Chapter 32: To Wish Impossible Things
Caution: This Coming of Age Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including mt/ft, mt/Fa, Humor, Sports, School, Slow,
Desc: Coming of Age Sex Story: Chapter 32: To Wish Impossible Things - David's Junior Year is beginning with a sharp edge to it. His best friend is dead. The girl he'd thought he would spend the rest of his life with is now lost to him as well. He's facing new challenges and pressures due to his rapidly increasing fame. He doesn't just want to survive - he wants to excel. He'll have to reach deep inside himself and find the inner strength and toughness, the resolve and focus, to achieve his dreams. The continuation of the award winning Stupid Boy saga.
Monday December 14
When I arrived on the set, I saw there was a new trailer on the lot. That could only mean one thing: Kate Upton was either here or about to arrive! Fritz looked at me as though I’d lost my mind when I began to dance in the parking lot.
“Kate Upton,” I said, and pointed at the trailer.
Of course I went straight there and knocked. How could they have a trailer for her if she wasn’t even here yet? That didn’t curb my enthusiasm, though. I was a bundle of happy energy all morning. Jessup even sent me to makeup, but a quick blowjob from the makeup girl didn’t settle me down either. Not that I didn’t appreciate her effort, but some things just put an indelible smile on my face. I was then told to go to baseball practice and that I couldn’t come back until I was back to normal.
Coach Camarillo met me at Dodger Stadium for practice. Coach Boyd had in some of his major league pitchers to check up on their winter progress. There were also many of the Dodgers in for physicals. Several triple-A prospects had also been invited. It wasn’t anything officially sanctioned.
Coach Camarillo had two Cubs hitters join us. I watched him work with Tony, who I’d met at my first practice. He was a big man at six-three and 240 pounds. The other player was Kris; he was six-five and weighed 230 pounds. They were both more muscular than I was. Tony was nine years older than me, while Kris was seven years older. Both were penciled in as outfielders with the Cubs.
Coach Camarillo had me watch how Tony took batting practice. He stood beside me and pointed out everything Tony did well and anything that was wrong. I was somewhat happy to see that the Dodgers pitchers could confound Tony as they did me.
When it was my turn Coach Boyd called out what pitch was coming. They started me out on a steady diet of fastballs. In high school, it was rare to see anyone throw over 90 mph, but the man I was facing was consistently in the mid-90’s. It took me a dozen pitches to start to tag him. Coach Camarillo calmly reminded me to trust the system. When I finally launched one out of the park, I started to get curve balls.
I got lucky and launched the first one. That was when they stopped telling me what pitch was coming. I embarrassed myself several times as I hacked away at bad predictions. I guess I might not be ready for the major leagues. Coach Camarillo wasn’t discouraged, so I felt better about myself.
“David, grab a glove and shag a few fly balls,” Coach Boyd suggested.
They sent me to center field and I began to run down fly balls or back up grounders. On Kris’s last at bat he hit one that went through the gap between center and right fields and rolled to the wall. I’d been tossing the balls back in, but Kris took off around the bases. When I got to the ball, he was rounding second. I didn’t even think; I just threw a rocket to third base. Kris didn’t even bother to slide when he heard the pop of the glove as the guy playing third caught it.
Coach Camarillo called me in and I was done for the day.
At lunch, she arrived. Halle grabbed my arm to keep me from running over to greet her. I was like Duke when you put a treat on his nose and made him wait to eat it. I think I was actually shaking, but I knew I needed to play it cool if I were ever to have a chance with her. I snapped her picture and sent a text to my brother. I knew he would be happy for me.
Everyone on the set knew of my infatuation. It might have been me constantly telling everyone about the future Mrs. Dawson. A boy has to dream. That would explain why everyone seemed to find his or her way to watch. Kate was talking to Jessup and Rita. I looked around and didn’t see her baseball boyfriend. That was a good sign.
I saw her see me and I took a deep breath to calm down. I looked down at my phone and Greg had made a rude remark. It was too bad he was a hater. Kate was suddenly there.
“Sup,” I said.
Kate struck a gangsta pose, or as close to one as a supermodel can pull off.
“You want to go chill in my crib?” I asked.
Kate laughed at me.
“No, I don’t think that would be a good idea. Adrienne will be here in a little bit to protect me.”
I know it’s wrong to lust after another woman when you’re in the presence of the Kate Upton, but the thought of the two of them together drained all the blood from the big brain. I knew a threesome would work, because Adrienne liked girls. I would imagine she liked Kate, so this could be a win-win.
I honestly don’t know how Kate read my mind. What is it with girls and that ability? I knew Tami and my mom could both do it.
“No, I’m not doing a threesome with you and Adrienne.”
I think poor Zak might’ve had a stroke. I just smiled.
“I was wondering if you wanted to go horseback riding with me after we’re done,” I said.
I had, of course, Googled Kate, and found out that she’d won the American Paint Horse Association World Championships before she turned seventeen. There was also good information that at about the age of fifteen she developed and shot up to five-ten. Her boobs were reported to be all natural. I bet there were several guys from her old high school who were kicking themselves for not locking her down before she developed.
Kate wasn’t the typical model; she was much more curvy than most. While not fat, she was solid.
“I would actually like that,” she said.
“We could then have you and Adrienne over to Rita’s for dinner. Her cook, Rosy, is unreal.”
“Sounds like a date.”
She said the magic words. Before I spontaneously combusted, I wished her luck and went to the set to begin my scene. This was more than I could’ve hoped for, and to continue to talk to her would only increase the chance that I might drool or do something else inappropriate.
Zak found me in makeup.
“Do you really know her?” he asked.
“Yeah, unfortunately she has a boyfriend who’s a professional baseball player. I keep waiting for them to break up, but it never seems to happen.”
That seemed to ruin Zak’s day. I would have to keep an eye on him around her. I had a feeling he didn’t have the same compulsion to not date women attached to another man.
After my last scene of the day I went to my trailer and found Caryn talking to Adrienne.
“There he is. I hear you kept the sexual harassment to a minimum,” Adrienne teased me.
“I’m biding my time until she dumps that baseball player. Just let me know when there’s trouble in paradise, and it’ll be game on.”
“So, you’re taking us horseback riding,” Caryn said.
“No, no, no. That’s just for Kate and me. I thought we could all have dinner afterwards,” I explained.
“‘Stupid boy’, you didn’t think we’d let you be alone with her, did you?” Adrienne asked.
“I wish you could come, but I booked the last two horses,” I tried.
“You forget that you had me book the reservations. When I told them who all was coming, they were very accommodating,” Caryn, my ex-business manager, said.
“Just how many people are going?” I asked.
“Let’s see, what was the last count?” Adrienne asked.
“Ten,” Caryn said.
“You both suck,” I pouted.
I had this all planned. There was a horseback-riding place near Topanga State Park that had a sunset ride. You were able to see for miles in all directions from the top of the hills. The ride was supposed to take ninety minutes. I figured that would give me around three hours of alone time with Kate. Now she might not even ride in my car!
Just as I expected, Kate rode with Rita and Halle, with Adrienne joining them. I was stuck with Caryn, Zak and Emma. Flo and Fritz drove us. Caryn refused to sit next to Zak. I guess he’d hit on her one too many times. I should probably sit him down and explain that bad things would happen if he continued his unwanted advances. I needed to add Caryn to my list of girls he wasn’t allowed to go after. I was glad he at least never bothered Halle.
I felt an unexpected emotion when I got on a horse and began riding: I missed Zoe. This was our thing, and I felt like I was cheating on her. Kate and Caryn were both experienced riders. Caryn had learned when she worked for Range Sports. All I can say is that it was a good thing the horses were docile and followed the lead horse, or the rest of them would’ve been in trouble.
Everyone had a good time. When we got to the top, and the sun began to go down, we had spectacular views. I would do this again. The only bad part was we had to go back to the studio so everyone could get his or her car.
On the way home, I suddenly realized I hadn’t warned Rosy of all the extra guests.
“Rosy’s going to kill me,” I told Caryn.
“Did you forget to tell her you were bringing extra people again?”
“Maybe,” I confessed.
“It’s a good thing you have a manager, or she might actually have to hurt you,” Caryn said.
I think she was shocked when I hugged her. Rosy fed me, and I didn’t want to jeopardize that arrangement.
When we finally arrived, the parking area was full. I came into the house to find the whole cast and Jessup were joining us for dinner.
While we ate, I found out that eating with Adrienne was more embarrassing than eating with my mom. She told the story of my Miami shoot, and how I challenged the young execs to a contest to see who could pick up a woman in a bar. Then she had to tell them about me getting naked to be spray-tanned in front of all the female models for the shoot. I gave her the eye to remind her I might possibly have a picture of the two of us naked at that shoot.
Then it was Kate’s turn to tell about us meeting on a flight and how excited I’d been. Kate also told everyone how I’d been sending her tweets for the past two years to get her to go to Prom with me. Only Zak appreciated my determination.
After dinner, Adrienne and Kate joined me on the patio. The rest of the cast went home.
“I wanted to thank you for thinking of me for this job,” Kate said.
“Just return the favor. I would love to model with you again.”
“What about me?” Adrienne pouted.
“There she goes again, fishing for compliments. Let’s get this out of the way. Adrienne, I owe you more than you’ll ever know. You’ve taught me so much it isn’t even funny. In my acting, I find that I use things you showed me on a daily basis. You’re a national treasure and you know it. You’ve been a fantasy girl of mine for as long as I’ve been interested in girls. If you ever decided that you liked boys, I would move to New York and camp out in your lobby.
“You know that all you have to do is ask and I would do anything for you. I’m serious; just name it and I’ll do whatever I can for you,” I said.
Kate looked at me to see if I was being sincere. Adrienne reached across the table and held my hand.
“You came into my life at just the right time. I was starting to get burned-out and was ready to just retire, but you reminded me that this could be fun again. Kate and I’ve talked, and we’ll find some things the three of us can do together.”
“Thanks for horseback riding today. If I wasn’t in a relationship, this would’ve been the kind of date that really impressed me. You had to do some research to come up with the idea. Some girl is going to be lucky when she finally catches you,” Kate said.
“I’m right here,” I said, and smiled.
“Don’t think I don’t know it. I’m sure you’ll make this a fun experience. I might even go to Prom with you if you keep it up.”
“Don’t say it unless you mean it; he’ll hold you to it,” Adrienne warned.
“Oh, I mean it,” Kate said.
I was happy to hear that Kate and Adrienne were staying at Rita’s house while they were here.
Tuesday December 15
I woke up nervous. This morning I had my meeting with Chubby Feldman for the James Bond movie. We were meeting at the MGM Studios offices. I’d reread the script last night when I woke up in a panic. This was the type of movie that I’d been wishing for since I realized that Star Academy wasn’t a fluke.
Ari met us in the parking lot.
“I have a good feeling about this one. Chubby called, and I had Frank send him over all your videos of you doing crazy things,” Ari said as we entered the lobby.
Ari walked us past reception and through a maze of halls. We were about forty minutes early. He found the room he wanted. Inside there was a waiting area and a receptionist with a clipboard. I recognized two other actors with their people. Dylan O’Brien was on the MTV werewolf TV show Teen Wolf and had most recently done The Maze Runner series of movies. I’d always enjoyed his quirky character on Teen Wolf. He was the perfect example of an older man playing a teen. He was in his mid-20’s.
The other actor was Liam Hemsworth, most noted for his role in the Hunger Games trilogy. He played the taller of the love interests for the Jennifer Lawrence character. He was a couple of years older than Dylan was.
If these two were any indication, I could play a teenager for the next ten years without a problem.
“Hello, David,” the receptionist said with a smile. “We’re running about twenty minutes late and I see you’re early. Either you can wait, or I can give you passes to the cafeteria.”
“I’ll take the passes,” I said.
When we were out of the room, I turned on Ari.
“I thought you said we had a shot at this.”
Caryn snorted and I turned my attention to what she thought was so funny. Those two guys were much better known than I was and had both been in successful films.
“Sorry, you didn’t see the looks on their faces when she used your name. They’re just as worried about you,” Caryn said.
We found the cafeteria and got something to drink.
“The studio has to do their due diligence for a movie of this magnitude. Every agent in town is trying to get their actors in to audition for this one. Chubby’s also playing it smart, because if he gives them his time he can call in favors later. I’m telling you I think we have this part. Chubby loved you in Star Academy. He’s looking long-term. Most of the other actors going for this role are in their early to late 20’s. You can play the son of Bond for many more years than they can before they’re too old,” Ari said.
We went back to the waiting room and Aaron Taylor-Johnson came out of the interview room. He’d been in Kick-Ass and most recently Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Dylan went in and came out quickly. He didn’t look happy as he left. Liam was up next. His audition lasted the full half hour. He was all smiles as he left. We were up.
There were three other people in the room with Chubby. One was a cameraman and another seemed to be an assistant. The last man was older; he smiled when I he saw me.
“Ari, sit in the corner and shut the fuck up,” the older man said.
“Yes, sir,” Ari said.
I liked this guy already.
“David, I want to introduce Mark Harm, the producer,” Chubby said.
“Hi, you’ve met Ari. This is my manager, Caryn Buckley,” I said.
“David, let me get you up to speed. We originally created the concept of introducing a teenage child with the idea that Jennifer Lawrence would play it. She’s since decided that she has other things to do and doesn’t want to play a supporting role. Of course, who can blame her?” Chubby said.
“So what made you decide to make it a boy’s role?” I asked.
“The key for this to work is it needs someone to have certain physical abilities. For some of the things we want to do it was decided it would be more believable if a boy did it. What cinched it in my mind was a discussion I had with Jessup Fields. He told me how you’d handled some of your own stunts on Star Academy. That was why we wanted to get you in and talk to you,” Chubby said.
“I got a chance to see some of your videos. It seems you’ve done everything from skydiving to motocross. I understand you’re also a very good athlete. Could you strip down to your underwear so we can videotape your body?” Mark asked.
I just stood up and took my clothes off. I did a slow turn for the camera with my arms straight out.
“Thank you. As you can imagine, we need to be sure you have the physique for the role,” Mark explained.
“Was that why Dylan left looking unhappy?” Caryn asked.
“Yes, unfortunately he didn’t have the body type we want. Frankly, I’m a little concerned that David may be too tall, but he brings other things to the table that we can’t ignore,” Mark said.
“We’ve been given a working title for the movie, Devil May Care. I was offered to direct this one based on an idea I have that I need a special person to help me pull off. Mark has labeled it the ‘Million Dollar Shot’. You know that the opening sequence of each James Bond movie seems to be something more outlandish than the last. In the last movie, Spectre, they dropped you right in the middle of a wild scene of a carnival-like atmosphere as the Bond character pursued the bad guy. Then they dropped a building on him, and eventually he ended up in a fight in a helicopter. That shot alone took six months of planning. Sam Mendes, the director, set the bar pretty high.
“I want to do something that will outdo him. My idea would have it start in an airplane, and the son would be involved in a fight. Of course, you’d be tossed out of a plane without a chute and have to catch one of the bad guys and steal his.” Chubby said.
“That doesn’t sound safe,” Ari said from his corner.
“Shut up, Ari,” Mark warned.
“You would land and chase the bad guy. You’d end up snowboarding down the side of a mountain and have to jump a ravine. There would be a switch to snowmobiles, and then finally four-wheelers. I want to do it in one continuous shot with a camera on you, and then we’d have cameras set up all the way down the mountain to take establishment shots and different angles. We’d want you to do the stunt,” Chubby said.
The room went silent. Caryn and Ari looked sick. This exact type of thing might end my life. I knew from Star Academy there was a reason they had stunt men. I’d seen most of the James Bond movies and those chase scenes. I knew that jumping out of an airplane could be dangerous. I’d seen some movies where the hero jumps out without a chute. Hell, I’d almost died doing an ad for Range Sports!
I was willing to bet that Chubby had glossed over some details. When he said I would jump over a ravine, I could only imagine what that meant. I looked at Chubby and Mark both in the eyes and I could tell they were worried I would turn them down.
“Okay, but you have to tell my mom,” I said.
Chubby looked at Mark and smiled.
“We can’t officially offer you the role until we finish our other auditions, but I think we’d like you to play the role. I’ll be in touch with Ari when I can make an offer. I appreciate you coming in, and I look forward to working with you,” Mark said.
Ari waited until we were in the parking lot before he did a victory fist-pump.
“Do you have any idea what David will make on this?” Caryn asked.
“I would guess somewhere in the ten million range. That shot alone is worth a fortune,” Ari said. “It would also be perfect timing. They want to start filming not this summer but next. You should have three movies released by then. Combine that with your two Star Academy movies and you should be able to choose what you do from there on out,” Ari said.
“Don’t forget the young Han Solo project,” I said.
“My grandmother used to have a saying: ‘To Wish Impossible Things’. It meant that if you dreamed big, good things could happen. Without wishing for the impossible, it could never happen,” Caryn said.
“You just keep wishing for the impossible, and we’re going to be very rich,” Ari said with a big smile.
Yep, it was all about Ari.
When we returned to the studio it was time for our first scene with Kate. We had an establishment scene that introduced her to the audience. She was teaching us history. The baseball-player character I’d originally been selected for made an ass out of himself hitting on her. He’d also been aggressive with Cassie and Faye. In the film he would be found hanging in the boiler room by the end of the day. I was glad I hadn’t done the role, now that I saw how he came off in the film.
The one downside to having Kate Upton and Adrienne on the set was that the studio execs found an excuse to drop in. When I came back to my trailer after a scene, I found Kate and Adrienne there, hiding.
“I thought you had a trailer,” I said.
“I couldn’t seem to get a free minute to think in mine,” Kate said.
“We knew you wouldn’t mind,” Adrienne said.
“You do know that it’s time for naked yoga in my trailer,” I tried.
“Don’t even challenge him. He’ll be naked if we so much as pretend like we’re interested,” Adrienne warned.
“Guess who’s going to play James Bond’s son in the next movie,” I said to try another angle.
I received a group hug from both Kate and Adrienne as my reward. If Chubby had known, I might have worked for free.
I was disappointed when the studio pervs figured out Kate was in my trailer. She and Adrienne went to hide in Halle’s trailer.
I was done for the day, so I twisted Fritz’s arm to take me surfing. Caryn would get a ride home with either Rita or Halle. She had ‘things to do.’
A storm had come up in the Pacific and we were the beneficiaries of some nice waves. It looked like several people had skipped school to come out this afternoon. I saw Al was in the group and he made a point to ignore me. I was fine with that.
When it was my turn, I began to paddle. I’d just gotten up when I saw that Al had jumped my wave. The little dick didn’t peel off as was proper etiquette. I was tempted to run him over, but that was also bad form. What sucked was I had to go to the back of the queue and wait my turn for a wave. When Al did it for the third straight time, I’d had it. I decided to just go in before I had to kick his ass. He wasn’t worth it.
I showered off and made myself a sandwich. I wanted to let Fritz enjoy the bigger waves, so I wasn’t in a hurry to leave. I put on my new sunglasses and went to the car to grab my iPad so I could check my emails when I pulled up short. Al was waiting for me with two of his friends. I could tell this wasn’t a friendly visit, because they all had baseball bats. I contemplated running back to the house, but I wasn’t sure whether I’d make it. I didn’t want to turn my back on them.
“I’m giving you fair warning that if any of you decide to use a bat, I’ll put you down hard,” I said as I stepped in front of the car.
I knew that the car had a motion-activated camera on the dash. I wanted it clear that I didn’t start this.
I made the mistake of thinking that Al would puff up and give some speech about how I did him wrong. Instead, he stepped forward and took a swing with the bat. It caught me in the stomach. If he had swung at my head, I might have been done for. Even with what Cassidy had taught me about absorbing a blow, being hit in the gut with a bat hurts, and I went down to avoid the worst of it.
I knew if I stayed on the ground I’d be beaten to a pulp, so I threw my legs up and then down, snapping my back in a quick arch as I hurled myself to my feet. A single stride had me inside of Al’s bat, to his complete surprise. I used a palm strike to the chest to put him on his ass. Done with enough power, you could even kill a man with that strike. I hit him hard enough that I heard a huge explosion of air leave his lungs and he began to gasp.
His two friends moved in to take their swings. I used what Fritz had taught me about disarming an assailant, and soon had the one on the right in a wrist-lock. I spun him in between the other boy and me. The one I was holding onto received a solid hit in the upper back and I heard him cry out. He let go of his bat and landed on his face. I now had a bat in my hands to even things out, and I faced one opponent. He’d re-cocked and caught me flush under my left arm. Luckily, he hadn’t the chance to take a full swing or I would’ve been in a world of hurt.
I thought again about running for it, but I saw Al had stood up while I doubled over in pain. He took a swing at me; I parried his blow as if we were dueling with swords. My effort was enough to save me from being clocked and possibly at their mercy, but I could see they both saw blood in the water. Al charged me with his bat over his head as if he planned to pummel me. I thrust the end of my bat into his face like I would if I’d had my Bo staff. Al went down again.
The one who’d hit his friend took another swing at me. I was able to stagger back as it whistled by my head. I used the bat like a baton, hit him on the side of the knee, and then came up across the bridge of the nose before he could recover from his swing. Blood went flying and he dropped at my feet.
I turned in time to see Al climb back up to his feet. Would this idiot just stay down?
“Stop, just stop,” I said as I gave ground as he advanced.
“Fuck you! You were supposed to make me popular. Instead, I’m a laughingstock at school. I’m going to kill you!”
He charged me again, and I was just able to get my bat up with my hands on each end of the bat to block his blow. I kept giving ground as he took full swings at me and I blocked each one. I felt my back leg touch the bumper of the car. I had nowhere else to go.
Cassidy would have my ass, because I’d tried to reason with Al and hoped he would get over his fury. I could tell his breathing was labored from swinging the bat. I knew how tiring it could be from my work in the dojo. Cassidy preached to end it and not risk injury. Al left me no choice.
He swung again and I used my bat to block his swing. I then stepped forward and kicked him in the upper thigh to unbalance his stance. I then brought my foot up in one fluid motion and planted my heel in his temple. I’d practiced that move with Cassidy holding a pad low and then kicking a speed bag. When done right it sound like: ‘thump POW’!
The reason Cassidy worried about me sparring with other people was that she’d never allowed me to hold back. That was why I sometimes had ‘accidents’ when I sparred with Fritz and Coach Hope. Self-defense was only to be used if absolutely necessary. When it did happen, take them out.
Al staggered back and tripped over his friends. He hit the back of his head on the pavement and didn’t move. I quickly checked to see if he was still breathing. I was relieved when I found I hadn’t killed him.
I called 911 and said I’d been attacked and that I’d subdued my three attackers. The first car on the scene was a woman officer, and she had me lay on the ground and handcuffed me. She then put me into the back seat of her car so she could direct traffic. Fritz was alerted to the trouble when he saw all the vehicles with flashing lights stopping in front of the beach house.
I watched as the ambulances came. The boy whose friend hit him in the back was put onto a backboard before they took him away. Al’s other friend was put into a brace for his leg and the paramedics worked to get his nose to stop bleeding. I watched as Al came around and pointed at me when talking to one of the many police officers who’d quickly showed up. I could see where this was going. It would be the three of them claiming I’d assaulted them if I weren’t careful.
They finally pulled me out of the car and offered me the opportunity to tell my story.
“May I talk to my security?” I asked as I nodded towards Fritz.
They agreed. I made a point of having Fritz take off my sunglasses for safekeeping. I really didn’t want them to disappear while I was in police custody.
“Look, they’re going to say I started this. Call Frank Ingram and get him the video from the car. I need this in the hands of every news outlet in LA in the next hour or this could get ugly.”
The one thing I learned from the rape allegations was that you wanted to get ahead of the story. I needed my version of what happened in the hands of the media before a smart lawyer twisted things. The best way to do that was to show the public what happened. If the police seized the video, it could be months before it saw the light of day, if ever. This was the very reason Fritz and his team wore video equipment when working. It eliminated a lot of the bullshit.
I told my story to the detective who showed up.
“Mr. Faulkenburg tells a different story. He said you attacked them and they had to defend themselves. He said it was all over a surfing incident and that you were out for revenge. Did you and Mr. Faulkenburg have an altercation surfing today?” he asked.
“Al jumped three of my waves. Instead of letting things get out of hand, I decided to stop for the day. Was I irritated? Yes,” I admitted. “I would bet that if you interviewed them separately their stories don’t add up. The three of them were waiting on me when I stepped out the front door. As I said, Al and his two friends attacked me.”
“I think I’ll need you to come downtown until we straighten this out,” the detective said.
“I’d think long and hard about that. I would hate to see you tarnish my reputation by making it look like I was guilty when I’m the victim.”
Of course, that all was caught on tape from Fritz’s body cam. They put me in the back of a squad car and I was taken in.
Frank would later almost kiss Fritz for his foresight. The two videos were on the air before they could question me. The police weren’t happy the video hadn’t been turned over to them. I missed going to the dojo, but made it home in time for Rosy to feed me. The police no longer looked at me as a suspect.
After dinner there were a couple of scheduled interviews Frank had set up. Neither of the interviewers had seen the fight video, so we just talked about my movie premiere and the one I was working on. Frank promised me talking points for the fight, because he was sure it would come up in the other interviews that had been scheduled.
After I was done, I was told to call home. Luckily, my dad answered.
“Are you okay?” Dad asked.
“Yeah, it could’ve been worse,” I admitted.
“Where was your security? I thought Rita had someone with you at all times.”
“He was here. I just ran out to the car because I forgot my iPad. I never imagined they’d be lying in wait like that. It wasn’t his fault,” I said.
“Your mom wants to talk to you,” he said.
“Tell her I’m in a coma and can’t talk right now,” I begged.
“He says he’s in a coma.”
“Give me that phone.”
“We keep having these discussions. Do I need to give you a lecture?” she asked.
“Only if it would make you feel better. I was only protecting myself,” I said.
“How’s your coma?”
“It’s getting better. I’ll be fine,” I said.
I missed my parents.
Then my mom ruined my day.
“Call Cassidy,” she ordered.
I contemplated not doing it, but I was afraid of what she might do if I didn’t call her.
“Hey, it’s David,” I said with a little cheer in my voice.
“Before we talk, are you all right?” she asked.
“I’m good. My stomach and ribs are tender, but nothing serious. I got off easy,” I admitted.
“Good,” she said, and let a long breath out. “I’m embarrassed to let anyone know I’ve been working with you. Have you not listened to a word I’ve said during your training? Do you know how lucky you are to have walked away from that attack?”
I could tell this wasn’t good. She had me pull up the video and we went through the fight step-by-step. All I can say is that she was right. I’d held back and put myself in danger from the beginning. If I’d attacked first the whole thing would’ve been over quickly. Instead I let Al get the first shot in, which put me on the ground. She was impressed that I got my butt up on my feet quickly, but she wasn’t impressed that I only hit him hard enough to knock him down.
She went to great lengths to explain how I’d knocked Al on his ass multiple times and he got back up. If I’d hit him full strength he wouldn’t have gotten back up. I knew Cassidy preached over and over again that if you could incapacitate an opponent, do so! There were some disparaging remarks about my going back to remedial training until I understood this basic concept. I was worried she might use the video of my strikes as an example of to how not to put someone down.
I could tell I might live the next time I saw her when she commented on my sunglasses never coming off. I just chuckled. If the Japanese company saw my real fight, they might be excited that their sunglasses worked as advertised.
Wednesday December 16
I skipped running this morning for two reasons. The first was my side and stomach were feeling the effects of catching a bat. It was no worse than being sacked, but it still hurt. The second was that I was once again the flavor of the week, as far as the paparazzi were concerned.
I’d seen the video. Coming off the ground like I had and then right into a palm strike that took Al off his feet was impressive. The final sequence of me fending off Al’s determined attack, and then the two kicks to finish it, were something I would expect to see in a movie. It was almost as if I’d framed the final sequence as I backed up to the car. Sometimes you get lucky.
Instead of running, I went to the studio because we had some more scenes with Kate. Jessup made me take my shirt off and I had some noticeable bruising. I think it was all a scam, because he decided we didn’t need a love scene with Kate. The reason I thought it was a scam was that everyone had hung around to hear him tell me. I took it like a man and waited until I got to the privacy of my trailer before I cried. I blamed Al. He was going to die.
If I’d thought it through, I would have realized the love scene was never happening. Just because I’d conned the writers into creating the scene, it never meant that Jessup would use it. It would have made sense if we were shooting a raunchy teen comedy, but this was much darker than the TV show ever tried to be. They took pity on me and let me go to baseball practice.
We were back to practicing at USC’s field. When we arrived I was surprised that Coach Boyd and his pitchers weren’t around. When Coach Camarillo saw me, he waved me over. He was with another man I’d never met before.
“David, I’d like you to meet Lucas Kite from our scouting department. He happened to be in the area to check out a couple of prospects and is here as a favor to me,” Coach Camarillo explained.
“Coach says you have some potential. You’re a junior in high school, correct?”
“What position do you play?”
“Shortstop, and I pitch.”
“You’ve never played any outfield?” Lucas asked.
“Not really,” I admitted.
“I hear you’re an exceptional athlete and excel at football as a quarterback. Is it true that you’re possibly the best high school quarterback in the nation?”
“I’ve been told that.”
He gave me a little smile.
“Do you have any interest in baseball beyond high school? Would you consider playing professional baseball someday?” Lucas asked.
“Baseball has always been my favorite sport. When I was growing up I dreamed of being the Cubs’ starting shortstop.”
“That’s good to hear,” Lucas said, and then looked at Coach Camarillo. “I’d like to see him hit first. Then we can move him into the field. I want to see him at shortstop and center field.”
Coach Camarillo signaled to someone, and most of the USC baseball team came out onto the field to warm up. I was told that many had skipped class because they’d been told a major-league scout was on campus. While they warmed up, Lucas took my measurements and had me do some timed runs.
He’d seen the video of my fight and wanted to see my injuries. I made sure I was stretched out, especially my torso area, before I stepped up to hit. Coach Camarillo reminded me of the five-step system before I took my first pitch.
The pitcher must have been nervous, because he uncorked a fastball that got away from him and almost killed me. Luckily, I only had to dust myself off. I turned to the catcher.
“Is he always wild?” I asked.
“No. You should be fine.”
The pitcher nodded to me to let me know he didn’t mean it. I expected another fastball and guessed right. Overthrown fastballs tend to rise in the zone and this one did just that. Belt-level over the center of the plate is every hitters dream, and I drove the ball into left field for a hit. The catcher went out and talked to his pitcher. Whatever he said seemed to work. He calmed down and began to pitch.
I would compare him to a good Double-A pitcher. I could handle most of his pitches, but he had me guessing bad at times. When I cranked three out of the park, Lucas sent me to shortstop. Coach Camarillo hit me balls and called out different scenarios. Then it was out to center field.
Towards the end, I was told to throw home. They had me play shallow center field. Coach would hit the ball over my head and I had to run it down at the warning track. I then would pivot, get my feet right, and fire the ball towards home plate. This was exactly like when I scrambled as a quarterback. Footwork and proper technique made the difference in a good throw. They asked me to do that five times before I was called in.
I met with Lucas alone. I tried to figure out why Coach Camarillo had packed up and left. Lucas never said anything.