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Authors: Leigh Ellwood

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Leading Lady

BOOK: Leading Lady
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Leading Lady

 

Leigh Ellwood

 

Chapter One

 

Dina stared at the black-and-white likeness
of her younger self and poised a thick-tipped pen over the smooth
curve of her photographed bare neck. “Hello, darling,” she greeted
the wide-eyed man standing before her. “This is for whom, now?”

He couldn’t have been more than twenty-five.
Thick, dirty blond hair hung in clumps over one brow. A large
button covering one breast of his Metallica T-shirt informed the
world that his phaser was always set for “stunning.” Dina imagined
the collective sigh of relief settling around the room from any
female conventioneers having seen that button.

“Gr-Gregory,” he croaked.

“Gregory. Thank you, Gregory.” The syllables
rolled off her tongue with seductive ease; she trilled the first
R
with her trademark purr, the same throaty growl that had
sent thousands of Gregorys into euphoric wet dreams over the years.
It was the satisfied deep trill that had broken color barriers on
television and had proved to a network skittish over the ratings in
backwater Alabama that, yes, a black woman had the talent and sex
appeal to attract a mass audience. That seductive power, coupled
with the skimpy costumes and lustrous fake topknot of flowing dark
hair, garnered Dina twice the fan mail of her white costars.

Not to mention all the prime gigs at cons
around the world, and the prime fans -- top billing over movie
actors, even. This Gregory, looking so young, had to be a recent
admirer as opposed to one of the legion of first-generation
faithful, a fan who had come to know
Mission: Jupiter
through endless reruns on cable or the recent DVD releases of the
popular 1970s science fiction series.

Either way
, Dina thought,
he’s
here, and so am I.
He had forked over his ten bucks admission
fee and the five-dollar charge for the glossy photo her assistant
distributed from the stack at the next table. His presence paid for
at least one drink she had enjoyed last night at the hotel bar.

He was cute, too. Maybe he’d be good for more
than his money.

Dina smiled to herself and crossed her legs
tighter to counter the sudden desire flooding her pussy, rustling
the star field print tablecloth in the process.

“I-I just wanted you to know,” Gregory
continued as Dina scribbled a random platitude and a loopy
signature on the photograph, “that you’re my favorite character on
MJ
.”

“Thank you, Gregory. That’s so sweet of you
to say.” That’s what everybody called
Mission: Jupiter
these
days.
Star Trek
was referred to as either
Trek
Classic,
TNG
, or
DS9
, depending on the proper
incarnation, and other popular sci-fi favorites suffered similar
abbreviation. Dina disliked it;
MJ
sounded more like an
illegal sex act performed in an alley behind a liquor store.

She glanced at the photograph, giving it one
final inspection. It was a stock publicity photo of her
twenty-five-year-old self attired in her incredibly sexist
Mission: Jupiter
uniform. She had to laugh every time she
saw the action pose of Lieutenant Mayda Moran, wearing a
formfitting mini dress and white go-go boots with hoop earrings,
pointing a phaser at the camera like she meant business. The men on
the show had worn jumpsuits suitable for NASA; the women looked
like waitresses at a strip club.

Of course, she was the favorite character of
all the Gregorys. Dina studied the photo.
Look at the tits on
that phaser-wielding wench!
This was a woman who had defied
gravity and laws of physics merely by slinking past fellow officers
along the corridors of the
USS Jupiter
every Monday night
for five years. Never mind that Mayda had been the only officer on
the ship capable of rubbing two brain cells together in order to
formulate plans to defeat the evil Narciscans,
look at those
tits
. These were the show’s biggest stars, pun intended. That’s
what Gregory was addressing as he complimented her, Dina knew.

She sat up straight. The two biggest stars of
Mission: Jupiter
continued to defy gravity well into Dina’s
forties, without the aid of plastic surgery, thank you very much.
The quest to remain young for the cameras by way of a sadistic
exercise and diet regimen had seen to that, for all the good it
did. The body remained fit, the skin as smooth and flawlessly cocoa
as ever, but producers saw only a stock character from a campy
sci-fi TV show when it came time to cast for serious dramas. To
think, with the door open wider for African American actresses now,
she could find better roles outside the occasional guest-starring
bit on a weekly series.

Thanks for screwing my big-time movie
career, chick
. She mock scowled at the young girl in the
picture and planted a pouty kiss on her rump to the collective gasp
of fans clustered around her table. She then slid the photo across
the table into Gregory’s trembling fingers. There was no mistaking
the delight on the young man’s face; he checked the Internet, Dina
was certain. He knew the code.

“Wow. Thanks, Mayda,” Gregory said, and
floated away. Dina sighed. It used to bother her to be referred to
by her character’s name, but when opportunities for work had dried
up, Dina had eventually come to accept her alter ego with the
rising demand for her appearance at science-fiction conventions.
Mayda was a part of her now, a part she had quickly come to
appreciate for its fringe benefits despite her occasional grousing.
At the very least, none of her white female costars from the show
had been able to break free from the
Mission Jupiter
curse
to find success in television again, and Dina rarely saw them at
cons.

She watched Gregory, one possible benefit of
the con circuit, stride confidently to a remote corner of the hotel
ballroom, and then turn expectantly back toward her table. He knew
now that the legend was true…that a lipstick mark on an autographed
Dina Joseph was a special, coveted treasure. He was in contention
with other lucky conventioneers to fuck Mayda Moran herself. He
held the proof in his hands like a golden ticket to the chocolate
factory.

Gregory had a deliciously tight ass encased
in black jeans, and judging from the pronounced bulge in the front,
he definitely advertised that he was more than just fringe. Perhaps
he did pack impressive heat, as his button advertised. Dina smiled
at him; there was that pulsing sensation that engorged her pussy
lips. Yes, she definitely appreciated these opportunities.

“Jenna, you know the drill.” She craned her
neck as she quietly addressed Jenna McCoy, her personal assistant.
“Screen test, money shot.”

Jenna smirked and fished through her bulky
shoulder sack for a digital camera. “Six we nix?”

“Seven is heaven,” Dina confirmed. “Eight,
great, and nine is
divine
.” The two women giggled over the
puzzled look on the next fan’s face.

Dina then watched Jenna approach Gregory and,
after viewing a few silent words and restrained hand gestures,
smiled to see the young man willingly follow the young black woman
with the dark ponytail behind a blue cloth partition. There,
Gregory would “audition” by letting down his pants and allowing
Jenna to take a picture for Dina to later peruse.
Six we
nix
. A six-inch cock or less was an automatic reject…but seven
or more was a definite casting, and Gregory would get the part
provided he wasn’t surpassed by another. Dina had seen enough cock
in her day to discern size for herself, no tape measure was
necessary.

She returned to her audience. She wondered
how many of the other men snaked around the convention space in the
various autograph lines would be willing to put themselves through
the rigorous audition expected of a lipstick-printed fan?

The autograph session dragged, and when three
o’clock mercifully arrived, Dina was down to her last original
nicety. Her hand cramped from signing, and her pussy ached for want
of a young stud’s attention. The myths of sci-fi conventions were
just that -- there was nary a pocket protector or taped-up pair of
horn-rims to be seen in this crowd. Dina saw handsome young men in
T-shirts advertising various fandoms, curvy women in skimpy
character dress, and older fans weathering age quite well. A few
decades out of the sun, watching the same
Mission: Jupiter
episodes over and again, was clearly good for the skin.

Despite the collective musk of hormones
settling in the room, however, this con proved somewhat of a
disappointment compared to others. She had marked only three other
fans since Gregory. Surprisingly, all four fell short of the
prerequisite. Phasers had apparently been set for
dud
tonight.
Sorry, boys
, Dina thought as she bid the last fan
farewell,
you must be so big to ride.

Jenna helped her close up shop and counted
the till. “Not a bad haul,” the assistant remarked, fanning a wad
of bills into a metal money box. She counted out the required ten
percent to cover the con’s share and snapped the lid shut.

“Moneywise, anyway,” Dina grumbled.

“Sorry, hon.” Jenna pouted. “I blame these
new jeans the kids are wearing. They wrinkle weird. False
advertising.”

“Yeah, and here I used to think false
advertising meant me endorsing a product on TV that I never used.”
She laughed. It hurt, for she was probably going to bed alone
tonight. Jenna might have sufficed -- the girl was always willing
-- but she’d really wanted a cock.

“Well, you’ll score at next month’s New
Jersey gig, I just know it. We’ll need to order more Mayda pictures
for that too,” Jenna said. “We should probably get rid of those
other ones; I don’t know why you keep them, Dee. Nobody ever buys
them.”

“I know.” Dina sighed at the stack of
publicity shots Jenna placed into an accordion folder. The photos
depicted her in regal dress for her only major film role, an epic
that had played to empty movie houses and was never released on
DVD. Dina had no way to sell copies if people didn’t even remember
the film.

“I didn’t even go see it,” she told Jenna.
“About a month of box office, shown on network television once. Now
it’s locked in an airless vault with other turkeys.”

“Was it that bad? The costume is gorgeous.
Looks like a big-budget flick.”

“Not really, more a labor of love sort of
thing for this guy I was seeing. He started out as head writer on
Mission
:
Jupiter
before breaking into film. He knew I
always wanted to play a queen, so he wrote the script for me.” Dina
lifted her chin. A sad smile touched her face as she thought of
Alan Widmark. Of all her lovers, he was the only one with whom she
would have considered having a long-term relationship or, dare she
suggest it in a time where interracial relationships were eyed with
scrutiny, marriage. She might have pursued it, too, had he not died
shortly after the film was released. When Dina learned of the car
accident, occurring after Alan had left her house, she couldn’t
bring herself to see the film. The tragedy had done little to boost
box office or inspire sympathy raves. The film simply died with its
director.

“I was always afraid I’d jinx my career if I
ever saw myself on-screen,” she told Jenna instead. It was the
truth, to an extent, but her life with Alan was her own. “I never
watched an episode of
Mission: Jupiter
, either. Figured if I
watched myself perform, I’d never work again. Guess I should’ve
done the opposite, huh?”

Jenna handed her a DVD set of the show’s
first season. “Never too late. Pop in a disc, maybe Spielberg will
call.”

Yeah, like I have no big plans
tonight.
Dina waved away the package with a smirk. She
didn’t
have plans, thanks to false advertising. “Please,
girl. I haven’t worked for years outside a con, so I wouldn’t know
what to do anymore. And I won’t degrade myself by participating in
one of those reality shows that feature other one-trick ponies,
either.” This was a long-suggested idea she knew Jenna would
revisit. Best to head her off at the pass.

BOOK: Leading Lady
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