A Matter of Perspective



THE STORY CONTINUES

Gia carefully slit open the large manila envelope and shook the glossy photographs out onto the table in the small room Dara Jensen considered her law library. Just as Malcolm Winters had promised, the pictures taken of her were nothing short of fantastic.

The young woman had always been awed by the wonderful photographs Lucky Spencer had taken of her. But Malcolm’s photos held a consistent superior quality that Lucky had not yet perfected.

Two months had passed since her photo session in New York City for Satine Cosmetics. And only Dara, Gia’s older brother Marcus and one other person even knew that she had returned, albeit briefly, to the modeling world. But in those two months, Satine executives had been busy. According to the paperwork that accompanied the glossy proofs she received, a combination of the pictures spread out before her would begin to hit the newsstands in a matter of hours.

It was only a matter of hours before Laura Spencer found out that Gia had modeled for a cosmetics company beside Deception. Only a matter of hours before Lucky saw the proof of her work with another photographer. Only a matter of hours before Nikolas saw that his former fiancée was capable of a career without his help.

Actually, Gia reflected, in a roundabout way she had Nikolas to thank for the Satine job. After their awkward breakup, the young Cassadine heir had been desperate to sever any possible ties with Gia. He had gone to his mother and persuaded Laura to completely release Gia from her contract with Deception.

The older woman had not needed any persuasion to comply. Laura had long desired that Nikolas end his relationship with the young model. And so Gia had walked away from Deception an unrestricted free agent, so to speak. Laura would not be pleased at Gia’s recent modeling stint, but there was nothing she could do about it.

“Whoa!” AJ Quartermaine’s awed voice broke the silence. He picked up a photograph and studied it intently. “I didn’t think you could get any more beautiful.”

“You’re my friend,” Gia teased him. “You have to say that.” She was touched, however, by his words.

“This one,” AJ tapped a finger along the edge of a photograph lying on top. “This is the one I want a copy of.”

Gia picked up the photograph AJ indicated. It was the one Satine’s photographer had snapped just as he recounted his humorous first day on the job. To any eye but hers, the young woman in the photograph did not possess a worry in the world, but flashed a smile that was radiant and carefree. The woman in that photograph glowed with the beauty of youth.

“Okay, now you sound like Marcus. He’s already put in his request for a copy of that same picture.”

AJ nodded. “And you know why?” He tapped the photo once more. “This is a picture of the real Gia. The one we used to know before she lost her smile.” Before her breakup with Nikolas. AJ’s words were unspoken but clear.

“I am glad to see her back.” He gently placed his hand atop Gia’s. “Maybe she will let me take her out tonight to celebrate her return.”

Gia was shocked to hear herself say “Yes.”

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