Chapter Seventy Four - Charlie’s POV
After Brax video called me yesterday, I immediately got off the phone and called Marcus to let him know what had happened. I sent him the screenshot and I was reminded instantly of one of the many things I loved about this group . . . . we all had each other’s backs without question. Marcus was just as pissed as I was the moment he received it.
While Marcus called Melissa’s agent to notify them of what had transpired as well as fire her, he had me ring around to find a replacement. After about half a dozen phone calls, Marcus came into my office. He had spoken with her agent and blacklisted her from any further work with us, as well as advised them to get her offset immediately. I explained to Marcus which agencies I had already called, sadly none of them had availability matching the requirements we needed.
We toyed with the idea of switching to a brunette to accommodate the filming schedule but once we spoke with the production crew it was agreed that with the video being quite dark already, it would get drawn into the background and fade out. Marcus and I had spent another hour making calls and while a couple of candidates were emailed over, none of them fit what we wanted.
I was going through another email of potential models when Marcus spoke up. “I have an idea, hear me out before you freak out.”
I looked up over my laptop at Marcus as I spoke. “Okay . . . this sounds ominous.”
“I think I know the perfect replacement we can use.”
“Great. . . . who?”
“You!” My eyes immediately flew open as I squealed at him. “Think about it for a minute. It makes perfect sense.” I sat back in my chair for a minute, affording Marcus the opportunity to explain himself. “The video is an intimate scene to match the song, who else is he going to feel more comfortable with depicting intimacy? He wouldn’t even have to act, and let’s be honest we both know he is a shit actor, that is why he was gifted lyrically.”
I had to giggle when he said that. “I suppose that much is true.”
“The realism of the video would be out of this world. You fit the part, perfectly. Obviously, since we all know he wrote it about you.”
“I can’t act Marcus, or take direction to save my life. That is why I hide behind a camera.”
“But that is just it, isn’t it? You wouldn’t have to act, either of you!”
“I don’t know about this, it’s something we would have to check with Brax first.”
“I really don’t think we do. In fact I think it would be the best possible outcome for him. And look, if it isn’t, I will take the blame for it. It is on me. Just go home, get your stuff packed and get on the plane with me in the morning. I will sort flights and everything else now.” I insisted I needed to call and let Brax know. “Trust me midget, this is one suprise he will love.”
“Alright, but if this backfires, it is on you.”
“Agreed.” Marcus got up and left to make the arrangements.
So here I was, standing in front of Brax, who had just been told I was Melissa’s replacement. His face was completely void, expressionless. I could not get a read at all on how he felt about this, and I was positive that was his intent. “Well?”
Brax took my hand and turned to speak to everyone. “We will be right back. I need to speak to Charlie, alone.”
Chester chuckled out loud as he spoke. “Bullshit you are going to speak. I bet you end up fucking. Let’s go have a blunt while we wait.” As Brax started dragging me off, I turned to Marcus, glaring at him and pointed my finger. He knew if this backfired I was going to strangle him, and then some. He shrugged his shoulders at me and I was about ready to lunge at him.
Brax walked me down to his dressing room and pulled me inside, shutting the door. He stepped closer to me, pinned me against the door with his hands pressed on either side, just above my shoulders, either side of my head. He looked down at me as I glanced up to meet his intense stare. “Hi, Brax.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
I started to fumble under his scrutiny. “Agh . . . . Marcus thought you might appreciate the surprise.” I shrugged my shoulders trying to deflect.
“Marcus? Is that right?”
“Yes. It was his idea.” I searched his eyes desperate for a read on how he was feeling, but this guy has always been good at playing the bluff. He pressed closer to me, leaning down on his elbows now, pressing his hips closer as he continued his scrutiny.
“And what did you think about this idea?”
“I . . . umm, I thought . . . .” He moved closer to me, brushed his nose against my neck as I reached up and gripped his forearms.
“You thought?” I felt his warm breath brush across my skin when he spoke, a shiver starting in the base of my spine and running up to end a combustion of tingles at the base of my neck.
“I thought he had a valid argument.”
“A valid argument hey?” I could hear the humour in his voice as he mumbled his reply into my skin. “Do you want to know what I think?” Brax gently bit my ear lobe and I felt my knees waiver for a minute.
“Yes.” I managed to whisper as I leaned my head into him slightly.
“I think after a day of filming with you, I am going to be so worked up. Come tonight, I am going to seduce you Charlie, and you will love every minute of it.” Brax brought his face around and captured my lips as his arms wrapped me up. He pulled my body into his as our tongues danced together. I ran my nails up through his hair, gripping him tightly around the neck as he held me with equal force. As I slid down off my tip toes, Brax pulled back from our kiss, and tapped my nose. “Let’s go make some magic.”
He took my hand and led me out of the change room, and just as Chester said we found it empty. Heading out the front, we saw them all sitting across from the building and walked across the road to join them. “Woah! That was quick.”
Brax pushed Chester in his chair as he replied. “Shut up idiot. If I started we wouldn’t get any filming done today. She can wait until tonight.”
“Oh, I can wait can I?” I turned and gave him a questioning look.
“Yes! Just like you and Marcus concocted this, and made me wait.” When Mark laughed and asked if that burned I told him to shut up.
“Does this mean you two are going to dry hump in front of us all day, you know just for a change?” Charlie was quick to slap Chester as he laughed and grabbed her around the neck pulling her into a hug.
We headed back into the studio and everyone was taken through to wardrobe to get ready. It wasn’t long before we were out and shooting was due to commence.
Brax sat on the end of the bed as the director signalled action and I walked towards him. I realised just how fucking lucky I was to have all the things I loved the most right here in this moment. As my fingers brushed against his skin, wrapped around his neck, I pushed Brax back on the bed, and felt the goosebumps break out across my skin.
It would have been so easy to get lost with him in that moment, as I do in every moment with Brax. But as much as it was more in vain than anything else, I had to remind myself we were here to film for his clip. There was only so much of my private life I was willing to share with the whole world.
We got a good half of the video filmed today before they cut. Brax and I headed back to get changed back into our clothes before coming back out to join everyone. “Guys, come here! You need to see this.” We headed over to where Marcus was hovering over one of the monitors, checking out the film from today. “I love this print from the pool scene.”
He had the photographer freeze and pull it up so Brax and I could see. From the neck down we were completely submerged in the water, the ocean scape and cliffs in the background illuminated in the red lights of the shoot and nothing more than the night sky. Brax was standing in front of me dressed in a black t-shirt and black baseball cap staring dead on at the screen. I had my hand on his neck, nails gripped to his skin as my face was hidden in his neck.
As I took it in, Brax was the one to speak first. “Almost as good as my fiance’s work.” Marcus laughed as I told him that was smooth. “I try.” We finished watching the rest of the filming they had done today and Brax wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed my neck. I could feel the smile on his lips and knew he was enjoying this as much as I was.
Once it finished, Marcus and the videographer were talking when Brax turned me in his arms to face him. “Come on then, time to get back to the hotel for a shower and change of clothes before we go out.”
“Why? What’s going on?”
“I am taking you out to seduce you. I thought I already made that clear earlier?”