“Have any new ideas for us?” Anastasia asked me during a meeting. I smiled and nodded.
“I actually do and I think you’ll love this one more than anyone I’ve had before.”
“I don’t know about that. Sales have been up 12% since your last idea and our new designer is soaring that we all decided to hire, thanks to you. I’m not sure how much more I can like this idea.” Anastasia said, making me smile.
“Okay well…a male fashion line.”
“And who the hell do you suppose model that? We don’t have any male models on hold in our system.” Anastasia said, frowning slightly.
“I have that covered too. There’s a new and upcoming boy band that seems to be sweeping the nation; One Direction. I feel like they’d be perfect. The youngest is a year older than me, the oldest is 21. It’s the age group we want to attract and I don’t see why their manager would say no since it’s good publicity for them. I also found out they will be in the city doing interviews and promos for themselves at the exact time our winter line comes out; a week before Christmas.”
“How long are they here for?”
“They’re going to be here for two weeks. This is their longest stay on their tour.”
“I like it; get in contact with their manager. I want them on the project. David, you’ll be heading up the designs with William. Danni and Riley, I want you two to start the proto-types for them as soon as the sketches are done. One they are run through me, I will approve the actual making of the clothes which is what Riley will start while Danni finishes up the proto-types. Cleo, I want you to start the article on how we will have a male line this season and get it out to every magazine that will take it, plus our own. Make sure these are done within two weeks. I want them done as soon as possible so we can clean up any mistakes as soon as possible. Oh; how many men are there?”
“There are five of them.” I said quickly.
“Okay, plan for about twenty outfits; we’ll probably end up only using about fifteen, but I want more then we need.” Everyone nodded, writing down their job. “Good; everyone is dismissed. Get back to work, and also get started on your new jobs as well for those of you I named. Bethany, you’ll be the supervisor; make sure everything goes well.” I nodded.
“Good. Dismissed.” Anastasia said, walking out. WE all gathered up our stuff and headed back to work.
“Look at you; Anastasia asking you for ideas now.” Jo said as we walked back to our end of the office.
“Yeah, it’s beginning to stress me out a little.” I said once we got to my office. “I’m going to call the manager. I’ll talk to you later.” Jo nodded and I walked into my office, already calling their manager.
“Simon Cowells’ office, this is Keri.”
“I need to speak with Simon Cowell directly please. This is Bethany from Anastasia Blu Fashion Company.”
“May I ask what this concerns?”
“I promo for one of his up and coming bands.”
“Of course; let me patch you through.”
“Thank you.” I must’ve waited about five minutes before the hold ringtone finally went away.
“Hello, this is Bethany from Anastasia Blu Fashion Company. I had a promo for your up and coming band, One Direction if you were interested.” I crossed my fingers, hoping to god he agreed to this.
“We have a fashion show the first week your boys are here in New York City and for the first time ever we are featuring male clothing so it will be very big. We wanted your boys to be our male models. It will be featured everywhere and we are also willing to do interviews with them to get their names our there.”
“How much are they getting?” I froze, realizing I hadn’t work that out so I did quick math in my head.
“About $80,000 each. This is a large show and every model is paid well.”
“Are you the CEO?”
“No sir, I am the CEO’s assistant. However, this is the project I am supervising.”
“Why the assistant?”
“Because it was my idea.”
“Really now? You want my boys to head up a large fashion line, why?”
“Because new faces always bring in more money, your boys are the perfect age, and it’s good publicity for both this company and your boys’ band.”
“You have quite the sales pitch, Miss. Bethany.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment, sir.”
“And you’re quite the sassy one. I like it.”
“Thank you sir.”
“And polite as well.”
“Thank you again, sir. Would you like to think about this offer?”
“No ma’am; we’ll do it. I’ll let them know now that they have a new gig while they’re in the city.”
“Thank you sir. You won’t be disappointed.”
“I hope not; I’ll be flying out to see this one.”
“Of course sir. We will have a front seat reserved for you.”
“Good day.” Simon said, then hanging up. I sighed and called Anastasia’s office to tell her the plan was a go.
“Wait, excuse me?!” I almost screamed while we were on video chat with Simon that night when we were on Skype with him discussing New York City.
“You’ll be models for Anastasia Blu’s up and coming male fashion line. Is there a problem, Styles?”
“No sir.” I said quietly, sitting back in my chair.
“Good. I’ll be flying out to meet you in New York City.” Simon said, then hung up.
“What was that about?” Louis asked, staring at me, eyes wide.
“Anastasia Blu…” I whispered.
“What about it?” Zayn asked, just as confused.
“That’s where Bethany works…” All the guys went quiet and just stared at me until Niall broke the silence.
“What are the odds that we end up working where she works…?”
“Who the hell knows?” Zayn said slowly. “Who the actual fuck knows.”
Mid-December had come quicker than I had wanted and I never got a reply from Bethany. This had scared me a little bit. I wasn’t sure if Simon just hadn’t forwarded me the letter or if she hadn’t written me back yet, but thinking about it, if it was the second one, she did work a hectic job and I don’t really expect fast answers. Especially if she has something big to work on.
“Hello boys.” Simon said, meeting us in the airport. We all said our hellos and made our way to the limo.
“So where are we going?” Niall asked.
“Anastasia’s office. You boys have a lot to learn and a lot of fittings to do before this fashion show in four days. I immediately got nervous and sunk into my seat in the limo. The ride to this office was going to be the death of me.
When we arrived, we were rushed right into the design room as they called it and people were running around everywhere; it was crazy. With the amount of people that worked here, I doubted I would even see Bethany at all, which calmed my nerves.
“WHERE THE FUCK IS SHE?! SHE’S SUPPOSED TO BE HERE!” One of the designers yelled.
“I’ll buzz for her.” Another person said, pressing on an ear piece. As son as we walked in, some people left and the few who stayed were doing our measurements while the one guy was still freaking out.
“What the holy fuck is the problem?” I turned and saw a girl probably around my age, with another girl around my age standing next to her holding two coffees.
“We ran out…there’s none left in the spare room.”
“That’s seriously the fucking problem?” The girl asked, narrowing her eyes. “Here’s the key to the fucking vault. Everything is in there.” She handed the guy the key and he rushed out.
“Okay so anyway, how is he?” The girl with strawberry blonde hair asked her.
“Fine.” She answered, walking up to me and working on my measurements. I stayed quiet, not wanting to move and fuck anything up.
“He hasn’t stalked you or anything yet, right?”
“Oh my god, I hate you Jo.”
“What? This Harry kid still sounds weird to me. You need to watch out for yourself. He could show up out of nowhere Bethany.” That’s when I went pale and turned to look at Niall who had heard since he was right next to me. Niall’s eyes had gone wide and stared at her in awe. I looked back at her and was almost captivated. She had long black hair, blue-gold eyes, and she looked like…she looked perfect.
“Give me my fucking coffee.” She said, turning back to the girl.
“Here, grumpy pants.”
“You need to get laid.”
“Oh my god, with what time?”
“I don’t know. The time you spend writing this Harry guy back. You spend like two hours over those fucking letters.”
“Yeah well apparently I sent him a drunk letter. I don’t know what the hell it said. Now I have to be extra careful.”
“You’re actually kidding me, right?”
“Jo, chill out. When you have my job, tell me I’m kidding.”
“You’re an assistant…”
“And you’re an assistant to an assistant. And your boss is also practically running the damn company because Anastasia thinks it’s a good idea.”
“I’m telling you; one of these day’s she’s going to make you her partner.”
“And I’m telling you, it’s because I’m just fucking perfect with pitch ideas.”
“Yeah, that too. I mean, who the fuck spends three hours searching for the perfect people to model for Anastasia? That was a compliment guys.” Jo said, looking up at all of us. “You look pale as fuck, do you need some water?” Jo asked me. Bethany looked up at me and then at Jo.
“Get the kid water; what’s your name?” She said turning back to me.
“Is that a hard question?” She asked, getting frustrated.
“Repeat that again?” Bethany said slowly.
“Jo…” Bethany said slowly, still not turning away from me.
“What? What did he say his name was?”
“His name is fucking Harry.” She said, finally turning to Jo.
“Oh shit. Wait, this isn’t like letter Harry, is it?”
“Well…we’re going to have this conversation in front of you; so tell us if we’re wrong.” Bethany said to me.
“His name is Harry, he works for Simon Cowell, and he’s from England.”
“Yes…?” Jo said slowly.
“Do you write to me?” Bethany said after a pause.
“Yeah…” I finally whispered.
“I need a fucking shot. Jo, finish this. If you need me, I’ll be getting drunk in my office.”
“I WARNED YOU THAT HE WOULD SHOW UP OUT OF NOWHERE!” Jo yelled after her before turning to me. “Though I totally take back what I said about you being a stalker.”
“Yeah, thanks.” I said quietly.
“Right…this is kind of awkward now.” Jo said as the guy that had left earlier rushed back in.
“Where did she go this time?!” He demanded.
“You know what, here; this is Harry. Work with him, I’ll take her keys back to her.”
“I gotchu, David. No worries.” He nodded and rushed over to me like I was the most important thing right now.
Harry. Fucking Harry was in my office. When he said he worked for Simon Cowell I thought he meant as an assistant, like me…but no. The kid is a fucking pop star. What are the fucking odds that I picked his band to be our new faces of the male line this season?
“Bethany?” Jo asked, slowly walking in. I was taking shots of the vodka I had sitting under my desk, trying not to cry.
“At least he isn’t ugly…”
“I hate you Jo. I fucking hate you.”
“Oh come on; at least go talk to the kid!”
“I didn’t expect him to show up! What the hell is this?! This is completely crazy!”
“Bethany…just go and talk to him.” Jo took the vodka away from me before I could even get a slight buzz going.
“You need to be in there anyway. I feel like David is about to die.” I groaned and grabbed my first aid kit before leaving my office.
“I still hate you.” I said before walking out of my office.
When I walked back in, all the guys turned to look at me, meaning they all figured out who I was. I looked around and walked up to David who was still working on Harry.
“Take your break, please. You look like you’re about to pass out. Go get some coffee and food.” David nodded wordlessly and slowly walked out, looking stressed beyond hell. I sighed and put all my shit down on the chair next to Harry.
“DANNI, PROTO-TYPES IN THE VAULT, NOW. WILLIAM, DESIGNS BACK IN THE DESIGN ROOM. RIGHT NOW THIS IS STRICLY GETTING THE BOY’S CORRECT SIZES. WHEN I FINISH WITH THIS I WILL CALL YOU BACK. RILEY, GO GET US ALL COFFEE…PLEASE. THEN TAKE YOUR LUNCH. YOU’RE SCARING ME WITH HOW ODDLY AWAKE YOU ARE AND HOW SICKLY PALE YOU LOOK AT THE SAME TIME. THEN PLEASE GO INTO THE BACK ROOM AND NAP FOR AN HOUR.” They all nodded and started clearing their space.
“What about me?” I turned and saw Naomi there.
“What are you doing here? You weren’t put on this project.”
“Cleo sent me over to keep an eye on things since she couldn’t be here for another two hours. Another interview ran late.”
“Go…do assistant stuff for Cleo then. I don’t know. I just don’t need you here. You didn’t need to be here in the first place.”
“You have enough notes for now, okay? Show them to Cleo. I’ll let her know you worked really hard, okay?”
“I got you Naomi; you know I do; assistants bond.” I said, half smiling at her and she hugged me.
“You really are the best.”
“You don’t have to. Do you need anything else?”
“Some peace and damn quiet. Also, send Jo in here for me.”
“Thank you.” I said, nodding as she left. And her also being the last person in the room until I was alone with the guys. When I heard the door shut I turned back to face them.
“Well nice to meet you.” Harry whispered.
“I could think of better ways.” I snapped. I slapped my forehead and sighed. “Fuck, I’m sorry. I’m cranky as hell and this totally took me by surprise.”
“It’s okay; I understand. However, this pin in my leg is hurting and cutting off circulation.”
“Fuck.” Bethany dropped down and pulled the pin out and stood back up. “Okay, can I have proper introductions for you guys?”
“Okay, I’m Bethany.”
“Oh, we know.” Louis said, smirking.
“Great. Anyway…all I have to do is…”
“You called for me?” I heard Jo call happily from the door.
“Get me fucking Advil before I snap your neck.” I shot back at her.
“Okay grumpy pants.”
“And coffee, and another shot of vodka, please.”
“Drinking on the job isn’t safe.”
“You’re one to talk.”
“Okay, I only showed up drunk like three times, okay! And to keep myself from dying I needed to keep drinking!”
“I’m over you, Jo. Get what I asked for then please go on your lunch break and stay out of my hair and keep people out of here. Oh and keep all my calls to unavailable or hold unless it’s Jacob. If he calls me, tell me immediately. I want to make sure he’s doing okay since I couldn’t stay long on thanksgiving.”
“Yeah, how did he look?”
“He’s bald and scrawny as all fuck. Is that a question? He has cancer Jo…”
“Right…sorry. I’ll go get your stuff.”
“Thank you.” I said, slowly feeling tears well up in my eyes. I took a deep breath before turning back around.
“Is he okay?” Harry asked me quietly.
“No…no he isn’t. And I’m not allowed to go home and be there for him. I’m stuck here. So…I feel like a shitty ass sister.”
“I doubt you are.” Liam said. I looked up at him, surprised.
“I mean…I’m not saying I read your letters but Harry talks about you a decent amount. And from what I’ve heard, you’re a hard worker and a very caring and loving person. I’m sure he knows if you could be there, you would be.” I smiled and little and a tear slipped down my cheek.
“Thanks but…I still feel like crap.” Everyone went quiet when Jo walked back in with Bethany’s stuff then she walked back out. Bethany quickly downed what she was given and looked back at us.
“As I was saying…all I need to do is take your measurements and then you guys get back to the craziness of all our designers. So…I’ll make this as quick and painless as possible.”
“Hey…do you want to grab a coffee when you get out of work tonight?” Harry asked me. I looked over at him I jotted down Niall’s waist measurements out of the corner of my eye. “You know…because we already technically met so…”
“Yeah, that sounds nice.” I said, cutting him off turning back to Niall. I wanted to smile, but I kept it inside not wanting to show any excitement. Not that I probably could if I wanted for the simple fact that all I could think about was Jacob at this point.