Art Class

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Somehow I had managed to volunteer to take over from Pauline, who was ill: the art class needed a model, and this wasn’t the first time I had modelled. It was too cold and inactive to promote much thought of sex, and the money was small though it helped, and I was trying to do something with flutes in my head that wasn’t ready to be written down yet.

So I put my instrument away in its case and my music, my own and other people’s, away in my portfolio, and burdened with these and an overcoat I made my way over to the art department in the Halston Building.

With a single awkward glance at the eight or so students, who were also trying to ignore me, I introduced myself to Mrs Westman and put myself in her hands. My possessions and then my clothes formed an irregular stack at my side, and I followed her suggestions to give myself a tired, rather hard-done-by pose, face up and eyes shut, supported on one arm so my breasts were thrust out somewhat; but at least my legs were close together and the males would have to use their imagination to get much of my groin in.

I took another look at what students I could see from this angle: Pauline’s friend Ilona, whom I knew, and who had persuaded me to replace her, because I had been doing some private modelling for Ilona in the meantime. Several others I recognized from when I had last done this a few months back; I’d once had coffee with tall, studious Graham.

The arm support might have looked elegant but I quickly knew it was wrong for me. It began to ache too soon and I had to keep surreptitiously adjusting myself. There was an interruption when someone else came in and I allowed myself to sit up properly for a few moments, before asking Mrs Westman to help me get back in position again.

The composition for three flutes wouldn’t come right, and perhaps never would, and I stopped thinking about it. I planned my dinner (all those mushrooms going off), reviewed what was on television (The Bill was all I cared to see), and wondered if I should borrow ten or twenty pounds from my brother. I’d arranged to meet him at five o’clock.

Then I realized that might be frustrating, as I couldn’t remember arranging anything; all I’d said was that I’d be over there at five if he wanted to meet. My business calls are very short and tend to miss out crucial details. Although he studied in this department I had no idea what his timetable was or where we should meet: by a main desk somewhere?

We had another break and I was waggling my numb arm when I saw Tom there in front of me: he was sketching away as if he’d never seen me before, until he too looked up and met my eyes. I think we both looked sort of horrified at first, but of course I knew it was only natural he should be in this class, and it was no worse revealing myself in front of him than others. The pale cold film that had gripped my throat and chest retreated somewhat, my stomach flutters calmed down, and when I had to resume my pose, eyes away and closed, I reconstructed what he could see from the angle by the door where he had sneaked in late: one breast from the side, almost from the back.

But all the time after that I was thinking about Tom looking at me. I’d never been so self-conscious during a public session. Ilona’s private sessions where she saved my modesty by drawing my face as an abstracted oval without my features were another matter. How would I move to avoid him seeing more? It really made a difference if he had seen my nipple, I don;t know why.

In the end that was impossible, because when class ended I had to get off that supporting arm and walk up and down just to recover myself, so everyone saw everything. Ilona had bounded up and was talking to me; Tom was stopped half way towards me.

I was facing him full-on so I smiled and beckoned him closer. Further hiding was pointless. When my muscles had recovered enough to reach down for my clothes I picked up my pants and used them to gesture between Tom and Ilona, introducing them. Ilona acknowledged him briefly and went on with her enthusiastic point, forcing me to listen still naked as I tried to take in her ideas for an enormous mural combining fresco and mosaic.

Tom just stood watching us both but of course I could feel his eyes discreetly raking my boobs and pubes and bum, no gentleman. I eventually put on my panties and went for my bra. Now he acted the gentleman and took the straps from me to fasten it. I wondered whether he was just as fast at undoing them.

Then Mrs Westman came up to talk to me, Ilona collared her, and I got to dress in peace unmolested except by my brother’s gaze (I almost thought he was teasing me doing it) and that of a couple of other male students in the distance who were having unaccountable difficulty putting their things away.

I wanted a very quick snack in the caf and to touch Tom for a bit of money, but Ilona insisted on dragging me to her room, fortunately not far, to see some new elemental sketches she was thinking of blowing up for the mural: tree roots, sand bars, all slightly clichéd. I cursed Pauline heartily and all casino siteleri her arty friends.

To my surprise she mad us tea first. Tom and Ilona had known each other by sight, of course, and got into a conversation about teachers, as she became curiously coy about showing her ideas to a fellow artist, but Tom was admiring the folio of branch shapes and leaf patterns, so I could switch off for a while.

I was looking at a book of Benin bronzes and Yoruba heads sipping my tea when I caught Ilona saying, “Do you mind, Lucy?”. I assured her I didn’t, I was fine here, and I carried on absorbed.

“They are fantastic,” Tom said in awe, overdoing it a bit. I heard the rustle and heavy flap of cartridge paper and his sudden intake of breath. After the second or third gasp of admiration I started to get annoyed: Ilona’s excitement could blind her, but she wasn’t completely thick, and my brother was laying it on with a trowel.

“Isn’t she beautiful?” said Ilona nervously.

“Oh Lucy,” Tom breathed.

My bowels froze and crashed down into my genitals. I spun round and saw that they had the portfolio of me, very nude, very exposed, spread out in every direction. “Oh fuck,” I yelled, “not those ones!”

Ilona was crestfallen and jabbered about him being my brother and already seeing me and she thought I didn’t mind. Tom was — I couldn’t look at Tom. I had knocked tea all over her bed and her book and I was shaking very hard as I tried to collect all the drawings back again. Ilona saw danger to her art from the spilt tea, and dabbed at it with tissues, then rushed out of the room.

All this time Tom said nothing and did nothing, but when I finally shoved them all brutally back into the portfolio and thrust it away from us, I knew I was bright scarlet and on the point of tears.

Ilona came back with a mass of toilet paper, mopped up, and went out again. I had had to move away from where she was mopping and the only place left was right beside Tom. I felt him move away as if to avoid touching me. I didn’t blame Tom for anything, so that brought on the tears. We were holding each other, he was trying to calm me, I was hugging onto him because he was the only person who could help me, and that way we stayed when Ilona came back. She said nothing but I could feel her looking wretched.

I was too shattered to go out in public yet so I just had to abuse her hospitality for a while. She understood. My brother’s hug was nice; I really didn’t blame him for seeing me that way, and hoped it wouldn’t affect anything permanently. I took in the scent of his bottle-green jumper, worn too many days, the light warm pressure of his hand on my back.

He offered to escort me home and I told him that was silly; but I wanted to get out now so I said, “Let’s go somewhere”. We wandered the streets like lovers, arms around waists, and found a café specializing in ice-cream concoctions. I wanted a sugar hit. We took a cubicle for four and piled all our equipment and coats in the back of it and finally sat facing one another. For some reason he had taken, or I had taken, or had let him take, my hands in his.

And that was the first time we looked into each other’s eyes. He began to apologize again and I stopped him. I just had to face him and look into his depths and assure myself nothing had been spoilt in our standing. We sat like that until we were waited on, then we sat like that until our sundaes came. A little before that I had made some halting explanation of why I had posed like that for Ilona under condition of strict anonymity and facelessness, and he told me how brave he thought I had been, how much he admired me for having done it at all.

The ice-creams came and we had to disengage. One of us, I’m not sure who, perhaps both together, made a slight head gesture of approach, and we leaned forward and kissed on the lips. A slow kiss, no passion, none at all, but a great deal of love and trust.

So then we stuffed ourselves and had a couple of strong coffees before deciding to go off for some real food and a bottle of Rioja. They also did mushroom pancakes, which we both liked the sound of. We were relaxed by then and laughing a lot. I took Tom’s hand again and squeezed it.

“It’s not everyone who’s lucky enough to see his sister like that,” he laughed.

“Well that’s the last time.”

“Oh, I haven’t finished my picture!”

“Oh that thing. I haven’t seen it. Let’s see it.”

“Here?”

“What have I got to hide?” I said, rolling my eyes.

The wine came and I poured us both a glass as Tom struggled to get his sketch pad from his bag. To prepare me he showed me all the sketches from the start, including a couple of other nudes, much to the interest of the waiter who lingered indiscreetly in putting down our food. I told him we were coming to one of me naked so he should buzz off. I think in the course of the next ten minutes he managed to pass our table four times.

Tom was pretty minimal. He was good at strong lines, a few curves joining to convey a precise momentary image. He avoided detail, at slot oyna least in his sketching. A stranger would not have recognized me, had I not been here to compare: I was as stylized as, say, the Little Mermaid of Copenhagen, especially with my head turned away like that. Yet I could see it was me, and I could see that he saw it specifically as me. He had never seen either my breasts or my bottom before (not in adulthood) but had captured the exact sag and flab that I tutted at in the mirror. One nipple rose, a cobweb of sexuality atop the alabaster.

I looked up at him and grinned in acknowledgement. His eyes glittered. He was pleased with the effect on me. I wanted to say something encouraging but nothing seemed right. So I took uup his hand and kissed his index finger.

We finished our meal and, since neither of us had plans and it was now past seven, we decided we’d see a film. At that time there wasn’t much choice, because we didn’t have time to go further afield, so we sat through a “screwball” romantic comedy with no laughs and no sex and no point, and I sat on an aisle seat because of the wine, leaning on his lovely body half going to sleep, very comfortable with his arm round me; almost without words we agreed to give up on it. We disturbed few people in the cinema.

I was tired but wanted to do something more. If I was a clubbing and dancing sort of person that would have been ideal, but I wasn’t (and we had all our stuff) so I let Tom guide me, just let him choose the transport, and I was bursting for a leak by the time we got there. But it was a good little Hampstead pub and I felt I could settle in there for the night.

After a lemonade I switched to vodka, since it was obvious I’d have to get a cab home. At closing time I told him I was going to ask at the bar for a number, and he told me not to, as he could put me up at his place. This made perfectly good sense so I agreed without thinking about it any more. It was only a short trip by bus. I leaned across the table to kiss him to say thank-you, and he took my head in his hand and stroked my hair. It was so nice. Our tongues touched a bit because we had our mouths open. I didn’t mean to do that but it felt thrilling and moreish just like when you do it with a boyfriend.

We did it again waiting at the bus stop, kissed with our tongues, I mean. Only this time it went on and on, passion and submersion and eternity. You never ever want to get out of that ocean of kissing, you think it should go on for as long as you can stand there, giving you more strength for keeping on finding new ways of doing it.

Tom and I did part. So then I began to ask how I felt about him. He had both my hands compressed gently between his, and was touching very light kisses across my hair and face and on my ears. I wanted more with tongues, I wanted more, but needed to recover the energy.

Tom took one hand away from mine and felt my cheek, pushed up my chin a little, brought his hand down tremulously on my throat to — The bus arrived.

At home he turned on music and we kind of danced to it. I tried to get him to do a minuet and a gavotte and each of the other movements, but he was uncoordinated tonight and soon gave up, so we just swayed in each other’s arms. I loved the sensation of him kissing me so slow and wet up and down on the neck, pricked by his stubble and squashed tight against him, legs mixed in with legs.

The phone rang. It was immediately apparent it was Hilary, his girlfriend. They had a brief friendly conversation but a bad note crept in: Tom called me over and got me to speak to her. I said hi and just told her what he had already said, slightly puzzled by something in it, and then I realized why it had sounded fraught between them before I’d spoken.

“Oh you suspicious cow, you thought he had a girl up here!”

“Sorry, Lucy, but you know men. Can’t trust ’em an inch.”

“Yeah. Rotten to the core. You coming over and join us?”

When I said that Tom’s expression clouded. I noticed because I’d been giving him a big smile: I hadn’t seen Hilary for yonks and really liked her, and I hoped there was nothing wrong between them, no reason why they might not want to see each other. But she said it was almost midnight and there was no way she was venturing out. I draped myself over Tom from behind and nibbled his neck as he made his final endearments to her. So we all said goodbye and that was that.

Tom asked me if I would like another drink but I said no, I was fine. Actually I was a bit tired by now. I mentioned this.

So he went and got a nightgown for me, and held it up for my approval. I said it was a bit skimpy, wasn’t it? A bit on the sexy side? Did Hil always wear that sort of stuff? When she’s with me, Tom explained, and only at first. I laughed at that. I could just imagine Tom ripping off — now wait a minute. That thought with that particular nightgown on that particular night gave me a nasty shock. Where exactly was I going to sleep? The sofa in the front room was way too small, and full of junk. I doubted I could fit on it and I’m sure Tom canlı casino siteleri couldn’t.

I was hauling the things off it when Tom came up to me and held my arms, said not to bother. I know I looked oddly at him then. He said the bed was plenty big enough, and I said no way, uh-uh, I don’t care what you’ve seen today and even if I am a bit drunk (which I wasn’t), I’m not sharing a bed with you.

He looked a bit hurt and surprised at that, did Tom, and I suddenly thought perhaps I’d said a very silly and petty thing. I remembered thinking by the bus stop that if this was anyone but my brother I’d probably be going to bed with him when we got home. I honestly didn’t know what to think. Well I’d be in a nightgown after all, even if it did show quite a lot — and he’d seen all that and a lot more today anyway.

So he offered to pay for a cab home. Now that really was silly and I told him so, but I couldn’t be cross. I apologized in case I’d been rude. He held me and looked at me up close and we stared into each other’s eyes for a while, and I really didn’t know what to think.

That turned into tonguing. How? I didn’t want to do it any more, but of course once we’d started it was wonderful. I was quite piqued when he stopped, to go and open a bottle of merlot. He poured a glass for himself and I refused, but when he brought it over to me, swallowed a mouthful, then brought his mouth back to mine again, I wanted them both, wine and tongue, wine and tongue. So we ended up on the sofa, all its contents piled on the floor around us, two glasses on the table, and in each other’s arms and kissing like there was no tomorrow.

My sex was wet, very wet. My nipples were stiff, and tingled every time they pressed against him; my face was flushed. At this point, feeling all this, I began revolving in my mind whether if push came to shove I could go to bed with him, not just bed, but make love, let him enter me, give way to the familiar throes of passion with my own brother. The answer should be obvious: no. But no specific good reason came to mind why I had to say no.

I apprehended that he had long since decided that we should have intercourse: when? Kissing at the bus stop? When he first saw a picture of wide-open labia? That first glance in the art class, or years before, as teenagers, growing up in propinquity and familiar with all my body but the sexual secrets? He was trying to lead me to it. Part of me wanted to struggle to escape. Oh god, he had his hand down my front, down my bra, he was rubbing my breast, twirling my aching nipple, oh god, it felt so good and right and this was my last chance to say no.

“Please don’t touch me.”

“Whaat??”

“Not like that… please… even if I say yes… please please don’t touch me… even if I want you to.”

“Lucy, Lucy, what, how can you –?”

“I want to. But please. Don’t.”

He removed his hand and actually stopped holding me, which was not what I wanted, nor did I want him to get cross with me or feel let down. Just no further. Half my thoughts were already on what it would be like underneath him with him pressing into me and making me gasp.

We made a confused mess of apologizing to one another; sat awkwardly apart. He suggested coffee, which I accepted. We watched television for a while. That kept us sober and occupied, and I did snuggle back under his arm after a while. At last, when we were both close to asleep, he tried to move me off so he could make up the sofa for himself; but I was sure by now that was unnecessary.

In the bedroom we stood uncertainly for a moment. His pyjamas were laid out on that side and my nightgown was on this. Feeling more self-conscious than I thought I should be I stripped off, glancing at Tom from time to time to let him know that watching me intently was okay by me. I dropped my bra; his gaze bore into my breasts: I stepped out of my pants and let him see everything again. I just stood there quite open to him: he was looking at me, and my body, with perhaps the same curious and perfectly natural expression I had.

“Your turn,” I said.

He stripped off too, and when he was at his underpants he seemed to slow down. My heart skipped a beat or two as he revealed his penis, expanding as I watched, pointing towards me. He stood like that facing me. We laughed, for want of anything else to do.

He walked nearer. Close enough to touch. His penis pushed sideways on my belly and, slipping down my leg, that was what I felt as his hands took my back and pressed me to him and one hand slid down and rubbed my bottom, and our lips touched and parted and our tongues did in dumb show what we both wanted his penis to be doing inside me, so close down there — and which I was touching, just holding, in my hand, as one does a friend’s hand for comfort.

So we separated and I put on Hilary’s absurd nightshirt and he his pyjamas, which were unable to disguise his erection. Tom turned the light off and we got into bed together, snuggled up, kissed more, and locked into each other’s limbs trying to compose ourselves to sleep. With one of his hands softly stroking the rounding of my breast and the other doing it to my thigh, in a different motion so that I didn’t know what to expect, but perilously near at times to my liquid centre awaiting him, I was happy.

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