Chapter 10: The Other DaCosta
Kevin watched from the sidelines as L’Wren took a final bow at the edge of the runway as excited onlookers gave her a standing ovation. Her fashion show was a hit. The place was packed, and her designs rocked. Most of the fashion scouts she invited attended. Kevin invited a journalist from the Daily Bruin Mojo and a reporter from The West Post. He knew just a mere mention in LA Fashion could do wonders for L’Wren’s prospects, so he secretly paid a reporter to come to the show.
Their eyes met, and she smiled as photographers unleashed a flash-bulb frenzy. A new hot young fashion designer had emerged, and everybody wanted to be the first to discover her.
L’Wren did her meet and greets after the show, chatting with fashion scouts and receiving compliments from everyone. As the place cleared out, she looked around for Kevin and spotted him assisting with the cleanup.
“Hey, you.” She beamed.
“Congratulations, that was awesome.” He smiled. “How did it go with the scouts?”
“I have two meetings set up for next week!”
“You did it!”
“We did it. This could not have happened without you. All the work you put in and in such a short amount of time.”
“It was fun,” he replied.
“A lot of work,” she pointed out.
“The fun is in the journey,” he replied, and their eyes locked.
“Thank you,” she said seriously, and he nodded.
“I’m gonna grab a broom.” She needed to get away is what she told herself, but really, she wanted to kiss him.
“No, don’t. I hired a couple of high school kids to clean up.” He stuck his hands into his back pockets to curb the desire to pull her into his arms.
“You thought of everything.” She tried to unlock her eyes from his, but for some reason, his eyes felt like a magnet pulling her in. Her phone rang, interrupting the moment.
“It’s Leighann. She’s stuck in her dress,” L’Wren said and turned to walk away. In a moment of courage she turned back around to face him. “You wanna hang out sometime?” She held her breath and waited for an answer.
He studied her for a moment. His silence almost made her regret asking. “No,” came the reply, which stabbed her heart like a blade. Feeling like a fool, she turned away.
“I want to cook you dinner.” His words came suddenly.
She looked at him questioningly.
“I don’t hang out. I’d rather cook you dinner, you and Leighann. Come by the manor tomorrow evening.”
L’Wren was pleasantly surprised; she walked over and kissed him lightly on his cheek and quickly headed to his office/makeshift dressing room to rescue Leighann.
Adriana paused for a brief interview with a local indie magazine reporter; he had recognized her from the mobile phone commercial. At the corner of her eye she spotted Carys, who patiently waited her turn to chat with Adriana. Once the reporter left, Carys pounced before Adriana could disappear.
“Do I know you?” Adriana figured it best to pretend not to remember Carys.
“Kevin’s friend,” Carys reminded her, not buying her forgetful act.
“You are not friends with my brother. He barely remembered you.” Adriana turned on her heels to walk away.
“Does Haze know that you are a junior in high school?”
Adriana paused and slowly turned to face Carys. She looked her squarely in her eyes and lied, “Yes, he does. He loves me and doesn’t care.”
“You think Kevin would care if he found out about you and Haze?”
Adriana was amused. “What are you trying to say, Carys?”
“You got my sister expelled from Westwood Academy, messed up her academic record and almost got her thrown in jail,” Carys said sternly, not backing down from Adriana’s glare.
“Who the hell is your sister? That could be anybody,” Adriana said casually. Her tone pissed off Carys.
“You think this is a joke? You don’t care who you hurt. You’re a horrible person Adriana,” she spat.
“I’m bored; you done?” Adriana mocked.
“I know you put the drugs in Astrid’s locker. We have proof.”
“Astrid’s your sister?” Adriana studied Carys. “That’s right, the desperation does look familiar.”
“Insult me all you want, but you’re gonna pay for what you did.”
“What do you want, Carys?”
“Confess, or I go to Kevin.”
“Fine, I did what you said.” Adriana turned to leave.
Carys grabbed her arm. “Not to me, to Principal Johansson. Get them to drop the charges against Astrid so she can return to school.”
“I’ll consider it.” Adriana yanked her arm away. “If I decide to ‘confess’, how do I know you won’t go to Kevin?”
“You’ll just have to trust me.”
Adriana walked away. She hated being blackmailed. She had a lot to lose. If she confessed, she’d be kicked out of a school she didn’t like. If she didn’t confess, she’d certainly lose Haze. She had to figure a way out of this situation with minimal damage.