Charlotte Paget held her head high as she expertly exited the black limousine and her six-inch plus Christian Louboutin shiny black heels hit the pavement. She skillfully stepped from the car onto the bold floral carpet gracing the concrete, set for her to enter the massive glass enclosed corner art gallery. The windows were ablaze with Kristy Smiths incredible art and the artist’s all too gorgeous clientele.
Charlotte had just completed her first modeling contract and was excited about her next. She’d finally earned enough money on her own to use black car service around San Francisco. And with all the high heels she loved to wear, it truly was a dream come true. Charlotte nudged her tasteful yet skintight black printed silk dress down a bit. She knew first impressions with this crowd were important. Charlotte dreamed of becoming the face for the Kristy Smith dress line therefore she knew placement of the artful designs on her dress were very important. Especially tonight. She was hoping to rub elbows and more in the fashion industry and the art world. Most of all, she hoped for a chance to touch the robe of the infamous Kristy Smith.
Running a short but well manicured set of nails through her naturally sun streaked blonde bob of wavy hair, Charlotte placed her Jimmy Choo silver bead clutch gingerly yet close to her left hip and kept her right hand free for the glistening glass of bubbly being handed to her by the tuxedoed doorman. With an encouraging nod, the doors were opened and she entered the buzz of a party in full swing. “I’m going to really enjoy this,” she determined to herself.
Not having grown up with much, Charlotte had a lot to learn about social cues, she knew. She was not going to screw this up she thought. Once inside the gallery, Charlotte immediately understood what the crowd was all about. Kristy Smiths works were bombardments of color, texture and scale. In her excitement, her champagne was leaving the glass more quickly than she could make her way to the bar. Like those around her, Charlotte stopped to enjoy the fabulous works of art. The gallery seemed to go far back and was fairly wide considering the price of San Francisco real estate. But of course, Kristy Smith’s space for a show would never be an intimate experience she was learning. It was all about being bold, being confident and being what you loved, fun and happy.
Chapter 2- Little Angel Leader
Once inside the gallery, the colorful floral carpet from the outdoors was transitioned into the same floral pattern now in black and white down the center of the astonishingly reflective space. Floors were a dark black stained barn wood and the walls a contrasting pale glossy blush.
“Interesting color choice for walls?” says a singsong voice just beneath Charlotte’s right shoulder. She turned to see a petite blonde with a perfect figure, a high long ponytail and a killer A-line blue wave patterned silk dress with an unmistakably Chanel gold chain bracelet draping one wrist. Diamond encrusted hoops endorsed both ears and the tiny Roberto Coin ruby could be seen flickering behind each earlobe as she flipped her head back side to side, her huge blue eyes looking up at Charlotte.
“And the artwork, well…there are just NO words”, she accentuated the NO with a definite shake of her pretty little head. “I’m buying a piece for sure,” she stated. Want to see it?” She said, as if they had been friends since fourth grade. Charlotte half expected her to grab her hand and that they would skip through the gallery!
“I’d love to!” stated Charlotte to her newfound friend. “I’m Charlotte,” she said, stating her name as clearly as possible over the increasing volume of the chill music. “Olivia Stone” the little angel replied. “Let’s go, she said, Before Its Gone!!!”
Just within the few minutes the two young women had met, the gallery had begun to get more crowded, but little beautiful Olivia seemed to be quite adept at making her way through crowds. Although under 5’4” tall, Olivia’s platform suede high heeled Burberry boots took her to new heights and gave her the confidence she needed to make her way through the crowd. Swinging her ponytail and blinking her baby blues, Olivia took advantage of the stares she got from the eligible and ineligible men smiling down upon her as she directed her new pal gal through to her goal…. Kristy Smith’s highlighted piece of the night…. Coveted Garden.
Olivia was on a mission tonight. The moment she had seen Coveted Garden she knew she had to have it. It was the perfect piece to complete her client’s interior design project, the San Francisco family Stone Mansion. Her mother was her best client in the world and would not take no for an answer. Olivia knew this piece would be gracing the wall above the grand fireplace by the weekend.
Her excitement began to bubble as she noticed how important the painting had become to the show. Actually she was surprised by all the activity going on as just moments before she had placed her over ask bid to the dealer, there had been nods of approval…but nothing like this!
Chapter 3- Coveted Garden in Public
The huge scaled painting was mysteriously set away from the rest of the colorful show. Coveted Garden contained what appeared to be, two paintings in one and was getting lots of attention as a Kristy Smith major work of art.
The composition was beyond eye catching off centered by two huge glossy onyx forms entangled expertly with an even larger patent-shiny fire engine loop of red orange that seemed to have an almost 1960s essence. All this visual glory was set back onto the dreamiest background of a canvas loaded with soft and intermittent textures, patterns and iridescence. Viewers were approaching the canvas for the large forms and then looking even more closely to take in the satin striations of the cream surface.
The gallery dealer was having many conversations with guests as they continued to come by, muddled specialty drinks in hand, to take in the glorious piece of genius. Coveted Garden was becoming the most coveted view of the evening.
Chapter 4- A Divine Evening
Now it would be Taylor Madison’s turn to panic. Her older sister, Margaret, was the mother of three of the most energetic ten year old triplet boys and one incredibly gorgeous and creative six-year-old strawberry blonde, Devine. Sis had granted Taylor “a day with Devine” every other week or so. Taylor just loved children but her work, as a national talk show host did not give her much opportunity to spend time. So late this afternoon on her day off, Taylor had used the television station’s car service, picked up Devine and off they had gone on an adventure.
The Taylor Madison Show had been on the air about three years now and although based in San Francisco, allowed her to travel the world. With her angled green eyes, literally perfect freckled complexion and mane of auburn spiral curls; Taylor was one to be recognized on nearly any city street.
She was ultimately famous for interviewing top talent and then discovering another hidden talent they had. The “gifted ones” are always even “more secretly gifted,” she was recently quoted as saying in the Chronicle. It had become the premise of her rising show and viewers around the country were thrilled to find there was always more to discover about her already famous guests. Taylor’s quick wit, her interestingly fanged white teeth and excellent elocution always made her interview questions captivating.
Although Taylor’s athletic build kept her extremely youthful, most people assumed Devine was her daughter. And Taylor and Devine enjoyed the game. Taylor loved for them to dress a bit alike on their outings and had bought Devine a beautiful navy blue sleeveless dress with a fun fruity design along the front edge and a little matching navy hoodie with a cut out of cherries on the pocket. Taylor, loving color, wore the black matching patterned fruit edged bandana to Devon’s outfit, tied to her cream Prada over the shoulder bag that graced her teal blue velvet long sleeve dress.
There was an unexpected and fun scalloped edge on the dress that tied in perfectly with Devine’s little outfit. Taylor’s carbon black chunky platform booties were the perfect shoe for traipsing around town and went perfectly day to night in the city giving her entire look a bit of artistic chic. With their colorful yet very tasteful ensemble, there would be no doubt she and Devine belonged together,” she thought.
“Just in case.” San Francisco was still a bustling city after all and not the safest haven for children from block to block.
First it was Japan Town. Devine loved the little shops in the shopping center and all the perfectly packaged treats. Taylor denied her nothing. Today Devine had fallen in love with a collection of Japanese flower stickers and some soft dark blue felt pens. Of course she could have them! And of course she could do whatever she wanted with them. But to Taylor’s horror this would not pan out well.
They had then taken the car service to Union Square to finish up the afternoon with a bit of shopping and a cupcake and they had come across the blazing rainbow of the Kristy Smith art show.
Knowing Kristy Smith would be on her must have list for an interview, Taylor made a call to the station, and got an in on the guest list. “Wa La!” She and Devine were at the party of the century…and of course a first for any six-year-old. Getting there just slightly earlier than most guests, Taylor and Devine had had a spectacular chance to see most of the show. It was mind boggling how many flowers; colors and abstract shapes could come out of one person’s imagination they had concurred.
“I’m going to create a special design for Kristy,” Devine had stated seriously with the cutest lisp in the world, the big yellow satin bow in her hair bobbing just ever so slightly. She clenched her latest collection of Japan town gifts from her favorite aunt.
“You do that…” Taylor had said.
“Now, wait here. I’ll be right back,” Taylor whispered, and raced to the bar to grab one of the muddled lavender drinks with the real flowers in it she had seen the other guests coveting. “Ill only be gone a minute,” she promised Devine.
She was convinced she wouldn’t be missed, as Devine seemed to be fine as she was staring at a major work of art that seemed to hold her attention like a television. The huge glossy black and red orange forms within the piece were spectacular, Taylor noticed as she turned toward the bar. “Ill be quick,” she thought; sensing she’d be fine heading to the bar just for a moment…
Chapter 5- Divine Intervention
Taylor was still considering the work of art as she ordered her drink. “Ill be quick,” she thought. About what seemed like five minutes and having just chatted and smiled with the gorgeous sand haired bartender who obviously recognized her from her show, she turned; drink in hand, toward where she had left Devine only moments before.
She could not believe it.
It was as if time had stopped.
She felt herself growing dizzy, her ears ringing with fear.
Running back in what seemed like slow motion toward Devine, she practically threw her drink across the room.
“Oh My Gosh!” she exclaimed through clenched teeth as she witnessed Devine placing a third huge Japanese flower sticker onto the bottom right of the canvas. It happened like lightening as Devine then took one of the blue felt pens from her other hand and drew a huge deep fat scribble mark up and through the complete right corner of the work. The damage had been done.
Devastated and aghast, Taylor turned slowly as if in unbearable pain. She couldn’t miss the price tag on the priceless work of art and the title, Coveted Garden, as she looked side to side to see if anyone had noticed.
Immediately, a blue-eyed ponytailed angel of a girl came from nowhere. “You’ve got to be kidding me! ‘ she scream whispered. “I’m the highest bidder on this piece and we have to get this off of here!!!” She started to scrape at one of the stickers with her perfect red fingernail, using its square edges to try and lift the flower, but to no use. An even taller perfect blonde stood guard as the two women did the very best to improve the situation, while trying not to appear panicked. From a distance, all three women seemed very, very interested in this particular work of art. Which of course caught the attention of a very hot actress.
Chapter 6- An Arabian Night
Kiki Armando had moved to San Francisco on a temporary basis only about a month ago from Los Angeles. She was working on a movie that was filming at Baker Beach for a love story with the Golden Gate Bridge in view. The entire shoot was really making her appreciate the warm beaches of Los Angeles. She never seemed to dress warm enough in San Francisco and tonight she had donned a one of a kind leather jacket with huge canvas hand painted patches on the back and one elbow. As she began to warm up in the light of the rainbow toned over crowding gallery, she removed her jacket and slung it over one shoulder.
Her new cosmetic line she was introducing in California, Kiki Cosmetics, was already being carried in top department stores and being used by the most perfectionist of actresses thanks to her own budding acting career and her hot actor boyfriend. She got a chill up her spine just thinking of Derek. She was counting on meeting him here tonight. Besides, he was going to introduce her to Kristy Smith so she could consider doing a package design for her new lipstick line…. everyone knew the artist loved color and lipsticks were no exception…
Wherever there was commotion, Kiki Armando loved to be. And there certainly was a lot of commotion in the left hand side of the gallery in front of the largest most incredible painting in the show. “I probably should bid on that”, she thought and sauntered over as if there were little reason to hurry catching most of the male, and female, attention in a tiny, textured indigo toned shift with exposed shoulders. The short boxy design of the dress showcased her great legs, and as she moved across the gallery Kiki enjoyed her newest strappy studded Valentino heels, always so comfortable and sexy. With the soft leather jacket draped over her shoulder, Kiki looked the epitome of sophistication. From Los Angeles to San Francisco, the doll-sized actress combined the styles of both coasts beautifully. Kiki just seemed to bask in the admiration as she nonchalantly crossed toward the back of the gallery.
As Kiki approached the scene, the tiger toned colors and modern textures of the most exciting painting Kiki had ever stood before, took her breath away.
Surprised upon arrival, Kiki realized there was a little girl with a yellow bow in her hair and a blue flare pen in her hand, sobbing quietly but uncontrollably. The little artist had shamefully done a bit of artwork herself! She noticed immediately. To the rescue, she thought…
“Here! Try this,” Kiki offered in a light sweet almost hopeful voice as she joined the bent over huddle on the right side of the huge painting. “Its my newest makeup remover sheet,” she explained. “It should remove almost anything…”
All three women turned to see an exotic beauty. With long black glossy hair falling in perfect waves from a middle part, the palest purest complexion, the highest cheekbones, perfect red pouty lips and the most liquid dark cat eyes ever witnessed on a real human being, they three gasped in unison. They immediately recognized the gorgeous princess from Model Girls, the hottest web series soon to be movie.
Then Taylor, realizing she had better return to the excruciating project at hand, grabbed the little cotton towel and gurgled, “Thank you?” But alas the creamy sheet worked to no avail.
Kiki Armando seemed disappointed. Her new skin care line could have become famous just for “cleaning up” a Kristy Smith painting.
Finally, after all had been tried, the four team players glanced wide eyed and blinking at each other, mouths in pink, red and gloss dropping open, in recognition that the mission was…impossible.
Chapter 7- To Buy or Not To Buy
The music had been turned down. A hushed murmur had come over the crowd as the art dealer approached the group of women. An outsider would have seen a tall calm blonde, completely gorgeous and in excellent stature in a butterfly printed on black dress hitting in all the right places, looking demure but possibly shivering slightly. Next to her, stood the gorgeous curly haired, red head looking more blush than the walls. Next, looking rather sad, a petite doe eyed ponytailed blonde in the coolest patterned dress since the sixties. And not to be missed, a hopeful eyed Arabian princess of a woman in a denim toned sophisticated mini.
All four goddesses stood in fear yet with false senses of bravado and acting as if no news of what was going on was the status of the moment. In their perfect sense of utter despair, the four women made a statement as strong as the painting Coveted Garden. It was a balancing act for any bystander to make the tough decision to take in the incredibly powerful painting, or these four colorful beauties, not to mention the little innocent cherub sobbing quietly at their side.
“The painting is ruined!” exclaimed the dealer. “The artist must be told about this!” she exclaimed running her hands nervously through her close cut brunette hair. “I am not sure what to do…. I need to think!” As the crowd started to grow upset over the destruction of a beautiful piece of Kristy Smith work, conversations of the travesty travelled quickly through the now echoing space.
Then, the murmurs seemed to grow like a plane’s engine taking off, an inexplicable level of excitement began to permeate the crowd. A petite powerful figure seemed to effortlessly part the ways. Her chunky black and white striped high heels adding at least six inches to her small frame, Kristy Smith seemed calm yet determined to reach her destination. The stunning artist was self-decorated in a hugely patterned black and blue floral silk chemise that caressed her curvaceous figure.
With shoulder length platinum blonde hair tinged perfect Chanel pink on the ends, long thick black lashes reminiscent of a I Dream of Jeannie gone That Girl, huge round clear green eyes, Kristy Smith seemed to change the chemistry in the gallery as she approached the scene.
“What seems to be the problem?” she asked smiling, her dark retro-eyed makeup contrasting perfectly with full pale opaque pink lips. Her white teeth gleamed as she smiled down upon the little Devine. Large tears dropped down the little girl’s perfect cheeks.
“I do not know what to say, Kristy,” began the art dealer. “Your painting! This little girl has damaged it. It is ruined! I am so sorry! We at the gallery are so devastated.”
Kristy ignoring the art dealer’s ranting knelt down to the little girl. The gallery grew quiet. “Shall we take a look?” she said to the little girl gently. As she stood she held her hand out to the child. Devine was guided back a few steps as the entire gallery crowd stepped back and gave the artist and the little girl room to view Coveted Garden. Murmurs became whispers and finally the gallery went silent.
Kristy Smith placed a surprisingly well controlled, yet unmanicured artist’s hand, on her chin as she considered the new marks on the surface of the canvas. Taking her time Kristy then softly asked directly of the child with respect, “Can you tell me what you were trying to say?”
“I wanted to give you a gift,” said Devine sniffling through her tears. “I wanted to make you a design because I love you,” she said.
The crowd was completely quiet. Would this priceless work of art be able to be sold so damaged?
“This makes it even more special to me. This! This touch of a child,” said Kristy, eyes still on the painting. “A Child’s Love is in the Garden,” Kristy stated. “I love it. I just simply love it.”
Chapter 8- Priceless
Taylor finally let out a gasp of air. She hadn’t realized it, but she had been holding her breath as the incredible artist had taken Devine’s hand. It was quite a moment, seeing the two of them and the transition that had occurred. And she had to admit, Coveted Garden, was nearly perfect. Extremely rich in forms, shapes and colors and the size was grand but not too massive. She decided Coveted Garden would become a family heirloom. It was perfect, she thought. Kristy Smith’s works were beautiful but now Devine had been a part of an art happening. It must remain with she and Devine. It must. She thought about how excited she and Devine would be to share this with her Sister, the triplets and the rest of the family. The family dining room would have a conversation piece for years to come…. Taylor quickly unzipped her bag and removed her wallet.
Olivia Stone stood off to the side. She had to admit the painting Coveted Garden had a new layer of interest for her. Partly because she had become part of the process in a way, but also because it was such an exquisite piece of work it would take more than a scribble and a few stickers to change her interest. She planned her bid accordingly. She would raise it. “This piece is another Kristy Smith must have for mother’s collection,” she thought as began to walk toward the dealer. She imagined the reflection of the living room chandelier in the large glossy forms, the black lines and terracotta ridges in the painting’s surface enriching the entire room.
Kiki Armando knew this was the painting she had to have now. She had felt such part of the commotion, and now the energy of Coveted Garden itself had taken her interest. When Kiki wanted something, Kiki got it. She began to text Derek of her plan to bid on THE Kristy Smith of the night. The large glossy forms on the most prominent layer of the canvas made her feel energized and happy. She wanted to live with this work for years to come. It would be the beginning of her collection. Kiki stepped forward, each step of her studded pumps getting her closer to her goal.
Charlotte finally had a chance to step back and see the painting Coveted Garden for herself. She had been overwhelmed and drawn into the chaos of the moment and not understood the quality of this particular work. Having her bank account more full than it had ever been, Charlotte decided Coveted Garden would be hers. The autumn tones in the abstraction were captivating. She had actually never felt anything quite like this, toward a work of art before and knew this would be her first of many of Kristy Smiths works. Even the title was perfect, as she had always dreamed of a small private garden where she could read books and journal her dreams. There were even a few hints of soft leaves layered deep within the painting. And frankly she loved the little stickers in the corner. It would keep the memory of the night fresh for her forever. She took a ginger step toward the dealer and held her credit card high. She would make this a gift for herself, she thought.
Chapter 9- Breezing In
Within seconds, Kristy Smith was surrounded. “Kristy, Darling!” The four potential Barbie doll buyers turned just in time to see the starring artist being kissed on both cheeks by a dark haired sophisticated beauty. Short garnet black hair was brushed smoothly across a peach toned oval face accented with perfect matte rosebud lips and shining dark eyes. The white velvet dress with a powerful red floral print up the bodice and sleeves worn over cream leather thigh high boots solidified a royally statured woman. The queen had the artist’s full attention.
A red dot had just been placed on the metal laser cut tag. Coveted Garden was sold.
There was a wind of cool air as Parker Price briskly walked by the four dismayed mannequins. The crowd clapped with excitement as the press leaned in for photos.
Parker Price gleamed with joy at her latest Kristy Smith acquisition. Parker always kept a close eye on Kristy Smith’s pieces. She had many walls to fill and she only graced them with the best. Parker’s private jet was leaving from Palo Alto airport within the hour back to New York and she knew she had just accomplished another art coupe. She would call Kristy tomorrow to discuss a few of the other pieces in private tomorrow …but for now the only thing she coveted was Coveted Garden. Parker Price was ecstatic.
Chapter 10- Friends and Followers
Feeling anything but ecstatic, four women stood staring at the red dot. How could that have happened? And so quickly? None of the four women had even had a half a chance to buy the painting. It seemed so unfair. As they stood together, they suddenly realized they had been a part of a happening.
They began to smile, then to giggle, and then to laugh quite out loud.
“I think I have fallen in love with this painting!,” said Charlotte sadly, glancing her blue eyes downward, a loose lock of blond wave falling beautifully across her face.
“It was mine first,” Olivia started. “Olivia”, she said holding out a hand to Taylor, little Devine and Kiki as they too introduced themselves. “This is Charlotte. I was just coming over to show Coveted Garden to her when I saw all the commotion,” she explained flipping her pony.
“I just saw a huddle and knew there was something going on and as usual I just had to be a part of it,” Kiki admitted brightly, shrugging her bare shoulders. “But I new as soon as I saw the little artist with a pen in her hand there was trouble.” She smiled her dark eyes at Devine.
“Trouble! Exclaimed Taylor, her red curls shimmering. “That is an understatement,” finishing off her drink in one swig.
“I think this painting needs a sticker, too. “ commented Devine as she started to walk to another canvas. Quick to react, Taylor grabbed her little niece by the sleeve and they all burst into laughter.
And suddenly they knew that because of Kristy Smith, they would all be fast friends.
Chapter 11- In Search of Kristy
As the evening came to a close, the art dealer was saying goodbye to her collection of clients new and old. Nearly all Kristy Smith’s pieces had sold that night.
The dapper crowd filtered down the flowered carpet, the music played and the party began to drift toward a close. The new friends although together, secretly remained on a mission to find Kristy. Yet, the artist was nowhere to be found.
Reacting to a buzz, all four sets of dark lashed eyes were drawn toward the front of the gallery. Within a moments notice, all four sets of high heels and one little set of sneakers could be heard clicking like dancers across the glossy gallery floor. The art and beauty power rangers had run simultaneously toward the massive corner window.
With a bit of light reflecting back through the glass, they could just catch a glimpse. Blonde with pink tinged locks and a Gucci heel was slipping into a hand painted flowered Tesla, heading to the next colorful adventure.
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