On the campus of Blue Ridge University, Shay Mellis was regarded far and wide as the sexiest woman anybody had ever seen in person.
She grew up in Savannah, Georgia, with four brothers. Her father was a banker; her mother stayed home, tended to the garden, and loved painting with oils.
Shay enrolled at BRU, initially, on a dance team scholarship. But she grew weary of the time commitment and, what the hell, her parents had plenty of money anyway, so she quit the dance team, joined a sorority, and led her sisters to four consecutive intramural volleyball titles.
She always envisioned herself with someone of money—a lawyer, doctor, investment banker. A tall rugged man who would look as comfortable in a wool suit as he did in a flannel shirt and jeans. She dreamed of a big brick colonial in Buckhead with a courtyard and a garden and backyard tennis court next to the pool. The three-car garage would hold a Cadillac, a BMW, and a red two-seat convertible.
What attracted James Bouvier to her was her confidence, a regal air that he found irresistible.
The Shay dossier
APPEARANCE: Wild, shoulder-length, thick, dark brown hair; brown eyes, thin, athletic build; vibrant tanned skin; her only imperfection are her slightly crooked bottom teeth
PRIMARY STYLE OF DRESS: Looks great in anything
MOST STRIKING PHYSICAL FEATURE: A tongue so long she can lick the underside of her chin
VOICE: Honey-tinged Southern drawl, with a slight lisp
BEST TRAIT: The aura of a movie star
WORST TRAIT: Hubris, primarily. She’s also obsessed with money. (Otis thinks she should change her name to “Ava Rice.”) She is also impatient, and simply cannot abide tardiness
IDIOSYNCRASIES: Black bean soup makes her fart, loudly and with great stench; when she's bored, she likes to sit in a public place and try to figure out the occupations of the people walking by, based on their appearance
FAVORITE MOVIE: Gone With The Wind
MOVIE CHARACTER: Julie Roberts as Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman
MONSTER: The Invisible Man
BOOK: “Is it unbecoming to say that I don’t really care to read?”
MUSICAL ARTIST: Justin Timberlake, Dixie Chicks
SPORT: Water skiing, volleyball
SNACK: Apple slices smeared with peanut butter
MEAL: Shrimp and grits with a side of raw oysters
DESSERT: Pecan pie or chocolate cake
IDEAL MAN: “What, just one?”
IDEAL DAY: A mimosa, some water skiing, going out dancing, and then whatever life brings