The Sex Whisperer: Book 1 in the Whisperer Trilogy (8 page)

BOOK: The Sex Whisperer: Book 1 in the Whisperer Trilogy
6.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“I’m not going to find out more about him,” Olivia said.

“Right,” Charlotte said. “Listen, I know you’re not asking me for life advice, but I think you and Mike are going through a rough patch. Part of me thinks you’re using this sex whisperer as an escape. But I really don’t want to see my bestie throw away her marriage over something like this. Do you really want to go back to being single?”

Olivia pondered that. She’d thought about life without Mike, but she hadn’t really thought about being single, about how she’d make money (her photography income definitely wasn’t enough) and about all the insecurities and instability that come with being outside a relationship
. The thought was frightening she had to admit. Buried deep beneath that fear, though, was the smallest sliver of excitement. Olivia fought to stamp it out.

“I’ll be careful,” she said.

“You better be,” Charlotte said. “And you better send me your next sex whisper. I may not approve of your relationship with this guy, but at least I can get some pleasure out of it, too.”



Dear Thomas,

Thank you for your latest whisper. I won’t be able to go to Franco’s again without imagining Captain America hiding with a har
d-on under one of the tables :)

Unfortunately, I do have some bad news. You might not hear from me for a while. I’
m preparing for a photo exhibition. Then, after that, I’m off to Hawaii for two weeks. When I get back, I hope to have a whisper waiting on me. And don’t forget to send me an invoice.


Hawaii Girl



The sun wasn’t up yet, but the sky was an eerie, pale white. The campus felt haunted. A student shambled across the grass with a faraway look in his eyes, his greasy hair whipping about like frayed rope.
He looks miserable
, Olivia thought, and she suddenly had flashbacks to the hangovers she’d had in college.
What a waste of time

Hope met her outside the theater. A prim girl in a simple black dress stood at his side. Her name was Isabelle, and it looked like she hadn’t cut her hair since birth. It
was black, and it hung a foot below her waist. Hope led them inside, and they spoke quietly in the theatre as the lights warmed up the stage.

“You’ve got eight hours,” Hope said. “Six students will be in — three in the morning and three after lunch. Isabelle can help with whatever you need. She’s damn good at lighting, hair, makeup, costuming and, well, pretty much anything else.”

“Consider me your personal assistant for a day,” Isabelle said in a gravelly, smoked-too-many-cigarettes-last-night voice. She smiled, though, and it was a warm and genuine smile.

“Hope,” Olivia said, “This is perfect. I owe you a five-star dinner.”

“Just make a donation to my retirement fund,” the professor said, flashing his elf-like smile. He shook his giant ring of keys at them, and padded off happily.

Olivia and Isabelle hauled in the gear: lights, light stands, backdrops, a mannequin and two wooden chests full of props.

I still don’t know what sort of photographs I’m going to take,
Olivia thought.

Two of the three models showed up early: Amanda and Aubrey. They were cute, and they knew it. Despite the cold weather, they had on jean shorts and tight bright tanks. Their skin glowed like it’d been airbrushed 10 minutes ago.
No amount of vitamins and bottled water could get my legs looking that good again,
Olivia thought. Their tops could have passed for bras 10 years ago. Indeed, Olivia thought she could see the beginning of Aubrey’s nipple when the girl leaned forward.

Isabelle and the girls chatted until Colin walked in. He was a senior with blonde hair plastered atop his head in artistic clumps. It was his eyes that drew you in, though. They were washed-out blue like faded jeans
— magnetic in a mischievous, let’s-go-have-sex-in-the-bathroom-while-I-talk-dirty-to-you sort of way. He wasn’t shy either.

“Let’s get this show started,”
he said, clapping his hands together. “Do you want me to take my shirt off?”

The girls laughed as Colin pretended to yank at his t-shirt.

“That’s a good idea,” Olivia said.

“Really?” Colin asked. “I was kiddi
ng, but I do have some killer abs. Why shouldn’t we capture them on film?”

He yanked his shirt off and, well …
he looked good.

Olivia hadn’t planned to take shirtless
photos of a frat boy, but she figured it was a good starting point.

“Why don’t you lie down on that trunk?” she said.

Sprawled out atop a battered wooden trunk, Colin looked positively god-like. And suddenly an image flashed into Olivia’s mind. She pictured him as a modern-day Poseidon, wielding a trident with two women on each side of him offering him food and drink.

“Isabelle,” Olivia said, “I’ve got some tasks for you.”

She pulled the girl into the shadows at the side of the stage.

“I need you to go to the store,” she said. “Buy me two bottles of wine, one red and one white. Get
me hors d'oeuvres, too: olives, dark chocolate and brie. Candles, too. Not tea candles. Really big, thick, Medieval-looking candles. And a spear. See if you can find me something that could pass for a spear-like weapon somewhere.”

Isabelle scribbled everything down in a small gray notebook and hurried out of the auditorium.

“You can take a break, Colin,” Olivia said. “Those abs of yours gave me a few ideas, and I need to do some prep work. Let’s get back together in 30 minutes. … And put your shirt back on please. You’re distracting me.”

Everyone laughed, and Olivia beckoned Amanda and Aubrey to follow her into the costume room. They had some changing to do.



The scene was set when Isabelle returned with the props. Colin lay on top of the trunk, arms behind his head propped up on a thick, fur-covered pillow, nothing but a sheet covering his manly bits. Two sprigs from an olive tree jutted from his hair.

After a lot of cajoling, Colin had agreed to wear lipstick and thick eyeliner. The result left just one word to describe how he looked:

The college girls looked as scandalous as Olivia could make them. She left them in their tight shorts and tanks but gave them
impossibly tall heels. She caked their faces with makeup, too: lipstick, mascara, rouge, and she added thick, red clip-in highlights to their hair.

pressed candles into the candelabra that littered the stage and lit them quickly. After uncorking one of the wine bottles, Olivia filled three goblets and set the bottle between Colin’s legs. Then, she handed the wine goblets out to Colin and his nymphs.

“You two are the key to these photos,”
Olivia said to Aubrey and Amanda. “This is going to be hard, but I want you to imagine you’re both virgins.”

hit Olivia in the arm playfully.

ou’ve been sent to the king’s chambers to seduce him. Remember, though, he’s not just a king. He’s a medieval king of old. He’s the very hand of God sent to earth to do our maker’s divine will. Act like you’re having the grandest, most delicious time you could ever imagine.”

“Sounds like a typical Saturday night,” Aubrey said, smiling

The girls approached Colin slowly, their high heels clicking loudly on the stage. Olivia started
taking photos and didn’t pause to look at the results. She knew the shots were perfectly, absolutely decadent, and there was something jarring about the effect — a marriage between the old and the new. Here was Poseidon, goblet of wine in hand, getting hand-fed dark chocolate by two girls who looked like they came from Vegas and could weaken the will of even the most devout husband.

Olivia told the students not to drink the wine, but that was like
putting food in front of a hungry dog and telling him not to eat. They drank when they thought Olivia wasn’t looking, and the wine helped them loosen up. Olivia pretended not to notice, and the photos got progressively naughtier. The girls nibbled at Colin’s ear, laughed and laid hunks of cheese and olives in his lap.

All the while, Olivia was there, clicking away with her camera. She lost all sense of time
, forgetting about Mike’s promotion, about Hawaii, about her sex whisperer, about everything except capturing the moment.

So it went all afternoon.

By the end of the day, Olivia had done three different photo series. One with Colin as new-age Greek god, one of a woman constructing a new face for herself (a visual trick that involved a lot of latex and a mud mask), and a third inspired by her sex whisperer. In it, a man and woman sat quietly at a fancy restaurant. The man was busy with his food while the woman had her eyes closed. The way the camera was positioned, you could see that there was a third man under the table giving the woman oral pleasure. The college students had particularly liked acting out that scene.

In the end, Olivia gave each of the
m $100. She also handed them fliers with details for her upcoming show. The girls stamped their feet in excitement.

“I can’t wait to see these,” Aubrey said.

Hope was right,
Olivia thought,
college students are the best free marketing in the world.

It was only after Olivia had loaded the last of her equipment in the car and collapsed into the driver’s seat that she realized how tired she was. It was a good exhaustion, though — the sort that comes with the sense that y
ou’ve done something important … even if that
is paying college students to act out fantasies and deceptions they might very well face one day.



Mike didn’t call. He just didn’t show up for dinner. Olivia wasn’t surprised or upset. She assumed he’d start putting in longer hours after the promotion, and it gave her time to edit the photos she’d taken.

When she sat down at her computer, though, sh
e couldn’t resist checking her email for a reply from Thomas. A message waited patiently in her inbox.

Dear Hawaii Girl,

Thank you for the compliment. I doubt I’ll be able to think of Franco’s the same again, either! Enjoy your artwork and your travels. I’ll definitely have a whisper waiting for you when you return. I’ll bill you later. Something about writing whispers for you just doesn’t feel like work!

Your Faithful Servant,


P.S. Your upcoming show wouldn’t happen to be at the Cannery, would it?

“Shit!” Olivia said out loud. “How the hell does he know about the Cannery show?”

She lifted her hands off her keyboard and balled them into fists. Her palms were sweaty, and her mouth tasted salty.
Fuck, fuck, fuck,
she thought.

She went back and re-read the last message she’d sent Thomas.
Would mentioning a gallery opening be enough for him to figure out when and where it was?
Olivia wondered.

started Googling art-related phrases.  To her horror, she found that when she typed in “Photo exhibit opening in August, Dayton Ohio,” a Dayton Daily News brief on the Cannery show was the top result!

literally ran to her cell phone and called Charlotte. “I messed up,” she said when her friend answered. “I told Thomas I have a gallery opening coming up, and he figured out which one. He could show up!”

Oh, no,” Charlotte said. “You can’t be serious. Are you absolutely positive he knows which one it is?”

“Not positive,” Olivia said, “but listen to this.”

She read Charlotte the full text of both messages.

“You know what I think?” Charlotte asked. “You’re having a
freak out
with a capital ‘F.’ He doesn’t even know if your show is in the same state. Just write him back and tell him, ‘Actually, no, I’m doing a show in Tennessee.’ Or tell him it’s New York or San Francisco. Problem solved.”

“Even if I do that, I have a feeling he’ll still show up at the Cannery on Friday,” Olivia said. Then, for the first time, she realized what she’d done: she’d taken ideas from Thomas’s latest sex whisper and turned them into photos that she wanted to use in the show!

“This is bad,” Olivia said. She told Charlotte all about the photo shoot … specifically about the restaurant scene she’d shot.

bad,” Charlotte said. “What if you just ditch those photos from your show?”

That’s what I should do,
Olivia thought,
but the photos are too good.
She hadn’t even looked at them on her computer yet, but she already knew they were some of the most powerful photos she’d ever taken. There was something so jarring, surprising and haunting about the pictures that she felt — for the first time in her life — that she’d created work that truly mattered.
And now, I need to hide those pictures from the world?

BOOK: The Sex Whisperer: Book 1 in the Whisperer Trilogy
6.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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