Kendalynn tossed her hair over her shoulder. “Tell me again why we’re warning them about what you heard.”
“Because you know telling them is the right thing to do.” Elaine sighed. “You’d want someone to tell you.”
The wind blew into the room as Patronda and Carmandi entered the restaurant. Carmandi’s stiletto heels were replaced with high end platform fashion sneaker wedges. Patronda appeared less polished in a pair of slacks and button down shirt with italian loafers.
“Patronda?” Kendalynn glanced over her outfit. “You feeling okay?”
Carmandi took a deep breath. Her eyes closed as she enjoyed the aroma of fresh baked croissants. A low rumble came from her midsection. “Excuse me, I worked out earlier and haven’t eaten yet. You don’t mind if I order do you?”
“Of course not we take all forms of payment. Everything will be there for you on the tablet. Make yourself comfortable.” Elaine smiled.
Carmandi blushed as she took a seat in front of a tablet to order her food from the express area near the front of the restaurant. Patronda half plopped half eased into the seat across from Elaine and Kendalynn. Elaine motioned for Kendalynn to sit in the booth next to her across from Patronda.
“Why are we here?” Patronda strummed the table with her acrylic nails. “I have work to do.”
Kendalynn rose to leave the table. Elaine placed a hand on her forearm. “We have been discussing what we found out about the show. We’ve refused to continue filming. Kendalynn,”
“I had a morality, decency, and another clause added to the original production agreement with removal of some of the language and image display ownership they wanted in my copy. I’ve looked over Elaine’s agreement and if yours is the same you can all stop filming with no repercussions. Since I’m in most of the shots you filmed they’ll have to scrap the show because they don’t have permission to show my likeness again.” Kendalynn pursed her lips.
Carmandi and Patronda exchanged a look.
“You two know something.” Elaine leaned forward. “Spill it.”
Patronda rolled her eyes and dropped her head forward. The strumming from her nails stopped.
Carmandi nudged Patronda. “Tell them.”
“For what, super lawyer already had them cancel the show. This is unnecessary.” Patronda’s raised her head.
Kendalynn stood. “I’m so sick and tired of you and your attitude. To think I used to fan crush on you. Look at you…”
Patronda turned her head. “Really. You’re so… independent woman hear me roar. Never thought you’d like my music.”
“You used to be one of my favorite artists.” Kendalynn avoided making eye contact with Elaine.
A server brought a plate and placed it in front of Kendalynn’s seat.
“Maybe you’ll feel better if you eat something. We shouldn’t have this conversation on an empty stomach.” Elaine smiled at everyone then sighed. “Please.”
Carmandi nudged Patronda. “They did call us here to tell the truth. We need to tell them what we know too. Even if super lawyer did already solve the problem.”
“I have both of y’all’s superlawyer.” Kendalynn bowed her head over her plate.
Elaine covered her mouth as she tried to suppress a giggle. The server placed Carmandi’s plate in front of her as she stopped fighting the urge and allowed herself to laugh. She laughed so hard she lost her breath. “Kendalynn caught one of the production assistant’s rummaging through her medicine cabinet.”
Carmandi drew in a sharp breath. “How awful!”
“I thought they went too far with us, now I feel foolish. Probably the same girl they were telling to snoop and see if they she could find a way to get one of you to say something nasty about myself or Carmandi.” Patronda shook her head. “While I was preparing for my final exams I heard another one on a call being told to start something between Carmandi and me if you too were too ‘PollyAnna’ to turn on us.”
Kendalynn chewed her bite of her sandwich. “What else?”
“They also said they’d get us to say some more stuff about you and Elaine, because they knew we didn’t like you.” Patronda cleared her throat.
Elaine frowned. “Oh.”
“This is why I didn’t want to tell them.” Kendalynn patted Elaine’s closest hand. “I already knew. The other production assistant copped to being told to stir up mess with us or else the show’d be cancelled. So I planned on keeping in contact with Elaine and let y’all do whatever you want when we left.”
Carmandi looked up from her salad. She bit into the croissant. “I apologize.”
“For,” Elaine crossed her arms.
Patronda shook her head. “We apologize.”
“I’m with Elaine, for what?” Kendalynn sipped from her glass.
Carmandi placed the fork in the middle of the plate. “Being jerks, judging you, treating you like we were better because our husbands have megachurches. You didn’t do anything but be yourselves.”
“I have been hiding going back to school to finish my degree in engineering. Being a civil engineer has been a dream of mine since before I became a teeny bop singing sensation.” Patronda sighed. “You intimidated me. No one kept either of you from pursuing your passions.”
Elaine clapped her hands with a squeal. “Let’s stay in touch. I believe we can all be good friends. Then we’d have at least one positive thing come from this show.”
“I’d love to stay in touch. I have a lot to learn about community service. I believe super lawyer here should teach me.” Carmandi smirked. “Plus, I’m addicted to these croissants and your chef won’t give up the recipe for any amount of money.”
Elaine smiled. “Please, that’s a family secret. Well, Kendalynn and Patronda…”
“I’m too curious about Patronda to walk away now, but I retain my right to withdraw if you keep calling me super lawyer” Kendalynn said.
Patronda smiled. “That’s a compliment coming from a supermodel… Carmandi never calls anyone super.”
“And these croissants. I say we toast with a fresh basket of bread or that tea she makes. I had no idea you owned this place too, we’re gonna have to stay friends. How do you stay so little eating like this every day?”
Elaine shook her head. “That’s another secret but that one I can tell friends.”
A hiss filled the air as the universal audio system opened. “There is no show, the talent refuses to film. We’re scrapping the show and going another way. You’ll be kept on the short list for a new host assignment.”
Serenity held her composure when she recognized the man’s voice over the intercom. She smiled and held one finger in the air like a child leaving church to go to the bathroom as she exited the recording area.