I should have known that something was going to go wrong. Something always happened, and at just my luck, it was at those moments when you physically had two minutes to fix the problem. And this time was no different.
I ran down past backstage, dodging my way in between crew members and all of the lights and sound techs. Holding my heels in my left hand, and the scrunched end of my dress in my right, I ran down a few steps until I felt my feet touching the cool grass.
I scampered through the gates and tents that made up the ‘Backstage’ of the awards show. I didn’t stop until I ducked under a thick, white curtain that read, ‘Midley’ in big, bold letters.
Panicking, I ran over towards a large, black box lined with steel on the corners and edges, smacking down on my knees. Unbuckling it, I flopped open the lid onto the ground, shoving both hands inside, searching.
”Shit!” I yelled as I realized I hadn’t any time to spare. Digging my hands around, I finally felt what I was looking for. I yanked out the makeup-sized purple bag, standing up from the ground.
Glancing up at the clock that sat on a small vanity, I read the time. Eight-fifty two. Great, I only have eight minutes until she’s on, and I still have a dress to repair.
I sprinted back through the curtains, running back towards the direction that I had come.
Thoughts swarm around my head as I ran, thinking of all of this. My great uncle, Robert Midley, had started out the ‘Family business’, as I liked to call it, around twenty years ago. He was always a major fashion fanatic, creating his own ideas and designing. No one ever seemed to pick up on his clothing, but as a small child, it was everything that I had loved. I had learned everything there was about designing and fashion by the time I was ten. He taught me everything that I needed to know. Sure, his name was just beginning, and lightly known in the fashion world, but to me, everything he had was perfect.
It wasn’t until one of his items was picked up by a musical producer of Atlantic Records. He’d been interested after using several of my uncle’s pieces during a few awards shows, and things were kicked off from there. I was only twelve at the time, but I remembered the day my Uncle came to my mother, telling her about the great news he had. He was finally going to start his own company with the help of a few others. Interns and designers turned to him, causing Midley Industries to grow like wildfire. It wasn’t long until a bigger building had to be put in store, leading to the place it stands now, in downtown L.A.
I started working as an intern by the age of eighteen, doing everything I’d known my entire life. Even with my uncle as the head CEO of the company, I still worked my ass off every day, trying to create my own name to be known in fashion. Things started to pay off around a year ago, when I turned twenty-four. I had been assigned to help with the design of Katy Perry’s background dancer’s costumes. It was a big break for me, and here I was again, at the BET awards, one of the helping designers of the Beyoncé Knowles’ background dancers’ costumes. Now that was a mouthful.
Things had been going well that evening until one of the costumes tore. And of course, being the young one on the team, I was forced to run back to tent on order for me to repair it. And the best news was that I only had a whole whopping tenminutes.
I ran back through a few more gates, still continuing to dodge around any possible people I could run into. Jogging up the few stairs to the back of the main stage, I turned a few corners, the light much dimmer due to the darkened curtains that surrounded the place.
Taking one last turn, I slightly shifted my head to the side of me, seeing that the clock read ‘8:54’. Just enough time, I thought right as I felt my body slam into something.
Feeling a sudden wave of pain in my head, a few stars blurred my vision as I realized I had ran into another body. I stumbled, bringing my hand up to my head, groaning. I kept my eyes closed as I tried to regain balance, a little shaken up from the contact. I nearly fell backwards from the lack of balance until I felt two, strong arms grip my shoulders.
“Woah, careful there!” I heard a soft, man’s voice ring out.
Scrunching my face in a slight wince from the pain, I opened my eyes, just to make me want to shut them again. I looked up from his perfectly fitted tux, finding a set of brown eyes staring back at me. I was in a slight of a whirl still until I looked up to the top of his head, seeing black, combed out and fluffed up hair.
Shit. Bruno Mars.
Realizing I had just ran into one of the most talented men of my generation, I quickly took a hop back, noticing I had only been inches from his face.
“Oh my God,” I began, feeling extremely stupid at this point. “I’m so sorry!”
I must have looked as ridiculous as I felt because he all of a sudden burst out laughing, flashing his perfectly white teeth. But instead of mocking me, he said, “No, its fine. Really.”
Still feeling slightly stupid and awkward, I shifted my gaze slightly towards my feet, not knowing what else to say to a guy I had nearly plowed over. My heart slightly beat faster when I felt his eyes looking at me, making me a little nervous.
“Say,” He began in an angelic voice, just like from his records, “How come I’ve never seen a pretty face like yours around?”
I looked back up to him, seeing him smiling down at me. I had no idea how it was possible, but I somehow managed to be at least an inch shorter than him.
“I’m just a designer. I really have nothing to do in the music business.” I said, slightly laughing at the thought of me being a singer.
“Ahh, which one?” He asked, placing both his hands in his pockets, never taking his eyes off of me.
“Midley.” I replied softly, to which he nodded his head. He kept the smile on his face, making me wonder what he was thinking about.
“Mmm,” He hummed out, biting back his lips as I watched his eyes scanning over my body. “And do you have a name?” He asked, looking back up to my eyes.
“Abigail.” I replied, still feeling a little strange around him.
“A beautiful name to match a beautiful face.” He said, implying that he was really the flirt he’d been known to be.
“Thank you,” I said, smiling shyly, and making me realize I had less than five minutes to repair a dress.
“Hey, I’ve got to repair a dress in the next five minutes, so I should probably get going.” I quickly said, glancing over his shoulder towards the direction the dancers were.
“I suppose I can let you go,” He said, smiling with a sigh. “But I hope to see you around again sometime.” He added with a wink before stepping aside to let me go.
I felt his eyes on me as I hurried my way down towards the dancers backstage.
The shrill ringing of a telephone woke me up from my deep sleep, causing me to wince when I sat up, realizing I had a slight headache. It had been a pretty long night, well at least from what I could remember. I had been with one of my closer friends and colleague, Ally. Sure it was a Sunday, and maybe I did drink a bit more than I expected, but I had taken Monday off so none of those factors really affected much. At least that’s what I thought.
Taking my phone from the side of the bed, I brought it to my ear, not bothering to read the caller ID.
“Hello?” I asked groggily, rubbing my eyes.
“Abby? Are you just getting up?” I recognized the voice of Adam Twitchel, head of my department at Midley. Apparently Uncle Midley didn’t trust me running my own department, so I got stuck under the command of Twitch.
The hell does he want?
“Uh, yeah.” I said, still trying to wake myself up. I ran a hand through my long, dirty blonde hair.
“Well you better get your ass outta bed; we’ve got an appointment at nine.”
I jerked my head over to the clock, seeing it was seven-thirty. No thanks to thatappointment.
“What?” I asked, scrunching my face up in confusion. “I told you I’m taking today off.”
“Yeah well you’ve got a last minute appointment so hurry up.” He said, sounding a bit agitated.
“With who?” I questioned, wondering who would so desperately make in a time slot on a day I was supposed to have off.
“Not really sure. Some producers that call themselves the Smeezingtons.”
What the fuck is a Smeezington?
“They’re asking you to be their designer for the upcoming fashion gala on Friday, so chop chop.”
The gala? Why on earth would they waste their time on me when they’ve got plenty of better designers than me for something so important as that? And that’s on Friday. How in the hell do they expect me to get this done by then?
“You sure you’re thinking of the right Midley that they asked for? Wouldn’t they prefer to go to Uncle Midley?” I said, thinking he’d made a mistake on who they asked for.
“No. They specifically requested you, so let’s get going. And bring Ally with you.” He finally said, hanging up the phone.
Funny how I’ve got the last name Midley and I still get bossed around…
I flopped back down onto my bed, pondering why they were so keen on getting an appointment in with me at the last minute. Especially during an event like that. I mean, they could have chosen a much higher designer, yet they picked me? I’m hardly out of the intern stage. But regardless of that, I still really didn’t want to go, especially since I got only around three or four hours of sleep last night. But I drug myself out of my bed, stumbling out into the living room where Ally lay passed out on my large sofa.
“C’mon, Ally.” I said, tossing a pillow at her. “Time for work! Yay!” I added, sounding as non-enthusiastic as I could manage.
We arrived at the building with about ten minutes to spare. It was a bright, sunny morning in L.A., that of which most definitely didn’t reflect my mood. I lazily pushed the button on the elevator, holding my Starbuck’s coffee in the other hand. So far the coffee had done nothing to making me feel better, and by the looks of it, it hadn’t done the same for Ally either.
Leading in front of Ally, I pushed open the glass doors when I got to the fifteenth floor. I walked past the receptionist desk of the main lobby that of which was mostly colored white in a modern-day style. The entire fifteenth floor of the building was mostly open, windows making up two of the walls that could be seen, surrounded the large area. There were a few cubicles, that of which other receptionists and techs used. I made my way past these, walking down a wide hallway that was lined with many business rooms for meetings and what-nots.
Finally making it to the end of the hallway, I threw open the double white doors that led to the main design room. To me, it just looked like a modernized warehouse sort of area. It was a large, open room, with windows lining all along one wall. There were many boxes, mannequins, fabrics, drawing boards, clothing racks, and tools throughout. To the left of the room there was yet another hallway, leading back to some fitting rooms and more offices. In the middle, there were a few large, white sofas arranged to make a bit of a sitting area.
I acknowledged a few of the other designers when I walked in as they all hurried around me, giving them half smiles.
Walking over to the sectional, I plopped down in between two other colleagues, Jake and Maddy as I threw my keys and drink down on a coffee table that sat in front of me. I heard them laugh as I threw my head back, closing my eyes.
“Good morning, sunshine.” I heard Twitch say out in a singingly matter, causing me to open my eyes.
Twitch was in his early thirties, and a handsome looking man. He had short, dark brown hair with a bright smile that always made his face brighten when his flashed his perfect teeth. He could be pretty strict about things if he wanted to be, but for the most part, he was a pretty laid back guy with a pretty mellow head.
I simply groaned out loud seeing his presence, not in the mood to work.
Twitch looked down at his watch, saying, “You’d better get something prepared. You’ve got five minutes.”
I groaned again, forcing myself to stand up and head into my office to get some designs and shit out. I took my time. There was no way in hell I am going to be hauling ass for these ‘Smeezington’ people. It took me a while to find what I was looking for anyways. I didn’t really have much confidence in myself for this kind of event. I normally don’t do wardrobe for men, but I had a few ideas that I’d been dying to try out. Hopefully one of them would be able to use it. But trying something new could be a bit tough, especially when I’m just the baby of the fashion industry. I could always just tell them I hadn’t any time for this, then maybe they’d actually go for someone who knew what they were doing.
I grabbed out a few of my design books, all of which had scribbles and notes galore on them. I stacked them up, heading out of my office and back towards the main area. I saw a small group had congregated near the entry way, and after spotting a couple of men I didn’t know, I assumed the Smeezingtons must have just arrived.
I walked over to the group, and a dark man with square rimmed glasses caught my eye.
“Ahh,” He said, smiling as he made his way through the small area of my colleagues. “You must be Miss Abigail Midley herself?” He asked as he got in front of me.
“Yep, Indeed I am.” I said, returning a smile to the man.
“I’m Philip Lawrence.” He said, holding out his hand for me to shake.
He turned to his side, pushing another man forwards with a lighter brown colored hair. “This is Ari Levine,”
“Hello.” Ari said, smiling at me as I returned it.
“And this,” Phil continued as I shook Ari’s hand.
“Oh she knows me. We’ve already met.” I heard a familiar voice ring out.
Looking up from Ari’s hand, I saw the also familiar face of Bruno Mars. He walked up beside Phil, giving me that same smile he had on the other night. His eyes were shaded behind a lightly tinted pair of aviator sunglasses. He wore a summer blue, checkered button up shirt along with a pair of matching tan shorts. His memorable hair was covered beneath a cream colored fedora, small pieces of curly hair poking out the sides.
I stared at him for a second, trying to comprehend if this had been one big coincidence or not. But by the way he slightly laughed at my expression, it made me believe that he had known beforehand that he’d be seeing me again today.
That’s probably why they insisted on me being their designer…
We discussed ideas and designs for the first half hour, sitting down on the sofas in the room. It was pretty hard for me to concentrate when my mind kept wandering back to the night of the BET awards and how I’d met Bruno there. There was no way this had been a coincidence, I mean those kinds of things didn’t just happen. And especially after I told him I worked for Midley…
Bruno himself had proven to be a distraction all on his own. He’d brought an acoustic guitar with him, and was lounging out on one of the sofas, softly humming songs to himself. Something about his voice was so mesmerizing; it took all I had to not just stare at him while he played. Every time I did look over to him though, he’d look up, smiling at me for a second before looking back down at his guitar.
Holy shit, this man is fucking hot. I thought when he glanced over my way once, flashing his teeth towards me. Shake it off, Abby. You’ve got five days to get these men into costume. Stay focused on your priorities.
In the end, everyone eventually agreed on the type of design that they’d wanted. I found out that all three of them were pretty laid-back guys, so we decided on something relaxed yet formal. We got them set up with some things, and I hoped all for the best.
They were all sent to dressing rooms to try on the pieces that we had with us for them all to see for size. Ally insisted she was the one to help gather Phil’s measurements, so I was left to get Bruno’s. I think she noticed me looking over at him while he played on the sofa, because she winked at me when she passed by towards Phil.
I went over to the dressing room that Bruno was in, taking my notepad with me. Knocking on the door slightly, I asked, “You decent?”
“Yeah.” I heard him reply, giving me the ok to open the door.
I opened the dressing room door slowly, nearly catching my breath when I walked in. He had the black pants on, and was just finishing the buttons on the top of them, looking down towards the ground, shirtless. His body was completely flawless, and not a single misshape could be seen. Something about the way he stood there made me want to simply take off the rest of his clothes and do him right then in there.
I know I probably stared more than I should have, but it was something I reallydidn’t want to take my eyes off of. I finally forced myself to look down at a few things I had written down, keeping me from looking back up at him.
“I thought you said you were decent?” I asked, a soft smile playing on my lips.
Reaching for the white button up shirt I had given him, he glanced towards me, smiling. “I’d say this is pretty decent considering what I could have not been wearing when you walked in.”
“I suppose so.” I said, waiting while he buttoned up the cotton shirt.
“I bet you’d like that, though.” He said, giving me a sly smile. I chose to ignore this comment, proceeding over to where he was, pulling at some loose places of the shirt, pinning them back.
“So,” He said after a few moments of silence. “You never told me that Mr. Robert Midley was your uncle.”
“You never asked.” I replied, stepping back to let him put on the jacket.
“Fair enough.” He said, turning towards me when he buttoned up the few buttons.
I examined his wardrobe from head to toe, wondering how in the hell somebody could possibly look more hot.
“Oh, I don’t even have to be naked for you to swoon.” He stated with a smirk after a few moments of silence. I felt my cheeks suddenly becoming hot. I really needed to snap out of it.
“Hold out your arms.” I said, quickly changing the subject. I saw him smile, and I could tell that he knew I purposely avoided his comment.
“Yes ma’am.” He replied, holding both arms out to his sides, making a face as if he were in the navy, being told an order.
I pinned and fixed a few things, writing down some measurements onto a side note of one of my notepads. After telling him he was good to go, I left the dressing room, letting him change back into his regular clothing.
As I walked back towards the lounge area, I noticed a woman who hadn’t been there before. I recognized her face, trying to put a name on it. She saw me as I walked up, smiling as she stepped away from Ari. “Hello!” She said cheerfully, keeping the same smile on her face. “I’m Brynn Eastwood. You must be Abigail Midley.”
I shook her hand, returning a warm smile to her. “Yep, that’s me.” I said, now remembering hearing about her from some sort of a doctor drama television series. She had shoulder length, dark brown hair, and a pretty face to match. I wondered what she had come here for, but decided it would have been rude to ask.
“I’ve seen several of your pieces,” She said, her brown eyes brightening up. “And I must say they are beautiful!”
I really didn’t know who this woman was, but I was starting to like her. “Thank you!” I said, smiling back at her.
“I’d love for you to do something for me sometime!” She said, making me like her even more. “You seem to have this whole thing working out well for you.”
I shrugged my shoulders modestly. “Yeah, I’m starting to figure it out.”
She suddenly looked up past my shoulders, towards somebody behind me. She stepped past me, getting that same bright smile on her face. “You got everything figured out?” She asked, making my curiosity rise. I turned around, seeing Bruno walking over to her. “Yup.” He replied, giving her a soft kiss on the lips, the gesture showing it had been more than just a friendly encounter. He hooked his right arm around her waist, walking her back to the sofa area.
I suddenly felt awkward as I turned back to where everyone else was, chit-chatting about the upcoming event on Friday. He had a girlfriend. The asshole had a girlfriend, and yet he acted like he didn’t. I heard Ally mentioning some times that we’d have their tuxes done, but I didn’t listen; I was in a complete mind fuck.
What a typical guy. I tried my best not to roll my eyes in frustration, actually thinking he was a decent man. But boy, I was clearly in the wrong. I couldn’t help but feel slightly jealous of Brynn, with having him so close to her. I had no reason to be jealous; he wasn’t my property to say so. But something about the two of them together made my stomach clench, wishing I had been the one he wrapped his arms around.
Oh shut up, Abby. I thought, thinking how ridiculous I sounded. You’ve only met him twice. There is no way in hell you should be overworking something like this.
But I couldn’t help it. I was confused. I knew he didn’t just come to me because of my name in fashion. In fact, I hardly even had a name in fashion. Someone like him wouldn’t just come to the ‘newbie.’ There had to have been more to his reasoning. Or at least I thought.
The mentioning of my name snapped me out of my train of thought. I realized they were leaving, and I forced myself to smile to Phil and Ari as they said goodbye. Bruno and Brynn were the last to leave, and he still had his arm around her waist. “Thanks a ton, Abby!” He said, turning his head around towards me as he walked to the door. “I’ll see you on Friday!” Bruno added, giving me a smile and a…wink before he and Brynn walked out the doors.
“Did he just wink at you?” I heard Ally say next to me.
I stood in even more disbelief and confusion. He was by far the most flirtatious human being I had ever met. I simply stood, staring at the doors as they closed, nodding my head once, responding to her question.
“But,” Ally began, sounding just as confused as I was. “He…and…Brynn…they’re…but then why did he…” She trailed off on her words, and I turned to face her, seeing an even more confused expression on her face.
“I have no idea.” I said, folding my arms across my chest, thinking.
“Eh, fuck my life.” I said, a scowl plastered on my face. I stirred the fruity drink with my black straw, propping my elbows up on the table that sat in front of me.
“It’s alright, Abby.” Ally said, sitting across from me. “It’s not like you knew he had a girlfriend.”
“Yeah, I know. But I mean,” I continued, scrunching up my face as I looked off behind her head. “Just look at them.”
I watched from across the room towards Bruno and Brynn as they sat side-by-side in another booth, making little flirtatious smiles at each other. I felt my eyebrows stitch together as I watched him lean into her ear, whispering something to of which she looked to him, laughing. Oh how badly I wish I was her.
We were at the after party of the big ol’ fashion gala, in some fancy bar-catering place. Personally, I thought things ran quite smoothly all night, and I’m pretty proud to say that I got to meet some other designers and artists, actors, or musicians that I hadn’t before. Not only that, but I did get to see the final fittings of the guys’ suits, which, not to sound too cocky, did look perfect. Especially Bruno. I found myself struggling to keep my eyes off of him throughout the night, and might I say it was extremely difficult.
“I don’t get it.” I pondered, tilting my head to the side as I continued to watch the couple; most likely looking like a fucking stalker.
“Don’t get what?” Ally questioned, not sounding too concerned.
“How he’s with her. I mean, they just don’t seem like they’d be together. They don’t even look like a good couple. It’s so strange.”
Ally shrugged her shoulders as she sipped on her own drink, clearly not knowing what to say.
“I betcha he’s just in it for the sex.” I said as I watched the two lean in for an oh-so-lovely wet kiss, making me further scrunch my nose. The gesture finally forced me to look away before I vomited all over the table. “I mean she looks like some plastic-upped, chemically enhanced, boob-jobbed bimbo.” I saw Ally smiling at me, shaking her head.
“She is really nice though.” She said, biting her lip.
My face suddenly dropped to a sorrowful look. “I know…” I said in a lingered out voice, sounding like a little kid. “I just. Don’t. Get. It.” I dropped my head into my hands, shaking it. He wasn’t my property; I had no reason to be so jealous of her. I mean she was his girlfriend.
“Oh just forget about it. You shouldn’t get so worked up about this!” Ally said, reaching her arms out towards my hands. “Come on, let’s go and mingle, socialize,something before you have a mental breakdown.” She added with a wink, helping me out of the chair.
There were so many people that I could hardly keep track of who I had talked to or hadn’t talked to. I spent around the next couple of hours conversing with manypeople. My dress was beginning to feel uncomfortable, and my feet were starting to feel the ache of standing all night in heels. I really needed to get home.
I finally looked at a clock, finding it was nearing one AM. I probably should get going soon, beings as I still had to go to work the next morning. Such a joy. Telling myself I would have just one more drink, I followed Ally to the bar.
Taking the glass when I got it, I grabbed it in my hands, turning on my heels. And with just my luck, there so happened to be another person walking just as I turned around, me smacking straight into them.
“You really gotta stop doing that, Abby.” I looked up from my drink, seeing Bruno standing there, smiling. I really should stop doing that.
“Sorry,” I said with a smile. “I tend to be a klutz sometimes.”
“Not at all a problem.” He said, stepping away from the bar so that others could walk past. “Say, I haven’t seen you all evening.” He added with a smirk that outlined his dimples.
Oh, well I’ve seen you and Brynn; trust me. I thought to myself, stepping aside to where he stood.
“No, I haven’t. Let me see the final product!” I replied, taking a step back to look at his suit.
He smiled again, nearly sending me to fall to the ground. He slightly stuck his arms out, spinning his body around in a circle, almost in a Michael Jackson-sort of manner.
“Voilà.” He said, raising one eyebrow.
I nodded my head in approval of both the suit, and how sexy he looked in it.
“So you like it?” I asked, still glancing at a few details of the suit.
“Not as much as you like me in it.” Bruno said, making me look up towards his face. I felt my cheeks get slightly hot, making me blush. He pursed his lips together in a sexy way, further making me blush more.
“But,” He quickly added, raising both eyebrows. “I must say I’ve heard plenty of comments towards you tonight.”
“Oh really?” I asked, folding my arms over my chest, curious as to whether he was being sarcastic or not. “And what exactly did you hear?”
“Well,” Bruno began, sticking both hands in his pockets as he looked towards his shoes, taking a step closer. “That you’re a wonderful designer,” He shifted his head back up towards me, his eyes smiling. “A very nice young lady just like your uncle,” I felt him shift his body closer towards me even more. “And that you’re very gorgeous, and looked quite stunning tonight.”
I glanced up at his eyes, both of which were staring at mine. I couldn’t figure it out; there was something about him I just didn’t get.
“You do look quite stunning tonight.” Bruno added softly, now only six inches from my face.
I took a swallow, glancing at his lips before back up at his eyes. He stared at mine with a searching look. As if he was trying to read me. My throat felt dry at his words, knowing where he was headed at this point. “Thanks.” I managed to get out, my voice almost inaudible.
I could smell the whisky on his breath that felt warm against my nose. It wasn’t until I felt him shifting his head closer to mine that I realized what was going on.
What the hell am I doing?!
I quickly took my head back a few inches, drawing in a deep breath. I watched as he bit his lips back, taking in a deep breath as well, closing his eyes for a second. Opening them, he ran a hand across his mouth, and down his chin, rubbing it.
“I gotta get going.” I said, resisting the temptation.
He swallowed once, keeping his eyes on me. I shifted my gaze down, knowing that there were far too many people in here that could see us; all who knew Bruno and Brynn were dating. For a moment I had forgotten all about where we were, and that this wasn’t exactly a private place; there were cameras everywhere. I really didn’t want to draw any attention. “Come on,” He said, causing me to look back up at him. “Just stay for a bit longer.” He added, a sly smirk playing at his lips.
I forced myself to shake my head. You have no idea how bad I’d love to stay. “I can’t. I’ve got work in the morning.”
He stared at my eyes for a moment, as if searching for something. He finally nodded his head. “Alright. Then how about I give you a ride?” Dear lord, is this man trying to kill me?
I slightly laughed, shaking my head as I smiled. “I don’t think that would go down too well with Brynn.”
“In case you didn’t notice,” He began, slightly looking around. “She isn’t here. She’s on a plane to Atlanta right now for some job or another.” He took a step closer to me until we were only inches away again; clearly not paying attention to the many other people that surrounded us. “She would never find out.” He said in a voice almost like a whisper, as if he were implying other things.
I stared at him for a moment, trying to figure out what he was playing at. He and I both knew he was taken, yet he acted like he wasn’t. I couldn’t understand it. I finally slightly shook my head. “I really need to get going.”
“Great.” Bruno replied, smirking at me again. “So your place or mine?”
Fuck my life. Why did he have to look at me like that? I wanted to, I really did. But there was no way in hell I’d be responsible for sabotaging their relationship. That wouldn’t go down too well in the media, or in my career.
“How about I go to my place, alone.” I replied, returning him the same smile.
Bruno shook his head, keeping the same look on his face. “No, I don’t think so. Besides,” He continued, locking his eyes on my lips. “It isn’t very safe for a pretty young girl to be on L.A. streets so late.”
I felt him shift his body closer to mine, making me take in a deep breath. “I think I know the way home.”
“Great, so you can show me it too.”
“Not tonight.” I replied, beginning to walk backwards towards the front entrance, avoiding getting too close to him again.
“I’ll hold that against you. I’m expecting a rain check on that one.” Bruno half shouted out as I got further from him. I gave him a shrug and a smile before turning towards the main entry, heading out the door.
“Wakey, wakey, eggs and bacey!” Ally joyfully sung through the phone. She sounded unusually happy for this time of the morning to be sounding so…excited. I shook my head, smiling before hanging up with her. Rolling out of bed, I mentally reminded myself that it was Monday again.
It seemed like every time I noticed what day it was, it was already another Monday. And I hate Mondays, just about as much as the rest of the world does. To me, it meant another whole week of work laid out in front of me. There was always too much to do, and too little time.
It was a little over two weeks since the gala, and since then, we had more work lined up with Bruno and his crew. His “Hooligans” as what they were called. An upcoming tour of theirs called for a few shows with matching suits, and we were put up for the job. It was a bit difficult, having eight men to get fixed up, but we had several days to put it together instead of the usual one day. Not that I was complaining, I mean I still got to see Bruno for the past few days. Even if he was dating Brynn, his presence was still great.
I headed to ‘Midley’, getting there only minutes before I was needed, like usual. “Good morning!” I heard Phil yell out when he’d finally swung open the double doors. He was the first one to arrive, and minutes later, the rest of the Hooligans showed up for the last day of fitting. As they filed in towards the lounge area, I noticed that Bruno wasn’t with them. It seemed quite strange, being as he’d shown up both days right on the dot. I figured he must have been stuck in traffic or something, blowing it off.
But a half hour later, he still hadn’t arrived, making my curiosity rise. It was really none of my business to know, but I couldn’t help wondering why he hadn’t shown up. I wasn’t the only one who noticed it either. Phred said he’d tried calling him, but had gotten no reply. They didn’t seem too concerned about his disappearance, and carried on like usual.
“It is strange how he isn’t here.” Phil pondered as I fixed a few details of his tux. He looked as if he were thinking about something, his eyebrows slightly furred. Apparently it wasn’t something normal for Bruno to be showing up late. His commentary really made me wonder now.
“He didn’t have any other appointments or anything?” I asked casually.
Phil thought about the question for a second before shaking his head. “Not any that I know of. Unless…”
He stopped his sentence as I heard the two double doors fling open. I turned my head towards them, seeing Bruno walking through them with a not-so-happy look on his face. He glanced down at his phone whilst shutting the doors with an unnecessarily loud bang. “Ahh, there he is.” Phil said with a half-smile, that of which was quickly turned around as Bruno yanked out the battery of his phone, shoving both pieces into his pockets. Bruno rubbed his face in a stressed manner, making his way over to some of the Hooligans that were lounging.
“Well someone’s a bit pissed.” Phil said, turning towards me as he half-chuckled.
A nodded my head, raising both eyebrows. “What do you suppose that was about?”
Phil bit both his lips, shaking his head slightly. “Probably got into another fight with Brynn.” He said almost too casually, implying that was something normal.
Clearly they must not have been the perfect couple I had seen. Interesting. I continued to wonder about the two of them as I worked along with the other Hooligans, my mind wandering. At some point I heard a loud noise coming from Phil, and I looked over to see him standing by Bruno, talking. He had a smile on his face, completely opposite from what I had seen earlier. They laughed for a second before coming in for a manly handshake/hug sort of thing. Phil always managed to change peoples’ moods around.
Bruno had been running behind since he’d come in late, and was the last one to be fitted. Jake had given him his suit to change into, and sent him off towards the dressing rooms. After what seemed like a reasonable time for changing, I headed back there myself.
“Finally decided to show up?” I asked when I walked in, raising an eyebrow.
“Sorry about that.” He replied with a slight smirk. “I ran into a few…complications. And good morning to you, too.” He added, mirroring my expression.
I fixed a few things, being as the suit was mostly done anyways. We chit-chatted about random things, nothing too exciting in particular. Finally adding one more pin to his chest, I folded back the collar, looking up to him. “There. And I think that’s it.” I said, giving him a small smile.
“Thanks.” He spoke softly, running his eyes across my face. “And thanks for doing this for us again, it was very nice of you.” He added, flashing his bright white teeth.
“It’s not like this is a favor. I’m getting paid for this, remember?” I asked.
“Oh really?” He asked, swaying slightly on his toes. “So you wouldn’t do something like this as a favor?”
I shrugged my shoulders as I smiled, seeing him shift slightly closer towards me. “Depends on who’s asking.”
“Alright.” He said, his face inches from mine. “What if it was for me?”
“Perhaps.” I softly murmured out, watching his eyes as they stared at mine.
I suddenly felt his body touching mine, and his lips pressing against my own. He moved his mouth gently, slipping his tongue into my mouth. I felt my body back up against the dressing room wall, and felt his hands grabbing both sides of my cheeks.
I kissed him back, losing myself in his mouth for a moment, not paying attention to what was going on. He held onto my face, pressing his body even closer towards me. It wasn’t until I began to move my arms towards his neck that I realized what I was doing. Stopping myself, I pulled my head back so that there was a couple of inches between us. He looked at me with a confused look on his face, as if he hadn’t any idea why I stopped him.
I shook my head, causing him to lower his hands from my face. “This isn’t right.” I said, wondering why I let myself do that. “It’s not fair to Brynn.”
He slightly smiled without showing his teeth, shaking his head. I looked at him, now me being the confused one. “I’m not with her anymore.” He said, making me feel slightly stupid.
“But you-“ I began, completely in shock.
“I broke up with her.” He stated, searching my eyes. I looked up at him, staring for a moment. He broke up with her. I replayed the thought over in my head several times, trying not to smile to myself. I finally shook my head, getting myself out of that thought, saying, “They’re probably waiting on you to get going.”
He looked in my eyes for another few seconds before nodding, backing up from the wall so that I could get through. I began to walk towards the door, grabbing some notes I’d written down. Just as I was about to close it behind me, I heard Bruno softly yell out, “Abby!”
I turned around, stepping through the door again. He picked his hat up from his head, running the other hand through it before setting it back down again.
“I know this is kind of a last minute notice,” He began, rising my curiosity. “But would you like to go to this thing with me tonight?” He asked with a small shrug. He looked adorable, almost like back in middle school when boys were shy to ask girls out.
I slightly laughed at his question. “A ‘thing’?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Well it’s a boring dinner meeting for the record label, and it’s mandatory for me to go. I don’t have a date so I was hoping you’d like to go.” He said, putting both hands in his pockets, smiling at me.
I shrugged my shoulders, still slightly laughing. “Sure.” I said. “I’d love to go.”
“Alright, but I’m going to have to get your number.” He said casually, flashing his teeth and dimples.
“Is that some lame way of asking me for my phone number?” I asked, laughing again.
He shrugged, pursing his lips in a funny way. “Maybe.”
I shook my head one last time, walking up to him as we exchanged numbers. I finally left the dressing room, still in shock about what just happened. I walked down the hallway towards everyone else, and saw them all stare at me when I walked over, as if they all knew. I slightly blushed from the sudden attention of everyone, but walked on by, acting completely normal as I could manage.