This is how it begins:
Andy and Emily ran into each other in a trendy little cocktail bar in Midtown. It wasn’t one of Andy’s usual haunts, but she’d been interviewing a union whistleblower about time card shenanigans at the Crowne Plaza, and after their talk, she’d needed a drink. She’d just ordered a gin and tonic when someone behind her gave a haughty little sniff.
“They really are letting just anyone in here these days,” the person said, and when Andy turned around, it was none other than Emily Charlton.
“Emily!” Andy said, and reached out to hug her, and when Emily made no move in response, changed her gesture to a wave and then let her arms fall to her sides. “You look fantastic!”
Emily said, “Of course I do,” and reached past her to flag down the bartender. “A Kir Royale, and make it snappy.”
Andy raised her eyebrows, but the bartender was unfazed, and merely gave Emily an appreciative look as she set the drink on the bar. Emily sat down next to Andy, sipping her drink.
“So how’ve you been?” Andy asked. She hadn’t kept in touch with anyone from Runway except for Nigel, who regularly sent her invitations to launch parties and exclusive soirees at the lofts of the well-to-do artistic set. The first email had surprised her; she’d expected to be blacklisted by her Runway friends, but when she’d asked Nigel about it, he’d made a joke about not wasting all the effort he’d put into her. She had a feeling that it was his way of rebelling against Miranda after the James Holt fiasco.
“I’ve been promoted,” Emily said. “I’m the new Assistant Beauty Director. I’m in charge of all the make up articles and product selections.”
“Congratulations! That’s a great fit for you,” Andy said. “Your makeup was always so artistic.”
“Yes, well, Miranda thought so,” Emily said, “ so I moved desks today.” She looked a little sad. “I don’t know how Miranda’s going to manage without me, but she’s given me a great opportunity.”
“I’m sure she’ll be just fine--well, not fine,” Andy said, backpedaling as Emily glared at her, “I’m sure the new you won’t match up, but she’ll manage.” An idea struck her, spurred by Emily's morose expression, and she opened her mouth before she could think better of it. No one should look so sad after surviving two years of fetching for Miranda. Not that anyone who was still at Runway was free from Miranda’s iron control of the entire magazine, but the Assistant Beauty Director was less at her beck and call than her First Assistant. "We should celebrate. Do you have dinner plans? I know a great French place nearby.”
“I don’t eat,” Emily said, “you know that.”
“Just this once,” Andy wheedled. “To celebrate your promotion.” Emily looked tempted, and Andy added, “You can tell me about how awful the new you is,” which made Emily snort and roll her eyes.
“The new me is even worse than you were,” Emily said, and finished her drink. “God, I don’t know how that’s possible, but this girl has achieved stunning new depths of incompetence.”
“She’s probably not as bad as all that,” Andy protested, standing up and shouldering her bag. Emily flicked her eyes at it and made an approving expression.
“Kept some of your Runway things, I see,” she said.
“I couldn’t give it all up,” Andy said. “So, dinner? My treat.”
Emily said, “Well, I suppose you do owe me something for cleaning up after that disaster you made in Paris,” and picked up her bag. “Lead on, Andrea.”