~~Danica Bennett isn't sure what she hates more...her job or the fact that she's good at it. As one of the many Hollywood paparazzi, she lives her life incognito and sneaks around trying to get the best shot of the latest star. When she is mistaken for an extra on a new, up and coming TV show, her own star rises and she becomes the one in the photographs. Add that to the fact that she's falling for her co-star, Eliot Lane, and Danica is in a whole heap of trouble.
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~~Danica Bennett threw her elbow into the man beside her. When he turned to complain, she simply smiled and his words disappeared in the thin air surrounding them. Danica was lucky. Her small stature and boyish figure worked to her advantage. When she needed to pass for a man, she could. She simply dressed in clothing a couple of sizes bigger than normal, threw her hair up in a ball cap, and placed sunglasses on her face. But today, she didn’t need to blend in, and being small and female helped.
She was on a reconnaissance mission. Danica needed to figure out the ins and outs of the studio. It was scheduled to tape the new show touted as the next big thing. To Danica, anything noteworthy became important in her world.
Her height allowed her to stand in front of others without being an obstacle. And batting her big blue eyes enabled her to get her way when it came to the males in the crowd.
She glanced to the other side of the parking lot. The media lined the street, waiting for the stars to arrive at the studio to begin taping. She recognized several familiar faces as she scanned rows of cameras. Some of them were on popular news magazine shows. Others were more nondescript individuals that took photographs like hers.
Hollywood was a small world. Chasing stars led her to the same people over and over again. It was like a club. And though not everyone could go into the clubhouse, that didn’t stop them from banging on the door outside.
Danica held her breath as the media and paparazzi started shouting. A long vehicle pulled into the lot and the people around her buzzed.
Danica wanted to see what everyone else clamored for, but today, her mission was more important. She needed something different than a celebrity sighting. She wanted to understand how everything surrounding the studio worked. It could lead her to a better photo opportunity at another time…assuming the show really did end up being a hit.
While others watched the arrival of the show’s big star, Eliot Lane, Danica ducked under the barrier and pressed herself against a nearby wall. The security guards didn’t notice. She edged away from the crowd and glanced backward. Eliot Lane, or Lane, as everyone referred to him, exited his vehicle and gave his signature humble wave and half smile.
Danica squinted. She never quite understood why everyone went mad over stars. Sure, they were good looking, rich, and always in the limelight. But they were just people, right? They slept, ate, showered, and did everything else a normal person did. So what was the big deal?
Danica shook her head. She would see enough of Eliot Lane later. If the show did as well as everyone predicted, she would make sure of it. But right now, she needed to concentrate. In order to get something no one else had, she should search for things only someone behind the scenes knew. It was part of why she was good at what she did.
Danica sidled up to a door at the side of the building. It wasn’t the main entrance, but perhaps some of the crewmembers used it. Of course, it could just be a storage area for equipment too. She tried the knob. Locked. Of course. She wasn’t that lucky.
When she turned to see what else was down the way, a firm grip landed on her upper arm. Suddenly, Danica was glad she was not incognito. She could easily pass herself off as a crazed fan when dressed in her normal street clothes.
She put on her biggest smile and prepared a sheepish look as she opened her mouth to explain.
“You’re obviously not in the right place.” The large man holding her arm stared at the locked door behind her.
Without another word, he led her away from the crowd, deeper into the lot. The building beside them quickly moved behind them as he took long strides to a second structure.
Danica wasn’t sure whether to protest or thank her lucky stars. She was either caught red-handed and would be turned in, or led to the pot of gold. Either way, it was probably in her best interest to stay quiet. She’d work her wiles on whomever turned up at the new location.
The man finally let go of her arm as they reached the back corner of the second building. The door before them was also unmarked, but when he raised his knuckle and knocked briskly, it opened with a squeak.
“I found a stray.” He turned and gave Danica a push into the room.