Authors: Jenna Jameson,Hope Tarr
Copyright © 2013 by Jenna Jameson and Hope Tarr
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os Angeles, California, Present Day
“Give me some Sugar.”
“Sugar, who ya meeting?”
“Yeah, who’s the lucky guy?”
“Do you keep him . . . whipped and creamed?”
Legendary adult film star Sugar, born Sarah Halliday, breezed into Beso, the closing door barricading her from the quartet of camerawielding paparazzi. On stakeout in the restaurant’s parking lot, they’d descended as soon as her Jimmy Choos touched down on the blacktop, dogging her from her black Ferrari to the entrance. Safely inside, she dragged a manicured hand through her waist-length blond waves, reminding herself that dealing with jerk reporters was all part of the job, and yet . . .
I am so over LA
She scanned the low-lit bar and adjoining dining room with a practiced eye. Tucked into a table near the baby grand, Kim and Khloe Kardashian perched upon overstuffed chairs, noshing on the ceviche sampler. At the far side of the lounge, actress Eva Mendes and her escort made short work of the restaurant’s signature tacos. Owned by Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria, the trendy nightspot served Latin fusion fare to LA’s A-listers, as well as those hoping to spot them. An out-of-the-way burger dive would have suited Sarah far better, but Martin, her manager, had cautioned that, with her one hundredth film about to release, she needed to show herself around town. That wouldn’t be an issue, not after tonight, but given the gravity of her news, she’d decided to indulge him.
A twenty-something hostess teetered toward her in shiny, cheap heels, her overly made-up eyes huge in her heart-shaped face. “Mr. Levine is already seated. If you’d care to follow—”
“Thanks, but I see him.” Remembering all the shit part-time jobs she’d taken to support herself when she’d first come out to California, Sarah pulled a fifty from her purse and handed it to the girl before walking away.
Entering the main bar area, she nodded to Kim in passing, and made her way over to the table occupied by her manager.
A smile splitting his round face, Martin slid out of the wrap-around booth and stood. “I was starting to worry, and then I saw your text.” His dark eyes slid over her, an infinitesimal nod signaling his approval of her strapless, candy-apple-red Stella McCartney jersey dress.
Aware of the high whispers and open stares directed her way, she slipped into the curved cushion across from him, glad he’d gone ahead and ordered their drinks, a Laphroaig scotch for himself and a white wine for her. “Sorry I’m late. I got . . . caught up.” Thinking of the reason for her delay, presently tucked inside her Prada purse, she reached for her wineglass and took a sip for courage.
He resumed his seat, his smile slipping. “Tell me you didn’t get another letter.”
Even after ten years together, his ability to read her struck her as uncanny. “I wish I could.” She cast a covert glance around the room, relieved that the pianist had resumed playing. Satisfied that any gawkers had returned to their conversations, she opened her bag, took out the folded letter, and slid it across the table. “This makes number five.”
When the first anonymous note had arrived more than a month ago, she’d chalked it up to a secret crush, someone she’d maybe met in passing or worked with during the making of one of her films—a cameraman, prop person, or gopher who’d gotten access to her personal information. But then more messages began arriving, one per week, each one referencing one of her film roles, and she was forced to face the terrifying truth. She had a new stalker, and this one was a lot more intense than the random nutcases who shadowed her on social media sites hoping to uncover her whereabouts. Those she could handle. When you had more than 500,000 Twitter followers, you had to expect there’d be a few who tried crossing the line. But this situation transcended cyberspace. The freak knew where she lived. He knew how and where to find her. He
Whoever he was, he was definitely old school: cream-colored vellum stationery, calligraphy penmanship—the strokes bold but methodical, always in classic black ink with a broad nibbed pen. Quaint—and creepy.
Martin unfolded the paper and gave it a glance before refolding it and slipping it inside his jacket's breast pocket. “I’ll take care of it.”
Sarah set down her glass. “You said that before. Shouldn’t we . . .
call the police at this point?”
He answered with a ferocious shake of his head, sending salt-and-pepper bangs flying. Despite repping her as well as several other notable adult actors, his hairstyle was circa 1960’s Beatles. “You report this to the LAPD and every crackpot in the city is sure to come slithering out of his shit hole to take credit or worse, copycat. Is that what you want?” He paused, sucking at his top teeth. “Besides, what if it’s Danny?”
Danny, the B-list TV actor with whom she’d spent four years, the last year devoted almost exclusively to waging a losing war to get him sober. Only Danny hadn’t been interested in giving up the booze or the drugs, hadn’t acknowledged he had any problem beyond her bitching. She’d put up with it all—the mood swings, the lies, the theft even—until one night eight months ago when their “difference of opinion” had exploded in a backhanded blow across her face. After throwing him out, this time for good, she’d picked up the phone and called Martin. He’d taken one look at her puffy face and pulled out his iPhone. Standing by while he made one call after the other, canceling her following day’s shoot and rescheduling a week’s worth of appointments, she’d acknowledged there was only one person she could possibly save: herself.
The next day she’d had all the locks changed.
Even if the culprit was an ex, standing by and doing nothing didn’t sit well with Sarah. It took her back to that terrible time as a teenager when she’d sat by her mom’s bed in hospice and watched, helpless, as day by day the cancer won. The grief had fueled her determination to live life on her own terms and to the fullest, which had meant pursuing her dream of stardom on the big screen. Leaving her native New York and driving cross country to LA in a beat-up Volkswagen with a single suitcase and a couple hundred bucks to her name had been one ballsy big risk. The move had paid off, albeit not in the way she’d intended. At casting calls, she’d been told she was too striking for commercials and too all-American for film work, where a more multicultural look was sought. Unlike her competition, she’d had no college degree and no acting credentials. Without money or experience, getting a SAG card was about as easy as hitching a ride to the moon. Unable to make rent despite working numerous part-time jobs, sick of using pilfered ketchup packets and mugs of hot water to make “soup,” she’d accepted a walk-on role in a porn film. At the wrap party, she’d met her future manager, Martin Levine. Under Martin’s guidance, her walk-on part had led to a callback for a feature role in another adult film, and then another . . . Before long Sarah was reborn as the adult film sensation, Sugar, with more fans and more money than she’d ever dreamed possible.
Ten years later, she liked to think that gutsy, take-no-prisoners girl lived on inside her, but lately she wasn’t so sure. Had success made her soft? Having a manager and a posse of publicity professionals was standard for someone who’d attained her level of stardom, but had all the support blunted her instincts and made her less than self-reliant?
Determined not to back down this time, she demanded, “Then what do I do? And Martin, whether or not it’s Danny, at this point I have to do something.”
He blew out a breath. “Relax, I have a guy on it.”
“You hired a private detective?”
“Security professional,” he amended, expression sheepish. “Former FBI, been working the private sector since he retired from the agency. Has an extensive background in executive escort. You couldn’t be in better hands.”
That was a relief. For an instant, she wondered why he hadn’t told her before but then brushed the niggling annoyance aside. What mattered was that the situation was being handled. Besides, her stalker’s latest lovelorn missive was only part of the reason she’d called this meeting.
She braced herself to deliver the news that would likely prompt Martin to order a second scotch—this time a double. “Thanks, but I won’t need him after next week.”
He straightened from the lounging position he favored. “Why is that?”
Sarah steeled herself. She owed Martin a hell of a lot. A leggy twenty-something with big dreams and average-sized breasts, she’d been easy to dismiss as just another wannabe. Martin had seen something in her that the other talent scouts and managers and casting agents hadn’t—and he’d pushed hard to make sure producers and investors had seen it too. But no matter how amazing the money, she’d never seen porn as her end game.
“I’ve decided to leave LA. I’m going home, Martin, home to New York.” There, she’d said it. Mouth dry, she retrieved her glass and took a sip. Predictably his eyes bugged. “Are we talking a break or—”
“Retirement. We . . . I’m . . . talking about retiring.” Dreading this conversation as she had, it was a relief to finally get the word out.
“If this is about not wanting to work with Bo Tucker, I’ll pull strings and get him replaced. If the studio won’t play ball, I’ll get you out of the contract. I’ll—”
“Thanks, but this isn’t about Bo or the film.” Given the shit Tucker had pulled on their last film, thrusting into her after the director had called “Cut,” he was her least favorite male lead; still, she was enough of a professional to push past her personal dislike for the sake of the project. “It’s a decision I’ve been coming to for a long time.”
That was the truth. With the release of her latest,
, she had one hundred films to her credit, the final twenty produced under her Wing Star label. The previous year she’d been inducted into the
Adult Video News
Hall of Fame. The AVN recognition had led to cameo appearances on several popular mainstream TV shows, as well as a role in a major motion picture. Her roster of product endorsement contracts ranged from high-end lingerie to exotically flavored lube. Even for those who’d never viewed an adult film, her name was a household word synonymous with sex.