Born Savages - Cora Brent



Although I’m blinking and sitting upright in the dark bedroom of my Las Vegas apartment with a phone glued to my ear, my brain is still half inside of a dream.

It was a nice dream.

I miss it.

It starred a virile, highly bangable male body and the cage of a Ferris wheel.

The three of us – the body, the Ferris wheel and me – went up and down and up and down again. The cage rattled to the steady beat of thumping club music; a tribal pulse that went faster and faster until the world began to turn kaleidoscope colors and then…


The sheer symbolism borders on pathetic.

Plus, the more awake I am the easier it is to remember that I haven’t done anything that satisfying in real life lately.

But leave it to Brigitte to decide that two a.m. is a splendid time to make a phone call. My sister is not the type of person who allows minor hassles like sleep, empathy and common sense interfere with her goals. And recently her goal involves getting me to agree to do something outrageous.

I sigh into the air-conditioned darkness, sexually frustrated and trying to block out my sister’s metallic voice as my mind searches for the face of my dream prince. After all, the body seemed to be attached to a man and men usually have faces.

In a flash, I see him. I can almost name him. But then he is lost.

Inside my head I’m cursing fifteen furious variations of the word ‘FUCK!’ and mourning a squandered orgasm.

However, I am a good sister so I stay quiet. I even keep the phone propped against my ear and sort of listen to the words coming out of it.

“Ren! They are committing to ten.”

Brigitte has a breathless gasp in her voice, like she’s just finished sprinting back and forth across the floor of her crappy apartment in the most dismal quarter of Los Angeles. My sister reminds me of a twitchy rabbit sometimes, a twitchy rabbit that is highly imperious, very well accessorized and smells expensive.

“Ten?” I grumble. “Ten what?”

I know very well what she’s talking about. It’s also the last thing I feel like discussing in the middle of the night while a slow throb withers between my legs.

“Ten episodes.” She raises her voice. Maybe she believes she can shout her way through my reluctance. It wouldn’t be the first time. “And a second season if the first one grabs ratings.”

My little sister has lost her ever-loving mind.

But then again, whether she ever had one in the first place was always a question up for grabs.

I yawn and try to focus. “A moot point, isn’t it? Spence already said no.”

A celebratory giggle reaches across three hundred miles and pricks at my blossoming headache. She breaks into a singsong voice. “Oh no, sweet sister, Spencer said yes. Yes yes yes YES!”

If I were the gasping type of girl I would gasp at the news.

But I’m not and I don’t, especially because I don’t believe it. Spencer is the last one in the family who would sign on for this, a circus of cameras and lost siblings invading his home turf.

Spencer still lives down there on that godforsaken patch of Arizona desert where our father once dragged all of us in a quest for something opposite to the L.A. glare. These days, my younger brother is the only Savage still haunting the sage and the cacti. Whenever I picture him he’s got his nose halfway up a rusted carburetor and a shotgun slung across his back, daring any rattlesnake that crosses his path to coil up and fuck with him. That’s Spence.

Brigitte decides my dazed silence must be consent. She starts dropping names of agents and producers and all the tiresome litany of Hollywood bullshit that I wish I knew nothing about.

But I know too much.

Show business is coded into my goddamn DNA. It’s what made us. It’s what broke us. It’s what I want surgically cut from my identity, and what I will keep trying to outrun as long as this last name of mine keeps chasing.

My sister talks on and on. My heart hurts a little to hear the excitement in her voice because I know I’ll be the one to crush it. Even though Brigitte has a long history of giving me heartburn she is still my sister, still some part of the red-headed little girl who stubbornly clung to my waist to keep me from going anywhere without her.

Plus, she’s got Ava,