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Excerpt from Relentless

February 21, 2016

 

Un-edited Version, subject to change

 

 

ONE

 

My phone rang in my purse and I frantically searched to dig it out from the depths of hell. Laura’s name flashed across the screen and butterflies took residence in my stomach. Before I could even say hello, she screeched, “Vi, you got the role!”

“What do you mean I got the roll? Not a callback?” I asked, excitement slipping past the professional demeanor I typically had with her. The sound of traffic passing by assaulted me as I walked down the street. This wouldn’t work. New York was so loud. I ducked into a small coffee shop I was passing by so I would be able to hear.

“Nope, as in the part is yours. They didn’t even ask anyone else to come in to read for a second time. The producers loved you, and they want to know how soon you can start. They said the sooner the better.”

My mouth dropped open. “Hold on, I’m still trying to take all this in. Are you being serious right now?”

“As a fucking heart attack, sweetheart. Can I tell them you can start next week? They want to start reading the script like yesterday.”

“Um, let me get back to you. I will need to find a place to stay on the coast and I need to get everything finished up in New York.”

“I’ve emailed you the contract details, but you don’t have to worry about the money. The deal the studio is offering is phenomenal. If you want more, I can negotiate because they really want you for this part. And we can always ask for an advance so you can get a place closer to the set. You’ll be filming in a house off the beach.”

“You said a house? Why not a studio?”

I feel like an idiot parroting everything back she’s saying, but I can’t seem to wrap my head around what she’s telling me.

“The producers are going for an indie vibe. This movie should be a huge blockbuster hit and great for your career. There are several very nice pieces of man candy for you to stare at too. I’ll text you with the names of people you’ll be working with when we get off.”

“I need a drink,” I said laughing. “You’ve thrown way too much at me right now. I can’t believe I got the part.”

“You know that it’s 10:30 in the morning, right?”

“So I’ll drink mimosas. Don’t judge. You would do the same damn thing.”

“I’ve already popped a bottle of champagne, honey. Have one for me and call me back when you sober up.”

A huge grin spread across my face and I jumped up and down in a celebratory happy dance. People around me stared, but I couldn’t care less. The role of my dreams had just fallen into my lap and I was pumped. The first thing I needed to do was call Lexi, Emmy, and Taylor to tell them the good news, but right now I wanted a drink.

 

***

 

After the past two years of my life, I was excited to finally have something go right. This role was important to me, more important than anything I had ever worked on before. The role would be tough, and playing the center of a love triangle was going to be challenging, but this book had so much meaning behind it. My fingers itched to get ahold of the script to read lines.

I finally felt like I was free from all the shit my ex-husband had put me through. Aaron had tried everything in his power to keep me from divorcing him. Looking back, I have no idea how I stayed in the relationship with him for so long. He had been amazing in the beginning and I thought we would be happy, but in the years we were married, he tried to ruin me. He said nasty, horrible things that should never be said to someone you claim to love.

Not only was Aaron verbally abusive, he cheated on me several times before and after we got married. As only the young do, I blindly trusted him when he denied it, but the final straw was when he knocked up his receptionist. She was supposed to be one of my friends, but she was nothing more than a gold-digging home wrecker. He was surprised when I filed for the divorce, and my parents were disappointed. My mom wanted me to stay with him to keep up appearances and make things right for the family’s sake. But, I told her that it wasn’t happening. Things got nasty in the year it took me to leave Georgia before everything was settled.

We lived in a small town outside of Savannah for our whole lives. The only problem is that it was the kind of place where everyone knew anyone’s business. Our relationship had been dissected by that town so many times it wasn’t funny. When you grow up with money in that kind of town, your fate is sealed before you even get the chance to figure it out. And when your relationship fails in that kind of town, you either have to move or move on quickly.

Aaron bad mouthed me to every reporter he could find, making it hard for me to work or go to school. My name was featured in every horrible gossip column across America. All the tears were worth it to get this part though, and he couldn’t take it away from me.

I took a sip of the sweet orange juice and champagne cocktail that the waitress put down in front of me. My lips smacked at the tart and sweet concoction. Victory had never tasted so sweet.

 

 

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