"Nervous?" Alex asked.
"Petrified." Lourdes said. Her heart was racing, palms sweaty, she couldn't believe she actually let him talk her into this.
"Don't be," he said putting down a magazine, "you need not worry about a thing."
"Says you." Lourdes sighed. "Your a professional, I've never done this before."
"Sure you have, just never on this large of a scale before." He turned to her smiling with those sexy blue eyes. His hair was short, but he was blonde again, she loved it. "You trust me, don't you?"
"Yeah," Lourdes cracked, as far as I can throw you!"
"Not too nervous to be a wise-ass." He snorted.
"I know, I'm sorry." She said. "I just literally have no idea what I'm doing here."
"Excuse me." They both looked up at the approaching receptionist. "You may go in now. She said. "This way."
"Great." Alex said. He stood up and turned to Lourdes. "Ready?"
Lourdes smiled standing up. "Not in the slightest."
"Don't worry," he said, "She will love you."
"Promise?" Lourdes asked, butterflies in her stomach, refusing to move.
Alex gave he the biggest smile. "Promise." He said with all sincerity.
"Wow," she said, "you even mean that."
"Let's not keep them waiting." He smiled and reached for her hand. She took it, letting him lead her behind the receptionist down the corridor.
Once they stood outside the office door, Lourdes paused for a second. Alex turned and smiled, squeezing her hand reassuringly. "Get ready," he said, "this is going to be the first day of the rest of your life."
"You mean I wasn't already living it?" Lourdes mocked jokingly.
The office door swung open. "Hello beauties. I'm Georgina." An average height, British woman extended her hand to Lourdes. She smiled and shook it.
"Please come in, sit yourselves down." Georgina said.
They stepped over the threshold. Lourdes took in the ridiculous office. It was amazing and intimidating, like Georgina herself. She was expecting a group of people but it was just the one. Somehow, she got the feeling that would be enough. She couldn't believe they were actually doing this. They sat down in huge leather chairs and Lourdes tried to focus on her breathing.
Georgina sat down at her desk across from them and studied Lourdes. Lourdes smiled and tried not to squirm in her seat.
Gina was silent for a moment longer, then finally spoke. "I've had the enormous pleasure of reading your book."
"So why didn't you just tell me the
truth?" Albear asked. "Why disappear for six weeks? You could
have trusted me, you know."
"I wanted to tell you." Lourdes said. "At the time, I really wanted to tell you. But all parties involved, felt it was best to keep quiet."
"Meaning your Hollywood husband." Albear said.
"Alby please," Lourdes sighed, "at the end of the day it was my decision."
"If you say so." He said.
"We want to create a scandal."
"A scandal?" Lourdes asked in shock. "I don't understand."
"Let me try to explain in greater detail." Georgina said. "Alex is at the height of his career. Everybody wants a piece of him. So we did a bit of brainstorming and figured, why not introduce you with a bang."
Lourdes looked back and forth between Alex and Georgina. He smiled but said nothing. "That all sounds swell," she spoke up, "but I'm nobody, how could you possibly do that?"
"That's the point." Alex said.
"Yes," Georgina added, "that is what makes this all so sinfully delicious. It's really spiffing."
"I'm afraid I don't understand." Lourdes said.
"As I'm sure you well know, the world is curious about our dear boy's love life. And as the chum is very secretive, every girl, woman and sexually confused boy wants him."
"Ha!" Laughed out loud as Alexsander blushed.
"Yes, thanks for that." He said to Georgina.
"I'm sorry dear but it's true. And what greater way to introduce you to the world than putting out a book of all these scandalous exploits."
"Um..." Lourdes trailed off, trying to take it all in. "But what would be the end result?"
"Whatever you want." Alex said. "As much as you want."
"That's right," Georgina said, "skies the limit."
Lourdes smiled, not understanding at all.
Georgina continued with her pitch. "We'll start a bidding war amongst publisher's. Get the bloggers and paparazzi talking. I may even see a movie in your future."
"What?!" Lourdes stood up. "That's crazy. A movie? Me? I thought we were just taking the most preliminary steps towards a book and we're already discussing a movie? This is too much."
"Nothings set in stone." Alex stood up and walked over to her. "But babe, why do you think we're at this movie studio? This is what Georgina does, she makes movies."
"I know, I know." Lourdes said. "But I just figured that she was a friend of the family, giving us advice." Lourdes turned towards Georgina. "I don't mean to sound ungrateful, this is just a lot to wrap my head around."
"Please." Georgina gestured for the both of them to sit back down. They both obeyed immediately. "To be truthful, your honesty is refreshing. Most people would sell their mothers for a peak of fame."
Lourdes laughed, she knew that was coming.
"Having said that, Alex has expressed your concerns and reservations and I don't want you to worry about a thing. This is where I come in. This is what we're here for. We'll put together a fantastic team, agent, business manager, the works. You do your part and leave the rest to me."
They were all silent for a moment.
"So what do you think?" Alex urged her. Lourdes smiled nervously. "Can I have some time to think about it?"
Jasper opened up the door. "Girl where the hell have you been? We
thought you fell off the face of the earth!"
"No such luck," Lourdes smiled, "just setting up house in LA."
"Wow, so your really making the move huh?" He asked, ushering her into the house. "What about business?"
"It's covered," she said flopping down on the sofa, "I already have a couple of chef's in training and I'm only taking a step back for a temporary amount of time."
Jasper sat down next to her, big bright smile on his face. "Moving to Los Angeles doesn't sound temporary." He ran his long fingers through his blonde hair. "In fact it sounds pretty permanent."
"Well it's not," Lourdes laughed, "so get that notion right out of your head. Your not getting rid of me that easily."
"Promise?" Jasper asked, hazel eyes sparkling. "Your quickly becoming one of my best friends in the world and I'd hate to lose you to la-la-land."
"Yes I love you too." Lourdes smiled at his warm words. "As much as I can, given you travel 24/7 and are never here."
"Shush." He said standing up and disappearing into the kitchen. After a moment, he resurfaced with two wine glasses and a bottle of wine. "Now that I know your not leaving me, let's toast to your success."
"Lovely." Lourdes said tossing her long hair back and smoothing out her flowing red dress. "But first I need to ask you something."
"No," he said reading her mind, "Lolita isn't here." He handed her a wine glass and sat back down. "Pullo isn't here either."
"Well that's a relief." She sighed. "And how is he?"
"Besides being a little confused as to why his girlfriend was making out with my girlfriend, he's great." Jasper said giving her the eye about her birthday party. It had been almost a month but everybody was still talking about it.
"You know about that huh?" She said sheepishly.
"Baby, I was there. We both saw with our own eyes."
Lourdes put one perfectly manicured hand to her forehead and hid her eyes, peeking through red fingertips. "I'm so sorry," she said, "that was one stupid mistake, on both our parts. And in such a public place. You must have been horrified."
"Not nearly as horrified as my dear bro. I didn't know if he was going to ring your necks or jerk-off."
Lourdes laughed trying not to choke on her wine. She swatted Jasper's heavily muscled arm. He had definitely been hitting the gym since she had been away. "Does he hate me?" She didn't really want to know the answer, but it was time to face her demons.
"Of course not," Jasper said taking a sip of red wine, "your a walking wet dream. And Pullo's never been able to resist that."
"Tell me about it." Lourdes said half serious.
"His ego's been bruised just a bit, I think. he's not use to being so out of his element." Jasper leaned in and rested his forehead on hers. "I told him he's met his match."
"Probably not the best choice of words." Lourdes whispered. "I seem to remember saying something to that effect not too long ago. Didn't go over so well."
"I'm sure it sounded differently come from baby bro." He whispered back.
Lourdes withdrew her forehead and sat back on the sofa. "Any advice where he's concerned?"
"Yeah," Jasper smirked, "don't call him by another man's name, then you should be good."
"Oh my god." Lourdes said putting her hand back over her eyes. "He told you about that?!"
Jasper nodded his head slowly, too tanned skin unable to hide his smile.
"I'm fucking mortified." Lourdes said shaking her head. "I can't imagine what you must think of me right now." She took a huge gulp of her wine and Jasper did the same. Then he set both of their glasses down on the coffee table and took Lourdes hands into his. "Truth?" He asked.
"Give it to me." She said nervously.
"I think your a breathe of fresh air."
Lourdes held her breathe waiting for the but.
There wasn't one.
"Truly," he said, still holding on to her hands, "yes you've come into our lives and turned our worlds upside down. Yes my brother may have blue balls and you turned my girlfriend into a lesbian-"
"Jasp!" Lourdes whispered sharply.
"But you have taught me so much about myself and the others around me and I love you for that."
Lourdes smiled, not knowing what to say. She squeezed his hands and then released. "Are you sure this isn't because we share this enormous secret?"
"That too." He said quickly.
"Ha!" Lourdes laughed, reaching for her glass.
Jasper reached for his too, but instead of drinking, he only studied his. Lourdes watched him silently. "All kidding aside," he said, "you the most exciting thing that's happened around here in a long time. And my brother's a dipshit to think he could ever put you into a box and keep you there. It's a lesson he should have been taught a long time ago."
Lourdes half smiled. "Why do I feel like there's something that your not telling me?"
This time Jasper looked her dead in the eyes. "I've met someone."
"Oh Jasp, that's great. I'm really happy for you!" She said squeezing his arm.
"It is great," he nodded as if he was trying to convince himself, "I spent the first half of my life so afraid, I don't want to be that person anymore."
"Oh honey." Lourdes said. "Mazel, really."
"having said that, I could really use a huge favor."
"Anything babes, you name it."
"Cover for me, with my family? Just in case some complicated questions may arise?"