Wild Temptation (Wild, #1)(4)

By: Emma Hart



I down the glass of water and pills, choking briefly in my rush to swallow. By the time my eyes have stopped watering, I’m in the bathroom and stepping under the shower. I wash off and remove all the cream from my body, checking my armpits as a last-minute thought.

God. Preparing for a lingerie shoot is so glamorous.

Satisfied that I’m hair-free in all the places I should be, I glance at my toes to verify that my pedicure is still perfect—like it’s not too late to get it done—and grab my favorite set of underwear from the drawer.

My best friend, the queen of all lingerie, once told me that the right set of underwear will set a woman up for anything. And if you ever need setting up for anything, it’s a lingerie shoot.

I blast my hair with the hairdryer and brush my teeth at the same time, stopping halfway through to spit out my toothpaste. My eyes flit to the clock over and over, watching those little hands ticking incessantly. Reminding me how late I’m running.

I look at my concealer longingly, but when I glance at the clock and realize that I should have left almost five minutes ago, I bolt. After all, I’ll get made up at the shoot, but still.

No one needs to see this face without makeup. It’s not pretty.

My car roars to life as I pull out onto the street. Directions. Crap. I pull over on the side of the road, check my email, and put the destination into my GPS. Thank fuck for GPS.

The traffic is slow-moving downtown, and I take my tapping foot off the brake. Why does everyone feel the need to be somewhere on a Wednesday afternoon? Don’t they have work to do? Don’t they realize the importance of this shoot?

Okay. Breathe, Liv. Turning up there a hot mess won’t help matters, late or not. No traffic is moving, so I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Or two. Or three.

Fuck.

A horn beeps behind me and I open my eyes to the line in front of me rapidly disappearing…and the one behind me growing.

Still, there’s no need for the beep. I flip him the bird out my back window and put my foot down, taking a side street to get away from the main road. GPS redirects me and takes five minutes off my journey time.

How about that?

The house is on the outskirts of Seattle, a couple of neighborhoods over from Dayton’s place. But this has a certain charm about it—it’s closer to a cottage than a house. I glance at the back garden and the plants growing upward, obscuring my view.

It’s not really the typical lingerie shoot location, but I’ll take it.

Hell, I’d take a public restroom if it got me this Victoria’s Secret contract.

Clara, Sheila’s assistant, is standing on the doorstep. She’s fresh out of college, but that doesn’t mean she’s soft and quiet. She’s taken to the ruthlessness of this business all too quickly and it shows.

“You’re late.”

“Tell that to the traffic.”

She purses her pink lips. “Hair and makeup are waiting for you in the main room while the photographer sets up upstairs.” Her eyes scan my face. “Thankfully.”

Oh, bite me, bitch.

I smile at her sweetly. Or try. A bit of bitch might have crept in.

I pass her and push open the door. I’m immediately swept into the front room and deposited on a seat by a familiar body.

“Sit,” Nina says. “Dean, get to work on that mop she’s calling hair. Sara, get that rack of underwear over here.”

I open my mouth to speak but she snatches my purse and hits me with her gaze.

“Liv, shut up. We’re behind schedule.”

I close my mouth again and take my subtle telling-off.

“Sara. Underwear. What’s my color scheme?”

I sigh. Boy. Note to self: don’t ever be late when Nina is doing your makeup. She goes all stylist-zilla.

“Color scheme is sexy,” Clara announces, walking into the room.

“Sexy isn’t a color scheme, it’s a state of mind. You’re here to observe, not dictate, so sit over there on that sofa and keep quiet,” Nina snaps, nodding at Sara.

A laugh bubbles in my chest, but I swallow it down. Since I signed with Sheila at the Stone Agency a few months ago, I’ve been thrust deeper into the modeling world. I’m quickly learning that modeling is much like being at high school: judgment, whispers, and bitchiness are the things you encounter most.

I sit silently and let Nina and Dean turn me from a hungover flop to a walking wet dream. It takes them twenty minutes, and I breathe a small sigh of relief when they step back from me.

“Change,” Nina orders, shoving a black set of underwear and matching stockings my way.

“Where?”

“Change in the middle of the room if you want, honey. I don’t care.” She rolls her eyes. “Bathroom—through there.”

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