The lights are hot and bright. Blinding, even.
The lens lowers revealing the sultry stare. “Over there.” The slightest tip of his head directs me.
With trembling knees, I drift forward, reassured by the crisp linen top brushing against my thighs. Pausing, I reach out, and the crushed velvet deepens from moody red to deepest burgundy under the weight of my touch.
He’s in front of me, bobbing, weaving, muttering, as he seeks the angle, the light.
His fingers rake through my hair, shaking it, draping it just so, the rapid swish of the shutter following seconds after. He adjusts my collar, the solidity of the chair saving me as my knees wobble. “Gorgeous.” The top two buttons slip free of their moorings. “Lean forward.”
This is my debut; my first commission; my premiere album cover.
“Those eyes. So beautiful.”
The colour is rising in my cheeks, heat quivering through me as the sweet, honeyed words serenade me. I drape myself across the velvet, the whirring shutter chasing the fading endearments away.
“More, darling.” He flutters his shirt.
I adjust, and at his drawn brow, adjust again, playing to the lens.
His brow smooths. “Goddess.” Another shirt flutter.
This wasn’t in the contract. Still, I slip another button free of its moorage, feeling equally adrift.
He arrives in front of me, soft, warm hands engulfing mine and encouraging the fabric down my shoulders.
Time halts, my muscles tight. “No!”
A stormy gaze locks onto mine. “No?”
Where did the honey go? “This wasn’t in the contract.”
A grunt accompanies his dismissive wave. Under his guidance, my shirt continues its journey toward the pitted floor. As it lands in a heap, he turns and reaches for his camera.
By the time the lens rises again, I’m already gone.
Kate Smith is a Canadian author writing Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, and Women’s Fiction. Her novels include The Hamilton Series, which is available worldwide, along with the first book in her new series You Me & Us. You can find more information about her at katesmithauthor.com.
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