ROSIE NIXON lives in London with her husband and their two young sons and is Editor-in-Chief of HELLO! magazine. She previously held senior positions at glossy women’s magazines, including Grazia, Glamour and Red. Rosie has a love of all things celebrity, Royal and fashion-related and has been lucky enough to attend a multitude of glamorous showbiz events all around the world. Ever discreet and protective of the big stars she has worked with, Rosie’s experience has enabled her to write her debut novel The Stylist and its sequel, Amber Green Takes Manhattan.
I nuzzled in and breathed deeply. I could sniff the vulnerable patch of bare skin just under his collarbone all day long. It was light outside now and I couldn’t get back to sleep. My mind was spinning. I traced the edge of Rob’s tattoo lightly with my finger. An intricate feather design on his upper arm, it was quite a work of art and had taken me by surprise the first time I saw it in full, after our first date. He had teased me with glimpses of it poking out of T-shirt sleeves for a long while before that. It had taken three sittings to create, by the steady hand of a Muswell Hill tattoo artist. The feather, he said, was to symbolise the freedom of flight; to remind him that he too was free to fly, if he ever needed reminding. Deep and meaningful! I teased him at the time, but the sentiment had played on my mind a bit ever since. Tonight it was resonating strongly to me. Does he want to just take off and fly away from me? Leave me broken hearted, like his last girlfriend?
It all started yesterday evening.
Rob came to the door in tracksuit bottoms and a baggy hoodie. I loved him in his comfy house clothes. He was holding Pinky under one arm.
Pinky: the cute pet micro-pig partly responsible for getting us together. Rob had adopted the little piggy and relocated him from Los Angeles after Pinky was abandoned by one of my former ditzy Hollywood clients. Yes, really! It all happened last year, during my temporary job as stylist to the stars Mona Armstrong’s assistant. Rob doted on the creature – literally worshipped the sawdust Pinky walked on. He was more than a pet; he was his child.
Of late, I’d noticed that the novelty of having an alternative to a house cat was starting to wear off for Rob’s flatmate. Ben was, understandably, getting fed up with the lingering smell of pig pee in the hallway, trotter prints on the sofa, and the wet snout he regularly found snuffling in his clean laundry. But when you looked into Pinky’s dark little eyes you could forgive anything. Well, Rob could. In the same way that I became pretty pathetic whenever I looked into his.
The little creature squealed in what I’m sure was piggy happiness when he saw me on the doorstep.
‘Ben’s here,’ Rob warned, meaning no proper kissing until we reached his bedroom.
I smiled, pulling on his tracksuit cord. ‘I can control myself.’
Rob hovered by the door. He looked anxious.
He paused for a bit too long. ‘Sort of. I’ll explain later.’
I followed him into the living room. Ben was in his usual position, lying full length across one of the sofas, bare feet and lanky legs dangling off the end, a litre bottle of Coke by his side. He was sweaty, like he’d not long been home from the gym.
Theirs was such a boy flat. It was sparse and functional, yet still managed to look untidy. The front room consisted of a large flat-screen TV, two sofas, a coffee table and an Ikea rug that should never have been bought