Suite Secrets

By R.D. DeLisle

Change can be difficult.

After his death, Helen Drake found herself at the helm of her father’s passion project, a warehouse in lower Manhattan that served as a hub for the fashion industry’s elite photographers and top models. But Helen Drake had passions of her own. Already resentful of being forced to leave her home in Italy and unable to maintain the high octane atmosphere of the warehouse, she moved Drake’s Photography to a more subdued location in midtown. Following her were a handful of employees willing to stay on the payroll. They included photographers Curtis Ayers and Ryan Hart, operations coordinator Priscilla Bryant, and her assistant and best friend, Chloe Shepard. Since the move, for most of them, their job responsibilities are at a minimum, but they serve Helen’s needs in other ways for a premium while juggling their own desires for change. Between her tortured past and her ongoing obsession with Valeska Zacarra, Helen finds herself preoccupied with everything but her responsibilities to Drake’s.

Valeska Zacarra and her Italian partner, Christina (Tina) Birch, own three nightclubs in Milan, Paris, and New York. Tina tolerates Valeska’s unusual relationship with Helen Drake, along with all of Valeska’s unusual relationships. Theirs is an uncommon and envied partnership. While their focus is primarily on business, they are the even-tempered touchstones for others looking for guidance.

Maturing model, Maeve Corwyn, has spent the past year grieving the loss of her younger partner, actress and model, Lydia Parker, after Lydia met her untimely demise on the foyer stairs at the newer Drake’s Photography location. She’s hoping to find within herself the strength to move forward professionally and personally, but also to understand why Lydia was at Drake’s that fateful day. As the seasons change, Maeve meets Emma Lawson, the insurance investigator handling Lydia’s estate. She soon learns more than she could have imagined about Lydia—and herself.
Rowan Ryerson, daughter of fashion photographer Conn Ryerson and former model Diana, spent her first seven years as a fixture at the warehouse before her parents divorced and Conn moved to Italy. They lost touch with the Drake’s crowd over the years, but Rowan is now pushing sixteen and facing changes of her own. Wanting to take her shot in the fashion world, bright, ambitious, and hormonal, Rowan takes a summer job at Drake’s, where she teams up with onsite makeup technician, Jett Emerson, to find that Helen Drake has been busy with more than just running Drake’s Photography.

Change can be difficult. For some, it’s a burden they carry, and for others, it’s an exciting opportunity to expand their horizons. For Helen Drake, one unexpected change will prove to be the final straw.

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