The Rich List Series

By: Talia Hunter



“Have you heard of method acting?” Max sipped his beer, and when she shook her head he put it down and leaned back, getting comfortable. “It’s when you immerse yourself in a character, even while you’re not on set. You inhabit that character, trying to become them, to prepare yourself for the role.”

She took another gulp of the velvety chocolate martini. It slid far too easily down her throat and warmed the pit of her stomach. Careful, Ally. Remember these things are delicious but deadly.

“It can be quite an intense experience. To lose yourself in somebody else.” His gaze locked on hers and a shiver ran over her skin. She could lose herself in the blue of his eyes, for sure.

“Ah.” She cleared her throat. “Have you done this kind of thing before?”

“Never for a character like this. Thomas isn’t the kind of man I find easy to understand.” He picked up his beer again. Maybe it was her strong drink going straight to her head — she’d been too nervous to eat before she came — but she found herself captivated by his lips when they curved to take a sip. They were such a nice shape. “To be honest, Ally, I’ve always called the shots and that’s the way I like it.”

“But you need to let go of that.” It came out hoarse. So he couldn’t take orders and she wasn’t sure she could give them. Darn it, she could barely think straight when he looked at her like that. How was she going to do this?

“Let’s give it a try.” He got up. “I’ll grab a couple of scripts. We can run through a scene from the movie and see where it takes us.”

He disappeared into the bedroom and she scrunched her hands into fists and screamed silently at herself. Ally, get it together. So far he’s directing the evening, but a real dominatrix would be the one taking charge.

“Here.” He handed her a thick wad of paper and sat next to her with his own copy. “We’ll start from page…” He flicked through it. “Page 48.”

It was a page of dialogue between Thomas and Cora. She should read ahead to find out what the scene was about, but she was too hyper-aware of the way Max’s knee was almost touching hers. This close, she could smell his cologne. It was a deep, rich scent that made her want to lean forward and bury her nose in the defined V-shaped area where his neck met his shoulder.

“Thomas has asked Cora to meet him at a hotel. Supposedly he’s setting up a meeting with one of his drug contacts, but when she arrives he’s the only one there.” He nodded at the page in front of her. “Cora still thinks Thomas is a minor player on the drug scene who’s looking to expand his operation. In this scene she finds out he’s really an undercover detective.” He glanced at the page, then back at her. “Are you alone?” he asked in a voice totally unlike his own, with an accent that sounded British.

For a moment she didn’t understand. Then she stared down at the script, searching for her line. She cleared her throat self-consciously before she read. “Of course. Where is he?”

“He’s not coming. I wanted to speak in private. Your house is bugged and the police are listening.”

“How do you know?” Ally tried to make it sound like she wasn’t reading. It wasn’t polished like his delivery, especially with the accent that transformed him into someone else entirely. But to her ears it still sounded pretty good. Hey, maybe she wasn’t too bad at this.

“Because I’m the one who planted the bugs.”

His British accent was sexy as hell. She tried not to let it distract her while she read her line. “You’re a cop?”

“That’s right.”

“Why are you telling me?”

“Because I… I…” The script directions said for Max to sound hesitant, but his lowered eyes made it look like he really was lost for words. His confident manner was transformed into uncertainty. He’d morphed into Thomas in front of her eyes, and the change was astonishing.

“What do you expect from me, policeman?” Ally rolled the last word in her mouth with relish. Maybe it was because he’d taken on his role so completely that she was getting into hers. Or perhaps it was thanks to the chocolate martini. Either way, she was starting to enjoy herself. From the few lines she’d read so far, Cora seemed like she could kick some serious butt.

“We’ve been watching you for some time, learning about your operation.”

“You’ve come to arrest me?”

“To warn you.”

“Why?”

“I want you to know the truth.” Max swallowed as though he was having difficulty saying the words. “I want you to trust me, and I think maybe you already know why.” He moved hesitantly, visibly summoning his courage before reaching out and taking her hand. His touch sent a current up her arm. The powerful, confident Max was still hiding somewhere underneath, but now he was Thomas, offering Cora total control. His face was close enough that if she leaned forward she could probably brush her lips against his, and Thomas would do whatever she asked. What would his gorgeous mouth feel like? Ally would never dare to taste him… but Cora could do whatever she wanted.

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