Vegas Love

By: Jillian Dodd

I’m eating a healthy lunch on set and trying to avoid my asshole co-star, Kenton Mills, who I hear saying my name.

I cringe when he sits down next to me.

“I’m just not feeling the emotion from you in the scene we rehearsed today. Have you considered taking more acting classes? We have to constantly hone our craft.”

Why did I ever agree to do this movie? I want to blame my agent, Cade Crawford, but I can’t. On paper it was a good idea to bring this comic book classic to life and have the Academy Award winning, method actor Kenton playing the role of the scientist who discovers a strain of mutant genes and tracks down six of us with the mutation. We are freaks of nature living in hiding except for my character, who is bold, anti-establishment, and pretty much doesn’t give a shit about anything. But it’s the scientist’s dream that we can band together and use our special talents to protect the world. He’s brilliant, eccentric, calls himself Dr. G, and calls us the Gene Force, like we’re superheroes instead of a bunch of freaks. Of course, throughout the story, each character grows and eventually we do join forces to save the world from the evil, bad guy. There are lots of stunts, amazing makeup, and numerous special effects. And my character can fly, which is pretty freaking cool.

With the money the studio is putting into it, I know it will be a box office success.

But whenever I see Kenton’s face, I have to remind myself what I’m getting paid.

It’s surprising that Kenton would agree to play a role he seems to think is beneath a serious actor such as himself.

I was nothing but nice to him when we started filming.

Now I dread coming to work because Kenton doesn’t like me. He doesn’t like how I spend my free time and how I’m always in the press. But when you’re dating Zach Ellison, the oldest brother in the hottest boy band on the planet, keeping a low profile is practically impossible.

I hold my tongue to keep from telling the asshole that last time I checked he wasn’t the director when my phone vibrates in my hand. No name pops up, but the number looks familiar, and I’d rather talk to anyone than him.

“Excuse me, Kenton, I need to take this,” I say politely, walking away and answering my phone with, “Hello.”

“Hey, darling,” a familiar voice says.

“What do you want, Luke?”

“I miss you.”

“You miss me? I haven’t heard from you in over a year—when you walked out on me.”

“I’m sorry, baby. I let fame go to my head.”

“Don’t fucking call me baby.”

“Ash, really. I miss you. Can we have lunch or something? I want to apologize for—”

“Um, no, Luke, we can’t. I don’t ever want to see you again. You’re an ass and you know I’m dating someone.”

“I don’t think he’s the right guy for you, baby. We were good together.”

“If we were good together, you wouldn’t have left the way you did. Oh, and sorry to hear your last album was a flop. That must really suck for you.”

I hang up—fuming—and immediately text my best friend, Harper.

Me: Guess who just called me? Luke. WTF?

Harper: What did he want?

Me: He said he misses me. Wants to apologize.

Harper: More like his last album bombed and he misses the publicity. What did you tell him?

Me: To go fuck himself.

Harper: Good for you. He’s an ass. So, can you believe in less than two weeks you will be standing up for me at my wedding?

Me: I know! I’m so excited for you. Are you ready? All the planning going okay? Are you sure you don’t want a bachelorette party?

Harper: I’m sure. You had a lovely bridesmaid luncheon for me. That’s all I wanted. I’m sort of over the whole go to Vegas, get drunk, see male dancers thing. Speaking of Vegas. Aren’t you going there with Zach this weekend?

Me: Yes. I think he’s going to propose.

Harper: Really? Wow.

Me: You seem surprised by that—but, I gotta go. Makeup is calling me. Talk to you soon!

While I’m getting wings attached to my back, which is a process that takes about an hour and a half, my mom calls. I don’t answer, because she only calls me for one reason—she needs money.

Me: Hey, Mom. I’m at work, so I can’t talk right now. Is everything okay?

Mom: No. Everything is not okay. My rent check bounced and now my landlord says he’s going to kick me out of my apartment.

Me: He can’t kick you out just because your rent check bounced. Wait, why did it bounce?

Mom: The bank screwed up again. I need more money.

Me: Mom, what did you do with the money I sent you this month? It went into your account just five days ago. Are you telling me you’ve spent it all?

Mom: My car broke down again.

Me: Mom.

Mom: I don’t need your goddamn lectures. I just need more money or I’ll be living on the street.

Me: How many months rent are you behind?

Mom: Four.

I shut my eyes tightly, refusing to shed a tear. Instead, I text my manager, Bart.

Me: Can you please move more money into my mom’s account?

Bart: She just got her monthly stipend.

Me: Apparently, she needs more.

Bart: How much this time?

Me: Four month’s rent, she says.

Bart: We need to talk about this.

Me: We also need to talk about breaking my lease on the house I’m living in. I really want to buy my own home. I think it’s time.

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