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Here is a short sample from the book:
At first Ally thought there was nobody on the other end of the phone. “Hello?” she repeated.
“Ally, it’s Geena.” Her sister’s whisper was almost too soft to hear. “Get down here now, okay?”
“Geena, what is it? Why are you whispering?” Ally saved her half written blog article with a sigh, and leaned back in her chair, waiting for her sister to relate her latest emergency.
Geena had done Ally a huge favor when she let her move in to the tiny room above her store, but since then Ally had helped her deal with a multitude of different disasters. These included locking herself out, getting her cash register drawer stuck with her sleeve jammed inside it, and Ally’s personal favorite, the time she discovered a mouse in her store’s kitchenette. Catching it had taken Ally most of the day, and then Geena had tried to insist she kill it. Instead she bussed to Hyde Park with it scrabbling inside a cardboard box before she let it go.
“You’re looking for stories for your blog?” whispered Geena. “Well hustle your butt. Max Oberon just walked into my store.”
“Max Oberon? The model?” She’d seen his name recently, but Ally couldn’t remember what the story had been about. She opened up Google.
Geena’s voice was so low she had to strain to make it out. “You gotta get an eyeful of what I’m seeing. Trust me, sis. Story or not, you don’t want to miss out.”
Max Ob… That was all she had to type before Google brought up links, including pictures. A full body shot wearing only a pair of black boxers, from his most famous ad campaign popped up. Though she’d seen the picture many times, his rippling abs were so mesmerizing it took a moment to drag her focus down… mmmm. No, a little further down to the snippet of current news underneath.
Australian model Max Oberon has been cast in an upcoming feature film…
“Keep him there.” She hung up and threw the phone on her bed.
Even though the room was tiny, it took her several minutes to find her camera under a heap of discarded clothes. She stuffed it into her shoulder bag, and then had to rummage through the mess again to find a pair of shoes. No time to try to find something clean to wear, and anyway who cared if her T-shirt was decorated with some of last night’s spaghetti sauce? She wasn’t the one who was going to be caught on camera looking at sex toys, but the guy whose nearly naked body was plastered over the side of entire buildings. No doubt he was so into himself he wouldn’t notice if Ally was wearing a clown suit.
She took the rickety stairs two at a time. Why was someone like Max Oberon in The Gee Spot, her sister’s sex store in King’s Cross? Whatever the reason, it was perfect timing. The blog she and her best friend had started was still taking off and she hadn’t been able to draw a salary, let alone pay Geena back the money she owed her.
Geena was struggling under the pressure of supporting them both, and if Ally couldn’t start paying her back soon, her sister might lose her store. Ally was desperate to boost the blog’s readership so they could get the ad dollars coming in. If she could snag exclusive pics of an underwear-model-turned-movie-star buying a butt plug or blow-up doll, it might get enough views to attract a big advertising partnership.
At the bottom of the stairs Ally took a second to straighten her bag and make sure her camera was stashed out of sight but ready, then she eased open the door to the back of the store and sidled in.
Cheesy music played out of the speaker in the corner. The store always smelled nice, like candy. Ally took a deep breath before remembering that Geena said it was the flavored lubes that made it smell so good.
Where was Max Oberon? The shelves were purposely designed to block the view across the store and give customers a sense of privacy while they browsed the vibrators, or selected a strap-on. But when she rounded the corner, she spotted someone at the counter talking to Geena.
Was it him? With his face turned away she couldn’t tell, but his hair seemed the right color. He stood taller than she would have guessed, with wide shoulders. Wow, nice butt, perfectly cradled in dark denim. His jeans fit so well, she’d bet they cost more than her computer. Yeah, that had to be him.
Slipping her hand in her bag, she fumbled for her camera. She’d get a few shots of his back, and then when he turned, she’d capture his look of surprise.
Her camera snagged on something. She tugged it, still scanning for the right spot to shoot from. Maybe she could angle herself to get some blow-up dolls in the shot. Or if she went that way, she could get in the row of huge dildos sticking up like flowers in an X-rated garden.
Geena saw her and raised her voice, blowing Ally’s cover. “Here’s just who you’re looking for. Ally would be perfect!”
The man turned. His light eyes, a contrast against his tanned skin, made his gaze piercing, like they could see right inside her. Whoever had made him hadn’t been shy with the chisel — his cheeks were all sharp edges and perfect angles. He was even more arresting in person than in his photos, and that was really saying something. She’d seen several near accidents caused by the distraction of a new Max Oberon billboard going up next to a busy intersection.
Ally rearranged her expression into a mask that hid any sign of nervousness, but her mouth went dry when he stepped forward and put his hand out.
“Hi Ally. I’m Max.” It didn’t seem fair that he could be that gorgeous and have a voice to match. Deep and low enough to sound intimate.
Ally let her camera go and pulled her hand out of her bag, trying to surreptitiously wipe off the perspiration that was suddenly soaking her palm.
“I want to book an appointment.” He took her small hand into his big, firm one and squeezed it before letting go.
“An appointment?” she managed.
“You’re not available?” He said it in a growl, before glancing at Geena, almost catching Ally’s sister with the back of her hand pressed against her forehead, pretending to swoon behind his back.
Geena snatched her hand away and cleared her throat. “Mr. Oberon here is looking for someone he can work with to help him prepare for a movie role. I thought you’d be perfect.” She winked at Ally, and then nodded with raised eyebrows, silently telling her to play along.
“What kind of role?” This was getting better. If there was a story in this it’d be better than just snapping some photos.
Max opened his mouth, but Geena jumped in before he could say anything. “He needs a dominatrix.”