I had considered going over to Cohen and Chance’s place. I’ve escaped to Cohen’s bed more times than I care to admit since he’s been gone. More so since the Loaded Replay concert two weeks ago. I’m sure my family and my roommates are starting to notice my lack of attendance here lately. Chance isn’t exactly the best company either, but we’ve become good enough friends that, between the grunts and hard looks, he’s kind of fun to be around. Okay, fun isn’t exactly the right word for what he is. He fills the void of loneliness the girls just can’t. He talks to me about my concerns when it comes to Cohen and his “going dark,” and since he’s lived that life, it’s reassuring to hear from him that it just means Cohen is on mission and needs to stay focused.
So here I am. After a night of no sleep, contemplating if I would be able to get away with murder.
We’re on filming day two million seventy-five—okay, I kid—and I’m about to shove these cameras up Sway’s ass. Of course, it doesn’t help that Lyn decided to call out because she was partying all night long, causing me to have to spend almost an hour rescheduling all of her clients. The new chick, Samantha, was a no-show, and Sway has been doing fucking cartwheels around the salon because of some heels that went on sale at Saks.
Yeah. I’m officially just having a crappy Monday.
And Devon is still gone, so Don and Mark have been up my ass all day. Okay, I take that back. Don has. He doesn’t bother me as much as he did when we first met two months ago, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t annoy the ever-loving shit out of me.
Mark, on the other hand, is silent and broody, and he generally makes it his life mission to let me know that I’m not working the camera like I should be and how the show all depends on us following the scripted points Devon wants us to hit. That is usually followed up by me reminding the idiot that it’s a reality show, not a scripted sitcom.
But together, they both give me the creepiest vibes ever. I can’t decide if Mark and his silent “I hate the world” vibes are worse than Don and his creepy little winks and smiles.
Today freaking sucks. I look over at a scowling Mark and think, again, how many ways I could make his death look like an accident. His newest scowl is because I wouldn’t ask my last male client out on a date and make it look like I had been pining after him for months.
As freaking if.
“What has gotten into you, sweet girl?” Sway asks when he is finally able to stop dancing around.
“Just feeling a little low today,” I mumble and continue to stock my station.
“Do you need me to kick the cameras out today?”
I look over at him, shocked, because Sway would never kick the cameras out. He loves every second of this reality show crap. His handsome, caramel skin is etched in concern. Dark, perfectly sculpted brows are pulled in, and his eyes show love and compassion. He runs one of his—manicured, of course—hands over his buzzed hair and waits for me to answer.
“I’m okay. Promise. Just keep that one away from me,” I tell him and point over at Don.
“You got it, darlin.’ Just promise Uncle Sway that, if you start looking any more blue, you’ll take that skinny ass home.” He wraps his arms around me, his silk blouse cool against my cheek.
“Promise,” I sigh, soaking in the comfort I didn’t realize I wanted or needed.
In all honesty, for the last two weeks, I’ve just started feeling . . . weird. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I miss Cohen and hold some resentment towards life because he was taken away from me right when we had finally gotten somewhere. Everyone seems to be doing just fine and I’m little miss broody. I hate feeling this way, but it’s almost like I’m helpless to stop those thoughts.
I just want him home.
“Well, hello, my sweet child.”
I smile to myself when my mother’s soft voice enters my brooding.
“Hey,” I sigh and let all my stress drain from my body when she wraps her arms around me and gives me a tight hug. “What are you doing here? Did I miss an appointment?”
“Since when do I need an appointment to come and take my only daughter out to lunch?” she smarts.
“Oh, my bad,” I laugh. “Sway called, huh?” I correctly guess. That man can’t help it. He hates seeing any of his girls upset.
“He sure did. He also told me he would handle your next two clients and that I wasn’t supposed to bring you back until I’ve checked out the new sales at Lenox Mall. He also told me that, if you argue about missing work or upsetting clients or whatever of your ‘outrageously cockamamie’ excuses are, I’m supposed to tell you he has your father on speed dial and won’t hesitate to call him.” Her smile is huge, her jade-colored eyes flashing with humor.