Chapter One



I woke up to a loud thud with the sound coming downstairs from my kitchen. I close my eyes. Maybe if I go back to sleep, it will go away. I heard a loud crash, this time I was sure it sounded like plates breaking. I know I should be worried but at that moment I just did not give a flying fuck. I was too tired and hungover to do anything.

I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Awake and alert, I try and get up but instead I end up sitting in my bed. My room was a mess. The pillows were thrown everywhere, my sheets are halfway gone from my bed, and realizing for the first time that I was barely wearing anything, I see a tangled mess of garments on the floor. Huh.

"About time you got up."

I turned my head to the girl at the door and yawn. "What's the time?"

"It's almost one. I can't believe you slept for that long."

I rubbed my eyes, still feeling disoriented. I looked up and she was still standing there. God, she is beautiful.

"I'm so tired," I lie down again and beckoned for her to join me, "come here."

Adrianna walks over to the bed and I noticed that she was wearing one of my old shirts. I can feel something inside me swell up, a combination of love and affection. She really is beautiful even without all that make up and perfect hair.

"I was going to make some coffee but you've run out. There's no food in here either. And I broke one of your plates. When was the last time you did the dishes?" she sat next to me, her bare skin against mine sending shivers down my spine.

I tuck her hair in her ear and look at her face. She had dark circles under her eyes but for some reason, it gave her goddess-like face more character. Her lips were a bit cracked and dry, her skin blotchy. She couldn't have been more perfect to me.

"I don't know. I haven't been home much."

She pursed her lips. I could tell she was a bit upset. Because I ran out of coffee and food? I really don't know. Then it dawned on me that she was leaving tonight. She has a new movie coming out and part of her contract is that as one of the leads in the movie, she is to attend all the premiers both in the country and around the globe. She's usually gone for a few weeks and this time around she's traveling more than usual.

I pulled her into my arms and kissed her in the forehead. "I wish you didn't have to go."

"Me too." she was silent, clearly sad that she was leaving.

"Hey," I got her to look at me and it seems like she was ready to cry, "I can always come visit you in Paris or something."

She managed to flash me a small smile before she shook her head. "You have an audition coming up. I hear it's a pretty big deal. You should focus on that."

She's right about me needing to focus on that audition. After my Oscar win, I couldn't seem to find the perfect role to do so I've kind of just been taking it easy for the past few months. Of course in Hollywood, that meant that I was losing my magic and that my career was going downhill. All bullshit, though. I'm an Oscar winner who's won one the biggest awards one can have in their career. I've made it and I can do whatever I want. I suppose I should, but really what's a life of all work and no play? I'd rather have more play than work. Speaking of. . . We kissed for a little bit more and now I know where all the swelling is coming from.

The rest of the day went by quickly. I ended up getting her assistant to bring us some food. Somehow, I just couldn't face the paparazzi that were camped outside my house. I just wanted to be with Adrianna, just chilling and spending time together before she leaves. In between bites of the Moroccan chicken we ordered and cuddling, we even managed to get my dishes done. Her doing it and me just kind of mucking around until it was time for her to leave.

"I love you, Dash. I really do." She said as I gave her one last kiss before she goes.

"I love you too, babe. Take care of yourself."

"I'll call you when I get there." She got in her car and as she was about to drive off, I quickly ran to her and kissed her again. Judging by the sounds of the clicks and the blinding flashes of the cameras, this moment is something that's been captured by the paps and will surely appear in gossip sites tomorrow.

I went back inside and started to clean up after our mess. The house feels a bit empty without Adrianna here. I know she has her own house, but the amount of times she's spent here makes me feel as though this is her home. Suddenly, I didn't want to be alone. I contemplated what to do. Go to the gym maybe? Go grocery shopping? Adrianna did say I needed food at home. Although I don't think I'd ever just stay home and cook a meal, much less know what to buy at the supermarket. I guess I can always hang out with the boys.

I rung Royce but it just went straight to voicemail after the fourth ring. Fuck. Maybe he's on location or something. I haven't actually seen him in a while so who knows. I tried calling Mike and thankfully, he picked up after the first ring. Mike is one of my oldest school friends from way back. His dad is one the most powerful music mogul in the business today and so Mike and I have always shared the same lavish lifestyle.

"Yo Dash! What's up?" He sounded a bit preoccupied.

"What are you up to? Wanna play some ball and get the party started?"

"Hang on, man," he said before shushing the voices in the background. "I've got things to take care of but I'll gather round the boys and meet you at eight yeah?"

"Girl problems?"

"Two of them. Speaking of, where's Ade?"

"Gone on tour. Officially girlfriend-less for the next couple of weeks."

I could hear Mike's brain thinking through the phone. If there's anyone more willing to have a good time, it's Mike. He's notorious for being the town's bad boy. Surely he's got something on his sleeve for tonight.

"Actually," he said, "make that seven tonight. Let's cause some havoc yeah?"

I went back to bed to have a snooze before the boys get here. If it's anything like the ruckus Mike plans for us, then I expect tonight to be equally as messy. Being alone for the next couple of weeks might not be such a bad idea, after all.

"Dash, what the hell is going on?" was the first thing my manager, Philip Smith, said when he saw me.

I was in his office bright and early on a Monday morning. Against my will, mind you but Philip was persistent. I had some downtime in the weekend so I spent it surfing, drinking, and living the life. Needless to say, I am only stepping back into reality right now.

"What do you mean? I'm good, Phil. Spent the weekend chilling out. It was great!" I put my feet up in the couch and took a sip of my coffee.

"Forgetting the most important auditions in your career? Dash, that's not acceptable."

Oh so this is why I'm here. I usually never come to Phil's office except if it's really important. For a second there, I thought he had some bigger news than this.

"You made me go all the way here just for that? Look, I lost track of time. I didn't wake up early. Besides the weather was perfect for surfing so I just couldn't be bothered going."

Philip paused, massaged his temples, and shook his head. I've been under his management since I started so I know him quite well by now. That gesture meant he was disappointed in me, but he wasn't angry.

"I don't think you realize how important this is, Dash. Brad, Johnny, Leo, they all want to be a part of this. This could potentially be another Oscar winner."

"So I'll do another audition." I closed my eyes. This is really not the conversation I want to be having at 8 am on a Monday.

"It's not that simple."

"Then why bother? Other roles will come, Philip. It's not like I'm some other actor waiting for a breakout role."

"Dash, this film is important and you just completely screwed up your chances by not showing up."

"Phil, you're clever. I'm sure you can arrange another audition if you ask. I mean, isn't this what I pay you for?"

Before he even got a chance to respond to that, I got up, took one last sip of my coffee and walk to the door. "I'm sorry I missed it, Phil, really I am. But if they believe I have a fighting chance for this part, then it's worth another try. Keep me updated!"

I hopped into the private elevator, exclusive for the company's VIP clients, feeling a bit more awake because of the coffee. I swear they use extra strong coffee beans or whatever in that place. That's probably why most people that worked there are always so awake and efficient.

Philip Smith singlehandedly ran the company ever since Ryan Mackenzie, the Mackenzie part of the name, decided he couldn't cope with the pressures of the industry and ran off to Asia and retired early in the 90's. It was Philip who built the company to what it is now and made it so successful.

The Smith & Mackenzie building was located in the trendiest part of West Hollywood, just a few blocks away from Sunset Boulevard. It's glass bulletproof windows, big open space, and design made it one of the best buildings in the area. It is one of the top talent management companies in the industry, and is home to some of the top celebrities and talents in the world.

I walked past the "wall of greats" as we call it near the main entrance and reception. A giant wall was one of the main attractions of the place to people who haven't been. It hosts Philip's most successful clients and I have to say, it's quite impressive. I reached the end of the wall and true enough, there I was, among the best of the best.

I couldn't help but smile.

So what if I screwed up one stupid little audition? If they knew what was best for them, they'd let me do it again. Heck, they'd be silly not to. I'm Dash Parker, after all – youngest best actor winner for the blockbuster Meat at the Oscar's just been, grandson of legendary actor William Parker, and People magazine's hottest young star under 25. At 18, I've achieved more than I've ever wanted and looking at this giant wall I know I've already made it. I'm Hollywood royalty, no doubt about that.

Ouch. Fucking hell, my head is pounding and I can hear my heartbeat. What the fuck?

I tried to open my eyes but I couldn't. For the first time ever, I wished it wasn't this sunny in Los Angeles. My room is brightly lit by the sunlight and the white sheets just make it brighter.

Kill me now. I haven't had a hangover like this in forever and I've almost forgotten how it felt like. Last night must have been one hell of a party. I don't remember most of it, so I'm assuming it was good. I do know I went to some club opening, took some primo shit the boys had but didn't know what they were exactly, and somehow managed to get my ass back home. I attempt to cover my eyes with a pillow but it did little to keep the sun away.

Accepting defeat, I opened my eyes and reached for my phone. 10:48 in the morning. Oh what's this? 33 messages and 45 missed calls. That's odd. Did the world crash and burn while I was out? I guess I'll find out soon enough.

I went downstairs and found an army of people. My people, to be exact. Philip was sitting on the table with a bunch of papers, talking rapidly on the phone. My hairdresser Kit was there too, arranging all her equipment as my stylist Nicole brings in a rack full of clothes. Just when I thought things couldn't get any stranger, I saw my agent in the kitchen cooking some eggs. My agent. Cooking eggs in my kitchen.

Sometimes I regret giving them the security code in my house. "What's all this?"

"We thought you died. We tried calling." My agent Coral said as she sets the table for breakfast.

"So you're throwing a party because I'm alive?"

"You have an audition in two hours." Coral doesn't really have much of a sense of humor.

"I had to check for a heartbeat. Aren't you a deep sleeper." Piped in Philip once he got off the phone.

"What are you doing here?"

I felt like I'm in some dysfunctional family sitcom with Coral as my mom and Philip as my dad. The stylists and the two assistants loitering about added to the weird factor.

"Like Coral said, you've got your audition today. We worked so hard to get another shot, we need you to be prepared for it." Philip said kindly.

"Of course it doesn't help that you were out partying last night," Added my publicist, Fiona, as she sat beside me, "Luckily, I got it under control. I tweeted that you were nervous about your audition."

So I partied because I was nervous? Whatever. Privacy truly is dead in Hollywood. First they break into my house at such an ungodly hour, and now they're using my Twitter account?

"Now eat up, we haven't got much time." said Coral as she pours me a cup of hot coffee.

This is good. Even the eggs are divine. "I never knew you could cook, Coral. Actually, I didn't even know I had food in the house."

"You didn't. Adrianna said a trip to the supermarket might be helpful too."

"You spoke to Ade?"

"She rung this morning to wish you luck."

Damn, I missed her call. I haven't spoken to her in days, actually. Our schedule just doesn't seem to meet. It's so sweet of her to be thinking about me today, though. I finished breakfast hurriedly while listening to Philip, Fiona, and Coral briefing me on where to go and what was happening today.

As soon as I took my last bite, my hairstylist started working on my hair. They wanted my whole look to be casual, like I just rolled out of bed. Apparently that look requires at least 30 minutes of styling. Nicole laid out a few options for my wardrobe choice before finally deciding on a dark pair of jeans, a plain black t-shirt, and a chocolate brown leather jacket. Afterwards, some lipstain was applied followed by lip balm. I was looking a bit pale and my lips were cracking and they wanted every bit of my face to be camera ready for the audition. Finally, I was good to go.

"You look really good," Coral said as she inspected my hair and outfit. "time to go and show them what you've got."

"Thanks, guys. This is why I keep you around." I joked as I grab my car keys.

"And son," Philip said as he opened the door for me, "don't screw this up."

A/N: Thanks for the support! Always good to have feedback so please feel free to leave a review. x J