A/N I've been asked for EPOV since pretty much chapter 2 of Words, so here we go. I decided to do a companion piece. This matches up with the first 3 chapters of WWF. I hope you enjoy a look into Edward's mind!
Words with Strangers Chapter 1
Another interview down, about a billion more to go. I sighed wearily as I made way back into the dressing room where the makeup artist descended upon me to remove the stuff they smeared on my face before I went on camera.
"That wasn't bad at all," Garrett Steinberg, my manager, crowed.
I raised a brow at him. "We're just getting started and the questions about her have only begun." Yeah, Letterman hadn't hammered at me about Irina, but some of the others would.
"Part of the game, my boy. Next time don't get involved with a co-star." I liked Garrett. He didn't kiss my ass the way a lot of managers would. As for his advice, well, that went without saying. I hadn't been involved with anybody and I planned on keeping it that way.
"Not a problem, I assure you." I hadn't been laid in nearly four months, not since that little slip with Maggie Malone. What I'd thought had been a one-night stand had turned into virtual stalking. Thankfully she'd been on tour with her band in Europe and I hadn't heard from her in a few months. Maybe the message had sunk in. Thank God the press hadn't gotten wind of it. No, going it alone was for the best for now. I'd rather that than be in the tabloids every five minutes the way Irina was.
"Good. Now, we need to get to the hotel. You have an appearance on Good Morning America in the morning, followed by Regis & Kelly." I did my best to keep the irritation off my face but clearly I failed. "Hey, you're the one that wanted to try something different. This movie needs all the press it can get. You don't have a surefire hundred million dollar flick. It needs promoting."
I knew it did. I'd actually been excited to step out of the box and do a movie that required me to be more than just an action star. Early reviews were good and there was even some Oscar buzz around my performance. If I ever wanted to be taken seriously as an actor, I needed to do this.
Of course, when I'd started the process, I hadn't expected to have Irina shoved in my face at every turn. That was it, no more dating actresses or other famous women; which pretty much meant no dating period since I wasn't about to date a fan. That was fine, though, because I needed to concentrate on my career. It seemed my hand and I were going to become even better acquainted for the next year or so.
I stood and gestured to Garrett to get me out of here. I needed to catch some shut eye before the next round of press. I was already tired and we hadn't even started the premiere circuit yet. I was in New York through the premiere tomorrow night and then off to Chicago, London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo and Australia. It was going to be a long couple of weeks.
"Let's get to the hotel."
"Eddie, my boy, you're much too young to be tired already. It's my old bones that should be creaking." Garrett slung an arm around me and grinned.
"You're forty-two; I don't think you're ready to retire quite yet. Plus, you're in nearly as good of shape as I am. And don't call me Eddie." He knew I hated that shit.
"Got to, my boy. Gotta look good for my Katie." Kate was his wife and my publicist. I liked having both of them on my team. They obviously worked together well. I felt a little pang of loneliness and shrugged it off. I was only twenty-five. I had plenty of time to find my other half, the way Garrett had. Sure, and where might I do that? Like it was that easy.
We arrived at the hotel and ducked in the side entrance as pre-arranged with the front desk. I hurried into my room and flopped down on the bed. Another hotel room. Better get used to it, Cullen. You'll be home in a couple weeks. I flicked on the TV and grinned when I found Dazed & Confused. Thank God for awesome movies. They were a constant comfort to me at times like this. Plus, I got fodder to tease Affleck and McConaughey about their performances.
"Alright, alright," I said I a pitch perfect imitation of Wooderson if I did say so myself. Tonight wouldn't be so bad after all.
"See, you rocked it!" Garrett slapped me on the back after I got finished with my appearance on Live with Regis & Kelly.
"Yeah, it wasn't too bad." Only seven more questions about Irina between the two interviews. It was irritating. I was over her, why couldn't the press get over us? I took cold comfort in the fact that she was going to get the same questions and she was the one who had something to answer for. She was the one who'd been screwing both her co-stars. Of course the press loved it. This was going to be a long two weeks.
I followed Garrett into the limo and pulled up my Words with Friends app. Time to see what my brother had played this time. Emmett took it upon himself to try to play the dirtiest words that he could get away with and I constantly had messages from him lamenting that words like cunt and fuck didn't work. I snorted when I saw he'd played pussy this time. That, no doubt, had given him joy.
Thought I'd play that for you since you're not playing with any these days. Why not bang that Kelly chick while you're in New York? Or go for the big fish and get Oprah when you go home. I'd totally hit that! You could retire and let her be your sugar momma. Damn it, I need to be on this trip with you!
My brother had issues. Kelly was married and Oprah was more than twice my age and more than a little scary. I didn't bother leaving him a message, playing party off his pussy. He'd get a kick out of that no doubt.
I played a few more words and then I closed the app and then closed my eyes. I'd catch a catnap at the hotel for a bit before the premiere.
"Edward! Edward! Over here!" Cameras were going off, microphones were thrust in my face and screaming fans dotted the red carpet. I smiled and waved and signed what I could as I made my way through the gauntlet of press.
"Have you seen Irina yet? Did she arrive with James?"
I smirked at the catty reporter. "I can't say that I have. You'd know before I would." I moved past her and continued down the line. Too bad I couldn't say that I didn't give a damn. Being politically correct was not fun but Garrett and Kate would both kick my ass if I said what I really thought.
The movie went well, or so it seemed to me. The applause and congratulations after were hearty, so I thought maybe it would be well received. Then again, people rarely told you that you sucked at a premiere. It was the day after, in the reviews, that you found out what they really thought.
I sucked it up at the after party and allowed myself to be photographed with both Irina and James. She'd wrapped her arms around my waist and let her fingers ghost over my ass when doing so. I'd maintained my cool and disentangled myself from her claws as subtly as I could.
"Come to my room tonight," she whispered as she kissed my cheek, her breasts jutting against my arm as she pushed her body against me. She was in some skintight red thing that left nothing to the imagination, not that I needed to imagine it. Been there, done that and not going back.
I bit back a laugh and stepped away. "I don't think so. Goodnight, Irina." Her ice blue eyes narrowed and she pouted but there wasn't much she could do. I'd make damn sure not to open my door tonight though. Did she think I was really that pathetic that I'd take her back now?
I made nice for a couple hours and then I gave Garrett the high sign to get me out of there. We made our goodbyes and got in the limo. One premiere down at least.
"Can you do something about her groping my ass?" I asked Garrett as he slid into the limo next to Kate.
"What would you have me to? Tackle her on the red carpet? That would be subtle," he laughed and shook his head. "Sorry, son, you're going to have put up with it for a little bit. I'd say something to Aro but…"
"Hell, no." Aro was her manager and her father. He wanted nothing more than for the two of us to get back together. Not happening.
"Exactly. Then she'd know she was getting to you. Just ignore it and brush her off, just like you did. I'll make sure someone's stationed in the hall if you're worried about her showing up in your room."
"No, I can handle it."
I opened my phone and pulled up Words. Nothing from my brother but I had a few other games open and responded to those, then noticed that I had a name I'd never seen before. BluBell22. Like the cheese? That was kind of awesome. I opened the game and saw they'd played name. Maybe this was one of those random matches. What the hell? I played teams off of name and opened the messenger. There was always the possibility that someone had a new name.
Hi. Do I know you?
I closed the app and rested my eyes. Tomorrow, it was on to Chicago.
It was good to be home. Too bad I was only here for a few hours. I couldn't even go to my childhood home, which my parents still maintained even though we all lived in Hollywood now. I was in the dressing room waiting to go talk to Oprah. Garrett and Kate were coordinating some more interviews and I was bored.
I opened my phone and pulled up Words again. Hmm, that BluBell22 had played and left me a message. I clicked on it and felt myself smiling at his/her words.
No, I just wanted someone new to play with.
You and me both, my new friend. Too bad the only playing I'd be doing would be with myself for awhile.
Oh, I didn't mean it like that! Sorry, I'm a spaz.
I found myself laughing. A spaz? That was different. Well, better a spaz than a stalker, right?
She/he had played spy. Hmm, that was an interesting choice of words to go with my stalker thought. Oh well, what was the harm in responding? I needed to find out if my new friend was a male or a female, because calling them he/she was kind of dumb. Time to have a little fun with my spaz.
A spaz? That's too bad. Here I was thinking my favorite cheese had come to life and was reaching out to me. I guess my nutritionist will be thankful that's not the case. I like playing with someone new, on occasion. Your move, Cheese Girl/Guy?
We'll see what they have to say to that. I played phage on their spy. Dad would be so proud of me retaining some of his medical knowledge, though I'd actually learned that one when I'd guested on Grey's Anatomy.
I closed the app just as Garrett told me it was almost time. Here we go again.