Hunters & PreybyAchtungNight©
Intro: Welcome to my latest tale of sexual fantasy. This one's a bit unusual. As always, I appreciate all feedback. A special thanks goes to my editor, who I shall not name. Any mistakes that are still here are solely my responsibility. A few mandatory disclaimers before we begin.
This story contains sexual action and adult themes. It is not meant to be read by those who are under age 18, offended by stories like it, or close-minded. It is fiction, even if some of the characters are based on real people. Those real people are vastly different from their characters in this tale. This story was written for entertainment purposes only. In addition, I apologize to any People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) members or sympathizers who read this story and are offended by certain aspects of its plot and the characters' attitudes towards your organization. I support the ethical treatment of animals, but I have a different definition of it than PETA does. I hope that you can understand. No real animals were harmed in the making of this story, of course.
I dedicate this story to the paparazzi. I have maligned the followers of that profession much in past stories, and in this one, I will do so again. They make an easy target for satire and casting as bad guys. Many people malign them, it's true. Nevertheless, I know that without them, the job of writing celebrity erotic fanfic, or indeed, keeping up with the doing of celebrities at all, would not be quite as easy. Therefore, I thank them for their work, especially when it's carried out with ethics, and am giving one of them a luckier, more sympathetic role in this story. Don't expect it to happen again anytime soon. :) On that note...
Hunters & Prey
Wilds of Southern Colorado, August 2008.
"And then in the strange way things happen, their roles were reversed from that day! The hunted became the huntress. The hunter became the prey! Conquest! Now you know who made the conquest! She, with all her female guile, led him helpless down the aisle. She had finally made a conquest..."
"Can we turn that shit off, Bax!" the blond weasel-faced man in the Honda's passenger seat yelled at his friend. Not waiting for an answer, he reached over and clicked off the radio. "I can't stand it, you know?"
"Oh, come on, Gary," the ponytailed and brown-bearded driver laughed while pushing up his sunglasses. "You used to love the White Stripes."
"Yeah, used to." Gary Parker sighed, pushing away thoughts of how he'd been thrown out of one of that band's concert afterparties last week. The security had not counted a press pass the same as a backstage pass so he had not been able to get close to Jack and Meg White before they escaped in their limo. It had been the latest in over two years worth of bad breaks for Gary and his friend Baxter Page. The pair were career Hollywood paparazzi.
Their long bout of recent bad luck had started in February of 2006, when they had nearly wrecked their rental car chasing Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson. That pair of lovelies had just posed nude together for the cover of Vanity Fair. They had left the magazine's offices with Rachel McAdams afterwards, for what purpose Gary and Bax could only guess. They had tried to follow the trio to find out, but due to the actresses having one heck of a chauffeur and New York City traffic, they had been forced to give up the chase. At least we didn't end up like several of our comrades, Gary recalled. They crashed their vehicles and a few even were injured. We lost the chase after the girls got themselves stuck behind a bus and we had to drive away. It was just our luck that we didn't get any really good shots during the pursuit.
Since then, we've kept trying to get really lucrative celebrity footage. But every time, the shots just weren't good enough. That or someone else got 'em first. We've missed all the recent great scandals. Lindsay and Samantha, Miley Cyrus, Brangelina, TomKat, we missed them all. Been going on like this for two and a half years. On occasion, we've even been caught and ejected from whatever venue we were in by the celebs' security. Like at the White Stripes concert or that club in London last month where I thought I spotted Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt headed up to a private room. This is driving me bonkers, and I'm sure Bax's feeling it just as bad. We're barely scraping by and our reputation is way down. We gotta change things, and soon.
Fortunately, Gary reflected, if this latest venture pays off, we will. A reliable source had tipped him and Bax that Eliza Dushku and some friends of hers would be deer hunting in the forests of Southern Colorado today. Eliza was a B-list actress, only famous for her infrequent guest spots on "Buffy" and "Angel" a few years ago and several low-budget and independent films and TV shows, but she was still a good target for them. Her low level of popularity meant there wouldn't be much competition, and their source had keyed them in to her party's route and their probable destination..
There was also a great buyer for their footage. Eliza had recently come under fire from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, for admitting she enjoyed deer and elk hunting on a talk show. The animal rights organization had posted a $5000 bounty for pictures of Eliza with a fresh kill, which they could use to assassinate her character to like-minded Hollywood powers. That amount of cash was not something Gary would pass up easily. Although part of him did think it might be better spent by PETA on improving animal shelters or something like that.
The paparazzi duo had gotten their tip shortly after hearing of the bounty. Bax had said the source was good. However, he'd cautioned it was also someone whom he knew only by a codename and hadn't heard from in a long time.
"Whatever," Gary had said with a shrug. "It should be fun and we'll make good money. That's all I need to know."
"It won't be easy, Gary," Bax had told him. "We'll have to use stealth. Eliza knows PETA's after her. If they catch us spying on them..."
"Bax, I'm from this area of Colorado, and you're an Eagle Scout. We can handle the wilderness. Just make sure you bring the right equipment. What's the worst that can happen, huh?" Bax had not bothered answering that.
The worse that can happen is we miss the best shot again; Gary now answered his own question in his thoughts. I've kinda gotten used to that over the past two years. It ain't that bad. I'm not really in this business for the money anyway. It's the thrill of the chase that appeals to me, and the fact that as paparazzi we can legally stalk the hottest women in the world and take their pictures. Nothing they can do about it. Being famous pretty much kills the right to public privacy. And going after a girl like Eliza Dushku, who I've had a crush on for 14 years? Heck, I'd even do that for free.
Bax slowed down as they neared a freeway exit. Ahead were a green Jeep Cherokee and two other cars. The Jeep was their target, but out of necessity, they were hanging back. They followed the Jeep down the off ramp and then paused as it turned into a parking lot by a sign that said "Doc's Hunting Preserve. Open 9-9".
"Just as Frostfire said," Bax said with a grin. He looked at Gary. "So you sure we can get in here without bows or rifles?"
"I checked the place out yesterday," Gary replied. "As far as they're concerned, we're nature hikers and photographers. We have the same rights to be in the park as hunters with lethal weapons do. As long as we know those hunters are in the area, and we pay our park fees, which I also did yesterday, we're fine."
"Okay." Bax took the turn into the parking lot and stopped as soon as he found a spot. Gary stuck the three-day park pass he'd acquired during his earlier visit on the car's dashboard. He then took his small Nikon camera out of its belt pouch and raised its lens to his eyes.
"There they are." He pointed at the four figures getting out of the Jeep.
"Yeah," Bax nodded. "Careful."
"Don't have to tell me," Gary said. They had left little to chance. In their camouflage jackets, T-shirts, and pants, he and Bax should blend well into the forest. They had an excellent cover story even if someone did see them. They were out to photograph animals and carried silent cameras without a flash so as not to spook the critters and ruin their shots. Spotting a beautiful woman like Eliza Dushku in the area was just their good luck. Who could blame them for wanting to get a few pictures of her too?
Bax trained his digital video camera on the Dushku hunting party and spoke into his lapel mike. "August 9, 1:45 pm. Female subject is Eliza Dushku, regular bad girl actress. She is best known as Faith from the Warner Brothers TV series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' and will soon be starring as Echo in the series 'Dollhouse' on Fox."
"'Dollhouse,'" Gary repeated with a smile, thinking of the show. Eliza played a secret agent programmed with skills relative to her missions. For secrecy, they erased her memory after each one. The fantasies a beautiful woman like Eliza undergoing a premise like that prompted had kept him up many a night.
"Three male subjects accompanying Eliza," Bax continued. "Subject A is the tallest of three, wears a camouflage baseball cap, and is Eliza's brother Nate. He is her most frequent companion. Subject B is a brown-haired white male, hatless, and is Brad Penny, Eliza's current boyfriend and pitcher for the LA Dodgers. Subject C is a black male, also hatless. Identity unknown."
Very large black male, Gary thought. He's probably security. Oh well, unless he's a serious woodsman, we probably don't need to worry about him. "You do the video, Bax," he reminded his friend. "I got individual shots." He snapped several frames of the party from inside their car. The tinted windows, he hoped, would keep them hidden from Eliza's group.
Bax continued narrating the background, just in case their footage ended up on TMZ or some other popular celebrity tabloid show. "Eliza recently admitted to being an avid deer and elk hunter on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live.' She's come under fire for this hobby from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, but seems undaunted. Brad Penny is believed to be the one who got her into hunting. Our sources told us that today they are in this park hunting for deer. And," he added as the party unloaded and donned combat harnesses with longbows and quivers of arrows from their Jeep's trunk, "I think that was just confirmed."
Damn, Gary mused, Eliza's looking good. He took several pictures of the actress. Like her male friends, Eliza was dressed in black denim jeans and a flannel jacket. The red fletchings of their arrows and Nate's cap were the only color visible. Her costume hugged her tight body well. Like Gary, she was in her late twenties and had aged very nicely. Her long black hair was unbound, framing the cherubic face Gary had first seen and admired in the 1994 Schwarzenegger action flick "True Lies." She had been in several comedies, horror flicks, and dramas since then, as well as television. "Buffy," "Angel," "Tru Calling," and now "Dollhouse," Gary listed them to himself. All this had gotten her much critical attention and fan acclaim.
Gary raised an eyebrow as Eliza looked towards their car. For an instant, he thought she'd spotted them and her dark brown eyes had locked with his. Then the moment was gone as she turned away. Nah, Gary thought. No way we'd get spotted that quick, even with all our recent bad luck.
Brad Penny spread out a map on the hood of the Jeep and spent a few minutes going over it with Eliza, Nate, and the probable security man. "Let me try the directional," Bax said, taking a small microphone out of his coat. It could pick up voices at a range of 200 yards with a clear line of sight. With a few adjustments, it soon caught the Dushku party's conversation. Bax and Gary both listened in on the receiver at Bax's belt.
"...and here's the best spot for buck I've found in this place," Brad was saying. "I bagged a six-pointer there last season and two the year before. Only a half hour's hike and Doc said it should be empty this time of day. Clarke, that okay with you?"
"No problem," the probable security man said. He scanned the area around them. "This place is isolated and doesn't look too crowded, so it should be fine. I'll keep an eye out."
"You better," Nate Dushku told him. "If some crazy PETA jerks show up and throw blood on my sister-"
"It'll wash out," Eliza cut him off. "Don't worry, bro, everything will be okay."
"I still think we should stop doing this for a while," Nate said. "Just till the heat's off."
"And miss the rest of the season?" Brad clapped him on the shoulder. "Are you crazy, man?"
"I don't want my sister getting any more bad press."
"It's okay, Nate," Eliza said as she rolled her eyes. "I don't give a shit what PETA says about me. People have been hunting deer thousands of years, and we'll probably be doing it for thousands more. If they can't deal with that, it's their problem. I get their viewpoint but I like hunting. I'm not giving it up."
"You'd think they'd at least award us points for using bows instead of rifles or shotguns," Brad said. "These are lots more humane for the animals. Precise shots to knock them down and then if they seem to be in a lot of pain..." He tapped an automatic pistol holstered at his hip.
"Oh dear," Bax whispered. He and Gary had both noticed that Eliza, Clarke, and Nate were all carrying pistols, too.
"They're gonna shoot the deer, pal," Gary told his partner, "not us. With luck, they're not even gonna see us." He took two more shots of Brad folding up the map and putting it away. "Come on, they're heading into the woods."
"We could just wait for them here, Gary," Bax said. "They come back to the Jeep with a dead deer, we got the shot."
"Then we'd miss points for not getting the actual kill," Gary reminded him. "Come on, where's your sense of adventure?"
"Back at the motel," Bax said and sighed. "It left when I saw those guns."
Gary shook his head and got out of the car. "Come on, let's go."
The other paparazzo shook his head. "You go. I'll stay here."
"Bax!" Gary pointed at the woods. "You're the one who knows how to use the video camera! Without you..."
"Gary, I'm not going," Bax snapped. He put his hands on the wheel. "I've never told you before, but my uncle got shot by a hunter when I was ten. Wrong place, wrong time, he made the wrong noise, and bang! I don't want that happening to me or you, but if you insist on going..."
"I do," Gary said, resisting the urge to call his partner chicken. Bax had a right to be scared. Gary was too. But there was no way he was passing up the opportunity to earn $5000. Bax could stay behind if he wanted. Gary just hoped his pictures would be enough.
"Okay, I'll go alone," Gary told Bax. "But if I don't come back in three hours, you're coming after me." He pointed at a nearby bulletin board that showed a map of the park. "Your buddy said they're taking Juniper Trail. I'll head after them till the first fork, then switch to Laurel Trail. Like the map shows, that trail runs parallel to Juniper for a bit. Then it heads down towards the river while Juniper goes up to a deer blind." He took a GPS palmtop out of his pocket and turned it on. "Once I hit the first waypoint I marked on here, I'll double back through the woods to the second. There's a clearing nearby along an animal path to the stream. The blind has a great view of that clearing, so it's probably their intended firing range. I'll take position on the hill at waypoint 2. Here, you take this- I have another I can use." He handed the GPS to Bax.
Bax grimaced as he took it. "Remind me again. Are there any dangerous animals in this park?"
Gary shrugged. "The usual. Wild hogs. Wolves and cougars. Maybe a bear or two. But ducks and deer are the main thing. The rangers try to keep down the predator population."
"Great. I hope they're doing a good job."
His partner chuckled. "If they're not, I'll soon find out."
"You be careful, okay?" Bax sighed. "Good luck, though. Maybe, just maybe, you'll get a shot of her killing Bambi's mom."
Not likely, Gary thought. The staff of these parks, and hunter professionalism, tends to frown on people shooting female deer, or too many male deer for that matter. He didn't say anything to correct Bax, though. The image was good for their clients who condemned deer hunting, and his partner's lapel mike was still on.
"Hurry up," Bax said as he waved him away. "They're heading in. You don't want to miss them." He clicked his camera off and looked away.
You could come with me, chicken, Gary almost said. Then he shook his head and turned back to face the Dushku party, who were already far across the lot. He focused his lens and snapped three quick shots of their backs, concentrating his lens on Eliza's curves. Then he headed after them, pausing only to nod at a ranger who greeted him halfway to the trails. Gary looked back at Bax just before he entered the woods, and saw his partner was on a cell phone. Who could he be calling? Gary wondered. Never mind. I'm gonna get these shots.
The trek through the woods passed uneventfully. Clarke, the security man, looked back a few times, but if he even saw Gary, his gaze never lingered. Gary took a few more pictures, but nothing really good. He wished he had asked Bax to give him the directional mike. With it he could have listened in the few times his quarries stopped to chat. As it was, Gary found himself lost in thought when not taking pictures. Places like this were full of memories for him. He had grown up in this area. As a youth, he had often gone hunting to parks like this with his dad. The challenge of hunting was something he'd appreciated and the meat too. He smiled, recalling Eliza had said on Kimmel that she always ate what she killed. That was the right way to hunt, Gary believed. The object should be food and the challenge, not sport and trophies. That way, it's part of the circle of life. If I hadn't given up the hobby upon entering journalism school, turning it in for a different sort of hunting, I might be doing it still. Not that I would ever tell PETA that, of course.
The Dushku group moved on down Juniper trail, while Gary switched to Laurel. Both parties kept their movements careful and quiet, not wanting any animals in the forest to be alarmed at their passage. Gary cast frequent glances towards Eliza as they moved. He sighed to himself once she had disappeared from sight.
Oh well, he thought. Soon I'll be seeing her again, and this time it will be for the money shots. Smiling, he checked his GPS and noted he had reached Waypoint 1. He then headed into the forest itself. Here he stepped carefully, listening to the area around him. The trees enclosed him, cutting off any indirect view angles. The only noises were birdcalls and the rushing water of the nearby stream. Good, Gary thought. I haven't been spotted yet. Just a little bit more to go.
Stepping carefully, he rounded a tree and then climbed a hill to the second waypoint. Gary looked around once he was there, hoping for a good spot from which to shoot. He thought of climbing a tree first, but discarded that idea quickly; it would be too noisy getting up there and even worse coming down. Instead, he waddled towards a clump of bushes near the hill's edge. He knelt behind them and panned his camera around the area just below. Soon he picked out the clearing, and with another two passes, the deer blind above.
Man, Gary let out a breath. Something about being out here in the wilderness is getting me all nostalgic. I feel like my past and present are joining as one. And over there is a girl I've liked so long, a girl I've fantasized about so many times. I have to be content with loving her from a distance. I know there's no way I could ever get close to her. On the job's bad enough for possible reactions, and if I tried to do it off the job, well, I don't think I could ever convince her I was off the job. That's why paparazzi can't date actresses, or, it sometimes seems, anyone. I haven't had a steady relationship in years. That's one of many things that disappoint me about this line of work. If the rewards weren't usually worth it... He stopped, seeing something come into his lens below.