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Music is melodic trip-hop on the level where Jamie and I have staked out a small lime-green couch below a massive steel staircase, white flowers surrounding us everywhere, a giant digital clock face glows in the dark, projected yards above us on the ceiling, and we're doing mellow coke Jamie scored effortlessly and because she stole a Waring blender from one of the kitchens we're drinking bright-orange slushy tequila punches and sometime during all of this Jamie changed into black Jil Sander, and unimportant paparazzi try to snap some shots but jamie's weary and I'm looking a little too wired to be camera-ready so I push them away, snarling, "Hey, she needs her privacy. Jesus-we're just people," and someone else floats by, taking up their interest, and I watch, a little disappointed, as the paparazzi follow, leaving us behind. Shadows are being taken aside and whispered to. We light each other's cigarettes.

"Thank you, Victor," Jamie says, exhaling. "You didn't need to be that, um, firm, but I'm glad you're feeling so... protective.

"Everyone's so thin and gorgeous, baby," I'm gushing, the cocaine flowing through me. "And their teeth are, like, white. It's not exactly how I remember London, baby."

"Well, since most of the people here are Americans I wouldn't worry about your memory."

"This is the coolest party," I'm gushing.

"I thought you'd be impressed," she sighs.

"What do you think of this place?" I ask, moving closer to her on the lime-green couch.

"Well," she says, looking around, "I think it looks a little too much like a new Philippe Starck hotel."

"Too much?" I'm asking, confused. "I think it's multi-useful, but baby, I don't want to talk about interior design, baby."

"Well, what do you want to talk about?" she says. "Besides yourself

"No, baby, I wanna talk about you." Pause. "Well, you and me."

Another pause. "But let's start with you. Can I have the coke?"

She slips the vial into my hand. "Let me guess-you want to be one of those guys whose ex-girlfriends never get over them, right?"

I turn to the wall, do a few quick blasts and offer my nose for inspection. She nods her head, meaning it's fine, then I slip the vial back to her while she waves over to some guy in a gray three-button Prada suit who's talking to Oliver Payton. The guy in the suit waves back somewhat semi-pretentiously, I feel. They are both holding pythons.

"Who's that?" I'm asking.

"Someone who did the legs in that new Tommy Hilfiger ad," Jamie says.

"This is the coolest party, baby," I'm gushing.

"You're feeling great and looking even better, right?"

I'm nodding. "The better you look, the more you see."

"I'm seeing Emily Lloyd maintaining remarkable poise while eating a giant grilled shrimp," Jamie yawns, opening the vial, turning away.

"I'm so exhausted."

"Hey look, there's Lulu Guinness-she made your bag," I'm saying, totally wired. "Hey, and there's Jared Leto-he's supposed to play me in the movie they're making of my life."

Jamie flinches and turns back to me, wiping her nose and taking a large gulp of tequila punch. "You need someone to teach you important life lessons, Victor."

"Yeah, yeah, baby, exactly," I'm saying. "But I think you're just having a hard time dealing with my hypermasculine vibe."

"Don't be a wuss, baby," she warns.

"Hey, if you didn't come to party, don't bother knocking on my door." I scoot closer to her, our thighs touching.

"Yeah, that's me." She lights a cigarette, smiling. "Little Miss Trouble."

"\Vhat happened to us at Camden, baby?" I'm asking. "Because for the life of me I cannot remember."

"Well, I think what happened was that first we established that you were an idiot," she says casually, exhaling.

"Uh-huh, uh-huh, but I think I have major credibility now-"

"You also had gigantic intimacy problems that I doubt you've overcome.

"Oh spare me, spare me." I'm giggling. "Come on, baby." Leaning into her, I open my arms wide. "What could have possibly been wrong with me?"

"Besides not knowing your place?" she asks. "And that you liked to f**k complete strangers?"

"Hey, I thought you were the slutty one, baby," I say. "I also think that I've, er, evolved."

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