“You’re welcome.” A knock sounded at the door. “That’s probably Donovan.”
Janae released him and wiped the tears from her eyes as she watched him disappear around the corner. He came back moments later with his friend.
“Hey, Janae,” Donovan said.
“Hi, Donovan. You look nice.”
“You think so?” he asked, looking down at himself. “Yeah. I see your point. I do, don’t I?”
She laughed. “Try not to break too many hearts tonight,” she teased.
He ran his hand over his clean-shaven face and said humorously, “Hmm, I’ll see what I can do.”
She glanced in Terrence’s direction to see him shaking his head.
“What? She’s right. I do look good,” Donovan said innocently.
Janae glanced back over at Terrence and laughed harder.
“Man, I don’t know why I keep you around,” Terrence said with mock disgust. “Are you ready?”
Donovan winked at Janae. “Waiting on you, T.”
Terrence slipped into his suit coat and turned to Janae. “When you come down, tell the person at the door that you’re with RC Productions.”
“Okay. See you guys in a while.”
* * *
Terrence listened to Erica, the company’s publicist, as she related the information regarding the postcards. Apparently, there had been a mix-up and their order hadn’t been completed.
“The person who answered the phone tried to tell me I had the wrong date, but when I told him to check the bottom of the invoice, he backpedaled. I finally spoke to the owner, who promised that they would work overtime to have them delivered by seven-thirty tonight. He also cut the price in half,” she added.
“What about everything else?”
“Gary and I went through the boxes and everything’s here—CDs, shirts and raffle tickets. I have the concert tickets we’ll be giving away, as well.”
“Sounds like you have it under control,” Terrence said, pleased that all the problems had been worked out.
Erica nodded. “We’re going to start getting things on the tables.” She stood. “I know you need to talk to the guys in the group, so we’ll let you get to it.”
Terrence rose to his feet. “Thanks, Erica and Gary. I don’t know what I’d do without you two.”
Gary clapped him on the back. “No problem, boss. You make it easy.”
On the heels of their departure, two members of Kaleidoscope approached. Mark, the bassist, spoke first. “Hey, Monte. Looking good, man.”
Terrence brought him in for a one-arm hug. “So are you. Ready to bring down the house?”
“You’d better believe it, man,” Roger, the keyboardist, answered. “What’s up, Big D?” he asked as Donovan joined them.
“It’s all good, Roger. Hey, Mark. I’m ready for some great music. I listened to the finished product, and I think this CD is going to fly off the shelves. Everything ready to go?”
“Pretty much. We’re waiting for them to hook up the microphones,” Mark said.
They discussed the setup for a few minutes, and then the two band members left to tune their instruments and warm up.
“Did Erica and Gary get everything straightened out?” Donovan asked.
Terrence nodded. “The printer should be delivering the cards in a few minutes, and because it was their screwup, he’s knocking off half the cost.”
“Good. Greg is manning the door. There’re already a number of people standing around in the hallway. I sent the videographer over to talk with Gary, and the folks from the media were interviewing some of the fans when I came in.”
“What about the photographer?”
“I haven’t seen her yet. What time is Janae coming down?”
“I told her to come down around seven forty-five, before we open the doors to the public.”
Donovan checked his watch. “She should be here in a few minutes, then. You’ve never had a date for a publicity function. How are you going to handle this?”
“What do you mean?”
“Media, cameras...you know, everyone’ll be curious about her. You’re not going to keep her at arm’s length, are you?”
He glared. “No.” Taking a deep breath, he continued in a calmer voice. “No, but she doesn’t like a lot of attention, so I plan to do everything I can to protect her.”
“You really care about her, don’t you?”
An employee beckoned Terrence and interrupted whatever he had planned to say. Turning on his heel, he walked away with Donovan’s laughter following.
* * *
After their departure, Janae admired the bracelet a few moments more, then went to get dressed. She pinned her hair up in a loose twist, lined her eyes and applied lipstick. Other than the bracelet and watch, her only jewelry was a diamond pendant and matching studs, gifts from her brother Erik.