So, you know when people tell you that modeling would be soooo fun and soooo easy?
Well, they were wrong.
It was soooo boring. And soooo stupid. I thought my brain was going to shrivel up as the photographer kept telling me to give him my “smolder”. At first, I thought he meant shoulder.
Shoulder. Smolder. Satisfied the photographer anyway.
But it paid well. At least I had my 9-5 job at the animation studio. I was saving up a good chunk of change, too. I almost had enough to be able to afford a tiny place just a few streets over. With a bodyguard on call. Only one. Still. Beat having to wear a costume.
When I got home from work, I searched “apartments for rent”, hoping to find something a little less pricey. I heard a tap on my door.
“Come in,” I said, hoping to see Charlie. He’d been out for a few days, visiting his parents but was supposed to come home today.
To my surprise, it was James. Since the Heartthrobs had a little break, I thought he’d said he was going to visit his mom.
“Hello, Lexie. Finding anything decent to rent?”
I tapped out a few more parameters. “Nope. It’s either glitz or garbage. Nothing in my price range.”
“That sucks. Hey, I wanted to talk about something.”
I gazed up at him. He looked so cute today for some reason. “Yes?”
“I need to go shopping and wondered if you minded if I…” He winced then finished, “…went out as Jenny?”
It’d been months since I even thought about our falling out. I had mixed emotions. Part of me never wanted to see that side of him again.
But a bigger part of me missed her. A twinge prickled inside.
Acting like I didn’t give a flying twig, I said, “I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Jenny again, actually.”
“Do you need some shopping company? We haven’t done that in forever.”
“You…want to go shopping with…Jenny?” he asked. “In the rain?”
I arched an eyebrow. “You soooo need my help. Remember that awful leopard skin number you almost bought? Someone’s gotta reel you in.”
“That leopard skin skirt would have looked divine on my ass. Still regretting not buying it.”
I laughed. “Keep dreaming. I saved you from total humiliation.”
He chuckled then said, “Guess I do need your help. Meet me downstairs in thirty minutes.”
“You got it.”
It felt good to be friends with James again. And I thought I’d never say this but I was really looking forward to hanging out with him as Jenny.
Damn. I thought I was going to have a fight on my hands. I figured Lexie might have a problem if I went out as Jenny. But I was stir crazy and didn’t feel like being surrounded by my bodyguards.
Never would have expected Lexie to ask to come with me.
I hit the jackpot!
When I met up with her, Lexie was in her usual unusual mode. I wanted to giggle and kiss her, but instead, I did my normal Jenny diva routine (which I knew she liked when I gave her shit.) “Okay, baby doll. You don’t have to dress like a bag lady just for me. There’s plenty of them meandering downtown already.”
“What? You don’t like this outfit? Sorry, but no one will recognize me when I go out there. This shit’s your fault. Don’t make me rehash all the reasons why I have to hide my face.”
“Fine. I just hope there’s no paps or my fans will have a field day at your expense.”
Lucky thing, it was a downpour. No one, not even the most staunch paparazzi would have been out unless they were ducks. I could have gone shopping as me without the makeup and wig.
But to have Lexie by my side was worth it. I doubted if she’d have gone with me as just “James”. I knew Tsui wouldn’t have liked it. Probably wouldn’t like us being out together like this anyway.
“Sooo…you want to go into that store for dudes over there?” she asked.
I did. But I wanted to see her in some different clothes first. Half the fun was to inspect (and make fun of) what she’d pick out. We could hit the men’s clothing shop on the way out.
“No…let’s go upstairs to Couture Du Jour!” I suggested.
“But you need some new stuff, James. That plain t-shirt look is so overrated. How can you be so stylish as Jenny and so dull as James? I don’t get it.”
“Who me? I like my clothes.”
I added. “It’s you who needs help, doll face. How often do you get to have the benefit of my tastes?”
“Okay, fine. But we’re marching to a guy shop right afterwards. Got it?”
I nodded and winked at her. God, I’d missed this.
Once we arrived at the shop, Lexie threw up her finger and said, “We’re going to follow some rules here. 1. I get to pick out EVERYTHING I put on this body. I’m so sick and tired of stylists dressing me, I could scream. And 2. You will not laugh at me even if you think I look like a turd from outerspace. Got it?”
“Baby doll, why would you want to look like a turd from outerspace?”
She shrugged. “Because I’ve been primped and poofed so much at my modeling job that I’d like to relax for a change?”
I cocked my head at her and raised my arms. “Come on, sweetheart! Let me save you from yourself, at least. I get to have one look of disdain.”
She stuck out a finger. “Okay. One. But that’s all. This is Lexie time. Clothing done my way.”
I sighed and rolled my eyes, but inside I couldn’t wait. I really liked how Lexie dressed. It was so cute. So her.
After way too long, she finally came out of the dressing room with a goofy, adorable smile on her face.
“So?” she asked.
I pursed my lips. “So what?”
“God! I thought you’d notice them right away. My hair extensions? What do you think?”
I hated them. But she looked so proud of herself, I couldn’t disappoint her. “Well, I think I was distracted by those gawd awful shoes that I just…well…”
“Okay, but the extensions stay,” she said, “And I agree. This outfit’s lame. Even for me.” She marched back into the closet. In a little while, she came out in a blue blazer and jeans.
With a hopeful grin, she asked, “Does this scream, ‘I’m SOOOOO not a fashion model’ or what?”
“It screams all right,” I said, giving her that one look of disdain I was allowed. “It’s shriekng, ‘Take me off! I should be burned!'”
With an embarrassed face, she said, “Yeah…I thought so, too, but kinda hoped it wasn’t a total loser. I’ll do better.”
I put my hands on my hips. “I should hope so. Don’t make me come in there and dress you myself!”
She poked my chest. “I’ll deck you if you do, so I’d suggest you keep out.”
Lifting my hands, I said, “Just kidding, darling. Keep your panties on.”
She looked at me under hooded eyes. “I will. Don’t worry your little self about my panties, mister.”
“Oh, I’m sooo not a mister in these Louis Simton suede boots.”
Cheeks coloring, she hit me on the shoulder then ran into the closet.
After almost twenty minutes, I was getting worried. The outfit was going to be freaking awful. I’d found out in the past, the longer Lexie took to make a decision, the worse things got in the dressing room. She’d confuse herself so much that she’d just grab the first thing and go with it.
But I was shocked at what she popped out in.
“Well…Jenny, dear…what do you think now?”
The dress was simple, understated and perfectly fit Lexie’s sunny aesthetic. Usually, she’d pick out chunky boots (in probably bright orange or chartruese), but she didn’t. She went with classic light yellow heels that matched perfectly.
I pretended to wipe a tear. “I think my little Lexie is all grown up. What’s a style mother to do?”
And instead of giving me some smartass remark like she always did, she just locked her eyes on mine and smiled.
I will be out of town all weekend, so no chapter on Monday. Will resume the regular schedule on Wednesday! Happy Labor Day to my USA readers!
Next chapter Wednesday, September 5th.
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