Monday, August 31, 2015
Hold That Pose
Alessandra Moore sipped her drink and let her gaze wander over the other diners in the Rocky Top Motel’s restaurant. She tried to look with her casual, I’m-not-working-right-now eye, but her professional, let’s-see-what-we’ve-got-here eye kept getting in the way. That tended to happen whenever Less found herself between jobs. Like now.
Overall, the pickings here were slim. Well, she should have expected that from a motel restaurant off an interstate exit in rural Montana. Transients, truckers, businessmen on their way to one coast or the other and families on vacation weren’t going to yield many possibilities. As for the locals, forget it. They were attractive enough, in a rugged, animalistic sort of way, but the cowboy look was over and had been even before she left Chicago. If she was going to wow ‘em in LA, it wouldn’t be with anyone she found in this backwater cowtown.
Maybe after dinner she’d cruise some of the bars and clubs that dotted the exit strip. Those people were younger and dressed better, and would happily pose for a couple of bucks. All she needed was a few shots to freshen her portfolio and she’d be back in business.
No way she’d ever go back to secretarial work. She’d die first.
A bored woman wearing makeup that was all wrong for her features served Less her salad and steak. Less dug in with a purpose. She was in cattle country; might as well splurge. If Los Angeles proved as tough a town as she’d heard, it could be a while before she ate this well again.
Then she spotted him. The rose in the dungheap, the diamond in the rough. The young man in the waiter’s uniform, delivering a platter of sausage gravy and biscuits to the hulk in the John Deere cap two tables over. How the hell had she missed him? He must have just started his shift.
Her photographer’s eye took over. He was clearly tall enough, and then some. It was all in the legs. Hard to tell their shape in waiter’s pants, but their length was impressive. Ditto for the neck. That was truly an elegant neck, the kind women who yearned to look aristocratic would kill for. You could hang anything on a neck like that—collars, chokers, chains. A neck like that should be all wrong on a man, but somehow he made it look natural.
The rest of his features fell into place: dark, flawless skin, hair cropped into short, black bristles, mobile lips, the sought-after cheekbones to die for. With the proper lighting, the right angles—
Then he moved. Oh, fudge. He had the legs, but not the walk. His body moved in an ungainly bob brought on by a too-wide stride. No runway work for this one if he couldn’t get that walk fixed. But the rest of him? Spot on.
Young, fresh, unique. Something even LA fashion had never seen before. Less’s hopes to hit town with a bang burst to life again.
Just as quickly, panic seized her. How old was this kid? As desperate for work as Less might be, she drew a hard line at photographing children, even with their parents’ permission. If this kid wasn’t legal, she was doomed.
For the next twenty minutes she picked at her food while she studied the waiter, looking for flaws. There had to be flaws. She couldn’t be so lucky, not in a place like this. But other than that walk, he seemed exactly what she was looking for. What she needed to give her an edge. Even the walk turned out not to be so bad. When he wasn’t hurrying, the bob took on a rhythm that had an odd grace all its own. Maybe still not runway-worthy, but it wouldn’t stop him from getting work.
Please, please, please be legal age.
Less barely noticed when her waitress brought the check. She slapped a generous tip on the table, paid for her meal, and went in search of the waiter. Finally she spotted him, on his way to the register. She thrust herself into his path.
Holy crap. Up close, tall didn’t even start to cover it. Try towering. She might have felt intimidated if not for his eyes. They were as dark and deep as chocolate syrup. For a moment she wished she was ice cream. Then his lashes distracted her. Like his neck, they should have been too long for a man, but on him they worked perfectly.
“’Scuze me,” he mumbled, and tried to duck around her.
“Just one minute. Please.” Less dug franticlaly in her purse for a business card. She pressed it into his hand. “Have you ever thought about modeling?”