A loud buzzing woke Ian Johnson from his much-needed sleep. With a groan, he pulled his arm from underneath the pillow and grabbed his phone from the nightstand. Groggily, he swiped his finger across the screen to answer the call.
"Where the hell did you go last night? We were at a contract signing one minute, and the second I look away you are gone," his manager yelled.
All the yelling caused Ian to pull his phone away from his ears. Stifling a groan, he remembered what happened. He looked next to him, and the girl from last night was asleep beside him. From her, he circled his gaze around the room. He wasn't in his apartment, but in a hotel room.
Last night, he had a contract-signing meeting at the nice restaurant that this girl had come from. Finding a restaurant in New York City where no one would recognize him was hard, and the waitress proved just how hard it was to be in a place unnoticed. A sardonic grin slipped onto his expression when he remembered how she had caught his attention. He had got up from the table to go to the men's room, when the waitress who had been making eyes at him all night pulled him into the rest room with her. Hours later, he found himself naked next to her in a hotel bed.
He zoned into the conversation his manager was having with him once again.
"Get your ass over to the designer's office so you can meet the rest of the crew. You should remember that you are a professional, now start acting like one. I expect to see your stupidly attractive face in an hour." The phone call ended with a click.
Silently he pulled himself out of bed, and quickly got changed before she woke up and caught him. Managing to tip toe to the door he heard her.
"Ian baby, where are you going?"
Looking at her, he whispered,
"I'll call you."
He walked out of the hotel, and laughed to himself when he wondered when she would realize he never got her number.
Looking down the sidewalk, Ian realized that he was a couple blocks from his apartment. It was early enough to walk around without being noticed. As he walked down the sidewalk, it surprised him that he was used to seeing his face wherever he went. Looking over to a newspaper stand, he saw his editorial in GQ. It has been like this ever since he debuted at twenty-one. Four years later, and he was now a household name.
He walked past the doorman, and went strait to the elevators. Looking at his phone, he groaned when he realized he had forty minutes to shower, get dressed, and get across town.
Across town a woman stepped through the revolving doors of Christophe Laurent's headquarters. Walking to the secretary, she gave her name.
"Hello, I am Kate Sanders. I am here for the meeting for Urban Fairytale's look book?"
Giving a professional smile, the secretary looked through the schedule before giving her the floor and room number.
After a few moments of waiting in the elevator, Kate found herself immersed once again in the world of fashion. She had been raised in this hectic environment. Her parents had both been models, and they frequently took her with them when they had photo shoots. Unlike her parents, Kate had always wanted to be behind the camera, and had grown up with a camera in her hands. Now at twenty-three, she was a successful photographer. Stepping through the elevator doors, she was quickly grabbed by her best friend, head stylist, and coworker Max Daniels.
"Kate, it has been so long since I last saw you," he exclaimed while pulling her into a hug.
Pulling away from his embrace, she looked at him. Dressed in a short sleeved white button down shirt, slacks, and a bow tie, he looked as fashionable as ever. Adjusting his bow tie, Kate gave a warm smile.
"Max, it's been so long! We last saw each other at what, a magazine photo-shoot?"
"Yes, the one that was shot at Central Park. We should probably head into the meeting room, the meeting is going to start in five minutes," he said while guiding her down the halls.
Walking into the room, Kate saw a bunch of familiar faces. Everyone here was someone that she had worked with before. The only person that she hadn't worked with was the head male model. Scanning the room, she couldn't find any unfamiliar faces. Looking around the table that occupied the room, she could only find one person who she didn't recognize; and he didn't seem like a model. Most models gave off this confident, unapproachable feeling around them. While this man gave off a similar confident feeling, it wasn't quite the same. He also seemed quite irritated while constantly checking his phone.
Looking at her watch, she saw that it was time to start the meeting. The advertising director grabbed the room's attention as everyone settled in their seats.
"Hello everyone. We are here today to introduce our new project, the look book for our new Urban Fairytale line. Here to introduce the project in more detail, is our photographer and director Kate Sanders."
Smiling, Kate got up out of her seat and walked to the front of the room. Looking around the table, she noticed that the room was completely full. Except for one seat. As she was about to speak, the door opened to reveal a very late model. She watched him silently walk through the room before slouching into the seat next to the man she had seen before.
"Now that everyone is here," Kate said while sending him a pointed look, "My name is Kate Sanders, and I am the director and photographer of the Urban Fairytale look book. I am happy to see some familiar faces, but for those who do not know me, I do not tolerate bad attendance. Today will be the only day that I will overlook lateness, but I am free to replace each and every one of you. I want to have a successful photo-shoot, and that requires the utmost professionalism. Aside from that, I look forward to working with everyone here."
Giving one more pointed look at the late model, she continued.
"Urban Fairytale is a new line from Christophe Laurent which is aimed at a younger audience than his core consumer. He wants to connect with a woman who wants to live in a fairytale. This look book will give this woman the reminiscent fairytale from her youth, while having an urban feel to match the modern woman who is looking through it. The majority of the shots will be taken in Manhattan, and then in a month we will go to France to shoot in Versailles. After all, a fairytale has to take place in a castle," She said while smiling. After a pause, she continued,
"When the last photo-shoot is done, we will launch off the line with a fashion show in Versailles's hall of mirrors. Finally, the theme of the look book will be a love story. I want each page to describe a new stage in the two characters' lives while displaying the new clothes. "
Giving a nod to the room, Kate walked back to her seat, and the introductions began. She watched everyone get up and introduce him or herself, and after a few moments she saw the late model introduce him self.
"Hello, I am Ian Johnson. I will be the head male model for the shoot, and I look forward to working with everyone."
Looking at him, Kate could see why all of the women in the room were admiring him. He had a very handsome face, wavy blonde hair, and a very good build. However, only the artist within her appreciated what his looks could do for her work. Living in the fashion industry the way she did gave her immunity to beauty. Pondering to herself, she knew what was happening.
"I could see what his looks had done to his confidence. He was used to being fawned over, and getting whatever he wanted. He thought that as a young female photographer, I would be star struck and let him get away with acting unprofessionally. I am glad I set him straight, I am still his boss. I want his talent. I knew that he was a gifted model, but I didn't want his attitude," Kate declared to herself.
Looking across the table, Ian admired Kate. Honestly, he had heard that the director and photographer would be a young woman. So of course, he expected her to fall to his feet. He knew that it was bad to walk in late, but he didn't expect to get hassled for it. It felt strange to get a challenge from a woman, to have someone reprimand him. Looking over to her, he saw her pale complexion and long chocolate brown hair pulled into a wavy ponytail. She was beautiful. Her side swept hair framed her face, and skimmed past her hazel eyes that had caught him looking at her. Quickly, Ian looked away from her.
He could feel himself blushing at getting caught.
"Shit, why are you embarrassed at getting caught checking out a woman," he reprimanded himself.
When he heard the last person finish introducing him or herself, he heard Kate get up out of her seat. Looking back over towards her, he saw her walk towards him. Looking at her, she had a confident walk. She held her head high; she didn't feel insecure surrounded in a room full of beautiful people. She was completely angelic, and she captured his attention.
Walking up to Ian, Kate held her hand out to him. Taking her dainty hand, he was greeted with a firm handshake.
"Hello Ian Johnson, I introduced myself earlier, but I felt that I should give a more personal introduction between the main people of the crew," she said while gesturing around the small circle that had formed around him.
When had they showed up? He had somehow thought that they were on their own, and was now confused by the fact that he was saddened with the idea that Kate hadn't wanted to talk with him one on one.
"I am Kate, I am the director and photographer. This is Max; he is the head fashion stylist. Here is Allison; she is head of makeup and hair. Brett here is head of set, and finally here is Fiona. She will be your love interest."
Ian struggled to keep up a professional façade when all he wanted to do was groan. Why of all women did his partner have to be Fiona? She had been a one-night stand a few months ago, and refused to believe that it was all there was going to be. He felt her latch on to his arm, and he immediately looked over to Kate. While he admitted to himself that he was instantly attracted to Kate, it worried him that he actually worried about if she would think badly of him.
Pulling his arm from Fiona, he tried to keep his distance from her up. Despite his efforts, Fiona pulled his arm back to her disgustingly oozing chest. Ian spent the rest of the time during the second introduction separating him self from Fiona, and by the time he had gotten her off of him; the circle that had formed around him was breaking apart. When Kate walked away from him, Ian felt a need within him form to keep her near him. Walking behind her, he called out to her.
"Kate, would you like to grab a coffee?
"I am sorry, but I already promised Max that I would go catch up with him. I will see you next week at shooting, and I can help answer any questions then."
Ian watched her walk away, and he couldn't suppress the want within him. He wanted Kate. It was so strange to be turned down by a woman. He was never turned down. Most of the time, he never needed to go to a woman because they always lined up for him. He only had to choose. Now this woman showed up, and she could be the best challenge.
As he was about to go approach Kate once again, a firm hand was placed on his shoulder. He looked behind him, and was greeted by the stern face of his manager.
"Down boy, don't hit on the director. She is the one person who you can't mess with," he warned.
Ian gave him a dirty look, but he heeded his words and backed off.
Something within him told himself that he couldn't let this one go.
Down the street, Kate and Max were ordering coffees.
"I will have a regular sized maple latte," Kate said to the barista.
They both walked down to the pick up station, and Max continued the conversation they had while walking from the office.
"So what have you been up to? I last saw you a couple months ago on the central park shoot, and then I had to go abroad for a photo-shoot. Spill everything."
Kate laughed at his excitement for information.
"Well, honestly I haven't been up to that much. A few weeks after you left to go abroad, I was contacted by Christophe Laurent and I started planning the fall look book."
Max gave a dry look to her.
"There has to be more than that, I refuse to believe that my Kate has such a boring life. Come on, is there any man in your life?"
They grabbed their coffees and snagged a table.
"No, you know me. I don't date that much. I was too busy planning the shoot, and getting permission to shoot in Versailles. You know me, I just don't date that much."
Kate saw Max become very gleeful when he realized that he could play matchmaker.
"Well we can fix that on the shoot! You will be surrounded by male models, and set designers. What did you think of Brett and Ian?"
Kate stopped herself from spurting coffee as she drank from her mug.
"Max, you are so funny, you know I don't like to mix work and my private life."
He gave her a huff.
"Kate, look at Ian. He is so handsome, how can you not want him? Work or not, I want him, and I doubt he is gay so I think you have a better shot at him. I saw the way he was looking at you. He's interested. You have been single way too long girl."
"I doubt it, he was probably looking at one of the other models around me. Anyway, can we please talk about something other than my lack of romance?"
Kate sent Max a pleading look. He was always weak to her puppy dog eyes, and she knew it.
With a final huff, he shut up.
They had spent the rest of their time talking, and by the time their coffees ran empty, it was time to leave. Kate grabbed her mug, and she and Max returned their mugs to the counter drop off station. Giving one last hug, Kate adjusted Max's bowtie one last time.
"I will see you Monday for the first shoot love," Max called out to her.