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In The Heat of Los Angeles

Don't Wake Me Up (The Hush Sound feat. Patrick Stump)

Author's note before beginning: Yes, this is a Harry Styles fan fiction. No Harry does not appear in the first chapter. It's entirely to set up the original characters in the plot of this book. I promise you it's worth the wait. Please stick with it through the second or third chapter before you make a judgement. It's been a labor of love for me to write all of this. Thank you for giving it a chance. :)
The door of my bedroom slammed against the wall as it swung open, startling me awake. I had nearly jumped out of my skin and could feel my heartbeat racing.

“GET YOUR ASS UP!” Kammi yelled. My roommate had no boundaries, especially before dawn. Note to self, put a lock on the door and remember to use it.

“Go. Away,” I groaned as I pulled my pillow over my head.

“Nope. No sleeping. We need to get to the gym to start our day. You know you will be happy we burned off the excess energy and nerves before this journalist from LA Mag gets to the office.”

“Why didn’t you wake Ty up first?” My voice was muffled from beneath the pillow.

“Because he didn’t tell me last night that he was excited to try boxing with me this morning.” She sounded like a cracked out Disney Princess, you’d think she was singing and surrounded by rainbows and unicorns.

“I didn’t either.”

“You did through non-verbals,” she said. I felt the bed sink next to me and the covers shift towards the other side of my bed.

“Because I punched you when you were mocking me?”

“Yes. It was your way of telling me that you wanted to join me for boxing at 6:30.”

“No, it was my way of telling you that you were a bitch for saying I was cranky and needed to get laid, while we were in a meeting.”

“Whatever. Now get up.” I pulled the pillow off of my head and turned to look at her.

“You know there are days that I wish I didn’t know you. Do you think I can stick my Pops in a DeLorean and he can go back to the T-Ball Brawl of Lakeview Little League and force him to hit your Dad instead of helping him up off the ground and hitting the other kid?”

“Nope. You’re stuck with me.” She had the goofiest smile on her face. I couldn’t help but laugh at her.

“Get out of my room so I can get dressed. And since you are so fucking cheerful this morning why don’t you get my shake ready for the drive in to work.” She stuck her tongue out at me and left my bedroom. I pulled the covers over my head when my phone buzzed on my nightstand. It was likely her, texting me from the kitchen and telling me to get out of bed.

Message with Pops
You ready for today?
As ready as I will ever be to have a journalist follow me and Kammi around for a day.
You’ll both do great.
Just a little nervous about it. I don’t want to say too much but I also don’t want to appear like I’m a cold bitch who only focuses on her career.
You aren’t a cold bitch. The career thing…well you’re definitely mine.
I’ll choose to take that as a compliment.
Well, how about we do lunch today, you can bring the journalist along with you.
You sure about that?
If you have to be under the microscope I’ll join you there.
Thanks Pops. I’ll see you in the office in a little bit.

I finally drug myself out of bed and went through my normal motions. Pee. Brush teeth. Comb hair. Put hair in ponytail. Put on gym clothes. Get shoes. Leave bedroom. I was like a robot in the morning. Kammi was a morning person and I hated her for it. If it wasn’t for work I’d stay in bed until noon and just work late in to the evening. Okay, let’s face it. Sometimes I did sleep in and work until the middle of the night. The perk of being in charge, or almost in charge as my Pops likes to remind me. I grabbed my sunglasses off of my dresser and put them on. I found Kammi in the kitchen. She was dancing around like a lunatic as she made smoothies.

“How do you function this early in the morning?”

“It’s genetic. Dad was probably in the office by 6:00 today.”

“You are both crazy.” I took the smoothie she handed me and grabbed my backpack and purse off of the ground where I’d thrown them the night before and we headed out the door. “Are we riding to work together this morning since most of our day is being spent on this feature article?”

“Yeah, my whole day is planned with you. And then if you’re crazy and decide to stay I’ll either make Ty and Eliza bring me home or maybe I’ll have a date tonight.”

“Sounds perfect. Let me guess Jonas is in town?”

“He is,” she said in her sing-song voice.

“So now I have to deal with you being hyper perky and happy that you’re getting laid? I’m going to wish that when you moved here that I forced you to get your own place.”

“You won’t. And I might just decide to stay with him tonight. Though last I heard Joe was in town too. You could get laid.”

“Try again,” I retorted. Kammi had been seeing Nick Jonas for just over two years. They had some pretty wacky and opposite schedules so while they loved each other they weren’t sitting down to talk about marriage or even moving in together as far as I knew. They both often tried to set up Nick’s older brother, Joe and I. I was still recovering from my last relationship which had ended about a year ago and last I checked Joe was dating one of the Starks from Game of Thrones.

“He’s hot. You’d at least get a night of freaky sex or something.”

“I’m fine.”

“You’re going to wear out your vibrator,” Kammi said.

“I hate you,” I said as we exited the elevator in our building and started to walk through the parking garage. We approached the section of the garage for our apartment, we paid an additional fee each month for extra spaces. I was definitely my father’s daughter when it came to cars, we both had more than either of us needed. Parked in a row in the garage were my white Range Rover, which was parked next to Kammi’s matching black Range Rover, a signing bonus. Then my black Audi R8 Spyder, a gift I bought myself for my 25th birthday, and my white Jeep Wrangler, though today it didn’t look very white as it was covered in dirt from a weekend of playing in the desert. I’d had a Jeep consistently since I turned 16, Pops knew I needed a car out here and thought it might as well be fun. After climbing in to my Range Rover we were on the road and headed to the office.

“So are you in town this weekend?” Kammi and I often tried to schedule our trips out of town together so that we could go with our assistants, who happened to be our best friends, Ty and Eliza. The four of us had seen most of the world together at this point.

“Probably, though I was thinking of heading up to Malibu Friday afternoon. I know that Pops said he would be staying in the city this weekend so I thought about going up and having a fun weekend on the beach now that it’s getting warmer. Want to join? We can bring Ty and Eliza and have a relaxing weekend before we start our crazy travel schedule that is coming up. We’ve got New York next week and then I have to head home to Chicago after that and will be there for a few days.”

“Heading home for Jonathan’s birthday?” The oldest of my three younger brothers was turning 16 soon.

“Yeah, I’m headed back to be there for the birthday party and I’ve got tickets for the boys and I to see the Cubs while I’m home.”

“Nice. You’ll enjoy being home. You haven’t been in a while.”

“Yeah, probably two months. I know Mom is anxious to have me home for a few days. I might steal Eliza to come with me. I know that her parents miss her and it would be weird if all of us are together for Jonathan’s birthday and she isn’t there.” My mother, Grace, and Eliza’s mother, Marie, had been best friends since college where they were randomly selected to be each other’s roommate freshman year.

“That will be fun. I almost wish I was going. It’s been a while since I had a chance to go see my grandparents.” Kammi’s Dad was also from Chicago so she still had a lot of family in the city.

“You’re welcome to join. I think we are just stopping the jet in Chicago on the way back from New York, at least if you plan on leaving the same day I was going to leave.”

“I’ll think about it. Might be nice to see my grandparents and see your Mom and Marco. And I’m down for this weekend in Malibu. Though, I’m disappointed James won’t be there.”

“Ugh, stop being gross.” Kammi liked to make comments about my Pops, who admittedly was incredibly handsome and a totally lady’s man. But he was still my Pops. “Just bring your boy toy with you and you’ll be fine.”

“Ooo! Boy Toy and the beach, that might be a good idea.” The house in Malibu had seven bedrooms, there was enough space for all of us and then some. Pops had purchased the land several years ago and built this house to exactly what he wanted. The master suite in this house was insane and where I stayed. Pops entertained clients there enough that he used the studio apartment over the detached garage unless he was there by himself, he didn’t want people going into his bedroom and finding client files. This meant I could bask in a master suite that is bigger than the entire apartment Eliza and I shared our junior and senior years of college in Chicago. We were each at different schools in the Chicago area, she was at Columbia College Chicago and I was at Northwestern University in Evanston. My internship meant a lot of time in the city so I opted to live there and commute for classes. It had been fun living in the city with my best friend at that age.

I drove through the city to our office. It wasn’t far of a drive, which was rare in LA. We lived near LA Live which meant under five minutes walking and we were at the Staples Center, perfect for Kammi and her love of basketball. It was under 20 minutes usually and we were at the office. I loved our office, it was an old Ford Motors plant that had been converted in to the most amazing space. High ceilings, amazing windows, and so much space. We had a full gym which put most of the high end facilities in Los Angeles to shame, this one even included a full basketball court. There was a roof top area for employees to enjoy during their day and for the occasional event that we hosted. There was restaurant and coffee shop on the first level as well as a concert venue that we were in charge of. The top floor of the building had several large offices. Kammi and I each had one as well the company’s COO, my Pops, and CEO, Kammi’s Dad, though he was based out of New York and rarely in our office. Due to the nature of our work and the facility we had people at our front desk 24 hours a day. I parked in the garage and we started to walk in to the building heading to the gym. We made it to the front desk where Suzy, one of our receptionists was sitting.

“Good morning Suzy,” I called.

“Good morning Miss Scarello, Miss Mackin.” She was new and still hadn’t learned that Kammi and Everlee were perfectly acceptable when addressing us. “You have a visitor already this morning.”

“Okay,” I responded. Kammi looked at me confused.

“A reporter from Los Angeles Magazine.” Why are they here already?

“I didn’t think they would be here until 8:00 or 9:00,” Kami said quietly.

“I looked at both of your schedules. Tyberius had put it on your schedules yesterday.” Ok, she is forgiven for not knowing to call us by something less formal because she just pulled out Ty’s given name.

“Asshole,” Kammi and I both muttered under our breath.

“Where are they waiting?” Kammi asked quietly. Suzy gestured to the young woman waiting in the reception area, she was reading something on her iPhone. “Well, okay. Let’s do this.” We walked over to where the reporter was waiting.

“Good morning,” I said as she stood up to greet us. “I apologize if we are late. We didn’t know you’d be here so early.”

“That’s okay. I haven’t been waiting long. Your assistant, Ty, said that you were usually in the office at 6:30 to get a work out in. I wanted to showcase everything you both do during your typical day. He said you wouldn’t mind.”

“Not at all,” Kammi replied. “I’m Kameron Mackin.”

“And I’m Everlee Scarcello,” I added as I shook her hand. She had a cute bag with her, I assumed there was a laptop in there. Probably also a notebook and a dictaphone or something to record any of our answers.

“I’m Melissa Peterson, it’s nice to meet you both.”

“We were going to head up to the gym for boxing. You’re welcome to join us. We probably have some extra stuff you can wear if you’d like to?”

“Oh that’s fine. I don’t need to box with you. I just want to observe and ask you questions.”

“Sounds great. Can we do a tour after?” Kammi asked. “We don’t want to be late to our class. So if we wait you’ll get the full tour and not a rushed tour."

“That works for me.” We headed through the building to the gym. There was an area that had only two floors and one with five. Our offices were in the taller portion on the fifth floor. The gym was on the second floor of the lower portion along with a cafeteria that was more like a five star restaurant and a large meeting area for all company meetings. Once in the gym we put all of our stuff down and started our boxing class. Melissa observed through the whole thing until we both hopped on treadmills to get a run in after. Melissa sat on the space on the floor close enough to hear us while we were on the treadmill.

“So tell me a bit about yourselves. Everlee, why don’t you go first.”

“Okay, where to start. Umm, I’m Everlee Mae Scarcello, pretty much everyone calls me E or Ev. I’m 25, originally from Chicago, Illinois. I’m a graduate of Northwestern University and I’ve been with Scarcello Mackin Entertainment since I was 14.”

“You started at 14?” Melissa asked.

“We both did. We had internships through high school and college. I’ve done everything in this place you could imagine. During summers in high school I’d work the reception desk, I worked in the mail room, and anything else that would give me insight as to how this company worked. Presently I am the President of our Music Division.”

“Tell me about your family.”

“I’m the only child of the marriage of Grace Fazio Ferrera, she is a curator and event planner at the Art Institute of Chicago, and James Scarcello, he is the director of our Los Angeles office, Co-President and COO of our entire company, and one of the founders. My parents divorced when I was five. My Pops relocated here to open our LA office. I have three half-brothers from my mother’s second marriage to Marco Ferrera, he’s a pretty big restauranteur in Chicago. I grew up in this strange world where I spent basically half of my year in Chicago with a big family and living in a house full of loud Italians and a bunch of little brothers. The other half I spent in Los Angeles or wherever my Pops was for work, just the two of us usually. We spent a lot of time in New York as well, which was always my favorite because I got to spend time with Kammi. My Pops has been married and divorced since he and my mother got divorced but I’m still his only child. Pops is one of my best friends, he taught me everything I know.”

“Did you always want to follow your father in to the business?”

“Absolutely. I loved going to work with him as a kid. This business is his passion and it became mine too. We have a lot in common so that surprises no one, especially my mother. When I would come stay with him as a little kid I’d sit at the little desk in his office that was right next to his. I’d take his scrap papers and color on them. By the time I was probably seven I was reading the trades that he kept in there. By 10 I was asking if I could know about some of his work. I’d sit in on meetings with clients and the staff, most thought I was just a kid who had to be there, but I loved it. By 12 I’d surpassed my Pops in a lot of ways when it came to technology. He’s super tech savvy but I was able to take his projects and build presentations around them that were way better than what he had or could devote time to. At 14 when I was old enough to work I started working here. I think it’s amazing that I was able to be part of SME from such a young age.”

“Kameron, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you ended up in your position at SME.”

“Well, I’m Kameron Mackin, but like E, no one calls me Kameron, except my Dad. Everyone calls me Kammi. I was born and raised in New York City and attended school on the Upper East Side. I’m named after my Dad, Cameron, who is the Co-President and CEO of SME. I'm the oldest of three girls, my younger sisters still live in New York. I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky and currently the President of our Sports division.”

“How did you end up in the sports division? Traditionally that is a male dominated area and it’s inspiring to see a woman in your position in that area.”

“I received a full ride scholarship to Kentucky to play basketball. There was speculation that I’d be drafted into the WNBA at one point but I was unfortunately injured my sophomore year of college and was unable to return to basketball on such a competitive level. I also have a love of horses and have competed since I was very young. I’ve won competitions across the US, it’s part of why I chose Kentucky. I was able to keep a horse in some stables in Lexington, I focused on that after my injury. I have interned in a variety of departments within SME just as E has but sports is the division that I took to and was most effective in. While I’m well aware of the fact that it’s a highly unusual circumstance to have a 25 year old woman running such a male driven division I’ve rarely encountered issues with it, especially from the athletes we represent. Often the negative feelings on a woman in my role come from our competitors, which just fuels the fire to be the best in our game.”

“Have you received any backlash, E?”

“The usual stuff. There’s a lot of people in this industry that believe that a 25 year old is still a kid. I often get treated like a little girl, never inside of this company. People on the outside assume that we got our jobs because of our fathers. And while that does play into it we both earned our way here. We started doing the grunt work we would’ve in any other company, we worked our asses off to earn promotions and get to where we are. The goal is that when our fathers are ready to retire that we can step in their shoes and do it just as well as they have, if not better.”

“We will be better,” Kammi said. “We have a better understanding of technology and how the modern age of social media can effect our clients. Our fathers still have to text us and ask us how to do things on Twitter.”

“How does having such a high profile career at such a young age effect your life? Neither of you are married. Do you find potential partners intimidated by your careers?”

“Yes,” we both said simultaneously and started laughing.

“I was in a relationship up until about ten months ago. I’d been in that relationship since I was 18. But we were in different places in life and different places literally. He is doing his residency in New York to be a surgeon. We had made the distance work for several years, we were both students at Northwestern together, he graduated a year prior to me and moved to New York immediately after he graduated. It was tough to make it work because we are both extremely busy. And he admitted that he was intimidated by the fact that I was already so established in my career while he was still working to pursue his. He was much more traditional than I was. He had hoped that I’d accept a job in New York and move there. When I picked Los Angeles things got hard. Even when I was able to go to New York I was working and so was he. I wasn’t able to be the girlfriend that just attended dinner with his colleagues and supported him because I was busy making sure that SME succeeded.”

“I have been in the same relationship for a while and we are both extremely busy with our careers so we aren’t like a lot of our friends who are planning weddings and babies,” Kammi said. “I am okay with that though. I’m lucky that he’s so supportive with my career and I am with him as well. He knows that I’m capable of being both the woman on his arm when he needs one and he can be the man on mine when it’s my turn to be the high powered person. He’s completely confident with who he is and enjoys that I’m focused on my career because he is as well. Driven people are often times able to accept that, but unlike E’s past relationship my boyfriend is lives in Los Angeles when he's not traveling for work and he is able to understand why my job often takes a higher place in my life than our relationship. I think the difference is that he understands this lifestyle as he’s been in the industry most of his life.”

“You're dating Nick Jonas, correct?” Melissa asked.

“Yes, we’ve been together for a little over two years, we started dating when I moved to Los Angeles full-time. But we both understand that our careers are important so we are able to be okay with one of us up and leaving for a while for work. It’s a nice thing to have someone that understands that. We have fun together. Our main priority is being friends. He’s been someone I’ve known for a long time. Having grown up in New York with a parent in the industry I’ve known the Jonas family for most of my life. Nick is my friend before anything else.” I was a little shocked that she openly admitted she was dating Nick in an interview, while it was public knowledge that they were together and had been photographed together millions of times they’d always remained tightlipped about their relationship. I guess until a few months ago when she stared in a pretty sexy music video of his. Hard to deny you’re together when the chemistry on camera could melt TVs.

“Do you hear opinions from people often about your decisions to focus on your career and not do as many people our age do and get married and start a family?”

“Absolutely,” I said. “I have three Italian parents.” I couldn’t help but laugh. “That means a lot of Italian grandmothers and grandfathers. It’s expected that a woman should marry, have children and spend her life making a home. That’s what each of my grandmothers did. But my mother is so incredibly driven and successful in her career while still managing to be the mother of four children and have a successful marriage with her husband that it’s inspiring. I know I can have it all because she has it all. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be speed bumps along the way. My mother and father were together for a long time. They began dating their first week in college. My mother has managed to figure out how to have a successful life and marriage. My father well he’s still working on that.”

I knew laughing at my father’s relationship history was probably strange to most people but it was how he and I functioned. A finely tuned skill at self deprecating humor was the sign of a true Scarcello. It was widely known that Pops had been married four times and none of them had worked out past a few years, my mother being the longest marriage as they married straight out of college and got pregnant with me very quickly. His last marriage barely lasted 18 months. When the women found out that he had no intention of having anymore children they tended to run. The rock solid pre-nup and will that left everything he owned to me for some reason hadn’t been a sign that he wasn’t interested in having any more children, but he did tend to marry some clueless women. He had a few of his properties in my name so that he didn’t risk losing them when he inevitably divorced whoever he was married to. And the kicker, I was pretty sure he knew Mom was the best he was ever going to get and was still in love with her. Their marriage was far from great, but he adored Mom even still after years of being divorced and her being happily married for 17 years to my step-dad.

“My Mom is also incredibly successful in her career. I think nearly every year of my life she’s made the list of top real estate agents in New York and a few times the country. She proved to me that you could do anything you set your mind to. I mean did I have a nanny growing up? Yeah, of course I did. But I didn’t know life any different. Every kid on the Upper East Side had a nanny. But Mom was always home for dinner every night, as was Dad if he was in the city. My Mom never missed a basketball game or a dance recital. But she hustled her ass off selling some of the most amazing properties in all of New York. She taught me that you build the village of people around you that help you conquer the world.”

We were done with our work out so we headed up to our office with Melissa. We each had unique offices that were built just for us. We had been in the offices on the Executive Level since we started her after graduation, despite it taking a year for both of us to earn our current positions. Our fathers knew that we would likely face scrutiny from some of our colleagues, but they also knew we were the face of this company along with them. The names on the door. We were the future of this company and belonged at the top. We’d had the cubicles in the bullpen of our office, so when we moved here and took the job we were able to decorate our offices the way we wanted them.

My office looked like a New York or Chicago loft. Exposed brick walls. Huge shelves full of vinyl records and books. The stereo we had put in here was top of the line. Vintage concert posters adorned the walls. Polished concrete floors. Comfy couches and chairs you could just sink in to. The art that hung on the walls had been selected by my mother and included some of the photographs Pops and I had taken over the years while we traveled. My exact words to the designer we worked with had been ‘Give me the Humphrey’s loft from Gossip Girl’. And did she ever. It was eclectic and lived in while still giving off a vibe of the professional environment it needed to be. There was an area that was meant for large meetings with a conference table, white boards, and a large tv. An area that felt more like a comfy living room where smaller meetings could be held and a number of naps had been taken. A space for my desk and work area that was often where I spent most of my day. And an area that felt like the swankiest bar Don Draper would’ve ever seen in his life.

The art piece that meant the most to me was custom made by me and my three little brothers. The wall behind my desk was exposed red brick. The boys and I had painted it to look like the outfield of Wrigley Field. The distance painted on the wall was how far my office was from home plate. We had painted ivy on the wall as well, with the help of Mom. And hanging above where you would expect to see the bleachers was a replica of the red Wrigley Field sign that welcomed fans to the Friendly Confines. There was also a picture of my family, at Wrigley. It had everyone in it. My Mom, my Pops, Marco, and my brothers Jonathan, Mason and Christopher. My family was functionally dysfunctional. And we were all Cubs fans which bonded us together. The photo was taken the day I graduated from Northwestern. Pops had insisted upon taking us all out to celebrate. He’d pulled some strings with some friends and gotten us a suite at Wrigley for a game that night. It was just how I would’ve wanted to celebrate graduating from college. With all of my family, a Cubs game with a W flag appearance at the end, and a few pints of Old Style, which also happened to be the featured beer on tap in my office during baseball season.

Kammi’s office fit her personality perfectly. Unlike mine she had floors that looked like a basketball court. Her desk was made of two glass backboards from the University of Kentucky, being a former player and distinguished alum helped her out as she decorated. Her conference table was reclaimed wood from old bleachers that our designer had found while hunting for the things that would decorate our office. Instead of a bar area, Kammi’s office had a concession area. You could always get popcorn and she often had other concession items like nachos, pretzels, hot dogs, and ice cream cones for meetings. She had a scoreboard replica on the wall with a TV where the jumbotron would be so that she could watch games. During things like the Olympics, March Madness and playoffs for just about any sport the TVs all over her walls came in handy.

Kammi’s favorite things in her office were a testament to who she is as a person. One a photo of her on senior night for basketball at UK. She may not have been playing but she stayed close to the team and they surprised her by having her family there for senior night so that she could walk across the court with her teammates the way she would’ve if she hadn’t gotten injured. She had her old jersey framed beside it. She had commissioned a beautiful painting of the horse she had while growing up that hung above her desk. And then there was the series of photos with her Dad. He’d had season tickets to the Yankees, Giants and Nets will she was growing up. There were photos of them over the years at each sports venue. Moving to Los Angeles had meant that she had grown accustomed to cheering for the Lakers and had season tickets on the floor. The first time she’d taken her Dad he was blown away, not by the seats or the game, but that his daughter wore stilettos to a basketball game and voluntarily cheered for the Lakers.

Our two offices were connected to each other through a large bathroom. There were two steam showers, a huge vanity and a closet made of dreams and stardust. It was what every person wished that had in their home. It was more dressing room, less bathroom. But it functioned as this comfortable place to get ready for a day at the office after the gym or a night on the town after a day in meetings. We had a huge wardrobe of designer clothing, workout gear and shoes that we could pick from. It was also strangely where we got most of our work done. The showers were on opposite ends of the large room but we often were in here post gym shouting at each other about whatever new idea we had or the crap our clients pulled. We’d originally thought we wanted separate bathrooms but realized that having our fancy version of a locker room seemed almost too perfect.

“I need to shower,” I said as we exited the elevator to see Ty and Eliza both sitting at their desks. They had requested that they be near each other so that they weren’t shouting to the other while talking about things. It was fun to have all four of us up here and those two ran circles around my Dad’s assistant.

“Me too.”

“Okay, well this is weird to say but you can hang out in the bathroom while we shower. We tend to be weirdly productive at that point of the day. Otherwise we can set you up in one of our offices if you have work to do and then you can join us as we get do our hair and makeup.”

“I have some emails I can go through so that works fine.” I took her in to my office while Kammi went in to hers to put down her things. I got Melissa set up in the bar area before going in to the bathroom. Kammi already had the music going in here this morning.

“So this is not as bad as I thought but it’s shockingly early to be interviewed.”

“Yeah, it is. I’m going to need coffee when I’m done.” We both hopped in the shower and about five minutes later the door opened and Eliza came in.

“Good morning, girls. Don’t worry, I’ve already told Ty he’s stupid for scheduling your interview to start during your work out,” she said.

“Thank you,” we replied in unison.

“I’ve got breakfast ordered for you guys. Give me your drink orders and I’ll add that. You’ve both got lunch with James and Melissa, your interviewer, at 1:00 per his request. And you have a mystery meeting today that he’s put on your schedule. It’s scheduled for 6:00, which I know is late but he said that he’d also bribe all four of us for working late for this meeting with dinner. He wanted the meeting scheduled when a chunk of our office is gone and when Melissa is done. I don’t know what it is so don’t ask. He refused to tell me when he scheduled it.”

“Pops scheduled the meeting?” I asked. It was things like this that made me happy we had smoked glass as our shower doors because I was super confused and naked but no one could see me as I stopped massaging my scalp mid-sentence.


“Not Maureen?” Maureen had been his assistant since I was 10.

“Nope, he wanted it to be as private as possible. And technically Maureen is on vacation this week. He has Chloe, that assistant in accounting, this week.”

“That explains it,” I replied as I went back to rinsing my hair.

“The new girl at the front desk, Suzy, she called Ty by his actual name this morning. I was too tired to have a sarcastic response about it,” Kammi called. “So remind me later tonight to make fun of him for not telling her that only his grandmother calls him Tyberius.” Eliza laughed.

“What are your drink orders ladies?” We had a Starbucks in the cafeteria, it was a life saver most days.

“Venti Iced Soy Caramel Macchiato with an extra shot of espresso. It’s going to be a long day if Dad is scheduling meetings after 5:00.”

“Do we have the s’mores lattes back?” Kammi asked.

“Yes, I had one yesterday,” Eliza said.

“Give me a venti. And grab me a sweet tea too.”

“Alright, I’ll be back shortly.” With that Eliza exited the dressing room.

“Why on Earth is James scheduling a 6:00 meeting?” Kammi asked.

“No idea. He texted me this morning and said nothing of it.”

“Must be something big. Especially if he wants us both in on it.” Our work very rarely overlapped. Athletes didn’t usually make the great musicians. See: Shaquille O’Neal, Deion Sanders, and the 1985 Chicago Bears. And I’m going to be honest, I wouldn’t suggest that many of my clients try to pick up any sports, at least not professionally. It was rare that we crossed in to each other’s territories, especially on new clients. Most of the clients we worked with that weren’t in our division were someone we’d worked with before we got here that we’ve held on to.

“I don’t know. We probably won’t get much of a hint on it either.” I shut the water off and started to dry myself off. I put my hair in a towel and wrapped another around me. I heard Kammi’s shower shut off as I stepped out of the shower. “How am I supposed to know how to dress if it’s a surprise meeting?”

“That’s exactly what I was thinking.” I grabbed my cell phone off of the counter and called my father.

“Hey kid.”

“Hey Pops. So this surprise meeting. How am I supposed to dress?”

“I don’t care. Professionally?”



“Well is the client someone who is traditional? Do I need a suit? A dress? Or are they someone who would appreciate a crop top in a meeting?”

“Not traditional. A dress is probably fine. A suit might be a big much unless it’s something not formal and they’d likely enjoy two girls in a crop top, so avoid that.” I laughed,
we were still little girls on rare occasions to our fathers.

“Well, you’ll get what you get if you’re keeping the meeting a secret.”

“I figured as much. See you girls for lunch.”

“He says that the meeting would probably enjoy two girls in crop tops and to avoid that. So I vote crop tops,” I said laughing.


YAY! Chapter one is alive, hehe. What do you think? I’m anxious to hear all about what everyone thinks. As a BONUS I will be posting the first two chapters tonight for everyone to enjoy. What do you think of our four main characters so far? Would you want to hang out with E, Kammi, Ty, and Eliza? Also, who the hell is their mystery meeting with? Will they actually wear crop tops? You’ll have to read Chapter Two to find out!


Thank you!

LOVE this.

HEY GUESS WHAT? THE SEQUEL IS A THING. A REAL THING. LIKE I PUBLISHED THE FIRST PART OF A SEQUEL! I can't wait to hear what you think of it. Your words of encouragement through all of this have meant more than you could ever truly know.

Hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later. I'm behind with work which is stressful. I work for myself so it's not like I can have anyone else help but the good thing is I can take care of everything I need to without worrying about punching a clock for someone else. I'm also at that point where my sleep habit is so screwed that I just honestly want to pull an all-nighter, hate my life for like a day and a half and then hope that it resets my sleep schedule. Maybe tonight is the night for that. I could write instead of sleep, haha!

Exactly! You are also 100% correct about growing through what you go through! I'm excited and anxious to see what comes next, but I'll wait patiently this time, promise. XD