Badd Luck Read online
Copyright (c) 2017 by Jasinda Wilder
* * *
* * *
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
* * *
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
* * *
Cover art by Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. Cover art copyright (c) 2017 Sarah Hansen.
Created with Vellum
Deleted Chapter 7
Deleted Chapter 8
Also by Jasinda Wilder
* * *
"I don't care if this photographer is the best in the world, he's a sleazeball," I whispered to my twin, Aerie.
Aerie adjusted the top of the maroon tankini she was modeling, tugging it lower and assuming a different pose in the sand. "No kidding," she murmured back. "He's giving me the heebie-jeebies."
We were on location in the Caribbean doing a shoot for a fashion manufacturer that was poised to become a very big deal. It had been a last minute job, the girls originally booked for the shoot having canceled at the last minute. We'd almost declined, but our agent, Lacy, and our manager--who was our mom--had insisted it would be great for our career. We were already reaching the top of the profession, and Lacy said this job would seal the deal. We decided we would put a vacation on hold for a little while longer and, besides, wouldn't a job in the Caribbean be sort of like a vacation?
So, here we were on a beautiful beach, with a crew of people looking after our every need, yet both of us could hardly wait to take a shower--and it wasn't because of the heat, sand, and makeup.
I was wearing the same bathing suit as Aerie, although mine was a deep indigo color. The suits were part of a sleek new tankini line made by one of our Instagram sponsors, who was a new designer getting a lot of buzz.
I shifted my pose slightly, drawing my left thigh up and leaning against Aerie. The photographer, who went by the name of Ulf, was a middle-aged man with a paunch he was desperately trying to hide along with the bald spot on the back of his head which did nothing for his skinny little manbun. He dropped to his knees in the sand, shimmied forward, closer to Aerie and me, angling his camera just so, snapping a dozen photographs in rapid succession before checking them. His two assistants stood by to hold reflectors and provide whichever camera or lens was needed.
"Very good, very good," Ulf cooed. "Now, Aerie, I think you should sit up and play with your hair. Tate, go to your belly and look backwards at me."
Ulf watched--a little too closely, if you ask me--as Aerie and I assumed the poses he'd suggested. His eyes followed our every movement, whether through the viewfinder of his camera or not, and when we bent or shifted so our assets jiggled, he would adjust himself...and not subtly, either.
Ulf was the best photographer in the business, our manager insisted, and she told us to just do what he said and get the shoot over with. In other words, deal with Ulf being a sleazy perv. Don't insult him, don't call him out, just let him ogle you and snap his shots--deal with it. Just deal with it.
Easy for Mom to say, since she was our manager, and all she had to do was arrange our bookings and schmooze her way around the various media events. She wasn't the one being ogled and photographed and leered at, since she was safe and sound in her New York penthouse with our dick of a step-father, Bob.
We went through at least a dozen different outfits and a dozen different poses for each one, all provocative, with Ulf snapping hundreds and hundreds of photographs. The sun rose higher as the morning wore on and it got hotter and hotter. The glam squad had to constantly dab at the beads of sweat on our foreheads and reapply and retouch, and twist our hair back into the perfect spirals, and keep the flyaways matted down...so yeah, modeling is not easy. It really isn't. It's a hell of a lot more than just getting photographed.
As usual, we'd been patient and professional, doing all that was asked of us but, finally, my patience was running out.
"How many more shots do you need, Ulf?" I asked. "We've been here for four hours now."
"We're almost done, my dear, almost done." He said this to my breasts as I stood up. "Just a few more poses."
He moved over behind me, toying with my hair, twisting the strands just so. And then he bent and scooped up a handful of sand, and smeared it over my butt so it stuck to the sticky layer of sweat. He didn't just smear it on, though. Oh, no. He cupped, and squeezed, and petted, and got all kinds of handsy with me. I know one of his assistants saw it happen as I heard him take in a sharp breath and mutter "Jesus" under his breath. He stepped forward to diffuse the situation, but he was too slow.
Four hours in the hot sun on a Caribbean beach, dealing with the gallery of tourists watching us, sweating, without craft service, without coffee, without so much as fresh bottles of water, working our asses off and then, on top of it all, dealing with this old, overweight, leering asshole...
I just lost it.
I danced back out of his reach, twisted around, and socked him square on the jaw. Have I mentioned that Aerie and I train three days a week with the best Krav Maga teacher in New York? So this pretty little model knows how to hit, and hit hard.
Ulf spun around like a hippo in pointe shoes and hit the sand flat on his back, camera bouncing off his chest. He was out cold.
"What now, BITCH?" I shouted, stepping over him. "Grab my ass? I don't think so!"
Aerie was the first to pull me away. "Tate, calm the hell down."
"Calm down? Calm down? He's been staring at my tits for the last four hours! And now he grabs my ass like he owns it, and you tell me to calm down?"
Lacy, our agent, stepped quickly but carefully across the sand in her four-inch-heel Louboutins. "Tate, what in the world has gotten into you?" she hissed, as she reached me.
"He grabbed my ass," I huffed. "And I don't mean a little, like, oops I accidentally copped a feel. It was a full-on grope."
"We talked about this, Tate," Lacy said, ice in her voice. "I told you he can be difficult but he's the best in the business."
"I don't care!" I shouted. "That doesn't give him the right to grope me."
"That's debatable, especially if you want to make it to the top. He can blacklist you, and no one will photograph you or Aerie ever again. He has that much influence in this business."
Aerie had my arm in a death grip. "I know it sucks, T, but..."
I whirled on her. "Oh, no. No. No. You are not going to turn on me right now, A. You're not. No. You are my twin. He groped me. This isn't dealing with your average sexism, this is goddamned sexual assault."
"Now that's a little overly dramatic," Lacy said in her "let's be reasonable voice".
I took two slow, prowling steps toward Lacy, which put me in her personal space. I stared at her, glaring with every last ounce of irate fury I possessed...which at that moment was quite a bit. There a