Chapter 35 Part four/The Agency p1
After they landed Ben first stop was to book in at his usual down town New York hotel but this time with two king size beds. So like with the twins back in San Francisco it gave them the option of sharing a bed when they needed to.
Pat was not too happy with this arrangement of sharing a room let alone a bed with Jason.
So as a priority she started looking for somewhere to rent.
Most property’s she saw which were suitable wanted a long term commitment which she couldn’t give. Therefore, it was either putting up with staying in the hotel with Ben and Jason or her going home to live with her father.
When Ben first return to work Donald greeted him with a hug, and told him he was sorry to learn of his friend Matt’s death.
At the mention of Matt’s name, Ben burst into tears. For a while Donald just held Ben until he calmed down and stopped crying.
Ben then explained “He was more than a friend I loved him.”
Donald handed Ben a box of tissues not knowing what to say in reply. He had always assumed Ben was unattached, especially as he was known to sleep around a lot.
“Are you sure you’re ready to come back to work,” Donald asked?”
“Yes I need to,” Ben replied. “So what’s so special about this shoot, Eddy asked me to do?”
“Oh he didn’t tell you?” Donald said, laughing. He then explained, “Occasionally Eddy works for Cherry, she’s another agent. She looks after the girl catalogues.”
Ben just looked at Donald in both surprise and disbelief.
“Well Eddy’s gay and certainly not interested in women, so ideal for the job, and so are you.”
Ben realised Donald didn’t know he fooled around with two women.
Ben set up as usual in the studio. Cherry was older than he had expected, more matronly. The first girl in front of the camera wore only a bra and panties. Thankfully Ben had both looked at the previous year’s catalogue and this year’s storyboard, otherwise he wouldn’t have known how to begin. “Hi, what’s your name?” he asked the girl.
Nervously, she answered, “Mandy.”
“Do you have a boyfriend, Mandy or someone special?”
“Boyfriend.” Again she nervously replied.
“Well Mandy I’d like you to start dancing to the music. Okay just move about, yes that’s right, be more expressive now, not only your face. Do it with your body. Good, yes, that’s it. Now look at the camera and think of kissing your boyfriend. Great. Make love to him with your whole body. Work it girl.”
Then everything thing went wrong, a damp stain appeared on her panties. Obviously he had gone too far and he would have to watch out for the quiet, shy ones.
By the end of the day which was totally devoted to underwear, Ben had decided he preferred girls with a certain boyish look about them. There was this one girl called Tina who Ben found attractive, not only did she have a great figure, she had a good sense of humour. He tried chatting her up, but got nowhere. Somehow she had got the impression that Ben had a boyfriend and his name was Jason, who just happened to go to the same college as she had. It took all of three days to complete the girl catalogues’ shoot, and by the end Ben had become good friends with several girls.
So on the following Saturday after finishing, Ben was in the mall with Jason and several of his mates. He was telling Ben what a disaster Eddy’s shoot had been, when they were interrupted by a group of girls coming over to join them.
One of the girls was Tina and she had her boyfriend in tow. Apparently, he was eyeing another girl up. To teach him a lesson she started flirting with Ben. He had to laugh because she was saying things that if she were aware that he was also attracted to girls she would have been highly embarrassed. The boyfriend was not amused and was about to challenge Ben, when Jason stepped in and lied to both of them by declaring Ben was his boyfriend and totally gay.
Just then, unfortunately for all concerned Pat came out of the hairdressers. Ben told her how nice she looked. This earned him a kiss on the lips, which, turned into a very sexy hug.
Jason just laughed. Tina blushed and her boyfriend looked as though he could murder someone.
The telephone woke Ben. It was Eddy, Donald wanted a meeting with both of them for a general discussion concerning Ben’s future.
On the phone Eddy admitted that, although he had looked after the studio work while Ben concentrating on the girl catalogues, it had gone badly, mainly due to his failing eyesight. To prove the point, Eddy arrived by cab instead of driving himself.
To Ben’s surprise, instead of going direct to the Agency, they headed to Donald’s beach house.
“Hi,” Donald greeted Ben with a hug. “I understand from Cherry the photo session with the girls was good and the clients were very happy.”
Still holding on to Ben’s arm, Donald led him through the house to the chairs overlooking the beach.
After giving everyone a drink, Donald settled back in his chair and looking straight at Ben and stated, “I imagine that Eddy here has filled you in regarding the studio shoot and how it was an utter disaster.”
Ben just nodded.
Donald continued, “You won’t know this but Eddy and I had an arrangement regarding the photo business and it has worked out well until now.”
Eddy at this point interrupted, “What in hell do you mean, ‘HAD?”
“Sorry Eddy, you must admit you can’t cut it anymore.”
Eddy was suddenly standing. “Come on Ben we’re out of here.”
“Calm down Eddy.” Donald was also standing now, “You know it’s going to be costly to bring everyone back to reshoot last week’s session.”
“I said let’s go, Ben.” Eddy sounded very angry.
“No, I think we should hear what Donald has to say first.”
Eddy now turned his anger and frustration in Ben’s direction. “You little shit, I’ve taught you everything you know and this is how you pay me back.”
Ben sprang up from his seat, “Fuck it man, I’ve been your meal ticket for the last few months so don’t you come that crap with me.”
Eddy, having vented his temper, crumpled back into a sitting position and was silent.
The others followed his example and sat down again.
Turning to Ben, Donald started to explain, “As you know by now some of our clients want blond hunks, some want young-lookers with dark features. Most of the male oriented magazines & catalogues want the same boys. It becomes a ‘thing’ to see the same ‘hottie’ in several lines of their clothes, just think of it seeing the same young man in a suit and tie, then in another photo showing him in a jock strap or a Speedo and a pair of tight shorts
One of your jobs will be to supply the photos that give them an idea of our guy’s potential.”
“Yes I get that,” Ben said frowning, “My problem is I don’t know what the client wants.”
“That’s okay, most of the fashion houses with whom I have worked trust my judgment, sometimes after the shoot, the house doesn't care for the outcome, so you’ll have to do it again.”
“Yes,” Ben nodded, “we’ve had a couple of those happen where they’ve changed their minds and everything had to be reshot with more sex, bare chest, belt and zipper partly undone, everything bulging out a bit. Remember, Eddy last month when we were doing the various jock-straps ads, and you used the football sports cup to fill out the crotch and they didn’t like it.”
“Yes, you turned a bright shade of pink if I’m correct,” Eddy said, now joining in.
“Well if it had been me, I would have been highly embarrassed,” Ben remarked. Both Eddy and Donald started laughing.
“So you think Eddy’s direct approach in asking the boys for what the client needs in a photo is wrong?” Donald asked.
“Well, it doesn’t worry me now, but I think the boys were upset when the shot called for the outline of their cocks to show through the fabric, and Eddy tells them to push it around a bit until he’s satisfied with the position, so he can get a good shot.” Ben replied.
“Donald started laughing. “You worry too much about the boys. They just appear shy. It’s a pity you never see them as I do, when they want to become models they’re not too shy then. Some of them can get as much as twenty, twenty-five, or even thirty thousand for a campaign, which certainly helps with their college fee. So you see it’s all business to them.”
“Wow, big money.” Ben had to agree.