“It’s here! It’s finally here!” Charlotte bounced on her toes as we waited in the line for our tickets.
“We’re not going to get a seat.” I glanced over at her and couldn’t help but grin. She was head over heels in love with Ethan Lewis, but so was half the universe. The child-star had grown into the sexiest man in America, or so the magazines touted. I moved up behind a group of teenage girls, giggling wildly as they worked through all the details of the handsome actor’s last movie.
“Stop being negative. We’re getting in. I’ll sell my soul if I have to.” Charlotte nudged me with her shoulder.
“That’s not going to get us more than a small popcorn.” I gave her a cheeky grin and took another step up. The line for Ethan’s new movie, Down Under was around the side of the movie theater, and it was the final showing of the night.
“Very funny. Just get our tickets. I’m going to stare at the movie poster with the rest of the teenage girls and lonely women.” She tossed her long blond hair over her shoulder and shook her hips as I chuckled.
The number of women crowded around the movie poster was a little concerning. Ethan was beyond sexy, but nothing more than the average jock on campus. He played his parts well, and unfortunately, most girls had convinced themselves that he was the new James Bond that he played on the big screen. The youngest man to be invited into the Bond world, and if nothing else, I had to hand it to him. He was a brilliant businessman.
What would it be like to have people lined up outside the movie theater just to see me?
I stepped up as the clerk glanced up with a weary look on his face. “How many tickets?”
“Two, don’t you want to know which movie we’re here for?” A smirk lifted my lip.
He shook his head. “Let’s see… you’re a girl at the movies with your girlfriend on opening weekend for Down Under. I’m thinking you’re probably following the rest of your female companions into theater three.”
I laughed. “It’s been a long day, I take it?”
“You’ve no clue.” He handed me the tickets. “Theater-”
“Three. Got it. Best of luck tonight.” I walked toward Charlotte and paused, pulling out my phone and taking several pictures of her as she muscled her way closer to the poster of Ethan looking like a billy-badass. “Smile.”
Charlotte turned toward me and cheesed hard for the picture. She stuck her tongue out as if she were licking the dirty plastic beside her, and I cringed, but took the picture anyway.
“Let me see.” She reached for my phone, and I handed it to her before looping my arm into hers and dragging her toward the theater.
“Come on. I don’t want to fight the hordes of horny women to get our seats.” I kept my arm locked in hers, pulling her along as she moved through the pictures, not paying a bit of attention. At times it felt like we were still fifteen and not about to graduate college. Charlotte hadn’t changed a bit over the years, which kept us both young, or so I told myself.
“God, Riley. He’s so fucking hot. Please get in a movie with him so I can touch him.” She snuggled up against me as I handed the attendant our tickets.
“I need to find an open audition for one of his movies, and then I can.” I let out a frustrated sigh under my breath. There were too many people around us, leaving me to feel like a cow in the middle of cattle being forced to move. There was no way in hell I would ever be an A-cast actress. Having people pawing at me left me wanting to crawl in a corner and shake like I had demons living in me.
I chuckled at the thought.
“Are you talking to yourself again?” Charlotte glanced over at me.
“We’ve known each other for the last eighteen years. Do you really need to ask me that?” I held the door and let her go through before moving back into the line of women. “I’m the only one that won’t argue when I have a brilliant idea.”
“You’re so weird, but you knew that.” She glanced up from the phone as we rounded the corner. “This place is oversold. There are two seats at the very back. Come on.”
She bounded up the stairs as I glanced around and shook my head. My stomach was a ball of knots. Acting I adored with a passion inside of me that wouldn’t quit, but talking with random people and shooting the shit? Hell no.
I walked up the stairs as a few girls whipped past me, almost knocking me over.
“Sorry!” they called over their shoulders.
“It’s all good. It’s Ethan Lewis. I get it.” I smiled, talking under my breath as I made my way to Charlotte. I dropped down in my chair and reached over, clamping my hand on her knee as it bounced like a jack-hammer. “You all right?”
“Yes, but dude, this guy is the wettest dreams I have. I love, love, love him.” She squealed as the lights dimmed.
“He’s all right.” I shrugged.
She popped me in the arm, and we both chuckled. I could play it cool with the best of them, but seeing a new movie with the handsome billionaire in it left me a little breathless too.
I leaned back and snagged the popcorn from her as the previews started. My mind slipped into the same place it always did. My acting career, or lack thereof.
I’d worked so hard to pimp myself out since I was a teenager in drama clubs and had found a bit of success in various commercials, but when it came to films or movies, I just couldn’t find the door to knock on. It was a tight knit community and outsiders, no matter how talented, just weren’t accepted.
A preview for another movie that Ethan was doing in the coming months appeared on the screen and pulled me from my thoughts.
I glanced up and let out a soft sigh, praying like hell that Charlotte didn’t hear me. She would never let me live it down.
The smirk that lifted his perfect lips caused my stomach to contract, my nipples to harden. The guy was good. Really good.
His warm brown eyes filled with compassion as he reached out and touched the face of the girl who played his fling in the movie.
The whole movie theater started to make girlie noises. I wanted to roll my eyes, but didn’t want to miss the kiss.
“Kiss her,” Charlotte whispered and moved to the edge of her seat.
I gripped the side of my chair, wanting to move up too, but refusing to play into the hype.
“It’s just a preview, Char. Jeez.” I forced myself to sound as sarcastic as I could before I licked my lips. He appeared to be a damn good kisser, the kind that would promise to leave your knees weak.
His voice was deep, sexy, delicious. “You don’t have to go, Tanya. Stay with me. Just tonight.”
Charlotte squealed as he moved in for the kiss. The screen cut to an action scene, and the sound of disappointment filled the air around us. I let out a tight chuckle.
“Wow.” She dropped back in her seat. “What is it about that guy? I swear I need a cold shower or a vibrator.”
“You don’t have to go, Charlotte.” I turned toward her and touched her face, lowering my voice as the girls around us laughed.
She swatted me away. “Okay. Keep it up. You’re going to be in a movie with him one day, and when you are… don’t say I didn’t tell you so.”
“Please.” I turned around and started to eat the popcorn again. “It’s never going to happen, but if it does, I’ll be sure to describe the fake kiss in detail for you.”
“Every wicked lick of his tongue, please.” She grabbed a handful of popcorn and missed her mouth with most of it.
I smiled and turned back to the screen as the movie started. The cheering that occurred when Ethan came on screen let me know right away that I was in for a long two hours.
Were people really this nuts over actors and if so… did I really want to be worshiped?
Not in the slightest.
“Oh my God. That was so fucking good.” Charlotte wrapped her arms around her as we walked out of the theater with the rest of the glassy-eyed women we’d shared the last two hours with. I had to blink a few times to make sure no one could tell that I was completely lost to the handsome bastard too.
“He’s nothing like that in real life.” I tossed the popcorn in the trash and shoved my hands into my pockets.
“Hey!” Some girl moved up in front of me as I zipped up my light-weight jacket. “Aren’t you the girl from the trident commercial? I love that gum.”
“Yeah.” I smiled. “Good stuff, right?”
“Oh my God. Can I get a picture with you?” The teenager moved toward me and I wrapped an arm around her shoulders, feeling stupid, and yet not willing to deny her. “Thanks so much! So cool.”
“You bet.” I turned back to Charlotte who was smiling. “What?”
“You know what. You’re going to be as big as Ethan Lewis one day. I just know it.” She slid her arm into mine and chuckled. “And then there will be a room full of dudes with hard-ons for you.”
“No thanks.” I rolled my eyes and pulled out my keys. “I love acting, and pray like hell that it’s going to be part of my future, but having adoring fans is a-whole-nother conversation.
“True.” Charlotte released me and pulled her hair up into a ponytail. “Why do you think Ethan is different in real life than what we see on the big screen? I mean, I get that he’s not an international spy and shit, but he’s still got the same warm brown eyes, those defined abs and that huge bulge in the front of his pants.”
“That bulge is fake.” I pressed the key fob. “No one has a dick that big.”
She laughed as we got in the car. “Why are you being such a hater? Are you jealous of his success?”
“What? Hell no. He’s probably worked his ass off to get where he is. He doesn’t have famous parents or wealthy siblings or anything. He’s done it all on his own.” I shrugged. “I’m just saying. He’s an actor. They make him extra attractive, put a cup over his cock and force him to do some push-ups before the scene starts.”
“And? I still can’t imagine him being much different in person.” She buckled up. “You think he’s shy and withdrawn?”
“Nope, but I bet the last twenty dollars in my checking account that he’s a total jerk.” I pulled out and waited for the large group of people filing out of the theater to pass by us. “I don’t know that for sure, but it would be my guess. Really wealthy people have to fight against themselves. It makes them bitter and bitchy. It would me or you too.”
“Fight against themselves? What the fuck psychoanalytical bull crap are you spewing?” She turned on the radio and gave me a look.
“I’m serious. If you were worshiped by half the people in the world, you’d have to work hard not to believe them too.”
“What’s wrong with believing them?” She leaned back and pulled out a pack of cigarettes.
I yanked them from her and rolled down my window, throwing them out as she tried to wrestle me.
“Stop. I’m driving.” I pushed back at her playfully.
“Those are expensive, and I’m broke. Damn, Riley.” She pushed at my shoulder softly.
“Then stop buying them. Paying to die isn’t something I’m willing to support.” I popped her in the chest and she reached over to pinch me, but I jerked out of her way, accidently pulling the car with me.
The driver beside me honked and sped up, flipping me off as he drove by.
“Sorry, buddy!” I flipped him off and smiled.
“You’re ridiculous. I’m going to find a way to get that audition for Ethan’s next movie, and then you’ll see. You’re far more talented than any of those ditzes they’ve had across from him in the other movies.”
“Good luck. I’ve been trying to move up to sitcoms, which is the stop before movies. It hasn’t happened and it’s not looking very promising.” I pulled onto the freeway as my phone buzzed. “Besides… I’m not nearly sexy enough to star across from Mr. Lewis.”
“Ah, so you admit that he’s insanely hot.” She picked up my phone from the cup holder.
“I totally agree with that, but anyone is with loads of make-up and a cock cup.” I laughed and reached for the phone.
She pulled it from me and shook her head. “You’re stunning and you know it. I cannot imagine what they could do with you if you sat down in their chair and let them have at you. You’d be the next Marilyn Monroe.”
“Right. That’s why guys are busting down the door to take me on a date. Give me the phone before I slap you.”
“It’s your personality that needs an overhaul, not your make-up. You’re a hood rat in a Cinderella body.” She handed the phone to me as I scoffed at her.
I did have quite an attitude problem, she was right there. Where she was wrong is on me being something special. I looked like a child and would be carded for a beer for the next ten years.
“Hey, mom.” I pressed the phone between my cheek and shoulder and pulled off the freeway to head to Charlotte’s apartment.
“Hey. No need to go to the house.”
“It’s not ours anymore.” My mom let out a long sigh. “The bank repossessed it today. Just stay with Charlotte until I figure out what to do.”
“What? What about all my clothes mom? My stuff? My freaking toothbrush?” Heat raced up my center and coated my neck and cheeks.
“What’s wrong?” Charlotte put her hand on my shoulder.
“I got everything out. I dropped it off at Charlotte’s earlier. The landlord pulled up my name on her list and let me in, but watched me like a hawk.” My mom’s voice was tight and filled with weariness.
Life just wasn’t going to cut us a break, and why would it? It never had before.