Georgie Flynn slipped out from beneath the sleeping male in her bed and reached for her camera. Ordinarily she didn’t sleep with clients, and she certainly did not do beefcake photos. But screw the rules. Here, in her bed, was the winner of yesterday’s hunk parade. Because he had made her laugh.
He lay on his stomach, his tanned skin in stark contrast to the snowy white sheets. His dark head was turned away from her, his features lost in the plumpness of a pillow. He snored lightly, just enough to assure her that he was oblivious to her lens. Vulnerable yet vividly alive. One long muscular leg stretched out fully atop the sheets. The other was tangled in the bedding, drawn up at a right angle to offer tantalizing shadowy glimpses of his impressive equipment.
Sexual energy zapped Georgia in her most vulnerable places with a reminder of how well his parts and hers had fit together not once but three times during the night.
His was a body that could sell underwear, swimwear, body spray, or a romance novel. Yet she wasn’t after slick, overproduced advertising snapshots. She moved around the bed, trying to capture the intimacy of the moment.
After a few shots from the foot of the bed, she moved to open the shades so that the morning light slatted in and across the bed. She loved to play with light and shadow. The indentation of his spine became a dark mysterious valley while the high plains of his shoulder blades rippled up and over into the contours of his shoulders and arms. Hard to say which part of him was her favorite.
Who was she kidding?
It was his butt. She snapped a few tentative shots from the side of the bed. Those taut twin curves were the sexiest thing she’d ever seen. Muscular and perfectly formed, they were a testament to the raw male power this man possessed even in sleep.
She was in lust for the man in her bed. A man she wasn’t ever going to see again because, well, because. She had behaved very unprofessionally. It went against all her personal rules about relationships. And because she was pretty certain that her actions had been motivated in part by the very bad week she’d had that preceded her arrival at Harmonie Kennels.
She had a stalker. Well, not a stalker exactly, but a pretty intense secret admirer. He’d been e-mailing her through her blog for two years. It was to be expected. Everyone who had a regular audience had at least one overeager fanboy or -girl. This fan, who called himself Secret Admirer—how original—seemed to know when and where every photo she’d ever gotten published was. He knew more than she did, running down reprints from sources across the world. Part of her was flattered, part of her creeped out. But lately he’d become more intense, especially after she lost out on a Pulitzer photo award she had been shortlisted for. Fanboy had gone berserk, saying that she had been robbed and deserved picture of the year, then lashing out at the winner on every online forum available. And that wasn’t all. His last series of comments sounded vaguely threatening, as if he thought he could secure for her the “shot of her career.”
It was true, she wanted to win a Pulitzer the way a singer wants a Grammy or an actor an Oscar. She was a serious photojournalist by profession. So she wasn’t happy to be doing beefcake photos of hunky men with oiled biceps and mischievous smirks this weekend. But a promise to a friend was a promise. And Yardley Summers had a way of making her friends do things they would not ordinarily do.
Still, that didn’t explain the man in her bed. Or why she was stealthily photographing him with the intensity of a chance meeting with a snow leopard in the wild.
“Georgie, Georgie.” She was muttering to herself. She had so not planned for this to happen. And now she didn’t know what she was going to do about it. Do, specifically, about him.
He even had sexy feet. They were big and long, but with elegant curving arches she had the sudden insane desire to bend down and lick.
The soft click of her shutter was the only sound as she moved like a dancer around her subject, dipping and bending, searching for the perfect angle.
She had spent the previous day surrounded by hard-bodied men in various states of undress. And, for the most part, they weren’t a lot happier to be photographed, all oiled pecs and abs, than she was to be the one taking the photos. That was because they were not professional models but real men with serious jobs such as policemen, firemen, deputies, and such. All were K-9 officers for their various departments. Only Yardley Summers could persuade all of them to come out and reveal nearly all in the name of charity.
The men who had “volunteered” were most worried about being posed in ways that made them look girly or too slick or just cheesy.
Georgie tried her best to get the money shots quickly. She made her living photographing the D.C. scene, politicians, and other newsworthy events. Trying to get men to loosen up while staring at their half-dressed hard bodies was not the pleasure it might seem.
Thankfully, her twenty-one-year-old assistant, Zoey, a college student, had been doing the prep work: keeping track of the order of the men for the photo shoot, checking for strategic shaving needs, and spraying them with an oily mist so that their admirable torsos and ripped backs and arms would catch and reflect the light for the lens.
It was only after their dogs were added into the mix that the men relaxed and gave Georgie the easy smiles and cocky poses she’d been trying to coax from them in the warm-up shots. Man and dog. Powerful combination.
And then Philip Dexter arrived.
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