What the fuck?
I hung up the phone and yelled at my assistant in the other room. "Sue, do you know who that was?"
"Yeah," she answered with a smirk. "I told you who when I switched the call over to you."
"But I didn't believe you," I protested. "That was Will Crawford! I've only had a mad, passionate fantasy love affair going with him for the last six months."
Sue laughed. "Who hasn't? So what'd he want?"
I started to tell her, then felt my mental censor spring into action. "Um, photos, of course. What else?"
"Cool. Can I watch?"
"We'll see," I said vaguely and pretended to look for something on my cluttered desk. "Where is that damn file?"
"Which file?" she asked, starting toward me.
"Never mind." I picked up something at random. "Got it."
She took the hint and returned to her desk while I sat there, dazed. Will Crawford, Mr. GQ himself, asking me to take pictures of him. Nude pictures of him. I put a hand on my heart and felt it hammering away. I swear my cock twitched in excitement.
I'm a successful commercial photographer during the day, but on my own time, I offer a service that has proven highly lucrative—taking photos of celebrities with their clothes off. It's not what it sounds like. Mostly, they are at the height of their physical beauty and want something they can stash away to look at when they get old, and okay, one of them was a sick son of a bitch, asking me to take pictures of him with his dog, but I'm not going there except to say that he was so small, maybe that was the only way he could feel anything.
My name gets passed from person to person, and I've made a fortune at this because I'm good, I'm discreet, and most importantly, I'm trustworthy. None of the photos I've taken have shown up anywhere they weren't supposed to. I keep these "special" shots under lock and key at the local bank in a safe deposit box, where no one can get at them except me, and my lawyer has specific instructions on how to deal with them should something unexpected happen to me.
An hour after Crawford's call, I grabbed my bag and left, telling Sue, "I'm meeting a potential client for a drink. I may or may not be back today."
She waved goodbye to me, busy talking to someone on the phone. I knew who it was by her tone and massive eye roll, and smiled. If anyone could handle that fucking queen, Sue could.
Will had asked me to meet him at a place near West Hollywood, so I jumped in the car and drove. It was nice that day, sunny and warm with a light breeze. The wind coming through the open window ruffled my short, light brown hair, and I was glad I'd worn sunglasses. Otherwise, I'd have been squinting and thinking about the eye wrinkles that would cause in a few years. I have nice eyes, or so I've been told. A pretty hazel color that turns fully green if I wear the right shirt.
What I'd told Sue was true. I'd had some hot daydreams about Mr. Crawford, but I'm a professional first, so when I walked into the bar, stopping inside the door to let my eyes adjust to the darkness, I was in control of myself and my emotions. My dick was another matter. It wanted to jump for joy, and I was having a hard time breathing normally.
It was the kind of place where a host/hostess came over and asked what you wanted, restaurant or bar, and I said, "I'm meeting someone, name of Will Crawford."
She didn't bat an eye. "Yes, he's here. Please come this way."
I followed her all the way to the back, and there he was, sitting at a table for two in a quiet corner. A bottle of beer was between his hands and he was looking at it thoughtfully. The dark shirt and blue jeans he wore fit him perfectly, drawing attention to his trim body.
As the hostess gestured me toward his table, I inhaled cautiously and stuck out my hand. "Mr. Crawford? Rick Sailor. We spoke on the phone earlier."
He looked up, smiled, and stood, shaking my hand. "Nice to meet you. Please call me Will, and have a seat."
His smile was devastating, just knocked me out. I'm amazed I had the presence of mind to find the chair and plant myself on it without hitting the floor.
The waitress approached, and he asked me, "Want something to drink?"
"House merlot is fine."
She went away, and he looked at me with those deep brown eyes. "I got your name from a friend of a friend."
"Yeah, that's how it usually works."
"I was assured you were absolutely trustworthy." He smiled. "That I won't be seeing the photos spread across the middle two pages in the Enquirer."
I smiled back at him. "You have my word, and as I realize that is not enough, I also brought a contract. Standard stuff, states that you can sue the shit out of me if I ever release the photos to anyone without your specific permission, in writing." I pulled the papers out of my bag and set them on the table.
He glanced at them and nodded. "Do you need to know why I want them?"
"No. Your reasons are your own."
His smile got wider. "So how does this happen?"
"You mean, where do we do it?" I laughed. "The studio is okay, but I have access to a place just outside the city that offers a barn, lake, woods... Do you want something static and posed, or do you want to just act naturally?"
He raised his eyebrows. "I'm not sure. What do you suggest?"
"Natural is always better, and people tend to relax more easily in the country."
"No possibility of hidden cameras, paparazzi?" he asked.
I shook my head. "None. I guarantee it. If you don't tell anyone where you're going, your privacy is assured. My dad owns the place, which consists of one hundred sixty acres of posted land."
The waitress returned with my wine, and we fell silent until after she'd left. Will took a sip of his beer, and I tasted the wine, which wasn't great, considering the place's reputation.
His skin was goddamn perfect; I'm not lying. The photographer in me couldn't wait to look at him through a lens, but the man in me was jumping up and down, ecstatic that he was going to see this guy in the buff. How many people would have killed to be in my shoes that day? About a zillion, I'm guessing.
"I looked you up online, saw some of your photos." He looked at me. "You're good."
"I am," I agreed.
"How did you get into the other...the, um, art photos?"
I couldn't help but chuckle. "Hey, it's only dirty if that's your mindset. I happen to think naked bodies are beautiful, especially when they look like yours." I drank more wine as he blushed. "I've got connections in the industry, and it just sort of evolved."
"And it doesn't bother you that these photos can never be shown? That you can't hang them on a gallery wall and show them off?"
I stared at him. "Yeah, sometimes it does. Because who doesn't want others to see what they've done and ooh and aah over it? But that's the deal, and I stick to it."
He was looking at his beer again. "Okay, I hear you." He picked up the contract. "I'll read it tonight, and if it covers everything adequately, I'll sign and we can proceed. Sound good?"
"Works for me."
He got up, took a final swig of his beer, threw a twenty on the table, and left. I watched his ass as he walked away and sighed. Christ, what a body. What a man.