Read an Excerpt
‘Hello, I’m calling about the job. Is it still vacant?’
She sounded very nice, young and positive. ‘I’m still interviewing. Have you done any modelling work before?’
‘Yes… Well, just a little at Art College.’
‘You realise of course that I’ll require you to pose in the nude?’
There was a very slight hesitation. ‘Well, of course.’
‘You don’t have a problem with that?’
‘Hardly. It’s what I did at college.’
Maybe she did, but he detected a note of anxiety. ‘And you were quite comfortable with that?’
‘To tell the truth, I was always a little embarrassed showing my figure in front of all those students…’
‘Well, it’s only me, and you’ll have no need to be embarrassed, as you will see. Would you like to come for an interview, er …?’
He called Bess over, tickled her behind the ears – which she loved – and patted the side of her chest. He was rewarded with a lick. ‘Good girl! Well, that one seemed okay. I wonder what she’ll be like in the flesh?’
She arrived at the substantial house and noted the new Mercedes in the drive. He opened the door. He was quite tall. ‘Come though to the studio, Angel.’
Angel. She liked the sound of that. He led the way. He was younger than she’d thought from his voice and manner. The only thing that worried her was that he never seemed to look directly at her. But he never looked at her breasts either. Most men never seemed to take their eyes off them.
‘You have a lovely house!’
‘Thank you. I have been lucky with my work. It sells all over the world. Here we are.’
She looked around the studio. Large Venetian blinds over the huge window blocked out most of the light.
‘I suppose you have to have those screens to stop the neighbours peeking in?’
‘Oh, are they still closed?’ He walked over and pulled the cord. Light flooded in. There were no neighbours to be seen, just a vast private garden, then miles of open countryside.
‘It’s beautiful! You’re not overlooked at all. I’m going to enjoy working here.’
‘You’re getting a bit ahead of yourself, aren’t you? We haven’t even started the interview.’
‘Oh, yes, I’m sorry, but I hate false modesty. Everyone tells me I have a great figure. I was just assuming you would want to paint me.’
‘I am a sculptor, not a painter, Angel.’
‘Well, yes, of course – I meant sculpt me – but it’s all the same from the model’s point of view, surely?’
‘Not in this case. I could never work by sight; I’m blind.’
She looked at his distant eyes. Of course! The window blinds he didn’t know were closed, the careful layout of the house and studio… She could never feel embarrassed with him unable to see her naked body. She had been dreading disrobing in front of strange eyes; now she felt such great relief she laughed. ‘Ha! How wonderful! Oh gosh, I’m sorry! It’s not wonderful for you – but it’s wonderful – fantastic – all that you have achieved!’
‘That’s okay, and thank you for the compliment! Would you like to see some of my work?’
She gazed at the life-sized women in his storeroom. All beauties, some in skimpy costumes, most naked. The range of poses was amazing – demure to blatantly sexual. Some of the nearer ones were similar. A lovely, petite girl with neat breasts. ‘They are truly beautiful! These ones: were they from your last model?’
‘You mean the closest four?’
‘Sorry, I was pointing. Yes.’
‘I still use her sometimes, but my market demands variety. I’m looking for …well, a bigger girl.’
‘And you think I am bigger than her?’ She enjoyed the advantage of him not seeing her.
He sounded irritated.
‘She’s quite small, so there’s a good chance that you are, right? Anyway, judge for yourself – I’ve already roughed out a piece that could be transformed into you.’ The clay was moist, recently daubed onto a wire frame, but the outline was there – a full-breasted young woman down on all fours.
She looked at ‘her’ clay breasts hanging down, the high bottom inviting penetration. Just like her when she was with Michael. It sent a feeling through her lower body.
‘But how can you work from a model you can’t see?’
He perceived the concern in her voice. The penny was beginning to drop. ‘Apart from sound, I get most of my information about the world through my sense of touch.’
‘What, you actually feel the model’s body?’
‘What? So that’s your game! You think that I’m going to let you touch and feel me? You got me here for that?’
He heard the clack of her sandals as she started to go. ‘So that’s it then, Angel?’ He followed her into the hall.
‘No way you’ll get your slimy hands on my tits!’
‘It is the only way I can work. I can’t see them, hear them, smell them… I suppose I could taste them!’ he laughed.
‘Are you still there?’
A pause. ‘Yes.’
‘Well, there’s no point you staying if I can’t touch you. I simply can’t work any other way – my world is one of sound and touch. But before you go, just let me feel the contours of your face, then go home and think about it. Come again if you change your mind.’ From the subtle reverberations of his voice he knew she had come up close to him. He reached out and found the side of her face.
He felt her facial muscles relax under his touch as he built up a mental image of her appearance. He took a long time and she became very calm. At the end, his hands briefly outlined the rest of her body. She was a beauty.
‘I was just thinking what it must be like not being able to…well, see anything at all. And that shape you got before even touching me…’
‘Perhaps the pose frightened you a bit?’
‘It did, rather! But I’m not frightened now. I accept that you have to touch to see.’
* * *
They were back in the studio. He opened the window wide on to sunny countryside. She could hear bird song; see the secluded garden curving away down the hillside.
‘Well, I’d better get stripped off.’ She began to undress.
‘Not so fast! Your interview… Come over here. Closer.’
He touched her face again, so lightly it almost tickled.
‘You know that you are truly beautiful, don’t you?’
‘I’m okay. Some women are more…’
‘Do not put yourself down!’
The anger surprised her. For the first time she felt the full strength of his personality.
‘When you pose for me you will be the most beautiful creature on the planet, and I the best sculptor! I have been waiting to sculpt a woman like you all my life, Angel. Your perfect, sensual form will be immortalised in my sculpture.’
‘Do you really believe all that?’ she asked a little breathlessly. ‘You haven’t felt all of me yet.’
‘I must believe it and so must you. Any doubts either of us have will diminish the work.’
While they were talking he’d been feeling her arms, her neck and shoulders, her collarbones – building a mental picture, she supposed. His touch was so delicate. She put her arms loosely around his waist; it felt the only natural thing to do. Concentrating, he hardly seemed to notice.
He turned her around, rather roughly, so she had to let go of him. She was beginning to realise that she was just a physical model for his main purpose – to form another work of art like the others she’d seen. He felt her back minutely through her dress, examining her shoulder blades, every vertebra.
‘Go on talking.’
She did. About the studio, his work. He was quite capable of ignoring her questions, leaving them hanging in the air. She shrugged and chatted on.
‘You’re not wearing a bra.’
‘Not today. Normally I do. It’s a heavy-duty affair that keeps my boobs from wobbling about and attracting too much attention. I hate men ogling me. Today I felt like being free.’
‘But you realise that although I can’t see, I will be ogling you in a far more intimate way?’
‘Well yes; but you are an artist – a sculptor… You won’t be thinking of me in that way, will you?’
He sighed. ‘I’m not a hypocrite. I don’t want you running out on me again, but now is the time, if you must. I am an artist who sculpts, but I am a man first – a man who loves women’s bodies. I will certainly be thinking of you in that way. I will be ogling you! Your body is a feast for a man. I knew it before we even met.’
The words excited her. She knew men wanted her, but put that way, thinking of her body as a feast…
‘Remember what you said when you ran off?’
‘Oh God, I’m sorry. I’m the hypocrite. I said ‘No way you’ll get your hands on my tits’.’
‘Oh, gosh. I was a bitch!’
‘Not at all. A very natural reaction to an unusual situation. And my hands would be slimy with clay! So are you in or out? It has to be wholehearted, we won’t get anywhere with half-measures.’
A long pause.
‘I’m in,’ she said softly.
He touched her breasts. He felt them through her dress; felt their weight, mobility and softness. He opened her dress and pulled it down to her waist. He handled each upstanding breast separately, each nipple, feeling the change in profile, the rising cone of textured skin around each point; feeling the subtle differences between the pair. His sensitive touch was truly at a different level to a sighted person; his hands had taken over the function of sight. They felt delicious. She wanted him to squeeze her harder, wanted him to… He let go of her. No, don’t let go now! she thought.
‘I got them just right, didn’t I?
‘Yes, you did!’
‘Yes, you said you’d taste them…’ That was what she wanted. He knelt before her and took each breast to his slightly bristly face. She leaned forward slightly, offering herself. After the scratchiness she felt the wetness as his tongue lightly trace the contours around each point; his teeth gently bit her nipples until she gave a little ‘Ouch!’ just before it would really hurt. Then he sucked on them. She felt gorged, swollen, as if full of milk. His fingers continued to knead. Gently he tried a little milk-stroking. She couldn’t be sure, but she felt certain he’d tasted a little sweet fluid at one nipple. He tried to get some from the other…