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Fading Star

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His head was killing him and so was his leg and, for the life of him, Tony had no idea what the hell had happened to him last night. He could just about recall taking a beautiful blond to a meeting with some Paramount casting people but, after that, everything was fuzzy. He had awoken scrunched up inside a box. A BOX!

He staggered out of an unfamiliar apartment, flipping open his phone and calling his chauffeur-bodyguard to meet him with his car.

While he waited, Tony checked his messages. Several demanded his immediate attention and he almost deleted the one from Amber without opening it, not wanting to ruin his day further by listening to her bitch at him--on video no less--for disappearing on her last night. Marrying her had been his biggest mistake of the decade--right up there with getting his Mafioso boss to finance Amber's three flops while simultaneously turning down an opportunity that would have put him right back on top of the film industry. Her terrible movies had left him a fast-fading film executive, forced to employ less salubrious means of paying back the money he owed: working as a triggerman. Not that he hated the job exactly.

The last three years had been the most miserable of his life, especially after almost going down for a triple homicide.

"Oh, what the hell," he murmured aloud, realizing he might as well get it over with. He almost dropped his cellphone as he watched the video of some guy fucking his wife, but as her cries rose in passion, so did his mood until he was grinning broadly.

Three years of misery. Three years of looking for a way out of a loveless marriage of HER convenience after he realized that his trophy wife was more of a booby prize--a bit-part, fading star who had more of a chance of getting a part in a porn shoot where acting ability wasn't required, than a part in a serious show. Three years of HER making certain there were never any grounds for divorce or she'd take him for every cent he had ever earned--and suddenly he was holding everything he needed in his hand. He kissed the cellphone. All he needed now was confirmation that it was real fucking and not Amber suddenly discovering how to act. He used the freeze-frame and squinted at the image of the guy, climbing into the passenger seat and showing it to his chauffeur when the car finally pulled up.

"You know this guy?"

"Yeah! That's Mick. Yeah, Mick. He promotes the nightclub you went to last night."

"I need to find him. Now!"

"That blond you were drinking with last night? She works at the club." The chauffeur looked up as a car with a wardrobe strapped to the top pulled up and two girls got out. "Wait. That's the blond there!" He pointed to one of the girls.

"Come with me. I need to talk to her."

Five minutes later, he had an address and reassurance that neither he nor the blond would ever speak of last night again. Judging by her haggard look, her night had been just as bad so she readily agreed.

Half an hour later, he was down ten grand but that was peanuts compared to what he had gained. His chauffeur had recorded Mick's outburst, backing up that it had been real sex. Adultery. So that prenuptial agreement was water-tight. She would be leaving with just a fraction of his money.

he climbed into the car, still grinning widely.

"Where to, Mr. Russo?"

Tony sank back with a self-satisfied grin as the car headed uptown towards his lawyer's office. His years of misery were finally over.