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Right from the start, I’m disgusted with myself for being here. The last thing I need is for you to start in on me too. It’s been about year since the world’s best security-camera footage almost had me indicted for blowing a douche bag’s head off. But once it got leaked that it was the shot that foiled a major terror plot, the grand jury said, “Thank you for your time.” I’m marking the anniversary with some very necessary indoor sightseeing, still mission bound, looking for the reels—and Pop.
He looks at me like he thinks it’ll put me in some kind of goo-goo-gah-gah trance. Really? I think. Why do guys think that kinda crap works? His hair is messy, shooting out in all directions, blondes and browns highlighted by the lamp beside the bed. The sheets are barely on either of us by now. I want to reenact Jessica Murphy’s nightstand scene. Throw money down by the lamp and walk out. No looking back over a shoulder. No second-guessing. Just moving forward. Back to business.
Oh, yeah, it’s Nick, Boy Wonder, and he’s still my ex. We’d probably be back together if I were a brain-dead cracked-out supermodel. You might have heard of him. Or maybe at least seen him in the latest Hollywood dump film, supporting the jock strap of a real A-lister. He’s been making the walk of shame and doing the nightly night-show routine. Hey, don’t judge—a girl’s still got needs, and he’s pretty. I’ve just got bigger balls than he does.
After the chaos settled from the now-infamous “Hollywood Shakedown,” the houses all came together to try and right the ships. They joined forces like the old days, jumping on the year’s biggest story. Decided they’d all get to turn a profit out of the ordeal by turning it into a blockbuster movie—only they changed some names and faces. Replaced my Camaro with a Viper, changed the Lamborghini to Ford’s Supercar, the GT40, keeping it an all-American badass theme. Hollywood, what can I say? The bigger the boom, the bloodier the fight, the more people will want to watch it.
The country went bat-shit crazy. They loved seeing their sweetheart turn into a real life action-hero. Jennifer Cabot playing the role she was born to play, Jennifer Cabot. Everyone got a piece of the pie, even Boy Wonder. He played the role of the pricky agent, Donny Swanic. I told him it wasn’t such a departure. He smiled, but I was being semi-serious—he can be douchey. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I had to make a deal for him to be offered the role. They even asked if I wanted to play myself. I laughed. “Get Katee Sackhoff,” I told them. “She’s got the right kind of sass.”
Nick's obviously suffering from the jet lag. Mix that with rockstar amounts of gluttony and the words come out jumbled and confused.
“So what are you talking about then?” I ask him.
“Not too sure myself. I was asked by the selection committee to walk the carpet and possibly give an acceptance speech for Best Supporting.”
I’m pretty sure it was their way of cementing the Boy Wonder new movie star deal I made with them. Back rooms, someday someone is going to figure out what they're really for.
“As the agent? You’d better not be dicking me around.” I say.
“Sure, sure, I know. You’ll bust my balls again,” he says with a smile. “So you wouldn’t mind coming with me?”
Which means he’s horny again. I push his face down into the pillow with my hand and roll off the bed.
“Hey, watch the money-maker,” he says. “I'm doing a guest spot in a couple of hours.”
Boy Wonder’s here for a little show business and a lot of fun. I’m here strictly for business—okay, with a small side of fun. Wherever Pop is hiding out, it stands to reason it has to be someplace he’s been before. I’ve been backtracking his every step, meeting up with a list of contacts I managed to get from going through Spider’s house. He's always a step ahead of me, but I got time.
Almost a year since the night in the warehouse and not one word from him, good or bad. I’m sure I’m eventually going to come across someone who’s crossed paths with him. No one ghosts for that long without a peep or a head shot. Worried isn't exactly the right word, but it is closer than panicked.
As I walk naked to the balcony window, I flip Little Boy Blue Balls the bird. “Watch my ass,” I say.
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