Photography Session: Session One

April 2, 2010

The story is multiple parts. This is part one. Here’s part two.

“Come on. Just a little more.”

Thump.

“Damn it. Don’t start moving yet!”

A crash. I winced. Oh. That sounded like a soft box.

“For the love of-Haven’t you ever fake it before? It’s the same thing!” A pause. “Ugh…Are you serious? This is what they send me?”

Another thump, then the sound of high heels clicking across the tile floor.

I jumped back as a streak of stain and lace flew out the heavy double door, wrinkling my nose at the waft of cloyingly sweet perfume that followed it.

“Cameron! Get your ass in here! I know you’re hiding out there!”

Uh-oh. Full name this time. With an extra emphasis on “c.”

Taking a deep breath, I pushed past the doors and stumbled through the piles of props that Quinn had tossed about in his “inspired-state” earlier. Though it seemed like that state had continued even after I’d left.
I took a moment to take in the scene, waiting for that flush of anger to pass at the mess that had managed to migrate from the side over to the set itself- the set that I’d spent six hours painstakingly make sure that every single stitch in that damn blanket was neat, and the blankets were cast just so, not to mention trek through the entire furnishing district to find the perfect four-poster bed since Quinn found the original one in the room not “striking” enough.
The man may be a good friend and a genius, but damn if I didn’t want to wring his neck sometimes.

“God, Quinn, I come a few minutes late and you chase a model out?”

Quinn rounded on me, scowling. The ends of his auburn hair were standing up, as though he’d been dragging his fingers through it. Repeatedly. The sleeves of his shirt had been rolled up and his pants were wrinkled, patches of dirt dusting over his legs. “We’re on a tight schedule. I don’t have time to be babying and coaching amateurs. If they can’t behave professionally, they should get off the set.”

I sighed and cast a look at the remaining figure on the bed. “Are you getting ready to leave-” I recognized the lazy, languid way he untangled himself from the blankets before I saw his face. “Lukas?”

He padded over on his barefoot, moving with a prowling grace that made my pulse jump. Stopping by us, he looked down at me, a corner of his lips curling. The top of his shirt was undone, leaving a thin strip of golden skin that just begged to be teased and nibbled on. “Are you insinuating that I’m an amateur, Cam?”

God, he still had a voice to die for. The low, soft croon that made me melt in the most delicious ways- even before I saw him. His face might’ve compelled me to drag Quinn out to see him- despite his many heartfelt threats of murder- but it was his voice that had captured my attention.

Though his hair was as tousled as Quinn, he looked a good deal more composed- if no less predatory- and Quinn looked like he was getting to the point where he would take the “predator” role literally. “You know that I don’t ‘insinuate’ anything, Lukas. If I’ve got something to say, you’ll know it beyond a doubt.” At his grin, I turned back to Quinn. “What happened? I would’ve thought you would be half way done by now. And where’s everyone?”

Quinn snorted. I jostled the napkins and cups around to stop them from spilling as he snatched a paper cup from me. “Spineless, sniveling airheads can’t take some criticism.”

Lukas shook his head, sending the shock of black hair into even more disarray. He took the second cup of coffee. “He,” he nodded at Quinn, “chased everyone off the set, and, like you’ve just seen, the female model too.” He arched an eyebrow. “By the way, a ‘hello’ before starting to bark directions was the least you could do, Quinn, don’t you think?”

Quinn snorted again. “Keep going the way you’ve been going and I’ll give you a ‘goodbye’ before having Cam haul your ass off set.”

Hilarious. Both of them were at least a head taller than me and while Lukas might have had a slighter frame, I wasn’t about to make a fool out of myself by trying to haul him anywhere. Though if I were properly motivated-

Shaking my head, I slipped the tower of coffee cups onto an empty makeup table, holding my breath as they tilted precariously before righting themselves.

Lukas shot me a look of wry amusement. “Why do you stay on with him? Or, how, I should ask.”

“Temporary insanity and bribes.” Quinn opened his mouth, his face flushed. I cleared my throat. “Anyway, how about a coffee break?”

“We’ve been on a coffee break.” Quinn’s voice had taken on that strained quality. The end of each words held a tremor as though ready to break free. “We’ve been on a damn break since the whole shoot started.” I winced as his voice grew louder. “Am I the only one here who actually wants to get this done?”

I smacked him in the back of his head, knocking his face into the cup. Crude, perhaps, but effective.

His mouth dropped open, he stared at me, then at Lukas, a drop of coffee hanging on the curve of his lips. His nostrils flared.

Finishing the coffee, he dropped the empty cup in the bin before nodding at the bed, his voice even. “Let’s go.”

We watched as he headed back over to right the soft box, jiggling the stands here and there and studying the lie of the fabric.

“Wow.”

I quirked a grin at Lukas. “Yeah. He’s still as about as ferocious as a kitten.”

“Lukas! Get your ass on the bed before I have Cam drag you into it!”

Instead of heading toward the set, he cast a look in my direction. I shifted, uneasy from his sudden scrutiny. The heat of a blush crept up the back of my neck and I swept a thumb over the corner of my lips, checking to see if the cream cheese bagel that I’d scarf down moments ago had left any crumbs. Note to self: Never, ever try to stuff a bagel into your mouth before meeting with Mr. Sex-On-A-Stick. “Mm.” He winked conspiratorially before he turned. “Coming.”

The bed squeaked as he climbed into it with more ease than I could ever manage. His skin highlighted by the dark jewel tones, he looked entirely at home reclining in the lavish setting. He stretched and nodded at Quinn.

The lights started to flash.

My eyes traveled between Quinn and Lukas as they moved, almost in tandem. Lukas slumped into the plush fabrics with a lazy grace, long lines of his form deceptively relaxed. Quinn followed every minute movement, his fingers quick and his movements tense, as though his body was barely keeping up with whatever thoughts that were flowing through his mind.

I stood back, scared of being singed by the intensity that was almost tangible or break their focus.

There was an intimacy there between them that I envied, an honesty that I could never hope to break into. It must be wonderfully wicked and voyeuristic to study a person so closely behind the guise of photography.

I’d heard of aborigine tribes that believed the camera captured the soul of its subjects with each click of the shutter. But watching Quinn in the thrall of the moment, his movements dictated by Lukas and Lukas by Quinn, I couldn’t help but wonder if a bit of the photographer was caught as well.

The camera edged in close as one slim digit lifted from the pillows to flick open a button. The shirt slipped a little, revealing that patch of skin where his neck and shoulders meet. I shivered as a low heat snaked down to my belly, its tongue flickering uncomfortably close to my sex. If this was going to devolve into a striptease…

But the frown on Quinn’s face deepened with each click of the shutter, his steps growing unsteady and hesitant.

A soft box shifted. Quinn grunted, stopping to rub at his stubbed toe. I could see the lines of his form tense beneath his shirt, wound tight and held together by a fraying thread. “Damn it, Lukas. What’s up with you today?”

Lukas flopped back to the bed. A whoosh of air expelled from his chest. The jerky, stilted way he moved was the only thing that gave way to his irritation. “It’s hard to fake attraction without being cheesy. And harder still when it’s you that’s taking the picture.”

Quinn’s face turned sour. I bit the inside of my cheek to stop myself from laughing. “I would’ve expected that excuse from am amateur, not you.”

I coughed. “Would it help if I light some candles and put on some music?” They glowered at me. At least they weren’t glaring daggers at each other anymore. Big talents tend to come with big egos. Put two in the same room with high enough tension and there was bound to be some bloodshed. And I really would rather not spend my night cleaning the floor. “Come on, guys. Less jabs and more figuring out what to do. Quinn, you know you have to deliver by tomorrow.” Assuming that we still had the contract.

Quinn scowled at Lukas. “Well I don’t have any cutouts lying around here for you to gawk at.” The chair squeaked beneath him as he collapsed into it. I winced, hoping that he hadn’t scratched the marble tiles. With the way things were going, we were going to need the deposit back. He stretched his legs out, cradling the camera in his lap. “Fuck. Is it too late to ask for an extension?”

Lukas steepled his fingers. “There’s the obvious solution.”

They exchanged a look, then turned to me, eyebrows arched.

Creepy.

Quinn nodded. “Use her then.”

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