Episode 47

Unexpected Surprises

Jay stretched from the chair in the office that was slowly taking shape around him. The constant hammering and drilling was making his head hurt. Caitlin was talking to a designer about the advertisements for positions. It had only been two weeks but the club was taking serious shape already. He hadn’t been bothered by Ebony for a few weeks but that unnerved him. Caitlin had told him about a mystery woman who had approached her about a job and that bothered him too. He knew the clubs were going to be ligit but it didn’t mean that undercover cops or enemies wouldn’t try and sneak in to gain access to privileged information. Rubbing his eyes and leaning on his desk, he walked beyond the screen that was separating the office area from the rest of the club. Caitlin was standing by the now finished DJ booth, equipped with the best DJ equipment on the market and plush couches and a viewing screen. The dance floor had to be laid but the purple carpet was laid on the stairs to VIP and the mechanics of the wall of water that would cascade down between the main area and the VIP area were in place. The lights that would light up the glass dance floor that was yet to be built lay ready to sparkle. The walls were painted a smoky ready purple and would glow in parts when lights were dimmed. Caitlin had come up with the name already and the club was revolving well around that name. Seduction. Everything about the place screamed it. The velvet couches covered in deep red cushions, the black wrought iron tables, the ebony topped bar with the gleaming red and gold shelves behind holding the beers. Even the uniforms were hot. Not slutty, his girlfriend would never permit that but they were beautiful and classy. The men would wear black trousers, red shirts and purple waist coats while the ladies would wear red , velvet off the shoulder dresses that ran to their knees. The managers would wear black trousers, purple shirts and a purple trimmed with gold waistcoat while the female manager would wear a purple velvet dress. Every last detail had been designed. The bathrooms were unisex and were white with light purple floor and wall tiles. Even the taps were seductive, according to the manufacturer. He wasn’t worried about the budget, despite going over as he knew, all of Hollywood would want up in this club. It would appeal to the A-Listers and would appeal to the ones who wished they were on the A-list.

“Miss Dawson?” A voice called from across the club. Caitlin turned from her advertisements designer to the voice. “Yes,?” She turned and walked toward the person. She had no idea who they were and part of her was anxious but then she remembered JC was around so whatever happened he would help her handle. They’d received death threats because of the club. Both from past clientele and from competing club owners. “My name is Lavinia Optania,” She smiled but Caitlin couldn’t decide if it was a friendly or non friendly smile just yet. “I work for Black Hood Records, have you heard of them?” Of course she had. They’d dealt with BHR a few times when she worked for LA Events. “Yes, I am familiar with your company. I used to deal with Nate, I worked for LA Events,” Caitlin responded. “Ah, yes, Nate was promoted to tour manager. I took over PR now. My boss was wondering if he could do a deal with you guys over here?” Lavinia sounded hopeful but caitlin wasn’t sure what her boss wanted. He was notoriously demanding and apparently an asshole to work with in the music industry. He was a famous rapper too and Caitlin had once liked his music but wasn’t sure he was much good now the fame went to his head. “Come and sit in my make shift office, lets talk,” Caitlin motioned toward the screen and Lavinia followed. She was a tall, 30 something black woman with short, cropped hair and gentle eyes. She was green in regard to business but she’d had the shit scared out of her mind by Anton Briggs, her boss. He wanted this deal and it better come back as good if not better when she’d seen the little white girl.

“Mr Briggs was wondering if you guys would like him to perform at the opening night and in return he’d get free entry to VIP without question with his entourage for the foreseeable,” Lavinia smiled sweetly hoping she was coming across OK. “Anton Briggs?” JC was behind caitlin now, staring hard at the woman she was with. If Lavinia had thought Anton Briggs was a piece of work, then this guy was something else. The cold, hard look in his eyes was eerie and disturbing. He could kill with those eyes, Lavinia would swear to it. “Yes, sir,” Lavinia wondered who he was. A body guard to the pretty young girl, maybe? “Well, I’m not sure, what about you baby? Does that hinder any policies or upset any risk assessments?” Baby? They were involved. Well, Anton Briggs hadn’t banked on that one had he? She’d resign she decided if this didn’t go well.

“Well, I’d have to do a risk assessment but I’d like a meeting with him myself, just to clarify things. Set it up, Ms Optania and give me a call. I’m not saying no, I’m just saying set up a meeting.” Feeling pleased with herself, Lavinia left and returned to the record label she had only worked for for six months.

“You really gonna give that nigga free access to VIP?” JC seemed pissed off. Caitlin turned sharply. “Yeah, because he and his entourage will pay a fortune if they’re regulars.” “And the trouble they cause?” “Keep customers happy and strike up a personal relationship, they’re less likely to trash your joint. I’ll limit the entourage entry though, no matter what. But its a good deal. If we get him headlining, maybe some of his artists too, it’d be a good launch for us. Baby, I know what I’m doing,” She reached up and kissed his neck. He relaxed and pulled her to him. “I just like to be reminded,” He laughed gently. Truth was, he didn’t want her dealing with niggaz like Anton Briggs but what choice did he have?

Emily lay on the couch, eating roman noodles and waiting for Cory’s call. He’d been kept in San francisco for a few weeks but she was doing all right. JC and Caitlin were rarely at home but she’d enjoyed the time alone surprisingly. Her mother hadn’t text her since she’d told her she was off to Hawaii with her boyfriend. And that was only a few days away now. They’d planned to leave on the Monday and not return until the Sunday night. Caitlin and JC said they’d probably go to Rose’s for a quick bite but would be putting the final touches to the club. From what Emily had seen, it was beautiful!

A knock on the door brought her out of her reverie and she stood, stretched and walked to open it. Ebony, the girl who had been with Jasmine and Kira at the club all those weeks ago stood there with suitcase by her feet. “Is my cousin here?” She asked, eyes red rimmed. Emily gaped. She and Caitlin had learnt that Ebony was indeed JC’s cousin on his dad’s side but JC had apparently not wanted anything to do with the girl. Emily’s heart softened though at the girl’s distraught features. “He’s not,” Emily responded, leaning against the door jam. “Are you OK?” “Jasmine kicked me out!” Ebony sobbed expertly now. Her tears well rehearsed. “Erm,” Emily tried to think what to do. She couldn’t leave her outside in that state. But she wasn’t too sure JC would want her in his house either. He and caitlin had bought this place together and she and Cory were renting off of them, at a very reasonable rate. But she couldn’t do nothing. Emily’s conscience wouldn’t allow that.

“Come in,” Emily relented and pushed the door wide and permitted entry to Ebony. “I’ll call them.” “Oh, don’t bother him. He’s probably busy and I don’t want to be a burden,” Ebony said demurely. “Can I wash up. My mascara’s ran.” Emily nodded and pointed her in the direction of the bathroom. Sighing heavily, she text Caitlin. If anyone could handle that crazy gangsta, it was her best friend.

“Gas all filled up,” JC jumped into the driver’s seat of his sparkling Lexus beside his girlfriend and her faithful guide. “What you wanna do for dinner?” Caitlin smiled, leaned over and kissed his neck. “I honestly don’t mind,” her phone went off then and she read her text. “JC’s cuz is here. Ebony. Says Jaz kicked her out. Just heads up.” Caitlin sighed knowing this would go down like a lead balloon.

“Lets grab Del Taco on the way home,” She said and turned to him. “You might wanna get something for ebony too.” “What?” The rage in his voice was paramount. “What do you mean?” “She showed up at the house, Em just texted me.” Caitlin kept her face neutral. She knew there was bad blood between the cousins but wasn’t sure exactly what it was yet. “Fuck her!” He squealed out of the parking lot. “She won’t be staying!” Caitlin just knew this was not going to end up being the quiet night she’d hoped for.

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