She found her bitchy side and curled her lip, her narrowed eyes glittering down at my tapping hands. “What are you doing here this early, freak?”
“You’ll be thanking me later. I just saved your ass.” I smiled even though my stomach was in knots.
“I don’t even know what that means.” She sniffed, turning her attention to her nails.
“And you won’t until you invite me in. Or you tell me to go away, but you’ll regret it.”
She snorted and flicked a piece of flaxen hair over her shoulder. “I’m the one with photos of you. It was quite a hardship taking those—the bushes and wet grass wreaked havoc on my shoes. I just wish I could have been there to see your face when you looked at them.”
Keep smiling, I told myself. I chuckled knowingly. “Oh, Blair, you ruined a perfectly good pair, then, because I loved those pics—except the fake ones of you, of course. They really showed your age.”
She narrowed her eyes. “What do you want?”
I sighed, studying my own nails. Two can play her game. “Just a little tip: There’s more to me that you think. If you’d done your research, you’d know that I have enough money to sink you in every way I can imagine, legal or not.”
“Are you threatening me?” she gasped and clutched her chest.
Oh, please. “Not only can I make sure your name is smeared in every reputable newspaper in America, my clout in Hollywood is on the rise. I met with Hing last night. He’s listening to me.” I winked. “He finds me quite entertaining. I think we may be new best friends.”
“How?” Her body stiffened.
“We need to chat. I suggest we move this inside. We have a lot to discuss.”
She tightened her robe and moved to the side as I entered and followed her through her spacious house. Cold and modern, it was stocked with photos of her everywhere. She led me back to the kitchen and indicated I take a seat. I stood. She did as well.
I crossed my arms. “I’ll be brief. You have some pictures that belong to me, and I want them back, including the ones of you and Sebastian. I’d like the camera, your cell phone, your laptop, and any other drives where you might have downloaded the pics. I’m assuming you haven’t sold them yet?”
“Not yet, but I have plans.” She went to the cabinets and pulled out a can of coffee.
Keep going. Push her. “You know, it’s simple really. I lost my parents, but I refuse to lose Sebastian. I will fight you every step of the way. I will destroy you to save him.”
“You’re boring me, Violet.”
I chuckled. “Last night, I made a list of ways to ruin your life, Blair. It took up five pages in my journal.” It was only one.
She planted herself in a kitchen chair and stared at me. “That’s intriguing, and yet, very unlike you. How?”
“I don’t tell my secrets, Blair, but if you’re smart, you’ll think about those pictures and the ramifications. Releasing them would be completely unpredictable. It’s career suicide for you—not just Sebastian—although lots of people get crazy famous when sex videos of them are released. But you have no control over which way it will go.”
Her eyes hardened. “What do I have to lose? At least I can get in the papers. Get sympathy.”
I shook my head. “Fans are fickle. Some may rally to your side, others may listen to me, because if you do this, I will have my say in the media.”
“So you keep saying, but I don’t buy it.”
I smiled tightly. “I hate to brag, but in New York my family had important friends. Even the President of the United States had dinner with my parents once, and don’t think I won’t call on every single contact I have to ruin you. I will go on every entertainment show in TV-land and tell them exactly how awful you are. I’ll tell the police you stalked me and took those pictures to harass me. I’ll hire lawyers to sue you. I might even buy your hometown in Alabama and rename it Blair Sucks—I am an heiress, after all. I will find every girl you’ve ever slighted or guy you’ve scorned and invite them to join me—”
She sent me a calculating look. “You hate attention.”
“I’m running out of time and patience with you. I have a gala to attend. Give me the pictures.” My voice was hard.
She sighed heavily. “I can’t.”
“Wrong answer.” I rose. “I will see you in court, then.” I headed to the door and tossed over my shoulder. “Oh, and did I mention that Hing said he’d be willing to give you a smaller role in the zombie movie? You’d die early on, but it’s a juicy role.”
Her eyes flared. “What the hell are you talking about?”
I laughed. “Yeah, apparently, Hing’s willing to make a deal with you if you give me those pictures. Now.”
She went stiff, her hands clutching her robe like talons.
“That’s the thing about Hollywood: everyone has their price, and apparently Hing has his. I have the power to destroy you, yet I’m choosing to help you.”
She paced around me. “What do you have over Hing? Did you get the male lead for Sebastian?”
As if I’d ever want him working with her?
I refused to answer that, giving her a shrug.
She started crying, mumbling about sagging skin and cottage cheese legs.
I ignored her hysterics and helped myself to a glass of water. My body language screamed in-control, but I was pushing myself to deal with her. Even though I’d never prance myself across national television, I wanted her to believe it. Offering her this deal was the only way to get rid of her forever.