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Designed for his Heart

  • 👁 8
  • 7.5
  • 💬 3

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Eva Thornfield may know fabrics perfectly, but investors seem impossible to pin down. With her dreams of an avant-garde fashion line faltering without funds, her world feels like it's unraveling fast. Until a chance encounter introduces her to the notoriously reclusive tech billionaire Dorian Vance. Captivated by each other, he makes the uncommon decision to back Eva's visionary concept. But as they navigate threats aiming to tear Dorian's empire and Eva's rising success apart, they discover darker mysteries than finding the perfect fabric weave binding them together. Soon Eva must prove her design is flawlessly fitted to unlock Dorian's well-guarded heart, or lose everything she's sacrificed for, personally and professionally.

Chapter 1

Eva tapped her foot impatiently against the chrome base of the bar stool, her gaze fixed on the fluorescently lit entrance of the Cobalt Lounge. She checked her watch for the third time, letting out an exaggerated sigh. 

"They're fifteen minutes late," she grumbled before taking a long sip of her lychee martini. "Some friends. I rearrange my whole design timeline to squeeze in birthday drinks and Gia and Noah can't even be bothered to show up on time."

As if on cue, laughter echoed from the lounge doorway as Gia stumbled in, her silken espresso-colored curls and amber colored eyes lighting up the room immediately. She nearly hip-checked the hostess stand with her curvaceous figure. Trailing in her wake was a slightly flustered Noah, attempting to smooth over the disruption. Lean, average height, with tousled dark blond hair and light green bespectacled eyes, Noah was eye candy, but it seemed the constant attention made him very shy and reserved.

"Party people in the house!" Gia announced brightly as she entered the lounge, giving the room a dazzling smile and ignoring the hostess’s side-eye.Though her energy lit up the space, she moved gracefully across the floor in her curve-hugging dress. 

Eva grinned, shaking her head incredulously as Gia plopped onto the barstool beside her, nearly toppling over. Composed Noah took the other seat, nodding an apology to the people seated nearby.   

"It's 4 pm Gia, and this is just my usual casual birthday hang," Eva said. "But I like your enthusiasm per usual."    

Noah chuckled, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "Please excuse Hurricane Gia. We were on time but she barged into the middle of an Academic Affairs council meeting to remind me about tonight. It was quite dramatic."   

"Ugh Noah, don't tell me you were going to let our girl's twenty-seventh go uncelebrated!" Gia said, mock-shocked. "What kind of friends do you take us for?” 

Eva laughed as Noah raised his palms defensively under Gia’s playful glare. She was used to her friends' playful dynamic after so many years together. She loved her small but mighty friend group—though they made an eclectic trio. Gia was polished but brought unpredictability, Noah brought grounding calm, and Eva felt like she connected them together.

After chatting for a few more minutes to allow Noah and Gia to settle in, Eva gestured to the bartender to come take their order. True to form, Gia ordered them a round of birthday shots along with a flamboyant cocktail for herself. Though Eva insisted on enjoying this lowkey hang, she knew Gia would find a way to coax the entire lounge into celebrating extravagantly with them somehow

As they waited for their drinks, Noah entertained them with a story from his lecture that morning involving a student falling asleep and toppling right out of their seat. Eva grinned, happy to relax and let the stresses of her impending fashion deadline slip away, if only temporarily. 

The drinks arrived promptly, tiny glasses of amber liquid Noah eyed warily, his studious nature making him less inclined to day drinking shenanigans. “I have early lectures tomorrow,” he protested mildly even as Gia eagerly slid him a shot.   

“Oh come on Noah, lighten up!” Gia cajoled. “Though I guess professors do need to set a good example...” She trailed off with a dramatic sigh, as if lamenting his responsible streak.

Eva chuckled at their antics. After so many years together through undergrad and now faculty life, they were long past the point of peer pressure with Noah. But they still honored their tradition when they got together, no matter the occasion.   

Eva lifted her own tiny glass. “To chasing dreams,” she proclaimed warmly. The phrase had become their special toast ever since college when Noah was on the grad school track, Gia was hustling her catering side business, and Eva burned candles at both ends cobbling together sewing machines and sketchpads trying to launch her fashion line.

They clinked glasses with a chorus of “cheers” and tossed back. The whiskey scalded Eva’s throat but she embraced the burn, letting out a satisfied hiss, feeling it kindle a fire inside. Twenty-seven was just another year to come out chasing dreams, hopes still intact.

As they waited for Gia's colorful cocktail to arrive, they chatted about milestones, goals and love lives—or lack thereof in Noah’s case-Eva felt a glow spread through her that had little to do with the drinks or birthday candles.With their unfailing support over the years, she had made it so far already...She just needed one crucial career breakthrough and her and her designer dreams would finally come to life.

The conversation flowed easily, and Eva was glad she had taken time out of her hectic schedule for this tradition. Moments like these were all too rare, though the strength of their bond endured the tests of busy lives and long gaps without contact.

Just as Gia headed to the bar to procure a champagne bucket “for proper birthday bubbles,” Eva caught sight of an impeccably dressed stranger entering the lounge. For a split second as he surveyed the dim interior, eyes obscured by dark rimmed glasses, she swore he stared right at her—a thrill of familiarity flashing through her.

Then a large group passed briefly between them, and when they moved aside, the mysterious stranger was scanning the rest of the room with his back turned. Eva took advantage of the moment to study him discreetly. 

From his well-groomed salt and pepper hair to his leather shoes shiny enough to reflect the blue lounge lighting, he clearly emitted wealth.

Just then, Gia returned triumphantly displaying a bottle of Veuve. “Now let’s get this party started!” she crowed, bending to wrap Eva in a clumsy but enthusiastic hug.

Eva returned the embrace, laughing. Trust Gia to turn everything into a spectacle. Caught up in the moment, she didn't notice one of the waitresses approaching from behind.

As Eva stood to hug Gia, she stepped right into the server’s path. Locked in her friend’s distracting embrace, Eva collided forcefully with the poor woman. With a tremendous crash that silenced the lounge, the waitress’ heavy tray tipped, sending drinks, glasses and a bottle of champagne plummeting downward.

"Oh god!" Eva yelped as icy liquid doused her, grasping fruitlessly to catch the platter but it was too late...

Chapter 2

The tray clanged sharply as champagne splattered like raindrops across the polished wood.

“I’m so sorry!” Eva flushed as she helped the flustered waitress gather fallen glasses. Thank goodness none appeared broken. Gia leaned to help  while Noah was already on his feet assisting.

“It’s no worry Miss, accidents happen,” the waitress said kindly over Eva’s profuse apologies. After ensuring the woman was unhurt, Eva spun back towards her friends, face burning. So much for a lowkey celebration.

What I tell you Eves? Partying with me always makes a scene!” Gia crowed. 

Eva opened her mouth to retort wryly when she felt something icy splash down the side of her favorite Kate Spade blouse.

“Ugh seriously?” She grimaced, swiping at the champagne dripping down the floral cotton. Lunging for empty glasses was apparently not the smartest in an ivory silk top. She dabbed hopelessly at growing wet splotches.

At that moment, she heard a horrified gasp beh

Heroes

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