Free Tease by C. D. Reiss

Book: Tease by C. D. Reiss Read Free Book Online
Authors: C. D. Reiss
Tags: Billionaire
down the hall, then right again, and pressed the button for me as if I was too good to lift my arm.
    The elevator doors opened into a room rich in wildflowers and tapestries. The white leather couches were empty, but the antique desk was manned by a woman about my age with smooth skin and a ready smile.
    “Good afternoon, Miss Faulkner,” she said.
    “Monica’s fine.”
    “My name’s Shonda. Lorraine will be right with you. Would you like some coffee? Or we have herbal tea?”
    “If you have a green or a white tea, hot and plain? I’d love that.”
    “Great.” Shonda seemed genuinely pleased to get me tea. She didn’t have the same face I wore when I wanted to seem genuinely pleased to get someone their drinks, but I really wasn’t. Or maybe that was exactly what I looked like.
    I didn’t sit but stood at the window, staring at the WDE building. Our call with Eugene Testarossa had been as quick as a hot fuck. Our meeting was in four days at twelve-thirty. High lunch. Location TBA. That meant we were important to him. He wanted to be seen with us. One day, I’d walk into that big black building from the parking lot and take the elevator up as if I belonged there. I’d be a moneymaker, a golden ticket, their canary.
    “Ms. Faulkner?”
    I turned to see Lorraine, a sixty-ish woman a few inches shorter than me with pixie cut white hair and not a stitch more makeup than was appropriate.
    “Hi,” I said.
    “So nice to meet you.” She held her hand out, and I shook it.
    “I’m sorry,” I said. “I want to be honest. I don’t know exactly how to do this. I mean, usually, I’d just go shopping, so, if you could kinda guide me through?”
    “Of course,” she said, folding her hands in front of her. “You’re looking for something for the Eclipse show?”
    “Follow me.” She smiled slyly and winked at me. “This will be fun. I promise.”
    We walked into a room with mirrors and a white carpet. My tea waited for me on a little marble table. Lorraine closed the door behind us.
    “I set up some possibilities for you,” said Lorraine, pointing to a rack of garments on hangers. Four mannequins wore other dresses. All of the clothes were black eveningwear. “You probably won’t need any alterations. I pulled from size six per Mister Drazen’s recommendation.”
    “He knew my size?”
    “He said you were perfect. I had to draw conclusions from there.”
    I didn’t want to know how many women he’d sent up to Lorraine. It wasn’t a productive line of thought, and I had a bunch of clothes to look through. I usually loved shopping, but that was nerve-wracking. I felt like a Dodger’s fan at Wrigley Field.
    “If you sit,” Lorraine said, indicating a chair, “I’ll show you what I have.”
    I sat slowly when her back was turned. I didn’t want her to see the pain in my face. She pulled things from the rack, one at a time, and laid them out. I rejected most as too dowdy or too slutty, which made her laugh. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, which didn’t help. As she got to the last frock on the rack, and I knew from the length it wouldn’t work, I imagined myself walking into the L.A. Mod. Who would I see? How did I want to present myself? I’d be with Jonathan, but who would see me besides him?
    She didn’t seem impatient or put out at all when I rejected the last thing and said, “I think I decided something.”
    “Oh, good.”
    “I want to look like an artist.”
    She looked at me for a second, hands folded in front of her again, and winked when she said, “I know just the thing.”
    She left and came back in a second flat. The dress was black, naturally, and soft to the touch, yet stiff enough to hold a shape. The skirt hit at the knee, with a raw edge and strips of fabric dropping from below the hem, like a deconstructed fringe. The bodice was plain, but the shoulder straps crisscrossed each other along the back and front, making an asymmetrical web of lines across the

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