The Cigarette Girl: A Novel
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This may shatter your illusions about love and happiness. If you still have any. Elizabeth is a scriptwriter with a crush on her boss, a best friend Mimi who wishes she'd talk less and shop more and she's about to have hot sex with a guy who comes highly recommended.
ELIZABETH Then I’m all over you, boss. Right at that moment, our real-life movie moment became a real-life action-movie moment. Gunshots rang out from somewhere in the canyon. Somewhere close. And a second later, the shattering of glass, followed by a car screeching down the road. In a flash, Jake was up and running, with me a few beats behind. The second we hit the street, we heard a woman screaming, “That fucking bastard!” She was standing in front of her black Jaguar, which was parked in
her as a leverage abuser with a bad sex life, and she looked at me as a slut with no leverage. You could say that I was reading a lot into this, but I have to tell you, this has happened before. When Jake’s your boss and mentor, you become the target of a lot of female hostility. These women act as if I’ve betrayed my tribe by signing on with the kind of guy who will never ask them out. I wanted to say, Look Renée, he hasn’t asked me out either, but so what? Yes, he dates bimbos. Yes, he chases
next to his seat. Lately, I’d become pretty good at concentrating on David and trying to get on with my life. Mind control had been working beautifully—until I actually saw the person I was trying to forget. Suddenly he was all I could focus on. Blaze was standing next to him in a short skirt and sweater, looking like Gucci Spice. She had more bravado about her than she’d had in Miami and at the Laker game. It was as if she’d recently climbed a couple of notches and wasn’t about to keep that
moviemaking when ideas were sexy. Before the high concept and Wall Street ruled. Before Universal City Walk existed. Before people like Renée Larkin became as ubiquitous as bottles of Evian. Before a movie lived or died based on opening-weekend box office, Max was the man. Jake worshipped him but had never met him. Not that he hadn’t tried. But Max hadn’t been part of the Hollywood scene since the early eighties. He never showed up for premieres or parties. He did his hanging out in his house up
and his entourage. It was sound-bite heaven, and Julie and her KNBC crew were the first in line at those pearly gates. “Julie!” I shouted. She didn’t hear me over the din of the party music. “Andrew, what do you think? Maybe we should all go get a drink after this. You. Me. David. Carlos. Julie.” Andrew said nothing. He continued to watch the KNBC crew get their prime-time minute with the star. I didn’t disrupt his concentration. Now that I was worried about being too self-involved, I felt