His gaze sharpened on Wes. “You guys need the work. I won’t go back to her. I’ll just string her along until we get the contract—”
“She fucked you once; she’ll do it again. And I guaran-goddamn-tee, if you do this, you won’t have a crew to staff the contract, because the rest of us will bail on your pussy ass.”
A whisper of relief eased Jax’s tension. He turned to face Veronica and all her bogus beauty—inside and out. “I’m not interested. Don’t come around again.”
He climbed into the truck, slammed the door, and closed his eyes until he could tell by feel that Wes was on the 405 Highway. Jax stared straight ahead at the taillights of the other cars, his gut tight with a combination of pent-up anger and self-disgust.
“We don’t need work that bad.” Wes pounded a fist against Jax’s shoulder with a grin. “Have some fucking pride, dude.”
Jax sat forward and shoved his arms into his jacket. “I’m so sick of this bullshit.”
“You could try fucking someone with a few morals for a change.” When Jax turned a frown on Wes, he held up a hand. “Just sayin’ the insanity angle doesn’t seem to be working for you. You’re not seeing it yourself, and it’s killing me to watch you, dude.”
“Insanity—you know, doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result? You keep going for the same type of superficial woman and you keep finding the same damn trouble.”
“Morals don’t seem to be in high demand in our industry. Those women are a little hard to find.”
“You’re not really going to use that cop-out on me, right? I mean, I live it too, and you don’t see me banging my head against the wall till it explodes. But, hey, it’s your life, your head. Bang away. I’d prefer you didn’t take Renegades down with you, because this is the best job I’ve had in five years. But, whatever.
“And the last thing I’m gonna say on this, because it’s really your problem, if morals don’t interest you, how about hooking up with a chick who’s at least nice to you for a change? I’m starting to think you’ve got some masochistic fetish.”
Jax had just worked sixteen hours. Now, he would jump on a plane, arrive in another city, and work another sixteen hours. Then he’d drop into a hotel bed—alone—only to wake up the next morning and do it all over again.
Masochistic? Not in a sexual sense, but when it came to work and women… Hell. Maybe.
He closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the seat, his mind drifting over the plentitude of sweet girls Wes seemed to have in his life. Girls who not only gave him great sex—or so he said—but did all those thoughtful things. Jax had seen women bring him lunch and coffee to the set. Had seen them rub his shoulders when he sat down at a shoot.
Just the thought of a woman treating him that well made Jax’s muscles loosen.
“What’s your girl’s name?” Jax asked. “The one you’re with now? Kelly?”
Kayla, that’s right. Jax immediately pictured the woman. Midtwenties, cute, sweeter than sugar. A waitress or something. “How’d you meet her?”
“She waited on my table at the restaurant where she works.”
Jax propped his elbow on the window ledge and rubbed his forehead. “I’ve got time to hit the bar before the flight, right?”
“She’s got girlfriends who aren’t in the business. Granted, Kayla’s not Veronica, but I’m sure not kicking her out of bed for eating crackers either.”
“She’s cute,” Jax said. “I’ve seen her come to see you on the set.”
“Her friends are too. We could hook you up.”
Oh, hell no. The thought made him break out in a cold sweat. “No way. I’ve got girls I could call—”
“Girls like who? Like Veronica?”
“No,” he snapped. “There’s Kim—”
“Who fucked you for an introduction to Scorsese.”
Oh, right. “Okay, then Candy—”
“Who got you to pay for three months of acting classes in exchange for fucking you.”
“Or Jolie,” he shot out, scouring his mental list for the least offensive women in his dating data bank.
“Who was secretly fucking you and Holt at the same time? While Holt was married?”
“I’m not telling you another goddamned thing.” Jax rubbed his face with both hands. Christ he was tired. “You fight dirty.”
“This is why your life never changes.” Wes smacked the steering wheel as he took the ramp toward LAX. “You’re not willing to get out of your rut. If you want different results, you’ve got to use different tactics. You’ve got to decide where your priorities lie—exterior or interior. You’ve done the hell out of exterior, and it’s not working for you.”