After the first painful party, I recruited Bojan to join me. He could care less about the celebrities but liked “banging posh bitches” so he agreed, with the understanding in place that he would abandon me at the first chance of getting laid. He made an impressive date, with the right clothes, the right watch, the right swagger—and my nerves immediately relaxed as he reclined comfortably on the corner of a sectional that I would have never dared to sit on.
“Come on.” He patted the seat next to him. “Cozy up. Take off those ridiculous heels and rest your feet.”
I awkwardly perched next to him and smoothed the hemline of my dress. He watched me and laughed. “Emma, you’ve got to get that stick out of your ass.”
I stuck my tongue out at him, and his grin widened.
“Here.” He held out his drink. “Take this and down it.”
I took the heavy tumbler and looked over the Emmy afterparty. “We should take a video. Something for my channel.” Vidal had given me a strict schedule to follow, one that had mandated a post every fifteen minutes, at minimum.
“We’ll take the video in a bit. You’ve got to start having fun first.” He nodded at the glass. “Go ahead.”
I tilted back the glass, then recoiled at the taste. “Disgusting,” I spat out. “What is this?”
He moved closer, his legs brushing against mine, and pushed gently on the bottom of the glass, bringing it up to my mouth. “The best bourbon money can buy. Just sip it slowly. Try to enjoy it. You’ve got a thousand dollars in that glass.”
I widen my eyes at him, but took the long sip, trying not to shudder at the sharp bite. I pushed his hand away and coughed, my chest burning as the hot liquor moved down my throat. He chuckled and watched as a model-thin brunette in a mini-skirt walked back. I snapped my fingers in front of his face, and his dark eyes came back to me. “Uh-uh,” I cautioned. “Don’t leave me yet.”
“Emma,” he chided, throwing a heavy arm around my shoulders. “Don’t worry.” He nuzzled his face into the side of my neck. “I’m not going anywhere until you get drunk.”
Not getting drunk had been Vidal’s next rule—one he had repeated three times before leaving my apartment. I watched as Bojan flagged down a shot girl and unlocked my phone, capturing the moment that he reached forward and grabbed two shots off the tray. He pivoted toward me, and I caught another shot, the dim lighting picking up the profile of Russell Crowe, who was in the backdrop.
“Put that up,” he ordered. “You look like a fucking tourist.”
I obeyed, then took the shot he gave me. Within ten minutes, my anxiety had mellowed, and I was tucked into the arm of his YSL suit. I rested my head on his shoulder and inhaled the expensive musk of his cologne, watching as Rachel McAdams laughed at something Nicolas Cage had said. “This is surreal,” I mused. “Can you believe we’re here?”
It was a stupid question to ask him. Bojan didn’t care about celebrities because he was a minor one, part of the club enough to get the access and women that he wanted. He dismissed me with a snort, then kicked a designer boot onto the golden inlaid table before us. “You’ve got to learn Hollywood, Em. The more you don’t want to be famous, the more you will be.”
It was, quite possibly, the stupidest statement I’d ever heard. Completely untrue. Still, it was interesting enough that I stole the line for the following day’s live video. I dissected the idea while listing three celebrities who fit his statement, and three that didn’t. I asserted my opinion that Bojan was wrong—it didn’t matter if they wanted it or didn’t want it. All that mattered was if they were beautiful and interesting. My viewers agreed with me, and the photos I posted from that Emmy afterparty exploded.
After that, Vidal approved Bojan joining me on all awards events, and we made a serious push to get me a ticket to an actual show. The easiest was the Film Independent Spirit Awards, but I had my eye set on something else. Something Cash Mitchell was slated to be at.
The MTV Movie Awards.
“Once an influencer passes 250,000 followers, that’s when we start looking at them. And in terms of brands and impacts, there’s always a fit for someone, no matter how controversial they are. Emma Blanton was what we considered a C-List opportunity. Her audience was an interesting mix of males and females, her engagement was through the roof, but almost everything was built on drama. The things she said about other people. The events in her personal life. The fact that her quote-on-quote “best friend” was Bojan Frost. Who, by the way, is impossible to promote through. The guy wouldn’t tag Maserati if you gave him a brand new one. But Emma would. Emma would tag and location and hashtag the shit out of something, and for a relatively inexpensive amount. And for that reason, we overlooked the fact that she was unlikeable. We took a chance and threw some ad dollars her way. And the results were fantastic.”