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Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. 

-Malachy McCourt




"Am I really the only one who reads you like a book, you are so obvious. I see right through you."

"You don't know a thing about me."

I was pissed.

We'd been arguing for 24 hours now. It had started in the taxi around this time the day before. Caprio kept digging into me. He wouldn't let loose.

We had a busy day, going around the town being introduced to people in the fashion industry and modeling world. The fashion world was such a busy one. There were so many people to meet. There were so many names that I had to struggle to remember. I was working hard, not just for me but for Mauricio. He believed in me. I had to do anything I could to make sure I didn't disappoint him.

There were so many names though and Caprio was so damn annoying. But every moment we weren't using to sell ourselves was a moment that Caprio used to take a shot at me. Then he would put on his beautiful smile and think that everything was alright. I didn't get why he was so interested in it. Maybe because he was an annoying person and I had been obviously bothered by it.

"We both know what you are trying to hide," Caprio said.

He gave a look to Angelo, who was sitting on the couch. He had music in his ear and kept turning it up so not to hear us argue.

Kendall was on the phone walking around the penthouse as usual. He was constantly on the phone talking to some unknown girl. No one knew who she was. He was really taken by the entire conversation and kept complaining about us arguing because it was getting in the way of it.

Then there was Xi, who stood at the kitchen's island and watched us moving around the huge studio arguing with one another. Part of him didn't understand but I'm sure the little he did understand entertained him because he kept watching us like a daytime show.

"I don't know what you are talking about."
"Yes you do...I'm not going to say it and embarrass you, but you do know what I'm talking about."
I did know what he was talking about. Caprio was convinced that I wasn't in love with Mauricio and he felt like it was his absolute duty to keep rubbing it in and trying to get me to admit to it.

"Whatever, boy, you haven't even known me for a week."
Caprio laughed, "And I already figured you out. What does that say about you? Huh?"
"You haven't figured a thing."

"Then help me...let me know."

Kendall looked over at us, putting his mouth over the phone, "Caprio, can you please do me a favor and just leave him alone?"

Caprio looked over at him, "You got a room, Kendall."
"And so do I," I replied.

I walked outside of the room and decided to just resign to my bedroom. It was the only place that I got any privacy in this huge ass studio. I didn't have time to sit there and get all shook up by this.

As soon as I got in my bedroom and tried to shut the door, Caprio's foot was in it.

"What the hell!" I said, "Leave me alone."

He was annoying as hell. He had spent two days annoying me for no real reason. I just didn't get it.

"You are afraid. You are afraid and Mauricio accepts it. People are so used to being nice to you. They treat you like glass...because they are afraid you'll break."

I could feel the tears piling up in my eyes. Why was I letting Caprio get to me like this? I turned away from him and laid down flat on the bed. I put a pillow over my head. I couldn't take this.

I was crying under there. I didn't know if he realized, until I felt him get on the bed and then all of a sudden he was trying to pull the pillow away from me.

"Leave me the hell alone!" I shouted.

I hadn't realized how my voice broke. It was obvious now that he was upsetting me. It was obvious now that he was getting to me.

"You are South African right...have you ever heard Nelson Mandela's speech."
"I don't need a speech from anyone," I replied through the pillow.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?"

I swung the pillow at him.

His words were pissing me off. He put his arms up as though not wanting to fight but it was too late. All I could see was red. All I could see was the anger I was feeling.

"You just wouldn't leave me the hell alone!"
He backed up into the hall and he was laughing. He was fucking laughing! I couldn't believe him! He found this all amusing.

"I guess you don't want me to even finish the speech huh?"

"I hate you!"

It was all that I could think about saying. I hated him so much and I didn't know why? His aggressiveness was getting to me. I hated the way his lips curled. I hated the perfect way that he smiled. I hated his amusing sense of humor. I hated the way that he looked at me when he thought I wasn't looking...

He found the fact that I said I hated him even more amusing, "You don't hate me...you love me."

What the hell was he talking about? He laughed even further. I took another swing at him, causing him to trip over and almost bust his ass as he backed into the living room.

"Stand still bitch...I'll show you what I love about you."

He was moving back fast, "What you really want to fight me? Ha. Come on, be serious. Oh...you should stop making that mean face. Now you really are ugly."

He laughed. He was amused. He was so damn amused.

"You guys stop," Angelo stated.

Angelo had taken off his earphones and had realized us coming back in the room and the look on my face. I even saw Xi stand up with a look of concern on his face.

"It's him...you see my hands are up. I give up. I throw in the white flag," Caprio stated.

"You think I'm afraid! Of what? You!"

"No...of yourself!"

I took a swing at him. I was surprised that this time it landed. I hit him right in his stomach. I could see Caprio bend over, looking paralyzed for a minute.

He coughed out hard as hell.

"That's what the hell you get," I stated as I watched him struggle. There was no longer a smile over his face either.

That was when Caprio charged at me. He charged at me like a linebacker. He grabbed me off my feet and charged me into the nearest wall which was kind of far away. My back slammed hard into the wall.

I was so pissed off that I didn't even feel it. I started to hit him in his face as he held me pinned to the wall. My hands were flailing wildly. I didn't know where this was coming from. I had never been a brawler. I really hadn't but now I was hitting him like I'd fought all my life. All I could see was red.

They broke us up. Kendall, Xi and Angelo had gotten over to us to break up the fight and separate us. They kept us on both sides of the walls.

Xi had to hold me, literally. If he didn't hold on tight to me, I knew I would run across the room and attack Caprio again. He had pissed me off so damn much.

Kendall seemed more pissed that he had dropped his phone call more then anything, "You damn kids. I can't believe this! What the hell is going on?"

Caprio was laughing. He had bent over and was breathing hard. He was obviously in pain and his lip was bleeding. He stopped laughing and puckered his lip to kiss at me from across the room. He was still teasing me!

"Fuck you!" I stated trying to run over to him again but Xi held me even tighter.

Angelo put his arms down, "Listen, why doesn't everyone just cool off? We can't let Mauricio find out that you guys are here fighting. This is wack. He worked hard as hell to get all of you out here!"

There it was again. Angelo was the youngest out of all of us. Barely at 14, he was saying things that made so much sense. By the mere mention of Mauricio, I found myself calming down. Angelo was right. Mauricio had done to get us a place like this and I was here fighting.

"I just want to be left alone," I replied.

Angelo gave us a look as he stood between us his hands outstretched, "That is reasonable. Caprio can you just leave him alone."

"Fine whatever," Caprio stated.

"Is it too much to ask for an apology?"


Caprio's apology was so fake. I knew it was. He knew that I knew it was because as he looked me in my eyes, another beautiful Caprio smile spread across his face.

Kendall stepped forward, "This is retarded. I'm sick of this! Caprio you are over here pretending like Tatum is the male version of Twiggy. He's not! He's probably not going to get anywhere anyway. Why the hell do we all have to constantly hear you feed him all your bullshit?"

Fuck...there was stab through my heart.

I shook Xi off but not to go at Caprio, but to go back to my room. This time I locked the door. I was way too worked up to be in that room at the time. I couldn't even fault Kendall for saying what he said. He was right. Caprio kept trying to push a situation that didn't even exist and just when he was starting to get to me I was pulled back into reality.





The next day, I woke up to a phone call from Mauricio. He told us all to head to Sephora because we were going to get a lesson on how to put on our own make-up just in case a make-up artist wasn't around at a shoot or anything.

I got out of bed and looked at the mirror. God... I hated what I saw. It just didn't make any sense that my skin was this ugly tone. Why wasn't it like Caprio's beautiful skin tone? His skin was a bronze color as though the golden sun had decided to take a dip in chocolate. It was beautiful. Why couldn't I have Kendall's nose? He had the perfect nose. It was pointed beautifully, not curved like mine.

"You heard Kendall...you'll never amount to anything," the mirror devil stated.

"I know. You don't have to remind me."

"Yes I do have to remind you," the mirror devil explained to me, "You are still around. Why not just give up? Why not just leave? Why embarrass yourself?"


"You think he loves you? Have you noticed how he and Caprio seem so close? I'm sure you have. First friends, then like a brother. They get closer and closer. What's next? Lover?"

"Caprio's straight."

"He told YOU that he was straight, but he is in the modeling industry, surrounded by gay people all the time. Look how comfortable he is with the lifestyle. You never thought it might even slightly cross his mind?"

The mirror devil was right...again. He always was right. Caprio was so free minded. Being in New York and working with the fashion industry had exposed him to homosexuals daily. He must have been exposed to gay lifestyle.

After getting ready, I came out for breakfast expecting to see everyone there, but the only person that was there was Angelo.

"Hey...you woke up late like me."

I looked at the time. Damn, I didn't even realize it. He had a pop tart in his hand and threw one at me.

We left for Sephora. The others had left earlier and we were rushing over to it. It was just a train ride away which was good, but we were really kind of late which I felt was an issue. I was never the type to be late.

The subway ride seemed like it was taking forever. Angelo of course, being the brain child he was had taken us however so I was pretty comfortable that I wasn't going to get lost or anything like that.

"Don't worry; we're jut a little fashionably late."

"I'm never this late," I replied.

I couldn't believe it. I felt like I was letting Mauricio down. I felt like a failure. I felt like I usually did.

"It's cool. This happens. You probably just got worked up about yesterday."

"Caprio is such an asshole. Isn't he?"

Angelo shook his head, "No he's cool. He really is. You just got to get to know him. He's funny."

"He's a clown."

Angelo laughed, "You two really go at it. He brings you out of character. He's going about it in a weird way but I think he wants to say what we all have been saying. He just believes in you."


"Yeah... I mean, him and Kendall were arguing yesterday after you went to your room. He really wanted Kendall to take back his statement...but you know Kendall."


Kendall felt like he was on the top of the world. He was more then conceited. He felt like he was going to be a legend. He was probably right though. They would love him in Europe. He fit right in with the British or the Italians famous bachelors.

"I think Caprio just wants the best for you."

"Why? He doesn't know me."

"That is the weird part about it too. I just don't understand why he feels like it's his personal mission to critique you. Still...it doesn't come from a bad place."

"It's not his mission. It never will be either. I just want him to leave me alone. That's it."


We arrived at Sephora just in time for the second half of the lesson. We were being instructed by two beautiful women who Kendall, Xi and Caprio seemed to already be flirting with. Mauricio was standing around watching and he was the only one that noticed us. He smiled over to me welcoming me.

"Hey can you teach me how to put rouge on your other cheek?" I had heard Caprio ask one of the women as we just entered.


She moved the brush from her right cheek to her left.

"No...I wanted to see it on your `other' cheeks," he stated.

He stared down at her butt. The two women immediately started to laugh, blushing at the fact that a handsome guy like Caprio was flirting with them.

"Hi. Hi!" Xi stated as he saw Angelo and us walk in.

I smiled at Xi. Caprio and I exchanged looks, but then we both faced the other direction almost at the same time. I couldn't take looking at him. It was so damn annoying seeing him like I was.

We hadn't spoken the entire time we were at the make up place. He didn't turn to slightly look my way and I wasn't giving in either. Fuck Caprio.




Mauricio took me out to lunch in Soho when the afternoon came. It was the only time that we were spending alone for such a long time. I did miss the time I spent with Mauricio. As we ate, I couldn't help but thinking about how pissed off I was about the night before though.

"Is anything wrong?" he asked.

I remembered Angelo had told everyone that Mauricio didn't need to hear about us bickering. He was right and it wasn't a surprise that anyone kept it a secret from Mauricio.
"No. Why do you ask/"

"Baby you've been quiet, like something is bothering you."

He reaches across the table and puts his hand across my face. He feels all over my cheek and rubs them softly. I can't help to be comforted as Mauricio smiles back at me, hypnotizing me with his eyes.

"Nothing," I reply.

"Cheer up. I got some good news."


"I know that you may not be ready for a runway yet. I figured you need more experience discovering your look. Plus I want a few more body shots for your portfolio."


"Yes...I need to put together a solid portfolio of your pictures. And your composite card has nothing but face shots. We need some pictures. Of course you aren't ready for nude shots. It's necessary. I want you in high fashion modeling. Maybe underwear for now. We have Angelo and Caprio for the commercial stuff. "

"I can't pose in underwear, do you see me?"

"Your body is perfect. You are toned. You have the perfect model's body Tatum. No bulging muscles, but slim and healthy. It looks natural."

"Mauricio...who are you looking at?"

I looked at him like he was crazy. Sometimes I wondered if he was. He was my agent and my boyfriend. There were two reasons that he needed to believe in me, but still he couldn't be serious about my body. I had no chest at all.

"I see a model that can compete with models from top agencies like Ford, Elite and IMG. That includes your body. I wonder what you see..."

"I can't."


"I just can't do it," I stated and looked away.

"I'll make it a private shoot. Only person there will be the photographer. Hell, I'll hire another model to do the shoot with you. That way you won't feel like you are the only one naked."

God...he was doing anything he could to help me.

"Give me a week."

"Tatum. This is the modeling business. We don't have a week. I need to do bookings. I need to get you ready."

"I still need a week at the gym."

I wasn't about to just jump into it. I was horrified. I looked at Mauricio. I knew he was going to give me my way as he did a slow disapproving nod.

Before I knew it though, Mauricio was back to his business...as always. He had to run. Run meant in other words that he was going to head back to work, booking events for Kendall and everyone else. Everyone else...but me.

I just simply wasn't ready.




I didn't know if a week was going to be enough time. Angelo was the one who was actually helping me the most.

I ate 3 regular sized meals and 5 smalls meals. Most were just proteins, fruits and vegetables. Carbs no longer existed to me.

I drank 9 bottles of water a day. Angelo said it would help out with my skin and seeing how clear his skin was, I believed him.

Then there was my skincare regime. Scrub, cleanser, toner, moisturizer. The


I got my teeth whitened. Mauricio helped pay for it. I needed for them to be perfectly white.

Then there was the cardio and toning. I did as much as possible...none stop and

left only room for my muscles to heal before I started up again.


Mauricio dragged us out to an industry party on Friday. It was supposed to be work. I had rather been home getting my rest cause I'd been working out all day. My body was sore as hell.

I felt even more uncomfortable with the fact that Angelo couldn't come. He was the only one I really talked to when we all went out. Mauricio was always too busy being Mauricio. He walked around trying to get in good with some big dogs...trying to sell us. I didn't even know who these people were. I did know that they were beautiful though. There were so many beautiful people at this party.

He introduced me to so many people. People from the world of high fashion. The high fashion world was nearly unattainable for the average model. I didn't know how Mauricio expected to do it, but he did...somehow.

I was left alone. Caprio and Kendall seemed to be having a ball there. They were mixing throughout the people, socializing.

I didn't know the first thing about networking.

"Horrible isn't it?"

I turned around. I hadn't noticed who it was until I did. It was Catherine Daas. I had smiled. I didn't know much about the modeling world, but Catherine Daas was someone exremely known. She was a household name. She was one of the dozen or so supermodels. She was...beautiful.

"What is horrible?"

I was trying my best not to gawk and make it seem like I wasn't a fan. She had been on the cover of Vogue however. She smiled. She looked around. The party was crowded. Everyone had on their best. Everyone seemed to be networking.

"The industry. There's only one. Look at all the beautiful dreamers. Some of them will sell their souls by the end of the day for a shot."

"Dreams are all of some of them have."

"See, look over there at the the woman with the Chanel on. Her name is Ms. Sania. Her husband made her millions. Now she is the main editor of Vogue magazine. She is like God to these models."

Catherine Daas was right. Ms. Sania was a mature woman who sat with her legs crossed at a table nearby. She was being approached by all these people who she paid no attention to at all. Beside her was a pretty girl...not a modeling type girl. No this girl was much too short to be a model and her she had a more adorable look, then a modeling look.

"Who is that next to her?" I asked Catherine.

She smiled, "Her daughter. That's the way in. These idiots don't know. Why don't you go ahead. Don't be afraid. I'll introduce you to her."

She grabbed me by my hand but all of a sudden I was really afraid to budge. I didn't trust her. I looked around to see where Mauricio was. He wasn't anywhere close.

"Why do you want to help me?" I ask her.

"Just cause...you're interesting."

I didn't budge. I didn't believe her. It was either that or I was horrified by fear. There was no way I could see myself going over to such important people without Mauricio. I had a feeling I would make a damn fool of myself. She gave me a hard look.

"Listen, please do me this favor," she asked, "Don't tell her...but she wanted me to come over here and lead you to her. I guess she finds you interesting..."

I had not noticed anyone had paid attention to me at all. I'd been standing at the same spot since we arrived at the party trying to my best to fit in. I guess I didn't though. I guess I still stuck out like a sore thumb.

I hesitated. I really hesitated, but then I looked over at the young girl. Her face was innocent. She didn't look like she could hurt a fly.

"Please...I'll reference you, look give me your phone," she said and took my phone where she inserted her phone number, "Just call me and I'll reference you. Do you know what the reference from a top model like me could mean for your career? All you have to do is go...talk to her."

I couldn't understand why she was so desperate. You would think she was somewhat afraid or something. I didn't completely get it.

"Alright..." I finally agreed, but only because the girl who I was supposed to go see seemed very approachable.

We walked across the party. She held my hand and as I turned around I realized I had gained attention from a few people. Catherine Daas was a tall beautiful giant amazon and the fact that she was hand in hand with me seemed to be an eye-opener. I felt important for some reason. Then I noticed Caprio and Kendall. They had noticed me too. Kendall looked bothered for some reason but Caprio just looked somewhat confused.

I walked up to this area. It had to be VIP or something. These people weren't socializing at much. They seemed to just be enjoying themselves. The labels they were were the top labels. They wore Salvatore Ferragamo, Miu Miu, Yves Saint Laurent and Emilio Pucci. Everything was so recognizable to me. I'd seen the pieces in magazines. The unnattainable pieces that I'd only seen scrummaging on internets and dreaming.

"This is Wednesday Montague," Catherine Daas brought me up to the girl and introduced us.

I was dumbfounded, "Montague? As in Rich Montague?"

She smiled and extended her hand to shake. I could see the diamond ring in her hand. It was a huge diamond ring...bigger than anything.

"Yes...as in Rich Montague. He is the owner of Ford modeling agency. We just got married not too long ago."


I never thought I would shake the hands with someone who knew Rich Montague. He was the executive owner of the top modeling agency in the world. I had read an article that he owns 98% of the shares in the modeling agency. He was rich...filthy rich and yet the man was older. This innocent little schoolgirl was barely out of school and Rich Montague ahd to be in his late 70s.

"Come sit," she said.

She grabbed me and pulled me down then smiled. She had a really nice smile that said she wasn't even part of some backstabbing world that was around us. Her smile was welcoming and almost inviting.

"Not that there's anything wrong, but I'm surprised you would take interest in me. I just started this whole modeling thing...and..."

"Hush...I'm not one of these `industry' people. Besides the fact that my mother is editor of Vogue and my husband is the CEO of Ford, I really don't much even care for this industry. I just found you interesting how you seemed to keep away from it all too...I wanted to make friends."

She smiled. Her smile was warm.


We talked for a while. I got to know her very well. She had graduated the top of her class and met Montague through a friend of the family. She said that despite his age, he was actually a great husband. Wednesday was interesting. Her conversation wasn't deep. It wasn't some great intellectual discussion but it was comforting. It was comforting to know that beauty and money weren't the only things on these people's minds.

"You're gay aren't you?"

"How did you know that?"

I never saw myself as being feminine, but then again I wouldn't be surprised if others did and just didn't mention it before.

She smiled and shrugged, "I had some experience around gay people. Don't worry, once, I kissed a girl and I liked it; taste of her cherry chapstick."

I laughed. She amused me as she sung. She seemed so real. She was innocent, not corrupted by the world that she was around and it felt good.

By the end of the night I didn't want to leave. She gave me my number and I promised to call. I would to. I smiled as I walked away and joined Mauricio. I could see his suspicious look as we left.



"Why did you need to talk to her?" he asked.

He was jealous. I could tell he was jealous. Mauricio had been jealous before. He'd tried his best to make it public by waiting till we got home and taking me to my bedroom, but by the shadows around the door, it was clear we had eavesdroppers.

"She was nice."

"What did she like you? Was she trying get with you or some shit? Yo you have to be fucking with me!"

Mauricio was getting out of his professional mode. He was now just jealous Mauricio. I had to admit. It was kind of sexy to see him do that.

"You all were socializing all night."

"We were socializing about business. Do you know who her husband is? Her husband is the competition."

I wanted to laugh almost. We DEFINITELY were not competing with Ford Models. Bella Verino's had gone a long way but we were still far from that competing with the likes of Rich Montague.

"I'm just friends with her."
"I don't trust her. She is pulling something. She noticed how attractive you are. She saw your bone structure. She saw potential."

"She isn't even in the modeling thing like that. That is her husband...not her. As far as if she's trying to be with me sexually or something, I'm gay...you know that Mauricio."

I touched him on his arm. He smiled as I did and he began to kiss me. He kissed me softly and thoroughly, massaging my lips with his tongue. I felt Mauricio squeeze me and pull me close. He pulled me so close that I felt his chest and the silk dress shirt that he was wearing. He felt so good.

"I'm sorry," he stated, kissing me once again, "I just want to protect you, baby. I couldn't stand for you to be taken away from me...in any way...by anyone."

"No one can take me away," I promised.

I hugged him tightly. It felt so comforting. I always was comfortable around Mauricio. A part of me felt like he could never hurt me. No ... that wasn't what I was worried about.

I worried about hurting him.



"Just go in there and take off all your clothes. Then put this on."

The photographer was ordering me around. He was a tall man. I had thought Mauricio would be there, but once again Mauricio was busy working for us. He was always so damn busy! I needed him. I needed his support. I didn't know what to do.

"Where's the rest of them?"

He looked confused, "That's it."

I looked down at the underwear. They were tiny briefs. I had no idea how they would be able to fit my package, let alone my butt.

"I can't..." I stated, horrified at the little package. I would look fucking crazy in those. I didn't understand why I had to do it.

"You know what. You've been difficult ever since I got in here. I don't work with amateurs...I'll give Mauricio back his money and..."

"No wait...wait. Where's the other model?"

I looked around. I didn't feel comfortable with just having him in the room watching me with nothing but these little ass underwear on. I knew Mauricio would send someone he trusted.

"He's already changing. Worry about yourself. Are you going to take these shots or not? I have other things to do."

"Ok," I stated...my voice shaking as I did.

I went in the dressing room and started to change. As I put on the underwear, I realized just how tight they were. They imprinted everything. It was just as I thought it would be. The front fit fine, but the back was a fucking mess.

My butt looked gigantic in the underwear. I didn't have a tight butt like Mauricio did. My butt was had so much fat that it refused to be muscly. I hated how big it was. I wasn't in a Beyonce video...I was a model. I HATED MY BUTT!

I walked out of there. I had to find a way to hide the size of my butt. It was so pick that my cheeks were sneaking out of it. It was a fucking wedgie mess and I knew it would be! I should have never done it. I should have never came out here like this.

It was too late now. Mauricio had paid money. God, if I didn't want to disappoint Mauricio I would have run out of the place faster then lightning.

As I came in there...I saw the sculpture of a God laying in front of the camera, in a laying position, balanced on his elbow ith one leg propped up.

There were bronze chiseled abs, that led to the perfect v. No ounce of hair traced is stomach and his inner thighs were muscle. His ass was the ideal size...not too small and not too big. His arms were perfectly shaped.

He had this undeniable sexiness to him.

It was none other then Caprio.

His eyes met mine. He glanced over my body once and then twice. The third time he looked over my body he landed on my package and it stayed there. It made me wonder. Then he smiled at me before turning to the photographer.

"I think he might have to lose that boner. It's going to stretch his underwear isn't it? Honestly, I just don't want to be poked by it during the shoot...please..."
I looked down and realized my dick had gotten hard from staring at Caprio the way that I was staring at him. Fuck, this was embarrassing. This was past embarrassing.

Things couldn't have gotten any worse for this photoshoot...or could they?