'What I'm looking for is a really good kisser,' Ben said as he sipped his mineral water. No ice. No lime. A spotlessly clean glass.
'Uh huh,' I said. It was certainly a unique opener.
At first I didn't get it. 'You're a what?'
'A lip model,' he said- with a truly dazzling smile.
I could feel the backs of my eyeballs frying, but I was none the wiser. 'A what?'
'I do lip shots. Toothpaste ads. Magazine stuff. You know.'
'Then there's the occasional stand-in lip-work for some of Hollywood's finest.'
'Really?' I spluttered.
'Yeah,' he said. 'And that's been the problem. For the last five years I've been contractually obliged to avoid tea, coffee, red wine or anything else that might damage my teeth or lips. Especially kissing.'
At that moment I felt certain that the Croatian Cabernet Sauvignon I was drinking had probably turned my tongue navy blue.
'That's terrible,' I said.
Ben shrugged. 'It wasn't so bad. I knew it wouldn't last forever. There's always a new pair of lips coming along- younger, fuller, firmer. It was just a matter of time before the work started to dry up. Now I get to find out what I've been missing.'
Ben looked at me expectantly.
I swallowed hard. 'Oh, I said. 'You want to kiss me?'
'Yes,' he said.
'What- right now?' I said.
'Yes,' he said.
'Shouldn't we wait until later?'
'We could. But let's just call it a test drive. Would you mind?'
'No. Not at all.' I said.
So we kissed. It was nice. Very nice in fact. I'd only known Ben for a few minutes but there was certainly a hint of toe-curling in there- well, for me at least. He had great lips. Somehow they felt like virgin territory- like the Wild West.
'Pretty good,' he said.
I didn't know whether to be flattered or offended. I kind of guessed he was looking for something better after five years of abstinence.
'So what are you going to do now?' I asked, attempting to change the subject.
'I'm moving onto butts,' he said.
'Butts?' I said.
'Yeah. There's loads of money in butt modeling. I've been working out. Getting my rear in gear.'
I was kind of hoping he'd let me take his behind for a test drive too. But no such luck. A girl can dream though, right?