He was naked.
Wait. Could a species that didn’t have genitals really be naked?
Did they have genitals?
They kept claiming that since they didn’t have legs, pants weren’t necessary, but when they used two of their main tentacles for walking and the others as de facto arms, well, it seemed like pants would be important even if they didn’t have a dick hanging out.
Not that a penis would’ve been troubling.
I mean, I was in the process of interviewing for a job as a porn star, so seeing someone’s junk wasn’t going to be a problem. But I hadn’t expected to see anyone naked while I was filling out paperwork.
Man, this place was weird.
I loved it.
“May I request occupational-specific introductions?” The alien…tentacle guy…the sexy as fuck dude looked over at the admin, who’d been slowly handing me the paperwork she said I needed to fill out.
She sighed, rolling her eyes unprofessionally, and shook her head. “Nope, ask Nicky.”
Nicky had to be Nicholas McKenna, the director I’d been scheduled to meet with, but the guy who’d just walked into the waiting room didn’t seem to like that answer.
“That is not an agreeable response.” He was polite but firm, and he didn’t seem to like her either, which was honestly kind of funny because she was sour for someone who worked in the porn industry.
Wasn’t being around sex supposed to make people happy?
I mean, having sex made people happy, so the logic worked.
“Not my problem.” She went back to looking at her computer screen, completely forgetting the fact that she’d said she had more paperwork for me.
But considering the amount of stuff I’d filled out online, I wasn’t sure how that could be possible.
“Your job description specifically details greetings and customer interactions via online and in-person mediums.” He waited, and if he’d been human, he’d have been frowning and tapping his foot like a queen.
She just huffed.
I was kind of curious to see what would happen next in the standoff, so I stood there quietly hoping to blend into the furniture. Unfortunately, a door opened down the hall, breaking the silence, and they both looked toward the noise.
It’d just been getting good.
Oh man, it was gonna get even better.
It was Mr. McKenna.
He’d been this fabulous star in the early nineties and he was now a hot as fuck silver fox, but he didn’t perform straight or gay roles in front of the cameras anymore. The rumor mill said his new wife had put her foot down about it, but it was fucking sad because he was delicious.
He was so hot I didn’t even mind watching him with women.
“Candy? Is there a problem? I thought my—” He paused as he stepped out of the hallway, sighing and looking around the room before his gaze landed on me. “Ah, Mr. Parks. I was wondering if you’d changed your mind.”
“Um, no. Still ready and raring to go.” Since the frown he was barely holding back said he thought I’d been an ass and shown up late, I decided to explain a few details to the sexy gentleman. “I was waiting on the paperwork I was told I had to fill out?”
Shrugging, I glanced at the clock on the wall. “It’s taken a few minutes.”
Yeah, I was an ass, but I wasn’t going to start this job getting thrown under the bus by a woman who couldn’t do her fucking job…and if it came down to pissing off the sex god or the woman with the perpetual frown, I was going to make the sex god happy.
Mr. McKenna raised one eyebrow before nodding. “Ah, it seems like there was a misunderstanding. We have all your paperwork and just needed a copy of your ID.”
‘Cause I was a fucking professional.
Doctor’s clearance and everything.
Crazy admin chick just huffed, and when he ignored it, I had a feeling there was a story I hadn’t heard yet.
This place was going to be so much fun.
“Great. I was afraid there’d been problems with the forms I’d filled out online.” Perking up, I smiled and gave him my best I’m so cute smile. “I wanted to make sure you know how seriously I was taking this opportunity.”
Because it might be porn, but he had a great reputation for keeping his hands to himself and being a fucking professional…and I wasn’t going to blow this chance.
“I appreciate that.” He shot another glare at admin chick that said some people weren’t so focused on doing a good job, but I pretended not to notice.
He opened his mouth to say something else, but tentacle dude beat him to the punch. “Nicholas, I was attempting to obtain an introduction from Ms. Smith, but she has chosen not to participate in that social convention.”
Oh, social convention.
The introduction she’d been too pissy to make.
Mr. McKenna sighed. “Artie, you could’ve just said hi.”
He was not an Artie.
And tentacle dude’s visceral response as he shook his head and winced said he agreed with me.
“Greetings of an overly familiar nature are not always appropriate in this industry. May I remind you about the unfortunate instance with Ms. Ellison?”
There was a story there too because Mr. McKenna sighed. “Very well.”
This was so crazy.
Best interview ever.
It even beat out the fast food interview where there’d been a police raid in the middle of the question about what book I’d read recently.
That’d been really well-timed because the only thing I’d been reading was erotica.
Giving an honest answer for that question would not have gotten me the job.
Mr. McKenna turned to me again and nodded toward alien dude. “Mr. Parks, I would like to introduce you to Aristotle. He is one of the current members of our entertainment team and would like to make sure you know he is professional and very honest in his dealings with humans.”
Oh, this just kept getting more fun.
“Artie, this is Evan Parks. He’s interviewing for a position here.”
Doing my best not to bounce or look like an over-sugared kid at a birthday party, I tried to calm my breathing and smile professionally at Aristotle. “It’s nice to meet you. I’ve seen some of your work. You’re very good at your job.”
Was there a proper way to tell someone they were fabulous at giving their partners screaming orgasms?
I should’ve practiced answering that instead of figuring out a good response to the book question.
Aristotle beamed, puffing up like I’d told him he was one of the best players in the NFL. “Thank you for the praise. It is an interesting and challenging profession in many ways. May I ask what has drawn you to the industry?”
Oh, was this part of the interview?
Before I could get my brain back on track, Mr. McKenna sighed again. “What are you doing?”
That question was thankfully directed at Aristotle.
He cocked his head and seemed to decide to play dumb. He even widened his eyes and gave a convincing, almost liquid half shrug. “I am attempting to put a potential new employee at ease. No one else was here to satisfactorily accomplish that task.”
Laughing would’ve been the wrong response, but he was so funny.
Mr. McKenna didn’t think so, though. He sighed and crossed his arms over his chest, glaring at Aristotle. It was the same look he’d worn in one of his early films right before he’d told a twink to strip or he’d do it for him.
God, that was still hot.
Aristotle was definitely not a sub, though, because he mirrored Mr. McKenna and waited. The tentacles made it look kind of odd, but it was hilarious and Mr. McKenna’s lips even twitched.
This was clearly nothing new between them.
“With the last three interviews, you just walked through the front office and ignored them.” Mr. McKenna was clearly not going to back down, and it made me wonder what I was missing.
Aristotle shrugged. “They were not right.”
“And he is?” They were completely ignoring me, but even I got the point that I was he.
But what was I right for?
“Yes.” The simple answer sent a shiver through me. Something about the low tone in his voice and the way he looked over at me like he was imagining what I would taste like was the hottest fucking thing I’d ever seen.
Best job interview ever.
“He is…fascinating.” Aristotle didn’t seem like the type of guy to use that as a come-on, but I wasn’t sure what I’d done to be so interesting.
I’d just been polite and patient, even when the admin had been doing her best to ignore me.
“Fucking hell.” Mr. McKenna didn’t seem to like that answer, but I wasn’t sure why, and his frown and frustrated expression didn’t give me much to go on. “I haven’t even hired him yet.”
Aristotle gave another of his sexy liquid shrugs. “You will.”
Turning to me, he seemed like he was doing his best to give off a professional, nonthreatening vibe, but I kind of liked weird and dangerous…so he didn’t have to bother just for me. But there didn’t seem to be a polite way to explain that, so I kept that point to myself as he smiled.
“I would like a chance to get to know you as a performer and as an intriguing human individual. Would you be averse to allowing me to sit in on your interview and possibly taking you to consume food in a public setting afterward?”
I must’ve looked stupid for a bit too long because Mr. McKenna sighed again. “He wants to sit in on your interview so he can decide if you’d want to do scenes with him, and then he wants to take you to lunch. For a date.”
“Really?” I glanced back and forth between them, hoping it wasn’t some kind of weird hazing for the new guy, but it was Mr. McKenna who decided to clarify a few things.
“Yes. Some humans just aren’t comfortable doing scenes with Artie and we need to know that up front, but he seems to like you and not only in a work way. But he’s not human, so honestly he’s super trustworthy.” Mr. McKenna sighed. “He’s just a pain in the ass.”
That made Aristotle grin. “Humans appreciate individuals who stand their ground and know what they want. I am charming and interesting.”
Candy snorted, but he ignored her.
“I like charming and interesting.” So it wasn’t the most professional response I could’ve given, but at least I hadn’t jumped him.
But then I thought of something and turned to Mr. McKenna. “Um, sir? What is the company policy on dating?”
I mean, I shouldn’t assume I’d get the job, but I figured planning was a good thing.
Would I look trashy if I started dating a coworker right off the bat?
His shrug wasn’t helpful. “If you were both human, the handbook says no dating while you both work for the company. Married is fine, but dating…people get fucking nuts.”
“But we’re not both human…” I wasn’t sure where that point was going, but I poked at it anyway.
Mr. McKenna rolled his eyes. “Artie had a clause put in his contract that if there was a coworker he wanted to have a serious long-term relationship with, then we had to work around it.”
This just kept getting crazier and crazier.
This even beat out the diner I’d worked at for a week that’d turned out to be owned by the mob.
Why they’d wanted to own a breakfast restaurant was beyond me, but dude, I was willing to do a lot of things but not end up with cement shoes.
I glanced back at Aristotle, who seemed to be perfectly content with the way the conversation was going, and I had to remind myself that not human meant not human.
“Um, I’ve got a few neighbors that…that aren’t human, but we’ve never, like, hung out. They’re supposed to be super trustworthy?” Was it rude to ask that? Like, speciesist or something?
If I lost this job because I’d inadvertently been an ass, I was going to be pissed.
Aristotle just waited and looked at Mr. McKenna expectantly, making him sigh. “Yes, they don’t lie and they’re honest to a fault and they like sticking with social conventions. Which is why he wanted an introduction, so you’d know he was being polite and would be someone you could trust.”
It seemed they’d had this conversation a lot, which made me think of another question. I probably shouldn’t ask, but fuck it, this was weird enough already I wasn’t going to worry at this point.
“Um, how many coworkers has he dated?” I stopped obsessing over the question when Aristotle didn’t seem to be offended.
Maybe not human meant not easily offended?
“None.” Mr. McKenna looked between us and frowned. “That’s what has me frustrated.”
I really wasn’t tracking what the problem was, so I decided to ask the source.
Turning to Aristotle, I decided to test that legendary honesty. “Why is he frustrated?”
The sexy alien didn’t even blink before he answered. “There is a clause in my contract that reads, at my discretion, I may refuse to work with anyone else but my bonded mate. He is concerned my mate has turned out to be a human who has no ties to this industry.”
“This is the most fascinating job interview ever.” I wasn’t going to pretend to know what a bonded mate was, but the cops hadn’t shown up yet, and it still looked like I had the job if I wanted it.
I just needed to figure out if I wanted it.
And what a mate was?
Mr. McKenna groaned, but Aristotle ignored him and stayed focused on me. “I am enjoying your enthusiasm and the pheromones your emotions and thoughts are influencing.”
Blinking a few times, I gave up trying to figure out what that meant exactly. “Um, how do you know about my emotions?”
That seemed a better place to start than pheromones.
He didn’t seem to think that was an odd question. “Humans have very strong physiological responses and pheromonal reactions to a variety of stimuli.”
It took a few seconds to work through my brain.
“Oh, that’s why you’re so good at reading your partner’s reactions.” So I’d seen a couple of his videos.
He nodded, not seeming to find the weird praise uncomfortable at all. I mean, even I didn’t get to compliment people on how well they made their partners orgasm very often, but Aristotle seemed to think it was part of the job. “Yes, as you would say, some humans are easier to read than others. Working with those humans makes it easier to identify the physical pleasures they will respond to the strongest.”
Okay, made sense.
“Like, which ones like lightning and which don’t? I get it.” So I’d studied up on a few of my potential coworkers.
I needed to know if there were people I didn’t want to work with and ones I did.
Research was important in any career.
Aristotle’s expression was almost predatory as he stepped closer. “What is your opinion on electricity-based stimuli, little human?”
Best. Interview. Ever.
Evan isn’t known for his impulse control, but leaping before he looks hasn’t killed him yet.
When a fun new career path of the adult variety leads him directly into the arms…well, tentacles…of Aristotle, the sexiest film star he’s ever met, Evan knows his life will never be the same. Especially when the M word is mentioned before their first date…or their first heated scene. Mates.
Jumping headfirst into life isn’t always logical, but sometimes in life and in love, passion takes the reins.