There’s a stirring in the atmosphere, and Dean appears in front of me. It’s a shame he can’t get a celestial choir to accompany his movements. He’s dressed in a pair of faded jeans that cling to his long legs, bright red flip-flops, and a huge T-shirt that advertises a South London constabulary fun run. He’s also wearing rather incongruously a pair of bright blue Ray-Ban sunglasses. He removes the glasses and smiles at me, his brown eyes limpid and warm.
“You came. I thought you were in New York. I’m so glad to see you,” he says happily, his South London accent skipping along the vowels and consonants. It’s always a shock to hear him talk. To look at him, you’d think he’d speak like Colin Firth. But instead, he hails from Streatham with a detour to the wilds of Yorkshire as a child. Vocally, you can’t get any further away from Colin.
“Of course, I came,” I snap. “I had a phone call telling me one of my best and most troublesome models was in the cells.”
“I rang Pip. Why did you come?”
I think of my sassy assistant. “Well, unfortunately for you, Pip was in the Pink Flamingo and already extremely drunk when he took your call. He then rang me, and it took me ten minutes to get any sense out of him, and I’m using that word under advisement. I was treated to a discourse on the bloke he was with and then told, and I quote, that he was just about to get some, so he was passing the Jacobs baton onto me. Happy days. To top the scrumptious evening off, he then forgot to hang up his phone, and I was treated to five minutes of the opening act.” I shake my head. “I could have lived a long time not knowing what my PA sounds like when he’s getting ploughed.”
He laughs and then grins at me. It’s a lazy smile that illuminates his face and softens his eyes, and without fail, it makes my heart skip a beat. As if on cue, the wretched organ jumps about like a fish on the line. I stand up abruptly. “Come on,” I say tersely. “I only got back a few hours ago. My bed is calling my name very loudly.”
Unfortunately, Dean doesn’t step back, and our bodies brush. His is very warm, and I can smell green tea from his cologne. “I bet I could call it louder,” he says in a very sultry voice.