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Authors: Plum Sykes

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“Admit what?” said Charlie.

He turned toward me and traced his finger along my nose and over my lips. God, maybe I was in for some regret after all. Maybe I shouldn’t admit to the box quite yet. There was the possibility of a very romantic moment on the way and it seemed foolish to ruin it. Charlie was still looking at me expectantly. I had to say something.

“Charlie, I have to admit…I thought it was sweet of you to take care of me that time in Nice airport. Sorry I was so ungrateful.”

“How could I resist?” sighed Charlie. “You’re exasperating.”

“Oh,” I said, disappointed. Maybe I wasn’t Julia Roberts after all. Maybe I was just
moi
.

“Don’t look so heartbroken! You’re adorable, even if you do drive me crazy.”

“Crazy?”

“Yeah, but you’re not like those other girls in New York. You’re funny and you don’t even know you’re funny. It’s sweet. Sometimes I think you were made especially for me,” said Charlie, kissing me on the lips.

I swear I’m not exaggerating but this kiss was beyond. Seriously, it was the kiss to end all the others, the one that makes you think you never want to kiss anyone else ever again. I mean, you can have all the Bellinis and ball gowns in the world, you can be invited on PJs and be given Harry Winston diamonds and Fred Leighton pearls, you can have six Marc Jacobs stores on your doorstep and go to movie premieres and gala dinners every night, but when you get a kiss like that, Marc Jacobs stores don’t seem important at all. In actual fact you feel like you might never want to shop again, which is really saying something.

“Dudes! Hey, my god, romance alert! Let’s all dial 911-LOVE!”

I looked up from the kiss of my life to see Julie standing at the top of the stairs. I’d completely forgotten about her waiting outside in the car.

“Julie, I’m so sorry!” I laughed.

“You two are so cute! You look like an Eternity ad! Why am I always right about everything? Didn’t I say you two were madly in love with each other? Listen, I gotta get back to the party.”

“Do I have to come with you?” I wailed.

I mean, I love my dad and everything, but I had the feeling I was on the verge of some extremely regrettable regret and you know me, when faced by a choice between another glass of Pimm’s or a trip to Brazil, I’ll always take Brazil.

“No,” said Julie. “Stay here. When I tell your mom you’ve been making out with ‘Little Earl’ all afternoon she’ll totally forgive you for missing your dad’s birthday.”

“Julie, you can’t! I’ll have to go back,” I said, turning to Charlie.

“I don’t think so,” said Charlie, holding me firmly by the hand. “You’re staying with me.”

“Right on, dudes. I’ll keep the moms away. See you two tomorrow!” said Julie. Just before she got to the staircase she turned and added, “By the way, Charlie, I know you’re a terrific catch with half of Scotland and all those Canalettos, but she’s the real catch.”

The minute Julie had left, we snuck into the gorgeous room with the four-poster bed draped in Chinese silk, which was honestly as comfortable as the beds in the Four Seasons everyone’s always going on about. I think the next thing that occurred was that Charlie said something
très
romantic about how he’d had extraordinarily low blood sugar from the absolute second he’d met me and that he’d often felt
rather dizzy around me too, in a good way. I’m sorry, you know, because I can’t recall the precise, beautiful words he used because it wasn’t exactly the moment for historical accuracy. But one thing I can say for definite is that he kissed me for well over 976 seconds in six different regions.

Anyway, the kissing was so delicious that I forgot to breathe—you know how you do with really professional kissing—and you know, when your brain’s deprived of oxygen for prolonged periods like that, everything goes kind of hazy and you can’t really remember intimate details very brilliantly. So I’m not sure specifically what happened after the kissing, but I think it was pretty regrettable, like if it had been a movie it wouldn’t have been allowed to be shown anywhere in America. Seriously, it was way beyond the Brazil I thought I knew so well, if you get my meaning. Honestly, I thought I knew everything there was to know about Rio and Latin America, but now I know that I know nothing. Anyway, after all that regret, which, incidentally, I don’t regret at all, you can imagine, I was exhausted.

“Can I get you anything?” said Charlie, smiling at me as though I were Christmas or something. God, he looked cute with that Fragonard above his head. Everyone should get to make love under a French oil painting once in their lives, shouldn’t they? “Anything you want.”

“Anything?” I said.

“Whatever you want.”

“I’d
adore
a Bellini.”

THE END
(Almost)

A few things I want to take back:

1. I didn’t mean it about four-poster beds, really. They’re 100 percent awesome after all. (The little gold box is under the pillow, in case you were wondering what happened to it.)

2. Never reform yourself too much. That whole thing about never going on a PJ again was just dumb.

3. Jolene is married, though that fact regularly escapes her notice.

4. The police tracked the chinchilla to a resale store on the Upper West Side. Valentino was very confused when I sent it back: apparently none of the actresses or social girls ever return the good stuff.

5. Muffy is still thirty-eight. She turns thirty-seven next week.

6. Julie has extended her engagement indefinitely, enjoying changing her mind about the blooms too much to let it come to an end.

7. Vera Wang didn’t retire. Due to unprecedented unity among the unmarried Park Avenue Princesses, Julie has promised Vera she can do her dress.

8. Lara is still
trés
traumatized about the Van Cleef sample sale because they didn’t invite her for the second year running.

9. Patrick Saxton has left Jazz Conassey voice mail messages at six separate numbers. She hasn’t returned them, obviously.

10. Charlie lent the castle to the Refuge Moms indefinitely. Now everyone in the village is their New Best Friend, including Mom, who is trying to get Dad to leave her so she can move in. Meanwhile I’ve got my eye on a gorgeous apartment in Soho for the two of us.

11. I have hypoglycemia almost all the time now. It’s a permanent condition. I highly recommend it.

THE END
(for definite)

T
here would be no
Bergdorf Blondes
without the help of a great many people. I wish to thank Anna Wintour, whose support during my career at American
Vogue
and while writing this book has been invaluable; my editors, Jonathan Burnham at Miramax Books and Juliet Annan at Viking Books, for their skilled editing and dedication; and Elizabeth Sheinkman, for being a great agent.

I am lucky to have friends and colleagues in New York who were always on hand to answer a question, whether it was the thread count of the Mercer’s sheets, or the details of the du Cap diet. Thank you so much to Dr. Steven Victor, Marina Rust, Andre Balazs, Anthony Todd, Bill Tansy, Samantha Gregory, Sandy Golinkin, Pamela Gross, Holly Peterson, David Netto, Julie Daniels-Janklow, Alexandra Kotur, Lara Shriftman, Elizabeth Saltzman, Stephanie
Winston Wolkoff, Kadee Robbins, Miranda Brooks, Hamish Bowles.

To those friends who saw me through the writing and editing—Katie Collins, Miranda Rock, GKP, Helen James, Kara Baker, Allie Esiri, Bay and Daisy Garnett, Sean Ellis, Rita Konig, Richard Mason, Bryan Adams, Alan Watson, Matthew Williamson, Vicky Ward, Susan Block, Lucy Sykes, Alice Sykes, Tom Sykes, Fred Sykes, Josh Sykes, Valerie Sykes, and Toby Rowland—sorry for all the moaning and whining. We can talk about something else now.

BERGDORF BLONDES
. Copyright © 2004 Plum Sykes. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of Hyperion e-books.

Adobe Digital Edition June 2009 ISBN 978-1-4013-9457-8

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