The Details in the Design

Avery Michaels stared dumbstruck at her phone long after the person on the other line disconnected. When she talked to the woman at the employment offices the previous day, she hadn’t expected to get a call back so quickly. The woman had originally told her it could take up to two months to find something in her preferred medium. Her passion lay with all things having to do with fashion, from the publishing aspect, to the designers, and everybody and everything in-between. At six years old, she got her hands on her first fashion magazine, and the rest was history. Nothing else had ever captured her attention, but life rarely worked out the way one intended it to.

For the past year, she had been an assistant to Todd Richards, one of the most sought after food critics in New York City. All in all, it wasn’t a hard job, but the excitement wasn’t there anymore. That’s exactly what the employment agency promised. If she could make it as Todd’s assistant, she believed she could make it at any job. His hardnosed approach almost broke her at the beginning of their working relationship, but after a few months, she had settled into her role and excelled at it. She sighed and rested her head back against the couch cushions. Not only had she gotten an interview in the fashion world, but with the one fashion house of her dreams: Catherine Davenport Designs.

“Avery.” Mia, best friend extraordinaire since they were both six years old and her current roommate, stood in front of her and waved her hand in front of her face. When Avery blinked, Mia took that as a positive and sat down beside her on the couch. “What’s got you so spaced out?” She pointed to her phone. “Who was that?”

Avery frowned at her when she took another bite of her ice cream. Mia was one of those women that could eat anything and never gain a pound. Avery hated her for it. She bit her lip. “That,” she said, waving her phone in the air. “Was the agency calling me back. I have an interview tomorrow.”

Mia scrunched her nose. “So soon? Who is the interview with?” She moaned and licked her spoon clean, before dropping it in the empty ice cream container, and setting it on the coffee table. When Avery didn’t answer, she asked again.

“Catherine Davenport Designs.”

“Get out.” Mia laughed.

“It’s not funny.” And it wasn’t.

“Are you kidding me? This is fate. The one company you wanted to interview with and you got it. What position?”

“The assistant to her assistant.”

She shrugged. “You have to start someplace.”

“I know. That’s not what’s bothering me.” She sighed and slouched down even further on the couch.

“Then what is?”

“Idon’twantmycrushtogetintheway,” she mumbled.

“What? Speak slower. I couldn’t make that out.”

Avery squinted at her, knowing full well she understood what she’d said. “I don’t want my crush to get in the way.” She bit her lip. “I never thought I would interview with her company.”

“Oh, that.” She leaned back and plopped her feet in Avery’s lap. “You may not even see her that much. If you’re an assistant to her assistant, there is a possibility you won’t even be in the same room as her.” She rolled her eyes. “Or is that the problem? You could possibly be in the same building as her and never see her or even talk to her?”

Avery closed her eyes and sunk deeper into the couch cushions. Her obsession started six years ago. She had just turned twenty-six, and Catherine gave a speech at a gala for the performing arts about accessories through the years. Of course, she knew who Catherine’s designer persona was, but until that moment, she hadn’t realized how truly captivating the woman was.

From the first moment Avery laid eyes on her, she knew she was a goner, but she also knew Catherine was way out of her league. Not only was she one of the most sought after designers of the last twenty-five years, but also an accomplished businesswoman. Last year, Forbes estimated her wealth at a little over fifteen million dollars.

She picked up her iPad and turned it on, staring down at the picture. Right after Catherine’s presentation, Avery searched for every bit of information on her that she could find. From magazine articles, to interviews, to blogs. There wasn’t much to go on, because Catherine was notorious for not giving interviews. She pretty much stayed out of the limelight, except for certain galas and parties throughout the year to honor the charities she supported and, of course, showing at fashion week.

Her lock screen showed a picture that was taken two weeks ago at a charity event for underprivileged children. Catherine wore a long, black, off the shoulder dress, with a white bodice and long train. Her white, short hair was styled to perfection, a lock of hair kept falling in her eyes, and it suited her face perfectly. Catherine was fifty-two, gay, had twin daughters, Lincoln and Abigail, and a cat named Digger, but she tended to live a very low-key life. She’d never been married, but there had been rumors over the years of different partners, but nothing concrete. “I don’t know.” Just looking at her picture made her heart race.

“Look, you’re thinking about this too much. Take a deep breath. Good. Now another one. Let it out. Relax. You’ve got this. Who in their right mind is going to say no to those soul sucking brown eyes of yours? Hmm.” She grabbed the iPad from her hands and studied the picture. “You know, for a woman in her early fifties, she’s hot. I would do her.”

Avery snatched the iPad back and dropped it on the couch between them. “Don’t be so crass.”

“I am just saying it like I see it. Avery, this is good news.” She wiggled her toes until Avery got the hint and started messaging her feet. “This is what you’ve always wanted. To work in the fashion industry.”

“I don’t have the job yet. The lady on the phone told me there could be upwards of twenty people interviewing for the same position.” She pushed Mia’s feet off, stood up, and started pacing. “I probably won’t even get the job. Stupid people.” She ran her hands through her short black hair. Last year, she had finally decided to cut off her long locks and surprised even herself when she looked in the mirror and didn’t faint at how short it was. It was cut short, but long enough that she could run her fingers through it, and no matter how many times she did or how hard the wind was blowing, it would always fall back into place. It took a lot of getting used to, but she loved it now.

Mia jumped up suddenly and squealed. “What are you going to wear?” She ran to Avery’s bedroom. Avery rolled her eyes at seeing Mia sitting in the middle of her bed with her legs crossed. Instead of joining her, she stepped inside her walk-in-closet. After rummaging around for a few minutes, she walked out and placed her picks on the bed. A pair of fitted, charcoal gray Carolina Herrera trousers, a pink, button-up Chanel top, and her rattlesnake belt she bought off Etsy.

She bit her lip then walked back to the closet, and brought back a pair of three and a half-inch, black, Vernice Prada pumps. Mia eyed everything then nodded. Avery loved fashion, but if it weren’t for the inheritance her maternal grandparents left her, she wouldn’t be able to afford her wardrobe. “I like it. It’s classic. You should leave two buttons of the shirt undone and wear the pearl necklace your grandma gave you for Christmas.”

“You’re right.” Avery opened her jewelry box and swapped her medical alert necklace for her medical alert bracelet, then placed her pearls on top of the dresser so she would remember to wear them. When she was eight, she found out the hard way that she was allergic to shellfish. Now anywhere she went, she wore her medical bracelet or necklace and she always carried an epi-pen in her pants pocket, and one in her bag. She scrunched up her nose. “I think I am going to take the new Michael Kors bag I got last week.”

“You should.” Mia stood up and searched Avery’s closet, stepping out with a black sheath dress. “Can I ask why you’re not wearing this?”

Avery eyed the Catherine Davenport Design and sighed. “Don’t you think everybody will be wearing her designs? I didn’t want it to look like I was sucking up. Don’t get me wrong, I love her clothes, but I like the choices I’ve made.”

Mia shrugged. “I do too. I was just curious.” She rehung the dress.

“I don’t know why I’m getting so worked up. There’s a chance I won’t even get the job.”

“Stay positive and after you’re hired, we’ll celebrate.”

“Celebrate?” Avery chuckled.

“Of course. I’ll call Brady. It’s been awhile since all three of us caught up.” She wrapped her arm around Avery’s waist. “Don’t we celebrate all our good fortunes?”

Avery rolled her eyes. “And our not so good fortunes.”

Mia dragged her back to the living room, where she deposited her on the couch. “Yes.” She nodded before plopping down beside Avery. “We will celebrate.”

Avery grinned. “Tacos?”

“Tacos.”

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