EXCERPT FROM UNRAVELLING HIS MARK BY ZEE MONODEE
“It’s not good, patronne. The model who was to have the showstopper bride on his arm ate some of the prawn cocktail. He is currently puking his guts out in the guest loo at the back.”
“Thank God he made it to the loo and didn’t barf on any of the clothes.”
Trust her problem-solving mind to come up with the silver lining in every situation. But seriously, if any of the gowns had been ruined, Nina would’ve had her hide. All the pieces had thousands of pearls or Swarovski crystals hand-sewn on them.
Think, Annabelle, think.
“So the only problem we have right now is that we need an escort for the showstopper.”
“And her,” Daniel whispered with a glance towards a still-raving Nina.
“Her, we can deal with, and it will sort itself out once we find a replacement for the sick model.”
Daniel snorted. “Good luck with that. Have you forgotten the brief she forced down the throat of every modelling agency on the island? The man had to be buff and—”
“Taller than six-foot-two. I know.”
Good luck finding a six-foot man at random on the island in the first place, and now on such short notice? They had their work cut out for her.
Still, there were some foreigners in the audience. There must be one about six-two and muscular. What had Nina written on the call sheet? She’d wanted ‘a tall drink of water.’
There was no time to ponder the situation. The sooner they calmed Nina down, the sooner they’d get this show underway, and the sooner this night would be over, too.
So, armed with optimism and determination, Annabelle strutted back into the main room, a smile plastered on her face as she eyed every single man around. Just her luck. None seemed taller than six feet, and they all looked like guys whose only attempt at exercise came from a leisurely stroll once a month along a putting green.
Her spirits were sinking fast, but no, she wouldn’t be the victim. She would turn this around one way or another. If she couldn’t find— Her shoulder collided into someone, and reflex made her look up and say, “Oh, pardon.”
But the apology died on her lips as her gaze raked over the hulking piece of masculinity she’d bumped into. He was tall, all right. Comfortably above six-two, she’d say, with the frame to match. Those broad, broad shoulders looked snug inside the clean lines of an obviously expensive hand-tailored suit the shade of a rare Dom Pérignon millésime. His skin was the colour of sugar when it had just started to turn into caramel, a golden glow on his chiselled features and cheekbones so sharp and defined, it was ridiculous. His head was shaved, and his eyes were dark. Smouldering. Intense. A thin goatee that looked like it had been hand-drawn onto him framed his solid chin and gave bearing to his strong jaw.
A puff of air escaped her.
“Tall drink of water,” she mumbled, and blinked.
The gears of her stunned mind started clicking then, and she gasped. “Tall drink of water!”