Home > Resonance of Stars (Greenstone Security #5)

Resonance of Stars (Greenstone Security #5)
Author: Anne Malcom

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“How does it feel being the most in-demand actress in Hollywood right now? Arguably one of the most talked about and famous women in show business?”

Horrible. Nauseating. Suffocating.

My smile was as fake as my teeth, tits, and tan. “It’s such a blessing. I feel so lucky to be given chances in Hollywood as a woman, cast in movies directed by women. It’s been a long time coming, and I know we still have a long way to go, but it feels good.”

I made sure to speak softly, to sound unsure almost, humble. If I’d learned one thing, the media was not kind to arrogant women. Even if they had every right to be arrogant. Even if the woman in question had pulled herself from a life of poverty, beatings, dirty sheets, and empty stomachs to superstardom. Even if said woman was paid millions of dollars per movie and owned a mansion in Beverly Hills. Of course, the stomach was still empty because that’s how it worked.

I was starving right this moment. Which wasn’t outside the norm, but I hadn’t even indulged in my meager excuse for lunch. Every second of this day was spent promoting the shit out of this movie, smiling this fake smile, answering mundane questions, and counting down the seconds until I could leave. Hunger was now mingled with annoyance.

Breakfast was coffee and a cold pressed juice. My head was pounding from lack of sleep and the fucking lights glaring at me in this suite at the W Hotel.

This was my last interview. I’d been here for hours, smiling, pretending I was proud of this piece-of-shit movie my agent talked me into.

I usually made a point to be proud of every movie I put my name to, because I’d earned the right to do that. At the beginning, when I was poor and desperate, I took what I could. And I was proud of that, even if the movies were terrible. They’d got me to here.

But now, after all my hard work, I had enough money and fame to be able to pick my own movies. Apart from this movie, the one I was pushed into doing.

I wasn’t on a relentless crusade to only portray certain women or even change the way women were viewed, but I also wasn’t about to be some fucking housewife in a movie purely there for her pretty face or comedic relief.

I’d dropped the ball on this one.

The director was the darling of the industry. He’d collected many awards throughout the years for his edgy, dark films. I’d known as soon as I’d read the rambling script it was going to be a dud. Over ten years in the industry had given me that insight. I was intelligent in many ways—because if you weren’t, this industry, this world, would eat you alive—and had a knack for knowing when a crappy script would turn into an absolute disaster.

A crappy script wasn’t always the end of the world. With a good cast and an excellent director, it could be salvaged. This director was known to be excellent, but I’d never liked a single one of his movies.

Which should’ve made me more forceful with my agent when she told me to reconsider. She wasn’t usually one to try and fight me when I made a decision but there were a lot of high-profile stars in this one. There was a lot of hype. A lot of money to be made.

I didn’t relent because of the money—I had plenty of that—though I did have a sickening obsession with always making more. Nor was it about the star-studded cast. I was well past being impressed by movie stars.

The truth was, I was tired, which was not really something I should be at thirty-four. Then again, Hollywood was already preparing to try to put me out to pasture, cast me as the hot mom or bitchy boss.

I was happy to play the bitch, but I was already exhausted thinking of the fights ahead of me. Which was why I relented to the movie.

And why I was sitting here with that pounding headache, empty stomach, and ever-present smidge of self-hatred.

The interviewer was boring, from her mundane questions, right down to the mousy hair and lipstick on her teeth—which I hadn’t told her about, despite what girl code said. I’d tried it once and was labelled as a bitch because of it.

All I was thinking about was a giant martini—not because I liked them but they were the most sensible, calorie wise—two olives, and a treat for dinner. Maybe some soft cheeses. Or I’d go wild and have prosciutto as well. No bread. I hadn’t eaten bread in years.

I’d just wrapped on this movie. I’d worked fourteen-hour days, barely slept, had pretended to like all the assholes on set, and I’d be jumping straight into my next project at six tomorrow morning. I deserved one treat.

Just one, though, because Cannes was in two days and my dress was custom. If I even drank too much water, it wouldn’t fit right, and unflattering lighting and devious photographers would find an uncomplimentary photo to splash over the tabloids. I shouldn’t care about that, being a modern woman and a feminist. But having the entire world debate over whether you were pregnant or had just gotten “chubby” over a picture taken at a wrong angle would do some damage.

I could’ve done some serious interior work on my trauma, on my demons, found ways to be healthier in the way I viewed myself. Could’ve figured out a way to get my validation from inside me, not from what the industry wanted me to be. What the world wanted me to be.

But in the end, it was easier to starve myself.

My mind was in a thousand different places, which was why I didn’t notice the reporter go from mousy to feline.

“What do you say to the rumors that you engaged in a relationship with your co-star, Jeffery Anderson, and that you are responsible for his divorce?” She asked it in the same tone as before, but it hit its mark, maybe even went a little deeper than normal, because she’d seemed so unassuming.

She had timed this well, since my publicist, Andre, who would normally step in right now, had just left on a call. He wasn’t one to normally do such a thing, since his job centered around diving into interviews when questions such as this were asked and be the rabid dog I loved him for. He had obviously gotten the same mousy vibe from the reporter, which was saying something since he had a razor-sharp eye for such things.

I gritted my teeth.

Jesus Christ.

I had engaged in a relationship with that asshole. Big mistake. Good thing the relationship consisted of groping, bad kissing, and sex that lasted less than a minute. All those men that housewives had as their ‘Hall Pass’—with their eight-pack, perfect hair and giant biceps—they usually had small dicks and no manners. Sexually or otherwise.

I did not break up his marriage. It was already broken up. For years. The best-kept secret in Hollywood. His wife, Angela Steele, was a well-known TV actress that hadn’t been able to break into film. They’d gotten together as a publicity stunt, married for the same reason. There was definitely no love between them at the beginning of the relationship, but whatever like or tolerance they had for one another was long gone, especially since Angela’s career had skyrocketed while Jeffery’s only got a minor bump. I knew for a fact he only got the lead role in this movie because he’d threatened he’d do a tell-all about his relationship with Angela if she didn’t pull strings to get him the job.

They fucking hated each other and only got together for photo shoots, events, or social media shots. They lived on separate coasts and whenever Angela was in town, she was sleeping at a well-known rapper’s house. They’d been together for almost as long as she’d been married.

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