She sat still as fifteen people buzzed around her. Not unlike bees, she thought to herself, smiling. Three were fussing with the cameras, four were working with the lights, two others were talking to who she assumed was the photographer, making sure he was kept happy; and the rest had their attention focussed on her. They moved stealthily around her body, positioning the lavish lehnga she wore so it could catch the light just so, touching up her make-up, ensuring she looked perfect for the photo shoot. Her one hundred and fifth photo shoot, if one were to bother counting.
"How are you feeling Mira? Good? Not too uncomfortable, right?" her agent asked her, hovering in the sidelines.
"I feel very uncomfortable." Mira said, her eyes flicking to Sandhya's pacing body without moving another muscle. It was an art she had had to master, "Don't worry though, it's all a part of the job."
Sandhya caught her eye and let out a peal of laughter, her brown eyes laughing with her, "Well how very normal of you."
Mira let her lips curve slightly, "You're right. I make life way too easy for you. Shall I think of some ridiculous impossible-to-achieve task to send you off on?"
"Would that leave you alone with me by any chance?" A male voice cut into their conversation, deep, strong, with a light Australian accent. Both women looked toward the sound, Mira causing a few people to cry in alarm when she did.
The man's eyebrows rose as he watched people scurry to correct whatever imperfections Mira's movement could have caused her. Mira frowned but said nothing, her brown eyes taking in the man before her. He was tall, tanned, and lean. He wore a simple white t-shirt over low-waist jeans, his flat stomach evident. Despite his ruggedly handsome looks, his eyes were what really caught her attention. While the rest of him seemed to scream dangerous, giving him an almost 'vagabond' look, his blue eyes were warm and intelligent, completely contrasting from what seemed to be his general personality. They seemed to smoothen out all of his hard edges. Those eyes appraised her now, admiration in them. He turned to her agent, smiling, "Hi, I'm Vince Cooper, the photographer for the shoot." He said, holding out his hand, a strand of his jet black hair falling over his face. Mira glanced back at the man standing two feet from Vince, a nervous, edgy look about him, the man she had mistaken for a photographer. No, he was no photographer; he was a photographer's assistant.
Sandhya seemed to snap back into reality, straightening in a jerky action, a plastic smile fixating on her face as her brown eyes stared agog at the epitome of masculine perfection standing before her. She took his hand, shaking it meekly, "Sandhya Sharma." She said, introducing herself, "I'm Mira's agent."
"Mira." Vince said, seeming to roll her name off his tongue, sending a shiver running down her spine, to her annoyance. He glanced at her then, his blue eyes amused, seeming to know the affect he was having on her.
"That would be me." She said through gritted teeth, not liking the way the man watched her as though he were the predator and she the prey. She knew she was beautiful. After all, that was why she had become a supermodel. An internationally-known supermodel. Mira Venkat. Her sharp bone structure, high cheek bones, graceful body, wildly curling long dark brown hair and equally dark, captivating brown eyes were all her claims to fame. They had made her successful, they were the reason she was where she was today: on a beautiful beach in Maldives wearing a heavy, ridiculously grand lehnga.
She waved away the people around her, suddenly irritated, "You have been working on me in this heat for the past hour. I believe that's more than enough time to achieve perfection, right Sandy?"
Sandhya pursed her lips to keep from smiling as she nodded, recognising one of Mira's rare flashes of temper, "You heard her, back off. It's time for the shoot." She turned to Vince, "I assume that is why you made your way to us?"
"Well yeah." He said, nodding, "For that and to ask Mira if she would care to have drinks with me tonight." His eyes moved from her agent to her, their too-blue depths filled with challenge and daring.
Mira's eyes narrowed as she studied his handsome face, this was one dare she did not want to take. Her lips were forming the words 'sorry, no' when her friend and agent quickly spoke on her behalf, "She would love to."
"I would?" Mira asked, raising a single brow in question, looking to Sandhya.
Vince let his eyes move from one girl to the other and he grinned, "Apparently you would. I will meet you at the bar around seven. Now shall we get these pictures done before we lose the light?"
Mira pursed her lips, nodding, displeasure evident on her beautiful face. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath as Vince walked away from her, making his way to his crew and camera. When she released it and opened her eyes her face was a blank canvas, waiting for the right expressions to be painted on.
Vince positioned himself behind the camera, looking through the lens once, and then again, adjusting a few things here and there, moving the light around until he was satisfied. He let his blue eyes catch her gaze then, "Alright, you're the bride here. I want a few shots with a little flirty air around you. I think we'll do that first. The position you're in is perfect, though you need to do something different with your hands." He instructed, surprising Mira with how professional he was.
Mira nodded. She did not have to be directed to the 'tee'. She was sitting on a wooden platform which had been placed over the sand on the beach so water surrounded her on all sides. Her skirt was spread about her in a circle, with her at its centre. Her legs were curled under her so she rose a little from the platform. She let one hand move up so it was beside her face and bent it so her arm covered the bottom half of her face. She then looked up, her kohl-lined eyes looking directly at the lens, at Vince, their gaze inviting. A lot of lights flashed as Vince took his pictures. He peeked out from behind his camera once more, "Now give me something a little demure. Maybe you want to use that." He said, nodded to the dupatta that her dresser held in her hands.
Mira took the dupatta and covered the top of her head with it, bending her head, her henna-decorated hands holding the ghoongat in place. More flashes went off. Every couple of minutes, Vince would ask her to try a different emotion, a different position, a different look, and without a word Mira would merely follow his instructions, giving him exactly what he wanted.
He didn't know why but something about her pulled him to her. Even now, when he was at his most professional, he felt an odd tug at his heart and heat rush through his blood whenever she looked toward him with those eyes of hers. Those dark, mysterious eyes which could most definitely be the undoing of the entire male race on Earth. Which man would ever be able to resist her? Not one. The thought put a sour taste in his mouth.
"Okay, that's a wrap. I got what I needed." He called out to the crew, and everyone immediately set to work packing up the set. He left his camera to his assistant and made his way to her.
He got to her just before she entered her trailer, her entourage already in and waiting for her. She heard his footsteps and turned before he had the chance to call out her name. The sight of her made his mouth go dry, which was ridiculous. He had seen plenty of supermodels, some even more beautiful than her, so why did she seem to have this affect on him?
"What?" she asked him sharply, her eyes cool.
He tried to hide his smile, "I have obviously pissed you off in some way, so I came to apologise; and to ask what it is about me that you seem to object to."
Mira narrowed her eyes at him and then shook her head, "It's nothing." She said flatly, "Apology accepted. I guess I will see you in the evening." She started to turn but he caught her hand, making her eyes fly to his face, alarm and curiosity clear in those chocolate brown depths.
He let himself close the gap between them, his arms moving up her arms to her shoulders. One hand moved up to caress her cheek while the other moved back down over her curves to curl around her waist, which thanks to the short lehnga blouse, was exposed. Her skin trembled and grew hot under his touch, but she didn't move away, only eyed him with wariness, "What are you doing?" she asked, her voice soft.
"I'm taking you out tonight." He said softly, leaning forward, his breath fanning over her face, his eyes holding hers, "I want to give you a reason to come."
Her breath seemed to catch in her throat and her eyes widened as the implication of his words seemed to sink in. She tried finding her voice but all that came out was a husky whisper, "I told you I would come, so I will come."
"Maybe so." Vince said, allowing a slow grin to curve his lips, "But I want you to want to come." He murmured, letting his lips cover hers. At first she stayed absolutely still as he kissed her, and then, she seemed to thaw. A moan left her as her hands circled his neck, pulling him down further so she could kiss him back, as thoroughly as he was kissing her. It was a kiss he felt everywhere. From his pelvis, to his pounding head, and beating heart, all the way down to his toes which curled as his tongue possessed her mouth and she allowed him to. She sighed when he finally pulled away, her body moulded to his, her forehead resting against his. She let herself catch her breath before saying softly, lifting her head and looking into his blue eyes, "Well you got what you wanted." She said softly, her brown eyes alive with desire and need, "I want to come tonight."
Vince laughed softly, watching as her lips too curved into a smile. She was different, he decided, letting his eyes take in every detail of her face. He was not going to let her go. Not now, not ever.