No One to Hold by Arell Rivers

Soon I’m pulling into a parking spot that has a gorgeous view of the valley. Rose sucks in her breath. “Cole, this is extraordinary. I’ve been to some celebrity parties up in the Hills, but nothing with this vibe. It’s like we’re the only two people here. LA looks almost peaceful, with all its lights.”

I stop myself from saying some cheesy line in reply. Instead, I tell her the truth, “I’m glad you like it up here. Sometimes I drive out here by myself just to think. I’ve composed songs up here. It’s special to me.”

“Thank you for sharing it with me,” she says softly.

I half-smile, and cup her cheek in my hand. She looks at me, but she’s not totally in the moment. I can see she’s starting to think about all the crap going on at her house. Maybe if we talk about it, she’ll be able to relax.

Running my fingers through her hair, I ask, “Do you agree with the cops’ theory that one of Tommy’s exes did that to your car?”

Rose chews on her bottom lip. “I don’t know. I guess anything is possible.”

“We need to let the police do their jobs. When did they say you’d get your car back?”

“Hopefully, I can get it Monday afternoon,” she sighs. “Cole, thanks for letting me stay at your place again tonight. I appreciate it.”

“Ro,” I stop short, sounding out my first nickname for her. “Ro, you know how I feel about you. I want to be here for you. You don’t have to deal with this whole mess by yourself.”

She shakes her head. “We talked about this before. You’re my client . . . we have a business relationship. I can’t cross that line.”

“Have 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?”

“Of course.” Her words are belied by her body language. She’s staring out into the Valley and each of her fingers is flicking her thumb sequentially.

“I don’t believe you.”

“I can be as spontaneous as the next girl. Why do you care?”

“I 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.” I lean in to her, placing my hand on her shoulder, “I also want to know what makes you scream.”


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