Home > Newest Books > Some Kind of Perfect (Calloway Sisters #4.5)

Some Kind of Perfect (Calloway Sisters #4.5)
Author:Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

Somehow, I ended up on one side of the conference table with him and my brother, and Lo sits between us. This is a couple versus couple issue, but we’ve split up with the girls across from us. Lily between them.

I lean partly on the table, my boot on the seat of a chair. I pick up a tabloid, more of these magazines spread out in front of everyone. Rose just poured them out of her bag as “an example of what we’re dealing with”—and no one was surprised that she brought examples to a meeting.

I sift through a few and notice Lily and Lo photographed on nearly every fucking one.

Lily’s Baby Bump! a few falsely say, printed a few months ago. Some aren’t horrible or inaccurate. ‘I’m Stronger Now.’ Lily’s Untold Story of Addiction, Family, and the Spotlight. I check the date and then slide the magazine over to Daisy.

She peers at the headline with her two sisters.

“That was published yesterday.” It’s further proof that the docu-series is helping spread truths. Daisy smiles instantly at the sight of a positive Lily article.

Lo rocks in his chair and swivels from side to side. “Here’s the thing, we were all able to grow up without the media. This”—he gestures to the tabloids—“didn’t happen until we were in our twenties.”

“I was sixteen,” Daisy reminds him.

Lo stops swiveling, locking eyes with my wife, a girl he knew since she was a little fucking kid. “Yeah. You were sixteen. And you were perfectly fine before the media came in.” Guilt begins to crush his features and his fight against it, brows scrunched, cheekbones like knives.

It fucking kills every part of me.

“Lo,” I start, but then Daisy speaks up for herself.

“I wasn’t perfect or fine before the media. I was sad all the time…and modeling was terrible. One of my theories has already proven true, so you can’t try to change it, Lo.”

He stops clenching the armrest of his chair. “What theory?”

“That even if the media never focused on us, I would’ve still gone to Paris Fashion Week alone. There still would’ve been a riot. I’d still face the same trauma I do now—but it could’ve been worse. Because I might’ve never been friends with Ryke at the time.” Her eyes flit to mine, pained at that idea. I feel my chest collapse. Back to Lo, she says, “And if he didn’t go to Paris, I might’ve died that night.”

Fuck that scenario.

Rose interjects, “Thank God that didn’t happen.”

“Let’s not give God anyone’s credit,” Connor adds, not able to say Ryke’s credit. I roll my eyes.

Lo sits forward, elbows on the tabloids. “You may think I forget about you, Daisy, but I don’t—I haven’t in a long time. I remember how the media harassed you.”

“My friends harassed me,” she says strongly. “And who knows, maybe they still would have, even without the media spreading rumors. Maybe they would’ve picked some other reason to come at me. I don’t think we should look at my life as a standard for what our children might go through. Mom was oblivious towards my mental health, and it’s not like we’re going to force our kids to do something they wouldn’t.”

Lily nods repeatedly, more at peace with her little sister than she’s ever been. Years of remorse buried. Daisy even exchanges a smile with Lily. I’m fucking proud of those two.

“Well said,” Rose tells Daisy while jotting down notes on a legal pad.

Lo notices. “Are you planning an exam after this?”

Rose shoots him an icy glare. “I won’t apologize for being organized when our children’s lives are at stake.”

“For fuck’s sake,” I mutter, “you and your husband are acting like we’re betting against the fucking apocalypse.”

“Maybe we are.” She scratches at a line with her pen, and I see her scrawling in neat cursive: Ryke is unconcerned.

What kind of fucking note is that?

Lo swivels in his chair again. “Like I was saying before—we may have been raised out of the spotlight, but our kids will never get the chance at that sort of life. No matter if we continue the docu-series or not, they’ll grow up in the public eye.”

In a quiet moment, the only sound comes from the air conditioning. I watch my daughter, so fucking little and fragile, sleep contently in Daisy’s arms. I hate the idea of taking something from Sulli, but I understood that bringing her into our world meant she’d instantly lose her privacy.

She’ll never grow up like every other kid.

Just yesterday Daisy and I packed her stroller in my car, so we could go for a walk in a park. Not even thirty-seconds outside the neighborhood and we were tailed by paparazzi.

Going unnoticed is a battle that has no end, but we still have to decide whether or not to bring our kids on screen. Daisy and I have talked in depth about the consequences and the advantages. And I can admit it: there are too many fucking variables to sort out.

I’m not used to looking at life this way. Trying to predict the best course with the least amount of blowback. That’s Connor Cobalt’s thing. And maybe I do want his opinion.

No—I know I do.

That’s why we’re all here. To talk it out.

Hale Co. was the most convenient location. More lawyers are stopping by so we can sign an amendment for the docu-series. An amendment they’ll write up. An amendment about our kids. And we don’t want strangers in our houses just to sign some papers.

Who do we let in our fucking houses? People we vet for at least a week or two—like the three-person camera crew who films footage for the docu-series. We trust them because we’ve all personally interviewed them. Lo fucking interrogated them, and they still checked out.

As a safety precaution, we also have security cameras inside all three houses.

I pick up another false tabloid. ‘I’m Not Ready For This’ Loren Hale’s Reaction to Lily’s Baby Bump! I chuck the magazine, and it slides off the table. Truth is, there’s a good chance Moffy will grow up and read these headlines about his parents. There’s a good chance all of our kids will, and we can’t stop that. We can just try to tone down whatever Celebrity Crush and the other tabloids want to print.

And we have with We Are Calloway.

“So what are you fucking saying?” I ask my brother.

Lo wears this intent, focused look. Like his thoughts have already traveled miles and miles through his head. “Moffy will never know the difference between fame and obscurity. This is his normal.” He points an accusatory finger at the tabloids. “And if we freak out by every goddamn camera, every tabloid article, then his normal will be full of anxiety and panic. Lily and I—we don’t want that for our kid. We want him to be comfortable in public and around paparazzi. We want him to embrace this life because it’s the only one he’s going to live.”

I’d never heard my brother speak this passionately about anything other than Lily. I’ve never doubted his love for his son, but it fucking clings to the air between all of us right now. And there is no shying away, no hiding, no shame.

Lily raises her hand, still pressing ice to her eye with the other. “What Lo said, and we want Moffy to start getting used to being on television because whether he’s in the docu-series or not, they’ll most likely show him on entertainment news.”

“That’s true.” Daisy nods. She brushes back her blonde hair before giving me a look like they make sense.

Lily and Lo can make all the sense in the world. It doesn’t change the fact that there are two certified geniuses at this boardroom table. Two people who will definitely weigh in. Sooner rather than later.

Connor picks up his coffee mug. “I understand where you’re coming from,” he says. Like fucking clockwork. “But Rose and I don’t feel comfortable making this kind of choice for our children, not when it’ll affect the rest of their lives.”

“Exactly,” Rose says and underlines a few words in her notes.

Daisy’s green eyes morph into more tangled confusion, drifting from our baby to our friends and family.

Lo abruptly scoots back from the table, and the look he gives Connor—I’ve never, in my fucking life, seen Lo cast a scathing glare with that much heat at him. I’ve been the recipient, many fucking times, but never Connor.