Author’s Note: So, officially, I hate myself.
The more I write with the original Effie Lincoln and Nicholas Tennant, the more I like them and curse myself for the story I gave them back in the beginning. I suppose I could throw it out and rewrite the ending for them…
Never thought I’d want an AU (alternate universe) for my own story.
“Where is the latest in that long line of heroes? Do I need to teach him how to breathe or perhaps how to chew with his mouth closed? If he’s stiff as a board, he better not expect me to loosen him up.”
“Tempting as such an offer might be, I think I am rather flexible, and you needn’t worry about my health—I’m nowhere near dead. I can breathe just fine, and my mother taught me the best of manners and etiquette,” Nicholas said, leaning back in his chair with a smile, enjoying his first glimpse of Euphemia Lincoln in the flesh. She’d come in just like one of her movies, an entrance befitting a queen, and he had to wonder what role she figured on playing with him right now. Damn, but she was impressive, more vibrant and forceful in person.
More of the bombshell she was billed as, and it only took one look to know she was trouble.
She studied him. “You’re taller than the usual leading man.”
He shrugged. “I bet I’m plenty of things your other costars weren’t. Single, better looking, more talented, and completely impervious to your vamp act.”
She put her hand on her hip, frowning at him. “Who says this is an act?”
His lips curved into a smile. He rose, walking around behind her—she wasn’t much of anything, easy to get around, just a slip of a woman—but he didn’t doubt that she was a lot stronger than that figure suggested, nothing about her seemed all that delicate. “I do.”
She turned around to face him. “You know nothing about me.”
“I could pretend that I had read every interview or article written about you, and I could lie and call myself a fan, but that’s not true. You just have no idea how much you give away when you’re on screen. Those little details you give the parts, the gestures you throw in, they say so much more than you realize.”
He touched the section of her hair by her eye, brushing back the peekaboo to get a good look at her face. “How did she end up with the devil, anyway?”
“What makes you think I know? I didn’t write the story.”
“I’d have given it a better ending,” he said, and she fought a smile. “Every time you’re on screen, there’s this look on your face like you have so much to say if you only had the chance.”
“You have that look now.”
She smiled. “Well, this movie should be interesting to make, hero.”
He frowned. “I’m not a hero. I’ve never done anything useful, never served in the military or the police, not even as a volunteer firefighter.”
“You’re an actor, aren’t you?”
“Depends on who you ask. My father calls it lying.”
She laughed. “I think I might just agree with him. Still, they brought you here to play a part, the leading role, and that man is always the hero.”
Nicholas shook his head. “I read the part. He’s an idiot.”
“They always are.”
“I’d rewrite this ending, too.”
“No,” she said, shaking her head. “That’s the way they always end. That’s the thing about heroes. They never get the bad girl.”