The tone between the two of them has always been great. In their industry, shyness is not an option, or it could end your career. Better get comfortable right away. Being open is a given. If the photographer, director, designer or whoever says to get down and dirty? You do it. Get intimate with a stranger you met three minutes ago in a crowded dressing room? You do it.
These two are far from strangers though. They are both experienced in modeling and working together alike. Having done so much work together, they have even come to resemble one another. Another thing to expect in their industry is that people will want to change your look at any given time.
At present, the two of them are both blonds, and their similar physiques and features often result in being booked to work together.
At present, they’re in a hotel in Nagoya, together with some model colleagues-turned-friends. All of them are there for work, but the first night of the weekend is set aside for pure relaxation and recovering from traveling. After a few hours of exploring the local neighborhood, braving the damp, stifling air, they have all returned back to the hotel, ready to sleep. The rooms are shared, and there’s two to a bed.
Their friend, who is lucky enough to be the odd number, is already fast asleep in his single bed; his face burrowed in a fluffy, white pillow. Only his black curly hair is visible in the slight gap between duvet and pillow.
The two blonds share the other bed, but neither of them are sleeping. This is not unfamiliar to them – they’re used to similar scenarios. There’s been many a shoot where they’ve had to get this close to each other, and far from the first time they’ve shared sleeping quarters. Actually, it’s somewhat of a treat; they get along great, to the point where it gets on other people’s nerves, since the two of them will lay awake chatting all night if nobody stops them – as if they were on a school field trip.
And though they both take their work seriously, they’re always joking around on the job if they can find the time; laughing and chatting, messing about on set between shoots or after the work has ended for the day. Both make regular appearances on the other person’s social media.
But not tonight.
An almost eerie quiet fills the room, only disrupted by the soft breathing of their roommate in the other bed, only centimeters away.
The two blonds are lying face to face on the bed, gazing at one another. Not one word is spoken.
Something is different.
Neither man has mentioned it, but they can both sense it. It is in the air; vibrating in the spaces between them, causing the hair on their arms to stand up, as if caressed by a slight chill, opposing relaxation. And yet, there is something irrefutably natural about it all. It is as if they are rediscovering each other. Seeing oneself in the other; and although it is to a certain extent like looking into a mirror, there are subtle differences: One’s hair is longer, his features sharper. The other has a rounder face, fuller lips. Their backgrounds are similar, but miles apart. They’re both stunning, at the top of their game – and yet fumbling, growing.
They know each other well enough to share an almost brotherly relationship – but there is nothing brotherly about this moment.
There is an eroticism to it, although they aren’t touching. Both of them are covered up to their chests by the thin duvet, one arm resting on top of the covers. Both modestly sleeping in underwear. Now and again their toes will brush, as if accidentally, underneath the duvet. One of them may smile a little.
Wordlessly, they continue to stare at one another – while everything is written in the air surrounding them. Only they know, and words are obsolete.
For now, it is their secret. Their treasure.
Minutes pass, the two young men remaining in the same way, perhaps shifting towards the middle of the bed – nonchalantly. Purposely.
Two blond heads rest on the same pillow. Eye contact never breaking.
Finally, their hands are close enough for their fingertips to brush. Small sparks – jolts of electricity. Gentle strokes of slim, elegant fingers, back and forth, enticing a soft, tickling sensation, spreading out from the digits to the rest of their bodies.
They exchange shy smiles.
Their fingers intertwine. Hands gently clasp each other, and hold.
How much time has passed? Outside the sets of heavy hotel curtains and blinds, the sun is beginning to show the first signs of arising.
Nagoya is still sleeping. They are still awake.
Stubborn darkness still hangs onto the dawning sky.
Underneath the duvet, warmth radiates between their chests. Far away, their friend is still sound asleep.
Perfectly in sync, just as natural as if it had been for work, on cue, their hands clutch just a little harder, as their lips finally meet.
This is not work, it is not play. This is natural.
This is real.