The color is positively lush. I look at the label on the bottom, “Kiss Kiss, Extreme lips, Fabulous Rouge,” I read out loud. “Insolence de Rouge.” I’m pretty sure that means In Your Face Red. Sounds about right, but there are so few reds that really work on me. She brushes some onto my lips.
Sophie flicks her wrist. “Ah oui. Oui, oui, oui, c’est magnifique!”
I check myself out in a mirror....Damn...Oh, yeah. I’m packing serious heat. Sophie must really be French. I hand over my debit card. “I’ll take it.”
I trudge back to the office, passing up Starbucks where I’d originally planned to go. I figure spending thirty-five dollars on a lipstick is enough damage to my faux Louis Vuitton wallet for today...except that the roses at a flower kiosk stop me as powerfully as a traffic light. I simply can’t afford a dozen, but I can afford one. My office needs it. I need it. That and a protein bar from the Korean snack stand in front of the building, and I’m a new woman. Except for the hair. But my afternoon client is female, so maybe Gary won’t get his shorts in a twist.
“Your lips!” Alana says as I reenter Double D. “Totally hot!”
I wiggle my eyebrows at her and slip the rose into a bud vase. Then I raid the front desk’s supply of chocolate: Godiva heart-shaped ganaches, Teuscher Irish Cream truffles, and chocolate cordials of cherries soaked in black port and wrapped in gold foil. Office expenses may have been cut back, but certain compromises are out of the question. I refill my crystal dish and set it beside the rosebud on my desk, and then, a much anticipated moment: biting into a silky sweet richness that melts a chunk of heaven onto by my excited taste buds through the magic of the Godiva Company. Mmmmmm. Yes, indeed. I am strong. I am invincible. Power to the Woman.
Alana ushers Laura Neuman in to see me.