Billionaire Unchallenged:CarterBy: J.S. Scott
(The Billionaire's Obsession #13)
I feel like I’ve spent every one of my twenty-nine years on this earth completely deprived of sweets!
Regretfully, I shook my head at the tuxedo-clad waiter, and then watched him walk away with his tray of mouthwatering pastries. I’d already wasted my allowed calories for the day on alcohol, so I couldn’t give in to the temptation to sample one of the carb-laden sweets, too.
“Well done, Brynn,” my friend Laura remarked wryly from her seat beside me at the small table. “I’m not sure I have as much restraint as you do anymore, but then, I don’t have to try to shove this curvy body into a size four anymore.”
I smiled at Laura. “I don’t either,” I reminded her. “And I noticed that you didn’t exactly help yourself to any, either.”
At the age of twenty-nine, I still had an active modeling career, but Laura and I had made a pact years ago that we were going to be healthy, and prevent each other from being dangerously thin just so we could keep our careers as models. We’d bonded over that promise, a vow that had probably saved both our sanities and our health in an industry that was weight and size obsessed.
“I have a shoot next month,” she said wistfully. “I might be a plus size model, but I still have to fit into the jeans.”
“You look gorgeous,” I answered emphatically. My friend was beautifully curvy, and drop-dead beautiful.
For years, Laura and I had fought for body diversity in modeling, and it had been a long, difficult road. Sure, the industry had started to use some models who represented a healthy, realistic lifestyle, but it wasn’t enough.
Until the fashion industry got real and stopped considering a size twelve as plus size, there was way too far to go.
I was a straight size model, but only barely. I was a solid size six, and I was healthy. Years ago, I’d starved myself to fit into the size two or size four that clothing designers wanted me to model. But once Laura and I had hooked up and decided we’d rather be out of the profession than destroying our bodies for a lifetime, my mindset had changed. We’d both known we were on a dangerous downhill slide, mentally and physically. So we’d fought for body diversity because we’d already had a name in our profession.
Honestly, we were still fighting.
But we’d both reached the top of our game at sizes that were healthy for us. So I saw that as a small win.
Unfortunately, that didn’t mean that I could eat whatever I wanted.
I loved sweets, but my ass did not.
Even though we’d made a promise to stop starving ourselves years ago, Laura and I were still supermodels, and that meant we had to eat well, work out, get plenty of sleep, and stay healthy.
“But I’m thirty-three,” Laura finally said wistfully. “Other than a few lucrative gigs, my career is pretty much over.”
I snorted. “Only because you want it to be,” I said.
There was no reason in hell that she couldn’t keep modeling. She’d chosen to slow down and be picky about what jobs she accepted, just like I had.
She shrugged. “I’m tired of globetrotting. And I’ve been happier since we started the Perfect Harmony clothing line.”
Really, I’d been more content myself since I’d relocated to Seattle a year ago, too, following Laura so we could pursue our own clothing company, a line that was deeply personal because we felt that we represented women of all shapes, colors, and sizes.
We’d opened a small boutique on Fourth Avenue downtown, and I spent the majority of my time designing a line of clothing with Laura that we both loved.
I fit better in Seattle than I ever had in New York City. Not that the pace was that much slower, but the vibe in Seattle was…different. And our Perfect Harmony styles were so suited to this city.
The brand was all about personal style rather than fashion, and I loved every single creation. Laura and I had wanted comfortable, but stylish. Functional and easy to clean. Things that are definitely never considered in high fashion.
“Do you think we’ve stayed long enough?” Laura asked hopefully.
I laughed. Laura and I had come to the fundraiser cocktail party only because we both believed in the cause—domestic abuse. But I had to admit it was pretty much a sleeper.