The King(2)

By: Ivy Fox

“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” I ask, unaware of why she’s giving my ensemble the thumbs down.

“I think my grandmother wore the same thing last weekend to our family dinner. On her, it looked sharp. On you, though, it just looks so wrong in so many ways.”

“Oh, shut up. It’s conservative. Perfectly acceptable for a day at the office,” I tell her, walking over to the counter and pouring myself a good, hot, steaming mug of delicious coffee. Coffee is life, people. Anyone telling you otherwise is absolutely bonkers.

“White blouse with a brown skirt can be considered okay for where I work, which is not the high-end fashion magazine where you spend every moment of every freaking day,” she huffs out dramatically.

“You’re exaggerating, Lex. I don’t spend all my time there. It’s just that Dev really needs me right now. The magazine is doing so well, but to stay on top, you have to work your ass off.”

“Yeah, whatever. Still, it wouldn’t hurt you to look hot doing it,” Lexi sing-songs, wiggling her eyebrows at me.

“Did you miss the part when I told you I’m surrounded by gorgeous models every day? I could spruce up all I want and still not look even half as good as those girls. So there is no point in waking up an hour earlier just to look my best. Conservative and proficient works just fine for me, thank you very much. With the added bonus that I get to click the snooze button at least three times before I have to get out of bed,” I brag, knowing how Lexi usually is up at the crack of dawn to look like a million bucks. While I’m still snoring up a storm, my roommate has already done a full hour of cardio, showered, blow-dried her hair, put on her warrior makeup to accentuate her wardrobe of choice of the day, with still plenty of time to spare to make us both breakfast. I envy her morning drive, but I wouldn’t trade my two extra hours of blissful slumber for anything in this world. Especially if my dreams contain a certain sexy billionaire CEO—but I digress.

“Not if you still want to get in Dean’s pants. How is the guy supposed to notice you when you hide that bombish of a figure in granny wear every day?”

I sigh in defeat because this conversation with Lexi is as old as time. She thinks that putting on some red lipstick and a short mini would be enough to turn any head, even that of the most eligible bachelor in New York City. She just doesn’t realize that no set of wardrobe or makeup would get his attention. I’ve never seen a man more immune to female seduction than Dean. I have seen models, and even actresses trying to get his attention to no avail. He’s never had a girlfriend that I can attest to, nor do I see him in the society pages going out with numerous women. That task is left to his best friend and marketing director of Royal Magazine, Connor Walsh. He’s infamous for his sexcapades, while Dean is known for his no-nonsense attitude and workaholic ways. I don’t think the man thinks of anything but work. Honorable as that may be, it kind of saddens me how he has no time for real human affection. His circle of friends includes playboy Connor and the quietly intense Sebastian Kelley, who also works at Royal as finance director. The three men are tighter than the skinny black jeans Lexi’s showing off.

“At least take your hair down. Give them something to look at, for crying out loud,” Lexi goes on as she rummages through her bag, making space for her beloved laptop.

“The bun is fine. Having my hair out will only get in my way,” I say, pushing my black-rimmed glasses up the bridge of my nose. “And anyway, I refuse to take the advice of a woman who dyes her hair every color of the rainbow once a month,” I tease.

This month, Lexi is sporting a vibrant pink, which looks amazing on her but would look ridiculous on me. Prim and proper is the way to go in my case. I’m paid to be invisible anyway, so wearing vibrant colors would only be a distraction to the purpose of my job. Devina likes my discretion as well as my ability to be in a room, hearing and seeing things most people wouldn’t realize I was privy to. It pays to be a fly on the wall, and to most people who work at Royal, that is exactly what I am.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. One day, Edie Vanderwalt, you’ll want more in life, and then I’m positive your freak will show, too.” She grins a pearly white smile at me, and I laugh at her for even thinking I have any ‘freak,’ as she calls it, in me. I think boring is more my style. I’m fine with boring; I’m comfortable like this—even though from time to time, I do wish I was a little bit more adventurous. Maybe if I were, I’d finally get a certain someone to take notice of me. But I’m so off his radar, it’s not even funny. More like depressing.