The duet, p.1
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       The Duet, p.1

           R.S. Grey
 
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The Duet


  The Duet

  Copyright © 2014 R.S. Grey

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, including electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

  This book is a piece of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

  This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return it to the seller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.

  Published: R.S. Grey 2014

  Editing: Taylor K’s Editing Service

  Proofreading: Grammar Inspection Task Force

  Cover Design: R.S. Grey

  Stock Photos courtesy of Shutterstock ®

  The Duet

  R.S. Grey

  Chapter One

  “Mama is gonna get laid tonight!” I sang out while shimmying my shoulders from side to side. I puckered my lips in front of my bedroom mirror and attempted to apply another coat of bright red lipstick, which was impossible in the dress I’d chosen for the night. I couldn’t actually move in it- per se. I had to bend my neck down at an awkward angle and contort my arm to get the lipstick tube in contact with my mouth. To be honest, the dress was most likely made for a petite doll— as in, Barbie’s little sister. Damn you, Skipper. I was neither petite, nor a doll, but the night called for extreme measures.

  “Ew. God, stop. You can’t call yourself ‘mama’ if you aren’t actually a mother. And as your sister, I’d like to pretend that you don’t have a sex life at all,” Cameron said, holding her hands over her ears as she chastised me from across the room.

  I laughed and dropped the tube of MAC lipstick back into my acrylic make-up tray. When I spun around to face her, she was still holding her hands up in warning.

  “Cammie, my sweet, innocent little sister,” I said, walking toward her on my four inch Jimmy Choos. “When you’re twenty-seven, if you’ve gone a whole year without having sex, I will personally take an ad out in the newspaper for you and it will say: Cammie Heart will put out for nearly anyone. Age not important. Job unnecessary—”

  I didn’t get the chance to continue my joke because Cammie reached forward and covered my mouth with her hand.

  “No need, sissaroo, because I had sex just last month.”

  She was full on gloating. What a dirty hooker. You don’t gloat about having sex to someone during her dry spell. Had I taught her nothing?

  I peeled her hand away from my mouth so I could respond. “What?! With who?”

  She shrugged as if it wasn’t that big of a deal. Who knows, maybe it wasn’t. “It was just this kid in one of my architecture classes. We were studying together and I wanted to blow off some steam.”

  I laughed as the wheels started spinning in my mind. “Oh I bet you blew off some stream, all right.” That joke may have been accompanied by a crude hand gesture near, or around, my mouth. Depending on how delicate your sensibilities are.

  “Brooklyn! You perv!” Cammie said, pinching my arm before I could step out of her reach. She was a couple of inches shorter than me, and five years younger, but she was scarily scrappy.

  A knock on my condo door distracted me just before I could retaliate.

  “Ms. Heart, are you girls ready? I’ve just pulled the car around,” Jerry, my driver, called through the door.

  “Yes! Thank you, Jer-Bear. We’ll just be another second!” I yelled back, widening my eyes at Cammie so that she’d know to hurry up.

  Cammie scrambled toward my closet, no doubt in search of a pair of shoes that she’d “borrow” for the night and then conveniently forget to ever give back to me. I once thought I’d had a Chanel bag stolen from me in France, and then three years later Cammie waltzed into my apartment with it on her arm. We’d settled it with an old-fashioned duel. (i.e., I sat on her until she begged for mercy).

  “Can I wear these white Manolo Blahniks you got from that magazine shoot?” she asked as I spun in a circle to inspect my miniscule dress one last time. Seriously, I feared that the seams might pop at any moment, but I wasn’t going to take any chances. If I didn’t get laid that night, I’d no longer be held accountable for my actions. I can only go so long living the life of a nun. Abstinence is not always the way. It makes you moody, and I swear my road rage had really kicked up a notch over the last few months.

  But it’s not as easy as you’d think. It’s not like I could just zip-off to the club and have a one-night stand whenever I wanted. The paparazzi would be all over my ass and the story would end up on every newsstand by the following morning. So, to ensure that my PR team didn’t rip my head off, I tried to play it cool. I dated off and on and I kept my distance from the standard Hollywood crowd. Who needs booze and blow? No thanks. All I wanted was a good ol’ fashioned, wake the neighbors, scratch marks down his back orgasm.

  “Did you just say ‘all I want is an orgasm’?” Cammie asked, coming out of the closet looking like a million-bucks in my high-heels. I already knew I’d let her keep them. They looked better on her anyway. The white suede material set off her tan and complemented the royal blue dress she’d also pulled out of my closet earlier. Her brown hair was styled in loose waves and she had this jeweled headband across her forehead— a look that a cool twenty-two year old could pull off flawlessly, whereas I would have just looked like a weird gypsy.

  I decided to be honest with Cammie. “Yeah, I’m giving myself a pep talk before we leave.”

  Cammie laughed and walked over to me, setting her hands on top of my shoulders and staring me straight in the eye.

  “Brooklyn Heart, you are one sexy motherfucker.”

  “Cammie, watch your fucking mouth!”

  She rolled her eyes. “Your hair looks flawless. They did a good job with the blonde at the salon this time,” she said, fingering a long strand. “Your make-up— très magnifique, and that dress, damnnnnnn.”

  I started laughing as she eyed me up and down. Only Cammie could go from a French accent to a downtown Compton accent in zero seconds flat.

  “Enough, you weirdo, let’s go. My orgasm is waiting.”

  …

  Cammie had one night left of spring break before her semester started back up. She was a senior, finishing up her strenuous architecture program that allowed her to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in architecture in just five years. Just saying that sentence made me want to gag a little bit. I’d rather stab my eyes out than take an architecture course. She definitely got the math and engineering genes, whereas I’d been graced with the singing and dancing genes.

  “So, Smarty McSmarterpants, where should we start our night?” I asked as we climbed into the limousine waiting outside my downtown LA condo.

  “Let’s go to M Lounge and then we can head somewhere else if the prospects aren’t looking great. I’m sure it won’t be crazy packed since it’s Sunday, but we can still try.”

  I nodded. “Sounds good.”

  The M Lounge was the hippest and most discreet club in LA. If there was any hope of me locking down a one-night stand, M Lounge was the place to go.

  “I can’t drink much tonight because I have that meeting with my record label in the morning,” I warned as we passed through the back entrance to the club and headed up a set of stairs that were used exclusively for the VIP level. Fun fact: one time I was going up those stairs when P. Diddy was coming down, and he totally touched my ass. Allegedly.

&nb
sp; “Just to clarify: if you’re begging me for tequila shots at midnight, threatening to kill my first born if I don’t give them to you, I should still tell you no?” Cammie asked, just to ensure the boundaries were set. Better safe than sorry.

  “That was one time and it was in Cabo,” I protested. “What else are you supposed to do in Cabo other than challenge a mariachi band to a tequila shot contest until the lead singer passes out beside a donkey?”

  Cammie held up her hands and started listing off items. “I dunno— enjoy the beach, check out the museums and the culture—”

  “That was a rhetorical question,” I interrupted as we made it to the top of the stairs.

  As if by magic, the black curtain in front of us swept to the side, opening up an entire room of drunken debauchery before us. In one corner, a celebrity who shall remain nameless (we’ll call her Nennifer Janiston) was sucking face with a sexy man, and across the room two of the funniest women in comedy were doing body shots off of a waiter from the club.

  “Welcome to the behind the scenes of Hollywood,” I whispered to Cammie. She giggled as we moved toward the circular bar in the center of the room. I waved to everyone that we passed, none of them were really my friends, but snubbing a celebrity in the clubs was a sure-fire way to end a career. Even if I didn’t love everyone, it was my job to make it look like I did. The last thing I needed was for a horde of Justin Bieber fans to take over my Twitter feed with death threats. (I’d learned that the hard way.)

  “Hey ladies, what can I get for you?” the beefy bartender asked us as Cammie and I approached. There were a few other VIPs in line ahead of us, but he didn’t seem to care.

  I shrugged, staring down at Cammie for a second before we both simultaneously asked for Lemon Drops. Our laughter was cut short though.

  “Hah. Cute,” a nameless socialite spat, eyeing us as if we were last year’s Berkin bag. “Are you guys like twins or something?”

  Her question seemed innocent, but her posture and tone hinted at how dirty she was actually playing.

  I’d been drilled by my PR team to stay calm in situations like this. I didn’t need to read headlines in the morning of “Popstar Brooklyn Heart Knocks Out LA Socialite.” (And yes, of course I’d knock her out. She weighed like 85 pounds.)

  But unfortunately, Cammie didn’t have to worry about her public image as much as I did. Before I could stop her, she took a step toward the girl.

  “I’m sorry, is there a problem?” she asked. I couldn’t help but laugh at Cammie’s honey-dipped tone.

  The girl batted her overly mascaraed eyelashes at us. “Uh, yeah. We’ve been waiting here for ten minutes and you guys just cut the line.”

  “Ladies, ladies. Cool it. I was the one who let them cut the line. Here you go, Brooklyn,” the bartender said, cutting the tension and holding out two martini glasses garnished with lemon peel and dipped in sugar. Yum.

  We took the drinks, and I dragged Cammie toward a table in the corner before a brawl broke out. Cammie had much less patience with entitled yuppies than I did.

  The lighting was dim inside the club, especially near the perimeter where separate tables were tucked away into little alcoves. Instead of chairs, there were miniature couches covered in rich brown velvet—a bit tacky for my taste— but they were so soft so who cares.

  “You’re making me regret not bringing along Hank tonight. I didn’t think we’d need security if we were in the VIP section,” I said as we took our seats across from each other.

  Cammie shrugged innocently before holding her glass out toward me. “Sometimes I just can’t stand the people in these clubs. I feel like we’d have more fun downstairs with people who don’t have poles up their asses.”

  I laughed. “Well, to be fair, most of these people want those poles in their asses.”

  That little comment pulled Cammie out of her funk. She threw her head back and laughed before sitting up and locking eyes with me.

  “To sisters,” Cammie said, clinking her glass with mine.

  “To sisters!” I yelled back.

  …

  Although that certainly wasn’t the last cheers of the night, it was definitely the last one I remembered. Our little hunky bartender had put so much vodka in that first drink that I was buzzed within minutes.

  I didn’t remember the Brazilian underwear model introducing himself at our table and I somehow missed his name altogether. It was either Hector or Jorge. I tried to get Cammie to introduce herself so she could get his name, but she wasn’t playing along because she thought it was funnier if I didn’t know. The little cow.

  As the night wore on, I was too embarrassed to bring it up again, but whatever, I just needed some sex; I didn’t need to know the guy’s name. I was on birth control and I had condoms. Not to mention, I recognized his face from billboards around town, so if he murdered me, Cammie could definitely avenge my death.

  Around midnight, Cammie told me she was going to have my driver drop her back at the dorms. I didn’t want her to leave because I was having so much fun, but I really needed some alone time with Mr. HectorJorge considering he was attached to my neck. No really, he was like one of those suckerfish. I knew I’d be undoubtedly sporting a sloppy hickey the next day.

  Cammie left after I’d given her a dozen hugs, and the second she was safe at home (I had her send me a selfie from her dorm), I turned to the model and laid out the plan.

  He was pretty to look at up-close, like a Snickers bar. I looked at him and just knew I’d have one naughty night with him, enjoying all of his chocolaty-goodness, except without the guilt and the early-morning workout the next day.

  “I need you to come home with me,” I declared, staring into his eyes, but not really seeing anything. How many drinks had I consumed? I thought I told Cammie to cut me off early?

  “Okay. Let’s go,” he said, standing up and taking me with him. Blood rushed to my head as I stood and I had to squeeze my eyes closed for a moment or I knew I was going to throw up all over his pointy loafers.

  “You have to go out by yourself first,” I told him as we walked down the stairs out of the club. Usually, paparazzi weren’t allowed in the back alley, but some of their cameras had crazy zoom abilities and I wanted to play it safe. “I’ll come out a few minutes later. Just wait for me in the limousine.”

  “Whatever you want,” he said, running a hand through his gelled hair and pushing open the back door. A blast of fresh air hit me, sobering me up enough that, for a second, the idea of having a meaningless one-night-stand didn’t sound so appealing anymore.

  I shoved that dumb thought aside. Thoughts like that were how I’d landed in this mess in the first place. One year without sex had been long enough. I was not about to test out the “If you don’t use it, you lose it” theory. Nope. My vagina was not going to disappear on my watch.

  After an appropriate amount of time had passed, I held my jacket up to shield any stray camera flashes and darted for the limousine. Mr. Brazilian model was waiting for me inside, checking out the champagne and taking it upon himself to open every compartment.

  “Want something to drink?” he asked as he popped the cork. I watched it ricochet throughout the interior, smacking the window and then bouncing back so quickly that he had to duck out of the way. Sheesh. The last thing I needed was for Mr. Model to lose his eye in the back of my limousine.

  He held the bottle out for me, but I shook my head. If I had any more alcohol, I’d be in a coma for three days.

  The ride back to my condo was not exactly what you would call romantic. Brazilian model was taking shots of champagne (what kind of man does that?) and I was checking my email to see if there were any updates about my meeting scheduled for the following morning.

  A ping from my phone alerted me to two new messages. One was from my agent and the other was from my assistant, Summer.

  Summer Neilson ([email protected]) 7:00 P.M.

  Whattup Boss? Just an update about the meeting tomorrow
with Global Records. It’s still at 8:00 A.M. at their downtown offices, but now Jason Monroe will be there as well. They haven’t briefed me about what they’ll be discussing with you guys, but I thought I’d give you a heads up in case you wanted to forget to wear a bra or something. I’ve attached a photo of him, just as a reminder of how seriously hot he is. (You’re welcome.)

  Your badass assistant,

  Summer

  I laughed and rolled my eyes. Some people might argue that my relationship with my thirty-year-old assistant crossed boundaries. Summer had bright purple hair and usually sported black on black for all occasions. I don’t think I could have reined her in even if I tried. Not to mention, she got shit done and made me laugh while she did it, so I didn’t see any problems.

  “Oh, no way. You have a meeting with Jason Monroe tomorrow? That guy can seriously rock,” the Brazilian model said over my shoulder. I hadn’t even realized he’d slid over to my bench while I’d been reading my email. Creepy.

  I turned my phone away quickly, hoping he hadn’t had enough time to read the rest of the email, where Summer had attached a shirtless photo of Jason. If so, I was going to have to find the guys from Men in Black so that I could use that pen thing to erase his memory.

  “Oh, um, yeah, we’re under the same music label,” I answered nonchalantly, trying to read his features for any tell of whether he read the bra-less comment.

  “That guy has soul. Have you seen his acoustic performances?” he asked, seemingly more interested in the idea of Jason Monroe than the idea of having sex with me. Something was wrong with this picture. “He headlined ACL and Coachella last year.”

  I rolled my eyes and dropped my phone back into my purse. It’s not like I had anything against Jason Monroe; we just had very different styles. The songs I wrote usually skewed toward a younger, mainstream crowd, whereas Jason Monroe was more of a gritty, folk singer. He’d come out of the woodwork after Mumford and Sons blew up, but his songs had a little more rock and a little less banjo, and the crowd loved him for it.

 
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