The Unidentified Redhead

unidentifiedredhead.jpgWhen Grace Sheridan moves to Los Angeles to become a working actor, it’s a second shot at a life-long dream. But at thirty-three, has she missed her chance? And will an unexpected romance with the entertainment industry’s newest “it” boy shine an uncomfortable spotlight on her life?

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We finished our lunch, and after sitting and watching the waves for a while, we decided to take a walk before heading back into town. Malibu was always beautiful and this day was no exception. I held my sneakers in my hand as we walked along the water.

“This is really a Hallmark moment, Hamilton. Walking on the beach, sunshine, seagulls. It’s freaking perfect,” I said, glancing at him sideways. He was silhouetted against the horizon, the sun once again highlighting the exquisite planes of his face.

“If it was perfect, we would be rolling around on the sand together, kissing like mad.”

I stopped walking and looked him straight in the eye. Then lay down on the sand, and began to roll myself back and forth. He closed his eyes and tilted his face to the sky.
“Fucking nuts girl,” he sighed.

“Come on, big boy, get down here and roll with me. I can’t do this alone. Someone will call Baywatch and tell them there’s a girl on the beach having some kind of fit,” I snickered, getting covered in sand.

He laughed and joined me. Wordlessly, he began rolling back and forth as well, making me laugh harder. It was so easy, so authentic being with him. We both stopped and lay on our backs next to each other, looking up at the sky. The sun was out over the ocean and I raised my legs. Pointing my toes, I covered up the sun with my feet and then moved them apart to reveal it again. I did this several times, when I noticed that Jack was staring at my legs. Gravity had pulled my yoga pants higher up, revealing the skin up above my knee.

Thank you God for the shaving reminder this morning.

He rolled over onto his side, propping his head up on his arm. I looked at him, but kept my legs in the air, pointed toes toward the sky.

“See something you like, Hamilton?” I retorted, waiting for his witty response.
“You have no idea,” he answered softly, his tone making my legs stop in midair. I brought them back down and rolled onto my side as well, facing him.

“I have some idea,” I stated, dragging my fingers through the soft sand between us. His hand began to creep towards mine. My heart stopped, then started up again, crazy fast.

“I was wondering about something,” he started.

“Yes?”

“Did you know that U2 is one of my favorite bands? I mean like, my absolute favorite band?” he asked, his hand dangerously close to mine.

“How would I know that? I just met you,” I asked. I picked up a shell to examine it, and put it down, moving my hand closer to his in the process.

“There’s all kinds of stuff on the Internet about me lately. You could’ve Googled it,” he stated, still moving his hand closer. I could feel the energy between us begin to hum again.

“I think that you should go Google yourself, Brit boy. I’m not interested in Googling you.” I frowned, moving my hand back towards me slightly.

“Are you intrigued by film stars?” he asked slowly.

“Not particularly,” I lied. Only one . . .

“Are you intrigued by romantic beachside gestures?” he asked, moving his fingers so that they were an inch away from mine.

“Nope,” I said, barely breathing. His eyes were actually smoldering as they looked deeply into mine. A piece of his hair had fallen over his forehead and I was aching to sweep it back.

“Would you be intrigued by a film star that wanted to kiss you?” he breathed, his fingers finally touching mine. I paused as I looked back at him, almost panting.

“Mm hm,” I whispered.

Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit.

His eyes were heavy as he gazed into mine. He closed the distance between us and his hand came up to my cheek. I could feel the sand that was still clinging to his fingers graze my skin and it was cool. I was not.

He cupped my face gently as he moved towards me. All I could focus on were the perfect, soft looking lips that were about to touch mine. I moved in to meet him and then closed my eyes. I knew if I had to look at him right now, I would lose my nerve.
I felt him even before I felt his lips. The energy between us shifted and I knew exactly where he was. The instant before his lips met mine, I could tell that he was about to deliver a kiss that would stun me stupid.

It was soft and sweet. It was tentative and deliberate all at the same time. He kissed me once, then again, and then a third time, with a little more grrr behind it. His scent, which up until now I had somehow overlooked, filled my nostrils. He smelled like sand and sun and sweat mixed with vanilla and smoke. Not icky cigarette smoke, but like warm pipe tobacco and chimney smoke all rolled into one.

Sweet Jesus, he’s like your own personal S’more.

The combination was seriously messing with my head, as well as making my pants feel excessively confining. We broke apart and just looked at each other. I inclined my forehead to rest against his. Frankly I needed the prop. I was spinning.

He smiled first and then I answered back with my own.

“Did you feel that?” he asked, concern crossing his face.

“Yeah, I felt it. You too?” I answered, flirting back.

“No, I mean, yes, obviously I felt that, but didn’t you feel that hit your head?” he asked, beginning to grin broadly.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, raising my hand up to my hair.

“Oh, Jesus, Grace, a seagull just shit on your head,” he stated, beginning to shake.

“What?” I shouted, springing up to run in circles.

Of course a seagull shit on my head.

His laughter rang out down the beach.