INT. NIKKI’S HOUSE. DAY.
Nikki’s head throbbed in protest. Groaning she buried it under a pillow and hoped it would just shut up. It didn’t. She reached out, groping along the nightstand until her hand closed around a travel clock, pulled it under the pillows and squinted at it. Eleven thirty. She tossed the clock aside and told her head to shut up for another couple of hours. It wasn’t obliging.
Slowly, grumpily, she got up and surveyed her room. It occurred to her she couldn’t quite remember going to bed last night. She glanced down and realized she was still wearing the halter top and jeans she had worn to the club. Well her head had already been doing an adequate job of convincing her it had been that kind of night but this collaborated it. She’d probably be able to look in today’s tabloids to learn her state when she stumbled home the night before.
Her head gave another, more pronounced, throb and she got up out of bed. The room whirled for a minute and then settled down. She told herself she just had to make it to the kitchen and coffee and then she could sink into a dark hole and not emerge until her head and her, had completely made up.
She took enough time to pull her long blonde hair into a messy pony tail and then she stumbled out of the room, unto the elegant second floor landing that looked out over the wide spacious front hall of her home. She grabbed the railing and lurched down the wide, open staircase. She turned right, heading into the living room, hoping to reach the dining room and then the kitchen beyond. But she was just passing the back of the couch when she stopped short. She stood for a moment, wondering if she was still drunk and then backed up. Sticking over the arm of the sofa were two cowboy boots.
For a moment she toyed with the idea of just ignoring the whole thing and getting her coffee but something thought better of it through the fog of her hangover and instead she circled round to the front of the couch.
There was a man sleeping on it. She followed him up, from his boots, across his jeans, dress shirt and blazer and up to his face. His hair was brownish with flecks of grey. His face was a little hard looking; a little rough and a little rugged. Something about him looked familiar but her head felt too heavy to remember why.
What was he doing here? And why was he sleeping on her couch?
She considered for a moment what to do and then picking up a pillow from one of the chairs threw it.
It hit the man squarely in the face. He jerked up and looked around blurrily. He caught sight of Nikki and focused. Then he glanced down at the pillow.
“You throw things a lot don’t you?” he asked and then yawned.
Finding a man, whose name she didn’t even know, sleeping in her living room, Nikki had somehow expected him to say something else upon awakening; so for a moment she was speechless.
They both remained there staring at each other in silence. Finally the man swung his feet to the ground and raised his eyebrows.
“Well?” he asked. “Do you just throw things recreationally, or did you want something?”
“Who are you?” Nikki asked abruptly.
“That tells me next to nothing…what are you doing in my house?”
“I’m not a thief.”
“I guessed that since you were taking a nap on my sofa. But what are you doing here?”
“You don’t understand. You owe me two hundred bucks. I was waiting for you to wake up and pay me since I’m not a thief and therefore chose not to just take it out of your wallet.”
“Two hundred?” she folded her arms. “What on earth for?”
“For not taking a picture of you last night. I showed great self-restraint and saved you from bad publicity from others. I think that’s probably worth more than two hundred, but I’m easy.”
“Last night? I don’t even remember last night.”
“That’s not surprising given that you passed out in the men’s room.” Clint shrugged. “Of course there could be any number of reasons, giving what your lot enjoy taking when you,” he made air quotes, “‘Party.’”
Nikki huffed. “Look I don’t know what you’re talking about I never…the men’s room?” She frowned as a memory nudged the edge of her consciousness. “Did I…did I throw a compact at you?”
“You’re paparazzi aren’t you? I recognize you now. I’ve seen you in that pack.”
“Pack?” Clint chuckled. “You make us sound like dogs.”
Nikki shrugged. “If the shoe fits…” She tossed her head and regretted it a second later as her hangover kicked in and sent out a jolt of pain. She groaned and sunk into an armchair, massaging her forehead.
Clint shook his head and let out another soft chuckle but didn’t comment except to say, “This dog got you out of there last night without a single photograph being taken of your less than stellar moment.”
Nikki felt annoyed but she wasn’t up for fighting. She just wanted him gone.
“Fine, you know whatever, just take the two hundred. I’ll get my purse.”
“Here.” He picked up her purse from the night before off the coffee table and tossed it over.
She caught it, opened it and pulled out a handful of bills. Not bothering to count them she threw them onto the table and they skidded across towards Clint. “Take that and get out.”
He leaned over and picked up the money. He unfolded the bills, counted out two hundred, pocketed it, and put the rest back on top of the table.