Keith Adams is a celebrity, used to being in the public eye but the dread that dripped down his back like sweat wasn’t a result of all the adorning fans. He sat on the platform with the other panelist at the Los Angeles Ultimate Comic- Con festival. From his seat he scanned the audience dressed in their favorite superheroes and villains’ costumes. A cold chill came over his body, his hair stood on end, he felt her eyes on him. He knew this stare, it felt cold and soulless.
His skin crawled.
She was here.
He looked around and spotted her behind a support pole. She had followed him. She’s been showing up at all his interviews and events that he attends. He had to stop this now.
A brilliant idea came to mind.
He looked around the civic center for a woman when his eyes caught on one with long brunette hair that fell down her back in loose wavy curls. She had sun-kissed skin, baby blue eyes. She was short, but attractive. He thought to himself she would do.
He walked over and tapped her on the shoulder introducing himself. “Hi, I know we don’t know each other. I’m Keith Adams.”
“I know who you are. Everyone does.” She smiled introducing herself, “I’m Jennifer Knight. My agency Knight Events is handling this year’s Comic- Con.”
He paused shifting back on his feet and rubbing the back of his neck. Before he could chicken out, he blurted, “This is going to sound strange but, I really need some help.”
“How can I help you?” she asked as she straightened some pamphlets on a table to keep him from seeing how nervous she was. In her line of work, she met many different celebrities and high-profile people. She had no problem keeping things professional and keeping her nerves at bay. But Keith Adams was different, he was her celebrity crush.
He paused for a moment not sure he could go through with his idea. Thinking that it sounded crazy even to him. “Never mind.” he said, shaking his head and walking away. He caught sight of his stalker still watching him and turned back to Jennifer blurting, “I have a stalker. She’s here now.”
Her hands paused over the pamphlets as she stared back at him in shock. At first, she felt confused as to why he would confess this to her. Then it dawned on her, she’s the event coordinator and he probably thought she was the person he was supposed to report to.
“I’ll call the police.” She said taking her cell phone from her back pocket.
“No, no they can’t help.” He placed his hand over her phone saying, “I’ve already tried. There isn’t anything they can do.”
“Then what do you want me to do?”
He released a small breath and swiped his hands through his wavy brown hair.
“I know this is going to sound strange and I can’t believe I’m actually going to ask this. But....” He held his breath biting on his bottom lip while wincing his right eye he blurted, “Will you pretend to be my girlfriend just for a moment?”
He closed both his eyes and waited for the slap that was sure to come.
Her mouth fell open as she stared bug eyed at him. Thinking that surely, she hadn’t heard him right.
“Excuse me?” She asked, “You want me to do what?”
“I know how it sounds but let me explain.”
He paced in front of her for a moment thinking of a way to explain his idea hopefully in a way that wouldn’t make him sound crazier than what she probably already thought of him.
“Here’s my idea.” he explained, “There is a woman over there with long blonde hair and dressed in a brown and white dress standing partially behind the pole.” He inconspicuously tried to point to the area.
She followed with her eyes and could see the pole along with a crowd of people gathered around it. There were many women there all dressed in different shades of brown and white dresses. This year’s Marvel hero was a woman whose daytime disguise was a brown and white dress. So, how did he expect her to know for sure which woman he was talking about? They all looked the same.
He continued as she still searched the area, “My idea is for her to see me with someone else. Like as in a girlfriend then maybe she will go away and leave me alone.”
Wow she thought. What she had seen of him on screen and had read about him he seemed like a normal person. But now she was having second thoughts. She didn’t expect him to be creepy.
“You want me to pretend like we are boyfriend and girlfriend, as in what? You want us to hold hands?” she asked smirking at him and swiping her hair behind her ears. Then she turned away from him and the whole situation shaking her head, “This is crazy.”
She thought to herself that this was too weird. A creepy guy in California was nothing new for her. But that Keith Adams the famous actor could be one of them, well that blew her mind and her expectations of him.
He cut in front of her, causing her to come to an abrupt stop. “Jenny please I know how this sounds. It sounds crazy. That’s why I almost didn’t ask you, but I need your help. I just want to be free. She follows me everywhere and stares at me. It freaks me out.” He asked, “Do you have any idea how it feels to be followed everywhere and watched constantly?”
“You’re a celebrity.” She crossed her arms chuckling then patted his arm saying, “That’s normal for you.”
She tried to walk away again but he caught her arm stopping her smirking back saying, “You know what I meant. Followed and watched but not in an adoring fan kind of way. I meant in a creepy stalker skin crawling kind of way.”
She paused, remembering her own experience then said, “Actually, I do know that feeling. The creepy stalker feeling. When I was sixteen a guy named Nathan Witt, followed me everywhere,” she counted off on her fingers, “to the grocery store, to school, to church and I knew he wasn’t there trying to get close to Jesus. He even showed up at my house with a ring and flowers and asked me to marry him. He creeped me out and no matter how many times I tried to get through to him to leave me alone he wouldn’t.”
“So, what did you do?” He asked loving the exaggerated way she talked with her hands.
She answered sarcastically cocking her head to the side popping her eyebrows up. “I moved to another state.” Then she added, “Now I really must get back to work.” She indicated with a wave of her hands out towards the tables full of souvenir items saying, “I’m in charge of this whole event.”
He followed behind her and gently touched her arm, gaining her attention. She turned towards him, bumping into his chest. He held her arms and begged, “You know how it feels to be stalked. Please help me. I’m just asking for a moment of your time just to see if this will make her go away.”
She inhaled deeply with her eyes fixed on his.
“Please.” he asked softly. His brown eyes with flexes of green holding hers pleading with her.
She squeezed her eyes shut and nodded then she took a few steps back, putting some space between them so she could think clearly.
Eyeing him firmly, and pointing her finger at him she ruled, “But just for a moment. I do have to get back to work.” Then she exhaled asking, “What’s your plan?”
“Okay great.” He smiled wide, causing the dimples in his cheeks to show, “Thank you so much.”
He turned his head slightly, catching Patricia still standing beside the pole with her eyes bored into him.
“What I thought was if we were against the wall directly across from her, but still in her line of sight and we make out…...”
He stopped as he saw her eyes go huge, her mouth dropped open and she began to take a few steps back from him.
“No, I meant just pretend.” He explained following her, “Make it look like we’re making out.”
She stopped then nodded hesitantly, but still not sure if she should continue to go along.
“Pretend.” She emphasized holding her pointer finger up.
“Pretend.” He nodded to assure her and held his hand out for her to take it.
She took his offered hand and an invisible jolt of electricity shot between their joined hands.
They glanced at their hands then slowly up into each other’s eyes recognizing that they both had felt it.
He slowly walked her over to a wall. With her back against it he stood flush in front of her locking his eyes with hers. He could feel the heat from her body that quickly rose along with his. He wrapped his arm around her waist and gently pushed her hair off her shoulder. Then he leaned in, placing his lips close to her neck. The sweet smell of her left him intoxicated. He hadn’t accounted for the effect she would have on him being so close to her. He hadn’t had those kinds of feelings in a long while and especially not this strong.
She felt his warm breath on her neck and her pulse quickened, her nerves intensified. His closeness and his woodsy scent made her mind swirl. His arm wrapped around her waist and her body felt like it was on fire. Her hands of their own accord reached up and grasped the loose brown waves of his hair at the nape of his neck.
Her hands in his hair made his breath hitch and he dug his fingers into her waist. He had to get control of her effect on him. He gave himself a mental shake and willed himself to focus. He loosened his grip and slightly raised his head to look at her, but his lips accidentally brushed against her jawline.
Her breath caught and his voice was husky as he asked, “Do you see her?”
Their eyes locked on each other.
She was lost and dazed in the spell he had over her. After a moment she asked breathing out, “What?”
He pulled his eyes away from hers and leaned into her neck. Praying that this would work fast. He needed to put some distance between him and her. He did his best to concentrate on the task at hand.
“Patricia,” he muttered, his lips brushing her neck again. He subconsciously licked them causing his grip on her to tighten. He squeezed his eyes shut at the wonderful taste of her beautiful skin. “Do you see Patricia?” he asked, his voice hoarse. He had to consciously tell himself to ease his hold on her when his whole body was telling him to pull her closer.
An involuntary moan escaped her as his grip tightened on her. She had to give her head a mental shake as she willed herself to focus.
She cleared her throat answering, “Oh, Yes, Patricia.”
She had a hard time concentrating with his lips so close to her neck. A burgeoning heat was flowing through her whole body. She could feel every strand of his hair that touched her cheek. His chiseled jaw line with his five o’clock shadow brushed against her sensitive skin sending electrical currents through her core begging for more.
He furrowed his brows and cocked his head to the side as he stared at her waiting for an answer then cleared his throat.
At his prompting she gave herself a mental smack then smiled smartly back at him as she put her arms on his shoulders, giving herself leverage. She stood on her tip toes and leaned to the side searching the crowd seeing a few different blonde-haired women. She spotted a woman who stood in the shadows behind a pole that looked like she had a brown and white dress on and had long blonde hair. But it was hard to get a clear look over his shoulder. Their height was such a vast difference and she kept slipping.
“Yes, she’s there hiding behind the pole.”
“Dang, I thought that if she saw me with someone else, she would leave me alone.”
She felt sorry for him. He really thought that his idea would work, and, in a way, she had thought that it would too. Neither one of them had moved from their positions. She inwardly giggled as a crazy thought crossed her mind. Pretending to make out with your favorite celebrity so they could get away from a stalker wasn’t the normal way to meet your celebrity but maybe it should be. She had to do another mental shake and tell herself to get a grip.
He took hold of her hand dragging her towards the center of the room.
“Woah, wait a minute,” she protested yanking her hand free from his and demanding, “What are you doing?”
“Plan A didn’t work.” He said holding his hand out, “So, onto plan B.”
He reached for her hand again, but she ignored it.