Chapter Five

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With her new found freedom, Leigh was well aware it would come with it's challenges and one of those just happened to be finding a suitable house mate. She was torn between wanting one and needing one and that line was very thin. Having another person around the apartment would definitely be a bonus and lessen the lonely feeling she was beginning to feel after six months of living in the small town with no friends. But at the same time Leigh valued her privacy and knew it would be a challenge to find someone who respected that.

The apartment she rented was in one of the most expensive buildings in Oak View because it was located on the main street and just so happened to be a historical landmark site and that meant that the rent was higher than most places, or so she'd been told. She had considered moving, but she liked her little apartment. It had a homely feeling to it and that was partly because of the love and time she'd spent furnishing the place. But it wasn't only that, it was a place of her own- a place she'd worked hard for and she didn't want to give that up.

Her home back in Los Angeles, after moving out of her parent's house was an extensive pent house apartment given to her courtesy of her dearest mother and Leigh knew that it definitely wasn't given to her as a loving gift. There was more to it than that and the strings attached were only the half of it. Mrs Danvers wanted her grown up daughter out of the family home for one simple reason. She was twenty-one years old, three years past the legal age of adulthood which meant that she couldn't control her, not anymore. And so she had purchased an apartment with her daughter's money- no consent given- and put the lease in her name so tat she would forever be tied to paying the expenses.

Leigh later realised that her mother, had a reality show lined up to shoot in their family home and in hindsight she was grateful for not appearing in the type of show she absolutely detested. But knowing the real reason for her mother forcing her out of her family home hurt like hell. She liked to think that Leanne wasn't typically a jealous type but when fame and money was involved she became a completely different person and unfortunately, even though it should never have been the case, she was jealous of her own daughter's fame and influence. Leanne was scared that the focus of the show would be placed upon Leigh because, after all, she was the woman millions across the country loved, not her fifty year old mother who had been semi-famous thirty years ago.

She wasn't close with her mother, despite being named after her and losing her didn't feel all that bad but losing the man who had always been there when she needed someone to talk to and losing the man who used to kiss her knee better when she'd fall was the hardest of all. Because of her mother, Leigh had lost her father and her brother in one fell swoop and for that, she detested her mother's greed. It had been a solid six months since she had any connection to her mother and despite choosing that path it didn't make it hurt any less. Leigh was twenty-nine, nearly thirty and she didn't need that kind of hassle in her life, especially since her mother's show didn't go down too well nd she was on the phone every week begging Leigh to come back. The messages piled up on her answering machine and all left unheard in the hopes that she would give up. She thanked her blessings when a week passed without that goddamn message tone ringing in her ears. After more than enough patience, she finally decided to get a new phone and it would be installed by the end of the week, hopefully before another of her mother's messages were recorded and burned in her mind for eternity.

A faint knock at the door pulled Leigh from her thoughts. She stopped washing the dishes, dried her hands and headed over.

"Leigh Danvers?" The high-pitched feminine voice asked. She couldn't have been more than twenty-two years old and the obvious skittish movements indicated that she was nervous. "I'm Ali. Ali Cooper. It's nice to meet you." She extended her hand in Leigh's direction and she happily accepted the kind woman's gesture of greeting. Ali Cooper was the third candidate Leigh had interviewed to be her house mate and so far all seemed...normal.

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