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Audible Love

Audible Love

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As an actress, Avery's played a lot of roles in her lifetime. Not one of them was as difficult as pretending to be an ordinary girl at a normal high school.

Even in a school overflowing with celebrities and children of celebrities, Avery is an anomaly. She's a superstar, a bona fide supernova in their midst. So untouchable... she's never even had a date.

Her lonely nights are spent listening to her favorite actor bring her beloved books to life. But when it turns out that the audiobook narrator she's been crushing on attends the same school, it's clear this is kismet...

Or it's just cruel joke. Because her teacher doesn't pair her up with her crush, but with her crush's roommate—the jaded scholarship student who hates her guts. Now she's stuck pining after the love of her life, while his sarcastic roommate does his best to drive her nuts.

And he does make her crazy. Mostly. It's just hard to say if he's driving her crazy...or if she's crazy for him.

Main Tropes

  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Suitable for All Ages!

Intro Into Chapter 1


You know those people who say what you see is what you get? They’re lying. What you see is never what you get. At least, not in my world. 

“Cut! That’s a wrap!” 

The tense silence around me breaks into a cacophony of chaos as the off-screen crew scrambles to break down the set and stage the next scene. My co-star, Henry Nivens, turns his back on me without a word and heads off toward his dressing rooms.

Henry plays my character’s older lover on our primetime drama, The Temptress. According to our illustrious and conceited executive producer, Josh Emmit, the title was a spin on The Tempest by Shakespeare. Super clever, right? Trust me, the only thing Shakespearean about this show is the fact that it’s still on the air. That fact alone makes The Temptress a freakin’ tragedy.

Henry has been giving me the cold shoulder for weeks now, ever since he came on to me backstage at the Emmys and I turned him down, despite the fact that he’s a bona fide A-list celebrity while I’m just some upstart with big tits.

Those were his words, not mine. 

So yeah, Miss Big-Tits McGee over here rebuffed the lecherous old guy who’s old enough to be her father on-screen and off, and somehow I’m the villain in this scenario. By his hurt, sullen silences you’d think I’d kicked Henry’s puppy or something, not shove him off me when he went in for a grope.

Confession time. I have thought about kicking his puppy. It’s an insanely annoying yippy little Chihuahua with a taste for ankles. I’ve thought about it, but I would never do it. Don’t believe the hype, I’m not really the wicked witch of the set.

Henry disappears around a corner and I head in the opposite direction, ignoring the crew just like they ignore me. I’ve seen the tabloid reports of what a catty brat I am to the cast and crew but that’s total BS. I get along just fine with my castmates and the crew, but this is a place of work, not a sorority. What am I supposed to do, go up to each and every lighting grip and give him a hug before we start shooting?

Bella Gable does that. She’s the actress who plays my sister. She’s cute and perky and absolutely adorable…until she flies off into a fit of rage and makes the wardrobe assistant cry. But then she buys said assistant a latte and all is forgiven. Because she’s Bella, and Bella is sweet. No, not just sweet, she’s America’s sweetheart. Everyone says so.

Me? Not so much. 

I pride myself on being professional. Courteous and respectful. But that doesn’t sell ad space on gossip blogs or tabloids in the grocery store checkout so, you know…what are you going to do?

Live with it. Avoid it. Make the best of it, I suppose. 

That’s what my mother, Shirley, does. As my manager, Shirley says it’s her duty to put a spin on things. By ‘things,’ she means me. Her daughter. Her flesh and blood, and the family breadwinner.

She may not win any Mother of the Year awards but she has managed to spin my private nature into mystique. If they don’t love you, make them want to be you. That’s her motto, the big pep talk she gives me before I step onto the red carpet. Sweet, right? Not exactly Mommie Dearest, but she tries.

As my mother, she clearly has her issues, but as my manager, she’s done her job. I’m not loved, but I’m powerful. As powerful as a teenage girl can be in Hollywood. I see the best scripts, I have meetings with the highest-level directors and producers. I get the best seats to Fashion Week, have photo shoots with Vogue and Glamour, and am invited to the best parties—all of which I decline, obviously. 

According to gossip, it’s because I think I’m too good for whoever is hosting. According to my mother, I’m too much of an introvert and I don’t do my part to play the role that everyone wants to see. According to me, I’d rather be home reading. 

And therein lies the rub. (See how I casually misquoted Shakespeare there? Our pretentious executive producer is clearly rubbing off on me.) 

It’s possible my mother has a point. Maybe my introvert nature makes me a disappointment in the eyes of my fans and in the eyes of the world at large. I’ll never be the party girl who gets caught getting into trouble, or who flits from guy to guy, or who’s out to see and be seen. That will never be me, so maybe I am a failure when it comes to playing Avery the Starlet. Avery the Diva, on the other hand, now that’s something I can do.

It’s probably for the best. Bella is more than enough of a sweetheart for one popular cast. So maybe I’m playing the role I need to play, the one the world wants to see. After all, no drama is complete without some conflict, and every story needs its villain. 

Some might say I play my role of the diva to a tee. 

They’d be wrong. But try telling that to the paparazzi outside the gates of the studio. They’re ready for me as soon as I head out of the lot and they follow me to Silver Lake where I meet my best friend, Gabe, for coffee.

Gabe doesn’t notice them—or at least, he’s really good at pretending he doesn’t see the guys with the cameras who are mere feet away and snapping photos of us kissing each other on the cheek.

There’s no good story for them here, but they stick around anyways. Gabe is gay, so there’s no potential to skew this as a date between TV’s favorite mean girl and the lead singer of the “it” boy band.

“Ugh,” Gabe says as we take seats at a table in the far back corner. “My coffee is cold.” His dazzlingly green eyes sparkle with mischief as he looks at me over the rim of his cup. “Should I throw a hissy fit?”

He’s teasing…sort of. Gabe’s another diva in the eyes of the media. He has the same well-honed mystique that I do—the kind of rich, powerful glamor that makes us envied, admired, maybe even obsessed over—but not loved.

But just like me, he’s no diva. Not even a little bit. He might be one of the sweetest, most generous guys I know. 

Unlike me, however, he enjoys the role. He gets off on playing the part when we’re out in public. It keeps me entertained even though more often than not I’m lumped into the same villainous mold when the stories come out and the pictures surface. 

“Please don’t,” I groan, rolling my eyes as he pretends to plead with me. 

“Come on,” he wheedles. “It’ll be fun.”

“Can’t we just enjoy our coffee in peace?” I ask. “I can’t handle any more drama today.”

He narrows his eyes. “What happened?”

I lift one shoulder in a shrug. It hardly warrants a conversation at this point. Henry Nivens is an ass, and we all know it. But that doesn’t make working with him any more pleasant. 

“Is that old prick giving you a hard time again?” Gabe’s voice gets hard and protective. I can’t help but smile. He’s fiercely loyal and would do anything for his friends. Take that, mainstream media. They wouldn’t believe me even if I provided evidence of his kindness, that’s how effectively he’s nailed his bad boy reputation.

“Don’t worry about it,” I say. “It’s nothing I can’t handle.”

“But you shouldn’t have to.” He arches his brows and gives me a pointed look. “You’re the star, you know.”

I shift uncomfortably under that stare and mumble, “I know.”

“I don’t think you do. They need you more than you need them.”

I let out a little huff of irritation. This is far from the first time he’s given me this lecture, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Gabe is no diva but he’s a big believer in claiming your power

Those are his words, not mine. Although I’m pretty sure he read that phrase in a self-help book at some point and now he’s adopted it as his own.

“I have a contract,” I remind him. “They might need me, but they have me.” 

They own my soul.

I don’t say that, it’s way too melodramatic, but it’s also the truth. I signed a contract with the producers before I knew any better. I let my agent and my mother talk me into it, listening as they told me what a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it was to star in a primetime show at the age of fourteen.

I’m seventeen now, and while that might not sound very old, it is in my world. Hollywood years are kind of like dog years, and while I may have joined The Temptress as a young, impressionable ingénue, I’m a seasoned vet at this point. If I knew then what I know now…well, I wouldn’t be kissing a guy like Henry Nivens on a daily basis, let’s just put it that way.

“I’m just saying,” Gabe starts again. 

I hold up a hand to cut him off. “I’ll deal with it, okay?” I give him a small smile. “Who knows, he might be killed off by next season anyway.”

Gabe watches me with narrowed eyes. “Girl, what are you not telling me?”

Gabe is an unabashed fan of the show. He started watching to be a supportive friend, but now? Now he’s hooked just like millions of other idiots who like that mindless crap.

It’s not that I have such high-brow tastes. I’m in no position to judge, but I have a hard time seeing the appeal of this particular show. Maybe I’m just too close to it. I mean, if you say the same mind-numbingly idiotic line twenty times in a row it somehow sounds a million times stupider when you hear it coming out of the television speakers. Trust me on this one.

I take a sip of coffee and stay silent to torture him. I haven’t actually seen the script for the season finale yet, so I have no clue who’s going to die. Someone’s going to be killed off, though. It’s a given. The show gives new meaning to the word formulaic, and every season ends with some big murder.

Dear God, please let it be me.

I’ve been saying that prayer for the past two years, but as of now my character is still alive and kicking on the show, giving smexy eyes and sleeping with old married men. You know, being the kind of role model young girls everywhere can look up to. Yup. I’m super proud of my life choices these days.

“Fine,” Gabe says, tossing down his half-eaten scone. “Change of topic. If you’re not going to spill the deets on Temptress, then tell me everything about this new school of yours.”

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