Had we stayed on the subject, it probably would have become the hour of truth as is known to happen on any given New Year’s day. What could have been more appropriate than the first day of the new millennium? Had we gone on, this is what I would have liked to share with him.

‘Do  you remember the Dutch starlet you sent to Chicago to be photographed? What was her name? Yeah, her, right. Ans. I think it was the second or the third day of the shoot. We had built this elaborate set for her. Sort of Spanish Colonial arch in the background, and a huge king size bed perched atop the specially built stage. There are potted flowers, pastel pink and the bed is covered with usual props to selectively and enticingly hide and reveal the languishing shapely female form. During a short break, everyone was dispersed off the set. No one had gone far. Pat (Tomlinson), the stylist was in the props room, futzing around. Pompeo (Posar) was probably talking to his wife at home. Do you believe he calls his wife at least a dozen times every day just to tell her I love you? Steve (Conley), the assistant was somewhere else. And then I walk in on the set. Ans has climbed down the bed and sitting at the edge of the stage, relaxing with her legs dangling. Other than her turquoise choker and the matching earrings and the bracelets and a long shawl loosely hanging from her arm, she has not bothered to cover herself.’

‘So how is it going?’ I approach her.

‘Oh, good! They are taking a little break!’ And we indulge in small talk. I am standing in front of her, her face and my waist parallel to each other. And suddenly, like the head of a cobra springing  up from the snake charmer’s basket, she drops the shawl and her hand is cupping my crotch and affectionately squeezing my family jewels. I back up. She looks up at me with a wicked smile. Nothing is said. We just exchange looks. Amazement on my face, lust on hers.’ I know, Jan would have given me a knowing smile at the mention of family jewels, because as good as his English is, when we first started preparing for the Dutch Playboy, scheduled for the US edition was an article titled Family Jewels by Roy Blount Jr.. Everyone in the department would remember the hilarious telex traffic between him and our rights manager Jean Freehill (Connell), trying to explain to Jan what the family jewels meant. To keep it simple, everyone in the department got a copy of all the incoming telexes. So Jean had to be extra careful in answering, oh so delicate a subject matter.   

‘And remember Nicole?  When we were doing 1986 World Cup pictorial  in Mexico and staying at Krystal in Puerto Vallarta? It was about seven in the morning when Pat calls me.

‘Haresh, can you please do me a favor and call Nicole and Emily and make sure they come in for makeup as soon as possible. I am waiting for them. Pompeo wants to get in as many shots as possible before ten so the light is still soft?’

Obviously Pat could have coaxed them out of bed herself, but at times chemistry between the makeup artist/stylist and the models is not the most congenial. Instead of wasting my time calling, I just pull up my shorts, put on a T-shirt and walk over to their rooms. First I knock on Emily’s door. She is already up and about, dressed only in her undies and the Krystal t-shirt, having huevos rancheros for breakfast. We brush cheeks. As beautiful as she is, the whiff of scrambled eggs wafting from her mouth is disillusioning.  But okay. I put her on alert, telling her to be in Pat’s suite for make up no later than in fifteen minutes. Leaving her to get ready, I strut over to the different building of the complex to Nicole’s room.

It takes a few knocks and some sleepy grunts from inside the room before I sense her getting out of bed and shuffle over to open the door. She is similarly dressed or undressed. Shouldn’t really matter. When you have seen them in the nude, day in and day out for several days. But it does. They are their most attractive and the most seductive when they are dressed. When they show up in the evening for dinner in their “street” clothes, squeezed into their tight fitting  jeans and the tops or wrapped in their revealing evening dresses. And when they are not modeling. Just being their own natural self makes them ever so alluring and dangerous. Ditto, when they are scantily dressed like Emily was while ago and Nicole is right now.

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