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"It was royalty-level cunnilingus, and I momentarily wondered if any man who came after King would ever be good enough."
Excerpt: Meet King and Alexis
“What are you up to?” I called, and he stopped taking pictures, lowering the camera and walking towards us. King sat beside me, silently observing.
“You two look great together,” Bradley gushed before shoving the camera at me. “Here, take a peek.” I did as he said and flicked through the most recent shots. They showed me with King from various angles, chatting and laughing. We looked so…at ease with one another. And wow, King really did photograph well. He could pass for a model. And then Bradley almost echoed my thoughts when he looked to King.
“How do you feel about being in some of the shots? We’d pay you for your time, of course. Baha do a men’s line, and there are still some clothes left over from yesterday’s shoot.”
King eyed him, quiet for a long moment before he asked, “Would Alexis be in the pictures with me?”
“Of course!” Bradley exclaimed. “That’s the main reason I want you to do it. You two look amazing in pictures.” Now he took the camera from me and handed it to King, who immediately scrolled through the shots. He didn’t say anything for a minute, his expression thoughtful as he took them in. I had no idea what he was going to say when he finally handed the camera back to Bradley.
“I’ll do it.”
“What?!” I screeched.
“Wonderful!” Bradley exclaimed. He was already rushing off to find an outfit for King when I turned to face my boss. “You’re going to model? Seriously? What if someone who knows you ends up seeing the pictures?”
He gave a tiny shrug and stared at me dead on. “What I do in my free time is my own business.”
I narrowed my gaze at him, feeling like he was up to something, but I wasn’t quite sure what. A minute later Bradley was back, holding nothing but a pair of pale blue jeans. They had tears at the knees and were almost an exact replica of mine, except they were the men’s version.
“Here’s your ensemble,” he chirped, and handed the jeans to King.
I gaped and pointed. “That is not an ensemble. That’s one item. Where’s his shirt?”
Now Bradley waggled his brow. “He won’t be wearing one.”
To his credit, King didn’t bat an eyelid. In fact, he chuckled while shaking his head.
“Oh, come on,” I protested. “You can’t be serious. This is a fashion shoot, not a…a sex shoot.”
“Oooh,” Bradley crooned precociously, “sign me up for one of those. And you forget, my darling Lexie, that sex sells.” He pinched me on the nose, and I scowled.
Bradley shot me a confused glance then, obviously not entirely getting why I was disgruntled. It made me suddenly realise I was arguing about having to see Oliver King topless. Yeah, I didn’t understand it, either. Clamping my mouth shut, I let my friend give us both instructions.
Before I knew it, the rest of the models had been told to take an extended break and it was just me, King, Bradley, and a handful of other people left in the studio. King went behind one of the aforementioned privacy screens to change, Bradley telling him to take off his shoes and socks as well. Then he told me to do the same.
What was I getting myself into? It wasn’t long before a fancy lounge chair had been plopped smack bang in the middle of the set by the props guy. King emerged in jeans and nothing else, and I practically choked on my own tongue. My boss was ripped. Even his bare feet were beautiful. He had gorgeously wide shoulders, muscular pecs, defined abs, and a “V” to die for. Not to mention a light natural tan. He had an even better body than my ex, Stu, and I knew he had to be one of those annoyingly smug health freaks who got up at four in the morning just to exercise.
Yes, that was it. I needed to keep focusing on the vain smugness of someone who worked that hard on their body, rather than the fact that it made me want to crawl all over him. The problem was, he didn’t look smug. King wore an expression that was all, Here I am, take me or leave me, which only functioned to make him even more irresistible.
Take him, some deep, feminine part of me pleaded.
I noticed Bradley looking at King in almost the exact same way I was. Biting on his lip, he muttered under his breath, “Oh, we are going to sell some serious amount of jeans after this.”
I shot him a cynical look. There was a bit of manoeuvring with the set, and I went to stand next to my boss, silent and awaiting further instructions.
“Oliver,” said Bradley, “go sit on the chair. Alexis, I want you on his lap. Act natural. Try to give me that vibe you both had earlier when you didn’t realise I was taking pictures. I want you to seem like a real couple. Completely in love. Got it?”
Whoa, eh, okay. I was in love with the man’s abs, if that helped. King strode over to the chair like he owned the room and sat down before his eyes found mine. Those eyes were commanding, their icy colour catching the light as it shone through the window. They were far too welcoming, those eyes, and I got the feeling he was going to enjoy this. He was going to enjoy it a lot. Mustering my trusty false confidence, I walked to the chair and tentatively lowered myself onto his lap. My hands instinctively went to his shoulders for balance, and his hand grazed my hip.
Our eyes met, and I sucked in a breath. I was up close and personal with Oliver King’s face yet again, and I couldn’t look away.
“Hi,” I said, trying my best not to sound awkward.
He gave me a smile that lit up his eyes. “Hey.”
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Synopsis and Purchase Link
I used to rule the world.
There might be wolves on Wall Street, but there were crocodiles in Canary Wharf. Some of us craved money. Some of us craved power.
I liked money, and power had its advantages, but what I really wanted was to excel, to surpass the men who came before me. I never cared much for love and romance until I met Alexis.
I could feel it the very moment she walked into the interview, with her outspoken charm and vivacious personality. She cast all the others in shadow, made me laugh when life held no humour. Our friendship should have remained professional, but it wasn’t long before the lines started to blur.
You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, I never foresaw where my plans would lead, and only in my darkest hour did I finally see the light…
You can have all the money and prestige in the world and still be the poorest man alive. And love, well, I hate to use a tired old cliché, but love can be the thing that truly sets you free.
"Even when my deepest fears tried to drag me down, she always found some way to make me feel lighter."