Part 2 Ch 36

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Girl, did Sangrya know how to make lemonade out of lemons. She made damn lemon vodka, ice cold. About two weeks after the wedding, Vyola and Patience were invited to a sit-down with her to listen to a track she laid down. Vyola was blown away. Sangrya had re-tooled "No Es Bueno" dropping her own rhymes in it and changing the arrangement. The background vocalists sounded so familiar and Sangrya smiled like the Cheshire Cat. That would be kept secret for a while to add mystique and interest but they were some of the biggest names in the business. Carmen, Tyler, Bruce, Garage, Heddy, Katie. Artists of all stripes and styles, all under different labels and working on their own projects but when Sangrya asked for their help, they came running. You had to love the "S" effect. 

Did Vyola love it? Was she on board? Hell, yes. Sangria then made a deal with Vyola her she could not refuse, would have been crazy to. There was no doubt that signing under Sangrya's label, Power Suit, was the best decision she had made her whole career. The more she learned Sangrya's history, the more certain she was of it. Vyola hadn't known it but Sangrya had been writing music for other artists and producing years before she ever dropped her own album. And she was just 29 years old!

The accompanying video Sangrya helped produce was brilliant as well. The prior dark imagery was replaced with bright, colorful tropical scenes, featuring Vyola as a ingénue, the choreography invoking her confusion about being deeply in love, interspersed with Sangrya elegantly dancing and singing. Fans began playing it at events and protests . Previously seen as a joke, the song became a rally for empowerment and cry against injustice. 

Sangrya re-tooled Vyola's look and style, too. It was a throw-back to girlRulz. Her straight blonde hair and punk-edgy look were back. It resonated with her fans, new and old. Sangrya had given it to her straight, "You changed too much, too soon. You went ultra glam. You ain't Queen B, girl. Take your time." 

With Sangyra's support, Vyola was exploring her music and vocals in a way she never had before. She learned more working on one song with Sangrya than she had her entire time in the industry.

Vyola had also taken another leap of faith, on Kyle. He became her manager as well as her boyfriend. As a manager he was great - organized, level-headed, intelligent. As a boyfriend, their relationship was tumultuous. She cursed herself at how often she thought of Gus and it made her feel ashamed how she had treated him and that she had always wished he was less serious, more exciting. She now had more excitement than she needed. Kyle could be sweet and kind one second, and border on cruel the next. When she questioned him on anything, he would practically explode, accusing her of doubting his judgment. In those moments, he reminded her of Mandy, without the maternal insitincts. She missed talking to her friends, too, and except for Sangrya, realized she hadn't any. It made her lonely but Kyle insisted she only need focus on her music to combat it. He was completely with Sangrya's vision for Vyola's public image: the strong, confident, risk-taking, talented woman. Their private life was different all together.

"I can't wait to see Patience!"

Vyola was half-dressed, swiping mascara on, and then off, trying to get just the right amount before applying eye-shadow and liner. She always did mascara first, because sometimes she felt it was enough. Today, she wanted a dramatic face. She picked her most shimmery, blue palate. When the mascara was just right, she began loading it on her lids in layers.

"This is a working weekend."

Vyola breathed in and out. She smiled at her reflection and brushed her hair back from her forehead. Kyle was stretched out on the couch. Vyola sauntered over and gently settled herself on top of him. She could feel his muscular body along the length of her body. She softly kissed his eyebrows and then his lips.

"I know we're working," she purred.

They had a grueling production schedule for her new video which was supposed to drop with her new single "Catch My Breath" to be released within a month. Recording had taken longer than expected. In the middle of it, Vyola caught the flu. She was miserable enough but it caused a huge argument between her and Kyle, too. After all, catching the flu was not something one could control, especially since she had gotten her flu shot. Kyle wanted to bring in a ghost singer to finish the recording. Vyola was mortified to think of someone else singing her song and trying to pass it off. Thank god Sangrya had final say on it – that was per her contract.

"People always find out, K. I put out a real product. Better to wait." And the matter was done.

But now, there was a big rush. Sangrya still had her process and that included releasing video when songs dropped. They were in for a busy week.

Vyola ran her fingers inside the neck of Kyle's shirt.

"But we'll be in Florida, and Pat's house is literally down the road from the shoot."

She moved her hand up under his shirt and lightly traced her fingernails over his chest.

"I was thinking that I could stay with her a night or two. I know she's around and it won't be a problem. We're both good girls now."

She and Patience had both stopped drinking. When they talked about it, they realized they had both stopped on the same day. It was like a proof of the connection they had.

Kyle smiled and nuzzled his face into her neck, kissing it, and stroking her hip. Tingles ran up her spine.

"We'll see. It sounds doable," he said. He took her chin in his hand and tugged playfully on her lower lip with his teeth.

"You have too much eye-shadow on."

Vyola smiled and tapped his nose with her fingertip.

"I like it."

She kissed him again and rolled over him to stand. Kyle grabbed her wrist and stopped her.

"Really. It's too much."

Vyola rolled her eyes.

"It's fun."

"No. It's too much." Kyle tightened his hold on her wrist.

"Ow, come on. Stop." Vyola pulled her wrist away and went back to the mirror. She looked at her reflection. She thought she looked great. Kyle appeared next to her, a pack of make-up removal cloths in his hand.

"Take it off."

"Kyle."

"Vy, it's too much. You look like a whore."

Vyola glared at him in the mirror but did not move. Kyle took out one of the cloths and held it out to her.

He smiled.

"You want me to do it?"

Vyola took a deep breath and snatched the cloth and pack from his hands. She swiped her eye with the cloth over and over, turning it dark blue.

"Thanks, doll," Kyle said. He smiled again and kissed her on the top of her head. "We're leaving for the airport in an hour. I'll meet you downstairs."

As he left, Vyola stared at herself in the mirror. Her right eye was still fully made up. Her left was a smudgy mess,  hollow and bruised-looking. She snatched at another cloth, and then another, wiping her left eye until all trace of the makeup was gone. She raised a clean cloth to her right eye then stopped her hand mid-air, placed the cloth back into the pack. Vyola blotted the left eye with a tissue to dry it, picked up her mascara wand and re-applied her lashes. She then picked up the blue eye-shadow, blew on the brush, and began to carefully layer the color on her eye.


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