Alone on Earth (Signal Bend Series Volume 4)(2)

By: Susan Fanetti

house on the hill, and your tiny blue Ferrari, and your Hermes bags, and your Louboutins. And you can put

Marta out of work, and me, and all the other minions who trot around making your life sunny and bright.”

Trevor always spoke his mind, but still, Riley was a little shocked. She didn’t think she deserved that.

She wasn’t a diva. She was grateful for what she had. Most of the time. But it wasn’t even five in the

morning, and she wasn’t allowed to moan a little over the billionth banana she’d eaten in her life?

And who was he to talk, anyway? Like he toiled in a salt mine all day.

She sat and sulked, sucking on her banana. Wow, she was in a bad mood. She didn’t quite know why.

Sure, she wasn’t thrilled to be going to a town in the absolute middle of absolutely nowhere—a town so

small that she was bringing only Prudence, her cousin and personal assistant, with her, because there

weren’t enough hotel rooms for any of the actors to bring more than one companion—but there were worse

fates. And she was thrilled to have this part. A part with meat. Something she could get her teeth into.

Not that playing Desdemona, girl demon and demon fighter at Hades High, was all that fluffy. She liked

that part, too. But the demographic skewed young, and she wanted to break free of the teen typecasting. She

was twenty-six years old, dammit. People kept telling her to be glad she could play young, that she would

miss these days when they were gone. She believed it, but she was still tired of playing teen angst. The

more grown-up her life got, the thinner pretending to be a teenager wore.

And her life had been very grown-up this past year.

Playing the part of Lilli Carson, a real woman, an actual, real-life warrior who’d fought in an actual,

real-life war and then had played a pivotal role in the events on which this movie was based—that was

meat. That was grown-up. Considering the director and the rest of the cast, there was maybe award season

possibility here. Riley could show people that she was, in fact, an actual, real-life actor.

So she should be excited to be traveling to Signal Bend to meet Lilli and spend time with her and the

motorcycle club that was the focus of the film.

The truth was, she was scared. She hadn’t been on her own for so long, she wasn’t sure how she’d

handle it. Pru would be there, but Pru was not someone who went out into the world. She was happy

managing Riley’s calendars and email and social media accounts. She expected Pru to spend most of the

week or so in Signal Bend in the hotel—no, not a hotel. A bed and breakfast. Oh, geez. A bed and

breakfast. Riley imagined one of those creepy Victorian houses full of cats and flowered linens.

“That banana is rotting in your hands, darling. I’m sorry I was mean. I’m secretly a Grumpy Cat this

morning, too. I was up at half-past three so I could be here to shake your cute little booty out of bed. Dante

yelled at me for waking him up. I hate starting the morning being yelled at.” He pouted and looked sidelong

at Riley.

She felt a little guilty that she had also yelled at him. “I’m sorry, Trev. I do wish you’d have told me to

expect you so early, but I’m sorry I yelled.”

“And used bad language.”

“And used bad language.”

Apparently satisfied, Trevor got up off his stool and sidled over to give her a squeeze and a Hollywood

kiss, his cheek to her cheek. “Good. Now let’s asana your ass till it cries! And then—kiwi and honeydew

smoothies for breakfast!”


After a grueling two-hour workout, Trevor made the advertised kiwi and honeydew smoothies, and

they took them out on the terrace. Riley sat, a towel draped over her neck, and let the cool morning air dry

the sweat from her body. It was one of her favorite things, to just sit out here after a workout and let the

breeze and the view ease her body and spirit.

She loved this house, tucked into the Hollywood Hills. By celebrity standards, it was small, but it had a

spectacular view of the city, and a gorgeous terraced lawn with a cozy terrazzo patio and a small pool. Wide

windows and doors in the kitchen, living room, and master suite opened onto this view. When she was

feeling neck deep in vapid Hollywood bullshit, she need only come out in the morning or evening, when