The Billionaires Love CurvesBy: Cj Howard
After one last check that her cerise lipstick was not on her teeth, she flicked through the papers of the file she had just printed and realized that something must be wrong. This did not look like a proposal for a feature. The file Jane had sent her was a job description for a rival company and a list of all the benefits of working there.
She took a sharp intake of breath, but had no choice but to knock on the door and enter as quietly as she could.
Lacey spotted Jane straight away, she was wide eyed and beckoning Lacey to get a move on, it was almost Jane's turn to present her idea to the editors-in-chief.
Lacey walked over to Jane, trying to signal with her eyes that there was a problem with the print- out.
”Okay, if we could hear from Jane now,” one of the chief editors said.
Jane put out her hand to grab the papers from Lacey but, Lacey pulled them back.
'Thank you, Lacey, I'll take it from here,” Jane smiled.
Lacey was still trying to send signals to Jane, staring from her to the pages in her hand like they were on fire. Jane cleared her throat and tugged harder, managing to relieve Lacey of her duty. As soon as Jane looked at the freshly printed sheets of paper, she realized her mistake.
“Er, this isn't right,” she blurted out, shooting a look at Lacey.
“Jane, if you could move this on, Mr. Horwood has other meetings to attend this morning,” her boss, Ali Russell, said from the opposite end of the room.
“I'm sorry, I don't seem to have…” she shuffled the papers and a progression of shades of red colored her face until she almost turned purple.
“It's my fault,” Lacey said, loudly. “I was trying to tell Jane I brought the wrong file in.”
“Well, Jane,” Ali Russell said to her, “you wrote the proposal, can't you just tell us what it said?”
“Yes, quite, I um, the proposal is ... the idea I had was... I mean, I'm just trying to remember how...”
“I remember your proposal very well, Jane,” Lacey said.
Suddenly all eyes were on Lacey, she swallowed hard and could feel the executive eyes of Mr. Nate Horwood, boring into the side of her face, and she didn't dare look in his direction.
“You do?” asked Jane.
Ms. Russell got impatient with her and looked at Lacey.
“If you know what Jane's trying to say, do you think you could help us out?”
“Yes I can.” Lacey tugged at the front of her blouse. “Jane’s idea was for our thirty something publication, The Word. She proposed a whole issue dedicated to being a single, professional woman and putting work before romance. The pros and cons of having children later in life to make way for your career. And, as it is for the February issue, there'd be something on what the single female does on Valentine's Day. The ten hottest places to chill out and have fun without a man. There'd be a top five of women in industry doing well and thriving on being career minded. The front cover could be a fashion shoot of these women in outfits by women-only designers and... well, that was your idea, wasn't it, Jane?”
Jane looked at Lacey open-mouthed, then she looked over at Ali Russell, who was smiling and nodding her head, and, finally, she dared to look over at Nate Horwood. He was also smiling and looking impressed by what Lacey just said.
“Yes,” Jane said. “That's my idea, thank you, Lacey.”
“Jane, it's sensational.” Ali Russell was brimming with excitement. “I'd love to run with that. We've got three months to get this together. I'll have a meeting with you this afternoon to thrash it out and work out how we take the whole idea forward.”
'Th-thank you,” said Jane, glancing at Lacey who was discreetly leaving the room.
Outside the boardroom door, Lacey smiled to herself and made her way back to the office. She had just come up with the idea at the top of her head. She was always thinking up feature ideas but every time she mentioned them to Jane, she would pick holes in them and tell Lacey that one day, when she was more experienced, she might hit on something good.
“Don’t stop trying, though, Lacey” she once said. “All you need is one really solid idea and I'll see if I can help you develop it.”
The next morning, there was no sign of Jane. Lacey wondered if she was ill, it wasn't like her to not to call the office and let her know. Just then the phone on Lacey’s desk rang.
“Lacey, could you report to Ali Russell's office right away.” It was Ali Russell's secretary.
Lacey wondered what it could be about and become instantly worried that something had happened to Jane. Ali was Jane's boss, so maybe she'd heard something first.