August & Beau, Briar: 43, Lexie, Cory, James: 26, Charlie: 28, Brayden: 7, Rylie: 3, Triplets (born to August and Beau): Asher, Abby, Aria: 3, Darius: 36, Seth: 69 Siobhan: 67
I never would have guessed in a million years that one phone call would change my life. I’d never done runway modeling. Didn’t have the body for it. I was too busty and had too many curves (compared to the literal sticks on stick legs who normally cruised the runway). But Velvet’s Secret, the top women’s lingerie producer in the nation, was down a model for their new Love Me Angel line and they were in all kinds of frenzy trying to find an available one last minute.
I was like, whoa…my body just wouldn’t look right. But my agent assured me it would just be for one event. I’d get paid double if I’d help them out.
So, yeah. I did it. Felt stupid with all the feathers fluffing around my face and getting stuck in my lipstick. But I didn’t miss a beat and gave them my trademark “smolder”.
Who would have known the CEO, Bridgette Paramour, saw me and decided that I would be perfect as the new face of their upscale line.
Fast forward nine months, and I’m not kidding, my literal body was plastered everywhere that advertised the skimpy, lacey undies.
Billboards that, yeah, Dad wasn’t too happy about…flew up all over San Myshuno.
And if you went inside one of their shops, it was more than a little embarrassing.
I thought I’d become “known” when I was dating Charlie. What a joke! That was nothing compared to this. EVERYONE, not just Throbbers, recognized me. And many times, I’d just get tons of wolf whistles and all kinds of people wanting my autograph, pictures, you name it. I even had my own fanclub.
Consequently, I had to hire three body guards if I went anywhere. So different from just wearing a costume or leaving with one of the Heartthrob’s guards back in the day.
After Charlie, I didn’t want a serious relationship. Thankfully, I’d met up with Christian Romano (star of The Heffners) at an event last year. We hit it off and discovered that both of us: 1. Didn’t want anything serious. 2. Hated Charlie Tsui. Well, hate was a strong word. I didn’t hate Charlie. But there was a deep seated resentment there. After the blow out that day at his parents’ theme park, he never once tried to contact me. And as the months turned into years, lingering angry feelings sort of snowballed.
Christian had a falling out with Charlie over the woman Charlie was dating now, Carmella Parris, the actress who played Yasmine on the daytime drama, New Beginnings.
Seemed Carmella cheated with Charlie while Christian was in a serious relationship with her. Charlie claimed he didn’t know, but if he’d cared about his friend, why was he still seeing her?
So, we bonded over our Charlie war stories. Shared love angst made the heart grow fonder. (Yeah, I made that up.)
Christian took me to the newest movie premiere of the epic Super Serafina Salvation movie. He was so sweet to get us tickets, knowing I was still a geek at heart. (He didn’t really get into super hero action stuff, but he’d go for me. Aww…)
But then my eyes widened as we strolled to the bar afterwards. “Damn it. Would be our luck, they’d show up,” I hissed. Why the hell was Charlie and Carmella here? He hated action plots and there was no way Little Miss Perfect Carmella would sully her beaded dress to like comic book action characters.
“Calm down, darling,” Christian’s soothing voice lilted. “This is a popular nightclub, too. They’re probably here for dinner and dancing. Just ignore them.”
But we couldn’t ignore them because they’d waltzed right up to us.
Stunned, Charlie sort of warbled out an awkward hello as his face turned a nice shade of pink.
Carmella, on the other hand said, “I told you, Charlie, they’d be here for the premiere. Lexie is known for her freakish tastes in movies.”
A firestorm ignited inside me and I saw red. Putting my arm around Christian, I said, “Yeah, me and five million other geeks who want to see it. What did the news say about the predictions for opening day? Oh, yeah. It was going to blow out box office records.”
Christian pulled me tight and said, “Good evening to you both. I see, Carmella, that green really doesn’t look pretty on you.”
Then he hustled me away before I could dig my nails into Carmella’s bitch face.
I didn’t know what happened but that evening was full of raging passions. I figured Christian and I should always bump into Charlie and Carmella whenever we went out.
A few weeks went by when I saw James’ name flash on my phone. He wanted to meet up. We hadn’t seen each other in almost nine months since he’d gone on tour. That was one thing that’d never changed since I’d left the Heartthrob penthouse. And I was soooo thankful. James would always be my friend no matter what was going on in our lives.
He told me he was tired of running around with my body guards and that I needed to find a costume that would hide my face somehow. So, I thought I’d surprise him with one I found online. It was perfect.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t talk in it.
James looked me up and down and said, “My God, you’ve got to be kidding me. Lex, how in the hell are we even supposed to get you inside a door?”
I shrugged, but he couldn’t see it, so I waved my arms in an I-have-no-clue-this-was-your-idea way.
“What’s wrong? Can’t you even speak?” he asked.
I shook my head but the costume was too huge for him to notice, so I did a little dance. He laughed. “Very funny.”
Taking my hand, he added,”But it’s not that funny. Come on. We’ll get you a better outfit.”
We stopped at a kiddie costume shop down the street. How we were going to find anything that 1. Would hide my face, and 2. Wouldn’t look ridiculous? (Well, I already looked pretty ridiculous, so I guessed it couldn’t get any worse.) I was wishing I hadn’t given my bodyguards the day off.