Home > Very Twisted Things (Briarcrest Academy #3)(6)

Very Twisted Things (Briarcrest Academy #3)(6)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

How does it feel to be the only survivor, Miss St. Lyons? Like shit.

How did you manage to escape the plane and get on the seat cushion? By levitating, jerk.

What did you see when the bomb exploded? People dying, asshole.

Did you get to say goodbye to your parents? Fuck you.

“Hello? Are you still with us?” Blair smirked as she waved her hands in front of my face.

With nausea rolling around in my stomach, I bolted out the door of the Java and Me and stopped at my car, chest heaving like I’d run a marathon. I sagged against my car.

An airy voice came from behind me. “I don’t mean to pry, but that Blair’s a meanie who gets way too many lip injections and tummy tucks. FYI, she’s older than everyone thinks. Rumor is she paid ten thousand dollars to get a fake birth certificate that makes her ten years younger, which would mean that instead of the thirty-three she claims, she’s really forty-three. Which is like ancient in LA. And don’t even get me started on her breast size—hello, terrifying! And totally fake. I bet she can’t even sleep on her stomach, so who’s the real winner there? Can you imagine the back pain? Or the ill-fitting bikini tops—okay maybe that part would be cool. Whatever. I prefer my B cup any day.” She paused. Probably to take a breath. “Seriously, don’t let her get to you.”

I’d spun around to see the person who’d witnessed my fiasco. She was young, about my age, with brown hair that was pulled back with a sparkly headband. I recognized her immediately as the regular who always wore pink. She took a sip from a coffee, looking chic in a fuchsia angora sweater and white pencil skirt with a long strand of pearls draped around her neck. Three-inch white stilettos graced her feet.

She was a life-sized Hello Kitty, business version.

I blinked at the sheer pinkness of her, but then came to my senses and sent her a smile. “I know. Stupid for getting worked up about it. Maybe if I fawned over her or asked for her autograph like everyone else, she’d be nicer.”

The girl agreed. “She’s not nice to me either, and she’s dating one of my clients.” She added in a whisper, “Word is she’s struggling for those younger starlet roles now. Her last cover for Cosmo was completely photoshopped. Awkward.”

Wow. Pinky seemed to know a lot about Blair.

I grinned. “She’s an empty-headed bubble with Manolo’s and lipstick, and she needs to be popped,” I said, acting it out with my fingers. “Pop!” Apparently, I was much braver away from Blair.

The girl’s nose scrunched up as she bounced on her heels. “Yes! And she shall forevermore be known as Bubbles.”

I grinned. “So … you’re in the movie business?” I asked as I relaxed against my silver Maserati.

She nodded and hurriedly fished a card from her Chanel clutch. “Mila Brady, PR person at your service. And before you say it, I know I’m young—twenty-three if you must know—but I already have a couple of big-time clients. Ever hear of the Vital Rejects? Spider—his real name’s a secret—and Sebastian Tate are the front guys. Total hotties.” She blushed. “I actually used to be over the moon for Sebastian back in high school—but I’m over it.”

Had I heard of them? I shook my head. “If they’re recent, then I’m clueless. I’ve been out of touch for the past year or so.” Understatement. I’d been hiding out in a Hollywood mansion, refusing to see anyone.

“Oh.” She looked disappointed. “Do I detect a New York accent, then? Are you an actress? You’re pretty. Like really pretty. You could use a new shirt maybe though. One with more color. Just a thought.” She grinned. “Sorry. I talk a lot. Sometimes it’s stupid stuff, but I can’t turn my brain off.”

I shook my head. “No, don’t apologize. Yes, I’m from Manhattan, and no, I’m not an actress. I—I’m a violinist.” I said the words haltingly. It had been months since I’d talked to anyone about music.

“Cool. Why did you come to LA?”

I waffled, shifting my feet, settling with the truth. “California was as far as I could get without a plane. I recently got a job playing at an Italian restaurant, although I haven’t started yet.” Yep, one day you’re a star violinist, the next day you’re playing for celebrities sucking on spaghetti Bolognese.

“What restaurant? Are you here to make a record? Sign a deal? Are you in a band? You know, if you need help getting your name out there, I’d be glad to do the work for you. Just throwing that out there.”

“It’s called Masquerade.”

She nodded. “Great. I’m supposed to meet up with some friends there this week—maybe I’ll see you.”

God, I hoped not. What if I wasn’t able to play?

“I’m V by the way,” I said impulsively, holding my hand out.

She shook my hand. “What’s V short for?”

I didn’t even blink. “Just V.” I didn’t want her to know who I was. Not really. Not when as soon as she pieced it together, she’d get that apologetic look in her eye, and then I’d feel guilty all over again for killing my parents.

She grinned. “I’m headed down to Rodeo Drive for some errands. You wanna come with?” She bit her lip at my silence, tucking her purse up under her arm. “It’s just … I moved here a few weeks ago, and to be honest, you’re the first girl who seems like someone I could get along with.” She gave me a crooked grin. “Plus, I’d love for you to meet my friends.”

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