Status: co-write!

In the Company

First Impressions and Party Dresses

The remainder of the workweek before the party seemed to drag on, not being helped along at all by the fact that Deena had our newest client’s in and out of the office on more than one occasion. I guess it was so that we would start feeling more comfortable around them, but all in all it just made me feel more awkward. Especially when every time somebody said something hockey-ish that I didn’t understand Max and Patrick would have to tease me about it. Taylor and Tyler had tried it once, but I’d quickly put them in their place with a little snip about ‘respecting their elders’, which backfired when I had to tell them how old I was. Not that it was a big deal, but I realized I was three years older than them.

It had taken some struggling, but I’d finally convinced Rose to wear the red dress. She didn’t like standing out, even though I didn’t understand why; she was a gorgeous and brilliant girl, so what if she had a boyfriend? It wasn’t like we were trying to hook her up or anything, I just wanted her to dress up and look good, because when she dressed up nobody could take their eyes off of her. I’d tried to make her laugh with making a comment that Patrick would like to see her all done up – the blonde had been making eyes at her and I’d found out he’d hit on her after their run-in – and after being cursed at wildly in Spanish by my petite roommate I kept my mouth shut.

I don’t know if you know, but it’s really scary to have someone flailing their arms and screaming at the top of their lungs in a language you don’t understand. I wouldn’t recommend it.

So instead of what I’d planned for Friday afternoon, we were each in our own rooms getting ready. I was attempting to calm my hair into some semblance of relaxed waves, and it was sort of working. Granted, I was on my second glass of wine after getting frustrated with the whole process.

“Ry? Can you come here for a second?” Rose called, and after making another face at my hair in the mirror got up and walked over to her room.

“I need some help,” she announced over her shoulder, as if the fact she was holding her dress up with the zipper only up partway didn’t give it away.

“Of course; you know I’ll be in her in like ten to get you to do the same,” I assured her, quickly closing the little catch at the top and pulling the zipper up for her.

“Damn Rose! You look fantastic in that dress! What’d I tell you!” I grinned, making her turn around so I could see the whole thing. As per usual she just shrugged it off.


“Patrick’s gonna die when he sees that,” I managed to get the snark in over my shoulder and dodge the pillow that came flying out the door, along with a few more choice Spanish words. I had to laugh as I made my way back to my bedroom, rushing through the rest of my hair to get into my dress.
Just as I’d promised, I walked in and turned around, waiting for Rose to return the favor of zipping my dress.

“The purple looks awesome on you,” she complimented me as I turned back around, already pulling a little at the fabric.

“Ugh, why did I have to decide to wear purple? It makes my hair look orange,” I grumbled, realizing now that I actually had the dress on that I looked even more like a ginger than usual. Sometimes I managed to pass for legitimate red-head; with the darker red color that I loved and thought looks so elegant on others, but at times when I made stupid decisions like this my hair looked so carrot top it made me want to dye it.

“Does not!”

“Does too! Look at this mess!” I complained, before earning myself a smack on the arm.

“Does not, now shut up and stop drinking or you’ll be tipsy before we even get there,” Rose ordered, and I mumbled out a ‘yes mother’ before heading back to my room. I wasn’t huge on makeup, so a little foundation, eyeliner, mascara and lip balm had me ready to go. I slipped into my shoes and then sat down at the kitchen table to wait for Rose to get ready.

Fifteen minutes later she came out of her bedroom, just slipping her cell into her purse. Of course David would have to phone and talk to her before we left; I swear it was like she had to ask his approval to do anything anymore. Personally, I was pissed that he wasn’t coming tonight, even if Rose wasn’t. This was a huge deal for us – seeing as Deena thought we could handle what she’d claimed was one of the biggest and most important jobs all year – and he couldn’t even be bothered to show. Rose made every effort possible to show up to anything that he deemed important, and he couldn’t bother to return the favor. He was a nice guy, but he was starting to wear on my nerves for my best friends’ sake.

We hailed a cab, glad that our boss was willing to pick up the tab for it, and soon found ourselves in front of the hotel whose high-end club would be the place of Deena’s party. We weren’t even asked if our names were on the list, just ushered through and into the door. One of the fantastic perks of working for Schaeffer Image Agencies.

“Hello girls! Looking lovely, as usual,” was Deena’s very friendly greeting, and I took note of the glass of champagne she had in hand. Deena wasn’t a cold person, but she usually didn’t treat us quite as friendly as this; the hugs and kiss on the cheek weren’t really her style.

“Thanks ma’am – you’re looking fantastic like always,” I replied, wincing slightly when a little bit of my Oklahoma accent managed to weasel it’s way into my words. I’d worked hard to eliminate it and gain a bit of the New York accent, feeling like I stuck out less that way.

“Ryleigh, Rose, your clients are just over there; please feel free to help yourself to some champagne or something to eat, but please make your presence known to them,” she instructed us, soon becoming the boss we knew so well again. We nodded and headed in the direction of the bar, opting for something to drink before this.

“I got it,” I’d went to pull out the business Visa that we had, seeing as it was usually used for instances like this, when somebody handed their own card to the bartender. I turned, ready to tell somebody off, but instead found myself face to face with Claude.

“Thank you, you really didn’t have to,” I mumbled, feeling awkward while Rose just put on a smile, acting like her usual professional self.

“It’s very much appreciated Mr. Giroux – we were actually just going to come say hello after we’d got our drinks,” she told him, making his smile grow.

“Well, I saved you the trouble then. Me and the guys have a table over there, if you’d care to join us?” he suggested, and after sharing a look we nodded and walked over with him, occasionally stopping to say hello to people we knew along the way.

There was a tall brunette talking with Patrick Kane, and once the guy turned around I felt my eyes widen. Can you say hello tall, dark, and handsome?

“Who’s that?” I asked, trying to be nonchalant, but Claude seemed to have my intentions figured out as he snickered.

“That’s Captain Serious, so sorry ladies but you won’t stand a chance. I don’t think he knows what a girl is,” he answered, and Rose laughed while I tried to decided whether he was joking or not.

“That’s Jonathan Toews,” Rose clarified for me, and I nodded, pretending I knew what that meant.
“He’s the captain of Patrick’s team, and I assume one of his good friends?”

Claude nodded, before making our presence known to the group of hockey players. Patrick’s eyes widened and I saw him swallow hard before lifting his drink to his lips just a little too quickly to be casual. He definitely had it bad for my best friend.

“Hello; I’m Jonathan. Nice to meet you two,” tall, dark and handsome immediately took a step forward and offered his hand. Rose, being closest shook his hand first and introduced herself, before stepping aside so I could do the same. He had a strong, firm handshake. Needless to say he kept getting better and better.

The Captain was easy to talk to as well; he didn’t keep making inappropriate come-ons like Max, or snarky remarks like Patrick was prone to doing. In fact he shared a few funny stories about his blonde teammate that had Patrick grumbling and downing his drinks faster than should’ve been possible.

“I feel sorry for you two; keeping these guys in line must be hell,” he said, and Rose merely laughed. Twice her cell had gone off with David either calling or texting her, and we’d only been here for maybe an hour and a half.

“If that’s supposed to be a pep talk it isn’t working; we haven’t started working with them yet,” she informed him, and he nodded before rolling his eyes and prying Patrick’s drink out of his hand.

“You’re done.”


“Done.” Was the captain’s answer, his tone implying that it was the end of the discussion. I eyed the pouting blonde and the stupid grins that the rest of our new clients had before turning back to Jonathan.

“You should just stick around – looks like you have him under control,” I told him, getting a laugh from him before he shook his head.

“Not quite, apparently,”

I kept getting this feeling that I was being watched, but everytime I turned to scan the rest of the party I never found a pair of eyes on me. It was starting to freak me out, and Rose was starting to notice. Hell, even Jonathan and Claude were starting to notice, Max feeling the need to make the comment that if I was afraid somebody was going to grab me I was more than welcome to sit on his lap.

“You sure you’re okay?” Rose whispered, and I shrugged before deciding I needed another drink.
“No idea,”
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Sorry for taking so long on this chapter! I needed to find a little inspiration for it, so I hope you like it! Please keep letting us know what you think, we love to hear from you! - Hayley