"Pack up! Thank you, everyone!" The director of the photoshoot shouted, earning a round of applause from the now tired staff as they started packing up. The shoot started at one in the afternoon instead of eleven since they had to wait for everyone, prepare the shooting place and eat their lunch. The shoot lasted for about six hours, so it was now seven and everyone looked so exhausted, especially Reign who did the shoot with only a thirty-minute break then going back to work immediately.
"Change and let's go." Manager Betty said, standing up and yawning as she stretched her body. All those hours, what she did were watched Reign, watched a movie series, scrolled over her social media accounts, took a nap, and watch Reign again. This was what she hated about being a manager.
"My head is aching in starvation, Manager Betty" Reign complained, frowning as she walked towards her casual clothes. "I want a buffet."
"Okay, we'll have a buffet. Go change." The manager agreed immediately, it was the last thing she could do to compensate for the hard work of her kid who looked very tired at the moment that she was sluggishly walking towards the changing room.
Reign changed her clothes, she couldn't believe models stayed at the shoot continuously for six hours without a rest. She thought it only lasted for an hour and the longest was two since that was what her schedule composed of before, but now that she had a taste of this six hours long fashion shoot with changing costumes now and then, and making her wear accessories that were even heavier than stone gems, she came to realize that no work was really easy to do even how easy that work looked like where most people only thought that models only needed to smile and pose then money would erupt through every shot of the camera, but no, that was not how the modeling industry worked, they also need to work hard and wear uncomfortable clothes, itchy makeups, endure the hours of standing while wearing heels, blinded by every flashing light and bear the disappointed look of every ugly shot taken from them.
Especially to Reign who was not trained to work in the limelight but behind the curtains, this work was hard for her but thanked to whoever came up with a manager and thanked the agency that she was given with the best manager they could have who was certainly doing her work.
"You can sleep in the car, I'll just order a lot of food for you to eat at your hotel. You need to rest before you meet Martin." Manager Betty said, her arm around the lady's waist, their things on the other as she guided them out of the shooting place.
Reign opened one of her eyes, tiredly peeking at the woman. "How'd you know that? Did you check my phone?"
"No, well sort of, I read a notification from an unknown number on your phone and realized it was Martin's reminding you of your meeting at ten near the agency. I didn't know your type of guy is like him." She stated, waiting outside the car as the driver opened the door for them. "Be careful of men like him."
She mentally rolled her eyes, 'he should be careful of women like me.' she wanted to say but she just went against it and said, "I'm careful of every man. I just need something from him that's why I'll meet him."
"Something involves feelings?"
"Something involves informative details that would help me have my peace in every aspect of my life." She sternly answered her, buckling her seatbelt as she cut whatever she was thinking of.
"Informative details like getting to know each other-"
"Cut it out!" Reign burst out, and the manager broke into a fit of laughter from teasing the model. "Let me have my peace for a moment. Please turn up the volume of the radio." She told the driver as she closed her eyes and shifted her seat to the side to avoid having a nonsensical conversation with the manager.
"Seriously, Flora, you have to be careful of Martin, platonic or romantic, it doesn't matter. Just be careful of him in general. He and his friends have been mistreating Karen, and I do not know what else bad things they do or say to her because she doesn't want to disclose those to me in the protection of these kids." She added seriously without looking at Flora.
Reign didn't answer but still heard it. She decided to just think of it later once she woke up. She was just too tired to talk about this issue though she had to know it, maybe some other time.
The manager granted her wish of peace, didn't speak another word as she let the lady sleep, and just focused on her phone again which favored Reign so much. She had been thinking of Martin's last text on her, like how did he know her name? Her real name? She never introduced herself using her first name nor it slipped her tongue, so how could he possibly know her? She had to find out.
They stopped by a restaurant, only the manager went out as the model was already asleep, she only took out the food she ordered and went back again to the car to send the sleeping beauty straight to her hotel. The manager's phone beeped and a notif came, her eyes squinted upon reading the first sentence that was shown on the notification before she opened the whole message, which only made her brows furrowed more.
"Betty, Geoff, and Mr. Koto have a little feud again. If not for Jeremy, Mr. Koto would have probably had another heart attack in anger. I asked Jeremy what they talked about but he did not overhear it, he was already fuming when he came in and Geoff was already walking out of the room."
She sighed and shook her head in disappointment as she typed her message that she would visit this night and would try to talk to Geoff as soon as she sent Flora to her room. She massaged her head and closed her temple, Geoff and Mr. Koto always argued, and no one knows what was that about, but enough to send everyone a headache at that feud they were clueless of.
"Flora, wake up and go up."
Reign groaned, irritated by the hands shaking her shoulder. She opened her eyes with a big frown but roamed her eyes at where she was, it was still the car, and she realized that she fell asleep.
"Here is your food, eat all you can. I'm going to visit Mr. Koto. Take care of yourself, call me when something happens."
She realized that she was on her side, opening the door for her with the paper bags of the certain restaurant in her hand. Though still in a daze, she took her bag and got out of the car, the manager shoving her the paper bags as she hastily went inside the car and closed it, leaving Reign still confused at what had just occurred.
After a while of spending outside, she decided to go inside the hotel, the guard offering a hand to the paper bags she was carrying but refused it because it was nothing for her. Once she got inside her room, she settled the paper bags on her kitchen table, taking out the food, and started consuming them, filling up the empty stomach with a variety of dishes.
She looked at the clock, it was only eight-thirty so she still had time to take a nap, changing with her comfortable clothes, she dove into her bed, and sleep. Modeling had taken her energy off.
Martin went inside the coffee shop near the agency, he had a gray hoodie on, simple gray jogger pants, and white shoes, not wanting to be known especially that oddly, the place had more customers than usual. He looked around, finding the perfect seat for them to have privacy at least. He walked towards the table on the farthest side, deciding to contact the woman whom he feared would stand him up.
"Why is she not arriving still?" He asked himself, putting the phone on his ear as she called him. It was on the last few ring when she answered.
"Hello, Flora? Are you on your way?"
Reign who had just woke up hurriedly sat up upon hearing his voice, she felt her head ached as her sight blackened for a little while. "I'm sorry, I overslept, I'll be there in a few."
"Better late than stood me up. I'll wait here." He answered then ended the call, standing up to order a coffee while he waited for her.
"Two chamomile tea. Martin." He told the person on the counter and gave his credit card.
"We'll just call you, sir." He said and gave the card back after swiping.
He walked back on his seat, drumming his fingers on the table as he observed the place silently, it was already ten so it was really unusual to find a lot of people inside, they might just move to another place so they could talk properly without anyone looking at them suspiciously.
His name was already called, as soon as he got the tray and walking back to the table, Flora walked into the shop with a jacket, cap and a mask which hid her face. Their eyes met which made Martin smile, Reign rolled her eyes and walked towards him.
"Why did you order? We should move out of here!" She whispered-yelled as soon as she came near him, She looked around, "Why are there a lot of people here all of a sudden?"
"I don't know too but we should at least drink this up to keep us warm," Martin suggested, sitting on the chair and sipped on the cup of tea like nothing.
Reign rolled her eyes and sat on the chair unwillingly, she lowered her mask and also sipped on her own cup. "You better drink that fastly or else I'll bathe you with a hot tea in no time."
The man frowned at the threat, "It's hot, Flora."
"Whatever, I want to get out of-"
She was cut off by a loud thud, and simultaneous screams from the people inside, when they looked at the side, a man was already lying lifeless on the floor.