Author: N.G. Jones
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: March 16, 2015
Someone hadn't scarred my face.
I hadn’t followed my dreams to LA.
That tweaker hadn't attacked that homeless guy.
I hadn't invited a stranger over for Thanksgiving.
I hadn’t fallen in love.
If I hadn’t lost him.
I hadn’t gone for that drive.
I saw the world like everyone else.
My “genius” wasn’t slowly destroying me.
I had just walked away before I could ever know her.
She hadn’t ignited the spark.
If the spark didn’t ignite the madness.
“Let’s start with something simple. How about a tree, in the fall, so you can play with color?”
She smiled. “That sounds perfect.”
“Okay, we’re going to use acrylic because if you make a mistake, you can paint over it as soon as it dries.”
“Oh ye of little faith,” she said, coming over to stand in front of me at the easel. She was so close, I could feel her warmth even though we weren’t touching. The pale glow that surrounded her now grazed me.
I squeezed out green and white and showed her how to mix for the right shade. Then I told her to lay down short, staccato thrusts, but her swipes were, frankly, juvenile and clunky.
“No, see, you are trying to draw the tree. You just need to focus on the leaf, and then pull that back to how the light hits the leaf because a leaf, even a leaf that you just see as green, is many shades of green.”
“And this is why I’m a dancer,” Bird said.
“Here,” I said, grabbing some of the brush handle from behind, “let me guide you.” It was a mistake. Her lavender scent grew strong, and I could smell her fruity shampoo on top of it, and the curves of her behind pressed against my pelvis. The heat rolled down my neck, and to my fingertips. Even though I was touching wood, I felt the warmth of the coziest blanket rubbing against them.
“Okay,” she said in barely a whisper. Her voice moved in transparent cerulean and seafoam wavelengths in my line of sight.
I slid my hands up the edge of the brush, so my hand was over her delicate hand. And shit, I am only a man and I just wanted her so bad. But, I focused on the empty sheet on the easel.
“So you start soft, tentative, until you find a rhythm.” My words were barely a breeze against her ear. “Just relax.” I gently guided her hand and she let me take over. I used the hand of my muse to fill the canvas with strokes of green. “This will be the foundation, but soon we’ll fill it with browns and oranges, even pinks.”
“We? You’re doing all the work, but I like it that way,” she said, almost woozily, as if she were in the same trance as me. She leaned back, resting her head against the front of my shoulder. My heart thudded so hard, I was afraid she would be able to feel it. I guided her hand to a cup of water and she dropped the brush. But I didn’t let go. I didn’t want to let go, and I don’t think she wanted me to either.
“Let’s come back to this, we can work on it a little each day,” she said, turning her palm up so she could thread her fingers into mine. The heat was everywhere, like a warm rush of water, lulling me to do whatever the hell she wanted.
“Now, I show you how to dance.” She turned, using my hand, and then she was facing me. Her skin radiated through tiny freckles on her cheeks and nose.
The next song on the album played. “I love this song,” Bird said, pulling me to the open floor in front of the record player as “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” began to play.
“There’s only one way to dance to a song like this,” she said, stepping in close, guiding my hands to her waist, as she wrapped hers around my neck.
There was too much. A kaleidoscope of lilting colors, the strong scent of lavender, a sweet taste like nectar, the blooming warmth rushing through my body.
I am only a man.
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