“Laser eye surgery. That’s what you need, dearie,” I told my reflection. I padded back to my room and threw on some pants and my tennis jacket. I snatched up two scarves and looked at the giant photo of Baron to my left. “Long skinny scarf or long fat scarf,” I asked the gorgeous face staring back at me. “No opinion? Not entirely unusual,” I said as I wrapped the fat scarf around my neck. “You know, it’s a good thing my roommate is away on a shoot. If she weren’t half way across the world she’d chew you up one side and down the other,” and with that I grabbed my keys and my water and headed out of the building pausing only to put my white Coyotes cap.

Down four flights of stairs and onto the street. Honestly, living on the fifth floor of this building, it’s a wonder I am ever rested enough to get to the gym. A quick hello to the doorman on duty and I was out in the brisk night. Too cold for a tank top but too warm for a coat, of course, that is why you can almost always see me with a tee shirt and a big scarf to keep in the warmth. Half way to the car I got another call, this time from my roommate. She was checking on the fish. She knows I hate fish. She also knows that I have worse trouble keeping them alive than I have convincing myself they are useful pets.

“I knew you’d be awake,” came the cheerful voice over the line. “You never seem to be able to sleep after you’ve had a lot of stress. Besides, it’s Friday which means Baron is probably out celebrating his last stint as a hand model. Am I right? I know I am. You don’t have to tell me. How is that all going, anyway?”

“What? His promotion from hand model to the much more prestigious position of underwear model? Fine I guess. I don’t know how he can do it. I can guarantee I’d never agree to prance about in my unmentionables.”

“Your skivvies are very cute. Especially the Superhero days of the week ones I got you for your birthday last year. Either way. Baron loves himself and has been working hard to get his body to the point where he could run around in absolutely nothing if he wanted to.”

“That’s a startling mental picture and I don’t want to think about how you know that.”

“Honestly, Izzie. You can be such a prude!”

“I am not a prude. And don’t call me Izzie! I hate when people call me Izzie and you know that.”

“I know,” Kate squealed into the phone. Kate doesn’t squeal very often, thank everything that’s good and holy, but when she does it’s a full on girly squeal. “I think you’re the only girl in Kansas City that Baron hasn’t had, though.”

“Good. That means I’m special. Anyway, I already made that sex mistake once and let me be the first to tell you that it only makes things more difficult. It makes dumping them on a moment’s notice much harder! They always want some warning which means I have to be bitchy for a solid year and then where am I? Unable to date anyone because of deep emotional trauma-”

“You don’t have emotional traumas unless it has to do with work, Bella.”

“And don’t you think that’s enough?”

“No. Speaking of which, are you going to be able to manage those dinners without me there?”

“Never. I am not a bad cook but I think I can’t be expected to cook five amazing meals in a row and also pitch the idea for this charity show and also clean up… I think I’ll move them all a few weeks back so you can be here to help.”

“Is that what you’re up worrying about? You’ll give yourself ulcers.”

“Not really. I’m actually on my way to pick Baron up right now. He’s drunk. Again.”

“Are you going to Westport? Be careful, will you? Lots of attackers there. Maybe you’ll finally get a chance to use that Tae-Bo stuff. A punch here! A kick there! Jab! Jab! Anyway, you could do much better if you’d stop dating stupid guys. All you need is someone who is beautiful and intelligent.”

“And not working for me, Kate. Yet, seeing as how I don’t do anything but work, I can’t help but feel this is a slight hindrance.”

“Yes that could be tough. How about looking outside the model circuit… Oh! What am I talking about? Beauty before brains, yeah, Bella? At least that seems to be what we keep doing. What about the last round of underwear models?”

“Like talking to large potatoes. Listen, I’m at my car. I’ll talk to you about this when you get home tomorrow. And stop calling me so late. Remember the time zones!”

“Oh you are getting crabby in your old age!”

“I’m hanging up now,” and with a push of a button I had. I pushed the unlock button on my key chain and as my car flashed its headlights I heard the scuffle of animals on the concrete under my car.

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