(Not that new, it’s been hanging around for a while!)
Summary: publishers often make impossible demands. But Jake and Yvette are highly resourceful.
Book cover brief: Atmospheric fiction for major publisher. A romance, set in the world of S&M where love is measured by the ability to give and receive pain while sexual fulfilment always involves suffering. Much of the imagery used in horror and crime is relevant. Think shadowy spaces and interesting light sources. Sinister and mysterious, hardcore but tasteful. Colour or B&W. Deadline – as soon as possible.
“Atmospheric, romantic horror? Hardcore but tasteful? I love the way they write these. What’s your plan?” Yvette was a regular co-conspirator and model, usually up for anything. She’d said yes as soon he’d got to the “world of S&M” part, and then said “Ow”. He didn’t ask, but she explained anyway: “I was just stroking my nipple as you said that, and it’s still sensitive from last time.”
She leaned over Jake, ensuring that his field of vision was entirely filled with cleavage. Yvette was an attention-seeker: the fact that Jake was squatting on the floor, sorting through a selection of filters and lenses, was not a good excuse for ignoring her. She’d dressed specially for the occasion, spending two hours in front of a mirror before deciding on a matching purple leather bodice and miniskirt, the bodice being one of those garments where from most angles, very little of it was visible. This was teamed with five-inch heels, whose wide ankle straps carried chunky D-rings for the purposes of being chained to a bed, and a very functional leather collar. She was there to be noticed.
At slightly under five feet tall, Yvette had long since decided that she didn’t want to be overlooked. Her solution was an eye-popping dress sense.
“I did just ask, what’s your plan?”
Jake grasped the ring on Yvette’s collar, pulling her down so his green eyes bored into her grey ones. “I think it’s better you don’t know. Your reaction will be more authentic, and the pics will be better.”
A short gasp through slightly parted lips was a dead giveaway. She liked this idea.
Jake grasped the ring on Yvette’s collar and pulled downwards. As she sank to the floor, he selected items from the other pile of items he’d been packing; leather wrist cuffs and a short leash for the collar. He applied the cuffs: Yvette’s instinctive reaction to being bound and kneeling was to open her mouth wide. There was only one type of activity she associated with this position.
There were many things about Yvette that Jake appreciated. She was smart, funny and talented. She could have been a professional, but preferred to work a day job, posing in front of the lens at night. Jake admired her commitment to his art, especially given the nature of some of their photoshoots.
Plus, Yvette’s capacity for provocative sexual response was amazing. Jake considered her open invitation. He reflected that given the nature of the brief, the later they hit the location, the better.
“If you don’t give me something to suck I’ll change my mind and demand a tea with two… glup!” Attitude. Good sense of humour. Two more things Jake admired.
Yvette hummed as she worked her lips and tongue. She knew he liked the vibration.
How come she stayed so slim if she always had two sugars in tea? Answer: burning off the calories with enthusiastic sex.
At the end, Yvette licked her lips.
She squeaked in surprise when he withdrew and her mouth was occupied instead by a chunky ballgag. Jake smiled. “Suffering, horror and crime, the brief says. And we both like pictures to be realistic, don’t we?” She rolled her eyes in a parody of exasperation.
Within minutes, the camera, lenses, filters, flash and various props were packed and ready to go. Using the leash, Jake signalled that Yvette should stand and follow him.
“Ere oo tk kg ee?” Gags don’t stop speech, they just turn it into muffled and sexy mumbling.
“You’ll see.” It was around midnight, and no one saw her being led to the car and strapped in with the seatbelt. But Jake had lied: with a blindfold securely in place, Yvette wasn’t going to see where he was taking her.
Alfresco sex and fetish is risky these days. Too much CCTV. Derelict industrial sites are often guarded by cameras linked to private security, and even the local woods had infrared detectors and a camera system set up by a badger-watching group. Not owning five acres of woodland or a country estate, Jake had invested a lot of time in finding hidden, unwatched locations suitable for the kind of photography he – and his model – enjoyed.
It was a forty-five minute drive to the place Jake had chosen. It would have been quicker, but after ten minutes of Yvette mumbling through the gag, he’d had enough. He pulled into a lay-by and inserted a small vibrator under her thong, between her legs. For the rest of the journey, he had the satisfaction of driving to the rhythm of her grinding thighs and ragged breathing.
Their destination was some way down a country lane: a dilapidated brick built shed set back from the road, once the gatehouse to a long-abandoned quarry. It was flanked on one side by woods, on the others by earthworks that might have been quarry spoil. One wall bore traces of old graffiti. Jake pulled onto broken tarmac and parked behind the shed, out of sight of the road. The windows were boarded over and the door padlocked, but it didn’t matter. The aerosol-sprayed wall and the trees were perfect for the vision he wanted to capture.
He waited five minutes. No sounds. They were alone.
Removing the vibe from its now well-lubricated nesting-pace, Jake bundled Yvette out of the car. She shivered in the cold air. Well, he thought, he’d had to suffer for this art, and had always expected his models to do the same. Tonight was no different. He didn’t bother to remove the blindfold, though once she was standing he did have her step out of the thong. A little night air on her recently-shaved pubis would grab her attention. He positioned Yvette against the brick wall, using the padlock on the shed door as a convenient place to attach the free end of the leash. And left her, returning to his bag on the back seat of the car to select his equipment.
To give her credit, she waited patiently and whined through the gag only as much as was necessary to remind him she was feeling vulnerable and hot.
First series: he used flash, hard white light and strong shadows. With her still hitched to the door, he took a couple of dozen shots, full body, upper body, and feet (he had a thing for those heels), facing in different directions. Then it was time for some more revealing poses. She stiffened as he undid the buckles that held the bodice and skirt in place – Jake’s fingers were cool – but that frozen stance was what he wanted.
The DSLR mechanism made its distinctive ker-click sounds a couple of dozen times more, and then he was ready for the next scenario. Using the leash again, Jake hauled Yvette away from the building, positioned her thirty feet in front of the car. The boles of spruce and fir trees and the gloom behind them looked custom-made for crime and horror. This time, he pushed the woman roughly to her knees.
Jake used the car headlights for illumination. It would throw the white balance off on the camera’s sensors, but the eventual pictures wouldn’t be using true-to-life colouring anyway. The thought crossed his mind that she looked in the flesh exactly how he’d pictured her in his mind: waiting apprehensively in some wild place, helpless. Caught in the twin beams of the vehicle that had come to collect her for some dreadful, and probably sexual, purpose.
Obligingly Yvette twisted her arms so that the cuffs were partly visible from the front. Now that, Jake thought, was pure professionalism.
For the final scene, he led her to the back of his car. Again she was on her haunches, face level with the car boot. He removed her blindfold. Slightly smudged eyeshadow. Wide-eyed, nostrils flaring. Striations of red across one side of her face from the car’s tail light.
Full-face, half-face, profile. Shots from above, with Yvette looking up at him, the light illuminating her face, one shoulder, one breast. Trying to work her lips around the gag. Taking short, sharp breaths, closing her eyes, grinding one tie on the ground. Beginning to dribble from underneath the gag. Jake had worked with Yvette for long enough to know these were the signs that she found the situation an extreme turn-on.
He lifted her up, leaned her forward over the car boot. One foot on the ground, the other splayed sideways and resting on the car’s rear bumper. Slippery and warm in her hidden aperture.
Jake found it impossible to focus on taking shots while pounding against her. Fortunately the camera could run on fully automatic, motion detection, image stabilisation, advanced shooting mode and probably (though it wasn’t in the product manual) orgasm detection.
The gag couldn’t stop this woman being very vocal when she came.
Afterwards, Jake unlocked the cuffs and put Yvette in the passenger seat, naked and dirty, shivering as much from the adrenalin rush as from cold.
There’s something very satisfying about driving home with a naked and exhausted woman as your passenger.
The display on the camera said he’d taken three hundred and fifty-seven pictures.
Deadline: as soon as possible. That had been the brief, but it took a day of playing with the images to get what he wanted. Sexual fulfilment always involves suffering. How true – the dilated pupils illustrated it. Imagery used in horror and crime is relevant. The gag fitted that particular bill. Shadowy spaces and interesting light sources. The pic Jake had selected for the brief had Yvette’s face partly illuminated by the car tail lights, and graffiti on the brick wall just visible in the background. He’d close-cropped the photo so that only the left side of face, from the ballgag up to the smudged eyeshadow, was in view. A lot of blank space on the right of the picture would be usable for a title. Sinister and mysterious, hardcore but tasteful. Scoring on all points.
He sent the pic. Nothing. Yvette came over to view what they thought of as their private pictures. “I actually liked the fact it was cold,” she said. Jake lovingly stroked her thighs with ice from his gin and tonic.
Long after the shot had become a fond memory consigned to Jake’s backup drive, a hastily-written email confirmed it had been chosen, contract to follow. Yvette’s gagged mouth, flared nostrils and staring eyes would grace the thriller section of most major bookstores.
The fee would just about cover a restaurant meal for two. Photographers and models are greatly undervalued.
Talk inevitably slipped towards what they’d do, and what derelict site they’d do it on, after the meal…