Home > A Humble Heart (Hollywood Hearts #1)(13)

A Humble Heart (Hollywood Hearts #1)(13)
Author: R.L. Mathewson

“Sure.” He poured a second cup and handed it to Cole who hugged it fiercely to his little chest while he sipped from his own cup. Edward grabbed a large cup and filled it with ice cold water before rejoining the women.

He sipped the water as they searched the next aisle. When he spotted Dana he bee lined for her and offered her a drink. She accepted the offer with a "thank you." Clearly the kids learned their manors from her. As she sipped from the cup several women offered her money for the rest of the water.

Dana looked genuinely surprised with the offers. Then she looked at Edward with an amused smile. “Wow, I never drank five hundred dollars worth of water before.” She took another small sip. “I gotta tell you it's a little disappointing. Tastes just like tap water,” she said teasingly as she handed the cup back to him.

He chuckled deeply as he accepted the water. She was definitely different from all the women he’d met before. Several of the women he’d spent time with in the past would have ripped the cup from his hand and run it to the highest bidder. There were others who would have thrown a fit worse than that eight year old at not having his full attention and of course there the women who would bask in the glory of being seen with him. Dana was none of those women.

“Excuse me, Mr. Pierce?” a man said.

Edward looked over his shoulder to see a man wearing a starched white shirt and black tie waiting to speak with him. The man shifted nervously. Edward’s eyes dropped to the gold name tag that declared this man the store manager.

“I wanted to apologize for the juice, Mr. Pierce.” He cleared his throat. “I wasn’t aware that your little boy was waiting for some juice until Jonathan told me.” Edward looked past the manager to see the stock boy who cleaned up the juice shifting nervously as he glanced at the women who looked ready to pounce.

“It’s fine,” Edward said, gesturing to the kids. “There was ice water available and the kids seem to be happy with it.”

“It was nummies,” Cole agreed with a firm nod.

The manager’s lips twitched and Edward could tell the man was fighting back a smile. Damn, this kid really was a charmer.

“Well, I would like to make it up to you, Mr. Pierce.” He gestured to the stock boy and a young woman. The woman held a metal bucket filled with ice, soda and juices and the stock boy held a tray of gourmet cookies.

“We’re fine, but thank you,” Edward said without thinking. The kids probably wanted some of it, but he made it a habit years ago not to accept special treatment. It made him uncomfortable and reminded him that he wasn’t a normal guy. He hated it. As far as he was concerned he was the same guy he was six years ago. The only difference was his bank account and doing a job he loved.

“Oh." The manager’s face fell.

“It was really nice of you to offer, but the kids haven’t had their dinner yet,” Dana said with a gentle smile that made the manager grin and blush. The woman was too damn tempting for her own good. Edward wondered if she was aware of the affect that she had on men, probably not. She seemed too level headed. Most of the women who realized their worth milked it for everything they could.

“No nummies before din din!” Cole repeated as if it was something he heard often. No doubt he had. His mother seemed to be on top of things.

“Okay, it will be at the courtesy table if you change your mind,” the manager said, gesturing behind him. The two employees immediately left to place the items on the table. The manager was about to turn away when he stopped and frowned in Dana’s direction. He eyed her curiously.

“Excuse me, miss? You wouldn’t happen to be Dana Mathews, would you?”

It was Dana’s turn to blush. “Yes."

The man’s face lit up. Several of the women behind them gasped. He pulled out a pen and a pad of paper with shaky hands.

“I really really really loved your books. Could I bother you for an autograph?” He licked his lips nervously.

Dana’s blush deepened as she took the pen. “Thank you. Who should I make this out to?”

The man put his hand over the pad. “Wait, would you autograph a copy of your book for me instead?”


“Jonathan!” the manager yelled to the stock boy, making the kid jump. “Run to aisle ten and get me a copy of Miss. Mathews book, please.”

The boy nodded eagerly as he set off. Several of the women gasped before they abandoned their carriages and ran off after the boy, leaving Dana with a look of utter shock.

Edward couldn’t help smiling at her. She was so adorable at the moment. The children watched with wide eyes as the stock boy came running back, clutching two books against his chest with several women chasing after him, trying to grab the books out of his arms.

“Help!” the boy cried as a woman tried to rip a book out of his hands. She only managed to tear his shirt.

Dana shifted in front of Elizabeth as Edward automatically did the same for Cole, both of them suddenly afraid for the kids’ safety.

“I only needed one book,” the manager said as he pulled the boy in front of him and away from the women.

Edward noted several of the women were clutching magazines to their chests as they formed a line. Wow, they were organized.

The boy held a book to his chest while he was gasping for air. “I….want….an….auto….graph too…..my…mother…..,” he sucked in a deep breath, “would kill me if I didn’t get her one.”

The manager winced and nodded. “Yeah, Cindy probably would.”

“Can we have your autograph?” the women cried out to no one in particular.

Edward looked at Dana who was watching the women cautiously. “Do you mind?”

She shook her head. “It’s fine I guess. We don’t have anything cold, but I do need to get the kids home soon for dinner.”

“You heard the woman,” the manager yelled out. “Everyone who wants an autograph from Miss. Mathews form one line here. For Mr. Pierce form a line over here. If you want an autograph you need to hurry so she can get the kids home for dinner!”

Edward bit back a smile at the manager’s handling. The man was in the wrong line of work. He could have used someone like this man countless times in the past.

For the next half hour they signed autographs and greeted fans. Between fans they both talked to the kids, making sure they were fine. Before the last autograph was signed Cole was fast asleep and Elizabeth was close behind. An hour later they were done shopping and personally checked out by the manager and Jonathan. Normally Edward would have told them no thanks, but the kids were really tired. He had a feeling Dana was the same way, but made an exception this time as well.

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