Chapter Five - Demon In Disguise

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The plane ride to New York was uneventful.  The inflight movie was some sickly romance, and it only made me miss Xavier more so I didn’t bother watching it. I looked over the itinerary DJ had set me. My tour manager, Ben was going to pick me up and take me to the hotel. Then tomorrow it was all on.

When the plane landed I resisted the urge to run and hide in the bathroom and walked off like a normal human being. Somehow media had been alerted to my arrival. The minute I walked through the gate I was smothered by cameras and absurd questions.

“Scarlett. Did Xavier dump you?”

“How pregnant are you??”

“Did you know he was cheating?”

“Have you thought about plastic surgery?”

The questions kept coming, and the flashes caught me off guard. I’d never felt more regretful of my decision to make music until right then. Usually I had Xavier to shield me from it, but he wasn’t here, I was on my own.

“Back the fuck off.” An unfamiliar voice exclaimed.

I looked up, searching for the kind voice in between a tsunami of crazy. “I said back off and let the girl breathe.”

The voice belonged to a tall man, he had dark brown hair that was softly spiked, intense blue eyes and one of those million dollar smiles. I instantly felt safe. “You must be Ben.” I whispered, ignoring the clicks and flashes around us. He nodded and wrapped his arm around my shoulder. “I am. Let’s get you the fuck out of here huh.”

He led me out of the madness and straight out the front door of the airport.

“My bag?”

“I sent someone to grab it. I anticipated a bit of fuss. Someone leaked your flight details.” Ben said ushering me into a car. “Never mind. I guess it’s all a bit of positive publicity for your album.”

“Are you kidding? They only wanted personal information.”

“They always only want personal information… and to invade personal space. I’m sorry I didn’t get there quite in time to save you from the rampage. But you’re safe now.”

The boot of the car flung open and someone placed my case inside. “Looks like we’re ready to go. I’ve booked at room at the Plaza.”

The plaza.” I repeated. “I’d be okay with the holiday inn.” I muttered. Over the tour with Going Nowhere the number of times we’d stayed in 5 star places I could count on one hand… But they were Going Nowhere and staying in flash places was understandable because their level of fame far outweighed mine.

“Scarlett. You’re Emperor’s next big thing. They plan on pampering you. So deal with it okay.”

“Fine! Ugh. Please tell me I have like the cheapest possible room?”

Ben shook his head and pointed toward the sky. My stomach dropped. I’d spent enough time in hotels in my life time to know that the higher up, the more expensive a room was. “Look. We get to live in luxury, and don’t take this the wrong way love…” He looked me up and down then shrugged. “You look like you could do with some relaxing.”

“I guess so.”

Ben smiled and looked out the window. “And with cold like this, a Jacuzzi and a glass of wine is just what is needed.”

“You sound like you want to be a bad influence on me Ben. Drinking and Jacuzzis.”

“Bad influence would be suggesting you head out to a club. Believe me. This is as crazy as we’re going to get.”

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