Page 48 of Buying the Bride

He shakes his head. “I know we don’t know each other well, but I never say anything I don’t mean. And I don’t think I’ve ever said that to someone before.” I lock eyes with him again and it feels like an electric eternity. He turns away quickly, breaking the moment. “Come with me.”

I follow him into the main gallery, and I practically blend into it between the lights and the artwork. In the center of the room there’s a low, oval platform. The lights play across the platform with a texture that makes it look like it’s underwater. “You will be here,” he says. “Lay down.”

I raise an eyebrow, but I do. Then he’s kneeling next to me, positioning me. “Start like this.” He pulls my arms above my head, and the way his skin feels on mine is electric. Fingers brush my knee. “One up.” If I’m not mistaken, his breath is a little short. Then his hand slides under my back and brushes my skin. “Arch as high as you can.”

The position stretches the suit, and I can feel that I’m inches away from being indecent, but I also feel sexy. Andrew is leaning over me, looking down, and I see him glance at my lips. Oh god, I want him to kiss me even though I shouldn’t. I want to pull him down on top of me right here in the middle of the gallery. Focus, Delia. “You mentioned choreography?”


“I did,” he leans closer, and I can smell the subtle, spicy cologne on his skin. I let my back sink back to the floor as he stares at me. “The choreography is simply this: ecstasy.”

“Like the drug?”

He laughs, and it echoes through the room. “No. Like sex. All of the models will be moving in slow motion, like they’re underwater. You just happen to be having the best orgasm of your life while you’re down there.”

I laugh softly. “So I am a siren. I wondered.”

“You certainly are.” I can tell he’s not joking.

Meeting his eyes, I arch my back again. “If I am, is it working? Because I can think of a few things that would get me in the mood to pretend I’m having the best sex of my life.”

Andrew’s eyes go dark, and his hand drifts down my waist grazing skin and fabric. Just as he reaches my hip, he pulls away suddenly, like he remembered where he was. He meets my gaze again. “Nothing is too far,” he says. “As long as it’s slow. If you want to touch yourself do it, if you want to moan, make whoever’s watching you feel your pleasure.”

I take a long, slow breath, making sure he takes note of the way my chest rises towards him. “Will you be watching?”

He’s silent for a long moment, and then. “I don’t think I could ever look away.”

6

It’s another thirty minutes before the gallery opens, and I spend that time trying not to ruin my make-up, and trying to go through in my head just how I’m going to pretend to have sex and orgasms for as long as this gallery is open. I keep seeing Andrew rush around, seeing to last minute details, and every time I do, I feel his hand run down my skin. I love the fact that he forgot himself, that I could make him do that. I want to see him forget himself a little more.

Five minutes before the doors open, I’m lying on the little platform. All around me are other models. Some are standing in the middle of the gallery, others are slouched against the wall by some of the gorgeous paintings. But Andrew didn’t lie—I’m clearly in the center of it.

Andrew and a woman who I assume must be Heather walk toward the front doors, and May snaps all of us to attention. I put myself in the position Andrew chose, arching my back to the point of pain as I hear the outside doors open and the waiting crowd starts to enter. It’s a launch, so the people invited are all from the fashion world. There won’t be just anybody walking in who thinks they can touch the models. That’s a relief.

I hear the gasps from the crowd as they walk into the room. It is a beautiful sight. And as the music starts to flow, I start to move. It’s awkward, trying to move my body in slow motion, and how on earth am I supposed to pretend that I’m having sex?

A person pauses beside me, and I feel myself blush. This is ridiculous. Someone is watching me writhe on the floor. I don’t know why I thought that this wouldn’t me humiliating. I know my movements are awkward and jerky. Not what Andrew wants. Not what he described, and I feel the heat in my cheeks grow. Thank god I’m painted blue and no one will notice what a red mess I am at the moment.

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