Well, well, Frank Iero. Twenty-one letters ending in T” She breathed. Frank cocked his eyebrow. “Who,” She began, as she took the beer offered by the redhead, “would have guessed it?"
“How was last night with he who must not be named?”
“Very productive” Escher replied cryptically.
“Mmm? Are you ever going to tell Sarah and I who he is?”
Escher grinned wickedly.
“Tell you and I what?” Sarah asked as she wandered out from the bathroom.
“Who our darling Escher’s secret man is?” Laszlow said with a wink.
“Ooh, Mr. X?”
“Need I remind you – yet again – that he has kindly requested that I keep his identity a secret?” Escher asked with a roll of her grey eyes.
“Yeah, yeah” Sarah said with a laugh.
“Did you tell him about your new job offer?” Laszlow asked, seriously this time.
“No,” Escher replied, “He’ll find out soon enough, and he knew I had a second job at the outset”
“Perhaps, but not one that was as demanding as this will be”
“You don’t call my last job demanding? Do I have to remind you of the eighteen-hour days?”
“Whatever, I’m yet to see you work under a twelve hour day” Sarah said as she lit a cigarette.
Escher stretched languidly and thought about what she should wear that morning. It was a big day, the job she was starting could quite easily make or break her career. Frank had been wrong; she thought wryly, she didn’t just work in a bar. It took her a few moments until she realized Sarah was talking about her.
“…and our little Escher grew up with him”
“Holly fucking shit!” Laszlow was exclaiming, staring at Escher.
“You grew up with Frankie Iero?” He exclaimed.
“Yeah we went to the same high school”
“How did you neglect to tell us this?”
“That’s what I wanted to know” Sarah said smugly, taking a long drag of her cigarette.
“It never came up” Escher replied innocently, “and,” She began, cutting off Laszlow’s inevitable interruption, “it’s not really something I care to recall”
Half an hour later she stood before her mirror in yet another outfit.
“I like that one,” Came a voice from her bedroom door.
In the reflection Escher could see Sarah, still clad in the satin kimono her last boyfriend had brought back from Japan for her.
“Thanks,” Escher replied, patting down the pockets on her waistcoat.
“Why didn’t you say something, defend yourself?” Sarah asked suddenly.
“Yesterday, at the bar, when he was saying you just
worked in a bar, why didn’t you defend yourself?”
“Sarah, I have nothing to prove to Frank Iero and nothing to defend”
Sarah nodded slowly.
“I just don’t like the way he spoke to you”
Escher smiled into her reflection.
“Where did I find friends like you and Laszlow?”
“The New York Post” She replied cheekily before disappearing in a haze of cigarette smoke.
Frank was doodling incomprehensibly on the piece of paper on his lap, just one word, over and over again, la la la la la la la la. In cursive, in block, he always doodled like that. He was sitting, with the other guys, in the office of Warren Greyfern, one of the big wigs at Reprise Records.
“We’re assigning a new spin manager to the group,” he droned, Frank could care less.
“Of course,” Warren continued, “it’s unorthodox, but with Jai leaving so suddenly, we were very lucky to be able to poach them from a rival company”
“Who is he?” Ray asked.
“She actually, her name is Escher Drake”
Frank shut his eyes tight and slumped lower in his seat, please god no, but Escher’s surname was Green, wasn’t it?
“She’s on her way now. She’s been busy all morning”
There was a knock at the door and Warren smiled warmly, opening it and there stood Escher. She looked totally different than she had in the bar when she was working in ratty old jeans and a skin tight top. Now she was wearing black stovepipe pants with her hair hanging down and a navy blazer buttoned severely on the right side. She smiled at Frank.
“I’m terribly sorry about the delay Warren” She said quietly, leaning forward to whisper something to him.
“Oh hell no” Frank said, only realizing later that he had said it out loud.
“You know her?” Gerard asked.
Frank rolled his eyes.
“We went to high school together”
Warren clapped his hands.
Frank interrupted him though.
“I thought you worked in the bar?”
“You’ve never heard of someone having two jobs?”
After the shock wore off, Frank found himself increasingly pissed off, a feeling that only intensified each time he caught her mocking, grey eyes. Finally he interrupted the talk about the album they would begin to record soon.
“How the hell are you supposed to be our spin manager when you’re what, 25?”
“Excuse me Mr Iero,” Escher replied smugly, obviously having the time of her life, “but you’re the exact same age and you’re very good at your job, so why should my age prevent me from being just as good at mine?”
“Ms. Drake comes with excellent credentials” Warren put in. “She has a double honours degree in Public Relations and Law from Colombia and is halfway through her PhD in Modern Media and Music, her thesis revolves around the evolution of the music video from a straight performance to a cohesive story beginning with Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’”
“Jesus, that’s heavy” Bob muttered and Mikey nodded.
“Well a degree is fine on paper but…I mean, what experience has she had”
“I will thank you, Mr Iero, to address any concerns you may have, to myself” Escher said with a smug smile.
“Ms. Drake has headed up several high profile spin campaigns at her previous company…Ms. Drake?”
Escher smiled and perched on the edge of Warren’s desk.
“Remember when Pete Wentz stuck a camera down his pants and the photos surfaced on the net?”
Frank and the guys all nodded, smirking slightly.
“Well I controlled the spin on that, a brilliant piece of work if I do say so myself, and Pete played his part beautifully”
Warren frowned at her but she just rolled her eyes.
“Are you saying that was deliberate?” Bob asked incredulously.
“I can neither confirm nor deny, but you can’t escape the fact that it was spectacular publicity for an up-and-coming rock star”
“From now on Escher Drake will be an almost constant companion for you, any problems you call her, she will deal with any publicity, spin as well as any legal problems.”
Frank heard himself groan as he slumped lower in his seat.