Through the LensbyStangStar06©
Hi folks. Last week's story drummed up a lot of controversy. That can be fun sometimes and I love hearing your opinions on stories. We all have differing views on what is and isn't morally acceptable. And it's good to have a forum to air our opinions. This week's story is shorter and more fun. I hope you enjoy the lighter tone. Next week's story will of course be far different from this one so if you don't like it, don't worry. Thanks as always to the incredible Mikothebaby for her editing magic. SS06
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As I walked up the walkway to our condo, following my wife, I shook my head. When I got to the door, she slammed it in my face. I let out a sigh and turned around to go back to my car. Just as I got to the end of the walkway, I heard her screaming again.
"Where the hell do you think you're going?" she yelled. "We're not done talking about this."
"Connie, you slammed the door in my face," I said calmly. "I just thought that I'd go back to the studio and work on the photo's I shot this afternoon. That way you could calm down and I could get some work done."
"I don't need to calm down," she hissed. "I'm perfectly fucking fine. You're the one who has a problem. You let that whore lean all over you. Do you think I didn't notice her rubbing her tits on you? And you just sat there smiling. I wonder what she'd have done if I wasn't standing there. There will be no cheating in this marriage. If you cheat you're gone. No excuses; no mercy, goodbye."
"Connie, she only gave me a hug," I said. "There's no need for you to go ballistic. Everyone I work with sees my wedding ring. They all know that I'm married and very happily. Plus, there's the fact that Serena saw you standing there. If there had been anything going on between us I doubt that she'd have come over and hugged me right in front of you."
"Whores are whores," she hissed. "And you need to let yours know that you're married. And you need to let them know that your wife takes her marriage vows really seriously. I hear about and read about that shit all of the time. People in the media and the entertainment industry just think they're on a different level than the rest of the fucking world."
I squeezed past her and into the house so our neighbors didn't have to listen to the rest of her rant.
"And you need to know, that whore is as fake as they come. She probably has breast implants, butt implants, a nose job, collagen in her lips, her cheek bones re-sculpted, her teeth capped, her hair is bleached and leg extensions," she spat. "Not one thing on her is genuine. Shit, I could look that good if I'd had all of that work done on me too."
"Leg extensions?" I said, shaking my head. "I thought that was an exercise."
"Don't be stupid, Rob," she said. "You know how they do it. That whore is almost six feet tall and bone thin. She has almost no hips but she's got a bubble butt. That is not natural."
"Connie, she played volleyball and basketball in college," I said. "That's why she's tall and thin. It's all of the exercise."
Connie was staring at me like I was on a slide and she was looking at me under a microscope. This is a good time for me to pause and introduce the players in our little drama.
My name is Rob, short for Robin Delgado. I'm a photographer. I started out when I was a kid with a cheap Kodak camera that my folks had bought me as a Christmas present. I won numerous photo contests throughout my teens and knew by the time I was old enough to think about college that photography would be my major.
All during high school I didn't join any of the clubs or teams but I was at any and all big events for the school. I had to be at them so I could take pictures. It was the same at the parties I went to. I was never there with a girl or friends, but I was always there with a camera.
There was one girl, Melissa Mulligan, who thought I was cute. She often asked me why I didn't participate in anything. She thought it was kind of creepy that instead of joining in and experiencing life, I preferred to watch it from the sidelines.
I've often thought about that and it wasn't until recently that I had an answer to her question. It wasn't that I didn't participate in life. Each of us has his or her part to play in the grand drama that makes up life. My part in that drama is to photographically record events so that people who weren't present can witness great, beautiful or tragic events and see them through their own eyes.
In my particular case, I've noticed that life is gritty and ugly, even at its best. And even when you do have those truly beautiful or transcendent moments, they look better to me when focused through the lens of my camera. Everything just seems to look better through the lens.
My wife, Connie, and I have been married for only two years. I own my own agency. I have several photographers on staff and we shoot everything from fashion to magazine work. Often, models or artists who are worried about their image will let us know which parties or events they'll attend. They, or their managers, hire us to photograph them at those events because we'll take hundreds of pictures and let them have control over which shots we release to the magazines or newspapers. That way only pictures that flatter them are ever seen.
On the other hand, when stars are on the way down, magazines often hire us instead of their staff photographers to get pictures of the stars that show them in a bad light. Like pictures of Lindsay Blowhard when she's drunk or high that help the magazine or paper to sell a particular story.
Sometimes, the stars and the magazines will have a bidding war over my work. A magazine wants bad pictures, I get them and the star or their management hear about it and pay me more than the magazine has offered, to make sure the photos never see the light of day.
This morning's shoot was for a magazine ad. One of the models, Serena Vascova, a nearly six foot Russian beauty, as has been mentioned, hugged me when the shoot was done. I've worked with Serena a couple of times before and she's a very nice girl. Her heavy Russian accent makes her seem exotic. Her pale gray eyes and long legs don't hurt either.
For all that Serena calls her a whore, Serena is according to the rumors, a twenty three year old virgin. She's also on her way to becoming a bona fide supermodel. She's making all the right moves and landing a lot of covers. It also doesn't hurt that she asks for me a lot on her shoots. I seriously wouldn't mind riding her coat tails to bigger and better assignments, but that won't happen if Connie creates a scene whenever we work together.
"Just stay the fuck away from that whore," says Connie. "Promise me that?"
She's calmed down so I try to reason with her.
"Okay Connie," I said. "If you don't mind giving up the cruise I wanted us to go on for Christmas; it's fine. We'll do things your way."
"What do you mean?" she says, looking at me curiously.
"Serena asks for me a lot," I begin. "She's on her way to the top as a model. She gets paid a ridiculous amount of money and gets a lot of say as to when, where and how things are done on her shoots. If she asks for me specifically, I get paid more, which means I can buy bigger and better things for YOU. I mean you and I are married. Long after Serena's career as flavor of the month is over, we'll still be together. But if me being on a set with her, even though as you saw today there are always tons of other people there, bothers you, I'll just stop working with her."
"There were a lot of people there," she said hesitantly.
"There were three hair stylists, two make-up artists and their assistants. Her agent was there. Her representative, her personal assistant, all of my assistants, the client's representative, the clothing designer and his assistants and four other models that all had their staff as well," I said. "I think there had to be close to fifty people there and that's the way it always is."
"Well, okay," she said reluctantly. "But I don't want you to ever be around that whore alone. I'm not happy about this at all because you're too obsessed with your cameras and your career to notice the little things, but I'm a woman and I know how women think. And that whore wants you."
"I promise," I said. "I'll never let myself get put into a situation where Serena and I are alone. Now why don't you go make us a nice brunch while I get on the computer and edit the whore's photographs so I can sell them and make us some money?"
I went into my office and go onto the computer. The equipment I had at home was the same editing software I had at the office. That allowed me to work at home when I just didn't feel like going in. As I worked on the photos from the morning's shoot, a call came in on my iPhone.
"Rob, where the hell are you?" asked the caller. "I already told you that we needed test shots ASAP."
It was Friederick Bontemps, Serena's manager. I hate the shit out of him. He is as fake as they come. His French accent, which is also fake, grated on my nerves.
"I should never have allowed you to take the pictures. You aren't well known enough," he said. "You don't have enough history or body of work. Now I'll have to have the whole shoot redone."
"Fred," I said. He hated being called Fred. He preferred to have his name pronounced "Free Drick." That only proved what an idiot he was because pronounced that way, his name was German and there wasn't a lot of love between the French and the Germans. Anyway, it was all academic since it was fake. But I was tired of his shit, so I decided to let him know it.
"It is pronounced Friederick," he snapped. "I am French."
"Fred, the internet is a wonderful place," I said. "If you look there and you know what you're doing you can find out just about anything. Sometimes, you can even find out WHY. Unfortunately, I couldn't find out WHY."
"Why what?" he asked.
"Why a guy who was born Fred Thompson, in Corpus Christi, Texas, would want to pretend to be a French modeling agent. They have all kinds of pictures of you throughout high school. You were in the drama club weren't you? I take it your daddy wasn't too happy with you not being good enough for football. They take their sports pretty damned serious in Texas, don't they?"
There was nothing over the phone but silence.
"I found a video of you in the musical Oklahoma. You were a damned good little singer there Freddy. Besides, why you became Free Dick...I mean Friederick, which incidentally, I couldn't find. I also couldn't find any record of you actually going to college for that degree in fine arts and fashion design that is on the wall of your office. Even when I searched the college your degree came from. They did have you listed there as a student, but you dropped out. It says that you dropped out for financial reasons. My guess is that daddy didn't want to pay for you to go into fashion design, but I could be wrong..."
"What's your point?" he asked slowly. "I guess you're going to plaster this all over everywhere huh?"
"Nope," I said. "I'm a firm believer in "Live and let live, Friederick. From everything I've heard, with or without a degree or an accent, you're very good at what you do. I am too. Or at least I'm trying to be. All I want you to do is to let me do my job. Believe it or not, I'm working on the test shots even as we speak. I told you you'd have test shots that you could take back to your client by first thing in the morning, didn't I?"
"Yes," he said. A little bit of Texas slipped out when he said it.
"You'll actually have test shots by evening," I said. "As a matter of fact, I'll email you the first five shots right now." I clicked a few files on the computer and emailed them to his office.
Neither of us said anything for a few minutes and then. "Holy shit," he said.
"Uh Friederick, that didn't sound French," I said.
"These pictures are great," he said. "I don't know how but...Hang on." As I waited he was doing something at his desk.
"I don't know, it doesn't seem to be the lighting in the photographs, but Serena has just never looked better. Whatever you're doing, works. I'd really appreciate it if you can get me the rest of the shots on schedule. I won't bother you anymore. And Rob..." he said. "...what you said before, about keeping my secret...Thanks."
A little while after I got off of the phone, there was a knock on my office door. I opened it and Connie came in with her best friend, Jessica.
"Where's lunch?" I asked.
"Oh that," said Connie. "I got too busy talking to Jess. Why didn't you tell me about the party tonight at the Dalton Hotel?"
"Because I'm not going to do that one," I said. "I had two parties on the schedule for tonight. I decided to shoot the one at the Book Cadillac. That one is going to have a couple of really important politicians there. History could be made there tonight and..."
"You mean one of those fat cats might actually tell the truth?" she snapped. "That would be historical, but not likely. They all lie, Rob. You should switch and do the other party. Jason Hamsker is going to be there. You know how much I love him. I'd love to have pictures of him. Remember what I told you when we got married?"
"Sorry Honey, but I've already assigned Ed to shoot that party," I said. "My stuff is already at the other hotel. Switching assignments this close to the event would be a mess."
Her face fell. "Next time there's a chance, I'll not only take pictures of him, I'll take you with me and introduce you," I promised her.
She went back and spent the rest of the afternoon chatting with Jessica. I never did get lunch.
* * * * * *
"God you're lucky," gushed Jessica. "Your husband is hot."
We were just watching as Rob grabbed a couple of camera cases, loaded them into the trunk of his Mustang and headed off to the boring party at the boring hotel.
"And his job is so cool," she continued. "Think about it. He did a fashion shoot with Serena Vascova this morning and a party full of important politicians this evening."
"It's not that great," I said. "That bitch was all over him this morning. Every chance she got, she draped herself across him like a cheap suit. And she even had the gall to look at me with those big gray eyes like some kind of demented cat staking out her territory."
"But Rob loves you, Stupid," said Jessica. "He'd never cheat on you."
"Yeah, I know that," I grumbled. "But she pissed me off. Then there's the fact that if he really loves me he'd have arranged for me to see Jason Hamsker. Now that man is the sexiest thing alive."
"I don't know," said Jessica. "He seems a little fruity to me. He seems like the kind of dude who'd bail on you at the first sign of trouble. I could see the two of you getting into arguments about using each other's makeup. What I can't see is the two of you growing old together or him wrapping his arms around you and making you feel safe. And you have to admit, Rob is daddy material. I just don't see Jason Hamsker that way."
"Well, you're right about all of that," I said. "Besides I don't like Jason in a really serious way it's just a fantasy. But you do know that Jason Hamsker is my wild card, right?"
"What do you mean your wild card?" she asked.
"When Rob and I were first dating, we exchanged fantasy people. He told me who his dream woman was and I told him who my dream man was. We laughed about it. I told him that if he ever met Eva Mendes to feel free to go ahead and have sex with her, and if I ever met Jason Hamsker, he couldn't hold it against me."
Jessica and I laughed for a while and then she jumped to her feet. "Come on," she said. We went back to Rob's office. She opened the door and looked on the desk in front of the computer. She held up a photographer's pass.
"Yeah, I know," I said. "Rob gets to go to all of the cool places. I'll ask him if you can have that pass if you want it as a souvenir or something. Sometimes they have to be turned back in even if they aren't used."
"You don't get it do you?" she asked. "There's no picture or name on this pass. It just says photographer from RDI Media. Anyone could use this pass. You should swing by the party and at least get a chance to see Jason Hamsker in the flesh. Who knows, you might even get a chance to meet him."
As she smiled at me, I felt like I'd been struck by lightning. It would definitely work. I knew all of Rob's photographers and most of his staff. So once I got to the party, if there were any questions, I'd just hang out with them for a while. Maybe I would just hang out with them anyway until Jason showed up, if he did, anyway.
Rob was working another party anyway, so he'd never know that I'd done it. And he was usually late getting back from these things anyway because he had to make sure that he got every possible shot and then had to make sure that he got all of his equipment.
"I'm going to do it," I said. Jessica's face lit up.
"Let me know what happens," she said. "I guess I'd better get my ass home and make dinner for my non-glamorous plumber husband. Have fun rubbing elbows with the rich and famous."
I called my hair dresser and told her I had an emergency. I told her I needed my hair and makeup done in a hurry. When I told her why, she agreed to take care of it in exchange for me telling anyone I met where I'd gotten it done.
I snatched my newest, ritziest, designer shoes and a new little black dress that I'd never worn and headed for her salon.
Two hours later, I presented my invitation at the hotel and was escorted into the main hall where the party was being held. Once I showed the photographer's pass, the security people and staff simply ignored me. I noticed that unlike the other guests who were told where they could and could not go, I was simply forgotten.
There were apparently three groups of people at this kind of event. There were non-famous guests who were either rich, had won a contest, or worked for one of the companies sponsoring the event. These people served as background. Their purpose was to fill the hall and make it seem like everyone wanted to be there. There were limits on what they could do and where they could go.
The second group was the truly famous people. They were the ones who made coming to the event special. There were no limits on them and they got VIP treatment. Lastly there were the staff and members of the support crew. That was where they thought I fit. We were only here to work. We could go anywhere and do anything we needed to do to accomplish our jobs.
I went over and said hello to Rob's lead photographer at the party. I'd known Ed since I first started dating Rob. He's an older guy and a very good photographer but he just doesn't have Rob's gift. Ed is, as I said a very good photographer, but Rob is an artist.
I hung out with Ed and his crew for an hour or so until the place started to fill up, then I began to mingle. In the second hour that I was there, my first hour of working the room, I met all kinds of people. It was easy to see when a star or some other famous person came in because they were immediately photographed and kept having cameras shoved in their faces all night long.
I saw several people that I regularly watched on TV, but I wasn't interested in them. I'd come for one reason. All I wanted was to see Jason Hamsker. Getting an autograph or a chance to talk to him were more than I was hoping for.
I did have an unpleasant experience though. I looked over my shoulder and saw a huge crowd of people gathered around one person. As I strained my eyes to see who the person was, I locked eyes with Serena Vascova. Somehow, I should have known that she'd be here. She was surrounded by reporters and even a couple of photographers. Strangely enough, I noticed that Ed wasn't one of them. And with Serena's rising status, he should have been. I did notice one of his staffers there though. I thought at the time that Ed agreed with me. The bitch simply wasn't important enough to waste time on.