tagRomanceDynamic Hollywood Newcomer

Dynamic Hollywood Newcomer

byEgmont Grigor©

CHAPTER 1

A missile thudded on to the blackboard above Miss Sandra Clemow's head as she was writing on the classroom backboard and bounced to drop into her hair -- today the color was red.

Sandra turned and as expected all heads were studiously down and with these kids that was as rare as snow in mid-May.

"Close you books and look out the window and compose something in your minds that could possible amount to literary thoughts," she said, and sat on her chair and sulked. Her students failed to comprehend her mood and that was not surprising as they failed to comprehend many things. Most of them looked apprehensive.

Sandra, a New Zealander who'd taught English in several international schools for ex-pats, mostly American, had been head-hunted by an exclusive girl's school in Boston to fill a difficult to fill post -- a teacher of Victorian literature -- and had accepted the post because American residency privileges came with the position. She'd met the two-year condition to stay in that position tagged to her appointment when a new head mistress arrived and one of the several changes made to the curriculum was the elimination of Victorian literature. Sandra was transferred to the Math and Science Department under protest so resigned. And now, on this morning at the horror school in New York where she'd struggled to teach American contemporary literature to bottom-level students who's interest in the subject bordered on zero, Sandra decided she'd had America and would hitch across the country to LA and catch an aircraft home.

The experience in crossing the vast terrain had been astonishing colorful and interesting with some mini side-adventures and only a couple of nasty scares. She usually only hitched with mid-aged to elderly women but one could not always be choosy. This was one such occasion as it was hot, she was dripping and no one else had stopped for her.

Sandra stood at the open window ready to run.

"Yes, I am heading for LA."

"Well get in, this is your lucky day," said the suited dude with no tie. He looked arrogant and his suit was expensive as was his vehicle. "I have a beer in the cooler -- great day for a cold beer."

Sandra occasionally drank beer but this was a set-up for unwelcome attention, she was being lured. How did she know, well she didn't know did she? It had to be all about trust. Or the absence or erosion of it.

He had lovely green eyes. God girl, men with green eyes went after vulvas uninvited.

"No, I'm not married -- I'm divorced -- and I don't go to church or possess some sort of good conduct card. Yes I drink and play poker and I seduce women. But hear this: I don't molest women and anyway you look sweaty and therefore not for me. If you are coming you'll sit on a rug and stay away from me -- this suit is expensive. Get it?"

Sandra opened the door. Clearly the guy was interested more in his suit than in her.

The guy opened the trunk by remote. "My name is Nick and yours is...?"

"Sandra."

"Well Sandra, toss your pack into the trunk and fetch a couple of beers from the chiller unit."

"You're not permitted to drink and drive."

"I'll toss one back while parked here. Get it?"

"Yes, but you could toss in the word please?"

"Please, please, please Sandra. A beer before I expire. I'm not carrying water."

"But I am."

"Don't fuck up for me Sandra. I desire and long, flavorsome sip of quality beer."

"Yes sir, coming right up sir."

"Cut the sarcasm otherwise I'll begin liking you. Usually I have beautiful blonde women around me with brains the size of peas."

"Either that or they anticipate you expect them to be like that and be ready to open their legs."

"We have 200 miles to go Sandra and already I sense you and I am going to have some deep conversations. I like it. But right now get the fucking beers, PLEASE."

Well, well, she thought. A green-eyed smart-ass with a bit of character and unlike many Americans used the F-word normally in conversation. Handsome, well-heeled and possibly not a menace. This could be fun and he might take her around Hollywood if she was lovely to him; how lovely would depend how well he measured up.

The beer dripped down her throat like liquid gold. Sandra was sure no women's drink tasted that good, given the environment, and told him that.

Nick laughed and said good thinking. "I can think of another environment when a woman's drink comes to the fore -- a half-finished jug of Martini, soft music and dim lights when, as you put it, a woman is about to open her legs for me."

Sandra blushed and wished she'd not been so cheeky like that to a total stranger but he moved on instead of pressing for a comment.

"Your American is patchy, are you English?"

"No, try getting that brain of yours working." God, there she was being cheeky again.

"Australian?"

Sandra was quite surprised. "Actually next-door, New Zealand. Do you know it?"

"Never been there but we supply product there."

At the casual way he said product Sandra wondered if he meant sex aids.

"To the Canterbury City Council in fact."

"You mean the Christchurch City Council in Canterbury."

He grinned and finished his beer and went to toss it out the window.

"Don't you dare, our precious land is not to be used as a refuse dump. Hand that to me -- and that stupid childish test about my knowledge of New Zealand was pathetic. Go check my rear outside pocket in my backpack where you'll find my American and New Zealand passports establishing my identity."

"Sorry. You are aware I picked you up, so am certain of nothing about you."

"God, how can you be apologetic and offensive in the same sentence?"

Nick started the car and grinned, "This is going to be one hell of a road run to LA."

They talked and talked with a great many laughs and Sandra knew Nick was taking a more than casual interest in her and once he even reached across and gently stroked her cheek without saying anything. Very strange.

As they began descending on the last leg towards the carpet of bright lights Sandra, exhausted from three weeks on the road, fell asleep. She stirred when she felt herself being carried and then Nick's reassuring voice telling her to sleep on.

Sandra awoke in the morning and stared at the ornate ceiling. She was in a hotel.

There was a knock at the door and she said brightly, "Come in."

A middle-aged woman entered followed by a woman about twenty-eight, Sandra's age, carrying a breakfast tray.

"This is lovely. Where is Mr...um?"

"Mr Love ma'am. He goes to work at 6:00. Pass Miss Sandra her tray Belinda. We apologize for the use of your first name but Mr Love had forgotten your surname."

"Men have a habit of doing that, don't they?" Sandra laughed and thought the women looked horrified.

"I'm Mrs Roberts and Belinda is Miss Rice and I assure you Mr Love doesn't forget names. Obviously he has entered into a relationship with you without knowing your name."

"I did invite him to read my passports."

"You have more than one passport? Are you a special agent?"

"No, I'm a hitchhiker. Please tell me the name of this hotel?"

Both women looked at her disbelievingly.

"It's Crago Mansion, Miss Sandra, Mr Love's home and you are in the Princess room in the guest wing. Mr Love has brought home, countless women -- we are too polite to count -- since his marital break-up and none have ever been invited to stay the full night and none have ever seen the Princess room. Please take this envelope and buy clothes. Belinda will accompany if you wish; she is very modern and knows all about style."

"Thank you Belinda, yes please. What on earth is this -- it's hundreds of dollars?"

"My instructions were to give your $3000 to spend on clothes and to get a lot done to your hair. Miss Sandra, you are either a special agent or a dispossessed princess. There can be no other explanation. None at all."

"What an arrogant tart," Sandra snapped and when Belinda moved to smother a laugh Sandra said kindly, "Loosen up when you're with me Belinda. Now tell me what's this all about?"

"You were in a state of exhaustion when Mr Love brought you in last night."

"I was travel weary, long, long days on the road and tramping off to see some of the natural sights. So why am I here?"

Belinda colored and said she'd rather not say.

"Come on Belinda, cough up. I don't have to slap you around do I? Er, that's me just kidding."

"The only explanation I have is Mr Love is besotted with you. You must have pleased him enormously."

"Belinda, I can tell you I don't think I'm anything exceptional at sex and I deny I've had sex with Mr Love, er Nick. Although I was deeply asleep, when I woke up I would have known somebody had had sex with me, wouldn't I?"

"This conversation is making me nervous."

"Belinda, I need someone around me I can trust. If you were asleep, even drunk, and were shafted you'd know when you woke up? The truth please."

"It's happened twice and I knew -- I had to clean up and walked with that familiar slightly stretched feeling."

"Exactly. Do you believe my denial?"

"Absolutely."

Belinda was asked to make a hair appointment but when drying Sandra's back after the guest emerged from the bath said Sandra might have to wait days for an appointment time.

"Call a salon and say you wish to make a time for today for a hair restyling and re-coloring for Mr Nick Love's sister. Give the phone number. They'll say they'll get back to you as they will wish to check out the phone number."

"But this is improper."

"Just a teeny lie Belinda but I'm not going to tell Nick how I managed to get a same-day hair appointment and you're not and as sure as hell the salon is not going to phone him to say they'll done his sister's hair."

"Very well but it won't work."

"It will work, Belinda. They'll offer three times, please accept the earliest time."

Belinda made the call and was looking horrified at the awful clothes Sandra had pulled out of her backpack and had asked would Sandra consider wearing some of Belinda's clothes when the house phone went. She answered quickly before anyone else did and said 10:30 would be fine.

"Mr Love said you came from New York but you seem to know how LA works?"

"It's not rocket science darling. Please run and fetch me a pair of low boots, cut-offs and a top that I can stretch over my size larger boobs and show my midriff."

"How do you know how younger LA women..."

"I go to movies, lots of them. Get it?"

"Yes I do. God, you are so worldly."

"What are you Belinda?"

"Born and raised in Nebraska with a college degree in English Lit. I came to Hollywood to try to become an assistant screenwriter, but have failed."

"Are we near Hollywood?"

"We're living within the district. Your salon is just off Rodeo."

"Oh God, Rodeo Drive. I've fallen into Heaven."

"I really don't think so. Hollywood stinks."

Sandra hugged her new pal and told her not to be a poor loser. "You lack worldliness just yet to be a screenwriter. You ought to try for one-off scrip rewrite jobs where what is required is a general tidy up, more direct writing and the injection of greater sense of drama. Editing people will take care of grammar and literals."

"You really think so?"

"Yes of course, you pull in a contract and I'll work on it with you. I've worked teaching English and have a masters in English Lit with honors."

"Oh God, I've landed in Heaven, I think."

They laughed and when Belinda returned with the requested clothes she had to pull the cut-off shorts on to Sandra and Sandra pulled on her thickest pair of socks overdue for a wash to wear with the boots that were a little loose.

"You look sensational. I must say you wash up to become pretty."

"Thank you Belinda, your word-power rather lacked at the finish."

"I meant to say beautiful when groomed."

"Ah darling, kiss-kiss. What are pal you are. Since the boss is out to seduce me let's find the clothes to do the job for him. He may have trouble getting it up after the high life he leads."

Belinda looked horrified. "Oh no, you've got it wrong. He's dropped the partner he was taking tonight -- well found someone else for her actually -- and he's taking you instead. It is a white-tie charity fund-raising dinner. Some of the big stars will be there to show cleavage or their new guy or both and male stars will be showing off their pregnant girlfriends."

"Oh God, please coach me intensely Belinda, I have no idea. I'm only a little school teacher from little old New Zealand."

"Oh fallen out of Heaven, have we?"

"Cheeky. Where's New Zealand Belinda?"

"Um, somewhere in Europe?"

"I know enough about your State of Nebraska to surprise you Belinda. We do really have to help each other to grow."

Mrs Roberts looked at Miss Sandra, held the doorway for support and said weakly, "I'll fetch you a coat."

"Oh come on Mrs Roberts, this is the 21st Century and this is Hollywood."

"Mr Love will be angry with me for allowing you loose like that."

"Hush Mrs Roberts. Go a lie down and I promise I'll do nothing to get my photo in the newspaper

* * *

Nick's ex-wife Virginia, heiress of the late Nexus Crago and his late wife June, was the controlling shareholder of Crago Industries International and after ditching Nick held on to him as president of the corporation because her consultants failed to find anyone she believed she would trust or was as competent as Nick. 'Let's stick with the slime ball we have rather than bring in a misfit,' she told her board, with Nick outside the room of course but executive directors on Nick's side were quick to inform him of what his outgoing wife, who was the chairman, had said.

Nick was in the boardroom with executive directors having a drink after an executive meeting and with the TV news running on the big screen when Nick held up his hand and conversation died. The headlines were being read and up flashed a photo of a blonde with a purple streak through her hair. Nick had recognized the nose and the name, Sandra Clemow. He remembered now Sandra had called herself Clemow.

"What's she on TV for?" he demanded.

No one had heard but company chief administrator and an executive Jennifer Bliss said it could be because of her breasts -- weren't they great in that teenager outfit she was wearing.

"Right talk but shut-up everyone when that item is screened."

It was the final item.

"And now for our daily something different item. Freelance video cameraman Bruno Katz caught this little cameo just before 1:00 today on Rodeo Drive when the alarms at Peters the Jewelry People went off and two burly hoods rushed out with trays of diamond watches and nothing between them and their waiting getaway car apart from this cute blonde New Zealander Sandra Clemow, visiting from New York and her pal Belinda Wray who lives locally and rewrites scripts. Sandra reputedly said, 'Hold my handbag Belinda, here we go'. Here's how the young Kiwi lady described what she did:

"I stepped into the bigger guy and kicked him in the nuts. He went down and the other guy caught me with a roadhouse in the eye but he was off-balance, so I gave him my best karate chop from schoolgirl days in the throat and he hit the cement vomiting. Some good people sat on the thugs until the cops came. I jumped into the getaway car and the driver raised his hands in the air, although I wasn't carrying, and sat petrified while I reached across him and removed the keys. The cops arrived and attempted to also arrest me but I told them to [bleep] off. That's all there was to it really. Piece of cake."

"There you are folk. This is your news from LA tonight. Piece of cake really," smiled the male news reader while his female associate said, "They sure breed them tough in Noo Zealand."

"Ohmigod Nick," said Jennifer. "That Belinda is on your house staff and that suggests that New Zealand woman is staying with you guys.

"Well yes," Nick hedged.

"Guys, I think we have just been looking at the new Mrs Nick Love."

"Shut up Jennifer or I'll pin back your ears."

"Do that Nick and I'll call in Wonder Woman Sandra to sort you out."

Everyone laughed and after another drink Nick went off to his office suite to shower and get ready to go to the Gloria Swanson Center where he was due to meet Sandra at 8:00 for cocktails. Meanwhile, at Crago Mansion, Belinda was still comforting Mrs Roberts who'd all but fainted at the appearance of Sandra and Belinda on TV.

"You only instructed me to keep her out of the newspapers Mrs Roberts, you said nothing about TV. And I don't think it's correct to say that I allowed Mr Love's guest to be exposed to danger. That TV clip clearly showed it's the thugs in Hollywood who are in danger as long as Sandra is in town."

Soon after Nick reached the center he received a call from Belinda who put on Mrs Roberts to speak to him. "Everything is fine Mr Love but I'm keeping Sandra back with an ice pack over her left eye. It looks dreadful."

"Well perhaps she should remain at home."

"I told her that but she said if I attempted to stop she'd wop my one. One does that mean?"

"I can only guess and my other guess is you won't want to know. Tell her it doesn't matter if she decides not to come but if she does she must be here to be seated by 8:55 because the event is being broadcast live on TV."

Chapter 2

Belinda delivered Sandra to Nick standing at the door. Sandra looked stunning in an emerald silk dress with a loosely laced front from the waist up that showed half of both breasts attempting to squeeze out.

"Your, your..." He couldn't get it out.

"Breasts? Sorry Nick, they are a lively pair."

"No, your eye."

"It looks worse than it feels Nick, believe me. Don't look at it and you won't feel a thing. Look at my tits instead, I won't mind."

As they entered an auditorium a beautiful PR woman advanced on them. "Miss Clemow? I'm Angelina Honeywell."

"Yes I'm Sandra Clemow and hello, this looks a thunderously exciting and colorful event."

"Thunderously? Well perhaps. Congratulations on your outstanding performance as an honorary citizen of Hollywood this afternoon. Many of us watched it on TV. May we have something off you to auction?"

"You could have my bra but I'm not wearing one, ditto panties. The store clerk said not to wear panties as it would show a panty line."

"Rightly so. Anything else?"

"I know -- an earring. Other people here tonight with money to throw around may have seen me on TV this evening cracking those two guys. When it is being offered have a spotlight hit me and I'll take off the second earring to increase the offer to a pair. That may get something going."

"It very well could Miss Clemow. My other responsibility is to alert you that you may be asked to stand during the introduction of VIPs."

"Me a VIP? You have to be kidding. Oh, I get it, I'm with Mr Love, one of your principle sponsors, as I learned on the way here."

"Have a great night Miss Clemow."

"You too Angelina. You are so beautiful with a figure to die for."

"I am dying attempting to retain it," Angelina smiled. "You should have a screen test, not for your looks but for your whole being and your smart way of talking. You have it all."

As they walked arm-in-arm to the top table, press and PR cameras flashing at them, Nick said, "You did unbelievably well with Angelina."

"I just spoke to her like any other woman. Who is she?"

"A supermodel from Chicago, brought in especially for tonight. Usually she's treated with huge deference. She appeared to be really taken by you speaking to her as if she was an ordinary person."

"Well isn't she?"

"Oh, if you only knew."

People at the top table turned in their chairs to be introduced to Sandra but all seemed to know her, which she thought was strange. When she and Nick were seated the introductions of VIPS began and Sandra was pleased to see Angelieque taking the lead role.

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