The Art of Secret Love

Carter Knowles and her older sister Olivia are the best stylists around. They've dressed everyone from Steven Tyler to Katy Perry. They get called in last minute to help with a One Direction show in their home city of Boston. 1D's opening act, 5 Seconds of Summer, is so impressed with their taste that they hire the girls as their full-time stylists for a six month tour back in Australia.
Before long, Carter finds herself falling for Luke and sometimes she even thinks he might like her too. But she has to stay professional. What would an up-and-coming star like him want with a stylist? It takes everything Carter has not to go for the exciting, nice, cute Australian boy who seems to have everything she could ever want in a guy.

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1. Carter Knowles' Story.

Carter's P.O.V.

My name is Carter Knowles. I live in Boston, Massachusetts with my older sister, Olivia and our dad. I will be turning 17 on February 16th of 2014. So yes, I am only 16 still. But, lucky for me, I look older than I am and so does my sister. This is important because we aren't your average teenagers. At least, we aren't any more. Two years ago, Olivia and I were attending the local high school and going to the mall after school or hanging out with friends. But we rarely have time for that now. We have a very hectic lifestyle now due to our current occupation as stylists. I know that it sounds a bit funny but it's a real job and we both love it.

 

It all started when I was a freshman in high school and for my fifteenth birthday, my mom agreed to take Olivia and I out of school for the day to attend one of her shoots. My mother was an ex-model who, after having kids, decided to become a fashion photographer for a magazine called 'In Now'. The magazine features very fashionable pictures of the most A-List celebrities. My mother was soon well known all over the country for her unique gift of knowing exactly which angle and lighting to use in order to get the perfect shot. No one had ever been slightly unhappy with her work.

Unfortunately, though my sister and I loved taking pictures, we were never quite up to par when it came to the professionals. But what we did love, was helping our mother's best friend and co-worker, Crystal. Crystal was the make-up and wardrobe stylist for all of the stars that came in for shoots. I loved Crystal because she always took Olivia and I seriously even though we were still just some high school kids with big dreams.

Once she had an outfit together, she would ask us what we think and Olivia and I would run through the racks of clothes, trying to find that one item that we felt could complete it. A lot of times she loved the suggestions and would use them for the actual shoot. Other times, even though she didn't use our changes, our ideas would inspire her to do something else that she would never have thought of herself if we weren't there. But Crystal also wasn't afraid to say that she thought the outfit was great just the way it was, without our addition or subtraction of items. At the end of the day, Crystal was the professional, and it was her job on the line, not ours.

But my favorite part wasn't necessarily picking out the clothes, Olivia was better at that. I liked looking up that stars to see which brands they tended to wear, researching whether their style was leather jackets or stilettos. When dressing a star, you always have to fit their personal taste. If you put a star in something that they would never normally wear, then they will come out looking uncomfortable in the pictures. Crystal always has to make sure what style fits the personality of the star and the photo shoot, whether it's sexy, serious, or silly.

 

On my fifteenth birthday, I got to do something I've never done before. I completely took over. I did all the research on the star, a new teen actress who specialized in romantic comedies. I got to pick out everything from her white Vans with black decals to show her fun side to the black flowing, high-waisted skirt to show her flirty side to the loosely tucked in white razor back shirt from Rebel Yell with a black lace bandeau underneath. When I was finished, Crystal gave me an approving nod and Olivia helped me pick out the jewelry which was a long key necklace, small diamond studs, and some leather wrist bangles.

When the star came, my stomach started flipping with nerves to see how she would react to my first ever solo outfit. It was now five and I had been working on the outfit since eight o'clock this morning. We hear a small squeal from the changing room where the star was putting my outfit on. My mind suddenly started racing.

Were the Vans too casual for her taste?

Did she hate skirts?

Was the shirt too revealing on the sides and back?

Were the leather bracelets too much?

I stood there paralyzed as my mother showed up to see what the noise was about. The actress suddenly burst out from behind the floral-printed curtain of the changing room and my nerves melted away when I saw the big smile on her face. She had absolutely loved the outfit and asked if she could even keep it. My mother started taking pictures as soon as we were done with make-up and hair which was just a fresh faced look with little eyeliner and a light pink/nude lipstick and soft waves in her blonde hair. My mother loved the look of absolute confidence and happiness that the actress was radiating and she even mentioned that she thought it was due to my excellent skills. I had made the actress look comfortable and beautiful in her outfit which is exactly what showed up on camera.

My sister immediately complimented me on my work and even Crystal said that she thought I did far better than she could have. My fifteenth birthday was the best day of my life.

 

Unfortunately, the feeling didn't last long because less than two weeks later, my mother got into a terrible car accident. She was rushing on her way to work and didn't notice a car go through the red light, barreling straight towards her. That was the worst day of my life.

My dad became pretty distant after the crash and Crystal started coming by more and more often. She turned into a mother and father figure for Olivia and I. Crystal helped us with our homework, projects, boy problems, and much more. Eventually, when she felt we were ready, Crystal even helped us get started on our career at stylists. She didn't push us into anything, though, Olivia and I still loved doing it and it made us feel closer to our mother. We dove into our work and with the help of Crystal, we soon became quite good at it. We busied ourselves with finding out whoever was in town and always offering our services as Private Stylists to the Stars. Because we had made much a good impression so fast, and because of who our mother was, people usually took us up on the gig and we rarely, if ever, disappointed our clients.

This is why looking older helped so much, if the clients saw us as inexperienced kids, we wouldn't book barely as many jobs as we do. But because we look young, knowledgeable, and professional, the clients poured in. Sometimes, if the client was really big, we would even travel as far as California or even Europe a few times.

But we were still in high school when this all started happening, so Olivia and I had to switch over to online school. Olivia had no problem with it. She has always been a wiz at school and she is a very universal person so she had no problem with the impersonal setting of online school. Me, on the other hand, I was not doing so well. Especially math and science. I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea. That is why I was so glad that I already had a very well-paying occupation that I liked. Because I think I'd be pretty lost without it.

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