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Wardrobe Malfunction(3)

By´╝ÜSamantha Towle



“Since when do you mouth off in front of people?” I fire at Jack.

He’s the one who always tells me to be careful what I say and to whom.

“Since you clearly don’t give a shit about your career anymore.”

“I care.”

He laughs. “Then, sort your shit out.”

“Give me a fucking break.”

“That’s all I’ve done for the last few months. That’s all anyone’s done. We get that you’re hurting. What they did…it was shit. But shit happens, and life moves on. You move on, Vaughn.”

“I’m moving on,” I growl.

“Yeah, looks like it.” He gives a pointed look at the empty box of condoms on my nightstand and the bottles of Jack littered around the room.

I feel ashamed again. I shouldn’t. I’m a grown fucking man, but I know this isn’t me. It isn’t what I’m about.

And I care about what Jack thinks of me. I respect him.

And I know my family is worried about me. I know I’m letting them down.

I’m letting myself down.

Sighing, I drag my hands through my hair.

“You need to get it together, Vaughn.” He reaches inside his sports coat and pulls out his phone. He turns it, showing me the picture and headline.

OUR STAR HAS FALLEN

Unrecognizable, Vaughn West is seen falling out of a club, held up by two women he spent the night partying with in Van Helden, along with renowned party boy and A-lister Gabriel Evans and TV star Julian Jacob.

The brokenhearted star’s behavior has worsened since the outing of the affair between his former best friend, Cain Acton, and ex-girlfriend, Piper Watts, which was revealed on Digby’s Dirt, the popular late-night show hosted by Bradford Digby, where West physically assaulted Acton. No charges were filed.

The affair between Acton and Watts allegedly began on the set of the film, Treason, which the three actors starred in together.

I barely recognize the bloodshot-eyed mess of a man staring back in the photos. Propped up by the two women who just left my bed, my hand clearly up the back of one of their skirts in one of the shots.

Jesus, I’m a fucking mess.

Jack swipes the screen. The next headline…

VAUGHN WEST. SEX ADDICT AND ALCOHOLIC? OUR EXPERT SAYS YES.

And again…

A picture of me from another night, looking wasted, flipping the bird to the press, with another woman holding me up.

Then, there’s a picture of Cain and Piper, the one that was used to expose them on Digby’s show—the source of my pain and humiliation.

The betrayal hits me all over again.

Sighing, I turn away from Jack and look out the floor-to-ceiling window, dragging my hands through my hair again.

I hear the creak of the bed as Jack sits down on it.

“I know what they did stung like a motherfucker—Cain stung me, too—but you can’t let this destroy everything you’ve worked for.”

When Jack took me on as a client, Cain was already his client. I needed a place to stay, so Jack put me in touch with Cain, who was looking for a roommate at that time. That’s how we met.

Even with the scandal, Cain was still big money for Jack, but he dropped him as a client and stayed with me.

I know I should feel thankful for that, but I don’t feel thankful for an awful lot right now.

“Drinking and screwing random women isn’t going to fix this, Vaughn. Getting back to work is what’s going to fix it. We need to get the press and fans focused on your next movie and not your personal life.”

“Personal life?” I laugh. “What a fucking joke that is! I don’t have a personal life because everyone in the world is fucking privy to what goes on.”

“And you’re not exactly making it hard for them right now, are you?” he throws back at me.

I narrow my eyes at him. “What if I don’t feel like making a movie right now?” I fold my arms over my chest, pressing against the dull ache there.

He laughs. It’s not a humorous sound, and it makes me turn to him.

He gets to his feet. “They screwed you over, and it hurts like fuck. I get it. But you think this is the way to get back at them—drinking yourself into a coma and banging anything with a vagina? Get fucking real. You know this business, Vaughn. It can turn at the snap of a finger. At the moment, their popularity has crashed. They can’t get work for shit. No one will touch them. They couldn’t even get a call back for a toilet paper commercial at the moment…but it won’t last. We’ve seen it before. Angie and Brad each made twice as much in the year after their affair. They skyrocketed because their publicist swung it the right way. And the way you’re acting now is giving Piper’s publicist her meal ticket back to success.”

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