Author's Note: To all of those who are in the movie business, please excuse me in my 'leeway' of not knowing much about movie making. To all the others who want to go into the movie business, do not base your choice on this story, as I do not know that this is truly accurate! To all others who don't give a damn, please enjoy.

Title: Movie Star Madness

By: Soleil Antoinette

Rated: R

Summary: A stunt director falls in love with the star of the movie - but alas! There is a veiled threat in the land of movie making! Rated R for language and sexual themes.

Movie Star Madness

"Lights! Camera!" yelled the director, and then paused for a brief moment looking around. "A-ACTION!"

"We must get this operation finished," said one of the four men sitting around a table.

Another one removed a cigar from his mouth, lighted by a pale glow from an overhead lamp. The place was smoky, with four men playing poker, and two of them cheating. "I agree wit' you, but the police is still on our lousy tail after the last one," he said with an Italian accent, perfect profile for a mafia member.

A third one, highly overweight, said, "Well, I want the transaction of money into my pocket by eighteen hundred hours on Friday, the day that I leave for my vacation. If it ain't dere," he said menacingly, "then none of y'all are going to see the sun Saturday."

The other three men looked at each other in horror. He was known to keep his word, and that meant that they had to get that money somehow or another. One of them got so nervous; his cigar tumbled out of his mouth onto the crutch of his pants, almost burning a hole in it. He stood up with a yelp of surprise dropping his cards, and looked over at the heavyweight man.

"But-but boss!" he stuttered. "Dat ain't possible! Friday's in two days," he said holding up three fingers, "and-and-and they have," he gasped for a moment looking around, and lowering his voice, "him on our trail."

The other two gasped and looked at the boss, who had a look of impatience on his face and stood up to meet the eyes of the man with the hole in his crutch. "I don't know who him is, but I hired you to get the money, and I expect it by Friday, no later!"

The one with the hole in his pants sat down timidly obviously scared. The one who hadn't said a word stood up and spoke slowly with a low voice. "Boss, I usually do my job, my heart ain't soft, and I ain't no coward, but they have. a special agent who they call Stark-Mark on our trail," he said.

The boss waved his hand with the cigar in it as if the words were of no importance. "Who the hell would give a name such as Stark-Mark to an agent? Who is he?"

The other three looked at each other, as if scared to even mention his name again. After a moment of silence, the boss sighed. "Really, I don't care how you go about it, I don't give a thing about this Stark-Mike, just as long as I have the money safely in my hands on my way to the Cayman Islands on Friday, and I have you guys out of my hair."

The others nodded.

"CUT!" yelled the director. Everyone on the set breathed a sigh of release, and started shuffling around.

The Producer, who sat next to the Director said, "Hey Peter, should we call it a wrap for today?

Peter sighed and rubbed his temple with his hand. "I guess, even though it's been a good few months and we still haven't completed this movie. I'm beginning to think that we aren't working hard enough."

The Producer sighed. "I understand what you are saying, but with everything included, we have gotten pretty far. And don't say that we haven't been working hard enough, because I can't remember the last time that I actually sat down for a good relaxed gin and soda."

Pete gave a weak smile. "I guess you are right, Tom." Turning towards the set, he clapped his hands getting everyone's attention. He hesitated for a moment, as if making sure he is making a right decision. "Alright everything, let's call it a wrap for today. But be back tomorrow morning at seven."

Some cheered, and some groaned, but everyone started to pack up.

~*~

Joan Pollock rubbed her eyes. It had been a long day, trying to help the extras with some difficult moves. She stifled a yawn as she made her way out of the set through the back door. Being a stunt director and coordinator in one was one heck of a job. She had to coordinate the moves of the actors, show them, teach them, and then make sure that they fit into the scene. And then she had to make a whole new set of moves for the extras. Of course, now she was just ragged, and today had been extremely hard because the movie was behind schedule (as usual) and she had to work double the speed.

Sighing she made her way out, pushing the back door. It shut behind her with a clunk. Her mind was muddled with the day's activities, and she just couldn't think straight.

Joan shook her head and walked as steadily as she could to her SUV. She wasn't the one to drive those fancy sports cars as most people would, but she enjoyed a smooth ride in something that looked something . a little spunky.

She heard the exit door open and close with the same clunking noise. "Joan - JOAN!" someone called from across the parking lot. She was just at her car putting the key into the door when she heard her name.

She turned, and saw the director, Peter Jason walking swiftly towards her. She smiled. Peter was her best friend on the set. When she first got the job at Press Studios in Pike City a couple of years ago, everyone turned a cold shoulder because she replaced someone that they all liked. Julia Godson was her name, and everyone had adored her. She was very much respected in her field as stunt director and coordinator, but she and Peter had a 'spat', and soon was out of the picture. Although Joan was even more qualified than her, everyone seemed to hate her except Peter, who loved her like a father from the beginning. People eventually began warming up to her after they got the hint that she wasn't a witch from the west, but she still had her favorite.

"Hello, Pete, what can I do for you?" she asked. Everyone on the set called him Mr. Jason, or Mr. Peter - Mr. Jason, can I get you some coffee? Mr. Peter, are you satisfied with my work? Are all words that were said to him to butter up to him and to perhaps get a raise, but he was smarter than that, and it didn't get to his head. He was even known as Peter to a few higher executives, but Joan was the only one that would and could call him Pete.

He jogged across to her car, out of breath, as he was a heavy set man and older, in his early fifties. "Well, Joan you can let me catch my breath for a moment," he winked at this, "and after that, I was going to ask if you could come earlier tomorrow?"

Joan made a mental gulp. It was already past ten in the night, and they already had to be at the set for seven in the morning. Of course, even though Pete was like a father to her, he still was her boss, and she couldn't really say no, or else. She just left it at that. She nodded. "Of course, what would you like me to do?"

He ran his hand through is hair that was a bit more than flecked with gray. "Well, I was wondering if you would be so kind as to help the star of the movie with some moves."

Joan looked confused. "The star? But I've worked with his double (the stuntman). I don't understand."

Pete smiled. "Yep, the actor actually wants to do his own stunts, and not have a double."

She stood gaping at him for a moment. For the number of movies that she had worked with in the past, all of about two stars of the movie wanted to do their own stunts. Usually it was too much extra work and a few extra scratches that they just didn't want to have. "Why the hell would he want to do that at this stage in the producing? That just means more work for him, more work for you, and more work for me!" Joan was just in a cranky mood, and she let it show.

Pete shook his head, putting a hand on her shoulder. "I knew you'd be a good sport about it." Joan fumed. "But I have to go now, I'll see you tomorrow at five a.m. sharp!"

With that, he jogged across the parking lot to his car and got in. A few moments later the engine started and the car backed out. He waved at her, and then drove out of the parking lot. She watched the car as it merged into traffic. Joan shook her head. It was going to be a long two months.

~ * ~

Joan yawned on her way inside the set through the back door.

"Glad you could make it at such an hour in the morning," Tom Ranking, the Producer, said cheerfully.

How can he be so alert before the sun rises? Joan nodded at him, stifling another yawn. "Me too," was all she said before walking towards the room where she conducts all of her stunts. She didn't mean to be rude, but she was one of those late night people, not early morning birds.

Pete met her at the entrance to big gymnasium. "Well, rise and shine. I think that it might be a big day ahead for us, as the big guys just called this morning." He had on a smile, but Joan could tell that he was under a lot of stress. This always happened when a movie was running late.

Joan shook her head. "What did they say?"

"Just that they will be ready for the movie to critique and analyze."

Joan gasped. "But we aren't even finished it! Far less for the proofreaders turn, and THEN them!" She paused for a moment. "What did you say?"

He shrugged. "What could I say? I told them that I would get back to them."

Joan pulled him aside into a corner. She knew from past experience that when he got down to the movie, his brain didn't function on a normal level. It went at least three times the rate, jumbling up any non-movie information. "Pete," she said in a low voice as some of her assistants past them to go into the gym, "they expect the movie in a matter of days." He nodded. "We aren't going to finish it before the month is done."

He took off his glasses and rubbed his temples. "Well, we are just going to have to do what we have to do. No sense rushing it too much, and not giving it the best we got. We just got to work with the time we have." He put back on his glasses with his smile that very few people could see through. "Well, just go get 'em tiger!" he said in an unusually cheerful voice.

Joan nodded, and stepped into the gym. She didn't want to sound like the morbid one of the lot, but everyone did have a right to be nervous and running around like a chicken without a head. They all liked Pete, and wanted to do the best job in their reach. She shook her head and looked about. All around her were people working on practiced moves; loud noises of clattering and sneakers squeaking against the floor were heard. To her right, there was the 'gymnasts'' area, where there were different level of beams, bars, rope, and a floor where they practiced the floor work. To the left was the other 'sports' area. The shooting, the archery, and whatever else could be placed that was mobile.

"Joan, hey Joan!" yelled Mandy from across the room. Joan turned her attention to the redhead running towards her. Mandy Smidge had always been nice to her from the beginning, just that only recently had they really started to become close.

"Hi Mandy, how are you?" Joan asked. She was really trying to concentrate on finding the 'star' of the movie so that they could get started on the day's work, and not really on Mandy's high-pitched voice.

"Joan! You won't believe what I just heard!" She said excitedly.

Joan still looked around discreetly. "Oh really?" she said, trying not to sound too disinterested.

"I heard that you are working with the star of the movie, the Carl Slate," she said, her voice getting higher with each word.

Joan's head snapped around. "How- how did you find out?" She was only told last night at 11pm that she would be working for the 'star', and now it was 5am, it hadn't even been twelve hours before the news spread.

Mandy shook her head. "News travels fast. But anyways, is it true?" She looked like a little child finding out that she was being rewarded with her favorite candy. Mandy is the head of the lights department, and usually doesn't get to meet a lot of the stars personally and on a one on one basis.

Joan nodded slowly, "I think so."

Mandy let out a burst of pleasure with a small scream. She was about to say something when a deep, masculine voice behind Joan said, "I heard my name?"

Joan jumped and quickly turned around to see who the voice belonged to. It was from a lean, toned man, no more than thirty. Joan looked at him from the bottom up. He was dressed in running shoes, track pants, and a white jersey, cut off at the sleeves; although she thought that he belonged in a suit and tie - looking like one of those handsome billionaires.

Her eyes wandered up to his face. He had a strong-cut, manly jaw, that went so well with his lips - not too lush, not too fine, and his eyes - a deep, velvet blue that looked startlingly clear, which was accented even more with his jet black hair.

Joan shook her head. What was she doing? Mentally judging the man (which subconsciously she would rate as a 10). She cleared her throat. "I'm guessing you are." she quickly checked her clipboard, trying not to blush, "Carl Slate?"

He grinned, almost sending Joan's knees buckling beneath her. She looked over at Mandy. She seemed to be in heaven, just adoring him like a god. Joan shook her head.

"Yes ma'am," he said in that deep voice of his, although saying it half mockingly. His accent was hard to distinguish.

"So how come you wanted to do your own stunts? Did you just wake up one morning and decide that you wanted to risk your own life?" Joan said it with an edge, whether he picked up on it or not, he didn't show it.

He shrugged, "I've never had a double before, guess I was just not used to it. Besides, it not exactly risking your life now, is it?" It was merely a question, but he hinted it as a challenge.

Mandy eyes widened even more. "Gosh, you must be very brave though, to be doing it." She kept on babbling; Joan's ears didn't even register to the high-pitched voice. Carl didn't seem to mind, and Joan rolled her eyes.

She cut her in, "Mandy, don't you have to be starting some work?"

Mandy looked startled, as if forgetting that Joan was even there. Then she looked at her disdainfully, and walked off, except not before batting her eyelashes at him. Joan rolled her eyes for the second time. She didn't mind flirting, but she just wasn't in the mood for high-pitched giggles this early in the morning.

Carl looked as if he caught the underlining tone and gave a little grin. "What shall we start of today then?"

~*~

Author's note: Hey everyone, so what did you think? Interesting? Good? Ok? Bad? Or was it in the category of 'don't even try'? Give me a review - it would be very much appreciated!

Truly,

Soleil Antoinette