I'm With You
A First Warning
If you’d ask Rudy what she likes most about being a world-famous singer aside from performing in front of thousands of people, she would tell you it was doing photo shoots. She loves posing in front of the camera and showing off her body and the clothes she’s wearing. If she hadn’t become a singer, she’d probably had been a model instead. She certainly has the figure for it.
Today, she has a photo shoot for Glossy and she’s dressed in boy shorts that show off her long legs and a cute little shirt with a kitten on it that’s draped over her small breasts. Her long, dark lashes are coated in mascara and her plump lips are covered in a thin layer of gloss. Her bronze skin is been brushed with blush that makes her cheekbones even more pronounced.
Even though this isn’t her first photo shoot, she has never felt more pretty. Maybe it’s because she won the Most Influential Asian award yesterday. It can be her mood reflects in the way she looks at herself in the mirror.
The award means a lot to Rudy. Even though she lives in England, her Asian roots have always been important to her. Half of what she is came from Indonesia and she respects every part of herself.
Her parents had met when her father, an English man went to Indonesia for business. Her mother was a waitress in small café in Jakarta and it had been love at first sight. After Rudy’s father went back to England, they started writing letters to each other and a year later, he went back to Indonesia again and asked her mother to marry him. She said yes and a year later Rudy was born in England.
Even though her mother, whose name is Cinta – sweetheart in Bahasa Indonesia – gets homesick from time to time, she and Rudy’s father are still happily married. They live in London right now because Rudy moved there when her singing career had started off and they didn’t want to be too far away from her.
Rudy is shaken from her thoughts when someone suddenly opens the door and sticks their head into the room. It’s her new personal assistant Bella. She smiles at Rudy and opens her mouth to tell her something but instead a curse tumbles from between her lips when her phone crashes to the floor. Rudy can hear the screen break as the phone lands on the tiles. Bella may be good at managing Rudy’s diary but not so much at managing to not let everything drop from her hands.
After she’s grabbed her phone from up off the floor, she turns to Rudy again and smiles at her. Rudy smiles back. It’s clear her assistant is a little bit rattled, so she takes pity on her. “They’re ready for the shoot, then?”
“Yeah. If you could just follow me, please” Bella replies. She gives Rudy a thankful smile before she turns around and walks out into the hallway. Rudy follows her.
“Did you see the sets?” Rudy asks her assistant as she tries to make small talk as they walk to the photo shoot. The hallways they walk through are almost entirely empty aside from a few people who are on their way to the dressing rooms.
“Yeah. They’re quite cute. One actually has stuffed animals,” Bella tells Rudy as she grins at her employer, obviously thinking it’s what Rudy wants to hear.
Which in fact it isn’t because of Rudy is completely honest, she doesn’t really like the Lolita image she has. As a matter of fact, it creeps her out a little bit. She doesn’t mind being thought of as sexy but she doesn’t want to be thought of as innocent at the same time. It’s two things she things should never be mixed.
But for some reason, her manager does think it’s a good combination. He’s even the one who has come up with the concept. Rudy had only agreed because she didn’t really have a choice back then.
Fortunately, that is changing right now. She has just released her second album and like her first one, it’s been a hit. Her newest single is the second number one in a row and in a few months, she’s going to start her first world tour. Maybe if she plays her cards right, her manager will agree to change her image up a little bit after the world tour.
“Do you like stuffed animals?” Rudy asks. “Personally, they creep me out. When I was little I was always afraid they’d come to life and eat me.” She shudders at the memories of her childhood fears.
“I don’t like stuffed animals but my little sister does,” Bella replies. She opens a door for Rudy to walk through. There’s a sign on the wooden barrier that says that behind it is studio 3. They must have arrived at the photo shoot.
Rudy eyes fall on the set a few feet away from her and much to her relief, the number of stuffed animals isn’t too high. There are only two teddy bears laying on the bed in the center of the set. Rudy probably has to lie between them for the shoot. Thankfully for her, she isn’t as afraid of stuffed animals as she used to be.
There are three people standing next to the set. There’s a balding man who puts the last touches on the pillows laying on the bed, another one with an impressive mop of curls who’s fiddling with the lights and one with red hair and a bulging belly who’s holding the camera.
“Welcome, welcome,” the man with the photo camera exclaims as Rudy walks towards them. Bella follows behind her. “You look as pretty as always. My name is Richard, by the way.”
“Thank you,” Rudy replies. Her smile wavers for a bit because Richard smells like garlic, a smell she really can’t stand. It makes her want to throw up. “Where do you want me?”
“You just lay on the bed and let me make you look pretty,” Richard instructs. He lays a pudgy hand on the brunette’s shoulder and pushes her towards the set.
Rudy lays herself down on the bed and starts posing for the camera. Richard doesn’t say much as he takes the pictures, only breaking the silence when he wants her to change her position. The photo shoot only lasts an hour and when Rudy makes her way back to the dressing room her cheeks ache from all the smiling she’s done for the camera.
After the photo shoot, Rudy has two interviews before she can finally go home. Luckily for her, they aren’t too boring. Sure, there were the usual questions she’s answered a hundred times before but both interviewers had a great sense of humor which made the interview much more fun.
Because it’s Wednesday, Rudy goes to Funky Buddha at the end of the day. Once a week, she and her girlfriends go to the club to unwind and have fun.
Dressed in a short black dress and her hair up in a tight bun Rudy walks into the club. She spots her friends immediately, sitting on their usual couch. Making her way to her friends, she has to walk through a crowd of dancing people. When she finally reaches the group of girls, the bun on her head has gone lopsided and a few small, stray locks have escaped.
“You look good,” the redhead of the group tells Rudy with a snicker when she sits down next to her friends. Rudy just gives her the side eye as she straightens her dress.
“Very funny, Christina,” Rudy mutters. Now that her dress is no longer too high on her thigh to be appropriate, she tries to make her bun more presentable. She tries not to flinch when she pulls on her hair too hard in frustration. After a few tries, she just gives up and decides to start from stretch again. “You would look like this too if people would bump into every few seconds when you try to get to your friends.”
“Of course not, I always look perfect,” Christina protests. The comment is followed by a smirk and a playful pinch to Rudy’s upper arm.
Rudy shrugs her arm in annoyance. “Chris, don’t do that. I know it’s how you show affection but I don’t feel like feeling your affection today.”
“What’s wrong?” Rudy’s other friend Topanga asks at the same time as Christina mutters, “What is with you today?”
Rudy’s brown eyes fall on her brunette friend sitting opposite her before they travel to her two other friends. Melanie and Lea, like Topanga, have a worried look on their faces.
Having known her friends her whole life, Rudy always tells them everything. There isn’t a secret their tight-knit group doesn’t share so of course they know the problems Rudy’s been having with some too enthusiastic fans.
You see, the past couple of weeks, someone has been following her. It had started as a feeling of being watched when there was nobody around but has now progressed to dark figures following her and leaving messages behind. The messages are innocent, just small notes on why the writer loves Rudy so much but coupled with the dark figures they’ve given Rudy the creeps.
Her friends are the only ones who know. She hasn’t told her management because she knows they will only tell her it’s just a part of being famous.
“On my way here, a car followed me. It’s the same I saw standing outside my house the past few days,” Rudy tells her friends. A shiver of fear runs down her spine at the recollection.
“When I stopped in front of a traffic light, the car drove up next to me. It was fucking scary, they rolled down the window and all of them turned their head to me. All of them were dressed in hoodies and their caps were up. They were wearing Afghan scarfs and only their eyes very visible. I’ve never been more scared.”
“Fuck,” Melanie curses. She looks at Rudy with scared and pleading eyes. “You really have to tell the police or at least your management. Or maybe hire a bodyguard or something. This is getting really scary, R.”
“No, I’m not doing that,” Rudy protests. Her hair is back in a bun, so she can’t run her hand through her hair in frustration. So, she has to settle with running them up and down her legs.
“I don’t want someone going with me everywhere I go. I want to be able to go shopping with you guys without some bulky man following my every move. I’m not going to do it.”
“But R, this is about your safety,” Lea protests.
“You know what, I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” Rudy announces. “I came here to dance, so that’s what I’m going to do.” Not waiting for her friends to start protesting again, she stands up from the couch and heads to the dance floor.
Rudy ends up dancing for two hours straight. Both boys and girls plaster their body to hers before swaying to the music together. Some of them walk away after the song with kiss swollen lips.
When she’s finally done with dancing, she heads to the bar to get a drink. She wants some alcohol in her system before she heads home. She’ll just take a cab or hitch a ride with one of her friends, who she hasn’t seen since she had walked away from them.
However, Rudy doesn’t have to miss them for too long because both Melanie and Topanga are standing at the bar.
“Where are Chris and L, then?” Rudy asks as she stands next to Melanie. She sways a little bit even though she hasn’t had any alcohol yet.
“They’re still dancing,” Melanie tells her friend. She eyes Rudy with worried eyes which prompts the younger girl to roll her eyes.
“What?” Not waiting for a reply, Rudy turns around and gestures for the bartender to come closer. “A martini, please.”
Rudy turns her head towards her friends again and lifts one of her eyebrows. “So, what? Why are you looking at me all worried? And don’t, for Christ’s sake, start about telling my management again.”
“That’s not…,” Melanie denies before her voice trails off. She lets out a sigh and starts again. “I saw you dancing with all those people and I was wondering if you felt alright.”
The dancing with girls goes unsaid. Rudy has never danced with girls in public before because there was always the risk of pictures leaking. Her management doesn’t like the public to know the new pop princess likes girls as much as boys.
“I feel great. I’m having fun,” Rudy tells her friend. She hears the sound of glass hitting wood behind her as the bartender puts down her drink. The brunette turns around and takes a hold of her drink. She turns around again and takes a sip from the glass. The salty liquid feels like heaven on her lips. “By the way, can one of you bring me home. I’m planning on getting
plastered and I don’t really want to go home in a cab.”
“I’ll take you home.” Melanie worries her lip for a few seconds before taking a sip from her own drink. “It’s better anyway.”
Rudy doesn’t have to ask to know what her friend means. If Melanie takes her home, she can make sure she makes it home safe. Instead of irritation, a warm feeling of fondness blossoms in her chest at the thought. She can always count on her friends to care for her the way most people in her life don’t. When it comes to her friends, she can always count on them being there for her.
The rest of the night, Rudy feels great. She drinks a few more cocktails and dances for another hour. However, at three o’clock Rudy can already feel the hangover creep up on her so she decides to head home. Luckily, Melanie is done partying as well, so after they’ve said goodbye to the rest of their friends, they’re in the car a few minutes later, heading to Rudy’s house.
They have a pleasant conversation with Melanie doing most of the talking as her words don’t slur together the way Rudy’s do. They reach the house an hour later.
Because Rudy can barely stand on her feet, Melanie has to drag her to the front door. Luckily, she has given her four friends keys to her house so Melanie doesn’t have to search through Rudy’s purse to open the door. They would have probably toppled over.
When the door is finally opened, Melanie drags her friend inside. Rudy can feel the ground sway beneath her feet. Afraid of falling down, Rudy tightens the hold she has on Melanie’s neck.
“Be careful. No need to throttle me,” Melanie warns, making Rudy laugh. Suddenly it comes back to the younger girl why she had a crush on Melanie a few years ago. She’s so funny. “Let’s sit you down.”
There’s a chair standing a few paces away from the two friends and Melanie drags Rudy towards it. She sits her friend down before she disentangles herself from the firm hold Rudy has on her neck.
As Melanie takes a step back, her eyes fall on a small envelope that’s laying on the floor. When she picks it up, she sees it’s unopened.
“Shit, I got another note. I totally forgot,” Rudy giggles drunkenly. She sways on her chair as she narrows her eyes. “I don’t want to read them anymore. They’re creepy.” She sounds like a child, the way she always does when she gets drunk – which isn’t often. “Don’t open it.”
Of course, Melanie doesn’t listen to Rudy and opens the envelope. She pulls out a note that’s been written on with red angry letters. The message reads: ‘You belong with us. You made us a promise. We’re going to get you.’
NotesSo, here is my next Liam story. This one is going to be a lot darker then Fait Accompli. I hope you guys are ready.
Can you guys please let me know what you thought of the chapter?