Excerpt from “Reed”

This is another experiment in first person. This time, the character is a young woman. Ianna Eaton is an art student. She’s very shy, reserved, quiet. She works in a bar part time to help pay her bills. One night at work, a gorgeous man takes refuge from the rain. He needs to make a phone call because he has car trouble and his cellphone died. He chats a few minutes with Ianna and her boss, then leaves as suddenly as he arrived. She is immediately attracted to him, but is upset because she doesn’t think she’ll ever see him again. She finds out how wrong she was when she gets to class the next day.

All kinds of interesting types take art. We have everything from latter day hippies to the typical teenage Goths. I don’t really fall into either category, I just sort of blend in with the scenery in my jeans and T-shirts. The figure drawing room is usually kind of warm since the models have to sit there naked for two hours, so I dressed anticipating the heat in a pair of jeans and a tank top. The only one I had clean is bright pink with a big rhinestone halo and it says “Absolute Angel” on it. My roommate gave it to me as a joke on my twenty-first birthday.

I got into the room a little early, picked my spot where the sun wouldn’t be in my eyes and set up my easel. I was unpacking the rest of my drawing stuff when Dr. Lacey came in and clapped his hands to get our attention.

“Seems Monique is sick today, so we’ll have a different model. A friend of mine has agreed to step into the breach. He’s a little funny looking,” he winked at the class in general, “so be kind to him and give him the warm welcome you always do. Come on in, you mangy dog.” He gestured to the dressing room door. My heart fell to my shoes and sort of puddled there. It was Reed!

I must have looked like I was going to puke. My friend Marcy leaned over and whispered, “Ianna, you okay? You look like you’re gonna faint or something, girl!”

“I’m okay,” I lied. “I’m fine. I just didn’t sleep very well last night.”

I hurried from the room, bought myself a soda and came back in as Dr. Lacey was posing Reed. He had him in a languid pose, reclining on one elbow, his left leg extended beneath him, the right bent with his arm draped over it.

Maybe I should explain about figure drawing. When I say naked, I don’t mean naked with like a fig leaf or something. I mean totally, completely and stark naked! He looked even better than when I had seen him last night. His hair was freshly washed and still a little damp. He hadn’t shaved, so he had a shadow on his jaw. His eyes were not dark brown as I originally thought, but a deep, vivid blue.

He looked up when I walked in the door. I ducked my head, blushing as I went back to my seat. His eyes followed me until I sat down almost directly in front of him. Oh, my God I thought I was going to die! I was, quite literally, at crotch level. Front and center.

I’m not the most experienced girl around. I’m the first to admit I haven’t dated all that much, but I have an artist’s eye for form. He was incredible! His entire body was a gorgeous bronze color, his dark hair straight and his jaw firm and resolute. He looked as if he must have some American Indian blood in him, his features were majestic like some of the tribes in the Northeast.

His shoulders were broad, his waist and hips narrow, thighs powerful, his muscles rippled when he moved and stretched. Dr. Lacey fussed at him when he wiggled too much.

“Be still, you bum! They need consistency!”

But he was teasing. Reed grinned and made a rude gesture which set us all laughing.

“Next time don’t put me in such an uncomfortable position and I won’t move.”

After an hour, Dr. Lacey let Reed get up and take a break while we went out for snacks, get a quick smoke or just relax a little. Reed stood up and wrapped a robe around himself before he got down off the dais. I was right at hip level when he stood, all I could do was stare! I tried not to sit there with my mouth open, but I was thinking, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!”

He grinned down at me and stepped down off the dais, holding out his hand to me. I took it tentatively, unsure what he was doing. I guess I kind of expected him to shake my hand, instead he leaned over and kissed it tenderly. I nearly fainted! His dark eyes flickered with amusement, it was like he knew exactly what I was thinking and thought it was funny. Sure, frumpy little artist thinks the model is dead sexy. What a chuckle. He could never want a girl like me. He could have any woman in the room, all he’d have to do was point.

“Good to see you again, Ianna. I hope you slept well.”

“No, not really,” I blurted out without thinking.

He chuckled, a half smile on his face. I wondered if he knew why I hadn’t slept well. He probably had been the subject of the fantasies of every woman he had ever met! He leaned closer, I could smell his cologne, soft and sexy like he was.

“I wondered if you’d like to go out for lunch after class? I have to be back here for the next session at two, but maybe we could get something quick?”

“Sure, um, yeah I’d like that.” I felt so stupid and inept. I could hardly think in his presence, let alone speak.

We chatted a little while during break until Dr. Lacey called Reed to his office. He came out a few minutes later and Dr. Lacey followed him. They went back up on the dais and Dr. Lacey put him back in his pose.

“Good news, ladies! Reed had agreed to stay all week!”

Cheers around the room from the women. Several girls gave each other high fives or did sexy little victory dances. The men looked slightly put out. Some of them groaned.

“It’s all right, gentlemen. I’ll get them warmed up for you and you can exploit their frustration,” Reed chuckled, settling back into his pose.

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