won’t be dragging at the photo shoot. They’re like double shots of espresso.”
“Sure,” she said and took them from him.
“See you tomorrow.” Then finally, he kissed her softly before turning to leave.
Sam’s mother was waiting for her when she walked in. She got up from the couch and glared at her. “Get to bed Samantha. We’re leaving at 8:00 am sharp. You better be ready. We’ll talk about this tomorrow.”
Sam let out a sigh of relief. “Yes ma’am,” she mumbled and did as she was told. She felt like she’d dodged a bullet.
The next morning…..
Sam did indeed feel draggy, even after showering and getting dressed. She decided to try the pills Dax had given her and went downstairs to get orange juice. Her mother was there, already ready to go, revving up on caffeine.
When her mother wasn’t watching, Sam popped the pills into her mouth and washed them down with her juice.
Soon after, Ragnar picked them up and headed over to the studio. Her mother had given her the silent treatment all morning. Sam knew she was still really angry about last night.
By the time they arrived at the studio, Sam had begun to feel more alert. It was as Dax said, like coffee in a pill. Decidedly much more efficient. Still, she was anxious about seeing both Dax and Felicity.
Most everyone was already there when they arrived. The cast had to dress in character for the shoot so she went straight to the dressing room.
Sam was the sweet ‘girl next door’ and she already had her hair up in her signature pony tail, so just needed to change clothes. However Felicity had to have heavy makeup and a wig along with her clothes. She was the sexy rebellious goth with the hots for Dax. Both on and off the set it seemed.
Felicity was already in the dressing room getting her wig styled. Sam put her head down and scurried into the wardrobe and changed clothes so she could get out before she was finished. She didn’t want to talk to her.
When she walked out, she saw Dax and her heart began to pound. “Morning babe, how you feelin’?” he asked.
“Better, I guess,” she said, “I took the pills this morning. It helped. What is it?”
“Hi, love birds,” said Felicity before Dax could answer, “Where’d ya’ll wind up? I didn’t see you leave.”
“It’s none of your business Felicity,” said Dax.
Why didn’t he tell her he was with me? wondered Sam. Maybe he’s embarrassed that he had to take me home.
“Okay you three, come on, the photographer is ready,” said Ragnar, thankfully interrupting them, “First I need Dax and Felicity. You two need to be hot for each other. Make it believable.”
Their shoot was almost a repeat of last night, the only difference was the photographer was documenting it in pictures. After a few minutes, he said he had enough.
“Okay, next Samantha and Dax,” instructed Ragnar, “Dax you need to be looking at her sweetly. But not with lust like you looked at Felicity before. It’s a whole different vibe.”
Sam joined Dax when Felicity walked off. She had never been nervous like this before. She’d always been confident in her ability to do as instructed. But Felicity unnerved her.
“Samantha! You look terrified. Relax and look at Dax like you’re in love with him,” commanded Ragnar.
Ragnar usually didn’t have to get on her. Her mother was glaring too. She took a deep breath and looked at Dax and tried to push Felicity out of her head and just imagine the two of them. It helped.
“Good, now I need all three of you together. Dax in the middle.”
Felicity was gloating. Sam was ready for this to be over.
Finally her part was finished. Her nerves were a jumbled up mess and she still had to deal with her mother’s wrath.
“Hey, wanna grab a bite to eat?” asked Dax as they walked off the set.
“No, I’m worn out. I just want to go home and take a nap. Plus Mom will probably ground me after last night.”
“Yeah, you’re probably crashing. I’ll call you later. You just need to rest. I’m sure she’s not gonna ground you.”
As she turned to leave she noticed Felicity sidle up to Dax just as her mother walked over and blocked her view. “Get changed and let’s go. When we get home you and I are having a little heart to heart.” Her tone indicated ‘heart to heart’ was the wrong description of what was to come. It was gonna be more like a tongue lashing and probably grounding. Her performance today didn’t help.
A/N: Introducing another casting call sim – meet Felicity Ryder by Munterbacon!