Easy, easy money, thought Marc, pulling his shirt open and giving the photographer his sexiest smile. Lucky she’d run into him at the lounge; the agency would have charged her two-fifty an hour and paid him seventy-five an hour. He was making eight hundred cash for the afternoon. After figuring for taxes he wouldn’t pay on it, he was pulling two days’ pay for a Saturday afternoon.
And if she wanted a little more than pictures… no problem. She wouldn’t be the first cougar he’d worked for, and she obviously took care of herself.
“Okay, that’s the clothing,” she said. She had three small jobs come in all at once, and he was modeling for all three.
“The shower shoot. Lucky me, I had Phillips install it a month ago, so I don’t have to pay to set up another in the studio.”
“Yeah. You gotta work whatever angles you can these days.”
“You got it!” She smiled like a cat (or maybe a cougar) and led him to a spacious bathroom. “Just put your clothes on the shelf, get wet in the shower, then wrap this towel around yourself. I’ll give you some privacy, let me know when you’re ready.” She left and closed the door.
Marc did as asked, thinking maybe this will be just a photo shoot after all. Either way, no problem. He stepped out, his wet sandy hair curling into ringlets. He took the towel, called her in, and she shot him in several poses and positions.
Click. Click. Click.
“Great,” she gushed. He now noticed she’d changed too, into a black robe that tied down the front. Uh-huh. As long as she didn’t want anything kinky… eight hundred only bought so much. “Keep the towel on, I think we’ll use it for the garden shot — it’ll add some kick, don’t you think? Bring your clothes, just in case.”
He shrugged, smiled, tucked the towel in. “You’re the client.”
The afternoon was thankfully warm. She posed him on a picnic blanket, on one knee, holding a glass of wine as if offering it to the camera.
He lay on his side, gazing into the distance, touching the wine bottle.
After a while, he sort of lost track. He was a meat puppet, a pliable statue — in his modeling zone.
Click. Click. Click.
“Last thing,” she said, startling him out of his zone and leading him to a tree. “Stand here.”
Barefoot, of course. Among the moss and ferns and who knows what. He’d need a shower afterwards, but he’d done worse. She wove a thin wreath from twigs and placed it on his head.
She positioned the camera to one side, checked the view, came around to stand in front of him. He was on a slight rise.
“Hands behind your back?” He complied as she undid the first two ties on the robe. “Close your eyes for me.” Rustling noises. “Perfect. Don’t move.” Her voice grew sultry. “Are you stiff yet?”
“Hmm?” Eyes closed, his face betrayed slight curiosity —
She gave the statue a puzzled look. “Yellowish? Why did you —?” She shrugged and picked his wallet out of his clothes, retrieving the money she used for bait, and looked at his driver’s license. “Marcus Sander Graham?” She felt the surface. “Damn… sandstone.” Names had power, of course, enough to send a powerful spell slightly awry. She looked back at the statue that had once been a model and thought — he didn’t match her other statuary, but he’d bring a good price if she took care in shipping. “All is well.” She turned to the camera and took a final picture of him, standing under the tree.