Our Star-Crossed Kiss (The Rooftop Crew #4) by Piper Rayne

Chapter One


“My fiancé would die if he knew I was here with you.”

I wish I could say I’m surprised to hear my client say this, but every bridal session I shoot, the woman says that sentence almost verbatim.

“Well he’s going to know once you show him these pictures, but he’ll be too distracted to care.” I chuckle and snap a picture of her spread eagle, dressed in white lace and satin lingerie.

She giggles and I click the shutter five times in a row to catch her head tipped back, smile wide and happy. That’s a keeper.

Being a boudoir photographer isn’t my first choice, but desperate times call for desperate measures. At first, I worried I’d be sporting a hard-on all day, but luckily, my clients are clients and that’s all I see them as. I’ve come to enjoy watching their confidence grow during our sessions.

I rarely want to nail any of them. I say rarely because hello, I’m a man. A single man, I’ll add. I’d be lying if I said never and lying’s not my thing. My brother does it enough for the both of us.

But as my client, Lizzy, sticks her tits into the air, I’m not even slightly aroused. Mostly because my mind is preoccupied by a certain brunette.

“Let’s have you roll over now. Stick your ass in the air a bit.”

Who else gets to say this shit at work? Other than a porn director.

My assistant changes the lighting, knowing exactly what I’m looking for. I’d never photograph a client without someone else in the room, preferably another woman. Having witnesses fends off any potential lawsuits or having someone misconstruing things. It keeps everything professional, not to mention easier.

A knock on the door stops me as I’m about to step up on a ladder to shoot Lizzy from above.

“Can you see who that is, Madison?” I ask my assistant.

It’s a small boudoir photography studio, so only Madison and I are here. We tell our clients if the red light is on outside the door, just have a seat and we’ll be with them soon. If someone knocks, I might duck out during a change break—you wouldn’t believe some of the outfits these women bring to fulfill their loved ones’ fantasies.

Madison closes the curtain that conceals the area I’m shooting in before she opens the door. She only gets it open a crack before someone pushes it forward and she falls to her ass.

“Oh sorry, dear,” my mom says.

“Mom! I’m in a session.” I pull the curtain shut to fully enclose Lizzy, but my mom must have started her walking regimen again because she beats me before I can hide my client.

“You’re a beauty. Oh no, don’t hide on my account. Flaunt what you got going on because thirty years later and you’re looking at the aftermath.” My mom runs her hands down her body.

“Mom, I’m with a client.” My fingers tighten around my camera.

“Why thank you.” Lizzy blushes. I’d snap a picture if that wasn’t weird.

“Trust me, your husband is going to love this. My son is the best photographer in the world.” Mom raises her hand, her finger and thumb ready to pinch my cheeks.

What can I say, I’m a momma’s boy. Not the “I live in her basement and she washes and folds my laundry” kind. But her happiness means a lot to me, and she puts me on a pedestal I’m not really deserving of. I think it’s just that compared to my brother, I’m a prince. Not a prince like Adrian, but you get what I mean.

“You can stay,” Lizzy says, seeming to enjoy having an audience.

My mom takes the invitation and sits in Madison’s chair.

I roll my eyes. “Give us a moment, Lizzy.” I put my finger in the air and politely nod toward the door for my mom to follow.

She sighs but does stand. “Can I give you some advice from an old lady?” Lizzy has no time to answer before my mom speaks. “Night cream is a must, even when you’re exhausted. Stay out of the sun and never smoke. And if you do it right, your sex life is exercise enough.”

I gag while Madison laughs.

My mom shakes her head. “My son likes to think he was brought into this world by immaculate conception.”

Lizzy and Madison share a humorous look. I’m so happy they find my mom so funny.

“Mom,” I say with a bite in my tone.

She waves to Lizzy. “Sorry for interrupting. Remember, you’re beautiful and sexy and”—she waves away my impatient sigh—“you can be strong and brave too. Speak your mind and never keep anything inside.”