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He smiled and scooted closer. Very close in fact – boundaries were blurring.

“You can ask, I’ll choose to answer or not,” he responded gruffly and seriously as he rested his left hand on my hip on top of the duvet. My heart increased in speed while he looked as calm as the sea.

Go with it, Tash, throw caution to the wind and enjoy the sexiest man on the planet actually touching you in your bed! Way Aye!

“Okay. How did you become an actor?” I started off easy.

His eyes creased in amusement, he knew my plan.

“Ah, the million-dollar question. Let’s see. I used to play ice hockey in Vancouver. I was playing at a pretty good level, and after a match where I was awarded MVP, I was approached by a casting agent who was scouting out people for a movie about ice hockey–”

“The Mighty Ducks? Did you do the 'Flying V'?” I asked, excitedly.

He regarded me blankly. “No, not The Mighty Ducks!” He shook his head laughing, and moved his hand to lie on top of mine. I didn’t even think he had done it consciously, and our new-found intimacy didn’t seem to faze him. I, on the other hand, was freaking out inside whilst trying to maintain a calm demeanour on the outside.

“It was a small–budget, indie Canadian film about how the game became professional. I was only paid about five hundred bucks. It ended up being awarded Best Film at the Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals. Long story short, I was given a small part due to my size and discovered I was pretty good at the whole acting thing. I was approached by a talent agent from the city, and she hooked me up with an acting coach and I began to audition. Up until that point, hockey was my life, but I found something I was better at, with more longevity, and I haven’t looked back since.”

That was easier than I had expected. “So you went from zero to hero practically overnight? Wow, that’s awesome. Surreal, but awesome.”

He moved his fingers and looped them in mine. He cast his green eyes down and stared at our entwined hands. “Yeah, you could say that. I have a unique look. I’ll always be given certain roles, but I’m good with that. I can act too, not many bigger, thug-looking-type guys can, so I'm getting offered a lot of good parts, not just dumb, muscle roles. The Blade Reaper franchise will take up the majority of my time over the next few years. It’s going to be a trilogy."

"So no gratuitous sex scenes or romance? Just knives, guns and violence?”

He shrugged. "The idea of being cast in a rom-com gives me hives. I’m good with action. Action, I can do. I'm not good with the flowery stuff. I'm no leading man like Mr. Darcy. People find me too abrupt, too scary, and I don’t think Colin Firth would have been as big a hit if he had looked like a ‘roided-up wrestler, eh?” he quipped, glancing up at me with a shy smile.

“Mmm, now that version of Mr. Darcy would have floated my boat, but, hey you, don’t knock a rom-com. Pretty Woman is my most favourite romantic movie ever. You shouldn’t be averse to love, mister,” I scolded.

He squeezed my hand and dropped the smile. “I’m not averse to love, not if it’s with the right person.”

With all my inner strength, not wanting to break the intensity of the moment, I held his gaze, and was rewarded when he inched a touch closer. “I just don’t want to put it on show for the masses. I hardly even do kissing scenes, they repulse me. I f**king hate kissing a woman I don’t want. I feel uncomfortable getting close to people, emotionally, acting or not.” His tongue wet his bottom lip. “When I’m in love, I want it to be complete heart-and-soul level, for all of my life. I’m an all or nothing kind of guy.”

I’m sweating, and I think heavy breathing. I reckon he needs to rethink the ‘I’m no good at romance’ crap! Time for a subject change.

“So you never lived in Hollywood?”

Tudor froze, his fingers rigid in mine. He looked down at his feet. “I did for a bit, but moved back to be near my family. It wasn’t for me, and they needed me more.”

That was obviously a sore point. The temperature in my room went from scorching hot to ice cold. But, never one to shy away from a challenge, I pushed further. “Do you have a girlfriend, Tudor, famous or otherwise? I'm not sure being here in my bed is a good thing if you do.”

He relaxed and laced my fingers once again through his. “No, I’m not good with relationships, especially with the public side I have to deal with. It’s f**king crazy.”

I blew out a breath I didn’t know I had been holding as his stunning eyes penetrated mine.

“What I mean to say is that I haven’t been interested in anyone for a very long time… until recently.”

I pulled away and sat up slowly. Oh shit, I’d obviously totally misread this whole thing. I couldn’t listen to him mention some Hollywood starlet he was chasing.

I needed to remove myself from this. “Can you walk me to the bathroom?” I asked abruptly.

Tudor scratched the back of his neck, frowning and rubbed his lips together. “For sure.”

Tudor stood outside while I sat on top of the padded toilet seat and breathed deeply. I recounted my earlier conversation with Tink. He was right; this guy was dangerous to me. He consumed my thoughts when he was near, I became lost in him, everything about him, and I'd only just met him. The touches he gave me were as natural as breathing and were shattering my defences; they made me nervous. I needed to keep my composure. I could fall for him. Hard. But it was so easy, effortless, and I can’t help but like him. Could we be just friends? Yes, friends. Nothing more. He probably saw me as that anyway.

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