"Raise your chin just a touch, please."
Doing just as she was told, the familiar, blinding set of flashes would follow. Once they had died out, the photographer sighed happily as he would murmur something to one of the lighting crew. The light behind Nadia turned off and she was finally able to relax, exhaling a breath as she would carefully step down off the elevated platform. She blinked a few times in an attempt to clear her vision, resisting the urge to rub her eye and ruin her makeup. After a few seconds one of the interns approached her with a water bottle that she gladly accepted, resisting the urge to down it in one go as she walked towards her agent.
The photo shoot had gone well; a last minute change, but not unwelcome considering she had nothing better to do. She stopped in her tracks as a tall, redheaded woman strolled towards her, head held high and moving with a grace that couldn't be taught, only emulated if you were lucky. The billowing dress added to the visage, the material flourishing with every movement. Anyone who may have been in her way moved immediately, no one questioning her presence. Her expression was neutral, though her eyes were concentrated on Nadia.
"Mama," Nadia was surprised to see Elizabeth on the set, her grip on her bottle tightening. "What are you doing here?"
Her expression remained still, if somewhat stony. Instead she gestured towards a less populated area, and Nadia had to hold back a groan. Was she in trouble? She didn't do anything! Still, there was no escaping, so instead Nadia would follow her mother, waiting until she would speak. Fortunately, she didn't keep her in the dark for too long. "What time did you get home last night?" She ignored Nadia's question, instead giving her own.
"Oh, um...maybe around four?" She honestly couldn't remember off the top of her head.
"Lucas and Victoire arrived before you," Elizabeth frowned at her daughter. "Who were you with?"
"I was in the hospital, my friend got hurt," Nadia replied in earnest.
"You could have come home and left him there."
"I didn't want him to go alone." Now it was Nadia's turn to frown. "Hospitals are frightening when you're by yourself."
Elizabeth looked somewhat resigned at her comment, though she recovered, bringing her hands together in front of her. "That's kind of you, Nadia, but you didn't consider that getting dropped off at that time--by a boy, no less--has...implications," She chose her words carefully, trying to see if she could get Nadia to understand what she was trying to say. "People are always going to assume the worst, they always think of bad intentions before thinking of good ones. Do you see what I'm trying to say?"
Nadia wasn't quite sure she was understanding. "No," It was a little more blunt than she had wanted, but she didn't get it.
Elizabeth closed her eyes for a moment, opening them to give Nadia a much more critical look. "You coming home at that time is unacceptable. You have a reputation to uphold, and I won't have the media catching wind of any escapades you might have. Do you see what I'm saying now?" She met Nadia's bluntness with her own, using it much more effectively.
Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Nadia took in a deep breath before she would respond. "There was no escapade, Mama. If anything people would wonder if I was hurt, it was a hospital, not a hotel room," There was a slightly bitter taste as she remembered hearing something like this from Kavi, but she ignored it as she pressed on. "Why do you always have to assume the worst of me?"
"I'm not assuming anything. You came home late, and I'm telling you, as your mother, that I won't tolerate you coming home past your curfew," Elizabeth replied, crossing her arms.
Nadia shook her head slowly, though she seemed to give up. "Sure, Mama, whatever you say," She knew the conversation wasn't going anywhere. "Is that all?"
"No. We need to schedule a fitting for the dress you'll be wearing to the wedding," Elizabeth continued. I've already gotten your plans for the week from your agent but I need to know if you'll be doing anything in school."
Ugh, the wedding. Nadia wrinkled her nose at the thought, glad to have escaped getting involved in any of that planning early on. Her eyes landed on the diamond ring Nathaniel had given her. Flashy and too much for any normal woman, perfect for her mother. But she kept that thought to herself; Nathaniel was a good man, and the two were clearly in love, but going all out for this wedding was just ridiculous. But that was the kind of woman Elizabeth was: over the top, grandiose, too much, and needing everything exactly the way she wanted it to be.
For now, Nadia would digress, mentally going over her plans. "Yeah, but just let me know when, I can just move things around," Best to just get it over with.
Elizabeth nodded, pausing for a moment. She looked like she had more to say, but instead she approached Nadia, gently kissing her head before taking her leave. Nadia let out a breath she wasn't aware she was holding, instead returning to the changing room to get out of her uncomfortable outfit.