COPYRIGHT © 2019 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
Eric looked at his watch again. He knew it would take a long time to get ready, but it was already two hours, and the other models were already out as the first shoot would commence in five minutes.
Then the photographer announced to get ready. Eric knocked on Evangeline’s dressing room. His knuckles hadn’t even reached the door when it opened and came out Evangeline.
Eric’s eyes rounded, and for a moment, he forgot to breathe. He knew Evangeline was beautiful, but this time, he couldn’t find the right words. He felt that his words would fell short at describing how beautiful she is.
Her curly hair was curled more than usual, freely falling on her waist. A simple ornament held her hair like a crown. The gown wasn’t even sexy. It was ancient looking like Queens wore during the medieval period. But on her, it was simply breathtaking, and he never knew that red match perfectly well on her.
Everything about her looks was new and haunting.
“Y-you look . . . amazing,” Eric mumbled.
A dopy smile blossomed on Evangeline’s smug face. She opened her mouth, but Rise beat her.
“Right?!” Rise shouted upon seeing Eric’s mesmerized face. “I’ve done a good job of picking her clothes and makeup.”
It was only when Eric noticed that he and Evangeline were not alone. He coughed on his knuckles and smiled at Evangeline.
“You look amazing,” Eric repeated, voice louder this time.
Evangeline held her head high. “Of course, I am. And I’ll tell you, it’s not because of the dress and makeup, I simply look amazing. Period.”
“Well, that’s true,” Eric said, “but the dress and makeup enhanced your beauty more. So I think Rise had done a good job.”
Rise laughed and answered in a modest voice but perky nose, “It’s nothing. I’m a professional, after all.”
Evangeline rolled her eyes and opened her mouth to retort, but was interrupted again by the call to go on shoot.
Evangeline pursed her lips and looked at Eric.
Eric smiled and said, “Good luck.” He wanted to pat her head, but he was afraid the elaborate ornament on her head would fall, and her hair would come loose.
Evangeline flicked her hand in the air in a lazy goodbye gesture. “I don’t need luck, I’m good.”
She then sauntered in the shooting area, leaving Eric and Rise behind.
. . .
. . .
Eric and Rise stood in stillness before Eric decided to break the silence.
“Thank you, by the way,” Eric said.
Rise looked over at Eric, confused. “For what?”
Eric rubbed the back of his head. “For being patience with Evangeline.”
Rise chuckled and looked towards the shoot. “I’m just doing my job, and besides, I’m kind of used to spoiled, self-centered Divas with how much I deal with them in a single day. And to tell you honestly, I preferred Miss Heart’s frankness and open personality.”
“. . .” Eric didn’t say a word, and Rise looked over at him again with a concerning grin on her face.
“But if you get tired of her, I’m always here, Eric. I can also be the side woman or just the other girl. I’m okay with that.”
Eric stepped away when Rise was about to caress his shoulder.
“No, thank you,” Eric said as flat as his face.
Rise laughed and punched Eric’s shoulder. “I’m just kidding. No need to be so defensive. And besides, Evangeline would skin me alive if I dare even lay a finger on you.”
She sighed and steadied her eyes forward. “I’m jealous, though. You’re only warm and kind to her, and I wish that someone is like that to me too.”
“Mm . . .” Eric was uncomfortable at the topic since he was never good at these kinds of things. Especially saying comforting words to a woman, he barely knew.
. . .
. . .
“By the way,” Rise said after a short silence, “does Evangeline know how to pose?”
At the mention of this, Eric’s eyes focused on Evangeline, and his brows crumpled.
“I’m afraid not.”
On the shooting area, lines of models were posing for the cover magazine. Everyone was a professional and can do different poses in a spur of the moment. Within seconds, they expressed emotion that suited their clothes. Except for one . . .
Throughout the shoot. Although Evangeline’s looks stood out, she only managed to pull off one facial expression. And worst, the angle of her neck and body were forced, making her appearance awkward and tense.
In this shoot, the difference between just a pretty face and a real model was painfully obvious.
After the shoot for the cover was finished, everyone snickered and looked at Evangeline funny while the latter held her face high and went to Eric’s side with a proud smile.
“How did I went?” Evangeline asked, shining expectations in her bright, dewy eyes.
Eric caught his tongue while Rise made her escaped.
“I-I’ll go ready your next dress,” Rise said and tottered away.
Eric rubbed the back of his head and decided to be frank with her for her own good.
“You’re terrible,” he said and added, “but it’s only your first try. I’m sure with practice you’ll be a pro at this.”
Evangeline’s smile disappeared. She faced forward and checked her nails. “Whatever. It’s not like I’m serious at this anyway.”
Eric didn’t know how to answer that.
“Well . . . yeah. But it won’t hurt to practice different poses if we have the time. And I think that you’re going to be very good at it if you try really hard.”
. . .
. . .
Eric looked at Evangeline when she didn’t respond. He found her gaze was preoccupied. He traced her line of sight and found the object of her interest. She was looking at Rise, who was busy picking her clothes.
“Eve,” Eric called again.
“You know . . . ,” Evangeline started, “all I did were designs for the masses. I never really give it thought to design for a specific person.”
She then mumbled to herself, “I think what that girl is doing . . . is rather cool.”
. . . Eh? Eric was confused.
Evangeline blinked and looked at Eric. She beamed and said, “I’ll go to the toilet first.”
“Oh, okay . . .” Eric hadn’t finished his sentence when Evangeline bolted into the toilet.
In the toilet, Evangeline took her time in the cubicle, thinking about something when a group of women barged inside and started gossiping.
“She’s changing the modeling industry just to accommodate her.”
“Yeah. I mean, just because she had the connections, the agencies would fight for her while she put no effort.”
“Right? I practically broke down in front of the camera from the stressful selection process just to get in here.”
“Not to mention, we studied our whole life for this career, and having just a pretty face with no background in modeling swooping in our stage is like a slap in the face.”
Evangeline stood to her feet and slammed open the cubicle door, which startled the women inside. She crossed her arms and tilted her hips to the side as she sized the women up and down. “If you have something to say to me, say it straight to my face.”
. . .
. . .
The women looked at each other, and Evangeline urged. “Go on. Is there something you wanted to say to me?”
Everyone just stood there, looking at each other in silence before they batted their eyelids and went out of the toilet.
“Hmp!” Evangeline sneered. “That’s right. Nothing. You cowards. All you’re good at is talk shit behind people’s back.”
Evangeline’s line of thoughts was disrupted when a cubicle door opened and came out Angel.
Angel swayed in the basin and washed her hand as she said, “You can’t blame them, you know.”
Evangeline faced her with a fake smile. “Are you a stalker or something?”
Angel ignored Evangeline’s taunt as she grabbed a tissue and dried her hands. “Most models here sacrificed many things to pursue their modeling career. And after graduation, they typically take all jobs they can get to pay their bills. They also had to deal with pressure and stress as well as the struggles to make ends meet. Sure, they are passionate about it, but at the end of the day, their bills need to get paid.”
Angel then threw the tissue on the trash bin and faced Evangeline with a soft smile but fierce eyes.
“But you don’t have that motivation, neither the passion. So you simply don’t care. And to see you on the same stage as them . . . it’s frankly insulting.”
Angel smirked and left while Evangeline was rooted on the spot.
Eric’s finger tapped on his arms without stop as he waited for Evangeline. She had a bad feeling when Angel and a group of women entered the toilet and when Evangeline still hadn’t come out until now.
He was about to forget all morals and stormed in the girl’s toilet when Evangeline got out with her head hanging low.
He bolted to her and was about to cup her face to inspect her when she wrapped her hands around his waist and buried her head in the comfort of his chest.
Eric was surprised for a moment before he asked in a soft voice, “What’s wrong?”
Evangeline shook her head. “Nothing. I’m just tired and thirsty.”
“Oh . . . then we should rest first. What would you like to drink?”
“Nothing. I just . . . want a hug.”
. . . Eric couldn’t react for a moment. Something must have happened, but he would not force it out on her. Instead, he smiled and patted her head. “Okay.”
Not far away, Angel watched as Evangeline and Eric were lost in their own world. The handkerchief in her hands crumpled from the force she was exerting. She was running out of patience. The more time she let by, the more Evangeline was happy. She wouldn’t let that happen. It was time to strip her off from her high throne and put an end to her.
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