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The paintbrush splayed out across her nipple. Georgie focused steadily on the canvas that Cal was working on, but felt the touch of the brush dart through her body like a lightning bolt, as if it were her skin that was being touched, rather than his painting of it. She looked away from the canvas and lifted her hair from the back of her neck, where the skin prickled with anxiety.
Cal was totally focused on the painting, his eyes narrowed as he worked. Just looking at his strong bone structure and the firm line of his mouth gave her a physical thrill. Standing by his side, her body was throbbing, and a cloying heat had long since gathered between her thighs. Georgie had to face it--she was horny as hell.
She pulled her kimono into place and toyed with her empty coffee cup. She dipped her finger into the crystals of sugar clinging to the bottom of the cup to distract herself, idly sucking them off her fingertips.
Cal lifted the brush from the canvas and turned toward her. She reached over to the tray and handed him his cup. He looked at her intently as he swallowed the fragrant espresso.
"Blimey." She nodded her head at the painting.
"You don't like it?"
"Oh, yeah." She chuckled. "I mean, what's not to like?" Georgie took another look at the painting. "It's very flattering."
"I'm glad you feel that way." He smiled. It had a devastating effect on her. Her heart rate notched up another level; her core was on fire.
"But ... do you really see me that way?"
Another wave of heat coursed through her body.
"It's not so important what I see, but what I'm trying to make others see in you, the subject." He gestured at thecanvas. "Why don't you tell me what you see?"
Georgie blushed violently. Talk about putting you on the spot. She shook her hair out and tried to focus on the painting. The sense of identification she felt was uncanny. Yet the way he had depicted her, she looked like a sated harlot, one who was staring blatantly at the onlooker as if eager for more of the same. The image was so blatant. Her naked body lounged out across the rug and cushions, totally on display. Seeing it had immediately stirred something deep and pent-up inside her: sheer, rampant lust.
If that was how he saw her, she must be downright obvious when she wanted a man. She hadn't realised, although an ex had once said being assessed by her across a nightclub was like being hunted down by a lethal laser beam. She had laughed at the time, thinking that he was just saying it to flatter her.
"I see ... um." She fidgeted with her hair. "Passion, or even lust, I suppose."
"That's good. That's what I want."
Georgie threw him a look of amused accusation.
He shrugged. "Well, it means we're getting nearer to what I want..." He gave her a quick, suggestive smile. "Let's get back to work."
"You're a real slave driver, aren't you?"
"You'd better believe it." His eyebrows flickered. There it was again. He was flirting with her. Her heart missed a beat. She'd told herself over and again that she was simply modelling for him, but he persistently confused her by making remarks that kept her on edge. Her body simmered with arousal.
She wandered back to the pile of cushions and rugs, slipped out of the kimono, and got settled. She ran her hands over her aroused breasts as she took up her pose, briefly answering their need for contact. She sighed. Modelling for Calvin Rolf was turning out to be even more challenging than she had imagined it might.
He put the cup down and ran his hands through his hair before picking up the brush and returning to the canvas. His expression was keen. His eyes were almost indigo in their strange blueness--intense and brooding, they followed every movement of her body.
Georgie was getting used to seeing him from this strange sidelong viewpoint, and she watched him as he worked. The large studio, so sparse and simple, was more than filled with his presence.
He was different than any other man she had known. He had an air of control and exuded self-confidence. The other students at college thought him attractive but eccentric, with his maverick ways and his distinctive Austrian accent. He was a very good-looking man, with strong facial bones and angular features. He had a narrow goatee, and his dark blond hair fell from his distinctive temples in light waves. His body was strong, lithely muscled, and fit, with a coiled energy about it that was decidedly sexual. He reminded her of a panther on the prowl.
His work was renowned. A leading contemporary artist, he worked across many media and had pioneered large physical sculpture using synthetic resins and heat moulds. He was best known for the work he did in the realist tradition, depicting the human form in such a manner as to examine the soul, its very essence, through the image. To be chosen as a model by him had been an honour. Not to mention a complete turn-on.
This was the third time she had come to his studio. The fading grandeur of the top-floor apartment was the perfect backdrop. He roved the space in an old army T-shirt and jeans splattered with paint, while she lay naked, strewn across the cushions. Her tense, aroused skin prickled as each light draft of air touched it.
At first it felt strange to have him looking at her naked body for so long, but Georgie was an exhibitionist at heart. She'd always enjoyed parading herself and being looked at by her lovers, and this was somehow more intense and erotic. Not to mention the fact that he'd planted the thought of sex in her mind before she had even arrived for the first session. As a result, Georgie was kept in a constant state of arousal, her body alert and her imagination persistently wandering into dangerous territory. She was more than ready to leap on him and had to remind herself occasionally to get a grip on herself and try to maintain some decorum.
She drew one knee up, as he had requested, and let her hips fall open. She rested her arm across her stomach, recapturing the pose he had arranged her in earlier in the session. Her hand rested gently over her hipbone. The sunlight fell through the lace curtains, and she was bathed in pools of dappled colours that rippled over her skin when the curtain drifted on the warm afternoon breeze.
He stood watching while she settled, and then he turned back to the painting. The heat that was pooled in her groin kept her simmering, molten. She savoured the feeling, her eyes closing.
She'd seen him featured on a television documentary the year before she'd come down to London to study at the college. She remembered his terseness toward the interviewer--it was as if he hadn't wanted to discuss his work at all. She now recognised that as his way. Cal had an underlying edge to him, one that suggested an intense personality. His hawk-eyes never missed a thing. When he had turned and looked directly at her, her skin felt scorched under the scrutiny of his gaze.