Chapter Thirty-Three

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Jada remained eternally grateful that despite his dashing good looks, Tristan was relatively low-maintenance. He gave her dominion over the hotel bathroom as she prepared her ensemble for the night's premiere. Technically, the grand suite's abode left room for the both of them to get ready, but she was positive if they undressed around each other, they'd miss the film's big night altogether.

Seriously, the way Tristan had made love to her yesterday...The sex between them was always good, but last night had been different. Deep down, she was sure he'd felt it too but she didn't dare ask.

After Jada gathered her thoughts, got ready, and finally stepped out of the bathroom, she expected a trademark look of appreciation from Tristan. However, she found herself doing one for him. He was exceptionally debonair tonight: the perfect leading man.

"You look amazing," Tristan said, sincerity radiating in his warm gaze. He held out his arm to her. "Would you do me the honor of escorting you tonight, Ms. Jada Berklee?"

"I suppose so," Jada said, stifling an amused giggle.

They made it to the red carpet in record time, and their arrival brought out the works in terms of flashing lights and excited screams from the crowd.

While doing a few interviews and signing things for the adoring public, Jada felt as if she and Tristan were the stars of the night. However, she soon realized there was more screaming further down the red carpet at another couple's arrival.

That couple being none other than her arch-nemesis Angela...and Daniel.

Of all people, she brought Daniel! How did they even know each other? And why, why the HELL, was she even here at all?

The answer became clear when she threw Tristan and Jada a smug look, her eyebrow raised in a cocky challenge. The conniving bitch knew exactly what she was doing: piercing Jada's heart in one, fatal blow. Daniel's gaze soon followed Angela's, and Jada found herself locking eyes with him. But just as her rising panic began to bubble up, she felt a firm, strong arm wrap around her shoulders. Tristan held her close and whispered in her ear.

"Don't you dare give them the satisfaction of seeing you sweat. This is your night, Jada. Do you hear me?" he said.

"Technically, I believe it's your night," she said in meek gratitude.

"From now on, what's mine is yours." With that as his final decree, he led her into the auditorium, leaving their malicious adversaries far behind. Truthfully, as the night went on, Jada almost forgot about them. The two chuckleheads weren't seated next to them inside the theater, and the film itself was so engaging Jada lost herself in all the action. Tristan did a fantastic job as usual. Witty, handsome, totally badass: the perfect action star.

As the lights finally came up and the raucous applause started, she couldn't help but kiss him. For his brilliance as an actor, but also just for him. For him being there with her. For simply being her Tristan. He welcomed her affection and raised their intertwined fingers in a victory salute to the pleased audience. The crowd grew even more ecstatic when the director announced there would be an after party at The Plaza.

As people began to disperse, Tristan temporarily disengaged from her.

"Let me talk to the director for a minute and then we can head to the party. Okay?"

She nodded her agreement and patiently waited as he walked off to discuss typical premiere affairs with his co-stars and boss. However, that small reprieve from his warmth was long enough for a clammy hand to come down on her shoulder. Turning, she came face to face with Daniel.

"Jada, I—"

"I have nothing to say to you," she said, cold and firm.

"But I need to talk to you. I haven't seen you in forever, and I just wanted to get close enough to tell you—"

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