One of Hollywood’s hardest working women is about to discover there’s a lot more drama behind the camera than in front of it…
Faith “Freakin’” Sinclair probably shouldn’t have called her boss a perv…or grabbed his “privates.” But as creator of the hit dramedy Modern Women she’d had enough of his sexist insults. Now she’s untouchable in the industry—not in a good way. The only way to redeem herself is to convince Alex the wildly popular wildly demanding former star of her show to come back. But there’s one obstacle in her way—one very handsome broad-shouldered obstacle…
Professor Mason Mitchell is head of the theater department where Alex is studying “real” acting. The only way he’ll let Faith anywhere near Alex is if she agrees to co-teach a class. It’s an offer she can’t refuse—and as it turns out the professor just might end up teaching Faith that there’s more to life than work—and that real-life love scenes are way more fun than fake ones….
I flung my bag over my shoulder and started for the door. Mason held out his hand to stop me while he said to the caller, “I understand . . . Nope, can’t be helped . . . No, I think we’ll be okay. Keep in touch; maybe we can figure something out at a later date . . . Yeah, take care.” When he paused again, then said, “What’s that?” I’d had enough. How could I stomp out in a snit if I had to keep waiting for him to finish his phone call? Didn’t he know anything about dramatic exits?
I escaped into the bright white corridor, heading for the doors, my shoes ringing on the linoleum.
I kept walking.
“Faith, hold up!”
I spun around. “What for?”
“Well,” he said, a little breathlessly, “I . . . I just . . . think—”
“You know, you make no sense. You irritate me, you insult me, you stonewall me, you threaten to throw me off campus, and then you invite me to give a lecture. You make no sense.”
“I know. You’re right. It does sound contradictory.”
“And self-serving,” I spat, happy to throw his own words back at him. “You don’t want me here, until you think you can get something from me. Then the rules change. You’re just like everybody else.”
“Faith,” he said quietly, and his low tone caught my attention. “Really, I’m not.”
There was a beat or two of silence. I shook my head and studied the ceiling tiles. “What do you want, Mason?”
“You’re really going to keep coming back until you talk to Alex?”
“I’m stubborn that way. Threaten to sic your rent-a-cops on me all you want. I’ve had worse.” As you witnessed, I thought.
“Well, then, if I can’t keep you away from Alex, let’s do this the right way. You’ll be welcome, as long as you don’t badger him. Observe, instead. See what he’s learning, see why it’s important to him. And then you can decide if he’s better off here or back on the show. And in exchange, I’m asking you to give something back to our department—”
Of course he was the type who couldn’t be bought. “What, then? And don’t ask me to give a lecture about my mother’s career again.”
“Forget the lecture. I want you to teach a course.”
Yeah, it finally happened. Dude rendered me truly speechless. Eventually I fought out, “Are you insane?”
“Well, not an entire course—and not alone. I want you to help me out with one for the fall semester, which starts middle of next week. My guest lecturer just bailed on me—that was the phone call I just got. I’ll have to take on the course myself now—I can’t find a replacement at this late date—but I’ve got so much to do already . . . I thought you could teach it with me. You can speak to a moderately sized group of people, I suppose?”
“I—” My words caught in my throat, and I just stared at him, incredulous.
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
“Wait,” I said, closing my eyes tightly for a minute, trying to get my equilibrium back. “Why in the world would you want me to help teach a class?”
“Well, the kids would eat it up, for one thing—the legendary Faith Sinclair, real-world experience, all that. And if you’re going to camp out here to try to change Alex’s mind about his life choices, you might as well make yourself useful.”
“And Alex would take the class.”
“No, definitely not.”
“Well, then, what’s the point—”
“It’s not part of Alex’s course schedule for his acting studies. Besides, if it were, I wouldn’t ask you to do this. It would be unethical for you to have any academic influence over him. You can communicate with Alex on his own time, if he wants to talk with you. In fact, this offer is contingent on whether he’s okay with having you on campus at all. I’m doing this because I think . . .” He sighed, then admitted, “Because I think you’re right—Alex should have an opportunity to know all his options, including going back to Modern Women if he wants. But he also should have the freedom to make his own choices, so no full-court press on the guy.”
I couldn’t believe the next thing that came out of my mouth. “What . . . what’s the subject?”
It looked like Mason was trying to suppress a smile, failed. In fact, he was beaming. “Scriptwriting. I figure it’s up your alley.”
“So you’ll do it?”
God, he looked so hopeful. And Jaya was right—he was pretty adorable. He had that kind of open face and eager eyes that made you want to take him home. Like a puppy. So it actually hurt me a little bit when I whapped him on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. Figuratively, of course.
“No way in hell.” And I shoved open the double doors and walked out.
Jayne Denker is the author of three contemporary romantic comedies, By Design, Unscripted, and Down on Love, and is hard at work on a fourth. She lives in a small town in western New York, USA, with her husband, son, and one very sweet senior-citizen basement kitteh who loves nothing more than going outside, where she sits on the front walk and wonders why she begged to go outside. When Jayne’s not hard at work on another novel (or, rather, when she should be hard at work on another novel), she can usually be found frittering away stupid amounts of time online.
Connect with Jayne!
- Blog: http://jaynedenker.com
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JayneDenkerAuthor
- Twitter: @JDenkerAuthor
Buy the Book!
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unscripted-ebook/dp/B00BTG44M4/ref=pd_sim_sbs_kstore_1
- Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unscripted-jayne-denker/1114865242?ean=9781601831316
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/unscripted-5
(Also available on iTunes)