“Wow, babe. You’re really lucky. Everyone in your family is highly educated, and very successful. They sound amazing. Whatever made you leave them to attend school in another country?”
“That’s another story for another time. I’d rather talk about what type of fashion show we can put on for charity, and how much money we can make.”
“Hell, sounds like we can just invite your family, have you walk the runway and make a mint!”
By the time the plane landed in London, one situation—the charity fashion show—had been all but worked out. Another situation was brewing, however, that might not turn out, as well.
Once they landed at Heathrow Airport, London turned on her phone and was surprised to see several missed calls from her mother. They’d just spoken before the plane took off in New York. Her stomach flip-flopped. What could Jennifer want that she’d called so many times? London didn’t bother to check messages, just tapped her mom’s icon on the cell phone screen.
“Mom! Sorry to wake you. We just landed and I saw that I missed several calls. Is everything okay?”
“Absolutely, dear” was the groggy reply.
“Thank goodness.” London breathed a sigh of relief. “Seeing so many calls almost stopped my heart. Especially since we’d talked earlier.”
“I’m sorry to have frightened you, Clarisse. I was just so excited about my mini miracle that I wanted to contact you right away.”
“I got your father to not only take off from work but to do something that wasn’t written on his calendar. He’s agreed to come to Europe with me, sweetheart, to see one of your shows!”
London’s squeal got the whole plane’s attention. “Mommy, that’s fabulous news! Are you coming to London? Milan? Where?”
“Well, honey, that’s why I called you. I was hoping you could send me your schedule so that I can make plane reservations as soon as possible, before he changes his mind. I didn’t know if we could make it in time for the London show, and then there’s the matter of tickets and all of that. I just wanted to talk to you before I did anything further.”
“Hold on, Mom. Ace is right here. Let me ask about tickets.” She turned and quickly shared what Jennifer had told her.
“It’s your parents. Of course we’ll get them in.”
“Which city should I tell them?”
“I’d say either here or Milan. You know how Paris is—always another level of crazy.”
“You’re right.” She unmuted the call. “Mom, the show here is the day after tomorrow, so you might want to shoot for Milan next week. That way I could free up my schedule a little bit and actually hang out with you guys. It’s been forever since you’ve seen me in a runway show. I’m really excited you’re coming. Plus, you’ll get to meet Ace. He’s agreed to do the charity fashion show, so you two can start to get acquainted.”
“Excellent! I look forward to all and will contact our travel agent as soon as you send the dates.”
Landing at Heathrow’s private-jet hangar considerably shortened the time it took to leave the airport. Everyone sailed through customs with ease. Assistants were on hand to deal with the baggage. Ace and company were free to get right down to business. With the show happening in two days, they didn’t have a moment to lose.
London waited until Ace finished speaking with the crew and then approached him. “I downloaded the itinerary the publicist sent. Are you coming with me for all of this?”
“I wish I could, London, but we’ve got to head straight to the venue. I just looked at the pics of what’s been done so far. There’s a lot of work to do.”
“Where is it going to be?”
“At this funky, cool eighteenth-century throwback on the Thames, with views of the London Eye and Tower Bridge. It’s usually rented out for weddings, large parties, stuff like that. But by tomorrow night the main floor of that massive stone edifice will be transformed into a showroom and the runway will replicate a London alley, complete with rain cylinder, ready for the now highly anticipated show closer…you.”