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Read book online «Sedona Law 4 by Dave Daren (ready to read books TXT) 📕».   Author   -   Dave Daren

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Chapter 1

Once, several years ago, I attended the Academy Awards. I represented a client who had been in a movie with Steve Carrell, and the film was nominated for an Oscar. It was a pretty crappy movie, and nominated for one of those side categories like Best Hair and Make-Up that doesn’t get televised. It didn’t even win that.

But, the nomination ensured that my client, along with the milieu of industry types that surrounded her, were invited to the ceremony and the various galas and parties that popped up in and around L.A. during Oscar week.

On the night of the ceremony, my client and her team, comprised of an agent, an assistant, a publicist, myself, and the date that her publicist had arranged, all accompanied her to the event. The entire day was a confusing mess of layered security, hyped up egos, and the stringent protocol that kept them all in check.

What they don’t televise about awards shows, is the incredible amount of time that’s spent standing around waiting. I spent the majority of the late afternoon and early evening standing in a roped off section with all the other industry suits. In penguin tuxedos and formal evening wear at four o’clock in the afternoon, we all glad handed, one upped each other, and patted our own backs for being masters of the universe.

They didn’t show it on the broadcast, but there were protesters there that night. I don’t think I ever quite figured out what they were protesting. Trump had just gotten elected, and it seemed like no one in L.A. was happy about that, but I wasn’t sure if that was part of their agenda or not. Maybe they wanted a spot on Entertainment Tonight to spout their politics? Or maybe they just wanted to protest Hollywood itself. I don’t know.

But, whatever the reason, I got spat on by an angry lady waving a protest sign. Yes, spat on. I don’t know why she chose me. I was making my way through the secure area for another cup of coffee to get through the next two hours of industry bullshit and pre-pre-pre-events. I guess I got too close to the line and put myself in spitting distance.

She called me a “media whoremonger,” and hurled a hefty dosage of warm saliva at my face. Security promptly escorted her away, while she yelled, “I don’t know how you sleep at night!”

“Two Ambien and a shot of vodka?” I quipped. Two muscular security guards carted her screaming body off, and I never saw her again.

I thought about pressing charges, it wouldn’t have been difficult since I’m sure someone got footage of it. But, I also thought it would make me the laughing stock of the entertainment law community. I would win my case, but no judge, or fellow lawyer, would ever look at me the same again. So, I wiped the spittle off, doused myself in Purell, and let it go.

Finally, my client was announced, and I applauded as I watched her, and her assigned date walk the red carpet. She did look dazzling, that’s for sure. Although anyone would look that good after dropping the twenty grand in beauty treatments and dermal fillers that she claimed were “business expenses.”

But during her thirty second walk of pure glory, I looked around at the media cameras and flashbulbs, and the throngs of fans going wild out of their minds, and I felt a surge of superiority. She was a star, and everyone wanted a piece of her. At twenty-five, I was the man behind the curtain. Well, one of them anyway. I was Cassandra Jones’ lawyer.

I thought about that moment as I pulled up to the Performing Arts Hall in Sedona, Arizona. Life was taking me in quite a different direction these days, but the scene somewhat reminded me of that day at the Oscars.

My girlfriend Vicki and I were on our way to see a performing arts troupe called Ghoti. They were quite controversial because well…

“So, halfway through the first act,” Vicki read from the promotional material on her phone, “they will shed all of their costumes to symbolize how humans can bare their soul and get back to their emotional cores. Their physical nudity will symbolize their emotional nudity.”

I searched for parking while I maneuvered my black BMW past the protesters that lined the sidewalk. Porn is not art, read a cardboard sign. Respect Yourself, Dress Yourself, read another.

“Yada, yada,” I said, “they dance nude.”

“Exactly,” she said.

“That’s very subtle,” I mused sarcastically as a red faced woman almost attacked my window and yelled something about degrading women.

“It’s also supposed to be about making love to the audience,” she began, “something about the--’

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I slammed on the brakes as a group of protesters laid down in the middle of the street right in front of my car.

“Call Marvin?” she suggested.

Marvin Iakova was the only reason we were attending this event in the first place. He was a media mogul whose empire spanned most of the state of Arizona, and he had assisted in bringing the dance troupe to town.

He and I had recently developed a professional connection, when one of my clients, a close friend of Marvin’s, had died. I manage the client’s posthumous estate now, and Marvin is on the board of trustees. He invited us to this event as his guests. I didn’t care about nude performance artists one way or the other, really, but when Marvin Iakova invites someone somewhere, they go.

Security guards and police officers appeared and tried to get the bodies out of the road, but they weren’t responding. Thank you, Ghandi. Behind me, traffic started to back up and horns honked.

“Geez,” Vicki said as she checked her make-up in the visor mirror. “I vote you just drive over them.”

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