I paced the studio nervously the next morning. It was only 7 but the investor's desires took a lot of time to prepare for with the models. The four back up models came in at 8, all looking excited. I forced a smile on my face as Luther introduced himself.
Luther was 30 - five years older than me. He had a stronger grip on the numbers so I was in charge of finding the models. Usually we would work within a network but, with this shoot, I wanted unknown women.
"Okay," I said, rubbing my hands, "first thing we need to do is have you beautiful young women sign this contract. All it says is that you have to stay silent. Also, you have to agree that, should we need you in the future, we can call you."
I knew they wouldn't have any problems with that. These women aspired to be models. Mirela, on the other hand....
"Time to get ready," Luther said at 8:15.
"Wait," one of the girls, Tiffany, said. "Shouldn't there be another one?"
"She'll be here soon," I said. "Follow Luther and he'll introduce you to the rest of the team."
I waited by the door for Mirela, another contract in my hand. I had conveniently left out the part about being called in the future but I knew that, if I got her in the door, she'd agree.
She arrived right at 8:30, looking anxious but sexy as ever. I passed her the contract and, just as I thought, she glared at me.
"I see you 'forgot' to mention something last night," she said.
I smiled innocently. "It's just one clause," I said. "Besides, you don't have to agree to come if we call you."
She shook her head with a sigh but signed anyway. Score!
"Let's introduce you to the other ladies," I said and put my hand on her lower back.
She slapped my arm away as we walked through the door to the lady's dressing room. She stopped walking.
"There is no way in hell I am dressing in those," she said.
"Yeah, we don't really have a choice," I muttered. "Come on. Please. I'll buy you dinner again."
She rolled her eyes. "We're going somewhere better than McDonald's," she snapped.
"Agreed," I said without hesitation. "Come meet my partner, Luther."
I led her over and Luther dropped his clipboard and jaw. He walked around her and she smiled nervously. The other girls were staring at her, too, albeit with a different interest. They didn't look too pleased that she would be the front. What did they expect? A plain Jane?
"Holy shit, Caleb," Luther said. "You weren't lying." He looked at her hair. "Can you curl this?"
"No," she said. "I've tried but it won't stay."
He frowned. "Well, that's okay. I don't want to do a wig, thought; not with that natural shine. Hmm..." he said and dug around in the costumes. She glared at me and I grinned innocently. "We'll put you in this one."
She gaped at the spangling costume.
"Do I have to?" she whispered to me.
"Please," I begged.
"Why is this so important?"
"I'll tell you later. We're going to be late. Just do it."
She sighed and took the outfit from Luther. I was sweating and wiped my hand on my forehead, smiling at the models. They were undressing without worrying about modesty. With Luther, they didn't have anything to worry about; he played for the other team. Now, me on the other hand....
"Is there a place I can change?" Mirela asked and I frowned.
"You're standing in it," I said.
"I am not getting undressed in front of you," she hissed.
"Follow me, dear," Luther said and led her to the bathroom.
I sighed and sat in one of the director's chairs, fiddling with my camera. It was a Las Vegas show girl themed photo shoot. Normally it would be easy to pull off. He wanted us to make it look fake and cheesy, though, without the use of a custom back screen. Mirela is going to beat my ass into the ground with her stilettoes.
The four models walked out, each smirking at me as they sashayed their hips. I smirked back, enjoying the sight of their curves. The outfits were red bikinis with yellow and red sequined beads hanging off of them. They also wore those ridiculous head dresses. The bathroom door opened and I lost my breath.
Mirela's costume was different since she was the star of the shoot. She walked over awkwardly, covering her exposed flesh. Her costume was a skimpier red bikini. The top part of the bikini had red and yellow beads hanging down to the bottom part. Both parts were sequined and her stilettoes were taller than the other women's.
"Okay," Luther said, "this is how it's going to work. Mirela, dear, you need to stand there. Angle your body to the right and look at Caleb."
He positioned Mirela and the girls while I stood up, my camera at the read. I couldn't look away from Mirela. The top of her bikini showed pretty much her whole chest except from the top of the nipple and down. When I did look at her face, she was looking at me in fury. If looks could kill, I'd be six feet under. I cleared my throat and started snapping pictures while Luther continued directing them.
"Don't just smile," I said from behind my camera, walking around them. "We need those stup- cheesy grins that you see on billboards. There you go." I looked up over the camera. "That includes you, Mirela."
She sighed but did as I said. Luther had her position her arms provocatively across her body and I had to resist the urge to drop my camera and pull her back into the bathroom with me. I got some pictures with their backs facing the camera and looking over their shoulders.
We continued snapping pictures for several hours. Luther did different poses and I would give my input but I was more inclined to angles than where to put their hands. I made sure that, for most of the pictures, Mirela was up front. She had started off uncomfortable but, as the time went on, she eased up and even laughed when Luther would joke with her.
"Okay, ladies," I said at 4. "We're going to stop for today. Tomorrow will be a different theme so be prepared. Mirela, can I speak with you?" I added in my most professional voice.
"After I change," she hissed and walked carefully to the bathroom.
I cringed as the door slammed shut.
"She's gonna beat my ass," I breathed and Luther snorted.
"Probably. Get a video. I want to see that."
"Just take those stilettoes from her first," I mumbled. "I don't want to give her any added weapons."
"I will admit that she is smokin' hot," Luther said as he looked over my shoulder. I was flipping through the pictures. "You picked a good star girl. But why pick someone with no experience?"
"She's the right one," I answered. "Just look at these solo pictures."
He whistled. "Even I would want to bring her home."
"No shit," I snorted. The bathroom door opened. "Wish me luck."