Chapter 1 - Cooling coffee & failed attempts

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I flipped through the pages of the portfolio aimlessly. It was horrible. Knowing Victoria would hate it, I tossed it unceremoniously in the trash can and reached for the quickly cooling coffee at the edge of my desk with a groan of frustration.

The day had started off shitty (I broke the coffee machine for the third time).
I was halfway out of my office and ready to go bother jace and avoid working, when my door swung open and he stepped in. He had on fitted black slacks with a nice, dark green sweater that made his blue eyes pop.

"Hey, bitch," he greeted. "You look hot today. Whoever picked out your outfit is a gift from god."

I twirled around, stumbling slightly in the process of my modelling attempt.
"I try" I teased. "And I guess roommates who pick out my outfits and make breakfast are pretty cool."

He rolled his eyes fondly. "We've got a meeting in 10 minutes. I assumed you forgot, so here I am."

"Thank god one of us is organised," I muttered as I reached for my phone and laptop, and followed him out the door.

We walked side by side, gossiping about the latest trends as we headed into the meeting room. We took our seats at the end of the table, mine by Victoria and Jace's across from me. He wiggles his eyebrows and I tried to hold in my laughter as Victoria walked in.

"Coffee, Norah," she snapped. I stood up immediately and walked back to the break room. After starting a fresh pot, I leaned back against the counter to wait, tapping my heel against the floor and praying the machine wouldn't break like it always seemed to do in my presence.

As soon as it was done, I grabbed the steaming mug and scurried back the meeting room, where everyone was settling down into their seats and shuffling through various papers. I set the coffee in front of my boss, then slid into my chair next to her.

"Alright, next month's issue," Victoria started, shuffling through some papers. "I'm thinking workplace chic. Ideas. Go."

"Section on leather, it's so hot right now," Jace immediately put in. Everyone nodded in agreement and tapped away at their MacBooks.

"What about a section on women bosses? Powerful and sexy?" A women named Alice tried. She was a pretty blonde with a bob haircut whose ideas were never original, but once given an idea, she could pull together a perfect article. And she was really fun to party with, so therefore one of my good friends.

"So overdone," someone groaned.
Alice glared at them until Victoria started talking.

"I agree," she mused, twirling a pen between her long, thin fingers. "We need something fresh."

Everyone threw ideas in, some being immediately thrown out with disgust, others put into consideration. I chewed on the end of my pencil absentmindedly as I brainstormed, then waited for a lapse of silence in the storm of editors spitting out ideas.

"How about being your own boss? Someone who has risen to the top, worked hard to get there, and has extremely good taste," I attempted, eyes trained on my chipping fingernails as I awaited the harsh backlash from Victoria.

Instead, she gave me a strange look before smiling. "I like it. Who, though? Think people."

"What about that blogger, Leighton someone? She started a blogging website that's getting pretty popular. She's hot, too," Aaron brainstormed

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