As the sun started to descend below the optical edge of the ocean and the Key West sky turned pink and orange with the last rays of the day, I snapped a few final photos before pulling my camera away from my face. Twelve crazy-hot male models frolicked in the sand, their muscles wet from the water and their tight bodies clad in nothing but next summer’s swim line for an up-and-coming New York designer by the name of Fredrick La Hue.
Yeah, it was a really tough life I was living.
“All right, boys, I think we can call it a night,” I announced as I got to my feet and dusted the sand from my knees. “Great work today, everyone. If you’re thirsty, which I know most of you lushes are, meet me at Sloppy Joe’s. Drinks are on me.”
The models and staff cheered, and I grinned.
“Consider this motherfucking shoot finished!” I exclaimed to a chorus of resounding hoots and Here, heres as I headed toward the tent and hooked my camera up to my laptop.
Hundreds of photos loaded on to the screen, and their tiny thumbnails begged to be clicked. Doing as their teeny beckoning bid, I clicked to select all and opened them up in my editor. I could hardly contain my excitement as I caught sight of some of the raw shots I had managed to capture. It had been a long day, toiling from sunup until sundown, but after I worked my editing magic, I knew Fredrick would get a big ol’ fashion boner over the plethora of sexy photos he’d have to pick from.
I grabbed a bottle of water from the makeshift snack table and, upon my return, found my assistant, Olivia, scrolling through the photos on my laptop. She glanced up from the screen and grinned. “These are fantastic, Cass.”
“Thanks. I think Frederick is going to be really happy with them. He loves a good bareskinned man huddle. But who doesn’t?”
Olivia smirked and continued clicking from one photo to the next.
She had been my assistant for a few years now, and I’d grown fond of our working relationship. Not only was she a good friend but I’d felt compelled to take her under my wing and teach her everything I knew about photography. She had the raw interest, and with my help on the technicalities and work ethic, I hoped that one day I’d eventually help her make the big jump from assistant to photographer.
Joshua, one of my favorite makeup artists and a pathological flirt, peeked over Olivia’s shoulder and then nudged her out of the way with his hip. It didn’t take his nosy ass long to start scrolling through my personal collection. “Wait…what is this? I don’t remember this shoot.”
An entire album of Kline, Thatch, and Wes’s rugby team filled the screen and glinted like horny glitter off the apex of Joshua’s eye. I smiled at the memory of taking those photos a few weeks before Kline and Georgia’s wedding. We had stopped by the boys’ practice before grabbing dinner, and needless to say, hot men playing rugby made me thankful I’d had my camera with me that day.
Joshua pointed to a picture of Thatcher. The Jolly Green Giant’s tall frame was unmistakable, perfectly defined lines and toned muscles taking up so much space in the shot they almost jumped right off the screen, and the only thing covering that fuck-hot body was a pair of black knit shorts. Hair wet with sweat, he was just standing there, hands on his hips, grinning like a cocky son of a bitch.
“Seriously,” Joshua insisted. “What is that?”
“That’s a Thatch.”
“A thatch? Is that one of those new cool words like fleek or rachet?”
I shook my head and laughed. “Thatch is his name, Thatcher Kelly,” I explained before muttering under my breath, “Or an action. God, yeah.” I stared at his photo. “I’d thatch that for sure.”
He sighed. “Is he single?”
The question felt strange for a fraction of a second, and then the fleeting uncertainty was gone. I grinned. “Oh, yes, he’s very single.”
I mean, he was single. So technically, I wasn’t lying. I was just leaving out the little detail of him not being into cock.
Joshua stared at the photo for a disturbing amount of time before asking, “Can I have his number?”
I didn’t think twice about it. This was Thatch we were talking about, and I would gladly take any opportunity to fuck with him. “Give me your phone.”
He handed it over, and I happily added Thatchsquatch’s number to his contacts. I chose not to think about why I had it memorized.
“Dayum, I need this man in my life,” Joshua said, staring down at the picture on my computer screen before glancing at the number in his phone.
I tilted my head to the side. “I thought you were dating someone.”
Joshua grimaced. “I was, but apparently, I’m too clingy.”
“Well, fuck that guy. He sounds like an asshole.”
“Yeah,” he muttered. “An asshole I was in love with. Hell, I’m still in love with him. I wish my heart would get the memo and forget he ever existed.”
I shook my head in sympathy. But empathy? That was undeniably missing. “Man, oh man, love sure is a bossy bitch, isn’t she?”
Joshua chuckled. “Wise words from the girl who never settles down.”
I smirked. “Maybe I’m a bigger bitch than love.”
He glanced down at his phone again, and then his eyes lit up. “Fuck it, I’m about to yolo and call this sexy motherfucker.”
Before I had the chance to stop him—which probably wouldn’t have mattered because, yeah, I wasn’t going to miss this—he was tapping Thatch’s number on the screen and putting his phone on speaker.
Three rings later and the deep voice my pussy would gladly flock toward filled the room. “Thatch.”
“Is this Thatcher Kelly?” Joshua asked with a smirk, his eyes meeting mine.
I probably should’ve felt bad about throwing Josh to the proverbial wolves, but man, it was hard not to get a sick amount of enjoyment out of what was about to go down.
“You got him,” Thatch responded, business and bossy and hot as fuck. My pussy made a bid to crawl out of my pants.
Oh, shit. Do not get excited, you flirty little bitch, I told her. This phone call is about laughing, not boning.
“Hi, Thatcher,” my makeup artist turned sexual siren purred into the phone. “My name is Joshua, and we have a mutual friend.”
“And who might that mutual friend be?” Thatch asked, open but wary. I knew he was a fairly private person despite his boisterous personality.