Blu was running flat out at the studio, as was her team. This client was a nightmare and when this project is all over she never wanted to hear another sports metaphor, ever again. Truth is, this is her biggest client and she wanted to deliver, but the VP of Corporate Branding, the head honcho so to speak, was all over her and everything. The edits came back with red marks and his notes which infuriated her.

‘Check your inbox.’ Rana, her assistant, says.

‘Please don’t tell me it has come back with more red marks because I swear I will kill him.’

‘Well you actually look good in orange, but in the words of Hillary Banks, stripes are not our friends.’

‘Fuck sake.’ Blu clicked the latest email in her inbox and sure enough there is a lengthy email from Brodie Sterling, VP of Corporate Branding for Circuit44, mega contemporary sports lifestyle brand. Circuit44 is a player in the sports game, aligning themselves with quality and luxury, and only the best of the best. Their prices don’t come cheap but those who know, know, and those who aspire to know, almost die trying. And right now Brodie Sterling is in dire risk of being murdered. ‘What the fuck does he mean by its not sharp enough, this is not supposed to be pin sharp!’ Blu exclaimed to no one in particular. This needed to have been approved at 9am this morning it is now 10pm, and twenty email exchanges later, they are still at the beginning with no end in sight. It was always too soft, too matte, too flat, too this and that…and she’d had just about enough.

Brodie Sterling is not a stranger, his mother is Leila Sterling, of the Sterling dynasty. She didn’t take her husband’s name upon marriage, a thing that made her notorious even before it became a trend. All her children also took her name. The family is legend, fashion royalty; the press are all over them, especially lately when Leila made a disparaging comment about her husband which was leaked to the press.

*

‘I’m going over to their offices. I’m not sure what they aren’t getting but enough of this.’ Brodie threw on his grey cashmere coat, he’d been trading emails with the company they’d hired to create a campaign for their suite of products for the next season. Every exchange had him questioning their competence and he is just about had enough of it. ‘Why did we go with them and not one of the big guys?’

‘Because you wanted something different. You were bored with the last two we did with the “big guys?’ Alfred his Director of Marketing said to him. He’s been sat in Brodie’s office all day, going through the images, with him coming up with one issue after another. ‘What exactly are you looking for? I think they perfected this at 9am this morning or even before. Come on man.’

‘What is that supposed to mean?’

‘You want me to spell it or-’

‘Whatever. I’m going over there.’ Brodie was irritated, not necessarily with the images, his mother picked another fight with his father yet again, and the press were going to town on his parent’s marriage. She called all of them railing against their father. He was getting tired, they were all getting tired of her shenanigans.

 

Blu examines the images before her for the hundredth time, wanting to make sure they covered every red x and note from Brodie Sterling’s last email; the bloody megalomaniac that he is. ‘Send these and we’re done. If he doesn’t like them he can shoot it himself.’

‘For what we are paying you, I would expect better.’ Brodie Sterling is standing at the door to Blu’s studio where she and someone else were discussing images from the Circuit44 campaign. It was 11:00pm.

If Blu was caught off-guard by his sudden appearance in her offices, she didn’t show it. ‘You must be Brodie Sterling the serial emailer.’

‘Serial? I wouldn’t put it like that, I’m just after my money’s worth Ms…’

‘It’s Miss, Blu Braithwaite.’

‘The famous Miss Braithwaite. The people in my offices worship the ground you walk on.’

‘I see I’m short a sheep.’ Blu seized Brodie up, she wanted to slap him with every copy of his emails. ‘Rana, go home now I’ll handle it from here.’

‘Are you sure?’ Rana looked from Blu to Brodie Sterling, unsure she should leave.

‘I’m sure thank you. Tell Greg to drop you off I’ll finish up here and take an über. Thank you for today.’

‘You’re welcome see you in the morning.’ Rana left but told the security in the reception of the building to check in on Blu in a half hour in case she’d murdered Brodie Sterling.

‘You make house calls to all your contractors Mr Sterling?’ Blu folded her arms looking squarely at Brodie Sterling, with the latest drama involving his parents’ divorce which, by all the column inches, was as acrimonious as they come, one would think he was busy enough.

‘No, just the ones who won’t listen.’ Brodie is tired and the last thing he wanted to do in this ridiculously long day was spar with anyone, let alone a beautiful woman nearing midnight. Blu Braithwaite is gorgeous, jaw-droppingly stunning. He hadn’t even looked her up, all he’d heard were great things about her from his team. The woman standing before him was divine in every sense of the word. Her hair was piled up in a rough bun, cheek bones that could cut, full lips doused in the sexiest red lipstick. Her brown skin was flawless and the rest of her, her body, set his mind on fire; she’s at least 5’10, the skinny leather pants and cropped chunky sweater she was wearing showed off a body carved from the gods.

‘I don’t believe you pay me enough to talk to me like an errant child.’

‘I don’t believe I was. I’m the client, you should give me what I asked for.’

‘And I have, all twenty times even if my contract stipulates that you are entitled to three revisions.’

‘It also states that if we are not happy with any of the revisions we can request a reasonable amount of alterations.’

‘Twenty is not reasonable Mr Sterling it’s truculent.’

‘I don’t believe I was being either-’

‘I have sent over twenty revisions!’

‘None of which meet my expectations.’

‘I’m sorry, I believed I exceeded them and actually, I am not sorry. You are being unreasonable.’

‘This is a paid gig I don’t understand where reasoning with something subpar was part of the contract-’

‘I beg your fucking pardon?!’

‘I didn’t stutter. Subpar.’

Blu had to count one to ten in her head, she has been called lots of things but her work being labelled subpar was taking it to a new low. ‘You’ll get your revision.’

Brodie knew he’d crossed the line the minute he said those words, knew he’d pissed her off because of that look on her face and hurt her feelings because of the way she seemed deflated that he said her life’s work was subpar. He hates making people feel as if their best was not good enough. It wasn’t her fault that his mother decided to act out and put their lives on display yet again, neither was it her fault that his parent’s divorce was constantly being dissected by the tabloids or that they, he and his siblings, could not make a move without it being documented. ‘Miss Braithwaite I apolo-’

‘You’ll get your revisions. Now if you’re quite finished, I don’t care if you’re not, you can leave.’