I stared at my reflection. “I don’t understand, Barbara. I thought Eleni was supposed to be modeling the bridal collection.”
She pinned the white bustier until my full breasts spilled over the top. Then she artfully arranged the white sheer robe so it revealed just enough of her handiwork to be enticing without looking trashy. “What the boss wants, the boss gets. Even if it means we have to lose sleep to get these damn alterations done on time.”
“Remind me to give you a raise, Barbara.”
I turned so fast that the pin Barbara was holding jabbed me in the thigh, but I barely noticed. It was him. Oh God. I couldn’t breathe. I was going to pass out right there.
“Mr. Starkis,” Barbara said, a blush stealing over her cheeks. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t hear you come in.”
“I’d like a moment alone with Miss Barnes, Barbara.” He gave her a pointed stare before he said, “I’ll try not to keep her too long. I understand you’re on a tight schedule.”
She lowered her head before gathering her measuring tape and pins. “No problem, take all the time you need.”
He waited until Barbara had closed the door and we were alone before he whispered, “Theia, you look breathtaking.”
I still didn’t know what theia meant, and I was beyond irritated to be meeting him under these circumstances, especially armed with the knowledge about his penchant for young models. Closing the gap in the sheer robe, I tried to stare him down, but it wasn’t easy. Even standing on a pedestal and wearing four-inch heels, I was still slightly shorter than he was.
“We meet at last.” He stepped closer and ran a fingertip over my cheek. “You’re even more beautiful in person than I imagined you would be.”
His accent was more pronounced than it had been over the phone and sent delicious chills up my spine in spite of my annoyance at my body’s betrayal.
His bright blue eyes flashed with irritation. “You are annoyed with me. Again?”
“I’m not having this conversation here.” I looked around, wondering if he’d seduced other women in that very room. “I’m working. Kindly leave.”
His irritation blossomed into anger. “I own this goddamn building. No one tells me when to leave.”
Oh. Feeling properly chastised, I did the only thing I could. I turned away from him and fixed all my attention on the mirror in front of me.
He walked around me in a slow circle, his hand rubbing the dark stubble on his square jaw. “Mmmm, this looks even better than I imagined it would. It’s so easy to imagine unwrapping you on our wedding night.”
When one door closes, another one opens. I closed the door to my business for the last time in 2011, which left me with a decision. What now? Find another location and move my nutrition business, go to work for someone else, or take a chance on my dream? I chose the latter and I’ve never looked back!
I’ve always loved reading and writing, but it wasn’t until I jumped in with both feet and decided writing would be my career, instead of just a hobby, that my muse woke up from her deep slumber.
It was like someone flipped a switch inside my head and stories just came pouring out. At the end of the day, I would often look at the keyboard and wonder, ‘Who the heck wrote that? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me!’
I don’t write books. I tell stories, or rather, I allow my characters to tell their stories through me. I’m not a plotter, never have been, never will be. Why? Because I have no idea how the story will evolve and it’s not my place to manipulate it. My job is to get to know these characters, figure out what makes them tick, then follow their journey wherever it takes me.
When I’m not writing, I’m daydreaming. Thankfully, I have an understanding husband and son who know I’ll re-join the land of the living just as soon as my muse decides it’s quitting time. I don’t work for myself. I work for her. She’s the boss. And I’m okay with that.