“Yeah, sorry. They’re shooting the new Cobra video in a couple days, and they told me at the last minute that they’re changing the entire thing.
“What are they changing it to?”
“I don’t know. Some kind of James Bond sort of deal I think. I ordered tuxes for everyone, and now I’m looking for a formal gown, like from the ‘60s for Vicky-T.”
“But what are they going to do in the video?” He asked.
“I don’t ask, I just buy the clothes.” She shook her head, flipping through a clothes rack. “But it’s for Prostitution…so it could be almost anything, really. Hold these.” She began systematically pulling dresses off the racks and tossing them at him.
“You need all of these?” He shuffled after her, weighed down by the pile of dresses.
“I’ll narrow it down later.” She shrugged, walking to the back of the store. She stopped in her tracks, causing the Butcher to run into the back of her. “Put those back.”
“What? Why?” He peeked over the top of the pile.
“I want this one.” She delicately picked up a gold ball gown with red swirly patterns all over it. It had beads and sequins on the bust and sheer shoulder straps.
“That’s nice. Is it going to fit her?”
“It’s a little big, I can adjust it though.” Katie headed to the register. “Hi Maria.” She grinned at the old woman behind the counter.
“Hi, Sweetheart. Is this going on your tab?”
“Oh, no. It’s not for me. It’s for work.”
“Alright. I just got in a bunch of new pieces in that I think you’ll like. They’re still in the boxes in the back, but you should stop by when you have some time. I’ll save you the good stuff.”
“Aw, thanks.” Katie took the bag and exited the store.
“Friend of yours?” The Butcher raised his eyebrows.
“Shut up she’s nice.” She whined. “I buy like 90 percent of my clothes here.”
“Yeah. I don’t wear designer stuff. I buy it for you guys for photo shoots and junk, but this entire outfit cost $15.” She glanced down at her frayed denim mini skirt, purple baby doll top and brown knee high boots. “Plus, I like that she’s older than most of the clothes she sells.” She giggled.
“Can we go do something fun now?”
Katie tiptoed into the apartment, careful not to alert anyone to her presence. She didn’t see any sign of Gabe and didn’t hear any noise from his room. It was only 10:00, he couldn’t be asleep already, he probably wasn’t even home yet from whatever party he went to that night. She made a beeline to the bathroom. It was unusually hot today, and she had been sweating all day in her layered outfit. The bowling game and brief make out session she and the Butcher had participated in hadn’t helped much. Just as she was hopping in the shower, she heard a cough and some shuffling come from across the hall, before there was a quiet knock on the door. “Yo, Kay. Can I come in? I gotta pee.” Gabe called through the door. She slid the curtain closed before giving the all clear. The door squeaked open and she saw the very top of his head cross to the opposite side of the small room.
“How come you’re here all by yourself?” She asked.
“I think I’m sick. I just woke up.”
“Aw, do you want me to get you anything when I get out?” She poked her head out the side of the curtain.
“No. I’m fine.” He groaned. “I’m going to flush now.”
“Hold on.” She moved to get out of the spray of water, screeching as her back got scorched. “’Hold on’ is not ‘ok’. Ow.” She scolded.
“Sorry. So, how come YOU’RE here alone?” He leaned back against the sink. “Where’s the Butcher…he’s not in there is he?” He gave the shower curtain a nervous look.
“He’s staying at his hotel. His flight back home leaves at 6 a.m.” She said quickly. “Go watch some TV. I’ll be done in ten minutes and I’ll make you some soup.
“Here.” She handed him a plastic cup, covered in a lid with holes in it.
“This is it?” He took the cup, sniffing it.
“You should know by now that when I say I’ll ‘make you soup’, I really mean I’ll heat up the microwave guy.” She said, using finger quotes.
“But you don’t cook.” He looked at it suspiciously.
“I didn’t cook it, I took the lid off and pushed a button. Now eat it and at least pretend you like it, you’re going to give me a complex.” She sat down next to him and handed him a spoon. “What are we watching?”
“I don’t know. Something on HBO.” He mumbled, slurping down some soup.
“Gabe…” She sighed.
“This is HBO Latin.”
“So?” He shrugged.
“I don’t speak Spanish.”
“No one made you watch it with me.” Groaning, she leaned her head against his shoulder. “You’re getting my shirt wet.” He flicked a strand of her hair off his arm.
“I don’t care. I’m tired.”
“Well maybe you should sleep in. What time do you get up anyway?”
“What do you do at 7 that you can’t do at 10?”
“That’s when I usually go running. There’s not as many people on the streets.”
“You run? Since when?” He scoffed.
“Since I joined the high school track team when I was 15.”
“You were on the track team? You went to high school?”
“Yes I went to high school! That’s ridiculous.” She cried, exasperated. “What did you think I did all day back in New Jersey?”
“I don’t know. Girl stuff.” He shrugged.
“That’s ridiculous.” She repeated.
“So…you and the Butcher, huh?” He changed the subject.
“When did that happen?”
“Remember when I got invited to that movie premiere last month? Well The Academy Is was in L.A. for something, and they all went to the movies. He’d already seen it and neither of us had anything to do, so we hung out. Then we hung out again, and again, then you caught us.”
“But he doesn’t seem like your type.”
“And what is my type?” She sat up, getting defensive.
“I don’t know.” He shrugged.
“We’re both artistic…”
“But you never really went for guys like him before.”
“So? You sound jealous.” She smirked.
“I’m not jealous?! Why would I be jealous?” He snapped, defensively.
“Geez, calm down. Why don’t you go to bed so you feel better before the video shoot.”
“You don’t even like tattoos.”
“I never said that.” She glared at him.
“You like tattoos?” He raised his eyebrows skeptically.
“I have a tattoo.” She shrugged. “Two actually.”
“Where?” His eyes widened in shock. She stood up, sliding her pants down slightly to reveal an orange star on one hip and a purple lightning bolt on the other, both about an inch across. “When did you get those?”
“A couple years ago. When I was in Europe.”
“Why haven’t I seen them before?”
“They’re low enough that you can only really see them when I’m in my underwear, or wearing a really slutty bikini. Neither of which I tend to walk around in when you’re around.”
“Are you doing anything tomorrow?”
“Why so you can criticize my taste in guys some more?”
“No, we need your help with the video.”
“I thought you were shooting in L.A.”
“We changed our mind when we changed the concept. We’re doing it ourselves, Victoria’s directing and she could use your help.”
“Yeah, sure.” She nodded. “Where are you filming now?”
“Connecticut. We needed a mansion for our idea, and your dad happened to call for you…”
“You’re shooting at my house?” She narrowed her eyes at him.
“Everybody’s going to be out of town anyway. The rest of the guys have never been there.”
“And there’s a reason for that.”
“Why don’t you want anyone to know anything about you? You never let us go anywhere that your family might be, you never show pictures of yourself growing up, you don’t let us see your house. Or houses I should say. I’m the only one who knows anything about you.”
“Because you guys, the bands, treat me normally. You don’t want anything, you don’t expect me to pay for stuff. I don’t want them to freak out and act differently around me. And the only reason you’re around is because I already revealed everything to you, years ago, before I realized I didn’t have to.” She shrugged.
“Poor little rich girl.” He pretended to pout.
“Shut up. See if I make you soup again.” She smacked him in the arm. “Are you done?” She stood up, taking the cup into the kitchen. “You didn’t eat any of the carrots.”
“I don’t like carrots.”
“Whatever, you’re like a 6-year-old. I’m going to bed.” She called, heading into her room.