A/N: I am so so sorry about the month long delay. As everyone knows, the fall brings school, and school brings an onslaught of work to be done.
However, I had a break of time, so I jumped back into work. Hopefully the longer chapter will make up for the delay. I hope to maintain the story throughout the school year, because by no means do I plan on abandoning UF.
I do plan on updating again within the next week-two weeks.
Again, I am so sorry for the delay. Please read and review.
"After I discuss with the crew our travel plans for our shoot in Versailles, France, I want to announce our relationship to the crew," Kate said.
Ian's eyebrows rose at the words he just heard leave Kate's mouth.
During Ian's shocked silence, Kate pulled herself up from resting on her stomach, and rested her head against Ian's bare shoulder.
"You think they will take it well?" Ian murmured into her hair.
Kate turned her face up away from the smooth skin of Ian's neck, and used her hand to pull Ian's face to hers. Once she had his eye contact, Kate reassured him.
"I am tired of hiding," Kate sighed, "And honestly, I think they can take it. Well, everyone aside from Sarah, but she can just deal with the fact that you are mine."
The smirk on Kate's face matched the confident remark that left her lips, and that confidence made Ian want to kiss the daylights out of his amazing girlfriend.
"Sunshine, you have no idea how happy I am to hear that. I think we are ready to tell the crew because as much as I am ready to be labeled yours, I am ready to put those lingering looks from the crew towards you to an end," Ian whispered as he brushed his lips down her neck.
The couple allowed a couple of minutes of distraction within each other's embrace before realizing that they only had an hour before they needed to leave Ian's apartment. Pulling herself out from under his sheets, Kate slipped her feet onto the hardwood of the floor, and went into Ian's closet to find some clothes.
Sifting through the small assortment of her clothes that she kept at Ian's place, Kate continued to flip until she found the outfit she wanted. After day after day of coming back to her apartment in the same clothes that she had left in, Ian had told her to simply leave a few outfits at his place. Those outfits that she left at his apartment then grew into the mini-closet that she was now flipping through.
As Kate ran her fingers through the thin film-like chiffon blouse, she decided that that would be what she would wear for the day. She pulled the fabric off of the wooden hanger, and then pulled some pants out as well.
Quickly, Kate pulled her legs through the tight confines of her favorite black skinny jeans before buttoning up the lightweight pink blouse.
Once she was finished dressing, Kate walked back into Ian's bedroom to find that its owner had vacated it to go take a shower. Kate followed the pattering sounds of the shower, and opened the door of the bathroom to grab her makeup.
"Sunshine, is that you?" Ian called from the shower.
"Yea, I am just grabbing something. I will be out in just a second," Kate replied.
With her makeup and brushes in hand, Kate was about to leave the bathroom when the she heard the shower door open.
"Want to join me in here," she heard Ian tease.
Turning around, Kate saw that Ian had his head poking out of the small crack the open shower door had formed. She observed the mischievous smirk on his face, and she then let a similar smile grow on her face. Kate gently placed her things back onto the bathroom counter, and approached Ian with a seductive smile.
Grasping his neck, she gave him long kiss, and then pulled away to give him a lingering look.
"I will start making us breakfast outside, you can finish up in here on your own," Kate said with a teasing wink.
Before Ian could pull her back to him, Kate slipped away from his grasp, and escaped out of the open bathroom door. As the door shut behind her, Kate could hear a light groan come from Ian as he went back to his disturbed shower.
Monster's paws clicked against the dark wooden floor of Ian's living room, and Kate bent down to give the little Pomeranian a long rub on the head. Once the puppy was satisfied with the attention, she stood back up and dug through Ian's pantry until she found his coffee.
Looking at the clock, Kate saw that they still had about forty-five minutes until they had to leave. That was plenty of time to make a good cup of coffee, and eat a little breakfast before going to the meeting.
As of now, all of the photos in New York were complete. The photo shoot was designed to tell a love story within Versailles' walls, and while she wasn't allowed to take her photos inside of the real thing, she was now finished taking her shots within her replica in Manhattan. She was now ready to take her crew to the real deal so that she could take outdoor shots, and prepare for the fashion show that would take place in three weeks time.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafted up to her nose, and as Kate reached up into Ian's cabinets to grab a set of coffee mugs, she felt a pair of strong arms wrap around her waist.
"Thanks for making the coffee, how much time till we have to leave?" Ian asked while pressing a soft kiss to her neck.
"About forty minutes," Kate responded.
Ian released her gently before approaching his fridge, and began to dig through the limitless amounts of cold food.
Kate poured their coffee, and saw Ian emerge from the fridge grasping a container of leftover oatmeal and a Greek yogurt. While he popped the bowl in the microwave to reheat his breakfast, Kate added Ian's preferred amount of cream and sugar before making her own. Ian busied himself by digging through his pantry for Kate's favorite granola.
The microwave beeped, announcing that it's contents was finished heating, and Ian opened the door to grab his breakfast. Putting the warm bowl on the granite counter, he grasped the container of Greek yogurt and pulled the lid off. Tossing the crinkled foil into the trash, he then opened the box of granola and poured some on top of the creamy dairy.
"How do you think we should break it to them," Ian ventured.
Kate grabbed their two coffees and walked towards the breakfast table, feeling Ian rub her back as she passed him.
"I was thinking that we could directly announce it at the end of the meeting, and maybe subtly hint at it during the meeting?" Kate commented as she placed their coffees onto the table.
She knew that would be a little random to just blurt to her crew that she and a fellow crewmember were in a relationship, but being direct about the whole thing would limit any misunderstandings from occurring. A single misunderstanding could prove to be a strong disadvantage to their relationship. Kate couldn't bear to see Ian and another woman together again due to a simple misunderstanding blocking the truth, and therefore providing an excuse for the horde of women after Ian to blatantly flirt with him.
The sight Kate saw the night before was a sight she never wanted to see again. No matter how much she trusted her boyfriend.
She was then joined by Ian, two bowls in hand, and was greeted to her preferred breakfast.
"Well, we had originally planned on waiting for them to find out naturally. But, we haven't really been obvious about them finding out. Maybe, it's time we were blunt about it. That way, there is no room for people to misinterpret what's going on between us," Ian commented.
Kate crunched on the granola for a few seconds while relished in the fact that she and her boyfriend thought so similarly.
"I think that's a perfect idea," Kate said with a bright smile.
The normally hectic environment of Kate's studio was replaced with a relaxing calm as the crew re-assembled for the last time before meeting once again in France. The ornate set that had been built to replace Versailles' walls have been deconstructed leaving the studio bare, and was now filled with tables and chairs.
Max was at one of these tables picking out some food from the caterer's table. Finding that most of the food was health conscious, for the models that populated the crew, Max's plate was regretfully full of fruit.
He observed around him, and couldn't see his photographer best friend. A friendly banter surrounded him as the crew maintained a celebratory environment due to their approaching trip abroad.
The elevator dinged, announcing someone's arrival, and Max turned to see if his friend would emerge from its metal doors.
That expectation was true, and Max saw Kate's brunette head come out of the car, however the sight that arrived with her was what surprised him.
Kate arrived with Ian, and their hands were clasped together. Max's gaze traveled from the set of connected hands, and traveled up Kate's arm toward her eyes.
"What was she up to?" he wondered.
He saw that all-knowing look on her face before.
Kate always had that look when she was about to announce something important.
Excitement and anxiety filled Max as he realized what Kate was going to announce. There could only be one thing that was really important, and that information rested between her and Ian's clasped hands.
He hoped the crew would be as accepting as he was.
Max looked around the room, and saw that aside from a couple confused glances, most of the crew was still oblivious as to what was about to happen. Mindlessly, Max began to pop the fruit off of his plate into his mouth as he waited for more people to see the change between Ian and Kate.
Kate felt Ian squeeze her hand reassuringly before letting it go so that he could sit down. Kate remained standing, and called the attention from the room.
"Okay guys, lets get this meeting started," Kate announced.
"Alright, as you guys know, we have concluded our photo shoots in New York. Our photo-shoots in France will begin in a week, models will arrive in five days, everyone else will arrive in three so that we can prepare well in advance. At the end of the meeting, everyone can pick up his or her plane tickets," Kate explained.
She had the groups itineraries passed around the tables throughout the room, and continued on with the meeting.
Ian ran his eyes over the sheet of paper that had been passed to him, and looked at its contents. As Kate said, his arrival date was listed after hers since he was a model. He didn't like it. Luckily since he and Kate were primary members of the crew, they had private rooms, so it would be easy for him to sneak to her room. Granted, he hoped that after today's meeting, they wouldn't have to resort to sneaking around.
As he thought this, he heard Kate begin to end the meeting. Sweat began to cling to his palms as he nervously anticipated the crew's reaction to their relationship. While he was excited to tell the crew this morning because they would be able to be out in the open, now that he was so close to the actual situation, Ian was slowly getting very nervous.
"I believe that that's all I have to tell you guys about our trip, but I have some more information that I want to tell everyone," he heard Kate say.
Max and Ian both paused, becoming more alert of the crew's reaction by the second.
"I do not know if anyone has already noticed this, but I want to properly announce to you that Ian and I are in a relationship," Kate said.
The room stilled with the information, and Ian stood up out of his chair to help take some of the attention off of Kate. As soon as he rose out of his chair, he felt the pointed stares of the crew poke at him.
"We haven't gone public yet, but since we are so close with all of you, we felt that you had a right to know," Ian added.
The couple froze as they anxiously waited for the crew to react. They were confident in wanting to announce their relationship, but despite their confidence, the crew's reaction scared them to their wit's end. Ian wrapped his fingers around Kate's clammy hand, and squeezed them gently as they waited for a reaction.
"Well, we kind of already knew there was something going on between the two of you," they heard a small voice say.
The couple turned their attention towards the voice, and saw that it had come from Allison. The head of makeup and hair was looking at them with a happy smile.
"Well, it was just so easy to see the atmosphere between the two of you change as the shoots progressed. For me at least, I didn't know for sure what was going on, but I could tell that there was something," Allison continued.
Max felt his eyes widen at the woman's observation. He didn't know that there were other people who had been able to see his best friend's relationship. Looking around the room, he saw the rest of the crew nodding in agreement
"So you guys knew all along?" Ian asked.
"Yea, I walked in on you guys cuddling up behind a column in the set storage area once," a set designer mentioned.
The couple blushed at the news; apparently they had not been very good at hiding when they snuck off.
"You guys all knew, and didn't care at all?" Kate said.
"Well it's not like you guys started dating for the wrong reasons, we could see that you guys started dating after the shoot started, so obviously there was no favoritism on Kate's part. Anyways, we all trust you guys to maintain a professional relationship with your work. We only care about producing a great look book, whether or not you guys are dating shouldn't affect that," another stagehand added.
Kate and Ian looked from the friendly faces of their co-workers back towards each other, and couldn't hide the smiles that blossomed on their faces. The feared reaction from the crew turned out to be quite positive, and the only person that would cause to be trouble to them hadn't showed up yet.
Sarah had slept through her alarm once again, and her manager couldn't get through to her until after the crew meeting had already started. Despite the fact that she was running so late, she couldn't wipe the proud smirk off her face. Everything was going to plan, and Sarah was excited to walk into the meeting and stare at the broken connection between Ian and Kate. They had to have broken up, or at least be on the rocks by now.
Walking through the elevator doors, Sarah motioned for her manager to press the button for Kate's studio, and within a few seconds the elevator dings signaling their arrival.
Sarah plants her fake professional smile on her face when the doors open, and the sight before her is completely opposite from her expectations.
She had planned on walking in on a devastatingly uncomfortable meeting, and to have the awkward atmosphere be palpable. However, it felt like the crew was in celebration for some reason.
Sarah stomped over towards one of the makeup artists, and asked what was going on. This situation was not going like how she planned.
"I'm sorry, I just arrived. Did I miss anything important?" Sarah said with false innocence.
"You should check in with Kate later, even though she is a stickler for timeliness, there was some paperwork you will need. Other than that, you didn't miss too much; Kate and Ian just announced that they were dating. Granted, all of us pretty much knew that already," the makeup artist said.
"You guys all knew? And you were all ok with it?" Sarah asked incredulously.
From one plan to the next, all of them were falling apart. Sarah expected to walk into a room filled with unhappiness, and she was welcomed into the studio with a celebratory atmosphere. Now, she is being told that Kate and Ian's dating doesn't really affect their relationship with the crew?
Sarah begins to panic as she realizes that nothing is going to plan.
"Well, we are all close with Kate and Ian. We know that they won't let their relationship affect their work. It's not like we work for those higher up in the company, or for the press. They are who Kate and Ian should worry about," the makeup artist explained.
Sarah's mind had been whirling; her plans to leak the information to the crew were now useless. However, the makeup artist had a point. There were other places to go, in fact, going to the press was one of her original ideas. That was it. Her last ditch effort had just been fed to her. Sarah placed a saccharine smile on her face as she pressed her palm against the artist's arm in thanks.
"Thanks so much for filling me in," Sarah said.
Pulling her arm away from the random co-worker's arm, Sarah walked around the crowd that filled the studio, and walked into one of the more isolated areas of the room.
If things were not going to go her way, she would make them go her way using any means possible.
Sarah reached into her purse, and grabbed her phone. She was so thankful that she stopped herself last night; she was about to delete the one thing that would get her happiness.
Her eyes scrolled over image after image until she found the one image that would become her secret weapon. Once she arrived at said image, her fingers paused above the glass screen, and her eyes were steeped in glee.
Quickly Sarah attached the image into an email, and using an anonymous address, she sent the picture to the one place where she knew it would be used effectively.
Once the phone's screen announced that her email had been sent successfully, Sarah clicked her phone off, the loss of light darkening her features.
"I will get what I want," Sarah said quietly.
A laptop's clicking noises fill a darkened room uptown as Celebrity's top journalist Tess Jacobs edited her latest article. Stress was a large part of her life as of the moment because her deadline for the article she was editing was going to be up within the next hour, and the majority of her day had been spent in a meeting planning her trip to France to cover Christophe Laurent's Fall Fashion show.
Her phone began to light up, and as a result the tapping on her laptop paused as she picked her phone up. Sliding her finger across the screen, she unlocked the phone so she could open her email.
Giving it a few seconds to load, the stress of the day immediately flew out of her mind as her eyes absorbed the image that had been anonymously sent to her.
Tess's eyes focused in on the faces in the image, and instantly recognized where she had seen them before.
"I think I have found the focus of my story," Tess whispered.