I am driving myself nuts. I haven’t published anything in so long, I’m having major anxiety about publishing this book. I keep thinking it needs this, it needs that. Arrrghhh! I have gotta cut the cord. Until I do, here’s another snippet for you where the last one leaves off…
Tommy laughed. “I know, it sounds typical, but he’s a big name over there. And he’s not doing bad since he branched out over here either. The Hollywood Foreign Press said he’s got the Midas touch, talent and the ability to not only pick great roles, but ones that increase his star power exponentially with each and every film.”
“You sound like his American press agent.”
Tommy snorted. “I’m working on that. He was just nominated for a supporting actor Oscar last year. I think he shoulda won.”
Steele just grunted as she spread jam on her toast and offered her cousin a piece. She accepted it. “I’m still not giving a shit, T.”
“Well, he’s also a troublemaker. He’s gotten into a few scrapes over the last few months. Nothing jerk-worthy. Usually him defending the underdog type shit from what I hear. But his people think a change of scenery would be a good way to get him out of the line of fire, so to speak. You always root for the underdog,” her cousin pointed out, like she didn’t know.
“$15,000? That’s triple.”
“And he wants to ride along with me all day every day, for a month, while I do illegal shit. This ain’t no 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. You’re asking me to be bothered with a stranger and deal with these crazy ass motherfuckers in the streets. Fifteen, or forget it.”
Tommy smirked, and inclined her head. “I don’t know if it’s every day, but I’ll see what they say.”
Steele tripled the price because she figured they’d decline, so when Tommy called later that day to tell her it was a go, she said, “Fuck.”
Tommy just laughed. “Be careful what you ask for, cousin. You just might get it. Come through tomorrow to sign the papers. He paid for Barry’s ass to expedite things. Apparently, he’s eager to get started.”
Steele stared at her phone and cursed.
She looked in the rearview at her brother Tramp. Of course, he was eating the sandwich she’d packed for later. “I just got myself a ride-a-long.”
“Tommy found me a consulting gig. Some Australian actor is writing a screenplay and wants to learn about urban culture.”
“So, he wants to learn how to be a drug dealer,” Tramp surmised, offering their brother half of her salami and cheese.
“You don’t sound too happy. Money not good enough?”
“$15K? For how long?”
“A month, every day.”
“And he’s just riding and observing? That’s not bad. Isn’t it dangerous though?”
“There’s NDA’s and confidentiality agreements and what not. And if he wants to risk his life for the sake of his art, I ain’t his mama to try and stop him.”
“True ‘dat. Sounds like easy money to me.” He started on a green apple next.
“Tramp, why the fuck did you just eat my food? I just fed your ass. What am I gon’ do later?”
Steele did not like fast food, and running around the city selling dope did not always turn up healthy eating options.
“Sorry, baby. You know how we do. Next meal is on me.”
Steele just rolled her eyes. Benjie reached back for the second half of the apple. His twin grudgingly gave it up.
“There’s a new vegan deli we can try,” he offered, making short work of the fruit and tossing the core out the window.
His sister stared at him. She did not abide littering.
“That was biodegradeable.”
There was a pause, then the whole car burst out laughing.