Has fate led her to a real-life hero?
Actress and model DOMINIQUE LAWS has been living the Hollywood dream--fame, fortune, a handsome and powerful husband, and adoring fans. Although her talent hasn't faded, lately good roles have been getting scarce. When Dominique learns that her business manager husband has been cheating on her; personally and financially--she finds herself down-and-out in Beverly Hills. With all that's happened, now is the time for Dominique to regroup and reconnect with what really matters. But a chance meeting with a Denzel-fine filmmaker may just be the opportunity to play the role of a lifetime....
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August 31, 2007
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Excerpt from Moments Like This by Donna Hill
Image is everything. The full-length mirror reflected the gown, the jewels, the hair, the nails, all selected and done with precise deliberation. There was no room for flaws. No one must ever know that beneath the picture-perfect exterior, a war of uncertainty raged within.
"Dominique, hurry up, babe, we're going to be late," Clifton called out from the bottom of the spiral staircase.
"I'm coming, I'm coming. Just one last thing." She stole a final glance. Her reflection smiled at her with practiced confidence.
Clifton adjusted the cuffs of his stark white, handmade shirt. The diamond links sparkled beneath the light of the overhanging crystal chandelier.
He crossed the black-and-white swirling marble floor to the minibar on the far side of the sunken living room. The off-white walls were adorned with larger-than-life black-and-white photos of Dominique, some from her early days as a supermodel to more recent ones of her in various roles on the big screen.
Clifton poured a glass of brandy and went to stand in front of his favorite photograph--the one of Dominique on the beach at Saint Tropez. She was emerging from the water, her mid-length hair plastered around her face and shoulders. Her hazel eyes were bright and filled with excitement, her body flawless in every way.
She hadn't aged a bit in the years since he'd taken that photo. If anything, her natural beauty had become more alluring.
Clifton took a thoughtful swallow from his glass and tried to think of what excuse he'd offer his lovely wife later on in the evening for leaving her alone.
Clifton turned toward the sound of her voice. Dominique was at the top of stairs. The teal-colored Vera Wang Grecian gown looked fabulous against her cinnamon-colored skin. The deep V-cut gave the observer just enough stimulation without being obvious. He was pleased she'd followed his suggestion and wore the dress he'd chosen for her. He shouldn't be surprised, however, Dominique had always done as he suggested.
"You look incredible," he said sincerely as she gracefully came down the winding stairs, her years of modeling and strutting in front of all-seeing eyes paying off.
A childlike smile moved across her full mouth and woke up the dimple in the right corner of her chin. Diamonds dripped from her ears, caressed her long neck and embraced her left wrist.
"Thank you," she said in that sultry voice her fans had come to know. She walked up to him and kissed him lightly on the lips, enough not to disturb her makeup or leave her lipstick on him.
Clifton finished off his drink and set the empty glass down on the bar.
"Our car is out front."
"I'm so nervous," she confessed as Clifton helped her into the backseat of the limo.
He patted her smooth hand then held it tightly. "You have nothing to be nervous about. No matter what happens this is your night to shine. Just remember what I've always told you, the face you present to the crowd must never reflect your true feelings inside. Give them what they want to see at all times."
She pressed her polished lips together and bobbed her head.
That advice had served her well over the years, she mused, settling back against the plush leather. The car slowly pulled out of the circular driveway of their Beverly Hills mansion.
She'd come a long way from working as a dental assistant by day and a jazz club waitress by night. The life she lived now was so far removed from her life in Atlanta that often it felt like a dream to her-- someone else's life.
There were nights when she'd leap up from sleep, her heart racing and her entire body covered in dampness, believing that she'd lost everything.
Thoughtfully, she reached for Clifton's hand and brought it to her lips. Her husband meant everything to her. As clich? as it sounded, Clifton literally discovered her on the streets of Atlanta. At the time, she'd just turned twenty and wished for some miracle to take the ordinariness out of her days.
"I don't mean to be rude, but have you ever thought of modeling?" he'd asked when he'd stopped her on the street.
"Very original," she replied and started to walk off.
"Wait, here, take this." He handed her a business card.
She barely glanced at it. "Thanks," she muttered, stuck it in the back pocket of her jeans and continued on her way.
"Call me," he shouted.
It was more than a week later when she was gathering her clothes for the laundry that she ran across the card. She stared at the card, contemplating. Clifton Burrell, Fashion Photographer. What harm would it do to call? She did and was surprised to get his assistant on the phone. She made an appointment to come in a week later. Her older sister, Annette, told her she was crazy for going. First, what made her think she was pretty enough to model and second she hoped Dominique didn't wind up on the six o'clock news as another statistic. Dominique went anyway.