Chapter Fifteen

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Emily looked up from the article she was writing to stare at her television with a combination of disbelief and horror. What had started as background noise while catching up on her column had turned into a private Blistering Twilight concert in her living room when the news program that was on came back from commercial break. The strains of the one song she knew by them blared from her TV speakers, until it faded into the background when the news anchor began to speak.

"No," she moaned. "No, no, no." She picked up the TV remote and jabbed the power button in disgust.

Boys in Top 40 bands should come with a special warning label, she thought. Caution: if this goes wrong, I'll still haunt you with my band's songs anywhere you go, for the rest of my band's shelf life.

She had even avoided reading the latest Wally Hood Goes Hollywood headlines this morning, just to keep her mind off recent events and to pretend for a few blissful hours that her life was something resembling normal again.

Looking at her laptop, she waged a silent battle with herself. The morning was already lost thanks to her attempts to catch up on work. It wasn't as though reading about what Cory was up to, or what the media thought she was up to, was going to do any more harm than spending her day writing articles already had.

She scooted forward on the sofa and gave in to the temptation to check out Wally Hood's site. When she saw the second story on the page, she realized she couldn't have been more wrong.

C-Samp and Lil Sugah Spotted in Vegas

Cady Sugarman had a show in Vegas last night where a very surprise guest was on hand to help her out with a duet. Can you guess who it was? We'll give you a hint: it wasn't her boyfriend, Alex Perry, who was noticeably NOT behind the drum kit last night. When asked by a local reporter after the show, Cady said her man was in Akron, Ohio, helping his brother get ready for his wedding, and that she'd be joining him later this week. While the boyfriend's away, the Lil Sugah will play... her songs, we mean. (Of course.)

So who was the guest star of the show? If you guessed Cory Sampson, you were either there, or you've been following the current trend of C-Samp and Lil Sugah sightings.

Guess C-Samp may not have been all that heartbroken over the Em-Girl going on a date with her Flameboy. Or was the sudden Vegas trip an attempt to get over more heartbreak? If it was, we're kind of curious why he'd be hanging with the last girl to leave him for another guy. Talk to us, Cory.

"Good luck with that," she mumbled. Cory seemed to be a man of few words where the truth about his love life was concerned, even when talking to the people who were part of it. And even if Cady had plans to meet up with her boyfriend in Akron, she wondered how innocent a trip to Vegas with her ex-boyfriend could really be.

Maybe I'm being too quick to judge. She knew very little about Cady, after all, and she knew almost nothing about the relationship she'd had with Cory or how it had ended.

Curious, she clicked the "Cory Sampson" breadcrumb link at the top of the article and found herself on a Wally Hood blog category archive page. She began to scroll.

The first few articles were reports of her own relationship with Cory. She clicked the link for the second page of posts and stopped when she came to one that had been published about three weeks before she'd met him at the Viper Room.

C-Samp + Lola Vee = Hot Mess?

There was a photo of Cory below the headline. In it, he looked even more unshaven and scruffy than usual, and he was with a tall, chesty, and rather drunken-looking brunette actress. Even Emily knew that Lola Vee was infamous for her wild, partying ways, and for her string of catastrophic Hollywood romances. In the photo, Lola wore a clingy sequined dress, her hair knocked askew, and she had bright red lipstick smeared across her mouth. Her eyes looked glassy and bloodshot, and she was giving the one-finger salute to the camera.

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