Dreams Come TrueBy: KB Winters & Evie Monroe
“No, honey. She’ll never get her big ass into that pantsuit. There’s not enough duct tape in the world to cinch those cheeks together.” Weed let out a long sigh. “You should go, Gretta. She’s got the hips, or should I say she doesn’t. Plus, the color will be much better on her. Lysandra is still coming off a horrible spray tan. Let’s give the airbrush artists an easy day.” Good old Weed had already figured out who should wear what.
“Fine, you know what’s best. Bring me a list though, I can’t stand to be completely out of the loop, and you know it.”
“I know it all too well, love.” The use of that nickname might’ve been a long time wish of his, but it wasn’t of mine.
“Easy on the lover. People will get ideas.”
“Not to worry, smooch, I’ll set them straight. You see what I did there.” He laughed at himself, and I rolled my eyes.
“List, on my desk later. Don’t forget. Also, how’s she doing?”
“What do you mean, who? Liss, the new girl. Sexy blonde, stupid shoes, I sent her down at least fifteen minutes ago.”
“Oh. Then I guess it’s a bad time to head out for a smoke break.” He chuckled with his deep, velvety voice. “Oops.”
“Go look for her; she’s liable to wander out into the street. She’s new to the city.”
“Then she won’t go far. Oh, there she is now. I’ll talk to you soon, love.” He let out another deep chuckle and hung up the phone.
I let out a long breath unsure she was going to be able to hang.
My face burned with embarrassment as I pushed through yet another door, still uncertain of where I was going or how to get back to where I’d been. Johnny had given me vague directions, and when he’d said down three, I assumed he meant three hallways. The place was like a maze, and I hoped I’d find someone soon.
I pushed open a heavy door and stopped as the sun hit my face. I had stumbled upon a small patio that opened to a small grassy area where I found a man lounging in a patio chair about to light a twisty cigarette.
“Oh, pardon me. I’m a bit lost. I’m looking for a man named Weed.” I felt like an idiot and hoped that this person, would know him.
“I’m Weed; you must be Liss. Johnny called and asked if you’d found me. This place gets a bit turned around at times, but you’ll get the hang of it.”
I glanced down to his feet and didn’t find pumps. Instead he wore a pair of topsiders with his shorts. As he shifted in his seat, I realized the shorts weren’t shorts at all, but a short skirt and the shirt he wore was more like a woman’s blouse. There was a beautiful scarf tied around his neck, and it matched his hot pink hair. Somehow the man made it all work.
I stumbled to find my words, still shaken by being lost. “I didn’t realize that door came outside.”
“The huge, glowing word above the door didn’t give it away?” He chuckled, and then suddenly his eyes widened, and he extended a hand and curled his finger for me to come closer. “That scarf is amazing, little one. May I see it.” I slipped the thing from around my neck, and he draped it around his. “Where did you get this? It’s me, don’t you think?”
Even though I didn’t know him, I somehow knew what he meant. The scarf he had on was nice, but mine was ten times nicer on him. The tiny pink and blue specks of dye popped against his hair and made his eyes brighten.
“It’s lovely on you. I made that myself, actually, so it’s one of a kind. You may have it if you like.”
“I like you already, kid. What does Johnny have you doing?” He lit the twisted cigarette and pulled in a long drag, which he held.
“He said I’d hang with you today; I hope It’s not a problem.”
He blew the smoke, and I smelled something I hadn’t since college. I wondered if Johnny knew about his habit, but then it occurred to me. Of course, he did. The man’s name was Weed. “Not at all. I’ll show you around, little one.” The way he kept calling me kid and little one, I was beginning to feel like a little girl. One lost in a big crazy world.
“Thanks. I’m a little out of sorts, I’m afraid. I hope to do well here. Nathan brought me into help Johnny with fresh ideas. I really want to be able to offer something.”
“Are you new to the city?” He rolled the joint between his two manicured fingers, the long nail of his forefinger was silver with a bold, sparkly star.
“Yes, I’m from a small town up in Washington. Lewistown. Nathan’s sister found me, liked what she saw, and told her brother to check me out. So, here I am.”
“Did Nate find you a place to stay?” He tapped the joint out on the side of the chair’s leg.
“Johnny said I could stay with him, but honestly, I’m not so sure about that.” I looked down to my shoes and felt a little silly for insinuating anything and hoped he hadn’t taken it that way.
“Smart girl. You’re gorgeous, biscuit. Of course, he wants you to stay with him. But it’s not only sexual; it’s about control for him. He can keep an eye on you there.” He smiled and then licked his lips as he pulled out a mirror and a tube of gloss.
“What do you mean, keep an eye on me? I’m not going to do anything.” Did he think I would be out to sabotage him or try and be lazy?
He swiped on the gloss and then rubbed his lips together, returning the stick to his pocket. “Look, I like you. I’ll let you in on a little secret about our hot boss. He’s a jealous man who is full of pride. Here you come to his rescue, and he’s not used to being saved. Tread lightly with the suggestions. Make him think they’re his ideas.”
“So, you’re saying he’s an insecure eccentric that needs me to stroke his ego?” I let out a deep breath and folded my arms across my chest, hoping it would help me keep it together.
“That pretty much sums it up.” He chuckled, and his laugh sent chills down my spine. His hypnotic voice was like a soft caress of velvet, and all I could think about was how he’d said the word sexual like it was butter melting on his tongue. “Are you okay?” He leaned forward in his chair and then tucked the joint behind his ear.
“Why did you use the word sexual? Do you think that Johnny could possibly be interested in me?” I narrowed my eyes and looked back down at my feet.
“I guess you’ll find out.” He winked with his long, fake lash brushing his cheek. Then he got up and crossed the small area toward the door. “Come along. I’ll show you the wardrobe. You can help me choose accessories since you’re a master of scarves.”
“Awesome, I can’t wait to get started. I need your help just finding my way back.” I giggled.
He threw his arm around my shoulders and led me inside. “I like your style, and I like being needed. The two of us are going to get along wonderfully.”
He led me down the hallway and to a big black door to a large room which was filled with rack after rack of clothes. The walls were lined with shelves of shoes and cases of accessories. It was amazing how he kept it all organized to perfection.
It was a dream closet for a designer, and there were even machines lined up on one end, and the other had a few stage props and signs from their last event.
“Here’s where the magic happens. I take the designs and coordinate everything so we can show them off. I think if you see Johnny’s final vision, which is what I try to achieve for him, then you’ll have a better grasp of what will work. Putting you with me was just to get you familiar with everything. Not to brag, but I’m the glue that holds this place together. Nate will want you to think it’s him, but he’s always been a bit of a pain in my ass.”
“I think he’s nice. I haven’t met anyone I didn’t like.” But that was my nature for the most part. My father had always said I’d never met a stranger.
“Then you haven’t been here long enough.” He chuckled and pulled out a large tub and opened it up, next to a dress that was already lying on the table. We spent the next several hours accessorizing and talking about the stage. He knew everything; from which outfits which models should wear for their skin tones to how many steps they’d take down the runway.
I was lost in work and getting the hang of things when footsteps brought my head up. “How’s it going in here?” Johnny folded his arms across his chest and leaned back against the counter. Weed crossed the room from where he was holding hats against a dress, but I continued sorting the bin of socks we’d knocked over while going for the bin of pocket squares.
“It’s going perfectly. If you don’t like her over in your department, she’s always welcome over here in mine. She really has an eye and not just for design; she’d be great at organizing. She’s helped me so much; I’m damned close to being ready for the shoot this weekend.”
My cheeks burned as I listened to the two of them discuss me.
“Amazing, but that doesn’t mean you can take the end of the week off.” Weed stuck his tongue out at Johnny for that remark earning a chuckle. “How about you, Liss? Is he keeping you on your toes?” He stepped around the counter and faced the area I was working. Weed stood behind him gesturing that I should put down what I was doing and come over to join them. I dropped the socks and did just that.