• Sheila & Swede

The Hills Have Lies - Ep. 7

The Hills Have Lies © 2018 Lili Grouse

“I don’t know about this, Lauren,” I say as we approach the Fitness First gym. “I’m not flexible in the least. I’m going to look like a cow compared to everyone in the class.”

“Oh, come on, everyone’s busy worrying about themselves when they’re at the gym. Hot Yoga is one of the hottest classes around. No pun intended. Okay, maybe a little pun intended,” she grins, measuring about an inch between her thumb and index finger. “Trust me; you’re going to love the results.”

I’m not entirely convinced, but I’m determined to see this thing through. Who knows, I might even enjoy it.

That particular piece of hope evaporates when I walk into the exercise room and spot Crystal in front of the mirror, posing for her cell phone camera. She spots Lauren first and I see her expression sour before she puts her phone away.


You’d think we were in a cop movie or something where the rival partners only address each other by their last names. Lauren replies in the same fashion with the same look of disdain to go with it.


“Oh, and you brought your little friend, too,” Crystal says as she sees me rolling out the yoga mat at the back of the room, as far away from the mirrors as I can get. I feel about two inches tall. Why does she have to be so condescending? What have I ever done to her? It’s not like I’m competition.

“And I see you’re all alone as always,” Lauren says to Crystal, rolling out her mat next to mine.

“Some of us are selective of the company we keep. Speaking of, where’s Tom today? Humping some other bitch’s leg?”

Lauren’s jaw drops, as do a couple of the other girls’. I’m really shocked that Crystal would be so careless. I can see how Lauren is fighting her gut instinct to march over and smack Crystal, so I do what I can to distract her and avoid an all-out brawl.

“Hey, Lauren. Do you remember that dress you loaned me?”

“Huh?” she turns her head reluctantly to look at me, clearly puzzled by the randomness of it all.

“That wrap one? I really liked the style. Do you think we could go shopping later this week and you could maybe help me find something like it?”

“I-“, Lauren is still looking a little confused, but she’s cut off before she can say anything else by the yoga instructor’s entrance.

“Namaste,” the instructor says, putting her hands together and bowing to the class. The room quiets and all attention is focused on her.

When we leave the gym, all sweaty and gross – well, I am both those things whereas Lauren and Crystal look like they’ve just shot a commercial for sports’ apparel – there are paparazzi outside, snapping photos left and right. Crystal coolly puts on her sunglasses, slings her gym bag over her shoulder and shoots off a fake smile and accompanying finger wave our way. Lauren just hooks her arm with mine and starts pulling in the opposite direction.

I’m startled when they start calling my name as well as Lauren’s, throwing out questions about Tom and Derek. I thought that was something reporters did, not paps. They’re pretty foulmouthed about it, too.

Lauren ignores them and beeps her car open for us. We leave in a hurry.

“Wow, that was… weird,” I say once the mob is out of sight in the rear-view mirror.

“I have no doubt Crystal tipped them off to where she was going to be this afternoon just to get some publicity for herself. She is such a media whore.”

I’m a little surprised at Lauren’s choice of words, but then again, Crystal doesn’t exactly mince her words, either. Out of curiosity, I check Instagram and, sure enough, there’s a selfie of Crystal with the caption Hot yoga @ Fitness First right now #burnbabyburn #fitnessfirst

“You’re right, she posted about it,” I tell Lauren, and then I go on Twitter to see the same thing there. In my mentions, there are several new tweets, including one from CelebSpotter captioned Spotted: The girls of #THHL sweating it out at @FitnessFirst with a picture of the three of us leaving the gym, our usernames tagged. There are like a dozen replies already.

It’s like one of those games – spot the odd one out. No-brainer.

One is looking a little sweatier than the others…

Sheesh, @hannahHHL, ever heard of antiperspirant?

RT: “Sheesh, @hannahHHL, ever heard of antiperspirant?” Or hair products?

Wonder if this is what @dereckless had to witness last Saturday? Poor guy.

Can we just take a moment to bask in the glorious radiance of @crystalline?

My goddess @crystalline

I’d take @laulau94 grinding on me any day

“Why are you reading that crap, Han?” Lauren says and I look up, realizing I’ve got a tear in the corner of my eye. I quickly wipe it off, trying not to be obvious about it.

“I’m not,” I mumble and put away my phone.

“Could’ve fooled me,” Lauren says in a matching volume. Then, after a moment’s pause, she speaks again in a much brighter tone. “So, were you serious about shopping?”

“Enjoy your shower?”

Cole’s breath tickles my neck as he passes by my makeup chair and I suck in a breath. Crystal, sitting in the chair next to mine, glares at me in the mirror. Did she hear what Cole said? If so, did she think it meant something?

He walks up to Trish and pecks her cheek. “Well, someone had a nice weekend,” she comments as he checks his reflection in the mirror.

“It wasn’t bad. Yours?” Cole says, grabbing a can of hairspray to fix his hair.

Trish snatches the hairspray back. “Stop doing other people’s jobs. And, yes, I had a great weekend. Shauna took me surfing.”

“About time you learned,” Cole says.

“Well, I won’t be riding the waves anytime soon, but I loved seeing her in a wetsuit.” Trish winks at Cole and picks up the blush to give me some added tint to my cheeks.

“Remember we have an interview scheduled for this afternoon, Cole,” Crystal interjects. “You should probably prepare instead of hanging around here.”

“For your information, Crys, I’m meeting Lauren to run some lines,” Cole says and turns back to me, “Have you seen her, Han?”

“Not today, sorry,” I tell him.

“All right, I’ll check her trailer, then. Stop by after your scene if you like.”

He walks off and I can’t resist tracking his movement in the mirror.

“They used to hook up, you know?” Crystal says, tilting her chin up for her makeup artist to line her lips. “Cole and Lauren.”

“Oh?” I try to sound aloof, but my stomach tightens a bit. Lauren never said anything like that.

“Back when she was a swimsuit model,” Crystal continues, unprompted. “I hope he learned his lesson. That amateur is going nowhere; it would be stupid of him to start something up again. The company you keep can make or break you in Hollywood.”

I grit my teeth to stop myself from saying something I’ll regret. Like it or not, Crystal has clout with the directors and the studio.

Crystal’s makeup artist declares her ready and Crystal gets out of her chair, stopping briefly by mine. “A piece of friendly advice, Hannah? Don’t let Cole get too close to you. You’ll only get burned.”

She pats my shoulder and my skin crawls. Once it’s just Trish and me, she clicks her tongue and shakes her head.

“That one is a piece of work. Don’t listen to a word she says. Cole’s a nice guy.”

I can’t stop myself from asking, “Did he really go out with Lauren?”

“I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised, but I’ve never heard it mentioned. Now, relax your jaw and lose that frown so I can finish up here.”

To be continued...


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