Journal of an Agent: Ch. 18bycarnagejackson©
Feedback and suggestions always welcome. I am quite sure that Zhang Ziyi doesn't live the way she is portrayed in this story, but it was one of the only ways I could think of bringing her in that was interesting to read.
You must be 18 to read this story, be able to read erotica in your community, not be offended by the contents of it...blah blah, you know the rest.
This story may be distributed freely, for commercial or non-commercial use, but PLEASE leave my email/name on it! That's all I ask!
This is Part 18 of an ongoing series. Yes I know the celebs don't act like this in real life, but this is a fantasy after all.
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Sometimes I wonder how I get myself into these situations. Most normal people don't find themselves in such awkward situations as the one I am in right now - frantically trying to get rid of this suitcase bomb sitting on my hotel bedroom. I can hear two women screaming around me, freaking out - Lucy Liu and Zhang Ziyi. I'm trying to ignore them and concentrate on cutting the right wire, or at least figuring out a way to stop the timer, but it's hard to focus. My mind keeps wandering back to what led up to this happening, two days before.
It all started when Lucy Liu came into my office, without an appointment. I was on the phone with my current love interest, Natalie Portman, when Lucy busted in through the door.
"Yes Natalie, I'm doing fine. How about you? How is the play going? Good...good" I said, before Lucy scared the shit out of me by opening the door.
"Dean, I need to talk to you NOW!" Lucy said, walking up to my desk and putting her hand down hard, rattling the wood and the pen holder on the desk.
"Natalie? I have to go. I'll call you back. Yes, I love you too. Bye," I said, hanging up. "You know, I really don't appreciate that Lucy. I DO have a personal life you know." I said to her.
"Dean, this is important. You have to help my friend Zhang, her agent is about to ruin her career." Lucy said, pacing back and forth in front of my desk. She was dressed in a no nonsense dress that clung to her curvaceous body, her long black hair tied up behind her in a tight bun. Any other day, I would have loved spending time with her - but this interruption had pissed me off.
"Zhang? Who the hell is Zhang?" I said.
Lucy pulled out a copy of Variety from her purse and slammed it on my desk. On the front page was a picture of the two stars of "Rush Hour 2", Jackie Chan & Chris Tucker. Between them was a strikingly beautiful, petite Asian girl.
"THAT is Zhang," Lucy said, pointing. I scanned the article attached to the photo and read about her. It was just a fluff piece on her current stardom, including (something I hadn't remembered at first) her stint as the main female character in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". In the picture, her smile was wide but polite, a Hollywood smile for sure. She looked beautiful in the semi-crumpled newspaper, and I was certainly more willing now to listen to what Lucy had to say.
"Ok, now that I know who she is, what can I do about it? She's not my client, you are," I said.
Lucy scowled at me, very similar to the gesture her character Ling used often on "Ally McBeal". Sitting down in the chair and appearing a little more calm, Lucy began to explain.
"See, like me, Zhang is Chinese. Well, I'm Chinese-American, she is just a Chinese actress COMING to America. Any ways, the current agent she has now, also Chinese, is named Lao Hwrong. He is ruthless in China, and is known as being not only a strong Communist backer, but also known to abuse his stars in more ways than just ruining their careers. We are talking small children here Dean...not a nice guy," Lucy said.
"Ok, but it's not my business to investigate how other agents run their firms. So I'm afraid that I..." I started to say, before Lucy cut me off.
"Look Dean, she really needs your help. Just go to his office and talk to him, maybe you two can work something out. Now that she is a big star, I think that he might put her in some horrible movies just to exploit her, porn films and God knows what else. Come on, do it for me please?" Lucy said, begging.
"Alright, fine. Give me his phone number and I will talk to him. Maybe we can buy out her contract," I said with a sigh. Lucy clapped her hands excitedly and fished out his number from her purse.
I made the call the next day, and set up a meeting with Lao that night. His American office was located in San Diego, so I knew it would be a bit of a drive. Judging by what Lucy had told me, this guy may not be a person to piss off if I didn't make him a worthwhile offer and the address he had given me to meet him at, I knew, was a pretty bad part of town. Just to be on the safe side, I had Damon meet me at my house before we left to accompany me for back up.
I was upstairs in my bedroom packing an over night bag when I heard a knock on the door. "Come in Damon, I'm up here," I said. I heard the door open and close but no foot steps on the stairs. Puzzled, I went to the top of the stairs and looked down. Damon was standing there, jaw open and staring all around at the living room area, admiring the house.
"You like?" I said, grinning a little as I walked down the stairs to meet him.
"I like it a lot. And this was your father's you say?" Damon said, still looking around.
"Yes. He left it to me when he died. Pretty amazing that he made this much money, but then again he was in the business for decades. Come on, I'm almost ready to go," I said.
I handed Damon my duffel bag and walked down the hallway towards one of the spare rooms. Right outside the door was a painting. Lifting it from the wall gently, I pushed it aside to reveal the small safe behind it. A few turns of the knob and it was open. I reached inside and pulled out a small black box and carried it out to the hallway.
In the more lighted hall, I kneeled on the ground and set the box on top of my briefcase. Opening the box, I pulled out a small, 9mm handgun and an ammo clip. Punching the clip into the gun, it startled Damon and he looked down at me wide eyed.
"Is this thing going to be THAT serious?" he said, staring at me a little uneasily.
"You never know. Besides, I have a permit, so I'm not worried about getting in trouble," I said. I put the gun back into it's case and put the case inside of my briefcase. Picking it up off the floor, I headed towards the front door with Damon behind me. We hopped in the car and were off.
With traffic on the freeway, it took a little longer than usual to get to San Diego, but we made it to the meeting place with 15 minutes to spare. Damon hadn't said a word on the way there, but just kept looking occasionally when he didn't think I was watching at the briefcase on the floor beneath his feet. It was incredibly dark on the street as we pulled up, the two street lights bulbs long since broken. There was only the dim light of apartment buildings a block or so down to guide us as we walked out of the car, the isolated, run down house of our rendezvous off of a side street.
Walking up to the front door, we didn't even knock before the door flew open, a large Asian man busting through with a girl being drug behind him by her hair. He yelled something in Chinese to her and flung her out onto the yard, her small body crumpling a little bit when she landed. I heard the girl sob a little as she picked herself up and staggered away, her clothing making her appear to be a hooker.
The girl now handled, the Asian man snapped his head towards us and stared. I felt a lump in my throat from nerves but managed to keep my voice calm.
"We are here to see Mr. Hwrong," I said, hoping the man didn't notice my hand trembling as it held my briefcase. Damon was a foot or two behind me and I could hear his excited breathing as he too tried to appear normal.
The large man grunted and then walked back inside, motioning for us to follow him. The house had managed to contain light very well from the street outside, with heavy drape curtains covering the windows from floor to ceiling. The further in we walked, the more dilapidated and disturbing the house became. It was much larger than it appeared to be from outside, with a dim hallway leading off to at least three bedrooms. I could hear the sounds of moaning coming from one of the closest rooms and figured that some of Lao's "talent" were giving an Oscar winning performance. As we passed through the kitchen, I saw two men sitting at a table playing a miniature pachinko machine. Next to them were two AK-47s and enough ammo to take out a small city. One of them downed a drink and leered at us as we walked by.
Finally we turned a corner and were led down a small flight of stairs to the garage, which was partially below ground. The steel door to the garage was locked, but the man who led us in put in a key and opened the door for us.
The garage had been converted into a sort of office, with a couple of desks and a couch with a big screen television in front of it. To my surprise, Mr. Hwrong was sitting in a desk in the far corner of the garage, reading over some papers. As we approached him, I couldn't help but stare at the posters on the wall - communist propaganda pieces from all over the world, including Russia and Cuba. Lao saw us approach and stood to greet us.
He was an older man, in his late 50s by my guess, and was wearing a sport coat and slacks, his tie loose around his neck. His shirt was stained with sweat and he appeared to be just another over-worked citizen. He ushered us to sit down, but only after giving Damon a look of distaste. The large man who led us in walked over to stand beside Lao as he sat down, crossing his hands at his waist and standing as straight as a board.
"So, Mr. Simonds, you are inquiring about becoming the agent of our young Zhang, no?" Lao said. His accent was heavy with Chinese, but his English seemed to be pretty good.
"Yes, that's right. I can offer you a very good deal if you will sign her contract over to me and let my firm take over," I replied, settling into what seemed like just another business deal.
"Mr. Simonds, let me assure you that money is no value to me. In my country, we place great emphasis on pride and tradition, and Zhang has brought us great pride from her, how do you say, star power? For her to leave me and for my company to no longer represent her at a time when she is such a popular star, would cause us to lose great face in the international business world," Lao said. He was playing hardball now and I knew that if I wasn't careful with my next steps, I would blow any chance I had.
"I understand that Mr. Hwrong, but I can promise you that this will happen with the utmost delicacy to ensure that no one loses face and that you or your company are disrespected. If you will just take a look at my generous offer, I assure you that..." I said, but Lao interrupted me by suddenly slamming his fists on the table.
"MR. SIMONDS! YOU ARE NOT UNDERSTANDING ME!" he yelled, before settling his voice down a bit. "Zhang will not be leaving us. She has become like a daughter to me and I value her tremendously, not only for other acting abilities but for other ways that she pleases me. I am sure that you can understand that a father would not want to give up his daughter would he?" Lao said.
"Only if the father wasn't a dirty old man like you are," Damon said, startling everyone in the room for speaking for the first time.
Lao was a little taken aback. "Ah, I see your bodyguard here has more to him than just large stature. I do not know what sort of dirty things he is speaking of but I CAN tell you that if he dares insult me again neither one of you will be leaving here, except perhaps on a stretcher," Lao said in a very cold voice.
"I apologize Mr. Hwrong, Damon is new to this business. He WON'T be speaking again and will leave that up to you and I," I said, elbowing Damon hard in the side. Damon lost his breath for a moment but now understood the gravity of the situation and didn't say another word.
"Very well. But honestly gentlemen, I believe that we are finished here. I would bring Zhang out here to meet you but I think that it would be for naught now that I know you have nothing to offer me. Good day gentleman, My associate here will show you to the door," Lao said, standing to leave. I had to act quick.
"Wait! Since we are in the land of freedom and choice, why don't you just bring Zhang out here, just for a second, and have her hear what we have to say. If you are so confident that she will stay with you, at least then I can know for myself," I said, standing up to face Lao. He was much taller than I had thought, very tall for such an older man.
Lao was clearly considering the idea, the expressions and thoughts running across his face.
"Hmm...alright, I see no harm in that. Although be prepared gentlemen for a shock when Zhang proves her devotion to me. I will have my assistant here go get her, she is in one of the back bedrooms ahhh...rehearsing for a part. Just one moment," Lao said. I breathed a sigh of relief under my breath, knowing that the deal was still alive. We both sat down and waited for a minute or two while the large bodyguard went and got her.
I heard some shuffling of feet behind us and a woman's voice say something hurriedly in Chinese. Zhang was then brought to stand next to Lao before us. She was wearing a silk robe, obviously put on in a hurry. Her skin and face were flushed with sweat and lord only knows what she had been doing before she got here. But it was certainly Zhang Ziyi, the beautiful woman from Variety I had seen before. She was much more beautiful in person, her pale white skin like a porcelain doll. Fixing her hair, she straightened up in front of us and stood rigid, as if she were going to be on display.
Lao said something to her in Chinese and then switched over to English.
"Zhang, this is Dean Simonds. He is a fellow agent and he is here to try and lure you away from leaving my company. But you are devoted to us right?" Lao said, his hand gripping Zhang's wrist tightly.
But Zhang wasn't playing ball. "I...I don't know. What does he have to offer?" she said in broken English, her voice wavering a little as she began to understand the situation. I had to speak quick, to keep her interested before Lao crushed any chance of her coming with me.
"I can get you roles in the hottest movies that are out, good movies too like Crouching Tiger was. You will have complete creative control over your character and can pick and choose your movies on a whim. Plus of course, I can guarantee you $2 million a picture," I said, all in one breath.
Zhang's mouth dropped a little in shock and then she looked slowly from Lao to me and then back to Lao.
"Ye..yes, that sounds like a very, how do you say, agreeable deal. Where are the papers that I must sign?" Zhang said. Lao however, had had enough. He jumped from his chair quickly and took Zhang's wrist and began to pull her away from the table violently.
"You ungrateful girl, after all I did for you. Well, you will not leave here until I say you will!" Lao snarled. I don't know why I did it, but I pulled my gun from my briefcase quickly and held it up to Lao's face. He stopped dead in his tracks, while his bodyguard reached for his gun and aimed it straight at my chest.
Things got very tense, very quickly.
I felt my heart thudding in my chest as I held the barrel of my 9mm a few inches from Lao's forehead. His eyes were watching my arm and hand, and the slight trembling that they were both doing. I started to speak, my voice dry and raspy.
"You heard her Lao...she would like to join my firm. Now, just let her go and let us get out of here and no one will get hurt. And most importantly, I will not call the police and tell them about what I saw that goes on here, and I am sure is just a fraction of your real activities. So please, let Zhang go and we will be on our way, no harm no foul," I said, struggling to keep my voice calm.
"Yes. That would be a good idea," Lao said. Everyone in the room could hear him swallow loudly as he clearly tried to contain his rage. "You may exit through the garage door so as not to alert any of my other house guests," he said. Very slowly, I saw his grip on Zhang's wrist loosen and finally let go as her hand came free, a light red mark left where he had gripped her wrist tightly.
Zhang quickly ran behind Damon and they both began to back out towards the exit of the garage. My gun still pointed at his head, I watched as Lao reached into his pocket (his eyes never leaving my arm) and pulled out a garage door opener. He pushed the button and the whole room shook, the door opening slowly as it creaked on it's track. I walked backwards out of the garage and as soon as I was a few feet out the door, dropped my gun to my side and ran like hell back to my car.
Damon and Zhang were already inside, and had left my drivers door open so I could quickly slide into the seat and rev the engine. I gunned the motor and floored it and within a few minutes we were back on the freeway.
I took Damon home and put Zhang up in a hotel a little bit outside the city, the room reserved to a fake name. I headed home, making sure to look to see if anyone was following me.
The next day, I picked up Zhang at her hotel and she rode with me into the office, where I was going to call Lucy and have her come greet us. Zhang followed me into my office and sat down in a chair while I dialed Lucy's number. Zhang had cleaned up in the hotel room and looked much better, her hair now flowing freely over her shoulders. I had given her some money and sent her to the mall to buy some clothes, for which she came back with a red dress and a pair of white shoes. She was very quiet and reserved, but also very polite when she did speak (although neither of us mentioned the night before). My guess is that Lao had her conditioned very well, almost to the point of being a servant.
Lucy's phone rang about three times and then she finally picked up.
"Hello?" I heard her voice say. Even though she was Chinese-American, Lucy had a very recognizable dialect: New York.
"Hey Lucy, it's Dean. You are still in LA I see, that's good. Listen, I've got someone here who would like to talk to you," I said, smiling up at Zhang. She returned the smile, a very reserved but pretty one.
Zhang said something in Chinese (I'm guessing it was "Hello"). There was a momentary pause before Lucy spoke again, also in Chinese. Her tone was hesitant but it was easy to tell she was trying to figure out if it was really Zhang. They both began replying to each other in escalating voices of excitement. I was, of course, totally lost in what they were saying but it wasn't long before they were giggling and laughing with each other like excited school girls. Finally, they stopped talking and Lucy spoke again in English.
"Dean, thank you so much. We HAVE to get together tonight for dinner, and bring Zhang. It's the least I can do to repay you for risking your life to get her away from that awful agent," Lucy said over the speaker phone.
"I'd be honored. Are you any good of a cook?" I asked jokingly with her. Zhang smiled down at me, nodding that Lucy was.
"Well, you will have to just wait and see. And if you don't like the food, there is always a little Chinese place around the corner," Lucy said. There was silence in the conversation for a moment, as I was too slow to pick up on the joke.
"That was a joke Dean, you are supposed to laugh. You know, humor?" Lucy said.
"Good one Lucy," I said sarcastically. "It had me in stitches. We will be there at 8, ok?"
"Sounds good. Oh, and bring your appetite, I've got a special dinner planned just for you," Lucy said before we hung up.