𝟎𝟎𝟏.

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Although Estella was very anticipated to see who it was, it was too late to even get to that point because her father had walked out past the curtains, everyone standing and cheering, as did she and Raye. A microphone was in his hand as he sympathetically bowed his head at the overly impressed and applauding crowd. The mention of her name sent her walking up to the stage as her father honored her and her part in helping with the collection, kissing her on her cheek, truly feeling the love tonight.

What she didn't know though, was that the pretty boy Raye had been talking about, was only keeping his eyes on the short girl standing next to her father. Possibly waiting to get the chance to speak to her. And man he couldn't wait.

After parties were always Estella' favorite part about going to fashion shows. With the nightclubs or either just a fancy art gala, which is where they currently were, having plenty of laughs, dancing and drinking fancy wines, and even champagne as they admired exquisite portraits of art scattered along nice colored walls. The whimsical gala had Estella deep on her thoughts, mainly trying to figure out what half of the paintings had meant, even trying to be creative in her head and asking herself countless of times how she could create this exact color with the paint she kept back in her condo in New York.

"The paintings called 'Devotion'." An oddly attractive, deep and undeniably attentive raspy voice knocked her out of her contemplations, Estella turning her head to the side, being greeted by a tall man with gorgeous chocolate ringlets that brushed against his broad shoulders and lips that were a roseate color. She felt like her breath had been knocked out of her lungs when she gazed upon this man, his ambrosial cologne hitting her nose rather quickly. His bright forest green eyes had been burning into her soul with an intriguing look. His eyes said something to her, the way they sparkled and the way they held so much behind them. The way they had an hint of blue in them and or gray, but really the way they stared at her.

He was so beautiful, even for a man.

She was honestly lost for words, never feeling so awkward in her life because she had been staring too long, but she thought he didn't really mind. The raven Armani suit he wore may or may not have made her drool only a little, due to the way he pulled it off incredibly well. A white button up had been adorned on his chest, the first three buttons undone, showing his oddly alluring neck and two tattooed birds with a black tie sitting over them, feet dressed in Chelsea boots.

"Is this your painting?" She finally spoke, clearing her throat before turning her attention back to the art.

"No, my sisters actually." He respectfully corrected.

"Figures. You don't seem like much of a painter."

"You'd be surprised." That beautiful smirk was displayed back on his face. And man, how could she even forget about his toned jawline, it seeming so sharp it looked like it could literally cut her into pieces. She found herself even dreaming about his hands, how long and slim his fingers were, how many rings has been slid on to complete his style. Oh man, and even his voice. She didn't even realize he had an accent until he talked only a tempo louder.

"Are you an artist?"

"Correct," She winked, taking another sip of her wine. "I have a degree to prove it."

"I like a smart woman," He flirted. Yes, flirted. Estella was probably still too mesmerized by him to even hint that he was flirting with her. "Describe to me what you think this painting is about."

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