Adventures of Hollywood Jim Ch. 54byhollywoodjim©
Authors note-Thanks for your patience everyone, new stories and adventures are coming soon for Hollywood Jim
The beach was so beautiful on this morning. The fog was slowly rolling in and I loved the feel of the sand between my toes as I walked the beach. In the distance I could see a solitary figure casting a huge fishing pole into the surf. He stuck the pole into the sand and sat down on a beach chair and puffed on a cigar. The ocean breeze felt great and the fog slowly lifted somehow and revealed a beautiful, but confusing sight. An elegant white Rolls-Royce with a crisply attired chauffeur at its side was parked on the beach near the fisherman.
"Who parks a Rolls on the beach?" I said to myself
I was somehow drawn to approach the man who puffed on his cigar. As I got closer, the driver tipped his cap to me.
"Heyyyy...Hollywood!" the fisherman said as he saw me approach.
It was Chris, my old friend and business partner.
The partner who'd...oh, no...
"Great morning, huh?" he said looking around at the empty expanse of beach and ocean "I hope the fishing's as good."
I was too stunned to speak, but he seemed to know why I reacted to him the way I did.
"Aw, you don't have to worry...this ain't like the last time I saw you." He said referring to the dream I'd had after the O'Brien shooting "Things have changed, and for the better." He continued as he stood "I told you that things would work out. I knew you'd be okay, in fact, you're better than OK, man." He said with a chuckle.
I was still unable to speak
"You're gonna be fine, Hollywood. You'll always be fine, man." He reassured me as he looked at his gold watch "Whoa, I got places to go."
"You take care of yourself, partner." He said as he shook my hand
He went back to the Rolls and the driver elegantly opened the door for him
"Don't worry about a thing, Jim." He now said "Big things are gonna keep happening for you, my friend. It's your destiny, don't ever doubt it."
The door closed and the Rolls silently proceeded down the beach and disappeared into the mist.
I was alone on the beach.
My eyes popped open and I was now in bed. The sheets were a silky white and I could hear the ocean outside, the breeze billowing softly through the curtains and faint bits of sunlight coming through. I turned over and looked up at the ceiling fan as I ran my fingers through my hair.
"It was a dream...my god, it was a dream." I said in a raspy voice
"What is it baby?" a sleepy woman's voice with a distinct Latin accent said.
Her light brown skin contrasted beautifully with the white of the sheets. And the curve of the sheets showed she was naked beneath them, as was I.
"Um, strange dream...a very strange dream." I replied
"Oh, baby... was it a bad dream?" she said in a soft voice as she held me close to her
"No, just...very strange"
"Awww...go back to sleep baby...shhhh...go back to sleep" she said softly as she held me and stroked my head. "You can tell me all about it later...shhhh...sleep baby."
Her breasts were soft and warm and I could still smell her perfume from the night before.
It almost made me forget I'd just had a dream about a dead man.
But I certainly remembered how I got here...
One thing I never wanted to become was jaded. It always astounded me that people who worked in the entertainment field, even on the fringes, like I did, could become so blasé` about who they saw or met in Hollywood. So I always went to work every day with the attitude that I was part of the greatest business in the world. I considered it to be a privilege to be amongst those on the way up, those at the top or even those perceived as on the way down. And those few that allowed me into their private worlds, all the better. I still had to pinch myself sometimes to be sure that I was really here. That's how I always knew I hadn't become jaded by my work. It was like Mr. Gump's box of chocolates.
It was close to year's end and on this morning as I went into Chuck's office, I found him on the phone speaking Italian. It surprised me to say the least.
"Where'd you learn Italian? You can barely speak English sometimes."
"Like everyone else, Rosetta Stone." He said as he hung up the phone "best twenty bucks I ever spent."
"Twenty bucks, how'd you ever get it that cheap, that usually sells for like 300 hundred."
"Chinese garage sale, you find the most amazing things there."
I couldn't help but chuckle to myself, maybe he got a counterfeit version and he'll insult more Italians than charm them. That might be rather amusing to watch!
"You ever heard of a guy named Pompeo Posar?" he now asked me
"It oughta be, he's been photographing centerfolds for the better part of thirty years."
"Whoa! And I thought I had a pretty good job."
"Well, my friend, you do" he said with smile "that's why I'm giving this one to you."
Uh-oh. That could mean something bad or...
Just then the double glass doors to his office opened and accompanied by our second in command Jeff Murphy strode a Latina beauty in wearing black jeans and a purple t-shirt topped off with a Nike jacket.
...Or something good!
"Ahhh! Good morning Chuck!" she said in a buoyant tone
"There's our star!" He said as he stood up and she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Jim, meet Sofia Vergara."
"Oh! Wonderful! We've met before, hello again, darling." She said as she offered me a well manicured and soft hand and an electric smile.
"You've met before?" Chuck said, surprised
"Yes, I met him on his first day here, he looked so nervous."
Everyone laughed at that.
"So, let me get down to business." He began "We have a big photo shoot we'd like you to do in conjunction with her Pepsi campaign. Pepsi has already done the print ads but they'd like some additional shots for other markets."
"Really? What markets?" I asked
"Mine, where else?" Sofia answered with a laugh
"Exactly, Pepsi really wants to give this a big push in the Latin markets. We'll be filming a TV commercial too. So the photos will be a nice bonus for their website, kind of a behind the scenes setup."
"I did a TV ad for them long ago, so they think it would be fun to have me do a...how do you say...come back?"
"That's a good idea, like that Cindy Crawford ad, right?" I said
"You've got a good memory, Jim." Jeff said
"Yes, that's the idea." Chuck said "So, how does a weekend in Villa Del Sol sound?"
"Sounds like a working weekend to me." I replied
Everyone laughed, especially Sofia.
"I like this guy!" she said with a beaming smile.
"See why we hired him?" Chuck said "OK, pack your bags Hollywood, we'll see you Friday morning."
"Hollywood?" Sofia said looking at me with a confused, then smiling look on her face. "Why do they call you Hollywood, baby?"
I could only shrug my shoulders in response. I didn't have a snappy answer at the ready, wish I did. No matter, she laughed and breezed out of the office with Jeff and Chuck.
Did she know the "secret meaning" of it? Nah!
Villa Del Sol was an ultra-exclusive retreat usually reserved for the executives of Pepsi and other companies. Unfortunately I wouldn't get to see much of it. I was there to work and in a way I was happy for that. I was flown down on their private jet, and like I'd said before, this was something I still couldn't get used to. The shoot would be pretty quick as Sofia had to be back in L.A. to resume filming on "Modern Family", so I'd be doing my shots as she filmed her Pepsi ad. To my surprise, the commercial was being directed by Mark Stein, whom I hadn't seen since the Triple Threat Tour where he'd done all the video production for the shows. Mark had to be the most efficient director I'd ever seen. He should be doing films, not just commercials, I thought. I stayed in the background and snapped photos of Sofia as she went through the paces of being on the beach, seductively sipping her can of Pepsi through a straw.
"OK, thank you, Sofia!" Mark called out "Let's do the wardrobe change!"
Sofia started to walk toward a camper that served as a wardrobe trailer before noticing me with my cameras.
"Ah, Mister Jimmy, taking lots of good photos of me?" she purred
"Oh, absolutely!" I replied "It's hard to get a bad one of you."
"You'll get better ones of me." She said with a big smile as she walked away
Mark was standing by me now
"You'll have to tell me your secret." He said
"What do you mean?"
"You can't tell?" he said, surprised "the ladies love you, pal."
"Nah, they're just being nice, that's all."
He looked at me with a smile
"Oh, sure..." he said with a chuckle as he went over to his crew.
Not much later, Sofia returned wearing a white robe, her dark hair thick and beautiful. Mark met with her briefly to go over the script. All she had to do was walk down the beach as the waves lapped at her feet.
Seems easy enough, I thought.
Then she took off her robe and I think there was an audible gasp from everyone.
Sofia had on a gorgeous white bikini that showed off a body the likes of which I had never seen anywhere. Damn, her tits were enormous!
Sofia noticed me now and could see my reaction.
"See I told you there'd be better pictures." She giggled as she went to her spot on the beach.
Discipline, Hollywood, discipline I kept telling myself as I got my camera ready.
In this ad, she'd be filmed from the back and there'd be many stunned faces as she walked past them before the camera slowly turned around to show her from the front. Mark filmed Sofia repeatedly walking to her spot on the beach and saying the commercials tag line in Spanish, I have no idea what it was but it sounded cool. And I also think Mark was getting a lot of takes of her just for his pleasure, and filming everything in slow motion too. Though it had been awhile since we'd worked together, it was clear he hadn't changed a bit. Sofia was incredibly patient with each take. And since Mark did numerous takes, I was getting incredible photos.
Finally, Mark could see that he was losing the perfect natural light he'd had all day.
"OK, everyone that's a wrap!" he called out
"Thank you everyone!" one of the Pepsi reps called out.
Sofia hugged Mark as I snapped off a few more shots.
"Oh, Jeem...always going click-click-click." She joked "you're like a paparazzi you know."
I shrugged my shoulders in response, what was I supposed to say?
"But you're better looking baby..." she said as she kissed my cheek
I think I felt an electrical charge from her lips, I could even smell her perfume too. We were all happy to have finished so quickly and the Pepsi people quickly gathered around Mark complimenting him on his efficient production.
"I can't wait to see your photos." Mark said to me as he quickly passed me. "I might want to do some, uh, further inspection of them."
"Oh, yeah, sure..." I said in the same wiseguy tone he'd used on me before.
As if on cue, I could see the skies darkening above us. Mark was losing his perfect natural light to a rainstorm that soon began.
I'd said before that I saw this as a working weekend, and I quickly packed up my stuff for the trip home. Sofia and her people had already left for L.A. since she had to get back to work on "Modern Family". As I went out to the transport with Mark and the crew I looked around and wondered if I'd ever get back here.
I got my answer sooner than I expected.
New Year's Eve was soon upon us and amidst the party plans there was still work to be done. Jeff and I narrowed down 3 particular photos we thought were best to show the Pepsi guys when they came into the office not long after I returned. Sofia was with them and she loved all three photos. The meeting was brief but it included invitations for us to a weekend New Years bash they were throwing at Villa Del Sol, so it looked like I'd get to experience this place after all.
I couldn't have asked for better weather than what I saw when we arrived. When I looked out on the ocean, I couldn't help but think of the frozen tundra of Connecticut, and how glad I was here and not there!
How different this New Year's Eve looked to be compared to the last one. Man, what Chris would've thought of all this.
"I miss you, man." I said to myself as I looked out on the ocean.
I was heading for the bar that night when a pretty blonde standing outside the bar caught my eye. She looked rather nice in a short white dress with a gold belt. It looked almost Greek-like now that I thought about it.
"Hi, are you part of the party here?" I asked somewhat nervously.
"Oh, yes...but I'm waiting for someone" she said "Ah, here he is." She quickly said and went off with a well dressed gentleman wearing a stylish white tuxedo. I wasn't all that disappointed, but still curious about her outfit, not to mention his. They went into another room where music was playing and a rather large doorman quickly closed the doors as they entered.
I don't know why but the look of their outfits intrigued me, probably just coincidence, I thought.
"Forget it, Hollywood" I heard a voice say beside me "She's not in your league."
I turned to the slightly diminutive woman standing beside me.
"Oh, really and why is that?"
"Well, let me put it this way, hon." She replied in her Texas accent "she's built for comfort..." then adding a sly smile "but I'm built for speed."
"That makes sense, and you've got the Corvette to prove it, right?"
"Bright boy, there's hope for you yet."
I was in the presence of Laura Austin. I'd met her in the midst of the O'Brien lawsuit and she'd been a welcome surprise during my recovery from the effects of the shooting that happened when his case was dismissed. We didn't see one another all that much, she seemed to "turn up" when I least expected it. Her work kept her in the same circles as me, but she went in a much different direction, one that I was not privy to. And her work was for a price. Tonight, she was dressed to thrill in a similar low cut white tunic dress with a sparkly gold belt, black stockings and matching heels. Not to mention other generous features on display thanks to the dress.
"Like the outfit?"
"Yes, very stylish given the location and all."
"Looks like something out of Caligula, huh?" she said with a smile added
Her response took me aback somewhat. But then, as she had once told me, she was from Texas and they got to the point down there, so a response like that wasn't out of the ordinary for her.
"Interesting comparison, but yes it does. I guess you've seen the movie."
I hated to admit I had too. It was, well, something.
"Have I seen the movie?" she replied looking thoughtful before chuckling to herself "Yeah, I guess you could say that." She said slowly
"So, what's with the white outfits on everyone going in there?" I asked as I gestured toward the room I'd seen the blonde lady enter.
Laura smiled at me
"I'd tell you but..." she began
"You'd have to kill me?" I responded
"No" she replied with an understanding smile "I'd be violating rule number one."
"Uh-huh...and uh, what's that?" I said moving in a little closer as she smiled
"A good escort..." she began, looking up at me (she was rather short, remember)
"...never tells her secrets." We finished in unison, making her laugh
I could only roll my eyes in response, which only made her giggle
"OK, I was asking for that. But let me ask you this" I started "Who's the lady that's built for comfort?"
"Her name's Judy, she goes to parties with me sometimes. But that's all, where her work ends, mine begins."
"My, you're rather witty tonight." I said as we got glasses of wine.
"It's what you get when you study journalism in college." She said as she took a sip "I better not drink too much of this."
"Let me guess, you're on the clock tonight?"
"Very funny." She said wryly "I'll remember that."
Our glasses clinked together
"Until we meet again." She said before taking a final sip of wine. I could only watch as she went off across the room to meet a well dressed older gentleman who took her into the same room as Judy and followed two other couples as the doors were slowly closed.
I was reminded how exclusive this place was, how corporate-types were usually the guests here. Whatever goes on at places like this were the kind of things that didn't make the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps the "Caligula" comparison wasn't as far-fetched as I thought.
But at the moment, I was alone in the large atrium. I'd had some fun with Laura before, and I knew that we'd meet again as she said. She'd kept her promises in the past and if our paths crossed, and when the time was right, we'd have more fun.
It was time for me to have my fun, though.
The Pepsi guys commandeered the bar and restaurant that night. Mark Stein was there and we got caught up, he had plans to direct a film next and he'd need a photo guy. Just like Mark, always working business into any discussions. He really hadn't changed much.
Just as I went back to the bar for another beer, Sofia strolled in and immediately caught my eye, and everyone else's. She was a knockout in a silky blue dress that looked like the one I'd seen in her TV ads for Pepsi. Her thick brown hair looking gorgeous as usual.
"Ah! Mister Jimmy! There you are!" she said as she floated over to me and hugged me "Are you having fun, honey?"
"Oh, uh...the time of my life." I said with a casual smile
"Ahhh...that's good baby." She purred "Come on, let's get a drink"
Sofia and I headed for the bar and she quickly ordered white wine for both of us.
"Cheers, baby" she said as our glasses clinked together "Here's to..."
"A good time?" I said finishing her thought
Sofia's face lit up
"Yes! Yes! That's perfect!" she said excitedly as she took my hand "I see everyone else over there, let's go baby."
It was clear that Sofia was controlling things, and I had no problem, she had such a bigger than life, over the top personality that it seemed pointless to do otherwise. The best thing to do was just enjoy the ride. It was bound to be a wild one!
Everyone there wanted photos (guess who took them, again!) and autographs from her and she eagerly posed and signed. Once that wave of fandom had left we all settled in for dinner and a lot of conversation.
"Mister Jimmy, where you from baby?" she asked as she sipped her wine
"Oh, me? Connecticut." I replied
"OH! You're kidding!" she said excitedly "that's where my son is, he goes to school up there, ohhh so beautiful there." Now adding that electric smile "just you like you baby..." she said as she flirtatiously stroked my cheek and laughed.
All I could do was blush.
"I think I need another drink." I said trying to avoid any more embarrassment. But inside, I loved every minute of it!
At the bar I got another glass of wine and looked over the scene. The bar looked out onto the ocean and was lit with lanterns and neon. Amidst the Latin music playing, Sofia could be heard chatting up seemingly every person there and I could hear little shouts of excitement from her. When she spotted me at the bar, her eyes lit up again.
"Mister Jeem! You need to be here!" she yelled to me with that electric smile
How could I resist?
As I returned to the table she immediately stood and with her arms raised began to shimmy to the music.
"Come on baby...we have to daaaaance!" she said as she pulled me to the small dance floor.
Now, I will be the first to admit that I ain't no dancer! And with someone like her it probably looked more like she was holding me up or trying to keep me from running away. But I gamely kept my hips moving and tried not to step on her toes as she boogied to her hearts content around me before taking my hands and moving me back and forth in time to the music. It probably looked, no, it DEFINITELY looked ridiculous. I saw Mark off to the side with the little Nikon camera I'd been using earlier, he was using the video feature and could barely hold it still; he was laughing so much.