Fanning the Fame is book 7 in the Dream Catchers Series, but also works well as a standalone. The book is available for Pre-Order on Amazon and will be released August 28, 2020.
All eyes are on me as I walk to my seat at Yankee Stadium. I usually don’t mind the attention. Hell, isn’t that the reason I do anything in my life? I dye my hair blue and wear flashy, sexy outfits for the attention. It’s also why I got into the entertainment industry. I didn’t want to be Fatty Patty anymore. That was my identity from second grade until I graduated high school. Patty is my past and Topaz, the outlandish sex kitten, is who I really am. Or at least that’s what my brand is.
To be honest, I don’t know if I’m Topaz anymore either. Lately, I relate more to my past than the pop superstar everyone knows me as. All I had cared about was looking good and being wanted, and now I have that but it doesn’t seem like enough.
I want to be talented, and not just the “she can hold a tune” kind of talent. I want to be known as a singer … a songwriter … a creative genius. I’m not much of any of those things, though. All I am is a paparazzi queen.
Sure, the singing lessons have paid off. As for songwriting, I take credit for some of my songs, but the co-writers do most of the work. The only genius I ever had was in marketing and understanding that sex sells—that’s what my father’s instilled in me since I was a kid.
Dad, the big-time modeling agent, didn’t know how to work with ugly or fat. To make me happy, he got me singing lessons. To make him happy, I had to change. He bought me liposuction, a personal trainer, nose job, and a record deal.
My family comes from money, and they believe any dream can be bought. Grandpa is one of the owners of the New York Yankees, and my publicist thought it would be a great idea to get me to be arm candy to one of the players to speed along my celebrity status. That is when I began fake dating Yankees’ short stop Andrew Ashton. Drew was nice enough to go along with the scheme, not that he had much choice, knowing if he didn’t comply, there might be some kind of consequence. Although, I seriously doubt the Yankees would have traded their star player if he didn’t agree to fake date one of the owner’s granddaughters.
We didn’t have to do anything except hold hands in public on occasion, and we got in a quick peck or two. Drew is such a nice guy that we eventually became friends. He even set me up with the shy rookie of the team, Will Nostri.
I cared about Will. He was young and untainted. He’s someone Patty would have fallen in love with, but he couldn’t keep up with the Topaz image. With my skimpy clothing and naughty exploits, Will’s conservative parents hated me, and he seemed embarrassed by me most of the time.
I no longer know how to tone down my image, not when the paparazzi is always watching. I don’t ever want to be Patricia Del Feliz again. She was invisible. She was bullied. She was ugly.
Will broke up with me after Razz Magazine published photos of me dancing on the bar at a club and making out with a girl. Most of the guys I dated liked when I flirted with girls, but Will isn’t like that. He is as wholesome as they come. I expect all men to want sex appeal over a good girl—that’s how it always was in my experience. It wasn’t just men, either. Women rave about my antics and wardrobe, labeling me their role model. I somehow represent feminism, body acceptance, and that women can express their sexuality freely.
It all seems silly now. What started out as my brand—my public image—became my lifestyle. I didn’t quite know where Patty began and Topaz ended.
After my break-up with Will, I still went to the Yankees games when I could, to support my grandfather and keep up appearances, but I feel like an idiot most of the time. All of the players’ wives give me dirty looks. I guess I deserve them. I don’t like myself anymore and I no longer want the kind of attention that got me famous. It isn’t flattering, not when everyone expects me to do something stupid or trashy. Maybe I would be an actual role model if I liked who I was inside, or did things for a reason other than to keep people talking.
Even though I have millions of social media followers, I don’t have many friends other than my high school best friend, Kurt, and I consider Drew a friend, but I’m not sure if he thinks of me the same way. If anything, he probably feels sorry for me.
Drew is the only one on the Yankees who didn’t blackball me after my breakup with Will. I’m sure he doesn’t approve of everything I do, but he’s still nice to me. I doubt Drew’s amiability toward me has anything to do with me and has everything to do with him being a nice guy.
As I approach the players’ box, Drew’s fiancée, Cami, is sitting there and I’m relieved. I don’t think she likes me at all, but she at least humors me on occasion. She’s extremely pregnant, and has her little boy beside her, and on the other side of her is Danny and Jordan from the legendary rock band, Tortured. I’m slightly starstruck at first—even though I’m around famous people constantly, sometimes it happens.
Plus, I always found Danny DeSano, the band’s bad boy drummer, sexy as hell. He’s tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed, and gorgeous, with a sexy smile that sends chills throughout my body when he looks at me.
He’s exactly the type of guy who would have bullied me in high school—the ones that I secretly found attractive even though they were ugly people inside. Years of bullying and being in the entertainment industry have jaded me into not trusting pretty packages. Underneath my own packaging is a broken mess.
Danny is Cami’s ex-husband, but they’ve remained close friends due to her being Tortured’s manager and having a son together.
“Hi Tami—argh, Cami. I’m sorry.” I wince, as I mess up Cami’s name, like I usually do.
I’ve always been bad with names, and I’ve called this woman Tami for the longest time. I’m pretty sure she hates me for that reason alone. Cami’s son is looking up at me as if he’s fascinated with my hair.
“Hi, I remember you when you were just a baby.” I smile, poking him in the stomach.
“I don’t remember you.” He shrugs. “You have blue hair!”
Danny chuckles and stands up so I can get by him to get to the open seat on the other side of him.
“Excuse my son. He’s honest to a fault.”
Looking up at him, I smile. Danny stands over six-foot tall, still a good deal taller than me in my four-inch heels. His blue eyes squint when he smiles, and I find it unbelievably sexy. There’s a silver dusting in his dark brown hair, reminding me that he’s a good deal older than me, but that makes him even more appealing.
Start reading the Dream Catchers Series today!
“Hi, I’m Topaz,” I introduce myself formerly.
“Unlike my son, I remember you.”
“Have we met before, Danny?”
I flirt with him by batting my eyes at him and letting him know I’m fully aware of who he is. We have been in the same room before, but were never introduced to one another.
“Not formally. I’ve seen you around.” He winks with a teasing smile.
In the entertainment industry, introductions can feel pointless. When you’re famous, people automatically know who you are. It’s one of the things I find bizarre about fame … Everyone acts like they’re your best friend when you’re perfect strangers.
We’re the only two people still standing up in the row. Danny sits down next to Ben, and I take the open seat on the other side of him. The hot pink dress I’m wearing slides up my thighs, and I notice Danny’s eyes looking them over. I want to shamelessly flirt with him, but every time I peek over, Ben comes into view.
He would ask his father something, like for a hot dog or a soda or about something going on in the game. Danny stole bites of Ben’s hot dog, tricking him by making him look the other way, or saying something to keep the kid in constant giggles throughout the game. They’re absolutely adorable together. Of course I want Danny more because of it. Damn weird female hormones that draws us to men who would make a good father. Seeing their interaction also made me think a simple hook-up with Danny D. is a horrible idea.
Out of all of the reasons not to be with Danny, the fact that he’s with his family is the top reason I shouldn’t flirt with him any further. The other reason at the top of my list is that his reputation is as bad as mine, if not worse. Whether I want to keep my bad reputation is the question that plagues me. Hooking up with Danny will most likely solidify my fame whore status.
“How long have you been with Will now?” Danny asks.
“Oh, we broke up.”
I get the feeling Danny already knows Will and I broke up, but he either wants to double check or use it as an opening to hit on me. I suspect it’s the latter, and the flirty remark he follows with proves I’m correct.
“What did that kid go and do a stupid thing like let you go for?”
He winks at me, and I grin encouragingly.
“You have an incredible smile.”
I smile wider, and as I’m about to respond, Jordan’s voice cuts through our conversation.
“Cami, are you okay?”
Everyone in our section looks over at her. She’s breathing heavy and holding her belly.
“I’m fine,” she replies, huffing and puffing.
“I think she’s going into labor,” I whisper to Danny.
He leans closer to me and nods. “I know. She’s going to be stubborn and not want to leave the game.”
I laugh. “I guess you know her better than most people.”
He shrugs. “I was married to her, but I probably learned more about her when we became friends after the divorce.”
“I admire that.”
I mean it. I don’t know many men who can end a relationship on good terms, let alone still be great friends with their ex.
“Listen, I’m going to probably head to the hospital after the game …” He nods toward Cami with a chuckle. “But would you want to grab a drink sometime?”
I guffaw hard, and he looks confused, as if I’m making fun of the fact that he has the nerve to hit on me.
“It’s just kind of funny you’re asking me out while your ex-wife is going into labor.”
Danny sighs. “Not the smoothest pick up, huh?”
I shake my head no and make a suggestion to let him know I’m interested. “How about we go to dessert instead of a drink?”
“Dessert?” He looks perplexed at my idea for a date.
“At my place?” I gently stroke the back of his hand where it sits on his thigh.
“O-Okay,” he stutters.
Leaning in close, I give him the most seductive look I can conjure. “Sometimes you just have to indulge.”
I can tell he’s uncomfortable the rest of the game. Between his son sitting next to him, Cami experiencing contractions not far away while she insists on staying until the end of the game, and me being suggestive, he’s caught between taking me somewhere private and being there for Cami.
I don’t know why I even said what I did. Okay, I do … I want Danny, plain and simple. To sleep with him for sure, but something about him makes me want his friendship as well. I miss that feeling … The feeling of being with someone who isn’t all about sex, which is why I don’t know why I always come on strong sexually with guys right away. I set myself up for being a one-night stand or a booty call, instead of being taken seriously.
While Danny struggles with being turned-on in front of his family, I struggle with the fact that I might be turning into a shallow puddle without any meaningful relationships in my life.