-1AUTHOR'S NOTE: I SHOULDN'T BE DOING THIS. I SHOULDN'T BE POSTING A NEW STORY WHEN I ALREADY HAVE A MILLION IN PROGRESS BUT IF I DIDN'T WRITE THIS THEN IT WOULD JUST BE AN IDEA I HAD THAT WOULD NEVER COME TO FRUITION. I WAS INSPIRED TO WRITE THIS AFTER WATCHING THE LIKE WE NEVER LOVED AT ALL MUSIC VIDEO HENCE THE TITLE. THANK YOU FOR CHECKING IT OUT. IF YOU LIKE IT PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I'D APPRECIATE IT. THANKS SO MUCH. - KRISTINE.
DISCLAIMER: DON'T OWN ANYTHING BUT MO.
CHAPTER ONE: EZRA AND ALIZA
- - -
"Sugiyama on West 55th please," she instructed the cab driver as she settled into the backseat of what she gathered must have been the cleanest cab in the city. She pulled out her cell phone and quickly checked her emails before sending her boyfriend a quick text. She was meeting him in Maui in a couple days for a much needed vacation. Okay well he needed the vacation. Not her so much. Things had been pretty slow career wise. Still all of that was hopefully going to change after her meeting tonight. Her agent/manager, Moira Kelly-Weisman sounded very excited when they talked earlier that day to set up this meeting.
"My wife loves that place."
Rachel glanced up from her phone. He looked a little old to be a fan of sushi. Old men loving sushi in Los Angeles was normal, but that wasn't the case in New York. Plus his accent was pure Queens. She would have pegged him as more of a pastrami and rye fan. "The kobe beef is excellent."
"I wouldn't know. I've never been there. She goes with one of her friends from work occasionally. She works for a hoity toity entertainment lawyer, Asa Cohen."
Rachel smiled. She actually knew Asa. His mother had wanted her only son to grow up to be a doctor, thus the name. If it weren't for the fact that he made millions and could afford to buy her a spacious condo in Boca she might have still complained about him not being an M.D. Jewish mothers were hard to please.
"Do I know you from somewhere? You look very familiar to me. Are you an actress or something?"
She smiled. She wasn't used to getting recognized by older straight men. Normally it was only older women, gay men, and teenagers. "No I sing. I'm a singer."
"Oh yeah I remember now you were in that group what was it?" He tapped the steering wheel as he tried to remember.
"Ezra and Aliza," Rachel replied softly.
"Yeah that's the one. My wife and daughter loved you guys. They actually were there when you played Madison Square Garden." He'd spent a pretty penny on those tickets. It had been worth it though when he saw just how excited his daughter was when she opened them. "They won't believe me when I tell them that I drove Aliza tonight."
She didn't bother to correct him. It was a pretty common mistake. There were times when she couldn't go a day without someone calling her Aliza. She knew his wife and daughter would appraise him of his error when he told them about this ride later.
"Are you meeting Ezra at Sugiyama?"
Rachel blanched at the thought. Definitely not. She hadn't even seen "Ezra" in at least three years. "No. I'm not." She glanced at the window. She preferred cabbies who asked a few less questions.
"My daughter had such a crush on him."
Rachel resisted the urge to say her and millions of others. She let out a sigh of relief when they finally reached their destination. She grabbed two twenties out of her purse and handed them to him. "Thank you," she glanced at his name tag, "Phil. You have a very clean cab." She hoped that Mo had some good news for her. She was tired of being remembered as Aliza because there was no Aliza without Ezra. She wanted to just be Rachel.
- - -
He was late and he didn't really give a shit. It served Mo right that she should have to wait on him. She was lucky he'd even been willing to put off his trip to Costa Rica for this little dinner meeting. He should have been drinking champagne on the beach right now. He pulled out his phone and checked his text messages. He grinned when he saw that Tia had sent him a picture message. His grin turned into a smirk when he realized it was a picture of her breasts. He should have been having fun with those breasts right now instead of hauling his ass to a dinner meeting. Oh the things he would do to those breasts.
"Excuse me are you Noah Puckerman from Ezra and Aliza?"
Puck looked up from his phone and saw that there was a woman looking at him expectantly. She was pretty good looking for a probable thirty year old soccer Mom. She was probably just in the city for the night to see a show with her husband who works too much and escape her three snot nosed kids. "You got me."
"I used to love you guys. My husband and I used Enrapture for our first dance as a married couple."
"Well that's nice, but I've got to be going." He started to leave. He'd heard this story a million times. He often had to resist the urge to say who gives a fuck.
"Are you guys working on anything new? My eight year old loves your greatest hits album."
He was hoping that turning away from her would be all the hint she needed to go on with her mundane life. He stopped because the last thing he needed for his already struggling career is for word to get out that he was total douche bag. "No we're not. We're actually doing solo projects. I've got an album out though. Now if you don't mind I've got to be going." He waved goodbye before quickly walking away. This little conversation had gone from him making him kind of late to super late. Mo was going to kill him. She probably already wanted to drop his sorry ass anyway. Fuck. Tia definitely wouldn't fuck him if his agent dropped him.
- - -
"Is there a reason you keep glancing at the hostess station?" Rachel asked when Mo for literally the millionth time looked over there. "Are you expecting someone?"
Mo made a face like that was the craziest thing she'd ever heard. "How's Finn?"
"Amazing, he just signed on fifteen more dates for his Asian tour." Once upon a time Rachel wouldn't have been able to handle having a boyfriend who was more famous than her. Still she'd grown. Okay so she hadn't grown that much. She would have killed to be the more famous one. Still she'd at least learned to pretend that she wasn't jealous.
Mo could see right through Rachel's act. She'd known the young woman long enough to know that she hated that Finn was more famous than her. It didn't help that Finn wasn't nearly as talented. He was good, but nothing revolutionary. He was famous because he was cute in that boy next door kind of way and was a throwback to the 80s. "Well I hear Asa's trying to sign him as a new client."
"Thanks now I won't be surprised when Asa sends me flowers or calls to ask me out to lunch." Rachel knew Asa well enough to know that he would use her to go to Finn. "So why did you call this little meeting? Not that I'm not enjoying this conversation we're having, but well you sounded excited. Has something come up?"
Mo glanced over her shoulder again. She really wanted to wait for the other member of their dinner party to arrive before she shared the good news. "Uh…"
"Mo whose joining us?"
"You did not." Rachel's heart started to pound. Mo wasn't that cruel. She wouldn't invite him.
"I didn't what?" Mo knew from the look in Rachel's eyes that she had figured out who they were waiting on. "Rachel calm down…"
Rachel started to say something else when she saw him strut into the dimly lit restaurant. "Seriously Mo? You really sunk so low as to hide the fact that you invited him to this little meeting?"
Mo turned around in her chair. He looked just as upset as Rachel did. She got up from her chair and gave him a quick hug. "You're late."
"At least I'm not in Costa Rica right now like I wanted to be." Puck replied as he pulled away. He wished that he was actually surprised that she hadn't mentioned that Rachel would be here. He should have known that she had an ulterior motive. She had sounded unusually excited when they talked earlier. "Rachel…" he greeted stiffly as he sat down in the chair across from her. He thought about kissing her cheek like he used to, but decided against it in fear that she'd slap him.
"Noah…" She took a moment to quickly check him out. It had been three years since the last time she'd seen him. Three years since a blow up that had ruined both of their careers. He was trimmer than he had been before if that was possible. He'd grown his hair out. Despite looking older his eyes gave away that he was still the bed-hopping boy she'd grown up with. "I see you're still bad at being punctual."
"I see you're still a bitch," Puck shot back.
"Well now that you're both here I can share the exciting news." Mo interjected. The last thing she wanted was for a fight to breakout between the two of them. They could fight like no else.
"This better be good Mo. I could be fucking an up and coming actress on the beach right now." Noah muttered.
Mo rolled her eyes. She knew he only said that to get under Rachel's skin. It was like they were seventeen again. "I've approached about you to being part of a holiday special. There are still a lot of Ezra and Aliza fans out there which I'm sure you already know and they are really clamoring for a comeback."
"No way," Rachel shook her head no. She was not going to go back to the studio with him. If his little comment earlier had proved anything it was that he was still as immature as he had been before.
"Yeah God help me but I agree with Rachel there is no way I'm going back there. It's annoying enough as it is always getting asked about her. I'm a solo artist now."
Mo scoffed. "Not to bruise your egos but neither of you really have careers right now. I'd know if you did. I'm not saying you have to go on tour together. All I'm saying is you do a holiday special and go on a mini press tour. If everything works out then maybe we talk about a reunion. If it's too painful to work together well at least you're back on people's radars again." She knew that they were both thinking about it because neither said anything right away. "Look they're willing to pay you $1.5 million each to do this special."
"1.5?" Puck could use that kind of money. He didn't want to admit it, but he'd been a little reckless with all of the money they'd made over the years. He hadn't saved like he should have. He'd always assumed that sooner or later people would accept him as a solo artist and he'd make the millions he was accustomed to.
"1.5 for a month of work," Mo knew that he was in. Going into this though she knew he'd be the easier sell. He hadn't been the one to quit the band. He hadn't been the one to say that their successful career wasn't worth it. No that honor belonged to Rachel.
Puck looked at Rachel and knew that she wasn't convinced. "You always wanted to do a holiday special." He reminded her softly. He knew that they wouldn't want just him. This was a team effort. He needed her to be in too.
"I'll need to think about it." Rachel wasn't sure if she could handle working with him for even a month. She couldn't make a decision like this without some serious thought.
"Which means you'll have to confer with Finn," Puck sneered. "Because we all know Finn is so brilliant."
Rachel scoffed and rolled her eyes. "No it means I'll have to decide if I can handle working with someone as insipid as you."
"Ooh the five dollar words I must really have you riled."
Mo watched the scene with play out before her. She didn't bother to try and break it up. She knew it was pointless. She'd been here before. Even when things were going really good for them and they were on good terms they'd fought like cats and dogs.
"I won't stand for this. It was one thing when we had to perform later that night. I'm not the same stupid 19 year old who could be fooled into forgiving you the moment she heard you sing. I know now what I didn't know then."
"And what's that?"
"That you're nothing but a shallow, vain, asshole who can't see past his own reflection. You don't give a damn about me, our music, our fans, or anything." Rachel spat. She stood up and collected her things. "I'm going to go to Maui and think about it. I'll let you know by the end of the week. Don't hold your breath though."
"Do think about it Rachel. It's a good deal." Mo reminded her client. "Send Finn my love."
"Will do," she started to leave. Before stopping and turning around, "You look good Noah." And with that she walked away.
Puck watched her leave and let out a deep sigh. "Fuck me."
"I don't understand why you always have to goad her like that." Mo wished that he knew how to be emotional in something other than song.
Puck shrugged. "She looked good too. Didn't she?"
"Rachel always looks good. She even looked good when she wore those horrible mini skirts and knee high socks."
"You'll tell me her answer?"
"Will do," Mo assured him. "I'm guessing you're in as long as she is."
"Isn't that how it always is?"
"Travel safe to Costa Rica. Try not to ruin your reputation while you're down there. No family wants to turn into a holiday special when one of the stars is a nymphomaniac."
"I'm hardly a nymphomaniac."
"Well we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one," she joked. This was the reason she loved Puck because he was so damn charming. He was occasionally a spineless asshole, but boy did he have charm. Even Rachel would have admitted that at the peak of her distaste for her former bandmate.
"I'm sorry I was late." Puck replied earnestly. No matter how much he pretended not to give a shit he honestly did care. He knew this might have gone smoother had he been on time. Mo was just trying to watch out for them. She honestly had the right to drop them as clients years ago but she believed enough in them that she had stuck by them. He knew though that her dream was that they'd get over all of their old baggage and reunite. Ezra an Aliza had been an American institution. They'd sold out Madison Square Garden. They'd put her on the map.
"I know you are," she stood up and allowed him to softly kiss her cheek. "And I think she'll agree. Rachel can't stand being the less famous member of the relationship."
"Especially since we all know she made him," Puck pointed out. "Tell Tal I said hello."
"Same to Tia," Mo watched him leave and sighed. There was no way there were two more stressful clients than those two. She just hoped that they had the sense to do this special. She knew that all they needed to do was perform together again and how magical of a feeling it was. She wasn't a very religious woman and she honestly didn't believe in much but she believed in them.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I HOPE YOU LIKED THAT. I THINK I'M PLEASED WITH IT. I'D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT. THANKS FOR CHECKING IT OUT. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE REVIEW. REVIEWS ARE PRETTY DARN AWESOME. - KRISTINE.