“By make, do you mean—”
“Pour out of a can and heat up. Yeah.” He throws me back a grin before opening up the cupboard door where we keep the canned goods.
I take a seat on one of the stools at our breakfast bar.
“Chicken noodle or lentil?” he asks, holding up the cans.
I watch Nick move around our kitchen—getting out bowls and spoons, opening the cans, pouring the contents into the bowls, and putting the first in the microwave.
Nick has been my best friend since we met at college. We were both studying at The Art Institute of New York City. I’d just moved to New York from Philadelphia, and Nick had moved here from Canada on a study visa. I was studying fashion design, and Nick was studying interior design. We met at the party of a girl who was on my course. That’s why our tiny apartment looks so awesome—because of Nick. His eye for design is amazing. He can make the smallest of space roomy but homey, which is what he’s done with our place.
He works for a small interior design company. One day, he wants to run his own interior design business.
I wanted to be a fashion designer. Wasn’t so easy to land a job, as I found out when I graduated. That’s how I found myself working in wardrobe. I have bills to pay, I’m a good seamstress, and I still get to work with clothes. I still design in my spare time, but I haven’t done anything with my designs in a long time. They sit in my sketchpad, and no one sees them but me—and, occasionally, Nick when I let him.
“So, I have news.”
“Good news?” Nick asks, leaning back against the counter, folding his arms over his chest, showing off his toned biceps.
At six foot with jet-black hair and blue eyes, Nick is gorgeous, of course, but not my type. And I’m definitely not his. I’m rocking a vagina for starters, and Nick definitely likes cock.
Makes two of us.
But Nick’s not just my best friend; he’s also family to me. The only family I have.
“Depends on how you look at it. I’m gonna be working on the new Vaughn West movie.”
Nick meets my eyes, grinning. He knows I have a tiny crush on Vaughn West. But, I mean, who doesn’t?
“That sounds like great news to me,” he teases with a lift of his brows.
“Yeah, it is. The downside is, the job is in LA, and they need me ASAP, so I have to leave tomorrow.”
“Bummer. And you were going to have a week off, too.”
“I know.” I sigh. “But Ava called—you remember Ava Simms? Well, she offered me the job. She’s wardrobe mistress on set.”
“Yeah, I remember her. You worked on Broadway together, right? How is she?”
“She sounded good.”
“She still dating that dick? The one she moved to LA with.”
“Jeremy. She didn’t say otherwise, so I’d say so.”
The timer goes off on the microwave. Nick gets the bowl out and puts it in front of me before handing me a spoon.
“Well, I only just got you back. The place is too quiet without you. Gonna miss you, gorgeous.”
Warmth coats my skin, and my throat thickens. It’s always good to know that someone’s going to miss me. After never having anyone to miss me in my Philly life, it means a lot, having Nick.
“I’ll miss you, too.” I smile.
“So, how long’s the job for?” he asks, getting a couple of beers out of the fridge. He pulls the tops off and hands me one.
“Couple of months,” I answer, taking the beer and putting it down on the counter. Spooning up some soup, I blow on it before putting it in my mouth. “But the pay is good. Really good.”
“I’m happy for you.” He lifts his bottle to me, so I pick mine up and chink it with his.
“Thanks.” I take a sip of my beer.
“So, Vaughn West, eh?” Nick gives me a suggestive look.
“Ha! As if! He’s way out of my league. Like galaxies out of my league.” I put my bottle down.
“You’re beautiful, and you know it.”
Beautiful might be pushing it. Okay, so I’ve never had a problem with getting guys in the past. Just not Vaughn West kind of guys.
“The guy dates actresses and supermodels. Not normal girls like me.” I point a finger at myself.
“And he just had his heart broken by that bitch Piper Watts. You could fix it for him, Charly.” He gives me a suggestive look. “A normal girl might be just what he needs right now.”
I laugh, shaking my head. “Doubtful. The closest I’ll be getting to Vaughn West is when I take his inner leg measurement.”
Landing in at LAX after a six-hour flight and with the three-hour time difference, I feel like I haven’t slept for a week even though I slept a good eight hours last night. It’s all this traveling. I’m jet-lagged as hell. My body doesn’t know which time zone it’s in.
I’m so ready to get a cab and check in to my hotel and sleep.
I grab my case off the carousel, hitch my fake Gucci up onto my shoulder, and head out in the direction of Arrivals, texting Nick to let him know I landed.
I walk through the open door into Arrivals.
At the sound of my name, I lift my head from my phone.
“Ava.” I grin.
Pressing Send on the text, I drop my cell in my bag and make my way over to her.
“Hey.” She embraces me in a hug. “How was your flight?”