|A Touch of Red
Author: shooptastic PM
For Lovino, designs are slow and unoriginal. All that is needed to give him the boost he needs to return the unique and beautiful designs to normal is perhaps a striking hue of beauty, the glittering colors of a Spanish lady, and perhaps, a touch of red.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Spain & S. Italy/Romano - Chapters: 5 - Words: 20,426 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 01-30-12 - Published: 01-27-12 - id: 7781184
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Fixed from a roleplay with the lovely Kate, or pilkopants on tumblr. c":
It had been the offer of a lifetime. Good pay, an opportunity to wear the countless shoes in her closet from her old modeling jobs...
She thought she'd take a break from modeling for a bit, and actually get something done. Like work as an intern for the third highest appraised designer in the UK. She strolled into her new job, very fancy, very polished. Antonia smiled and straightened a curl back behind her ear. "I'm looking for Mr. Vargas?" She asked with a peppy sunshiny ray of happiness to the receptionist who looked like she was about to choke at the sight of a fresh face.
Lovino was sitting in his office, phone on speaker, leaning his chin on his hand and his elbow on the desk, seconds from jumping down the idiot's throat.
Where was his damn secretary? Intern. Whatever he was supposed to call them. The bumbling oaf on the other end of the line mentioned the shipping to Hong Kong and he leapt up, banging on the desk and cursing at him. Nothing was to be sent to Hong fucking Kong! No one was going near Hong Kong with a ten foot fucking pole!
He could be seen, but not heard, by the rest of the office through the glass panels of his wall. No one batted an eye. Daily occurrence.
After the choked looking receptionist got the all-clear from a other receptionist— how fancy, Antonia thought as she took the cup of coffee resting, still piping hot and rushed into the elevator, aching to get away from that sickly looking woman. Man, it looked so nice and clean in here; she smiled a bit to herself.
Once on the top floor, with such an amazing view of northern London she thought she'd love to get a promotion already to sit and watch the red buses and the busy people...
One thing Antonia did hope honest to god for was that her new boss wasn't the man with the pinstripe suit and the red-angry face.
Lovino had paused, staring at the phone, seeming to have the full intention to rip it from its cord and throw it through the window. Had that little weasel just told him to 'listen'? He spat the final unpleasant word and ended the call.
Someone with more time on their hands could handle it later, he decided, taking a stack of yellow folders and going to find out where his help was, and why they were late.
With the clack of her finest shoes, the brush of her tight pencil skirt, she was somehow horrified to see the angry man coming straight towards her.
His redness had gone down, but he still looked rather angry. "Good Morning," she told him, forcing a genuine-looking smile. "Are you Mr. Vargas?"
"That depends," He muttered, looking her over and glancing around for any other potential underlings. "Who are you?"
"I'm your new intern." She said, a little more confidently. "My name's Antonia, I hope to have fun working with you." Antonia almost forgot the coffee! She handed it to him with a gentle hand. Perfect.
He took it from her and looked at it before his eyes flicked back to her face, his expression quite calm, but betrayed by the little crease in his brow. "You're late."
"I'm sorry... sir, but I was told to be here at eleven." She recovered, beating herself from the minor mistake she had made.
"But work doesn't start at eleven. I don't start at eleven. I need my things ready when I get here, which is at ten," He answered condescendingly, still not taking a sip of his coffee. "Which means you would have to be here at...?"
"Ten," She blurted, nodding her head. She was never ever told when this man would get there. "I'm sorry, I was never informed..."
"I get here at ten," He pressed, raising his voice over hers. "And my things need to be ready before I get here. Are you going to set up my work for the day in a few seconds?"
She thought about that, so confused and stressed the thoughts that were coming so slow already were like turtles in a marathon. "No, no." She shook her head again, her bangs sliding out of her bun. "No, sir,"
"So... you would have to be here before ten," he told her slowly, with a plastic smile. It dropped as he turned and walked into his office, raising the coffee to his mouth. "Come in here. You have a pad with you?"
"Yes," She said immediately, fishing it out of her purse, she had also been given. Those designers could not resist her, for some reason.
This one just wanted to vomit on her. Cocky. Antonia followed him, her heels clacking against the floor with perfect little clicks.
Lovino put his coffee on his desk with the folders and motioned to the seat in front of him, leaning back on the table and waiting for her to sit down.
"You didn't tell me your name?"
He wasn't that good of a listener, either.
Antonia sat down immediately, crossing her legs and setting her purse down. "Antonia, sir," she said clearly. "Antonia Fernandez Carriedo."
"What a beautiful name. Well, you know who I am," he replied with an affected laugh, flashing a smirk. "And what do you want to gain from working here, Antonia?"
She would have smiled if that didn't sound so uncaring to her ears. How many failing interns did he tell that to?
"I just moved here from Spain after a few modeling jobs," She replied, pulling her bang back. "And I wanted to try something different, and the pay was rather good."
He raised his eyebrows. Wow. Everything about that answer failed to impress him. "You're a model?" He asked, looking her over with poorly hidden disdain. She was... attractive. Definitely. However, far from stunning.
Moreover, she clearly had not been paying much attention to trends. How he hated brainless models that just let themselves be dressed like dolls, never having any gut to stick to fashion outside work. "Good for you."
"A foot model," She rushed, smiling sheepishly. He was looking her over like a prisoner on death row, evaluating if she'd give him a show. "It's not much, but it's something. And this is a better something." Antonia clicked her pen and set it, ready onto her pad.
"I would think so," he muttered, not quite under his breath, picking up the files again. "Now, in before ten, we've talked about that. That's all clear?"
This bastard was so cocky. She breathed out, nodding her head. "Yes, I'll be sure to get here early." Antonia answered, writing that down, cursive and everything. How nice.
"Good. Now, this," he added, nodding to the coffee beside him. "Is shit. I'm sure she's an extremely professional woman, but she can't make a decent cup of coffee to save herself... I don't see her often enough to be picky about it. But we'll be seeing a lot of each other, and I want you to get it right."
"Okay." She nodded, making a dash in her pad. So. Fucking. Cocky. But; she had to stay calm. Interns always had to stay calm. Always. "I can go make a cup for you after you tell me how you like it, if you wish." She offered.
"I have one in the morning, one ready when I get back from lunch, and one at about four o'clock, so you don't have to get me another one right away,"
He looked over to see if she was getting this, and if she was impressed by his selflessness in not insisting another coffee. She didn't say anything. He frowned and carried on.
"I take mocha, two sugars, and extra dry, with half-skimmed and half-full milk."
Maybe, with some cinnamon and perhaps the whole kitchen sink... She smiled at her own little joke, scribbling that down. Did coffee really have to be so complex? Antonia looked up, disheartened by his frown. "Is that all?" She felt herself say, and quickly regretted it.
He didn't care for her tone, and handed her the files with a stony face.
"This one, the top one, is calls that have to be made and calls that are going to be coming in. Do not make a call when you are expecting a call in the next few minutes, you'll block the line. If someone calls about Hong Kong, tell him to stop wasting my damn time. This one is a schedule. You make sure I'm in every meeting I need to be in. If I tell you I'm not going, you give them an excuse. A good one. Are you getting this?"
She set them on her knee, trying fiercely to right down everything. "Yes, yes, I am, sir." She mumbled from her pad, wondering what the fuck was wrong with Hong Kong. This was all reminding her of a movie she had sat down and watched with her old friends in Spain, and this bastard in the big chair was acting just like the devil in the movie.
"Good," he said again, standing up and going around gesturing her out of the office and showing her to her little desk nearby. "Here." He picked up the phone and pressed one, pausing and listening to the phone in his own office ring through the open door. "If you need me or you have a call that I have to take. Don't bother me if it's not important," he warned.
She nodded, reaching into her purse for a pad of sticky notes. "Alright," She replied, to show she was listening. "I'll be sure to remember that."
Satisfied, Lovino flashed another smile and clapped his hands together once. "You can get started, then. Don't worry about running out of work; you'll add something onto the list every time you make a call. I have a lunch meeting in an hour. When I get back, something is going to be on my desk. What is it?" He asked, with another smug smirk, testing her.
Was she daft? Did he think she was useless?
"Coffee," She replied, her face turning into something of offence. "Piping hot mocha with two sugars, extra dry with half-skimmed and half-full milk," She even had it memorized; she was staring at her pad so much.
"Excellent," He praised dryly. "Do you have anything you want to ask?" He muttered with disinterest, looking across the office and then to Antonia. She'd had a lot of his attention already.
"I'm all set!" She said, her voice probably echoing with irritation. "Thank you, and if there's anything you need," She crossed her legs, taking a planner from the corner of the desk.
He should hope she'd help with anything he needed. She was his assistant. Lovino gave her a curt nod, deciding not to go into it but marking her down in his head. He went back into his office, closing the door behind him.
After she peeped very stealthily over her desk to look into his office, seeing he was sitting down, she relaxed back into her chair, sliding off her heels with a big stretch.
What a cunt, the multimillion bastard.
He filled the hour easily, looking up once or twice to his intern through the glass. She would occasionally pause and hold her hands above her work, thinking about what to do next.
Disorganized. He gave a sigh and stood, pulling his suit jacket on and walking out past her desk to the elevator, not looking at her. She had better things to do than to be smiling at people, anyway.
Antonia had called all of the clients; with a bit of bite to her words of he'll call you at so and so. She plucked up her jacket, even managing the skills she had learned in high school with time management. She made twenty minutes of dead silence on the phone to get the man his damn wakening elixir.
She was starting out above average, almost constantly comparing herself to the ever-so beautiful Anne Hathaway. She was better than she was at a job she only knew stories about. Cool beans.
. 0 .
He strolled back in forty minutes later, feeling particularly arrogant after a satisfying meeting, barely stopping at her desk in walking to his office. "Fill me in," He told her, expecting her to follow behind.
She picked up her planner, sliding her heels back on with a silent huff. "Man from Hong Kong keeps calling, finally had to tell him off. You have two meetings at one and four tomorrow, each with..." She tutted her lips as she closed the door behind her, losing her place. "Feliciano..."
"Why?" He mouthed silently, sitting down at the desk and picking up his coffee. "What does he want?"
"Said he wanted to see you," She said, sitting down by his desk. "He said he had some really good news."
"He thinks everything is good news..." he told her, almost scolding. "He doesn't need a meeting for it. Phone him back and tell him I'll call later. When I'm not at work. Make sure he gets that, stop calling me at work about 'good news'."
"He said something about a boyfriend." She said to him, showing him the blue sticky note she had scribbled down while the rather friendly man talked to her about his plans. "He found inspiration for a new line and wanted you apart of it."
Damn. Half of that was work-related and half wasn't. Therefore, it was somewhat relevant. He took a sip of his coffee and considered. "Okay, okay, scratch that. Tell him he's getting one meeting and we can talk about... whoever it is... some other time."
"His name sounded German. Couldn't catch it." She added, flipping open her planner again. She'd have to draw little lines of motivation on the sides. This was becoming a habit. "Did the meeting go well?"
A German? Lovino didn't know any- He tutted and groaned in realization. Feli's fucking tank of a friend with the serious face and the bad vibes. There was no way. He frowned at Antonia, although it wasn't her fault, for delivering the 'good news' and ruining his mood. "It was excellent, thank you."
"My pleasure," She answered, scanning over her list. "Other than that, I'll write out a list of calls you should be expecting..." Antonia answered, plucking her dear friend Mr. Pad-ington from her stack of things.
He bristled. She had sounded extremely sarcastic - had she intended to answer him back? If she had been on the phone, he would have hung up. He waited for her to finish and took the paper from her hand, reading it over in aggravated silence.
"I'll be out here, then." She gave him a plastic smile, clicking back over into the corridor and back to her desk. Obviously, something about his brother being gay rustled his already askew feathers.
"Thank you," He replied venomously, almost feeling the need to call her back and excuse her himself. He was getting sick of this woman and her snarky little cuts.
Antonia picked up her phone, tapping in Feliciano's phone number with her green, stationary-accidentally-stolen-from-the-bank-and-other-places pen. She had told him all about how the first night went, much to her surprise.
She felt that if she was on the phone longer than three minutes His Royal Butt-Knot would come stomping out in his dress shoes and demand she hang up on his brother. She listened, getting notes from her planner for tomorrow, a little 'a-huh a-huh' from her lips every so often. He spoke so fast.
Lovino watched her as she sat down and dialed. A minute later, still talking. Another minute, still talking, smiling and laughing occasionally. What was she doing? He raised his phone to his ear, eyes fixed on the intern and hearing his brother excuse himself for being so excited. He frowned. Antonia laughed, looking to the top of her receiver.
Conference Call. Huh. She paused, picking up her phone to reflect the image in the small window. She couldn't see much, so she set it down and scribbled a few more notes down. "It's been a joy talking to you, Feliciano. Mr. Vargas will expect to see you around one. There's no four o' clock appointment, alright?" After another laugh from a 'Mr. Vargas was my father' comment from the other side, she professionally said good-bye and almost slammed the phone down. Sneaky ass was listening in on her.
Lovino sat still as the phone slammed down, took a breath and walked out to her desk, an incredibly forced smile faltering on his face. "Who was that?"
Antonia inhaled, shrugging. "Just your brother; he got carried away talking to me. I didn't have the heart to hang up on him. But someone else was using the line so I finished up."
"Well, have the heart," He snapped, smile dropping completely and leaning forward. "This is a business, there's no time for his damn gossip."
"Why don't you tell your brother that?" She whispered, leaning forward. "His business might be a little less depressing then this one,"
His eyes flicked quickly over her face — he almost seemed to panic at her talking back. "I think you could be more grateful at the opportunity you have here," He hissed, scowling.
"I've only been here for six whole hours!" She shouted, leaning back. "Sure! The pay is more than enough! It's perfect pay! But is the shit I have to put up with really worth it?"
Lovino didn't pause then, more at home with screaming matches than with quiet threats. He gave a snort, shrugging and holding his hands up. "Life's tough, sweetheart. You want to be here? You want to do this job? Then you put up with all the shit I throw at you, and you do it with a damn smile. It's not my problem if you're too sensitive."
"I'm about as sensitive as weight-lifters." She scoffed, rolling her eyes. "The only reason you've gotten so far in the fashion industry is your brother! You just stole his designs!" Antonia got up, shrugging at the man and grabbing her coat. "And now that he's inspired, what's going to happen to you?" She said in a babying voice, her volume rising to its limits in the office. All eyes were on them. Small murmurs of 'She's so fired,' were chiming in her ears.
Lovino, embarrassingly, was shortly silenced.
He stared at Antonia, his mouth closed tight, because he knew if he opened it, he'd stand there speechless and agape, looking like an idiot. He could feel every fiber of him prickling in horrified shock, his face going red. "Fine," he finally said quietly, stepping forward to her. "If you'd rather go back to Spain and be completely thoughtless and nameless for the rest of your life, that's fine with me." He looked away and kicked himself, knowing it looked slightly pitiful, as he had been trying to keep eye contact with her.
"Not everything is names in this world, Mr. Vargas." She spat, tying her coat around her waist. "You'd be a great man if you weren't so obsessed on how you can draw designs with your cock." Antonia slid her things into her arms, her purse over her shoulder, and with a final nod, she stormed down the hallway, not even bothering with the elevator. She took the stairs.
The office was deathly still, the sound of Antonia's heels still clicking along the corridor. Lovino could feel the eyes on him, probably silently cheering that he'd had such a telling-off. He couldn't bring himself to leap to his own defense, and stood wondering if she was purposefully trying to irritate him or she was just extremely honest. He realized that perfect honesty did irritate him, bristling at the thought of being seen as she saw him - wasted talent, too obsessed with image.
"Get back to work," He muttered, turning and going back to his office, feeling as if he were on display with everyone watching through the glass, very humiliated.
She faced the first floor, eyes watching with interest as she defiantly clomped out, probably never to see her again. She'd stop by the market that night, pick up two tubs of ice cream and eat them all that night while watching movies with back-sassing employees. Antonia reminded herself of the look on his face; something of pure horror and shock. Perhaps most other personal assistants of his simply bawled their way out of the building. She refused to turn back though. She'd find a new job.
She'd sleep in and expect the termination notice from her flat home extremely soon.