AN: I know I haven't updated in a while, but I decided to change the storyline. Jeria's no longer an aspiring ballroom dancer. Sorry to disappoint anyone. So, the first half is still the same, but I rewrote the second half completely. Thanks wolfsbaneX13 for the review. I hope you still like the story. I'll actually be updating more often now. I have the first chapter almost done.
Like Any Other: Prologue
"Ha! Un-fucking-believable! Twelfth one in thirty days! Seven heiresses, two Hollywood stars, and three Victoria's Secrets models! Which one lasted the longest out of those twelve?"
Three tabloid magazines were strewn about on the coffee table and all three had one thing in common; the cover story. The well-publicized face of the country's most infamous playboy dominated the gossip magazines and columns once again. The said focus of thousands of paparazzi lazily leaned against the doorway to the living room and smirked as if basking in the attention all directed towards him.
The blonde male regarded his friend with one raised eyebrow from across the room. "You still haven't answered my question. So, which one?" With his shaggy golden hair falling over his eyes once again, he flipped through another weekly gossip magazine while waiting for an answer from his friend.
Fiddling with the cup of brandy in his hand, he seemed to be pondering the interrogative question in his mind as he ran down the list. "I guess it would have to be Tanya Gerllins, the new Victoria's Secrets Angel. I dated her for about four days. She was way too easy to sleep with, but was pretty decent in bed compared to all the others. Our so called relationship was nothing else but sex. Her personality is as dry as a cardboard. Girls these days are such brainless brats."
The blonde sat up from his position on the leather sofa. "You fucking bastard. It's been ten years, yet I still can't figure it out. You charm them, use them, and discard them without a single blink or a second thought. You don't cease to amaze me."
A simple smirk graced his lips and his gray orbs twinkled with arrogance. "Hey man. Don't pretend like you haven't had your own share. I distinctly remember your college days. And I'm doing all of them a favor. I give them what they ask for and let them go before their hearts are completely smashed."
Chestnut brown orbs flamed up with indignation. "I admit that those are not my proudest moments. But, I've mended my ways and changed over the years. But you? You haven't changed a bit. I'm surprised that you still have that voice inside your head called a conscience."
His friend scoffed and took a sip of his brandy. "I have more important matters to worry about. That thing you call a conscience is only there to deter you from your determination."
The blonde sighed, with his voice laced with exasperation. "It might be easy for you to use and dispose of so many women like tissues and still have millions of them fawning all over you right now, but when you finally find a woman you truly want to commit to, she might turn her back on you."
He scoffed and completely blew off his friend's remark. "At least you should know by now that no one can resist the Trenton Scott Daniels. That women are nothing more than accessories and playthings to me."
"Hey, what's wrong? Why the long face?" Concern reflected off her cerulean orbs immediately.
"You know, the usual. Today happened to be one of those days, I guess." She laid her head back onto the red velvet couch and briefly closed her eyes in an attempt to calm her irritated nerves. Silence consumed the air for a couple of minutes.
"That bad? I haven't seen you this stressed since that Zephyr Project last year." She smiled sympathetically before settling down beside her friend. "So, what happened? Any major setbacks?"
"Hell yea! When I walked in this morning, the carpeting wasn't complete. How could that happen? I gave them two weeks! I knew it would take longer than usual since I chose a specific pattern. But I thought that with five people, two weeks would be more than enough! You know what's worse? They regarded me with complete indifference, as if it didn't concern them at all. How unprofessional and irresponsible is that?" Hazel eyes burned with pent-up frustration. She let out a low grumble to prove her dissatisfaction.
"You've dealt with people like that before though. You know how to set them straight. Maybe you should just relax a bit."
"I wish I could. The dead line's approaching in just three and a half weeks Del! What's more, when I drove to Home Depot to pick up the paint order, apparently, the clerk screwed up my order. Of course I had to re-order, since I couldn't necessarily replace the orange with charcoal black. After that, Chad called in sick and couldn't pick up the couches and armchairs I'd ordered. I'm just…so…ugh! Why does it seem like I'm the only one putting in 110 percent? I'm rushing to make ends meet and no one will cooperate!" Strands of blonde curls escaped her messy bun and accentuated her frazzled emotions that coursed through her.
"Jeria, you worry way too much. Remember when you said something similar last year during the Zephyr Project? You were afraid that the restaurant wouldn't be ready for opening day. You were so nervous that you'd screwed up your first project. In the end, the owner was so impressed with your work that she referred you to various companies, right? So, you need to chill, okay? I've known you for almost fifteen years and I know that you'll get things done. No matter what. Right now, you need to clear your mind and plan out the schedule for the time you have left." Delaney patiently reasoned with Jeria. Her blue eyes held a glint of amusement as she sternly advised her friend.
The blonde rolled her eyes and gruffly agreed. "I guess you're right." When she received a pointed look, she quickly changed her words. "Okay, you ARE right. This is my job and I chose this path. I can and I will finish is damn project. Whatever it takes. Which means, you're included." Jeria's lips turned into a smirk at the sight of Delaney's gaping face.
With her small planner in hand, hazel eyes gleamed with determination as concentration forced her brows to crease.
"You want some coffee?" Delaney sighed exasperatedly. She knew that this would take all…night…long.