VISIT AT THE STUDIO
Luke stands back, nodding once, and links his thumb in a front pocket while the director of Thousand and One Nights shakes my hand.
“It’s nice to meet you, Geneva. She’s beautiful,” Gianni Alexie tells Luka and smiles. Luka lets out a soft grunt of agreement.
I think I expected Alexie to ogle me, but he’s polite, not spending a second on my unassuming boobs and legs. “I can see why you don’t want your girl in the jungle on her own,” he says.
I open my mouth to object against the your-girl part but think better of it. One side of my brain believes they’ll want to pull me into their game if I’m single. The other side explains that I’m an idiot if I think they use un-auditioned women with pro studs they pay big money.
“Would you like to wait in the Green Room?” Mr. Alexie asks, lifting a meaty hand and already waving toward a wiry assistant with a clipboard.
“Oh no, my baby’s here to watch firsthand. She got sick of getting it secondhand through the movies.”
“Oh, of course.” Alexie nods like this is common. “Hal! Grab another chair, will you? Geneva’ll be up close. Up close?” He raises his brows in a question, first to me, then to Luka while I remain quietly shell-shocked.
“You wanted up-close, right, baby?” Luka whispers against my ear. The intimacy of it doesn’t disturb Alexie. He’s perfectly at ease, gaze on our interaction while he waits for the answer.
“Yep,” I say, trying to make my brave-blurt sound believable.
Luka keeps a hand on my shoulder as he leans into the director, murmuring, “It turns her on.”
“Of course,” Alexie answers easily while all the blood congregates in my face.
I’d love to slip out of here in this second, but if I did, Luka would win and he’d have more fodder for his teasing. I fake another smile, ignoring the flames in my cheeks. Luka’s stomach tenses with suppressed laughter against my hip. Oh I’ll get him back. Just wait until the jungle. Mwa. Ha. Ha.
“Well, enjoy the show. We love Luka around here. He’s a true artist and always gives one hundred percent. You should be proud of him.”
“Oh yeah, so proud,” I garble. It seems my expression pulls off sincere, though, because Alexie sends me another genuine smile and delivers a last pat on the shoulder.
“See you at lunch.”
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