The next morning, she woke up first and noticed Kaylin’s bed remained empty, Ester still in her dress drooling over her pillow and Melody, Harper and Tessa sound asleep. Instead of going downstairs in her Pj’s, she had a shower and got herself dressed, wearing a white t-shirt and her jeans from the night before. The room remained empty downstairs and attempted to be quiet as possible, proceeding to the fridge to find the milk and make herself a cup of tea, with the tea bags they provided praying there good English tea. Rayleigh found some bread to make toast, relaxing on the island checking her social media and is surprised what has appeared in the last few days. There are articles of introducing the show and a portrait picture she supplied to the show with a small bio. Most articles from the UK are routing for her and wish her the best of luck. She sipped the tea and it didn’t taste the equivalent as the cherished at home.
Overnight, she received a video message from her work colleges wishing her success and they’ll be watching and one message from Russell, saying “Glad you’re safe. Love you.” His affection perpetually irritated Ryleigh and wished he gave more, not upon social media but plenty for her to believe she’s worth something to him. The ring on her finger should be acceptable, but doesn’t feel like it. Every day she awakens believing something is missing and can’t place her finger on it, if she could find out whatever it is she would immediately change it.
As she scrolls down on her phone the noise of steps distract her.
‘Morning. How are you up this early?’ Rory strolled in with his jogging bottoms on only, she studied the detail of the designs throughout his chest and wondered how far they finish before his waistband of his bottoms covers them. Not to make it obvious she looked back up.
‘Morning. I just wasn’t tired anymore and just woke up.’ Smooth Rayleigh, smooth she thought to herself.
‘I can see that. Have you got any of that tea left?’ He smirked, there was something about her he found quite interesting, deemed she’s mysterious.
‘You’ll have to get your own. Ryleigh doesn’t share.’ She taunts and sips on her tea while smirking back. He walks past her and preps his own and she can’t help but look back and notice more tattoos inked on him, the detail placed upon his clean skin is phenomenal. She suddenly remembers the camera are turned on and looks back at her empty plate of crumbs, he comes back and sits next to her.
‘No food?’ Rory shrugs.
‘I’ll eat later.’ He tells her.
‘I never asked about you and why you’d come here?’ She asked.
‘I know that’s very rude of you.’ He teases her and she approved, sometimes she behaves like that with her co-workers, to get that from him made her seem comfortable. ‘I wanted to prove people that I am not an asshole anymore and I’ve changed, I am doing this for my daughter.’
‘What makes you think that you’re an asshole? I haven’t seen that from you.’ He chuckles.
‘That’s because you haven’t given me a reason to be.’ She smiles. ‘But seriously, I’ve done some bad stuff and I wanted to prove that I am willing to change and to be given a second chance.’
Ryleigh recognised his body shifting and studying the cameras locked on them.
‘Should I ask?’ She asked gingerly.
‘Depends.’ He shrugs and moved to get comfy. ‘At a young age, I loved to sing and I always said I am going to be the best singer in the world with the greatest band that you’ll ever head of. I worked hard in school to get a band together and we got signed on. It was great, I was loving life to the max. Every time we toured I always got drunk, took drugs and lost control on who I was when I was on stage it wasn’t me. Then I met Stacie and within 2 years I married her, but I would tour a lot and never spend time back home. One day I was at a gig near home and at this point Stacie was pregnant. The manager of the club started to mention that he was sleeping with my wife and I got mad and punched him that night furious, I thought he was my friend. It all got filmed and I was arrested. He sued and I was found guilty.’
‘How long where you there for?’
‘2 years, I deserved it. Going to prison made me realise that this wasn’t me, this isn’t the person I wanted to be. I wanted to be better and my daughter did when Layla was born it changed my life. When I got out, I thought hard to see her and luckily her mother gave me the opportunity to.’
‘What happened with the band?’
‘They kicked me out, so now I decided I work alone.’ He held sadness in his eyes. ‘I just want to have that second chance.’ Rayleigh sensed his pain and the braveness of him telling her, she rubbed his arm for comfort, the muscular build on his arm gave her goosebumps.
‘I think what you’ve done is an amazing thing. I hope they will see that as much as I see in that in you now.’ He smile.
‘It doesn’t bother you?’
‘Why would it?’ She shrugs. ‘I believe you’re making a change to be a better person.’ He smiles more from her response, nobody has acted like this when he told his history, this is the first time someone hasn’t run away. Rayleigh liked him opening up and she could trust him.
‘Was that before or after you got heavy with the tats?’ She asked.
‘While I was in prison, I learned to be a tattoo artist to keep my days busy.’ She studies his body and one-piece stood out.
‘What’s this bit?’ She touches his forearm of a clock with a rose inside it, she follows the lines of his tattoo and makes him chuckle.
‘It’s to show that I don’t have enough time in the world if I don’t change who I am now.’ He laughed. ‘Don’t ask me anymore, we could be here all day.’
‘I don’t mind.’ She responds to him warmly. Rory asked her if she had any and Ryleigh clarified she didn’t have and wasn’t allowed either. They knew today they were booked for a makeover and would have the opportunity to do so including a hair colour change and a piercing.
‘Why don’t you get a tattoo?’ He proposed and she scrunched her nose.
‘I’m too indecisive and I wouldn’t know where the best place to have one.’ He tilts his head beginning to exam the skin she has on display.
‘I think there would be a nice place.’ He strokes with his index finger around her front shoulder blade and the top of her left shoulder, she breathed intensely on the soft touch that shivered on her skin. ‘or here.’ and rubbed around her right forearm. ‘I can do something for you if you like?’ Rayleigh thanked his suggestion but knew it would be a waste of time.
‘Thanks, but I’m not sure.’
‘You don’t have to have one now, the more I get to know you, the more I’ll have an idea on what you’ll like. If you like it, I can tattoo on it for you.’ She appeared surprised by his offer but also considered a kind gesture.
‘Then I won’t say too much then.’ She smirks and Rory transfers back a corner smile.
‘You doing that kind of turns me on.’ Her face slightly dropped from his remark, she must’ve been flirting and if Russell is watching, it might give him the wrong impression about her, but then again if he knew her well, he would have assumed this is innocent.
‘Oh, we won’t want that then.’ She said, Rory noticed the mistake, she’s engaged and her other half is watching, the last thing he wants the public to think he’s a girlfriend stealer. Before the conversation was going to get uncomfortable, Kaylin strolled in through the patio doors from the clothes she wore the night before, not long after that Blake followed adjusting his crotch within his boxers and jeans.
‘It’s not what you think.’ Kaylin scowls at Ryleigh knowing she’s being judged, they both walked passed making their way upstairs, Rory and Ryleigh looked at each other “yeah right” and sipped on their tea.
Not long after that, everyone else started to come down and scoff on anything that they could get their hands on and she got a call from Kelsie.
‘Hey, I thought we could go shopping today?’
‘Oh that’s kind of you, but I don’t have enough money.’
‘Well, while you were talking you have received your first paycheck.’ She went quiet and got confused. ‘You get paid 1000 dollars per episode you’re here.’ Ryleigh gasped. ‘I think the first thing we need to do is go shopping. What do you say?’ She agreed and waited for the car to come and collect her.
She got picked up in a black car by Dereck and saw Kelsie inside texting on her phone.
‘Hey Kelsie.’ She puts her seatbelt on and Kelsie looks up.
‘Morning, I see you enjoyed the party last night, great shots by the way.’ Rayleigh thanked her.
‘Why are we going clothes shopping? Aren’t I’m having a makeover today?’
‘Yes, but that’s at 2. The clothes will be when you play the live shows, but I need you to look your best while your in the house too.’ Kelsie had her black jeans on and a tight fit black vest top that laid on her stomach perfectly with her hair in a fishtail plait, is this possible to be pretty without trying Rayleigh thinks.
They make their way into a popular mall and look around, Rayleigh asks more about Kelsie life and how she got into this. She mentions about her ex forcing her to move to LA so he could tattoo celebrities, once he got his name out there, he started getting invited to parties and would take her along to ignore her and be very drunk with a bit of a temper. As she was telling her, they made their way to the changing room to try over 50 clothes they picked between them.
‘At one party I met a guy called Josh, he was in the entertainment sector and told me that I should join and detach away from my ex and start again. Without him, I would’ve been stuck in the same old circle.’ Kelsie want quiet thinking about those moments. ‘Hm, without him, I wouldn’t know how to trust people again.’ Rayleigh detected her affection for this Josh guy and wanted to know more, she pulls back the curtain wearing a grey skull top and dark grey ripped skinny jeans and dark blue sleeveless denim jacket.
‘So where is this Josh guy now?’
‘Oh, he is a PA for one of the contestants, he’s got Rory I think.’ Rayleigh forces her eyes downward not giving away when she said his name.
‘Do you like him?’ Kelsie gets up to adjust the jacket she’s wearing.
‘I have a real good friendship with him, I don’t want to ruin that.’ She witnessed how upset she became and shifted it away from her mind ‘This is a great one, we’ll get this.’
‘Why don’t you ask him out?’ Ryleigh questioned.
‘No I can’t, he probably doesn’t feel the same way.’ She tucks a strand back behind her ear and draws the curtain for Ryleigh to change into another outfit.
‘Sorry, I won’t ask anymore. I can see that it’s upsetting you.’ Ryleigh felt guilty pushing her and undressed her self.
‘No don’t be.’ She said behind the curtain. ‘I haven’t talked to anyone about this, I just find it strange too.’
‘Your secrets safe with me.’ Ryleigh imagined of a plan while changing into another outfit. ‘Or I can chat with Rory and find a way for him to ask you out?’ Kelsie peeked through the curtain in shock which left Ryleigh displayed in her bra.
‘You think so?’
‘Kelsie!’ She attempts to cover herself over with a top, it made Kelsie look to the floor.
‘Sorry, got a bit keen then….Do you think it’ll work?’ Ryleigh nodded and finished changing. ‘How are you going to get Rory involved? It doesn’t seem his kind of thing.’
‘I’m sure I can convince him.’ She turns to look at Kelsie with an army green top and black slit skirt with another approval from Kelsie.
5 shopping bags of new clothes done and gave her tips on how she should put on a ‘natural make-up’ look during the day, they also got gym clothes, bikini for the pool and some evening outfits.
Sitting in the hairdresser’s chair, Ryleigh questioning on what to do, she always done temporary hair colour to try out and didn’t mind them, but if she dyes her hair now the other girls would assume she’s copying them and always wanted a nose ring or lip ring too. Something about it didn’t seem right to get that now. Looks shouldn’t be this important, the team for the live shows should be able to do that for her. In the end, she decided to dye her hair blonder and get a trim.
As she arrived back carrying her bags through the door some were lying on the couch on their phones or playing the guitar.
‘Hey, you spending already?’ Rory asks as she hikes to the stairs, he finally changed into a baseball jersey shirt and black shorts.
‘Er, this was my PA’s idea. She said I needed to have the LA look and had my makeover sesh.’ He looks up and down at her.
‘No, I don’t need all that, my music will make me win.’ She smirks and he reflects back, loving her feisty attitude.