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   Chapter 5 No.5

The Hollens Series-Cookies & Cream By Mavelinebelle Characters: 9553

Updated: 2021-05-21 10:13

Zenia's POV

Monday came with an excruciating headache and a terrible hangover. I managed to pull myself up from the bed and crawled into the shower. I turned the water temperature all the way up and I took a hot bath from my Brazilian weaves to my toes.

I blow-dried my hair-I paid for it so that makes it mine -then I applied lotion to my chocolate skin. I slipped into a mini dress which was tight at the top and showed a teasing bit of cleavage. I had no one to impress today but I didn't want to look as terrible as the way I was feeling.

Too much wine.

After completing a light makeup application and placing my digital notepad into my backpack, I headed to the kitchen.

"Good morning Ma." I greeted my mother when I saw her at the stove.

"Hey sweetie. How are you?"

"I feel terrible."

"That's because you had too much to drink. Here."

She handed me a bottle of water and another drink in a tiny glass.

"What's this?" I asked as I studied the drink. It looked like it had grass in it. I was not about to even bring that close to my lips.

"It's a hangover remedy. Drink it!" She commanded.

I bought the small glass up to my nose. "Mom, this smells like shit!" I almost vomited.

"It will help you feel better and watch your mouth Zenia!"

I mentally rolled my eyes and held my breath as I gulp the 'precious' hangover remedy down my throat.

"Thanks mom."

"Here's your breakfast."

She handed me a covered container stock with fried chicken nuggets and chips.

"Thanks Ma! Bye Ma!"

I ran for the door. It was Monday and I had to get to my boutique and my fashion station as soon as possible. I had two very?highly?important clients/customers coming in today for a design I wanted to have publish in their magazines.

I took a cab downtown. I was saving for my own car. That would be more convenient.

I unlocked the security gate then the doors to my boutique.

I strolled in and turned on the lights and the central air units. I couldn't believed that day when Evan picked me up and bought me here.

Flash back.

It was last December. Mom and I had just returned from visiting Jasmine and Jevan in LA when I got a phone call from Evan.

"Hey Evs."

"Merry Christmas."

"Same to you. What's up?"

"Are you home?"

"Yeah I am."

"I'll be over in twenty."

He hung up and my thoughts started playing games with me. He's your sister's ex - what could he want?

He got the big sister - is he after the younger one now?

On hell no! He would never. I would never.

He showed up in half an hour and I met him outside.

"Get in." I looked at his car as if I was worthy of even getting into it.

"Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise."

Okay, so my sister's ex-boyfriend was giving me a surprise. Completely normal.

"I don't think so."

"Zen. Get in the car." He was being persistent.

I got in. He wasn't a stranger or anything so if anything bad was to happen to me, all the money he possessed wouldn't be enough to save him.

He drove down town and thirty minutes later, we pulled up to a building with a gate outside. He got out the car and I followed him. He used a key, opened the gate, unlocked the other door and walked in. I followed behind in amazement. This place would make the perfect boutique.


Is he... is he doing what I think he's doing?


"Well, I'm a man of my words." he said as he handed me the keys. "It's all yours."

"Evan? Really? All mine?"

I looked around with a big smile on my face. The place was huge.

"How much is this monthly rent gonna cost?" I knew rents in the city were always high.

"Free actually. I purchased this place for you. Now it's up to you to keep it going."

"Thank you. Thank you so much."

We hugged at that moment. He looked out for me as a little sister. Just like Jasmine did for me all those years ago.

My smile faded when I remembered her instantly. Evan had really been trying to get her back but she made it clear she wasn't coming back.

"Have you heard from Jasmine?"

"I did. We spoke yesterday. I'm flying over there to spend Christmas with Jevan then I have to get back before mom and dad's anniversary."

He had it so busy.

"I think she'll come back soon Evan. Just keep the faith and don't give up."

"Thanks Zenia."

We hugged one last time before he left. I stayed behind to start with the cleaning and the early preparations.

End Of Flashback.

"Good morning boss!" A voice startled me from behind.

"Good morning Ashley."

Ashley was my boutique's assistant and my best friend. She and I attended the same college and had the same passion of going into fashion as well. When I got the boutique, she was the first person and the only person I

called to come work with me.

She had?mad sowing?skills and captivating designs that would make princesses melt and gasps with awe.

"What's good?" I asked casually.

"It's all good. What's good with you?" She returned.

"Girl, I have..." I paused. I didn't have a hangover or a headache anymore.

"I had a hangover and a headache." I completed.

"Your sister's engagement had you being crazy?"

We shared a laugh as I turned on the computers and the security system. I arranged the clothing lines I wanted to have published in the magazines today. I really needed this. It would boost my clothing and wow more customers who were highly interested in fashion. Both males and females.

"Girl, Fusion and Luxx are coming in today." I said as I referred to the representatives as the names of their magazines.

"Yeah you told me." Ashley responded as she joined me. "What pieces are we going to display and show?"

"I think we should showcase our summer collection."

"BITCH YES!!" She squealed and ran to the back.

The summer collection was one of our best collections yet and we worked really hard on those pieces. Summer was just one week away so we needed that magazine exposure now, if we were going to sell out that collection successfully.

Ashley came back with a handful of clothes. I undressed six mannequins and redressed each in a summer collection outfit. Ashley would model the others. She was a very great model and I loved seeing her do her thing. She was always cheerful and never gloomy. I always wondered how someone could be so happy. I never once saw Ashley in a bad mood nor a frown on her face.

The boutique's phone rang. I answered it while Ashley got herself ready with Makeup, hairstyles and what not.

"Good morning, thank you for calling ZENIA'S, how can I help?" I spoke professionally.

"Good morning, I'm calling from Luxx magazine. We'll be sending a representative to you in two hours."

"Thank you and we're looking forward to it."

"You're welcome. Have a nice day."

"You too."

"ASHLEY. WE HAVE TWO HOURS!!" I called once the phone was back on the hook.

"I'LL BE READY!!" She called back.

Exactly Two Hours Later.

A stunning woman, dressed in a black suit with red bottom heels came into the boutique.

"Good morning. I'm looking for a Miss. Zenia Blackman." She had an accent. She sounded Russian.

"Good morning. I'm Miss. Zenia Blackman." I answered as I went over and offered her a seat.

"I'm from Luxx. I'm here to see the collection you wish to have published in our magazine."

"Yes ma'am. My assistant and I had been expecting you."

Without any further adieu, Ashley came out the changing room and began her?fashion walk?with a collection piece on. I stood on the side as I explained the outfit more, instead of just looking on to. I needed to sell myself, my boutique and my collection.

Ashley and I had previously rearranged the boutique and made it look like a catwalk. The Luxx representative was the judge, Ashley was the model, and I was the project seller.

While Ashley changed into another outfit, I showed the clothes on the mannequins.

The representative looked so pleased. She must have thought she'll just be sitting there, waiting for Ashley to change into another.

After we showcased our first twelve summer collection pieces, she gave us a very satisfying compliment and remarks, then left.

Ashley and I hugged each other. The bell on the door jingled, indicating someone had come in.

Ashley and I looked over. EJ and Madison stood there with smiles on their faces.

"This is your place?" Madison asked.

"Yes. How can I help you?"

"I'm looking for a dress like no other."

"She wants a dress so I referred you to her." EJ inputted.

I scoffed but threw on a smile. I welcomed all customers. This was business.

I took down to a rack of dresses in her size and with fabrics that would compliment her complexion.

"Ohh I love this one!" She said with excitement as she came out the changing room with the 'green off the shoulder dress that flowed down the back but stopped above the knees at the front'. She did look pretty in it and it matched her eyes.

"That piece is a bit on the expensive side. It's one thousand."

"That's okay."

"What's the occasion?" I asked. She looked like she was in a hurry to purchase a dress for something important.

"EJ and I are going out on a date. He's paying for the dress."

She changed back into her regular clothes and went up to Ashley at the cash register. Ashley swiped a card EJ handed her, bagged the dress and handed it over to Madison.

I watched as they waved goodbye to me and left.

"They make a cute couple." Ashley said, unaware of the pain in my heart.

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