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Authors: K. S. Smith,Megan C. Smith

The Hourglass

BOOK: The Hourglass
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HOURGLASS

Copyright © 2014 K.S. Smith, Megan C. Smith

Published by: Blue Tulip Publishing LLC

ISBN: 9780991099849

Cover Art by P.S. Cover Design

 

All rights reserved. No parts of the book may be used or reproduced in any matter without written permission from the author, except for inclusion of brief. This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, establishments, organizations, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously to give a sense of authenticity. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to another person except when loaned out per Amazon’s lending program. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then it was pirated illegally. Please purchase a copy of your own and respect the hard work of this author.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

Brooke

STARING OUT THE
window of the high-rise building, I was ready to start my career. My life. The Denver skyline was breathtaking with the mountains in the distance holding fresh snow atop each peak. The soft whiteness decorating each tip signaling the end of winter was coming soon. Having just graduated from the Academy of Art Design, I prayed I would nail this interview at Hourglass Magazine, and begin the career I had dreamed of working at all my life.

I sat anxiously in the white leather chair in the lobby. Large black and white silhouette photos hung on the wall, showing off the graceful hourglass female figures, the magazine’s icon. The girl behind the desk looked like the epitome of fashion; flawless makeup, dressed in a chic pair of pants and blouse, rocking heels that had to be at least six inches. Twisting out my high-heeled foot, I reevaluated my measly four-inch heel black stilettos. Forcing confidence in my charcoal suit and white blouse, I brushed off my nervousness, my credentials and portfolio would speak for themselves. Another woman strode by, clip clopping as her sky high heels hit the marble tiles. Letting out a sigh I decided, just maybe, I’d stop at the shoe store on the way home and pick up some ankle breakers, just to fit in better.

“Brooke Reid?” an older woman dressed in a two-piece power suit bellowed.

“Yes ma’am, that’s me,” I answered grabbing my stuff quickly and walking across the white marble floor to what felt like my own beheading. The woman critically raked her eyes over my appearance, before giving a curt nod, I’m not sure if it was in approval or dismissal. My false sense of security disappeared with every second of her scrutinizing glare. “Follow me,” she ordered turning on her own fashionable, but sensible heels and heading down the glass hallway separating the commoners from the upper level management.

“Have a seat.” She directed me to a stiff black leather chair detailed with chrome, as she took a seat behind the modern glass desk. “My name is Monica Vincent. I am the Editor in Chief of Hourglass Magazine, and as such, if I decide to hire you, you will report to me. I expect nothing but the best from my employees, and if you can’t provide that to me every single day, leave now.” She paused a moment as if to provide me the chance to flee, tail tucked between my legs.
No freaking way!
I straightened up, pushed my shoulders back, and tilted my chin. I was here to stay.

“All right then, let’s see your work.”

I leaned forward and handed my leather portfolio to Monica, inside was every design template or cover mock up I had done in college and at my internship with another fashion magazine.

“And what is it
you
did?” she asked, sounding completely unimpressed with what she was holding in her hand. All of my dreams seemed to be going up in smoke right before my very eyes.

“Ms. Vincent,” I began steeling myself with a deep breath and leaning forward toward the portfolio. “While in college, I was top in my class and worked with several designers as an assistant in helping to develop their ideas and coordinate fabrics and accessories to optimize their designs. I also interned with—”

A clicking sound rose from Monica’s throat as she shook her head no. Apparently we didn’t name other magazines here.

“Umm, while interning I was assigned to design several photo shoots featured, put in charge of many solo projects after proving a good job, and even had the honor of designing their May cover before I left.”

Monica tilted her head to the side as she looked over the thick red rims of her glasses. “I see. And if you are so fantastic why didn’t they want you?” She asked like I was their trash here for her to pick up.

“They did ma’am. I declined. I have dreamed of working at Hourglass Magazine since I was a teenager looking at the magazine on the racks at the grocery store. It’s the Holy Grail of fashion and style. I’m the best; I want to work with the best.” I was seriously regretting that last line as Monica muffled her mouth in an attempt to hide her laughter.
Crap
. I kind of got on a bit of a power trip there, offended when she suggested I was discarded. They begged me to stay, but it just wasn’t my dream. Was I feeding myself to the lions here?

Monica moved her hand, closing up my portfolio and sliding it back to me. Steepling her fingers together in a power play right back at me, she spoke. “We’ll be in touch if we are interested. If you don’t hear from us, we aren’t.” Turning her chair around, so her back was to me, Monica began looking at something on the table behind her.

Done. I was done. My dreams were dashed, and my heart was officially broken. I stood gathering my things back up, wondering why I’d set them down in the first place. If I knew I would be in and out so quickly, I wouldn’t have gotten so settled. I had this whole dream in my head of this meeting of the minds, and her just being over the moon with my portfolio, hiring me on the spot. Ha! After thanking Monica’s back for the opportunity to meet with her, I sullenly dragged myself back down the hallway toward the lobby. Defeated.

When I came back to the lobby a perky blonde was bouncing in the chair facing the hallway watching me come closer. Squinting my eyes to see her better, I saw it was my best friend, Savannah. Waiting on me. Waiting on my news.

“So! Did she seem impressed? You are the best; that has to mean something! I mean I know she’s a—” Savannah paused looking around and locking eyes with the receptionist before turning back to whisper. “—
frigid bitch.
But I mean, you’re awesome. Please tell me you’re starting Monday?”

Shaking my head no, I swallowed the disappointment back down. “I’m not sure. She looked through my portfolio, I told her about the projects I’d worked on. She didn’t say I was an idiot, so hey that’s something right?” I forced a reassuring smile to try to pacify Savannah. “She said she’d… be in touch,” I finished. That had to count for something; it was only a mild stretch of the truth.

“Look she will call you; she’s just playing it cool. God forbid you knew you were good, and I’m sure you sat there all quiet and submissive.” Savannah smiled and nodded as she described exactly how she imagined I had behaved in Monica’s office.

I began fidgeting and Savannah’s eyebrows shot up. “You didn’t!”

“You always tell me to stand up for myself!” I placed my hands on my hips in defense and sent my eyes rolling to the heavens. “Stop being such a doormat Brooke, tell them where they can go,” I said in a mocking voice.

Rolling her eyes Savannah just shook her head at me. “Oh Brookie. No, I mean that for the worthless men you bring home, not the editor in chief of the biggest fashion magazine in the world. You are supposed to be her doormat. Lay down. Take it!
Beeeee
the doormat!”

As I turned to take my final bow and make an escape, Savannah grabbed my arm. “Hey, it’ll be okay. She’ll call,” confidence oozing in her voice in typical Savannah fashion, the world was hers for the taking. I loved her dearly though, and just made a habit of leaning on her when I felt down.

“Drink later?” I damn near begged.

Savannah lit up like fireworks on the Fourth of July, with a smile spanning ear to ear, showing off almost all thirty-two of her sparkly white teeth. “Can’t! I’ve got a hot date with this guy who works in the building. Maybe after, if we aren’t well…” she winked.

I hurled in my mouth a little.

Pushing the down button on the elevator, I jumped on as soon as the doors dinged and parted. “Hey be safe! Call me if you can meet up, I’ll be close by. If not, call me when you’re safely at home, in bed. Preferably
alone
please!” Savannah’s laugh was audible even through the closed elevator doors as I began my descent to the lobby.

CHAPTER TWO

 

Savannah

WATCHING THE ELEVATOR
doors close on my best friend's defeated face, I instantly spun around on my heels and marched down the hall toward Monica’s office. Having worked at Hourglass for the past two years as their lead photographer, I was well equipped with the proper tools to handle the industry’s most terrifying editor.

When I knocked on her floor-to-ceiling glass door, Monica peered over her shoulder and nodded her head gesturing her approval of my entry into her office.

“So, I heard you just had an interview with Brooke. How did it go?”

Monica continued working on the project that was splayed over her work table. “Her boldness surprised me; turning down an opportunity with our most fierce competition to potentially be rejected by Hourglass is quite a significant risk for someone who is just starting her career in our industry.”

Smiling inwardly, I raised an eyebrow. “Risky indeed, but when you know you’re the best you’re willing to make decisions like that. Take me for example, I never needed you to tell me I was the best, I knew that before I was even approached by your minions.”

Monica swirled around and relaxed in her chair. “Don’t you have models to tend to? I’m rather busy at the moment, so let’s get to the point of this conversation. Brooke. You want to know if I’m going to hire her and the answer is,” Monica paused, peering out of her glass windows and inhaling deeply before starting again. “Make sure my
minions
have the proper telephone number for your friend so they can give her a call on Monday.” Circling back around toward her project, she pointed to the door, signaling my exit.

Half way down the hall I pulled out my phone and shot a text to Brooke.

For you, and only you, I will cancel my date. We have reason to celebrate!

I jumped into the nearest elevator, taking it down a floor where the room we at Hourglass call “The Closet” was located. The closet was an enormous room covered in racks of clothes for our models and designers to choose from for any upcoming photo shoots. It was also the go to room for Hourglass employees if we needed something to wear for an outing or event.

Crashing through the door, I immediately gained the attention of the models that were changing back into their own clothes from that afternoon’s shoot. “Hey girls, any suggestions for a celebratory girl’s night outfit?” Skimming the racks on the hunt for the perfect outfit, one of the models handed me a long sleeved little black dress by none other than my favorite designer,
Chanel
.

“Perfect.” After quickly disrobing, I slipped the dress over my head and posed seductively into the full length mirrors adorning the entire eastern wall of the closet. The scoop neck was just low enough to reveal my cleavage, while the length fell just inches below my nether regions, exposing enough skin to make any man stare and any woman jealous. After I stepped into a pair of black six-inch stilettos I pulled my hair into a chic messy bun, touched up my makeup and grabbed a clutch on my way out the door.

Quickly, I ran back up to my office to grab my things. Then I was heading toward my car in the parking garage. Like clockwork the owner of the black Range Rover Sport and I arrived at our vehicles at precisely the same time. Luke Wellington worked a few floors above Hourglass as a marketing executive for
Nike
and had taken a liking to me after we worked together on a project I shot for one of his ad campaigns
.
When I clicked the remote start button on my red BMW Coupe, the rev of the engine caught his attention. As his body turned toward me, his mischievous grin was the first thing I noticed, followed by the five o’clock shadow lingering on his chiseled jaw. His muscled arms tightened as he crossed them over his chest and leaned back against his SUV, watching my every move like a lion about to pounce on his prey. I slowly approached him, pressing myself up against his massive frame. Even though I was a little over six feet
You talk about Sav being tall here - 6 ft in stilettos - but pretty much from here on out, refer to her as having a small body

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