Pranked - Sienna Valentine

1

Ava

I woke from a deep sleep to the unmistakable feeling of an icepick being shoved through my left eye.

It shouldn’t have been unexpected, though. This might have been my first hangover, but popular media had led me to believe they were always like this. I just hadn’t properly considered the consequences when I’d started drinking yesterday afternoon.

TMZ would have a ball with this, if they ever found out about it. “America’s Sweetheart, Ava Cassidy, goes on a drinking binge 12 hours into unemployment.” I knew the world had just been waiting for me to follow in the footsteps of those before me. First you’re “America’s Sweetheart,” then you’re shaving your head or being arrested on national television. Unemployment was just the beginning.

Unemployment.

The thought hit me like... well, like an icepick through my eye socket. I was unemployed. Bad enough that I’d caught Ken with Fiona—Fiona of all people! But to have lost my job over that, that... I wasn’t sure I had a word bad enough for it. Layla might.

And that’s when the rest of it started coming back. Layla’s insistence on a trip to Vegas to get my mind off “that asshole,” as she liked to call Ken.

“Vegas is the perfect place to go,” Layla urged, letting both of her hands rest on my shoulders, “So many fallen stars there no one will notice you’re taking a break from shooting across the sky while you get your bearings again.”

For all of her chimney-smoking, tattoo-covered, spiked-boot ways, Layla really was a sweetheart.

At least I still have her.

I could always trust her to have my best interest at heart. And even though I knew that running off to Vegas wouldn’t make the nudes go away, wouldn’t make the studio give me my job back or turn Ken into a decent human being, I thought maybe it would help me to catch my breath again. To gain some perspective. Or at least it would give me a couple of hundred miles of distance from Ken and Fiona so that I could actually let myself have a good old fashioned ugly cry over how stupid I’d been to trust either of them.

I didn’t like to use my celebrity for free perks, but Layla convinced the stewardess to serve me red wine without carding me, insisting that 19 was basically 21 for a celebrity, because we aged faster. I think the woman just felt bad for me. Even if she hadn’t been following up on the latest gossip sites, I know I looked pretty rough.

The wine got me started, sniffling into Layla’s shoulder. Then there was the angry Cosmo on the strip. It was like I was walking through the steps of grief the second I started my getaway, with a different alcohol for each emotional transition.

All of that was followed by a series of seriously unwise investments at the blackjack tables. And then far, far too much Patrón gold tequila at the hotel bar…. That was when things got a little fuzzy in my head, and I’d hoped it was because it meant I’d somehow stumbled my way to my room and passed out without doing too much more damage to my body or my bank account.

I shifted in bed as the room spun, trying to get the sun out of my eyes, and I came to two realizations at once.

First, I was naked. The soft cotton of the sheets was actually a relief against my skin, momentarily distracting me from my headache.

Second, I realized that I was not alone.

A soft sort of snort at my side drove this point home, and I leapt