I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 44

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:13:32]
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"Gentlemen, these offices were picked based on your previously mentioned criteria. There\'s one in the Burbank area, as well as one in the Santa Monica area, oh and this one is in a Hollywood neighborhood, so the price is relatively expensive."

In the real estate agency\'s hall, a skillful realtor named Raymond Stee handed over some informative documents to Eric and Jeffrey. Since they had decided to set up the new film company, Firefly, they should first rent an office, hence the current situation.

They listened to Raymond\'s presentation while they discussed things over with each other.

He didn\'t know why, but Eric felt that the Raymond guy was eyeing strangely, he almost felt… eager. Finally, finding a gap in their conversation, Raymond Stee could not help but ask: "Excuse me, but, are you that Mr. Williams ? The director of Home Alone ?"

Eric raised his eyebrows and assessed the man in front of him again; the middle-age guy couldn\'t be one of his fans, right ? He nodded his head: "That would be me, Mr. Stee. Why are you asking ?"

Raymond steeled himself and said: "Well, Mr. Williams, I wonder if you\'d be interested in a Beverly Hills mansion, as we just happen to have one available. The residence encompasses an area of 6000 square feet, it is close to Sunset Boulevard, but most importantly…. It can shield one\'s privacy."

When he said the last few words, Raymond Stee looked somewhat unnatural. It was obvious that he had read the Los Angeles Daily\'s gossip about the youth and got the idea of selling the mansion.

Eric had to admit, that was really a smooth move. Besides, he had been pestered by those annoying paps for a while now, he definitely needed to move out soon.

Jeffrey also said: "Eric, I also think you need a change of residence. With your current net worth, it\'s not very safe to live alone in North Hollywood."

Eric nodded and asked: "Mr. Stee, I am indeed interested, when can we go visit the house ?"

Raymond Stee was delighted, he immediately nodded and said: "We can go now, the homeowners have left all matters to us, so the keys are in my possession."

Eric didn\'t feel like staying for the selection of the office, he left a blank check for Jeffrey to decide, and drove to Beverly Hills with Raymond Stee.

After following the realtor\'s directions, half an hour later, they parked in front of a mansion at the top of a hill: "We\'re here, Mr. Williams."

Getting out of the car, the first thing Eric saw was the nearly two-meter-high wall covered in green vegetation.

Raymond Stee eagerly presented: "Mr. Williams, as you can see, the way the villa is build emphasize privacy. The tall wall coupled with the dense vegetation inside, the risk of being photographed by the paparazzi is nil. Also, there are no streets around the mansion, and only two doors available; one in front and one behind. It is a very suitable living environment for a public figure."

Eric nodded in satisfaction: "Then Mr. Stee, can we take a look inside ?"

"But of course." Raymond Stee quickly pulled out the keys to open the door of the mansion, and invited Eric in.

"Here, Mr. Williams. This is a modern-style villa designed by Edward Niles Architects. It showcases four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two kitchens, and the garage can dock up to 10 cars. Out there we have an open-air bath, a mini basketball court, oh and through the balcony on the second floor, you can overlooking the whole of Los Angeles, I have to say, the night view is simply breathtaking…."

Eric listened to the realtor skillfully fill him in on the mansion, and waited patiently until they had seen about all there was before turning around.

"Mr. Stee, how much does the mansion cost ?"

Raymond Stee was somewhat taken aback, before his expression turned to ecstasy. Eric didn\'t ask endless questions or mess around asking to see this part or this part once more, he directly asked about the price. It was practically a done deal.

After building the mansion, the owner suffered a loss in last year’s stock market crash and had to put his beloved house up for sale. However, the concerned party had asked for a relatively high price, so the house had stayed in Raymond\'s care for nearly half a year.

Suppressing his joy, Stee mustered a calm voice and said: "2 million dollars, Mr. Williams."

\'So cheap ?!\' This was Eric\'s first thought. But he soon remembered that this was 1988, the real estate prices hadn\'t reached the ridiculous values of the 21st century ones. Apparently, Michael Jackson had purchased an area of 11 square kilometers for his Neverland at 19.5 million $. Obviously, this mansion\'s 2 million $ price was somewhat expensive.

Although he wasn\'t short on money, Eric hated being taken advantage of. He stared at the real estate agent and said: "Mr. Stee, you should understand that I\'m seriously considering buying, so give me a real price, 2 million dollars won\'t do."

Raymond Stee revealed an anxious expression and said: "Well, 1.95 million $, I cannot lower it more."

"1 million." Eric voiced his own price.

Raymond Stee almost jumped as he shouted in surprise: "That\'s impossible !"

Right now, Chinese people weren\'t that common in North America, so it was the first time Raymond Stee had encountered such a novel manner of bargaining… Alright who are we kidding, Eric was clearly trying to rip him off.

As if he had been greatly insulted, Raymond Stee\'s expression contorted and he indignantly said: "Mr. Williams, unless you\'re going to be sincere about it, let\'s not do this anymore."

Seeing that the other party was really angry, Eric quickly chuckled: "Ha ha, I was simply joking Mr. Stee, but I feel that you\'re the one lacking in sincerity though, only lowering the price by 50,000$…."

Raymond Stee was still a little upset, but the youth in front of him was after all a very important client, and if he sold the mansion, he would earn a lot in commissions, so he quickly restored his calm: "Mr. Williams, the mansion is sold already furnished, and the homeowners spent 500,000 $ for the decoration alone, so they were originally adamant to sell it at 2 million $. After some persuasion, I was able to get them to lower the price a bit, and so they agreed on a minimum of 1.9 million $, which is the lowest I can do."

After saying this, Raymond Stee stayed silent, waiting for Eric\'s decision. It was apparent from his demeanor that there was no room for further negotiation.

Eric thought for a moment, he really liked the house. He ultimately nodded: "Mr. Stee, if I decide to buy it, how long will it take for me to move in ?"

Raymond Stee said: "If you can pay in one go, we can fully handle the transfer formalities straight away, and you\'ll be able to settle in within three days. If you need a bank loan, however, it will certainly take more time."

Sure enough, money made the world go round. Eric remembered that a friend from his past life had bought a house in Los Angeles, and had to go back and forth for a month before he was able to move in.

He chose to pay straight away, and the two men went back to Raymond\'s company. Eric called Edward Lewis, and asked him to send a lawyer familiar with real estate business, all he had to do was fill up a check, the rest was basically left for his legal team to handle.

Jeffrey Hanson also picked out an office building located in Burbank for the Firefly company’s office, and Eric expressed his satisfaction at the middle-aged man\'s choice.

After a busy day, the youth went back home in the evening, and caught sight of a few additional paparazzi roaming around the house. These guys were obviously here after seeing this morning\'s article, trying to fish out something valuable.

Eric just pretended to not notice them.

After eating dinner, he showered, and once he was done, he came to his bedroom, and dressed in a loose bathrobe as he thought that it was about time he started writing the script for Pretty Woman. Michael Klaus had been nagging him several times about Resident Evil already, so Eric had chosen to drag write his script, but now it came first, and even if Michael gave him an earful again, he was already used to it.

For the next few days, Eric helped Jeffrey set up the company during the day, and wrote the script during the night, he also hoped that by doing that, the media\'s interest in the whole Aniston/Drew episode would die down. After all, they couldn\'t just stay on his case as there was probably other interesting stories to cover out there, celebrity scandals were more and more trendy, and those paps shouldn\'t be lacking any…. right ?