Soon Iâ€™m pulling into a parking spot that has a gorgeous view of the valley. Rose sucks in her breath. â€œCole, this is extraordinary. Iâ€™ve been to some celebrity parties up in the Hills, but nothing with this vibe. Itâ€™s like weâ€™re the only two people here. LA looks almost peaceful, with all its lights.â€
I stop myself from saying some cheesy line in reply. Instead, I tell her the truth, â€œIâ€™m glad you like it up here. Sometimes I drive out here by myself just to think. Iâ€™ve composed songs up here. Itâ€™s special to me.â€
â€œThank you for sharing it with me,â€ she says softly.
I half-smile, and cup her cheek in my hand. She looks at me, but sheâ€™s not totally in the moment. I can see sheâ€™s starting to think about all the crap going on at her house. Maybe if we talk about it, sheâ€™ll be able to relax.
Running my fingers through her hair, I ask, â€œDo you agree with the copsâ€™ theory that one of Tommyâ€™s exes did that to your car?â€
Rose chews on her bottom lip. â€œI donâ€™t know. I guess anything is possible.â€
â€œWe need to let the police do their jobs. When did they say youâ€™d get your car back?â€
â€œHopefully, I can get it Monday afternoon,â€ she sighs. â€œCole, thanks for letting me stay at your place again tonight. I appreciate it.â€
â€œRo,â€ I stop short, sounding out my first nickname for her. â€œRo, you know how I feel about you. I want to be here for you. You donâ€™t have to deal with this whole mess by yourself.â€
She shakes her head. â€œWe talked about this before. Youâ€™re my client . . . we have a business relationship. I canâ€™t cross that line.â€
â€œHave you ever done anything wild, Ro? Really crazy? Let your hair down and did something just because it felt good or took your breath away?â€
â€œOf course.â€ Her words are belied by her body language. Sheâ€™s staring out into the Valley and each of her fingers is flicking her thumb sequentially.
â€œI donâ€™t believe you.â€
â€œI can be as spontaneous as the next girl. Why do you care?â€
â€œI care, Ro, because you matter to me. I want to know all about you. I want to know what makes you tick, what ticks you off, and what makes you howl with laughter.â€ I lean in to her, placing my hand on her shoulder, â€œI also want to know what makes you scream.â€