He watched me through the lens taking shot after shot. He said, "You know, you're very hot," multiple times during the shoot. He was a pro. He knew saying those words would turn me on and he'd get his best out of me.
I had changed for the shoot in the next room, his bedroom. All my different tops were spread out across his bed. The hair and make-up guy had whispered at one point, "He likes you, he said you're very clean, that you wash behind your ears."
"Well doesn't everyone!"
"You can't believe the dirty girls we get here for head shots," the hair and make-up guy said.
When he finally put down the camera I looked at him, ready for anything. His eyes were dead. Flat and gray like an old fish. So totally dead. Still, I wanted the hair and make-up guy to get lost.
"Change into the black V-neck," flat eyes said. "That sexy white throat and your clavicle bone…"
I stared closely in his eyes. Nothing. He'd almost talked dirty. It was discouraging. The make-up guy, paid by the hour, wasn't going away so fast. He fluffed my hair, lifted and misted the top then fixed my eyeliner.
Back behind the camera again flat eyes said, "Lick your lips," about four dozen times. Then he said, "Think where you'd like your lips to be. Yes, yes, yes," he kept saying shot after shot.
The camera, his real eyes, brimming for me.
Susan Tepper is author of the novel What May Have Been: Letters of Jackson Pollock & Dori G (with Gary Percesepe) just out from Cervena Barva Press, the collection Deer & Other Stories (Wilderness House Press, 2009) and the poetry chapbook Blue Edge. Tepper edited the 2011 flash and poetry anthology Valentine Day Massacre (Cervena Barva Press) with work from 25 writers of Fictionaut. She writes the MONDAY CHAT on the Fictionaut blog, and "Madame Tishka Advises on Love & Furniture" at Used Furniture Review.