Dwyer, Dixie Lynn - Angelique

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

Chapter 1

“I hope you will reconsider our offer, Miss. Aubert. We could fly you out to New York tomorrow, sign contracts by early evening and start planning your line’s debut for fashion week,” Michelle Guzon stated as Angelique rolled her eyes. Angelique held the phone with her shoulder as her fingers remained on the keyboard to her laptop. Michelle Guzon just didn’t understand where Angelique was coming from. Glamour, big cities, and industrial assembly lines where less than perfect material would be used to recreate Angelique’s personal designs just wasn’t appealing.

“I’m sorry, Ms. Guzon, but I’m just not interested in your offer. As I explained the last three times that you called me, Secret Pleasures is my baby and my creation. I just don’t feel comfortable with the deal you’re describing. If you will excuse me, I need to get going. Have a nice day,” Angelique told the pushy businesswoman then hung up even though Michelle Guzon was still speaking to her.

Angelique Aubert continued to type away on her computer, trying to organize the online orders coming from her lingerie website, Secret Pleasures. In the last six months, the online store had tripled in sales. At this rate, she was going to have to open a shop, hire some full-time seamstresses, or start negotiating again with those bigwigs from New Orleans about a storefront. She stuck out her tongue and scrunched her nose at the thought of having to deal with someone like Michelle Guzon. Angelique sighed. She was not going to allow them to take over her company. She had heard about other small businesses being taken over by larger companies and the quality of the merchandise decreasing. She recalled how some bigwigs from California came sniffing around looking for Mama Cherise Laveau and her Honey Suckle Cosmetics to buy out. Of course, Mama Cherise Laveau sent those Californians back where they came from. Their attitudes were snippy and stuck up, so Mama Cherise Laveau sent along a little voodoo to accompany them home. Angelique laughed. They never knew what hit them. Secret Pleasures was Angelique’s baby, her dream and livelihood. She was twenty-four years old and owned her own online handmade lingerie business. The fine material was handpicked and ordered from local and state suppliers trying to make ends meet and provide for their families. She didn’t want bulk and bulk rates. She wanted quality and assurances. In the bayou, a handshake went far. If anyone screwed anyone else over, then Mama Cherise would give them a taste of the voodoo.

She clicked on the print button and heard the printer across the room working. As she waited for the detailed report and her shopping list for the bead and material shop in New Orleans, she walked toward the balcony and her porch that overlooked the bayou. It was another hot one. She already felt the beads of sweat on her forehead. She’d have to dress accordingly. As she ran her hands down the light purple fabric of her lingerie, she felt the tingling sensation in her belly. She personally designed every piece of her merchandise. She hand sewed every bead and exquisite design herself or directed her seamstresses. She wanted every woman to feel desirable and sexy when she wore “Secret Pleasures” underneath their daily attire or in the bedroom. Her pieces were becoming so popular that if this continued, she wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand. Not unless she branched out and opened a shop, and that meant telling her four overprotective sisters exactly what she did for a living. Angelina, Ellena, Mikayla, and Illeanna would be shocked. But then again, they were always so understanding. One day she would tell them. That guilty feeling grew stronger in her gut. She and her sisters were close. This secret was a burden, but then again, Angelique just wasn’t ready to go public.

Closing the patio doors then locking them, she headed to her bedroom to change. She filtered through her drawers looking for the right colored panties and bra. Grabbing the light-yellow matching set, she pulled on the cotton thong panties first. She loved this set. There was a small design of tiny sequined beads across the trim, and the bra had the same matching sequins between the cups of the bra that covered the clip. Lace trim overlapped the elastic straps so that it could appear as a camisole when wearing an off-the-shoulder blouse. It was feminine and lively. At least she felt that way as she continued to get dressed. It wasn’t easy to find bras or lingerie that fit a woman with her bust size. A thirty-eight D cup and she was only five feet five inches tall. It was one of the reasons why she began making undergarments. She wanted to feel sexy and desirable. Although her judgment in men needed enhancement after Justin Fontain and his abusive ways, she built up her self-confidence and felt she knew better now about men. She hadn’t been in a relationship in over a year’s time, and she was fine with that. Her lingerie made other men and women very happy. Angelique pulled on her beige skort and her yellow tank top. That, too, was trimmed with lace as straps instead of a basic fabric. She tied her long black hair back into a fancy style by twisting it all to the back and securing it with multiple hair pins.

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