I wasn't exaggerating when I noted that doing the photoshoot first would be 'fun'. By the time I've been stuffed into a tight red dress with straps that are so thin that I thought they'd snap if I moved wrongly to being corsetted while wearing one of Stryker's shirts with a pair of dark blue jeans with the help of Lucinda, of course (Arrieta is on her day off today apparently), I've been moved from the floor to ceiling windows in the living room to the room where we first kissed in to the couch where Mr Royce adjusted, readjusted and rearranged the way I'm positioned over and over again.
At the end of it all, I feel like the paid concierge that I am. What this job requires of a woman is definitely worth the three million Stryker's paying me, dare I say it should be more. It's a wonder to me how full-time models this every single day from nine to five.
Having changed into the white T-shirt and black jeans after Mr Royce gives me the 'okay' to relax, I sit on the high bar chair at the wet bar with a glass of ice water in my hand as I watch Mr Royce work with Stryker. With his hair is tussled up and glistening wet under the bright lights that Mr Royce had Benjamin rearrange for him to suit his facial features better, Stryker could be the epitome of male beauty right then and there.
Dressed only in a pair of black jeans with a leather belt around his waist, his biceps flex as he holds his arms above his head while Mr Royce captures as many pictures of him in different angles as much as possible and unlike me, Mr Royce doesn't have to rearrange his posturing every few minutes which means my photo shoot which took six hours to complete would be half the time or even less than for him.
I'm essentially pouting in my seat as I watch Draven effortlessly pose for the camera, even as an agent who had taken modelling classes about five years ago, I can't do what he's doing. With his arms behind his back and his face angled downwards with half open eyes, the way his body is angled allows the lights to bounce off his muscles, giving them defining lines that make them seem harsh yet subtle.
He may be a businessman but he would have blossomed in the modelling world, I reckon as his eyes meet mine momentarily as he changes his stance once more for the camera, my heart skips a beat when I realise I've been caught staring at him.
"Alright, that's good," Mr Royce announces after he takes one final picture, his eyes focused on the display screen of his camera. "Give me fifteen minutes and we'll head out for Westford."
Hopping off of the bar chair, I quietly walk over to Mr Royce as he connects his camera to his laptop, uploading the photos he took. In total there are about three hundred of them. It's unsettling to see so much of my face filling up the screen.
"What are you going to do with these photos?" I ask him out of the blue causing him to jump from the sound of my voice. "Like are you going to use all of them or..."
"My plan is to pick out the best eight tonight and work on them in the darkroom," He replies casually as if going through three hundred plus photos in a night is normal. "Before you ask, the darkroom is a digital darkroom where I edit and retouch photos."
Frowning as I imagine him sitting in a dark office in front of a computer screen clicking here and there with a mouse until the early hours of the morning, and I will myself to ask despite my better judgement to not do so, "Do you sleep at all?"
"Depends on the pictures I have," He responds swiftly, turning to face me for the first time since he started uploading the photos. "For example, yesterday's pictures and the ones the day before took me about six hours each to go through and edit. Well, it was mostly yesterday's photos anyways."
SIX HOURS?! My eyes widen in shock at that number, I don't even put that much effort into studying my course material and he puts in six hours to edit and touch up photos that people will just probably comment that it's nice before walking away. That is just way too much effort.
"Don't look so shocked Katherine," Draven chuckles coming up behind me, now with a black T-shirt on, snaking one of arms around my waist. "This guy has stayed up for thirty-six hours straight without coffee before. Six hours of editing is like foreplay to him."
Instantly I feel slightly faint, three days of no sleep...sure I did that before for a case three years ago but once the serial killer was caught, I went to sleep for a week straight. If catching a bad guy is that tiring, I can't imagine what it's like to just sit in one place for three days to do one thing.
"Do you want to see yesterday's work?" Mr Royce sudden;y piques up, opening another file tab on his laptop to show me the picture before I can even accept or decline his offer. "I'll show you yesterday's best shot. Gave me chills really when I was editing it."
A close-up, black and white picture of Draven and I in lip lock appears on the screen. I can roughly tell where it was taken but I don't really recall Mr Royce moving around us to get this shot. In the photo, my eyes are lightly closed behind my glasses, my hand rests on his shoulder lightly to help myself balance on the edge of the bed.
Like Draven said when we did the couch photograph, I look terrified eevn iht my eyes closed I can feel the fear leaking through the image. Then there's Draven, though he looks quite drunk in the photo though I doubt he actually was, the vibe he gives off here is comforting. If I were to look at this picture up on a gallery wall, I'd probably say that the picture is on point with the theme of the exhibition.