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Authors: Alexandra S Sophia

The Lover From an Icy Sea

BOOK: The Lover From an Icy Sea
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The Lover From an Icy Sea
Alexandra S Sophia
CreateSpace (2012)

When Daneka, the editor of a successful fashion magazine in New York, chooses professional photographer Kit’s name almost at random for a portrait session she is commissioning, she sets the scene for them rapidly to become lovers. Their relationship is sophisticated, recklessly passionate and mutual, and Daneka is soon suggesting that they luxuriate together at her expense on a holiday romance amid the sun and glamour of Southern Europe. Entranced by each other’s flair and style, and despite some complications, their affair seems to blossom into genuine love until Daneka suggests that they visit her home country of Denmark where the horrors of her past threaten their happiness.

 

 

The Lover From An Icy Sea

 

by

 

Alexandra S. Sophia

 

 

 

ISBN
             
1466487429

EAN
             
978-1466487420

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

 

'The Lover From An Icy Sea' is published by That Right Publishing LLC who can be contacted at:

 

http://www.thatright.com

http://thatright.ning.com

 

'The Lover From An Icy Sea' is the copyright of the author, Alexandra S. Sophia, 2011. All rights are reserved.

 

All characters are fictional, and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is accidental.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

He grabbed his scarf—long, black, woolen; and his jacket—old, brown, leather; picked up his camera; opened the door; made a quick survey to ensure the burners were off, all lights turned out. For a man of modest means, living in a studio apartment in the East Village of New York City in the year 2003, an assessment of his material impact upon the world didn’t require much more than a backwards glance.

He closed and locked the door, then bounded down the steps directly to the building’s front door, camera strap hung over his shoulder. As he ran, he tied a loose knot in his scarf, just snug enough to cover the front of his neck against the wind.

Today was the epitome of brisk: clear skies, bright sun. A day, Kit thought, he should capture in pictures. As photography was how he made his living, this particular twenty-first day of May was one he’d decided he needed to bag. Days like this didn’t come often, and he wasn’t going to burn it in a dark room, in a library, in a movie theater, or even in some woman’s bed. Today, he was going out with his only weapon—his only means to an end—to hunt for the only game he cared to hunt: pictures.

He headed west towards the “N” or “R” line to take him uptown to Twenty-third Street, Madison Square. A quick stop at his studio to pick up gear, then back on the same line to take him north to Fifty-ninth Street, Columbus Circle—and the southwest corner entrance to Central Park. Maybe he’d change to an express train at Thirty-fourth, maybe not; he didn’t care. Five minutes with the one; eight to nine with the other. The faster he got there, the better. Light was everything to a photographer. And twilight—morning or evening—the best.

At the intersection of Third Avenue and St. Marks Place—Cooper Square—he ignored the pedestrian signal and headed out over the zebra. Halfway across, he noticed an oncoming car moving faster than he’d calculated, and which was heading south along the avenue. The car braked; the driver hit the horn; Kit jumped forward. His camera bag stayed and struck the car’s headlight.


Fuck!” he said in a well-tempered Pennsylvania whisper, inspecting first the outside of the bag, then carefully removing the camera.

The car came to a halt at the other end of the grid and pulled over to the curb. The driver jumped out and rushed to Kit’s side. He assessed the situation, saw at a glance that Kit hadn’t been hurt, then turned his eyes to the object of Kit’s attention.


Any damage?” he asked as he leaned in over Kit’s shoulder. Kit looked up. He instantly liked this man. Most drivers would’ve blamed the pedestrian; this man didn’t. This man ignored any assignment of responsibility and focused on possible consequences. Kit smiled at him.


Nah. You’ve just helped to clean the lens a bit. Good as new. Better. I dare say it’ll learn to mind where and how it walks in the future.”


If there’s any damage, any at all, we’ll pay to have it fixed.”

We?
Kit glanced for the first time at the car and at the license plate—a plate of few digits—then noticed a head and a bob of straight auburn hair against the headrest just inside the rear window. “Don’t even think about it,” he said, again smiling. At that moment, the passenger’s window motored slowly down. The figure inside—Kit could now make out that it was a woman—contorted just slightly as her head turned and slipped out to look at both of them.


Ron, is there a problem?” she asked loud enough to be heard over the din of traffic, but with nothing in her tone to suggest more than a perfunctory concern.


None, ma’am,” her driver shouted back.


Then perhaps we could once again get underway?” It was half-question, half-order. Kit didn’t miss the inflection in her voice or the double message behind it. At the same time, he took a moment to study her face: a bit severe in the bone structure and no longer fresh, yet remarkable in some indefinable way. If anyone had later asked him for a description based on this single visual check, he might’ve said “becoming.”


Becoming”
was the kind of word that came naturally to Kit.

She made an equally quick assessment—first of his camera, as it was the object of most immediate concern. She knew cameras, and she knew this one, even at twenty-five yards off. He was clearly no amateur. A cursory second assessment—but now of him—told her that he was also, if professional, probably not yet in his prime. Too young, too slovenly dressed—though slovenly-dressed passed for bohemian in this part of town, and bohemian passed for artsy. Bohemian could mean anything: rich or poor.  There was no way, then, to make an assessment of his wealth or of his success; hence, no reason for her to have an interest in his welfare—past, present or future.

She looked at him more carefully from the neck up. If a man could be called gorgeous, he was that. Not pretty, not a pretty boy by anyone’s definition. He was simply extremely good-looking—and masculine to the core. Chestnut-colored hair, slightly wavy; high cheekbones, but not too pronounced; straight, white teeth—she’d seen them in the rear-view mirror when he’d smiled at Ron. From this distance, she couldn’t make out his eye color—or, in the loose clothes he was wearing, any of his other body parts. He was reasonably tall, slender and compact. That much was clear.

She ducked her head back inside the car, at which point her driver offered an officious tip to the cap he wasn’t wearing. Probably something atavistic, Kit thought. Comes with the territory, if not directly with the job description. Kit just as perfunctorily returned the gesture in the form of a mock military salute and a third smile.

The driver turned, walked back to the car, got in. As he put the limo into gear, then moved it slowly out into traffic, the woman glanced again back through the window and saw that Kit was busy rearranging his camera bag and already stepping up to the curb at Astor Place in the direction of Fourth Avenue. The car, driver and woman continued south towards an unknown destination.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

Kit descended into the subway at Eighth and Broadway just as an “R” train arrived at the platform. The noise of its arrival was deafening, the cars packed. He waited patiently to the side as several passengers got off, then edged his way in and found little more than breathing space. To the extent he was able, he looked around for interesting faces or situations. Today, however, there was apparently nothing of note. And so he studied the ads over the subway seats—some well done; most, just cheap rip-offs of someone else’s creative efforts. With little of interest to look at and nothing to read, Kit was happy the trip to Twenty-third Street would be quick.

He was out and back up to street-level within minutes, then walked four blocks south from Madison Square to his studio located near the corner of Nineteenth Street and Fifth Avenue.

The neighborhood was home to bibliophiles and photographers alike. For their mutual benefit, daily and throughout the day, droves of drop-dead gorgeous women descended—if already successful—from cars driving down from the Upper East Side or in from Westchester County. Others ascended—if just starting out or only of catalog beauty—on foot from the Lower East Side or from subways coming in from Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx or New Jersey. He’d never heard of a model from Staten Island, but he’d been in the business for only ten years. He figured almost anything was possible in the fashion world: ‘anything’ might even one day include a lovely from Staten Island.

Kit knew that few of these women had grown up on the Upper East Side or in any of New York’s five boroughs for that matter. The supermodels might be from Stockholm, Milan, Paris or Tokyo—even, on rare occasions, from somewhere like Boise. They looked like a masterfully stirred martini of genes, nutrition and personal hygiene. Education didn’t necessarily figure into the mix, though some of them had an extra olive or onion’s worth of that, too. They promoted their bodies and their faces quite simply because they could. Nobody forced them to—though in Kit’s experience, very few could’ve managed on brains alone. If they were at least street-smart, or had a good manager, they might have a few years’ run and never ever have to work a titty-bar, the street, or a hotel room by the hour. They could simply retire on their savings and dividends—or land themselves a part-time gig as a trophy wife, hang out the rest of the time with the girls at the Club playing cards or just toying with a tan.

If they weren’t smart, didn’t have a good manager, or simply liked to burn or snort through the cash, well, then—it might be another story altogether, and usually not a very pretty one. From New York on a jet stream to L. A. or Vegas. To Atlantic City or points on an even less desirable compass if nature or bad habits had been unusually swift—then off to Miami, to one of the lesser Keys, or simply off the end of some isolated pier as soon as younger, fresher recruits could be hired, saddled and giddie-upped off to profits.

In any case, life on the modeling circuit was not gracious. You cut through it like a knife and claimed victory, or it cut through you and eventually cut you out. There were no mercy medals, VA hospitals or quiet retirement homes for those who’d been scarred in battle. Battered hearts were the fashion model’s equivalent of the soldier’s Purple Heart. But unlike a war hero’s medal, a Hallmark paean to a model’s freeze-dried heart wasn’t something that might find a spot on the mantle back home in Hoboken or even in the family’s annual Christmas card. A model’s Miss Lonelyhearts secret simply died—and died with her alone.

Kit was up the stairs to the first floor studio and in. The room already stirred as production jocks, make-up artists, and a whole crew of personal assistants readied the set for a shoot. He was happy to know it wasn’t his shoot today; he had more interesting things in mind than beautiful faces and bodies. He was here only to pick up film and an extra couple of lenses.

Mission accomplished, he headed back towards the front door. A step or two away from a quick exit, he was stopped by the arrival of a model. It was easy to spot them—even without make-up: glassy-eyed, flawless teeth and hair, usually tall—though not always—and casually dressed in designer skimp-ware. This one was no exception. He let her pass like a will-o’-the-wisp; ran down the stairs taking two or three steps at a time, then walked out of the building and back to the subway.

When he arrived at Columbus Circle and came up to ground level, he passed by a familiar scene on the way into the park: camera lights and production people; oceans of cable; big vans parked along Central Park West. Probably a film shoot or maybe just a TV commercial, he thought. In any case, he was no more interested in their activity than he was in the pigeons hustling about underfoot for breakfast crumbs.

BOOK: The Lover From an Icy Sea
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