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“Women who color their own hair do not go out with movie stars!”
So, what am I doing going on a date with him?
I’m a wardrobe stylist with a resume full of fake job experience (when my resume was accurate no one wanted to hire me). I drive a crappy car and I have $37.58 in my bank account.
He is People’s Sexiest Man Alive who lives in a beach house (read: mansion) in Malibu.
We are all wrong for each other for a number of reasons. The main one being: I hate everything about him.
Finn Dalton is arrogant, cocky, and self-involved.
He thinks he’s God’s gift to women and the fact that he has bedded almost every available (and unavailable) woman in Hollywood supports that theory.
I hate him…so what am I doing here? Why do I keep saying yes?
Yes, to a date. Yes, to a kiss. Yes, to this.
And what happens when the one person who is all wrong is the only one who’s right?
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Chapter 1 - Finn
I wake up with a pounding headache.
Groggily, I feel around the nightstand for a glass of water, but it’s not there.
My mouth is as dry as a desert and my lips are chapped.
I head out of the bedroom, through the living room and toward the kitchen.
It’s times like this that I really regret getting a 5000 square foot house.
If it weren’t this big, it wouldn’t take me this long to get to the kitchen.
I grab a bottle of water out of my new $10,000 refrigerator – I didn’t know that refrigerators could cost that much, but the interior decorator educated me about it – and gulp down the whole thing. I shouldn’t have drunk so much last night.
I pop a few aspirin into my mouth and head out to the patio.
I hate being hungover.
Every muscle in my body is sore.
I feel like I just worked out for four hours with my personal trainer, but what I really did was fight too much with my ex.
Not her real name, of course.
But who here goes by their real name, anyway?
In case you have been living under a rock for the last couple of years and don’t know who Ariel Chantal is, let me fill you in.
She is TV’s most popular vampire. She plays Erica Hill, a girl who is living a double life; regular high school girl by day and vampire queen by night.
There’s some explanation for why she continues to go to school despite being a vampire queen, but I can’t remember what it is.
The show is a hit and recently got picked up for two additional seasons.
She just signed a new contract, and she’s getting paid more than any other female television star out there.
I, of all people, had the misfortune to fall in love with her.
Not the way millions of people around this country and the world have, no. I didn’t just fall for her beautiful green eyes and long lustrous hair, the color of dark cocoa.
I didn’t fall for those perfect breasts and those quirky tattoos with inspiring quotes and butterflies and birds.
Even though no matter how much you may not like tattoos, they do accentuate the curves of her body even more.
And, wow, do they look good when she’s naked.
I didn’t fall for any of those things.
Not at first. At first, I thought she was hot and that we’d go on a date, and that would be the end of it.
I’ve dated other actresses in the past.
I’m not a lightweight myself. I’ve graced the covers of Teen Beat for years (and anyone will tell you that it’s hard to land that sucker if you’re not hot in just the right way), and my agent just told me that I’m in the final round of competition for People’s Sexiest Man Alive.
But that’s all beside the point.
What is the point?
The point is that Ariel and I weren’t just some publicity stunt.
Yes, my agent introduced us, but after we went out a couple of times, I started to really fall for her.
And she fell for me.
We moved in together within the month.
We spent all of our time, outside of work, together.
I thought everything was perfect.
And then…that happened.
No, I can’t think about it.
I walk around the patio. Los Angeles looms below me, stretching out in all directions as far as the eye can see.
Far in the distance, the blueness of the Pacific Ocean calls to me.
Even though I’ve been in this house for three months now and paid the interior decorator a small fortune to get everything in each room just right, I’m still not entirely sure if the Hollywood Hills are for me.
I love the rugged canyons and the way the houses are nestled onto the cliffs, but I want the ocean.
I want to wake up and smell the salty air. I want to be able to jump on my surfboard at any moment, night or day.
Especially on a day like this.
I take a deep breath and exhale.
Just like my personal trainer showed me, I bend over, spreading my arms and legs into a downward dog pose.
I’m just starting out with yoga, but it has been quite an eye-opening experience. It has this effect of calming me down in times of stress.
Today, unsurprisingly, my hamstrings feel tighter than before.
I move my heels up, up, and down to stretch them out a bit.
After a few deliberate attempts, they finally cooperate and land on the floor.
I should stretch out, but instead I delve right into a hand stand. I put one of my legs onto the railing of the patio and form an L with my body. Then I lift them up to the sky, carefully balancing on my hands.
There’s something about a handstand, which is totally liberating. It messes with my equilibrium and makes me feel invincible.
When I finally step out of the handstand, this one is no different.
Relief sweeps through my body.
Whatever leftover anger remained in my muscles drains away.
I walk back inside to make myself a cup of coffee.
After being upside down for a few minutes, the blood in my body seems to be flowing differently and my headache is starting to wane.
On my way to the kitchen, I flip on my 50-inch smart TV and turn up the volume.
I can’t remember what I was watching last night, but for some reason TMZ comes on.
I hear Harvey Levin’s voice in the background.
I never watch this show.
Oh, yeah, Ariel was here.
She must’ve watched this channel last night.
I start a cup of coffee on my Starbucks machine and watch the sudden jolts and cuts of TMZ.
How can anyone watch this show without getting a headache?
They cut back and forth between frames for absolutely no other reason but to make something look more exciting, when in reality it’s just some celebrity walking from Whole Foods back to their car.
Just as my cup is about to finish brewing, I hear a familiar scene coming from the TV.
“So, what do you think about your girlfriend, Ariel Chantal, walking out of Chateau Marmont with Ben Kingsolver?”
“What?” I ask the paparazzi. “What are you talking about?”
“Well, you know, she spent the night there with him. We have them on video going inside, laughing and holding hands, and then coming out early this morning. Also, holding hands.”
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