Even the Score(14)

By: Beth Ehemann

“Don’t sweat it.” I laughed, making my way to Ethan’s office. “I’m sure I’ll piss you off at some point today, so let’s just put a credit in the Andy’s-an-asshole jar.”

I heard her giggle as I rounded the corner into Ethan’s office. “And you, you glorious, suit-wearing bastard, how are you this morning?”

Ethan, who had his back to me as he looked out his window, turned slowly, staring at me skeptically with on eyebrow raised. “What’s wrong? Am I getting fired?”

I rolled my eyes. “Really? You think I would bring you coffee if I were firing you?”

He looked up at the ceiling and tilted his head back and forth. “Maybe?”

I held the Starbucks cup in the air. “Here you go, Ethan. You’re not being fired . . . today.” I put the cup on his desk and walked out of his office, feeling his eyes on the back of my head the whole time.

As I passed back by Ellie’s desk on the way to my office, she narrowed her eyes at me. “Why are you in such a good mood today?”

“Today is Freedom Day, El. Interviews start, and I can see a small speck of light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.” I winked at her and closed my office door.

Tossing my bag on the couch as I passed it, I paraded over to my desk with a spring in my step. It really was a big day for Shaw Management. I’d been working as a solo artist with a few good backup dancers, but it was time to form a group. A real group. The thought of having someone to commiserate with over a lost deal or vent to when a football player got his boxers in a wad because The Tonight Show didn’t have the right color Gatorade he requested sounded really appealing. While Ellie and Ethan were a great support system, they just didn’t get it sometimes.

As I took the lid off my coffee to let out some of the heat, my phone chirped. I had a text from Brody.

B: Hey! Good luck on your interviews today! If it doesn’t work out with any of them, just remember you still have me as a best friend so you’re a winner regardless.

I let out a quick laugh and rolled my eyes as I flipped my computer on to look over the schedule that Ellie e-mailed me first thing every morning. My day was packed. More than packed. The interviews started at eight o’clock and were every half an hour until two thirty in the afternoon.

Half an hour?

Crap. That wasn’t going to allow me a whole lot of time to talk to each person. I took out a notepad and started jotting down a few notes about each potential agent, things I wanted to ask, questions about their current clients, that sort of thing. As my eyes scanned down the list, they froze at the two o’clock appointment. The last appointment of the day.

Danicka Douglas.

My mind immediately jumped back a couple of weeks to sitting around the table at the lake house with Michelle and Kacie freaking out about how beautiful she was. Without thinking, I typed her name into Google. Instead of reading the articles about her deals, most of which I probably knew already, I clicked on the images tab. Dozens of pictures filled the screen, mostly of her at events with clients.

I clicked on the first one and leaned in a little closer. It was a picture of her on the red carpet with her arm looped around Sam Bulgart’s giant bicep on their way in to the ESPY Awards last year. I was there, too, but I sure didn’t remember seeing her. I would’ve remembered. Michelle and Kacie were right; she was . . . exquisite. Long, straight, dark hair, and her skin had an olive tint to it that glowed like she lived on the beach. She had huge, beautiful dark brown eyes. They were the first thing I noticed about her. The second was her lips, not too thin and not too plump. They framed her amazing smile perfectly. If the sports agent thing didn’t work out for her, she had a definite shot at toothpaste commercials. I could break the ice and tell her that?

Probably not a great idea.

As I scrolled down the screen, studying each one of her pictures, my cell phone rang. I grabbed it and turned it on, cringing at the last second when I noticed who it was.

“This is Shaw,” I answered, gritting my teeth as I prepared myself.

“Andrew, it’s Blaire.”

A phone call from my ex-wife was not the way I wanted to start my Monday morning. Or any Monday. Or any morning. Ever.

Hi, Satan.

“Hi, Blaire.” I tried to sound as upbeat as possible. “How are—”

“What is this I’m hearing that you’re taking on another agent?” she interrupted.

“Uh, I believe you just answered your own question. I’m hiring another agent.” My mind started racing with ways to get off the phone with her.

A loud sigh echoed in my ear. “I don’t have time for sarcasm, Andrew. I think I have the right to know what’s going on with your company.”