The office block was sterile looking and on an empty Sunday morning it looked even more clinical and unwelcoming. It was a plush part of town and perhaps they couldn’t really afford it Sebastian thought ruefully. They desperately needed Summer Brooke to be a success.
Reaching the fourteenth floor he made his way to their corner office.
Without a word Melanie took the offered coffee cup and spying the branding discarded it immediately pushing it to the furthest reaches of the desk. Meanwhile Sebastian made a show of taking a large gulp from his own cup. It really was foul stuff.
He sat down quietly beside her and they looked at the photo open on the large screen in front of them.
“She’s quite photogenic in a way.” Melanie had a note of surprise in her voice as she scrolled through each frame.
“Stop, back one, zoom in a bit.” He delighted in giving the instructions for a change but actually found he was fascinated by the face before him. Alice was smiling in the photo and he could hear her laugh resound in his head, it had a pure, untainted quality about it.
“A bit of blush maybe, some definition.”
The face changed as Melanie manipulated the image to add cheekbones that were sharp and fake.
Sebastian grabbed her hand firmly by the wrist to stop her and clicked the undo button.
“She looks better like this, more rounded, softer.”
“Plump you mean.” The words were said with scorn as she faced him. “What do you see in her?” The half-hearted question was left hanging in the air as Melanie scrolled to another set of shots.
Some had Sebastian beside her looking less than attentive and then there was another group of Alice dancing with Edgar, if you could call it dancing. The images passed by in a blur, none of them really capturing their imagination. However one face kept reappearing in the background, the waiter.
Melanie zoomed in. “Now he is cute. Look at that expression of awe on his face as he’s looking at her, we can definitely use these. The look you get when you drink Summer Brooke sparkling wine is one you never forget.”
“No.” The word came out sharply.
“Touchy. Green is not a good colour on you! Is there a photo of you looking at her like that? I don’t think so.” She paused. “Maybe Edgar has a good look about him?”
“Or maybe we just stick to the first one, of Alice on her own.”
Melanie shrugged. “I guess we can work with that for the actual advertising campaign, cheaper to use that than get a model in, but we need this for the society pages.” She opened a new file showing an image of Sebastian, Alice, Edgar and herself. Plastic smiles on all their faces with only Melanie looking like she wanted to be there.
But Sebastian suspected she had photo-shopped that one to "perfection" before he arrived.