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I wondered if this was her attempt at fixing things between me and Braydon after the gala snub.

“Sure.” I’d love the chance to see Braydon at work.

“Cool. I’ll pick you up in fifteen.”

“Make it twenty. I’m not quite home yet. Wait. What should I wear?” I wanted to look stylish. It wasn’t every day you crashed a photo shoot.

“Doesn’t matter. We’ll be behind the scenes, remember?”

“Of course.” I was being silly. But that didn’t stop me from putting on my most fashionable black ankle pants, cute black and sparkly ballet flats, and a designer cream-colored silk blouse. I fixed my long dark locks in a low ponytail and added lip gloss, then studied myself in the mirror. There. At least I felt more put-together. I was ready.

When Emmy arrived, she sent a text letting me know and I jogged down the four flights of stairs to the waiting black sedan chauffeured by Henry.

“You look cute,” Emmy noted, looking me over.

I felt cute, too. But mostly just excited to surprise Braydon. There was no reason things needed to feel weird between us. We just needed to talk things over. I was convinced we could fix this.

“Ready?”

“Yup.”

I listened while Emmy filled me in on the details of their charity. Things were going quite well and Ben was taking on fewer modeling jobs to devote more time to their very worthy cause of helping children in need. It was quite admirable.

Soon we were rolling to a stop by an old, run-down building. It didn’t look like much, but I quickly saw its potential. The photographer was using the rough brick façade as a rugged backdrop to capture his subjects. Ben and Braydon were stationed against the wall, each striking brilliant poses as the photographer clicked away. They were dressed casually—each in jeans, Braydon in a simple black T-shirt, and Ben in a white button-down.

Emmy and I approached from the far side, staying out of their line of vision, not wanting to distract them. This world was entirely new to me, but Emmy seemed a bit more comfortable, waving to the makeup artist and moving with authority to the sidelines.

We chatted with a set designer, the editor for the magazine, and nibbled on snacks from the catering table. While Emmy went to talk with the makeup artist she seemed to know from another shoot, I sat down on a brick ledge near the edge of the building to watch the shoot. I didn’t realize a photo shoot could last so long, and just when I’d grown bored with waiting around for Braydon to finish, a bubbly blonde with bouncy curls plopped down beside me.

“He’s stunning, isn’t he?” I assumed she meant Ben because he was the more well known of the two, but a quick glance up told me her gaze was pinned on Braydon.

“Yes, he is.” No denying that fact. The man was frickin’ sex on a stick. Lickable in every way. And I would know. Just the memory of our naughty hotel room encounter made my skin heat up.

Her smile faltered ever so slightly as she sized me up. Pushing her thick blond curls over one shoulder, she offered me her hand. “I’m Katrina.”

“Hi, I’m Ellie.” I returned her handshake. “Are you one of the . . . set workers?” I didn’t know the right terms. My newbie status was obvious.

She laughed a light musical sound. “No. Just . . . an admirer.”

Oh. “Of Ben Shaw or Braydon Kincaid?” I wondered out loud.

“Braydon.” The familiar way his name rolled from her lips set off a warning bell in my head. “What about you?” she asked.

I flushed pink. How did I explain our arrangement to a perfect stranger? “Oh, I’ve been, um, sort of seeing him,” I said softly.

“Really?” This seemed to surprise her, her eyebrows lifting high up her forehead.

I couldn’t get over the unmistakable feeling that something wasn’t quite right. “Do you know him?” She’d said she was just an admirer, but I sensed they had a past.

“Yes. He and I . . .” she stopped herself. “Doesn’t matter. But I know how he can be, and commitment is tough for him.”

I nodded, spellbound. I wondered if she’d been one of his past arrangements. My heart pumped wildly in my chest.

She pulled a scrap of paper from her purse and scribbled something down on it before thrusting it at me. “My phone number and email. If you ever want to talk.”

“Thanks.” I tucked the note inside my wallet.

Emmy approached and offered me her hand. “Ready? The boys are done.”

I accepted her hand and allowed her to pull me to standing. I hadn’t realized they were already through. Something about meeting Katrina, and the way her eyes had followed Braydon’s every movement, made my scalp tingle. A quick glance back told me my new friend was already gone—without a trace, by the looks of it. Strange. Shaking away the eerie feeling, I followed Emmy. The guys emerged a few minutes later and Braydon’s brows crinkled when he spotted me. He looked agitated.

“Everything okay?” he asked as he approached.

“Yes, we came to see you guys. Nice work.”

The tension in his face fell away just slightly. “Oh. Cool. Sorry.” He scrubbed a hand through his messy hair. “There was just a little issue. Security had to remove someone from the set.” Emmy’s concerned eyes met Ben’s. “Everything’s fine now,” Braydon explained.

Weird.

I suddenly felt strange being here. Not only was this the first time I’d been around the three of them since learning about their steamy night in Paris, but Braydon hadn’t invited me here today—Emmy had. And I got the distinct feeling I wasn’t exactly welcome. My plan to push him to talk died when I saw his serious expression. Now was not the time. I shifted my weight, hitching my purse up higher on my shoulder. “Well, I’ve got a lot to do today. I should probably hit it.”

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