“It wasn’t all your fault. I should have stayed and talked to you.”
“Will you come to L.A. on Friday? You asked me why I’ve never committed to a woman, and I’d like to try to explain. I made flight reservations for Friday at ten-thirty. You don’t have to decide right now, but I need to see you.” At her look of uncertainty, he added, “I promise it won’t be like last time.”
“I’ll think about it.”
“That’s all I’m asking. Just call me or send a message to let me know. I’ll fly here and wait for you at the airport upstairs once you pass security.”
He stood. “I have to go. Everyone’s waiting for me.” Taking her hand, he walked to the door. He told himself he wasn’t going to kiss her, that they needed to talk first. But there was no way he could follow through with that edict. Bending low, he briefly touched his mouth to hers. “I hope you decide to come. I’ll see you later.”
He jogged down the walkway and got into the cab. Their eyes held as the driver pulled off. Terrence leaned back against the seat, closed his eyes and smiled. She hadn’t said no, so maybe things were looking up.
Janae went through security and searched for Terrence. Those darn butterflies were back and doing a salsa in her belly. She didn’t see him, but spotted a tall, blond-haired woman who could easily pass for a model holding a sign with Janae’s name. She cautiously approached.
“You must be Janae,” the woman said with a warm smile. “I’m so happy to finally meet you. My name is Audrey.”
She was caught off guard when the woman leaned down and embraced her. “Hello.”
“Terrence had an emergency meeting this morning, so I volunteered to meet you. Believe me, he was not happy.” She laughed. “If you’ll follow me, we can board.”
“How did you recognize me?”
“Oh, I saw the picture of you and Terrence from the concert.”
Who else had seen the picture? And who was this woman? They went through a door, then boarded a plane much smaller than what she was used to. A flight attendant and pilot welcomed her. She took in the plush chairs and love seats that would comfortably seat about twenty people and an area in the back with a table and two chairs.
“Sit anywhere you like,” Audrey said. She spoke to the attendant before taking the seat across the aisle from Janae.
Janae nervously wrung her hands as they lifted off. She glanced out the window and prayed she had made the right decision in going to Los Angeles. She’d debated whether to tell anyone about the trip, but ended up telling Karen and Devin. Devin threatened to be on the next flight if he didn’t hear from her by six.
She and Audrey didn’t talk much during the flight, and soon, the pilot announced it was time to land. Taking a deep breath, she tried to shut her brain off. All these thoughts and speculating what would happen with Terrence were driving her crazy. She felt Audrey’s hand on her arm.
“Are you okay, Janae?”
“I’m fine,” she lied, hoping Audrey couldn’t tell. She could.
“Don’t worry. Everything will work out.”
They deplaned, exited the airport and got into a waiting car. She stared out at the passing scenery, noticing that things looked a lot like home with all the buildings and traffic. Although she had to confess that the traffic was a bit heavier here. The freeway was crowded, even though commuter hours had passed. The driver dropped them off, and Audrey escorted her to the elevator and up to the sixth floor.
“RC Productions is located on floors six through eight,” Audrey said. “The administrative offices are on six, Artist Development, Publicity, Promotions, Art on seven, and three recording studios on eight.”
They exited the elevators and started down a hall. Audrey stopped at a door marked Human Resources. “Here’s my stop. It was very nice meeting you, Janae. I’ll see you soon. Keep straight down this hall and make a right at the end. You’ll come to double doors—that’s Terrence’s office.”
“Okay. Thank you. It was nice to meet you, too, Audrey.” Janae continued down the hall and fell in step behind two women. She couldn’t help but hear their conversation.
“Girl, being in Monte’s office this week is finally paying off,” the first woman said excitedly.
“What happened?” the other woman asked.
“He told me we were going to have a two-hour lunch and asked me to transfer the phones to the receptionist’s desk.”
“So. That doesn’t mean anything.”
They stopped next to an office door. “Then he had me order lunch for two with flowers and everything. I’m on my way to the bathroom to get myself together. That’s why I wore this dress today. I knew it would get his attention.”