For the Love of Fashion by Cara Riley

For the Love of Fashion by Cara Riley

Can Caroline bounce back after her career takes a nose dive due to the negligence of an uncaring, disengaged man who ran her down without so much as an apology? Elliott Maxwell is busy saving his grandmother’s company from his scheming stepmother. He decides he needs a mole, and thinks Caroline is perfect for the job. Previously, Caroline was fired from her job from Maxwell Fashion after a disastrous trip to the coffee shop led her into giving an excuse to her boss, Kitty Maxwell. Kitty Maxwell doesn’t do excuses.

Episode 2

Caroline threw the box of junk on her couch as soon as she entered her tiny apartment. The box bounced, then landed on its side, spilling the contents everywhere. She stared at the last four years of her career carelessly lying in pieces on the floor. There were pictures, a paperweight, a stapler, and a notepad.

Big freakin’ deal.

Feeling defeated, she slid down against her couch allowing the tears to flow. She cried big ugly tears, which turned into small hiccuppy tears, then finally into snot flowing sniffles. Taking a big, cleansing breath, Caroline gave herself another thirty seconds on her pity pot and then stood up, head held high.

Momma always said to stand up, brush yourself off and turn yourself around… wait, that’s the Hokey Pokey. Whatever, I need to get up and get it together!

Leaving her life in pieces, Caroline walked to the bedroom to change her clothes. Peeling the career-ending blouse from her body, she looked at the garment with disgust. Then she remembered the card the man gave her. Smiling, she wondered: should she go back to that building and make him pay for her blouse?

Why the hell not? It’s not like I threatened anyone’s life. Out loud.

Changing into some leggings and a t-shirt, she felt much better. Looking at her watch, she decided it was five o’clock somewhere and snagged the hard cider drink Jose left in the fridge the last time he came over. If you leave it, it’s fair game. Those are the rules in her house.

I better tell Jose the drinking rules so he knows that’s why his drinks are all gone.

Walking over to the couch, Caroline sat opposite the pieces of her life and contemplated her next move. Three bottles later, she was contemplating the inside of her eyelids.

***

Elliott’s meeting started late, as they had to wait for his wicked stepmother to arrive. Finally, almost an hour later, she waltzed in with some lousy excuse. He wasn’t listening until he heard the words “coffee spilled” and his ears perked up.

“Excuse me, Kitty, what did you say your excuse was again?” He asked her, knowing she hated anyone having excuses.

Kitty pinned her daggers on him, but he returned her look with a smile and bright blue eyes filled with laughter. Knowing she had to answer him, as the board members were looking on, she said, “As I was saying, Elliott, I am running late, because I sent this dimwit girl I just hired today down to get a coffee for me, and she couldn’t even get it up to me without spilling it.”

Polite chuckles from the board members encouraged Kitty, so she went on, “She then ran into me coming off the elevator and tried to make something funny out of the situation. So I fired her.”

Elliott’s stomach plummeted. He knew this was his fault. He was the one who ran into Caroline, making her spill the coffee.


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