Thank you for the reviews, I appreciate them very much and it makes me want to keep writing. Waves to Australia!!! I will thank my Beta again and hope she continues her writing again soon. nudge nudge
Alfred Sung, D-Squared, DKNY… they'll all want me to shoot their collections. I'd be able to name my price… name my assignments; but, damn, I've had so damn much fun working with the guys."
Joffre grabbed his hair and growled, "I just have to figure out a way to do both. It's Wednesday; I gotta bring in test shots Saturday and Sullivan is not gonna give me another chance. How do I get the shots?"
"Fake it 'till you make it," DesLaurier grabbed his camera bag and headed to the door, "and if you can't fake it, tell the truth."
"Dunbar here," Jim yawned into his cell phone, "just tell me what's the matter now?" Damn, running an investigation was harder than pounded the pavement.
"Jim, it's Joe Lawrence, you got time to see me tonight?"
"Actually, I'm stuck here until Russo and Selway get back. What can I do for you?"
"I'm outside with two coffees with matching cheese danishes. How about I come up there and tell you?"
"Decent coffee… I'll meet you at the door." Dunbar snapped his phone shut, put on his shades and headed down to the entrance.
Joffre looked up as he entered the precinct house. "Damn, the man looks like a model, I wonder if Sullivan picks out his clothes. "Jim, these are black. I thought you might want to keep your girlish figure."
"Watch it, Lawrence; I'm sure I can dig up something on you if I look hard enough." Jim held his hand out, "gimme that coffee and I'll let you off easy."
Joffre swiveled his head to take in the whole police precinct, getting the whole 'law and order' ambiance of the place. It's cleaner than I thought it, might be able to use it as a photo location. Hey, where the hell did Jim go? "Hey, hold on, I gotta catch up!" He had to race to reach Dunbar at the elevator, groaning as he sloshed his high priced coffee down his retro t-shirt.
Jim grinned as the elevator doors shut. "Joe, every cop in the station will follow you home if you keep wearing 'eau de coffee'. Come on or we'll be here all night."
Joffre ran his hand through his hair. "I've got a confession to make…"
Dunbar chuckled and settled into his chair. "You're a felon; a serial killer? I gotta tell you you've got the right to remain silent."
Joe dropped onto nearby chair, "If it were that easy, I'd confess to being Jack the Ripper. I've been a photographer for a few years now, but a fashion photographer. That's where the money is. I got a chance to do a national magazine spread and it could push me into a whole new level of success. I just had to please one really picky editor."
"Christine Sullivan, right."
"Give the man a cigar, I googled her and found you. Jim, I fell into the whole fashion thing with the help of Christine Sullivan and I'm good at what I do. Fashion has all of the artistic possibilities I ever wanted and all the artistic excitement of a velvet Elvis. I know I live in a world of crap artists and phonies because I'm the biggest phony there." Joe started to pick apart the Danish as he continued. "I did try to make a living as a stringer when I first got to here, but there are just so damn many stringers in this town I couldn't make a living. I ended up doing whatever I could to pay the bills."
Jim's voice was hard and cold and he bite his words off sharply when he answered. "If your work is even been noticed by my wife, you have to be better than most. So why pretend to care what a bunch of cops think of your stuff."
"Because this is what I wanted to do, news shots, crime scenes; maybe even a war correspondent someday."
"Dreams change, don't they."
Joe gave a sad chuckle. "Yeah, I no longer dream of getting my ass shot off in Afghanistan. Fashion's a money job, but I know I can do more. I want to make New York City mean something more than terrorist attacks and dirty streets. I want to make it beautiful again, a place where you can dream again." He dropped his empty coffee cup into the trash, stood up and started to pace. "Sullivan wants shots of powerful men and she seems stuck on bankers, lawyers and stock brokers. Hell, not even real ones; just models that look good in Armani. Help me get shots of the real power in this city; cops, fire fighters, EMTs… even judges and politicians. If I get this assignment I'll donate my salary to any charity you name. Hell, we could guilt the magazine into kicking a portion of the profits to the 'Widows and Orphans Fund' if that's what you want."
Dunbar smirked. This could be interesting. "I'll make a few calls; see what I can come up with. I even know a few you might not have thought of when you started this. Your 'models' get a copy of the pictures."
Joffre crowed, "Suitable for framing, but I've only got 48 hours to get the test shots done."
"You don't ask for much, do you," Jim laughed as he opened his phone. "I hope you've got your camera, because we're gonna have to start tonight."
Saturday morning Christine Sullivan walked off the elevator to magazine's floor and stopped cold. Joffre DesLaurier was sleeping on one of the god-awful, uncomfortable chairs that sat in front of the reception desk. Dirty sneakers covered his feet instead of his chrome toed cowboys boots and his jeans and t-shirt were ripped, stained and ready for the trash. He had better have some damn good shots or she was going to black ball him from every editor in the city.
"Joffre," she kicked his foot, "have you got something for me."
Joe yawned, looked up and then jumped up. "Have I got shots for you. I have found just what you want. If the designers like these models they are willing to work for once… and only once."
"Only once," Sullivan couldn't imagine what DesLaurier was up to, "these had better be good pictures. Follow me." She didn't bother to look behind as she stomped to her office. Joffre trailed behind, knowing these were some of the best pictures he had ever taken.
Sullivan had barely gotten seated when Joffre placed his laptop on the desk and plugged in a yellow USB drive. The screen was soon covered with the test shots she had demanded. One was of Mac Taylor in the NYPD forensics lab, arms crossed and his face exuding his strong personality. The next was DA Jack McCoy in front of the court building, briefcase in hand and looking like he could take on the world. Night shots, day shots, interiors and exteriors captured the faces of the men who served and protected the city. EMTs leaning against their ambulances, fire fighters in uniform or protective gear standing tall for the cameras, patrol men in precinct houses and with their cars; all letting Joffre DesLaurier take their pictures for a fashion magazine.
"I printed this one for you," Joffre said as he slipped a five by seven black and white in front of Sullivan. It was a casually posed shot of Tom Selway, Marty Russo and Jimmy in interrogation room one.
"Where's Hank," she smirked.
"With Lieutenant Fisk, the dog's a camera hog. He stole the limelight in every shot he was in."
Christie Sullivan chuckled and leaned back in her chair. "I'll present these to the clients. You can get these 'models'?"
"One time only and I have to donate my pay to each models chosen charity. I might suggest similar donations from any client and the magazine. It would make a good public relations gesture." Joffre settled back and smiled at Christie Sullivan.
"You are going go far in this business, Joffre DesLaurier."
"Nope, Joe Lawrence is gonna go far."