I’ll have to come clean with you on this one: when I had finished this book, had it edited and proof-read, and finally had it up on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all the other distributors… it didn’t sell. Well, I only sold one copy in the first week. And two copies in the second week. I began to wonder whether anyone had found something particularly offensive in the free first chapter (like voyeurism… watching a co-worker masturbating whilst watching two other co-workers copulating). And I withdrew the book and “rested” it for a couple of months.
Then, without revising it, I thought damn it, let’s put it up again and see what happens. And it’s turned out to be very popular. You never can tell!
Much of what I write is based on my own experiences or what I’ve heard over the years. Having read Dirty Pictures, you’re bound to wonder – Is there a law firm in London which contains a basement where the staff can go for free-for-all sex? Well? Gentle reader, my lips are sealed. But, to borrow a couple of lines from a conversation in The New Client,
“People [working all hours in law firms] find it relatively easy to find themselves falling in love with co-workers. This might sound silly to you now but, trust me, it does happen.”
I can certainly vouch for that. No, it never happened to me (I was happily married already) but it was going on around me all the time.
By now, you’ll have realised that I love erotic art – not necessarily pornography – and it turns up time and again in some of my stories – A Close Match (heroine likes to draw), Jack, Me… and His Lodger (“lodger” teaches art and is an art historian – she’s the heroine in Needing Her, Needing Him). I can give you a confident promise that erotic art in one form or another will be re-appearing in a few more titles in the future.
Finally, there’s a strand running through this story: sexual blackmail. It's the first time I’ve ever used it. I hope you enjoy it – and look out for Sally in another title I’ve written – No Way Out – she was too nasty a character to keep for just one book.
Here's the story:
Melanie, a legal secretary, is a key member of a team in a law firm that is head-hunted by a competitor. She falls in love with a senior associate who also is a talented artist with a portfolio of erotic pictures. She is invited to model for him and, when he is moved to their office in Germany, she finds herself blackmailed by a female lawyer who wants to use her for her own sexually perverted ends.
How can Melanie escape from the horrible treadmill that her nemesis has set up for her?
That afternoon, something unexpected happened. I was sitting with Simon Green at his desk, going through a complicated document that needed wholesale revision. Simon was the other associate on Larry’s team. He broke off from what he was saying and, out of the blue, asked me “How about coming out with me this Saturday?”
I was unprepared for this, and had to think of an appropriate reaction – and quickly. “I’m very flattered, Simon, but – as I’m sure you know – Vernon Carpenter and I are going out together.”
“Yes, I know, Melanie. But Vernon’s in Berlin and you’re here. Unless you fly out to Germany every weekend to see him?”
“No, of course not.”
“So how about a little fun? I’m sure you deserve it. I’ve seen how hard you work here. And we’re still keeping fun in our family, so to speak.”
I chuckled. “You make it sound like incest! The answer is still No, Simon. But thanks anyway.” I smiled but hoped he’d realise that my reply was final.
Before the end of the day, I was cornered at the water cooler by Sally. She had crept out of nowhere – I had tried to avoid her all day, unless there was a crowd of other people around.
“I heard Simon tried to date you.”
There was no warm preface like ‘Hi, how are you? Sorry I hurt you on Friday.’ She went straight in with something about Simon’s approach to me. I remained silent.
“I’ve been trying to get a date with him ever since I started here,” she continued. “I’d do anything to get a date with that guy.”
“I have, several times. And he always makes excuses.”
“There’s plenty more fish in the sea, Sally.”
“But I want that fish. I’ve paid for sex before, and I’m prepared to pay for it again. Especially with him. I’ve got an idea. We could make up a foursome. You could go back to Simon and say you’ve changed your mind. Fix a date with him, tell me when it is, then I’ll find one of the tame guys here and persuade him to come out with me, and we can make up a foursome. But don’t say anything to Simon about that – it’ll be a nice surprise for him.”
“I don’t like the idea.” I moved to turn back to my desk, but she grabbed my arm.
“You don’t have to like the idea, Melanie. I know about those dirty pictures, remember? Just fix the date with Simon, and I’ll fix the rest. If I get to have sex with him, you get a bonus. Remember I said I’m prepared to pay for sex.”
“I’m not going back to Simon to plead for a date.”
“I think you should. I know too much.”
I walked back to my desk. I was less concerned about the revealing portrait of me. But if she spread the story round about Vernon’s pose in the picture, I could never look him in the eye again. It would be the end of our relationship, and I couldn’t let that happen. I didn’t feel I could go to the partners here, as I’d just joined the firm and I’d be marked as a trouble-maker. In only a few weeks, Sally had appointed me to be the office pimp.
That's all for this time - there'll be more to follow soon!
email: rc (at) rachelcray (dot) com