Magnus Bane was the top fashion designer in all of the United States, and as far as he was concerned, the world. He designed new hits every time he touched fabric or a sewing machine, and every fashion producer, magazine writer, and news person wanted only five minutes of his valuable time. He was wealthier than every other designer, but didn't rub it in people's faces. He worked with all his models on hand, carefully selecting them himself, and then dictated every movement they made. But despite all this, he didn't know his photographer until one of his best models came at him with a problem.
"Bane!" She shrieked, her platinum blond hair tumbling over his shoulders, as she raced towards Magnus, heels clacking dangerously, "We need to talk!"
"Camille." Magnus looked up from his sewing machine, toying with the dark, shimmering purple fabric he was about to turn into a vest, "What is it this time?"
"Your photographer said I was crap! He's throwing away all the shots! Do something!"
"He's WHAT!?" Magnus shot out of his chair, sending it crashing down behind him. Together they raced down the hall, towards an office that the great Magnus Bane of Brooklyn had never once entered. But now he entered in all his sparkling glory, slamming the door open and marching in, "What the hell do you think you're doing—?!" His voice left him abruptly when a pair of stunning, furious, burning blue eyes snapped up to meet him.
The photographer threw down a paper he'd been scribbling on and stood, his eyes flashing defiantly, "Me? What about you? These shots are complete crap! She can't pose to save her life!" He stomped around his desk, blowing his hair from his eyes irritably and snatched a packet of photos off a table near the stunned designer, "Look!"
Magnus snapped out of it and took the portfolio, flipping through. This man had been employed in his services since Magnus had first started sewing, and every picture he took he looked over. All the pictures that were sent to magazines were pre-approved by this man; most of the time Magnus never even looked at the pictures, but when he did he always approved of whatever shot it was. This man had a gift with a camera. Magnus flipped through the photos. They all were of Camille, looking haughtily into the camera, her eyes ice cold and her face unfeeling. She looked beautiful, like an ice goddess, but there was something…off about each picture.
"See?" The photographer asked, his voice softer as he examined his work. He elbowed Camille out of the way and started to point out flaws, "You can't see her hand here, and here it looks like she has no neck. And look at this one, the color reflects off the dress all wrong. You made that dress to be bright and warm and fun. She makes it look like…I don't know, she's going to a funeral home as a black widow."
"WHAT!?" Camille snarled, her nails curling into claws, "How dare you! Do you know who I am!?"
Magnus sighed and turned, resting a hand on her shoulder, "We'll re-shoot tomorrow, alright? Calm down. We'll get a shot." He waved her off and then turned to try and talk to his photographer, but found he had already returned to his desk and started working again, "Um, thanks. For this." He held it up.
The man looked up, his eyes distant, "Yeah whatever. Throw it out when you leave. Please." He added on like an afterthought, and then turned back to his work.
The designer stared. Never had he been blown off before, and it was refreshing, in a strange sort of way. "How long have you been working for me? I mean, since the beginning I know that…but how long?"
"…this is going to sound horrible," Magnus grinned embarrassedly, but it was wasted since the man didn't look up, "but what's your name?"
This got his attention. The photographer slowly looked up, his blue eyes pinning Magnus to the wall effortlessly, "I don't see how you'd care since we've never had a real conversation before, but its Alexander Lightwood."
"Now of you'll excuse me, Mr. Bane, I need to go back to work." Alexander turned back to his work, shoulders stiff, and ignored his boss.
Magnus took the hint. He dropped the file in the trash on his way out, watching his photographer disappear as the door swung shut. Alexander Lightwood…Magnus walked back to his vest, his head in the clouds. He finished the vest, still daydreaming about his photographer, and then noticed he'd stitched the interior and exterior of the vest with ocean blue thread. Magnus swore under his breath and reached for the gold, and then paused, looking it over. Purple and blue…they actually went well together. Magnus turned off his machine and shrugged on the vest, buttoning the two buttons down by his naval. It fit perfectly, of course, and he admired himself from the mirror. Purple and blue were defiantly made to be. The designer stared at himself, and then back at the piles and piles of fabric on the table, floor, and chairs. An idea started to form, a complete line based on the two colors, with a sliver of gold. Magnus sat down slowly, reaching for the fabric, his new idea expanding and taking shape. He quickly re-threaded the machine and got to work, staying overnight as he tried to keep up with his mind's ideas.
Alec walked into work the next morning and was met with a startling sight. His boss was sitting in his office, a cup of coffee balanced on his knee, looking like he hadn't left since the night before. He was in the same clothes, plus a new purple and blue vest, but his makeup was smudged and his hair spikes were drooping. He walked in, tossing his bag carelessly in the corner, and then set down his camera like it was made out of crystal, "Mr. Bane, good morning."
Magnus snapped up, his eyes flying open, "Wha? What? Alexander? What are you doing here?"
"I work here, sir." Alec said, walking around his boss to get his tri-pod for shooting. "The blond will be here in an hour; shouldn't you be getting the set and clothes ready? Sir."
"An hour?" Magnus blinked, his foggy mind slowly coming out of its purple and blue haze and focusing on his photographer, "What did you say?" Then it clicked, and the designer sprung out the chair, miraculously not spilling a drop of coffee, "Oh no! I have to go get ready! Alexander! Meet me in set number four in thirty minutes!" And with that he ran out of there, sprinting down the hall and into his clothing room. Magnus had a ton of rooms, each made for a specific theme or line or whatever he wanted. Then he had his work room. Magnus ran to the black and red room and ripped Camille's dress from the rack, grabbing shoes, a purse, a small hat with a single feather, and then a thick belt before running crazily back out into the hall. He raced down to the changing room, yanked it open, tossed the clothes at a startled, practically nude Camille, and then slammed the door and ran to set four. He arrived and almost ran into the door in his haste. He leaned against it, panting, before collecting himself and walking in.
Alec was already there, his camera all set up, and studying the setting with a serious look on his face. He barely noticed Magnus trying to straighten himself out, and then jumped when his boss spoke.
"So how—oh sorry, did I startle you?"
"No." Alec recovered, looking a little unnerved, "But you never come to shoots. Ever."
"Yeah well…" Magnus shrugged, trying to look like it was no big deal. He walked over to a big, fake rock behind Alec and sat down, trying to think of a way to engage his photographer in a conversation, "So…"
"I'm heeerrreeee!" Camille threw open the door, looking stunningly beautiful.
Magnus shot her a glowering look, which she ignored, and then turned to look at his photographer. He hadn't even looked up from his camera.
"Alright." Alec barked, all professional, "On the rock, try not to look like an ice queen."
Camille sneered at him and then teetered her way up to the rock, her heels giving her a little trouble.
Magnus sat forward, curious to see what went on during his photo shoots. What he wasn't expecting was so much yelling. Alec would walk around, snapping pictures so fast that the click was a constant stream of sound, and Camille would pose and pose and pose. Alec would mumbled things like "Less leg…show some emotion…more neck…look up—no! Not that far up!...there…that's good…ok stop, what are you doing? You look retarded."
Camille had a response to every one of Alec's muttered orders and criticisms. She'd insult him without changing her facial expression, and her creative use of profanity stunned Magnus. She'd never dare speak to him like that, so why was she spitting venom at his photographer? He looked quickly at Alec when she called his mother something very nasty, but his focus was glued on his camera, and he didn't break stride as he told her to point her foot down.
The shoot took almost an hour, and it was by far one of the strangest things Magnus had seen. After Camille had climbed down from her perch and left to go get changed into the next outfit, a red tux, Magnus came over and watched his photographer flip through the pictures. They speeded by, flashes of blond and red and black, until Magnus felt dizzy, "Alexander, why didn't you tell me she swore like a sailor at you?"
"Hm?" Alec looked up, his blue eyes distant again, "Oh, I don't mind." He looked back down but was stopped by his boss still prying at it.
"No really, she said some nasty stuff." Magnus rested his hand lightly on Alec's shoulder, "Why didn't you come to me? I could have told her to stop."
"Because, the great Magnus Bane has a lot more to worry about than some random photographer whining to him about profanity in the work place." Alec said simply, not an ounce of accusation in his tone.
But Magnus jerked back as though Alec had slapped him, his hand sliding off, looking stunned. Was he really that cold? He worked closely with all the models, and besides them and himself, they were the only people he worked with. He had never once thought about the person who made him and his stuff look good. The person who only chose the best things for him, without even knowing him, and sticking to it for almost a decade. "Am I that much of an asshole?" Magnus whispered, and then blinked when Alec chuckled. It was like watching a whole other person come out. The seriousness melted away and his eyes lit up like lamps, a small smile curving his lips up perfectly.
"Yeah, sort of." Alec grinned, and then went back to his camera, "But don't worry about it."
"Too late." Magnus looked up as Camille walked in, her red tux looking stunning on her curvy body, "Camille! We need to have words."
"Bane, right now?" Camille sighed, patting her blond curls.
"Now." Magnus growled, surprising everyone. He reached out and grabbed her arm, dragging her off and out of the room. He pulled her to the side of the hall, "Why are you so rude to Alexander?"
"What? Oh!" Camille snorted, smiling and shaking her head.
Her smile had none of Alexander's radiant warmth. Hers was mocking and fake.
Camille patted Magnus on the shoulder, "Don't worry about it! He's like a robot. Just does his work, never speaks to any of the models, and doesn't say anything except orders." She snorted again, "Honestly, I can't believe you're noticing now."
Magnus narrowed his eyes, a small flame glowing inside of him. It took him a moment to realize what it was. Dislike. He disliked his best model. "Get out."
"What?" Camille's smile froze, her eyes becoming blocks of ice.
"Leave. Take off my clothes and leave. I don't want to see you here again. I'll send you a check for this shoot but I don't ever want to see you in this building." Magnus snapped.
"You're kidding!" When Camille realized he wasn't, her smile vanished, "You can't fire me!"
"I just did." Magnus turned on his heel and stalked back into the set, shutting the door forcefully behind him.
A furious scream rose up from behind the wall, and then it was cut off abruptly, followed by a lot of stomping and colorful swearing directing now at Magnus and his family.
Alexander looked mildly alarmed by all of this, and even more surprised when Magnus walked over and said, "We're done for the day. It seems as though we need a new model."
"You better not have done that just for me." Alec shut off his camera and started to put it away.
"No, I did it because nobody I employ will abuse any one of my other employees. Verbally or physically." Magnus shrugged, pretending to examine his nails as he watched Alec out of the corner of his eye. "So, sorry about that. But I have a back-up model that's about the same measurements. But she has orange hair, hope you don't mind. Unless I can find a better one."
"Orange…" Alec mused, staring vacantly at his camera and then the rocky backdrop, "That'll be fine…"
"Also, I have a new line coming out—"
"Don't you always?"
Magnus grinned, unable to help it, "Yeah, well I need someone who looks like you to model."
Alec frowned and then froze suddenly, "No! I'm not modeling! That's not in the job description!"
"Calm down! Not you, I need you to take pictures." Magnus held his hands up, still smiling, "But is there anyone you might know?"
"…why me? I thought you picked the models." Alec asked slowly, looking wary.
"Yes, I do. But look how well that turned out." Magnus rolled his eyes, and then plopped down on the rock, trying to seem nonchalant "So maybe you can find someone better. Has to be a girl though. And I already made the clothes, so she has to look like you. Black hair, blue eyes, kind of pale."
Alec snorted, "Alright, I can probably find someone." He stood and swung his camera bag over his shoulder and headed out, pausing by the door, "I might be able to ask my sister…she looks like me…well not the blue eyes, but she can wear contacts." Alec's hand rested on the handle and he glanced behind him, "You know; it almost sounds like you made that line for me." He shrugged and left, shutting the door behind him.
"I did." Magnus sighed, staring after him wistfully.