The following is a fictional parody, not approved of, nor authorized by, the celebrities named. None of the events are true. No harm is intended toward the celebrities named.

The Make-up Artist #4
Stephanie Rose

I pulled up in the hotel shuttle van and beheld the majestic Palms Hotel. My plane touched down nearly an hour ago and I marveled at the golden sunrise that framed the Las Vegas skyline. Though it was early Sunday morning, the air was electric and I absorbed every bit of the energy that radiated from the city streets.

I was amazed at my good fortune. "Lady Luck? You with me, Mama?" I teased. I was definitely looking forward to completing this job, earning a considerable fee and gaining even more recognition as a makeup artist.


The past few months had been pretty damn awesome. I started my makeup artistry company in New York City, averaging about one or two jobs a week. I even scored jobs working with the incredible Beyonce Knowles and the extremely talented Ciara.

When I was new to being self-employed, that was about all I could handle. Once I became much more comfortable and had much more confidence in my work, I needed new challenges and more of them.

After a couple of months of steady work in New York's fashion industry doing smaller photo shoots and fashion shows, I got a lucky break. I scored a job in Miami working with Gabrielle Union. Soon after, I decided to relocate there. The water, the beaches, the sun, the warmth and the atmosphere all made me feel like I was in paradise.

Fortunately, I was able to snag many makeup artistry jobs in Miami. I busied myself with the numerous smaller-scale fashion shows, photo shoots, conventions and other events that were always being held in the Magic City.

I also started developing outlines for several projects I wanted to complete one day. I wanted to design both a how-to book and a DVD series that would teach various makeup techniques. I loved beautifully styled women, so I thought it would be the perfect outlet for my passion. I also wanted to form my own cosmetics company and develop a makeup line that featured rich, vibrant colors for medium to darker skin tones. I even thought about designing a calendar based on my best pictures.

Now I was in Las Vegas doing makeup for an international pop star at a worldwide music event. After the fast-pace of NYC and the busyness of Miami, I was ready for the ultimate in excitement. And where better to experience that than here in Vegas?

MTV was hosting the 2007 Video Music Awards here at the Palms. The VMAs, as they were popularly known, were always a wild event, and totally unpredictable. All types of people, from musicians to athletes to models to everyday folk, would descend on Sin City to party their asses off.


As I was about to let myself out of the vehicle, the door opened.

The sharply dressed concierge greeted me with a warm smile and a small bouquet of flowers. "Ms. Nikii Clarke?"


"Welcome to the Palms Hotel. We've been expecting you. How was your flight?"

"Great, thanks," I said, as he helped me step out of the van.

"Ms. Milian is upstairs and she's expecting you. Once you check in, we'll bring your bags and show you to your room."

I smiled when I heard her name. Christina Milian, the international pop and R &B star, was asked to host the pre-show for the VMAs. Her numerous records and films topped the charts all over the world. I loved her style and I enjoyed meeting her previously in Miami.

"Thank you so much," I beamed. I certainly didn't expect such an elaborate welcome, so I was a bit giddy.

As the hotel staff unloaded my luggage, I caught my reflection in the hotel's glass doors. I knew the insane heat would be in effect, so I made sure to dress light, but still stylish.

I wore a thin, lacy camisole top to keep cool in the desert heat. Its deep violet color looked radiant against my satiny brown skin. White shorts and deep violet sandals added to my casual look.

As a stylish accent, I wore a few pieces of jewelry, including my brand new sorority pendant. I purchased the elegant piece with part of the proceeds from my Gabrielle Union shoot. The small, pink rose pendant on a thin gold chain hung deliciously between my full breasts.

Amethyst gemstones affixed to gold hairclips gathered my black, wavy, shoulder-length hair off of my face. However, only out of the van for a few moments, beads of sweat already dotted my forehead.

I quickly went to the front desk, accompanied by a handsome bellhop with my luggage in tow. A pretty Black woman with a gorgeous smile and a generous bosom took my information. As she deftly typed on her computer keyboard, I noticed her name badge: Monica. I definitely needed to keep that for reference.

Her seductive voice brought me back from my brief reverie. "Yes, Ms. Clarke. I have your info right here. You're in Room 608. And you have a roommate, Jasmin Ramirez." She typed again. "And I see there's a message here for you. You're to report to Ms. Milian's room, Suite 3602, by 8am."

Checking my watch, that gave me just thirty minutes to freshen up.

Thanking Monica, and winking at her for good measure, the bellhop and I quickly went up to my room. As he unloaded my luggage, all I had time to do was quickly freshen up, brush my hair and touch up my makeup. Thanking the bellhop with a generous tip, I bid him goodbye, grabbed my case and my photo book, which I'd updated with the Gabrielle Union pictures, and hurried up to Christina's room.

Knocking firmly, I thanked the Universe that I was ten minutes early. Through the door, I could hear several voices, along with the distinctive sound of a blow dryer. I smiled. Her glam squad was in full effect.

As I was about to knock again, a slim Hispanic woman opened the door.

"Nikii!" she exclaimed.

"Hey Jasmin!" I was so glad to see a familiar face. Taking a closer look, however, I was immediately entranced by her sensuality.

Jasmin Ramirez, Christina's lead stylist, was a statuesque Latin beauty, towering over me at a full six feet tall. Her flawless olive skin was luminous, set off beautifully by long, jet-black hair that hung wild, tousled and curly all the way down her back. Her chestnut eyes sparkled as she gave me a friendly hug. I first met her in Miami at Gabrielle Union's shoot and her smile was as bright now as it was then.

Though I adored Jasmin's exotic features, I sensed a lot more going on inside of her. I even felt it back when we first met, but the busyness of the day made it impossible to talk to her. Now that we were together again, I looked forward to us getting much better acquainted.

"Come on in, Chica!" Her cute accent rang sweetly in my ears.

As I walked in, I noticed how busy it was.

Jasmin introduced me to Tonya Jessup, Christina's manager, who was talking furiously into her cell phone. Tonya's adorable smile framed her cinnamon brown face perfectly. I also loved her natural hair, elaborately twisted into lengthy dark-brown locs.

I also met Kurtis Dunbar, Christina's hairstylist, and Wanda Newsome, who was in charge of her wardrobe.

Kurtis wore an expensive, midnight-black silk shirt and slacks set. His smooth, dark brown skin glittered like the silver and turquoise Native American-inspired jewelry he donned on his neck and wrists. His warm smile immediately put me at ease.

Wanda, almost buried in several racks of clothing stationed at the back of the room, frantically pulled together various outfits while shaking her head in exasperation. Her rich, pecan colored skin caught my attention immediately. Her petite body was clad in a cute white tee and skin-tight jeans. Several strands of her hair, cut into a short, feathered style, bounced wildly as she fluttered around making sure Christina had the perfect outfits.

Christina sat in the middle of the room in a hard-backed chair, with a decided frown on her face. She wore a hot pink bathrobe with matching slippers. The vibrant color made her golden brown skin gleam.

"Hey Nikii! Thanks for coming!" she called out to me while Kurtis used a round brush and a hand-held hairdryer to tame her curly ringlets and make them bone-straight.

All of a sudden, she winced in pain as the round brush tugged on her lengthy tresses. "Ouch!" I gave her a sympathetic look, but was grateful that I wasn't the one wielding the hurtful instrument. Beauty could be brutal sometimes.

Clicking off her phone, Tonya grabbed a clipboard and called us to attention; her long locs swinging. Kurtis quickly shut off the hairdryer.

"Ok, everybody. Christina's schedule is pretty jam-packed today, so I'll need everyone's cooperation."

Tonya paused to collect her thoughts. "Ok. Christina's due on the red carpet to do the MTV Pre-Show interviews no later than 6pm. But first, she has an interview and photo shoot with Life & Style Magazine at 10am. Thankfully, they'll take place right here in the hotel at the pool. Next is a series of phone interviews with several radio stations across the country. Those'll be conducted right here in her room from 12pm to 2pm. Then we'll have a quick lunch and maybe some free time."

Glancing at her schedule, her brow furrowed. "Well, maybe not."

We all laughed.

Tonya continued. "We'll start getting her ready for the red carpet at 3:30pm, so she can hit the floor at 5:30pm sharp. Now, about the content for today's interviews and for any other press: She's not due in the studio until later this year, so the new album is secondary. The main focus today is twofold: Christina's new endorsement deal with L'Oreal cosmetics and the new movie she's shooting in a few weeks. For your reference, it's called Southern Hospitality, starring Jamie Foxx and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. Christina's character is Dream, a shy southern belle turned diva-ish Hollywood actress."

She paused to let everything sink in. "Is everyone clear about today's schedule?"

Everyone nodded his or her assent, including Christina. I smiled inwardly at how cute and agreeable she was. As I admired her delicate features, a heated rush of passion raced through me. Enjoying the delicious feeling, I knew that trying to keep my composure around this exquisite beauty would be a formidable task.

Tonya then turned to me. "Nikii? I need you to get your equipment ready. Kurtis will be done with Christina's hair shortly. Then she'll have her final fitting. At that point, I'll need you to make her up carefully, but quickly. Then she'll get dressed. I want her down to the shoot by 9:45, so they can start at 10am sharp.

She then reached into her briefcase and handed me a stack of papers. "In the meantime, please fill out these forms so I can get you paid at the end of the night."

As thrilled as I was about my payment, I was even more thrilled with the opportunity to get to know Jasmin better. While we waited for Kurtis to finish Christina's hair, she and I compared notes for Christina's makeup. We immediately hit it off and began talking about beauty and fashion in general, with us soon moving to more complicated, more complex topics. She was well versed in many subjects and I found that talking to this fascinating creature was a delight.

Kurtis continued his work on Christina's hair until it was sleek and silky straight. He added a few curls at the crown to give her hair volume and a bit of flair. Once he was done, Christina looked in the mirror. She shook her head and the golden strands fluttered around her face. "Perfect," she smiled. Her soft voice sent a delicious thrill through me.

"How about these outfits for this morning's shoot?" Wanda called out from behind one of the clothing racks. First, she pulled out a dazzling white silk caftan decorated with tiny rhinestones. "This she can wear lying poolside in the chaise lounge."

Next she pulled out a sparkling gold satin bikini. "This is for the shots in the pool and at the water's edge." The thin, gilded fabric, trimmed with tiny, hand-sewn gold beads, would look simply divine against Christina's naturally golden skin.

Wanda also showed us a few more outfits that Christina could use as backup pieces.

"All of those outfits are gorgeous!" Christina exclaimed.

"Great. I like them too," Jasmin said. "But what about the dress for tonight? Her red carpet dress?"

"It's over here." Wanda jogged across the room to grab a garment bag hanging on the bathroom door. Unzipping the bag, she pulled out a gorgeous red strapless mini dress. As an accent, tiny red sequins were sown in rose patterns across the bodice. The beautiful fabric glittered brightly and I knew it would be perfect for her. "Ta Da!" Wanda giggled.

Christina oohed and ahhed at the stunning dress. "A red dress for the red carpet? I likey!" she cooed.

Wanda quickly fit Christina into the white silk caftan. The sheer, flowing fabric swirled around her lithe frame. The highlight of the garment was its jeweled buttons up the front, most of which were left unbuttoned, displaying Christina's creamy honey-brown skin. The hem of the garment hit high up on her firm, silky thighs.

Wanda then used a thin rhinestone belt to cinch Christina's tiny waist. Rhinestone-studded four-inch heels gave her calves a sultry, sexy look. Christina twirled in the mirror as we all stopped and stared. She was truly a vision of beauty.

Wanda plotted a few last-minute alterations, then Christina slipped out of the caftan and back into the plush robe, so that my makeup application wouldn't ruin her outfit.

"Ok, Nikii. You're up next," Christina said as she sat back down. "Work your magic."

I stood right behind her chair looking at our reflection in the mirror, one of my brushes in hand. "Do you have something specific in mind?" I asked. I also glanced across the room at Jasmin and Tonya for their input.

Christina spoke first. "I want to add sparkle to match the rhinestones in the white outfit. And I'm going to need golden tones for the gold bikini. I really liked those crystals you gave to Gabby." Then her voice lowered to a whisper. "In fact, I want the exact same treatment you gave to Gabrielle."

What? Did Gabrielle- She didn't- She wouldn't have-

Then Christina crossed her legs and winked.

Yes, Gabrielle did. Damn. But how mad was I really gonna get?

"Later, Sweetie," I whispered. She nodded.

Smiling, I went back to work.

Christina's skin was amazingly clear and smooth, so all she needed was just a touch of concealer and foundation. I wanted her eyes to be dramatic so I used a pearl eyeshadow at her browbone, with a deeper sable brown tone on the eyelid. For extra shimmer, I used a bit of champagne colored eyeshadow in the inside corner of her eyes. I applied a full set of false eyelashes followed by several coats of jet-black mascara. For her cheeks, I used a light coral blush that gave her a radiant glow. Finally, I added a sparkly pink lipcolor and gloss to make her lips pop.

Christina smiled at her reflection in the mirror. "I really like it, Nikii." She touched my hand and looked me straight in the eye. "Gabrielle said you were the best."

I couldn't help but blush.

"You look great, Christina," Jasmin said. "And you, Nikii? Nice work. You too, Kurtis."

"Yes, it's very good," Tonya added. "Ok everyone. It's 9:30. Let's pack up all the outfits, along with her robe and slippers, and everyone get their stuff together so we can go."


Once down at the pool, we met up with the staff from Life & Style Magazine. The photo shoot would be done first, with the interview worked in between.

Christina carefully slipped out of her robe and into the white outfit. Several of the top buttons were still left undone, giving her an undeniable sexiness.

The photographer already had his equipment set up, so Christina took a few test shots right away. Once the set and the lighting were perfect, she launched into the first half of the shoot. She decided to recline poolside in a plush lounge chair, where she moved comfortably from pose to pose.

The open buttons of the silky material displayed her soft, light brown skin. Heat rose in me quickly as I gazed at her soft skin.

I glanced over at Jasmin. Her eyes were fixed on Christina. Her chest rose and fell rapidly as I noticed her breathing quickening. Her hard nipples caught my attention and my mouth watered. She looked at me. Smiling, I went over to her and we both admired Christina's loveliness.

"She's gorgeous, isn't she," I said under my breath.

She lightly pinched my arm. "Yes. But so are you."

My dark skin blushing scarlet, I couldn't speak.

Once the first set of shots was complete, I removed Christina's makeup and we quickly changed her into the gold bikini. The satiny material clung seductively to every curve in her gorgeous body. Its tiny gold beads perfectly decorated both the outline of the fabric and the outline of Christina's soft, supple breasts.

Her thick nipples hardened with the light breeze and I licked my lips in anticipation. The image of those taut gems being teased by my tongue flashed in front of me. I had to blink twice to clear the picture from my brain.

I wanted something special for her new look. After prepping her skin, I added a glittery honey-gold shadow to her eyes, coupled with more black mascara. I used a light bronzer on her cheeks for a splash of color. On her lips, I used a gold moisturizing lipstick with just a hint of gloss. Also, as with Gabrielle, I wanted a special accent for her eyes. I used eyelash glue to affix a number of tiny gold beads I'd gotten several weeks ago at a craft store to the corners of her eyes.

Her sparkling eyes were a perfect complement to her sparkling personality and the sparkling bikini. As a bonus, I quickly added two coats of gold nail polish to her fingers and toes. Then I applied a quick spray of sunscreen to protect her delicate skin. As a final touch, I sprayed her entire body with a gold-infused body oil. Her golden skin and hair absolutely gleamed in the Vegas sun. She reminded me of a regal golden goddess, the finest of royalty.

Once ready, Christina immediately lay down at the pool's edge and took the first round of photos. She dipped her toes into the cool water and splashed them playfully. Then she turned the tables and began to pose seductively, her curvy body looking delicious in the blazing sun.

Once she hit the water, her once-straight hair began to revert back into seductive spirals. The curly ringlets cascaded over her shoulders. A few loose strands fell over one eye, giving her a seductive look that made the entire photo shoot take a more sensual turn.

Soon the shots were finished and she wrapped the robe around herself and studied each of the frames on the laptop monitor. Pleased with all but a few of the shots, she quickly decided to reshoot some of the film and make several modifications.

She directed Kurtis and me to make small changes to her hair and makeup. As we did so, Jasmin and Wanda made a few alterations to the outfits.

Meanwhile, in the middle of all the chaos, she conducted the interview, candidly answering some of the questions, artfully dodging others and successfully promoting her upcoming projects.

I was impressed with Christina's definite ideas about her image. Even though the style team was free to make suggestions, it was clear that Christina was in the driver's seat.

As it turned out, her style choices worked well. Once ready, she hit several chic poses and came away with twenty to thirty additional usable frames.

Once the Life & Style reps declared the shoot a wrap, we all whooped and hollered to celebrate Christina's success. She laughed as she took a mock bow and curtsey.

The Life & Style team promised to email us the pictures once they were ready. I planned to print mine out as soon as I got them and update my photo book.

After thanking them, we headed back up to Christina's suite. It was just about noon but we didn't have to start styling Christina for the red carpet until 3:30pm. She had radio call-in interviews from 12pm to 2pm, but she would just do those hanging out in her suite while wearing her casual clothes.

Tonya called us all together. "Ok, everybody. I'm going to order lunch now and have it delivered up here. I'm thinking just a couple of fruit and meat trays and maybe some wingdings. And some salad items. Just something light and quick." We all nodded in agreement. "Ok. We'll unofficially break 'till about 3:30pm."

Christina sat near the corner of the room, prepping for the interviews. She also had a copy of the script for Southern Hospitality to read in between the interviews.

Kurtis busied himself with cleaning and organizing the hair accessories and all of the other equipment he planned to use that evening. Wanda worked on the final alterations to Christina's red carpet dress.

Tonya was on her cell phone, doggedly negotiating Christina's next project.

Jasmin sat quietly checking her portfolio when she groaned aloud. "Oh, I almost forgot. Christina, I need your approval on my style sketches for the Black & White Ball next month. We need to get your dress made soon. I just need to run back down to my room for a sec to get them."

Then she turned to me. "Nikii? We're sharing a room, right? You wanna come with?"

"Sure." After the long flight from Miami and the busy morning, I really needed a quick break. Maybe I could even freshen up and change while down there.

Leaving the room together, we walked down the hall to the elevator. We stepped in, both of us silent for a moment.

Over the past few hours, I found myself really enjoying Jasmin's company. We chatted more during Christina's photo shoot and I wondered at some point whether she was flirting with me. Her soft smiles and the way she touched my arm while making a point inflamed heated desire in me. But I decided to wait. For now, I just admired her.

She wore a chic, charcoal-gray jersey dress. The soft, cashmere knit fabric was belted at her slender waist with a black patent leather belt. The hem of the dress rest at her mid-thigh, exposing black leggings on her long, graceful legs. Jasmin made take notice of her, and I did - often.

She spoke first. "I really liked your work today. And what you did back in Miami. But you haven't been doing this long, though, have you?"

I shook my head. "I've only been a solo artist for a few months, but like I told you earlier, I've been playing with makeup since I was a little girl."

"Right. As did I," she chuckled. "Funny. I guess we all did."

Then her voice lowered. "So...Answer me this. I'm curious about something..."


She leaned in close to my ear. "What motivates you? Why are you in this business?"

"Simply put...I love styling beautiful women," I replied. "Actually, I think all women are gorgeous, but I believe I have a special talent to bring out their beauty even more." I paused. "I guess I'm like an artist. I love taking a blank canvas..."

"Mmm hmm..." she whispered.

"...and adding beautiful colors to it..."


" make an exquisite work of art."

Her eyes locked with mine. " do I get you to work on me? Do I need an appointment?"

Wait. Did she know-

Then she winked.

I stared at her creamy olive skin and exotic features. Her long, lean and trim body was ripe for teasing by my skillful, wet tongue. I could again see the imprint of her rigid nipples from underneath her light dress.

It was a done deal. I reached out to stroke her soft hair. "Actually, I do prefer appointments. But I'm free right now. I could take you as a walk-in..."

She smiled as the elevator stopped at our floor. Without warning, she took my hand and kissed it gently. Though the saucy, pink lip print on my brown skin was hardly visible, the heat of her soft lips lingered for a long time afterwards.

Once in our room, Jasmin grabbed her sketchbook and placed it on the table next to the door. She then walked toward me with outstretched arms. I embraced her warmly and leaned in for a passionate kiss.

At the touch of her soft lips, pure electricity coursed through me. Moaning, I kissed her harder. Our tongues met and my heart raced. I was intoxicated with her sweet taste.

I whispered in her ear. "I need to jump in the shower real quick. I have to freshen up. It'll only take a minute," I said.

She frowned. "Oh. Well go ahead. But be quick. We don't have much time."

"Nuh uh. Come with me," I grinned.


"What? 'Fraid to get a little wet?"

She stood there, mouth open.

"You know you want it," I tossed.

She chuckled as I grabbed my overnight bag and hurried into the bathroom. I quickly stripped, and cut on the hot water. Stepping into the hot spray, which pounded against my tired skin, relaxed me instantly. Trying desperately not to wet my hair, I lathered with my vanilla scented body wash. Soaping my full breasts, I teased my nipples, squeezing the firm peaks. I slid my hands all over my body, enjoying the tingling sensations. My fingers moved deep between my legs to stroke my heated clit. A soft moan slipped from my lips.

Suddenly, I heard a noise. I peeked out of the shower. Right in front of me stood Jasmin holding a fluffy white towel. She had removed her dress and was completely nude, her beautiful skin glowing with excitement.

"Baby, let me dry you off," she whispered. "You're so sweet. So warm and so kind..."

I stepped close to her, grabbed the soft, warm towel and let it drop to the floor. She embraced me and drew me into her passionate heat. My wet body pressed hard against hers. She squeezed my ass and I moaned with delight.

Leaning into me, her lips touched mine gently. Her hot flesh almost burned my tongue. Deeper and deeper we kissed and embraced until I had to have more. Time was limited, so I needed her now.

"Jas...Honey, I need you." Emotion swirled in me. "I've wanted you all day."

I stepped back to look at her.

Her pert breasts sat high on her chest. Her soft, olive skin had a damp sheen from the steam in the bathroom. As I watched a single bead of moisture slide from between her breasts, my mouth began to water and I had to taste.

I leaned forward and kissed the smooth skin on her neck and worked my way down between her breasts. Quickly, I leaned even lower to catch the drop, which had now slid down to her taut waist. The salty liquid teased my tongue. I licked again and heard her faint moans ring in my ears. I closed my eyes and drank the moisture from her sweet flesh. I licked her sizzling skin over and over.

"Baby, that feels so good..." she moaned. "Oh, Nikii pleeeease..."

As her excitement rose, I smelled her tangy essence. But for some reason, instead of being inflamed with passion, her closeness began to comfort and soothe me. I decided to savor this moment as an intimate encounter, rather than just an excited romp.

"I need to taste you, Jas. Oh, babygirl...I need you..."

Placing my hands on her smooth hips, I nudged her upward. Smiling, she hopped up onto the counter next to the large double sink.

I grabbed her legs and started at her delicate toes. I placed a scorching hot trail of kisses on her smooth flesh, working my way upward. I teased her firm calves and thighs, up to her stomach again. She squirmed in delight as I then caressed her firm breasts. Not able to wait any longer, I licked and nipped her rigid, brown nipples. I sucked hard on the firm peaks as her body shuddered.

"Baby, your body is so sweet," I whispered. "But honey, I want more..."

I bent right into the sweet triangle between her golden brown thighs. Deeply inhaling her erotic scent, my pussy throbbed in response.

My tongue softly flicked her wet pussy. I licked my lips as my mind processed the taste. Wet, juicy, ripe peaches immediately came to mind. I swirled my tongue deep in her wet juiciness, loving the sticky sweetness.

"Oooh, Nikii," she sighed. Her hands grabbed the back of my head and pulled tight. "Baby, don't stop!"

Her firm thighs pressed against my cheeks as I licked and sucked her juicy clit. Feeling her tremble, I repeatedly kissed her hot, sticky flesh. Her sweet honey flowed down my lips and chin, drenching everything in its path. I loved the feel of her slick, slippery thighs and I couldn't get enough.

Over and over, I teased her hot pussy. Wild with passion, her ass wiggled on the counter. Her back arched and deep moans continued to escape from her lips.

I grabbed her hips and pulled her even closer. I had to give her the ultimate satisfaction. I couldn't focus on anything else but bringing this beautiful creature over the brink of ecstasy.

Almost there, her thighs began to tremble with her impending cum. "Ohhhh...." she moaned as she bucked and bounced rhythmically.

I licked my finger and slid it deep inside of her pussy, trying desperately to hit her sweet spot. Her tight walls closed in around my finger.

"Ahhh, baby," she moaned as her excitement continued to rise. I focused my tongue strokes full on her engorged clit. Circling the tiny flesh over and over, I moaned as my tongue swirled her into ecstasy. I sucked her clit in between my lips and hummed on the tiny flesh.

"Oooooh!" she wailed.

My tongue lapped her furiously. I added another finger to her tight, hot pussy and pumped harder and harder.

"Cum for me, baby," I commanded. "Now, babygirl...Now!"

"Oh, oh, oh!" she screamed as her passion crested. Her muscles tightened and her hands pressed my head deeper and deeper into her sugary wetness.


Suddenly, I tasted an intense burst of sweetness. Her screams rang out for several long seconds. Soon, her cries shortened into whimpers as she sagged against the mirror.

"Was that good, babygirl?" I teased.

She smiled lazily. "That was perfect, Chica. Now your turn."

She leaned forward to tenderly kiss my nipples. Wrapping her arms around me, she rolled her tongue over and over my taut flesh. I squirmed at the sparks surging through me that threatened to burst into raging flames.

She slid off the counter and knelt down in front of me as I leaned against the cool tiled wall. "I've wanted you too, Mami." She gently ran her hand up and down my soft legs. "Can I have you, baby?"

Once her fingers reached my wet pussy, I groaned at her touch. "Oh Jasmin...please eat me, honey!"

Ignoring me, she continued stroking my wetness. "Such a pretty pussy, Chica. And I love that you shave. It's all soft and smooth..." she giggled.

I was so close. The attention I'd given to her only inflamed my own needs. "Lick my pussy, Jasmin! Please!" I cried. "Please, babygirl!"

She immediately slid her tongue deep inside my juicy pussy.

"Oh!" I cried out as my body jumped. A wave of passion rushed through me.

"Delicious, baby," she whispered. "I want more." She used one expertly manicured hand to hold my pussy lips open. I gasped as her tongue traced hard spirals on my sensitive pearl. My head rolled from side to side as my entire body tightened and quivered at her touch.

Higher and higher I climbed as I grabbed my breasts and squeezed the damp flesh hard. I spread my legs even wider. "Oh, baby!" I moaned. "Babygirl, please don't tease me..."

My skin was on fire as she lapped at my heated wetness. Faster and faster I raced to nirvana as she continued her sweet torment of me. Over and over again she licked and swirled her hot tongue over my tingling clit.

I was teetering right on the edge, threatening to spill over. "Oh, fuck! Don't stop, baby!" I cried. "Ohhhh...Oh...Oh...Oh yesssssss!"

Suddenly, my entire body exploded and melted into a sticky pool. My body flailed about and my voice went hoarse with my loud cries. I continued to shudder in ecstasy as Jasmin licked up all of the wetness. As I floated down from paradise, she continued to lick and kiss my trembling thighs.

She slid up my body and wrapped her hands around me. I could barely catch my breath and I couldn't stop shaking. Our damp bodies pressed together tightly as we held onto each other for strength. I kissed her hard, loving the taste of our juices blended together. I kept stroking her soft skin.

She ran her hands through my damp hair. "You're so beautiful."

I kissed her again. The feel of her wet lips was heavenly. I moaned into her neck at the luscious feelings still coursing through me. "Damn. I'm all hot and sticky again," I whispered.

"Uh oh. Guess you need to get clean again, huh?" she grinned as she pulled me back into the shower.


A bit later, Jasmin and I laughed playfully as we headed back upstairs to Christina's suite.

"You ok, baby?" she teased. "You were loud as hell back there!"

I chuckled. "Well, I got something for you later. Best believe."

Suddenly, she grew quiet. "Nikii, we fly out late tonight. We have to go back to L.A." She frowned. "We all live out there."

Damn. I hadn't thought that far ahead. But knowing that I was only here for the day myself, I should have expected that our goodbyes would come much sooner than later.

Not expecting the sudden rush of emotion, I lowered my eyes. "We'll see each other soon. And if not," I whispered, "we'll always have Vegas."

Hearing myself, I burst out laughing. "Ok. That was really wack."

She laughed. "Yeah, that was pretty corny. But you're still cute, though!"

We got back to Christina's room, just in time for the quick lunch, and sat through another staff meeting with Tonya. This time, she outlined the entire schedule and the logistics for the night's festivities.

Once 3:30pm hit, we went into full-glam mode. Kurtis worked on Christina's hair, I did her makeup and Wanda and Jasmin pressed her dress and laid out her shoes, jewelry and the other accessories. At some point, someone turned on the TV and music videos flashed across the screen. Enjoying the music, we all laughed and bantered together.

However, Christina's freshly showered skin, accented by a light, rose-scented fragrance, caught me off guard. Her delicious scent reminded me of our earlier conversation. All I needed now was the right time and I would give this cute, little minx the ride of her life.

Focusing back on work, I wanted a breathtaking red-carpet glam look for Christina's big night. I learned that not only were thousands of people at the Palms for the event, but that the VMAs would be broadcast live around the world with millions of people watching. Therefore, Christina's makeup not only needed to be vibrant enough to capture everyone's attention, but it had to last through the entire broadcast with very little time for touch ups.

Looking deep into Christina's eyes, I carefully planned her color palette. I used a deep rose shade on her eyes. A set of lashes with jet back mascara made her eyes sparkle. I added a similar rose color to her cheeks and lips. Finally, I used a light lipgloss that matched the shimmer of the red sequin dress.

"Looking good, Nikii!" Kurtis announced as he fluffed Christina's hair and applied a light mist of hairspray. "Christina, you're getting the best dressed award this year!" He sprayed his aerosol can again, but all that came out was an empty hiss. "Damn. I need more hairspray." Kurtis stopped doing her hair and ran over to his duffel bag.

Giving her face a last brush of powder, I finished her makeup and stood back from her chair. "So what do you think?" I asked.

"I love it," she smiled. "But...I'm just not sure know," she murmured. "I really want it...I mean, you...but...oh, Nikii! I just-"

"Ok. Time to finish your hair, babe," Kurtis interrupted. He looked at us. "Did I interrupt something?"

"No," I said. "I'm done for now." I looked Christina directly in the eye. "I may come back to it later, though."

With the time ticking away, Kurtis continued to work his magic. Since frolicking in the pool earlier, Christina's bone straight hair reverted back into curly ringlets, which remained proudly on display.

However, it was just too much work to re-straighten her tresses at this late a time. Also, curly hair could hold up better underneath all of the hot lights. Therefore, Christina's hair had been washed, deep conditioned and simply left in its naturally curly state.

Kurtis decided to highlight Christina's sexy spirals by using a small curling iron to more sharply define her curls, applying both a light hair oil and a glossing spray and just letting her tresses fall loosely.

Once Kurtis finished her hair, and I lightly touched up her makeup, Christina changed into the dramatic red dress. Watching Christina shimmy into the fitted crimson dress sent a delicious shiver deep between my legs.

She caught me staring and she smiled. My heart fluttered at the happy look on her face. Her delicate beauty mixed with a saucy minx-like seductiveness gave me delicious fantasies of doing whatever it took to please her.

Though I enjoyed the time I spent with Jasmin, instead of satisfying me, my rendezvous with Jas only aroused my passions even more. And if it were up to me, Christina would be next.

As a final touch, Jasmin slid sparkling fire-red diamonds onto Christina's dainty ears and fingers. She then placed an elaborate, matching diamond necklace around Christina's neck. Finally, she was picture-perfect.

"Oh Christina!" Tonya exclaimed. "You look gorgeous! You're so beautiful." We all agreed. She looked simply divine.

Then Tonya addressed us all. "Ok, everyone. It's showtime! Let's get ready to go." We all began to scramble to pack up our equipment cases.

Christina sat back down in her chair and waved me over. "I need you to change a few things."

As I grabbed my brush, she instructed me to add a bit more sparkle to her eyes and lips. As I worked, I heard her soft voice, just above a whisper. "Nikii...about what I said know...well, forget about it."

Surprised, I drew back and looked directly at her.

"I mean...I want to...but I can't. I mean...I've never..."

"Shhh," I whispered. "Don't worry about it. But," I said, testing the waters a bit, "you wouldn't really have to do anything. You could just lay back and relax. Let me pamper you..."

As I looked her in the eye, her gaze dropped to the ground. "Just think about it," I challenged gently.

She was flustered and visibly uncomfortable with her new attraction to women. Nevertheless, I wanted her to be sure and I didn't want her to feel pressured, but I knew I could give her a really special treat if she'd let me.


Once Christina was ready, we headed down to the main floor of the casino where throngs of people crowded the Palms Hotel. Thankfully, the MTV staff roped off several areas to accommodate all the events planned.

Near the rear of the casino, MTV designated a hair and makeup styling area. It consisted of a bank of rooms in the back of the hotel where the individual partitions had been removed to create a large open space. Several television monitors were set up all over, displaying the event footage from the main floor.

The large room was packed with beauty professionals from all over the world. The style teams for each of the starlets, musicians and models all crowded into the same area; each vying to make their clients the most impeccably and perfectly styled. Trendy live music boomed through the speakers, but not loud enough to drown out the bells and whistles of the nearby casino games.

Though we'd already styled Christina in her hotel room, we grabbed a tight spot in the chaos and performed a few quick touch ups on her.

Grabbing a shimmery eye pencil out of my makeup case, I glanced to my left. Surprised, I looked more closely.

A stunning, light brown beauty caught my eye. The toffee-colored goddess looked directly at me and smiled. I smiled back. She wore a flowy, navy blue babydoll top with a short denim skirt. She was doing makeup for a tall woman seated in a chair with her back to me. Unfortunately, I had no time to chat.

Once Christina was ready, Tonya led us out to the main broadcast area. The red carpet was located inside a roped off area in the center of the casino. Christina would be posted on a small stage with only the camera and a microphone. As celebrities walked up, she'd interview them live, getting them to talk about themselves and the projects they were working on.

Though she was sharing hosting duties with the other MTV VJs, as beautiful and as talented as she was, she was MTV's first choice to be the featured host.

Once Christina was on set at 5:45pm, I hung around a bit doing quick touch ups on her skin. Finally, at 6pm sharp, she went live on-air.

I was very impressed to see Christina chatting animatedly with all of the guests. Her natural sparkle and effervescence was a smart addition to the show.

Many of the guests were very taken with Christina. So many celebs gave her warm hugs and polite kisses. However, her adorable innocence prevented anyone from going too far.

One of Christina's most memorable interviews was with the Pussycat Dolls' lead singer, Nicole Scherzinger. Nicole, as stunning as ever, had just finished her VMA Pre-Show live performance. Her new solo album was due out soon, and her appearance at the VMAs would surely boost her album sales.

Now being interviewed by Christina, Nicole wore a form-fitting black satin skirt, hitting just above the knee, coupled with a skin-tight, black and white satin bodice. A pink belt cinched her tiny waist. The cute outfit highlighted her sexy, fit body. Nicole's lengthy, dark hair was pulled into a neat updo, showcasing her smooth, flawless skin.

The Hawaiian beauty looked simply radiant.

Over the years, I'd fantasized about Nicole Scherzinger many times. I even remember her from the singing group, Eden's Crush. I grew moist at all the lascivious thoughts I'd had of her.

I heard a soft voice behind me.

"Wow! Christina looks great. That outfit is hot! Her makeup is great, too!"

I turned around. Right behind me was a gorgeous, young woman in a Boho print blouse and tight jeans. She smiled at me and I felt a distinct warmth radiating from her. Smiling made her nose crinkle and that's when I saw tiny freckles dotting her rich, bronze skin. Her auburn hair, styled in tight, curly ringlets, was pulled back into a low ponytail. She stood next to a young woman just as tall but darker in complexion.

I had to introduce myself. "Hi. I'm Nikii. Nikii Clarke. I helped style Christina. I did her makeup."

The beauty with the freckles spoke. "Oh yeah? Well, she looks great! And I'm Saadia Jeffries. I'm Nicole Scherzinger's lead stylist." She extended her hand and we shook. Her hands were incredibly soft and smooth.

"Saadia? Hi." I instantly wondered where this exotic beauty was from because I felt an unusual familiarity with her. My skin tingled for some reason, but I couldn't put my finger on why.

Saadia motioned to the woman next to her. "And this is Tamara Jordan. She's Nicole's publicist."

"Nice to meet you, Nikii," Tamara said as we shook hands. Tamara was very polite, but she was more interested in what Nicole was saying live on-camera to Christina than in our conversation. Excusing herself, she moved to get closer to where Nicole stood on the stage.

"Well, Nicole looks awesome tonight," I said. "You ladies did a great job."

Saadia smiled. "Thanks! But it wasn't easy. It was so busy today!"

"Wasn't it?" I exclaimed. "Everything had to be done all at the same time. And on top of all this, I'm a new makeup artist." I paused. "Well, not new to makeup, but new to being self-employed."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. I just started my solo business earlier this year."

"Congrats! You must be a hell of a makeup artist if you're already styling Christina Milian. Who else have you done?"

"I'll have to show you my book. I've got pictures-"

"Nikii!" Saadia gasped and pointed to my neck. "Is that the new sorority pendant?"

I stared at her, surprised. "Yes it is!"

"Oh my God!" she cried. "I just got the charm bracelet!" Excitedly, she held up her wrist, adorned with the delicate jewelry.

"Oh my God!" I cried. "Are you-"

"A Rho Sigma Tau kitten?" she asked. "Hell yes! All day, every day," she said, repeating our casual sorority greeting. Thinking about our mascot, the jet-black pussycat, made me grin.

"Soror!" we cried in unison

We quickly gave each other the official secret handshake and immediately embraced.

"Oh my God!" we hugged, laughing.

Suddenly, she reached out and stroked my hair, our unofficial secret handshake. I blushed at her meaning.

"We have to hang out while you're in Vegas," she whispered.

"Yes, of course," I agreed. Never having been to Vegas before, I was thrilled at the thought of having a sorority sister to hang out with. "As soon as I finish this job, we can chill."

"Hey Saadia! We're all set to go," Tamara said as she led Nicole off the stage over to where Saadia and I stood. I looked up to see that Christina had finished their interview and had moved on to the next guest.

"Nicole, I want you to meet...Nikii," Saadia laughed. "Nikii's Christina's makeup artist."

"Hey girl," Nicole said as she shook my hand. "Nice work. Christina looks wonderful."

"Thanks! You look great yourself!" I said. Nicole smiled at the compliment, her skin glowing with excitement. Looking at Nicole Scherzinger and Saadia, I realized that I wanted them both. Their natural sensuality sent delicious tingles all through me.

"Soror, I'm going to call you," Saadia said as they were leaving.

"Ok. And I'm right here in the hotel. Nikii Clarke."

"Oh, I got your name. And I got your number too," she winked.

I blushed again. Fortunately, Christina needed a quick touch-up while the telecast took a commercial break, so I hid my excitement and went back to work.

Christina was only on duty from 6pm to 7pm. Promptly at 7pm, the awards show began, and we, as the style team, were basically done for the night. Christina would be attending the full award show, as well as a few suite parties afterward.

As Christina sat in the audience enjoying the show, I thought about going back to my room to watch the broadcast. I really hated the idea of being that far away from the energy, but lacking the requisite backstage credentials, I had no other way to enjoy the festivities.

However, instead of going back up to my room, I decided to just go back to the main styling area. I knew it would still be busy, so it would be a great opportunity to hang around all of the beauty and fashion professionals. Maybe I could make some new friends and contacts, or at least pick up a few tips by observing all of the action.

Once I grabbed my makeup case and my photo book and went back into the large room, I grinned at my decision to stay downstairs. So many beautiful women and men were being transformed into exquisite works of art, that I could hardly stand it.

Just then I heard a loud curse. I turned to see a pretty, toffee-colored beauty with a frustrated look on her face. Smiling, I recognized her as the cute girl I'd seen in here much earlier. Next to her was the tall woman in the chair, her back still to me, along with two other women.

"Shit!" she exclaimed while examining a black eyeliner pencil. "Damn it!"

Just as I was about to speak, the slim figure in the chair spoke. "What happened?"

"The damn eye pencil broke. I'm sorry," the cutie said.

Digging in the makeup case next to her, the beauty cursed again. "Damn! I can't find my pencil sharpener! And I can't find another black eye pencil! I'm never this forgetful. I'm so sorry!"

However, the beauty was undaunted. "Does anyone have a black eyeliner pencil?" she called out. Not surprisingly, no one answered. Between the busyness of the surroundings, and probably a bit of professional jealousy, no one came to her aid. She called out for a second time.

Again, no response.

I had nothing to lose. Besides, as a new makeup artist, I knew all too well about running out of product unexpectedly.

"Hey," I called out to her. "I have one!" I set my case down in an empty chair, dug out a spare eyeliner pencil with a sharpener and went over to her.

"You're a doll," she smiled. Taking the instruments, she turned back to the lean frame in her chair and began to complete the sultry makeup look.

Looking closely at the tall woman in the chair, my breath suddenly caught.

Seated in the cutie's chair was the amazingly gorgeous Amerie.

Amerie, the successful and popular R&B singer who'd had several chart-topping hits, was another one of my serious girlcrushes. Her African-American and Asian heritage gave her a delightful blend of beautiful features.

Amerie's smooth light brown skin glowed radiantly. Her long, shapely legs highlighted a perfectly trim figure. Her long, black tresses cascaded well below her shoulders. I was mesmerized at the sight.

The toffee-colored beauty thanked me graciously while she worked on Amerie. "I really appreciate your help! I've been working for the past five days straight and I haven't had a chance to replace all of my product yet." She extended her hand and I shook it. Her soft skin felt heavenly against mine. "By the way, my name is Krystal. Krystal Pennington." Then she looked at me closely. "I saw you in here earlier, right?"

"Yes. I was doing makeup for Christina Milian. My name is Nikii. Nikii Clarke."

Amerie spoke up. "And I'm Amerie. Thanks for your help. A lot of folks wouldn't have bothered." Amerie then introduced me to the two other women who made up the rest of her staff. Joi Dixon was her lead stylist and Karen Corbin was her publicist.

Krystal spoke again. "What did you say your name was again? Nikii Clarke?" I nodded.

"And you're doing style for Christina Milian?" I nodded again.

"I've heard your name before. Recently." Krystal was silent for a moment. "Didn't you just do a shoot for Gabrielle Union?"

"Yes, I did. Just a couple of weeks ago." I was puzzled, though. The Essence staff emailed me the pictures for my photo book a few days ago. But surely those pictures hadn't shown up in print yet, had they? How had anyone else seen them so soon?

Krystal snapped her fingers. "Right! I saw those pictures! My friend Gayle emailed them to me. She works in the photography department at Essence magazine. Everyone's talking about them! They're so hot! Wait- I think I can get them on my iPhone."

Krystal stopped working on Amerie's makeup and quickly grabbed her phone. Typing on a few buttons, the Gabrielle Union pictures appeared magically on the screen.

"Check these out, Joi," Krystal said, handing her the phone.

I spoke up while handing Joi my photo book. "Joi, while you're looking at those, here's more of my work." Joi and Karen huddled together discussing my work.

Just then my cell phone chimed. Jasmin needed me to quickly touch up Christina.

"I have to go now. Christina needs my help," I smiled as I grabbed my belongings. Joi returned my photo book.

"Do us a favor, Nikii?" Joi asked. "Come back and see us when you get a chance, ok? Amerie is presenting one of the final MTV awards of the night, so we'll be here a while longer."

"Just in case," Krystal added, "give me your number." I smiled as she tapped my contact info into her phone. "Thanks, hon!" she said as she gave me a quick hug. "Again, I'm grateful you decided to help us. You're a doll!"

I waved goodbye and went to find my team.

As I walked back toward the auditorium, I ran into Tonya on her cell phone. She grabbed my hand. "There you are! Come with me."

She led me into a tiny suite where Christina was trying on a short, black lace cocktail dress. Christina waved at me. "Hey girl!" she exclaimed.

Strangely, only she and Tonya were in the room. Tonya continued talking on her phone as Christina's light voice spoke. "Kurtis went to grab more hairpins and some other accessories back up in his room. Wanda went to go get a needle and thread for a couple of alterations. Jasmin's out looking for you, I think."

Instantly I felt bad and wished I had stayed with one of the style team members.

Christina read the dissatisfaction on my face. "It's ok. This was spur of the moment. Technically, you were off the clock, so it's ok." She moved over and gave me a hug. With her body touching mine, heat rose in me quickly. I smelled her soft scent and my nipples hardened immediately. I hadn't forgotten.

Tonya's voice broke in. She was still on the phone, but now her voice rose dramatically at the other party on the line.

"No, no, no! Christina's supposed to go to Kanye's afterparty first, then Diddy's!" She paused. "Just tell me the suite numbers, and I'll have her right there." She paused again. "What are the suite numbers?" she demanded, exasperated. "Hold on. You're breaking up. Wait- I get better reception outside of these rooms."

"Nikii, help Christina, would you please? I'll be right back!" Tonya scurried out of the room.

"Well, it's just the two of us," Christina said. I saw her tremble as she looked at the floor. "Nikii? I want it so bad! I've thought about it for a while. And I want it. I want you. I just...I'm just..."

I stepped close and took her chin in my hand. "Christina, can you just relax? Let me take charge?"

She nodded.

I stroked her hair gently, the golden curls sliding between my fingertips. "Will you just try it? Just once..."

She nodded again.

"Say it."

It took a few moments, but I heard her soft voice. "Yes. Please..."

I leaned close, my lips hovering close to hers. "Are you sure?"

"Yes, Nikii..."

My lips touched hers. Then they touched again. And again. Tasting the light mint, I kissed her deeply.

I went over and locked the door. Going back over to where Christina was standing, I reached out and took her soft hand in mine. As I held it, I felt it shaking. I raised it to my lips and kissed the soft skin gently. She sighed with pleasure.

"Just relax," I whispered as I sunk to my knees.

Knowing time was limited, I quickly slid my hands up her smooth legs, raising the hem of the dress along the way. I gasped as her panties came into view. The sparkly black material glittered brightly.

I planted soft kisses all over her smooth thighs and calves, moving inch-by-inch up her silky legs.

"Nikii!" she whispered as her body swayed.

I licked her soft, golden skin. I playfully bit hard and watched the sudden darkness rush to the surface of her skin.

"Cannibal," she whispered.

Pleased with her newly found confidence, I set out to give this golden goddess the climax of her life.

Slipping her panties off, I marveled at her exposed sex. Her bare flesh looked satiny smooth. I touched her soft skin with my index finger, tracing random designs. She giggled as I tickled her satiny skin.

I immediately leaned in to kiss the heated flesh. She jumped as my lips made contact with her slick, wet pussy. She moaned uncontrollably as my kisses increased in speed and intensity.

I flicked my tongue out and wiggled her sensitive clit. I felt her body shiver underneath my soft lips and it made me even hotter. I teased her with soft, sweet kisses until she begged for more. My hands slid up to her curvy ass and squeezed hard.

"Oooh, that feels so good," she moaned. Her breathing became more ragged as I continued to tease her. Her hands went to my hair and held on tight.

Remembering where I was, I had to act fast. I quickly dipped my head further into her sugary wetness and took a long drink. I licked my lips at the taste of pure honey. The scent of her essence inflamed me.

Her voice cracked as her passion leapt. "Ohhhh!" She spread her legs wider and slipped her breasts out of the confines of the dress. "Oh, Nikii!"

As I continued licking her sweet gem, her body began to twist and writhe. Her honey dripped down onto my tongue and I lapped up all of the delicious sweetness. She rubbed and stroked her hard nipples, teasing the smooth flesh.

I looked up at her sweet face. Her brown eyes twinkled with delight.

Her body started to tremble and I knew she was almost done. Nudging her legs open even wider, I inserted a slim finger into her wet pussy. I used my other hand to grab her ass and pull her tightly to me.

Her body lurched. "Oooh!" she cried, pulling my hair tighter. "Please, please, please!" she begged.

I licked and sucked her pink jewel over and over again. Her body began to rock back and forth. "Nikii! Nikii, pleeeeease! Oh, don't stop! Keep going...keep going...I'm almost there!"

I looked up at her again. This time, her eyes were closed and her mouth hung open. I heard her moans increase in intensity. I licked even faster. Her deliciously hot juices nearly drowned me.

Just then, her body tensed up. "Ahhhhh!" she cried. "Ooooh, Nikii!"

Not quite ready for her to cum yet, I decided to tease her. I slowed my tongue strokes, desperate to keep her just on the edge of crashing. Her body twisted and turned, trying to rub her pussy against my tongue.

"Nikii!" she squealed. "Stop teasing me!" She wound her fingers even tighter in my hair. I chuckled as I continued the slow strokes. She was lucky we had limited time. Else I'd tease her little ass all night.

Finally ready for the explosion, I concentrated on her sensitive clit. Over and over, I manipulated the tiny pearl. Shaking my head back and forth, I lapped for all I was worth. I held my breath as the shivers started. I kept up the motions, and the tremors intensified. I used my finger to thrust harder and harder against her g-spot.

Then I heard the primal scream.

"Yessss!" Her body shook all over as she crested. I buried my head even deeper, lapping all of the delicious honey.

She cooed as I stroked her thighs. Slowly her heartbeat and her movements returned to normal.

"Oh my goodness!" She began to giggle. "Is it always like that?"

"It can be," I smiled. "Come on. Let's get you freshened up."

As I rose from the floor, the doorknob shook. A second later it shook again, more forcefully.

"Are you ok?" I asked Christina.

"I'm good," she said as she arranged her clothes, still quivering, but trying to make herself presentable again.

I unlocked the door and Kurtis, Jasmin, Wanda and Tonya burst in, each carrying the items that Christina needed.

"Hey y'all." Tonya started with the barrage of questions. "What's going on? Is everything ok? Why was the door locked?"

Thankfully, Christina jumped in. "Everything's fine! I didn't want anyone walking in on me while I was changing, that's all."

"Oh, ok," Tonya said. Everyone seemed satisfied with that explanation except Jasmin. Suddenly, I saw her sniff the air with a quizzical look on her face. As the realization dawned on her, a sly smile slid across her face.

Trying to hang on to my last bit of professionalism, I went back to work without a word. All of us quickly worked together to style Christina for the afterparties.

To complement her delicate black lace dress, I did a total vamp look. I used black and brown shades to create a dark, smoky eye. I also used a sexy crimson shade for her cheek and lip color. With the dramatic look, Christina looked even more sophisticated than she did earlier. Her cheeks were still flushed from our private time together, but it blended brilliantly with her makeup.

Kurtis wanted to keep Christina's hair curly and lush. He simply spritzed a bit of clear gloss on her tresses and fluffed them up a bit. Even though it was nearing 11pm, she was as stunning as she was first thing that morning.

Once we were done with Christina's look, Christina and Tonya spoke privately in the corner of the room. I thought I saw Tonya pull out a checkbook and carefully write on it. Ripping out the check, she stuck it inside of a white envelope she pulled out of her back pocket.

Once they completed their business, we all came together for a few hugs goodbye. Then Jasmin, Wanda and Kurtis hurried Christina off to the upstairs suites.

"Ok, Nikii," Tonya said. "I think you are officially done for the night. Here's your check." She handed me the white envelope she just had in her hand. Then her voice lowered to a whisper. "Along with a little bonus for your hard work." She smiled and winked.

Had my name had been passed around again? I was too exhausted to even comment.

She looked at me curiously, but because I didn't bite, her look softened. "So what's next for you, Nikii?" she asked.

"Actually I'd love to stay out here for a few days. But I'm going back home to Miami. What about you guys?"

"After Christina's done with the parties, we're leaving for L.A. We're all based out there. And her regular makeup artist will be there as well. But we're planning some events in the next few weeks. Can I call you if we can make some space for you?"

"Sure," I said as I scribbled down my contact info on the pen and paper that I always kept in my makeup case. "I'd love to help."

Tonya gave me her card. "And anytime you need a reference, just have people call me at this number. You've done a fantastic job and we'd love to work with you again!"

"Thanks again, Tonya! I really appreciate it," I said as we hugged. I couldn't hide my grin as I exited the room.

Just then, my cell phone chimed. "Hey, Nikii! Did you forget about me?" Krystal teased.

I laughed. "How could I? You've been my only Damsel in Distress this evening."

"I'd better be," she quipped. "Listen, are you interested in a job for tomorrow?"

Was I interested? "Sure!"

"Well, come and meet us back in the main styling room."

A few minutes later, we all met and I listened as Joi, Krystal and Karen explained Amerie's dilemma.

Joi spoke first. "Krystal was our last minute fill-in here at the VMAs. And Amerie really needs a makeup artist for tomorrow, but Krystal can't do it."

Krystal chimed in. "I have to be on a plane first thing in the morning, headed for Japan."

Damn. Japan?

Krystal continued. "I'm going on a promotional tour with Janet Jackson. I should be on a plane right now, but I really wanted to help Amerie out for tonight. But since I've got to leave early in the morning, I can't stay tomorrow to help her out."

Krystal thought for a moment. "You're actually the perfect choice to replace me. I called my friend Gayle at Essence and she heard great things about you from Rose Grandon and Constance Sharpe. They really vouched for your talent. Also, the pictures of your work that I saw? It really speaks for itself." She smiled.

I smiled back. I really liked hearing her say such sweet things about me. For us to have only met tonight, she really affected me.

Karen finally spoke. "And you really came through for us today in a pinch. That says a lot about you."

"So...are you interested, Nikii?" Krystal asked, looking directly at me.

She really shouldn't play with me like that.

We all spoke for a few minutes about the next day's schedule and confirmed my fee. I was doubly surprised when Amerie offered me a substantial bonus for filling in on such short notice.

Satisfied with the terms, I agreed. Surprisingly, I was given a short stack of forms to fill out right then and there. I had to smile. Amerie and her staff were real professionals.

"We need to meet in my suite tomorrow morning at 6am sharp," Joi said. "Amerie has a busy day ahead."

"I need to get some sleep then," I said.

"We'll book you a room, Nikii," Karen said. She thought for a moment. "Actually, just take Krystal's room. I'll arrange everything with the front desk. You two can bunk together tonight, and Krystal, you'll leave in the morning. Nikii, you'll just stay there and check out Tuesday morning when we all leave."

"Thanks! That sounds great. Very generous," I said.

"Let me show you to your room, at least," Krystal said. I shook everyone's hands and wished them goodnight as Krystal and I headed for the elevators.

Krystal and I first headed back to the room that I shared with Jasmin. I packed up my clothes and equipment, and Krystal helped me carry my luggage back to our room. I sent a quick text to Jasmin to inform her of my changed accommodations, to wish her a safe flight and that I'd talk to her later.

Once I was settled into Krystal's room, I took a seat in the plush chair right next to the bed.

"Now, let's really relax," Krystal said as she pulled a brown paper bag out of her suitcase. "Voila!" she exclaimed. She held a tall bottle of Tequila Rose liquor. I grinned. The pink elixir was one of my favorite drinks.

"Ice?" she offered.

"Yes, my Damsel," I joked as she poured the drinks.

"Here's to a successful day," she said as we clinked glasses.

"And here's to a new friendship," I added, giddy with excitement and arousal at this lovely woman.

Suddenly she stood up. "Wait. I'm all icky. Let me go change." She dashed into the bathroom.

As I sat there, I reflected on my fantastic day.

Here I was, hanging out in a luxurious suite, in one of the hottest spots on earth, with a pocket full of money, sharing drinks with a beautiful woman.

And that the incredibly attractive Amerie wanted me in less than six hours?

And that I'd met my gorgeous sorority sister, Saadia, and the stunning Nicole Scherzinger?

Just then, Krystal came back into the room, clad in only a hot pink silk robe. She slid onto the bed and motioned me over. As we got comfortable, she leaned her head on my shoulder.

Suddenly I felt her tense up and she sighed heavily. "Nikii? I have a confession to make."

"What is it?"

She paused. "Nikii? About earlier? I really didn't need an eyeliner pencil. I had, like, five of them in my case. I always carry extra black eyeliner pencils."

I turned and looked at her.

She continued. "I'd seen you earlier and I really wanted to meet you. And I figured that if you helped me out, that you were not only cute, but also compassionate. And helpful. And that you were the real deal."

Wow. "So, I passed the test?"

"With flying colors."

I grinned. "You're sly as hell. I like that."

"You're not mad?" she asked incredulously.

"Not at all. I'd seen you too. But now you owe me one. A big one. And I will collect!"

She grinned as she relaxed against me. "So," she said after taking a sip of the potent liquor. "Tell me all about yourself. And don't leave anything out. I want to know everything about you..."

I had to smile. From the very beginning, it seemed as though Lady Luck was definitely on my side.

Life was definitely good.


The End

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