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Written & Produced By: Josh Hawkins
“I want to thank you all for coming,” Nicholas took his seat at the head of the conference room table in the King Fashion boardroom. “This meeting is extremely important because of not only the health crisis that Eleanor is facing, but also as I am sure that you are all aware, the economy.”
“How is Eleanor doing? Have you heard any additional news from Audrey?” Brittany questioned. “I was only able to speak with her briefly last night.”
“I spoke with Audrey earlier today and the doctors say no change yet. She did however say that she’ll be returning late next week for a few days in order to approve the fall line.”
Brittany shook her head as Justin spoke, “What if she doesn’t come back next week? I think I speak for everyone here and Miranda as well, but if Mother doesn’t approve Brittany’s line by the close of business next Friday, we’re basically screwed.”
“Justin,” Miranda Pierce spoke from the speakerphone, “I think we are all aware of the situation that we’re in. Do you agree Dad?”
Nicholas shook his head, “I do.”
“And to Justin’s point," Brittany spoke, "I think if Audrey’s not back by Thursday night then someone take the collection to her.”
“That’s out of the question Brittany,” Nicholas informed her. “Audrey has left me with very explicit instructions that none of you are to disturb her at this time.”
“Oh Nicholas, are you serious!?” Brittany threw her hands up in the air. “You are aren’t you? Nicholas, let me make something perfectly clear to you, I didn’t slave over that damn drawing board for the sake of my health.”
“I’m completely serious Brittany and I no that you didn’t, no need to remind me,” he confirmed. “None of you, including you Miranda are to go to Timbercrest. When Audrey’s father died, she was at a fashion show in Milan. She doesn’t want to be burdened with business now that Eleanor has taken ill.”
“Brittany’s right Dad,” Ethan spoke. “As the Creative Fashion Director and the minority stockholder of this company Mother has to sign off on the line and if she doesn’t then as Justin said, we're screwed. You prefaced this meeting with talk of the economy...we cannot afford another failed line, much less not having a fall line at all."
“Sharla Tanner would love that, ” Justin said under his breath.
“I’m well aware of the financial
responsibilities we have…” Nicholas assured all of them. "And as far as
your mother is concerned for that matter, Sharla Tanner can go screw herself."
“Well how about you start acting like it,” Justin told him as he stormed out of the boardroom. “This company is sinking faster than the Titanic did and you’re telling us that we can’t fly out and get Mother’s damn signature? She doesn’t even have to look at the damn collection if she doesn’t want to. It's painfully obvious she didn't look at your collection last season," he told Nicholas before leaving.
Nicholas took a minute to let the dust settle, “Daddy I have to go I have another meeting,” Miranda announced as she hung up on her end of the phone and Nicholas looked at Ethan and Brittany.
“Justin’s right,” Ethan told him.
“Damnit Ethan,” Nicholas swore, “do you not think I don’t realize that?”
Brittany stopped her husband, “Don’t you dare talk to him that way,” she warned her father-in-law. “Now we are laying everything that we have on the table so let’s face Nicholas, the spring and summer collections last were huge disappointments. The critics ate us alive and the consumers laughed in our faces.”
“Brittany has invested a lot of long hours and hard work to restore our reputation in the fashion industry. She has made this fall line fashion forward and consumer friendly,” Ethan reasoned.
“I know she has,” Nicholas told them both. “And I of all people am aware of our past failures,” he reaffirmed. “But we have been living with these reorganization changes for the last five years. Audrey has to approve the line and she’s laid down her ground rules for doing so. We have to respect her wishes now, more than ever,” he told them. “Now if you’ll both excuse me I have dinner date with Natasha.”
Brittany looked up at her husband, “You’re very sexy when you’re defending my honor,” she smiled. “Thank you.”
He kissed her on the forehead, “It’s always my pleasure to do so”
“What are we going to do?”
“I’m not sure yet, but I know mother and she
won’t let the company suffer it means to much to her,” he declared.
you say we head over the club and have dinner, make it a date night?”
“Well, that sounds perfect…” Brittany kissed
him as her BlackBerry began to vibrate. “Oh! I need to get this, one
Hello this Brittany Pierce…”
“Who was on the phone?” Ethan questioned.
“Oh,” Brittany dropped the BlackBerry in her purse. “Ryan,” she told him. “I’m sorry but I need to take a rain check on our date night, I’m sorry. Ryan is having some kind of melodrama that I need to go and handle,” she kissed Ethan, “I’m sorry.”
“Hey that’s okay. He’s your brother and he needs his sister, I understand.”
“Thank you so much,” Brittany smiled. “I’ll
call you later tonight, okay? I love you…”
She pulled out the fading flowers and replaced them with new ones. “You remember what I ask you that night? I questioned if marrying Jaxson was the right decision and you convinced me that it was…” Jodi reached up and wiped away her tears as her mind drifted back to the fight that would eventually cause the downfall of her marriage…
*********“Thank you for calling Helen,” Jodi spoke into the phone. “Yes, Helen…” she replied irritated, “I already told you I would tell him when he came home,” she assured the secretary as Jaxson entered their condo. “He just walked in the door…goodbye.”
“Hey baby,” Jaxson smiled. “Who was on the phone?”
“Helen Gibson. Does that name sound familiar?”
Jaxson thought for a moment, “What did she want?”
“She wanted to know if I would be conducting my own apartment search or if she should send an intern to start looking for us. Apparently, Helen Gibson is under the impression that you and I are moving, to Washington D.C. So I ask you love of my life, what the hell is she talking about?”
“I wish she hadn’t called,” he avoided the question.
“Yes, by the look on your face I would assume that much. Answer my question. Why does Uncle Charles’ secretary assume that we’ll be looking for apartments in Washington D.C.?”
“Because we’re moving there. I accepted a job as your uncle's Chief of Staff in Washington D.C. this afternoon."
Jodi held up her hand, “I’m…I’m sorry,
you did what? Washington D.C.? You have accepted a job halfway
country without bothering to consult me or hell Jaxson, even tell me
entertaining such an idea. You expect me to uproot our life and move to
for your career?"
“Don’t you think it’s time for a change? We’ve been married for almost a year and during that year we’ve had this cloud hanging over us…”
“That cloud has been the death of my brother,” she reminded him. “How dare you use that as an excuse to go behind my back and do something this profound and this life changing without bothering to ask my opinion,” she told him. “I thought we were a team, I thought that our marriage was a partnership? I can’t pack up and move…not now. Brandi’s trial begins next week and who knows what’s going on with April or Amber or whatever the hell she’s calling herself these days!”
“Jodi…this is going to be good…”
“For whom Jaxson, you?” Jodi raised her voice at him. “You went behind my back and lied to me not only about where you were these last two days, but what you were doing." She shook her head, "I don't need this right now and I thought...I thought you of all people Jaxson would understand that."
"Honey I know what you're going through, that's why I thought..."
“NO!" she screamed at him. "You didn't think and that's obvious to me. Why you are having such a hard time realizing that is beyond me, honestly. Because you didn't think about me," she turned away from him. “I think you should stay at a hotel tonight…”
“Jodi…please don’t do anything rash that you’ll regret.”
“Like you did?” she questioned him. “I’m being completely upfront and honest with you Jax. I realize that in the moment that is something, you probably don’t understand, but nevertheless you will not stay here tonight. In fact, you may not stay here tomorrow night either…”
“That’s fine. But you should know these two things,” he told her. “The first you’re my wife and I love you very much and second I am taking this job regardless of whether you like it or not."
She shook her head, “Technically that’s
three things Jaxson. Now get the hell out of my house.”
A loud clasp of thunder jolted Jodi back into
reality and she pushed her blonde hair out of her face.
“Got lost there for a minute,” she told the
slab of cement. “Things could have been so different had I just said
heart was telling me to say. Oh Jered, I should’ve stopped the wedding.
should've done exactly the opposite of what I did...my God I should
married Jaxson," she braced herself against the grass. "And just
maybe you would still be alive."
Rhonda shook her head, “We did. She thought that you might like to join us one afternoon in the future.”
“Well I don’t know about that,” Travis chuckled as their eyes met. “I try to let my wife do all the socializing she can without me.”
Rhonda leaned into him and began talking in a hushed voice, “It seemed like she wanted you there is all.”
“Look straight ahead guys,” one of the crew members, yelled out. “Okay guys that’s a wrap see you both in about half-hour.”
“As I was saying,” Rhonda touched his
shoulder, “Pamela seemed to really what you at our lunch for some
Travis shook his head, “Really.”
“Yeah,” she answered. “Did you have any plans after the six o’clock broadcast?”
He shook his head, “Just getting a quick bite to eat perhaps at the Club,” he told her. “Why, did you have another suggestion?”
The tip of her finger outlined his ear and
she smiled coyly at him, “I just thought we could do what we did the
remember don’t you?”
Travis shook his head, “Your hotel
room…seven-thirty,” he confirmed as Pamela’s picture looked up at him
“It’s getting late you know,” April mentioned noting the time. “Didn’t you say that you were going to drive down tonight?”
Josh shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know. I may drive halfway and stop somewhere for the night.”
“Why don’t you stay here?” April suggested.
“And sleep where on your sofa? No thanks.”
“I mean for good,” she announced. “You would love Dallas and we have hospitals here that could use a good, strong doctor like yourself.”
“That’s a tempting offer, but…”
“You can’t,” she answered for him. “I know it was a stupid suggestion.”
“It wasn’t stupid.”
“Yeah it really was. I’ve just loved having you’re here today. Everything seems so much easier when you’re here,” April told him.
He kissed her forehead, “You know that I would if I could, right?” April shook her head. “Okay, I should really get on the road. The movers are going to be arriving tomorrow afternoon at my new apartment.”
“Well I’m glad to at least see you’re not moving in with one of your parents.”
“No, no, no!” Josh shook his head. “I had enough of that when I had to live with them.”
“Right,” she agreed. “Listen about earlier I didn’t mean to bite your head off or belittle your decision about going back.”
“And I didn’t mean to push the whole Ryan issue either. You know me…”
“I do know you,” he hugger her tight. “I didn’t mean to imply that you didn’t think Emily was great either. I know better than anyone the struggles you faced with her and I certainly didn’t help matters back then either.”
“First of all, it’s the struggles that we faced with her,” she corrected him. “Joshua, how you think that you didn’t help matters is beyond me. I was seventeen years old, abandoned by the father of my baby and shipped out of town by my own Grandmother. Honey, you ran away from home to not only find me but also to be with me.”
“It didn’t really end up how we wanted it though did it?”
“Back then no, but now yes,” she took his hand. “When you showed up in New Mexico and that place…you saved me, I know that I would not have survived had you not came,” she kissed his hand. “And when I needed you to help me fight Amber, you were there. My parents may think they are the ones who spearheaded my integration, but it was Joshua,” she told him. “You continuously save me and I am forever thankful for that.”
He wrapped his arms around her tightly, “Thank you for that April, it means a lot.”
“You’re welcome,” she answered. “But it’s getting to deep in here for me…so you must be on your way.”
“Yes!” he smiled. “So when I get a free weekend, I’ll come down.”
“I would love that and I know that Emily would too.”
“It was great seeing her, thank you.”
“Anytime,” she smiled. “Would you do me a favor and tell Jodi that I send my love, please.”
“Of course,” he answered. “I better going.”
“Yeah…right…go,” she forced a smiled. “I love you, Dr. Marshall.”
“I love you too,” he blew her a kiss and closed the door behind him.
April rushed across the room and placed her palm against
the cold steel. Her breaths were short as she spun around and leaned
the door…she slowly began to slide down and when she hit the floor the
began to flow.
“It certainly was,” the female voice told him as she climbed out of the bed, a silk sheet wrapped around her equally naked body. “Even better than the time before,” she smiled.
The vibrating of a cell phone interrupted the mood, “If that’s mine throw it up against the wall,” she laughed from the bathroom. “Most likely Ryan calling to check up on me or something,” she laughed.
“Naw,” Justin answered. “It’s mine actually…I need to take it too.” He answered, “Justin Pierce…I’m good thank you I’ve been anxiously waiting for your call…” as he listened the woman made her way back into the bedroom and stood in front of him. She dropped the sheet to the floor, smiled and held up three fingers at which point a smile broaden across his face.
“Okay well, it seems like you guys have made up your mind and I don’t think there is anything that we can do to sway it…so I’ll contact you in a few days to finalize the pickup.” He ended the call and tossed his phone across the room, “Son-of-a-bitch!” he cursed.
“Uh-oh, that can’t be good,” the woman teased. “What’s wrong?”
“Van Honson’s Department Store filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy this morning,” he explained. “Their stores…probadly a hundred of them through the midwest carries King Fashion Originals…” he fumed with anger.
“I’m fully aware of who Van Honson’s Department Stores
are. The woman smiled at him, gave him a slight
he would fall down on the bed and then she climb on top of him…she
her fingers over his bare chest.
"You know how sexy you are when you're all angry?" she teased. "However, I thought we agreed not to talk business. Besides I'm ready for round three...you know what they say about the third time..."
“It’s usually the charm from what I hear,” Justin laughed as he positioned her.
“And I can promise you it will,” she smiled.
As he was about to enter her he stopped, “I have loved being with you this last year Angela,” he smiled up at her.
She smiled back, “I’m glad, because I love
being with you too sexy,” she told him as she lowered down and kissed
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