Dreams Come TrueBy: KB Winters & Evie Monroe
“Do you usually take in other designers?” I was still feeling this deal out.
“It’s my job to find fresh talent to work on Mad Mode’s everyday collections, but Johnny Hatter is the only one who has done the exclusives.” I couldn’t imagine why they’d want me to work with the best designer on his exclusive line. “Say yes, and I’ll make sure you have the experience of a lifetime.”
“I’d have to talk to my father. How much time will you give me to decide?”
“I’d need to know something by tomorrow. I’m only in town another couple of days, and I have some family business. Here’s my card. Call or text me with your answer, and I’ll make arrangements for you to join us next week.”
“Next week?” That seemed like no time at all.
“Yes, we need you to start as soon as possible.” I thought about the phone call he’d made.
“It didn’t seem like Johnny Hatter was too on board with this. That was who you were arguing with, wasn’t it?”
“He’s on board. As a matter of fact, he knew what I was coming here for. He just wanted to make sure you had some experience.”
“I see. Well, I haven’t had as much as he has.” I knew he’d been around for years. He was a billionaire rich kid who had inherited his family fortune at twenty-eight and been in the fashion industry ever since. His brand was one of the biggest, and his mirrored M logo was on the butt of every college kid in the country.
“Don’t sell yourself short, kiddo. Say yes, and let me get this rolling.”
“Okay. I need to tell my father, but I’ll do it.” A wide grin spread across his face and he reached out to pat my arm.
“You’re making the right decision. This is going to catapult you into the world of fashion, Alice.”
“Liss. Call me Liss.” No one had called me Alice since my mother had died. Not even my father.
“Liss, sorry.” He shook my hand. “Do you mind if I step over here and make a call.” He motioned to the other side of the room.
“Not at all. I’ll just be with my customers.” I left him and went to tend to the mother, and sure enough, her daughter was looking for a bridal gown. Luckily, the wedding was a while away, and even if I took the order, I’d have plenty of time to pull off the job and go to work in L.A.
I was discussing the price of the order as Nathan returned and he overheard as they put down their deposit which was half up front. I thanked them and came around to walk them out.
As I returned, he was staring at my sales slip. “You know, a little time with us and you’ll get three times this.” He flashed me a wink. “I have to run too, but I’ll be in touch, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again.” With a smile that was full of charm, he gave me a little bow and left me with my thoughts.
Los Angeles. Johnny Hatter. This had to be a dream. I ran over to the door and cut off the open sign and locked the door. It was still thirty minutes till I had to shut down, but I needed to get home and talk to my father. I hoped he wouldn’t be upset that I’d made the commitment without asking him first, but I was a grown woman and didn’t really need his permission. His approval though was everything to me.
I grabbed my bag and the dress I’d finished and then shut off my iron, which I kept steaming on its base, and hurried out.
Leaving early would not only give me time to talk to my dad, but I’d still have time to get ready for girl’s night out with Sabrina. With all of the decisions I’d made today, I’d need a little time to unwind.
Three hours later, I found myself sitting at dinner with Sabrina. “The dirtier, the better,” she said, ordering her drink.
I ordered a simple Cosmo and waited for her to tell me once again, what I should’ve ordered.
“You should’ve gotten a daiquiri here,” she said right on cue. She’d never suggest a drink until after you ordered, and I’d never managed to order the proper drink.
I decided not to let it get me down and share my good news. “You’ll never guess who came into the store today.” I waited to see if she’d try and when she shrugged I went ahead and spilled. “Johnny Hatter’s assistant.”
“His assistant? How did you know? That could be anybody trying to play a joke.” She waved her hand dismissively and gave me a sympathetic look.
“I hope not. He gave me his card and offered me a job.”
Her eyes widened. “A job! Seriously? Do you think it’s legit?”
“Here.” I took the card out from my handbag and passed it to her. “See, it looks official. His sister came in the store the other day and bought a few things. She was so impressed by my style that she sent her brother to see me. She kept hinting around that I’d do well if I had the right opportunity. I guess she was feeling me out.”
“That’s amazing! I thought for sure it was someone playing a gag, but your talent was bound to attract the real deal someday. You’ve always designed the best clothes.” She pointed down to her own dress which was one of my originals as well. “I guess I’ll have to hang on to this thing for the rest of my life if you become super-famous and have you autograph it for a shadow box display.”
We shared a laugh. “I’ll be working with Johnny supposedly. I’ll believe that part when it happens. I’m trying to not get my hopes up.” I didn’t want to get to L.A. and find that I was going to be carrying fabric bolts and fetching patterns for the others.
“Is he single? Gay or straight? If you’re lucky maybe he’ll ask you out.” Leave it to Sabrina to think sex.
“It’s a business opportunity, not a party. I’m not even sure about his personal life. I know he’s like in his forties and incredibly rich, so since he’s almost my father’s age, I think I’ll pass.” Although Johnny Hatter didn’t look his age, he looked at least twenty years younger than my father, though I knew he wasn’t.
“We’ll see. You’ll come in a hot affair with an older man. Your dad will freak out. Did he say anything about you going?”
“He was supportive. He was a little surprised that I’d go considering it’s in L.A., but, he understood my need to go. He said he’d watch the shop for me. Could you imagine?” I laughed thinking about my father working the bridal section.
“He’d do great. Are you going to let him?” She took her drink from the waitress and wasted no time sucking half of it down.
“I might. I’ll have to show him some things, and I have to make more scarves before I go. I leave next week.
“Next week? Wow, it didn’t take long for your life to change!” As she tossed back the rest of her drink, I put mine to my lips and considered what she had said.
Things do happen fast sometimes.
It’d been a long weekend, and I knew I must be really late when I found Nate in my office with his feet kicked up on my desk. The man was fashionably late and every other kind in between, and in his final hour, I was sure the Grim Reaper would be sitting around twiddling his thumbs waiting for him. I cleared my throat as I entered my office.
His head spun around, and he went wide-eyed as he dropped his feet to the floor. “Oh, sorry. I’ve never had to wait on you before.” He got to his feet as I entered the room.
“Now you know what the rest of us go through with you.” I’d waited on him for hours in total, and I’m sure it took up a good day or two of my life.
“Liss is here,” he announced proudly, squaring his shoulders.
“What lease? Is it time to renew for my storage? I just did that two months ago!” My temper flared as he waved his hands.
“No, no. It’s not that. Liss, the girl. The one from Lewistown. The new design assistant I told you about. I just picked her up at the airport. She’s down the hall in the bathroom freshening up.” He gestured down the hall.
I let out a long breath. “I’d have rather you been talking about the lease.” I still hadn’t warmed up to the idea of bringing someone in on my own designs. I’d always prided myself on my exclusive line and the fact that it was all me. The everyday collection was for my scouted talent, and if it was brainstorming that was needed, we already had a whole team to give me their opinions. I knew most of them were probably begging to.
Nate gave me a pleading look. “Come on, man. You agreed to this. Let’s see how she does. You might be pleasantly surprised. She’s a looker too, so there’s that.” His eyes turned hopeful.
I was just about to protest when a young blonde dressed in a tight blue dress with splotches of black and white swirling around the waist and down to her hemline walked in the door.
She was smoking hot; her big blue eyes were bright and full of wonder, and her long blond hair hung like a curtain framing her beautiful face. She had to be one of the most gorgeous women I’d ever seen. And as one who’d spent the last several years working with the hottest models in the world, that was saying a lot. Her body was slamming so hard that I wondered why she’d chosen to be on the creative side of the industry. She could easily pull off any design she wanted to wear on a runway.