Read The Substitute Wife: My Poor Husband is a Billionaire Chapter 27
“Twenty thousand dollars?” Janet stared at her laptop screen, her mouth wide open. She quickly typed a message to the client, her fingers flying over the keyboard.
This was going to be her first big client ever since her graduation. Given the amount of the offer they had made, she was expecting a heap of strict instructions she would have to abide by.
“Excuse me. May I know whether you are a gentleman or a lady?”
This website played as a bridge between clients and freelance designers. The clients had the option to use their real names or remain anonymous, but most of them didn’t really bother setting up a profile. Most of the profiles in the listings were nothing more than the default gray icon, with no way to tell the client’s gender.
“Male,” came the client’s reply.
“I see. Do you have specific requirements regarding the design, sir?” Janet leaned forward and propped her chin on one hand, bracing herself for a long list of demands.
It didn’t take long for the client to write back. “I have seen the designs you posted on the website. They are very good. You may have free rein in designing my suit. I will provide you with the necessary feedback once you have given me your first draft.”
Janet wasted no time and began drawing a prototype according to the client’s measurements. Meanwhile, the company had recently asked them for tentative designs meant for a regular, pre-selection process. That meant that none of her work would go to waste in the end. Apart for a few hours’ sleep, Janet spent all of her time poring over her digital panels.
Three days later, she was finally able to send a final design to the client. The bespoke ensemble comprised of a double-breasted, gray jacket with matching trousers, an immaculate white dress shirt, and a skinny black tie. A silver tie clip completed the outfit. Over the course of her work, Janet had presumed that this client must be young, probably around her age or so. After all, her designs did not appeal to the more mature demographics, but young professionals who liked to look smart and fashionable at the same time.
She was also expecting a complete overhaul. In this field, the first drafts almost always needed revisions. If the client was willing to pay such an exorbitant amount of money, and for a rookie’s design, no less, then the preliminary rejection was inevitable. And so, Janet was utterly surprised when the client instantly approved of her design.
“This is brilliant!”
“Do you need me to polish anything?” Janet typed with some trepidation. Despite her good fortune, she was feeling a little guilty about how smooth the transaction was going. It shouldn’t be this easy to earn twenty thousand dollars, should it?
“Not for the time being. I will contact you if there’s anything I want to change in the future. Don’t worry; this price is reasonable enough. I’m paying for the uniqueness and originality of your design.” It seemed that the client had seen through Janet’s nervousness, hence his words of reassurance.
She was about to type her thanks when a payment notification popped up on her screen. The client had confirmed their business deal on the website and paid the bill, and the platform had instantly transferred the money to her account.
Janet clutched her laptop in both hands and stared at the figure displayed on her screen. She felt immensely proud and gratified, and it showed in the twinkle of her eyes.
Another message popped up from the client. “If you’re interested, we can talk about a long-term collaboration.”
Janet pictured fireworks going off in the background. “Of course!” she typed hurriedly.
“I am. I have plenty of time!”
The man then gave her several more orders, all with some minor instructions. He seemed to be very fond of suits, though he wasn’t in any hurry to have them made.
He advised Janet to take her time with her designs, and even reminded her to take a break every now and then.
“Oh, my G*d, Janet! You just made a fortune!” Overjoyed, Janet got to her feet and bounced on her bed like a little kid.
All at once, there was an urgent knocking at her bedroom door.
Ethan had probably heard her squeal just now. He entered the room without waiting for her to ask what he wanted. “Did something happen?” he asked, frowning.
“Ethan! We finally have money!” Janet exclaimed as she resumed her festive bouncing.
Her long hair danced around her flushed cheeks, and her eyes were clear and bright.
The next thing they knew, she had jumped off the bed and was throwing herself in Ethan’s arms.
He instinctively reached out to catch her. After making sure that she was all right, he promptly froze on the spot.
Janet was still so engrossed in her recent milestone to notice anything amiss. She pulled back and grinned at him. “Do you know what it means?”
“What?” Ethan’s smile was tender, not that he was aware of it.
His smile caught her attention, and this time, she was the one who froze.
Only then did she realize what she had done. Janet abruptly pushed against Ethan’s chest and took a couple of steps back. Her face turned red with embarrassment even as she averted her eyes and tidied her messy hair.
“I didn’t mean anything by… Well, I was just so happy that I lost sense of what I was doing. I’m sorry.”
After saying that, Janet cleared her throat and changed the subject as if nothing significant had happened. “Why did you come, by the way?”
“Ah, I heard you yelling and thought something bad happened.” Ethan bit his lower lip and put his hands into his trouser pockets.
Traces of their brief embrace still lingered in his person-the warmth of her chest, the scent of her hair…
If he could, he would have held Janet in his arms and laid in bed all day.