Forward: First, let me say I am honored to be invited to participate in this event. I would also like to thank blackrandI1958 for her expert editing skills.
Her body finally stopped twitching and her breathing was almost back to normal. Never in her life had Lisa felt so loved. The light scent of his cologne filled her senses as she lazily opened her eyes and let them adjust to the flickering candle light that filled room. The corners of her mouth turned up when she saw him looking down on her with that goofy grin.
“Mhmmmm,” she hummed in response, widening her smile. Lisa reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck. She could still feel his hard cock warmly snuggled within her vaginal walls. “You’re still hard as nails, aren’t you?”
“Should we stop? We’ve been at it for quite a while. You want to rest?”
“Bite your tongue, young man. This is a night I’ll remember the rest of my life. I’m not stopping till you can’t get it up anymore.”
Her words were music to his ears. Not three hours earlier, the beautiful young woman lying under him had accepted his proposal of marriage. He was on such a high he felt like he could go on making love to her forever.
“Wait, just let me hold you there,” she said pulling him to her breasts. She closed her eyes and moved her head, giving him better access to her neck as he peppered it with tender kisses.
She had no idea she had that kind of capacity to love. With every breath, she devoured his soul. Neither was a virgin when they met, but neither had experienced making love until they found each other. It was euphoria unparalleled in their lives. Every kiss was the twinkling of a star. Every thrust of his manhood was a lightning bolt of passion.
The next morning, Trey awoke with Lisa’s head on his chest. When she felt him stir, she gazed into his eyes, “Thank you, Trey. Thank you for the most fantastic night of my life.”
A big grin stretched across his face. Nothing made him happier than knowing he made her happy. “Thank you for saying yes, honey. Neither of us will ever forget last night. I wanted to make it special, but you made it extraordinary with that one word.”
“You made it pretty extraordinary yourself: dinner, dancing, champagne, this room. Not that I’m complaining mind you, honey, but how can you afford all this. The room alone had to set you back two-hundred dollars or more. Did you win the lottery or something?”
He chuckled. “No, that would be nice though. No, I heard about a soccer team that practiced in Downton Park every Saturday morning. A couple of weeks ago, I went down there with my camera and took a bunch of action shots of them. I did some editing during the week, then last Saturday I went down there again with a flash drive of the shots and my laptop. I sold over four-hundred dollars worth of prints to those guys.”
Lisa was amazed at how easily Trey made money with his camera. His life’s ambition was to become a successful photographer. She had to smile at how lucky she felt. Her fiancé was tall, good looking, athletic, romantic smart, and had the potential for being a great provider. He knew what he wanted in life and was talented enough to achieve it. Her girlfriends were jealous before--wait till they got back to the campus and she showed them her ring. It was his grandmother’s, a family heirloom and extremely precious to her betrothed. Now it was just as precious to her. She loved the way it looked on her finger and knew she would cherish it forever.
Trey reached over and picked his phone up from the nightstand. “Oh shit, honey, we have to get moving. Check out is at eleven o’clock and it’s almost ten already.”
“Aw, you mean no more nookie?”
He laughed then reached over and playfully tweaked her nipple.
“Oooh,” she cooed. “Don’t start something you can’t finish there, lover.” She turned on her side to face him and reached down to feel his cock. “Uh-huh, I thought I saw that tent pole raising the sheet. Are you sure we don’t have time ... not even for a quickie?”
She was right. He was hard as a rock again. Lisa giggled as his head disappeared under the sheet. “Oh God,” she cried with the first sensation of his tongue touching her clit. Lisa threw the sheet on the floor and watched the top of his head slowly moving up and down. She reached down and tangled her fingers in his hair when the first orgasm hit. “Ahhhh,” she screamed as her body twisted to the left, then to the right in ecstasy.
They hadn’t much time but he wasn’t about to stop. He picked up the pace as Lisa cried for mercy. Two more times, her body climaxed before Trey moved into place and aimed his steel like penis for the welcoming moist entrance to his world. Her body shimmered with a sheen of glistening sweat as he held himself in position. He arched his back as he drove inside her. Her body writhed and screams of rapture filled the room as they both came with force.
The following Monday, back at school, Lisa was flashing her ring to the tune of several oohs and ahhs from her girlfriends. Within their social group, it was the general consensus that a more perfect couple than Lisa and Trey just didn’t exist. They were both good looking people with personality and a great sense of humor. Even their perspective careers went together like biscuits and gravy.
Trey’s ability behind the camera was almost legendary around the school. He constantly received accolades for his photography of their theater department. In addition he was the chief photographer for The Spectator the college newspaper. That was how he met Lisa.
She was a journalism major and worked on the paper as a reporter. Her father was an award winning newspaper journalist for nineteen years before being killed in a car accident when she was sixteen. She loved and admired her dad for the integrity with which he did his job. In her eyes he could do no wrong. His death was devastating for many, but at the time Lisa wondered how she could even go on living. It was her mother’s pep-talk that gave her courage to stand over her father’s casket and make a silent vow to follow in his footsteps and do him proud.
Many times when Trey and Lisa discussed their future, they would talk about combining their talents and producing books and magazine articles together. They had already planned several working vacations where they would document their experiences in words and pictures. Yes, everyone who knew them regarded the couple as a match made in heaven ... everyone except for Britney.
The beautiful, blond haired, blue eyed Britney Holcomb was not Lisa’s favorite friend. In fact, she didn’t regard the spoiled brat as a friend at all, but she was chummy with two girls that Lisa did call friends, so she felt obligated to be nice. She was the only one who said anything derogatory about Lisa’s engagement ring.
“It looks old,” she remarked. “Where’d he get it, a pawn shop?”
One of the other girls giggled a little but the others shot her a very dirty look.
“I’m just saying,” she said, trying to explain away her nasty comment. “I didn’t mean it wasn’t pretty, but where else would you buy a ring that old?”
“It belonged to Trey’s grandmother,” Lisa sharply responded. “When she died his mom inherited it. I didn’t know it but when Trey went home a couple months ago it was to tell his folks he was going to propose. That’s when she gave him the ring.” That brought even more oohs and ahhs ... and more jealousy from the blond whose blue eyes had just turned green with envy.
Britney had no real interest in Trey. After college she was going to find herself a rich hedge-fund manager and become a trophy wife like her mother. Still, she didn’t like the way Lisa had put her in her place. She began to fantasize about stealing Trey away from her. That would put her in HER place, she thought amusedly to herself. The more she thought about it, the more a plan started to form. She easily had the looks to be a model. Models need pictures, right? Hmmm...
The worst thing about Trey and Lisa’s relationship was time, they had very little of it together. Both had full academic schedules so when they weren’t in class they were studying. What spare time they had left was spent on assignments from the newspaper. A real treat was when they both got to work on the same story but that was a rarity. Of course having so little time together made it all the more special when they were able to steal a couple of hours here and there.
A couple weeks had gone by before Britney was ready to spring the trap on operation Trey. She knew what hall he would be in between two of his classes and laid in wait. She’d missed him the day before but saw his black, wavy hair among the crowd on her second try.
“Oh, Trey, I’m sorry,” she said as she purposely bumped into him.
“Hi, Britney; no problem,” he replied with a smile.
“Listen, I’m glad I bumped into you though,” she joked. “Would you have a moment to talk privately sometime today or tomorrow? I need to ask a favor.”
“Ah, yeah, I guess. I’m on my way to my last class for the day. I have to be at the paper by three though. Got any time between one and three?”
“Yeah, how about one-thirty at that little coffee shop on North Avenue?”
“Do we have to go off campus? What about the library?”
“I’d rather keep this between you and me, Trey. I don’t want to take a chance on someone overhearing us.”
This was starting to sound very mysterious. About a dozen different scenarios ran through his head; everything from a juicy story for the paper to some kind of surprise for Lisa. “Okay, one-thirty at the coffee shop,” he responded. “I won’t have a lot of time, though.”
“I know,” she acknowledged. “It won’t take long. I’ll buy the coffee. See you there,” she said with a smile.
Britney was already seated with two large coffees when he walked in. She didn’t tell him but she blew off her econ class to meet him. What she had in mind was way more important than one econ class.
He saw the extra coffee waiting for him so he walked over to the table and sat down.
“It’s black,” she said, motioning to the cup. “I didn’t know how you take it.”
“Just like this,” he replied. “Now, what’s this big secret you want to talk about?”
Her eyes glanced around to make sure there was no one within earshot before she lowered her head a little and spoke. “I want to try to make some money by modeling.”
Well, with all the things he had spinning around in his head, that was not one of them. “Britney, with all the money your dad has, what do you need with more?”
“That’s just it, Trey, it’s his money. I’ve never made a nickel myself. I’m always being told I’m pretty, so I thought maybe I can use my looks to make some of my own. Why, don’t you think I’m pretty enough?”
“Of course you’re pretty enough, bu...”
“Well then...” she interrupted him before he could finish. “Will you help me? I need somebody to take some professional pictures of me. I’ll pay you, of course.”
She was a friend of his fiancée, what could he say? “Yeah, of course I’ll help you. How about Sunday? We can take some shots around the campus...”
“Oh, no, like I said, I want to keep this just between you and me. I want to do this somewhere private where no one will see and ask questions; and whatever you do, don’t tell Lisa. If she mentions it to one of the other girls everyone will find out.”
“Ah, I don’t like the idea of keeping it from Lisa.”
“Why, what’s the big deal? Does she have to know every little thing you do?”
“No, of course not, but...”
“Come on, Trey. I just don’t want to be embarrassed or have people making fun of me if I don’t get any modeling jobs.”
He had to take a moment. He couldn’t really think of any reason why he HAD to tell Lisa. He had done several shoots in the past without mentioning them to her. “All right, Britney, I won’t say anything. I know a photographer in town who has a studio. I do some work for him sometimes. I can see if he’ll let me use it.”
“Oh, God, Trey, that would be fantastic,” she gushed. “When would you know? If we can’t use it I’ll have to rent a hotel suit or something.”
Trey reached for his phone. “I’ll call him right now.”
She listened to his side of the conversation and was smiling as he disconnected.
“Okay, it’s all set. I’ll pick up a key from him between now and Sunday. It’ll have to be in the afternoon though. Lisa and I are going to brunch but then she has to get back to study for an exam so it works out perfect.”
“Thank you, Trey. I really appreciate this. What should I wear?”
Trey went over the type of clothes and accessories she should bring with her. He asked her if she needed a hair and make-up artist but she insisted she could do that herself. He gave her the names of several websites where she could go for ideas. As they left, she reminded him one more time not to say anything to anyone. He gave her his promise.
On the third Sunday of every month, the Bushwood Country Club had a buffet brunch that was open to the public. They stretched long narrow tables end-to-end in the main dining room and filled them with a celebration of palate pleasing cuisine. Several college students from the nearby campus loved to go because it was also affordable. Trey and Lisa always tried to make time for it. They found a nice cozy little table overlooking the practice green.
Lisa felt guilty. “I’m sorry I don’t have time to do anything today, honey.”
“Honey, there’s no need to apologize.”
“I know; I just feel bad. We get one day where we could do something together and I’ll be in the library studying all day.”
“Honey, I’ve had to do the same thing at times. Our studies come first. They always have.”
She nodded her head in agreement as she brought a fork full of scrambled eggs to her lips. “So, what do you have lined up for the afternoon?”
“I have a shoot set up,” he replied. He was hoping she wouldn’t ask. He wasn’t about to lie to her so he wasn’t quite sure what he was going to say if she pressed him further—and press she did.
“Oh, good; at least you won’t be bored. What are you shooting?”
“A modeling portfolio.”
“Oh, no kidding? For who? Anyone I know?”
“Ah, well actually I can’t tell you.”
“Can’t tell me—why?” she asked with one raised eyebrow.
“Well, the person doesn’t want to be embarrassed if they don’t get any work.”
“I see,” she said, now intrigued. “Just tell me if it’s a man or a woman.”
“Honey, this person asked me to keep their identity confidential and I intend on keeping my word,” he said, being very careful not to even divulge the person’s gender.
Lisa had to laugh. She thought at least she’d find out if it was a man or a woman. “Okay,” she said, “I respect that. I won’t ask anymore.”
After brunch, Trey drove Lisa back to her dorm and gave her a big kiss before dropping her off. He already had the key to his friend’s studio and his camera gear was in the trunk so he drove right over to start setting up lights and getting things ready for the shoot.
Modeling was hard work, Britney knew that. She had no desire to work. Her dad gave her all the money she needed with no questions asked. No, it wasn’t modeling she had her sights set on...
Trey told her where to park and that the side door would be open, so she walked right in. “Hi, Trey.”
He turned and looked. Wow, she was always pretty but now she damn near took his breath away. Instead of her straight blond hair being pulled back into a pony tail, as usual, it now had body and waves as it flowed gracefully over her shoulders. The touch of rouge under her cheekbones was just enough to contour her face and bring out her features.
Suddenly Trey was more enthused with the shoot. He was not only going to get shots for her portfolio, but for his, as well. Now he was thankful he had asked to use the studio. He had all the lighting he needed at his fingertips.
“Damn, Britney, you look gorgeous,” he told her.
“Thank you, kind sir,” she replied with bright smile. “I looked on several modeling websites for tips on makeup. They all said to use just a little more than you normally would. I hope it’s not too much.”
“The makeup is perfect,” he told her. “Come on over here and let’s see what you brought.”
She followed him to a couch along the wall and started pulling articles of clothing from her garment bag. Trey watched as she displayed a formal evening gown, a very short black cocktail dress, and two of the tiniest bikinis he’d ever seen.
“Very nice,” he commented.
“Thanks. I remembered what you said about wearing any tight clothes that leave marks on the skin so I’m not wearing any underwear. The evening gown is backless so I think we should shoot with that and the black dress first; don’t you?”
“Yeah,” he agreed. “Let’s start with the formal.”
While she was getting dressed, Trey looked around for some props and different places to shoot other than the plain backdrop. That would be fine for the bathing suits but he wanted more of an indoor setting for the dresses. By the time she emerged from the dressing room he had moved some of the lights to the rear of the studio where he could also use some window light.
Once he started shooting, Trey was all business. He directed Britney and gave her some tips on working to the lights. He sometimes stood in front of her so she could mimic the pose he wanted her in. A couple of times they were close enough she could have put her arms around him, but she didn’t want to blow it. She would follow her plan.
They had been at it for a couple hours and had a hundred or so shots of the two outfits. After finishing with the black dress, Britney headed for the dressing room again. Trey didn’t want to admit it to himself, but he was looking forward to seeing that tight body in one of those little bikinis. He was moving one of the lights in place and had his back to her as she approached.
“Trey, I hope you don’t mind, but...”
He turned to look at her before she had finished talking and virtually gasped. He couldn’t blink if he wanted to. His eyelids froze wide open. His jaw dropped to the floor and he could feel himself starting to sweat. He could hear his heart beating, and his cock started to stir.
She was facing him with her legs slightly parted. Most of her weight was on her left side and her hand on the opposite hip. Her firm breasts stood out proudly from an athletic frame that narrowed to a very small waist. She still wore the high heels that accentuated her long, shapely legs and drew his attention to the light colored, almost imperceptible landing strip of blond hair.
“ ... I wanted to do some nudes before I got into one of those bathing suits. They’re pretty tight and I know they’ll leave marks,” she said. She had to fight a big grin as she saw the front of his trousers and knew her plan was working. With a little teasing, she’ll have him between her legs in no time. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind.
“Ah, Britney,” he stammered, “you didn’t say anything about nudes. I ... I don’t think...”
“I know,” she said, cutting him off in mid-sentence. “But I’ve been looking at a lot of modeling sites and they all have nudes. Kate Moss, that McPherson woman, they’ve all done nude modeling and I read an article that said every model should have a couple of nudes in her portfolio.”
“Ah—Britney, I ... I...”
“Oh, come on, Trey. You’re a professional aren’t you? I promise not to bite,” she said with a disarming smile.
His first thought was of Lisa. He wasn’t quite sure just how understanding she’d be if she knew about him taking nudes of the campus’ blond bombshell. Then again, Britney was right; he was a professional, or at least he would be soon. Admittedly, he’d never had a beautiful girl posing naked in front of his camera before, but he knew as a pro photographer it was something he would be doing from time to time. With an internal sigh, along with a little trepidation, he decided to go ahead.
After forty-five minutes of shooting, Britney was getting frustrated. She taunted Trey into doing the nudes by underscoring him as being a professional. What she hadn’t counted on was being correct. Once she stepped in front of the camera she became a subject. The poses, the lighting, the composition, the sets, the props ... everything was arranged for artistic value. She teased, she flirted; he didn’t even seem to notice, he was too engrossed in capturing each shot. Nothing she did could penetrate his professional demeanor; in fact, she was beginning to wonder if he remembered she was naked.
Well, she thought, subtlety wasn’t working, time to go for the gold. Trey had both hands stretched over his head to adjust one of the lights when she walked up from behind him. She wrapped one arm around his chest while reaching around with the other and rubbing the front of his pants. He jumped away from her touch and almost knocked the light over.
“What the hell are you doing?”
She responded with that breath-taking smile of hers. “I never knew posing naked would make me so horny. Come on,” she cooed, while slinking up and taking ahold of his belt, “let’s work off some of this sexual tension.”
“Britney, stop it,” he demanded as he pushed her hands away.
“Oh come on, Trey, you have to be as horny as I am. If you’re worried about Lisa, don’t be. There’s nobody here but us. She’ll never know.”
“Maybe not but I would know. You’re one of the most desirable girls on campus, Britney, but I’m not about to cheat on Lisa.”
Now she was getting mad. She took a step back and stood in front of him, exhibiting the ultimate in feminine beauty. “What does she have that I don’t?” she arrogantly asked.
“Me,” he responded. “Come on, get dressed. We’ve got plenty of shots. The shoot is over.”
“No, no, I still want to get some bathing suit shots. Come on, Trey; you promised.”
If she wasn’t a paying client he’d have ended it but she did have a point. “Okay, but no more screwing around or I’ll pull the plug, I mean it, Britney.”
“Fine,” she said, not trying very hard to disguise her anger, “but you’ll never know what you just gave up,” she told him before turning her back.
Trey watched the most perfect ass he’d ever seen as it swayed from side to side all the way back to the dressing room.
When she came out again she wasn’t wearing much more than she had previously, but at least she didn’t try rubbing his cock. She had been right about one thing, though, once the shoot was over he was horny as an old goat. As soon as she left he pulled out his phone. “Hi gorgeous.”
“How’s the studying going? I got paid in cash; think you’ll have time to go out for dinner later and maybe some dessert?” He heard her jiggle.
“I think I can do that,” she replied with a bounce in her voice. “Probably not till seven though. Is that too late?”
“I will pick you up at seven.” They said their goodbyes and disconnected. He glanced at the time. It wasn’t quite four yet. He had time to get back to his room, download the shots to his computer, select the best ones, and maybe even get a little retouching done before getting a shower.
At dinner, Lisa asked how the shoot went but didn’t press him beyond that. They were both looking forward to their after dinner entertainment.
Not far from the campus was the Cherry Lane Motel, an L shaped, single story structure of twenty rooms. It was pretty typical of most cheap motels. A few of the rooms had two full size beds but most had one queen size. At seventy-five dollars a night, you couldn’t beat the rates but that wasn’t why the place was always so busy, it was their student specials. For thirty bucks you could get a room for two hours. Management insisted they did not do it for purposes of hanky-panky but to offer students a couple hours of privacy and relaxation away from the college madness. Whatever the reason, Trey and Lisa took advantage of the two hour specials on many occasions.
Things were pretty mundane over the next couple of weeks. Trey and Lisa were able to take an evening here and there but between their studies and the school newspaper they didn’t get to see nearly as much of each other as they would have liked.
Trey had been on an assignment and was looking forward to a good night’s sleep when he got back to his dorm room. Just as he walked in his phone rang. He knew who it was by the ring tone but it was after ten o’clock, pretty late for a call from Lisa. He got it on the second ring.
“Hi honey, what’s up?”
“We need to talk.”
She sounded angry, but that didn’t make sense. He had seen her in the newsroom just a few hours earlier and she was in a good mood. What could have happened since then? “You want to meet for breakfast?”
“We need to talk now, Trey. Meet me at Denny’s on the corner.”
“But, honey, I...” He realized he was talking into a dead phone. “This better be important,” he mumbled to himself as he closed his dorm room door and headed down the hall.
Lisa was already sitting in a booth as far away from the counter as she could get for privacy. He noticed the scowl on her face as he scooted in on the other side where his cup of coffee already sat. “Honey, what’s the matter?”
“That model portfolio you shot a couple weeks ago, was it with Britney Holcomb?”
He told Britney he wasn’t going to lie to Lisa and he wasn’t going to. “Yeah, she asked...”
“And you fucked her?” she slowly growled. She watched his expression but couldn’t determine if it was surprise or guilt that she witnessed.
“What? No, of course not,” he stated with conviction. “What the hell ... where did you get that from?”
She studied his face as she answered. “She told Cathy Hendricks that you’ve been bugging her to model for you. Cathy said she showed her some nude photos and she recognized your logo in the corner. She said Britney told her how horny you both got and wound up fucking before the end of the shoot.”
He almost couldn’t believe his ears. Why would Britney lie like that? “You don’t believe that, do you?”
“Are you saying it didn’t happen?”
“No, it didn’t happen, not the fucking part anyway—and the rest didn’t happen like she said, either.” He looked directly into Lisa’s eyes. She at least looked like she was waiting for an explanation.
“First of all, I never asked her to model. She came to me. She said she wanted to make some money on her own, without her daddy’s help, and people told her she should try modeling. She asked me to shoot her portfolio but didn’t want me to tell anybody because she was worried she’d be embarrassed if she didn’t get any work.
“She brought four outfits. She never said anything about nudes until we were half way through the shoot. She went into the dressing room and was supposed to change into a swimsuit but came out naked instead. She said she had read where models should have a couple of nudes in their portfolios.
“We took some shots but after a little while she said she was getting horny and wanted to screw. I flat out refused her, honey. I never touched her. In fact, I got angry and was going to end the shoot right there but she convinced me to get the swimsuit shots before quitting. That’s the God’s honest truth, honey. I never touched her,” he emphatically reiterated.
He thought of one other thing. “Remember we went out to dinner and then got a room at the Cherry Lane? I told you I got paid for the shoot. That was the reason I agreed to go ahead with the swimsuit shots, she was paying for the shoot. She paid me three hundred dollars. Would she have done that if I had asked her to model for me? If anything, I would’ve had to pay her.”
He had a point. “Why would she lie like that, Trey—just to hurt me? I’ve never done anything to her.”
“You believe me, don’t you?”
“Yes, of course I do. I just can’t figure out why she’d lie. What’s her motive?”
“My guess would be jealousy, honey.”
“Jealousy? What does she have to be jealous about? She’s the prettiest girl on campus, she runs around in that little sports car, she can have any guy she wants...”
“She can’t have me,” he interrupted. “You’re right, honey, she can have anything she wants, but what’s the fun in that? It’s too easy. Now—taking something of importance from other people, that’s more challenging and probably a lot more fun for somebody like her.”
Lisa took a sip of her coffee while she pondered what Trey had said. “That just seems so mean. I don’t like her but ... I don’t know, that sounds downright evil.”
“Had I known what she really had planned, I’d have never agreed to do the shoot.”
“Yeah, well,” she said, taking another sip and staring him in the eye, “don’t ever do another one.” She gave him a small smile.
He held up three fingers on his right hand. “Scout’s honor,” he stated emphatically.
The next day, Trey tracked Britney down and found her with several friends. She looked a little nervous when she looked into his angry face. He called her a liar to her face then walked away before she had time to retaliate in any way.
It didn’t take long before the whole dirty little scandal spread throughout the school. Britney convinced some of her followers that the shoot happened just the way she said it did and that Trey was denying it for fear of losing Lisa. Others believed Trey. Sides were taken. Trey and Lisa didn’t mind. They knew the truth and figured any friends they lost in the skirmish weren’t real friends anyway. Things died down after a couple months and in the end it was Britney who lost friends.
Over the next few months Old Man Winter brought grey skies, cold temperatures, and several inches of snow. Trey and Lisa spent the holidays with their respective parents but since they only lived thirty miles apart they were still able to get together on several occasions.
Eventually, the grey skies turned blue again and with the first quarter of the new year already in the rear view mirror, the senior class was looking forward to graduation. Lisa had already sent her resume’s out to nearly every newspaper within a fifty mile radius of Chicago. Trey also had some feelers out there but he had his sights set a little higher. Even though he knew he’d see her in the evening he was too excited to wait that long. He surprised her during a study period.
“Lisa, guess what? Gerry Newman is coming here for a lecture next month.”
“Newman, oh—that’s the photographer you admire so much; the guy with all the books.” She knew Trey loved the guy’s work. She saw how excited he was and was happy for him. “Honey, that’s great. Do you think you’ll get a chance to meet him?”
“Better than that,” he crowed. “Mr. Watts, my photography professor says he can arrange an interview for me. He wants me to re-do my resume’ and put together six pieces of my best work in different genres. He’s going to give me his recommendation too. Honey, can you imagine ... me working with Gerry Newman?”
She didn’t take the news with nearly the same enthusiasm. “Honey, doesn’t he live in New York?”
“Yep, the Big Apple, honey; and with all the magazines he shoots for, I’ll bet he’d put in a good word for you. Who knows, honey, you might be writing for Time or Newsweek.”
What he saw in Lisa’s face was not what he expected. “Honey, what’s the matter? I thought you’d be excited.”
“Trey, both of your parents and my mother live here in Chicago. I ... I don’t want to move to New York.”
With all the times they’d discussed their careers, they never talked about where they might have to live. Her lack of enthusiasm was disappointing.
“Honey, every major publishing company in the country is based in New York. I love Chicago, but for the kind of opportunities we’re both looking for, it doesn’t offer a whole lot.”
“Trey, my dad lived and worked in Chicago his whole life and he was a hell of a journalist,” she said dismissively. “What about kids? You really want to bring up our children in New York? I want our parents to be a part of their lives. I want them to grow up knowing their grandparents.”
Her tone and attitude was disheartening. Suddenly he realized that if he couldn’t talk her into moving to New York he may have to decide between the girl he loved and the future he wanted.
Over the next couple of weeks he worked on his resume’ and selecting what shots to show Newman, but his heart wasn’t in it as much as it was originally. Professor Watts noticed and asked. After Trey explained his dilemma, the professor could only sympathize with his young student. His only words of wisdom were for Trey to follow his heart. Lot of good that did; his heart was split right down the middle.
He and Lisa had talked a couple more times about moving but she was intractable.
As his meeting with Newman approached, the weight on his shoulders became heavier. He was losing sleep and finding it hard to concentrate on anything else. If Newman liked his work and offered him a job it would be the launching pad for his life’s goals and dreams, but would they be worth fulfilling if he didn’t have Lisa to share them? If he decided to go ahead, would she love him enough to follow him ... did he love her enough to give them up if she didn’t?
The pouring rain took all the warmth from the air. Trey flicked the back of his jacket collar up as he stood just inside the open doorway of the dorm, mapping out the best route between mud puddles. A rolling clap of thunder shook the ground as Trey made a mad dash for his car. With his keys in one hand and his portfolio case in the other, he was soaking wet by the time he slid in behind the wheel. He sighed with ambivalence before turning the ignition.
Maybe all this is for nothing, he thought. He might take one look at my work and tell me it’s crap. Hell, all this worry about moving for a job I don’t even have yet. He found himself almost hoping he didn’t get the job, then chastised himself for having such a thought. No, he told himself, first get the job, then worry about moving.
Gerry Newman was world renowned. He’d shot industry tycoons, presidents, movie stars, and world leaders. He had his pictures on the cover of every major magazine there was. He’d published twelve books of his photos from around the world, and there he stood shaking the hand of Trey Van Heusen while being introduced by professor Watts.
“Okay, I’ll leave you two alone now,” the professor said before closing the door of his office behind him.
“Have a seat,” Newman told the nervous young man. “Let’s see what you got.”
Trey unzipped his case, opened it to the first shot, and slid it across the desk. He watched for Newman’s facial expressions as the famous photographer leafed his way through the different shots.
“Nice—very nice,” he mumbled as he reached the last one. He looked back up at Trey. “Did you know I’ve known Gordon for twenty years?”
“Gordon Watts, your professor.”
“No, I didn’t. He just said he could get me an interview. I’m surprised he didn’t say anything. He knows how much I admire your work. I’ve got all your books and I can’t tell you what an honor it is to meet you.”
Newman smiled and said thank you while glancing at his resume’. “You know I get hundreds of resume’s every year? I try to go through them but honestly most of them are so mediocre that it becomes boring, so when my old friend, professor Watts says he has a student he’d like me to take a look at, it piques my interest. He wasn’t wrong. You have talent.”
At that moment Trey wasn’t thinking about Lisa. To hear one of the giants in the industry say he had talent made his chest swell with pride. His spirit went into the stratosphere and he almost didn’t hear Newman’s question.
“Are you married, Trey?”
“Ah ... ah no, not yet. I have a fiancée. We’re planning of getting married after graduation.”
“What does she think about you working for me?”
“Ah,” he wasn’t sure he wanted to answer that but he couldn’t lie, “well, to tell you the truth, she’s not real enthused.”
“Ah-huh, I don’t blame her. Not many wives will put up with the schedule I keep. I’m presently on my third wife. Did you know that?”
“No, I knew you had been divorced but I didn’t know it was more than once.”
“Yeah, it’s kind of funny. Women fall in love with your passion—at least in my case. They love my passion for life and for my work; the problem is, after a while it becomes too intense for them. They want me to settle down. I just can’t do it.”
He stopped for a minute to let his words sink in.
“I’m going to Europe in September. I’ll be in Paris for about three weeks then to Brussels, Germany, and Spain. It’s almost a four month trip. You think your misses would be able to handle being separated that long? Could you handle it?”
Now he really had Trey thinking.
“Even when I’m not traveling, I sometimes spend two or three days and nights in the studio without going home. I’m not saying you’d have to stay with me but this job can consume you. I assume you want to work for me because someday you want to do what I do. All those books, all those shots from around the world, all the fame, glory, and money—it all comes at a cost.
“I’m not belittling Gordon by any means; he’s a great teacher, one of the best, but you’ll learn more in six months with me than you have in your four years here. There’s just no way a classroom can compete with the real world, but if I’m going to be the destruction of another marriage I’d rather it be my own, not someone else’s.”