EXCERPT ALERT: “The Set-up”

Here’s another peek into the book!

Background: Alexa is secretly meeting with one of young Hollywood’s hottest hotties, William Dempsey, to find out some dirt he has on his “girlfriend” and TV co-star, Shana Moses. In order to find out the dirt, she had to disguise herself as Carmen, a gossip blogger.

Enjoy!

——————–

It was chilly tonight. I’ve never really been at the pier this late. Some kids at school would sometimes come to the beach late at night to drink. I didn’t get into that. I don’t know…just doesn’t appeal to me to drink. I had a sip of beer before. Disgusting. And the last time I sniffed a bottle of vodka, it reminded me of nail polish remover. I can’t even imagine drinking it. My parents aren’t drinkers either. They’ll have a little champagne at special occasions, but that’s it. Personally, I’d rather have a strong Turkish coffee than a martini.

I wonder when William would get here. It was beginning to get a little creepy. I had to sneak out of the house, which isn’t that hard to do. But I had to get past our security. Our night guard, Stewart, usually monitors the house from a nearby location.  But tonight Ramon was on duty. I called him and told him my situation: I was sneaking out to see a boy. He laughed and said to be careful. He offered to have someone follow me, but I said no. I couldn’t risk looking suspicious to William. I had to make him believe I was some low-life journalist.

I looked out to the ocean. It was so calming to watch the waves under the moonlight.  I would’ve loved to go for a swim. Maybe I’ll add that to my lists of things to do before I’m 30.

“Carmen”, a voice whispered behind me. I spun around. It was William. He was wearing a black baseball cap, pulled low over his eyes. Wow, what a strange look for him. He has great hair, it was weird to see him covering it.

“William?”

“Yeah. Wow, how can you see with sunglasses on?”

“Hey, I have to protect myself.” I tried to sound raspy, to disguise my voice. I really hope he didn’t recognize me. 

“Whatever,” he said.

“So, let’s get to it. What’s this story you have about Shana and Brian?”

He stepped closer. “Oh, well I caught them in the act. And I have video.”

“Wow! Tell me everything.”

“Yeah. I’ve actually caught them a few times. The first time it happened, I had gone to her trailer to rehearse a scene. This was before we started dating.” He made air quotes when he said the word dating.

“I just wanted to make a good impression, ya know, since this was my first big gig. Take the initiative to make sure I was doing things right. So one day, while we were on a break from shooting, I went to her for help. I knocked on her trailer and didn’t get a response right away. I thought maybe she went to craft services or something. But as I turned to leave, she came to the door in her robe. I thought it was odd. We were only on a short break for the crew to change out some things on set. And she needed to be in the same wardrobe for the entire day.

“Interesting”, I said.

“Right. So, I asked her about running lines and she said she couldn’t because she needed to shower quickly before we resumed. I said ok. It was weird, but I didn’t think too much about it. I told her it was fine. But as she moved to close the door, I saw Brian’s hat on the table behind her. I knew it was his because he wore it every day. It’s pretty distinct too. It’s red with a black letter ‘Z’ on the front.

“Ok. So he was there. But you only saw a hat. You don’t know they did anything.”

“I told you, I have video.”

“Wait. You have video of them actually together??”

He pulled out his phone. He made some swipes across the screen and then handed it to me.

“There. Press play.”

I saw a still image of Shana. I pressed play and the image came to life. It was Shana sitting on the couch in her trailer. Then a shirtless man entered from the left and sat down beside her. His face turned a bit to the camera and I could see it was definitely Brian. He began kissing her neck and rubbing her breasts. They continued to make out as Brian pulled off Shana’s shirt and bra in the process. He kissed her lips and stood up, leading her out of the camera’s view. The video went dark.

“What happened?”

“Keep watching. I had to run to the back of the trailer.”

I kept watching. After a few seconds, the picture got lighter and I could see the two again behind the window’s sheer curtains. Shana had made her way to the bed, as she watched Brian take off his pants. He then pulled off the rest of Shana’s clothes and got on top of her. The video went dark again.

“Crazy, right?”, William said.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“Extremely crazy. And perfect! This story is going to be ridiculously huge.”

“I know. Do you want the video? I can send it to you.”

“Yes! So, how much do you want for all of this?”

“Nothing. For now.”

“Are you sure? You must want something. You’re an up and coming actor. I bet you could use an extra 20 grand.”

He chuckled. “Yeah. I could. But honestly, this info getting out is all I want.”

“You said Shana took something from you. I take it this is all for revenge. But what could she have possibly taken from you?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” he said with an attitude.

“Uhhh, no.”

“She took Brian!”

“I’m sorry, what? You and…Brian? First, he’s married.”

“Since when does that matter? Brian and I were together way before his marriage happened. And before he was Shana’s manager.”

“Wow, that’s something…I didn’t see coming.”

He turned to look out at the water. 

“Yeah, he goes both ways, but personally I think he’s into men more”, he said with a smirk.

“Of course you do,” I said rolling my eyes. Thank God for my sunglasses.

“Shana’s career just took off, so of course her success brought him success. When she got the show, he practically stopped working with me. And doing me.”

“I’m sorry to hear that”, I said, trying to sound sorry. “Shit happens.”

“Tell me about it. I’m in love with him, but he’s all over Shana. I can’t get his attention. Now her career is skyrocketing and mine is putzing along like a shitty ass car. What am I supposed to do? Let my career die because my manager slash boyfriend suddenly has the taste for cooch? Hell no!”

“What about his wife?”

“She’s completely in the dark. Poor girl. They’ve only been married for a little over a year.”

“She won’t know what hit her when she finds out,” I said. This was quite the Jerry Springer show. I couldn’t believe what has been going on!

“Well, I appreciate you sharing all of this. I’m going to work on this story and present it to my editor. If he goes for it, I’ll let you know. This could go live this week. In days, really. If so, are you going to be ready for the fall out?”

“Oh honey, I’m SO ready. Bring it on! This is going to be GOOD!”

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