Page 50 of Buying the Bride


Videos of my ecstasy performance are all over the internet, and even I have to admit that it looks amazing. From the outside, the entire cast of models looks like slow-moving otherworldly creatures. And even though it’s sexy, it doesn’t look like we’re all imagining orgasms. I was afraid that it would look the way it felt, and the way it felt is not exactly something that I want on the internet. Even though the way it felt has provided more than enough inspiration to fill my orgasm quota.

It’s only been a few days since the event, and every muscle in my body still aches from the strain. I’m glad that I haven’t heard from May yet. As much as I like this job, and the absurdly large direct deposit that came right after the show, if everything I do for Andrew is going to be that intense, I’m going to need to rest my body.

Knocking on the door of the Blind Scorpion, Fleece appears to let me in. “I swear that you live here now,” I tell her. The bar is closed since it’s only noon.

“I swear, I feel like it lately.”

“When is Barbara coming back?”

A loud voice calls from the storeroom. “I’m here. Don’t worry, I’m not dead yet.”

Fleece rolls her eyes. “Of course not.”

Barbara sweeps out of the back room in all her glory. A woman in her sixties whose very essence screams ‘New York.’ She’s carrying a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of vodka to replenish the stock behind the bar. “How you doin,’ Delia?”

“Good. Feeling better?”

“Oh, you know,” she grins, “five days of pulling my guts up. Will teach me to eat street tacos with a cold. It’s a deadly combination.”

I laugh even though that sounds awful. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

My phone chimes and I pull it out to see a text message from May. An invitation. “Hey,” I say to Fleece, and toss her the phone. “Want to go?”

She reads the message out loud: “Delia, Mr. Xellum wanted me to extend an invitation for you and whoever you’d like to bring to the Whitman & Crown party tonight. It is, in part, a celebration of them picking up the new swimsuit line. Let me know if you’d like to attend and any guests. If you stop by the studio beforehand, we’ll provide styling as well.” She looks at me, her mouth open. “This is one of the biggest parties of the year.”

“You should go,” Barbara says from behind the bar. “Lord knows you’ve earned a night off.”

“Sure you’ll be okay?”

The look on Barbara’s face is priceless. “Baby, I’ve been runnin’ this bar by myself since before you could walk. Of course I’ll be okay. Go have fun.”

Fleece tosses me back the phone, and there’s a sparkle in her eye that from experience I know means trouble. “Looks like we’re going to a party.”

Styling is an understatement. Fleece and I are made over from head to toe, and Fleece gets a choice of gowns to wear. I, on the other hand, had something left for me. There’s a note pinned to the neckline of the dress. It just has a few words.

The whole damn fire.

The dress itself is stunning. Exactly the same gauzy cut as the one I walked in in for my first audition, this one is all flame. The top is a deep maroon that fades into orange, red, white, and the deepest blue as it falls into the skirt. I remember the way this dress works, and I take off everything, so it’s just me and the dress. The back swoops low, and this version of the dress feels even better than the first one did.

Andrew must have spoken to Trish before he left because the make-up and hair perfectly complements the look, turning my eyes smoky and dark, and sweeping my hair back into a messy low knot. A pair of bright red heels completes the look. And looking in the mirror, I do look like the whole damn fire.

Fleece whistles when she sees me. “Damn, girl.”

I fight to suppress a giggle. “I guess it pays to be someone’s muse?”

“I’ll say.”

Fleece has chosen a daring green dress with a skirt that splits nearly to her hip, and sleeves that drape gracefully off her shoulders. She looks magical. I’m about to tell her so when May pops her head in. “Your car is here, ladies.”