Chapter 3: Savoury Surprises
"I have to fly to L.A. tomorrow, and I feel like shit." Damien paused when his headache intensified. His four year-old niece began to scream into the phone, and he began to feel as if he was going to faint. He was currently talking to his older brother Dalton, who lives in Childersburg, Alabama. A place he just barely escaped ten years ago.
"You need to get more sleep then, D. You know momma won't 'preciate you stayin' up late an' partyin' like you always do." Damien rubbed his face and nodded to himself. He knew his mother wouldn't like the way he was living, but if it means staying as far away from Childersburg, Alabama as he could then he would party 24/7.
"Yeah, I know." Damien said quietly, turning over on his position on the couch to lie on his side. He had already taken an unhealthy amount of painkillers and his headache still wouldn't stop pounding. He guessed drinking a whole bottle of wine and three...or four scotches was probably a bad idea.
"We missed you at Momma's funeral. She died two months ago, Damien. She raised you better than this." My brother tried hard to keep the anger from his voice, but Damien could tell he was pissed off at him.
"I was shooting a movie, Dalton. I tried to get out of it," That was a lie, "but my director said if I quit on him again he'd pull me." Another lie.
"Whatever, man. Jus' try not to miss my little angel's birthday next week. She can't wait to see her uncle for the first time."
"Dalton..." Damien trailed off when he heard his brother sigh.
"It's been ten years, D. I only ever talk to ya on the phone once every month, if I'm lucky."
Damien rubbed his face again, "I'll try to come next week. I promise."
"Don' make promises if you can't keep 'em." Dalton mentioned and hung up. Every time we ended our conversation, we never say bye or any type of farewell. We just hung up.
Damien hummed and pressed the end button on his phone. He had the sudden urge to call Lillian, but he fought the feeling off. It was best if he kept away from her for now. The press would have a feild day if they caught him with her.
Someone knocked on his door and he sat up with a frown. He wasn't expecting anyone, especially when he told the floor guard not to let anyone up to his sky loft penthouse.
Damien padded to his front door and looked at the digital peephole on it and sighed, "What do you want, Lillian?"
Lillian smiled, "I want to come in," She lifted up something in her hand, "I brought food too."
Damien closed his eyes, and rubbed a hand over one, "I'm not in the mood for any visitors right now."
"Oh come on, Ian. I'll look like an idiot after begging your front guard to let me come up here. I had to give up the eggrolls. No one gives up eggrolls, man."
Damien knew Harvey was a tough guy to get by, but he knew Lillian did more than just give up her eggrolls. (A/N: Sorry if that had sounded incredibly dirty, it's not mean't to be...trust me. I just had to get it out there...)
He sighed and unlocked the door, "Alright, just don't call me Ian ever again."
Lillian smiled brightly when he opened the door fully to let her in, "I have, in my hands, the best Chinese food you will ever put in your mouth," Lillian walked across the foyer of Damiens penthouse to the large kitchen and placed the food on the table, "this little Chinese restaurant right under my apartment makes the best take-out. I've never moved because of that little restaurant, so I'm stuck in the tiniest apartment known to man but heartily eating this stuff by the gallons." She held out a pair of chopsticks for me.
"Do you ever take a breath in between your sentences?" Damien tried to act nonchalant, but this girl was incredibly unique.
She shrugged, "Air is for losers,"
Damien's lips twitched, "Really? Then I guess I must be a loser."
She shook her head and smiled, "Nah, once you've tried this Godsend food you won't be."
Damien picked up the chopsticks and a box of fried rice, shoving in a mouthful of warm rice, "It's not bad," He said after a few bites.
Lillian looked at him with wide eyes, "Not bad? You're saying this, this breath-taking yet completely unhealthy food is...not bad?"
Damien sat down on a chair opposite from Lillian at his table, "You're forgetting that I've traveled the world, where I got to cook with the best chef of all of China. My good friend's grandmother, whose restaurant has been open since 1908, serves authentic Chinese, along with Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine."
Lillian pinched her lips together, "Alright, you win. For now, at least."
There was a long, awkward pause and Damien was the one to break it. "I'm leaving for L.A. tomorrow. I have to shoot a commercial for Lacoste. Something about their new fragrance line for men." Damien was surprised to see Lillian's face go from happy to sad in a matter of seconds.
"Oh, well good luck on that. Bring back some samples because they said it was a very unique scent." Lillian looked down and Damien could tell she was trying to hide her sadness.
"Yeah, I'll be back on the weekend though. I can't miss my niece's birthday. She'll be turning five on Monday."
Lillian perked up a little, "How cute, did you get her a gift already?"
Shit, Damien thought. He knew he forgot something. He rubbed his neck sheepishly, "Uh, no. I forgot about that."
Lillian tsked, and shook her head, "Turning four is so special in a kid's life, because in the next year they get to be in their first year of elementary school and feel as if they are big kids—"
Damien cut her off, "Alright, alright. I get it. What should I get her then?"
"That paints a clear picture."
"Shut up. She's your niece not mine, you should know what she likes."
Damien shut his mouth after that comment.
He looked at Lillian, "I've never met her. I've talked to her, but I've never met her personally."
Lillian's eyebrows went up, and up. "Oh, that could be a problem...Do you know what she looks like at least?"
Again, Damien shut his mouth. "I might've seen a picture or two of her when she was a baby..."
"Yeah... I don't make time for my family much." Damien ran a hand through his brown hair and sighed.
Lillian frowned, "I can tell." Lillian put down her food and stood up, looking all around his penthouse. It was surprising how easily she let go of awkward conversations.
"This is the most beautiful penthouse I've ever seen in my entire life. I mean, it's so bright in here. I love that you have no walls, just windows..." She trailed off as she got closer to the terrace, "The view of New York up here is breathtaking. If you don't mind me asking, how much did this penthouse cost?"
Damien shrugged, "Around four-five million." Nothing much in his terms, but Lillian's eyes bulged.
"I get you do a lot of movies, but how can you afford all of this?" She walked to the living room, designed the way I had asked, along with a professional kitchen and a second floor, duplex really.
"I invested a lot of my money, and I own a few companies. I like to have a backup plan if I decide to stop acting one day." Damien looked out the window, looking at all of the buildings across the street from him before continuing, "I've always been interested in business and I have a degree in it from Princeton, but acting is my guilty pleasure. I love seeing myself onscreen, and I especially love all of my fans. It just feels amazing when a fan comes up to you and tells you that your movie changed their life or something like that. It amazes me every day."
"I've never heard you speak so passionately—off-screen of course. From what J—" Lillian stopped herself.
Damien looked over at her with a confused expression, "What is it, Lillian?"
She seemed to shake herself, "Nothing. It's nothing, really. Why don't you give me a tour of your penthouse, and then I can take you gift shopping for your niece. I'll be glad to help you out."
Damien offered her a small smile, "Thanks. I'm not every good at buying gifts."
Lillian laughed and hooked her arm with his, "Well then it's your lucky day, because I am the best gift shopper ever."
"I'll take your word for it."
A/N: So, I updated. Finally. Sorry, for not updating it sooner. I have images of Damien's sky loft penthouse, and trust me...It is the most beautiful penthouse I've ever seen. Tell me if you want me to post it up somewhere. Review if you liked it, and I hope you enjoyed what I've written so far. :)