Larry barely got in the door before Jen pounced on him. Luckily, he hadn’t made it out of the store before he remembered he wanted to inscribe something on the inside so he wasn’t holding the telltale Cartier bag. He had been so indecisive in the store, unsure of whether he should mark the beautiful ring with meaningful scribbling. But after paying for it, he was certain he wanted it to clearly state that Jen was his favourite girl and he hoped that would be the case for the rest of their lives. He didn’t even get a chance to look at her as she cheerfully jumped on him when he got home. In a succession of good news, he had gotten his foot brace off with positive review from his x-ray by the doctor, he’d bought a gorgeous ring and now, Jen was starting a new chapter in her life.
“Whoa, slow down.” Larry laughed at how overly hyper she was.
“I got a job at CeFran. They called me today. It’s all because of you.” She jammed the words together in a speedy sentence. She was like a kid on a Christmas morning, all over the place, kissing and hugging Larry who was in a similar jovial mood.
“See. You just need to do it and it will work.” He cheered on.
“Well, speaking of doing it… Why don’t we go upstairs so I can show you my appreciation?” She whispered in his ear in an attempt to be naughty. Her appetite for everything was back in full force and when it came to sex, the chemistry between her and Larry was palpable.
Licking his lips, Larry lowered his gaze to show his approval of her idea. For a summer day, it was rather windy in the city of lights and there was no other place he’d rather hibernate than inside his favourite girl. Jen led him up the stairs, taking advantage of this rare moment of peace and tranquility in the usually boisterous Bourgeois home, letting Larry’s eyes skim on her toned, curvy butt as she walked up the steps. Unable to resist, Larry stopped in his tracks and pulled Jen’s hand back causing her to almost lose her balance and fall back into him. Once he got her attention, she took one step down, staying one step above to meet his height. As if lost in a trance, her arms dove through his to find a mutual embrace, emulating their lips, locked in a breathless, almost painful kiss. Breaking away to look at her, Jen used the opportunity to trace her lips along his face, letting her pout graze over his, over the length of his nose – stopping just to softly kiss the tip, along his chin, cascading a river of kisses on each of his cheeks, before nuzzling her face in his neck letting his alluring scent behead all of her common sense.
“Jen, I have s—” She shut him up with a kiss, smiling against his lips at the realization that for once she was the one cutting him off. This moment was sublime and she intended to enjoy it fully, every single blissful second of it so that when the time came to relive it in her head, over and over again, she wouldn’t miss a fraction of it. She wanted to remember his tongue gently wrestling against hers, his hands flirting with the hem of her stockings beneath her dress as he debated between taking them off and ripping them off. He was crushing her against the wall, right in the middle of the stairway, yet she couldn’t – didn’t – want to stop him and his greedy fingers getting rid of her dress. Going with his primal instinct, Larry dug his fingers into the dainty fabric of the stockings and shredded them in one motion. The most important part was off so Larry’s hands eagerly migrated north to unhook her bra, letting her breasts spill into his hands. Jen moaned as his mouth hungrily sucked her breasts and bit her lip in anticipation as she watched his head lower its way to her genitals. Larry moved the ripped piece of her stockings that was still hanging onto the elastic band, before shifting her panties to the side and feeding on her wet jewel. Pleasure emanating from every part of her body as she stood there against the wall with one leg over Larry’s shoulder, his warm mouth nuzzled into her nether regions and his hand on her breasts. She was on tippy toe and didn’t even realize. Just as her mind was blurring into climax, Larry stopped – right on the edge of her orgasm. One touch from him and she would willingly jump over the edge. Instead, he slapped her bum and said one word, one syllable yet she could hardly contain herself;
She tried to put her dress back on properly and gave up, letting it hang awkwardly on her hips.
“That’s coming off.” Larry offered to stop her from fretting over her outfit.
Once in his bedroom, Larry’s first move was to lock the door. Should anyone come back home by surprise, no one needed to see what they were about to do.
A silver streak stretched across the sky as Lau and Ayara laid on the top deck of the yacht admiring the transition from sunset to nighttime. The weather was oddly dreary for the south of France, a layer of crisp evening air contradicting the earlier mildly hot day. They were lying in adjacent chairs, holding hands as their arms dangled off the sides of the chairs. The entire day had been spent doing nothing, playing table tennis, eating and staring into the cloudy sky yet it flew by nonetheless. The pair was getting along famously, with Laurent being more patient and Ayara less needy. Lau would be leaving soon to rejoin his family as his parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Ayara didn’t want to come off as desperate but the more time they spent together, the more she wanted to stay – or better yet, go along with him. She had too much pride to ask or offer her company but she was secretly hoping that he’d ask her to come along, invite her to celebrate with him and his family. She was going back into the studio at the end of the month so she didn’t need to go back to the States until then. And if anything, she could always record in London, a few hours away from France and she was truly hoping to have a good reason to stay in Europe. Lau had been so relaxed and nice to her that thoughts of them being in a committed relationship beckoned to her but she tried her hardest to let things flow naturally.
Jen had just finished performing fellatio on him – he couldn’t wait anymore. Neither could she but she figured she’d return the favour, especially when it had been done so well. Larry grabbed her arms and tossed her into his chest. They were both completely naked and he relished the feel of her breasts and soft skin against his torso. Lowering her onto him, he had her locked in a kiss but his hips still did all the necessary motions. Perhaps due to his heightened state of arousal, he pulled out for a few seconds to regroup, feeling a little too sensitive, too soon. In one swift move, he’d flipped her over but in a continuous embrace before standing up and putting both her legs over his shoulder. Looking up at him, a black sea of obsidian, sexually intoxicated glare reflected his gaze as he slowly pushed himself through her tight sugar walls, letting them swallow him momentarily before finding his rhythm. He was way too excited and knew there was no way he’d last much longer. Jen was holding his hips as he held onto her legs and slowly moved in and out, trying to pace himself, trying to think about something else. Looking down again, she laid bare beneath him and that was the last image he needed as he felt his release jerk his rhythm. Increasing his speed, he beat down as his pulse quickened, slamming himself into her as she continued screaming his name. It sounded like she was begging, thanking and moaning at the same time – a series of incoherent noises and shortened sentences. He felt her orgasm grab him and no sooner had she finished, did he follow suit. Groaning through gritted teeth, she could still hear her name being called out as Larry’s entire body tensed up over her. Smiling to herself, she was about to make a snarky comment when he cut her off before she began speaking,
“What?” She mumbled, still trying to find her linguistic skills after that horny tryst.
“I’m not done.” He smirked.
“You looked done about a minute ago.” She replied, equal in parts of shock and surprise.
“That was just to finish. I couldn’t hold it anymore,” Kissing her ankles as her legs still stood straight on his shoulder, “Now, I’m ready. You caught me off guard.” He lifted his eyebrows dramatically in reference to her performing oral sex on him.
“You are unbelievable.” She giggled, moving her legs down and turning around to position herself into doggy-style. Larry’s thoughts fleeting back to the ring he was due to pick up in a few hours, had to admit that he could get used to this. He kissed her spine in its entirety before lifting himself up to ease his recuperating erection into her.
Across town, Lola was sitting in a dingy bar with a tall glass of straight vodka with a vociferous bachelor party shouting, cheering and hollering loudly just a few feet away from her. Why did everyone around her seem so damn happy all the time? She felt miserable and lonely, a visceral pain in her otherwise ironclad exterior, as she indulged in the harsh alcohol letting it strip the blood from her throat when she downed her drink. She’d have gone to a swanky hotel bar but the odds of bumping into someone in a luxurious place were significantly higher. She wanted to delve deep into her misery without being photographed crying or having a bad reaction.
As a model, she knew alcohol was bad for her immune system and her skin but today was a good day to get drunk. As the liquor slowly tainted her blood making her feel drunk, warmth spread through her body like an explosion of smoke. She threw her head back and the images she wanted to erase flashed back, she cringed inwardly just replaying the part where he flirted that she was his favourite girl. Of all the things she volunteered to do for Larry, all the love she had to offer him, he turned down – no, not just turned down; he threw it back in her face without the slightest grace or kindness. She looked around with lowered eyes, having trouble fully concentrating on her surroundings but managed to get a good enough glance to convince herself that she could have any man in this room.
Laughing at the absurdity of her thought, she summoned the waiter over. He approached her casually but refused to serve her another drink. As a recovering alcoholic, he felt bad for her. A drop-dead gorgeous, lanky model-type woman who was trying to drink herself into oblivion – she must be dealing with an immense amount of pain or guilt. He’d been through it and he’d be damned if he played a part in her inebriety. She couldn’t even manage to slur a decent insult to retort his refusal to serve her another drink. Looking back at her once more, he silently cursed his colleague for serving her in the first place. She was about 5’10 and barely 120 pounds. A long glass of straight vodka was enough to get someone three times her size drunk.
Lola managed to muster enough energy to stand up. She was supposed to feel drunk but all she felt was undesired, bored and angry. And she knew just the cure for all three. Crookedly walking, she approached the bachelor party and planked herself right on the lap of the groom. Or whomever she thought was the groom. He was wearing some kind of stupid sign on his head and his friends were insisting on getting him drunk. They all started whistling as she gave him a sloppy lapdance in plain view. Obviously, his future wife was nowhere near as beautiful as Lola. But for those who knew her, they could probably argue that she was probably nowhere near as crazy as Lola.
One of the groomsmen grabbed her by the arm to move her onto his lap. She was about to refuse but had no energy to fight back. Besides he was cute and she relished in the attention these men were lavishing on her. Trying hard to perform against the buff stranger, he whispered in her ear that he was a cop and that he wouldn’t hesitate to book her if she was underage. Although it was clearly a threat, Lola called his bluff – he was using his legal power to impress her. Scare her, sure – but the main goal was to impress her. She knew because even though he was reeking of brandy and she barely danced on him, she could feel his excitement pushing through his trousers. Once she told him she was legal and entitled to a drink or two if she wanted to, he offered her some brandy which she drank hastily. She could feel his eyes on her as she threw her head back. She was no longer feeling undesired and bored but the anger was still there, occupying every bone in her body. So when the cop offered to retreat back to his room, she accepted because she desperately needed to blow off some steam. Standing up with his help, he held her against him almost effortlessly.
He grabbed the tipsy groom who took the bottle of brandy with him. It was his last weekend of freedom and his friend, the cop, obviously had plans for him. On the way to the motel which was literally across the bar and just as grimy, Lola grabbed the bottle of liquor from the groom’s hand. The cop, having left a party of equally drunk men behind, was aiding them both with his left arm around the groom and his right around Lola’s tiny waist. In crude honesty, he wanted her to himself – he’d rip her tiny body apart but considering his best friend was getting married, he wanted him to have his last hoorah.
“Alors, keske toi tu fais?” (So what do you do?) She poked the groom to see if he had fallen asleep. They were in a very dim and small room, a dire comparison to the 5-star suites she was used to. This was the type of room you could smell from the hallway, that only had one bar of soap for the entire washroom and had sheets so stained, to think they were clean was an illusion even a drunkard couldn’t afford. The heavy scent of smoke was thick in the air, made worse by the miniscule size of the room. Had Lola been sober, she’d need to get drunk just to fathom standing in a motel for one, and for the traumatizing sights it offered.
The groom failed to respond, still in a drunken coma.
“Il est realisateur a CeFran. Peut etre tu connais? C’est la chaine des jeunes.” (He’s a director at CeFran Cable. Maybe you know it. It’s a channel for young people.” The cop answered as he emerged from the washroom. He’d had the common sense to wash his hands, although he used the musty towel to dry his hands negating the purpose of washing them in the first place. He was undressing and was sensible enough to leave just his tank top and boxers-briefs on.
“Wai, mais je calcule pas.” (Yeah but I don’t like it.) Lola replied uninterested. Lying down on the blanket alongside the groom, she was waiting for the cop to approach her. He was going through his wallet in search of condoms. In the midst of her drunken stupor, an idea came to her. She patted herself stupidly as if her phone would be tucked in somewhere. Immediately after, she reached for her smart phone and turned the camera on. Stumbling over to the boxy square that resembled a TV dated from the 60’s, she placed her phone against it, with the lens facing the bed. To offer a distraction and an icebreaker, she asked the cop,
“C koi son nom?” (What’s his name?)
She hadn’t thought the idea through completely and wouldn’t even attempt to in this state. All she knew is that she needed to put on one heck of a performance – for the sake of her sober self.
“Jacques.” The cop replied mindlessly as he rolled the condom on in one motion and approached her. “Deshabille toi.” (Take off your clothes) He ordered, taking her in as he did so. She had a beautiful silhouette and her body looked even better naked. He’d never seen a woman so flawless. He stroked his erection as he drank in her nude perfection.
“T’es mannequin?” (Are you a model?) He had to ask. If she wasn’t, she needed to get in that field.
“D’apres toi?” (What do you think?) She replied rudely, considering it to be an obvious answer. Hoping to fill that smart mouth, the cop grabbed Lola’s long hair and brought her to her knees.
Jen spent the majority of Saturday morning in Ma Belle hair salon. She was starting work on Monday and needed to look her best. Doing an impromptu interview with her boyfriend on the whim was one thing but if this was to be her career, she wanted to ensure that she looked presentable. And the way Sandrine had been whipping up those hair colours all morning, she was hopeful she’d look her best. She’d given Genevieve her last day notice on Friday and her former boss had happily accepted her resignation. She even insisted that Jen still attend the big wedding anniversary party occurring the following weekend.
Sandrine had washed, conditioned and re-washed the new light brown shade of Jen’s hair and was now applying highlights to give the brunette locks more dimension. She insisted on it, claiming it would reflect more light giving her a healthy, tan glow. Jen almost resisted the urge to tell her that she didn’t need a ‘tan glow’, she was naturally tan. But instead prayed that the enthusiastic hair stylist knew what she was doing when it came to black hair. It’s too late to go back now, she thought, as her feet and hands were being catered to by the salon’s manicurist. She’d chosen a simple, classic shade of red to avoid what she considered dull –a French manicure. A clean nail slate would’ve suited her but it didn’t cost extra for color so she figured she might as well.
Half an hour later, her nails and feet thanked her as they beamed happily, oiled, trimmed, cuticle-less and painted with a gorgeous shade of glossy red. Sandrine took out all of the aluminum foils in her hair before washing it and repeating the conditioning process to lock in moisture and seal the colours together. Just as Jen was about to complain of a neck cramp from all the washing and re-washing, Sandrine lifted her head up into a dry towel and motioned her to her styling chair.
Another half hour later, Jen was in awe of the marriage of colours in her hair. It was shoulder-length and free of any extensions but the lighter colours did brighten up her entire face. And she wasn’t even wearing make-up. Sandrine trimmed the ends so everything lined up nice and evenly. Jen was in awe of how the dramatic change changed – and more surprisingly, suited her. Why didn’t I dye my hair sooner?Letting the new image of her sink in, she already began imagining the numerous colours she’d like to try next. I’ve always wanted to be a redhead. Handing over her trusty Amex, she paid and left Sandrine a nice tip as a way of saying thank you for dedicating the entire morning to doing her hair, for not screwing it up and for dealing with her grumpy, skeptic looks everytime a liquid or creamy substance went into her hair.
Shyly catching her reflection in every mirrored surface she passed, Jen couldn’t wait to show Larry her new hair. She had a new swag – and she was even confident leaving the salon without any extensions. It was just that kind of day. Lately she’d been having those kinds of days. Perfect, easy, carefree, full of love…and great sex, abundant with smiles and laughter. Tonight would be no different. She and Larry had another date and once he saw the new her, he would undoubtedly want to skip dinner and head straight for dessert.
Jen was all smiles and assertive steps as she entered Cefran Cable’s office. It was spacious which in itself was impressive in Paris, a city where everything was small. Streets, food portions, beds, apartments, cars. Or maybe it seemed that way because she was American and everything was bigger in America. She strutted happily to the secretary’s desk to introduce herself, trying to quiet visions of herself being the new It girl at the popular channel. She imagined her show blowing rankings through the roof, being congratulated and maybe even promoted after a few months. She found it easy to remain positive when everything in her life was going so well. Dream career, dream man, and a baby on the way. If she’d known her life would unravel so perfectly in France, she would’ve made the move a long time ago. Regardless, it was happening now and each minute felt sweeter than the previous. Sitting down in one of the chairs in the lobby, she tried not to be so obvious about looking around. It was hard not to. She’d never been to a professional studio before and she sat anxiously, anticipating the many discoveries awaiting her behind the fancy reception area.
Saturday night had been amazing, just like she’d predicted. Larry showed up looking hot as always, slightly more dapper than usual. He was taking her to La Balancoire, one of the best restaurants in Paris, world-renowned for its culinary aptitude. He adored her new look and couldn’t keep his hands to himself.
Glancing back in an attempt to see if anyone was coming out for her, Jen completely froze when she saw Lola make her dramatic exit from the sliding doors separating the lobby from the actual studio and offices. Paling from the neck up, her eyes remained stuck on Lola giving way to all the urgent questions flooding her head. She looked ravishing as always but then again, did models ever have a bad day? Lola walked arrogantly, unlike Jen who was calculating her steps once she found the strength to stand. Jen was thanking all the supernatural, Godly and earthly forces for her sky-scraper heels. She was glad she ‘d put in the diligent effort of looking presentable because she was just an inch shorter than Lola whose venomous glare was enough to make her feel as if she was an entire foot shorter. Jen was hoping to bury the hatchet but Lola dismissed the idea almost as soon as Jen thought it, passing her by without so much as a word. Yet her glare said everything. A truce was not in order; in fact it was nowhere in the horizon – near or far. As Lola strutted past her as if she didn’t even exist, Jen had no choice but to stand there…and wait.
Jacques was in his office sweating furiously. His day has started fairly well, still hung over from his bachelor party over the weekend. From what he didn’t remember, things got pretty wild. Adrian, his best guy friend since university, recounted the tales of their supposedly steamy threesome with a hot model from the city but he didn’t want to break his buddy’s heart by telling him that it was all a blur to him. One minute he was having fun, drinking up and being drunk and disorderly in a bar far away from his soon-to-be marital home and the next, well, the next – he just doesn’t remember. I guess it was that one shot that tipped him over the cusp of tipsy and happy to despondent and non-responsive. The headache he bared was proof enough that he had a good time and now that it was out of the way, he could focus on getting through his wedding.
Around 10am, Jacques was on his second cup of coffee, still checking all the e-mails he’d received in just three days of absence when he got a buzz from his secretary advising him of a guest. He was already dreading the pile of e-mails waiting for him once he returned from his honeymoon but pushed that aside to embrace his pride. He had been taking a huge risk and leap of faith by hiring Jen. She had no experience and was understandably a little clumsy on camera but that was her charm. And nothing good, patient training couldn’t sharpen. Despite the fact that it hurt to keep his eyes open, much less stand up, he was happy that she was so early. In the media world, early is late. You can never be too early but she had 30 minutes head start and that was perfect timing. If she’d arrived before his second Advil, he’d have done something rash and fired her. Or at the very least scare her off with his monstrous post-inebriation-gone-wrong attitude. He’d let her soak up the impressive, ubiquitous yet silent influence of the building before going out to grab her. He wanted her to get a good grasp of who she was going to be working for. And if the mountains of archives, posters, and inspirational pictures on the walls didn’t inspire her, the studio certainly would. The recording booth would. The green screen room would.
Putting his vest on, Jacques made his way out to greet his newest employee. But unless he was still drunk the girl standing in front of him, albeit just as beautiful – if not more so, was not Jennifer Allen. After introducing himself to her, she introduced herself and somehow he felt as if he vaguely knew her, or at least saw her somewhere. With a face like hers and a body structure like that, she was undoubtedly a model so that was probably why. He’d probably seen one of her ads or commercials. Lola requested privacy as she had an urgent, private video that was sure to make headlines all over the French media. He’d ask her why she was bringing it to CeFran later. For the time being he just wanted to make sure this was as explosive as she claimed and not just a waste of his time.
He almost chuckled when she pulled out her mobile phone. She didn’t have a tape recorder or any professional equipment so his first guess was athlete scandal. Given her undeniably good looks, she probably slept around with some well-known athlete and got some dirt on him. He was already making fun of the poor schmuck who got himself taped, much to his oblivion, and now was probably going to have to pay a big price for his stupidity.
So imagine Jacques’s surprise when the video started rolling and there were no celebrities on the limited screen. Just him and his best friend Adrian…and the statuesque model before him. Unable to believe his eyes, he grabbed the phone out of Lola’s hands to get a closer look. In his defence, he was passed out on the bed as she performed oral sex on him and Adrian stood behind her, thrusting and panting away. Looking up at her, Jacques was met with a smug-looking Lola who sat comfortably on the edge of his desk, grabbing her phone out of his hand.
He’d been in the media business long enough to know that if she brought this to him, a day after it happened;
“Que veux tu?” (What do you want?) He cut to the chase, rubbing his forehead with clutched fists.
“Y a une meuf qui travaille pour toi. Jennifer. L’americaine. Vire la. Immediatement.” (There’s a chick working for you. Jennifer. American. Fire her. Immediately.) She stated without hesitation.
“Elle commence audjourd’hui. C’est tout?” (She starts today. Is that all?) He replied confused. He expected something huge, drastic, life-changing, a huge sacrifice.
“C’est tout. Pour Cefran, elle n’existe plus.” (That’s all. For Cefran Cable, she no longer exists. Make it hurt.)
He nodded. She got closer to him, close enough for him to see her deleting the video from her phone.
“Une promesse est une dette. Felicitations sur ton marriage Jacques.” (A promise is a debt. Congratulations on your wedding, Jacques) She spit wistfully before exiting his office. As if on cue, she saw Jennifer standing there with a stupid smile on her face. Stupid American. She almost wished she could be present when the dumb bitch got her dreams crushed but she was satisfied knowing that once Jen got the pink slip from Cefran before her first day, any media corporation would be plain stupid and downright desperate to hire her. Walking past her, she fought the urge to remove her heel and beat Jen to a pulp.
Jacques exited his office shortly after to welcome Jen. After the rocky morning he’d had, he wanted to get this conversation over and done with. Fearful and paranoid that Lola may have planted a chip or something of the sort in his office, he began his humiliating ritual before Jen even got a chance to admire his office.
“Ne t’assois pas.” (Don’t bother sitting.) He said calmly. “Nous avons vérifié vos références et voulons annuler notre offre d’emploi. Pour être franc, je crois personnellement que tu serais inutile dans ce domaine. Fais toi un service gosse et abandonne maintenant. Regarde toi!. T’as l’air ridicule. Il n’y a pas de place pour toi ici ou sur l’écran. Lundi dernier était une erreur et nous a beaucoup souffert en te laissant etre présentateur. Penses-y de cette façon, je te rends un grand service en te disant ceci maintenant … au lieu d’avoir des illusions. Tu connais la sortie.” (We have checked your credentials and revoke our offer of employment. To be quite frank, I personally believe that you would be worthless in this field. Do yourself a favor kid and give up now. Look at you. You look ridiculous. You don’t fit in here or on the screen. Last Monday was a mistake and we suffered greatly by letting a non-tenured presenter host the interview. Think of it this way, I’m doing you a great service by telling you this now…instead of getting your hopes up. See yourself out.)
Jen stood there, mouth agape in wonder of the cruel speech Jacques had just delivered so emotionlessly. Tears stung her eyes and she felt like a bullied kid, stripped naked and bared in public with all of her insecurities soaring to the surface. Finding the last ounce of pride and self-worth in her body, she readjusted her bag over her shoulder and kept her head low to hide the tears she could no longer hold back. Exiting the office, she nearly bumped into someone and brushed it off, continuing on her way out.