The Body Double
At eighteen Delilah James found her soulmate in Robby Graham, but her ambitions took her from him. Coming home to
after a five year stint as a body double in White
Springs, Tennessee can really break a girl down. Hollywood
Will she be able to fight her unfulfilled dreams of stardom and reconnect with an incomparable love?
An Army brat, Harris Channing traveled around the Southern US and Europe as a child before settling in Tennessee as an adult. Married with two children, she enjoys her family, reading, writing, and gardening.
Where To Find Harris:
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harris-Channing-Author/118087418550
Delilah spent the first hour of her plane ride home reading, and trying to get the guy sitting next to her to stop staring at her breasts. His unwelcome attention increased with each sip of his gin. God she hated flying coach.
“You a starlet?” he asked. He was a smarmy fellow with a long nose and brown goatee. When he stood to go to the bathroom, he grinned. If he was trying to appear charming, he failed miserably. “Wanna join the mile high club, beautiful?”
“There isn’t enough booze in the world,” she retorted, before requesting another seat from a sympathetic male flight attendant.
The young man in the blue uniform pants and crisp white shirt bent over her seat, his cologne as soft and sweet as he was. “I’m sorry we don’t have any seats available,” he whispered, his tone one that had her feeling like she was part of a conspiracy. She leaned toward him, her interest in the inflight drama a nice diversion from the mundane, trying to get in her pants passenger that now ambled down the narrow aisle toward them. “Not even in first class,” the attendant went on to explain “Some bigwig from Nashville booked the whole place for just himself,” he explained. “Sorry.”
“He’s just such a pest,” she said, pointing an accusatory thumb toward the weasel. “Do you think anyone would change seats with me?”
The flight attendant set his dark eyes upon the scoundrel who stared at Delilah like a starved beast.
“Just one sec, okay?” he replied, his frown the only proof of annoyance on his otherwise sweetly neutral features.
She nodded and watched as he walked toward the curtain that separated the wealthy bigwig from the great unwashed.
“You should have come in there with me,” the wolf in used car salesmen’s clothing whispered. Shit, even his voice was oily.
“Who talks to a stranger like that?” she asked. “Are you writing a porno screenplay?”
The man offered a lopsided grin. “What?”
“Your dialogue needs work and you act as if any woman in her right mind would go into a bathroom with you.”
The smirk slid from his face and in its place malice seemed to reign. “I know who you are, Delilah James. Don’t act all high and mighty. Everyone on this plane has seen your gorgeous ass at least once.”
She set her hand to her chest, and her heart thundered against her now sweaty palm. “I beg your pardon?”
“You heard me. I know who you are and I don’t feel at all like we’re strangers.”
The physical reaction to his statement felt like a punch in the abdomen. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Liar, liar, pants on fire. I bet you have a little, itty bitty dimple on your…”
“That’s enough,” Delilah stated, her words loud enough to disturb the surrounding passengers. On unsteady legs, she scrambled from her seat. “You need to leave me alone.”
The elderly woman in the aisle across from her leaned forward and looked up with pity before turning a wrath filled glare in the man’s direction. Her matronly ire seemed to cool his demeanor.
“Take it easy, honey,” he replied, raising his hands in surrender. “Just sit down and don’t make a scene.”
“I don’t know you, I don’t answer to you…” she turned to a burly man three rows back. He had headphones on, but watched the spectacle with keen interest. She approached him and when he tugged at the earpiece, he smiled up at her. “What’s going on?”
“Will you trade seats with me?” She hated the desperate tone that accompanied her words.
At the touch of a hand on her arm, Delilah turned, her fist poised to strike. She felt every bit the caged beast.
“It’s me!” the flight attendant said, his dark eyes squinting, his arms raised in defense of his elfish face. “The guy in first class says you can come in with him if you’re quiet.”
She lowered her hands and clutched at the collar of her blouse. “I’m so sorry.” Relief flooded through her and she offered a smile. “Thank you.”
* * * *
Stepping into first class was like entering a different world. The seats were large, plush, and clean. The lighting was softer, the air cool and comfortable. She set her carry-on next to the seat closest to the curtain and walked up the aisle toward her savior. He sat with papers on the chairs at either side of him and his laptop on the small table before him. Long, slender fingers moved with purpose over the keyboard. Hmm, no wedding ring. She cleared her throat.
“I’m sorry to disturb you,” she whispered. “I want to thank you for letting me come up here.”
Slamming the monitor down, he turned to face her. His irritated expression softened when his gaze came to rest on her face.
“Oh my God,” he said, his slight Southern drawl a welcome sound to her ears. “Delilah?”
“Robby?” She laughed, electricity shooting through her. The sight of him was better than any drug, uplifting her and bringing giddiness to her stomach. He hadn’t changed in the five years since their last meeting.
“You look great,” she said, her eyes soaking in the beauty of him. His green eyes sparkled, his dark curly hair was shiny, his face tan and handsome. He licked his lips and pushed the table away. Standing, he pulled her into a warm embrace.
Oh, but he has changed, she noted. His arms were stronger, his chest broader, and was it possible that he had grown taller?
Releasing her from his hold, his gaze searched her face. “How have you been?”
“Fine. Still waiting for my big break.”
He directed her to an empty chair and sat down. “I want to hear all about it.”
Looking at him, her mind wandered back to the last time they had been together. They had spent the night before he left for college making love and plans. He had asked her to marry him and she had put him off. Still, he left believing in a future she could not see herself in.
She took a deep breath and lowered herself into the seat next to him.
“You know, I’m in touch with your folks,” he informed her. “They told me about some of the films you’re in.”
“Really?” She had assumed they would be too embarrassed to tell anyone what she did for a living.
“Yes,” he said, his lips turning into a grin. Looking at those lips, she recalled the pleasure they were capable of giving. In high school, he had used his mouth for so much more than speech. “I went and saw Simmer last year. Couldn’t find you till I saw your dimple.”
“I don’t have a dimple.” She touched her cheek
Laughing, he took her hand. “Wrong cheek, baby.”
“I don’t have a dimple there,” she protested. Did she? She never watched her own movies, unlike her parents; she was embarrassed by what she did for a living. It was a sellout move and she knew it the first time she did it. And yet she’d done it over and over and after she returned to L.A. she’d sell out again. Bit by bit she’d offer herself up until there was nothing left.
“Yes, ma’am, you do. The most adorable dimple.”
“Stop Robby.” She slapped at him in mock rage hoping she was a good enough actress to cover up the pain his observation caused. If it hurt when a stranger did it, it was debilitating coming from someone who once meant everything to her.
The mischief that reflected in his eyes diminished, and was replaced with what she could only describe as pure… awe. “Dee, I can’t believe this.”
“I can’t either.” She set a hand atop his muscular chest and gazed up at him. He pushed her back and caressed her cheek before lowering his face and taking her lips. Reason fled as his tongue entered her mouth. He tasted of champagne and cinnamon. He ran his hands up and down her back. Pulling her up to standing, he cupped her backside and squeezed, holding her close. So close, she could feel his excitement pushing against her through his slacks. He took her hand and placed it on his swollen cock. “Look what you do to me,” he whispered.
His hot breath brought forth chills of desire and wetness soaked her panties. She moaned when he unbuttoned her blouse. His gaze devoured her now bare flesh leaving her weak with its intensity.
Rising on her toes, she sought out his lips, his mouth opening as their tongues played upon one another. Her mouth traveled down the length of his neck and she began to unbutton his shirt. Running her fingers through the thick mat of dark hair on his chest, she lowered her hand and began to unfasten his belt.