Chapter 1

Lauryn and Alexia pulled up to Club Harbor dressed to thrill. Lauryn was the first to step out of her 4x4 black Jeep Cherokee. She adjusted her cropped, one-shoulder top with the sheer sleeve shirt. As she called over to Alexia, she ran her hand over her exposed midriff. Lauryn notice the hip chain on her black skirt wasn’t straight and began to fidget with it. Alexia threw her keys in the glove compartment. “Girl that dress is hella daring. That slit is way up high and those shoes are fierce. I just have one question for you.” Lauryn sat her purse on the driver’s seat and searched for mints. “K, shoot.” Alexia gave a half smile. “Those are sling back ankle wrap shoes...with a four inch heel.” Lauryn nodded as she continued to search for her mints. “Yep, doesn’t it match the outfit perfectly?” Alexia narrowed her eyes at her as she bothered to search for her logic. “You barely are able to walk in a 4 inch heel when you model for 2 hours. How in the hell are you gonna make it tonight when you’ll be dancing and there may not even be a place to sit?” Lauryn found her mints and popped one in her mouth. “Oh I’ll have a place to sit even if it’s on top of the bar or in somebody’s lap. Don’t worry about me. I got this. You want a mint?” Alexia looked at her friend in amazement and took a mint. “You’ll sit on the bar or in someone’s lap? I have to remember to tell the bartender to make me whatever you’ve been drinking.”

Lauryn tossed her, her cell phone. “Do you have room in your purse, mine is full…And no I haven’t been drinking. I just thought about what you said last night.” Alexia’s eyes grew wider. “You’ve decided to have a change of heart. You are actually gonna make a concentrated effort to enjoy yourself? I guess ice cubes can make it through hell.” Lauryn put her hand on her hip and rolled her eyes. "Yes, I decided to be civil and not be too much of a bitch tonight. Well, I'm gonna try anyway." Alexia got out of the car and slammed it too hard; a move that garnered a nasty look from Lauryn. Alexia hunched her shoulders and gave her an apologetic look. "Sorry. But anyway you, not be a bitch tonight? I'll believe it when I see it." They walked up to the entrance as Lauryn kept messing with her outfit. "Damn, maybe this dress was too much." Alexia grabbed her friend’s hands and placed them at her side. "Stop that! You look great. The guys in there will be beside themselves. Or at least trying to get beside you.” She started laughing as they approached the long line to get in. Lauryn pouted again as got closer to the line. "Yeah , well.. I think I'm gonna be sick. The thought of strange guys crowding me…Okay, Lauryn, deep breath." Alexia tried to do her best Mr. Miyagi impression. "Yes Lauryn-son. Master Lexi say breathe in, breathe out." Lauryn lightly swung her purse at Alexia. Alexa moved swiftly in her heels to avoid the purse.

As they approached the line, Lauryn stopped at the end. Alexia looked over at her with a confused look. "Why are you stopping here. We're VIPs remember?" Lauryn blinked as she watched Alexia. "Oh, I'm sorry." She said as they walked through. Once inside, the music hit them with full force. Alexia started bobbing her head to the music, when she saw her cousin at the bar. "Lauryn let me introduce you to the man responsible for tonight." He was talking to a woman who looked like a type of authority figure. They stepped up to the bar as Alexia waited for her cousin to turn and see her. Lauryn looked around and watched the different people dance, interact, and mingle. A bald headed, African American man turned his attention to them. "What the dilly cousin?" Alexia leaned over the bar and gave him a hearty hug. The woman whom he spoke with smiled, "So see your cousin came after all." Alexia gave her cousin the evil eye. "Aaron! Have you been talking about me? Well everything he said probably isn't true." The light skinned woman started laughing. "Yeah he has a tendency to stretch the truth." Alexia slapped the woman on the hand. "Girl, lets call it what it is, most likely a lie."

Aaron put his hand up to Alexia. "Nevermind her, Adoria this is my cousin, Alexia. Alexia this is Adoria Doucette. She’s the person who planned tonight’s party." Alexia greeted her and turned to Lauryn. "This is my friend, Lauryn Davis.” Lauryn shook both of Adoria’s hand and thanked her for the invite. Alexia pointed to her cousin, "And this joker over her is my cousin, Aaron Tyler." Lauryn extended a hand to Aaron. "Hi, Aaron. Alexia has told me a lot about you and I don’t believe a word of it is true." Lauryn smiled as she looked around, spotting an empty table. She shifted her feet, as she sliently regretted wearing the painful heels. Adoria was enthusiatic and clapped her hands together. "You couldn't have picked a better night to be here. We just added a special room onto the club. Plus I planned this party for some really important friends of mine. I wanted to do something nice for them.” Alexia and Lauryn listened as she told them about the night’s events Lauryn shifted as she moved from side to side. "I'm sorry, but you'll have to excuse me. I wanna hurry and grab that table…I stupidly wore these shoes knowing what damage they could do," she said looking at Alexia with a look of agony on her face.

As Lauryn secured the table Adoria grinned. "The things we women do to look good." Alexa gave her a matter of fact look. "Okay! You ain't said nothing but a word, Adoria." Alexia looked at the people and the bling , bling everywhere and wondered what was going and who was here tonight. "So who is all this for?" Aaron leaned over the counter and gave her a Raspberry Stoli. "All of this, the carpeted area, the new room, the free liquor. All of it is for NSYNC." Alexia with a shocked look, questioned Adoria. "NSYNC? For real? What did they do to deserve all this?" Adoria took a sip of her own drink, Grey Goose and responded, "One of the guys, JC, is having a birthday and this is his hometown. So I decided to hook them up. They're such good guys, and they're so down to earth."

"Wow." Alexia whispered to herself. "Well, if you'll excuse me I'm gonna go check on Lauryn before I hit the dance floor." She took her drink and walked to the the table where lauryn sat drinking her sprite. "Lauryn, do you know who all this is for, NSYNC. One of the guys is having a birthday. Who would’ve thought that they of all people would have a party like this? They are the last people I would've said were ballers." She sat down at the table next to Lauryn. Lauryn drank more of her Sprite, and shook her head. "Whatever, Lexi. It's just another case of some white boys who’s trying to act black, mack off, and show their money." Alexia crossed her legs, as she did so the slit of her dress exposed more of her thigh. Adjusting her leather tank she rolled her neck at Lauryn. "You are just a straight up hater. I'm not saying that their singing is up their with a Marvin Gaye or anybody in that league. But you have to give them their props, the talent is there. As far as showing off their money, sista girl they didn't have to pay a thing. The owner agreed to front the bill if they just came to the club. How's that for respect?"

Lauryn sighed as she looked at her friend drink couvoriser. "Lexi, you know what the girls say about white boys. How they just trying to be black. And that they just use a sista for show to get creditability. That they also use our talent and our music and make it their own, not even giving our people the credit they deserve." Alexia sighed looking at her drink. "Ok, that was true in the past, but now we have something called legal action to keep folks straight.” Alexia stared at her drink and shook it to make the ice cubes swirl. As she glanced at her friend, she noticed she was slipping back into bitch mode. “Lauryn, I think you’re being way to tough about this. You should know better than anybody that you don't judge a book by its cover. You judge it by the contents within." Lauryn sighed as she played with her straw and ice. “I guess." Alexia heard “Lights, Camera, Action” blast on the speakers. The hook in the song made Alexia move in her seat. Alexia closed her eyes and took in the musical vibe. She consumed the rest of her drink and placed the empty glass on the table. "I think I want to dance. Are you coming?” Lauryn smiled as she lifted her foot and pointed at her shoes. “I think I'll just stay here and keep watch of the table and our purses. You dance for me.” Alexia headed onto the floor and disappeared into the crowd of dancers.