Five for Friday: More Monsters

Hello again guys and gals.

As promised, here is another Five for Friday excerpt as recompense for last week’s missed post.

Having read the beginning of Lights, Camera… Monster, you are all doubtless greedy for more hot Monster action, so please remember that you can now pre-order the forthcoming Monsters in Hollywood Book Four: Have Monster, Will Travel from Amazon. And now, without further ado, behold the start of Monsters in Hollywood Book Two: My Fair Monster.

"My Fair Monster" cover

She agreed to everything but sex. She hadn’t counted on his monsterous creativity…

Since the day three incredibly hot men in disguise walk into her office and proved Monsters are real, intrepid screenwriter Jane Darby is obsessed with one task: to give the creatures a mythical makeover by writing a revolutionary, blockbuster screenplay. Now if only she can get over her own fear—and get the closed-mouth Michael to talk about his people.

Michael is fascinated by the demure and docile Jane, whose efforts to hold him at arm’s length hide an untapped sexual passion—a beast within her waiting to be set free. There’s only one way to get under her lovely skin: strike a bargain.

For one week, she agrees to let him do anything, anything, he wants. But Jane’s got conditions. First, no actual sex. Second, she has to enjoy it.

Jane’s not really worried. What can happen if he sticks to the bargain? After all, she’s not really turned on by the idea of Michael tying her down. Or bending her over his knee. Or…

Gulp.

Chapter One

EXT. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — DUSK

The fading sunlight FLASHES on the windows of the LA SKYLINE.

A BLACK SPORTS CAR races along the FREEWAY. A BLOND MAN drives the car.

HE is late twenties, with blond hair, blue eyes and a trim, muscular physique. His eyes are hidden behind SUNGLASSES as he drives. His is heartbreakingly handsome, and controls the powerful car with confidence. His mouth is twisted in a grimace.

“If you aren’t out here in two minutes I’m coming in after you.” Cali’s voice was muffled through the closed bathroom door.

“I’m not wearing this,” Jane said, more to herself than her friend who waited in the hall.

“Yes, you are.”

“I look stupid.”

“You look hot,” Cali assured her.

“You haven’t even seen me.”

“Doesn’t matter, don’t need to, you always look hot, you skinny blonde bitch.”

Jane opened the door just enough to flutter her lashes at her friend. “It’s not my fault I have a good metabolism.”

Cali, decked head to toe in black, stuck out her tongue and handed Jane a shot glass. “Here, take this, and hurry the fuck up.”

Jane downed the shot, suppressed a cough and shivered. “Whoa, what the hell was that?”

“Pepper vodka. I’m in love with the owner of one of those Russian restaurants on Santa Monica. Too bad he’s married with kids. Kinda reminds me of the guy from Eastern Promises.”

“Viggo?”

“No, the old guy.”

“The homicidal rapist. Lovely. You have such good taste.”

“At least I’m looking, Virgin Mary. Now, one more time, hurry the fuck up.”

Jane pulled the door shut in Cali’s face. With a resigned sigh she picked up liquid black eyeliner and went to work. She outlined her eyes, except the inside corners, and then used a blunt brush to smudge it out. She smeared burgundy powder into the creases of her eyes and then tapped green sparkle eye shadow along her lash line. Pink blush, heavy on the apples of her cheeks, and high-gloss cherry red lipstick finished her face.

Jane stepped back to examine the effect. They were headed out to Sinister in Hollywood, an alternative and Goth club complete with an S&M lounge. By all rights Jane was the last person in the world who should be in a Goth club. Blonde and blue-eyed with a pretty face, she looked, and acted, like the girl next door.

But on this Saturday night, she had put up very little fight when her friends had handed her an outfit. As much as she might look like the girl next door, she was anything but. Screenwriting was a job many dreamed of and few ever realized, but at the ripe old age of twenty-seven Jane had already seen two of her movies go to the screen. Years in Hollywood had turned the girl next door into the girl next door who would do anything, try anything, at least once.

She tucked her lipstick into the rockabilly cherry-studded clutch and exited the bathroom. The girls were clustered in the kitchen, spots of cheap black amid the elegant Spanish revival décor.

“Well, don’t we look ridiculous?” Jane said as she passed Cali her empty shot glass.

“We look hot. Goth hot,” Akta said, reaching up to fluff her ear-length black bob. Akta would no more have chopped off her long hair than she would amputate her feet. The hair was a wig, and when she turned her head Jane saw chunky pink stripes built into the left side. The others, Margo and Lena, were equally decked out in various Goth and alternative wear.

Margo was rocking punk in a ripped White Stripes tee, skinny jeans, fishnet gloves and thick-framed black glasses that she didn’t need, while Cali wore more “traditional” head-to-toe black with plenty of boob. Akta’s wig crowned a Gothic schoolgirl look, complete with pink and black plaid skirt. Lena and Jane both wore short-skirted dresses, puffed out with black netting, and fishnets. Lena had a short red cape draped over her front-lace dress and her hair was pulled into pigtails. Jane wore her hair in loose curls with a black headband. Her dress was tailored with a square neckline and blue edging. Fitted sleeves came all the way down over her hands, ending in loops over her fingers.

“Okay, Jane, you and Lena get together for a picture.”

Jane slid her arm around her best friend’s waist and subtly rolled her eyes. Lena smiled and then pressed her cheek to Jane’s for the picture.

“Why are they dressed up like slutty Goth fairy tale characters?” Margo asked Akta. Lena’s and Jane’s outfits had been Akta’s idea.

“Aren’t they darling?” Akta said, examining the picture she just took.

“Darling isn’t the word I’d use. They look like employees from some alternative Disneyland where the ‘rides’ are Whorey Red Riding Hood and Slutty Sleeping Beauty.”

“I think they’re cute. I have a friend working on a line of mainstream alternative clothing. She’s all about subversive-princess culture,” Akta defended.

“If it’s mainstream, it is, by definition, no longer alterative.”

“Whatever.” Akta dismissed that with a wave of her hand and tucked her camera into a pouch attached to her skirt. “They’re hot. I offered to get you a costume. Both of you.”

“No thanks,” Margo said.

“Rather be eaten by a shark,” Cali added.

“Enough you three,” Lena said, reigning in the mock bitch-slapping session. “Are we going to drink or are we going to be pussies and just stand here talking?”

“Fuck that. Let’s drink.”

Jane leaned on the counter and smiled. She loved her friends—they were her family of choice. There was something special, magical, about leaving home and building relationships with people that were strong enough to support you, creating a family of your own. When it was just the five of them they reveled in the language and mannerism of sailors, which allowed them to become the thick-skinned professional women they were to the outside world.

The five of them had been friends since college. They pushed each other, supported each other and most of all were always there for one another. None of them had had a relationship with a man that had lasted as long as this five-way friendship. But she had a feeling that was going to change.

Lena laughed and tossed her head, pigtails swishing. Jane felt a little pang as she looked at her friend. She was happy that Lena had found love, but it was hard not to be a bit jealous, and impractical to be unafraid of the changes that would bring.

Lena’d done the impossible and found love in the heathen hell of LA’s dating scene. But there was one, rather daunting, flaw in Lena’s man.

“Party time. Let’s go,” Lena commanded, and away they went in a cloud of perfume and a sea of Goth wear.

They took a taxi down from the Hills, where Akta’s house was, to Hollywood Boulevard. The cabbie was not happy with four in the back and one up front, but Cali got in his face, and off they went. The cab dropped them off in front of Sinister where they bypassed the long line of black-clad club goers and made their way up the little alley to the bouncer station. They probably could have just walked up, and then walked in, based on Akta’s celebrity status, but someone, probably Lena, had called ahead. There wasn’t a club in the city that didn’t want the five of them in it. They were far from being Hollywood royalty, but they were up-and-comers and had been called “ones to watch”.

The bouncer didn’t bat a lash at their outfits, held their IDs under the light and snapped their wristbands in place. A low thump of music sounded from the club, while a murmur of voices echoed from the back patio. Akta was already dancing in place as she waited for the rest of them to finish being checked.

Jane was last, and, on instinct, flashed a friendly smile at the bouncer, who returned the smile with a cold stare. She swallowed the smile, snatched her ID back and joined her friends. The instinct to be friendly, to smile at everyone and take time to ask about their day, was her Midwestern upbringing rising to the surface.

“Ladies.” Lena raised her voice to be heard above the noise poring out of the club’s doors. “Are you ready to drink, dance and watch kinky performances?”

“All we’re going to do is watch?” Margo asked, her highly glossed lower lip poking out in a mock pout. With Margo and Akta in the lead they pushed their way inside.

As the music hit her, Jane’s fingertips began to tingle. A smile pulled up her lips, and this one was oh-so different than the friendly Midwest smile she’d thrown at the bartender. This was the smile of a woman who knew things, could do things, that haunted men’s dreams. It was the smile of a woman who could slip between worlds and create realities.

“Fair Snow White, you’ve enchanted me. Let’s dance.”

The somewhat-original pickup line grabbed Jane’s attention. Her admirer was dressed in a floor-length leather coat, pants and boots. His bare chest was hairless, smooth and muscled.

“She’s Sleeping Beauty, moron, and she’s mine,” Lena sneered at the man and cupped Jane’s boob in one hand. He looked Lena up and down, then stared at the pair of them, his fantasy of being in bed with both of them clear in his eyes.

“Buh-bye now,” Lena said pointedly, turning Jane away from the man.

Slightly put out by Lena’s interference, Jane reached over and pinched Lena’s boob.

“Ow,” Lena gripped. “What was that for?”

“First of all, you grabbed mine. Second, what’s up with the cock-block? A dance wouldn’t have hurt me.”

“With you, dancing is dangerous. Besides, you don’t want that guy.”

They moved to the main bar, which was flanked by red drapes that dangled from the two-story ceiling. Aerial dancers, each in skintight suits, dangled and danced in the drapes.

“You see something you like?” Margo asked as Jane slid up beside her.

“Maybe, but Lena pulled a lesbian act and scared him away.”

“Hmmm.” Margo fished the cherry out of her drink and popped it into her mouth.

“Margo…what’s going on? You hate cock-blocking. You almost decked Cali last time she tried it with you.”

Margo looked at Jane, raised her eyebrows and then turned away.

All the hairs on Jane’s neck stood on end.

“What’s going on? Cali? Akta?” They ignored her.

Turning on her best friend, Jane grabbed Lena’s pigtails. Lena’s attention was on the entrance door so she yelped and jumped when Jane used the pigtails like handles.

“What’d you do?” Jane demanded.

“What are you talking about?”

“You’re up to something. The three musketeers over there are acting fishy and you cock-blocked me after saying for months that I need to get laid.”

“You’re very suspicious. I read somewhere that all writers are paranoid. Maybe you should see that doctor in Beverly Hills about a medical marijuana prescription, to help your stress level.”

“First of all I can get my own drugs without some lame doctor, if I wanted them, which I don’t. Second of all, I see through your pale attempt at deflection. I’m asking you again.” Jane tightened her hold on the pigtails. “What did you do?”

“Nothing!”

“Oh my God you set me up on a blind date. Was there a roofie in that shot?”

“No, but that’s a good idea for next time.”

“Lena!”

“Oh calm down! I’m joking, besides, who needs GHB when there’s a good DJ?”

“Quit distracting me. What’d you do?”

“Nothing.”

“Fine, then I’m going to go dance with that guy.”

Read more about My Fair Monster and other books from the Monsters in Hollywood series here.

Other International Heat authors with Five for Friday posts include:
Bianca D’Arc,
Jambrea Jo Jones,
Mari Carr and
Rhian Cahill.

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