9 1.8. Game On, Ms. Blue

"What?!"

I can't say I wasn't expecting that but I couldn't hide my cringe at it too. But I stay calm and instantly morph my expressions into a blank one.

"Is there a problem?", I cock a brow at him, relaxing in my chair now that I've got the upper hand.

He frowns at my stance before replying.

"None at all. Might I ask who this person you're going with as a plus one be? Maybe I know him?", he shrugs nonchalantly.

Or maybe you're just curious.

I hold in my dry comment at that.

"I'm sorry but I don't pass out such personal information Mr. Valsera. Hope you don't mind", I end it with a sickly sweet smile.

"Oh", he says in surprise as if saying, 'we're playing that game, huh?'.

I sigh.

"Thank you so much for your cooperation Mr. Valsera but I think we'll be able to get you a date according to the details you've given us. Also, if you would like, next time you could spare us with your presence by just giving a call. I'm sure my assistant, Liza would be quite pleased to hear from you"

I stand up immediately and extend my hand in order to shake on the agreement we just made.

He doesn't follow instantly, eyeing my hand then flickering his eyes to my face as if trying to comprehend what I really mean from all of this. But stands up nevertheless and shakes my hand, looking me in the eye with a look that would probably say 'Game on, Ms. Blue'.

He nods at me before retrieving his hand with a fleeting gaze and leaving my cabin without another word.

I slump in my chair as soon as he leaves. A few seconds later, I hear the cabin door open again as Liza's head peaks out.

"How did it go?", she asks with expectant eyes.

I sigh in exhaustion.

"Don't even start with me"

***

I still had a lot of work to do, visiting different venues and surveying everything before the designated couple was supposed to arrive at their particular locations for their date. Instructing the staff about their details and letting them know my clients likes and dislikes which are not to be included in their a la carte.

It was a lot of work to be honest and taking care of each and every need of the client was my duty. If even the slightest occurrence of some unwanted element, they might get really upset which could definitely hamper their trust and me losing a client which would mean my fellow colleagues getting an upperhand in the game.

Which I cannot allow.

So while I'm still guiding half of the staff and my phone starts ringing is the last of my priorities but nevertheless I pick it up in a haste and put it to my ear.

"Justine Blue here, how may I help you?", I speak out of habit, distractedly as I reposition the flowers one last time on the table.

"Well, it would be really great if you could give the phone to my best friend Jesse so that I could speak with her, it's utterly urgent", I stop the instant I hear the familiar voice.

"Jay, what is it? I'm at a site and apparently busy. Can't this wait until the evening?", I continue back to work, heaving out a frustrated grunt at the sweat dripping down my back.

"Okay then, I'll see you in a bit", he says and hangs up instantly before I have the time to process anything.

See you in a bit?

I shrug it off because for all I know Jason is my weird friend, he might be saying things out of context and all.

I ignore it, running into the direction of a waiter who dropped the decorations with a thud on the ground.

Exactly, an hour later I'm giving the finishing touches to the place and inspecting the place one last time before leaving.

"Diana could you please play the music for me once?", I ask the nearest waitress.

She nods before heading off to her destination while I wait for the music to turn on.

As soon as the soothing music reaches my ears, I close my eyes and for a brief moment to gather my thoughts before opening them to take a final look at all things.

Considering the fact that all the staff had left me alone to look at the surroundings, I take my time, humming to the music once in a while and swaying to it.

I'm so engrossed into it that I don't realize another presence until a pair of arms encircle my waist from behind. The feather light touch makes me jump in surprise only to turn around and find its source.

That being, Jason.

My breath hitches the moment our eyes meet, mine a little surprised and his smiling at me.

"H-Hey, what-what are you doing here?", I stutter out before chuckling at him nervously.

My reaction only makes him smile brighter as he pulls me close.

"I'm here to pick you up", he whispers softly in my ear.

Meanwhile, one of his hands twines with mine and the other gets a firmer grip on my waist as he sways us to the music altogether.

My free hand toys with his shirt's collar as my eyes are lowered, almost leveled with his chest so close, I'm pretty sure he can feel my breath as it hits him, I think to myself as I watch his adam's apple bob.

"What do you mean? I can't go anywhere right now. You know my client is about to arrive in a-", he shushs me, softly.

"while and I know you are always there to assist them and settle them down even though you don't have to because you're one of the best date planner's in all of New York and yet you're worried about a single client. When are you going to learn give time to yourself too, huh?", he chuckles softly as if he already knows the answer to the question.

I chuckle at that.

"How did you find me?", I say thinking out loud.

"Liza", he pipes.

Of course, Liza.

"Mom has a dress especially made for you and she wants you to try it on for the charity gala. Hence, she wants me to bring you up to her as soon as possible, is that okay with you Ms. Blue?", he asks.

"Well, who could say no to your mother", I say with all the sarcasm in my voice.

"Only a fool which I'm hoping you're certainly not?", he says dragging me away towards the parking lot.

"I do not have a death wish, Jay", I say with deadpan look.

Which is followed by his booming laughter.

***

Jason's mother, how do I put this?

Well, for starters she's a brand in herself. A self made woman who bows to no one, not even her own husband. The fact that she's one of the leading fashion designers in all of the world is just an added bonus to this determined and amazing women who can be quite ferocious when need be.

Jason's father was one to face her fury. From what little I remember of Mr. Faux, he was a kind gentleman who died at a very young age leaving behind his just on track business and brand to none other than Eleanor Faux, his wife and son, Jason Faux who was just a ten year old kid.

Jason's father is a touchy subject for Jason and I've always been his shield in that matter. Like he has been mine ever since I lost my parents in a car accident at a very young age.

So, how did I end up being their family?

Well, the answer would be that my mom and Jason's mom were best friends ever since nappies came into business.

They were truly twins in every sense of the word.

That being when Jason's father died, my mother helped Eleanor build up the business while my dad, did his best to support two determined ladies at the front being their supporter in every conquest they had.

Eleanor was my god-mother. Just when the business reached its highest peak, my parents died in a car accident and ever since then Eleanor took it upon herself to raise me as her own.

I still feel grateful to her every day for that. Having been fifteen and lost parents, she could have taken the whole business under her wing and send me to a far off orphanage like they show in those movies. But she didn't. She gave me all she could, still does. I have always thought that maybe it was her way of paying my parents back but it was never it.

It was her who wanted me. Always did. And now, she's the boss.

I can't deny her of anything.

She can be particularly touchy when she makes clothes for me. Like right now.

"The fitting seems to be perfect yet I feel like there's something missing with this", my eyes instantly drawn to the still extravagant lady in the room who's eyes are literally twinkling with spark as I enter the room.

Her assistants turn their head in my direction the moment I enter yet she doesn't.

She's too focused on her piece of art.

I hear the rustle of curtains from behind me as I watch Jason enter his mom's atelier or you can say her huge atelier since it's literally the most extravagant place I've been too.

My closet doesn't even compare to the forty something lady's atelier, you can tell how dire the situation is.

But it always is with Eleanor Faux.

"Ellie, you wanted to see me?", I walk towards her before engulfing her in a tight hug.

"Oh, it's been so long since I last saw you. Come visit me more dear. I miss you so much these days", she says before drawing away and looking back to her master piece.

"I'm sorry, I'm just a little bit busy these days and-", but I'm cut off by Jason immediately who continues my sentence.

"Yeah, she has no time for old mothers dressing up daughters in her sixties style", he teases her.

"Oh, shut up boy. This company wouldn't be running if that were the case", she snaps at him.

Jason and the assistants instantly chuckle in response and I bite my lip to hold in mine.

I look at the dress on the mannequin in front of the mirrors and back at Eleanor.

"Is this the dress Jason told me about?", I ask before looking back at Jason who's standing far off at the entrance with his hands in his pockets.

"Oh yes it is, but I feel like there's something missing with it", she says, stroking her chin as she thinks about something.

"You want me try it on?", I ask her, still not sure about the dress in the front of me.

She hums to herself before snapping her fingers.

"Yes, go try it on, now", she shoos me away, ushering me in the nearest changing room.

About five minutes later, I hear Eleanor shoo away Jason from her study/closet speaking about something 'ladies personal space and no need for men here, etc' and that is when I choose to exit the changing room, only to find Eleanor alone, waiting for me.

Her eyes fill up immediately and she tries to blink her tears away.

Uh-oh.

I watch in surprise as she clasps her hands in front of her mouth probably trying to stop the sobs from coming.

What did I do wrong now?

"Eleanor, what is it? Is there something wrong? Did I do something-" but I'm yet again cut off as waves her hand at me to stop fussing and coming over to me.

She holds me at an arms distance, studying my face before engulfing me into a tight hug.

"Hey, it's okay", I rub her back softly.

We stay like that for a few minutes as her body shivers in and rakes with soft sobs.

I draw away from her and support her to the couch in the corner before settling her down on it.

I give her the tissues from the side table as she takes them tentatively before finally calming down.

"What is it", I sit on my knees in front of her and ask her softly.

"I-I just felt like I saw your mom there for a moment when I saw you", she says, smiling at me.

My breath catches in my throat instantly and I don't know what to say.

Before I've a chance to even comprehend the situation, Eleanor continues again.

"You look so much like her every day that I see you", she smiles through her tears before catching my fringe with her fingers and cupping my cheek in a loving way.

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I almost let out my tears that moment.

"She would have looked amazing in this dress, just like you", Eleanor says and I can't take it any longer.

So, I hug her.

"Thank you", I whisper, holding my tears back and smiling into her hair..

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