The King (After Hours Book 1)By: Ivy Fox
You’re probably wondering who I am.
I’m no one.
No one of importance, at least. I’m not rich or beautiful, as are most of the women I find running around this office. And there are many since I work for one of the most illustrious fashion magazines in the country.
No, not that one.
The other one.
Royal Magazine. This one. The one that everybody who is anybody would sell their grandmother off to, just to be on the cover. You see, fashion magazines aren’t only for the wafer-thin, drop-dead gorgeous model types. Now actors, actresses, musicians, socialites—hell, even politicians, get a crack at being plastered on the Royal pages. The only thing they have in common? Money and charisma. They need to have that it factor to even be a contender on any of the pages of this high-end fashion magazine.
Now, I don’t want to sound bitter. I’m not. Truly. It’s just… coming to work every day and living amongst the beautiful people, when I am anything but, kind of sucks sometimes.
So why do I stay, you ask?
First, I work for my best friend whom I’ve known since kindergarten. My mom was her in-house nanny, and when my dad left, I became a permanent fixture to the Richardson House. Devina was just a bit older than me, but right from the get-go, she and I became each other’s confidants—almost sisters, even. The only time we ever parted was when she went to an Ivy League school down in Boston—yeah that one—and I stayed put to go to NYU, thanks to my big brains and maybe even a few strings pulled by Devina’s mom. Both of us studied business, but while Devina is fully focused on numbers and figures, I’m more of a people’s person. So when she came back to New York to take a seat at Royal, I wasn’t surprised when she called up asking me to be her personal assistant once I graduated. Thanks to her, I know everybody that has any weight in this town, and they come to me directly if they want anything from Devina. So I get a lot of people kissing my ass on a constant basis, but I also have to translate her blowing them off as diplomatically as possible. Not always easy. So, yeah, I love working with Dev behind closed doors. It’s when I open said doors do I get to see the other reason I love working here.
My Achilles’ heel in every way it counts. Always immaculate in his Gucci suit, the man oozes confidence and apathy. I have seen half-naked models making absurd figures of themselves to get his attention, and yet the man is stone cold. He enters the office each morning without even hinting a smile to anyone. Unless he is talking to his sidekicks—his best friends from college who also work at Royal—he rarely says much of anything, really.
But he watches. God, does he watch. He is one of those people who lies back and takes everything in until he’s made a judgment of you before you’ve even said a word to him. How do I know he does this? Well, while Dean watches his adversaries, I watch him. Pathetic? Maybe. Can a day pass by without me doing it? Hell to the no! Being a no one has its advantages, after all. A man like him doesn’t even know I exist, and I’ve been working for Dev—who, I might add, is his fifty-fifty partner in Royal—for the past two years. Been in the same office with him numerous times. Been to staff meetings, boardroom assemblies, and social gatherings—with him at every one—more times than I can count. Yet he’s never once spoken to me more than a few odd words here and there. Still, I live for these moments.
Okay, now I sound pathetic, but believe me, if you ever crossed Dean Knox’s path in your life, you would probably not be too proud of your antics, either. Think of the hottest guy you ever came into contact with. Yeah, you got that picture in your head? Good. Now double that hotness by a thousand, and even then I’m not sure you’re in the same ballpark. You see my dilemma now?
I live day in and day out amongst the beautiful people, yet I only have eyes for one.
And he’s the reason I both love coming to work and hate it.
Because being reminded you are a no one kinda sucks when you desperately want to be someone’s someone.
“Edie, are you really wearing that to work?” my roommate Lexi asks, eyeing me up and down in distaste.