Chapter 22

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Over a week had passed since my trip to Texas with the girls. I was going about my usual business and had a lot of shows and interviews to wrap up because I had disappeared for a few months before. Since I didn’t want to disappoint my fans and also missed performing, I had decided to step up a little bit. My busy schedule did not keep me from still considering going back to Miami for Camila’s little sisters’ birthday in a few days. The brown-eyed woman and I kept in touch via text and it was flattering how much effort Camila put into our newly rekindled friendship. It reminded me of our very early days on the X Factor when she had been all over me. She wasn’t all over me now, at least not literally because we lived so far apart, but she tried her best so I would notice her trying. And I did.

But I still didn’t commit fully to the idea of visiting her. At least that’s what I told her. In reality I had already planned everything but I wanted it to be surprise. I kept teasing her that I wanted a real invitation and not just some text message asking whether or not I would make it. Things were good between us and I couldn’t deny that I missed her a little more every day.

“Lauren! Hurry up, our reservation was for seven and it’s eight already!”, Normani yelled at me as I was finishing up in the bathroom.

“Calm down. I’ll be right there”, I shouted and adjusted my black dress.

We had plans to go out for dinner because I was leaving for LA tomorrow to do a show. Usually, I didn’t go all out these days but tonight I wore a pretty sexy dress and had put on more make-up than usual. Accentuating my eyes with extra dark tones around them had definitely become a specialty of mine. It was strange but they looked a lot more greyish these days. Sometimes their color varied a little bit although I wasn’t sure why. I finished up with the sensual, dark shade of red on my lips. Taking a last look in the mirror and running my hands through my thick hair, I exited the bathroom and saw Normani and Chelsea glaring at me.

“Sorry, you should feel flattered I got this dressed up for you”, I addressed my two friends.

Normani rolled her eyes while Chelsea laughed. The interviewer had finally accepted my job offer and was now officially my new PR Manager. They were also dolled up because we had picked a new restaurant in town that was rather elegant.

Out of nowhere I heard the bell of my apartment door ring.

“Did you invite someone else?”, Chelsea asked and I shook my head. I walked to the door and was genuinely confused on who it could be. When I opened the door, my jaw dropped a little.

It was Camila. She looked me up and down and I saw her cheeks flushing instantly before she managed to say anything.

“Surprise”, she said and laughed nervously.

“Yeah, you can say that again”, I replied but smiled widely, easing her tense facial expression. “Come on in.”

I wasn’t sure what else to say because I was so confused. What was she doing here? Not that I minded at all, but this was really out of the blue. The younger one walked past me and into the apartment while I couldn’t help myself but check out her backside in the tight jeans she wore. I heard Normani and Chelsea squealing when they saw the light-haired woman coming through the door. Both ran up to her and hugged her. Damn, I should have done too. Camila seemed a little overwhelmed by the two older women and I couldn’t blame her.

“Yes! Screw dinner, let’s go salsa dancing like last time”, Chelsea said full of excitement as she released Camila from her big hug.

“No, no! I am so sorry, I had no idea you had plans already”, Camila looked at me apologetically. “I just wanted to give you this”, she continued and handed me an envelope. My eyebrows furrowed when I opened it but I grinned instantly when I realized what it was. It was an official invitation to Sofi’s birthday party. Looking up, I focused my green-grey eyes intently on Camila to make her a little nervous on purpose. I succeeded because she bit her lip while the other two just watched us.

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