Claire the model decided to take a risky painting job...but it's okay, the cuffs are just made out of clay...right?
“Time’s up, ladies and gentlemen. Pencils down.”
Claire sighed, finally relaxing out of the position she’d been in all class, drawing a pale blue soft robe around her as the art class around her began murmuring quietly. She looked away from the drawings they’d done of her; she’d learned to never look at work people modeled after her. It made her feel weird to see the way they had drawn her. Everyone had a different drawing style.
Goosebumps rose on her bare thighs and she rubbed her hands up her biceps. Why would they keep an art room so cold, when they know that there would be nude models?
“You can turn in your work at my desk,” the teacher was saying. Claire began gathering up her things, stepping behind the screen to pull her panties and dark blue corduroy pants up over her hips. The bell rang for the class to be dismissed and the students hurried out. It was a Friday, so she was sure they were all going home to get ready for whatever big party was happening on campus tonight. Claire rolled her eyes.
“You did a great job, today, Claire,” Ms. Vandermark said as she came out from behind the screen.
“Thanks, Mrs. Vandermark.” The teacher tsked softly.
“I’ve told you to call me Lily,” she said, pursing her lips. Claire couldn’t help the sheepish smile.
“You want me to wait for you?” Claire saw her eyes darting to her desk, where a picture of her and her handsome husband sat.
“No, you go on home. I know you have plans tonight,” she teased. “I’ll lock everything up for you, okay?”
“Thanks, Claire. You’re a doll.” She ruffled Claire’s long coffee-colored hair and snatched up her bag, hurrying out the door.
Claire flattened her hair back down, scowling a bit but repressing a smile. She loved the art teacher here, more than she liked the ones in the other colleges around her area. That’s why she modeled for this class so frequently.
She packed up the paints used in earlier classes and brushed off the counter of eraser and pencil shavings. At one desk someone had left a leather glove. She picked it up, feeling the soft leather. She’d always had a bit of a weakness for leather, the smell, the feel, even the sound. She smiled, shaking her head, and placed it on the desk next to the students’ submissions.
Her eye was drawn to them and she picked up the portraits the students had done of her. Despite what she knew, she couldn’t help thumbing through them.
Few of them had any real talent; most of them just looked like copies of each other with no real unique style. They had just drawn her, what they saw, but didn’t think about what she really represented: a human being, a woman, a soul trapped in an outward appearance.
She paused at one in particular. Now this…this one had talent. She admired the line of her throat, head arched back, looking over one smooth shoulder. The tip of one perky breast could be seen along the curve of the arm. She saw how her stomach muscles bunched, the smooth rounded shape of her hip, her long legs trailing over the edge of the stool, toes hooked around the rungs.
More than that, she saw what she had seen lacking in the others: passion. Yes, she actually liked this drawing.
“That one’s mine, you know.”
Claire let out a startled gasp and turned to stare into deep amber-brown eyes. “Oh! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…” It was one of the students and he was smiling at her in a most disconcerting way.
“It’s fine. It’s natural to want to look.” His gaze dropped slightly over her body and came to rest on the picture. “Do you like it?”
She cleared her throat. He was awfully close to her, close enough that she could feel the heat from his body. Part of her wanted to move away, but she was up against the desk already.
“Yes, I do, actually. I normally don’t like the students’ drawings of me but…I like this one.” She smiled weakly, brushing past him to her bag. She found, to her surprise, that her legs felt like jelly. “I’m sorry, I was just locking things up for Mrs. Vandermark. Did you need something from her?”
“No, I just forgot my glove.” He picked up the glove from Mrs. Vandermark’s desk, slapping it against his open palm. Claire’s stomach fluttered.
“Oh,” was all she said, beginning to pack up her things with shaky hands. She realized, dimly, that she’d never taken the robe off to change into her shirt.
“Claire, I was wondering,” he said, crossing to her. “Would you be interested in modeling for me?” Her blue eyes popped slightly in surprise but she kept her expression neutral.
“I’m usually here every Tuesday,” she began but he shook his head, smiling slightly.
“No, I mean just for me. For a personal painting I’d like to do.” Claire bit her lip, nervously, her hands reflexively grasping the strap of her bag.
“Well…I don’t know. What kind of painting?” she asked anxiously.
“It came to me in a dream,” he said wistfully. “An angel, chained to a wall by thick steel manacles, her wings bound by leather straps, unable to stretch out and reveal their true beauty.” His fingers reached out, playing with a lock of her hair. “Long dark hair tumbling down around her. Toes barely grazing the floor.” He smiled. “It would be a nude painting of course. Angels don’t wear clothes, you know.” She saw the teasing glint in his eyes and tried to smile.
“I’m not sure about this…being chained to a wall, naked, with a stranger?” said Claire, trying to put some humor into it. But she saw the glint in his eyes darken, turning them the color of rich real maple syrup, and her breath caught slightly.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t introduce myself, did I?” He held out his hand, the one clad in leather. “Marcius Loutain. Most people call me Marc.” Hesitantly, she took his hand.
“Claire Fairwood.” He smiled again, giving her hand a tight squeeze.
“And in response to your worries, the chains will be made out of soft clay. If you feel uncomfortable or scared, you can easily just pull your arms down and they’ll break right off. Please, Claire? You’re perfect for the painting.” He gave her his first full smile, blindingly-white teeth and all. It dazed her for a moment. He looks like a little boy who’s about to get what he wants, she thought. And he is.
“Alright. I’ll do it.”
“Great!” He slid his hand into his pocket and pulled out a business card, writing on the back of it. “Here’s my address and my phone number. Does tomorrow sound good? It shouldn’t take more than three days to do the painting. So I’ll just take up your Saturday, Sunday, and are you possibly free Monday?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m free. I don’t have any classes until Wednesday.” Marc handed her the card and leaned in close to her. Her breath caught again. Is he going to kiss me? she thought. His gloved hand caught under her chin and he tilted her head up to meet his gaze. He smirked slightly.
“Blue. She had blue eyes too. The angel.” He dropped his hand abruptly and walked to the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Claire.” His gaze dropped from her flushed face and he smirked again. “Oh. And you might want to get changed before you leave.” One more flash of his maple-y eyes and he was gone.
Claire glanced down to see her nipples standing straight, pressing against the soft cotton fabric of the robe. Her face flamed and she hurriedly changed into her bra and long-sleeved T-shirt. This is gonna be a long weekend, she thought.
Marcius was just setting up his easel when he heard the buzzer. He hurried over to the speaker. “Yes?”
“It’s me, Claire,” came the tinny voice. He smiled, pressing the button to speak. “Come on up.” He heard the beep of the gate opening, allowing her access to the apartment building. He laid out his brushes and paints and examined where he would be painting her until he heard the hesitant knock on the door.
He opened it to see a breathless-looking Claire. “Hi,” she breathed. Her nose and cheeks were red with cold and her hair tucked underneath a 1970s style winter hat.
“Hello. You look freezing, come on in.” He watched her look around his apartment, taking it all in. He had high ceilings, with stained glass skylights that his sister and he had painted. There were three great big windows, two of which were currently covered with thick maroon drapes, blocking out the view of the Manhattan snowfall. The floor was a mixture of mahogany hardwood and soft beige carpeting, and the walls painted a rich chestnut brown.
“Your apartment is beautiful,” she murmured. She felt his hands on her shoulders, removing her bottle-green peacoat. “Anyone could tell you’re an artist.”
“Thank you. And yes, I do have a knack for decorating, you could say.” He hung her coat and hat up on a row of hooks next to the door as she pulled her gloves off, placing them in her bag. She had dressed simply, but he couldn’t help looking at her. Soft worn dark jeans, the knees and hems faded and fraying slightly and a fuzzy dove grey off-the-shoulder sweater, the sleeves long and furling over her hands. “You look lovely.” She flushed slightly.
“Thank you. You do, too,” Claire replied awkwardly. His dark hair gleamed in the warm lighting, curling to the collar of his black T-shirt. His legs were clad in paint-splattered Levis and he was barefoot aside from black socks. For someone in painter’s clothes, he looked just as elegant as someone in a three-piece suit.
“I hope you don’t mind, I made a little dinner before we paint. I thought maybe you’d be a little more comfortable if we chatted a bit before getting down to it.” He placed his hand on the small of her back, guiding her into his dining room. Her mouth watered at the scent of food; she’d hardly eaten anything all day. She blushed as an embarrassingly loud rumbled echoed from her stomach. Marc raised his eyebrows.
“Sorry. I haven’t eaten all day,” she admitted sheepishly. He frowned mockingly, sitting her down in her chair.
“Eat,” he demanded and she felt warmth in her stomach at his command. What is that about? she wondered. She shook her head, clearing it as she began eating. It was one of her favorite meals, mashed potatoes, breaded cauliflower, and a thick juicy steak.
“I hope you like the meat, I wasn’t sure if you were a rare or medium rare kind of person. If it’s undercooked, I can cook it some more,” he said, slicing his steak.
“No, I like it rare,” she said, smiling. Claire was always the only person in her family who liked rare meat; it was always the rarest pork chops, the rarest steaks for her when she would eat with her family.
“Good, good.” They fell into silence that was somehow comfortable. She detected the faint sound of piano music from somewhere, probably one of the other apartments.
“So forgive me for asking,” she began hesitantly, “but how do you afford this apartment as a college student?” He took a drink from his wine glass, half-full with a sweet, berry wine.
“My parents are paying for my tuition, and my grandfather is paying for my apartment. I sell my paintings and do some various odd-jobs for my other finances, such as groceries and basic needs. I guess you could say I’m a bit of a spoiled rich kid,” he admitted softly, grinning.
“You don’t seem spoiled to me,” Claire responded. “You seem pretty down-to-earth if you ask me. Not snobby, like most rich people,” she said before she could stop herself. “I’m sorry,” she stammered. “My mouth gets away from me sometimes.”
“It’s quite alright.” They returned to their meals for a moment. “Oh, Claire, I’m sorry. I didn’t ask if you wanted anything to drink.”
“Oh, it’s alright. Um, I suppose I could have some wine.” He poured her a glass and she took a tentative sip. She wasn’t much of a wine drinker, but she was pleased to find that it wasn’t too bitter.
They chatted idly about each other over their dinner; she asked how he’d gotten into painting and he asked how she had gotten into modeling.
“When did you start nude modeling?” he asked.
“Well, I always felt sort of weird about it, so it did take me a while. I only started doing nude modeling about two years ago, but I’ve been doing modeling for paintings and such since I was sixteen.”
“Oh, that’s about the time that I got into painting.”
“Really?” she asked, surprised.
“I had the most amazing art teacher in high school. He really opened up my eyes to the world of art. Suddenly, I saw things in a completely different way. Colors, lines, the glimmer of a raindrop, the sheen of cars in the street, the roughness of sand. Everything was different, and strange, and I wanted to capture all of that.”
“Wow, you sound pretty passionate about it,” she murmured as he stood. He leaned over to grab her plate, his gaze meeting hers for a moment.
“Not as passionate as I am about other things.” They both paused as his eyes held hers, trapped like a pinned butterfly. She licked her lips nervously and saw his eyes darken.
“W…well…we’d better get to painting. Shouldn’t we?” she breathed nervously, pushing her chair back. In an instant, his face was calm and composed again, smiling gently.
“Yes, we should.”
Claire knew she really had no reason to be nervous, but she found that her hands were shaking as she removed her clothes in Marc’s bathroom. Like everything else in the apartment, it was swank and lush as a hotel’s bathroom, with gold accents and a marble sink. To her relief, she realized the marble was fake, but still.
He had given her a robe of his to wear out of the bathroom and she folded her clothes neatly, placing them in her bag. She wrapped the robe around her and took a deep breath, looking at herself in the mirror. “You can do this, Claire,” she whispered. “It’s just a painting. You’ve done this a hundred times. What’s different now?”
Having pumped herself up, she held her head up and left the bathroom, padding in bare feet to his living room.
Her courage faltered a bit however when she saw the clay manacles hanging from the wall he’d chosen to paint her against. They didn’t look very real, but she supposed they didn’t need to be. He just needed the general idea.
Marc looked up from his canvas when she came in. “You ready?” She nodded, not trusting her voice; she was afraid she would squeak. His artist’s eyes, missing nothing, took her shaking hands in his and gave her a reassuring smile. “Relax.” She did, just a bit, blushing and smiling shyly.
“I’m sorry. I’m normally not this…high-strung.”
“It’s alright. It’s just nerves.” He turned away. “Take your robe off whenever you’re ready and I’ll get you set up in the chains.” The word chains sent little shivers up and down her spine.
Claire pulled the robe off, throwing it over the back of a maroon armchair and leaned against the wall he was painting her against.
Marc tried his best to maintain a professional expression when he turned to look at her, but he couldn’t stop his eyes from flickering to her breasts, her tight stomach and long supple legs. He took her hands and shifted her. “I need you standing on these blocks here. This position is going to be kind of uncomfortable, because you have to be up on your toes. I’ll give you rest periods, since I know it will be a strain on your feet.”
She nodded, stepping up onto the wooden blocks. “I need you to stand like this.” He began moving her arms and legs into position and she resisted squirming away from his touch; her skin was hypersensitive and intensely aware of his fingertips. He must have felt her skin twitching because he tickled her sides suddenly. Claire giggled, jolting wildly so she had to grab onto his shoulders to stop from falling off the blocks.
“There, now you’re less tense, aren’t you?” he teased. Still giggling, she nodded and he set her back into position. Her skin was still sensitive, but she didn’t feel as nervous or as tense as before. She allowed herself to privately enjoy it.
“Now the manacles.” There goes being relaxed, she thought as her spine went rigid. He noticed and looked at her. “Claire, if you aren’t comfortable…” he began.
“No, no, it’s fine. I want to. Really.” He gazed at her for a long moment with an unreadable expression on his face before reaching up to mold the clay around her wrists in a manacle fashion. The chain links were made of a dark grey clay and the manacles themselves of a darker shade, almost black. The instant she was encased in them, she felt her stomach flutter again.
“Okay, now up on your toes.” She arched her feet, coming up onto the balls of her feet. Yes, this position would be hard to hold after a while. “You can relax one of your feet, so that it looks as if you’re dangling in midair. Do you want something supporting your foot? I can put another block up.”
“That might help,” Claire said.
He knelt, taking another block and moving her foot to balance on it, the edge cutting into her heel a little, but making it much more comfortable to hold her position. Marcius looked up at her and smiled. She blushed, realizing he had an almost straight view of her…
“You look wonderful, Claire. Just how I pictured my angel.” His hands slid up her legs as he stood. “Now don’t move.”
The sketching took about two hours, with a break for her feet every half hour or so. He wouldn’t let her see it when he was done with it.
“Aw, why not?” Claire pouted, still in the manacles.
“Because then it will be so much more amazing when you see the final product.” He smirked, coming over to her. “Ready to come out of those manacles? I’d prefer you not break them open.” She nodded and he reached up, manipulating the clay until her wrists could be freed. She lowered her arms, feeling her joints creak.
“Ooh,” she hissed, rolling her shoulders. “I’m gonna be sore tomorrow,” she joked, looking up at him. Even on the blocks, she was still about three inches shorter than him. When she met his gaze, she saw that his eyes were dark amber again. Unexpectedly, she blushed and looked away. Marc’s fingers beneath her chin forced her back to him and then he was kissing her.
Claire felt his lips, soft against her own and her eyes half shut before she gave a startled gasp, pulling away. Her hand flew to her lips. Marc seemed to realize what he’d done and backed up, pulling at his hair a bit.
“Fuck, shit, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he blurted, circling back to his canvas, shaking his head in bewilderment.
“No, it’s…it’s fine,” she said breathlessly, rubbing her lower lip. She couldn’t help smiling a little beneath her red face. “I’m gonna go get dressed.” She hurried into the bathroom, not even putting a robe on and dressed with shaky hands, just as shaky as they’d been taking off her clothes.
When she emerged from the bathroom, the canvas had been turned to the corner of the room so that she couldn’t see it. It was still wet from the base paint he’d sketched over and he still didn’t want her to see it.
He turned immediately when she came in and came to her, his paintbrush wet from water and dripping. “Listen, Claire, I’m really, really sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking…”
She cut him off, “Don’t worry about it, Marc, it’s really fine.” She was still struggling to contain her blush but tried not to make things even more awkward.
“Do you…do you still want to finish the painting?” he asked, looking like a little boy again, only about to lose what he had just gained.
“Of course I do. I’ll be back tomorrow, okay? What time do you want me here?” His face lit up and he smiled.
“Same time? Six-ish?” he asked.
“Sounds great. I’ll bring dinner this time, though. You don’t need to cook for me,” she said. Looking relieved that she wasn’t going to freak out, he walked her to the door and helped put her coat on. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Marc.” She shut the door behind her as she left, smiling.
“See you tomorrow, angel,” Marc said to the empty air.
Claire waited around her apartment all day until six. She kept trying to think of things to do to keep her busy. She thought about calling up a friend and going out for the day, but decided against it. She ran a few errands and thought about seeing a movie, but felt like sitting in a chair for two hours would kill her. She did some crossword puzzles on her couch, something that usually relaxed her, but today just made her antsy.
Why am I so jittery today? It’s not like it’s a date or something, she thought. But time and time again, she wound up back in front of her closet, trying to pick out something to wear. She knew it really didn’t matter, her clothes would come off within an hour of her arriving there, but she wanted to look pretty for Marc…
Why do I care what he thinks of my outfit? Why should I care? She sighed, pulling out a pretty black dress she’d worn to a cocktail party not too long ago. The overskirt was transparent and was longer in the back than in the front, so it had an ethereal quality when she walked. There was a black silk slip beneath and the bodice was spattered with a silvery overlay of fabric paint. It came up in a halter neck with a heart-shaped neckline.
She’d done the random sprays of silver paint herself, to jazz up the dress a bit. It made it appear a little less dressy than it was and added some fun to the dress. She decided she would wear it, pairing it with black ballet flats and silver-sheened tights.
For once in her life, she decided she would do her hair. Nothing too serious, and no curling it, since he wanted it long and straight down her back, but she could put it up somehow.
She twisted and pulled at her hair, sticking pins after pins in it until it was coiled on her hair elegantly, a few wispy strands hanging by her ears. She decided to curl just those, knowing they wouldn’t stay for long, just long enough.
As much as she wanted to, she resisted putting on makeup. She knew it would only have to come off for the painting. Still, she eyed her mascara with longing. Oh, just some mascara won’t hurt. She applied a little bit of black eyeliner, just to the base of her upper lashes and swept the mascara through her lashes.
There. Just enough to make my eyes stand out, she thought. She glanced down at her watch and saw, to her horror, that it was 5:45. “Shit!” she said aloud. She still needed to run and get the food and then catch the bus uptown.
She hurriedly pulled her jacket on and snatched up her bag. She made sure to lock the door on her way out, and rushed to the elevator, pressing the button. When there was no reassuring ding, she looked at the doors. “OUT OF ORDER” said a white paper on the metallic doors. “No, no, no, no, no,” she chanted as she started down the stairs, dialing the Chinese place as she went. “Why did I choose the eleventh floor, ugh!”
Marc told the security ahead of time to let Claire in so he wouldn’t have to buzz her up, so when he heard the knock on his door, he knew immediately who it would be…although she was hard to recognize when he first saw her.
Claire’s carefully pinned hair had fallen out and was soaking wet and dripping down her back, her eyes ringed with black from her smudged makeup. There was a run at the ankle of her tights that was slowly trailing up her calf. She held a bag of takeout Chinese in one hand and her bag in the other. “Claire?” he said, bewildered.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she wailed, coming and dropping the Chinese takeout on the dining room table. “I tried to dress up and look pretty, and it took up all my time and then the elevator was out of order. Then I didn’t realize it was raining and then I missed the bus so I had to walk all the way here since none of the freaking cabs would stop and…”
Marc covered her mouth with his hand, amusement making his dark honey eyes glimmer. “Calm down.” She huffed behind his hand, looking at him reproachfully. He sighed a little bit and took her hand. “Come here,” he said, pulling her down the hall to his bedroom. She blushed a little bit, very aware of the droplets of water she was leaving trailing behind her on his floor. He rummaged in his drawers, coming up with a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt.
“Now come here,” he said, leading her once again to the bathroom where he pushed her inside gently. He pulled a towel out of the linen closet and handed it to her. “Take a bath, clean yourself up, change into those and then meet me in the living room. We can eat then. I’ll keep the food warm.”
Claire’s face looked bewildered for a moment before her blue eyes turned warm and thoughtful. “Thank you…” she said hesitantly before shutting the door.
Marc looked up when his little waterlogged model came padding into the living room. Her hair was wet still and tied up in a ponytail. All evidence of makeup was gone and she was swimming in his clothing. She looked adorable and he couldn’t help an amused grin from coming to his face.
“I’m sorry,” she tried again to apologize but he waved a hand at her.
“No apologies. Just eat.” Again, his command sent a little flutter through her stomach. She picked up a container of the takeout and began eating. She saw he had already finished his food and was watching her. It made her blush and she squirmed under his scrutiny.
They sat in silence as she finished her food. It was only once she set the container down that he smiled. “There. Do you feel better?” he asked. She nodded. “Good. Do you think you’re ready to start painting?”
“I guess so, but…my hair is still wet.”
“That’s fine, I kind of like it. Gives you that…imprisoned look,” he said, chuckling slightly, but his eyes were dark again. Those eyes made her stomach clench pleasantly and started a warmth low in her abdomen, between her legs…
She blushed and stood. “I’m just going to get undressed here,” she said and he nodded, going over to his canvas and beginning to mix some paints together. She shimmied out of the sweatpants. She was about to pull the T-shirt over her head when she noticed he had stopped moving and was watching her from out of the corner of his eye. She paused and a wicked thought came to her mind.
Claire hooked her thumbs into the elastic of her panties and slowly eased them down, bending at the waist so her back was to him. She heard one of his paintbrushes clatter to the floor, heard his muffled curse. She stifled a laugh and stood, waiting until she was sure he was watching again before pulling her T-shirt over her head, arching her back with the movement so that her bare breasts were fully visible. “Alright, I’m ready,” she said, turning with a soft smile on her face. Her wet hair tickled, dripping down her back a bit as she stood up on the blocks.
His eyes were blazing as he approached her and his fingers were a little bit more familiar as he positioned her the way he wanted her. He drew some of her wet hair over her shoulder, draping it in a particular fashion across her left breast. She gasped silently when his fingers accidentally brushed her nipple, but was almost sure it was not an accident when he gently grasped and tugged at it. “Whoops, sorry,” he said quickly, but she was sure he wasn’t. “Ready for the manacles?” he asked. She nodded and raised her arms.
He quickly worked her hands into the clay cuffs and ran his hands down her bound arms. She shivered and caught his gaze. He was smirking and deliberately trailed his fingers over her breasts before pulling back to his canvas. “Up on your toes,” he commanded and she felt that little flutter again, but deeper. She arched up but he shook his head. “Higher.” His smirk grew as she went up even further.
“Good. Think you can hold that for an hour?” he challenged, brandishing a paintbrush, slathered with ivory paint.
“Uh-huh,” she muttered breathlessly. Already she could feel the tension in her calves. His eyes met hers and she saw a glint of something peculiar before he focused back on his easel.
“Good,” he repeated.
He started to paint.
It took longer this time, more like four hours than two. She was able to hold out the first round for about 45 minutes before begging for a break. He was grinning as she settled back onto her heels the final time, letting out a faint moan. “Are we done?” she whimpered. Her muscles were shaking from the tension.
“Yes, for today.” She easily detected the traces of amusement in his tone. She waited for him to come and take her down off the wall but he was slowly and methodically cleaning off his brushes.
“Aren’t you going to take me down from here?” she asked.
“No.” She blinked.
“Why not?” Claire asked, bewildered. Marc sighed and set down the paintbrush he was cleaning and leveled her with a hot stare.
“Because I don’t trust myself to touch you right now.” Her breath caught and she flushed, swallowing thickly.
“Oh.” They were silent, aside from the swishing of the water and paint thinner in his cleaning bucket and the soft swipes of his brush against the towel. Claire was beginning to wonder if she would ever get down off this wall when he sighed and placed the paintbrushes on the towel. He came over to her and just stared at her for a moment. He cupped her face in his hands, stroking his thumbs across her cheekbones.
“I want to kiss you,” he murmured. Claire’s eyes were already closing, her body arching towards his, when he pulled away. He brusquely slid her hands from the cuffs and her weak legs failed her, buckling. He caught her, holding her up. His hands touched her naked skin, nails digging in slightly and she shivered. “But I won’t.” She swore he whispered, “Yet,” just before he pulled away. “Go get dressed,” he said, pushing her gently towards her clothes. Claire felt another shiver go through her and shook her head in an attempt to clear it.
He avoided looking at her as she pulled her clothes on. Her face was flaming. She turned to face him once she was clothed. “I’ll bring your clothes back tomorrow,” she offered. Marc shook his head, smiling.
“Would you like to just stay here for the night? I’ve got a guest room. We can knock this painting out tomorrow morning.” Claire blinked, a little thrown.
“Well…I don’t know.” She hardly knew him. Granted, he’d seen her naked a total of three times now, and had already kissed her and touched her, so she supposed she knew him a little more than she thought.
Seeming to understand her thoughts, he held up his hands. “I promise, no hanky-panky.” He grinned at her and she couldn’t help but laugh, a blush coloring her cheeks again.
“I suppose so…okay. I’ll stay the night.”
Claire settled down into the guest room in Marc’s apartment, her face still faintly flushed. What am I doing?
After she’d put her borrowed clothes back on and they’d cleaned up the remains of their dinner, Marc gave her some old pajamas of his to wear. Even though they were too small for him, they still were huge on her petite frame.
They had stayed up a little bit to watch some TV but it was too late for any more than that. Claire struggled to stay awake until Marc finally ordered her off to bed. “Go to bed, Claire. That’s the third time you’ve yawned,” he’d chastised her.
“No, I’m f-fuh…fine,” she’d yawned again. He had given her a stern but amused glance and she blushed.
“Bed. Now.” The tingle she felt low in her abdomen was familiar now with his commands. Why does he make me feel like that?
Laying in the guest room bed, she stared up at the dark ceiling, replaying that thought in her head. What was it about him that made her feel like that? When he commanded her to do something, it gave her the strangest feeling. She instantly wanted to respond and felt heat curling deep inside her. She’d never felt anything like it.
Claire sighed and turned over onto her side. Just thinking about it was making her restless. Normally when she couldn’t sleep, she fixed herself some hot chocolate, but the thought of wandering through his apartment in the middle of the night was strange.
She huffed and rubbed her eyes. It was almost one in the morning, if she didn’t get to sleep soon, she’d look more like a zombie than an angel tomorrow.
A wall over, she could hear the soft creaks and shifts of Marc in his own bed and wondered if he were having just as restless a night as she was.
Claire woke to the smell of pancakes and the sound of more rain. She wouldn’t have guessed that it was morning because her room was so dark. Sitting up, she yawned and stretched until she realized Marc was standing in the doorway. She let out a little squeak of surprise and instinctively yanked the covers up. “Marc!” she gasped.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.” He was leaning in the doorway, a dark silhouette against the white wood. Lightning flashed and she saw him smiling.
“What time is it?”
“Eleven thirty. I figured I’d wake you up but you looked so peaceful.” He pushed off the wall and came over to her. “You look so cute in my clothes,” he laughed. She blushed fiercely.
“Oh, hush, I’m tiny, okay?” she grumbled, pushing the covers off and standing. “Did you make breakfast?” she asked.
“Yes, I did. Come,” he said. Rubbing her eyes, Claire followed him into the kitchen where the breakfast bar was laid out with orange juice, chocolate chip pancakes, fruit and bacon.
“Mm!” she exclaimed.
They sat down to eat, chatting casually about the weather and listening to the news when Marc turned on the radio.
“Don’t you have a TV?” she asked him curiously.
“Yes, I do, but I almost never use it. I prefer music to senseless noise. And one can read the news from a paper just as much as one can watch it on a screen.” He fiddled with a dial on the radio until he hit a classical station. “Ahh, Madam Butterfly. Do you like opera?” He turned to look at her, only to see a bemused expression on her face.
“You paint, cook, listen to opera music, read newspapers, and don’t watch television. Are you sure you aren’t Martha Stewart?” Marc threw back his head and laughed.
“Yes, I’m fairly sure I’m not Martha Stewart. On most days, anyway.” He gave her a wry smile and stood, wiping his hands on a napkin. “Speaking of the painting…I have a little change in plans today. Would you come with me?” He held his hand out and she took it, following him into the living room.
Instead of the usual clay cuffs that were held on the wall, they had been replaced with what looked like real steel manacles. There were various sizes of chains and leather straps draped across the back of the couch. “For the final details, I needed something a little more realistic. The clay didn’t reflect any light, and they just didn’t look real enough for the painting. And I need the leather straps and chains to go around your body.” He glanced at her. “Will this be alright?”
Claire bit her lip, surprised at the strange rush of arousal that shot through her abdomen. Alright? she thought. He’s going to chain me to the wall!
And you don’t mind, do you? a small part of her whispered. No, she didn’t mind…
“Yes, it’ll be fine,” she said softly.
“Great.” He pulled the canvas and easel from the corner and began to set up his brushes and paints. “Let’s get you up in those chains then, shall we?”
It took less than ten minutes for him to get set up and her to change out of the oversized pajamas. “Up you go,” he said cheerfully as she stood on the usual blocks. After two days of it, her feet were beginning to hurt. She thought longingly of a good foot massage.
He started with the leather straps. One went around her ribs, just beneath her breasts and another just above them, resting firmly against her sternum. Two went around each ankle and were attached to each other with a length of chain. She was startled when he wrapped a thin length of leather around her neck, a cold bite of metal against her throat. “It’s a collar,” he explained as he buckled it into place. “That feel alright? Not too tight?”
She nodded, not trusting herself to speak. “Now the chains,” he said. Chains were draped every which way over her, winding around her arms and ribcage, dangling just over her thighs. He positioned one chain so her nipple would peak just through the links, pulling and teasing it under it popped upright. She suppressed a moan and she could tell he knew.
“Claire, this might seem a bit odd but…would you mind opening your legs for me?” She looked at him, surprised. “There’s one chain in particular I need…” His face was flushed and she felt her cheeks burning as she did as he requested.
Claire let out a soft hiss at the cold sting of metal against her burning clit as he wound a chain up between her legs, attaching one end to the front of the collar and the other to the back. “Perfect,” he nearly purred. Marc stepped back to look at her. “You look wonderful, just like I pictured. Now we just need to put those cuffs on you.”
She shivered as he moved her arms above her head, the cool metal encircling her wrists tightly. The click of them locking into place made her bite her lip nervously. No turning back now, she thought.
His head dropped into her neck for a moment and she felt his warm breath against her. A chill raced down her spine, causing her hips to twitch. The chain dug into her between her legs and she whimpered softly. “Relax,” he whispered and quickly pulled away, walking to his canvas.
“We’re almost done, Claire. Just stay there and look…trapped,” he said, giving her a slight grin.
It was hours before they were finished and they painted in silence, apart from the opera music drifting from the kitchen, the patter of rain against the windows and the occasional rumble of thunder. Held as she was against the wall, she didn’t need much support from the blocks so she didn’t get any breaks this time.
By the time Marc finally laid down his paintbrush, however, her skin was damp with sweat from the bright lights overhead and the strain on her muscles. Not only that, but any time she moved even a little bit, the chain between her legs stimulated her frustrated pussy lips and clit.
“Painting’s done,” Marc said quietly, coming to stand before her.
“Thank god,” she gasped a little, looking at him. He stared at her and she stared back, breathless.
“Claire?” he asked, leaning closer. She nervously tugged at the steel manacles, forgetting for a moment that they were solid metal and not soft clay.
His kiss was powerful and harsh, his lips moving roughly against hers, smooth painter’s hands, still stained with splotches of paint, cradling her jaw. She moaned, her mouth opening for his tongue, tasting him. One of his hands circled her throat and pinned her to the wall, squeezing just slightly and groaning into her mouth.
She let out a weak whimper, panting against his lips. His hand left her throat to grasp her breast, pulling and tugging at one tight nipple. His mouth buried against her neck, kissing and nipping it, his breath warming her. Her head tilted back, meeting the wall. Thunder rumbled outside and she felt it resonate deep inside her.
“Marc…Marc, we have to st…stop,” she stammered but cried out when he bit down hard on her neck, his fingers pinching and pulling at her nipple.
“No, we don’t. And we aren’t.” He pulled away from her and she sagged against the wall, breathing hard. He walked into the bedroom, leaving her breathless and hanging. She didn’t even attempt to try and wiggle out of the manacles.
Marc returned, pulling a pair of leather gloves on his hands and carrying a black bag. He had removed his shirt and worn only a pair of black jeans, liberally spattered with paint. He set the bag down near his easel. “What am I going to do with you, Claire?” he murmured, gazing at his painting and then at her, pinned like a butterfly to the wall.
“Wh…what do you mean?” she breathed. Her nipples were peaked and red, the dark strands of her hair contrasting sharply against her pale skin and he found himself simply staring at her, taking in her form for a moment before speaking.
“You look so beautiful like that,” he whispered. Marc swept one leather-clad hand up her side and fondled her breast, teasing the pouting tip. She moaned, arching into his hand. Oh, she loved how leather felt on her skin and it felt even better against her breast. He smirked. “You like my gloves, don’t you?”
“Yes…” she breathed, her voice cracking. She was in some deep shit. She was chained to a wall by a practical stranger, for god’s sakes! Oh, but she was turned on, achingly so, and the chain between her legs reminded her of this fact cruelly as she strained, making it rub against her swollen clit and lips. “I don’t understand,” she whimpered and then gasped as he bit down on her neck again, her protests stuttering into a helpless whine.
“Hush, Claire. No talking.” The command sent little skitters of arousal through her. His gloved hands roved over her skin and soon she was trembling, simply from the feeling of his long-fingered artists hands, lovingly clad in leather, skimming over the surface of her skin, leaving goosebumps behind.
“Marc,” she tried to protest and yelped as his hand came up to circle her throat, pressing her into the wall. His breath was hot on her ear and she let out a pitiful moan.
“I said, no talking,” he growled and chuckled darkly against her neck. She whined and his free hand found its way between her thighs, sliding past the cold chain to touch her intimately. Her eyes went wide and she sputtered; his hand tightened on her neck.
“Oh, Claire.” He laughed, his thumb pressing in slow circles around her swollen clit. “You’re so sensitive here, aren’t you?” His exhilarated laughter echoed in her ear as sparks flew in her head. She heard herself gasp, her legs shivering.
His thumb and forefinger grasped her clit and tugged on it gently. She whined, and his hand pulsed against her throat again. He tugged a little harder and a harsh, throaty moan burst from her. He answered with a nearly inaudible hungry growl and just like that, she came, jerking involuntarily against the chains, gasping for breath and shaking.
He pulled back to look at her, stunned. He hadn’t expected her to come so quickly, but he smiled. “Good girl. Good girl…” he murmured. He stepped back and began unwinding the chains from around her body. She relaxed a little bit, thinking she was done.
But he simply dropped the chains on the couch and returned to his black bag. There was a black strip of fabric in his hands when he came to her again and she stiffened, a little frightened. “Now, now, Claire. Be good,” he whispered. He tied the silk blindfold around her eyes and she whimpered. “Marc,” she whispered.
His leather-clad hand came down on her upper thigh with a sharp smack and she yelped. “I said no talking,” he barked and her insides clenched again. She couldn’t help but moan.
What is happening to me? she thought desperately.
“You’ll have to learn to obey orders, I see. I’ve got so much training to do with you, Claire.” His quiet tone conveyed that he was talking more to himself than her. She opened her mouth to ask a question and heard his sudden quiet. Her mouth snapped shut and she bowed her head, blushing. “A fast learner, I see.”
His footsteps walked away from her, in the direction of his easel and his bag and she relaxed on her cuffs for a moment.
Why was she allowing this? Why did she allow someone akin to a stranger to chain her to his wall, order her about, and make her come? And furthermore, why was she enjoying this?
She was so immersed in her thoughts that she jumped when she felt his hands on her hips, the leather gloves gone. She felt a brief flare of disappointment that they were gone, but his hands were so lovely all on their own that it didn’t last long.
His fingers were gentle on her this time, wandering up over the curve of her stomach and along the sensitive skin of her breasts. He ran his thumb in a lazy roll over her nipple, up and then down, up and then down. She squirmed, the lack of sight heightening the experience even more. Thunder rumbled once more outside.
He kissed her again, just as deep and possessive a kiss as the first, but a note of tenderness in it now. No, not so much tenderness as patience; he was taking his time with her. Both hands squeezed her breasts lightly, feeling the pebbled nipples pressing into his palms. She moaned, shivering. She was so distracted with his kiss that she failed to notice one of his hands leave her breasts. He unlocked her from the manacles and switched her arms so that they were crossed above her head. His other hand left her breast to grasp her neck, thumb tilting her chin up to deepen his kiss.
“Marc,” she moaned against his lips. He bit down on her lower lip and she gasped.
“No…talking,” he whispered roughly. She cried out as he flipped her suddenly so that her cheek was pressed to the wall, her back and buttocks exposed to him. He pulled her hips flush to his and she gasped again, feeling his erection against her ass. His teeth nipped at her shoulder and she let out a little breathy moan. “You are so beautiful…”
His hand ran down her spine as he pulled away. “You’re not going to understand what happens next, Claire, but I need you to be patient with me. I promise that you’ll enjoy it eventually.”
His steps retreated, back to his bag, she supposed. She felt something soft and cool brushing her thighs. He tapped her ass with it and she froze. No…surely not.
The only warning she had was a soft whish just before the riding crop cracked against the skin of her ass. She yelped, her back arching, pressing her breasts into the wall. A second blow, and she heard herself let out a breathy moan. Where did that come from?
“You’re doing well, Claire,” he breathed. He sounded aroused, and she realized how sexy she must look to him, pinned to the wall, squirming underneath his abuse.
Another sharp slap, this one at the top of her thigh. She squealed, arching against the wall, going up onto the balls of her feet. His fingers drove deep into her and she gasped as he roughly fingered her; she was hot and dripping, her clit swelling to painful proportions. “Yes, you’re doing very well,” he purred, tapping her ass with the crop as he prodded her G-spot. She whimpered, panting.
“Please…please,” she pleaded breathlessly. Another yelp left her lips when the crop came down harder. Suddenly the blows were coming hard and fast, coming down and then up, right, left, left, right, thighs, upper back…she lost count of how many times he whipped her. She only knew that she shook and trembled and sweat and moaned and even cried, becoming nothing but skin and sensation, melting into his wall.
She seemed to come back to herself when the whipping slowed and then stopped. There was a soft clatter as the whip fell to the ground and then a clinking as the cuffs were unlocked from her wrists. He spun her around and whipped the blindfold off. She blinked, his face flushed and heightened, his eyes bright.
Marc’s mouth came down on hers and she felt him lift her, cupping her sore, welted buttocks in his hands. Her legs went around his waist automatically.
Her breath left her in a rush as he slammed into her, sliding easily into her wet, enflamed sheath. “W-wait…condom,” she breathed, clinging to him.
“Already on,” he growled against her mouth, nipping at her lip before thrusting his tongue into her mouth at the same time as his hips rocked back and then slammed forward again. He grabbed her wrists in one hand and held them above her head, as strong as the manacles.
His eyes bored into hers, amusement and desire dancing in them. “Do you want to come, Claire?” he asked, his thrusts becoming rougher, the tip of his cock dragging over her clit on each backslide, sending sparks shooting through her abdomen.
“Yes…yes…!” she gasped.
He nipped the side of her neck, sucking and surely leaving an obvious hickey. “Beg me,” he breathed against her ear, nibbling on her ear lobe.
“Please, what?” he demanded.
“Please, Sir! P-ple…oh, god, please!”
“Please, Sir, what, Claire?” he goaded, laughing as she let out a keening wail. He ground inside her, his pubic bone stimulating her clit as his cockhead massaged her G-spot. He felt her clamp down and quickly pulled back. “Ah-ah-ah, no coming before I say so,” he teased and she sobbed. He slowed his thrusts, gazing into her eyes as he did so. She was nearly hyperventilating with her desperation. “You only have to ask, Claire.”
He saw the actual snap in her control, and felt his triumph; she was submitting to him, finally.
“Please, Sir, can I fucking come!” she shrieked.
The hand supporting her ass came around to grasp her clit, giving it a rough pull. “Come, you little slut,” he growled in her ear and slammed balls-deep into her.
Her whole body shook with the spasms that overtook her, adorable whimpers and moans falling from her lips as her pulsating cunt urged him to his orgasm.
Claire gasped for breath, his deep groans in her ear making her orgasm continue. Only when it was over did she slump against him. He released her wrists to wrap his arms around her, carrying her to the couch before his own legs failed him.
He sat her in his lap, cradling her head to his chest and pressing a kiss to her forehead. “Well done,” he said softly, brushing her hair off her damp temples. She smiled weakly, nuzzling his pectorals. He was still almost fully clothed, only his chest bare. His jeans were scratchy against her ass, which felt like it was on fire.
Her shakes finally subsided and she lifted her head to look at him. He must have seen the question in her eyes because he smiled. “I’m sorry I went about this the way I did. I hope I didn’t scare you.” She shook her head.
“No, I wasn’t scared. Confused, maybe, and definitely shocked. But I wasn’t scared.”
“You did like it, then?” She blushed and her smile was more than a little shy.
“Yes…I did like it. I never imagined anything like that. Thank you,” she said sheepishly. He smiled and kissed her lightly.
“Would you like me to take off all these straps?” he said, playing with the leather collar around her throat. She nodded and he went to work unbuckling the straps. He went to remove the collar around her neck but she stopped him.
“Leave that one,” she said with a soft little smile. He grinned and kissed her again. “Can I see the painting now?”
“Maybe you should get dressed first,” he replied with a cheeky grin. “It’s already hard enough to keep my hands off of you.”
She laughed and slid off his lap, going to the little puddle of clothes on the floor, pulling his soft clothing on. His arms wrapped around her from behind and she smiled, leaning her head back to look at him. “Don’t distract me, I want to see it,” Claire teased and he laughed.
“Alright then, come here.”
He led her to the easel and then covered her eyes before he let her see it. “Ready?” he asked softly. She nodded and he uncovered her eyes. She gasped.
She wasn’t against a wall at all. She had big but broken dirty white wings, her face half concealed by her hair. The part that wasn’t covered looked to be in a sort of tortured bliss. The straps and chains covering her body were stark and contrasting with the bright pink of her nipples and the cream of her skin.
A man clad all in leather was behind her, one of his hands in her hair and the other lifting her leg to drive into her. Even with the mask around his eyes, there was no mistaking that it was Mark. The background of the painting was in harsh red and clay browns, and the floor beneath the leather man’s feet was dark grey.
And what really drew her eye were the cuffs. They were the brightest thing in the painting, seeming to gleam right off the canvas. She looked over her shoulder at Marc. “It’s beautiful.”
“So are you,” he murmured. His lips trailed over the side of her neck as she glanced back at the painting.
“Hm?” he mumbled, distracted by the curve of her shoulder and neck. She tilted her head to the side to give him better access.