"You need some sleep", she told her reflection in the mirror. The room's phone rang and she eyed Maya in the bath playing with her favourite green duck. "Mummy's getting the phone, don't do anything silly, okay?" Maya nodded and Elle tottered out the bathroom, picked up the receiver and plunked herself on the mattress. "Hello?"
"Am I speaking to Ellenor Grace?" an excited voice asked.
"Is that you, Bianca?" Bianca was the Van Belts' bride-to-be. A young 20-something, a gorgeous brunette with the deepest blue eyes Elle had ever seen, with intellect and body to match. Mind you, Conrad Van Belt wasn't that bad himself.
"Ah, darling, you made it!" Bianca squealed. "I was beginning to worry a little. Your assistant called up this morning saying something about your daughter and that you were heading up."
Bianca, unlike Elle, was a punctual woman and it became obvious to Elle that, since she'd crossed the mandatory five hours drive to the location, managing to turn it into eight. Bianca had begun to worry. "I was beside myself telling Conrad we should have offered you a driver. You must be exhausted."
"A little," Elle chuckled. "But it's good, I'll get a good night's sleep." She lied. There would be no good night's sleep had, worrying about how she was going to juggle both her work and Maya on the day of the wedding. "I hope you won't mind, but I had to bring my daughter with me on this trip. I'm so sorry, it's unprofessional, but I, I couldn't leave her with anyone."
"I'm glad you brought her. It must be hard for her to be away from you, and there are plenty of children at the wedding for her to play with. Besides, we've actually go minders organised so the adults can have a bit of fun, if you know what I mean." Elle could hear the smile in Bianca's voice.
Of all the bridal parties, the Van Belt's had by far been the most organised, so this didn't surprise Elle one bit. "That just takes..."
"A load of you?" Bianca chimed in. "You're welcome. Now, I got to go. I'm glad you're finally in town. I just wanted to remind you that rehearsal dinner is tomorrow. The program doesn't start until midday, and we'd like some pre-wedding shots but we've decided we'd love you to cover the dinner tomorrow as well. What you think?" she finished.
"Anything for the bride."
"Great. We'll meet you at the Church at twelve!" The phone clicked. Elle put the receiver back and stretched out on the bed.
"Maya, are you finished yet? Let's grab some dinner downstairs."
There was a knock on the door in the morning and Elle groggily peeked out from under the duvet. "Who is it?"
"Oh, shit," she sprang up and scrambled out of bed, coaxing Maya to wake up also. She opened the door to a young housemaid and stepped out of the way, then sat down at the desk, flipping through some of the reading material while Maya sat on the corner chair and watched TV with the volume down.
"I hope I didn't wake you," the woman said. Her badge read 'Sima'.
"Not at all," Elle lied. "If you hadn't come by, I might have slept through the whole afternoon."
"In town for business?" Sima asked.
"Many people here since yesterday for weddings."
"Or they could all be here for one wedding," Elle chuckled. Having dealt with Bianca and Conrad for a few months, Elle wouldn't be surprised if all the guests at the hotel were the couples.
YOU ARE READING
Charming Mr. Stewart (**Complete**)ChickLit
When Elle packed her bags and left home with her child in tow, she was determined to live life with memories of her late husband, alone. As the once prominent wedding photographer re-kindles her business, it's partially to keep herself far too busy...