A new housemate
I stare at the navy blue satin and chiffon, watching it sway as I turn to the right and look over my shoulder into the mirror. This dress hugs every one of my curves and flows seamlessly over my body.
I adore it.
“What do you think?” I ask, as I turn to my sister Ava.
“I think you look every bit the movie star you are Liv.” She motions for me to spin around so she can see the back. “That’s definitely the one.”
We’ve been searching for a dress for me to wear to Ava’s upcoming wedding. I’m her Maid of Honour. My gorgeous sister is marrying Ethan Drake, my co-star in the movie, Forever is mine.
We’ve just wrapped a two week press junket and premiered the movie in LA, New York, London, and then my home town of Melbourne, Australia. It has broken box office records in each country we’ve visited, probably due to the fact that the book that the movie is based on was a huge best-seller with the teen market.
The only down side is the constant presence of paparazzi that seem to follow me everywhere I go. I don’t understand how they can get shots of me doing the most mundane things, but they do. I guess that now Ethan and I can make them serious dollars, they’re going to continue to hound us. Of course with Ethan and Ava’s engagement hitting the news sites, Ava is now attracting her own attention.
My sister and Ethan met when she came to the States to work as my Personal Assistant, and they fell completely for each other very soon after. They are perfect together.
We are soon to start filming the sequel based on the second book of the trilogy – Forever is yours.
I turn around again to check out the back side of the dress in the mirror. “Is this colour okay, I mean it’s dark. Do you think it’s okay for a beach wedding?”
Ava nods her head. “Liv, we plan to have the ceremony against the ocean at sunset, so I think the blue will complement the water and the backdrop perfectly. I love this one; I really think you should get it. The chiffon will blow in the breeze, and I think the colour will also suit the other bridesmaids.”
“Okay, this is the one then. Let’s do it.” I decide.
Ava claps her hands and goes over to the Bridal Consultant to finalise the order. I twirl once more to check out all the angles in the mirror, and then I’m happy.
I love it. I feel sexy and feminine, and feel happy to wear this on such an important occasion. Not only will we have to look at the wedding photos for years to come, but I’m sure that despite the private location Ethan and Ava have chosen, the press will still manage to locate us.
I return to the fitting room and change back into my jeans, wedges and pale blue shirt. My long dark hair is piled on top of my head today to counteract the warm LA weather. I throw my bag over my arm and grab hold of my sunglasses, ready to put them in place before we exit the store and find ourselves face-to-face with the ever present photographers.
“C’mon Liv,” Ava calls to me. “I want to grab some lunch before we have to meet Ethan at the house.”
“Let’s go,” I say, as I pull back the large drape of the fitting room and make my way out to her.
Ava has driven us up into the Hollywood Hills. We pull up outside an enormous black wrought-iron gate. She lowers the window and presses a button that causes the gate to swing open slowly.
Beyond it is a stunning, modern, single-storey home.
“Ava this is amazing.”
“Isn’t it!” she exclaims excitedly. “Ethan and I think this is definitely the one, but I wanted you to see it first to get your opinion.”
Ava stops the car under an entry porch and switches off the engine, as Ethan opens her door. He pulls her against him and murmurs, “I missed you,” as he places a kiss to her lips. Ava giggles as she takes his hand and they turn to make their way to the front door.
“Hey Liv,” Ethan says as he bends to place a kiss on my cheek. “What do you think?”
“So far it’s amazing, but let me check the inside out first.” I laugh at his enthusiasm.
As we step inside the foyer I catch a glimpse of someone in the room to the right.
“Come through, Grayson is here too, I wanted his opinion as well.” Ethan says.
Grayson Adams is Ethan’s best friend, and the lead singer of Awesome Rebel. His band has just been signed to a major record label after years of hard work on their part around LA. They are really good, and with Grayson at the helm, really, it was only a matter of time before they were noticed.
Grayson turns from the floor-to-ceiling windows and locks his deep green eyes onto mine. No matter how many times he does that, I always have the same breathless reaction to that stare.
He is breathtakingly gorgeous.
Dark spiky hair…
The defined body and sexy tattoos that cover his upper body are not on display, but just the knowledge that they are there has my blood simmering in my veins.
Truthfully, I’ve been incredibly attracted to Grayson from the moment I met him. Ethan introduced us when we had just started rehearsals for Forever is mine. I thought Grayson was the hottest guy I had met since coming to LA.
We’ve flirted and spent time together during production, even sharing a drunken kiss or two once in a while, but once I started to date Ryan, the Producer on the movie, Grayson backed off. We’ve settled to just friends status ever since. Now that Ryan and I are no longer together, he still hasn’t made a move, so the just friends status remains.
All that aside, I have worked so hard to get my career to where it is now; I can’t afford any distractions, no matter how gorgeous they may be.
Grayson saunters towards me and smiles that panty-dropping smile that he is famous for. “Hey Liv,” he says before placing a kiss on my cheek.
“Hi Gray, what’s up?” I ask casually.
“Lots and nothing,” he replies.
He always says that when I ask him that question. I don’t know why.
He moves to Ava and gives her a tight squeeze before Ethan starts to lead us through the wide open spaces of what looks to be their new home.
The house is remarkable.
Bright, open, modern, yet charming. I can see Ethan and Ava here. The space suits them. The pool and deck area out the back is incredible, and I can imagine us all lazing out there on hot LA days. After looking through the kitchen and living areas, five bedrooms with attached ensuites, study, gym, home-theatre, and guest rooms, we all re-convene in the main living area, looking through the open patio doors to the pool.
“What do you think?” Ava asks, as she leans back on Ethan’s chest while he stares out over the landscaped garden.
“It’s incredible.” Grayson and I both answer at the same time, bursting into laughter as we do.
Ethan smiles, “Glad you both like it. I think this is definitely the one. I’ll contact the realtor and close the deal.” He places a soft kiss on Ava’s lips, “I think we’ll be so happy here.”
“So do I,” she replies with a soft contented sigh.
Grayson breaks the moment, “Well at least you guys have somewhere to live when we get back from the wedding in Fiji.”
“What do you mean man?” Ethan asks.
Grayson moves out to the patio and sinks onto one of the soft padded chairs. “I just found out that my building is being demolished to make way for new condos. As of next month I don’t have anywhere to be.”
“Shit.” Ethan says. “You’re always welcome here with us for as long as you need.”
“Thanks E, but no offence, I don’t think you and Ava want to start your married life with me in tow.”
“You’re always welcome here Grayson, you know that,” Ava responds with a genuine smile. “As you can see, we have heaps of room.”
“Thanks guys but I’ll sort something out. We’re heading on tour in a couple of months so I just need to find something in the meantime. I’ll sort out permanent accommodation when we get back.”
Without thought I blurt out, “You could stay with me Grayson.”
Grayson turns his gorgeous face to mine, eye brows raised, surprised by my invitation.
I continue, “I mean Ava is moving out to be here with Ethan and her room will be vacant. You can have it until you leave for the tour if you like.”
Grayson smiles at me and I can see his mind ticking over as he weighs up my offer. “Liv, I think that would work great, as long as you don’t mind.”
“No, I think it will be perfect,” I respond, wondering if this really is a good idea. The more I run it through my head, the more I realise that we will need to put down some ground rules so that the lines of our friendship don’t blur. “How about we have dinner tomorrow evening and discuss how to make it work.”
“Brilliant,” he says, his eyes sparkling. “I really appreciate this Liv. I’ll be the best house mate you’ve ever had. You won’t want me to leave.” He smiles.
‘Oh yes I will!’ I think as he gives me that stunning smile again.
I smile back at him, working on resisting him and that smug exterior. I know that he is a sweetheart underneath, and that’s the part that I will find the hardest to resist. I’m a sucker for the sweet-bad-boys.
Grayson fits that bill perfectly.
He is sexy, gorgeous and hot, but his heart outweighs all of that once you get to know him. He’s an amazing friend to Ethan and Ava, more like a brother to Ethan really, and he has always been a darling to me.
As long as we set out the rules, this should work fine.
A small bubble of excitement rises in my stomach as I think of sharing space with him day-in-day-out, but I squash it down. He will be heading on tour in a couple of months and I will be busy filming the sequel to our movie. But for the next few weeks, we can at least enjoy each other’s company and be friends.
Day one of let’s-see-if-I-can-resist-Grayson begins.