Undressed (The Manhattanites #1) - Avery Aster

Avery Aster - The Manhattanites #1 - Undressed

Undressed (The Manhattanites #1)
Avery Aster


Part One

For the Love of Fashion


Screw the Masi Salami Dildo Fantasy

“Massimo, answer the flippin’ phone—you royal pain in my ass!” Lex Easton vented out loud in her Manhattan showroom. Doing her best to keep raw emotions in check, she remained on hold, at his mercy, waiting to speak to the Italian stud muffin she’d nicknamed her beloved vibrator after.

Lex praised Prince Massimo Tittoni, famed CEO to the Girasoli Garment Company, by naming her sex toy after him. It was a noble gesture indeed, one which took place prior to Massimo fucking up her textile order.

Unlike the prince, who’d been impossible to reach, her dildo, titled “The Masi’s Salami”, remained by and large amenable and on hand whenever needed. It featured the unique double A battery power to relieve her nervous tension during horrific moments such as this one.

Today’s call, one of many in recent weeks, shunted from the office manager to the purchasing coordinator to the legal department. At last, she’d spoken to the imperial’s Mediterranean summer estate’s ground manager, who claimed he’d see if the prince would take her call.

She realized her verge for doing more than losing her voice to his hold music was crossed. I’m ready for ya, Masi.

A deep voice with an Italian accent came on the line, interrupting Puccini’s La bohème opera “When I Go Along.” After thirty-plus calls, she knew Puccini’s classics by heart. Raised on heavy metal, Lex wasn’t a fan. “This is Prince Massimo Tittoni.”

Through the bad connection, Lex heard laughter and water splashing and laughing in the background. Her thoughts darkened. No wonder he’d been difficult to get in touch with. And how nice it must be to take an extended vacation. She hadn’t taken time off in years.

Closing her eyes, she put her free hand to her forehead. Focus. Except white spots glittering over her eyes suggested an oncoming migraine. Lex cleared her throat. “Thank you for taking my call, Your Majesty.” Inhaling a deep breath to help with the nausea, she nagged, “I’m sorry to interrupt your vacation, but I’m on a tight deadline and the fabrics I need to complete my upcoming fashion collection were supposed to have arrived in my Midtown warehouse over a month ago.”

He gave no response. Did she lose him already? “HELLO? Are you there?” Fashion gods, Halston, St. Laurent, Givenchy, watch over me.

“Sì, signorina.” His voice was low and seductive. “Please tell your boss, Signor Lex, we will not be shipping Easton the fabrics after all. We won’t be doing business with Easton going forward because—”

Bebeee cacuuuse—

An echo made it impossible for her to hear what he said next.

Because why? And did he say Mr. Lex? The boss? She was the boss.

“Prince Massimo, you are speaking to Lex.” You buffoon—I’ve been buying fabric from you for two years.

A fresh burst of static crackled over the line.

“I’m the owner, Lex Easton.” Did he hear her? Maybe not—Damn this Verizon phone.

“Signorina, please tell Signor Easton I am on holiday for the month. I feel terrible we are unable to fill the order. Nevertheless the wheels are in motion. I will send a certified letter tomorrow in effect. Now if you will mi scusi, I am being rude to my guests.”


The phone squealed.

“No! Please! What do you mean you can’t fill the order? Why not? Whose wheels are in motion?” I ride the subway. I don’t own any wheels.

He’d hung up. Her entrepreneurial window for victory—slammed shut.


With the phone clutched to her chest and the black plastic cord wound around her fingers, Lex laid her head on the drafting table, succumbing to the headache dancing between her temples. Pain shot through her body as tears choked her.

“Rude to your guests,” she wailed and stomped her Christian Louboutin pumps under her chair. “What about being rude to me?” It was over for her. She’d be a laughingstock in the fashion community.

Lex predicted the grim newspaper headline, “Daughter to Late Rock ‘n’ Roll Legend Eddie Easton Closes Her Fashion Brand.” This evening’s news at eleven broadcasting, “Easton Essentials, American’s leading upscale apparel line, is unable to fulfill production and will not be showing at New York’s upcoming Fashion Week.”

Whatever sexual fantasy she’d dreamt for the prince flew out her twenty-first story window along with her fabric. Massimo’s selfish refusal to deliver on her brand’s signature identity—the unique material which completed her line’s success—made him repulsive.

Her office door creaked open.

“Honey, Lex, you in here? There are three calls on