Home > Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss(11)

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss(11)
Kasie West

Amanda just shrugged, then held up some pages. “I can’t go anywhere, I have to work on my scene for tomorrow, I’m not ready. Faith gave me some notes.”

“Faith gave you notes? Like actual, handwritten notes? She never gives me notes.” She only ever brought me dialogue changes.

“Because you’re already perfect.”

“Ha. Yeah, right.”

“You have your phone on you?”

“Um . . . yes, why?” I asked.

She held out her hand. I unlocked it and placed my phone in her upturned palm. She typed something into it, then handed it back. I looked at the screen. She had entered her phone number under the name Amanda the beautiful one Roth.

“That’s for a report later. You two have fun,” she said with a look like this was more than it was. “And you’re welcome.”

I just sighed as she shut the door.

“What was that all about?” Donavan asked.

“Nothing,” I said. “Absolutely nothing.” I led him toward Grant’s trailer.

Donavan looked out over the cemetery. “Is it scary to sleep here at night?”

“I don’t sleep here. I have to go home every night.”

“Why?”

“I’m under eighteen. I could sleep here if my dad stayed with me, or signed the waiver, but . . . he won’t.”

“You actually want to sleep here?” He was still taking in the expanse of the headstones.

“Absolutely.”

In the distance behind a chain-link fence I could see Grant’s fans still holding big signs. I wondered if one of those sign holders was the one who had taken my makeup-less picture and labeled me as undead.

“No Lacey Barnes signs today?” Donavan said, noticing them as well.

“You can come be my fanboy tomorrow. Bring a bright-colored sign. Or maybe a big cutout of my head. That seems more productive than this homework stuff,” I said.

“Don’t tempt me.”

A new set of security guards stood at the barricades to Grant’s trailer. “Hi,” I said, stopping in front of them. “Where are Duncan and Phil?”

“Their shift starts at eight.”

“Oh. I . . . we . . . need to see Grant.”

“I told you I didn’t need to meet him,” Donavan mumbled beside me. I lowered my brow. He had been serious about that? He really didn’t want to meet Grant? Apparently he wasn’t swayed by fame at all. That was new. And interesting.

“He asked not to be disturbed,” one of the guards said.

“But he didn’t mean me,” I said.

“He meant everyone, Ms. Barnes.”

“Okay . . . fine. Can you at least give him a message for me?”

“Sure.”

“Will you tell him that I need to go on an outing with him to look for my muse.”

The guard leveled me with a hard stare as if I had just spoken a foreign language and he was waiting for me to translate.

“That’s all,” I said. “He’ll get it.”

“Okay.”

“Oh, and tell him I’ll be in my trailer.” I started to back away. “No, actually, give him my cell number.” I patted my pockets and then looked around on the ground as if a piece of paper would magically materialize because I wished for it.

Donavan held one out for me.

“Ah, a true Boy Scout,” I said, taking it. “Thanks.”

Then he handed me a pen.

I wrote down my cell and gave it to the security guard. “Because I won’t be in my dressing room.”

“Got it,” he said.

“Where will you be?” Donavan asked as we walked away.

“Finding my muse.” I met his eyes. I couldn’t do this alone. I had to have someone with me to play off of. “With you, apparently.”

“We have to find a place I’ve never been before,” I said, after we walked back through the parking lot, past another set of security guards at the entrance to the cemetery, and to a car parked on the street. Donavan stopped beside it, which I assumed meant it was his. Several long strips of black duct tape were holding the bumper on.

“We’ll take my car,” I said, pointing to my beautiful cherry-red mustang down the street.

“Have you ever been in a ten-year-old car?” he asked. “That can be the first new place you experience today.” He opened the door, raised his eyebrows at me, then climbed inside. He was so frustrating.

I went around the back to the passenger side and slid into the seat. “I have been in a ten-year-old car. Do you think I’m some snob or something?”

He paused for one beat, then said, “Yes.”

I smacked his arm, and he laughed. “I’m not,” I said. “I live in a small two-bedroom apartment with my dad.”

“But that’s only because you’re down here temporarily. Where do you normally live?”

He had me there. I wasn’t sure how he knew this but he did. “In a house,” was all I answered. My stepdad was a high-powered attorney on the Central Coast. He had his own firm and everything. So yeah, when I lived with my mom we lived in a nice house on the beach. And yes, I owned a brand-new car, but I’d bought it myself with television money. So I wasn’t that snobby.

He didn’t ask me to expand on my answer.

“What about you? You live in Southern California, maybe you’re the spoiled one.”

“Possibly,” was all he said.

I couldn’t read him well enough yet to know if that was sarcasm or not. He could deliver a line without attaching any emotion to it. It was actually quite impressive . . . and annoying.

He turned the key in the ignition. Loud music with heavy electric guitar sounds blasted from his radio, and he quickly turned it off.

“Really?” I said. “Choir boy likes heavy metal?”

“I’m not as straitlaced as I seem after all,” he said.

Maybe he wasn’t.

“Where to?” he asked.

That was the million-dollar question. I wasn’t from around here, so I wasn’t sure. “Do you have any abandoned buildings close by?”

“We’re going to trespass?”

“What was that you said about straitlaced?”

He tightened his grip on the wheel and backed out of the parking stall.

“What is this?” I asked.

Donavan had stopped the car in the shadow of a three-story building. “It used to be an old folk’s home. Now it’s nothing . . . obviously.”

I opened the car door to get a look that wasn’t through dirt-streaked windows. The building was boarded up, but not tightly, so hopefully the windows would let in some of the light from outside. The parking lot was completely empty, cracked and crumbling parking curbs the only other thing besides Donavan’s car.

“Let’s go see if there’s a way inside,” I said.

He took a deep breath but didn’t argue.

We walked the perimeter of the entire building, over dried weeds, around a dumpster in the back filled with various things people had apparently dropped here so they didn’t have to pay or drive to the city dump—a floor lamp, a mattress . . . “Is that a giant dice?”

“Looks like it,” he said.

“Why would anyone throw that away?”

He chuckled. “You could take it home.”

“Who knows where it’s been.”

“In a dumpster. Behind an abandoned old folk’s home.”

I tugged on the brown metal door to the building. It was locked tight. The window next to it had a board across it that was hanging by just one nail. I pulled at the board, and it easily fell to the ground with a clatter. I wiggled my eyebrows at Donavan.

“Is that a good thing?” he asked. “Because there’s just a locked window behind it.” He knocked on the glass as if to show me it was solid.

I pushed on it and tried to slide it over. Sometimes the windows on old buildings were flexible. And I was right. It was. It popped a little, then slid with the applied pressure.

“Are you sure you’re just an actress?” he asked. “And not some cat burglar?”

“Cat burglar? Do people say that? Do people even say burglar without adding the cat?”

“What would you call this, then?”

“Not cat burglary.” I climbed in the window, first perching on the frame and then jumping down, much like a . . . cat.

He didn’t say anything, but it was clear what he was thinking.

“Shut up,” I said.

He chuckled, then climbed through behind me. “I still don’t understand how this helps you at all.”

“Sometimes I need to snap out of my normal way of thinking. So I do something different—see a new place, experience a new emotion—and it helps me have a breakthrough. It opens up something in me that helps me work past whatever block I’m experiencing.”

“You’re having a hard time relating to the script? That masterpiece back in your dressing room? I can’t imagine why.”

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