A/N: So sorry for the delay in getting this chapter out. My muse for this story has prematurely deserted me. I seriously hope that it comes back and visits me soon.
I would like to give a big thanks to einekleineschreiberin and starryeyeddaydreamer9 for their reviews. It's always nice to know what people are thinking of the story so far. Also this chapter has not been beta-ed, so I'm sorry for any grammatical errors. If anyone is willing to be a beta for this story then please send me a message. Okie dokie, enough of my rambling, on with the story.
The one time of the day I could not handle Scarlet was first thing in the morning. Her brashness and loudness clashed horribly with my grumpiness and hostility. If you haven't guessed by now, I am not a morning person at all, not even in the slightest sense. I wince as her laugh pierces my poor ear drums, her mouth going at full speed as she tries to explain something to me. My brain is still lethargic with sleep, and my body is crying out for some much needed caffeine, so obviously I pay her no attention.
Hearing a beep, I swiftly grab the percolator and pour the steaming contents into my mug, the welcoming smell of coffee instantly invading my senses. Placing the percolator back down, I pour in some milk, give it a stir and turn around to find Scarlet scowling at me, both of her hands stuck firmly on her hips.
"You haven't listened to a thing I said, have you?"
"Nope," I reply bluntly as I take a seat at the breakfast bar. Taking a much needed sip of the caramel coloured nectar, I hum in delight as it slides down my throat. I'm seriously addicted to coffee, it's my one and only weakness.
"Well, I was telling you that Marie has done the window display all wrong, again, and I'm the one that has to go and fucking fix it! Tell me, how the hell is that fair?" Scarlet wails dramatically. Her bum plops down next to me as she looks at me expectantly. Ever since Marie started working at the store, Scarlet has done nothing but complain about the girl. Even though I haven't met her, I feel like I've known Marie for the last year and a half.
"No, that's not fair at all, Scar." The best way to get Scarlet to calm down it to just agree with her, I've learnt that the hard way.
Her scowl softens slightly and she nods her head in agreement. "I can't understand why she's still employed there, I mean honestly if it wasn't for me that store wouldn't even last a day." Good old Scarlet, glad to see she's still as humble as ever.
"Anyway, talking of jobs, have you heard anything from that Taylor guy yet?"
Taking a big gulp of coffee, I swallow the hot liquid and shake my head.
It's been a week since the interview, and I still haven't heard anything. To be honest I'm not sure how to feel about it. A part of me would love not to get it, Dorian seemed so rude and unprofessional, it would undoubtedly make working for him a nightmare; he is a singer after all. Another part of me though wishes I did get the stupid job. If I got it then I would finally have some much needed money. It's been six months since my last job and it's been hell ever since.
Scarlet pats my shoulder in comfort. "It's their loss, Ethan. You're great at what you do, if they can't see that then their idiots."
I turn towards her, instantly feeling guilty for not listening to her rant about Marie. "Thank you, Scar." Placing my hand over hers, I give it a quick squeeze before letting go.
Obviously taking my small gesture of friendliness as a sign that my morning grump was finally starting to thaw, Scarlet grabs a piece of her hair and starts to twirl it around her index finger.
"So, I was thinking—
"You don't even know what I'm going to say yet!" Scarlet whines, her dark eyes look at me imploringly.
Finishing the last dregs of my coffee, I place my cup down and look at her. "You were going to ask if Brian could move in."
The small blush that spreads across her cheeks proves my theory to be correct. I would of laughed at her behaviour if I wasn't such a grumpy morning person.
Standing up from the chair, Scarlet throws her mane of dark hair over her shoulder and scowls at me. "That's not fair. You always had your boyfriend stay over loads, way more than Brian ever does!"
A sudden pang hits me at the mention of my ex. Mentioning him was too raw for me to deal with at the moment, Scarlet knows this, and by the sudden guilty look that passes over her face, she realises it too.
"Don't mention him ever again," I warn her, my tone firm.
Getting up,I quickly wash my cup and set it on the side to dry. I can tell that she wants to say something else, the way she rocks back and forth on the balls of her feet is a dead giveaway.
"Spit it out, Scar"
I hear her sigh heavily, the tone that makes it sound like she's gearing up for a big speech. Once again I was proven right.
"Well it's just that he's finally left Carol, and he's said he really wants to be with me to see how things would work out between us. He's a good guy, Ethan. I know you don't like him and I'm not asking for you to be the best friends, but please I'm begging you to let me have this chance with him."
I look at my best friend and blink stupidly for a moment. I was so not expecting that avalanche of facts first thing on a Monday morning. "So much for just being a fuck-buddy then," I quip, but Scarlet doesn't say anything to retort.
The way Scarlet nervously plays with the sleeves of her white blouse, makes my resolve weaken slightly. She looks just like a little girl, asking the permission of her father if they could have their friend sleep over.
I stand in silence and contemplate sharing the flat with Brian. He was loud, crass, no doubt a total slob to live with, and not to mention the fact he and Scarlet would be sucking each others faces off at any chance they got. How the hell was I supposed to live like that? I'd obviously be the third-wheel in my own home.
Scarlet is gnawing on her thumbnail now, her thick coated lashes blink slowly up at me as she tries to guess what my decision would be.
"He can move in here, only and I mean only, if I get the Dorian Hart job, otherwise then it's a no."
The loud excited squeal that follows makes me wince and I'm quickly tackled into a bone crushing hug. I love Scarlet, but being pressed up so tightly against her big boobs makes me feel rather uncomfortable.
"I love you, I love you, I love you!" She practically wails, her clutch on me tightening. "You're the best, Ethan! I'm sorry for mentioning...you-know-who."
Patting her head I slowly pull myself away from her vice like embrace. "Don't mention it." I give Scarlet a weak smile. "Let's just hope I get the job now."
Nodding her head furiously, Scarlet straightens her black pencil skirt and picks up her bag from the counter. "Right, now that's sorted, I'm off to save what is left of the damn store - bye for now lovely." Shooting me an air kiss, Scarlet click-clacks out of the apartment in her skyscraper heels.
Shaking my head, I smile to myself and head for the bathroom. Even if I had nothing planned to do today, at least I would be freshly showered for it.
Why did I have to switch over to the music channel, why? It's like my brain wants to subconsciously torture me or something. I've been watching tv all morning, and there's only so much crappy daytime drama I can handle, so my brain has decided I should watch some music videos instead; such a big mistake. On the flat screen, Dorian Hart stares out at me. He's dressed in a smart black suit and tie, his messy blonde hair is gelled back to perfection, and his face looks flawless due to the make up that he must have on. He's sitting down in front of a big blown up picture of himself. Sat opposite him is a cheery looking redhead, her beaming smile directly targeted on Dorian. I know I could switch over, but my interest has peaked now; so might as well see whats happening.
"Hello I'm Jessica, and welcome to 'MusicMatters TV' - the biggest name in music." Jessica smiles politely at the camera, as some poppy background music begins to play. "Today, pop-sensation and international heartthrob, Dorian Hart is here to discuss his upcoming tour, his new album, and we will be getting the truth from the man himself regarding the recent rumours that have been circulating about him in the media. Plus, Dorian will be answering some of your very own Twitter questions."
Various neon colours dance around the screen until it fades back to the studio, the camera directly positioned on Dorian. "Welcome, Dorian. it's great to have you here," Jessica gushes.
"It's great to be here, thanks for having me." Dorian flashes her a charming grin, which makes him look even more handsome.
"So your upcoming world tour is called the 'Shattered Illusions Tour,' an interesting title obviously. But what made you come up with it?" Jessica asks, noticeably reading the question from a cue-card . Dorian leans back into the chair, his long left leg crossing lazily over his right.
"Well I've been in the business for quite a long time, and over that time there has become a public perception of me out there which isn't necessarily true. This tour is for the fans, I want them to come to my show to see the real me, and to see what my performances are about. It's like shattering the person they think they really know, and exposing my true self to them. Plus I'll be interacting with fans in a much different way with this tour, which will be really cool."
Flashing another bright smile, Dorian looks to someone off camera then quickly back to Jessica. "That sounds really interesting, I bet the tickets will sell out fast for that!" Jessica adds enthusiastically, which causes Dorian to laugh. "Lets hope."
Grinning now, Jessica looks at the next question. "The title for the tour is also the name of your upcoming album, can you tell us more about that?"
Placing his hand on his chin, Dorian gently rubs his stubble in a thoughtful gesture. "I guess this album is definitely the most personal for me. I mean I've written eight of the twelve songs myself and I've worked with a whole bunch of different producers so that I could get some fresh beats on the tracks..."
I couldn't help but be a little impressed at how professional Dorian was being. It's a stark contrast to what he was like just a week ago. Maybe I was too quick to judge him, I mean I have done that to someone before; and yes I know it's not very professional of me to do so. Taking a sip of my freshly brewed coffee, I sigh in pleasure as the aroma and taste invades my senses once more. This unemployment lark was actually quite fun; If I didn't think of my lack of money, or social life for too long that is. Turning my attention back towards the television, I instantly notice that Dorian's smile is no longer present, instead his mouth is turned into a tight line.
"So the rumours are true then?" Jessica asks numbly, her eyes wide like saucers. Her whole body was leaning closer towards Dorian, as if she was making sure that nothing could get in the way of her hearing to what Dorian would say next.
Dorian nods his head stiffly, his eyes looking towards someone off camera once more. "I'm ashamed that I have kept my loyal fans in the dark for so long, but I hope they understand that this was, and still is an extremely personal matter. I am a gay man, and always have been." Dorian sighs deeply, and looks directly into the camera. "It's been a hard decision to come out to the world and if I lose my fans because of it, then I only have myself to blame. I know not everyone will be accepting, but the people closest to me have accepted me for who I am and that's all that matters."
I'm frozen to the spot. My cup of coffee has stalled halfway to meet my lips, and I'm sure my own eyes are bulging out of their sockets.
Dorian Hart is gay?!
"Well, fuck me."
My mind instantly reel's back through all the press headlines I've read and the stories I've heard about Dorian. They all said he was a womaniser, a really hard party goer who always had a different lady on his arm for each night of the week. Obviously that was wrong, I mean there's only so much truth to media headlines and gossipers anyway. But still, Dorian Hart was gay. Maybe a different man for each of night of the week was more accurate.
The sudden shrill ring of the apartment phone breaks my concentration and I jump in shock. The now tepid coffee spills all over my singlet, causing a nice brown stain to appear on my chest. "Crap," I mutter darkly, placing the stupid cup onto the coffee table. Hastily jumping up, I run to the phone in the kitchen as I try to peel away the sticky wet fabric from my skin.
"Hello?" I answer briskly.
"Hello, Ethan?" A familiar voice asks, causing my whole entire body to straighten unconsciously.
"Mr Richards," I reply, my tone much more professional.
There's a deep sigh on the other end on the phone, which instantly causes me to frown. It can't be bad new's can it? Oh, God it is. I'm going to be unemployed forever! I'm tempted to wail and beg for the job, but I resist; I'm not that pathetic.
"Sorry for keeping you waiting for so long, Ethan. There's just been some things going down at this end that has kept me rather busy."
"S'kay," I say calmly. Really what want I want to do though is reach through the phone and throttle the answer out of Taylor.
"Well I'm really happy to tell you that you have the job," Taylor informs me, his voice suddenly turning brighter. "You just need to sign the regular contracts, confidentiality releases and relevant paper work then you'll be set to go."
It takes me a minute to process his words, but when I finally do my face breaks out into a big grin. "Thank you so much Mr Richards," I beam, even though he can't see me. "When should I come by the offices?"
"Well the thing is, I'm not dealing with the releases and contracts, Dorian's manager; Owen Stocks has decided to take over that part. You will be required to go to Los Angles, where Dorian is currently residing within the next week. Owen will meet you there and will go through everything with you. A car will be waiting for you at LAX when you arrive."
I only took in part of what Taylor was saying. My mind just zeroed in on where I would be actually going. I'm moving to Los Angeles.
My throat suddenly feels rather tight and dry all of a sudden. "Do you know where about Dorian actually lives?" I wince as my voice cracks. Luckily Taylor doesn't seem to notice. "Yes, he lives in Calabasas. Why?"
I let out a breath of air that I didn't know I was holding and my whole body suddenly relaxes. "I was just wondering. Thank you again for giving me the job Mr Richards."
"No need to thank me, you're resumé and portfolio speaks for itself. Plus Dorian was quite impressed with your interview also."
I was just about to ask what Dorian had actually said but Taylor was speaking again. "I will send you your flight tickets and itinerary by FedEx. Then it will be up to Owen to sort out your accommodation in Los Angels once you are there. Don't worry though, I'm still in charge of your job position, so any problems then please don't hesitate to call me."
After a few more minutes of small talk and thanks you's, I finally hang up on Taylor. Walking back through to the living room, I sit down slowly, my eyes coming to rest on a mute Dorian. I look at the flatscreen stupidly for a few seconds before realising I must of unconsciously muted the television when the phone rang.
Picking up the remote, I un-mute the television and Dorian's laugh filters through the speakers.
"Kissmeslowlydorian asks - 'What do you look for in your perfect girl?' " Jessica laughs good-naturedly, at that. "Well, lets swap 'girl' with 'guy' shall we?"
Dorian smiles, but a closed looks comes across his features, his blues suddenly looking guarded. "A good guy with morals and who is totally trustworthy," he replies slowly. "I want someone who isn't just focused on my fame, I want to show someone what it's like to live my lifestyle. I've seen so much myself, that I just want to see everything through a fresh pair of eyes; their eyes."
Several beats of silence follow, then Dorian scratches the back of his head awkwardly. "And someone with a fit body, gotta have that," he grins, which causes Jessica to giggle conspiratorially.
Maybe I did actually judge Dorian Hart too quickly after all.