I hate the term ‘influencer’. There’s no way to say it without sounding like a total fucking douchebag. Unfortunately, people looking for a quick buck and the chance at going viral have single handedly delegitimized the art and hard work of true marketers.
Content is everything. It takes more than one good post or funny video to catch fire. More than good looks and a hot body. It’s about continuity, longevity, and adaptation. More importantly, and above all else, you have to be authentic. It sounds easy but this is by far the hardest part of it all. Fifteen years and I still struggle with how to be truly authentic while maintaining any semblance of a private life. I’ve concluded over the years that the probability of the two co-existing at this level is impossible.
It’s not easy to appeal to a wide range of people while consistently inventing new content that will keep everyone interested, especially when we live in a world where people expect, want, and demand instant gratification. In spite of all that, I’ve managed to stay ahead of the curve. And by me, I mean my team. If anyone thinks it’s just me and my phone, they’re wrong. It may be my face and body that everyone sees, but it’s a crew that makes it happen. Fuck, I’ve been more than I can handle for a long time.
Tuesdays are long days. We start at five-am and go until dark, sometimes later. I love it. It’s one of my favorite days. The creativity and brain power it takes to map out this much content on a weekly basis is total fucking insanity. And that’s on top of the filming we do throughout the week. People are insatiable. I have to be on the camera in one way or another all the time. All-the-fucking-time.
I start the morning out with my weekly breakfast special. It’s the most sought-after segment. Cooking breakfast shirtless at five-am when my hair is a mess and my face is sleep crumpled is the golden goose.
“Pull down your boxers,” Sven says. He does a lot of the filming and knows what sells. I look at Sven as I pull my boxers down a little at a time, waiting for him to give me the green light. Just when I’m about to protest because my dick is about to join the show, he gives me the thumbs up before his eyes linger, taking me in.
If the day goes well, it will end well, too. For both of us.
And it does. It’s just Sven and I left on the pretense that he’s showing me the footage. Once the last person leaves, Sven’s on his knees in the living room.
“It was agony watching you through the lens all day knowing I had to wait,” he whines as he opens my pants. I’m not wearing much so it doesn’t take any effort to get me naked. Sven shoves me on the sofa and shuffles between my legs. We kiss. It’s fast and rough–foreplay. Nothing more.
Like a snake, he slides down my body. I gotta give him credit, he’s hot. He moves with a learned precision. Years of clubs, social partying, and hook-ups has honed his skills. I toss my head back when he runs his tongue from my ball sack to the tip of my dick and then around like he’s devouring a lollipop. He gets me hard, he gets me wet, he gets me close to blow. Then he gets up and pulls a package of lube and a condom from his pants pocket before bending over the couch.
“You know I’m not gonna fuck you on this couch, Sven.” We’ve been over this before. It’s an expensive couch that’s used for a lot of photo opts. It’s dark gray. The last thing I need is cum on a difficult to clean fabric.
The slight blonde rolls his eyes like I’m the fucking difficult one, but gets up anyway. “Okay,” he drawls. “Guest room? Game room? Where do you want me?”
“Great room is fine.” The housekeeper is coming in the morning anyway. I grab the stuff and head over there. Sven’s quick to bend over the couch, the one I’ve fucked him on it before, others too. Everyone knows not to sit on this sofa.
Five minutes later we’re fucking. Sven is loud, which I like. The fucking is good and Sven is noisy, it’s just how he is. It’s good for the ego so I roll with it. We go for ten minutes, maybe fifteen before I feel the telltale signs that I’m about to cum. I pull out, rip off the condom, and cum on his back.
“Why do you do that? You know I like it when you cum in me.”
For that exact reason.
“I like to see my cum on you.” It’s not a total lie. “Flip over so I can blow you.” I enjoy finishing him off like this. The power. The control. It’s addicting. He tells me just before he cums and I pull off.
He lays there, panting, goofy smile on his face. “We should do this more often.”
“I was thinking about dinner and stuff.” He sees my reaction and instantly launches into damage control. He raises his hands. “Just for something to do. There’s no reason we can’t keep doing this and share a meal, Loe. It doesn’t have to be a big deal.”
I walk to the living room and grab my pants. “I don’t have time. You know it.” I grab his clothes and toss them at him.
He’s güvenilir bahis unamused. “We both know that’s not the case. I’m not asking you to do something you’re not already doing every week. Eating out is literally part of your job.”
“Dating isn’t,” I say, a little too forcefully.
“It could be.” Sven’s still naked. The clothes I threw at him are balled up under his arm. He’s getting ballsy and demanding. He’s nice about it, but he’s been challenging things a little more each time. Pushing the boundary. “Just sayin’.”
“Sven, let’s not get into this again. We have a good working relationship with a side of fun. I don’t have time to date. Even if I did, it’s just not something I’m interested in. Let’s not ruin what we have by overreaching.”
Sven gets dressed rather hastily and with great irritation. This isn’t the first time. He’ll get over it. Before he leaves, he stops at the door. “If you wanna grab lunch or something before next Tuesday, you know how to find me.”
“See you Tuesday, Sven.”
He mutters something under his breath as he closes the door behind him. I sit down on the couch, close my eyes, run my fingers through my hair, and scratch my scalp. It’s been a long ass day and the releases are getting more tangled every week. Tail is easy to come by. There’s any number of guys blowing up my DMs on the daily or giving me looks wherever I go. The problem is that it’s hardly without complication. Sven wants to date, the others want the spotlight, some want to run their mouths.
Others claim they want marriage.
I rub my eyes and laugh as I think of how fucking ridiculous Jay Petermeyer is. Who the fuck says shit like that? I have no doubt hundreds of guys fall for it. He has to get mad mileage off that line. That’s if they aren’t already hooked by the fact he’s a million feet tall, built like a tank, well dressed, and confident in the way he presents himself. Yeah, if that wasn’t enough to catch the fish, his smooth words will net them out.
What a crazy mother fucker.
This week’s drink is blueberry vanilla latte. It takes a hot minute to make the blueberry syrup from scratch but it’s fun and the viewers love it. I’m wrapping up when Ruby comes in. She’s a tiny girl with a larger-than-life shit grin on her face. I could drag the video out a little longer but I know she’s got something juicy for me. The things people say in the DMs…
Her face brightens when I hand her the latte. She gets a bit giddy as she takes a sip. She holds the liquid on her tongue for a moment then moans. Ain’t no approval like Ruby’s approval. That alone tells me the drink will be a hit. She takes one more sip before setting it aside and turning to me, cocking her hip against the counter. She’s got that look, the one that tells me it’s been an entertaining day in the DM’s. She swipes through her phone. It takes a second and then her doe-eyes dance when she finds what she’s looking for. “You get the craziest emails, but this one made me smile.”
“Loren, I’ve been trying to contact you regarding your car’s extended warranty. For more information, come to Anchorhead on 7th @ 2pm today. Salesman ID #99.”
Ruby smiles rather genuinely. “I mean, you have to admit, it’s kind of adorable.”
Okay, I smile. The guy is relentless. “I don’t know if I would call it adorable. Psychotic, maybe. Seems like the kind of guy who proposes to random strangers.”
“How is your extended warranty anyway?” she asks teasingly.
“Still under manufacturer warranty, thanks for asking.”
“Maybe you should look into a good extended one, just in case.”
I eye her suspiciously. “Since when do you care about my warranty?”
Ruby grabs the coffee and smiles as she sips it. “Ever since a birdie told me that a certain infamous blonde footballer whose number happens to be 99 has been flirting with you. The same birdie told me you gave him your business card. I may or may not have been waiting to see if something comes in…”
“Ruby…” I warn. “My warranty is fine.”
“All I’m saying is, it wouldn’t hurt to review it. You might just find a really good warranty out there. It’s just a conversation. You don’t have to sign a contract.”
“What if he’s persuasive?”
“Would that be the worst thing?”
“Yeah, Ruby, it would be.” I sigh. “It really would be. Sven’s trying to be persuasive.”
“Oh shit,” she laughs. “What’d he do this time?”
She knows the love/hate I have with Sven. She likes him but she knows he and I are not on the same page. With a deep dive into the newest Sven drama, 99 doesn’t come up again. Thank God.
Ruby finishes her drink and sets the mug in the sink. “I’m taking off. Once the next video posts, I’ll be slammed.”
“Get it girl. I’ll jump in and help. I don’t expect you to do it all.”
She checks her watch, which is flanked by a dozen dangly bracelets. “Speaking of, you have two hours to get to the coffee shop.” She takes one look at me güvenilir bahis siteleri and laughs. “You seriously thought you could distract me with Sven? Boi, you need to check yourself.”
She flicks me a cocky one-handed wave as she disappears from the room. The rattle from the glass on the sturdy but old-as-dirt front door lets me know she’s gone.
I slide my phone from my pocket and text my ex-friend, Corey: Bitch, you told Ruby?!
Corey: You’re the one who gave him the card. She needed to know in case he reached out.
Me: She didn’t need to know. Her assuming he’s some crazy fucking fan was my plan all along
My phone rings. It’s Corey. “Since when did you start lying to yourself? You were fucking pining after him all night. Hell, you were fucking pouting.”
Corey sighs his I’m-trying-to-be-patient sigh. I get it from him all the time. He’s kind of a dad like that. “I love you. We all do. And none of us will judge you if you’re interested in someone. For the record, Jay’s not the worst guy to crush on. We’d judge you if you didn’t. He’s a superstar, and not because he’s famous, but because he’s fucking amazing. Google him.”
I have. Several times. I’ve spent and continue to spend countless hours reading about him. I check his social media more than I should. He’s not super active and I’m positive someone else posts for him because it’s mostly football stuff with occasional pictures from visits back home with his family; golfing with his brothers, BBQ cookouts with his dad manning the grill, vacations with his friends. Stuff like that. It’s actually incredibly hard to find anything juicy on him. I may have googled ‘Jay Petermeyer boyfriend’ and all that popped up were speculations. It’s hard to decipher what’s a possible boyfriend vs. lunch with a friend. There’s really not much focus on that aspect of his life. Almost like no one cares who he’s dating.
But I don’t tell Corey I’m keeping tabs. Instead. I tell him I don’t have time for that kind of stuff. Because I don’t.
“Ruby just texted me,” he says, his voice distant as he checks his phone in live time. “Un-fucking-believable,” he snorts as he reads her message. “Just fucking go to coffee.”
They’re always talking about me. There’s no privacy in my world. Doesn’t matter what he and Ruby say. I’m not going to coffee with Jay.
I swear. I’m not.
Judah and The Lion’s melody fills the café. Coffee is my specialty. I’ve been to most of the coffee places in the greater Seattle area. Unless Jay knows what I do, he wouldn’t know that this is my favorite place. Not only is it modern with great vibes, it’s one of the only places where I get some semblance of privacy.
I slowly pass the food cooler with ten other people and study the pre-made bento boxes. The options are always amazing; Organic, vegan, vegetarian, high protein, etc. They have something for everyone. The people in front of me rattle off their order, ranging from classic drinks to more complex options. When it’s my turn, I scan the large blackboard menu one last time.
The barista watches nervously.
“Is there something you recommend?”
She looks at me like I just asked her to jump off a mountain. “You want me to recommend you a drink?”
I grin. “Hell yeah I do.”
“Oh god, okay, umm.”
“What’s your personal go-to drink?” I ask, hoping it will help relieve the unintended pressure.
“Peach iced tea shaker? It’s made with fresh peach puree.”
“Perfect. I’ll take a large. No sweetener.”
She scurries to her coworker. They talk quietly, peeking at me here and there. I pretend not to notice. There’s glances and smiles from all over the café, which I also pretend not to notice.
A few minutes later I feel a large presence.
“So, about your car’s extended warranty…”
I can’t help it. I smile. “I’m still under the manufacturer’s warranty.”
“Yeah, but what are you going to do when that goes away and your car breaks down?”
“Pay for the repairs.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice to have some assistance? Someone to have your back?”
“It sounds good on paper but those pesky technicalities pop up and now you’re paying more than you thought.”
“You need a good warranty. One that’s dependable.”
The barista interrupts with our drinks. Jay follows me to the back of the café. Once we’re there, the barista puts a cone up, blocking people from coming back. I wink a thank you.
“There’s no way to know if the extended warranty is dependable,” I continue. “I’m in sales and marketing, I know exactly how to take something bland and make it look sellable, dependable, desirable. It’s not that hard.”
He’s surprised. “You’re in sales and marketing?”
“Don’t seem so shocked.”
“Oh no, it’s not that. I’m just shocked you volunteered something about yourself. To date, the most personal thing you’ve given me was a nondescript business card that didn’t even have your name, just an iddaa siteleri email address that said [email protected] Now I know what you do for a living, so that’s exciting.”
“Don’t let it go to your head.”
“Too late,” he smirks. “My ego has been inflated. Watch out.”
“You know, you could’ve Googled my domain.”
“I know.” He says it like a throwaway statement. He knows he could’ve learned everything he needs to know but he didn’t. Why the hell not? I’ve been straight up FBI’ing his ass since we met.
While I wait for an explanation on why he hasn’t searched my domain name and learned all my secrets, my eyes wander. Jay’s long sleeve cream shirt isn’t tight but hugs him nicely and is very flattering. His arms are crossed in front of him and he’s smiling at me, it’s a soft smile. Quirky. Very affectionate. A little unnerving. A whole lotta hot. I can definitely see those lips driving me crazy. Fuck, he’d look good on his knees between my legs…
“I’m kind of hungry,” he says, pulling me from my thoughts.” I might grab a bento box from the display. Can I get you one?”
I think about saying no, but I am getting hungry. “Yeah. Whatever you get is good.”
Jay comes back with six of them, thank God, and carefully shoves three towards me. “I figured you want more than one also.”
I look in one of the boxes and smile. “You figured right.”
After a few bites, Jay looks up. “I have a lame question that I absolutely do not care about but it would fill the silence.”
“You don’t have relevant questions to fill the silence?” I ask. Mostly to be difficult.
“Oh, I have lots of relevant questions if you want to go that route.” He puts his food down and rests his chin on his fist. “Tell me about your family. What was the most difficult obstacle you faced growing up? What age were you when you realized your parents were flawed? Is what you’re doing now what you thought you’d be doing ten years ago? What was your biggest aspiration when you were in high school compared to what it is now?”
I pick at my food and try not to laugh. “Tell me more about this irrelevant question you had.”
Jay’s lip curls and he rolls his eyes at my back step. “Did you train to be a bodybuilder?”
“Ehh, it wasn’t so much to be a bodybuilder as a way to take my fitness to the next level. I’m pretty devoted to whatever I do, but bodybuilding was a little over the top for me. I did a few comps but I never made it pro. That was years ago. Why do you ask?”
“Your build is between that of someone who goes to the gym regularly and someone who does it professionally. Since I now know you’re in marketing, it’s not that. Like I said, not important. Just random.”
“Any other random questions?”
“Lots.” He lifts one brow and gives me an almost mischievous look. “I have a random fact.”
“Give it to me.”
“My friends are scared of you.”
I stop eating and look at Jay. “Your professional athlete friends are scared of me?”
“Yeah. Garrett says you look like a professional boxer. Said if we piss you off, you’d definitely throw down.”
“That’s ridiculous. You guys are a full foot taller than me.”
“Don’t underestimate yourself and don’t overestimate us. We’re just big puppy dogs. Great Dane puppy dogs. Want nothing more than to take over your entire couch and drool on you.”
One thing is for sure. Jay can make me laugh.
We stay for almost two hours and never run out of things to talk about. There’s not one relevant topic discussed; no childhood trauma hashed out or life aspirations dissected. It’s all trivial, light, and fun. I like it.
We laugh. Jay is absolutely hilarious without trying. We flirt. He’s shameless while being completely respectful and an absolute gentleman.
The empty bento boxes are gone and the second and third round of iced-tea have been cleaned up.
“I’m sorry,” he says, shifting in his seat. “I have to take a leak and then I need to take off. My flight to Denver leaves soon. If I don’t head to the airport soon, I’ll miss my flight.”
Oh. Can’t say I’m not disappointed. Definitely thought more would happen than drinking some tea and eating our weight in bento boxes. Like blowjobs. I fully thought there would be blowjobs. I mental sigh. “Yeah, I need to get going, too.”
“Don’t leave yet,” he says in a panicked rush. “I’ll be right back.”
Jay speed walks to the restroom. While he’s gone, I walk out front. The café is empty so I take a moment to thank the baristas for their discretion with a large tip. I take a picture with them and make them promise to post after I leave.
Jay comes back a couple minutes later looking lighter. He nods towards the door then holds it open for me. We wander to the parking lot. “I’m really, really glad you came today.”
“I did it for myself. Being knowledgeable about extended warranties is very important.”
“It is very important. If you need more info, you know where to find me.” Jay takes a breath. “I’ll be back in two weeks. Training camp starts soon. I don’t technically have to go, but I do. I think it’s important for rookies to see veterans put in the effort. I’d like to see you though. What are the chances we can make that work?”