Home > Just What I Needed(9)

Just What I Needed(9)
Author: Kylie Scott

“Oh, no,” says Ev.

“Hate it when that happens,” mutters Dave.

Lena just nods glumly.

Jamesy happily sucks on his fist while I rock him back and forth. He cares approximately nothing for my dating woes. Which is as it should be.

“Then Frankie arrived out of nowhere, and I was like holy heck,” I say. “Because she definitely wanted him back. How was I supposed to compete with a supermodel?”

“I can relate,” says Lena. “Jimmy was dating an A-List actress before me, and she was so beautiful. It was terrifying.”

Dave’s brows draw tight together. “Lena, I’ve never seen you scared.”

“Duh. That’s the kind of stuff girls keep hidden.”

“This is true,” agrees Ev. “We usually do our best to put on a brave face when confronted with competition. Like when I first turned up at the house in L.A. and you had that gorgeous girl in a string bikini surgically attached to you.”

“I don’t remember anything about that,” says Dave with a solid blank face.

“Sure you don’t.” Ev snorts. “What happened after that, Jude?”

And David Ferris turns back to me and waits patiently for me to continue. Yes. I am dropping details regarding my private life in front of a world-famous musician. I wonder if this is going to wind up in a song or something. The sad and silly dating adventures of Jude the obscure nanny. Hopefully it’ll be something with a solid bassline so that it wins hearts and hips on the dance floor.

“She asked if she and Dean could have some privacy. So I just went to my room and went to sleep,” I say. “I mean, what else was I going to do?”

Dave sighs. “That sucks it didn’t work out, Jude.”

“Wait,” says Lena. “We’re forgetting the part where the supermodel left this morning. And when our fair Jude walked into this room, she was smiling. I sense that there is more to this tale.”

“This is where things take yet another turn,” I say. “I got up in the middle of the night because I was hungry, and he was sleeping on the couch.”

Ev claps, and Jamesy joins in with a gummy grin. “That’s my boy,” she coos. “Look at your beautiful smile. Keep going, Jude. We need to know all of the details.”

“We talked, and he invited me to go see a band with him tonight. If you don’t need me, of course.”

“We don’t need you,” says Dave, leaning down to give his wife a kiss. “Right. Good work, everybody. Later.”

Evelyn gives me a grin. “You don’t know him that well, but that’s him practically reveling in your success. He’ll be trying to matchmake all of our single friends from now on.”

“So,” says Lena, “what are you going to wear tonight? We have a couple of other outfits that we put aside on the off chance they were needed. And don’t worry too much about the top. Our housekeeper is magic at removing stains. I swear the man made a deal with the devil in exchange for unholy domestic powers. He is a godsend.”

I set the baby down, and he races for the nearest toy. A set of bright stacking rings. Jamesy tends to suck on them as opposed to actually stacking them. But a baby’s got to do what a baby’s got to do.

“I don’t know,” I say. “As much as I appreciate your help. I think maybe I would be less nervous in my own clothing. Like I would just feel more myself.”

“Makes sense to me,” agrees Ev.

“Me too.” Lena smiles. “I need to get going. I’ve got a shoot on the other side of town. However, I will look forward to seeing you tonight, Jude.”

“You’re coming to watch the band?”

“I sure am.”

“Thanks again to both of you and Anne for all of your help yesterday,” I say. “I really did appreciate it. I doubt I would have had the confidence to attempt doing anything with Dean for ages if you hadn’t been encouraging and cheering me on.”

Ev just smiles. “Any time.”



Chapter Four

We trade details about our childhoods on the trip into town. I had forgotten how much fun it is getting to know someone new. Hearing all of their stories and sharing my own. These details include our favorite Halloween costumes: a nine-year-old Wolverine for him and a five-year-old hotdog for me. (They were my favorite food at the time.) When we had our first kiss: at age eleven in a cupboard at a party for him and after school at sixteen for me.

The thrill of wanting to know every last little detail about someone is so invigorating. The joy of being out at night and feeling like I have my own life separate from my work is nothing less than a sheer delight. It is as if some weight has been lifted that I wasn’t even aware of carrying. Life is so strange. How you can get so busy doing various things and not even notice what’s fallen by the wayside. Like actually having a life.

But we both choose to be here together and are enjoying each other’s company. How lovely.

The bar is in an old building near the Art Museum. Dean, of course, drives a cool dude sleek silver Porsche 911. Given how low to the ground it is, wearing jeans is working out well for me so far. My brown booties are a slightly more manageable two inches high, and my cute, fitted sweater is dark blue. Chances are, if I spill anything tonight, it won’t be as visible. Not that I intend to spill anything. I am nervous, but not as bad as the night before for some reason. Guess it’s because I have more of an idea of where I stand with the man. My hair is in a high ponytail, and my makeup worked out well. When I walked out of my room, Dean did a double-take. Then he gave me the slowest, hottest smile in all of creation. A worthwhile thing to do would be to catalogue his smiles. So many of his moods show through them. Or maybe I’m just obsessed.

But I can do this. I can date someone who is cool.

And I believe this, right up until we approach the table where Jimmy and Lena are waiting. Oh no. Jimmy Ferris. My fangirl kryptonite in the flesh. It’s like I’m fourteen with bad acne hiding out in my bedroom at home all over again. The decidedly not cool kid who never got invited anywhere. But I had plenty of big dreams. So much yearning.

I resist the urge to giggle and sigh. Just the sight of him brings all of my fourteen-year-old nerves roaring back to life. It’s not even attraction so much as it’s being in the presence of a real-life rock star. This needs to stop. Now.

Dean pulls out a chair for me, and I give him a nervous smile. Maybe if I just don’t look at Jimmy for the remainder of the night, I won’t embarrass myself. It might work.

“Hey, guys,” says Lena with a broad smile. She, of course, looks amazing. Her dark hair is hanging in long loose curls, and her sweater dress is siren red. I can’t help but admire the way she goes through life loud and proud and with such style. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

“Hi,” I say, picking up the menu. A perfect aid for blocking out any views of the elder Ferris brother.

Beside me, Dean pauses before taking his seat and giving Lena a nod. Which is interesting.

A close protection officer stands nearby, keeping an eye on everything. It must be so strange being rich and famous. Having people standing guard over you. The lack of privacy would have to get to you now and then. But I guess it’s part of the price you pay for fame and fortune. We’re situated near a back exit just in case the crowd gets rowdy or if fans start to flock. No wonder some celebrities hide away in their mansions. I’m not even anyone important, and it’s taken me a while to get used to all of the attention and security over the years. The way you can feel all of the eyes on you. Like we’re an exhibition at the zoo or something. A couple of people who pull out cells and point them our way are talked to by waiters or management. But most of the bar’s patrons are content to just sneak looks now and then. Stage Dive has been living in Portland for a while now. Seeing them around and about isn’t unusual. And the proudly weird residents of the city are generally pretty cool.

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