Jeyne felt down after she’d finished her shift and changed over with the guy doing the evening shift. She was so freaking tired. She’d phoned her agent who she would have sworn was avoiding her calls. She’d got some new headshots done and polished her CV. It wasn’t as if she wasn’t trying to get acting jobs, but nothing seemed to be going right for her.
Much as she liked Sansa, there was a bit of her that was jealous of her friend’s easy success in the business.
She’s only just arrived in Hollywood and people were falling all over her beauty. It wasn’t fair.
Even Renly who was her great friend went off with Sansa and now looking at ONTD on her phone, TMZ were all over the pictures of them leaving the diner and speculating whether they were a couple. The new gorgeous it couple of young Hollywood.
When is it ever going to happen for me? Jeyne sulked, vowing to get some cheese popcorn and Ben& Jerry’s Vermonster ice-cream before vegging out in front of the sofa with a marathon of ‘Man vs. Food’. Guaranteed to make her feel better!
Maybe I should give up. Maybe I should go back home and get a job at the mall. She started to think before she snapped herself out of her funk.
No, I can’t give up. Not now, not after I sacrificed so much to get out here.
She was heading toward her beat-up car praying it would at least get her home, when she saw a familiarly rotund figure approaching her. Of course Jeyne vaguely recognised him. It was Varys, the most scurrilous and successful gossip columnist in town, easily recognisable by his bald head and flamboyant suits. But what would he want with her?
“I’m sorry but we’re shut now. We open back up at 7pm for the late shift-“ she started to say apologetically.
“I was so hoping to catch up with you before you closed up. Obviously my assistant must have written the opening hours down wrong.”
Jeyne was so startled that Varys wanted to speak to her, was trying to track her down no less she stopped and stared.
“Shall we take a seat, Miss Poole?” he indicated a park bench and sat down.
Jeyne followed his lead.
“D’ye know I spent a lot of time reading your blog. I found it quite entertaining.” He remarked.
“My blog?” Jeyne’s mouth hung open. That was the last thing she expected him to say. It was just a little Livejournal thing she’d had since she was a teen.
Most of her entries were friend-locked especially where she bitched and let rip her frustration with the whole Hollywood merry go round. She didn’t have many comments or readers if she was honest but sometimes it was therapeutic to write it all out and get it off her chest when she’d had a bad day or something exciting had happened to her.
She blushed at the thought of Varys reading some of her fic especially her RPF phase, or that cringe-worthy period she’d had a crush on Renly- that is before she’d got to know him and he’d become a mate.
“Look, can I level with you, Jeyne?” he said leaning forward his eyes gleaming earnestly. “Your career isn’t really going anywhere.”
“Thanks for pointing out the obvious.” She made a face, glaring at him.
“I’m not saying this to hurt you, I’m just trying to establish the facts.” He added, looking almost sympathetic for a moment. “-there are thousands of fresh faces flooding into this town month after month, year after year and if you don’t have the contacts or the 'It factor' you’re going to find it almost impossible to make an impression.”
“Sansa Stark seems to be doing alright for herself-“ she started, jutting her chin out stubbornly.
“Exactly. She’s a Stark and by all accounts she’s as beautiful and talented as her mother.” He shook his head, a pitying look in his eyes. “You’re not even operating on the same playing field.”
“If you came here just to insult me and rub my inadequacies in my face, then save your breath. I’ve just done a long shift and I want to go home-“ Jeyne was cross at the recital of her failings. Way to make a girl feel even worse about herself!
“Sit back down.” He mopped at his face with a linen handkerchief. “This isn’t quite the way I envisaged this talk going. What I wanted to say was I read your blog and I liked your voice. You’re a good writer-“
“Me?” Jeyne had the wind taken out of her sails by that.
She gave him a suspicious look. “Is this some kind of a joke? Is someone punking me? Ashton Kutcher’s just round the corner, right?”
“No, I’m serious. That post about Tom Hiddleston and Kat Dennings holding hands under the table was heart-warming. And you were so clever to get it. Shame you couldn’t have sneaked a pic but you were at work so it’s understandable.”
Jeyne had felt a bit bad about writing that post but Tom was so handsome and gentlemanly with that swoonsome cut-glass English accent and Kat was a lovely sweet girl and so obviously smitten. Jeyne couldn’t resist, justifying it to herself that hardly anyone would read the post anyway so it didn’t matter. It was quite a jolt to realise that someone had.
That confirmed he had to be one of her LJ friends, because that post was under friends-lock. Varys was still talking. “-Your True Blood recaps are excellent and that snarky take-down of James Franco was gold.”
“He had it coming. Pretentious little-“ she started to mutter before she realised she was being distracted from the main issue.
“-Don’t try to distract me, Varys! What do you want from me?”
“I’m offering you a job on the side and hopefully you should find it quite lucrative.”
“A job?” she parroted, utterly gobsmacked by his proposal. “What do you want me to do?”
On one hand, she needed more money desperately. Trying to manage on just over minimum wage in Hollywood was no joke. But what would Varys want her to do for the money?
“Just what you do on your blog. Send me a few tips about your celebrity customers with your snarky slant on what you find out. I’ll give you a camera set-up so you can sneak a few picas. You’ll be on retainer and I’ll give you a generous bonus for any big scoops-“
“I’m not writing about Sansa or Renly. No way.” She interrupted, before she could get seduced by the prospect of earning easy money. By doing something she loved and was good at! There had to be a catch!
Varys said nothing, merely raising his eyebrows.
“Renly’s been good to me. He’s more of a friend than a customer.”
“You’re very loyal to Mr Baratheon, aren’t you?” he remarked, buffing his nails on the arm of his suit.
“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have scored any jobs in this town. He’s getting his agent to get me some more call-backs. I go round to his house for Sunday dinner. I can’t screw him over, it wouldn’t be right.”
“You can’t afford to be sentimental in this business, Jeyne. You’ll learn that soon enough.”
“Wait a minute, I haven’t even accepted the job yet!” she protested.
He shot a smirk at her, as if to say: You will, don’t worry.