Part 10 The Facade - A New Love

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MODEUS' GROUPIES INFILTRATE THE HALLWAYS like cockroaches in an abandoned building. Thankfully, Mike leads me around it all and I am whisked to the dressing room like royalty.

Mike gives my hand another tug. "Good luck, Brenda. Let me know when you're ready to leave."

I look around nervously and nod.

"Don't worry. It will be fine," Mike says. He disappears back into the crowded hallway and my anxiety begins.

I look around the room like the new kid on the first day of school. I consider myself pretty attractive, but there are so many barely dressed women in everything from glamor rock to couture it's fair to say I feel slightly intimidated. I remind myself that this is the game—the illusion of this industry. I have seen more than my fair share of these wax figures while scouting with Freddy. I just need to focus on what I am here to do and not allow these women to rattle me. I take a deep breath and look past all the acrylic, hair extensions, and fake boobs until I see Modeus in one of the corners. My skin becomes flushed at the thought of getting close to him. I switch my breathing from shallow to deep and begin my journey through the crowd never taking my eyes off him. He is speaking with one of the wax figures whose leaning over his shoulder while he sits shirtless in front of the dressing room mirror. Oh my God, he is so sexy.

Modeus turns his head and looks directly at me with his deep brown eyes and smiles.

My heart hits my chest with a thud. "Modeus. Hi, I'm Brenda Summers from OC Records. I was hoping we could talk?"

Modeus stands and reaches his hand out to mine. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

The deep tone of his voice paralyzes me, as does the warmth from his hand. I get a little excited and go into business mode—maybe a little too fast. "OC is interested in taking you, Modeus, to the next level."

Modeus chuckles. "Ms. Summers, you can relax. I'm not going to bite you."

Again, his voice takes me by surprise even though I have seen the aftermath of its effects all night long. I try to recover, but now I find myself staring at the eagle tattoo on his chest. "Okay, let me try this again. Hi." I laugh and rein in my giddy self. "I'm Brenda Summers from OC Records."

"I know of OC Ms. Summers. The little indie label gone big time has made quite a name for itself."

"Okay," I say relieved that at least he has heard of us. "Well, I think you would make a great package at OC. I mean your package is impressive."

The wax figure smirks.

Modeus looks confused.

I realize my nerves are ruining my flow. Oh, Jesus just ask him. "Would you be interested in signing with OC?"

"That depends," Modeus says.

I glance at the wax figure that is now staring at me like I have something in my teeth. "On what? OC can match any major label around."

"No, Ms. Summers, take it easy."

I look to the ground to fight off the desire to snap, but it is too late—I am annoyed by the fucking wax figure. I let off a fake little laugh. "You know what, I'm sorry to have bothered you. It shouldn't be this hard. Enjoy the wax figure." I quickly turn around and walk away. My neck breaks looking for Mike or anyone to get me out of this scene. My eyes find the glowing red 'EXIT' sign and I breathe a much-needed sigh of relief when I see Mike standing beneath it. Before I can complete the task of opening my mouth to yell for Mike's attention someone grabs my arm and stops me dead in my tracks. I spin around angrily. "What?"

"I would be interested if you're part of the package Ms. Summers," Modeus says, without a wax figure by his side. "Where are you going?"

My mouth drops. I clear my throat and attempt to wipe this ridiculous grin off my face. "Well, Modeus that depends on many things. But first and foremost, I have to get you to perform a showcase at OC in front of the people who would make those types of decisions. I'm sure they will see what I see."

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