Author’s Note: I am not a professional writer by any means, neither am I an ‘editor.’ But, I still enjoy fiction and reading novels and short stories so I wanted to also share my own creations.
Rating: PG (because there are some suggestive situations / descriptions)
There she was – right on time as always, walking briskly through his vanished door. He felt his senses on full alert as every hair on his body stood on edge in anticipation. His breathing, he always controlled; but, every once in a while, he caught a slight case of anxiety that he tended to hide very well. The scariest part was – he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Her aura was like a magnet that sucked him in hook, line and sinker, tugging at his soul and setting it ablaze every time she entered a room.
Whenever they scheduled their appointments and he saw her, he got a further glimpse into the mystery that was Jessica Esmeralda Stanford. He liked to call her JES for short since it was the initials of her name. She was mixed with Caucasian and African American descent. She was a light-skinned caramel brown beauty – standing at 5’10, with shoulder-length, jet-black flowing locks and dazzling hazelnut brown eyes. Her lips were cute and plump and extremely soft in texture. He knew this because he had the pleasure of kissing her once.
At that time, he was unable to restrain himself. It wasn’t something he enjoyed dwelling on or remembering. He never wanted to cross that line with her. But he did and he regretted it. There was no turning back after that. The onslaught of feelings that took over his entire being when it came to her never subsided and he was already at his breaking point.
Being an artist – a professional artist, took hard work and discipline. There were morals and standards as well as boundaries that needed to be set between the artist and his muse. But, that one faithful day, he threw all caution to the wind and allowed his personal feelings to interfere with his work ethics. Needless to say things hadn’t been the same between them since. There was always that unspoken tension they ignored even though it kept slapping them in the face. But, he was hoping they didn’t travel down that road again.
He didn’t think he had the courage to pursue a relationship with her – not because he didn’t care enough, but because he cared too much and knew he couldn’t give her what she deserved. He was a well establish artist. He traveled for a living. That was his life for the past ten years since he graduated at the top of his class and started his apprenticeship immediately after university. He showed no signs of slowing down and he had no intention to – not if another ten years treated him favorably.
She was a successful model. Her life also consisted of traveling. Sure they could have probably made it work. However, getting into a relationship that neither of them was ready for or willing to sacrifice their successful careers for was a bad idea.
So, maintaining a professional relationship was of the utmost importance. Yet, it was hard. It was too hard sometimes and with that trend of thought he released a soft sigh.
Setting up his canvas, easel and painting utensils were never a hassle or tedious until she walked into the room. She claimed any room and anyone’s attention as her own. It was an intimidating talent for any other woman who dared to compete with her radiance.
She walked gracefully across the white tiled floor, set her blue, floral-patterned bag down by the coat rack and looked up to smile at him. He returned the gesture with a nod of his head and signaled for her to continue what she was doing as he waited patiently to have her entire focus and concentration.
He sat quietly on his stool and kept his eyes on her as she performed her routine of changing into whatever costume or robe he provided her with. She always came to his studio wearing either a knee-length skirt or long dark jeans. She wore her jeans today. They were her signature look along with brightly colored dress shirts. He thought she looked professional most times, but she liked to call it chic. They never disagreed or argued though. He thought that was quite admirable for two people who had such different views on life. He saw life and people as a vast, abstract painting with many colors and layers just waiting to be discovered. Her perspective was more defined, with a grey tone to it. They usually accepted the other person’s opinion as an addition to their own. After all, two heads were better than one.
He blinked slowly and stopped his gaze from traveling down her toned frame. He thought she was quite curvaceous and the perfect subject for all of his inspired portraits. That was why she was his muse. Her body wasn’t perfect, but in his eyes, her flaws were like heaven. Every time he painted her, he discovered something new – whether it was a beauty mark, a freckle he missed, if she gained or lost weight and even the change in her mood and expressions. JES never wore the same expression or mood twice in a row and that was what he loved about her. She was made up of many layers and was a diverse person. None of his requests were ever over the top for her and she was comfortable with him. That was the most important thing – knowing that as an artist, you’re trusted to bring out the very best in your subject of inspiration.
Finally, she walked over to him, handed him her schedule and he glanced at the time sheet briefly. He looked up and locked eyes with her, immediately feeling the intense energy that flowed between them. Her gaze pierced him as she studied his blue eyes with curiosity. He was always tempted to ask her what was on her mind when she looked at him in that way, but he never did.
She worked for one of the top modeling agencies in the country and he simply had to place in a request for whatever model he wanted to work with. It was something he began a few years ago when he decided to do in-depth portraits. He never planned on using models at first, but the way he met JES was considered ‘fate,’ as he called it.
They met at a quaint little café when he happened to walk in the same time she was leaving. It was a disaster. He bumped into her since he wasn’t paying attention to where he was going. He completely soaked them both with the drink she was carrying; but, being a gentleman, he offered to buy it back for her. So, they sat in a booth, ordered another round and began talking. He soon found out about her job with the agency and how she was aspiring to be one of the next top international models. Needless to say, when he really absorbed her beauty and defined bone structure, he gave her the push she needed by offering her the side job with him. The deal worked well and her physic graced many of his canvases over the years. He used other models, but JES was his favorite.
Having her with him at his studio at least once every other week quickly turned into his guilty pleasure; but he never voiced those thoughts. He preferred to admire her from afar. It was a privilege he’d been granted with the modeling agency since his paintings were usually on display in many prestigious museums and art galleries around the world. As a determined individual with big dreams, he worked his way to the top. Now, at 30 years old, he was the well-known international artist – Blake Helmsworth III.
And to think, it all started with crayons, water paint and blank paper in his mom’s office when he was no older than 4 or 5. Whenever he got out from school, she needed to keep him occupied so she could finish her work before they went home. It was amazing how his destiny found him at such a young age.
But, that was enough reminiscing for one session. He had work to do and JES was standing right in front of him batting her long eyelashes while she observed him intently. It seemed like she was trying to read his mind. She did that a lot. Her lips curled into a half-smile and her smooth face contorted into a light frown when she was deep in thought. Now wasn’t any different.
“Life’s been treating you well JES.” He smiled widely for her.
It was the first and only greeting they ever expressed verbally when she came in. She knew that he meant she looked gorgeous as always. It was the only compliment he could muster without feeling compromised.
“And you too Blake. Good to see you again.” She stated in her smooth tone.
He nodded and handed her an artificial red rose, then pointed to the bed that was set up for her even before she arrived. She knew what to do for him. It wasn’t the first time they did a bed scene. It was a walk in the park for her.
She gave him a shy look, grabbed the flower and strutted over to the king-sized bed decked in red silk covers and plush throw pillows. There were a few candles lit near the headboard on an ebony table. Tonight was different for Blake. It was special and more personal to him. He had no intention of telling her though. She was a bright woman. He was certain she would eventually pick up on the slight yet noticeable difference. JES slowly dropped the white robe she changed into moments earlier and turned around to face Blake before she crawled unto the soft bed. The only piece of clothing she wore was a black cottoned underwear.
Against his will, Blake’s mind traveled back to the past and that one unexpected kiss they shared. Over a year had passed but it seemed like only yesterday to him. At the time, he was hovering over her, trying to fix a prop and lost his balance. It seemed cliché but stranger things happened in life. Before he had the chance to move his body-weight off her, he made the mistake of gazing into her eyes. They were amazingly bright and always filled with so much curiosity. He had always been smitten with her; but that one time he got lost in her stare, he was too late to catch himself. By the time he came back to his senses, he had already leaned down and connected their lips together in a kiss that nearly escalated beyond their control.
He knew she was ok with it, but he used his remaining strength to pull away. There was no way he was willing to sacrifice everything for a one-night stand. He needed to see her again. He needed her to come back to the studio in the next couple of weeks. If he gave in their work agreement would have ended then. There was no way he would have allowed that to happen. She was worth more and meant more to him than some simple spur of the moment fling. As a result, it ended at a simple innocent kiss and they never spoke of the incident after that night.
Blake, however, learned to keep his distance from Jessica. Since then, he made sure the props were always ready before she arrived at the studio. This allowed Blake’s only station to be behind his canvas. Admiring her from afar was much easier. There were no doubts, fears or worries. He never verbally admitted to how much he was attracted to her, nor did he ever dwell on the possible notion of being in love with her. In fact, there was never a time he could distinctly remember ever being in love with anyone.
His real and only love had always been his art. Now, Blake was acutely aware of the fact that he found amazing art in JES. This revelation screamed at him so loudly sometimes that it hindered his concentration, work ethics and career on a whole.
But was he able to throw caution to the wind and act on his emotions? He was uncertain of his willingness so he simply kept doing what he did best – painting.