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Just Like That

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Karl Urban has been taking pictures of immensely beautiful people for twenty years and he has never once--ever--uttered the words 'The camera loves you.'

And it's not that he's not a guy to give compliments (although he's honestly not that great with words and sometimes ends up just smiling and flushing a lot--but the dimples, they work for him, what can he say?), but that one seems so... patently untrue. Cameras are mechanical instruments, and although they work better in some hands than others, like any other instrument, they are still, at the end of the day, lifeless. He'd rather give direct compliments, about coloring and angles and charisma and who knows, whatever comes to him. He's pleasant to work with and has had very few complaints, is the point, even though there are things he just does not say, despite that fact that they're probably expected of him.

Until today. Until it occurs to him that he cannot say what he really feels, here, as he watches this green, grinning, gregarious, gorgeous model slipping on his jacket--his own, shabby but beloved, infinitely unfashionable jacket--after having wiped off his makeup and his alluring bedroom eyes expression, leaving behind only teeth and blue, blue eyes a mile and a half wide.

And Karl's fingers twitch around his camera. He's got a little ache in between his ribs. He wants something from this kid. Beyond the obvious, even. He wants to sit Chris down, in a restaurant or somewhere, near a window, near dusk, just to see the light play across his stubble. He wants to see what he looks like against the sheets, the pillows, the morning sun through the smog. He wants to say, you're perhaps the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen, and just like that, and maybe I could love you.

But instead, as Chris comes to shake his hand, job well done and all that, he can only say, 'Thanks, mate. The camera loves you,' voice rough, and watch as Chris rubs the back of his neck and looks down at the ground.

But then Chris looks up, and holds Karl's gaze, and maybe, Karl thinks. Maybe he heard it anyway.