Tanya sat, naked, under the blazing sun. ``Okay, last one, look to your right.'' She did, and I clicked again. ``Gaze the infinity. Raise your arms. Turn around. More. More. Excellent. Let's go inside, it's too damn hot here,'' I said, giving the camera to Lou. He is a good assistant.
The house was nice, a beach house that I'd have liked to spend a couple weeks in. It was not very big, and the decoration was unpretentious, but the view of the Mediterranean sea, very blue some fifteen meters below, was breathtaking. Tanya jumped over the hot stone floor, saying ``ouch'' at every step she took.
Inside the house the temperature was more pleasant. ``Is anybody else hungry? Where's the food, Lou?''
``Beth brought it. Beth, darling, did you leave it at the kitchen?''
``Yes,'' Beth answered.
``Great, let's eat.''
We all went there. I noticed that Tanya was still nude. She has been a model long enough to not feel embarrassed by nudity anymore. Lou couldn't be less interested, Beth was already doing make-ups before Tanya was born.
``Where's mine?'' Beth handled her a package. She opened it, it contained a tiny salad, which she started to eat as if forced. I was very hungry, despite the hot weather. It must have been over thirty five degrees outside. ``Did you bring any beer?''
``It's in the fridge.''
``Oh, no, you know that beer fattens,'' said Lou. ``I'll have a mineral water.''
``Me too,'' added Tanya.
``I'll take a beer,'' said Beth.
I got the two bottles of water and the two beers, handling them around.
``I took a very nice shot, Tanya. You are against the ocean, it's hard to say where the ocean becomes sky. It's almost like you are floating.''
``Great,'' she said.
``Let's take some rest after the meal. I want to shoot at the sunset.''
``The sun sets late, it's summer.''
``Fine. Around four or five the shadows are probably long again, and the light softer.''
Lou started to complain again about the heat, and I ate my sandwiches quietly.
I looked for the bedroom, after the meal. I'm getting old, the gray hair is here to prove it. I could use a nap. It's hot. Lou would certainly wake me sooner than I wished.
I was already dozing off when I felt someone by my side.
``You got the best room for yourself.''
Tanya was sitting on the bed.
``Of course I did. What else did you expect?''
``That you'd be a gentleman and leave it for me.''
``I'm not a gentleman. If I were a gentleman, you girls would eat me for breakfast.''
``Maybe I could eat you for dessert.''
She was all over me before I could say anything. I'm getting old.
She was loud. ``Hey, they'll soon come here to see if I'm killing you.''
``Lou went to town, and Beth went with him. They wanted some place with air conditioning.''
``And you didn't?''
``No, I like it hot,'' she said, grinning. I wish I had my camera to capture that grin.
I woke up and she was not in the room, anymore. It was not very late, the other two probably weren't back yet. I must really be getting older. I'll scorn them for leaving me here, that will remind me of whom I once was. I'm all sweaty, maybe I could try the pool.
When I was still starting in the profession, I got to be assistant of Thierry Cartin. A good start, couldn't be better. After months working for him, probably the day he decided he'd make me his main assistant, he took me to dinner with two models. When they went to the bathroom, he looked at me seriously.
``Pierre, I have two advices for you. They are very important, and sum all that I have learned in this business. Pay attention.''
I immediately stopped to hear what he'd say. I remember considering if I should write them down.
``The first one is: never sleep with a model you are photographing. Even if she is naked and throwing herself at you, even if for some reason you are working alone with her, no crew.''
He took a gulp of wine.
``The second one, as important as the first, is: always sleep with the model after you worked with her.''
He smiled, seeing the two goddesses coming back. He took them both to his place when the dinner was over, leaving me alone.
Today was the first time I didn't follow his advice. I found Tanya outside, in the pool.
``The water is too hot. I almost feel I'm being boiled.''
I smiled, and sat on the border, my legs inside the water. She threw water at me.
``Do that again and you'll see what I'll do to your pictures.''
She showed me her tongue.
``So, was I the number one missing name in your list?''
Maybe. I knew when I was called for this that her name would be added to the list.
``Yes, you were the last girl on Earth that I had not slept with.''
``God, you slept with Beth?''
She said that as a joke, but I actually did, when we were younger. Beth was an easy target for an assistant that did not much more than put film on cameras. Surrounded by the world's top beauties, no one ever hit on her.
Funny thing, she was at the top of her career now, when every one of those girls was either retired, or a wife that have lost her youth and beauty, and now goes to parties where she pretends to be who she once was, or dead. Beth is an editor now, and once in a while comes with me to remember the good old times, when I was the assistant and she did nothing more than make-ups.
I just grinned. ``Every girl on Earth.''
``I should take some pictures of you in the pool.''
``Are Lou and Beth back yet?''
``Aren't you getting in with me?''
``No. Wait here, I'll get the camera.''
I shot a few pictures, knowing that they probably wouldn't look good. Maybe one could be selected. I didn't care.
The sunset was magnificent, and I took more pictures of it, the landscape and the house than of Tanya. She pretended not to notice, and I did it while Beth did something to her hair or corrected the lipstick.
The night fell, and I didn't want to work anymore.
``Let's call it the day. Come on, let's go.''
The cold air conditioning of the car and the falling evening made me feel better, more relaxed. Arriving at the hotel, I took a cold shower. I met them for dinner, and Lou had a list of hot places to go. ``This one is fabulous, we must go there!'' A noisy place full of young people, I felt an outsider. They would think Beth and I were Tanya's parents, and not that I had slept with her this very afternoon.
They wanted to go dance. ``Sorry, I think I'll leave you. I'll go to the hotel.'' Beth agreed, and Tanya came closer, whispering. ``Well, I was thinking that we could dance a little bit and then continue the session...''
``No. I'm tired.'' That pissed her off. She realized that it was not a ``no, not now, I'd love to but I can't, I beg you, please ask me again tomorrow,'' but a ``no, not interested.'' It was probably the first time she was rejected.
``You're really getting old.''
``We all are, Tanya.'' That really hurt her. She turned her back to me and left. Tomorrow will be hell.
I went back to the hotel with Beth. In the elevator, she asked me.
``You fucked her, didn't you?''
She stopped in the corridor by her door.
``Shall we remember the old times?'' I asked.
She lingered for a moment.
``Better not. Leave the old times to be the good times.''
I went back to my room. Thierry had been right, his advices were golden. I think I'll take Lou tomorrow to a restaurant, repeat those two advices to him and consider retiring. Or maybe... landscapes. I enjoyed shooting the sunset today. It didn't frown, didn't move around, didn't have to stop for freshening the make-up and didn't make scenes. It is always on time. Works everyday, except when it rains. And I can't sleep with landscapes, either before or after the session.