The Actor's contract

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Book 2 of the San Francisco Boys Series Playboy model and actor Enrique Blackburn needs to 'settle down' according to his agent if he wants to get the leading role in the new blockbuster movie. But how can a guy without a heart that can’t even say the famous 3 words just suddenly fall in love? So he signs a contract but didn’t compensate that even robots can fall in love. Now he has to learn how to trust, and that’s not so easy when his fairy-girl keeps secrets from him. Aria Thompson will do anything to get her little sister the best medical care possible, even if it means signing a contract with an egotistical robot to act as his fake lover. When she finds his heart buried deep under all his bravado, will her Cinderella tale maybe end happily after all? But not everybody likes happy endings, and they will blackmail and murder to get what they want. Will she trust her heart? And will the fairy and the robot learn to tell each other the truth and win the day?

Zea Drew
5.0 1 review
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A not-so-good start

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Meet Aria Thompson

Birthdate: 25 July

Star sign: Leo

Age: 20

Hair color: Red

Eye color: Green

Favorite color: Yellow

Height: 159 cm

Meet Leyla Thompson

Birthdate: 10 April

Star sign: Aries

Age: 7

Hair color: Red

Eye color: Green

Favorite color: Pink

*** POV - Aria Thompson

I keep a firm grip on the small hand in mine, patiently waiting next to one of the blue cylindrical columns that support the roof of the terminal. I keep my eye on the silver carousel for our bright green suitcase to arrive.

Funny how you can fit a whole 20 years of existence into a single suitcase. For the umpteenth time since we bordered the plane, my morning coffee pushes up in my throat; my nerves are not only raw but bleeding. I swallow down the burning sensation and look down to find a pair of tired green eyes fixed on me. I fake a smile at the pale elve-like face under the bright pink bandana sprouting white daisies and receive a goofy toothless one in return.

The colorful garment hides her bald head, her hair loss a side-effect of the chemo treatments, but typical Leyla, she just takes it in her stride. She now proudly wears all these bold colored fabrics even though I know it was a miserable shock for her when those beautiful locks started falling out. She’s such a brave fighter, so I need to be one too.

I can do this. I can do anything if it means she will get better. Hell, I even jump off the Golden Gate Bridge if that would save my little sister. So, this is nothing, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us. I must be over the moon, but instead, it feels as if someone punched me in the gut a few times too many.

Get a grip, Aria Thompson, this is for the best, I pep-talk myself. This is the miracle for which I’ve been fervently hoping. It’s like winning the lotto - everything I need right now handed to me on a platter. The best treatment possible, a home, a job, a new start, and family to help me out … what more can I ask for? And all I have to do is act a little … stand about and appear in love … how hard can it be?

So why do I feel like a cat stuck in a dryer? But I know what’s revving me up – the thought of being in the public eye, the press. I hate the spotlight. I’m someone that will say the dumbest things under pressure, so having others quote me is not the best idea out there. But what do they say – beggars can’t be choosers, and I guess 99.99% of the female population would gladly trade places with me without batting an eyelash.

And who can blame them – my fake lover has more than appealing dimensions and enough money to get any female drooling, BUT I can’t help but conclude that he’s a massive player and man-whore just judging by the fact that he gets photographed with more than one different girl a week. And the fact that he needs a contract for a fictitious relationship is sufficient proof that he’s not the commitment type at all.

I anxiously grab my purse, containing the secret contract just to make sure it’s still there. I can’t afford to lose it, or even worse, let it end up in the wrong hands.

The confidentiality of this contract is treated with the same secrecy as a spaceship hidden in Area 51, or placidly more – nobody knows except for Enrique and me. We’ll sign the damn paper after both of us are satisfied with the content.

Ug, this thing is hanging over my head like a sword ready to drop and decapitate my soul. I hate lies, and now we’re lying to the whole freaking world, even our closest friends and family.

The real story is that Enrique e-mailed me out of the blue, to talk to me about helping Leyla with her treatment. He offered me a deal – he would pay for everything we need, give us a home, and in return, I must act like his girlfriend until his new movie premiers. The fact is we’ve only skyped once and it wasn’t my prettiest moment – my hair wrapped in a towel, my face covered by a therapeutic charcoal facemask. Yeh, I know, first impressions and all, but luckily I don’t care what he thinks.

The fake story we will tell everybody is that we fell in love online during our SKYPE sessions to talk about Leyla’s treatment and that we’ve been secretly dating online for the last two months. Since I need help with Layla while studying and working, he then asked me to move in with him to make it easier for me. And here we are. Yep, here we are.

I lean my head against the cold hard column, staring at the sea of people that flow like rivers through San Francisco International airport, never even stopping for obstacles, but swirling around them. Each person in the crowd moves as if unseeing hands are dragging it from the check-in desks to the cafés and through the gates, each one heading for a destination of their own, following their own story.

I tap my foot irritatedly, today I’m just not feeling particularly patient in any part of my system. How will my story end? Will I get out of this thing better or worse?

“Calm down Aria! You’re going to see your boyfriend soon.” Leyla’s voice sounds moody, something I got used to since she got sick. It means she’s tired. She wipes her hand over her eyes.

“How long must we wait?” The little voice drains away in the cacophony of sounds and the loud interruption of an announcement over the intercom system.

‘Good afternoon passengers. This is the pre-boarding announcement for flight 89B to Rome. Please have your boarding pass and identification documents ready. Regular boarding will begin in approximately ten minutes. Thank you.’

I look around the airport for a suitable candidate and see two security officers, looking a bit like Laurel and Hardy, holding onto the arms of a very anxious-looking man. They’re heading towards the rooms where they will interrogate him if I’m assessing the situation right.

Perfect! Since we had to spend so many idle hours in hospitals after Leyla’s Leukemia diagnosis, we developed our own little game to pass the time. We’ll pick some random person and fabricate our own stories, watching and speculating about a life we know nothing about. And it actually has a calming effect on both of us – who knew.

“What do you think, kiddo, drugs?” I flip my head in their direction so my sister knows whom I’m talking about. She frowns and pulls her eyes, looking intently at the scene unfolding.

“Nope …” She pulls out the p, “… he stole a plane cause he’s running away from his doctor. He’s scared of injections and needles.” Ok, my sister has a very vivid imagination, but hell, it’s normal, she’s only seven. And lots of times she puts her own fears and dreams into her stories.

“Good one.” I play along with her version. But shame, he is really panicking, poor dude. I hope for his sake that he’s not in too much trouble unless he did something really bad … then they should throw his puny ass in jail.

“But he couldn’t fly the plane very well so he opened the wrong doors while in the air and one of the suitcases fell out and landed on the president’s head. That would be funny, right?” I start laughing - like I said, vivid imagination.

Now to finish my part of the story and keep my little sister occupied until we can get the hell out of here. I’m not sure why, but I feel almost claustrophobic as if the inevitable encounter with my fake boyfriend is suffocating me bit by bit with each slow passing second.

“Just picture the president of America, standing in some random park, delivering a speech about world peace, when suddenly a suitcase falls from the sky and lands on his head. Imagine the shock on the dude’s face. And what would be even more hilarious is if the suitcase opened on impact, and a lacy bra falls out to hang on his nose.”

Layla giggles, holding her small hand over her mouth, her eyes getting back a bit of its spark.

“Ew, Aria … “ she snickers some more, pulling her little nose up in wrinkles.

They close the door of the room and I scan around to find someone else to investigate.

The sound of cheers and whistles draws our attention. Two men wearing army uniforms are awkwardly trying to avoid the crowd while making their way toward the exit.

“War heroes. They won an epic battle,” I start the story.

“They were trying to rescue a beautiful princess that was kidnapped by a dragon. And look the dragon bit off the one guy’s leg. But they managed to capture the dragon in a cave and the princess went back to her kingdom.”

“A dragon heh?”

“Yep, a big scary Hungarian Horntail like in Harry Potter.”

“Really? That scary?”

“Yeh, but the dragon made friends with a goat in the cave and they flew away to live on an island.”

“And then the dragon ate the goat,” I say quickly, watching as my sister pulls a disgusted face at me.

“Ug, Aria. You always have to pop the bubble.”

We watch the two soldiers as they leave the building and I wonder what really happened. Two young lives probably forever scarred by the cruelty of an unforgiving useless war.

“Can we watch Harry Potter tonight with Enrique and Noah?” She looks at me hopefully and I ruffle up her bandana. She scoffs and fixes it, pulling her mouth in a cute pout.

“I think tonight we’ll go to bed early, but it sounds like a plan for tomorrow night.” I’m not so sure Enrique is an HP fan. Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell.

“Deal, with popcorn.” We interlock our pinkies to seal the deal.

Two young guys walk past us, backpacks casually thrown over their broad shoulders, boosting with confidence and swagger – typical frat boys returning from holiday, would be my first guess.

The one turns his head and openly checks me out with an unapologetically stylish grin on his tanned mug. I bite my lip to keep myself from smiling, foreseeing the unavoidable jam about to happen, due to him not looking where he’s going.

The next moment he bumps into a woman that’s easily just as wide as she is tall, causing him to stumble back and land awkwardly on the floor. The look on his face is surreal and I can’t hide my smile anymore. His friend’s laughter echo’s through the building and instead of helping his buddy up, he holds onto his tummy with one hand, the other pointing at the guy sitting on the floor. Leyla is laughing just as hard as the friend, if not more.

The woman stops the forever ongoing argument she has with her boyfriend; they’ve been at each other’s throats since they boarded the plane – sitting just behind us I couldn’t help but overhear the whole, long, unfruitful battle. Something about some naked pics on the guy’s phone and judging by her reaction, it wasn’t hers.

The frat boy gets up and dusts off his trousers and then playfully punches his friend on the shoulder. It seems the whole ordeal didn’t even put a dent in his overbearing ego. He blows me a kiss before getting sucked into the meandering crowd of chaotic travelers, leaving me in the viewpoint of the square lady’s skimpy porn-watcher.

The guy looks like your typical nerd type – thick glasses, a simple crew sweater over a button-up shirt, and shoes without socks. To make the look even more official his mouse-brown hair is combed back in a sleek wet-look style that went out in the ’50s. He’s not exactly the double-take hunky bloke girls would give a second glance at – not to be rude, just stating a fact. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t an awesome personality, and in my book, it counts much more than looks anyway.

Not that I don’t appreciate a good-looking bloke, I’m just saying that looks are not everything. My new boyfriend’s vision jumps into my mind and I shake my head to get rid of it. I can’t even dare to catch feelings or else I won’t walk away from this freaking contract unscathed. That’s when Mr. Nerdy’s girlfriend stops her arguing once more to focus her 250-pound attention directly on me.

“Hey girl, are you checking out my man?” She suddenly shouts, her flabby cheeks red probably from not taking enough breaths between the slander of words she’s throwing around. She moves closer, now standing an arm’s length away from me.

Layla quickly puts her hand on my arm, knowing by now that I might do something crazy, stupid, and impulsive. I take one … two … three deep breaths.

I can’t make a scene and get into trouble on my first day on the job. But it’s not so easy when being hot-tempered is part of your DNA and saying stupid things is part of your anatomy. If I had any good sense I would close my mouth and turn my back to them, I would just ignore the situation, but that’s so not me.

“Eh … technically I was looking at him, but not in the sense you’re thinking of. He’s not my type anyway,” I try to be polite at least and wipe my hands against my pants, metaphorically wiping away some dirt as if it will keep me calm.

I look over at the little guy again and it looks as if he’s undressing me from behind his bifocals. Is he licking his lips? What the fuck! Scratch the awesome personality – he’s a little perverted gum-sucker and no wonder he has porn on his phone. Feeling uncomfortable under his beady eyes, I try to hide Leyla behind me and turn my gaze back to his girlfriend.

Her eyes bulge dangerously close to popping out, her face is turning dark red … leaning to purple and her hands are clenched in fists along her side. She doesn’t move, except for her jaw which pushes back and forward as if she’s grinding her teeth.

I swear she’s going to pop an artery, so I tap her softly on her nose with my index finger to pull her from her agitated state.

“Lady, take a deep breath, you’re starting to look like a purple cucumber,” I mention carefully, but it seems this girl doesn’t appreciate caring behavior. No, instead she seems more pissed off.

“You mean an eggplant, Aria,” my sister corrects me, and now the boxy lady seems to be a real candidate for a seizure.

Leyla grabs the lady by her arms and shakes her, “Snap out of it, aunty.” It seems to work cause at least the woman starts breathing again. Enough for her to shout at me.

“Leave my man alone, tramp!” Yep, she’s mad and she now really looks like a purple fruit. And to think I worried about her for a moment.

“O boy, here comes the crazy!” Leyla says, slumping down on the nearest chair, slouching her head in her hands.

“Who sprinkled the bitchy over your cornflakes this morning?” I throw my hair back over my shoulder, not in the nursing mood anymore. The degenerated sicko of a boyfriend doesn’t even try to intervene, but his perverted gazes are starting to make me feel rather nauseated. I pull my cream suit-type jacket close, trying to cover up. Suddenly the short-cropped top showing off my tummy doesn’t feel as sexy as it did this morning.

“Do you think you’re the first girl that tries to steal him away from me?”

I’m not sure if that’s a trick question or not, so I rather leave it unanswered. This lady is not seriously fighting with me over that horny piece of shit, and that in a fully packed airport terminal. We’ve already attracted some entertained onlookers. Shit. What if this turns into a scandal? I can already see my fake love life going up in flames before it even started. I need to seriously end this – now.

“Look at my lips – I – DON’T – WANT – YOUR – MAN,” I pull out the last words, hoping that she would get it through her thick head, pun intended.

“Is that so?” Nope, the message didn’t pass to her peanut-sized brain. I need to exit the conversation without saying anything more, so I turn my back on her. Don’t get me wrong, I have loads to say to this square, but not with Leyla and a growing crowd around. Geez, don’t these people have planes to catch or places to be? Or at least anything better to do than look at a catfight?

But it’s just at this point that my dear little sister thinks it’s a great idea to join the conversation, and she opens with a fully loaded bomb.

“Yes, it’s so, she has her own boyfriend. His name is Enrique Blackburn.” She somewhere got up and is now sticking her little finger into the woman’s tummy, her little nose pointed into the air.

“You feel like jello … “ Leyla keeps jiggling the rolls protruding over the woman’s pants. I turn my head so my sister can’t see my face and roll my eyes.

“EEEEEHHHH!” The woman shouts with a shrill voice, nearly bursting my poor eardrums and definitely causing my heart to skip a beat. Leyla jolts in the air and crashes into my legs with her back.

I make a strangling gesture with my hand, but quickly retract it into a fist. WTF is wrong with this person that she needs to shout like a fox in heat? Even Leyla looks at her with big eyes. And then she answers my question herself, rather loudly.

“Your boyfriend is Enrique … Blackburn … the model and actor … THAT Enrique?”

And it’s at this exact moment that the horse poo hits the fan. Everybody in a 20m radius that was not already looking at us, is suddenly staring at me as if I’m the last peanut in the circus.

First, the nerd seems to get full x-ray vision, and judging by the focus point of his gaze I’m sure he’s trying to count my pubic hair, making me want to strangle his puny little neck. I swear stupid people were put on this earth to test my anger management skills, cause right now I feel like ripping his scrawny little head off and stuffing it where the sun doesn’t shine.

Breath Aria, just breathe - don’t attract attention to yourself, not today. The freak steps forward as if he’s getting ready to grope me, and I try to shield my sister from him by dragging her behind me again. His girlfriend is preoccupied with digging her nails into my arm while jumping up and down, screaming like a teenager at a rock concert. And with her body shape, it’s something to see. I look around, panicking, hoping for some help, but everybody is either staring at us or taking photos with their phones.

I need to get away from this crazy-ass couple before I do something stupid and lose my boyfriend before I’ve even met him face to face. And then luck throws me a little bone and our apple green suitcase comes traveling around the corner, rocking like a boat on the conveyer, and I let out the breath I was holding. I free my arm hardhandedly from the madwoman’s grip, keeping my lips glued to each other in a forced silence.

Due to the fact that our bag is on the far side of the conveyer, I need to lean unladylike with most of my not-so-tall body onto the carousel, my thick-soled converse barely touching the ground. Suddenly I’m very glad for making jeans part of my outfit this morning. I nearly throw out my back to get the suitcase on the ground but manage eventually, and then I walk away as fast as I can, pulling a complaining Leyla and the green box along.

“Dignity people, just get some dignity,” I mumble under my breath, but the word doesn’t seem to be in that girl’s vocabulary. No, her dictionary lost some other words too, like judgment, finesse, style, and tact – to mention but a few.

As far as we go, people stop to stare and the muffled sound of gossip doesn’t escape my ears. Some pleasant - ‘She’s pretty … They make a lovely couple … Lucky bastard … I love her outfit‘ - other’s not so much – ‘What does he see in her … He’s such a player … She won’t last long … The bitch must be lying … She’s after his money …’

I have never seen so many phones in the air, except maybe at the Taylor Shift concert I went to with some friends. I’m dead … buried, covered by concrete and a tombstone on top – ’here lies Enrique’s ex-girlfriend, it lasted a few seconds…’

I keep my eyes on the brown floor tiles and try to walk as dignified and quick as possible to the exit, forcing Leyla to keep up with me. It’s her fault this is happening in the first place so she better move those little legs.

“Is it true?” “How long have you been going out?” “What’s your name?”

Yells come from the crowd, but I just keep my head down, as if the floor is the most interesting thing I’ve seen for a very long time. The brown tiles have a wooden effect and then I start feeling sorry for the poor person whose job it is to keep all this clean.

People are now circling around us, even following us, openly taking photos, and asking questions that I don’t even know the answers to. It’s discerning to think that Enrique Blackburn’s unknown girlfriend can cause such disorder in a busy airport.

“Are you after his money?” “Are you looking for fame and attention?” “Where do you come from?” “Is the girl your sister?” “What’s wrong with her?”

It’s at times like this that I’m extremely glad our thoughts don’t appear in bubbles above our heads like in comic books. If these people knew what I was thinking right now, I would be on the first plane to hell.

And just before I’m thrown into a panic attack of some sort, I notice my brother’s tall body sticking out close to the exit and I take in a deep breath to oxygenate my lungs again. I stopped breathing a few minutes ago. I feel the tears flooding my eyes, but I won’t cry … I just won’t.

Then the small hand leaves mine and the little girl runs into her hero’s arms. Yep, to his little sister Superman got nothing on Noah. No, to her he’s all the superheroes combined into one package. But I must agree, my big brother is pretty special.

He hugs me without letting Leyla out of his arms. Not that he’s got a choice, she’s clinging to him like a nut. The crowd is growing, the noise increasing. Everybody is shouting and talking at the same time and it’s not letting up.

Noah desperately tries to steer us out while his arm is protectively trying to hide me from the frenzy.

Well, this was not such a great start to my new life, in fact, it officially sucked.

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