Chapter 4

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Scott didn't wake up until around 11am. When he did, it took him a moment to remember where he was. Then he remembered the previous night's activities, and he lied there, stunned, for several long minutes. He didn't really know how to feel... he felt a little dirty, a little terrified. But he also felt excited that he'd convinced Mitch to see him again. With a sigh, he got up, pulling the robe he'd put on after a shower tighter around him. He then wandered into the kitchen in search of a cup of coffee.

He was in the kitchen, trying to figure out how to make the machine work, when he heard a voice behind him. "Hello."

He jumped, putting his hand over his heart, spinning around. "Oh my god, you scared me!" He looked to see a thin woman with straight brown hair and dark glasses, she was pretty, in a professional-looking kind of way. "Who are you?"

She eyed him with an unpleasant look he couldn't quite place. "I'm Esther Kaplan. I manage things for Mitch's company. I take it you're another one he brought home?"

"Um, I guess so? I'm Scott. Um... his company?"

"Yes... Grassi Studios?"

"Wait... I think I've heard of that before..."

She scoffed at him as soon as he'd said that. "Oh please, don't think I'm going to buy that act."

"Act? I'm sorry, I really don't understand." Scott looked at her, very confused and a bit offended.

"You think you're the first to try that?" She began speaking in a very falsely pleasant voice. "Oh, THAT Mitch Grassi? I had no idea! What a funny coincidence! But I mean... since it happened, I don't suppose you want to listen to some recordings? It would mean the world... but you don't have to!"

Scott just shook his head. "I really don't know what you're talking about. I haven't even had coffee yet, I'm so very confused."

Esther stared at him for a moment, she was beginning to wonder if he just might be genuine. "You're not an aspiring singer?"

"What? No. I can't sing, I've never liked my voice."

"So, if I were to offer, right now, that I could personally give Mitch a sample from you, you would turn me down?" She raised an eyebrow at him.

"Uhhh..... Yes? I'm still sort of confused here. I think I'm going to make coffee now. I don't suppose you know how to work this stupid machine?" He gestured to the panel covered in various buttons.

She cautiously walked over and pressed a few buttons, until the machine finally started pouring out hot coffee, and the scent alone had Scott feeling calmer. It was incredibly fast, and he had a hot cup in his hands in no time at all.

"Okay, I have caffeine now. Could you please explain?"

She led him over to a small kitchen table next to a window that had a gorgeous view of the city. "You really know nothing? At all?"

"I know that the guy with him in the club... um... Avi?"

She laughed. "That's my little brother, Mitch's friend. Yes, his name is Avi."

"Oh sorry, but yeah, him. Avi seemed surprised when I didn't know him from sight, and I thought maybe we'd met before but we hadn't. And then Mitch told me his last name and seemed shocked I still hadn't heard of him... I told him it's probably because I just moved here from Texas. And now, you. Is he famous and I've somehow missed it or something?"

Esther sighed. "You know, I actually believe you. He's not a celebrity, exactly. Grassi Studios is a major music label, and he owns it. He's producer to some of the best artists around, and I'm sorry I was so rude, but people tend to use him for their own gain, especially the men he meets."

Scott frowned. "That's kind of sad, but I can assure you, I have no musical aspirations whatsoever."

"Then why LA? Why move here?"

Scott shrugged. "I was born in, raised in, and went to college in Texas. I wanted something new, I wanted a big city. LA made sense, because I already had a few friends who moved out here a while back. They're both interested in the fashion industry."

"And what about you? If not music, then what?"

Scott blushed a bit. "I mean, right now I'm just trying to get by. But I've always loved writing. And photography. In my dreams I'd do one of those, but for now they're just hobbies."

She smiled at him. "You actually seem like a decent guy, Scott. If only Mitch ever did second dates."

Scott tilted his head to the side. "What do you mean? He asked for my number, and gave me the impression we'd see each other again."

Her jaw dropped. "What?"

"He seemed hesitant about it, but he gave in eventually. I'm glad too."

"Wow... you may just be good for him." She gave him a harsh look all of a sudden. "But if you hurt him, me and a whole lot of other people will make sure you regret it. Understand me?"

Scott smiled at her. "I understand. I wouldn't dream of it."

She nodded. "Good. Now, I did actually come here for a reason, I needed to pick up some files." She glanced at her watch. "We don't do full days on the weekend, he usually gets back around 3:00 on Saturdays, and it's already noon. I suggest you get ready and call an uber."

"Thank you, Esther. If all goes how I want it to, maybe I'll see you around again." He smiled and waved as she went down the elevator.

He went back and got dressed, making sure he had all of his things, before calling an uber. He decided to wait in the lobby, and right before he could press the elevator button, it dinged and started to slide open.

"Esther? Did you forget so-" He stopped mid-sentence when he saw the face behind the door.

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