Cale had taken the wig and knotted it into two upper braids. He kept it loose. He also pulled at the tresses so they covered the cap's rim. The hair tips had been rolled up into a bun, sitting at the nape of Eve's neck. He spreaded it like the braid until it resembled a sleek messy style.
As a finishing touch, he placed a wreath of golden laurel leaves on the inner rim. It complimented the gold chain of the pearl necklace. The eyeshadow shimmered in bronze and luminescent pearls. Cheeks shared the same warm tone.
Together, they emphasized a pair of cherry red lips.
"Ugh, you look like a ruby goddess," Cale shared with the shake of his head. He stood behind Eve and admired her reflecting. The lights from the vanity mirror made his model glow. "Ambryan better keep an eye on you before you're snatched by another guy."
Eve chuckled at his enthusiasm. Her sultry winged eyes smiled back at her. "That's only because I have such an amazing make-up artist and stylist."
"Dear, stop it," the modelling manager objected. He walked over to the table and arranged the products. "These will stay here for the time being. There's a note here about Evangeline's signature look. If you still don't feel confident, you can always video call me."
Eve smacked her lips together. Their fullness amazed her. Cale had used a variety of products. He had her convinced that this was an art piece by itself. The shades and the gloss created a painting of the red sea.
Then if she perked them up, they resembled a rose.
Simple yet an astonishing experience.
Her gaze flickered towards the make-up. They were only a handful compared to their first session. A playful smile blossomed on her lips as she watched him organize them inside the drawers. "You might have to teach me sometime."
Cale clapped his hands together. The mere thought of it heightened his energy.
"Oh, honey, I'd love to. I could spend an entire day on it for fun." The idea reminded him of slumber parties and girls' talk. Nostalgia hit him back to his youth. "We can even film it so you can use it as a future reference whenever you're unsure."
Eve shook her head. A confused look masked her face. How was this person real? He always put her first whenever possible. He never once demanded her to be a better model. Didn't it affect managers when their models lacked projects? How could he be lenient on her?
This amount of care just blew her away.
"Thanks, Cale," she uttered under her breath. Words seemed to have evaporated from her mind. "I don't think I say it often enough but all of your efforts… wow. I hope I can make you proud even if I'm an amateur."
This would be the night to catch the eye of other brands. She would find a way to repay him back.
"Don't worry. I can wait for you." Cale winked at her through the mirror. His index finger pointed at the bedroom door. "You can stay in the living room. I'll clean this up and get myself ready too."
"I figured you'd always be ready to party."
"I am. I just want to be a little extra tonight." He winked for the second time. Mischief glistened in his eyes. A giggle flowed out his closed lips. He said nothing more on the subject.
He didn't need to.
It was written all over his face.
Eve grinned from ear to ear. She leaned forward, giving him the side-eye. Her eyebrows wiggled as smirk curled her corner lip. "Do you have someone to impress?"
Cale turned his head and narrowed his aqua blue eyes. He pressed a finger to his lips, teasing her curiosity. "Honey, I don't kiss and tell quite yet."
Then, he tapped her shoulder before she could say more. "Come on, now. Go to the living room. If I were you, I'd practice my walk because it's not as easy as it looks."
Eve rose to her feet and got out his way. She would just have to wait. Her mind wandered into imagination land. What kind of guy would attract Cale? Somehow, she pictured the man to be taller than her modelling manager—probably someone buff.
Out of the bedroom, the path from the kitchen to the living room almost looked like a runaway. The curve around the coffee table added more direction. It seemed like a good start when swerving inside a crowd.
Taking a deep breath, Eve positioned herself by the windows. She would start with the curve then, she'd walk down the pathway. There should have been a rehearsal for this but it collided with her work schedule. She didn't make it.
And so Cale provided her with the basics.
She pulled her shoulders back and kept her chin raised. Her right stepped forward, touching the floor lightly. The heel barely made a sound. Her left foot went next but it crossed over to the other side. The movement made her hips sway.
Eve repeated the same process until she passed by the coffee table.
Part of her wished for a mirror. For now, it seemed she did fine. But without the visual, she doubted it to be true. The muscles behind her legs and down to her ankles tensed. She blew on her loose fringes as she reached the door.
That was a bad sign.
Eve spun on her heel and stared at the trail back. She lifted up one foot, shaking away the cramp. Cale was right. It was harder than it looks. If she executed in an improper fashion, she could end up injured.
A knock came from behind, startling her.
She turned the knob and popped her head out.
A tall figure stood at the other side, scratching the back of his neck. Brown hair with blonde highlights had been gelled to the sides, parted unevenly. A few strands strayed away from the group and tickled his temple.
Combined with a navy blue suit, the man could make hearts swoon.
"Cale, are you—" Mikael began to say as he shifted his attention to the apartment. His next words died in his throat. The person turned out to be far different than he thought. "You're not Cale."
"Mr. Davis, pleasure to see you again."
The male model crossed his arms over his chest. His eyebrows knitted into a scowl. "Right. You moved here. I wondered why Cale would be here."
"If you want to see Cale, he is in the master bedroom," Eve said, opening the door to let him in. She offered a polite smile while beads of sweat dripped down her scalp. Her palms also dampened. "I'm sure he'll be ready shortly."
Mikael took a step inside, craning his neck. He scrutinized the apartment. All of the units had been pre-furnished. Unless the residents replaced them, they all shared the same interior design and layout. The place seemed to be in order.
It looked barely lived in.
He walked further inside and inspected the counter. "You answered rather fast. What were you doing by the door?"
Eve thanked him for not glancing at her. With his eyes away from her, she felt more relaxed and trailed behind him. She bit her bottom lip as she thought of how to answer. "It's my first launch party. I missed the rehearsal. I just wanted to practice."
Mikael halted in his steps and raised an eyebrow. He angled his body towards her. "Walking?"
"Yeah…" Eve admitted. Her gaze dropped to the floor. "I know I lack a lot but I just want to do well, at least."
She managed to hold her own last time but this was different. A model should glide across the floor as if she walked on clouds. Not only that but the execution had to be smooth and effortless. With the little time left, she doubted that she'd be decent enough.
The heels didn't exactly make it easy.
Eve snapped her head up. "Huh?"
Mikael moved towards the flat screen. He leaned his shoulder on a spot beside it. His blue eyes stayed on her, observing her body movements. "Show me your walk. I'll give you some pointers."
"You're helping me?" Eve gasped. His stern face aside, she hadn't expected him to comment at all.
"Am I the devil or something?" Mikael frowned.
She took a step back and raised her hands in surrender, averting her eyes. "It's you who said it and not me."
Mikael felt his temple throbbed. It seemed that this woman possessed a smart mouth. Her real attitude now presented itself.
He spoke through gritted teeth. "Just. Walk."
Eve started from her current spot. Unlike the kitchen, she preferred the curve from the coffee table. Probably because she didn't need to focus on maintaining a straight line. Any mistake would be less noticeable.
Her legs followed the outline of the coffee table. She proceeded with caution, careful not to bump into the furniture. The last she needed was a bruise and to embarrass herself. A slight tremor crawled up her arms.
She could feel the intense stare on her.
It wasn't a pleasant feeling.
A pair of hands clasped her shoulders. They pulled the shoulders behind her, squeezing the muscles around the upper back. Eve hadn't noticed they slouched. The tight massage fixed her posture.
"You're way too tense. Relax. I'm not going to roast you."
(⊙＿⊙) what to make of this scene? Lol. Will we have a fried Eve later in the day? Yikes. If someone has a better chapter title, please tell me. My brain melted into soup.
Status check, novel is at Top 159. You all are seriously amazing. I doubt my writing had ever achieved this far. To me, you're the real stars of this novel. (￣ー￣)ゞ
Don't worry tho. Even if we don't make it, there should be some bonus chapters :3
Have a good day!
Other ongoing work: Trust and Believe in Love