the end of The Glass Slipper Project, Mariella
Duvall, the eldest of the four Duvall sisters, leaves upstate New York and becomes
a top New York model. I pictured her traveling the world and being adored by wealthy
men, which I knew would make her happy. Then I thought, ‘But Mariella’s
more ambitious than that. What would happen after a few years?’ My
curiosity lead me to this story.
After several years, Mariella has grown bored of the modeling world and become
a fashion photographer with the help of her mentor Jeremiah Cooper. Finding a
man Mariella couldn’t dazzle, terrify or crush under her high heels was
difficult until Jeremiah’s son, Ian, came to mind. He is just as impatient
and demanding as she and welcomes the challenge Mariella presents…let the
Ian watched Mariella, a rush of anticipation gripping him as she came closer.
Something seized and paralyzed him and it wasn’t fear, but he refused to
give a name to it. She moved like a model, not the exaggerated gait of the catwalk,
but in a manner that commanded attention. She definitely had his.
Josh took another step back. “She looks furious.”
“Yes, and if you take another step back you won’t have to worry
Ian continued to watch her. He’d once witnessed a wildlife special where
a lioness devoured a wildebeest. Mariella looked as though she could do worse.
She stopped a foot away from him. From a distance she was breathtaking. Up close
her exquisite beauty undeniable. From the curve of her chin to the shape of her
figure she was a vision to behold. But the words out of her mouth were anything
but. “You’re late,” she said her clear brown eyes piercing the
dark shield of his sunglasses.
Ian rested his hands on his hips. “Ms. Duvall--”
“I don’t have time for your excuses,” she interrupted. “When
I say a shoot is at a certain time, I expect you to be there. You’re not
even what I expected.” She walked around him as though she were a judge
at an animal show. “My God you’re enormous. You’ll throw the
balance off completely. I may have to put the girls on rocks or something. Remove
those sunglasses so that I can get a better look at you.”
“I said remove them.” She reached up to do it herself; Ian gripped
her wrist before she could.
“That wouldn’t be a good idea,” he said quietly.
She pulled her wrist free. “Why not?”
“Because I don’t like people to touch me.”
“You’ll get over it.” She lifted his chin. “You have
a wonderful profile.”
Ian heard his brother snicker and frowned. Josh covered his mouth and coughed.
His cough caught Mariella’s attention. “I didn’t expect you
to be here.”
“No,” Josh said. He awkwardly gestured to Ian. “Well he’s—”
“Your friend no doubt. Perhaps on the drive back you can teach him how
to tell time.” She turned to Ian again. “You’ll do. Now go over
there.” She pointed to the wardrobe area. There were several freestanding
clothes’ racks with an assortment of designer clothing. “Get into
the wool set immediately.”
Josh opened his mouth to protest. “But he’s not—”
She waved a dismissive hand, making it clear that she’d lost interest
in them. “That’s it for now.” She turned and stalked off.
Ian stood for a moment with his hands on his hips.
Josh shook his head and watched her go. “I told you she’d be difficult.”
He turned to Ian. “I don’t—,” he began then noticed the
slight grin on his brother’s face. “You think this is funny?”
he asked amazed.
“I think this is hilarious.” He rubbed the smile from his face.
“Excuse me.” Ian jogged up to Mariella and darted in front of her
with such speed that she crashed into him. She stumbled back, her hat falling
to the ground. Ian bent down, quickly retrieved it then held it out to her as
a ‘peace offering’.
Mariella angrily snatched her hat out of his hand. “What is wrong with
you? Why aren’t you in wardrobe? First you arrive 15 minutes late, and now
it appears that you can’t follow simple directions.”
“I need to talk to you.”
Mariella placed her hands on her hips her eyes blazing with a heat that could
rival the day. “I don’t know what your problem is, who you are, or
why you were hired for this shoot. Now, before I loose my temper all together,
if you plan on being paid for this assignment, I suggest you get into your outfit
as quickly as you can.” She turned ready to walk away. Ian positioned himself
in front of her.
She narrowed her eyes and said in a low voice, “Move.”
He folded his arms.
She moved to the other side, he blocked her again. She scowled; he smiled.
His hands fell to his waist. “I’ll let you pass when I feel that
I’ve gotten my point across.”
“You’ll move now or--”
He lifted a challenging brow. “Or what?”
“I’ll make your life a living hell,” she said in an acid
He hooked his thumbs in his jeans’ pockets and took a step forward. “Is
that a promise?”
She took a step towards him. “It’s a guarantee.”