Authors: Jackie Collins
Books by Jackie Collins
THE SANTANGELO NOVELS
Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge
Also by Jackie Collins
Hollywood Kids American Star
Hollywood Husbands Lovers & Gamblers
The World is Full of Divorced Women
The Love Killers
The World is Full of Married Men
First published 1998 by Macmillan
an imprint of Macmillan Publishers Ltd
25 Eccleston Place, London SW1W9NF
Associated companies throughout the world
ISBN 0 333 71745 7 (Hardback) ISBN 0 333 73643 5 (Trade paperback)
Cop\ right © Jackie Collins 1998
The right of Jackie Collins to be identified as the
author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance
with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
All rights resen ed No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval svstem, or
transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical,
photocop\ ing, recording or otherwise) without the prior written
permission of the publisher Any person who does any unauthorized
act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal
prosecution and u\'il claims for damages
A CIP catalogue record tor this book is available from the British Library
T\peset b\ SetSystems Ltd, Saffron Walden, Essex
Printed and bound in Great Britain by Mackays ot Chatham pic, Chatham, Kent
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, b\ \va\ ot trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out,
or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in am torm ot binding or cover other than that in which
it is published and \\ithout a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser
for all my friends and family, who are always therefor me.
Also, all my friends at Simon & Schuster
and Macmillan - two great teams, who are
a pleasure to work with.
Mort Janklow and Anne Sibbald - who give great agenting.
Andrew Nurnberg and the gang.
And a big thank you to Marvin Davis for his caring counsel and warm friendship.
A special thought for Felipe Santo Domingo, whose smiling face I shall never forget.
For Vida - who patiently deciphers my writing and gets it on the word processor in time!
And Melody and Yvonne and Jacqui - who force
me out there at 5:00 a.m. to do satellite
TV, amongst other tortures!
And, of course, to Frank - my own very special hero.
HERE'S THE truth of it -1 can fuck any woman I want any time I want - no problem. Every one of them is ripe and ready, waiting to hear the magic words that'll persuade them to do anything. Married, single, older, younger, desperate, widowed, frigid, horny - point "em out, and they're mine.
You see, I know what to say, I discovered the key, and believe me it opens the lock every single time.
My mother was a hot-looking natural blond from Memphis who got herself murdered when I was seven. She was beaten up and strangled, then thrown from a moving car. For a while the cops suspected my old man, they even took him into custody for a day or two. But he had an airtight alibi, he was in bed with his mistress at the time - a pie-faced redhead with the biggest tits I'd ever seen.
My dad had the face and attitude of a handsome gangster. He was an extremely snappy dresser - only the best for him. He wore the finest Egyptian cotton shirts, silk ties, hand-tailored suits, gold cuff links and a Kolex watch - all the trimmings. He could have any woman he wanted, and did. I remember when I was growing up I used to watch him operate. He owned a fancy restaurant, and cockwalked the room flirting with all the female customers. Women were his for the taking, and from an early age I got an education observing him in action. He always had plenty of pussy, but after my mom died there were more women than ever. They felt sorry for him - and he ate it up.
He drank, though, and I was smart enough not to want to end up like him. He started off the evening looking like dynamite, halfway through the night he was a wreck, and by the time his restaurant closed he was falling-down drunk.
We lived in an apartment and had a maid come in twice a week. He was screwing the maid, too. He didn't give a toss what the women he bedded looked like, in fact, he used to say, "Get an ugly one between your legs, an"
she'll really show you what it's all about. They're cockhungry and very grateful."
My dad didn't have much time for me, so I became a loner. Instead of having other kids over, I joined a gang at school and begun getting into trouble. Running the streets stealing cars and knocking off liquor stores was more of a kick than sitting in an empty apartment waiting for my dad to stagger in whenever he felt like it.
I started following in his footsteps. Fuck
"em and leave
"em was his motto. Why shouldn't it be mine, too?
By the time I hit fifteen and he was fifty, the restaurant was long gone and so were his looks. His handsome face was puffy and bloated. He had a big beer gut and rotten teeth - too chicken-shit to visit a dentist, he simply let "em fall out.
One memorable day I asked him something I'd wanted to for years. I demanded to know if he'd killed my mother.
He whacked me so hard he split my lip, still got the tiny scar to prove it.
"Leave my fucking house,"
he screamed, his bloodshot eyes bulging with fury.
"I don't ever wanna see your ugly face again."
Fine with me. I had two steady girlfriends and plenty of contenders.
I chose to move in with Lulu, a twenty-year-old stripper who was happy to have me. Of course, she had no idea I was only fifteen on account of the fact I looked about nineteen and pretended to be twenty.
The nice thing about Lulu was that she didn't care I had no job, she was happy to indulge me. When she wasn't working we spent all our time at the movies - both getting off on the fantasy. Hollywood the ultimate dreamland.
"You're so talented,"
she was forever telling me.
"You should be a movie star."
Brilliant idea! As far as I could tell, movie stars didn't have to do much, except stand around looking macho - women worshipped
them, and from what I read in Lulu's fan magazines, they made plenty of big bucks.
Lulu found out about an acting class, and even sprung for the bucks for me to go. Nobody could ever accuse her of not being a sport.
After we'd been together a year, I came home early one day, and caught her in bed with another guy. My dad had warned me not to trust women. I figured he was wrong on that score, but then I'd never imagined they'd screw around on me.
Big surprise. There was Lulu with her legs in the air moaning and groaning. Horny little bitch.
I pulled the guy off her and he ran, shaking, from the apartment, because I looked mad enough to beat the crap out of him.
Lulu lay there, thighs spread, naked and scared, begging my forgiveness.
I knew then I had the power. I didn't even slap her, although she deserved it. Instead I packed my things and made a fast exit. No woman was ever going to get one off on me again. Next time I'd make sure I did it first.
An unclothed Lulu chased me down the hallway yelling her guts out.
"It was a mistake! You can't go! Please! Don't leave me!"
Too late. By that time I'd figured out what I wanted, and it wasn't some cheating whore who didn't know how to be faithful.
I wanted to be a movie star and own the whole fucking world.
I was sixteen, what did I know'?
^^t^^Jil LARA IVORY stepped carefully toward the ^^^P^Pk^ camera, managing to appear cool and collected under the crushing weight of a heavy crinoline gown, her slender waist cinched into an impossible seventeen-inch span, lush cleavage spilling forth.
Lara's fellow actor in the shot, Harry Solitaire, a young Englishman with tousled hair and droopy bedroom eyes, walked beside her, delivering his lines with an enthusiasm that belied the fact that this was their seventh take.
It was eighty-four degrees in the South of France garden setting, and the entire crew stood silently on the sidelines, sweating, as they waited impatiently for Richard Barry, the veteran director, to call cut, so they could break for lunch.
Lara Ivory was, at thirty-two, an incandescent beauty with catlike green eyes, a small straight nose, full luscious lips, cut-glass cheekbones and honey-blond hair - right now curled to within an inch of disaster. She had been a movie star at the top of her profession for nine years, and miraculously the fame and glory had never changed her, she was still as likeable and sweet as the devastatingly pretty girl who'd arrived in Hollywood at the age of twenty and been discovered by the director, Miles Kieffer, who'd spotted her when she'd come in to audition for a minor role in his new film. Miles had taken one look and decided she was the actress he had to have to play the lead. Gorgeous and fresh, she'd portrayed a naive hooker in a Pretty Woman style movie - beguiling everyone from the critics to the public.
From that first film, Lara's star had risen fast. It only took one special movie. Sandra Bullock was a prime example with Speed, Michelle Pfeiffer had gotten her break in Scar Face. Sharon Stone with a spectacular performance - not to mention flashing her pussy - in Basic Instinct.
The public never forgot a star entrance. The trick was keeping up there.
Lara Ivory had managed it admirably.
At last Richard Barry called out the words everyone was waiting to hear.
"Cut! Print it! That's the one."
Lara sighed with relief.
Richard had been a successful director for nearly thirty years. He was a tall, well-built man in his late fifties, with even features, a well-trimmed beard, longish brown hair flecked with grey at the temples, and crinkly blue eyes. He also had dry humour and a sardonic smile. Women found him extremely attractive.
Lara repeated her sigh, her smooth cheeks flushed.
"Someone get me out of this dress!"
Til do it!"
Harry Solitaire volunteered with a lascivious leer, flirting as usual.
Lara retorted, smiling because she liked Harry, and if he wasn't married he might have been a contender. She considered married men strictly off-limits, and refused to break her rule for anyone - even though she hadn't had a date in six months, ever since she'd broken up with Lee Randolph, a first assistant director, who, after a year of togetherness, had been unable to take the pressure of being with so famous a woman. The sad truth was that what man enjoyed being background material? Relegated to second place? Attacked by crazed stalkers and fans? Referred to as Mr Ivory by waiters and limo drivers?
It took an exceptionally strong man to cope with that kind of deal - a man like Richard Barry, who'd handled it admirably for the four years he and Lara had been married.
She and Richard had gotten divorced three years ago, and along with Richard's new wife, Nikki - a costume designer with whom he'd hooked up while shooting a movie on location in Chicago - they were now good friends.
Nikki was dark-haired, feisty and extremely pretty in a gaminelike way. She also knew how to bring out the best in Richard. Early on in their relationship she discovered that like most men he was a lot of work. Before she entered his life he'd been a smoker, a philanderer and a heavy drinker, plus he expected to get his own way at all times, and when he didn't, he sulked. Nikki had taken stock of his strengths and weaknesses and decided he was worth the effort. Somehow she'd calmed him down, fulfilled all his needs, and now his biggest vice appeared to be work. He was a bankable director, much in demand, whose movies always made money, and in Hollywood that's all that counts.
Lara considered Nikki her closest girlfriend. Right now they were all enjoying working together on French Summer ~ a beautifully scripted period film that Richard was passionate about. The three of them were sharing a rented villa on the six-week location. Lara hadn't wanted to intrude, but Nikki had insisted, which secretly relieved Lara, because the loneliness of being by herself was sometimes hard to cope with.