Chapter Twenty

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Hot liquid pooled around Emily's toes as she searched for a place in her kitchen she could safely move to. Shards of a broken mug floated like islands in a river of coffee that was all over the floor.

"Strike two," she grumbled, biting down on her lip. It was Monday morning, she'd overslept, had already missed a call with a Zeeked advertiser, and had a column due for Sweltry by early afternoon. It was her own fault for resetting her alarm clock this morning, she knew, but when she'd first woken up, she could barely find the energy to roll over and reach out a hand to hit the snooze button.

Her sleep had been fitful, peppered with dreams of news and entertainment magazine articles that elevated Cory to a god-like status and tore her apart. Each time she'd closed her eyes after waking up, a new headline would float through her mind as part of a dream. When she turned on her phone after giving up on sleep, seeing ten new text messages and a voicemail had made her panic, and she'd sent her full mug of coffee crashing to the floor.

Give me strength, she thought, stepping out of the puddle of coffee. She put her phone on the counter and reached for a dish towel to wipe off her feet. The mess on the kitchen floor was something she'd deal with later.

As much as she didn't want to know what the latest entertainment headlines about her life were, she knew that sooner or later, she'd find out.

May as well be sooner, she thought, grabbing her phone again and opening Wally Hood's site. She looked for her name on the page as it loaded. The article was easy to find.

Just When You Thought it Was Over

Cory Sampson's heartfelt interview with us last week seems to have moved mountains, or at least the heart of Emily Watts. C-Samp and the Em-Girl were spotted together late yesterday afternoon in Cory's Audi TT. Sources say he drove her home from a sports bar in Miracle Mile, and that the two spoke at length while parked outside of Emily's home. Once their conversation was finished, the Em-Girl got out of the car and went inside, alone.

Is there a reconciliation in the works? Damn girl, the man, the myth, the C-Samp poured his heart out to you in front of millions, recorded for all-time right here on this blog. That's more than we can say for that other musician we suspect you've been seeing. We know which guy we'd choose!

"The next time you're me, Wally, we'll see about that," Emily muttered.

It was work time, she reminded herself. She left the kitchen and went to her living room, where her laptop was open on the coffee table. After sitting down on the sofa, she opened Zeeked and began reading the article comments that were waiting to be approved.

U r the trashiest chick alive. U don't care about Cory, quit using him for fame & attention. He's a class act. Don't know how u fooled him. Ur column sux. [Delete.]

You call this a fashion site? No wonder Cory Sampson dumped you. My cat has better fashion sense. [Grudgingly, Emily had to hit Approve.]

TEAM CADY!!! Go away, and let Cory and Cady be together. They were the best Hollywood couple. You can NEVER take Cady's place. Cory will always love her. [Probably, Emily thought. Delete.]

One musician wasn't enough, you need to have two? Can you share some with the rest of us? [You can have all of them. Delete.]

Thanks for the tips! Where can I find the hat in the photo? [Approve, and remember to reply.]

Cory's an a-hole. He wouldn't sign an autograph for my little cousin when I was at his show. I met him once and I go to every show I can in the U.S. and he completely ignores me every time, even though I'm in the front row and support his band with all of my heart. What a jerk. Tell him Delia says he's a rude, arrogant, ass. [Mildly crazy, but can't say I don't agree. Wish I could approve.]

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