The BEauty of a Second ChanceChapter 1

(Links to Chapters 1, 2 and 3 at bottom of page)

STAR TUCKED AN EMPTY CHAMPAGNE glass inside the Boeing 757’s seat flap in front of her. “I can’t believe I dated one of the richest men in Italy for two months and I’m coming home with less money in my purse that I started out with.”

“You won’t be poor for long.” Casey slouched lower in the leather seat she had just snuck into. “I bet you’ll make a ton of money modeling in New York.”

“I doubt it. That city is crawling with pretty women. That’s why I was shipped off to Europe in the first place. My agent told me I needed foreign photographs in my portfolio to bump it up to a professional level—which is a joke because neither one of us managed to accomplish that.”

“We got experience,” Casey said.

Star laughed. “Too bad it wasn’t the kind we can use to book fashion campaigns. No biggie. I’m not going to let anything or anyone stop me.”

“From what? Modeling?”

Star looked into the ruby eyes of a serpent bracelet circling her wrist. “From marrying into a Central Park address.”

Casey released a wistful sigh. “I want to settle down and have babies, too.”

“I never said anything about settling.” Star reached for a Valentino jacket on the floorboard and shook out the wrinkles. “And I’m definitely not going to burden myself with all the crap that comes with having a family.”

“Family is what you make it,” Casey said. “I don’t know if I’ll stay with Jason, but I’m sure about one thing. If I have a daughter someday, I’m not going to be a nag like my mom. I’ll make sure we’re best friends.” She traced a thin purple line on her palm with her index finger. “And I’ll keep her safe from men.”

Star frowned. “You never told me how you got that scar.”

“That’s because I want to forget about most of the stuff that happened over there.” Casey removed a packet of honey-roasted peanuts from the armrest ashtray. “But I want to stay in touch with you and Joanne.”

“I don’t have time for friends.” Star removed a gold lipstick cylinder from the jacket pocket. “I need to get that Central Park apartment before my looks go, or I’ll end up in some dumpy rat-trap, working as a waitress again. As far as Jo goes, she seemed relieved to finally break free from her parents, and us.

“I’m glad at least one of us lucked out.” Casey opened the peanut packet. “Joanne will probably spend the rest of her life in Milan doing Vogue covers and living happily ever after with Alex.”

“Hey, we’re only eighteen.” Star applied the deep red color to her lips. “There’s still plenty of time to make our dreams come true.”

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are about to begin our final descent to the JFK airport, before continuing on to Los Angeles…”

“I better get back to economy before the flight attendant catches me here.” Casey wiped her salty hands on her jeans and stood. “If I give you my mom’s phone number, will you call me after you find a husband?”

“I tell you what. Once I’m rich, I’ll fly out to L.A. and take you to lunch.”

Casey hesitated in the aisle.

“Stop with the sad puppy-eyes.” Star snapped her seat into the upright position. “Now that we’ve got that experience you talked about, everything should be easier. So, don’t worry. I’m sure we’ll see each other soon.”

<Prologue <Chapter 1 <Chapter 2 <Chapter 3

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