For a couple of hours, at least, Lila would be able to forget about her personal problems and concentrate on her much-neglected career. Howard had left a parking pass on the lot for her so, thank God, she didn’t have to park across the street. Considering how many people would be at the screening, she took that as a sign that her luck was changing, and good things were in store for her. After a lot of cajoling, Howard had agreed to getting her an invitation, even though he had nothing to do with the show. It was important for her to be there to show she had absolutely no worries of any criminal charges because she was as innocent as a newborn babe, at least that was the image she intended to project. A couple of network vice presidents might even be here tonight, since it was a pilot for a series.
Lila shivered with excitement as she quickly parked, walked out of the garage and up the street to the screening room. She saw Howard walking up ahead with Olga, but she didn’t bother trying to catch up. She wanted to see who else was there before she got stuck sitting with people she already knew. Rumor had it that the president of the network himself might be there, and it was common knowledge that his marriage was on the rocks. He was pretty much of a toad but with all his power and money, who cared? Sitting next to him could be the start of a whole new phase in her life and career.
She felt a tap on her shoulder. “Lila.”
Dammit! It was Cary, an assistant director, who was barely out of his teens. She’d met him on the set of one of Stan’s shows and his infatuation with her was extremely annoying. She sure as hell didn’t want that nobody glomming on to her all evening.
“Hi, Cary,” she said as coldly as she could muster without being downright rude. You never knew where he might end up one day. He was too crazy about her to notice.
“Lila, I’d like you to meet my mom.”
Lila nodded at the plain, middle-aged woman who dressed like she had bought her outfit at the Salvation Army.
“This is her first Hollywood screening.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” the woman said shyly.
Cary took his mother’s arm and grabbed Lila around the waist and pulled her along with him as he began walking toward the theaters. “We better hurry up or we’ll miss the opening credits.”
Lila groaned inwardly. This was absolute disaster—her reward for always being late. But it was cruel and unusual punishment, even for someone with her record.
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