"And ... cut!"
Kierny let the smile slip off his face, his fingers automatically unbuttoning the neck of his chef's whites. Bloody hell, he hated scripted commercials. Hated them. He was so much more comfortable if they let him do his own thing, whether cooking or instructing. His agent was turning into a real twat. Hawking chicken stock, for fuck's sake.
What the hell was the world coming to when doing TV was more important than what went into his food?
"That's it," he told the director. "I hope you have enough to use. I'm done."
"What? Wait. I have at least two more concepts I want to try."
His eyebrow went up. It was his trademark move, after all. "Which one did you pitch to the network?"
"The one we just shot!" The little man's beard gyrated wildly. "But I wanted..."
"Thank you." He turned on his heel and walked away, stripping off his blouse, needing to feel some air. The dressing room they had provided him was more a closet, so he'd be better off grabbing his kit out of there and heading for the loo.
A hard body slammed into his just as Kierny turned to go to the bathroom, leaving him staggering.
"Sorry about that." The man steadied him with one hand, halting his momentum.
Kierny ground his teeth. He knew that voice. Tyler McMurphy, up-and-coming celebrity chef and utter sell-out. Fucker.
"Me, too. I'd just as well not seen you."
"Ah. Kierny. What a pleasant surprise. What are you doing here?"
"Taping an advert. You?" He raised his brow again, knowing that it made Tyler crazy that he could let only one rise.
Tyler just smiled. "Doing a promo spot for the network. You know, like you used to do before you started slinging soup."
The urge to remind Tyler that he'd been a boxer once was so strong for a moment that he could scarce resist. "I have a meeting. Good day."
"Wait." Tyler's hand landed on his bare shoulder, and the feel of skin on skin made him jump, made all manner of images best left in the past rise in his mind.
"What?" he snarled, impatient to be out of the building altogether.
"Since I have you here, I guess I ought to warn you."
"Warn me of what?" The tone, the words, they were all quite ominous. Tyler seemed truly hesitant to continue. Not like the lad at all.
"The network threw a terrible idea at my agent the other day. I have no doubt they'll approach yours, too."
He shrugged Tyler's hand off his shoulder. "In regards to?"
"They want us to do a cook-off. You and me."
"A cook--Well, you can tell them the same thing I'm telling you."
Tyler tilted his head. "What's that?"