"How was movie making today?" Rivers asked, as she drove away from the studio where she had just picked up one very tired Annah.
" I dont know why Im so damn tired. All I did was sit in that stupid chair while Rhett did my hair and makeup while we waited for the scenes to be set up. Then the lighting was all wrong, so we waited for it to be fixed. Then hair and makeup for the other actors had to be redone because we were sweating like pigs, so there went more time. We shot one scene in six hours Rivers, and I feel like Ive been dragged through the mud. Freakin' 7 a.m. call, and I feel like we didn't do anything."
" Im sorry," Rivers began.
"Why are you sorry, it wasnt your fault."
" I know, but it seemed a polite thing to say."
Annah laughed, and said, " Maybe you dont always have to be polite Rivers."
"Stop it, smart ass. Speaking of which, how is Rhett?"
" Hes actually doing really well. Still busting my balls about putting the moves on you."
" Yup. He keeps saying that youre too good for Jordan, which we are in agreement about, I might add, and that I should go for it."
" And what did you say?"
" I said Id have to think about it, you know, see what my options are."
Rivers backhanded Annah in the belly, and then turned her attention back to the road.
" You know, Rhett really is a good looking guy, I wonder why he never went into acting."
Rivers turned and looked at the other woman, trying to gauge whether or not she was being serious.
" You mean he didnt tell you?"
" Tell me what," Annah asked.
" About his other career?"
" No, he didnt tell me. Now just spill it, because I know youre dying to tell me."
" Well, no, not really. Im surprised he didnt say anything, though. He told me the second time he met me."
" Would you just tell me already!" Annah shouted playfully.
" Rhett was a gay porn actor, or more precisely, he was a gay porn superstar."
" Shut the hell up," Annah said, as she looked at Rivers with wide blue eyes.
" Im serious. He was huge, I mean in the star sense. He even went so far as to start writing and directing, and not only gay porn mind you. He even won some awards for both. "
Annah sat back in her seat and attempted to digest this new information. Rhett was a porn star. Not just any porn star, but he had to be an award winning porn star and director?
In Hollywood, Annah would believe anything, and after what had happened to her in the past month, she knew anything was possible.
It made sense, what with Rhett being as good-looking as he was. Annah made a mental note to tease Rhett about his double life as soon as she saw him again.
" So what do you want to do tonite?" Rivers asked, as she noted that Annah still looked as though she were trying to make sense of what she had just been told.
" Uhm, I dont care. Its up to you."
" What time is your call tomorrow?"
" 9 in the morning."
" Feel like-" Before Rivers could finish her thought, her cell phone started chirping from its perch on her dash. She pushed a button to answer, and the sound of Johnsons voice boomed through the car.
"Where is Jordan?"
" Im right here, whats going on?"
" You have to be at the MTV Awards tonite."
" The studio just called me and asked if youd go and be a presenter. Somebody cancelled out at the last minute. It would be great publicity."
" Do I have a choice?" Annah asked.
" Not really," Johnson said, and Annah noted that he chuckled, which was rare for the big man. " The car will be at the house at 5."
" Wait," Annah said before he hung up, " I'm staying at the Beverly Hotel."
" Uhm, ok then, I'll tell them to send it there," he said, and then disconnected.
" He didn't know you weren't staying at the house anymore?" Rivers asked.
"It never really came up, but I guess he knows now."
" Well, he'll just think that I threw you out or something," Rivers said, as she turned to Annah and grinned.
" What am I supposed to wear to this thing?" Annah asked, as she realized that she didn't have access to Jordan's closet anymore.
" Shit," Rivers said as she made a quick move into the next lane. "Looks like we're going shopping."
Annah groaned, as Rivers turned onto Santa Monica Boulevard, towards Rodeo Drive.
" She's so small in person," Annah whispered as she and Rivers walked down the red carpet towards the auditorium where the awards were being held.
" I know, I always thought she was a lot taller. Jordan and I went to the premiere of Evita, and I swear I almost passed out when I met her. You can't not be affected by that woman. Even Jordan stuttered when they were introduced, and she never gets nervous around people."
Annah laughed, and she and Rivers posed for a few photographers before taking their seats for the show.
Hours later, a very stiff Annah ran her hands over her back and ass, trying to restore feeling to the areas affected most by sitting for so long. Besides the very short time it had taken to present the award for the best rap video, with her co-star Lance Lunceford (who Johnson had conveniently forgotten to mention in his earlier call), Annah had been in her seat for way too long.
Annah begged off invitations to many of the Hollywood after parties, no doubt making plenty of people suspicious, as Jordan Allen was not one to turn down any party. Plenty of times once those parties were over, the celebration moved to Jordan's house and continued until the sun was up.
Rivers often found herself alone in the bedroom, trying to sleep while music and laughter played throughout the house. She never dared to actually leave the bedroom in search of Jordan to let her know that she needed to sleep, that she actually had a job that required she be there every day at a certain time. Deep in her heart she knew that if she sought Jordan out, she might find her in a position that would require that Rivers do something about it, and that thought had become more and more painful.
As the limo drove them closer to the Beverly hotel, Rivers gazed at her sleeping companion and wondered what she had ever done to deserve someone as kind and gentle as Annah.
Part of the reason she had wasted so much time with Jordan instead of leaving was the thought that she would be alone. At 34, she had only had a few relationships, always putting school and her career first. She thought that with Jordan they could perhaps build on something, have a family even, which was something that Rivers hadnt considered before. It seemed the right time, only as Rivers was to discover, not the right person.
She hated that she had allowed herself to become so desperate, that she had been clinging to something that was clearly wrong for her. It had all come back to that fear of being alone, and the fact that she wanted so much to have the kind of love that her parents had that she was willing to sacrifice so much of herself to get it.
Annah had given Rivers the impression that once she had lost her own family, she had placed an incredible amount of importance on honoring their memory. Rivers knew that Annah would want the same things out of life, would want to settle down and maybe have a few kids. It just seemed that they were on the same page, and in the same direction at the same time in their lives, and it made Rivers hopeful that they would be able to turn their friendship into something more.
Rivers shook herself out of her memories as she heard her cell phone ring. She placed it next to her ear and said quietly, " Hello," so as not to wake up Annah.
"Rivers, it's Jordan."
Rivers brought her hand to her mouth, cursing that she had let out a gasp loud enough to make Annah stir in her sleep. Rivers ran her hands through Annah's hair, attempting to settle her back down.
" Yes, I..uhm, I'm here. Where are you?"
"At the house, I just got in a few minutes ago and I saw that all of your stuff was gone."
"You almost sound hurt," Rivers said, unable to resist getting in a jab at her former lover.
Jordan sighed. "I suppose I deserved that. Can you come over? I'd really love to talk to you."
"I'm not coming back to you, Jordan." Rivers spoke a little louder than she had meant, and upon hearing Jordan's name, Annah sat upright, her blue eyes widened.
"No, Rivers. It isn't like that. I understand that you needed more from me than I was willing to give, and for that I'm sorry." Jordan paused and then let out a shaky breath before continuing.
"You know, they told me I had to make amends with people that I had hurt, but I didn't realize it was going to be this hard."
" I'm not so sure it's a good idea for me to go over there right now Jordan," Rivers said as she looked at Annah, the taller womans' expression was still that of shock.
"You're with someone, aren't you?" Jordan asked, sounding hurt.
"I hardly think that you are in any position to question me about that."
"This is so not going the way I was meaning it to," Jordan said, "Do you think at some point you would be willing to talk to me?"
"Just to talk?" Rivers added quickly.
"Yes, just to talk."
"Hold on," Rivers said as she put the phone down and turned to Annah. "She wants me to meet with her and talk."
"We can't wait, Rivers. What if someone calls the house about the movie? She is going to find out the wrong way. We have to tell her."
" Do you want to go there right now?"
" What choice do we have?" Annah asked, and Rivers had to concede that she was right. They had to tell Jordan what had been going on the past month that she had been gone.
Rivers put the phone back to her ear, "Jordan, we'll be right there."
"We?" Jordan questioned.
"Jordan, this is something that you are going to have to see to believe."
Rivers and Annah sat in silence after Rivers instructed the driver to take them back to Jordan's house. Neither one of them could express the many thoughts that were going through their heads.
Annah was mostly thinking that her time with Rivers was going to be over soon. She didn't care much about leaving the limos and the most comfortable bed that she had ever slept in. Her stomach was tied in knots as she contemplated what her next move was going to be, provided Jordan didn't try to kick her ass first. She had never been much of a fighter.
Rivers absently bit at her nails, even though there wasn't much left to bite off. She was busy trying to wrap her mind around the fact that Jordan was not the only one who was going to have to explain her actions. Rivers knew that she was going to have to reveal everything that had been happening, which included her own part in passing Annah off as the actress. She knew that Jordan could sometimes have a temper, though it had never really been directed at her, she had seen it first hand plenty of times to know that she did not want herself or Annah to be the recipient of it.
The limo came to a stop and the driver let them out. Annah waited for Rivers as she opened her clutch purse to tip the driver, who smiled gratefully at what Rivers had given him. Without thought, they grasped hands and walked to the door. Rivers considered using her key, but opted to ring the doorbell instead.
When Jordan opened the door she could not believe how wonderful Rivers looked. She didn't look as thin as she had the last time they had seen one another, and Jordan guessed that Rivers had stopped worrying so much about her and started taking care of herself for once. She didn't even seem to notice Annah, instead reaching out and putting her arms around her former lover.
Rivers could not believe the obvious change in Jordan. She had put on some weight, and it suited her. She had her black hair pulled back in a braid, and it made her look years younger than when she left. Gone were the dark circles from lack of sleep, and her eyes were no longer bloodshot, but looked a lot more livened. Rivers held on to the other woman, surprised at the onslaught of emotion that came with being face to face. She had spent so much time being pissed off, that looking at Jordan again, and having her look so healthy, made Rivers happy.
"You look good," Rivers said, stepping out of the hug.
"And you...you look better than I've ever seen you look."
" Should I be happy or offended?" Rivers asked, a bit of a smile on her face.
Before Jordan could answer, she seemed to remember that Rivers was not alone. She glanced at the tall woman standing next to Rivers, and was visably taken aback.
"You...you..," she pointed at Annah, unable to get any other words out of her mouth.
"I think we need to go inside Jordan. There is a lot you need to know."
A little over an hour later, Jordan sat back on the black leather couch and let out a long breath.
"Who knows about this?" she asked.
" Us three, and Rhett," Annah answered.
"You told Rhett?" Jordan asked.
" He figured it out the first time he met me. He was the only one though."
" So you mean to tell me that I've been gone for a month and no one seemed to notice that someone was impersonating me?"
" That's pretty much it," Rivers answered, "And you still haven't told me where you've been."
"For crissakes Rivers, where in the hell do you think I've been?"
"Knowing you Jordan, you've shacked up with one of your conquests."
Jordan stood and began pacing, "How many times can I apologize for that-"
"Try once, Jordan. Maybe once you might apologize for flaunting all of your bitches in front of me," Rivers said as she wiped away angry tears.
Annah slowly stood from where she was sitting and began to walk towards the front door. She had never been very good with angry scenes, and she wanted to avoid this one at all costs. Just as she was about to reach for the handle, two angry voices cried out, "You're not leaving!"
She slowly walked back to her seat and put her head down.
"Rivers, I've been in rehab for the past month. I went to a center out in the desert. I'm trying to kick the drugs, the booze, and even the sex. I know I should have let you in on what I was doing, but I was driving down Santa Monica and everything just hit me," Jordan said, as she sat down again.
"I was so tired of living the way I was. I hated the things that I was doing, especially the way that I was treating you. I guess I just realized how much I hated me. You deserved so much better than the shit I saddled you with. All of this money, the movies, I guess I just stopped being happy a long time ago. I was just too stoned to realize it. So that day, I drove to the rehab that I had tried a long time ago, when I hadn't been ready to quit, and I checked myself in."
"Why didn't you call? I would have left you alone," Rivers said.
"I asked that they take my phone privilages for those first two weeks. I knew that if I talked to anyone, I would want to leave. I just can't live this life anymore. I've been doing it for over ten years, and I just don't want to do it any longer."
Rivers nodded, absorbing all that she had been told. Jordan had finally cleaned up, something that she had always tried to help her with, but had never been able to. While part of her resented that it was something that Jordan had once again left her out of, the rest of her knew that this was all for the best, and she couldn't help being happy.
It seemed that at the same time that Annah looked up at Rivers and Jordan now that there didn't seem to be any more sparks flying, both women turned to look at her.
"Now," Jordan said as she grinned, "What shall we do with you?"
"Are you ready?" Rivers asked, as the door to their limo was opened.
The bulbs from the paparazzi cameras began to flash as the women exited the limo hand in hand.
The actress smiled and waved to the crowd, and the duo made their way down the red carpet for the premiere of the movie that had been filmed just one year prior. It was one year ago that three lives had changed dramatically, and it all began with an accident.
That night at Jordan's Hollywood home, the three women came to an agreement that meant that they all would have a role to step into, and a plan was set into motion. A plan that was the stuff that fairy tales were made of, in the land of stars, where nothing was ever as it seemed.
"I don't want to do this anymore. I want to retire," Jordan had said.
"But, you've got a movie to finish," Rivers reminded the actress.
Jordan looked to Annah, and the Greek woman knew then that her time as Jordan Allen was far from being over.
"My wanna-be twin here has done a fantastic job from what I understand. Only one other person knows, and Rhett has never been much of a gossip, damn him."
"This will never work," Annah said, her stomach in knots over the prospect of continuing to live the life of a Hollywood actress.
"It's been working so far, and obviously, you've got enough talent to fool the world. I have faith in you," Jordan grinned.
"Is that enough?" Annah asked.
"It's going to have to be," Jordan replied.
The next day, Jordan Allen transferred all of the money from her bank into an overseas account, minus the money that she had been paid for the filming of her latest project. That was left for the woman she felt had earned it.
She also had Rhett come to the house that day, and when he walked in and saw Annah and Jordan together, he almost passed out. It was truly a shock to him how much two people, who were not related in any way, could look as though they were twins. Things in Hollywood never ceased to amaze him.
Jordan's long black hair was cut just above her shoulders, and dyed a light blondish brown, which had once been her natural color. She looked nothing like the Jordan Allen that the world knew, and she relished the chance to fade into anonymity. Rhett had told her she and Annah were his greatest project, and he wished all of them well as he left the house, swearing that he would never tell a soul what he knew.
Jordan and Annah then switched their ID's, as well as all other information that would be needed to ensure that both of them would now be living the other's life. Jordan wanted to 'see the world,' she had said, before she would decide where she would end up. All she knew was that she no longer wanted a life in the spotlight, and was content to give that up to someone else.
"This is an opportunity that is too good to pass up," she had told Annah, and the other woman could not believe what was taking place.
"You'll be fine," Jordan said, as she said her goodbyes. She had hugged Rivers, holding the woman for quite some time before letting her go.
"I'll be in touch," she said, getting into the cab that would be taking her to LAX, and into a whole new life.
After that day, when Jordan had walked out, Rivers and Annah had heard from her a few times. She had been travelling, first through Europe, and the last they had heard she was on her way to Egypt. She was doing all of the things she wanted to be doing, and had no regrets about the decision that she had made. Her sobriety remained on track and she hoped that one day she would meet the woman that would make the picture complete. Of course, Annah had always told her, "Whenever you're ready to come back..," but Jordan always said she was much happier with her life as it was. She would only harp on her to make sure she was taking care of Rivers.
Annah and Rivers had progressed into a romantic relationship within weeks of Jordan's departure. Annah swore she had never been happier and everyday spent with Rivers only brought her more joy than she had ever thought possible. They had both sworn to take things slowly, but it wasn't long before they both knew that they were truly in love.
After talking with various reporters, Annah and Rivers walked into the movie theater to view the film. It was, by all the projected hype, going to be a blockbuster. As Annah caught her first glimpse of herself on screen, she could not believe that not so long ago she had been sleeping under bridges, and taking her meals from trash cans. It was one of those things that she still shook her head about. She couldn't help but wonder, with some sadness, about what her parents would think if they could see her now.
Trying to shake such thoughts from her mind, she turned to Rivers, and whispered, "Let's blow this joint."
"We can't leave, how would it look?" Rivers asked, though having the Greek woman whisper in her ear affected her in such a way that she would do whatever was being asked of her.
"Let them talk. There's a really big, nice comfy bed just waiting for us."
"What if I can't wait," Rivers whispered back.
"Then there's a really big leather seat in the limo, come on."
The two women got up from their seats and made their way out into the night, somewhere in Hollywood, where anything and everything is possible.
Return to the Academy
Thanks so much for taking the time to read! I appreciate each and every one of you that wrote to let me know what you think. I'd love to hear what you thought of the whole product.
I must thank Ali, for setting me up with an awesome beta in Lenore! Lenore, thanks so much for helping me make some sense of this story that just wouldn't leave me alone. Same goes out to Extra and Jordan, who was quite upset to share the namesake and thought my Jordan was beyond redemption. What do you think??
Another special thanks and good vibes sent to my favorite Greek, Athathanasia, aka Annah. She is convinced and told me often that we should all stay home and "make beautiful love," thus creating a wonderful world in the process. Who am I to argue with that??