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Authors: Rebecca Norinne Caudill

Lucky Star: A Hollywood Love Story

BOOK: Lucky Star: A Hollywood Love Story
8.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

© 2016 Rebecca Norinne Caudill


All Rights Reserved.


No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without prior written approval. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.


This novel’s story and characters are fictitious. Certain institutions, companies, and public locations are mentioned to add authenticity to the time and place, but the characters involved are wholly imaginary.


To obtain permission to excerpt portions of the text, please contact the author at
[email protected]








I told myself I wasn’t going to do it – was absolutely
going to let it happen – but sometimes, despite your best intentions, you can’t control who you fall in love with. You fight it as best you can because deep down you know it’s a bad idea to go down that path, but sometimes you meet someone and you just can’t stay away. Someone who makes you feel something unlike anything you’ve ever felt before ... and ... well, you’re doomed.

Lord knows I tried to stay away. He’d walk into a room and I’d walk out of it. He’d innocently put his hand on my shoulder and I’d move out from under his touch. Don’t get me wrong, I was never rude about it but I had to establish physical distance for self-preservation’s sake.

Somehow I was able to convince myself he wasn’t singling me out, that I wasn’t any more special to him than anyone else. I tried to rationalize it every way I could because I didn’t want to admit what was really happening.

He touches everyone like that
, I’d say to myself.
He’s just that sort of guy. Friendly, tactile

And yet I stepped away from each interaction I had with him inadvertently warm and breathless.

Before Cameron, I’d never been so close to a man that I’d call him before I’d reach out to any of my girlfriends. And I’d certainly never thought about any of my other male friends as “my best friend so I had now idea what to expect where the relationship was concerned. You heard all the time about men and women not being able to remain completely platonic, but before Cameron, I’d never understood why that was. Having a guy as a best friend threw me for a loop often, but it was the
stuff – the heady stuff – that knocked me upside my head.

At first our friendship was so easy because
was so easy and comfortable to be with. Over time we fell into a really happy, relaxed routine. Sometimes we’d hit the gym together and he even trained me to box. Or he’d show up at my office, my favorite coffee in hand. And then there were the times he’d walk my dog, Duke, when I had to work late. We introduced our friends to each other and
became friends, our entire group going on ski vacations or spending holidays together when we couldn’t – or, in my case, wouldn’t – make it home to our families. After awhile, everyone jokingly called us Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.

Basically, we were thick as thieves and it really was the best kind of friendship. 

But then it all changed. At first it was little things you might not notice unless you were actively looking for them. His hand would rest on the small of my back just a little bit longer than was strictly necessary as he’d guide me through the bar. Or he’d catch my eye across a crowded room and smile at me. I mean
smile, his eyes alight with something … more. Or he’d call me, he’d explain, for no other reason than just to hear my voice.

So like I said, at first I tried to stop myself from feeling that way about him … and then I simply didn’t. I let that blossoming love sweep me away on a tidal wave of longing and unfulfilled desire. And you know what? It wasn’t terrible, though it may sound that way. At least it wasn’t at first. I felt lucky just to have someone as remarkable as Cameron in my life, as my friend.

But I hadn’t quite anticipated how our relationship would eventually play out. Back then I thought for certain it’d be one sided; I’d drool over him from afar while he went about his life none the wiser.

Because, you see, it’s a simple fact that guys like Cameron don’t fall in love with girls like me.

Before you start to worry, let me assure you mine is not a sad tale of woe. The truth is, aside from the fact that I’m what you’d call chubby, I lead a very good life. And while I’ve never had a problem with the way I look, in Hollywood being chubby was a Very Bad Thing. Perceptions are starting to change for the better, but we curvy girls still have a long way to go before we’ll truly be accepted here in La-La Land. While there are handful of models who’ve taken the fashion world by storm, it’s still pretty dire. While I thank the world a thousand times over for the glamorously voluptuous Christina Hendricks, until Jennifer Aniston can eat a couple of burritos and speculation not run rampant that she’s pregnant, we aren’t there yet.

Would things be easier if I were
and chubby? Hell yeah! I might even try to get in on that plus-size model game myself. But I’m not so I can’t. Instead, I sit back and bemoan the fact that most representations of women like me are limited to the best friend, the funny bridesmaid, or one of the guys. We’re never the leading lady because we’re not viewed as being pretty or desirable enough. As if being pretty and chubby were mutually exclusive. Nope, you can’t be fat
pretty. Admit it, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s okay though. Like I said, I’m happy with who I am. I have long, naturally auburn hair and bright green eyes I get from my dad’s Irish heritage, and not to brag (okay I’m
bragging), but I have perfect skin that models and actresses pay surgeons and dermatologists thousands of dollars to emulate. Before you hate me too much, I already know I can’t take credit for any of it. It all comes down to the mixture of my parents’ DNA. Aside from my height and abundant curves, I know I hit the genetic jackpot. Sure, I’d love to look better in a bathing suit but what woman doesn’t? I have friends who are a size two who bemoan their cellulite every time bathing suit season approaches. (Moral of the story? Bathing suits are from the devil.) So what if I’m a size 14 and a smidge under five and a half feet tall? The only problem is, I’m just not the type of woman handsome men like Cameron want in their beds.

Normally that wouldn’t be a problem … except I want it so goddamn badly.

So yeah, that lovely, wonderful, easygoing friendship with him? Not so harmless it turns out. It’s hard – I mean
really, really hard
– being in love with your best friend and unable to do anything about it.








I see I’ve confused you. Let me back up a little bit. My best friend, Cameron? The guy I’m secretly in love with? He’s what you might call famous. So famous, in fact, that his face is on buses in major cities across the globe and if you’ve been to New York City recently, you’ve probably seen a 40-foot-tall poster of him smack dab in the middle of Times Square. He’s
level of famous.

But it wasn’t always that way. You see, when we first met a few years ago he was just another good looking struggling actor who couldn’t seem to land any of the roles he auditioned for. And he’d auditioned for them all.

Oh Christ, there I go doing it again, giving you only part of the story. I should probably tell you who I am.

Hi, I’m Sarah Travers. I’m 33 years old, obviously single, and I’m the personal assistant for a bad ass Hollywood director. I used to work for smaller production companies responsible for some of the worst reality TV shows you could imagine, and my job was to placate their Z-list celebrities. After a particularly disastrous reunion show, I simply couldn’t take it anymore and I left that world behind.

Through a friend of a friend I managed to land a series of odd jobs for some of SoCal’s rich and powerful and based on word-of-mouth about my trustworthiness, I ended up working for Shanna Johnson – wife of director Broderick Johnson – managing her social calendar and basically keeping her life moving. (Confession: I honestly believe all those socialites Hollywood wives found me “trustworthy” because they didn’t worry their husbands would try to seduce me. Fortunately, they’d been right, and that had led to a reputation as being someone who wouldn’t screw them over.) Eventually, Broderick saw how competently I ran his wife’s life and the next thing I knew he hired me right out from under her elegant nose. Which, come to think of it, wasn’t so trustworthy after all.

So that brings me to today. I’m good at my job, my employer trusts me, and I get paid well doing a job I don’t entirely hate. Just don’t ask my mom about it. Good lord. To hear her go on (and on) about it, you’d think I was a stripper or something. In her opinion, the fact that I’m not using my college degree is the worst thing any child ever had the audacity to do. As if I was going to be able to find a job with a B.A. in Art History. Ha! I’m sure there are thousands of available jobs for people who love to paint just waiting to be gobbled up.

But don’t try telling her that. She’d refute every point you made with a story about a friend of a friend’s daughter who knew so-and-so and how
was now working in x, y, or z. It was always the same tale and it always boiled down to the fact that I was failing her.

And don’t even get me started on how she feels about me being “well past thirty” and single. She talks about me like I was a veritable spinster. Ancient. Once, during a particularly nasty Ladies Who Lunch I’d attended against my better judgment, I mentioned to one of her cronies that I didn’t know if I wanted to have kids and my mother literally started crying at the table, telling me in between choking sobs how I was depriving her of life’s greatest joy.

So now we just don’t talk about my personal life anymore. In fact, I’m avoiding talking to her altogether. It’s just too damn exhausting having to defend myself or make up stories to placate her neurosis. While I love my mom, sometimes I don’t actually like her very much. I blame my dad for her histrionics since he’s always indulged her every whim and now you’d think the world orbited around Jane Travers.

Anyhow … what was I saying? Oh right, working for Broderick was how I met Cameron.

Like I said before, he’d auditioned countless times for many roles but never seemed to catch a break. It wasn’t like he was dismissed outright, however. That might have made things easier. Instead, he perpetually came in second place, the runner up for the “role of a lifetime.” I knew for a fact Broderick had almost cast him twice in the last three years. And he certainly has the looks for the job. Did I already mention that? No, but obviously you guessed as much. Sadly, he’s so good looking that sometimes his attractiveness is the reason he
get a part. Ridiculous right? Still, it’s no big secret in our office that a handful of directors have passed on him for a role because they didn’t think him capable of embracing a dirtier, gritty look.

Picture it: six-foot-five and every inch of him honed to physical perfection, not an ounce of fat on his body. He’s all lean muscle, like an Olympic swimmer. His shoulders and washboard abs could make girls swoon. Actually, they have. His body alone should be enough to catapult him ahead of his competition, but that’s not where the gloriousness that is Cameron Scott ends.

I don’t usually go for blonde guys, but on him it works. His hair is like spun wheat or corn silk – perfect really since he’s a born and bred Midwesterner – and it has a slight natural wave that keeps it from laying flat against his head. And his eyes? Well, when he looks at you … that deep, piercing blue feels like it’s drilling down deep and analyzing all that you are, all you want to be. His voice? God, that voice. When he speaks to you it’s like you’re the only person in the room, but you have a hard time paying attention because you’re distracted by chiseled cheekbones that could cut glass. How I envy those damn cheekbones. And his smile? Well, that’s probably his best feature. He’s just a supremely happy person and it shows in the play of full, kissable lips as they slash across his face in cheerful amusement.

See? Utter hotness.

But getting back to how we met and became friends … I’d see Cameron around town, at casting calls, and then in callbacks and he was always unfailingly polite, effortlessly sweet to everyone he met. He treated us all with respect, regardless of where we were in the pecking order – the girl who brought him a glass of water was just as important as the director he was hoping to impress. I guess you could say he was untouched by the cynicism of Hollywood and that was what first caught my attention. Well, outside of his looks I mean. He was gorgeous and he was charming and every time I saw him I’d walk away smiling. He just made you feel good, you know?

All that changed, though, on the day he totally blew an incredibly important audition for a director whose offices were down the hall from ours. He was the last call back of the day and everyone in the building knew the director was in a foul mood. When it was Cameron’s turn he came in and approached the role in a way that pissed the director off, big time. The guy totally chewed Cameron out, grilling him on why he chose to do a scene in a particular way and asking him repeatedly what his motivation was. To hear it told, Cameron never faltered under the guy’s scrutiny and was gracious under the pressure of interrogation. He never wavered, didn’t kiss the director’s ass, or ask to do the scene again. (I can’t tell you how many times
regularly happens just before an actor or actress spouts some sad excuse about why they fucked up.)

Anyhow, by then I’d frequently seen him around town and in some cases had even hung out with him tangentially through our many mutual acquaintances. We were on a first name basis, saying hellos and whatnot when our paths crossed, but we’d never had a real conversation or anything.

Until that day.

I was walking to my car when I saw him in the parking lot and I could tell right away from his body language he was upset. Before leaving the office I’d heard what had happened from another PA and I felt really bad for him since the role would have been a huge break. Most guys in his position would have been stomping around, screaming into their phones about what a dick the director had been but not Cameron. He was just … standing there, leaning against his pickup truck, looking lost. Like he didn’t know what to do next. If I had to put a label on it, I’d say he looked like a man who was seriously considering packing up and heading back to wherever it was that guys like him came from. Kansas, maybe. Or Nebraska. Definitely the Midwest.

When he caught me watching him I couldn’t just walk on by. Even though I’d clearly interrupted a moment he wouldn’t want anyone to see, it was only polite for me to say something, even if I didn’t quite know what that should be in a situation like that. I ended up

“Hey,” I said. (Eloquent, right?)

“Hey Sarah.”

And then we just stood there. I had no idea how to make him feel better. I didn’t even know if it was my place to do so, but I couldn’t let him stew over the situation either. He was a good guy who was upset and I thought I might be able to help him see the situation in a different light. 

“So, that was brutal back there.”

He let out a sardonic laugh. I’d never felt the cynicism in him that was so prevalent in other guys trying to make it in Hollywood, so to hear it then was a bit shocking.

“Yeah, brutal is one way to put it.”

“Look, I know you’re pissed off but I from what I gather, you were right back there. Fat lot of good it does you to hear me say it though, right?”

His stance changed, a slight tightening of his eyes and a clenching of his shoulders. “From what you heard?”

Shit. I’d basically revealed we’d been gossiping about him.

Smooth move Sarah, real smooth.

Despite the obvious fact that he wasn’t pleased to learn it, I could sense he wanted to know what I’d heard, see if I could provide any extra insight into what the director said after he left. Whatever it was, he’d become fully attuned to me, at what I had to say. Maybe that’s why I kept on talking. I shouldn’t have. Really, really shouldn’t have, but when a gorgeous guy – no, scratch that, a
guy – paid attention to every word that left your mouth, that could be a pretty powerful thing.

“My friend said your instincts about who the character is and how to approach his backstory was better for the role than some other interpretations they saw today. You were right; he can’t be so one-dimensional. The way the director is playing it though is the safe bet.”

I should have shut up after that. It wasn’t my place to contradict what a director wanted to do with his movie, and if word got back to Broderick I was bad-mouthing his colleague I’d be in so much trouble. But something about Cameron, about the way he’d always treated everyone around him, about the way he always appeared so unfailingly kind, made me want to take that chance.

“Look. I know it sucks and you probably don’t care what I have to say, but they’re going to make a movie critics won’t like and you’ll be saved from being the actor who’s at fault.”

I couldn’t say at what point during our conversation his stance had gone from weary to interested, but at some point I had put my bag down next to me and had joined him in leaning up against his truck. We talked for another 45 minutes about his bad luck with auditions and what I did for Broderick, and then to my utter astonishment we were on our way to get a coffee at a diner down the road.

I know what you’re thinking. I even thought it myself: he was buttering me up because he thought I could help him. With anyone else that would have been the case, absolutely. But with Cameron? I didn’t think so. What I
think was that Cameron was too good for this ugly, superficial town. How had it not broken him yet, I wondered.

By the time I finished my coffee, we’d stopped talking about work altogether and moved on to what life was like growing up in a small town in rural Ohio, then he’d asked me what I’d been like in high school, and finally we regaled each other with stories about the ridiculous situations we’d gotten ourselves into as only 21-year-olds could. Coffee turned into dinner and by the time we finished eating our meal, we’d spent several hours in each other’s company.

BOOK: Lucky Star: A Hollywood Love Story
8.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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