Hollywood Harem follows the lives of Hollywood’s young elite through the ups and down of fame and family life. Led by the charismatic and outrageous Kalen Camden, the group of young celebrities face life’s hardest moments while presenting the face of perfection their fans expect and their detractors attack. They are the future of Hollywood, loving their fame and reveling in their infamy...
Tyler sunk deeper in his seat, sliding down till his bottom almost fell to the floor. While he loved his brother and looked up to him, there were few times Kalen did not embarrass him in public. He thought he would be used to his big brother’s antics by now; after all, they were more or less raised around sex. Their parents’ company, Camden Entertainment, specialized in niche pornography; the current company obsession was albino midgets. Unlike Kalen, Tyler was a virgin, both sexually and drug-wise. Only thirteen, he did not believe himself to be old enough to handle all of the complications Kalen’s favorite activities created. He had a wholesome, family-friendly image that his producers were eager to exploit. At least one of the Camden boys kept Michael Beldon, CEO of Corrowinn Company, happy.
He looked around the hall and watched the people begin filing in. Flashes went off just beyond the open door as paparazzi took shots of the rich and famous as they strutted along the red carpet basking in the goodwill that their “charity” garnered them. Tyler frowned, despising the fakeness of it all; he knew every face that walked in wearing their designer gowns and thousand dollar tuxedos well enough to know that barely a handful were there because they gave a damn about what the Amy Hart Foundation stood for. A few did not even know what the foundation was created for.
“Assholes,” Tyler hissed. “Did she really have to invite these people?”
“Yup,” Kalen quipped. “These assholes are where most of the money comes from.” He roughed up Tyler’s hair. “It blows but that’s how it works. Delilah couldn’t foot the bill on her own so we’re gon’ play nice.”
“And behave, maybe?”
“Who know?” Kalen laughed, smacking the back of Tyler’s head. “Miracles can happen.”
“I am so sorry, Ty,” Crystal said, grinning. “Your brother can be a real prick.”
“You know you love it.” Kalen flashed his million-dollar smile.
“Actually,” she said, looking past him, “I can’t stand your ass half the time and oh my god I can’t believe he’s here…” Her jaw dropped and she had to keep from falling out of her seat. “Kalen, whatever you do, don’t turn around.”
“Why, Delilah take her top off all ready?” Kalen swung around in his seat, the wide smile gone the minute he saw Braden walking in arm in arm with Delilah. “That no good fuck.” He jumped out of his seat and stormed across the floor, grabbing Braden by the shirt and slamming him against the wall. “What the fuck are you doin’ here?”
- - - -
“Kalen!” Delilah yelled, grabbing his arm. “Get off-a him!”
“Not till he tells me what he thinks he’s doin’ here.” Kalen growled, his angry eyes drilling into Braden’s. It had been months since the two of them had spoken and nether had told anyone why. It don’t matter, he’d told Crystal when she had tried to wring the truth out of him. And he’d meant it. As far as he was concerned, Braden was dead to him. Or was, until now. “He knows better than to come around either of us, Lilah.”
“I’m just here to support Delilah, same as you,” Braden said, his voice controlled.
“Support her from elsewhere.”
“Kalen, please, let him go,” she pleaded, her hands still tight around his arm. “Let it go, jus’ for tonight.”
Kalen released Braden and backed away. “Jus’ for tonight,” he spat as Delilah pressed against his back and wrapped her arms around his waist.
“Thank you,” she whispered as she pulled him back to the table.
It was then he realized that every eye in the hall was on him; actors, singers, writers, debutants, reporters all stared at him and Braden with a mixture of shock and disgust in their gazes. He realized what he had done and what it could mean for Delilah’s foundation and immediately felt ashamed.
“Sorry, Lilah.” His voice was smile, almost fragile. “I ruined everything.”
“No you didn’t.” She kissed him as she pushed him down on the chair. “It’ll be fine. Hell, we could use the extra publicity.”
“Not this kind.”
“Any kind, as long as it helps the people I’m tryin’ to reach.” There was perfect love and understanding in her eyes, and Kalen could not help but smile. “Now, why don’t you have a drink or five and relax and play nice for the cameras, okay?”
She looked behind him and waved, “Braden’s takin’ Lucky’s spot, seein’ how she’s too cunny to put her shit aside for one fuckin’ night. Can’t let our table be a body short, can we? It’d look worse than if you beat the shit outta your former best friend.”
He did not like the idea of sharing the table with him but knew Delilah was right. Got to keep up appearances, show the people what they need to see, not what they want to see. He nodded. “Sure, I can do that. For you.”
“One of the many reasons I love you.” She slid her fingers along his jaw. “I gotta go backstage and get ready for my speech. Ty,” she looked at the younger Camden, who still sat low in his chair. “You’re up right after me, so why don’t you come with?”
Tyler looked up, seeming relieved to be getting away from the high drama that was his life. “Yea, yea.” He nodded, pulling himself out of the chair. “I should rehearse a bit anyways.”
Delilah took his hand and led him away from the table as Kalen grabbed his drink. “To fun times ahead,” he said glumly before downing what was left. “Fuck.”
Braden took the seat across from Kalen, beside Crystal.
“Hey,” she said, smiling small. “How ya been?”
“All right,” he mumbled, his eyes on Kalen. “Been better, though.”
Crystal grabbed his hand and squeezed. “It’s good to see you again. I’ve missed havin’ you around.”
“Missed you, too.”
“How fuckin’ touching,” Kalen growled. “They’ve all missed the scumbag who can’t keep his hands off-a what’s not his.”
“C’mon, Kay, you know it wasn’t like. I told you then, nothing happened.”
“What didn’t happen?” Crystal asked, her gaze bouncing between them. “What’re you two talkin’ about?”
“Why couldn’t you just stay away?” Kalen asked.
“Same reason you wouldn’t listen to me.” Braden spat.
“Don’t make me ask again!” Crystal whispered harshly.
“He fucked Delilah.”
- - - -
Lucky hated herself, or rather, what she had allowed herself to become since she first arrived in Hollywood, hungry for her big chance. Back home in Georgia, she had grown up on a huge plantation, surrounded by good, God-fearing people who lived each day of their existence according the Good Book. Here sex, booze and drugs surrounded her and she was slowly falling into it all. Though not a virgin when she first arrived in town, she was far from the coke-snorting, bed-hopping girl she was afraid she was becoming.
And she was lonely. She had friends, of course, but they were not the kind of people she preferred to associate with. She was not even sure why she continued being around them but she was afraid to walk away.
What the hell happened to me? I used to be a good, wholesome person. Now, I’m ‘bout three steps away from bein’ Mother Theresa’s polar opposite. When’d I start hatin’ myself? She pushed on the gas petal and the car jerked as it jumped in speed. All around her was a blur; even the stars streaked by. I don’ wanna deal with this no more, mama, I can’t no more…
- - - -
Delilah looked one last time in the lighted mirror and adjusted her bra. She had changed into a long crimson evening gown, slit up each side to her thighs. Her long white hair fell freely around her face. Her lips were stained a dark blood red. Here we go.
She stepped out on stage, smiling and waving as the crowd broke into applause. As she took her place center stage in front of the wireless microphone she looked around at all the famous faces, thankful that each one of them had helped her make her nightmare into a dream worth creating.
“Good evening everyone,” she began, her arms spread. “And thank you all for coming tonight. Since my mother took her own life six years ago I have been struggling to understand why someone who seemed to love her family so much would willingly end their own life. And finally, I understand. Depression can drag us down into the pits of hell and keep there so long we suffocate…”
- - - -
Kalen’s eyes were glued to Delilah as she spoke. He knew where her pain came from; he had known her long before Amy Hart had killed herself in her million dollar bathroom. For the first few years, Delilah would not talk about it; no one knew that she had found her mother dead in the tub. My Snow White Queen…
He had wanted so much to be there for her; he fell in love with her long before he even knew what love was and felt the push to wrap his arms around her and tell her it would all be okay, even at the tender age of eight.
His mind suddenly shifted to the night he had found Braden walking out of her hotel room, his jeans undone and his shirt thrown over his shoulder. How could you? With him, of all people? He was my best friend and then… He felt a rush of guilt at the thoughts. No, not tonight. He looked to Braden, who was turned around his seat, seemingly hooked on Delilah’s every word. You, bro, you were my best friend and you fucked my girl. Bastard.
“And now,” Delilah announced, “let me introduce the newest singing sensation to come out of the House of Corrowinn, Tyler Camden!”
The crowd broke into wild applause. Kalen, Crystal and Braden jumped to their feet as Tyler stepped out on stage wearing low rise boot cut jeans and a black button-down fitted shit. He smiled broadly as the curtain behind him rose, exposing the band that had all ready begun playing.
- - - -
Delilah finally let out the deep breath she had been holding during the last part of her speech. After being more nervous over this night than any other before she was thrilled to have her part behind her; from this point on, she was sure there would be no issues, no problems. Finally.
“Hey, baby doll.” A man’s voice sent a cold shiver up her spine. Slowly, she turned to face him with a tight jaw and tighter fists.
“What the fuck do you want?” She spat at the older man before her.
“Do you really think I need a reason to visit?”
“Yes. A selfish one. So what the hell? Talk or get out.” She looked past him to the stage where Tyler was performing his premiere single, Dance With Me. “Damn.”
“C’mon, hon, can we just talk?”
She slapped him hard across the face. “Don’t call me that.” She pushed past him. “I have shit to do.”
“Please, it’ll only take a minute.”
- - - -
Lucky stepped out of her still idling car and strolled over to the small, rundown house on the corner of the street. Inside she found a dozen half naked people, passed out or rambling incoherently; all where trashed on their dug of choice. She pushed through a second door and found a man, early twenties, sitting behind a beat up desk, smoking a joint.
"And what can I get you tonight?"
"The usual, Doddy. Its been a hell of a week."
- TO BE CONTINUED -