Chapter Five

Ike and Zac were staring at Tay.
"What the hell do you mean, we shouldn't use her?" Zac asked.
"What on God's green earth are you talking about, Tay? She's perfect for the part, and you're the one that's supposed to have a crush on her!" Ike chimed in. Tay snapped from his little trance.
"I don't know what I just said...of course she's perfect! Damn it, what the hell was I...or wasn't I...thinking? I have to go tell her," he said as he stood up. August was standing outside with the other girls, nervously chewing at her cuticles. Tay stopped in front of her. "Congratulations," he said quietly. Her face lit up.
"I may have already won a million dollars?"
Dawn suddenly smacked her upside the head, a definite order to behave herself. She calmed down.
"I got the part?!"
He nodded with a small grin, and ignored it when the other female creatures walked away muttering things under their breath about "stupid bitch." She smiled so wide he was afraid her lips were going to fall off. (Considering he had to kiss her in the video, that would not be a good thing.) She was happy about it, apparently. She went to say something.
"Um...Taylo-" she was cut off when he impulsively touched her arm.
"Call me Tay," he said before she could say anything. Dawn kind of snorted. This was proving interesting already, and they hadn't even started the video yet...

August floated into the kitchen feeling as though every star in the sky were lit just for her, but stopped short when her father came in. He smiled at her, a rare occurance in that house. She smiled back timidly, wondering what cold have happened that made him happy.
"Hi, Dad," she started quietly, trying to be meek. "Evening, Princess," he replied, much to her surprise. He hadn't called her Princess in six years. He grinned, a frightening picture.
"So, I hear you got the part in that music video...are you getting paid?"
August stopped dead. That was where "Princess" had come He wanted more money for beer, and he was trying to get it out of her. There was no way she was letting him have it. She'd been trying to save up for as long as she could remember, and she already had a little over two thousand in her bank account.
"Um...yeah. A little; not much. I'm planning on putting it in my college fund."
He let his face fall temporarily, but he didn't say anything else. There were only a few things he didn't bother her about - her love for Hanson, her money, and her style. Other than that, he made the game rules, and she had to follow them religiously. Which she did. Otherwise she got punishment...and that wasn't fun.
"We leave on Thursday," she said quietly, turning red and hoping he wouldn't ask if he could come. Unfortunately...
"I think I should come," he said. She turned even redder than before, but said quietly,
"You'll have to get yourself a plane ticket if you do that, Dad. It's expensive...we're flying first class."
He shrugged.
"I can scrape something together for such a special occasion...your mother would be proud."
At the mention of her mother, August closed her eyes. She did not want to think about that. Too late now...

[Thursday. Plane. Halfway through trip to L.A.]
August gazed out the window. She was so glad her father had to change plans at the last minute and couldn't come, but she was still sorry he had to get drunk the night before. Needless to say, she hoped to God that she could plaster on enough makeup to cover up the bruise at the back of her neck. That wasn't the worst of it, either. Her wrist was wrapped up in a heavy-duty elastic bandage, and couldn't come off for more than an hour at a time. She held up her hand, flexing her fingers. Tay looked at her from the seat beside her.
"Why won't you tell me what happened, August?" he asked softly. He'd been trying to get an answer out of her for the past hour and a half. She looked down.
"I fell down the stairs."
He looked at her, wanting more than that for an explanation, but didn't ask any more. It was true, in a technical kind of way...she had fallen down the stairs, after she was carelessly pushed out of the way of an EXTREMELY enubriated person. Tay glanced out the window, then back at her.
"Are you sure you're going to be okay?"
His concern was starting to get under her skin, and she almost told him everything about what had happened, but stopped herself just in time. If he told anybody, anybody at all, then she'd be taken away from the one place she knew as home, and probably wouldn't ever see it again. She'd get stuck with her aunt, probably. Her aunt was a rich old busy-body, and though she loved August and treated her like a daughter, August still hated the prospect of leaving her home for a sprawling mansion on the outskirts of town.
"Fine...if I tell you something, will you promise not to tell anyone else in this entire world, not even Mackie?"

"I used to work at MacDonald's...but they had to fire me. My acne cleared up."

-Some really stupid comedian

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Chapter Four
Chapter Six