Page 4 of Suited for Love

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Chapter 3


Idollopafewscoops of yogurt into two bowls, topping them both with granola and fresh blueberries. A few minutes later, Cara joins me at the kitchen table.

"Thanks," she says, dipping a spoon into her bowl. She holds the spoon at an awkward angle, with her manicure on full display. It's the perfect pose for an ad campaign, but not so perfect for eating. I suppress a smile as she tilts her head to meet the spoon instead of the other way around. As one of the highest-paid hand models in the world, Cara uses every opportunity to train.

"What's on the agenda today?" I ask.

She smiles. "You know I can't tell you. I signed a non-disclosure agreement."

"Give me a hint." I love hearing about her work, especially when she gets to model jewelry. She was once photographed wearing a multi-million-dollar ring on eachfinger. All ten of them.

"It's a car commercial. That's all I'll say."

My face falls in disappointment. I have no interest in cars.

Cara wags her eyebrows mischievously. "The casting director called me in at the last minute to be the hand double for an A-list actress. She's a cuticle picker. It looks atrocious."

I lean forward. "Who is it?"

"Can't tell you." A smile dances on her lips. She knows I'll watch every car commercial featuring a famous actress with suspicion now. "What's on your agenda today?"

A huge grin stretches across my face. "Briony wants totalk shop." I accentuate the words.

"Talk shop?" Her eyes widen. "Does that mean…"

"I think so."

Cara jumps up to do the Snoopy dance. "Why aren't you dancing?"

"I'm trying not to get my hopes up."

She raises one eyebrow, giving me her who-do-you-think-you're-kidding look.

WhoamI kidding? My hopes are in the stratosphere. After nearly ten years with Boutique Chrysalis, I've earned this promotion. Once I'm a senior buyer, I'll have a stable of junior buyers to send to the trade shows and warehouses ofmychoosing. I'll be able to pitch ideas and designers directly to Briony.

And I already have a binder full of exciting designers that I can't wait to show her.

Brionysteeplesherhandstogether on her desk. Her long fingernails come to points and are lacquered with red polish. She looks prepared to gouge out a person's eyeballs. I just hope they're not mine.

I lift my hand to tuck a strand of hair behind an ear before remembering that it's no longer long enough for that. I love the pixie cut, but I'm not used to it yet. Since I can't tuck my hair, I settle for tracing the multi-colored dots on my skirt. The pattern is playful, reminding me of a Funfetti cake.

Briony's been flipping through my binder for several minutes. Her face is a blank slate, so I have no idea if she likes what she sees. With each passing second, a pit of dread cuts deeper in my gut.

When she pushes her Gucci reading glasses on top of her head and rubs her temples, I gulp.This can't be good.

With a sigh, she turns the binder toward me so I can see the page. Tapping a fingernail on a photograph of a gorgeous summer dress, she says, "You would select this piece for our summer collection?"

Beads of perspiration pop up on my forehead.Is this a trick question?

Taking a deep breath, I nod. "Yes, I would."

"Tell me why."

I sit up straighter, grateful to be back in my comfort zone. I can talk about clothes all day long. "The combination of colors and textures is innovative while also being very commercial. Everyone will want this dress. I think the only question is whether we could keep it in stock. She's a newer designer so production may be an issue."

Briony drums her nails on the desk. "You've been here nearly a decade, but you still don't understand Boutique Chrysalis."