"No, you don't get work because you're an actress over thirty."

His tone is so aggressive, the deckchair creaks under Ella's tension. She tugs on her long, wet hair and looks away from him, out over the Hollywood Hills. "So, weird question maybe but what do you do—exactly? Can I ask that? This is what—date three? Can I ask that now? I hope so. I feel a little like I'm in a Scorsese picture."

"Don't ask me about my business and all that?"

"Yes," she says emphatically.

"You worried?"



"A little."

"Then why did agree to that first date?"

"My agent—"


"You call him Will? Hell, he's been my agent for—longer than I care to say and I don't even call him Will. Anyway, he—when I asked Will about you, he said that I could trust you. And he's never been wrong before. Well, maybe about that Lifetime Original movie but never wrong when it mattered, especially not about people."

"And the second?"

"You're avoiding my question."

"I fix things."

"Like parking tickets?"

"No," he says. "Problems."

Ella wiggles her way into a more comfortable position. "What sort of problems?"

"Mistakes, indiscretions, and fuck-ups." Bledsoe picks up his empty drink and walks to the bar. He tongs a sugar cube into the glass, sloshes in two splashes of bitters and a single splash of club soda.

"It must be hard to enjoy movies knowing all the dirt."

"Sometimes," he says, crushing the sugar cube with a spoon.

"Is that why you don't to see The Sunset Squadron?"

Bledsoe smiles where he thinks she can't see. "It ruins the movie for me," he says. "My favorite films, my favorite scenes are the ones that capture a moment...that...they capture a moment and I can fill in all the rest."

"So Sunset Squadron has been ruined for you?" She says, refusing to let it go.

He tops the glass with bourbon, stirs and begins, "It was a year or so ago. Jack Prine was stumping for one of the presidential candidates in Indiana."

"Which one?"

He smiles. "He's a young Hollywood actor, who do you think he was stumping for?"

"Of course."

"He gave a speech at Indiana University in Bloomington. After the speech, he was supposed to fly back. Sunset Squadron started in three days. When he wasn't on his flight and didn't checked in with anyone, the producers called me."

"Worried he wouldn't make it back in time?"

"Over one hundred and fifty million dollars of worry." Bledsoe sips his Old Fashioned and leans against the bar. "Mostly they were concerned that he'd gotten himself into trouble. Prine likes girls and booze. Young girls and old booze." He sees the disgust on her face, adjusts quickly. "Not that young. Sixteen seems to be his cutoff."

"Still," Ella says.


She swings her legs over her chair and picks up her own watery drink. "But how does that work?" She sips deliberately, searching for the flavor somewhere among the melted ice cubes. "How do you accomplish anything with cell phones, digital cameras, YouTube, Facebook—"

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