EXCERPT: Famous by Simone Bryant

Excerpt of Famous by Simone Bryant.  Reprinted with Permission. All Right Reserved.

The Beginning

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THE Pacesetters

We were born to be known. From the moment of our births people have wanted to see us, know us, and is some cases be us. We live the kind of lives most kids can only dream about. We are blessed because of our parents success. We are rich because of their wealth, and fame. We are loved because of their fame.

Fame tops wealth at Pace Academy. We run it.  We are it. It’s our world. For now.

It’s time for our own shine.

Our own fame.

Whose gonna stop us?

Lights. Camera. Action!

Chapter 1

Starr

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October 13 @ 6:24pm | Mood: Blah

Starr Lester was definitely feeling big-time out of sorts as she lounged across her bed and flipped through the latest issue of Teen Vogue with her short, manicured nails covered in silver minx.   Her mind really wasn’t focused on the glossy pages highlighting the latest in fashion.  She looked up and shifted her eyes across her spacious suite out the French doors to the acres of manicured lawn outside their mansion in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Starr completely understood that her life was great and all that rah-rah-rah. She got that her life was blessed. How many kids could completely brag that their suite was complete with a spa bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub, a stone shower, and heated floors; her own private balcony with an built-in outdoor fireplace; a mini-movie theatre with its own fully stocked snack bar; and a custom walk-in closet that looked like her own little clothing store?

That didn’t include free use of her Daddy’s black American Express card and a weekly allowance, and her own staff of a part-time personal assistant, a maid and a personal trainer just an email, call, IM, or tweet away. Top it all with celebrity godparents and her circle of celebkid friends and life was pretty sweet.

Starr closed the magazine and rolled her slender figure off the bed to walk across the spacious room to her desk. She pressed a knee into the fuchsia leather Parson chair as she leaned and picked up the rhinestone covered picture frame sitting beside her Mac computer.  She curved her gloss covered lips into a smile at the picture from her birthday party just over a week ago.

Her father, Cole Lester, the multi-platinum R&B-singer-turned-owner of TopStarr Records and a dozen other business, and her mother, Sasha, the R&B superstar diva who gave up her career for her family.  Starr lightly stroked their smiling faces with her index finger.  Her parents were famous, their every move watched by bloggers, entertainment new sites, and paparazzi.  They lived a fabulous life and made sure that she and her four-year-old twin brothers, Malcolm and Martin, had a pretty wonderful life as well.

Her parents had went all out for her party.   Plenty of kids would love, love, love to say that they just had an ultra-exclusive birthday party costing her daddy close to quarter of a million dollars–not including her custom Range Rover that she wasn’t even old enough to drive for herself.

Simply Fab-u-lous. It was the party of the decade…just what a Starr deserved.

Her eyes shifted to the smiling and model posed friends of her two besties, Marisol and Dionne. Together they were the Pacesetters because they definitely set the pace at their school, Pace Academy.  Age had nothing to do with their power.  Fame. It was all about their famous parents.

All of the kids at their private school had rich parents: accountants, attorneys, businessmen heirs to family fortunes…but only some had famous parents. Musicians.  Actors.  Movie directors. Designers. Celebrities.  Trendsetters.  Pacesetters. Superstars.

Marisol’s dad ruled the baseball diamond and made even more wealth and fame off the field.  Dionne’s father was a platinum selling rap artist who was completely in charge of hip-hop game.

Starr? Black, Latino, White or any another race or ethnicity, her parents were the most famous of them all.  That meant Starr was the star of Pace Academy.

No one can deny the power of fame.

No one.

Releasing a little sigh, she left her suite and walked to the mirrored  elevator off her suite.   She rode it to the basement, humming as she turned to study her reflection in the mirrored walls.

She used her fingertip to feather her Rihanna-like asymmetrical cut, still loving the way it brought out her high cheekbones and slanted almond shaped eyes.  The chestnut brown rinse brought out her light caramel complexion. If she kept the chocolate in her hair and out of her mouth, then her complexion would definitely stay pimple free. That was so necessary.

The last thing she needed was for her parents–especially her dad–to pull her to some event and get caught off guard with a mini mountain on her nose. Major nothing.

Starr rearranged the delicate ruffles of the French blue Valentino silk shirt under a tailored leather Dolce & Gabbana blazer and a pair of limited edition Seven skinny jeans in a dark rinse. She was barefoot now but the navy suede booties she had on when she went to school added to the perfect blend of textures. 

The elevator doors opened and Starr stepped out into their private entrance into the recording studio.  Like everything her parents did, it was top notch everything.  From the design of the three large studios to the equipment in each one.

Starr took the hall leading to the empty lobby and then across to the hall leading to the studios.  She loved to come down and get caught up in the creative vibe as her father and his team of hitmaker producers continued to deliver so that TopStarr Records was the best of the best.

Bored, she just thought she’d passed through and see if Mariahs, Rihannas, or Madonnas were recording.

Starr paused at the glass door leading into Studio One.  She released a heavy breath that fanned out against the glass before she opened it and walked into the control room.  She lightly touched all of the digital audio workstation before dropping down into one of the leather swivel chairs.  She twirled in the chair with her bare feet high in the air.

Boredom was no fun. Duh.

She leaned her head back and looked up at the ceiling.  Her eyes widened  at the TopStarr Record logo there.  She smiled.  Pretty fantastic having a record company named after.  Pretty wonderful.  It was like she had her own record company and maybe one day she would even run it.

Hmmm.

Now that she conquered her latest adventure–planning and documenting her Fabulous and Fierce Fashionista Fifteen party–another challenge would be big-time fun. Seriously.  She was big-time feeling like there had to be more for her than her fabulous life.  Like there was so much more for her than being loved and adored simply because of her parents

Starr lowered her head and her eyes fell on the microphone inside the vocal booth.

She wanted to live up to her name. Her destiny.  Her time in the spotlight.

Chapter 2

 Dionne

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October 13 @ 8:12pm | Mood: Excited

Dionne Hunt used a fuzzy topped glitter pen to circle the photo in the booklet. Her thin gold bracelets lightly hit against each other as she added a smiley face and an exclamation point for good measure. “Absolutely perfect,” she said, with the biggest, cheesiest grin her face could fit as she tore the page from the booklet.

She climbed off her full sized bed with the booklet in her hand.  Her sleek and shiny ponytail swung back and forth in countermotion to her retro doorknocker earrings as she left her bedroom and made her way down the hall to the kitchen.  Using a magnet shaped like a bunch of grapes, she stuck the page in the center of the white freezer door.

“She has to like this house,” Dionne said, literally crossing her fingers and her toes in the pastel striped knee socks she wore.

Her life was steady changing every day and Dionne was hoping to hold on for the ride and not chip her manicure.  Two years ago she couldn’t have ever imagine them moving out of their two bedroom apartment in Newark into a three thousand square foot home in Livingston, New Jersey.

But two years ago her daddy had been Lahron Young and not Lahron the Don, a hip-hop artist whose debut CD “New Era” dropped and went double platinum within a few months.

Life had changed so much since then.  She began spending the weekends and holidays at her Daddy’s luxury apartment in the same Park Avenue building where Diddy used to live. And she transferred from her middle school to finish the eighth grade at the ultra exclusive and pricey Pace Academy.

Now her Moms had FINALLY agreed to let him buy them a house, moving out the hood to where life is all good.  “Too bad I had to get robbed for her to change her mind,” Dionne said to herself, before she grabbed a bottled water from the fridge and made her way back to her room.

Now that she was done doing the house hunting her mother kept putting off, Dionne was ready to get down to her homework.  At the start of the school year, the letter the Headmaster sent home about her late school tuition made Dionne big-time scared that her new to money father was spending way too much and saving even less.  Once she worked up the nerve to talk to him about it, he let her know everything was cool but the wake-up call of her life going back to what it used to be made her real appreciative–especially about being able to attend Pace Academy.

She couldn’t imagine life without being showcased in magazines and blogsites alongside her Dad, or always having money in her designer purses, or not being friends with Starr and Marisol.

Dionne picked up her rhinestone covered Sidekick, using her thumb to slide it open.  She tapped away at the keys with her thumbs as she text Starr.

What U doing?

She set the phone down and cut her eyes up to the muted flat screen on her wall.  A rerun of Tiny and Toya was on but she didn’t bother to turn up the volume.  She really needed to finish up her English report.

Ding.

IN THE STUDIO.

Dionne shook her head.  Starr’s life was beyond belief.  Right now anyone from Nikki Minaj to Madonna could be at her father’s studio recording.

Ding.

 RECORDING. J

That made Dionne perfectly threaded brows dip as her thumbs went in to action.

No way. With who? For what? D.E.T.A.I.L.S.

Ding.

LMYBO. Ssssh! Top secret.

“Then why mention it?” Dionne muttered, trying hard not to fall for Starr’s bait. Trying and failing miserably.

She wasn’t mad at her friend…just annoyed and soooo jealous.

Tossing the phone to the foot of the bed she used the remote to turn off the flat screen and pulled her open books in front of her. Her father paid way too much tuition for her not to be an “A” student.   She wasn’t giving him or her Moms any reason to pull her away from her life at Pace Academy.

No reason at all.

By the time she heard her Moms keys in the door, Dionne was about done writing the paper onto her laptop.

“Thanks for the help.”

“No problem, Miss Hunt.”

Dionne’s fingers froze above the keyboard at the sound of voices.  She climbed off the bed and left the room just as her mother, Risha, walked down the hall and into the kitchen with Hassan Ali behind her carrying grocery bags.

Literally, Dionne lost her breath. It’s the kind of thing that happens when a girl is completely surprised by a crush. Ex-crush, she stressed to herself.

Hassan smiled at her and she could have sworn the white gleam of his teeth went ding.

“Hey, Dionne. What’s up?” he said, before disappearing into the kitchen.

No words formed. None were spoken. Speechless.

Hassan Ali was her eight grade crush from South 17th Street Elementary School in Newark. Chocolate complexion. Tall athletic frame. Square and handsome face.  Fresh fade. Swag style in full effect.

Oooh, I love him, Dionne thought dreamily.

He could have easily been her boyfriend, but like the truth about living in Newark, he didn’t fit into her new life. And so he was on to the next…on on to the next one. Some thick chick whose body made Nikki Minaj look like a dude. Jalisha.

The fact that he had a girl and wasn’t a part of her new world order  didn’t stop Dionne’s heart from racing and her knees from wanting to knock together.

She smoothed the fuchsia long sleeved tee she wore over a fitted lime green tee with a jean skirt (a very casual look) over her slender frame and wished she had time for a fresh coat of lip gloss before she walked into the kitchen.

Hassan turned, looking down at Dionne. “You’re moving?” he asked, pointing over his shoulder to the real estate listing on the fridge.

“As soon as my mom finally finds a house,” she stressed, leaning over to look past him at her mother. Her Mom‘s two pair of gold doorknockers earring lightly hit against each other as she was putting up packages.   Risha Hunt was just thirty-years-old and looked more like an older sister.

When she looked back up at Hassan she didn’t miss the look of disappointment on his cute face. Dionne’s heart tugged.

“I’m not moving to Livingston so you look again, Diva,” her mother assured her.

Dionne shrugged as she looked up at Hassan. “You gonna miss me…or is Jalisha keeping you pretty focused?” she asked softly, giving him a soft smile as her heart pounded crazily.

Her mother snorted and Dionne could have died on the spot.

“I miss you now,” he said, looking down into her eyes.

“Do Hassan,” her mother urged.

Dionne’s Mental To Do List : Ask Ma 2 Stay Out my Bizness.

“I better get going,” Hassan said, lightly touching Dionne’s chin before he turned causing the soft scent of his cologne to fill the air.

Dionne inhaled deeply.  “Bye, Hassan,” she said, trying to sound cheerful and perky.

He threw her mom a final wave before he walked down the hall and out the front door of the apartment.

Dionne had to fight in a big-time way not to go chasing behind him.

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About Niobia Bryant

National bestselling author. Also writes as Meesha Mink.
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