The Playboy of Puerto Banus(2)

By: Carol Marinelli

‘You need to get ready. I’ll help with your hair and things.’

‘You’re not coming near me with that cough,’ Estelle said. ‘I can manage.’ She looked at Ginny’s doubtful expression. ‘We can all look like tarts if we have to.’ She smiled and Ginny laughed. ‘Though I don’t actually have anything I can wear…would anyone notice if I wore something of yours?’

‘I bought a new dress for the wedding.’ Ginny headed to the wardrobe in her bedroom and Estelle followed.

Estelle’s jaw dropped when she held the flimsy gold fabric up.

‘Does that go under the dress?’

‘It looks stunning on.’

‘On you, perhaps…’ Estelle said, because Ginny was a lot slimmer and had a tiny pert bust, whereas, though small, Estelle was curvy. ‘I’m going to look like…’

‘Which is the whole point.’ Ginny grinned. ‘Honestly, Estelle, if you just relax you’ll have fun.’

‘I doubt it,’ Estelle said, wrapping her long dark hair in heated rollers at Ginny’s dressing table, and setting to work on her face under her housemate’s very watchful eye. Gordon was supposed to be a womanizer, and somehow Estelle had to get the balance right between looking as if she adored him while being far, far too young for him too.

‘You need more foundation.’

‘More?’ Estelle already felt as if she had an inch on.

‘And lashings of mascara.’

Ginny watched as Estelle took out the heated rollers and her long dark hair tumbled into ringlets. ‘Okay, loads of hairspray…’ Ginny said. ‘Oh, and by the way, Gordon calls me Virginia, just in case anyone mentions me.’

Ginny blinked a few times when Estelle turned around. The smoky grey eyeshadow and layers of mascara brought out the emerald in her green eyes, and the make-up accentuated Estelle’s full lips. Seeing the long black curls framing her friend’s petite face, Ginny started to believe that Estelle could carry this off.

‘You look amazing! Let’s see you in the dress.’

‘Won’t I change there?’

‘Gordon’s schedule is too busy. Once you land I would imagine you’ll be straight into the wedding.’

The dress was beautiful—sheer and gold, it clung everywhere. It was far too revealing but it was delicious too. Ginny gaped when Estelle wobbled on very high shoes.

‘I think Gordon might dump me.’

‘This,’ Estelle said firmly, ‘is a one-off.’

‘That’s what I said when I first started at the agency,’ Ginny admitted. ‘But if it goes well…’

‘Don’t even think it!’ Estelle said as a car tooted in the street.

‘You’ll be fine,’ Ginny said as Estelle nearly jumped out of her skin. ‘You look stunning. I know you can do this.’

Estelle clung onto that as she stepped out of her cheap student accommodation home. Teetering on the unfamiliar high heels, she walked out of the drive and towards a sleek silver car, more than a little terrified to meet the politician.

‘I have amazing taste!’

Gordon greeted her with a smile as his driver held open the door and Estelle climbed in. He was chubby, dressed in full Scottish regalia, and he made her smile even before she’d properly sat down.

‘And you’ve got far better legs than me! I feel ridiculous in a kilt.’

Instantly he made her relax.

As the car headed for the airport he brought Estelle up to speed. ‘We met two weeks ago…’

‘Where?’ Estelle asked.

‘At Dario’s…’

‘Dario who?’

Gordon laughed. ‘You really don’t know anything, do you? It’s a bar in Soho—sugar daddy heaven.’

‘Oh, God…’ she groaned.

‘Do you work?’ Gordon asked.

‘Part-time at the library.’

‘Maybe don’t mention that. Just say you do a little bit of modelling,’ Gordon suggested. ‘Keep it all very vague, or say that right now keeping Gordon happy is a full-time job.’ Estelle blushed and Gordon noticed. ‘I know. Awful, isn’t it? I seem to have created this terrible persona.’