The atmosphere is electric as I make my way to the makeshift stage. I let the anticipation build, taking my time to look over the crowd of Gallagher staff. When I announce that the new collection is a smash hit, the room explodes in a cacophony of whistles and cheers.
I call Celina to the stage, and before I can stop myself, I confess that I’m in love with this woman. That sets them off again in rapturous applause. I swear I never planned it this way, but I want the world to know how I feel about Celina. Gallagher is back . . . and it’s all thanks to her.
Make no mistake, there’s a hellish few months ahead of us. Gallagher is broke, and it’s going to stay that way until the sales start rolling in. So that means extreme budget cuts to all departments – no exceptions. Somehow, Wes and I are going to have scrape together enough cash flow to finance the new collection. I don’t know if there’s any fat left to cut, but we’ll find a way to make it work. With Celina at my side, nothing can stop us now. I won’t let it . . .
Ask any five-year-old what they want to do with the rest of their life and all you’ll get is a blank stare. But from the day I picked up my first pencil I always knew I wanted to be a designer. Now that I’m being mentioned alongside the legendary Travis Gallagher in the press I guess it’s fair to say I’ve made it. It doesn’t get any more real than this. Maybe I’m not world-famous yet, but it’s close enough. If only Kristen was here to see me now. She would have been so proud.
And Travis loves me . . . I still can’t stop smiling every time I replay his words inside my head. But there’s a secret I’ve been keeping – the truth about his former wife. I know my aunt thought she was protecting me when she told me about Natalie’s dark past. But I’d give anything in the world to unhear what I now know. Do I tell Travis the truth when it’ll just leave him with more questions? All I know is that I’m not ready to give up this dream – not now – not when I know I love him too …