One of the assistants calls Yushka’s name. Bare-chested, he appears from a group of models, strolls to the spotlights, and waits in front of the camera with the confident stance of a professional.
The whole place quiets as if in awe. He’s unbelievably beautiful with his tanned, bulging muscles and washboard-abs-to-die-for. When Lemaître asks him to undo his hair, a black waterfall lands on his shoulders and down his back. A few muffled feminine squeals fill the silence.
A long, pinkish scar stretches on his right flank, below the ribs. I haven’t seen it before; the photo designers must edit it away.
One by one, authors whose books he appears on get a few pictures taken with him in flattering positions, wrapping their arms around his back or swallowed up in his embrace, beaming like schoolgirls at their first prom.
Jealousy rips through me so violently I can barely breathe, but my time is up soon, and I hate that even more. I’m non-photogenic, and seeing pictures of myself makes me sick. I’ve chosen a sexy, black top and matching short skirt for the occasion, but looking my best doesn’t help. My stomach ties in a knot.
“Cindy Vega,” an assistant calls.
Fuck, that’s me. I’m dead.
“Go,” Laurie says, giving me a small push.
All muscles tense, I leave my safe corner and join Yushka. He greets me with a placid face, but from the warmth in his pupils, I get a feeling he’s glad to see me. Side by side, narrowing our eyes from the piercing light, we face Lemaître and wait for orders.
Damn. Being so near Yushka’s naked torso is unbearable, as is the heat from the lamps shining on us. Sweat beads roll down the sides of my chest, between my breasts. He endures, too. A thin film of sweat coats his golden skin, making it glow, but he doesn’t seem bothered.
Lemaître clears his throat. “Bon. Stand a little closer. Cindy, this is for Eden Luna’s website. Officially, we want authors happily meeting their cover models, but off the record, we want sensual, we want heat. Readers will get off seeing your pictures like they do reading your books.”
Stiff as a rod, I nod agreement. I’d half expected this. Problem is, I hate being in the spotlight with so many people watching, and I hate the notion of having my photo all over the internet.
“Sooo,” he continues, “I will ask you to just stand like this, facing me, and smile. That is all. Yushka knows what he has to do.”
Turning to my side, Yushka puts a hot hand on my stomach and the other on the small of my back. Though light, his touches destabilize me, as does the warm, musky scent sneaking to my nostrils.
“Closer,” Lemaître orders. “Bodily contact.”
Shit, I’m fucked.
The hunk radiates heat as he approaches, sweaty chest sticking to my arm, heart beating against my skin. His crotch barely brushes my hip, but each pore in my body becomes acutely aware of him, on high alert. As last night’s intense arousal replays in all of me, my inner thighs clench with renewed want.
Whispers and low chuckles sound from both sides of the vast lobby. I try to forget the hundred eyes following my every move but can’t help being distracted, bathed in full light and painfully self-conscious.
“That is better.” Like a shooting gun, Lemaître’s camera clicks and the flash blinds me repetitively. “Now, give him a smile, Cindy. You know the kind I want.”
My throat so dry I can’t speak, I turn to Yushka.
He’s very near, inches from my face, black pupils gleaming with mischief. Sweat pearls on his face, making him look sexier than ever. Long, black hairs glue to his forehead and cheeks. He smells of soap, his close shave making him look baby-faced.
Seemingly at ease, the heaving of his chest regular, he stares into my eyes. I can’t believe his confidence. Modelling is his profession, but how does he stay so fucking calm?
“You wanna give me a smile?” he whispers, warm breaths brushing my chin. Behind me, his large hand sneaks lower and palms my butt cheek. With that and his other fingers splaying on my stomach, he pulls me to him, making me feel the entire length and…hardness…of his cock on my hip.
I suck in a breath.
His lips curl up in a self-satisfied grin. “Hm, Andrea? You wanna give me a smile?”
Oh my fucking God. I can’t help but obey while my insides go up in flames.
Flashing his teeth, he kneads my ass with a strong hand and pushes his full erection against me. He knows what he’s doing, the devil. He knows slowly rubbing me with his cock turns my pussy to burning liquid.
Somewhere, a feminine gasp breaks the silence, followed by contained laughter.
“Très bien, we have a smile,” Lemaître says, camera clicking, flash shooting. “Thank you, Cindy, that will be enough. Next!”
Still grinning and holding my look, Yushka slowly backs off, leaving chillier air between us.
I’m frozen. In shock, lust, need.
“Come on, move it!” Lemaître calls. “We don’t have all day.”
Copyright @ 2014 Lea Bronsen