1KelseyI check my watch for the third time in thirty minutes. I can be a little OCD sometimes, and I feel like three is my lucky number. This is the third time I’ve sorted the designs for the new line of shoes that need to be approved by my boss, Keith Commons. I work for one of the trendiest shoe designers in New York City, which brand is imaginatively called: Keith Commons.
I sorted the designs first by color, then by heel height, and I finally grouped them into themes. I saw a disco theme, a definite beach vibe, one I thought of as cosmic, and my favorite pin-up style. There were a few odd ones that didn’t fit a theme, so I put those at the bottom of the stack. We have dozens of designers and they all bring their favorites to me to pass on to Keith since I’m his personal assistant. One of the few, I should add. He has a couple ladies all waiting to do his bidding.
Now, I’m waiting for my best friend, Melissa, to come meet me for lunch. She’s a secretary at Keith Commons and works in a cubicle the next row over. I can’t wait to get Melissa’s opinion on my new dress. Like I said, pin-up style is my favorite and I went all out this morning. I usually wear fuller skirts to minimize my hips but today I braved a form-fitting number.
I fell in love with this red wiggle dress with capped sleeves the moment I saw it. It has tiny black polka dots and cut-outs in both the back and front. The back comes together with two cute buttons right where my bra snaps and leaves a diamond-shaped cut-out at my lower back. The front is boat-necked with a scalloped sweetheart neckline. It really hugs my curves and I totally get why it’s called a wiggle dress; I certainly can’t take long strides while wearing it!
I see Melissa stand up from her desk, her blonde curls bouncing as she laughs at something Savannah in the cubicle beside her said. Melissa is always laughing. She’s cute, perky, petite, and outgoing; pretty much everything I’m not. I majored in Communications to get over my shyness, but I still stumble sometimes in social situations. Meanwhile, Melissa has a magnetic personality and can talk to strangers like she’s known them her whole life. She comes over and smiles at me.
“Sweet Jesus, girl. You look smoking hot. Stand up and do a turn. I want the 360 view of that dress.”
I blush self-consciously but twirl for Melissa.
“You don’t think it’s too much? Too tight around my hips?” I ask, knowing even if it was, she wouldn’t tell me.
“That’s just the right amount of curve-hugging. My flat ass could never pull off a dress like that. Speaking of flat asses, did you hear that Susan, in design, is getting a divorce?”
I blink, surprised.
“No way! She and her husband were all over each other at the Christmas party.”
“Yeah, um, but that guy wasn’t her husband.”
My jaw drops.
“Yikes, I had no idea.”
“I heard she was the one who filed for the divorce. Word on the street is she’s looking to hook up with Mr. Commons. She wants to lead her own design team and thinks that sleeping with the boss is the way to do it. But she’s pushing forty, and that’s over-the-hill for Keith.”
Melissa loves to gossip and when she says ‘word on the street,’ you know she has a dubious source of information. But she means no harm. The gossiping is just between the two of us, and I really don’t engage in small talk with many people in the office. Our rumor mill has just a two- person crew.
“Speak of the devil,” Melissa whispers. “Oh my god.”
I glance around, looking for Susan.
“Susan already brought me her designs for the summer line, so I don’t know why she’d be up here,” I say in a puzzled voice.
Melissa averts her gaze and tries to look busy.
“Not that devil,” she hisses under her breath. “Lucifer himself, with his jet black hair and those eyes that could make me agree to anything. Have you ever seen eyes that shade of blue? I can’t believe you get to work directly under that man.”
At that moment, the billionaire owner of Keith Commons Shoes strolls toward us in his Armani suit.
“Hello ladies,” comes a low voice. Keith stops at my desk and flashes his billion-dollar smile. “Kelsey, do you have those designs for me?”
I snap out of the stupor induced by his blinding beauty and pull out the portfolio of drawings I assembled from his stable of designers. “Oh. Yes. Here they are.”
As I hand him the portfolio, his fingers brush mine and a sizzle of electricity travels from his hand to my core. I snatch my fist back with a bit of a flush. Oh my god, this is so embarrassing. Can he tell? Am I behaving like an idiot? Mr. Commons lingers a moment longer than necessary with a secret smile on his face, and I can feel my face get even more red. Like an idiot, I stammer, “Um, is…is there anything else I can do for you, Mr. Commons?”