Waking Up to You Overexposed - By Leslie Kelly

Prologue

The Hollywood Tattler-

Superstar No Longer A Bachelor?

Pay attention, ladies, it looks like Thomas Shane, hottest young leading man to come out of Sundance, might be ready to trade in his bachelor digs for a cozy cottage for two. The handsome actor, who set female hearts throbbing in his very first picture, is reportedly in the market for a home in the Laguna Beach area.

Shane, who is rumored to be starring in the next big superhero reboot, has been notoriously picky about his lady friends. But he was recently seen house shopping with a hot brunette who, sources say, was the costume designer on his last film.

If it’s true that Thomas Shane is leaving the realm of available men, hearts are breaking all over the world.

Don’t go, Shane! Don’t go!

1

“WAIT, YOU’RE ASKING me to marry you?”

Her mouth open, Candace Reid stared into the beautiful, sky-blue eyes that were the dominant feature of the most perfect male face she had ever seen. Thomas Shane, handsomest man on the planet, hottest young up-and-comer in Hollywood, subject of fantasies and object of obsessions, had just said the words every other woman in America would kill to hear from his lips. And he didn’t appear to be joking.

“Yes, I am. Marry me, Candace. Say yes.”

“But...but...you’re a movie star.”

“So what? You’re a movie costumer.”

She grunted. That so didn’t count. Her check on their last film was smaller than his by at least four zeroes.

“We’ve known each other since kindergarten.”

“Nursery school. Say yes and I will at last forgive you for stealing my Fruit Roll-Ups during nap time the day we met.”

She growled. She hadn’t taken the damn Fruit Roll-Ups. “That was Joey Winpigler...don’t you remember his green teeth?”

“That kid’s teeth were always green.”

She groaned, realizing they were getting off topic—off this insane topic. “I can’t marry you...you’re my best friend.”

“And you’re mine. That’s why it’s so perfect.”

Throwing her arms up in frustration, she exclaimed, “But, Tommy, you’re gay!”

He waved an unconcerned hand. “Oh, that.”

“Yeah. That.”

“It’s really no big deal.”

“I disagree. I don’t have a penis, and they’re right up there with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens for you.”

“Well, I’ll admit they are among my fav-o-rite things.”

Of course Tommy would get the show-tune quip—he’d starred in every musical in their high school and could tap-dance his way around a chorus line of Rockettes. Not that anyone who had seen him in his last film, taking out an entire terrorist camp single-handedly, would believe that.

“But really, penises schmenises, most men are jerks,” he insisted. “I adore women.”

“Not sexually.”

He plopped down beside her on the buttery-soft leather sofa in the living room of his Malibu condo. “Sex isn’t everything.”

“Yeah, right.” For him maybe it wasn’t, since his career was his entire focus right now. But for Candace, who liked sex a lot, even if she seldom got it, it was kind of a biggie.

“I think maybe I’ll just be asexual from now on.”

She snorted and rolled her eyes.

“What? I can love from afar. It’ll be all tragic and shit.”

“Like the mad crush you had on that guy who played your grandfather in your second film?”

He pursed his lips, looking prim. “Every serious actor has a crush on Sir Anthony Hopkins. He’s a God.”

“But not every serious actor goes trolling for a little strange cock when he’s out of town, away from the cameras.”

“Big strange cock,” he retorted. “And that’s a secret.”

“This is nuts. Stop playing around.”

“Babe, I’ve got to keep my personal life on the down-low for now,” he said, growing serious. “If I don’t, my superhero action-movie days are over. It sucks, but you know it’s true.”

Part of her wanted to urge him to be true to himself and stop hiding the man he was. She’d known about his sexual orientation for as long as he had, having realized it in middle school when Tommy had gotten pissy about her landing a date with the hottest guy in their class. It hadn’t been hard to figure out who, exactly, he was jealous of. The two of them had talked about it, acknowledged Tommy was gay and that was that.

Her sister, Madison, the only person in the world to whom she was closer than Tommy, hadn’t figured it out quite as quickly. But once she had, the three of them had become like the Three Musketeers, fighting for Tommy’s right to be himself.

And now he wanted to hide who he was for good.

“There have been rumors,” he said, not meeting her eye.

She shrugged. “There are always those kinds