Surrounded by beautiful people, anyone less than breathtaking tends to blend into the wall paper. They are gods who must not be crossed, and everyone else is stupid, boring and irritating. After a few months, when I got used to being ignored and unimportant in my life’s passion as I’d been ignored and unimportant in everything else, beauty just became a part of the wallpaper. They were all alike, these beautiful models, each as stupid, boring and selfish as the last.
Except Tristan. I was obsessed with Tristan.
He had a kind of beauty that made him stand out in a crowd of top models. He was quiet, contained, spoke only when spoken to, and he was only spoken to when absolutely necessary. Things worked smoother when he was in the shot. People talked less and moved faster, and not even the other models complained. If Tristan was willing to do a shot and another model complained, the other was immediately replaced. Tristan became the best selling model in a matter of weeks, and he still seemed oblivious to his own power. I thought he was a god.
He was also causing me considerable bewilderment about my own sexuality. I didn’t think he’d react well to me throwing myself at him and begging him to take me, but it was becoming more and more tempting to try. Actually, I doubted he’d even react at wall, even if I did it while wearing neon flashing lights that blared “Tristan’s willing sex slave.”
Tristan ignored people as a matter of policy. He walked like he was the only person in the world. He looked at no one, said nothing. It wasn’t like the other models, who looked at themselves in the mirror for hours. Tristan glanced at mirrors like he glanced at people, like they just weren’t worth his attention. No one knew what to think of him. All he ever asked for were magazines.
When he had a moment’s break and wasn’t in a shot, he’d lounge across a couch and read a magazine. He was constantly reading magazines.
Interns weren’t good for much else, so except for when they’d occasionally let me take a camera and shoot, I just ran errands. I brought Tristan his magazines. He went through the ones we had in the first few days, and often he’d bring a few of his own, but sometimes he’d even run through those.
As far as I could tell, he just liked the pictures. He read Cosmo with the same amount of attention as he read Scientific American. The first week he was here, he asked for another magazine and I handed him one of my comic books, since it was all I had. He didn’t say anything, just took it and read it. At the end of the day I found it neatly next to my backpack. After that, I always had magazines and comic books with me in case he asked for one. He never thanked me or even looked at me. I wasn’t sure if he ever knew my name. But somehow the books always found their way back to my bag when he was done.
It went on like this for months.
“Kevin. Kevin. Hello? Kevin?”
I look up. “Oh, sorry, what?”
It’s Marta, another intern, the closest thing I have to a friend. She hands me a phone.
I put it to my ear. At some point it drops from my hand. “Shit.”
“What?” Marta looks concerned.
I feel numb. “My flat. There was a fire in the building.”
“Do you have someplace to stay?”
I shake my head.
She frowns. “I’d offer to let you stay with me, but I’ve got cats and you’re allergic.”
“Forget it,” I say. “I’ll find a roach hotel or something. I don’t know.”
“Stay with me.”
It takes me a moment to recognize the voice. I didn’t even know he was there. Tristan makes himself easy to overlook, when he’s not on camera. I stare at him. “What?”
“You can stay with me,” he repeats.
It’s the first time he’s ever looked directly at me, and I can’t tear my eyes off his gaze. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard him repeat himself. No one makes Tristan repeat himself. Marta kicks me in the shin. I recall my manners and stammer my thanks. He goes back to reading his magazine. I have once again ceased to exist.
His eyes are purple. I’d seen them before in pictures, where he turned his intimidating violet gaze on the camera, and even in pictures they turned my knees to mush. There was one picture of him I would stare at for hours.
The director joked that he wanted to capture Tristan in his natural habitat, so he gave him a magazine and a couch. In the picture, he looks directly at the camera, like the viewer had said something actually worthy of his interest, and you can see the full force of his incredible beauty. His long dark hair, longer than women’s hair, tumbles over his shoulder and drifts against the rug. It’s black, true black, ebony black, and it shines. He does shampoo commercials, and no other model sells the brands faster. When he first came, they tried to get him to cut his hair. He refused, and later the agency was glad. It gave him a kind of exoticism, they said. Sure. As if it wasn’t enough his eyes were purple.
No one asked how he got his eyes. It was only known that they were, in fact, natural. In the picture, he wears only black slacks, so that his lightly-tanned chest is bare, shoulders turned so his torso can be fully appreciated.
If I had one wish, it’d be for him to look at me like he looks out of the picture at the camera. I could die happy.
I go looking for him when I’m done for the day. He’s not hard to find, lounged on his favorite couch, reading a Japanese manga I lent him. I stop in front of him, not sure what to say. His eyes flick up at me for a moment, then he goes back to acting like I don’t exist.
I can feel a blush creeping up my cheeks. I don’t know if I’ve ever in my life felt this awkward. He’s completely ignoring me.
After what feels like several hours but is probably only minutes, he closes the book and stands up. Tucks the book into the back of my jeans. My jaw drops, but I’m too stunned to actually react in words to his method of book-return. “Let’s go,” he says, putting on his coat. Hasn’t spared me a glance. He even put the book in my waistband without bothering to look.
He’s a bit like a blind man, the way he reacts to his surroundings without any evident use of his eyes. I realize for the first time why he does this, keeps his long-lashed eyes low-lidded like he’s dreaming, and doesn’t look at people because he has to:
It’s so you don’t see his eyes. His amazing, commanding purple eyes. I wonder what made him so avoidant. I’m not sure if I dare call him shy.
I’m staring at his receding back before his words actually sink in, and I scramble after him, feeling like an awkward, stammering idiot next to him.
He takes me home and indicates the couch. We don’t talk. I feel miserable, that even once he’s taken me home–out of what, pity?–he still doesn’t deem me worth his attention. I wonder if he even knows my name. He goes into his bedroom and shuts the door.
Two days later he takes me to bed.
It’s not a surprise. Models act like the world is their fucktoy. I was completely aware when I accepted the invitation, that he would probably take the opportunity for a blowjob in return for my lodging.
When I get home, late, exhausted from being sent on useless errands all day, he’s on the couch, reading. It isn’t a magazine I recognize, but he does have an extensive collection of his own. He doesn’t bother to keep most of the magazines he reads, but one whole wall and a couple of bookcases were filled with the ones that caught his fancy. He seemed to have some kind of organization, but I wasn’t sure what. I was surprised to find he’d begun collecting comic books and manga from my influence.
I sleep on the couch, so with him occupying it, I’m not sure where I should sit. I settle into an armchair awkwardly. His eyes flick up at me. He makes a motion with his chin. I’m confused.
After a pause, when I obviously haven’t obeyed whatever command he intended, he looks up at me again. This time his gaze is steady. I’d never noticed before, accustomed as I was to all the sensual stares of jaded models, but Tristan’s face is emotionless. His gaze is intense, but whatever he might be thinking or feeling is completely obscured. It’s eerie. “Come here,” he says. His eyes don’t leave my face until I obey. I stand and approach him.
He pulls me into his lap. I’m not expecting it, so I yelp, getting tangled in my own long limbs. I find myself low in his lap, lying back against him with my head on his shoulder. I’m tall, but Tristan’s still got several inches on me in height, and hey, I’m a starving penniless intern, so I can’t be that heavy. I feel like a lapdog. His arm is firm around my waist, and–aside from the way his hand has slipped up my shirt to play his fingers over my bare skin–he’s ignoring me again.
It’s clear I’m going to be here for as long as he likes, and I’ve got nowhere else to be, so I relax, or at least try. I’m ticklish. And he’s dipping his hand into the front of my pants, brushing his fingers through the soft hair on my belly, like he’s not even aware of what he’s doing.
I squirm quietly, not wanting to annoy him, but what he’s doing is ticklish and arousing. My face is red. I desperately hope he doesn’t realize how hard I am. I can tell he’s still reading, turning a page every so often, and I don’t think he’s aware of how his fingers have dropped even lower into my jeans, weaving his fingers through the short curls of my pubes. I wince my eyes shut, trying to pant quietly enough that he won’t notice. Finally his hand disappears all the way down my pants, wrapping around my cock.
I choke, arching my back. I hear his magazine hit the floor.
His breath is hot on the back of my neck, and his other hand reaches around, swiftly unbuttoning my pants and pushing them down my hips. I lift my ass to help him get them off, and his hand on my cock is warm and fast, jacking me off steadily. His head is close to mine, lips pulling scalding kisses from the skin of my neck. I can feel his hair brushing my cheek.
His free hand moves up my shirt, grazing over a nipple before starting to abuse it with quick, rough circles of his thumb. I shudder and come, all over his hand. My face feels ready to combust. His nose is still nuzzling the side of my head, and his teeth grazing the ridge of my ear is blurring my brain into mush. He holds his come-slicked hand before my face, and I’m surprised, but I can guess, so I open my mouth, trailing my tongue along the side of his palm. His other hand tightens its grip on my waist.
I don’t care for the taste of my own spunk, but I do very much like the catch I hear in his breathing as I suck his fingers one by one into my mouth and run my tongue over the inner creases of his knuckles.
“Get up,” he murmurs, when I’ve finished cleaning his hand. He pushes me helpfully out of his lap as I’m standing up, and I’m confused again as he walks to his bedroom. I’m not sure if I should step out of my pants or pull them back up, and I figure I’ve probably got a kicked-puppy expression on my face. He stops in the doorway. “You’ll sleep with me tonight.”
It’s not a request. I leave the pants on the floor and follow him into the bedroom.
I can only stare when he pulls off his shirt and drops it, then his pants. His hair dusts along the top of his buttocks, it’s so long, and when he’s clad in nothing but his hair, it’s a kind of beauty I didn’t know existed. His tan skin is pale in contrast with his jet-black hair. There’s not a strand of hair anywhere else on his body–he is a model, after all.
My jaw is probably hanging, but I can’t bother to care, because I’m staring at him. Nine inches, uncut, and thicker than should be decently possible. I’m praying to whatever gods might listen that he doesn’t intend to fuck me with that thing.
He pulls me over to him and claims a kiss. It’s strange how he kisses, slow and reserved, dominant but pliant, and I can’t even tell at first how much passion there is in it. He pushes me down to my knees, and this time I’m glad there’s no question to what he wants.
I stretch my lips enough to get them around the head, and do it with a grin. I’ve always enjoyed sucking cock. He watches me, with his low-lidded eyes, as I take it in as deep as I can, bobbing my head up and down, wrapping my hand around what I can’t take into my mouth. His hands tangle themselves in my hair, coaxing me to swallow more, deeper. He doesn’t warn me before he comes, so I choke on it, coughing, but somehow manage to swallow.
He kisses me again and pulls me into bed with him. I fall asleep in his arms, horny, confused, and eager for more.
This goes on for about a week. He seems to consider it an accepted fact that my new role is in his bed. He doesn’t ask for anything more than quickies, and he always gets me off first, then has me get him off in return. He shows no preference for which of us is on the receiving end of a blowjob, and this surprises me. He goes down on his knees almost as willingly as I do. I’ve never before known a model willing to suck cock, unless it’s for the sake of their career. Once or twice a day he pulls me into his dressing room for a quickie, at any time he likes, ignoring any complaints I might have about actually trying to get my work done. I’m glad, at least, that I’ve never seen him do this with any of the other interns, so I comfort myself that even if he’s just making use of an easy lay, at least he’s exclusive about it.
It’s just a bad day that day. The weather’s nasty on a swimsuit shoot, three of the models are having bad hair days, tempers are thin, and one of the photographers is out sick. They’ve got me perched on a ledge above the water as a replacement photographer, teeth chattering with cold, and I can’t focus because all I want is to curl up with Tristan somewhere warm and dry. Even Tristan’s short-tempered and irritable as they make him pose in almost no clothing despite the conditions.
Someone jostles me, on the precarious makeshift ledge we have set up. I slip, and fall into the surf. I’m lucky it’s shallow, because I don’t swim very well. Swearing quietly as I find my feet and come up for air, I find myself being cussed out.
“Who gave that idiot kid a camera? It’s ruined! Don’t you know you can’t get these things wet?”
I stand there and take the tirade without reply. I’m a perfectly competent photographer and I know it wasn’t my fault, but I also know it doesn’t matter what I say.
“Get off the set,” he snaps. “You’re fired.”
“If he goes, I go.”
Everyone stops and stares when Tristan speaks. It’s a known fact that if Tristan opens his mouth, it’s important. But there’s no reason he’d speak up for some useless intern. Interns get fired every day.
“That’s my boyfriend,” Tristan says. “If he goes, I’m going with him.”
Everyone stares at him, baffled, especially me.
“We can finish this shoot tomorrow. I’m going home.”
He picks up his things and walks off the set. When I don’t automatically follow, he stops and looks back at me until I do.
There is a promotion waiting for me when I come in the next day, and a nice raise.
He walks me back to the car. My teeth are chattering, and I’m dripping cold seawater.
“Take your things off before you get in,” he says. “I don’t need you getting my seats wet.”
I stare at him, annoyed. “What, strip, in full view of the crew? They’re watching us!”
He shrugs his coat off his shoulders and holds it out as a curtain between me and anyone who might be watching. It’s a full-length coat, so it works, and I strip quickly and wring out my clothes before dropping them on the floor of his car, not in the mood to argue. He drops the coat around my shoulders and I pull it close as I get in, grateful for the warmth. He drives us home.
“Go take a shower,” he orders. “I’ll make us something to eat.”
Up to this point I’d always gotten home too late for dinner. I get the feeling that is going to change, and that my schedule has just become Tristan’s schedule.
“What, you cook?” I ask. “Because you weren’t perfect enough already?”
I think I see the ghost of a smile before he turns away. I go take that shower.
The food’s ready by the time I come back. He must’ve been prepared, to make it that fast. It’s some sort of chicken dish in cream sauce with mushrooms and almonds. It seems unfair to me, that one man can be this perfect, and I wonder why he bothers with me.
“We’ll eat on the couch,” he says. I think he’s said more to me today than in the whole week I’ve been here.
I eat, watching him. He’s ignoring me, as usual. I don’t mind it so much anymore.
“Do you even know my name?” I ask. “Since I’m your boyfriend now.”
“It’s Kevin,” he replies, without looking up. “You’re 21. Born in Indiana, you have two sisters and your parents are divorced. Your favorite food is pickles, you’re allergic to cats, and you have a crush on Orlando Bloom. Do you want me to continue?”
I stare at him, trying to somehow form words.
“Are you stalking me?” I choke out at last.
He looks up at me. I swear he’s almost grinning. “I didn’t need to. You said all those things in conversations within my hearing. You just didn’t think I was listening.”
“How old are you?” I ask. I’ve been wanting to know.
“Nineteen.” He clears our dishes and puts them in the sink. He comes back. “Do you have condoms?”
That makes my cheeks go red. “No.”
He thinks about this. “Are you a virgin?”
I wish we could be having this conversation less as an interrogation. My cheeks are burning. “Yes.”
“Then we’ll go without.” He walks back out of the room. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count as safe sex, just because I’m a virgin. He comes back with a little bottle of lube and drops it on the couch by me. I have no idea what to say.
He kisses me, hands roaming up my shirt.
“I don’t know if I’m okay doing this without condoms,” I tell him, as he pulls the shirt over my head.
“Don’t worry about it,” he says. Easy for him to say. He unbuttons my pants and pulls them from me, then rids himself of his own.
“Tristan,” I try again, as he puts the lube into my hand. “I’m not okay with this.”
“Why does it matter?” he asks.
His nonchalance irritates me. “Because I’m not letting you stick that thing up my ass without a condom!” I snap. “How do I know you’re clean?”
“I’m not asking you to,” he replies.
I blink, confused. He takes the lube from me and squirts a little into his hand, kissing me again as he spreads it along my cock, stroking it up and hard. I stare at him, finally getting it. He looks up and meets my eyes, as if to ask if I have any more objections. I don’t.
He straddles my lap, kissing me, and I feel him press his weight back against me. I reach around, spreading his ass cheeks and guiding him down. I’ve read enough porn to know how this is done, virgin or no. He lowers his weight down so that the head slips inside him with a pop, slowly sitting all the way down into my lap.
He looks up into my eyes once he’s there. His muscles are spasming tight around me, objecting to the invasion. He has that incredibly sexy catch in his breath again.
“Tristan,” I ask him, taking another kiss. “Are you a virgin, too?”
I can read his answer in the smile I get. Yes.
He lifts his weight and I pull him back down, grinding my hips into him. He shudders, and I can see the cold, expressionless mask he wears starting to shatter, emotions flickering on his face. I can see he’s figured out where his prostate is, so I watch him and figure out where it is a moment later. Both of us change the angle of our movement so that my thrusts bump against it as he rides me. He speeds up, still silent, but he’s shuddering with desire, and comes without either of us touching his cock, face limned with ecstasy. I’ve never seen him so beautiful. The sight of it sends me over the edge, and I come inside him, filling him, taking him.
He lifts his head and kisses me, recovering from the orgasm. We just kiss for a few minutes, content.
“I’m not still opposed to reversing the roles,” I tell him. “If you wanted to take me.”
He actually grins at me. “If you think you can take it.”
I can’t help but grin at him as we move into the bedroom. “I’ll manage.”