Krystal Martinez was more stunning in person than on YouTube. Her skin was flawless and the color of wet sand. Her hair was a glossy chestnut with tantalizing magenta tips. Her lashes were long enough to rock climb. Her breasts were as stiff as iced cupcakes.
They were gathered around the conference table where, in between flashing a gorgeous smile at Matt and Isobel, Krystal scrolled through her phone.
“I grew up on Golden State Living,” Krystal breathed. Her voice was as husky and alluring as the rest of her.
“So, you’re familiar with our books?” Eleanor asked hopefully.
“They were always on the coffee table.”
“I loved you on Sous Chef!” Isobel gushed.
Eleanor raised her brows. She had never seen Isobel so animated.
“Was Courtney really cheating with Andrew?” Isobel went on.
“I signed a non-disclosure agreement,” said Krystal.
Eleanor was relieved to hear this. Now she wouldn’t need to get up to speed on that.
Matt handed Krystal a copy of Golden State Lemons. “I want to hear all your ideas.”
Krystal flipped through the recipes and the illustrations.
“We want your unbiased opinion,” said Isobel.
Eleanor thought that what Isobel really wanted was Krystal’s biased opinion, but she pressed mute.
“Like, photos,” Krystal fluffed her hair. “I mean, food is all about photos.”
“Oh yes, we’ll change that,” said Matt.
“So needs to be bigger,” Krystal oozed. “So like, small.”
“I agree,” Matt nodded furiously.
“I feel, like, maybe… more words at the beginning?”
Eleanor puzzled. “Do you mean the headnote?”
“No worries,” said Isobel. “Eleanor will incorporate more of you into each headnote.”
Krystal tossed the book aside. “I’m so about excitement. I mean, this is California, we’re totally the Golden State. Where is the sexy?”
“That’s what I’ve been saying,” Matt was now, too, very excited. “How to fully express the excitement, the sexiness of the state.”
“With pictures,” said Krystal. “Pictures of me.”
“Oh my god that’s amazing,” said Isobel.
Truly, thought Eleanor.
“I have to drink a different cocktail? And different outfits, you know, a theme? Think rule of thirds.”
“Why even bother with the chicken?” Eleanor joked. Had she said that out loud?
Krystal eyed her sharply, like she’d just realized there was a snake in the room.
“This is great,” said Isobel.
“Great,” echoed Matt.
“Do you have ideas for recipes?” said Eleanor.
“I’m about the hacks,” said Krystal.
“Hacks aren’t exactly recipes,” Eleanor said.
“People don’t have time to do long things.” Krystal flicked her fingers.
Like cook from a cookbook? Eleanor thought.
“Make it look amazing,” Krystal waved her phone. “People really crush on amazing.”
Matt and Isobel were bewitched. Krystal was bewitching.
“And you’ll be tweeting to your followers,” said Isobel.
“And posting to my website.”
“Our website,” Isobel smiled sweetly.
“Get Ishii,” Krystal pointed at Isobel. “The cameraman on Sous? Who knows how to shoot good? And Trazee, amazing stylist. Oh, Queena Patra’s hair and makeup.”
“You know Queena Patra?” Isobel breathed.
“Whoa, whoa, let’s slow down here,” Matt began to back pedal. “There are budget considerations.”
“I can’t just do everything. I mean, a crew.” Krystal looked amazed. Amazed at the thought of Golden State expecting such a thing.
“Don’t worry,” Isobel soothed. “We’ll get you everything you need.”
“I definitely need an assistant,” Krystal pointedly ignored Eleanor.
“We’ve got you covered there,” said Matt. “Eleanor knows the ropes around here. She will facilitate your vision.”
“But, like, my people,” said Krystal.
“I’m sure they are highly qualified.” Matt reasserted his top position. “But here at GSL, we have fantastic in-house resources. I’m confident that Eleanor will do an amazing job.”
Eleanor looked at the floor. She was now the amazing helper of amazing Krystal. All they needed was a cape and a dove in a cage to make it official.
They could play Vegas.