The tension in the Haunted Star was very noticeable. It was actually making Lulu really uncomfortable. Starr was sitting at one of the tables, tapping her pen repeatedly. She was supposedly writing new songs, but she just kept tapping the pen on the table. Johnny was standing behind the bar, angrily staring at the entrance.
"Where the hell is this guy?" Johnny muttered. "He was supposed to be here a half hour ago."
"What exactly are you two waiting for?" Lulu asked. Johnny sighed and tore his eyes away from the door.
"The damn photographer," Johnny said. "I hired him to take pictures of Starr for the album cover, but apparently he decided not to show. Thank god I didn't pay him in advance."
"We could always just do it another day," Starr offered, walking over. "I don't mind."
"No this idiot should be here," Johnny said. "And I want this to be done today. We can't move forward with any of the album post production until we have the album cover done." Lulu looked back and forth between Johnny and Starr before an idea came to her.
"I think I know someone who can help us," Lulu said. Johnny and Starr both looked over at her. "Just give me a second." She got off the bar stool and walked off.
"Do you have any idea who she's talking about?" Starr asked.
"Absolutely none," Johnny said. They both looked to where Lulu had walked off to. They had no idea what she was up to, but if was going to help they certainly couldn't be upset about it.
Ellie sighed as she walked up to the Haunted Star. She didn't really want to be there, but Lulu had called and said they really needed her help. Ellie adjusted her camera bag strap on her shoulder before walking inside. She spotted Lulu, Starr, and Johnny by the bar. She could deal with being around Lulu and Starr, it was being around Johnny that had her nervous. She still hadn't spoken to him and she probably would have kept avoiding him if Lulu hadn't have called her. Lulu spotted Ellie and smiled.
"And here's your photographer," Johnny looked up towards the door and was surprised to see Ellie. She had been avoiding him for at least a week, even though he had kept sending her those roses. Ellie walked over to them.
"Your Lulu's secret photographer?" Starr asked and Ellie nodded. "I didn't know you were into photography."
"Yeah it's a hobby of mine," Ellie said.
"Did you bring the picture?" Lulu asked. Ellie nodded and pulled it out of her bag. Lulu smiled and showed it to Johnny and Starr.
"Wow," Starr said. "That's really good."
"It's nothing," Ellie said. "Just a fun hobby I picked up."
"So what do you say?" Lulu said, turning to Johnny. "Do you think she's right for the job?" Johnny looked at Ellie, who fidgeted with her camera bag. If she was here, he might have a chance to talk to her.
"Sure," Johnny said. "I think she's perfect for the job."
"Great!" Starr said, smiling at Ellie. "Now I can do this photo shoot with someone I'm comfortable with."
"You still have to do everything I say," Ellie said. Starr rolled her eyes but grabbed Ellie's arm and dragged her to the other side of the room. Johnny looked over at Lulu who was still smiling. Lulu noticed him staring.
"What?" She asked.
"What exactly are you trying to do?" Johnny asked. Lulu looked at him, a partially innocent look on her face.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Lulu said. "You needed a photographer and I happened to know one." Lulu got up and grabbed her bag. "Now if you happen to take the opportunity to talk to said photographer about anything, that's your choice." Lulu smirked before turning to leave. Johnny looked over at Ellie. Even though it was sneaky, Johnny had to give props to Lulu. She had basically handed him the opportunity to finally talk to Ellie. And he sure as hell wasn't going to waste it.
"Oh that's a good one," Ellie and Starr were sitting at one of the tables, looking at Ellie's computer. They had finished the photo shoot and were looking through to pick which ones they liked. "I can't believe you never told me that you were into photography. Or that you were this good."
"Like I said," Ellie reiterated. "It's just a hobby."
"A hobby that you're really good at," Starr said and Ellie shrugged. "Jeez, when did you become so modest?"
"I just have a lot on my mind," Ellie said, casting a side glance at Johnny. He was behind the bar, trying to keep himself busy. He hadn't said anything while Ellie was taking the pictures, but now that she was done, Ellie had the feeling he was waiting to talk to her. And she didn't know if she was ready for that.
"How am I supposed to just choose a few of them?" Starr asked. "I love all of them!"
"It all depends on the mood you want your album to give off," Ellie said. "Photography is all about the emotion of the moment that's being captured."
"Well you're the photographer," Starr said. "Which one do you like the best?" Ellie sighed and looked at the screen. She scanned through the pictures not sure which one was just right for the cover of Starr's album. Then she found it.
"This one," Ellie said, clicking on the picture. It was a close-up of Starr. There was just the slightest hint of a smile and her eyes were looking up. "It just gives off this feeling of,"
"Hope," Starr said, smiling sadly. Ellie nodded and fidgeted with her hands. She knew about what happened to Starr's daughter, but they had never really talked about. She didn't want to make Starr relive the nightmare of losing her daughter. "I was thinking of her when you took the picture."
"I think it would be perfect," Ellie said quietly. Starr nodded as one small tear ran down her face. She wiped it away and stood up.
"Thank you so much Ellie," Starr said. Ellie smiled and nodded. Starr turned to the bar where Johnny was standing. "And I can't thank you enough Johnny for giving me this opportunity."
"Anytime," Johnny said. Starr smiled before heading out of the club. The club grew quiet, with Johnny standing at the bar and Ellie sitting on the other side of the room.
"I can put the pictures on a thumb drive and give them to Starr another time," Ellie said, before starting to quickly pack up her computer. Now that they were alone, Ellie was anxious to get out of there.
"Ellie wait," Johnny said rounding the bar. Ellie started to pack up her things faster when she saw Johnny coming towards her. "Ellie, come on, let me talk to you." Ellie sighed before looking up at Johnny. "Did you get the flowers?"
"Yeah," Ellie said. "They were nice. Kind of obsessive, but nice." Johnny chuckled at her comment.
"Well I'm glad you liked them," Johnny said. Ellie looked down at her hands as played around with her hands. "You're nervous."
"Am not," Ellie said, looking up at Johnny.
"You always play with your hands when you're nervous," Johnny pointed out. "It's kind of cute." Ellie blushed and went to fidget with her hands, but stopped herself by shaking them out. Johnny smirked at her actions.
"Look I have to get going," Ellie said.
"Okay wait," Johnny said. "Look I know this thing between you and me started off wrong and we hurt some people, but that doesn't mean we have to dwell on the past."
"Johnny this," Ellie started. "Us, it can't end well. If it started with us lying and hurting other people, what's to stop us from doing that to each other?"
"We won't know if we try," Johnny said.
"Then we're just setting ourselves up to get hurt," Ellie began. "And I've been hurt enough in my life." She grabbed her bags and started to walk towards the door.
"Just give it a chance," Johnny said. Ellie paused. She wanted to keep walking. She didn't want to start something that would end badly. But she just couldn't walk away. "One date, that's all I'm asking for." Ellie turned to face Johnny. He walked over to Ellie. "Just one date. If you don't think we'll work out, then I'll leave you alone. What do you say?" Ellie looked at Johnny, not sure what to say. One date couldn't hurt her.
"Okay," Ellie said. "One date." Johnny smiled and his adorable smile made Ellie want to smile right back. "I'll see you around." She walked out of the club. As she walked away, Ellie felt her lips curve up into a smile.