Here is Chapter Three! It's a little shorter than I wanted it to be, but I wanted the next part of the story in it's own chapter and not included with this one...so that's why it's short. A lot happens though, so I hope you guys like it despite the shortness! Let me know what you think! Comments are always loved and definitely welcome! Thanks guys! Happy reading!
It was all wrong.
Every outfit, every hairstyle, every makeup style, every accessory…it was all wrong. And Heather Frasier was going to see right through it and see what they really were.
Frauds. Amateurs. Untalented.
She would be there in less than an hour. There was no time to change any of it now, only time to cross their fingers and hope to God that they could pull this off.
It was like being on the Titanic, knowing the iceberg was ahead and they were going to hit it, and not being able to do a damn thing to stop it.
"Will you stop with the pacing? You're even freaking me out," Clara said as she brought a tray of hot tea into the conference room. "It all looks beautiful, Leigh. She's going to love it…all of it."
"But what if she doesn't? This is the biggest thing to happen to us since the Kardashian sisters wore our dresses on the red carpet. We can't screw this up…"
"And you're not going to! You've gone through every situation, every scenario that could go wrong, and you've prepared for all of them." She sat the tea tray down and turned back to face Leigh. "What's gotten into you? You were so confident yesterday."
"Just sabotaging myself I guess," Leigh sighed. "You would think that after four years of 'life changing' meeting like this I would be used to them by now and not get so worked up."
"You're human. It happens to all of us." She walked to the door, but stopped and turned around before leaving. "Don't let that crazy inner voice of yours freak you out, Leigh. You're going to knock Heather Frasier's socks off."
"Thanks." And she really was…thankful. Clara was a glorious breath of fresh air. It was nice to have another person looking out for her around here. Lord knows advice from her friends was starting to get a little redundant, and even though she knew Clara's words were almost (if not exactly) identical, they made sense now more than ever.
She felt the familiar buzzing of her cell phone in the back pocket of her trouser jeans, signaling that she had a new text message. She pulled the phone out and saw it was from Nick. Her heart instantly skipped a beat, and a smile curled up on her lips.
Breathe. Relax. You got this.
"I know that face. That's your creepy lovey-dovey face. Who's the guy?" Karlin walked into the conference room, arms crossed over her chest. There was a smirk on her face that Leigh knew usually meant trouble. "Is it flower guy from the other day?"
Leigh laughed. Karlin, Sawyer and Kennedy all knew Nick had brought her the flowers, but they didn't know he was the guy her grandmother was trying to set her up with. And for the time being, if she could help it, she was going to keep it that way.
"Maybe," Leigh said. "Why do you care, Miss Nosy Britches?"
"Because he's gorgeous, you're lonely and…he's gorgeous! I'm only doing what I think is best for my best friend's happiness."
"But what about the guy Granny is setting me up with?"
"Bitch please! Dump the loser and spend some quality time with flower guy." She paused for a moment, obviously thinking about something, before continuing. "Does flower guy have a name? I mean, I don't mind calling him flower guy all the time, but it would be nice to at least know his name. You know, for future stalking purposes?"
"It's Nick," Leigh said quickly. She hadn't mentioned his name to Karlin when they had spoken about the set up, so a first name shouldn't do too much harm.
"I like it!" Karlin exclaimed. "Nick and Leigh…Leigh and Nick…um, you're LICK!"
"It's your couple name. You know, like Brangelina or Finchel."
"I don't want to be LICK. That's totally gross."
"You're right. I agree a hundred percent. What's his last name? Maybe I can come up with a better one with your last names."
Leigh didn't know what to do. She did not want Karlin to know Nick's last name, but she was cornered and…
"HEATHER FRASIER'S EARLY!" Kennedy and Sawyer burst into the room, both of them slightly winded.
"What? What do you mean she's early?"
"Uh…duh? She wasn't supposed to be here for another half an hour, but the security guard down in the lobby just called up to let us know that she's in the elevators on the way up right now!"
"If that's not early, I don't know what is," Sawyer cringed. "Are we ready?"
Leigh took a deep breath and nodded. "We got this, ladies," she said, sliding her phone back in her jeans. In the distance, she heard the familiar ding of an elevator arriving on their floor.
Another deep breath…and one more.
If it was possible, Heather Frasier was more beautiful in person. Her dark caramel colored skin was flawless, and she had her jet black hair dynamically straight and falling all the way down to her waist. Leigh wondered momentarily if her hair was real or if it extensions, but it didn't matter.
What did matter was the fashion.
Leigh recognized the beige Michael Kors dress almost immediately. She had seen it on Zoe Saldana on an episode of Fashion Police, and it looked a million times better on Heather Frasier. She had accented the dress with coral and turquoise colored accessories, including a Tory Burch clutch Leigh had had her eyes on for months. It cost about $300.
Leigh relaxed even more when she saw that Heather was already smiling. It always helped when a client wasn't being forced to attend a meeting, their demeanor was always positive.
"Mrs. Frasier, it's such an honor to have you here," Karlin said first.
"Oh please, call me Heather. Mrs. Frasier is my husband's mother." She shook hands with Karlin, and then Sawyer, Kennedy and finally Leigh. "I love your office, ladies. It's so warm and homey in here."
"Thank you so much, we worked really hard on getting it just right," Karlin said. "Most of it was Leigh's brainstorming though. The rest of us can't really take credit for it."
"They're being modest. It was a team effort," Leigh explained. "Would you like some tea before we get started?"
"Yes, thank you," Heather said. "I wanted to apologize for the late notice on today's meeting, ladies. I know ten days is an absolutely impossible time frame, but I just couldn't overlook your clothes. They're exquisite."
Leigh thought he might faint. Was this really happening? It all still seemed like a dream.
"It was no problem, really. We were happy to do anything to accommodate your busy schedule," Sawyer said when it was obvious Leigh had gone too long without answering. "Why don't you sit down and we'll get started."
"Perfect," was Heather's response.
"We've put together ten looks based on what we believe will be hot trends around the time of the show next year," Kennedy said. "Of course, any comments and/or advice from you are definitely welcome."
One by one, their models came in. Leigh and Karlin took turns describing the designs, then gave Sawyer the floor to talk about the fabrics and colors. Heather Frasier stayed silent, only nodding her head and scribbling notes down into a bound journal.
"Man, that woman's got a killer poker face," Karlin hissed in a quiet whisper to Leigh as Sawyer was talking about the floral print used for their maxi dress.
"Tell me about it," she whispered back.
Fifteen minutes later, it was over. The girls opened up the floor to Heather for any questions or concerns she might have, but she just shook her head, closed her notebook and smiled.
"I had my mind made up before I walked in the door. Seeing the four of you together and watching your interactions with each other…that's what today was really about. A fashion line is only successful when the people involved can work together, no matter what amount of stress they're under. You four ladies…it's obvious you love each other, and your happiness is put just as high as the success of your business." She stood from her seat and walked over to them. Her hand extended out to Leigh, who briefly hesitated before taking it in her own and shaking it. "Welcome to Fashion Week 2013, ladies. Congratulations."