Into the Spotlight

Into the Spotlight by Heather Long Read Free Book Online

Book: Into the Spotlight by Heather Long Read Free Book Online
Authors: Heather Long
top and opulent.
    Sliding her shoes off, she curled up in one of the chairs and carefully tucked her legs under her. They would cramp if she sat this way for too long, but she hadn’t chosen a longer skirt. He waited for her to settle before pouring her a glass of water and sitting down in the chair angled to the right of hers.
    “You’re a bit of a puzzle to me, Jeannie.” He crossed one leg over the other, elbow resting on the arm of his chair and two fingers pressed to his temple. His sensuous blue gaze roved over her.
    “I’m not trying to be.”
    “I didn’t think you were. How long have you worked here at the Arcana Royale?”
    “A few decades.” Her answer gave him a bit of a jolt. She saw it in the way his eyes widened and in the dilation of his pupils. She could stare into his eyes all night long.
    “So when you say it’s been a long time…?”
    The corners of her mouth lifted in a fraction of a smile. She understood the intimation. “Yes, I did mean decades.”
    If she were being truly honest, the closest she’d come to experiencing anything like that kiss happened in the back of Bobby Ray’s pickup truck after the Corn Husker Dance. That was also a lot like comparing a flat soda with a glass of sparkling champagne.
    “You must like it here.”
    She opened her mouth to deny that, but the sound of the doorbell and movement beyond jerked her head around.
    “Ignore them. They will set up our meal and we can dine at our leisure.” Malcolm hadn’t moved from his chair, his gaze boring into her as though trying to peel apart the layers of her soul. She sat back slowly, anxiety riding every nerve.
    “I like the women I dance with and I like Heidi, my stage manager. But I don’t…I don’t like being here at the Arcana Royale that much anymore.”
    “Why not?” His simple responses were made all the more provocative because he never stopped staring at her. Surprisingly, the longer he gazed, the more accustomed to his penetrating scrutiny she became.
    “Would you like being somewhere you can’t leave? Doing the same thing every night of your life? No breaks. No changes. My world…it doesn’t change. This—” She licked her lips, struggling with the words. This really wasn’t his problem, but she had to tell someone and she wanted that someone to be him.
    “This, here…with you…it’s the first change I’ve had in a decade. Even the men who send back their requests to have drinks with me, I ignore them. Unless Heidi says I have to go, I just do my show and then return to my rooms below the theatre. I sleep and then it’s the next night and we perform again.”
    “Why stay?” Somewhere in her story he shifted his posture and leaned forward, his knee precipitously close to her chair. If she just reached her hand out, she could stroke the fabric of his slacks.
    “Because I can’t leave and that’s why I need your help.”
    “You need money?” The guarded question shifted the suspicion in his gaze.
    “No.” She tipped the glass of water up and drained it. Irritation shivered under the craving in her blood. “If I did, I wouldn’t ask a man I just met for it. I need an attorney.” Setting the glass down, she swung her legs free. “I think I should go after all.”
    “Jeannie.” Malcolm’s mouth firmed into a hard line. “I wasn’t trying to insult you.”
    “This is a mistake.” It hurt to slide the shoes back on her feet. “I’m sorry for all of this. It won’t happen again.”
    She made it out of the sitting room and across the marble foyer of his hotel room and almost to the door before he appeared in front of her. Knowing that he could move that fast and being forcibly reminded were two different things. She froze, looking away from the intensely blue eyes that dragged her attention from the stage and made her want to delve into the darkness for the opportunity to meet him.
    “Jeannie. Look at me.” The command in his words was unimpeachable. She didn’t want to,

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