After about two hours in the makeup chair, with the lights glaring into my sleep-deprived eyes, I decided that I really and truly hated my life. This might seem strange to most of the world, as I was rich, indisputably talented, fabulously famous, and unquestionably beautiful. And did I mention still gloriously young? In Hollywood I was the hottest commodity since, well, I would honestly have to say that there simply is no comparison. I was continually sent ludicrously budgeted megablockbuster scripts, most of which I had to turn down because I was still filming the last epic monstrosity my agent talked me into. I was also the single most sought-after subject of the paparazzi camera lenses. And I hated every minute of it. * * * My eyes feasted on their faces as they lowered their bodies to the silky bed. I couldn’t blink as Vanessa’s dress began to expose a perfect shoulder. I was so caught up in the scene of seduction before me that I forgot I was watching a movie being filmed. Ryan and Vanessa were so apparently in tune with each other that no direction from anyone was needed. My gaze lingered on Ryan’s strong hands that held Vanessa’s diminutive frame with only a modicum of effort. He was like a mythical god, and she was Helen, whose beauty launched all those ships. A strange feeling began to spread throughout my body. It radiated from the smallest part of me, the part normally kept well hidden. It was envy. I wanted that perfection, that larger-than-life reality that belonged to Ryan and Vanessa. It was amazing how quickly life could change. How could I have been so swept away by the blinding lights of fame that I forgot about the more important things? When had I become so selfish, so single-minded? Guilt, like a slow poison, invaded my very cells, contaminating me beyond repair. Fear, guilt’s twin of despair, paralyzed my heart and rendered it useless.