I normally don't care how I look at work. I don't want to say I've let myself go—I still run a few days a week, well, maybe not quite that much, not in between cocktail hours and bottomless mimosa brunches—but I'm not into makeup and cute dresses like I once was, back when I was in college. Back when I lived with Rafa. Back when I was young.
Now that he's here, I'm constantly fiddling with my face and even slipped a compact in my purse this morning so I could check myself throughout the day. I can't recall when I've worn a skirt two days in a row. I'm touching up my glossy pink lipstick in the bathroom mirror when Diana walks in, sobbing.
"Oh God, what's wrong?" I wrap my arms around her, figuring her hormones must be raging this late in the pregnancy. "Are you feeling okay? Do you need to go home?"
"What? What happened with Scott?"
"He got laid off. They cut him and another cameraman, one reporter, and three producers. Apparently WFSF's corporate owners were pissed about the latest ratings."
I swear out loud while cradling Diana and stroking her hair. We've been friends since kindergarten and went to the same university five hours' south in Miami. My father gave Diana a job in finance after she graduated from business school, and she'd eventually worked her way to the top of the paper's masthead. Scott's a TV news shooter, and this is their first baby.
She's like my sister, and I know she's scared shitless right now.
"It'll be okay. Scott's really talented and has lots of connections. He'll get something fast. I know he will. I'll also put in a call to the news director of the stations in Jacksonville."
Diana pulls away and wipes her cheeks with her palms. "Thanks. We'll see. It's so terrifying. I'm about to pop with this baby, and our finances are so uncertain. It sucks. Being an adult is so hard, Justine."
"Adulting totally sucks." I swallow a lump in my throat. Diana and Scott have an underwater mortgage. Scott's layoff won't leave them homeless because Diana makes a decent salary—maintaining her paycheck was one of the reasons I decided to forego my own for the past few months.
But if our paper goes bankrupt... I don't even want to think about that. I break away from Diana and slump with my back against the mirror. My headache has returned with an incessant pain, like a tiny man is jackhammering in my forehead.
She wipes away her tears. "I keep thinking about what I would do if I didn't have this job and the insurance. I'm so worried about the future of the paper. But things will work out. Rafa's going to help, right? I've been getting the paperwork ready for him. I hope it's what he wants."
Diana looks at me with hopeful blue eyes. I nod. She knows better than anyone how dismal things are at the paper. My stomach churns thinking about what she's going through.
YOU ARE READING
Constant Craving: The Complete SeriesRomance
To save her business, she'll trade every last inch of her body... * * * Justine's passion is journalism, and she's trying to beat the odds and save her family's newspaper. With the company on the edge of collapse, she begs a private equity group fo...