Recovering slightly, I pulled in a shaky breath. I wondered how loud I’d been. Ben’s smug smile of satisfaction confirmed he was pleased—with his performance, or mine, I didn’t know. Didn’t care. I needed to touch him. He removed his hand from my panties and planted a soft kiss on my mouth.
“Feel better, honey?” A smug smile was planted firmly on his lips. His reaction was cute. And yeah, that orgasm was a doozy. There was no denying that.
With my eyes watching his, my hands found his belt and worked to unlatch it. The moment felt highly erotic. We lay side by side on the bed, watching each other’s eyes as I unbuttoned and unzipped his pants. We both knew what was coming, and the anticipation was thick between us. He kissed me softly on my lips and forehead while I slid my hand into the front of his boxers. I was rewarded with a rock-hard, thick c*ck pressing insistently against my palm. His skin was warm and taut and my sex muscles clenched in response. My hand curled tightly around his shaft and he groaned. The noise came from deep inside him and I loved that sound. Closing my hand around him, I began stroking. Ben dropped his head back against the pillow in complete surrender. I liked knowing I did that to him. Not some supermodel. Me.
His h*ps rocked forward into my hand and his mouth momentarily stilled over mine as he released a low moan. “Emmy . . .”
The feel of Ben in my hand was amazing—a powerful rush surged through me. Even if it was just for this moment, he was mine.
“Fuuuck, that feels good.” He watched me with a sexy half-lidded stare of awe, his breath coming fast through those pouty lips. “Faster baby, a little faster.”
I could feel warm pr**um already leaking from the tip. My hand gripped him tighter and I increased my speed, rubbing along his hardened shaft and up over the head. A few more strokes and I was rewarded with a throaty groan and felt Ben come, warm jets of sem*n erupting against my hand and his stomach.
Neither of us had removed a single article of clothing, but we’d each succeeded in finding release together. I was guessing I’d regret this in the morning, but the stupid feeling of bliss spreading through my chest wouldn’t be dampened right now.
Ben dropped a kiss against my forehead then reached for the tissues on my nightstand. He quickly cleaned us both up then tucked his still hard c*ck back inside his pants.
Ben stood from the bed and leaned down to kiss my forehead. “Shall I tuck you in?”
I nodded drowsily.
He peeled back the covers and I shimmied out of my jeans, suddenly too tired to feel self-conscious. He chuckled at me and swept my hair back behind my ears.
“Sorry,” I yawned. “I guess the wine hit me pretty hard.”
Ben’s lips curved upward. “Was it the wine or the orgasm?”
“Shh. Hush.” I smiled.
Ben, still smiling, looked down at me. “Thanks for tonight. It was good to go out with someone who’s not looking for me to be the guy they see in the pictures.”
“I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to be yourself.”
He brought his hand to my jawline and his thumb skittered along my cheek. “I did. Thank you.”
He smiled softly. “We’ll see. I’m not the best sleeper.”
I frowned. What did that mean? Wasn’t sleep a vital bodily function needed for survival? I knew it was pretty much one of my favorite things in the world. “Well, if you can’t sleep, you know you can text me.”
“Can I now?”
Captain f**king obvious. Nice one, Emmy. I simply nodded.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” His gaze lingered on mine for a moment, then he strode toward the door and left without another word. But really, what was there to say? Tonight had been nothing like I had expected.
After he left, I reluctantly left the warm cocoon of the bed to brush my teeth and change into my pajamas before crawling under the covers. I was nowhere near asleep when my phone chimed with a new message.
Ben: Are you awake?
Wasn’t there some rule about texting a man back after midnight? I glanced at the clock. It was 12:20. I didn’t care. I would break the rules for Ben.
Me: Yes. Hi
Ben: You sure it’s wise to text me back when you’re in bed, Miss Clarke? Now that I’ve got that visual in my head . . .
Ben: He misses you.
There was a dimly lit picture of Ben lying in bed. Just his chest, abs, and black boxer briefs, which were nicely filled out in the front.
I smiled to myself and shook my head. My exhaustion took a backseat if it meant flirting with Ben was an option. I liked that he’d texted me just moments after leaving. I liked the idea that he was still thinking of me. My brain refused to focus on anything else. I studied the picture more closely, imagining licking those grooves in his abs, working my way lower to bite his c*ck through the fabric of his boxers. Something about this man brought out my primal side.
Me: Are you hard again?
Me: He looks that good just being lazy?!
Who was this girl? And what had she done with careful, straight-laced Emmy? Ben turned me into a flirty version of myself I didn’t quite recognize, but liked all the same. I giggled silently, my eyes glued to my phone and waiting for his response.
Ben: You can play with my c*ck any time.
Shit. Just as quickly as it had appeared, my smile faded. Panic flared through me. I couldn’t be his booty call for the next three months. Could I? I was treading on dangerous ground here. He was so good-looking and charming; I knew I was already falling for him in a matter of days. He’d already told me he wasn’t looking to be tied down. . . . I couldn’t be his dirty little secret, wasn’t cut out for that kind of frivolous relationship. My heart would never survive it.
Ben: That was fun.
Me: Yes it was.
I needed to find a way to tell him that wasn’t happening again. I released a heavy exhale and my phone chimed again.
Ben: I want to fuck.
Me: Ben, I don’t do the casual sex thing.
Ben: No worries, doll.
I had no clue how to interpret his last text. Should I not be worried because he didn’t either . . . or because this was just harmless flirting? Get a grip, Em! God, we were coworkers. What had I been thinking shoving my hand down his pants tonight? I didn’t want to sound like a dipstick, but I needed him to understand I was not some hussy he could have his way with.
Me: Tonight was fun, but we’re coworkers, Ben. That can’t happen again. Cool?
Ben: Whatever you want.
His message did nothing to calm my anxieties. What did I want? And why was I suddenly flooded with disappointment?
By Thursday, I was ready to dropkick Fiona. We’d spent the week prepping for Ben’s upcoming campaign. She had daily meetings to discuss budgeting, location scouting, styling, and storyboarding—all while weighing me down with heaps of Post-its.
I sat at the desk in her suite and she leaned over my shoulder, as if supervising my typing skills was a necessity. I was creating a new portfolio page for Ben that included a couple of his most recent shots. Fiona would share this with the fragrance company that was considering making him their spokesmodel. I opened the photo from his Calvin Klein shoot. Ben was in just his skivvies, a lucky pair of heather-gray boxer briefs that hugged him in all the right places. I reached for the mouse to click to the next photo but Fiona’s talons caught my hand.
“Hold on.” She leaned in closer to the screen.
I glanced at her from the corner of my eye. Gosh, drool much?? It was Ben in his underpants, so I got it, but sheesh.
“This is a nice one,” I commented, trying to keep my tone neutral.
A slow smile curled Fiona’s mouth upward. “He’s a big boy.” Heat blossomed in my cheeks. Her words were confident, sure, and left me reeling. “Yes, let’s use this one, the one from his Gucci shoot and the GQ cover.”
Still speechless, I assembled all the photos into the document. Then I added his height, measurements, and the Status Models logo before printing several color copies. Fiona slid them into her leather portfolio and began packing up her things for her meeting.
I scrubbed a hand across my face. I hadn’t heard from Ben since our encounter in my hotel room and our subsequent texting when I told him that that was a one-time thing. I didn’t know if that was good or bad. Supermodels probably weren’t used to the word no.
My last text to him ran through my head on repeat. He seemed to have taken it to heart, but what did I expect? Did I want him to argue with me? Hold me down and make love to me? The visual made me shiver.
I checked my phone for messages. Nothing. It was time to get ready for tonight’s cocktail mixer, anyway. I excused myself from Fiona’s room and made my way downstairs to shower, fighting off the feelings of disappointment and hurt.
I stood under the rough spray of water, letting it wash away the makeup from the shoot. It had been a tiring day. Henri, the photographer, was known for favoring a jumping style in his shoots. He liked to capture his subjects midjump to evoke a sense of movement, so I’d spent several hours leaping into the air, pushing my body into various positions and angles while keeping my face neutral and making sure the clothes and my hair remained in place. Fun times.
The streaming hot water beat against my back, relaxing me, and my thoughts wandered to Emmy. She was proving to be quite the contradiction.
Some girls were model-fuckers—willing to drop their panties as soon as they heard my profession. Others were intimidated and self-conscious, assuming they’d never be good enough to be with a model. Both types annoyed me.
Emmy was neither. Her self-confidence wasn’t as robust as it probably should be; I sensed some of that was from Fiona’s hurled insults. But, mostly, I was attracted to her uncanny ability to keep me guessing.
Since I was pretty sure that f**king me wasn’t number one on her agenda, her behavior confused me. She was flirty and sexy through text, polite and professional at work. Distant, even.
If I had to put my finger on it, I’d say she was most interested in being friends. And while I might have thought having her as a friend was a good idea initially, I didn’t really have friends. Certainly not friends I wanted to fuck. Badly.
I’d never had to work to get a girl in my bed. The thought was almost laughable. Almost. If my balls weren’t f**king aching at the thought of waiting, it would be funny. That wouldn’t do. I needed to have her.
After several long minutes, I reluctantly shut off the water and climbed out of the glass-enclosed shower. I wrapped a towel around my hips, tossing another across my shoulders. Emerging into the bedroom, I rubbed the towel across my face but the feeling that I wasn’t alone caused me to pull the towel away. Fiona sat on the edge of my bed with a wide, cocky grin.
“You were brilliant today.” Her eyes traveled down my nak*d chest before coming to rest on mine.
Crossing the room to the bureau, I grabbed a pair of boxers, a T-shirt, and jeans. The sound of Fiona’s soft laughter filled the silence. I pulled the shirt over my head and turned away from her, letting the towel drop to the floor. It wasn’t like Fiona hadn’t seen my bare ass before. I pulled on the boxer briefs and heard her softly padding across the room to stand behind me. Her hands came around my middle, encircling my waist as she pressed her br**sts into my back.
“Love,” she whispered. Her voice was a desperate plea, full of longing.
“I’m tired, Fiona.” I removed her hands from where they’d been caressing my abs and turned to face her.
The clouded look in her eyes fell away as she snapped her gaze to mine. “Of course. You worked hard today. Dinner’s on the way and then I can give you a massage after. We’ll see if we can get you to sleep tonight.” She offered a weak smile.
I merely nodded. I’d been hoping to text with Emmy again tonight. Maybe even pay her a visit, see if I could get beyond that exterior she tried to put up. A quick glance past Fiona to the clock told me it was only eight. She should still be up for a while.
A knock at the door broke our eye contact. Fiona let in the room service while I pulled on my jeans.
We sat on my bed and dined, as we had so many times before in cities around the globe. Even the meal was familiar—grilled fish and vegetables, wine and sparkling water. God forbid there be fat or carbs involved.
Fiona’s mouth moved sensually while she ate, gliding over the tines of her fork. Her eyes stayed on mine. She was an attractive woman, despite our sixteen-year age difference, I found her appealing. Then again, I found things to appreciate about all women. Their frilly panties, their little manicured toes, the curve of a lower back, their scent. Yes, I loved women. Just looking at them, admiring them. Maybe it was because of my chosen profession that I was aware of all their beauty.
I’d spent countless hours with my mom’s old issues of Vogue and InStyle. We’d sit in her big canopied bed on Sunday morning, have breakfast in bed, and flip through every page. As a mom-son bonding experience, it was odd. But it was the one we’d had. She was usually too hung over for breakfast, but she’d sip her coffee and watch me eat and we’d comment on all the looks.
Brunette, blonde, redhead, olive skinned, or freckled, I found beauty in it all. And I didn’t discriminate. Sure, most of my female companions were models, but I attracted more than my fair share of attention from other girls, too. I’d messed around with girls in my teens years, at first a little shy and fumbling, but as I learned their bodies, I grew confident. And after I lost my virginity at eighteen, my sexual appetite increased dramatically. Much to Fiona’s dismay. She regularly reminded me how much my interest in other girls displeased her. And since she was more than just my boss—she was a family friend—I tried my best to keep her happy. I think I’d been blown on every continent as a result. Quick indiscretions were easier. Plus, there was no girl to try to get out of my hotel room later on.