Home > Once Upon a Sure Thing (Heartbreakers #2)(8)

Once Upon a Sure Thing (Heartbreakers #2)(8)
Author: Lauren Blakely

I smile, glad that she gets what I’m doing. “Yes! I’m playing a role. I want Miller to see who I can be, and that I’m not only the type of woman who can sing ‘Amazing Grace,’ but I can also sing ‘Need You Now’ with him, and tunes like ‘Love Me Like Crazy.’”

“Good luck, but don’t forget Dr. Jane says sometimes you just need to be yourself,” Chloe says as she reaches for the door handle. “Bye, Aunt Macy.”

“Wait,” I call out, then turn to Macy. “I need to walk her to the bus stop on the corner. Be right back.”

“Of course. Go.”

I pop up, grab a jacket and a scarf, and head down three flights of stairs to take Chloe to the bus stop. Her bus arrives quickly, and I give her a peck on the cheek.

“Bye, Aunt Ally,” Chloe says, and it hurts my heart the littlest bit that we’re both aunts to her. Yes, Macy has been a part of her life, but I’m the one she lives with, and I take care of her. I’ve effectively become her mother. Yet at the end of the day, I’m still Aunt Ally to her, and the woman doing my mascara is her aunt too.

And she’s my niece.

My niece who I adore.

Even though I love her like a daughter.

“Love you, Monkey. Have an amazing day.”

Once she’s on the bus, I scurry out of the chilly December air and back to my apartment, where Macy puts the finishing touches on my new look. Like I’m a science fair exhibit, she gestures to me. “Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Honey Lavender, the sultriest of torch singers.”

I unzip my sweatshirt and toss it to the floor as she guides me to the full-length mirror in my bedroom. I do look like a woman who fits the name.

The push-up bra Macy told me to wear has lifted the girls higher, while the scoop-neck blouse reveals the curves of said ta-tas. My makeup makes me look all kinds of foxy, with kohl-lined eyes and thick lashes that go on for miles. My red lipstick could stop a truck.

“Damn,” I say with a whistle.

“Damn, indeed. And on that note, I need to get my butt back to Brooklyn,” Macy says, as she turns around and picks up her makeup bag. “Kirby has to go to work, and I have a newborn to take care of.”

“Thanks for coming out here to transform me.”

She winks. “You look perfectly sexy and sinful.”

She rushes out, and seconds later my phone buzzes with a text from her.

Macy: By the way, you absolutely look like Honey von Trapp.

Ally: Ha! But it’s Honey Lavender.

Macy:You do know that sounds like a pen name? You should use that to narrate romance novels.

Ally: I’m trying. But today, I’m trying the costume look.

Macy: Meow, Honey. You should save that get-up for Halloween and go as a sexy . . . anything :)

Ally: Why thank you…I’ve been looking for an “anything” costume.

Macy: Also, I’m soooooo sorry we’re moving. I feel terrible since it’s all our fault that you’re ditching your Keds for the vamp look.

Ally: Stop! Stop! It’s not your fault! This is a huge opportunity for Kirby in Boston, and I will be just fine without the regular sweet-as-pie Zimmerman duo videos.

Macy: You will? *arches skeptical brow*

Ally: I promise. That’s why I’m Honey Von Trapping it today. To find the next thing that’ll give me little extra pocket money. And because I want to.

Macy: With your pipes and now your smoldering eyes, you’re irresistibly sexy and sinful, and I know you’ll sound like a million bucks. But maybe try to remember whether you’re Honey Von Trapp or Honey Lavender, ya know :)?

Ally: By the way, I picked Lavender for you. Since you insisted on giving me the lavender streak in the first place.

Macy: And your lavender streak is like a signature of awesome. Love ya, bunches.

I return to the mirror, checking out my side reflection, then my other profile.

I look sinful.

I look hot to trot.

But I also don’t look like me.

At all.

Chloe’s words echo in my mind. Be yourself.

I believe in that. I truly do. But I’m not the singer Miller wants. He wants the woman with the smoky voice, and I need him to see I can be the part.

Except as I stare at myself, my eyes keep darting back to my chest, and the way my breasts look in this top. If I’m drawn to the Boobsy Twins, that’s the only place a man will look.

Looking the part is well and good, but I can’t entirely play this role. Nor do I want to, I realize. I want to win on my voice and my talent. Not my tits, and not my lipstick.

I tug off the top, toss the push-up bra on my bed, and change into a regular bra and a simple black sweater that slopes off my shoulder.

There.

I’m leaving something to the imagination.

There’s something else that needs to go. This red lipstick is too look-at-me-I’m-Sandra-Dee. I grab a tissue, wipe it off, and slick on some pink lip gloss instead.

I pull on jeans and ankle boots and consider my reflection one more time. I don’t look like Honey. I don’t look like Ally. I look like a mash-up, and that’s what has always served me well: mashing up songs. Today, I’m going to attempt to mash my style with Miller’s.

“Wish me luck,” I say to my reflection, then I call Campbell and tell him I need a teeny favor in about an hour.

He laughs. “Consider it done.”

I leave and head to the studio, telling all these fidgety nerves to get the hell away from me, and don’t go near Honey either.

Chapter 7

Miller

The eight singers so far have been solid. Some have even bordered on good. The trouble is when you hear a voice that haunts you, and it’s a good kind of haunting, nothing else comes close.

“Thanks so much. I’ll be in touch,” I say to the redheaded alto, Angelica, as she leaves the studio.

I turn to my brothers and Jackson, who asked if he could watch the auditions too, since he’s off from school today. Miles dropped off his son, Ben, with our parents for the day. “What do we think, gentlemen?”

Miles shrugs and scratches his stubble-lined jaw. He’s working the scruff look hard these days. “I could have taken a nap during that last one.” He yawns majestically. “There was no snap, crackle, or pop. No spark that became a fire. No electric—”

“I get it. No chemistry.”

“But maybe there will be gobs of it when the next woman comes in,” Jackson says.

I stand a little taller. “That’s Honey, right?”

Miles scans the list of names then nods. “She’s the last one.”

Campbell taps his watch then meets my gaze. “Looks like she should be here any minute. Any chance you could grab me a bottle of water?”

I shoot him a look. Campbell isn’t usually a can-you-grab-me-a-bottle-of-water type of guy. “Would you like me to order you dinner and set your table too?”

“That sounds nice. Please put me down for a full meal service, as well.”

Miles rolls his blue eyes. “I’ll go with you, Miller. Our big brother is so lazy sometimes.”

I look at Campbell meaningfully, clapping my hand on Miles’s shoulder. “See? Dodgeball wants to help me.” That’s what we’ve always called Miles, due to his ability to get out of trouble every single time our parents came down on us.

Campbell shoos us out. “I bet those water bottles are so terribly heavy. It’s a good thing you have assistance.”

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