The shower made a loud squeaking as it turned on. The nerve-grating squeak ended as Orchid stepped in. The water ran over her; it was nice and hot. Most people would complain it was too hot, but Orchid preferred it. The hot water pattered against her forehead, the only good sensation going on with her head at that moment. Her hang over head ache was pounding and her eyes were burning, but the shower felt good. Orchid sighed; here she was in a sketchy motel room bathroom with hot water running over her aching body. Eight years ago she never would have believed she would be here now, but a lot had changed in eight years.
“I trusted you Erin! You were my best friend! Why would you do something like this?”
That sneer on those pink lips, “Your best friend? Please Orchid! This is the modeling business! There is no room for friends. I got what I needed. You’re just mad he wants me and not you.”
Orchid shut her eyes, the image of her former friend’s stupid sneer and irritating voice was fresh in her mind.
“Get out of my house!”
“Your house, I made you Orchid! If anything, this house should be mine!”
“Get out before I call the cops to kick you out!”
“Whatever, drown in your misery!”
Eight years wasted on that bastard. Orchid let out an irritable groan and pushed her head back. The water rained on her face, it felt nice. She slid her fingers through her slick, wet hair. Black strands of hair were left when she pulled her fingers free. Stress had taken her; she lost hair all the time.
“Hey, let me buy you a drink.”
“Sure, if you let me buy you one.”
An amused chuckle, “Sure, it’s a deal.”
The man from the bar, a familiar face, Orchid’s favorite author, Maverick Rose. The rumors were numerous; hateful, cold, distant, his fiancé had just left him for another man. Orchid knew her, Clara Vincent, a fellow model. Orchid had done lots of work with her, she knew Maverick was good to Clara, but she was sure Clara had her reasons. She knew too well how toxic even the longest relationships could be.
“You’re very charming.” A smile played on her lips.
“Am I? Well, how charming do I have to be to get you in bed with me?” His husky voice whispered over the chatter of the bar.
Orchid turned the water cold and allowed it to swallow her. It took her breathe away, but it felt good against her skin.
Gentle kisses turned passionate. His long, thin fingers laced in her long, black hair, his sea green eyes shining at her in the darkness of the hotel room.
“Damn, you’re beautiful.” His whispers in her ear sent shivers down her spin.
He laughed, his laugh was almost contagious, “You were beautiful in the light too.”
Orchid felt a knot in her throat. He made her forget, if only for a couple hours, what hell her life had become. She shivered in cold water and let the tears come.
The smoke drifted in the air from his cigarette. It was almost calming, the smokiness of the room. He lifted his cigarette from his lips and blew a puff of smoke. He had his free hand in her hair, stroking it almost affectionately, as if they had known each other forever, as if they had made love dozens of times before.
“Why are you so quiet? Was it that bad?”
It was her turn to laugh, “Not at all.”
He was quiet for a long time, “So you’re running away too then?”
A sad smile split her lips, “You could say that.”
Orchid turned off the water and stepped out. The towel she had to use was a dingy yellow. It was ugly, but it was clean, sort of. Orchid dried off quickly and wrapped it around her thick hair. He would no doubt be gone when she exited the bathroom, she thought to herself. She was wrong, to her surprise. When she entered the skanky little room from the bathroom, he was sitting on the edge of the bed, nothing but his jeans on, a cigarette hanging between his pale lips. He looked up at her as she entered; a small smile peered from under his cigarette.
“Have a good shower?” Maverick asked her, pulling his cigarette from his mouth.
She just nodded and began to rub the towel around on her hair.
“Good, you should have waited for me to get up. It’d be nice to take a shower with the prettier sex again.” A mischievous smile showed itself.
Orchid turned away from him, “I don’t like showering with other people.”
He chuckled, “That’s a shame.”
The room was silent for several minutes as Maverick finished his cigarette and Orchid dried her hair. She had her back turned to him, but she could feel him watching her with those sexy eyes of his. The eyes that had caressed her the night before were doing the same this morning.
“Are you staring at something?” She asked irritably.
She could feel him smiling, “A sexy woman who was very obviously surprised I was still here when she got out of the bathroom.”
Orchid blushed slightly. It was irritating that someone she made love to just a few hours ago was making her blush. She wasn’t that untouched sixteen year old girl anymore; she was a twenty-five year old woman who was used to being seen naked and making love; even if it was to the same, emotionally abusing, asshole for eight years. Still, in her twenty-five years, she had never once been called sexy. And he was the first man to ever tell her she was beautiful with romantic intent. Orchid’s now ex-boyfriend, Francis, had never once told her she was beautiful or sexy. In the earliest stages of their relationship he would occasionally call her pretty or cute, but they had only been dating a year when he got her in touch with a talent agent and he quickly became mentally and emotionally abusing afterward.
“People usually leave pretty quickly after a one night stand.” Orchid said plainly.
“What makes you think I wanted just one night?”
Orchid had to look at him, was he serious? The look in his eyes said he was. He was definitely nothing like she had always heard.
“You are nothing like they say.” Orchid didn’t mean to let that slip and she regretted it as soon as it came out.
She froze as Maverick stared at her. What was he thinking? Was he mad? Would he get up and leave her now? Why did she care? She felt another knot in her throat when he finally let out a loud laugh. Orchid gave him a confused, if not relieved, look, why in the world was he laughing?
“What, hateful, cold, jerk that only cares about his cheating fiancé who eventually leaves him for some hack of an actor? Yeah, don’t believe shit you hear. I’m a sarcastic jerk who cares about a lot of people…” he got quiet and the smile faded from his face, “including his cheating fiancé who leaves him for some hack of an actor.
Orchid couldn’t help but give him a sympathetic look. She could see the pain on his face. They had been together for three years. Orchid personally thought Maverick and Clara made a cute couple and she was sad to hear from Clara herself that they had split up. She was also upset to learn that Clara left him for another man, but she didn’t have any interest in getting in on Clara’s business. She had always liked Clara and Maverick was her favorite author so she liked him too, she didn’t want to hear things to dislike either of them. To see Maverick’s face twisted in such a sad expression broke her heart and sent a small pang of dislike for Clara through her body.
“Please, don’t look at me like that. I don’t want sympathy.”
Orchid stood and approached Maverick; she wrapped her thin arms around his neck and pressed her forehead softly against his. Her hair hung in his face and his blonde, soft hair, caressed her cheeks.
“I know Clara.” Was all Orchid could manage to say.
Maverick nodded a little, “I know, you’re Orchid Moritz; you got your first modeling gig at seventeen and have become a powerhouse since. Clara started pretty young too. She was always impressed with you; she talked about you a lot.”
Part of Orchid was touched that Clara talked so fondly of her, part of her was excited that Maverick Rose, of all people, knew who she was, and the biggest part hated herself for being happy about either.
“I’m sorry.” Orchid whispered in his silky hair.
“I knew exactly who you were when you approached me. I knew you and Clara had just split up, but I got into bed with you anyway.”
Maverick slipped a strong arm around her waist, “And I knew who you were. Clara had told me about your ex-boyfriend, about all of the shit that went down, but I asked you into bed anyway. Neither of us are innocent. We needed someone to help us forget and that’s what we got. There is nothing to be ashamed or sorry for.”
“You are my favorite author.” Orchid blurted for reasons she didn’t understand.
Maverick got very quiet for several seconds and then he chuckled, “Is that so? And where exactly did this come from?”
Orchid shrugged, she should be embarrassed that something so random slipped out at such a strange time, but she wasn’t.
“And how many of my books have you read?” Maverick asked curiously, she could hear the amusement, and a hint of flattered, in his rough, sexy voice.
“All of them that have been released to the public. I own all of them.” Orchid answered, a little proud of herself for such an accomplishment.
Maverick chuckled again, “Is that so?”
Orchid hugged his neck a little tighter and nodded.
Maverick wrapped his other arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him, “We’re going to need to get rid of these clothes again.”