INT. NIKKI’S HOUSE. DAY.
Clint let himself into Nikki’s house and headed towards the living room. He felt irrationally irritated. Knowing it was irrational didn’t help matters. He still felt frustrated at himself and Lionel from the night before, frustrated and annoyed.
Sitting down he picked a book of photographs off the coffee table and started flicking through it. He checked his watch. Nikki should be down soon. He turned his attention back to the photos, already feeling a little calmer and going through them more slowly. They were very lovely. Not the most original, exactly the kind you’d expect to find on a coffee table, but lovely nevertheless. Huge snow covered mountains, rainbows stretched over grass plains and towering glaciers; grand and awe-inspiring. He went through the entire book before checking his watch again. Nikki was fifteen minutes late now. He could understand being fifteen minutes late to a meeting ordinarily but it was a little hard to manage when the meeting was in your own house.
He stood up, putting the book back on the table. He walked over to the French windows that overlooked the patio and pool, but other than two gardeners clipping hedges, the backyard appeared empty.
“Nikki?” he called out.
He headed back out into the hall and hesitated, wondering if he should check upstairs when he heard a door open and Nikki stumbled out onto the second floor landing from her bedroom.
“Don’t yell,” she said. She took hold of the railing and started down the stairs, taking each one very slowly with apparently deep concentration.
“Nikki?” Clint repeated her name, this time with suspicion.
She raised her hand to shush him and didn’t look up until she reached the ground. At last, she arrived on the first floor and turning to him grumpily, asked “What do you want?”
“I came here for our meeting and what is wrong with you?”
“I haven’t figured that out yet,” said Nikki, shrugging. “I’m either really hung over or still a little drunk.”
Clint blinked. “Wait, you went out partying last night? After everything we discussed?”
Nikki rolled her eyes exaggeratedly. “I did not go out. I had some friends over.”
She winced. “Don’t yell!”
“We discussed that you weren’t going to-”
“Go out. I didn’t.”
“You know that’s not exactly what we meant.”
“What you meant. You said I can’t go out. You said I can’t tweet. There’s pretty much nothing I’m allowed to do. Well I got bored!”
“Which is why you’re going to take the classes.”
“I have friends Clint! Friends I like to hang out with. We like to party. That’s what we do. If I don’t party, I don’t see them and I get stuck, alone in this house with only you and the maids for company.”
“Maybe you need some new friends then that enjoy spending time with you while doing something other than drinking.”
“Oh and now I can’t spend time with my friends. Really what can I do? Take a class and buy clothes are the only things you’ve mentioned so far. You’re supposed to be my manager, not my babysitter.”
“And I’m trying,” said Clint, exasperated. “We’ve talked about this and how your image needs to be rehauled. That’s what we’re trying to do here Nikki.”
“I don’t see how throwing a minor party in the privacy of my own home is going to hurt this ‘image’.”
“How many pictures have you seen in the tabloids that came from the privacy of people’s homes?” Clint asked. “How many private parties and private moments have been invaded and publicized.”
“By people like you, you mean.”
“Sure. Sometimes. But not always. We don’t really get invited into star’s homes for the private bashes shockingly enough. But friends do. Those friends that like to hang around celebrities like flies, those unnamed close sources to the stars that tabloids love. Those friends with big mouths and camera phones.”
Nikki gave a humorless laugh. “Great. Now not only am I not allowed see my friends, according to you most of them are just trying to use me.”
“Most of them probably are. Fame isn’t a very nice place Nik.”
“Don’t call me ‘Nik’. And no one was taking pictures last night.”
Clint sighed. “Maybe not last night, but if you keep throwing parties someone is going to.”
“I threw one party! It’s not like I’m going to throw one every night!”
“Alright,” Clint said, “Look if it’s was just one-”
“And I have a right to throw as many parties as I want. I’m getting really fed up this attitude. You’re my manager, you can give me advice but I don’t have to take it if I don’t want to!”
“You’re right. I can’t make you do what I tell you to, but if you’re not going to follow my advice what is the point of paying me?”
“I don’t know. What is the point of paying you?” she snapped, and then turning on her heels left him standing alone in the hall.
He considered for a moment the wisdom of following her and then letting out a huff of exasperation walked out of the house.