Beware the Charm - 7 (UNEDITED DRAFT)


She paused when she saw the cover to her first book. She pulled the volume from the rest of the scattered sheets of paper on her desk and brushed her fingers over the title. 

He read her book.

That was unexpected.

She started with a knock on her door frame brought her mind from Lexington Law to her current task.

“Vivica! I thought you were in New York?”

The woman crossed her lean arms and leaned on the doorframe. Frasia’s eyes quickly scanned her outfit, black pencil skirt with a white blouse tucked into her small waist, a colorful purple and pink scarf, and black stilettos with bright red bottoms. 


“That was last month.”

Frasia nodded returning her book to the shelf with the other of her publications. “That’s right. The time just escapes me.”

“You’re always headed off somewhere. Where are you going today?”

“Just a quick overnight trip to Sacramento for a sponsor meeting for some research I’m planning in the fall.”

“Money. I like that.” SHe presented a pretty smile. “Don’t want to keep you. I’m stopping by about the Gala. The dress and accessories?”

“Oh yeah.” She forgot she emailed the woman in a panic. 

“Well, I have plenty of things for you to wear. Call me when you get back and you can pick whatever you want jewelry and all.”

“Thanks. I really appreciate it.”

“You seem a little nervous.”

She shrugged, “It’s not really my scene you know?”

“No, I don’t.”

Frasia frowned up at the woman. “Every woman has a charming swan inside.”

She snorted when she laughed. It was easy for her to say.

“I’m serious. I wasn’t always like this. My goodness it took training and practice. Lots of practice. We can cover a few things tonight.”

“Any help will be appreciated.”

The woman waved her off. “You’ll be fine. You have a capable and gracious man on your arm. All you have to do for the most part is smile and shake hands when he introduces you.”

“That’s good news.”

There was an extended silence that was charged with questions. “So, out of curiosity, how’s everything going with Mr. Lexington Law and you?” Dark eye makeup hugged around the woman’s startling light brown eyes. Her makeup was flawless.

She brought her attention back to the items she was collecting for her trip. “Things are going well. He’s an interesting man, leader, business owner. I’d say quite perfect for my little experiment.”

“Mhm,” the woman said, as she pushed off the door frame and sauntered into the space and perched on Frasia’s desk.

“He’s the most dangerous of them all.”


“Mhm, the charmers. Always with the right thing to say, make you feel at ease, conversational. Not saying that he’s a bad guy, he’s just a bachelor.”

Frasia let out a sound that in her mind, was a laugh, but came out sounding more like a pig’s testament to mudpies. “I-I know.” But she didn’t. Not really. She’d long ago crossed the line that she should have with Lex and it felt fine until she returned back to her reality. She received a couple text messages but hadn’t heard hide nor hair of him in a few days. They were both busy she knew that, but due to the expedited direction that their relationship took in L.A. she was feeling… something other than certain that he thought of their time together the same as she might have.

“Mhm, Of course.” She picked up a magazine on Frasia’s desk and opened it. “Burnham and I will be at the event since they are best friends.”

She giggled. “Why do you call him by his last name?”

She shrugged something that somehow looked graceful and effortless on the woman. “I just like to I guess.”

She added her favorite notebook to her leather briefcase. “Well, it’s good that I’ll know at least one other person there.”

The woman put the magazine down and found Frasia’s eyes. “Have fun, relax. You’re a brilliant mind and an excellent researcher, but being excellent isn’t the only skill set you’ll need to be successful. Consider this practice.” She stood. “So we on for lunch when you get back?”

Frasia found those lovely eyes over the rim of her own glasses and nodded. “That place on the ocean with the grilled daily catch fish?”

She smiled at Fraisa. “That’s our spot. Safe travels.”

Frasia watched her leave admiring her casual strut in the deathly high heeled shoes. She liked Vivica. She would venture to call them friends, they were certainly more than just colleges, but then again, besides her sister, she really didn’t have friends per-say. 

Her watch vibrated. 

Damn! She thought.

She had to get to the airport before she missed her flight. She threw on her jacket and slung the leather back on her shoulder. She paused at the bookcase and the spine of her book. 

She traced the spine. It’d been a while since she’d thought about that book, consciously anyway. It brought up memories most of which were not recorded in the pages of the tome. Her eyebrows pierced together and her head fell, gaze on her shoes. 

It was her first real social experiment and she could never quite figure out why she wanted to perform it, nor did she understand why the focus of her time in high school, the boy’s face that captured her so, seemed, with time to fade. 

She grabbed the book and jammed it in with the other items in the back on her shoulder then rushed out the office closing the door behind her. 

The experience stuck with her. Something that she would never shed no matter how many experiments she performed. 

Lexington was right. She’d kept a lot out of the book she’d actually published. Maybe she’d go back and rectify that. There was little better than a sequel that was better than the original. 

She pushed down the thoughts about Lex and the Gala and everything that wasn’t familiar because she had to focus on the meeting she was about to walk into. This is where she felt comfortable. Talking about her research was easy like breathing. Pontificating about deep thoughts and human behavior that was where she liked to live when she couldn’t have what she wanted in the present moment and that simply was, as pathetic as it sounded in her own head, to be cuddled up next to Lex, in bed with nowhere to go.



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