Star Struck Ch. 01bymusicfreak©
Hey guys, here's my new story I've been working on. This will be my last story for a couple of years due to personal commitments but, hopefully I'll be back in two years. The story is complete and the following chaps are submitted/pending approval. Sorry but I have yet to get an editor because I am on a tight schedule right now, so please bear with any mistakes.
This story and all it's characters are a work of fiction.
"Tell me again why he has to stay here with me?" I asked my mom over the phone. I walked over to my couch and dropped onto it, sinking into the cushions.
"I told you, there was a screw up at the hotel and they overbooked. C'mon, I know you don't like them but he's different. He's nice." I rolled my eyes. I found that statement hard to believe. Of all the actors that my mom has managed, none of them were nice. All just a bunch of stuck up snobs who thought they were better than everyone else.
"Yeah sure. That's what you said about Sarah Hawthorne and we all know what kind of person she turned out to be." Sarah Hawthorne was my mom's last client. She was a sweet girl in the beginning, very polite and seemingly nice. That all changed in two weeks. She went from sweet girl to crazy diva bitch. My mom dropped her as a client soon after. "Besides, aren't there other hotels he could stay at? It's Miami, I'm pretty sure there is someplace else he can stay.
"I admit that time I was wrong about Sarah, and no there are no other hotels. They're all booked because of some convention in town or something. C'mon Justin, he's seriously a nice guy. I've been working with him for the past six months and he's my favourite client to date." She reasoned, trying to find any way to win this argument.
"Well of course he's your favourite, he's the most successful of all of them. He's like ten times more famous than anyone you've ever managed. The nice façade is probably all an act, I mean he is an actor after all." I countered. I really wasn't looking forward to sharing my home with him and I was trying to come up with any excuse, pathetic or not, to get my mom to change her mind.
"C'mon at least meet him first. I swear if you don't like him we can find some other place for him to stay. It's only one week. Besides, must I remind you that that house is still technically mine?" I rolled my eyes. She loved holding that fact over me, especially when she's desperate to win an argument. I looked up at the ceiling and sighed. I had been living in the home I was in for as long as I could remember. My parents bought it when I was only 2 when they found our old apartment getting a little too small. When my father died when I was 18, the ownership of the house fell to my mother.
"Why can't he stay with you and Ben? You guys have that extra room." Ben was my stepfather. After my dad died, my mom went into a kind of funk and Ben helped her through it. He was her best friend and I guess he had always liked her. I liked Ben too so I wasn't really against it when Ben asked my mom to marry him. Although the house I stayed in was still owned by my mother, she never liked staying there since my dad died; she said it brought back sad memories. For me it was the opposite. I remembered all the good memories with my dad there, hence why I was still living in it.
"The bed is gone. The room's been converted into an office." She said. I sighed and decided it was time to throw in the towel seeing that I was just fighting a losing battle anyway.
"Fine, how long till you guys get here?" I asked
"Thanks hun. We'll be there in ten minutes. See you." She said before hanging up. I hung up and dropped my phone onto the couch. I placed my arm over eyes and let out a long breath. I knew I had to just suck it up and tough it out. I mean I didn't actually know the guy so he could really be nice. I scoffed at my own statement, finding it hard to believe even when it was coming from my own mouth. My admiration for celebrities had simply turned into a loathing over the years.
At the age of 22, my life was almost perfect. After completing culinary school, I took over my father's old restaurant business, with help from my best friend, Ryan Goode. Ryan had majored in business management so he helps run my business while I deal with the kitchen related stuff. Unknowingly, the restaurant took off in a few short months, becoming a must go to place in Miami for good food. Yep my life was almost perfect.
I say almost because I was missing one thing that I desperately wanted which was to find someone to settle down with. When I came out at fifteen to my parents and Ryan, their reactions were better than I could have hoped for. I wasn't effeminate or anything so it did shock them a little, but they supported me. In fact, it made me closer to my dad for some reason. We talked to each other more and just bonded. It was this bonding that really got me into cooking in the first place, because my dad was a chef too.
My mom worked as an acting agent, hence why I was going to be sharing my home with Chris McCray. When I was younger I used to think my mom had the coolest job, meeting different celebrities and all, but after meeting a few of her clients, I realized all of them were just snobs. What made it worse was that they weren't even famous. They were all just starting out in the business and none of them ever made it big. I'm not one to laugh at other people's misfortune but those douchebags deserved it. Now I'm not saying that everyone in the business is a bitch, there were definitely some nice people who were really down to earth, it's just that my mom had a knack for getting horrible clients who couldn't act to save their lives.
Well that was until Chris McCray of course. He was big, like Oscar buzz kind of big. He had started off on a T.V. sitcom and skyrocketed to fame. He moved on to make films of all kinds and had gotten himself quite a following. In fact, he's the biggest client my mom had ever worked with. What was making me dread that coming week, knowing my mother's track record with bad clients, was that a big star would most probably be an even bigger ass in comparison to the others.
I waited on my couch and true enough, ten minutes later I heard the rumble of a car engine pull into my driveway. I could always count of my mother to be horribly punctual; I guess a trait needed in her line of work. I went over to the door and opened it, leaning against the wooden doorframe. I watched as my mom exited her blue Toyota Prius, her perfectly straight auburn hair pulled back into a loose ponytail. She was a petite woman, roughly a 5'5" frame. A smile graced her features as she spotted me and I gave her a small wave.
I looked over as the passenger door opened and out came Mr Chris McCray. I looked him over, a bored expression on my face. I looked at his face, which was so familiar, what with all the magazines he had been on the cover of. His perfectly coiffed brown hair falling slightly onto his forehead, a perfectly shaped nose, leading to his lips which were framed by his god carven square jaw. At 21 years of age, he looked a lot older than he was, but in a good way. He was very handsome and had just the touch of a boyish cute charm.
He stood outside the passenger door, his brown eyes taking in the house in front of him. My house was a nice two-storey home, but from the front of the house, it looked smaller than it actually was. The house was in fact moderately big and had a homey feel to it, but it was nothing compared to the five star hotel he was supposed to be staying at. I waited for some smart comment about how it looks 'quaint' but it never came. Instead, he surprised me when he smiled. "Awesome, the place looks great Jo." He said to my mom.
"I thought you might like it." She replied. He nodded and continued his scan of the front of the house. He finally noticed me standing there and smiled, giving a small wave, to which I nodded my acknowledgment. He proceeded to the trunk to get his suitcase while my mom came up to me. She and Ben had a house in Miami but they both lived in L.A. most of the year, so it had been over eight months since I had seen her. She hugged me tight, pulling me into her vice like grip. "Hi hun, it's good to see you again."
"Good to see you too mom. This would be a nice reunion if not for the company." I said.
"Be nice." She whispered and I grumbled, pulling away. Chris came walking up behind her, pulling his luggage behind him. He stopped on the front porch and extended his right hand. From where he stood I could tell he was slightly taller than my 5'10".
"Hi. Chris McCray." He introduced himself.
"I know who you are." I replied, shaking his hand anyway, but not before he blushed at my statement. "Justin Brigs."
"Nice to meet you. Jo has told me a lot about you." He said.
"Has she now?" I said, raising my eyebrow at my mom, which she responded by shrugging her shoulders.
"So um...thanks for letting me stay here. I promise I will try to be as little of a hindrance as I can." He said. I was about to reply with a snarky comment when my mother, possibly sensing my intentions, interrupted.
"You're not a hindrance. Justin is happy to lend a hand, aren't you Justin?" She said, putting her arm around my shoulder. I looked at her and gave a fake smile.
"Okay? Um so where can I put my stuff?" He asked, motioning to his suitcase.
"Oh uh, your room is up the stairs, first door on your left. Bathroom's next to it if you want to freshen up." I said. He nodded and headed to his room to put his things away.
"Will you cut him some slack? He's not like the others. And if I recall, you once had quite a crush on him." She said making me blush.
"What did you tell him about me anyway?" I asked.
"Oh you know, this and that." She said, a smirk playing on her lips. "Just get to know him. You never know, you might like him."
"I'll try." I replied sarcastically. At that moment, Chris came back down the stairs.
"So Chris, just get settled and call me if there's anything. I'll be heading off. Don't forget to read your lines." She said.
"Yes Jo, I know what to do. Relax." He chuckled and waved goodbye.
"Okay then, I'll leave you two. Bye sweetie." She said, patting me on my shoulder as she walked to the door. I waved my goodbye as she closed the door behind her.
"She can be such a mother sometimes...but I guess you already knew that seeing that...you know, she is your mother." He stammered, before blushing again.
"Riiight." I dragged. He had never struck me as the nervous type.
"Sorry I'm not usually like this." He said, rubbing the back of his neck in embarrassment.
"Whatever you say." I walked over to my couch and sat down, turning the T.V. on. I sat there for a minute before I realized that he was still standing behind me. I looked at him with a puzzled expression and raised an eyebrow.
"Um well I'm gonna go unpack." He said.
"You know you don't have to report everything you do to me right?" I smirked, causing him to blush again and retreat to his room without another word. His behaviour totally crushed my preconceived notions about him. I had always expected him to be a very confident guy but he was acting nothing like how I imagined. I was perplexed to say the least. Still I couldn't help but wonder if it was all a front.
I spent the rest of the afternoon watching T.V. before starting dinner around 6. Chris stayed in his room the whole time, something that I wasn't complaining about. A couple of times I actually forgot he was there until heard his foot steps upstairs. By the time I was done with dinner it was a quarter past seven and I proceeded up to the guest bedroom and knocked on the door.
"Yeah?" He said.
"Dinner's ready. You wanna come down or something?" I asked.
"Yeah sure, just give me a minute." He said. I walked back down to the kitchen and prepared two plates. A few moments later, Chris entered the kitchen. "Smells good."
"Thanks, I hope you like seared cod." I said, placing a plate in front of him. It was a simple dish, a fillet of seared cod, a side salad and mashed potatoes. He sat down and looked at the food. He looked like he had something on his mind and I immediately thought it had something to do with my food. He could afford some of the best restaurants in the world so I thought perhaps my food wasn't up to his standard. I kept quiet and sat down, taking a first bite out of my fish. "You know it tastes better than it looks." I said.
"Right." He said, finally breaking his stare and taking a bite out of the food.
"I'm sorry if my cooking isn't up to your high standards." I said, a little bit too much malice in my voice. I hadn't meant to say it out loud, but it had slipped out. I knew it was cold the second it came out of my mouth.
"What? I wasn't...it's good." He said, looking down and pushing the food around with his fork. We ate in silence. I did feel bad for thinking the worst of him and the silence was not helping. I kept cursing myself for letting myself say that. As time went by, I realized that he didn't actually deserve my attitude. The way his face fell when I said what I said just made me feel horrible. He had done nothing wrong and the guilt was building up with the silence. By the time we both finished our food, the guilt was clawing at my insides. I glanced up slightly and saw him deep in thought, staring at the empty plate in front of him. I was about to apologize when he beat me to the punch.
"Did I do something wrong? Or is it just because I'm an actor?" He asked. I was a little taken aback.
"You know?" I asked, referring to my disdain for actors.
"Jo mentioned it. I did say she told me some things about you." He smiled.
"Oh...well what other things did she say about me?" I asked.
"Nothing much really. Just how you despise actors now." He chuckled and hearing it from someone else made me feel a little embarrassed. In my mind I had always justified my reasons for my prejudice, but hearing someone else say it just made it sound stupid to me. The silence returned and I kept myself busy by collecting our empty plates and putting them in the dishwasher. I stood over the sink when I was done, unsure of what to do. I looked at my hands while he looked at his. It was one of the most awkward moments of my entire life. Finally he said something to break the silence.
"Well if you don't want me staying here I swear it's fine. I can find somewhere else to stay. I don't want to impose on you." He said and I could tell he was genuine, which only made me feel even guiltier.
"No it's fine. I'm sorry though. You didn't do anything wrong and I'm just being a dick." I said.
"Nah, I understand where you're coming from. The Sarah Hawthorne type can be a bit to handle." He said, giving a small smile, making me chuckle. "But seriously though, not all of us are that stuck up. I like to think that I'm pretty humble...but I guess it's not very humble to say that." He said, rubbing the back of his neck for a second time that day.
"Are you always this articulate?" I asked, signs of a smile playing on my lips.
"No, not at all. I don't know what's wrong with me today. It must be me trying too hard to make a good impression." He laughed.
"Don't worry, good impression made." I said, to which he smiled and nodded thanks. He looked down at his hands and I didn't know what else to say. The awkward tension returned, thicker than before. I watched as his fingers traced the wood grain of the kitchen island top. My eyes followed the veins from the back of his hands, travelling up his well-built arms before disappearing underneath the red polo t-shirt he was wearing. The red fabric stretched across his chest, showing the outlines of his well-defined body. I shook the thoughts out of my head; it was awkward enough without popping a boner right there.
I tried thinking of anything to say to try to break the ice. Trying to get to know him would have made the week a whole lot more bearable. "So...um...what are you in town for?" I asked, the only question that popped into my head.
"Oh, well we need to reshoot some scenes from a movie I filmed here a few months back. The director wanted to make a few changes so yeah, we're back here to film some stuff." He said.
"So you had to fly to Miami just to shoot a few scenes?" I asked
"Yeah well that's the business. Besides, the scene is pretty intense if I do say so myself. Character driving stuff, really dramatic." He exaggerated to which I chuckled. Just then a phone started ringing from upstairs. "Oh that's mine, I should probably get that." I nodded before he took his leave.
I waited for him to disappear up the stairs before leaving my place at the sink, walking over to my couch and sitting down. I was still feeling a little guilty about treating Chris the way I did but I tried not to think about it. He was a genuinely nice guy and nothing like I had expected. I couldn't help finding all his nervous bouts cute in a way and I found myself smiling at the thought. My phone vibrated, ending my train of thought.
I pulled out my phone and read the text from my mom. "How's everything. You and Chris doing okay?" I chuckled and typed my response. "Yeah we're good. I guess I owe you an apology. You were right. He's nice." I sent it and a few seconds later the reply came. "Told you so." I smiled and rolled my eyes. It was so like my mother to gloat in my face whenever she won an argument. I was about to head to my room when the doorbell rang.
I pushed myself off the couch and walked over to the door. Before I got the door halfway open, Ryan slide through the opening, strolling in like he owned the place.
"Yeah sure just waltz right in." I said sarcastically.
"Hey Justin." He said, ignoring my comment and immediately heading for my kitchen. I shook my head and closed the door, following him. I leaned against the wall as Ryan stuck his head into my fridge. "Ugh you need to stock something other than soda. At least some juice or something." He said, before pulling a can of soda out. Ryan was something of a health nut at times and he was always on me about my choice of beverages.
"Well here's an idea. How about I drink whatever I want and you go drink your healthy junk at your house." I said and he replied with a nonchalant shrug, opening the can and swallowing a gulp of the soda in his hand.
"So anyway, what's up?" He said, leaning -against the counter.
"Not much. I hope your not thinking of crashing here tonight?" I said.
"Why not? It's Saturday night. I always crash here Saturday night." He said. It was sort of a tradition we had ever since high school. Even after he had gotten his own apartment, he always wanted to stay over at my house. As a matter of fact, he hardly spent his waking hours at his place. He say's it's because it's the size of a shoebox, which was an understatement seeing that it was more than big enough for a single bachelor.
"Spare bedroom's taken. I have a guest this week." I said.
"Oh really. Now is this 'guest' someone special or something?" He smirked.
"Geez man, I'm not talking about a boyfriend here." I rebutted.
"C'mon man I'm just playing. You do need a boyfriend though." He said and I rolled my eyes. "So who is it? Some distant family relative or what?" Just then Chris walked into the kitchen. Upon seeing Chris, Ryan's eyes went wide and his jaw dropped. His expression must have made Chris uneasy as he blushed.
"Um sorry, just getting a glass of water." He said, removing his ear buds, walking over to the sink and filling a glass of water. All the while, Ryan stared at Chris in disbelief.
"Ryan, Chris McCray. Chris, this is Ryan, my best bud." I said. Chris smiled and nodded but Ryan's face didn't change.
"Um...nice to meet you Ryan." Chris said, walking back to his room. Ryan muttered something incoherent in reply, although Chris was already out of earshot.