Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.
The air was quite warm today.
I stood on the balcony of my pricy hotel room finishing the last bit of a cigarette. The view from here was more than breath taking. The sand was a rich golden brown, a stark contrast to the crystal waters that rushed to meet it. I could see several children enjoying a quick match of soccer on my far left, their laughter easily heard from this distance. The frothy waters played at their feet and they danced to dodge it. Quite a ways down, I could barely make out my set where people shuffled to cover every detail.
They had placed the set at the most beautiful spot on this beach, directly in line with the sun that was steadily rising with every hour of the morning.
I had come up to my room to quickly gather my thoughts before getting to work. I had a feeling that this job would be different from all the others. It seemed that I had gotten the call from Luigi's affiliates out of nowhere, so I knew I had been personally selected for a reason.
I had my speculations. I knew it didn't have everything to do with the way I photographed. It had much to do with the dance I shared with a certain brunet.
I smiled at the thought. I snuffed out the spent cigarette and walked back into the cool of my hotel room. I grabbed my keys and continued out the front door. On my way down the hall, I felt the faint buzz of my phone in my left pocket. I glanced at the caller ID and furrowed my brow when the call was displayed as "Number Unknown". I decided to answer anyway.
"Hello?" I said with a tone of annoyance at the unknown caller. There was nothing but silence on the other end. "Hello?" I said again.
"Almasy?" An unfamiliar voice eventually questioned. He sounded young, perhaps 20 or so.
"Who wants to know?" I said with an air of irritation. I hated it when folks called me private.
He cleared his throat. "The name's Keane. We've met before."
"Have we?" I queried. I found the elevator and pushed to white button to take me to the ground floor. It opened quickly. I stepped in and hit the appropriate floor button, keeping the phone to my ear. "I don't recall.."
"The redhead in the elevator…" He trailed off. "At Luigi's office."
"Oh." I said, remembering the asshole. For one reason or another, he had treated me with an amount of disrespect that I could only have interpreted as strong dislike. I was surprised to hear his voice on the other end. He sounded calm and reassuring, like he wanted to apologize for his earlier demeanor. He did not come out and say he was sorry, but I could tell that he was. But I still wondered about him. "Why are you calling me?"
"I need to speak with you," He paused. He became uncomfortable. "It's about Squall."
I could feel the carriage stop smoothly at the ground level. The doors opened and I stepped onto the glossy floor of the lobby. I glanced over at the front desk where the clerk smiled knowingly at the man before her. I made a beeline toward a comfy chair in the corner to finish up this conversation.
"Yeah?" I said simply. I wasn't in the mood to hear what I could tell was coming.
"Squall is my heart" He spoke softly. "I need to look out for him."
"And you think I'm here to do what?" I challenged, rubbing my chin steadily. He took a moment to choose his words carefully.
"There's no way to know," he sighed. I was getting a bit pissed off.
"Why can't I just be here to do my job? Like everyone else?" I practically bit out. Several people around me looked up from their newspapers and magazines. I turned to face the window.
"Because, no one's here to just do their job. There's always more to it." He went silent. I could tell he was mulling me over in his head.
"Are you talking about Mitchell?" I asked.
"And others," he mused.
I thought for a moment. I wasn't surprised by the fact that Squall had a number of suitors. Any man, or woman for that matter, would do anything to get him to their bed. He was known for having a body that no one could have. He was even more desirable because of it.
"Look," I said eventually, "I can assure you that Squall is in good hands. I'm only trying to get my bills paid." I hoped this would end the conversation.
"Maybe," he said quietly. And then there was nothing but a dial tone. I ground my teeth as I lowered the phone from my ear. The nerve of him.
I could understand the concern Keane felt for his best friend, but I hadn't even begun to work with the man yet. It was already assumed that I was here with less than favorable intentions. If I were to be honest, the exchange between the brunet and I seemed nothing more than a friendly dance. I couldn't see our relationship going much further than that. He was enormously famous and I was a lowly photographer trying to make ends meet.
Our worlds were quite different. Though, not different enough so we wouldn't cross paths.
I slid my phone back into my pocket and began to make my way to the waiting beach outside. I passed though the double doors and gave the doorman a nod. Slipping my sunglasses from my head to my eyes, I casually made my way to the bustling set on the far side of the beach.
"Hello again, Mr. Almasy." Alonzo smiled as I approached him. He stretched a strong hand to greet me. He had a camera in his other hand. He looked quite comfortable in a white cotton shirt that was open at the collar. His pants were of a light material to keep him cool. His casual flip flops showed off his well manicured feet. Dark tresses swept over his shoulders. He took good care of it.
"Just Seifer is fine," I countered, taking his hand into my own. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Squall sitting in a makeup chair to my left. There were so many people around him that he hadn't seen me walk up.
"Seifer, then," Alonzo repeated. His Italian accent was far less distinct than Luigi's. He smiled a warm expression.
"I see that you've started without me," I said, gesturing to the camera he held at his hip. He looked away at it.
"Oh this?" He gave a wave of dismissal. "We were only getting warmed up."
"I see that," I said, letting my gaze drift to Squall. He looked incredibly sexy from where I was standing. He sat with his legs crossed at the knee, his hands resting in his lap. His eyes were half-closed as a woman worked to add a sheer color to his lids and cheeks. I couldn't tell he was wearing makeup, but I supposed that was the point.
"He's doing so well today," I heard Alonzo say in a low voice. I still hadn't taken my eyes off the brunet in the chair. "I have faith that the two of you will turn up with some good work."
I whispered a thanks and proceeded to make quick work of setting up my equipment. My camera in hand, I waited patiently for the man to be done in the chair.
For the first time, Squall looked up at me. I could see his body stiffen as a small smile tugged at his lips. He stood and walked slowly toward me. The auburn locks of his hair fluttered across his grey-blue eyes. The white of his teeth shined tremendously. His feet on the sand left a trail behind him.
"Are you here for me?" he said with a cheeky smirk. He rested his thumbs in the front pockets of his shorts.
"You know it," I declared, placing one hand on my hip.
"Then let's get to work." He said suddenly. He slipped off his flip flops and sauntered over to the edge of the water. He stepped in and turned to seek my approval.
"Deeper," I said to him, slipping into work mode. I wanted the water crashing over his thighs. He waded a bit further out and I followed, camera in hand. "Alright, here's good."
I stood about knee deep in the water, while Squall waded in water up to his thighs. He eyed a nearby boulder and went to hold onto it. I rolled up my sleeves and made a mental note not to wear my nice clothes on the beach again.
Raising my camera, I went to work.
Over the next hour, Squall gave me everything I had asked for out in the ocean. He gave me ten different types of sexy. The tight shorts and thin white tank he wore only added to his splendor. There was a connection between the two of us, a sort of spark. It felt as though it was just he and I alone on this beach. I easily forgot the scores of people who shared the beach with us. Their noise was drowned out as he and I worked. I could feel my blood boil as he looked at me with intense eyes. His body moved and worked sensually against that boulder.
I had to undo my shirt, I was so warm.
"Last frame," I shouted as I captured another piece of the beautiful man before me with my final frame.
I looked up from the viewfinder to see Squall running his hands though his hair. His slender body leaned gracefully as he dried his mane as best he could with his hands. He slowly waded back toward land, his ashen eyes glued to mine.
"Bravo." Alonzo's voice penetrated my thoughts. He smiled and gave a slow, deliberate applause. When Squall made it to the beach, he was wrapped up in a towel. "You were gorgeous, hon."
"Thanks," Squall whispered, accepting a bottle of water from a woman on his right. Beads of water ran from his neck to his back. His hair dripped quite a bit. He looked up at me with a smile.
"Lets get you back to your room and into some dry clothes," Alonzo said, holding out a robe for Squall to step into.
"That sounds good," the smaller man replied as he slipped on his shoes. Wrapping the robe around his slender body tightly, he looked up at me though wet bangs. "How was it?"
I swallowed as he wet his lips. The first word that came to mind to reply to his question was "sexy", but I figured I would say something a bit more appropriate with Alonzo standing near.
"It was fun," I said with a smirk. I tightened my hold on my camera.
He spared a light laugh and turned to make his way back to his room. As I watched the brunet trudge through the sand, I felt Alonzo place his hand on my shoulder.
"You did good, Seifer. I'm impressed." He took the camera out of my hand. "I'd like to go back and have a look at these."
"That's alright with me," I said, slipping my hands in my pockets.
"You're welcome to come, too." Alonzo smiled as he went to put his long hair in a ponytail behind his head.
I nodded and we both followed the trail that the man who went before us had left.
Squall's room was very cool and surprisingly dim. When Alonzo and I entered, he was nowhere to be found. I first noticed the neatness of the room, then the size of it. There was one bed, a sofa, and a big screen television. There was even a small kitchen. If I didn't know better, I'd think this was an apartment. Everything was in its place. Even as this was a hotel room, it seemed warmer, like a home. The bed sheets were satin and black. There were numerous pillows. I could see that the curtains were drawn closed.
Alonzo went straight for the laptop at the far corner of the room. As I stepped further in, I could hear the shower running. I took a seat on the sofa and watched Alonzo as he worked to pull the new photos up.
"So this is what a model's room looks like," I said to the air. Alonzo hummed in agreement. "There sure is a lot of shit in here. How long will he be here?"
"There's really no telling," Alonzo said, with his back to me. "Squall returns when he is ready. Luigi rarely has time limits on these shoots. There were some cases when he is on the first flight he can get as soon as he's done working. There were other times that he has spent weeks away. I suppose it also depends on his company." He cast a look over his shoulder.
I nodded. I supposed that made sense. He did what he wanted. He was rich and famous, after all.
The shower halted, and after a few minutes, Squall emerged from the bathroom. He wore a simple cotton tee shirt and blue jeans. Still towel drying his hair, he stood beside the couch next to me.
"Would you like a drink?" he offered, chucking the towel onto the far arm of the sofa.
"Sure," I replied. I watched as he made his way back to the kitchen.
"Water, whiskey, or beer?" He questioned, opening the refrigerator wide.
"Water's fine." I said quietly. I sat with my arms stretched out over the back of the couch.
He returned to my side with a bottle of water for me and a beer for himself. He handed it off to me.
"How'd they come out?" Squall asked, directing his attention to Alonzo. He cracked open his beer.
"Absolutely beautiful," Alonzo said over his shoulder. He paid little attention to us as he clicked though the photos in front of him. I opened my beverage and absently sipped. I looked up when I noticed Squall's ashen eyes on me.
"So how do you like Hawaii?" he questioned, setting his beer on the coffee table. He pulled a throw pillow onto his lap and folded his legs in front of him. His eyes were locked to mine.
"It's very beautiful." I took another sip from the bottle. He let a small smile play over his full lips.
"And you're hotel room?"
"Suitable," I whispered with a sly smile.
"Yeah, I've seen better." He could tell I was kidding.
"Whatever." the brunet breathed with a playful roll of his eyes.
Alonzo suddenly stood from his seat.
"I'm going out for a smoke. You behave Squall," he teased, shoving his hands in his pockets. He crossed the room and was out the front door with a quiet click of the latch. I turned back to face Squall, who was sipping his beer rather quickly.
"Damn. Thirsty?" I said, watching as a bead of liquid slipped down the side of his mouth.
"I was," he mumbled, before letting out a small burp. He grinned sheepishly as a blush crept up the side of his neck. "Sorry."
I chuckled as I grabbed his forgotten towel and went to dab at the younger man's cheek. He lowered his hands to his lap and let me work to clean his slight mess. As I dabbed, I noticed how creamy his light skin was from this distance. There was a natural, pale dusting of pink to his cheeks. His lips were full and flush and I couldn't help but stare as they parted with each breath he took.
"I really did enjoy working with you today," I whispered, raising my eyes to his.
"So did I," he replied, blinking several times as if to regain his composure.
He looked so sexy sitting across from me. It took all my willpower to stay put. I was trying to be polite, but I'm sure we both knew that I was curious to feel his lips against mine. I was curious to feel his hair in my fists and his legs around my waist.
I changed the subject before my thoughts got the best of me.
"Tell me what Luigi has in store for me," I asserted, locking my hands behind my head. I leaned back on the sofa and watched Squall as he spoke.
"He wants us to do two more shoots while we're down here. For two separate magazines." He sat with his back against the armrest.
"How long will that take?" I questioned.
"Shouldn't take more than a few days," he paused and smirked a devilish grin. "It all depends how good you are."
"How good I am? I can tell you right now, Squall, I'm the best that's ever been," I defended.
"Oh really?" He lifted a thinly shaped eyebrow.
"Yes, really." I didn't let my eyes waver from his as he challenged me.
"Hmmph," was all he said. "Our next shoot is in a few days, but in the meantime, we should relax."
"I think that's a good idea," I said simply. There was a brief silence between us.
"You know," he eventually mumbled, his eyes lowered. He smiled to himself. "I bet you're the best at a lot of things."
I couldn't help blushing at his choice of words.
a/n: Wow, this chapter was a little tough. It was fun but I had a hard time trying to figure out where to end it. You can probably tell.. Lol
Anyways… gosh this story has a ways to go. I started it with about 6 chapters in mind and now I can see that it could be well past 10.
I'm trying my hand at a good detailed epic. : )
Please r/r… I'd greatly appreciate it…
I worked my ass off on this chapter…