“May I have your attention ladies and gentlemen,” she called out to the room in a commanding voice, “Welcome to the Amethyst Vineyard Champagne Auction!” There was gracious applause from the audience, and Lavinia smiled at them indulgently.
This prestigious event was held at the breathtaking Amethyst Vineyards in the realm’s wine country, and yet it was Lavinia who was the true source of beauty. She seemed to glisten from head to toe. Especially her aventurine gemstone necklace lined with 18 glowing freshwater pearls, sparkling accents of silver hematite, and tourmaline gemstones. Yes, Lavinia was always ready for a photo op.
“As Creative Director at Algodonite Entertainment, I am pleased to be hosting today’s auction, which is starting with this beautiful bottle of champagne,” Lavinia held up the bottle of champagne firmly in her hand. She thought to herself, ‘’I hope the photographers are getting this. Where is Julie?! She should be taking pictures of me for the company website; this lighting is perfect!’’ Lavinia smiled bright, her eyes slowly scanning the room, hoping to see Julie, her assistant, taking a picture of her with the first bottle auctioned off. Lavinia knew all too well how to work a room, something she had witnessed all her life watching her mother take center stage. There was a collective sigh from the audience as they admired the champagne, more so the captivating woman who proudly displayed the bottle with her beautifully manicured nails.
“Ten thousand!” Shouted a voice from the back. It was Mr. Antonio Blake, a banker at Painite National Bank. His wife swelled with pride as she watched her husband with energetic enthusiasm.“Eleven thousand!” Shouted another voice. It was a woman this time.
Lavinia recognized her as the very fashionable Haley Jackson, a woman of tremendous means who was sought after because of her luxurious cosmetics line, Pearl Essence Beauty.
Lavinia thought to herself, ‘’Why wasn’t I made aware that Haley Jackson would be here tonight?!’’ ‘’I should have known Julie would ruin this event just like she does everything else!’’
Julie Peterson, Lavinia’s secretary, had a bad habit of involving herself in issues that were not her concern and overlooking what should take priority as a secretary. ‘’I need to get a picture with Haley before the night ends. She must know who I am; I am almost sure of it.’’ thought Lavinia.
Over the next several hours, Lavinia auctioned off many bottles of champagne. Each time a bottle was sold, Lavinia felt exhilarated; she knew everyone, who was anyone, would be talking about her success for weeks. After the very last bottle was auctioned off, Lavinia gave a short speech and invited all in attendance to enjoy the live entertainment with their meals.
Lavinia made her way through the crowds with a glass of champagne and her charisma enrapturing all whom she chatted with.
‘’Lavinia Trevils, you were the vision of perfection tonight,’’ said Haley Jackson. Lavinia turned and feigned surprise. ‘’Why, thank you, Mrs. Jackson. I must say you are impeccably dressed as well.’’
“Oh please, call me Haley.’’ Lavinia’s heart raced with excitement as she heard this.
“You and I must get together and have lunch, as I would like to discuss the possibility of you hosting an event for my latest product line.”
Lavinia felt a surge of excitement. Just before she could respond, an all too familiar voice rang out.
‘’Oh, that sounds wonderful!’’ Lavinia felt her skin crawl.
It was Julie Peterson!
‘’Oh, hello Julie!’’ Lavinia said in a calm voice ‘’Haley and I were just having a private conversation‘’ Lavinia went on. ‘’Haley, I would like to invite you for a weekend trip to Lava Stone Island to further discuss planning an event for the launch of your latest cosmetics line,’’ Lavinia gave her beautiful, charismatic smile.
''Well, I have not had a chance to get out to Lava Stone Island for quite some time, so I suppose it would be nice to get away. You two ladies are the very best, so why not.”
‘’Perfect,’’ chimed Julie, ‘’ I will start making the arrangements tomorrow morning. By the way, I am Julie Peterson, Lavinia’s secretary.’’
Lavinia held her charismatic smile while completely frustrated with Julie’s intrusive behavior and lack of experience with a potential high-profile client like Haley Jackson.
‘’Haley, Julie is quite knowledgeable regarding Lava Stone Island. As she grew up there,’’ Lavinia said quickly.
‘’I certainly understand why Algodonite Entertainment comes so highly recommended,’’ Haley laughed softly. ‘’I am looking forward to it. You ladies, enjoy the rest of your evening.’’
“Julie,” Lavinia said in a low icy tone, ‘’May I speak with you in private?’’
Julie had an expression of shock but remained calm. “Of course, Lavinia.”
Inside the kitchen staff prep room, Lavinia tore into Julie.
‘’You never interrupt when I am engaged in conversation with a potential client, Julie Peterson! Never!’’
Julie stood frozen ‘’My apologies, Lavinia... I, I just thought you wanted me present at all times during this event. Lavinia’s stomach turned, remembering that she had given Julie those exact instructions.
‘’Well. I..’’ Julie dared to interrupt in a low defeated voice, “I will take care of all of the particulars, Lavinia. If you will excuse me, I need to check on the caterers.’’
Lavinia, now alone in the kitchen prep room, felt sheepish. It was this exact sort of thing that worried Lavinia most. ‘’I hope no one heard me shouting, come on Lavinia, pull yourself together.’’ she thought to herself.
Lavinia caught sight of her reflection in the mirror; she smiled as she saw the halo of sparkle around her neck. ‘’I was wonderful tonight; even Haley said so.” Feeling uplifted and pleased with herself, Lavinia took one last glance at the mirror, smiled. She thought to herself, “My adoring audience awaits me.’’
I know what you must be thinking; Lavinia is rather self-absorbed; it is not her fault. She takes after her mother, Maureen Trevils. I hope you enjoyed this week’s comic, along with her elegant necklace. If you have an event coming, perhaps you should view Lavinia’s Bewitched Collection to select your heart’s desire. May your afternoon sparkle as bright as Lavinia’s lovely adornment!