About BEYOND THE STARS:
Excerpt from BEYOND THE STARS:
“Has that white Honda been following us?”
I glance in the rearview mirror and see the white Honda Accord in question. A guy wearing a slouchy beanie is driving. It’s possible a guy with any sort of cap and sunglasses could be suspected of traveling incognito so he can snap some undercover photos. But then again, this is Hollywood. Everyone is trying to look hip and trendy. And his beanie is very fashion forward. “I didn’t notice him until now. Do you think he’s following us?”
“I’m not sure. Maybe.”
“Okay. Hang on.” I punch the accelerator and speed through the intersection, not caring that I’m a block past my turn. I’d rather flip a U-turn than witness a fistfight starring Jack McAlister and a photographer. I grab a glance in the rearview mirror and the Honda is still behind me.
“Can you drive any faster?”
I press my foot on the Fiesta’s accelerator, passing two cars to my left before I shift to the right lane. The Honda is stuck behind an old Toyota pickup that’s crawling along at thirty-five miles per hour. Ha!
“What the fuck are you doing? Slow down!”
“You just told me to go faster!”
“I was being sarcastic! Don’t you know sarcasm?”
I swear he’d yank the wheel from me if he didn’t have his hands full with Leo. “You didn’t sound sarcastic! You sounded serious.”
“Just pull over. Right now.”
I make a hard right off Sunset and nearly land us on the sidewalk as I screech to a stop in front of a gorgeous contemporary home. I shut off the ignition and place my hands on the steering wheel, squeezing it as if it’s a life raft and I’m in the middle of a stormy sea.
Jack’s anger circles around us, filling up all the space in my little red car. “You were inviting a high-speed chase driving like that! You could’ve gotten us killed.”
For a second, I wonder if he’s going to smack me. “I wasn’t trying to kill anyone.” My voice sounds far away, like it’s trapped in a seashell and I can only hear a hollow echo of my normal voice. “All I did was pass a few cars and make a lane change. Quickly. People do that in L.A. traffic all the time.”
“What you did was stupid!”
I stare at the wheel, wishing I could rip it off and use it as a shield for his harsh words. My face burns, and tears sting the corners of my eyes. “You know what? I need a minute to myself. Your house is only a few blocks from here. Maybe you should walk. Take the bag for Leo if you like.”
“You’re telling me to walk home?”
He shakes his head and glares. “Are you fucking kidding me? I can’t walk up the street.”
“Why not? Because of the thousands of paparazzi hiding in the bushes? Wave, smile, and move on. Give them what they want and they’ll stop chasing you. It’s simple.”
Stacy Wise is the author of BEYOND THE STARS (Entangled Embrace, 2016). She has a B.A. in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Masters in Teaching from Chapman University. She lives in California with her husband, four children, two dogs, and ever-changing number of fish. BEYOND THE STARS is her debut novel.
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