Del Sol Valley Reed
I was hot, but not in a good way. I was angry beyond words, and for the past hour or so had been driving way too fast and very recklessly to Destination Unknown.
I needed to clear my head, which was easier said than done, since my problems weren’t new and not something that could easily be fixed or avoided in future unless I changed my attitude completely, not to mention, to most people not born into this life, they wouldn’t be considered ‘real’ problems to begin with.
However, the reason for my pissy mood was easily explained, even though it takes a few detours to cover the whole background for any of this to even remotely make sense without me looking like the entitled spoiled dick everyone probably thinks I am.
For starters, I am Reed Cameron, son of Blake and Milena Cameron.
Yes, THE Blake Cameron, world renown actor, sonnyboy, fast-laner, …
All my life my father has been the man every woman wants, and every man wants to be.
Including me. I want nothing more than to be like my dad. So far, I failed gloriously, except for the fact that I look like his younger twin. If people wouldn’t know better, they’d think I was his clone.
My mom is THE Mila Cameron.
My mother is the kind of woman to make men drool uncontrollably and whom women love to hate, while copying her every move, styling and outfit. No, it doesn’t bother me, I am used to it. She and dad had us young and even I could admit she was still a very attractive woman and didn’t look like she could be the mother of two 18-year-olds. She and dad both used all available means possible to make sure it stayed that way for both of them. Yes, even surgeries.
They starred in several movies together, each of them instantly topped the billboard charts. Alone they are wanted and amazing, together, they are unbeatable.
And the four of us together make the perfect family everyone envies.
Big shoes to fill as a legacy, even though to my twin sister Sheridan and me they have always just been mom and dad, often taking us to work with them, and my sister and me grew up playing around film sets in all sorts of locations on all continents, which was just normal to us. We didn’t know any different.
For as long as I can remember, acting was part of Sheri and my lives. Before we had even said our first words, we had had our first roles, just happy babies in sitcoms, RomComs, and even some ads. We both could strike a pose before we could properly walk.
Once we were old enough to remember lines and scenes, we had real roles in TV shows and movies. Nothing really Starlight Accolade worthy, especially since there is an age minimum to even be nominated, but our names were out there.
And then the teen years came around. With it, the pressure.
My sister and I each had been born with a passion for acting, it never even occurred to us that there were other jobs out there, so we had roles here and there, even some leads in teen series and chick flicks and such, just never managed to secure anything noteworthy. Nothing ever came up.
Until that one day.
I guess you could call my current state of upset ‘work-related aggravation’. Oh, my manager had me all hot and bothered for some big – no, HUGE – role of a lifetime. The kind that gets your name on the radar of everyone. Sheridan had her own manager, ended up at the same audition, but everything was always hush hush, so we just assumed it was in the same film. Sheri and I got along, and both of us were very professional on set, obviously weren’t actual competition, being different genders and very different types – my sister took after our bi-racial mother, which gave her an almost exotic look nobody could ever place, but she and I both had inherited dad’s turquoise eyes. I was more the Cali-boy surfer type like my dad, and like his late mother had been, bronze skin, contrasting light golden blonde hair and said bright turquoise eyes.
Well, Sheri and I both did well at the audition, until we were asked how we felt about love scenes. Hey, I am not humble and shy, I KNOW I look great, I work on my body way too much to be stingy about wanting to show it off, but love scenes are always iffy, so for me personally, it depends on whom and what, which I told them while flashing my mega-watt smile, they smirked back, leaving me to feel all confident that the part was in the bag. My first real lead role. The kind that could earn me my first real award, not those kid/teen level awards my sister and I both had. And I was right. The part was mine, but hold off on popping the champagne corks just yet, as I then found out that the one they wanted me to do my first actual super-raunchy sex scenes with was my very own twin sister! Gulp. Whatever you are thinking now, I thought too. And worse.
Sheri was sitting next to me and I swear I heard the thud when her chin hit the ground. Or maybe it was my own. My sister and my eyes met. They wanted us to do WHAT? With each OTHER?! The whole spiel of ‘it’s not even real, just play-pretend, blah blah’ washed right over me, of course you don’t have real sex with anyone on any professional movie sets, but the kissing is usually very much real and I had no desire to touch my sister’s parts while our tongues were down each other’s throats. UGH! Just NO! Absolute pass.
So this bedrock of my young life became the rare occasion where normally composed me showed I had actual Cameron-blood in my veins when I cursed colorfully, asked them if they were completely insane, told them that I was never gonna accept that role, before suggesting places where they could stick that offer, with no help from Sheri, who just sat there like frozen. The producer informed me that it’s called ‘acting’ for a reason, and if I was that queasy about doing whatever it takes, I should consider a career change, as lead roles of this magnitude usually involved things pushing the actors to their limits.
Sheridan was my next shock, when she said she’d do it. At first I thought I had misheard her, but no, her enunciation was crystal clear and my hearing was fine. She had said that.
This time I was sure whose jaw caused the loud thud. Mine. I don’t know why I felt betrayed by it, but I did. Yes, of course, acting is a rough career, a dog-eat-dog world, and nobody always gets what they want how they want it. And if you can get something good, you better jump in with both feet. Like Sheri did. I get it that far. But still, it stung, because it felt like she used my outburst as a stepping stool to get her first big role, while I had just burned my bridge, big time. In case you are not aware, I know that many siblings bicker all their lives, but Sheri and I are twins. That’s different. Usually, your twin has your back. Always. Well, almost always, evidently.
Well, to make a long drama short – again in a very crude way very much unlike me – I called her a bunch of unflattering things, then rearranged the producer’s office by throwing everything I could lift against something else, before I rushed out.
Which caught us up to the situation at hand. Me, in my sinfully expensive car, wearing sinfully expensive designer clothes, all of which were – just like my entire life – sponsored by my parents, since evidently, I couldn’t get a great role without having to throw around my big last name or agree to French kissing my own sister.
I wasn’t being ungrateful. I was frustrated. I’ll admit, I loved the life we lived. The jet-setting, luxury vacations in the most exotic places, our vacation homes, the fancy toys every other 18 year-old man would envy me for, hell, when I turned 16 my very first car was a black Gallardo, but none of this was truly MINE. The roles I had gotten so far had all been because of my parents, the life we lived was because of my parents. Everything was because of everyone BUT me. Most rich kids might be okay with that, I was when I was younger, but now I was supposed to be a man, and I just couldn’t stop feeling like a tumor to my parents’ accomplishments.
When I had first figured that out, some months ago now, I told my manager I wanted a stage name, like my aunt Vivien had for her singing career. On stage she had always been Vivien Vatore, or ViVa, even though she hadn’t been a Vatore for longer than I was alive. But my manager didn’t just advise against it, he downright refused, told me that it would be career suicide for me. There was so much capable young talent out there, even my good looks and unusual eyes wouldn’t save me without the ace of my pedigree up my sleeve. Exactly what I did NOT want to hear.
After fleeing the film studio following my lil office rampage, I had driven far outside of town and finally stopped at a shady little roadside bar where I was almost certain nobody would recognize me, where I then sat like a heap of bad luck on doomsday, and I had been placing drink orders machine-gun style. Order one, down one, rinse, repeat. I had practice, because when you are Blake and Mila Cameron’s son, Blaine Cameron’s grandson, there was no legal drinking age. If you wanted it, you got it. That included drugs and was the reason for a well-kept secret about me, several stints in some exclusive off-the-record rehab facility to get me clean and my head on straight again. Not many people beyond my parents and sister even knew about this. I will never forget the day my grandfather Blaine – a seasoned and very famous rock musician and music producer in his own right – found out. He lit a fire under my ass so hot, it made me reconsider my entire life. Worked better than any rehab, too, at least for the time being, as I stayed off drugs longer than ever since I tried them for the first time. Evidently, he, when he was about 15 or so, nearly ended up dead himself along with his girlfriend at the time because of some overdose.
Grandpa Blaine was no choir boy, he had loads of vices, but never touched drugs since and was not very forgiving when finding out one of his kids or grandkids as much as thought about dabbling with illegal substances. But he was literally the last one to fault anyone for drinking alcohol, since he himself drank more than a fish in the ocean. Now, ever since he had been turned into a vampire it had made a difference in how much he could take without being out for a while with some serious hangover, but still. I had seen him drunk more often than I could count. Luckily, grandpa Blaine was a fun drunk. Unless you were very thin-skinned and easily offended. Then again, that would mean you wouldn’t enjoy being around him even when he’s sober. Crude and crass was his brand.
I raised my arm to the barkeep for yet another refill and huffed at his tender attempt calling on my conscience by wondering if I didn’t have enough. NO. I could still see straight, well, straight-ish, and I wasn’t completely numb, so NO. Keep ’em coming.
Nature called, and I headed to the bathroom, where I staggered around the corner with a bit too much oomph, crashing into someone.
I lost my balance, in an attempt to steady myself I felt something soft, then we both ended up on the floor. By the surprised shriek I could tell it was a female, and I had accidentally squeezed her breast. Both of us laying on the floor, both befuddled, but luckily, I wasn’t too drunk yet to not have had the reflex to catch myself, so I wasn’t crushing her with the full weight of my body.
“GET. OFF. ME!” she hissed, waking me from my shock, so I pushed backwards to a more sitting position.
She now sat up and I could feel her glaring at me more than I could focus enough to actually see her. I tried to pull myself up by the wall, after a few attempts I succeeded, remembered my dad raised me as a gentleman, I stuck out my hand to help her up, unfortunately was I too uncoordinated and slower than I thought, she was already half up and partially bend over, so my hand landed on her ass. Hard. Not in a nice way no matter how you twisted it.
She shot up and flew around, slapped my face, then glared more at me.
“What the hell is wrong with you!? CREEP!” she was all up in my face, nearly poking me with her index finger she was whipping around so fast it nearly made me dizzy.
“What’s wrong with you?! No reason to deck me! It was an acc… acci … not on pru..purp… well I didn’t mean it. And you are welcome. As tightly wound as you are, that area probably is screaming for some action!” I was so drunk, I couldn’t get the words out right anymore.
“You self-righteous prick!” she hissed and whack, I got my slaps evened out, both cheeks now burning hot, probably with bright red handprints by her. This pissed me off bad.
“You call me a prick? Do you even know what one looks like anymore? Your resting bitch face is such a man-deterrent, I bet your girl parts turned into a Venus flytrap by now out of desperation!” I shouted back. Who dared to slap THE Reed Cameron. Yeah, I know, sober me would think “who?” as well, but when you are that drunk, you are extra-special and Superman.
I produced a what was supposed to look like a condescending smile, but which probably got distorted into a goofy smirk, judging by her reaction, so I added
“I sure am! Wealthy too. And got a big dick. Does that change things for ya, babe?” I muttered back. Hey, like I said, I was super-trashed, miserable and I am a Cameron. If it’s true than on average all men think about sex every 20 seconds, that got elevated to 10 seconds if you had Cameron genes. And when drunk there wasn’t room for anything else in your brain. At least the Cameron thing is my excuse, sue me.
“Asshole!” she snarled, then pushed past me and hurried off, which I only partially noticed as she had undone my barely-there balance and I went down again. Scrambling back up I remembered why I got up to begin with and finally went to answer nature’s call.
A lame duck career wasn’t the only thing that had me go down the poor little rich boy rabbit hole.
The other reason for my perpetual ‘poor-me’ attitude these days which I have not yet touched on might surprise some people, and that would be my bad luck with girls.
Oh man, you would think someone with my looks and my pedigree could get any girl they wanted. And in a way it was true, I could and had, I had dated girls aplenty and I had some great times. Most of my relationships only latest a couple of weeks max.
Reason for that was not so much that I liked to keep my options open, even though that was always my official explanation along with some bullshit about not wanting to commit, but the truth was that I very much wanted a real relationship, something like what my parents had, but was actually looking for love in all the wrong places, with all the wrong girls. Dating the wrong girls for the wrong reasons only works so long as you didn’t mind or realize that what the girls were REALLY after wasn’t you, it was your bank account, name and fame. Once that dawned on me, I just couldn’t bring myself to be cool with that. While all relationships probably start the same way, meet, like what you see, build up slowly, then have a lot of romance and sappy stuff in the beginning, you can’t ignore the telltale signs when you are dating a golddigger. It will become crystal clear before long. And if you are like me, you get disgusted to the degree that you want nothing to do with them anymore. At first you try, but then things that didn’t bother you before become the proverbial fingernails-on-chalkboard. Suddenly, even the most fantastic and mind-blowing sex is only a means to an end for both sides, then you cannot stand their Insta-perfect couple Selfies and then even the slightest touch curls your toes up. Ever since high school I had dated my way through the eligible daughters of the rich and famous, I got numb to most of that fakeness, and eventually turned into the type of dick most young celebrity males eventually become. I cheated on girls left and right. At least it was a quick exit from stale relationships with golddiggers, fakers and posers, even though it didn’t do anything for how my public persona was received. Add a few high profile bar brawls and total a few exotic cars that cost more than most peoples’ homes and I quickly got the rep of being a reckless, arrogant douchebag riding his parents’ bank account to the moon.
And then the icing on the crapcake was when I met a girl, Caroline Eastwood, the daughter of a wealthy real estate broker – please don’t imagine some random Suburb type homes now, we’re talking fancy real estate, I think the cheapest he ever handled was some 5.6 million bucks listing for a miniscule luxury cabin, unfurnished.
We both fell instantly, and we fell hard, things went well. Caroline was actually smart, wanted to take over her father’s business one day, she had a name for herself, was stunningly beautiful, not arm-candy but felt like an equal when we attended events together.
Life was good. Straight until the day I surprised her by coming home early from a destination shoot, and literally walked in on her riding her mother’s fitness trainer into oblivion. I knew my limits and resisted the urge to deck him, well aware that no matter how build I thought I was, this guy had made personal fitness his bread and butter, he looked it and I knew he would be able to lift me out of my shoes with one punch. But it was the end of what I thought could have been my forever after. And it hurt. Caroline Eastwood had officially broken my heart, and broken me.
I was done with women. Yes, only 18 years old and I was DONE with love. This almost became my next stint in rehab but I felt too awful already to want to add disappointing my grandpa to my list of failures. Knowing me and my lack of ability of properly working through my feels, I would end up checked in before long anyway if only one more thing went wrong for me, no matter what I promised whom. I was at my breaking point. And that threshold was crossed now with my career going down the drain because of my lack of dedication to incest, pretend or otherwise. Oh, speaking of, to add fuel to my inner wildfire, Sheridan had meanwhile accepted the role and was now paired with my replacement. She was being sold as the next big thing, while her brother was left in the dust. Guess that is the celebrity version of sibling rivalry then.
So, with this long-winded explanation of my reasons for behaving like a total jackass, all this leads back to me flying down the highway at high speeds, still very intoxicated, very angry, hopeless and with my ‘give-a-damn’ thoroughly busted. A bad combo. Which I realized as soon as blue lights started flashing next to me, a parked car was now pulling onto the highway, a siren started howling and I saw the cop car in my rear-view mirror.
Most people would shit their pants, pull over, fall to their knees and beg for mercy.
But not me.
Because I am Reed Cameron. THE Reed Cameron, if you please, powered by lots of booze and hence invincible. Or something like that. Not like I could actually recall that afternoon in high detail.
Challenge accepted, I decided to see how well the cop would measure up to my fancy exotic car, the type with a rearing horse on it, and a limited-edition model which you only got if the manufacturer deemed you a worthy customer and put on their special short list. I stepped harder on the gas pedal, the horses under my engine nayed angrily, the exhaust spat fire, I got pushed into the seat and the scenery became nothing but blurs. Oh yeah, you are reading this correctly. I engaged in my very own car chase.
I cheered, howled, feeling unbeatable, when the blue lights started catching up to me, fast.
Oh crap, I had underestimated the Del Sol Valley police force. This was a city of status, the police precinct had the best of the best of everything, and the police chief knew that most of the residents didn’t drive the typical F-150s, Camrys and Corollas.
I came up to a busy intersection leading back to downtown, the lights were red, and even in my drunk stupor I wasn’t gonna chance it, so I tore the steering wheel around and took the exit to some small strip mall, the cop hot on my heels. I came to a complete stop, turned off the engine, pulled the keys from the ignition, placed them on the dashboard and put my hands atop the steering wheel to avoid getting some unwanted holes added to my body. My grandpa Blaine had told me if I ever were in this type of situation, this was what I should do. I’ll let you guess how he would know this. He was every bit the bad boy rocker type, that wasn’t an act. And don’t let the grandpa part fool you. He hadn’t changed at all.
The officer already approached at a distance, a female, who was now yelling the usual commands at me, and when she got to ‘exit the vehicle slowly’, I obliged.
I heaved my drunk self from the low bucket seat and nearly fell over, but not because of my intoxication. You know how they say you always meet twice? Oh yeah, you know it. The cop was the girl from the bar. OH SHIT! Now I was toast.
“Turn around and face the car, put your hands on the hood, spread your legs and don’t move!”
I did as told and felt her approach, her hands pat me down for weapons. When she found nothing I was about to turn around, but she pushed me back into position, hard, then jammed her baton hard between my buttcheeks.
“Oops, an accident. If you want to complain to my superior, as I am sure you will, I am Officer Hart.” sarcasm dripped in her voice when she gave me her badge number, not like I could remember that, I could barely remember my own name, and I was certain, her actions were not exactly standard police procedure, but I sure as hell wasn’t gonna utter those words.
“Look, I am sorry. I had a rough day and …” I started and even to me, my voice sounded terrible and slurry. I was drunk, she knew I was drunk, there was no hiding it.
“Save it! Nothing warrants your behavior tonight!” she snapped at me.
“Now you sound like my mother …”
“You think this is funny? That was dangerous and reckless, for you and unsuspecting bystanders. You could have killed someone! You are inebriated and an entitled one percenter. Not something we are in short supply here. What we are in short supply of is officers who are not affected by status. Like me. So, put your hands behind your back.”
“Oh, come on now, … don’t be so heartless, Officer Hart. Don’t be Officer Heartless …” I tried, but the cuffs went on.
Fast forward to a few hours later, when Uncle Liam, the lead of our family’s legal team, who always handled the hush-hush stuff himself, came to bail me out. I will never know how I didn’t end up going to jail, but that is just the magic of VIP status. All I know that he yelled at me all the way home, which sadly, was almost 2 hours, making my head hurt worse than it already was. I had been released under strict conditions not to leave town and even a parking ticket could now send me straight to jail, pending my court date for a DWI. My life was officially fucked.
TO BE CONTINUED