Chapter Two: Interviews

"Suze, you do know that you have to fly over to Ireland by tomorrow, right?" Gina asked me worriedly.

She was my clothing coordinator for this thing, since the TV show people told me that I could pick my own organizer and clothing coordinator, and ever since I told her she could do it, she has been taking her job way seriously. Well, as seriously as Gina can take anything, anyway. Which is to say, not very.

I rolled my eyes at her. "Yes. What are you so worried about? Cee's the organizer; you just have to pick out my wardrobe," I informed her as I flipped through a copy of some magazine I picked up off the counter. How to Win Men's Hearts in Five Easy Steps. Yeah, that was really my problem.

CeeCee chose that moment to come sauntering into my room. I hadn't even heard her open the door of my apartment with the spare key I gave her. The spare key that was to be used for emergencies only, no less. "What about me?" she demanded.

"Nothing," I told her.

She shrugged and seemed to look around my room, which was littered in all different types of cosmetics and cloths that I had been meaning to return… "Suze, you do know that you're going to Ireland for six months tomorrow, right?" she asked.

"Whatever." I tilted my head upwards. "I thought it was five months."

She sighed, "You, little missy, need to start paying attention. Didn't you hear me telling you this yesterday? You've got ten days to yourself before the guys arrive so that the producers and other people can meet you—as seeing how Gina just had to tell them about you and accepted. Crazy television people, I swear—and they're giving you eight extra days to be with the top two guys. Plus you've got a twelve day parade/paparazzi stampede after the show if the guy you picked decides that he just wanted the money, and not you."

I narrowed my eyes at her and stuck my chin up in the air. "That's not going to happen."

"Huh. We'll see."

Jesse's POV

All around me, people screamed, "Why? How could it possibly have been cancelled? People loved it!" or "Gerard, your show airs tonight! What's your problem? Why isn't it done?" while I just sat there, in the soft, red, leather chair in the waiting room. Well, up until this guy plopped down right next to me. He apparently just hopped out of the shower since his hair was all wet and in little locks.

He looked me, and said conversationally, "Don't you hate places like this? Where people all scream at each other? I mean, they make you want to jump up and tell them to just cool it already."

I nodded. "Yes, they could be irritating at times."

He flashed a white smile at me. Either his parents paid a pretty penny for some heavy orthodontia or he just had really good genes, it was hard to tell which. "Paul Slater."

I frowned in confusion. "Who?"

He chuckled. "Me, I'm Paul."

I felt color rush to my cheeks. "Oh. I'm Jesse. Jesse De Silva."

We didn't get to say any more because at that moment, a flushed—or frustrated—secretary came out and read from her clipboard, "Jesse De Silva?"

When I raised my hand and said, "That's me," she leered at me somewhat slyly I must admit, and said, "Come with me. Mr. Mitchells is ready to see you."

Paul slapped my back and said, "Good luck, man."

Hey, how'd he know that I was interviewing?

Oh, how foolish of me. Of course, it was the waiting room for interviews that we were sitting in after all.

When I stepped into the office the secretary, Leslie, led me into, the first thing I noticed about the room—okay, cubical—was that it was all purple and not at all masculine, yet Leslie had said Mr. Mitchells. Unless…

He was gay. The moment I heard him speak, I knew right off the bat that he was not one of the heterosexual species. How inappropriate. Really, a homosexual guy interviewing other guys for a romance reality show?

What were they thinking? Or rather, not thinking?

He gave me the same sly leer Leslie had given me and said in a tone of what I guess he thought was seductive, "Sit down, Jesse. It's a pleasure to meet you."

And you can probably guess how the whole interview went. You know, he tried to hit on me and I got as far from him as possible.

"Well, I think we're done here, Mr. De Silva," he said. "You are qualified and Leslie will come in here in a second to tell you what you need to do."

Just what I needed. Signing up for a romance reality show and being hit on by both the female and male gender. Excellent.

Paul's POV

A few minutes after Jesse got called in, a sexy large busted brunette secretary came into the waiting room and asked for me.

When she saw me, she apparently like what she saw—as did most ladies—since she went up to me and got inappropriately close to her chest brushing mine as she informed me, "We're ready for you."

I swear, the staff here at ABC do not know how to keep their staplers in their desk d—

Oh, wait, I think that's only to describe men.

Anyway, she led me to a plain cubical where I sat in front of this pudgy Asian woman who looked at me with the most serious eyes I have ever seen and said sternly, "Mr. Slater, what a pleasure to meet you. My name is Sarah Qian, I will be asking you a few questions in the following fifteen minutes. "

Although she might as well have been saying, "Now we're going to stick you in a pot filled with 32 different species of poisonous snakes and you'll just going to have to deal with it, okay? Okay."

"So I see that you have been quite busy in your lifetime," she said. Then she squinted down at the resume I wrote and commented, "I see you're quite the lady's man."

I smiled at her. "If you want to think about it that way."

"Now, do you have a girlfriend at the moment?"

I raised an eyebrow and told her no. I was going to break up with Lilly anyway.

"Okay, now, why do you think you qualify for our show? What would the American viewing public find interesting about you? Why should we pick you over, let's say, Barney?"

And her questions went on and on. This woman was like an x-ray machine, and she wanted to examine every tiny aspect of my life from my family to my wardrobe.

She put all my papers in one neat stack and said to me, "Very nice, Mr. Slater. Please follow Laura to your next destination."

Destination, really? But I didn't say anything, as it'd have been just another waste of my saliva.

So I followed the hot brunette chick—why call her Laura, anyway? Hot brunette chick fits her better—into a room where she made me read and sign countless forms.

After I was all done, it was time to go to the "next destination."