Authors: P. S. Turner
The Vegan’s Hunter
By S. P. Turner
The Vegan’s Hunter
By S. P. Turner
Copyright © 2014 by Spilt Ink Publishing. All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual business or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Reproduction in whole or in part of this publication without express written consent is strictly prohibited. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read my work. I hope you enjoy it! Please consider leaving a review wherever you bought the book, or telling your friends about it. Thanks!
Kayley walked into the TV studio and gasped, amazed that this was all set up for her. The lights shining down from above lit up the set as bright as a star. It’s going to be hot under there, she thought. I hope I don’t break out into a sweat on camera.
She continued up to the stage that was built to resemble a country kitchen found in some mansion in Beverley Hills. It looked better than she had ever imagined. The shiny stainless steel appliances didn’t have so much as a finger print on them. A round sign with her show’s title
hung over the island. Her eyes sparkled.
She took her time exploring the kitchen. She turned the dial on the stove, stiff from never having been used before. The burner turned red and a smile lit up her face. I can’t believe this is happening. The refrigerator was full of ingredients that she requested. Mostly organic produce and fresh herbs. A bottle of champagne stuck out from behind the broccoli. Kayley grabbed the cold bottle and read the note attached to its neck.
Put this in your coffee cup. Our little secret. D.
She smiled. Her agent Debbie always knew how to lighten the mood and help her relax.
“Well if it isn’t the best selling writer turned television star.” Kayley turned around towards the booming voice. The producer Al Snyder was walking towards her with his attractive personal assistant following close behind, clutching a clipboard to her voluptuous chest.
“It looks wonderful Al,” Kayley said, extending her hand for a handshake. “Thank you so much.”
Al walked right past her hand and swallowed her in a sweaty, fleshy hug. He smelled like cologne mixed with barbecue sauce. “I spared no expense Kayley,” he said, releasing her.
“No expense,” his assistant repeated from behind him.
“I want this show to be a big hit,” he said.
“A big hit,” his assistant repeated like a parrot.
Al exhaled in frustration and turned around slowly. “Cara why don’t you go fetch our new friend here a cappuccino.” Cara spun on her heels and bolted towards the door.
“No thank you,” Kayley called after her. She turned back to Al. “I don’t drink them. Vegan remember?”
Cara stopped half way to the door. She looked back and forth between Al and Kayley, looking panicked with no orders to follow.
“Then get me one,” Al said.
“But your wife asked me to limit your caffeine intake and you’ve already had-”
“Fine,” he interrupted. “Then go to every single person in the office and ask them if they want a cappuccino and if they do then go get them one.” She nodded and bolted out the door. Al’s eyes lingered on her backside as she left and then turned back to Kayley.
“How many people are in the office?” she asked.
“Enough to keep her out of our way for a few hours. Hiring her seemed like a good idea at the time,” he said rolling his eyes.
Al gave her a tour of the studio while spitting out tips on when to look at which camera and how to interact with the crowd. Kayley looked at the empty seats across from the stage and bit her lip. “Where do you get the audience members?”
“Losers off the street who have nothing better to do than watch a cooking show on a Tuesday afternoon,” Al said.
Kayley frowned and was about to retort when a slender girl covered in tattoos and bright, short blue hair walked into the studio. “Natasha my love,” Al said walking over and crushing her in a hug. Natasha grimaced at Kayley with a look of pain in her eyes. “Meet your newest canvas.”
Natasha approached Kayley and examined her face like a mechanic examining a car in desperate need of repairs. “I have to cover that up,” she muttered to herself. Kayley’s hand shot up to hide whatever she was referring to but Natasha had moved on to her brown hair, picking up long strands and holding them up to the light. “Could use some highlights and some curls,” she said to no one in particular.
“So. Can you make her look presentable?” Al asked.
Kayley shot him an incredulous look but then turned with curious eyes to hear Natasha’s answer. “Oh she’ll be stunning,” she said. Kayley exhaled in relief.
“Good. Now get to it. The audience will be seated in an hour,” Al said before turning and marching away.
“I just love your book!” Natasha said as Kayley sat in the make-up chair placed on the right of the stage out of camera shot.
“Really?” Kayley asked looking at her through the mirror.
“I’ve tried to get my husband to go vegan but he flat out refuses. He says that he didn’t fight his way to the top of the food chain to eat plants. Like buying hot dogs in a supermarket is fighting to the top of anything,” she said shaking her head.
“But you have my book?” Kayley asked. Her vegan cookbook was the number one selling cookbook in the country for the past five months but she was still shocked whenever she met someone who owned it and especially who used it.
Natasha nodded while starting to work on Kayley’s hair. “I like to make a dish and see if Mike realizes that it’s vegan before he finishes. He usually freaks out after when I tell him.” She laughs. “He’s such a baby. He won’t ever admit that he feels better and more energetic after. Boys,” she said rolling her eyes.
Kayley loved the health benefits of eating a vegan diet but she really did it for the animals. She loved animals and spent her life fighting against any form of animal cruelty that she could find. She had been all over the world volunteering to help wherever she could. Conservation of elephants in Northern Thailand, spider monkeys in South Africa, street dogs in Russia, turtles in the Seychelles, among many others. She had been to hundreds of protests and rallies over the years, against everything from animal testing, to the use of wool in clothing. She was a lifelong member of the Animal Protection Force, with the tattoo on her arm to prove it. She was inducted into the APF when she broke into a fur factory in Texas and released 346 frantic chinchillas into a quiet suburb outside of Dallas. She also received nine months in prison.
“What made you go vegan?” Natasha asked, brushing her hair.
“I just always loved animals,” Kayley responded. During her stint in prison she decided that she was fighting the wrong fight. She couldn’t keep facing jail time and fighting against society. She had to be lawful and work with society to somehow change it from within. She realized that the best way to save the most animals and to affect real change was to change people’s mindset. She decided to help change the way they eat. She was always a master in the kitchen and began developing cheap, easy to make vegan recipes to help people eat less meat. According to her book sales it seemed to be working.
Cara, Al’s personal assistant, walked back into the studio with a large tray filled with cappuccino cups on it. “Cappuccino?” she asked.
“Sure,” Natasha said grabbing one off of the tray.
“Would you like one?” she asked Kayley.
“Still no,” Kayley said with a smile. Cara smiled and rushed off.
“Are you married?” Natasha asked, wrapping a thick strand of hair into a curler.
Kayley shook her head.
“Girlfriend?” Natasha asked raising an eyebrow.
Kayley laughed. “No just me.” She looked down into her lap. “Well just me and a few animals.” That was an understatement she thought. Her apartment housed three dogs, four cats, two fish tanks, a gecko, four turtles, two chinchillas and three hamsters. All rescued from animal shelters. She could never turn down an animal in need. No matter how many times her landlord threatened to evict her.
“I have a brother who’s single,” Natasha said. “He’s a doctor. Handsome, funny. I should set you two up.”
How do I get out of this one? “Sure, why not?” Kayley responded, with no intention of going.
Natasha began blurting out all of the gossip from around the network. Kayley tuned her out and began thinking about the show, hoping that it would go smoothly. Just remember to smile and try to relax. It will be okay.
Natasha was going on about how the new camera man, Matt, asked out the receptionist, Amy, in front of everyone last week and got turned down, when someone caught Kayley’s eye through the mirror. He was probably close to six feet tall with broad shoulders and brown stubble on his face that looked like he hadn’t shaved in a week. He had a rugged edge to his appearance that she always liked in men. His thick, muscular arms showed through his black hoodie as he walked into the studio. Her breath quickened. He was wearing faded jeans that should only be suitable for camping or hiking but seemed to suit him perfectly. His casual, relaxed look was sexier than if he was wearing designer clothes or a three piece suit. She wiped her sweaty palms on the sides of her pants, feeling the smooth fabric, suddenly wishing that she had worn her short, black, sexy dress instead.
He turned abruptly and looked back at her through the mirror, almost as if the handsome stranger felt someone staring him down. Shit. She glanced at herself in the mirror and then looked down into her lap. Her heart was pounding so hard that he could surely see it through the ridiculous leopard print barber’s cape that Natasha put on her. Not exactly the first impression that she wanted to make. Her hair was up in curlers and Natasha was coating her face with thick foundation like an eager painter trying to cover up a graffiti covered wall. Please don’t come over now.
She glanced through the mirror and he was walking over. Shit. Blood rushed to her cheeks. It felt like a hundred degrees under the cape.
“Oh hi Tyler!” Natasha squeaked before kissing him on the cheek.
“Hi Natasha,” he responded in a low, raspy voice. Almost a whisper. “Is Al around?”
“Unfortunately.” Natasha said laughing at her own joke. “Check Rick’s office.”
“Okay thanks.” Tyler and Kayley’s eyes met through the mirror. Her body shivered quickly followed by a flood of warmth. He smiled a quick, shy smile and then looked away like the heat from her eyes was too much to bear. She felt paralyzed in his presence. She couldn’t take her eyes off him.