Baby for Sale
Disclaimer: I only own this plot. I do not own High School Musical.
Summary: It's an uber fiction, ie, we have two people: Sharpay Evans and Troy Bolton, who are not the Sharpay and Troy of HSM. They have the same names, looks and personalities (if I can pull that one off). Actually, I think this Sharpay is probably going to be more like Suite Life's Maddie with Sharpay's name. Oh, and for purposes of this story, Sharpay is a natural blond. Anyway, Sharpay is a struggling young actress in New York City at the end of her rope. Troy is a senior at NYU, struggling financially to make it through his final year of college.
Enter Thomas and Cynthia Vanderbilt, a society couple whose vast family fortune is almost tapped out. But they have a scheme that will ensure they inherit all of rich Uncle Cecil's money. Just how do Troy and Sharpay fit into this scheme?
"Oooo, I like this one, Cynthia", the man says, enthusiastically, like a little boy in a candy store as he looks at the photograph of the luscious blond with large ... amenities.
"Thomas, we're picking out the mother of our child not, Miss July", the woman, Cynthia, scoffs in disgust, "And besides which, those aren't even remotely real and she's obviously a bleached blond."
'Thomas' and 'Cynthia' are sitting on the luxurious leather sofa in a plushly decorated office suite. The office is dominated by an enormous antique desk situated in front of a palladium window overlooking the New York Stock Exchange. Two walls are lined with floor to ceiling bookcases and filled to overflowing with large leather-bound books. The remaining walls are encased in rich, dark cherry paneling. The room smells of rich leather and old money.
The couple are sitting close together, but one has the impression this is the closest they've come to one another in years without resorting to physical and emotional battering. They are both in their mid-forties and their demeanor says, 'I'm extremely rich and bored, so don't bother me.' They are perusing through portfolio after portfolio of attractive young wannabe actresses searching for just the right one.
"This is it!", Cynthia exclaims triumphantly as she holds up a folder from the huge stack. "Listen to this: age: 21, hair: blond, natural blond, I might add", she says snidely and then, continues, "eyes: brown, height: five feet, three inches, weight: 100 pounds --- a little on the skinny side, but it shouldn't cause any problems."
"Well...", Thomas says in a skeptical tone as he studies her picture, "she's ... cute ... I guess."
"I keep telling you Thomas, this isn't one of your little dalliances."
Just then, an older man enters the room. He has an air of authority about him and is wearing an extremely expensive three-piece suit. "How is the search progressing, any luck?"
"Yes Charles, we may have found her. Take a look at this one", Cynthia says as she hands him a folder.
Charles Niquist takes the folder and sits down in a nearby winged-back chair. He opens it up and starts reading. On the left side of the folder is a biography of the aspiring actress. It lists her physical statistics, education and professional credits. The latter two are sorely lacking. Following that are several 8X10 color glossies of the young woman. She must have blown her whole savings on these shots, Charles thinks to himself.
"The resemblance is remarkable", he comments as he continues to study her face. "In fact, if I didn't know better, I might think she was your daughter, Cynthia."
Thomas lets out a ill-contained guffaw at this statement and Cynthia's eyes narrow to tiny slits.
"Ahhh, I mean your younger sister, of course", Charles quickly corrects himself.
Ignoring his faux pax, Cynthia comments, "Yes, it is remarkable. Her eyes are identical to mine and we have the same shade of hair."
"Oh, Cynthia, your hair hasn't been that shade, naturally, in ten years."
Continuing on, as if Thomas wasn't even in the room, Cynthia says, "She's the same height as I and has the same body type. She even has that unsightly little bump on her nose, which I had plastic surgery to correct. Is she available, Charles?"
"We can contact her to see what we can arrange."
"Money is no object", Cynthia tells him.
"Ah yes, about that...well, how do I put this delicately...The society papers are implying that the great Vanderbilt fortune is gone and you two are living on the good graces of others and the family reputation."
"That's a pack of lies!", Thomas exclaims as he jumps to his feet.
"Absolutely, Charles. We have plenty of money ... or rather, we will in about nine months or so", Cynthia says cryptically.
"Alright, let's cut to the chase. I've known you two for nearly fifteen years and I know, for a fact, that you hate each other and the only reason you're still married is a finely worded pre-nuptial agreement and your extremely unhealthy co-dependent life-style", Charles Niquist, attorney to the rich and famous, stops to take a deep breath, "So, why in God's green earth would the two of you want to have a baby?"
Cynthia looks pensive, trying to decide what to tell him. Thomas, actually, starts giggling, uncontrollably so.
"Oh, Tommy, do stop being such a boob", Cynthia orders.
"Sorry, but it really is just outrageous", Thomas says as he regains control over himself. "You see, it's all because of dear old, old, old,..."
"Get on with it", Cynthia hisses at him.
"...Great Uncle Cecil...Cecil Milford Vanderbilt III, the last great source of wealth in this sad, dried-up, tired, old family."
"He's nearing the end of his life, poor old dear", Cynthia sighs dramatically.
"Oh Gawd, quit pretending like you give a rat's ass about the old coot."
Cynthia glares intently at Thomas before continuing. "Anyway, he thinks our family is dying out. Because of the boozing and drugs and unsavory diseases", she shoots Thomas a knowing look, "not to mention the in-breeding...there really isn't a next generation of which to carry on the legacy."
"So, in steps Great Uncle Cecil...he's written a new will and the next child born, male or female, to our illustrious family..."
"Born legitimately, I might add", Cynthia contributes.
"Yes, bastards don't count...", Thomas continues.
"Never have", Cynthia says knowingly.
"Anyway...that child will inherit the whole fortune: lock, stock and barrel. Unfortunately, it also needs to be a blood heir, that is, no adoptions. Ergo, the reason behind choosing biological parents who resemble us as much as possible."
"And there's a second cousin thrice removed, or some such mess, who might give us a run for our money..."
They both stop to giggle at her unintentional joke. Oh Lord, the idle wealthy are so odd, Charles thinks to himself as he tries to patiently wait for them to continue.
"Therefore, because of these cousins, time is of the essence", Thomas finishes.
"How much money are we talking about?", questions Charles.
"It's in the neighborhood of 40 billion, Charles", Thomas says with a gleam in his eyes.
Even Charles Niquist is impressed by this. "But I don't understand. Both of you are barely in your forties; you're reasonably healthy,...why don't you try having a baby yourselves?"
"Why don't you ask Mr. Can't Keep It In His Pants, over there?", Cynthia says, thumbing her hand towards her husband.
"Hey, there's no proof that that STD caused your cervical cancer. And besides, how do we know it wasn't one of your boytoys who gave you HPV? There's no proof it was from me", Thomas says vehemently.
"I was only twenty-five years old, you son of a bitch. I was still in love with you then and had never even considered cheating on you. That is, until that disease, which you gave me, made me contract cervical cancer. And the cure for that cancer, Thomas", she asks sarcastically, "a complete hysterectomy at twenty-five."
They both stop talking as they glare maliciously at each other.
"Ummm...", Charles starts to say, uncomfortably. "So, if we contract with this young woman to be your surrogate, I assume that you, Thomas, will provide the donor sperm?"
"Ha! Fat chance of that! You and the doctor both would lose your licenses if you let his dirty little swimmers anywhere near that girl", Cynthia informs him with glee. Thomas, to his credit, looks embarrassed. "See, Thomas' infidelity finally came back to bite him in the ass... Get it, Tommy...the ass?", she smiles evilly at him as he returns her look, glare for glare. "See when Tommy, here, swings, he does it both ways. Thomas is HIV positive. Even if we did want to saddle the little tike with his degenerative genes, we couldn't do it."
"Oh", Charles sighs as he adjusts his collar and loosens his tie, "in that case, should I gather up some male candidates for you?"
"No, no, we already have someone in mind", Thomas says wearily. He really needs a drink.
"Fine. I'll contact the young woman and if she is agreeable...How much money should I offer?"
"Hmmm, how about $50,000?", Cynthia offers up.
"$50,000? You're going to inherit billions and you're only going to pay the girl $50,000?", Charles asks incredulously.
"Well, we can't have her getting suspicious", Thomas points out. "If our offer is over-the-top, she'll know something's not on the up-and-up."
"Ah, so you don't intend on her finding out about your true motivation. How do you plan on carrying that off?"
"Oh, you'll convince her that we're the prefect loving couple, who desperately wants a child and she is our last resort. And we'll want her to stay with us for the duration. That way we can monitor her lifestyle and keep her out-of-sight. Add a no outside contact to her contract; we don't want her talking to anyone during this time. And also, I'll have her there with me, so I can more closely mimic her symptoms and the proper size for the prosthetic", Cynthia explains.
"Prosthetic?", Charles asks in genuine confusion.
"Yes, Cynthia has this brilliant idea. See, she'll wear these increasingly larger pregnant tummy attachments." At Charles' confused look, he explains, "Well, we can't very well just pull this baby out of thin air and expect anyone to believe its ours without anyone ever seeing Cynthia pregnant", Thomas says with true admiration for his wife. He has seemingly forgotten their vicious spitting contest from a few minutes ago. Maybe, he's bi-polar, Charles thinks.
"How can you convince anyone you're a loving couple? You hate each other and you don't even live together."
"Au contraire, my dear Charles. We'll be staying at our Central Park West Penthouse. And don't worry, we may hate each other, but we love money; we'll represent the perfect loving couple."
"Hell, we may even make it on the cover of Parenting magazine", Thomas adds.
"I'll do my best, but I can't promise anything."
"But we can, Charles dear. How does 10 of our inheritance sound to you?", Cynthia croons.
"Just a little added incentive", Thomas further explains, "under the table, as it were."
Despite his intense dislike of these people, Charles can't help it when his eyes light up with greed.
After the Vanderbilts leave, Charles reaches for his phone as he flips open the folder. He pauses before he dials the telephone number and hopes he won't burn in hell for this.
"Yes, may I speak to Sharpay Evans? I represent clients interested in contracting for your services."
A/N: So what do you guys think? I just couldn't shake this little plot bunny and needed to write it down before I forgot it. Don't worry, Unlove You is still number 1 on my priority list. I know there's no TroyPay in this chapter. Heck, they aren't even in the story yet, but please review and let me know what you think.
A/N 2: Research girl, here. It's amazing how much I learn writing these stories. Anyway, HPV is Human Papillomavirus. It's an STD, sexually transmitted disease, and can cause cervical cancer. HIV is, of course, the virus that causes AIDS.