Devious | Chapter 8 of 37

Author: Cecily von Ziegesar | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 2955 Views | Add a Review

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Brett Messerschmidt stared out the vast plate glass windows of the Vogue waiting room on the twelfth floor of the Condé Nast Building in Times Square. Having a sister who worked in the fashion magazine industry definitely had it perks: everything from free samples to seats at runway shows. Now, sitting on an uncomfortable ultramodern leather chair and gazing out at the endless traffic of a Monday morning in January, it was really sinking in. Brett’s older sister, Brianna, was an editorial assistant at Elle, and last week, over cocktails, her Vassar friend Leslie Nichols, an editorial assistant at Vogue, had been complaining about her workload. Her latest intern had disappeared while out getting coffee, taking the petty cash with her. Brianna had immediately suggested Brett for the job. It was perfect for Brett—fashion fascinated her, and she’d always dreamed of becoming a globe-trotting journalist. What better start than an internship at Vogue? Besides, Waverly loved when its students used Jan Plan to score high-profile, résumé-boosting internships. After a quick phone interview with a frazzled Leslie, Brett was hired for the month of January.

It had all happened so quickly, Brett barely had time to think about it. Which was fortunate, since she probably would have started feeling sorry for herself. Of course the chance to spend a glamorous month in New York would come up only after she began an incredible new relationship with Sebastian Valenti, who’d be at Waverly this month, without her.

Christmas break had been amazing. For once, her parents’ New Jersey accents and need to have at least two televisions on in the house at all times didn’t even faze her. She spent most of her time with Sebastian, the handsome dark-haired, dark-eyed senior whom she’d spent the past two months tutoring—and falling for. Her parents’ house in Rumson was about twenty minutes away from his, and they’d gone back and forth between each other’s houses daily. She’d played a string of backgammon games with his father, who talked like he was on The Sopranos but was as gentle as a kitten. Sebastian had watched corny movies on the Messerschmidts’ beloved fifty-eight-inch plasma TV. They’d even taken a trip to the Jersey shore and walked along the cold, quiet beaches, holding hands and peering into the shops, arcades, and tattoo parlors that were shuttered for the season.


She immediately jumped to her feet, smoothing down the poppy-colored Nanette Lepore bubble skirt she’d borrowed from Bree. She’d paired it with her favorite cream-colored ruffle-front blouse, then added a cropped navy Diesel jacket with oversize gold buttons and a pair of her sister’s brown leather ankle boots. Bree had insisted on rewatching The Devil Wears Prada the night before for good luck. Brett couldn’t help feeling a little like Anne Hathaway—after her transformation into a fashion maven, of course.

“I’m Leslie.” In front of her was a tall blonde with a sharp, birdlike face. “So nice to finally meet you.”

Brett smiled as she shook Leslie’s manicured hand, a giant emerald green bangle clattering on Leslie’s wrist. “It’s really great to be here. Thank you so much for this opportunity.”

A strange look crossed Leslie’s pretty face before she smiled brightly again. “Can I get you some coffee or anything? Tea? Water?” Leslie spoke in a clipped, rapid-fire way, as if she was already thinking about the millions of things she had to do that morning.

“I’m fine, thank you,” Brett demurred, suspecting that Leslie was just being polite. She grabbed her cream-colored Chanel quilted purse and slid it over her shoulder, eager to get started. Her phone vibrated in her bag, and she fought the urge to open it and read the text. It was probably something sweet from Sebastian. If she read it, she’d only miss him more.

“I think there’s a conference room open. Let’s go there so we can have a little privacy,” Leslie whispered, as if the offices were swarming with editors dying to eavesdrop on them.

She followed Leslie down a long hallway lined with framed Vogue covers and spreads, trying not to think of the amazing Christmas present Sebastian had gotten for her. It was a photograph of a tiny seaside town, in an antique silver frame. Sun-bleached white stone houses clung to the rocky landscape, their cheerful red roofs contrasting with the heartbreaking blue of the Mediterranean. “This is where my family’s from in Italy,” Sebastian had explained in a soft voice. “I’m going to take you there.” It made Brett’s knees weak just thinking about it.

“Soo…” Leslie trailed off. She’d been talking about her subway ride that morning, and Brett had only been half listening. Leslie pushed open the door of a glass-walled conference room with enormous leather chairs and a sleek long table. Brett imagined Anna Wintour herself sitting at the head of the table and watching critically as her minions presented their layouts for her approval. “There’s been a little, well, change in plans.”

Brett’s eyes widened as she sank into the leather chair that Leslie indicated. “What kind of change in plans?” she managed to squeak out. Hopefully they weren’t going to send her down to the janitorial staff or anything.

Leslie leaned her elbows on the table and took a deep breath. “Well, as you know, I was happy to take you on as an intern, because my last intern completely fucked me over and left me with a shitload of work to get done before Fashion Week.”

“Yes, of course.” Brett leaned forward as well. She didn’t mind running for coffee or making photocopies or even licking envelopes—she just wanted to be at Vogue, to feel it all around her. Ever since she’d had her letter to the editor published in Seventeen magazine when she was twelve, she’d fantasized about seeing her name in print again. “And I’m happy to do anything.”

“Yes, well.” Leslie coughed. It almost looked like she was trying to keep herself from smiling. “I’m afraid I’ve just been offered a promotion this morning—one that involves my transfer to Italian Vogue. I’ll be moving to Milan next week.”

“Oh.” Brett felt her face flush. She certainly couldn’t hold that against Leslie—who wouldn’t want to jump at the chance to live in Italy? “That’s great, isn’t it?”

The smile Leslie had been trying to hide took over her face. “Yes! I’ve been dying to work over there for years—Italian women are so glamorous. And the men!” Brett almost spoke up in agreement, but stopped herself. Sebastian was the sexiest guy she’d ever met. Then the pained expression returned to Leslie’s pretty face. “But, as you see, that means… I don’t need you anymore. And it was too late for me to call you and tell you not to come in today.”

“Can’t I help out someone else?” Brett sputtered, caught off guard. “Really, I’m happy to do anything.” Even being a member of the janitorial staff didn’t sound so bad anymore.

Leslie shook her head sadly, pressing her thin lips together so firmly, they almost disappeared. “I asked around, and unfortunately no one really wants a high school intern. No offense!” she added immediately. Brett was still too stunned to really take offense.

She tucked her flaming red hair behind her ears. Suddenly the whole month stretched out before her. She thought she’d be in New York, sleeping on the couch in her sister’s SoHo loft, working at Vogue, spending her evenings at poetry readings or sneaking into clubs with her fake ID. Now she had nothing to do.

Except head back to Waverly. And to Sebastian, which was a consolation. But although cuddling with her hot boyfriend might keep her busy, somehow Brett didn’t think she was going to get school credit for it.

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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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