The Billionaire's Curvy ConquestBy: Lydia Layne
Alice looked to be about five-foot-six and 120 pounds. Her slim frame would probably fit in one of my pant legs.
“I remembered seeing you at the front desk,” she continued, “and realized that you were much better suited for this shopping excursion than I was.”
The assignment was finally beginning to make sense to me.
“I get it. Since I’m the same size as Mr. Reed’s lady friend, you want me to go shopping for him and try things on to make sure they fit.”
Alice smiled. “Exactly.”
“I thought Mr. Reed only dated models and actresses. My body shape doesn’t really fit that profile.”
Alice leaned in close and lowered her voice. “Most people don’t know this, but he’s always had a thing for curvy girls with pretty faces. Much like you, Miss James.”
“Really?” I was genuinely surprised. “You sure wouldn’t know it by tracking his activities in the entertainment section of the news.”
The paparazzi were constantly snapping pictures of Mr. Reed with his date du jour and never once had I see him with a short, fat woman with a pretty face.
“Perhaps his curvier dates prefer to stay out of the spotlight.”
I thought about that. If I were Mr. Reed’s date for the night, I’m pretty sure I would want the whole world to know we were together.
Then again, would I really want a picture taken from an unflattering angle splashed across the cover of the National Enquirer with a headline reading something like, Billionaire David Reed Steps out with Plus-Size Porker?
Handing me a sealed envelope and a corporate credit card, Alice said, “Here is the list of items that Mr. Reed would like you to buy. I haven’t seen the list, but I can tell you that money is no object. Your focus should be on quality, not price.”
I nodded in understanding and she slipped a business card into my hand. “If you have any questions, call my direct line. The number’s on the card.”
“Thank you,” I said, and meant it. Nothing this interesting ever happened on the second floor!
“You had better get going, Miss James,” Alice said, ushering me out the door. “You’re getting a late start and you need to be back by two o’clock sharp. Mr. Reed isn’t the kind of man who likes to be kept waiting.”
Outside, I grabbed a latte and a scone at a nearby coffee cart and sat down on a bench to plan my shopping strategy. The Reed Building was only a few blocks from the downtown shopping district, but I planned to take a cab to save time.
I was excited by the idea of shopping for plus-size lingerie at high-end stores and getting paid to try on expensive silk negligees and flirty chemises. Although Mr. Reed would be admiring the lingerie on another woman, the shopping idea provided fuel for my fantasies.
But when I opened the envelope and looked at Mr. Reed’s shopping list, my jaw dropped.
That’s the kind of lingerie he wanted me to buy?
And he wanted me to return to his office wearing the ensemble underneath a long coat . . . so I could model the lingerie for him?
I gulped. Alice wasn’t kidding when she called the assignment unconventional.
I wouldn’t be finding any of the items on Mr. Reed’s list - lingerie or otherwise - at a store like Bergdorf or Neiman. Using my cell phone, I quickly dialed the number on Alice’s card.
“Alice speaking,” she answered promptly.
“Hi Alice, it’s Cassie. I have a question.”
“Already?” She sounded concerned and was probably thinking that she should have done the shopping herself.
“It’s about the list,” I said. “The items are a bit more...intimate... than I expected.”
“Are you up to completing the assignment Miss James?” Alice asked with alarm.
“Definitely,” I said. Although I wasn’t completely sure, I wasn’t about to throw in the towel so soon. “I’m just not sure where to shop for the kinds of lingerie and, um...other items... that Mr. Reed is requesting.”
“I see,” Alice responded, the pleasant tone back in her voice. “No need to worry. There’s a high-end specialty shop on the corner of 3rd and Wells. It has a very discrete entrance that’s easy to miss, so look for the black door with 307 Wells in gold lettering. Push the buzzer and ask for Mrs. Tate. Tell her I sent you, she’ll know how to help.”
I thanked her and hung up the phone. Shoving the list into my purse, I hailed a cab and instructed the driver to drop me off at 3rd and Wells.
At two-twenty, my phone rang. It was Alice.
“Where are you?” she hissed.
“I just walked in the building and am heading for the elevator.”