Hollywood Bear: BBW Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance

BOOK: Hollywood Bear: BBW Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance
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Hollywood Bear

 

By Zoe Chant

 

Copyright Zoe Chant 2015

All Rights Reserved

 

 

“You’re an evil Goth biker chick. Isn’t that great news?”

“Great,” Shelley said to her agent, Marv. As she spoke, she gazed out the apartment window, trying to hear his voice over the police sirens and another drunken argument screeching from the building next door.

It would be great news if she actually got to do some stunt riding. In any case, a gig as an evil Goth biker chick definitely beat the fat-woman-gets-dumped-on-her-ass that she usually got assigned as a stunt actor. Being a biker chick didn’t sound like she’d have to wear the fat suit to make her big body look extra laughable.

Not that she’d ever figured out why anybody, fat or thin, tumbling down a set of stairs while spilling laundry (including gigantic undies), groceries, or briefcases was supposed to be funny. But hey, falling down in a fat suit paid the rent.

“Great,” she said again, then registered a little too much rah rah in her agent’s voice. “But . . . ?”

Marv cleared his throat. “It’s being shot on location.”

“Unless it’s in Timbuktu, I’m okay with a drive. Especially if there is some actual riding involved,” Shelley said. She’d been working with Marv for five years, ever since she left college. She knew when he was weaseling. Usually she heard the Weasel Voice when it meant the fat suit. “But?” she said a little louder.

Marv uttered a fake chuckle before saying in a cajoling voice, “They asked specifically for you—”

“Marv,” Shelley broke in. “Give me the ‘but’ or I’m going to think it’s worse than it is.”

“But it’s for Mick’s new movie.”

“Mick? As in Mikhail Mikhailovich Volkov, the Russian Bear?” Shelley groaned, then struggled to put on her Professional Voice. “I thought they cancelled his TV show.”

Marv’s voice came from a distance, as though he held his phone at arm’s length. “It’s another of his blockbuster action films. They
asked
for you, Shell.”

She wanted to snark,
Why? So he can look down his nose and scowl at me some more?

But gigs like this didn’t come along every day. Stunt work usually went to the thin and the small, because most female actors who needed stunt doubles were thin and small. There were very few stunt jobs for big women like Shelley—except when it was fat suit time.

“Rent’s due in two weeks,” came a cheery voice from behind her. It was Jan, one of Shelley’s roommates. They’d been friends since their days together at UCLA. Jan had obviously been listening in.

Shelley sighed. “Give me the address.”

“You won’t regret it,” Marv said.

“I already do,” she muttered as she reached for a pen.

Shelley scribbled the address down, hung up, and punched it into her calendar.

Jan asked, “Bearzilla wants you again?”

Shelley spread her hands. “He’s directing a movie this time! Why he’s got me on their callback list I don’t know.”

“Of course you know,” Jan said. “You show up on time, you do good work, and you’re not high maintenance.” She added in a low voice, as if this were the clincher, “Besides. He’s really. Really. Hot.”

Shelley sighed. Oh yes, he was hot. Tall and built like Apollo, only gruff and husky, the way she liked men, rather than smooth and polished.

But.

“He can be boiling lava but all I ever get is the deep freeze,” Shelley said. “He’s never spoken a word to me. Just tells his PA or AD to give me my cues, and stands off at a distance scowling like I’m scum. Maybe he needs more little people to scowl at to support his greatness.”

“Little people. Ri-i-i-i-ght.” Jan strung out the word, looking ironically from her five-one up at Shelley’s nearly six feet.

They were both eking out an existence in the entertainment industry. Jan played bit parts at dinner theater while auditioning for more serious singing roles for her opera-trained voice, and Shelley did her stunt work. Jan’s voice was beautiful, but as an unlamented ex had called her, she was a Dutch butterball—a natural blond with a round body. Both of them were tough sells in a town where thin was in. 

Shelley didn’t mind bit parts. She enjoyed character acting, but loved motorcycle stunts the most. But she was seldom hired for that because she was big—big breasts, big hips, big bones. She was muscular from the years of ballet she’d studied as a kid, because her mom had hoped that dance would magically turn her only daughter into a swan. When puberty made it clear that thin was never going to happen, Shelley had dropped ballet to join her older brothers in martial arts, where her ballet-trained strength, stamina, and flexibility had made her a natural.

“At least you’re getting callbacks,” Jan said. “Even if Bearzilla gets his jollies sneering at you in the fat suit.”

Shelley looked down at herself in her jeans and T-shirt. In size-conscious Los Angeles, she was looked upon as too big. However she liked her body, even though one of her other roommates constantly hinted about diets and weight, and made a federal case out of it when Shelley brought home the occasional pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Shelley felt strong and capable. Especially when she had a powerful bike under her and the wind streaming past her. Her brothers had introduced her to motocross in the San Gabriel hills in the summer, and the Mojave Desert in winter.

Shelley said, “Well, supposedly this time I’m not wearing the fat suit. Though maybe they think evil Goth biker chicks should be mega plus sizes too, for extra laughs.”

Jan wrinkled her nose. “Can you do stunt work in the suit?”

“If I have to,” Shelley said. “But it wouldn’t be any fun.”

She wondered who she might be doubling for now, or if she was playing a bit villain. The first would guarantee great clothes, but she’d be happy wearing a clown costume if it meant some fun stunt riding.

 

She drove out past Palm Springs to the tiny town nestled at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains where Mick Volkov was shooting on location. Shelley hoped that she’d be working with the B crew, the assistant director in charge of shooting filler, while His Russian Majesty was safely at the studio, scowling at his highly paid actors, or cavorting in his Hollywood Hills home with Oona, his beautiful megastar wife.

Shelley reported to the trailer for the extras. Yay, no fat suit! Even better? She would be riding, though not fun trick riding. The script merely called for her to cruise into the rundown little town that Hollywood directors found so picturesque, and pull up before a shady bar. Then there would be a bar fight. The fight would take longer to shoot than the riding—three days total—but she also loved stunt fights.

When she was called to the wardrobe people for sizing, she said, “I brought some boots to ride in.”

The wardrobe director said briskly, “Let’s see.”

Shelley unzipped her gear bag and grinned at the raised eyebrows she got when she pulled out her Valentino Rockstuds with all the buckles.

“Okay, those will work.” The costume director spoke with a complete change of tone. Now she looked at Shelley not as a lowly
thing
to be sized, but as a person who could afford two thousand dollar boots.

“I was given these,” Shelley felt obliged to say. “I doubled for someone who had Valentinos written into her contract, and since no one else in town seems to wear my size . . .”

“Wow.” The costume woman whistled. “Okay. I think I’m going to change up the design here. Evil Biker Chick has to live up to those boots.”

Next morning, Shelley was set free by the makeup people, her brown hair gelled into black spikes and her face painted with tats and decorated with fake piercings, and sent to get into her costume.

“Well,” the costume director said, hands on her hips. “I wondered why they specified you. And now I know.”

Her assistant, a slender young man, wiggled his eyebrows and turned the full length mirror around in the crowded space so Shelley could see herself.

Shelley glanced at her reflection. She wore a leather jacket with the buckles low across her torso, leaving the top open in a sharp V to show her spectacular cleavage. The low-slung leather pants hugged her extravagant ass, leading the eye down her long muscular legs to her Valentino shit-kickers.

Yeah, this was a definite improvement over a fat suit, a flowered housedress, and two brown paper bags of cabbages and cans.

A perfunctory bang on the door announced a harassed production assistant bounding into the room, clipboard in hand. “We need the bikers. Gotta set up the shot.”

“Awesome outfit,” the PA added, halting in front of Shelley. “They put you in Valentinos for one shot?”

Shelley laughed and explained as the PA led the way past a labyrinth of reflectors, rolled cables, and sound equipment.

The transportation people, unsurprisingly, had a big chromed-up Harley waiting for her. Shelley had expected that. Evil bikers always rode Harley hogs in movie land, just like Mafia gangsters always wore Armani suits to their gun battles.

The rest of her biker gang set aside their coffee and got on their bikes. No one could resist a few experimental revs, including Shelley. It felt great to get this handsome piece of metal under her, even if it was only to roll sedately a few hundred yards.

Once again, she missed her own bike. She’d sold six months ago after her ex, the con artist she’d nicknamed the Douchebag, had maxed out her credit cards and vanished into the sunset, forcing her to give up her apartment and move in with Jan.

The assistant director megaphoned them into position, Shelley at the front next to the stunt guy standing in for the film’s villain. Her mood stayed great until she got close enough to the jumble of cameras, reflectors, cable cords, and canvas chairs surrounding the director.

He stood up, all six foot six and half inches of him. He was solid muscle under that silk shirt and those jeans, topped by tousled blond hair and a grim and granite jaw under ice blue eyes.

Shelley’s stomach plummeted into those supercharged boots. It was
him
. The Russian Bear. Scowling straight at her.

She turned away fast.

 

***

 

Mick couldn’t take his eyes off her.

There she was, dressed in leather.

She turned her spiked-up head to look at the assistant director, and Mick was able to breathe again.

He knew he shouldn’t have asked for Shelley Willis. LA was cram-packed with competent extras, women of all sizes, ages, and shapes. All of them would do a good job, come to the set, and then leave again after their scenes, without his giving them a second thought.

It was dangerous to have Shelley on the set, even for two days. The fact that he knew her
name
was dangerous. Ever since Oona had dumped him, he’d made a point of thinking about Hollywood’s endless stream of beautiful women by their character names. He’d buried himself in work, scarcely giving them a thought . . .

Until
this
one. Since the first time she’d walked onto his studio set for a bit part in an episode of his TV show, wearing a hideous straw hat, cheap-ass sunglasses, and a clock-stopping polyester dress over plastic shoes that looked like shower clogs, he’d noticed her. How her beautiful body with its extravagantly luscious curves had moved under that god-awful getup. How she managed to make a squawking tumble off the back of a pickup truck look sexy and cool.

He’d been burned too badly by Oona to even speak to Shelley. But somehow he’d managed to see the dailies when she appeared. And somehow he’d seen to it that she was on the list for similar extra work whenever a script called for it. After all, she was quiet, professional, skilled— everything they wanted.

Unfortunately, she was also everything
he
wanted. And not in a professional way.

Now that his divorce had finally gone through—‘official’ as in reported to
Variety
, thanks to Oona’s busybody agent—it was dangerous for other reasons. But he could keep his shit together. He’d been keeping his secrets all his life. And he was overdue a little innocent gratification.

Right?

Right.

So he’d worked the schedule so this B-roll scene would be shot by his A camera crew. Mick had slung a line of bull about how important it was to get those long shadows just right when the bad guys rolled into town looking to kick ass and take names.

All around him his production people did what they did best. Mick bent his ear toward the assistant director talking to him, but all he heard was
yadda-yadda-yadda
. His eyes and brain had riveted to the tall curvaceous woman dressed in damn-your-eyes black leather astride that Harley like it was a rampant stallion.

He let the shooting script fall into his lap to hide his sudden 500 horsepower boner.

God, this was such a bad idea.

And he couldn’t take his eyes off her.

The evil bikers cruised a few yards up the empty street and stopped right on their marks in front of the bar.

BOOK: Hollywood Bear: BBW Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance
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