Authors: Monica Alexander
By Monica Alexander
Copyright 2013 by Monica Alexander
Cover Image: (c) micropix / www.fotosearch.com Stock Photography
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or personals, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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Table of Contents
“They’re still out there,” my dad said in disbelief.
“I know. They’ll probably be out there all day, and you staring out the window isn’t going to make them go away.”
He turned around and faced me, so I looked up from my phone where I was texting my boyfriend, Jase. My dad looked agitated.
He’d pretty much looked that way for two weeks.
“What, Dad?” I asked in exasperation
, even though I already knew exactly what had him ticked off.
He shook his head. “They’re like vultures, just waiting for that juicy little picture or story that they can print about you. It’s sick.”
I sighed. He’d been saying things like that since the first photographer had shown up in front of our house three days after I’d come home from college. The second one showed up later that same day, followed my three more. And they’d been camped out ever since, just waiting for me to leave the house and do something interesting.
When my dad realized this, he’d started
pacing in front of the windows constantly, peeking out every few minutes to see if the paparazzi were still lurking, and sighing a lot when he realized they were.
Of course they were.
He’d even tried calling the police, but they wouldn’t do anything since it was a public street, and the photographers were right at the edge of our property line. That made my dad even madder, and he started muttering things about gated communities.
I hoped he wasn’t thinking about moving. I’d grown up in the house we lived in. I loved it. It was right on the Intercoastal Waterway, it was big but comfortable, and it felt like home. If he suggested moving, I was going to fight him on that idea.
I wished he’d just relax, but
I knew what he was thinking. It was part of the reason why we’d moved to Florida when I was three. He didn’t want me raised in a place where my every move was watched and catalogued and recorded for the gossip rags. He’d seen my mother’s face plastered all over magazines for years, and he vowed to shelter me from that for as long as he could.
And I think he was frustrated that I was no longer sheltered. But I was the one who’d gone and fallen in love with Jason Brady, movie star extraordinaire, four months earlier, and I knew what I’d been getting myself into when I’d made that decision. I
’d also been dealing with the paparazzi on a regular basis back in L.A., but this was my dad’s first taste of how my life had changed since I’d started school at USC and shacked up with one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood. He still wasn’t used to it.
For the first few days I’d been home for Christmas break, everything was quiet, and I was so relieved to be able to go outside without
the threat of having my picture taken. I’d shopped, gone to dinner with some of my high school friends, and I’d even gone out to a club on South Beach, but I guess someone had spotted me, because my picture ended up online the next morning, and my dad went nuts.
might have gone nuts because I was photographed with a drink in my hand, and I was only eighteen, but I think he was equally annoyed that the media circus had followed me east. Since then I’d been staying in since my dad was calmer when I was safely at home, but Jase was headed into town, and I planned to show him where I’d grown up. We were going to have fun. We weren’t going to hide.
And my dad was just going to have to deal with it, because I was getting stir cra
zy being cooped up in the house. I missed my boyfriend, and so what if someone saw us together. We’d gone public two months earlier, and at first the media went into a frenzy because it was the first time Jase had dated anyone publicly after breaking up with his girlfriend of two years, Chloe St. James, back in January. But over time they’d calmed down when they realized Jase and I were happy, stable, and probably a little too boring to be newsworthy.
Our picture still ended up online frequently when we were leaving a club or a restaurant or if we were at an event, but mostly we laid low and stayed in, usually at Jase’s house in the Hollywood Hills. And we didn’t really do anything scandalous.
It was the opposite of how Jase had been when dating Chloe. They were media darlings who stopped for photos whenever they were out, talked openly about their relationship to the media, and had been touted as ‘Hollywood’s Most Adorable Couple’ during the two years they were together. Then she’d openly cheated on him with the producer of a film she was starring in, which had caused a media frenzy in its own right.
And I think all of that made Jase rethink his outlook on life and how much he wanted to be in the spotlight. When we met, he’d been
incredibly skittish about being in the public eye. He’d actually been hiding out from the paparazzi the first night we met.
Aside from that, he was
also wary of relationships in general after having been burned so bad by Chloe. He hadn’t dated anyone in months, and he wasn’t looking for a girlfriend. But we hit it off almost immediately. He’d asked for my number and actually called. Then we talked on the phone for a month before our first date. And after that night, we were pretty much gone over each other.
We kept our relationship under wraps for a while,
denying we were together, never touching in public, but then he’d surprised the crap out of me when he told his publicist he wanted to make a formal announcement that we were together right before the premier of his latest movie,
, which came out in October. It was the ultimate grand gesture.
what I learned was that when Jase Brady fell in love, he fell hard. So it was a good thing I was there to catch him. And we’d spent most of the past few months together, being sickly in love since I’d fallen pretty hard for him, as well.
He hadn’t been filming, and aside from a few
media appearances for his new movie, I’d practically lived at his house. This break was the first time we’d been apart in a while, and I wasn’t a fan of being separated. I could tell Jase wasn’t either. He texted me round the clock, and even though I knew he was keeping busy going out with his friends, going to Lakers’ games and spending the holidays with his family, he missed me. And I liked that.
actually wasn’t expecting to see him until I was back in L.A. the following week, but on Christmas morning while we’d been Skyping, he’d lifted up something to show me, and I realized – then screamed and covered my mouth – that it was a plane ticket to Ft. Lauderdale. Now I was anxiously awaiting his arrival. He’d texted to let me know he’d landed and was waiting in the car he’d rented for the week. His new security guy, Charlie, was getting his luggage, and as soon as everything was loaded in the car, he’d be on his way to me.
I felt like I’d been waiting so long to see him that the fact that he was now in the same time zone
as me felt very surreal. I was almost as anxious as my dad, but for a completely different reason, although I knew my dad was slightly on edge because I was bringing a boy home for the first time. For the most part he couldn’t have cared less that Jase was famous.
My dad had
grown up in L.A. and had been married to my mom, the outlandishly famous actress, Alana Davis, once upon a time, so fame didn’t do anything for him. It was more the fact that he knew how serious Jase and I were, and I think he was afraid he was losing his little girl. But the fact that he was losing her to a celebrity was a double hit.
“Dad, come sit down, have a beer and relax,” I encouraged
him. He really needed to let this crap with the paparazzi go. He was going to give himself a heart attack, and he was only thirty-nine. “I don’t need you getting all stressed out before Jase arrives. I want him to like you, and I want you to like him.”
My dad chuckled
, as if to silently say, ‘yeah right, like that’s going to happen’, and I was irritated that he was so skeptical of a guy who was incredibly sweet and caring and devoted to me. But my dad had a very negative experience with my mom – she’d cheated on him twice to get ahead in her career – so he was skeptical of all things Hollywood, especially actors. I knew Jase would have to work hard to prove that he was grounded and not at all like my mom.