“Get it to me by eight. I’ve got a hot date, and I’m going off the clock tonight.”
“I’ll send it to you by then.”
“All right. Now do you think you can get your pretty little butt out of here and take some pictures for me over on Melrose?” he said, rattling off the names of several TV stars whose assistants planned to take them shopping today.
“I’m on it,” I said. Besides, there was a wig shop on Melrose where I could grab Claire Tinsley’s ’do. After all, I had a wedding to crash in less than forty-eight hours.
I found William at the table outside, looking cool and casual and completely kissable. My stomach twisted in knots with wanting him, and then once more with wishing I didn’t want him so much.
I tried to tell myself he wasn’t the guy I was falling for. He was only my partner-in-crime, and nothing more.
But the rush of heat in my veins, and the fluttering in my chest, said otherwise.
I proceeded to share with him all that I’d learned about Keats and Wordsworth, hoping the focus on work would distract me from matters of the heart.
* * *
A font of celebrity insight, Jess knew everything about every star, from their relationship status, to their list of credits, to their shooting schedules. She also knew about gene structure, and biology, and cells—not that we discussed science—but I found it insanely hot that she was so smart. While I still possessed a supreme lack of knowledge about celebrities, I knew a tad more from spending the time by her side, taking notes on how she documented shopping habits of the stars in a pocket-size black-and-white notebook.
First, she hustled bracelet-shopping photos of Emily Hannigan, who had a regular role on a hospital show as a one-legged doctor, Jess informed me.
“She’s on Trauma Tonight. And is in consideration for the Gretchen Lindstrom role on We’ll Always Have Paris, I read earlier today. You really don’t recognize her?” she asked.
“Nope,” I’d said, shaking my head. “Though it could be that the pair of limbs are throwing me off.”
Next, she nabbed a shot of two mustached young actors who held hands while perusing polo shirts in a nearby shop. “How about those guys? They’re all over the magazines.”
I shook my head.
“They’re Jim and Jack Turner-Grace. They play rival detectives on a set-in-the-seventies cable show. They fell in love on set,” she explained. “I thought for sure you’d recognize them. The press loves them and so do their fans. They’re about to adopt two little girls from Vietnam.”
“How many times do I have to tell you, Jess? It’s like you’re speaking Russian.”
“Because that’s the only language you don’t speak.”
“In addition to celebrity.”
“I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that,” she’d said, bumping my shoulder playfully as we left the shop. “I don’t understand how you can live in this town and not be addicted to gossip.”
“You’re such a junkie.”
Then, through the window of a sneaker store, she spotted the fifteen-year-old rising pop sensation Rain Storm—yes, he claimed that was his given name, a Google search on my phone revealed—who’d become a hit after several Ivy League water polo teams had performed lip syncs of his latest tune on YouTube. She snared a picture of him wearing a red plaid vest as he purchased a pair of matching red high-top sneakers.
“That’s for Anaka, but I’ll give it to J.P., too, because they both find Rain amusing,” she said, then snapped a few more shots of other celebrities along Melrose, including one of the stars of LGO’s Lords and Ladies, when Anaka’s cousin texted her with a tip she’d just landed on their whereabouts.
“Her mom produces the show. But evidently that tip came from some hot guy. Which means Anaka and I are going to have to get the full story on her cousin’s romantic situation,” Jess told me as she sent the final set of shots to J.P.
Not a bad take for her for an afternoon’s worth of trolling, plus I’d gleaned plenty of intel on a day in the life of a paparazzo. We were both getting something out of this partnership, and I wanted it to continue in all ways. When we were finished, I suggested we stop at the Busy Bee Eatery for a bite to eat, so we snagged a table at a diner decked out in black-and-yellow decor, matching the name.
“Now it’s my turn to help you,” I said, and after we ordered, I did some digging online on my iPad, quickly finding a photo of the poet brothers. They wore white linen shorts and blue button-down shirts, and smiled for the camera from the deck of a big boat floating on the water. God bless Facebook, and the ease of finding someone’s life story on the site.