^^Only Hope || Mandy Moore
Pepper Lane; LTL

Wednesday, 27th – Karaoke and cupcakes night at Costello’s; a monthly tradition in San Fran. Some may dread this night but they are serving three new flavors of cupcakes which I'm sure should make bearing the mimicking of cats dying a lot easier.

- - - -

Pepper should have been at the office. Pepper also should have been finishing up the presentation for Bradley's meeting on the financing committee. But Pepper found herself nearly press-ganged and dragged to the karaoke club. Okay, well, maybe she was persuaded by Lyla's constant begging and puppy dog pouts and decided to leave after work with the girls, just so that for the time being she could send out those last few emails to the staff without being bombarded with 'please will you go?'s and 'it's going to be fun!'s.

But one thing was for sure was that Pepper wasn't going to be complaining about the lack of fun. She was once again with her closest friends from the office, Lyla and Claudia, as they bonded over glasses of merlot and giggled at the less-than-remarkable karaoke performances from people way too drunk to function.

And Pepper got to enjoy a delicious chocolate cupcake with pink icing...it was her favorite. She savored the sweetness and hell, she didn't even care about the calories.

"Pep! You should get up there," Claudia said sarcastically as she finished off her second glass of wine. Pepper scoffed and tossed her head back to laugh.

"Yeah right," she remarked. "Let me just down about three more bottles of this wine."

"I totally dare you to get up there and sing," Lyla added with a smug grin. She leaned back in her chair and watched in amusement as Pepper shook her head vehemently.

"What? Are we in fifth grade again?" Pepper chuckled. "No thanks."

"Oh c`mon!" Lyla giggled. "Imagine what Bradley would say!"

"Oh my gosh, it would be hilarious. I'm sure the office would get a kick out of it," Claudia added.

Pepper propped her elbows up on the table and buried her face in her hands. She looked back up at Claudia and then looked to Lyla, eyeing them suspiciously.

"No and no," she said. "Oh my God, I'd be embarrassed for life. And trust me, I'm no where near drunk enough to do that. Why don't you do it, Lyla?"

It was Lyla's turn to scoff. "Yeah, no thanks. It's more fun to see you get up there and sing--"

"Yeah, because it's...well.../you/" Claudia added in. Both girls chuckled and then Claudia reached out a hand and patted Pepper on the back.

"We're only kidding, Pep," she said with a smile.

Pepper quirked an eyebrow. "Fine. Then you can pick up the next tab...and another cupcake!" Pepper smiled smugly at Claudia and turned to the nearest waiter to order up another three cupcakes and a bottle of more merlot.

"Oh. My. God." Lyla gasped, staring out in front of her. "Speaking of totally wasted people singing karaoke..."

Claudia and Pepper immediately turned their heads to follow Lyla's line of sight. Both of their eyes landed on the same person and their mouths fell open in shock. Waltzing up onto the stage with a drunk-yet-graceful demeanor was none other than Pepper's boss, Bradley.

He had his hand wrapped around the waist of a gorgeous blonde model and a bottle of Patron in his other hand. How he got ahold of alcohol like that at a place like this baffled Pepper.

"DJ, play 'Work Hard Play Hard,' " Bradley said, signaling to the dj.

Claudia and Lyla turned their heads toward Pepper, who immediately jumped from her seat. "Oh no he doesn't," she swore, swiftly walking toward him like a mother about to reprimand their child.

Just as the music began, Pepper swiped the microphone from Bradley. 

"What the hell are you doing?" she hissed. Bradley just grinned at her and wrapped an arm around her to give her a hug. Pepper was quick to shimmy out of his grip and instead dragged him off the stage, much to his many protests.

"Oh c`mon Pep!" he sighed. 

"No!" Pepper nearly screamed, startling a few patrons at the restaurant as well as that blonde model clinging onto Brad. "I am not having this end up on the cover of some tabloids tomorrow morning. Do you honestly not care about the company at all?!"

"Take it easy, darling," he replied coolly, turning his head slightly to place a kiss on the model's lips. At least she seemed pleasantly happy.

"We're leaving. NOW," Pepper hissed, ignoring his pleas and begging. She tossed the microphone to the dj and dragged Brad out the back of Costello's while simultaneously dialing one of his chauffeurs to pick them up. 

As she waited by the curb, trying to control a drunken Brad, she sent both Claudia and Lyla apologetic texts.

SEND: Claudia, Lyla
MESSAGE: SO sorry to leave. Boss is an ass. See u girls tomorrow. xx Pep
10:55PM, Jun 27

{tagging; @keziahh & @young-grasshopper}
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