Read The Actor Online

Authors: Maya Brooks

The Actor

BOOK: The Actor
3.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

 

The
Actor

 

Maya
Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Actor

Copyright © 2013 Maya Brooks

ISBN 1493593854

EAN-13 978-1493593859

Cover image by canstockphoto:curaphotography

 

Published in the United States of America

Publish Date: November 2013

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons,
living or dead is entirely coincidental. Characters and places are either a
product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.

 

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, neither
this entire publication nor parts of it may be reproduced, stored in or
introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any
means, without having written permission from the copyright owner.

 

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book
without the permission of the copyright owner is illegal and punishable by law.
Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in
or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the
author’s rights is appreciated.

 

Chapter One

 

 

The actor lifted
the hat off his head and ran a hand through his hair.

I’m never
signing up for a convention again. Maybe one of the bigger ones, but
something-con in nowhere-ville will never see me again.

Maybe he needed
to accept that times had changed. The world moved on without him, and he wasn’t
popular anymore.

The thought
stung.

Was he growing
old? He was young not long ago and still
felt
young, but it was hard to
deny the gray hairs that snuck up on him as soon as he averted his attention.
Oh well, nothing a good hairdresser couldn’t remedy.

What if my
hair falls off?

Being bald would
make it hard to maintain the image of sexy rogue. Thus far, the amounts in the
shower drain seemed normal, and if all else failed, hair replacement surgery
had leaped forward.

Voices drifted
over to him.

“Hey, let’s ask
dude over there. I bet he knows.”

A group of
teenagers in fantastic suits headed his way, but didn’t quite make it. A girl
trailing after the others bounced and hollered, “Guys, I got it, I see the
sign.”

She wore a tan
leather bikini and at least twenty-five pounds of wooden beads. Her boobs
bounced with her.

Nice. Come
over here and do that.

The little gang
headed away, laughing and nudging each other. Crap.

If he couldn’t
even get people to stop to ask for directions, it might be time to throw in the
towel. Just a couple of years earlier the waiting list to get his photo or an
autograph would have been at least an hour long. At times, people got in line
in the middle of the night to make sure they got an autograph ticket. Now, no
one waited.

He took a quick
glance around. No one looked in his direction, so he snuck a flask up and took
a swig. It was too early in the day to be drunk, but hey, what was a guy to do?

Picking up a
magazine and leafing through it didn’t improve his mood. It said his wife was
about to leave him, and the news didn’t even reach the front page. He had a
small headline in the black and white section, and it featured an alleged
interview with his teenage daughter confessing how much she hated him.

Why?

He bought her a
pony when she was six, shouldn’t that be enough?

Women. Never
happy.

He shrugged and
tossed the glossy pages over his shoulder, keeping his eyes away from the
photos of his family.

For all he knew
it might be true.

He couldn’t call
himself a model husband on the best of days.

Buying a pony didn’t
make up for him being a pretty crappy dad. Drinking to it seemed a sensible
decision.

A woman came up
to his table and he ignored her. She could find the way to the ladies’ room on
her own, or go to the information desk. He stared into nothingness, sipping his
whiskey.

Why doesn’t
she leave?

She kept her
eyes fixed on the floor and fidgeted with the purse, but stayed put right in
front of the table.

He held his
flask up.

“You want a
drink?”

“No. Thank you.”

So, she had a
voice after all.

The deer in the
headlights look on her face was familiar.

This person
might actually be there to see
him.
Time to work.

He flashed a
bright smile meant to convey charm and energy. He knew it did, because he
practiced it for hours early in his career. The professional greeting widened
into a real grin as he met a pair of warm brown eyes in a pretty face.

He should have
looked at her earlier, instead of ignoring her. She looked a few years younger
than he, maybe around 28. Or 35.

How old am I,
again? Who cares…

His brain put
her in a folder labeled, “Nice body, maybe a little saggy but not too bad.
Pretty face and kind eyes, would probably be a good lay.”

The woman smiled
back.

“Sorry if I
disturbed you. I...”

Her face turned
prettily red and she looked about to fall through the floor.

She was
definitely there for him.

 

*****

 

Laura held her
purse in front of her. It wasn’t much of a shield, but better than nothing.

It dangled from
her fingers, and her death grip on the shoulder strap was the only thing
keeping her from fidgeting.

She had hoped
for an opportunity to get an autograph, or maybe a photo, but that seemed so
shallow when facing a chance to
talk
to her hero.

Say
something. C’mon, you can do it. Say something.

Pep-talking
herself didn’t help one bit and she wanted to slap herself for not being more
eloquent. Good thing her hands were busy with the handbag so they couldn’t make
her look even more like an idiot.

Say
something smart, something about his work, something he doesn’t expect.

Her mind wasn’t
just blank; every thought sounded like static. Could he see white noise in her
eyes? The idea made her even more self-conscious, and she blinked several times
to make sure he didn’t see anything inappropriate.

The actor
seemed completely oblivious to her dilemma. He fished out a promo-picture of
himself from a pile under the table and signed his autograph. It was a smooth
movement. How many thousands of times had he done it?

“What’s your
name?”

This, at least,
she could answer without hesitation.

“Laura.”

The pen made
marvelous things happen:
To Laura with Love. Marc.

She didn’t
believe her eyes when he giggled and made a smiley face. During the weeks leading
up to the convention she imagined dozens of scenarios. Giggling and smileys
weren’t in any.

He started to
hand the picture over, but pulled it back. Was she doing something wrong? She
had a ticket to his table, should she pay him directly too?

If I don’t
have enough money, I’ll die.

“Are you having
a good time here Laura?”

Not a word
crossed her lips. It wasn’t like her to be star struck, but this man was so
bloody handsome, and it was surreal to have the voice she heard so often on TV
address
her
.

The way he said
her name made her want to faint.

Speak,
Laura. Say something.
 

“It’s okay, I
guess. I came here to get your autograph. I’ve been Googling, but you don’t do
many public performances anymore.”

Why did I
tell him the truth? Sound like a loser, much?

She watched
boring movies and TV-shows for years just to get to see him, and never expected
to meet him, or talk to him. She certainly didn’t expect him to be interesting
or nice if she ever did. His autograph would be a little treasure to save, something
to take a secret peek at when times were hard and lonely.

Marc put the
pen down and fixed her with his eyes. The stare made her want to sink through
the floor. Her cheeks
had
to be crimson red; no woman caught in that
gaze could be unfazed.

“You came here
just to see me?”

“Yes.”

Why was it so
difficult to lie and play cool?

“You know what…
come back here.”

 He jumped to
his feet in a sudden burst of energy, rummaged around behind a curtain, and
came out with a folding chair. Laura shifted her weight from foot to foot but
couldn’t resist the temptation. She shuffled around the table, struggling not
to stumble on her own feet, and forced her fingers to relax their grip on the
purse.

“So, Laura,
what’s your favorite movie?”

He didn’t even
have to glance at the photo to remember her name. Impressive; at the moment she
could barely remember it herself.

“Any that you’re
in, of course.”

Deeming from
the content look on his face, it was the right thing to say.

“Good answer.
Is this your first convention?”

“Yes.”

“Do you like
it?”

The questions
were coming too quickly for her to think of good answers.

“Yes.”

“Why are you
here all alone?”

Good question.
She
could
have asked someone to go with her, some of her friends might
even have said yes.

“I wanted you
to myself, of course.” He grinned and she changed the subject. “I think you’re
getting visitors. I should leave.”

“Nonsense. Just
smile and look cute.”

The approaching
group was rather big, and wore costumes bizarre enough to make Laura ogle. A
young man looked at his photo with Marc’s signature, shifted his eyes to her,
and smiled.

“Could I have
yours too?”

“Oh no, I’m…”

Marc shoved a
pen in her hand.

“Of course you
can. Laura and I work together on a big project. I can’t give any details yet,
but it’s big.”

Great. She
couldn’t call him a liar in front of everyone, so she bit down all objections
and signed everyone’s photos.

A girl pulled
out a camera.

“Could I take a
photo of you two?”

Marc beamed and
slammed his arm around Laura’s shoulders.

“Sure.”

He kissed her
cheek just as the flash blinded her. The white spots
almost
prevented
her from seeing people gather around the camera.

“That’s an
awesome photo.”

“Oh, this is
soooo going on the website.”

Website? I’m
going on someone’s website? With him? Oh lord…

His kiss burned
on her cheek. Thankfully, no one paid much attention to her, and they all
roamed away after just a few minutes.

“What’d you do
that for?”

He lifted an
eyebrow, but she heard suppressed laughter in his voice.

“Don’t be a
grouch. All those kids feel like they got a bonus. It doesn’t matter if you’re
famous or not, you made a bunch of people happy.”

Why can’t
there be a hole in the ground for me to fall through?

“I… You’re much
smarter than me.”

“I doubt
that.
More experienced.”

If she ever needed
a distraction, now was the time. A woman in a Xena-like costume walked past,
and all embarrassment was forgotten.

“Wow. I tried
green nail polish once, but had to take it off because it made me feel so
silly. I was just too old for it, you know. I wish I had the guts to go outside
like that.”

Marc laughed.

“You’re just
too precious. You’re like… A real person. I can’t remember the last time I met
a real person.”

What was
that
supposed to mean?

She opened her
mouth but closed it again. Asking would probably lead to another answer she
wouldn’t understand.

“You’re not an
act. You have actual thoughts and fears that are your own and not invented. I
bet you know what you like and don’t like. You choose your own clothes, and
I’ll bet you a thousand dollars you can even cook. For real, not just playing a
chef, but you can cook because you’re hungry and you want something to eat.”

Was he making
fun of her?

All these
things seemed so self-evident.

Who wouldn’t
know what they liked?

He took out his
flask and helped himself to a good swig before offering it to her. She shook
her head and he chuckled.

“Don’t be like
that, babe. A real person is... I’m giving you a compliment.”

“Thanks… I
think. I still don’t want any booze.”

“That’s okay,
I’ll take yours too.”

His eyes
glittered with suppressed mirth.

As more people
came and went and her new friend signed photos, exchanging a couple of words
with every visitor, his cryptic words became clearer. The man doing the work
was a professional, playing a role. The man talking to her was a completely
different person, one who might or might not be the real him.

She caught a
glance of a visitor’s watch and felt a jolt of shock: she’d been sitting behind
the table for over an hour.

“I should go.
I’m sorry I’ve taken up so much of your time.”

Marc rolled his
eyes with mock exasperation.

“Oh no, you
can’t go off and leave me to face all these vultures alone. You, Laura, came
here to see me, and you have me. Tell me all about yourself. What was your
favorite game when you were a kid?”

Was talking to
him always a rollercoaster ride?

“I… I liked
hide and seek, and sometimes I would sit behind an armchair and pretend I was
in a submarine.”

People weren’t
exactly flocking around the table, and she didn’t
want
to leave, so she
stayed until her conscience screamed he couldn’t want anything more to do with
her.

As soon as she
reached for her purse, Marc made a face and put a “closed” sign on the table.

“You’re trying
to leave again and I’ll hear of no such thing. C’mon, I’ll get you lunch.”

He seemed
enormously tall when he stood up and held his hand out to her. She hesitated
for a split second; touching him seemed morally dangerous. Still, how could she
turn down lunch with her hero? Even more important, could she manage it without
goofing up and spilling all over herself? Either way, there was no going back.
He held her hand in a firm grip, finding a path through the crowds.

The more she
thought about it, eating with him horrified her. All the women she saw were so
thin they probably never ate
anything
except maybe a carrot. Deeming of
the amounts of wondrously beautiful women heading towards the restrooms, they
probably made sure not to keep even the carrots. She was hungry and wouldn’t be
able to resist food if it was right in front of her. Compared to everyone else,
she would come across as a pig.

Saying no
wasn’t an option. She was an asteroid caught in the gravitational field of a
planet, or maybe a sun. She’d stay in orbit until she crashed and burned, and he’d
go on with his life without ever noticing she’d been there, or that she was
gone.

BOOK: The Actor
3.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Nights with Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris
Sherlock Holmes and the Zombie Problem by Nick S. Thomas, Arthur C. Doyle
Borderlands: Gunsight by John Shirley
Wicked Teacher by Elizabeth Lapthorne
Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Solomon's Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson
Crazy for Her by Sandra Owens