Tommy woke up with a mild headache, took a cold shower to jolt his system for the first day of work. Got dressed and got out of the room to find Charlie in the pantry fixing breakfast. He leaned on the doorway to absorb the moment, he wanted the feeling to last.
She had organized the kitchen, hung drapes for the windows, the whole place had her touch all over it. The room smelled like home cooking, even though it was only scrambled eggs and bacon, it was something Tommy had missed ever since his mom left. Just when he thought he couldn't fall deeper for her, she showed him how much more he could still go.
He slid his arms around her from behind and kissed her shoulder, "Good morning, beautiful."
She giggled, his tiny kisses always tickled her. "Good morning, I thought I made you some breakfast before you go," she offered him a taste of the baked beans from the spatula.
"Morning sex, and then breakfast? I might get used to this, you're spoiling me too much." He turned her around and kissed her. "What are you doing today?"
"I think I'm gonna go out and look for one of those phones ... mobile phones, I think we need to have those, Landon used it, and it's very helpful."
Tommy's expression changed, he took a deep breath as if he was holding something in. The mention of that name instantly took him to a weird place. She put both hands on his cheek, "You're still annoyed when I say his name? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to ... I was just pointing out, we need those phones 'cause I want to stay in touch with you all day ... I love you, Tommy," she said.
He looked at her in the eyes, "I know ... I love you too." He kissed her mouth, a deep and meaningful kiss. She wrapped her arms around his neck. He pushed his tongue in until she let out a soft moan from the kiss. He couldn't deny that the mention of that name still bugged him. He pushed himself against her and held her tightly. He needed to feel that she was his, and his alone. She loved it when he was like that.
"If we keep this up ... you can have me for breakfast," she said.
"I want you for breakfast, lunch and dinner," he bit her lip gently. He broke off the kiss, realizing he needed to have his breakfast and get going or he'll be late. "When are you going to check out the institute?"
"Tomorrow, I figured I finish up here today, get us those phones, have a quality time with Jeremy ... and if you're lucky ... I'll fix you up some dinner tonight."
He grabbed her by the waist and sat her on his lap, "I think I'll just have you for dinner tonight ... would you like that?" he kissed her neck.
"You promise?" she leaned on him, their faces almost touched.
He nodded without taking his eyes off of her, "Right here on this table," he said.
She bit her lip, "Tommy ... you're gonna make me think about sex all day."
He arrived at Arch Studios 30 minutes early, he wanted to study the premises before he started. Maxine only told him to show up and go straight to the Human Resources Department. He was taking the opportunity to learn in his own way how everything works in the studio. He didn't mind the low paying job, the experience and the opportunity to learn was more valuable to him.
When he finally arrived at the HR Department, he had memorized at least 50% of the rooms within the building and what they were for. He even memorized the names of a few head departments and managers, just in case. Lorraine Fox was the name of the HRD Manager, she was looking through his files, and took a few glances at him almost blushing.
"Thomas Raven ... there's a note here from Maxine that said you should check-in with her before you start," she curved one corner of her lips. "It says here, you'll be placed in Studio 4 for the next few weeks ... we have a few scenes to be shot there, you'll be part of a small crew, you need to sign a confidential agreement first ... I have it here," she said.
He was puzzled, "Confidential agreement?"
"Yeah, Studio 4 is where we shoot all the love scenes for our movies, so there will be a very small crew working in there whom Maxine trust will keep everything under wraps, no cameras, no leakage of information, you'll be seeing plenty of naked celebrities there and their stunt double ... however ..." she had a suspicious smile on her face. "I can see why she puts you in there, you might be asked to fill in whenever necessary, Maxine's very particular with who she puts in there, you know?" she was measuring him with her eyes.
Tommy didn't respond, he should've known there's always a catch.
"Sign here, and you can go up to the twenty fourth floor to Maxine's office, that's the order."
He signed the piece of paper without reading it thoroughly, Lorraine was expecting him to leave her office as soon as possible. He didn't think twice about it and did as he was told.
Maxine's office was the biggest room on the floor. It was facing the Goldstone Hills. The glass windows from floor to ceiling covered half of the room and made it look so much wider than it really was. There was a full set of black leather sofa, a bar, a large screen was placed on the wall facing the sofa. Her work desk was shaped like a half circle with four chairs aligned opposite of her tall black leather office chair. Artworks were placed in every corner of the room, paintings on the walls, ornaments on the credenza, side tables, the place felt like a mini version of her home.
One piece of work stood out from all the other, it was placed on the right wall from the entrance door. A light pointed to it. It was a large black and white photograph of a woman's legs being parted, a pair of hands which seemed to belong to the woman herself was on each side of her inner thighs. There was a man's hand placed on the left knee.
The photograph ignited so many interpretations in his head, all of which concluded that the two people in the photo were about to have sex. It wasn't a dirty picture, in a way, it was beautiful, it was art.
"You like that picture?" Maxine interrupted his thoughts. He didn't have an answer for it. "I took that picture myself," she smiled. "I have hundreds of those at home, I choose one I like the most to put up on my special walls."
Tommy smiled and shrugged.
"It makes you think, doesn't it? Who they are, what they are doing ... makes you wonder," she said to him while looking at the picture herself. "How they felt at that very moment," her voice went lower.
Tommy didn't respond, he wasn't sure where she was going with that topic.
"Have a seat, Tom, let's have a little chat before you start." She pulled her own seat behind her desk. Tommy sat in one of the four chairs.
"Lorraine told you about the job?"
"Yeah, Studio 4," he said.
Maxine curved a half smile, "Have you signed the confidential agreement?"
"Yes I have."
"Great ... as you know, you'll be seeing some naked celebrities doing their sex scenes in Studio 4, you are not to speak about it with anyone ... not even your girlfriend," she gave him a sharp look. He nodded.
"How is Charlie, by the way? When is she coming to my school?"
"Tomorrow, she told me that this morning."
Maxine's face beamed, "Wonderful! Tell her I'll be there tomorrow, she should look me up at my office when she gets there."
"She's a wonderful girl, isn't she, Tom?" she was fishing for a response that he couldn't read. "I can imagine how difficult it must be to have such an amazing girlfriend from a very different background ... I mean no offense, but she seemed a bit posh for you, don't you think?"
He lifted his eyebrows, tried not to take any offense from her question, he was still waiting for her to get to a point.
She leaned forward on her desk, "So you've got the girl ... but how are you going to keep her?"
"She's not like that," he was being defensive, even though the question had weighed in his mind for some time.
Maxine laughed, "Of course not, ... not yet, do you know how many accomplished men out there that could love her as much as you do with so much more to offer? I'm just laying out the reality for you, Tom, because I can see how much you care about this girl."
Her question didn't need his answer. "I can help you with that, if you stick around with me, I'll introduce you to major movie directors whom I'm sure can see what I see in you, I can get you the publicity you need ... anything, I can make you an instant star, Tom," she had given him a similar speech before and he knew there was a catch at the end of it.
"All you have to do it sign up with Arch Studios exclusively and we'll get you to where you need to go ... before you say no, because of the previous offer I proposed to you, I've drafted the inclusions of the contract that you can study, maybe you can take a look at it first with Charlie and see what she thinks ... to tell you the truth, I'm just so excited for the both of you 'cause I've been in this industry long enough to know how far the two of you can go ... with my help, of course, if you want this bad enough, everything can be arranged, Tom ... sit on it for awhile while you work in Studio 4, and give me an answer in a few weeks ... how about that?" she didn't really give him the chance to argue.
He took the folder and nodded, “Okay."
The new proposal sounded too good to be true. Maxine had a satisfied smile on her face.
"Can I ask you something, though?" he asked.
"Why Studio 4?"
She stood up and came over to Tommy, she tapped him on the shoulder. "Because sex sells, Tom, and you can have side incomes in there to fill in for a body double, the pay is good, a lot better than just being a light boy or a camera assistant ... of course it's all up to you, you don't have to do anything you don't want to, but if you do ... you can even pay for her admission to my school."
He turned to look at her in the eyes, she smiled. "Remember, discreet, Tom, you can share the contract with your girlfriend but Studio 4 must remain private, she doesn't have to know where the money came from, she just needs to know you care enough to take care of her."