Ruined (Barnes Brothers #4)

Written By: Shiloh Walker

Ruined (Barnes Brothers #4)

Shiloh Walker




Chapter One




The Sexiest Man Alive!

The man in front of Marin Lassiter had his picture plastered all over People this week, thanks to his being named The Sexiest Man Alive! And damn, but were they right.

Sebastien Barnes was, without a doubt, the most beautiful man she’d ever met. That was saying something. At thirty-two, Marin had spent more than twenty years working in Hollywood, and beautiful people were common in her world.

Sebastien was beautiful, all right. He had a beauty that went deeper than skin and it sucked people right in. Marin, included. It was more than a little disconcerting since she’d known him when he was still in diapers.

At seven years her junior, the unbelievably gorgeous Sebastien had sinful blue-green eyes—dreamy eyes—the kind that made you think he was already imagining just how you’d taste, just how you’d feel, just what kind of sounds you’d make as he stroked his poet’s hands across your skin. His hair was longer now than normal, thanks to the part he was playing—the male lead in the movie You Wish You Knew, and thanks to the part she was playing, the things she’d wished she knew . . . well, they weren’t wishes anymore. She knew far too many things about him for her own comfort.

Marin knew his hair was as thick and silky as it seemed. She knew his body was a woman’s wet dream, muscled in the absolute best way, and unlike a lot of the Hollywood stars, he didn’t seem to mind the light smattering of hair on his chest. She knew too many who still had any body hair above the waist—or below—removed, but Sebastien had an absolutely perfect chest, that light dusting of hair highlighting the defined, near perfect musculature. He was fit. If they ever needed a brunet Thor, the man could do it without any prep at all.

His face was like something carved by the masters and his mouth could have made an artist weep with envy, because no way could any human alive duplicate that kind of perfection.

She also knew the man could kiss—and she wasn’t just talking about the not particularly enjoyable kisses required for filming. Such kisses involved lots of movement, designed to look erotic, but didn’t particularly feel all that great.

Oddly enough, she hadn’t minded her screen kisses with Sebastien. She hadn’t been bored with them or in a rush to get through them, which was her norm. Granted, most of the pleasure came from having him close, feeling his hands on her and knowing she didn’t have to feel guilty about it—it was the job, right?

He was also an incorrigible flirt, not just with women, but with his public. A few days ago, they’d been having lunch with some others from the crew and a fan had seen them, asked Sebastien and Marin to “kiss” . . . just so the woman could take a picture.

And, man, had he laid one on her.

Her heart was still racing from it, despite the fact that it had been mostly casual.

Considering how gorgeous he was, how easy it was to be around him—and considering that light, easy kiss had made her body stand up and go—more, please!—saying yes to the question he’d just asked her should be a given.

Want to go have dinner sometime, Marin?

He continued to watch her.

Of all the people to ask her out . . . why Seb?

And why in the hell was she so tempted to say yes? The very idea was insane.

That was easy, though. When it came to Sebastien, she was tempted to do a lot of things. Sanity rarely factored into any of them.

“Dinner, Seb?” She almost said honey instead of Seb, just to remind him of their age difference—seven years—but she didn’t. It was insulting to him and her and she didn’t need the barb to make her point.

“Yeah. Dinner. As in a date?” He smiled, and the slow curve of his lips sent her heart rate into dangerous territory. “I mean, we’ve got plenty to talk about.” He reached out and trailed one finger down the back of her hand. “A lot in common.”

Careful not to let him see how his touch affected her, she casually reached for her glass of wine and took a small sip. She let the cool, crisp taste roll down her throat before she answered. “Sure, we have things in common—and all of them are the job. Frankly, when I’m out on a date, I talk about other things. You live and breathe this.”

He laughed. “What, like you don’t? This world is your life.”

“No.” Marin managed to smile, looking away so she wouldn’t see the skepticism in his eyes. A lot of people felt the very same way he did. “It’s my job—a job I love, but it’s not my life.” And lately, she’d been feeling . . . bored. She thought maybe she needed to try something new, or take some time off, but she just didn’t know what the answer was.

His fingers brushed over hers once more. It was pathetic the kind of heat such a light touch could generate—and that it could be caused by Sebastien. He’d been like a baby brother to her growing up, thanks to her working with his older brother Zach. That had been a lifetime ago, but she’d gotten her start in acting on the sitcom Kate + Nate, and it was probably how Sebastien had gotten bit by the acting bug as well.

When they’d agreed to work together on You Wish You Knew, she’d hoped this odd attraction she’d developed for him would fade. That she’d kiss him and feel like she had the few times she’d had a screen kiss back when she was still working with Zach—a whole lot of nada.

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