Photography Session: Session Two

April 9, 2010

Part two of their story. Here’s part three.

I choked on a mouthful of coffee, the hot liquid scalding the roof of my mouth. Coughing, I thumped myself on my chest. “What?”

Quinn leaned forward. “You’re not doing anything-”

I frowned at Quinn. “I’m observing. Like always. You were the one that told me to stay out of the way anyway.”

“-And you’re a woman.”

The way that they stared at me was unnerving. It was all too…eager. And neither man made it a habit to appear to be eager about anything, even when they were. Something about preserving their masculine points and keeping their scores high. “Thanks for noticing.”

Lukas chuckled. “What Quinn is saying, awkwardly so-”

“-Shut up-”

“-Is that we need your help.” His voice dipped into that low, husky rumble. Desire warmed my skin and shot straight to my core. “Please, Cam?”

His gaze bore into me, holding me captive. Tease. Half-lidded eyes shadowed, they made his blue-gray eyes darker, as though his pupils were dilated. I swallowed, my fingers tightening about the cup. “Damn it, Lukas. Don’t try pulling one of your tricks on me. Especially not the one that I taught you.”

So it might be an illusion. But what a powerful one it was. And while my brain understood it, my body was having a hard time reconciling with the fact.

His lips curled. “So it works then?”

I had a sudden renewed sympathy for the mouse that Mao had cornered. It scurried left and right, nose twitching furiously, trying and failing to break past the cat.

Somehow, I didn’t think that Quinn was going to rescue me as I’d done for the mouse.

“What works?” Oh yeah. Sure. Real convincing.

“Oh it works.” I glared at Quinn. He continued, smirking, amusement tinged his words. “Come on, Cam. All you have to do is stand there and try to look pretty. Don’t worry, I’ll protect you if he tries to jump you.”

“Ha ha.” Not that I was worried about it. Lukas was never the type to “jump” anyone. Or rather, he’d never had a need to. His preys always came willingly to him. “Fine, fine. I demand sushi afterwards though.”

Lukas cocked his head. I busied myself with finishing up the cup of coffee, trying to ignore his gaze. “Of course. Quinn, fix her, won’t you?”

“Fix me?” I lowered the cup and scowled. “I’m not going to be in the picture-Hey!”

The empty cup rolled across the floor. I winced as it stopped by the ornate legs of the heavy vanity at the side of the room. At least it made it past the Persian rug. Quinn spared it no second look, his fingers already working through the braid that I’d kept my hair in. “You might not be in the picture, Cam, but you know Lukas hates using his brain too much, so he’s going to need to a little help.”

The barbs all but rolled off of Lukas’s shoulders. He gave me a crooked smile. “Mm-hmm. Don’t worry, Cam. Quinn will pretty you up.”

I rolled my eyes and batted Quinn’s fingers away. “You have a funny way of asking people to help you, Quinn.” But being friends with Quinn for so long had made me immune to his jabs. I pressed my fingers into my scalp, massaging free the strands. “There. Happy?”

“Ecstatic.” And he did look it for once. Ugh. I liked the surly Quinn better. I crossed my arms as he gave me a once over. Grabbing my elbow, he spun me back around to face Lukas. “This work?”

Lukas sat up. His index and middle fingers pressed against his lips, he tilted his head. The sweep of his gaze this time was indifferent and impersonal. I hugged myself. Not that I preferred this one to the other. “It’ll do.”

“My god, you two. I’m not an inanimate object.” I grumbled as Quinn nudged me forward, his hand pressing against the small of my back. Large, it spanned over most of my waist. Goosebumps rose over my skin at his proximity, my skin prickling at the heat of his body. Damn it. That trick of Lukas really did me in. “Haven’t you two figured out by now that women don’t appreciate being treated like objects?”

Quinn stopped nudging me forward. His laugh rumbled against my back, drawing forth a small ripple of shiver that crept through me. Lukas’s gaze flicked beyond me, lips curling in a smirk. Something unrecognizable flitted across his face.

“No.”

The answers came simultaneously. I glowered over my shoulder at Quinn. “You two have been spending way too much time together.”

His ears reddened and he averted his gaze. I stared. Curious and curiouser. “Shut up.” His answer was crisp and final. “We have to finish this. And then you can go stuff your face.” He looked beyond me. “Ready?”

Lukas tugged the tails of his shirt out of the slacks and finished unbuttoning the rest of his shirt. An ugly, choked noise escaped from my throat.

Willing the earth to open up and swallow me whole, I dropped my gaze, but not before I caught that knowing smile. The heat of my blush spread across my cheeks. I could let myself sink into denial for all I want, but it didn’t change the fact that they’d caught me gawking at Lukas. And knowing them, they were never going to let me live it down.

But he was really something to look at. Long, lean muscles graced his form, echoing from the tips of his fingers to the curves of his calves. His stomach flat, the dips and arches of his muscles sharp relieves against the smooth plane.

Even without looking up, I could feel Lukas’s eyes on me, the heat and the intensity searing me. A delicious frisson shot through me, making my toes curled against my black heels. My pulse fast, I studied the whorls in the tiles, the flecks of gold in the beige. Lights flashed in my peripheral. I blinked, white spots superimposing over my vision.

“Cam.” The word came in a whisper, thick and rich with promise. It caressed along my skin, coaxing, enticing. “Cam, look at me.”

“Come on, Cam.” Hot breath stirred the air by my ear. I jumped. My back hit Quinn’s chest. Rough, callused fingertips brushed against my chin. Desire slammed into me, its silken heat threatening to leave me undone. I reeled from the suddenness of it, my breath arrested in my throat. Waves of it continued to wash over me, slipping down between my legs, pulling forth a familiar, aching throb. I didn’t let myself think as I sank back against him, relishing the solid, warm body behind me. “Look up.”

His words hung between us on a spider’s web, entangling me and trapping my thoughts. He felt closer than he already was, in danger of melding against me.

Fingertips grazed my neck, seeking for the rhythm of the blood surging through me. It sped up in answer to that touch. I could feel it, thumping and pounding against my throat, near forcing the words that I struggled to keep silent free. Holding my breath, I swallowed and looked up.

A small squeak burst from me. Behind me, Quinn laughed. “You’re drooling, Cam.”

For once, I didn’t even bother to act indignant, though it was more because I couldn’t muster an attempt to try. But damn, Lukas Croix could be a powerful presence when he let himself on.

He leaned against the footboard, sitting close enough that I could see that the darker shades of his eyes were no trick this time. Or if it was, it was something beyond what I’d taught him. They smoldered, burned. His gaze both impersonal and dangerously intimate, he reached out and brushed his fingers against my lips.

The touch was light, as though he was afraid I might shatter beneath his fingers.

That made two of us.

But stupidly, I stayed where I was, hypnotized by that the look on his face. Artless, a spark of trepidation, I had a feeling this was the unguarded side of Lukas that I’d never been privy to seeing before. Parting his lips, he drew in the breath that escaped from me in a shuddering sigh.

Quinn dropped his hand to my waist, his fingers settled on my hip. “That was an improvement. Still not good enough though.”

Lukas drew back. I could’ve sworn I heard the click of his shield returning once again. “Oh?”

“You’re still not giving me enough.” Quinn shifted his weight behind me. Disapproval tinted his voice. The tone bore deep into me, striking a chord that I didn’t know I had. It resonated through me, tempting thoughts from the corners of my mind, schoolgirl fantasies that I’d retired long ago. I chewed on my lower lip, my breath slipping from me in a quiver, my face burning. “Cam’s pulling it off better than you.”

He glanced at me before returning his gaze to Quinn again, smirk still on his lips. “Maybe you should have her in the frame instead.”

The circles that Quinn’s fingers distracted me enough that their words barely registered. I shook myself out of my daze. The wavy locks smacked me in my face. I sputtered, blowing the strands off of my lips. “No. No, no, no. Not happening.”

The two were playing and toying with me, a pair of cats batting a mouse about. I wasn’t blind nor stupid enough to not see it, but neither was I smart enough to override the steady pangs of want and talk myself out of the trap that they’d cast about me. Especially not when my body was really like this trap. A lot. And what it liked even more was each of those teasing bats and swats.

“Don’t worry.” For a fleeting moment, I could’ve sworn I felt his lips against the curl of my ear. “I’m not going to let Lukas wimp out on us.”

Lukas brushed his fingers over my lips again. My tongue tingled. What does he taste like? My lips parted. He chuckled and drew his fingers away. “But, Quinn, it’s impolite for me to be the only undressed.” He fingered the buttons of my jacket, flicking against the plastic fastenings. His fingers slipped beneath the tweed jacket. They danced along the top of my jeans, each gentle tug going straight to my sex. I wriggled, though even I couldn’t tell if I was trying to get his fingers closer or away. “Going to help me out here, Cam?”

“Maybe.” Though the tone of the word made it more of a question than an answer.

Quinn’s fingers busied themselves with pushing the buttons through the eyelets. He made fast work of it, especially considering he was doing it one-handed. Wonder how many tricks he’s been keeping away from me. “Don’t be ungenerous, Cam.” His fingers swept against the swells of my breasts. I bit my lips, fighting the impulse to lean into his touch. “There. Better?”

The jacket pooled about my feet, heavy against my ankles. Goosebumps rose once again over my arms, but somehow I didn’t think that it was from the temperature in the room. “No.” My voice came hushed, breathless as though I’d been running.

“Much.” Lukas fair purred his words, sounding every bit like a large, pleased feline. “Come here, Cam. I don’t bite.” I wet my lips as his fingers circled about the back of my neck and pulled me forward. The glint in his eyes downright devious, he leaned up to meet my gaze, his grin wolfish. The scent of coffee and something darker and richer surrounded me. “At least not hard.” He released me, the tips of his fingers trailing over my neck.

I reached up and touched nape of my neck. I could still feel the heat of his fingers there, pressing into my skin, branding me in more ways than one.

“Not a bad idea, actually.” Quinn nudged forward until my knees hit the footboard. I shot a look over my shoulder. Whatever was on my face made the amusement fade from his. The camera swung on his neck as he cupped my face. Brown eyes peered at me through the fringes of dark lashes, the somberness there cut through the lust and want induced haze. “We’re not going to hurt you, Cam.”

We? Since when was there a we? “I know.”

It wasn’t until he turned me around did I start to wonder exactly what I’d given permission for. “Good.”

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