Nachez examined the sketch in his hand as if it were covered with characters of a dead language. A long moment passed.
Joshua looked at the sketch. “Um, Harlan, I think she is pretty much that size.” He looked at Nachez, then back at the drawing. The morning sunlight, if the sunlight could still be called morning at 11am, poured in through the many windows. Joshua had raced out of Meera’s at 9:30 with just a long kiss and a promise to send her the list of what he was putting in his paints. He had managed to get here just as Nachez’ car pulled up. No coffee. No shower. On his best behavior. This day was not off to a promising start.
Now, he was standing with Nachez, going over the sketches. After the usual pleasantries of how wonderful the sketches looked and how much he was looking forward to the painting and how much Hannah was looking forward to the painting and how much Hannah enjoyed posing and on and on and on, the subject had quickly shifted to Hannah’s tits. Joshua, still back on how much everyone was enjoying everything, was having trouble focusing on the mammaries at hand.
Nachez flipped the sketchbook closed. “No, you’re absolutely right, that’s just how big they are. I’d like them bigger in the painting.”
Joshua nodded, slowly, trying to make sure his voice stayed casual and even. “OK, bigger. How much bigger?”
Nachez thought for a moment, then held his hands out in front of him, cupped back. “This big. Big.”
Well, I’m learning more about you that I wanted to, Joshua thought. “OK, got it. Anything else you’d like done, while the hood’s open?” Joshua hoped that his sarcasm would be written off to general artist bad attitude, or an attempt at humor. Bad attitude he had aplenty right now, humor in very short supply. Fortunately, Nachez ignored it; unfortunately, he seemed to take Joshua seriously.
“Yes, just a few things,” Nachez said, walking to the window, stroking his chin thoughtfully. Joshua sat down with a pen and a napkin to write on. Coffee, he thought. Must get coffee immediately after this. He glanced over at his answering machine; it was blinking disconsolately to itself. I’ll deal with you much later, he thought to the machine, writing down Nachez’ requests.
Joshua wrapped his hands tight around the glass mug, attempting to get some warmth into them. The weather had gone from hot and muggy to freezing and damp over the weekend, and his hands were strained and numb. The morning visit with Nachez, followed by another five hours of painting, painting, painting on the $17,500 black velvet nude (as he now thought of it) had left him feeling fiercely grumpy and irritated. Perversely, he rather enjoyed the sensation.
He looked around at the rest of the crowd in the café, what there was of it. A few yuppies slurping at lattés, a few members of the corona of service industries that the yuppies required for daily life (baristas, cell-phone salesmen, performance artists). Joshua sighed. When my lease is up, I’m moving to Arizona, he thought, sourly.
The girl behind the counter kept glancing over at him. Short bleach-blonde hair, black cats-eye glasses, brown eyes behind them, slim figure in a blue tank-top. Cute, he had to admit, and refreshingly real, especially after the refined, surreal, abstract prettiness of Hannah, at which he had been staring all day. She noticed him noticing her, and turned away. She stuffed things into her bag, getting ready to leave. He sighed, swallowed more coffee.
He examined the passing traffic for a while, enjoying the play of colors, when he felt someone nearby. Turning around, the barista was standing across the table, smiling hesitantly. “Um, hi. Ah, you are Joshua, ah Tostig, right?” she attempted.
He sat back, entirely unsure how to react. “Yeah, c’est moi. What can I...?”
She sat down with a thud, as if asking the question had used all of her strength. “I’m, I really like your work. A lot. You have such a cool and unique style, and so much incredible technique...”
Joshua blinked. I have fans, he thought. Not just patrons, agents, and dealers, but fans. Or one fan, at least. This, he thought, is very cool. “Thanks... no, really, thank you,” he said.
“Listen, um, hi, I’m Dana, I mean, my name’s Dana, and I wanted to, um, show you something, if you’ve, um, ah, got time?” She was already reaching into her canvas bag for a sketchbook. Joshua, feeling oddly embarrassed, turned so as not to look down her tank-top as she leaned over. She deposited the sketchbook on the table, closed.
I suppose this is a landmark in my career, he thought; I’m being pestered by aspiring artists just like I used to pester. Well, fair’s fair, and at least this one is cute. He took the sketchbook at her nod, put on his best really-I’m-interested face, and flipped it open.
Minutes passed as he flipped from page to page, his eyes large. My god, he thought, this girl’s good. No, this girl is great; she’s a better draftsman that I’ll ever be. This still life looks like I could just eat it, and it’s just in charcoals. And this nude looks like it should be warm to the touch...
He put the sketchbook down, and looked across at her. She looked back, crestfallen, but trying to be brave. “I know, uh, I know that it’s still pretty rough, well, it’s just a hobby and I probably should stop wasting time on it... uh, anyway,” she stuffed the book back into her bag, “thanks for your...”
He lifted a hand, and sat up. She stopped. “Dana, you’ve got a lot of talent. You’re very good. Very good.”
She blinked. “You mean that?”
Joshua blinked in turn, as if she had just said the sky was purple. “Yes, of course, I do! Whatever you do, don’t stop,” he stressed, blushing as he realized it sounded like he was in bed with her.
She just stared for a second. “OK... OK, I won’t. Thank you!” She blinked again, and Joshua realized that she was starting to cry. He lifted a hand to reach out to her, but she was gone, running out of the café. He followed her with his eyes.
She’s not running, he realized; she’s skipping.
With a smile, he sat back, and finished his coffee. It was a few minutes before he realized he hadn’t even asked for her phone number.
Late that night, he sat back, nearly falling off his stool. He looked at the painting, and the painting looked back at him. Paint was everywhere, mostly all over him, and he felt as though the fumes had leached into his bones. His left hand held the air dryer he used when he needed to get layers dry and ready for another quickly; the hand trembled from strain. Done, he thought, done done done! And done strictly according to spec: those tits, that ass, legs like this, expression like that, those and that completely clean.
I want a bonus for pandering, and I want to wash my hands of this thing, literally and figuratively, he said, holding it up to the light.
He gently carried it to the drying rack, and started the water running. As he soaped up, he looked at the list of paint ingredients for Meera, tacked above the industrial washbasin, and reminded himself to go to the copy place and fax it over to her. I’m fucking my best friend’s wife, who’s an Indian witch with a fax machine, he though wryly. Only in San Francisco.
He snapped his hands into the sink, and looked over at the answering machine. Still blinking. OK, OK, he thought, drying himself off, I’ll put you out of your misery. He punched the button.
No message. Beep.
No message. Beep.
Words came tumbling out, piling on top of each other. “Ah, Joshua, ah, Joshua, hi, this is Kylie? From Fassil Galleries, you know, I modelled for you a long time ago, and, listen, I really need to talk to you right away, it’s really really important, but don’t call me at the gallery and please god don’t tell Paul I called, OK? I’ll call you back.” Saturday, 2:25pm, the machine told him. Beep. It continued.
No message. Beep.
No message. Beep.
Five more calls, all no message. Joshua’s heart pounded. Why would she call me? What about? Fuck, he thought, I have no idea how to get in touch with her except through Fassil. What’s wrong? He looked at the clock: 3:32am. He slumped into the couch, grabbing the phone. Directory assistance? He tried. No, of course not, no one is listed in this town; the whole fucking White Pages could just say “A-Z: Who’s asking?” He shook his head, put the phone down on the floor. First thing tomorrow, I have to go to Fassil’s, he thought. He closed his eyes, but sleep did not come for a long time.
Hannah’s bedroom in Woodside was far from the bulk of the house, which sprawled over nearly two acres in a maze of rooms and passages. She was far from everyone else, and nearly on the opposite side from Harlan’s rooms. This suited her perfectly. He had stopped even trying to get into her pants, she thought smugly as she brushed her hair. Agreeing to do the portrait with that stupid geeky painter was a great idea; give Harlan a small meaningless victory once in a while, and she could live here forever, while the rest of his girlfriends (cows all, she thought) drained his balls. She shuddered at the thought of him pawing her like he did Constance, Sonia, Mimi, and whoever else was on the menu; there was just something about him that made her want to exfoliate with sandpaper.
Hannah, you are so smooth, she thought as she slid down between the smooth cotton sheets and put out the lights. Sleep came quickly.
Sleep did not last. She tossed and turned, dreams full of bizarre colors and lights and having to squeeze her way through tight passages which scored her skin, took off parts of her, left her misshapen and bleeding. She woke up with a short scream, bolt upright. She put her hands out, feeling wetness all over the bed. “I’m bleeding,” she sobbed, before she touched again. No, it’s not blood. It’s just sweat. I’ve been sweating. She could also feel her thighs and pussy, throbbing, and realized that the moisture soaking the bed was not just sweat after all.
She reached for the light as she levered herself out of bed, but her hand missed and fell onto the alarm clock. 4:02am. She pushed herself out of bed, and nearly fell over; she felt weak, dizzy, and completely off balance. Her back hurt. Oh, good, she thought, ballet since I was four, and now I can’t walk. She staggered to her feet, and put a hand out, feeling her way along the wall.
She stopped, and collapsed into an armchair. I feel weird, she thought. I feel so strange. I can’t think at all... I’m sick, I have the flu, I’m dying from some fucking disease and Harlan isn’t even fucking home he’s out with Mimi or Yvonne ... God, he’s probably still doing it to them now, he probably has Mimi bent over and is fucking her hard even though he’s come five times already and it’s past four in the morning and she’s got this incredible pair for an Asian girl and her boobs are swaying and his cock is going in and and out in and out...
She spread her legs, wide, and slid down in the chair. Her fingers feebly reached for her cunt, and started stroking frantically, noticing that she was clean-shaven, but barely stopping to think of it. I’ve never been this fucking horny, she thought, fucking horny fucking fuck fuck fuck god his cock buried in her pussy I bet he’s huge god I’ve never even seen his cock and Mimi is getting it and I’m not and I bet her mouth still tastes like his come if I kissed her it would be like him shooting in my mouth god I’m hot come come come... shit why don’t I have a dildo I’ve got to get something in my cunt... She shoved as many fingers in as she could reach, could fit. She reached down to play with one of her nipples, found her breast, touched it.
Her scream was audible half-way down the empty house. She launched herself out of the chair, grabbed for the light, turned it on. She looked down, and then in the mirror by the side of the bed.
Her breasts were huge. Freakishly huge. She’d never seen natural breasts as big as hers, and not many fake ones, either. She had a flash of utter panic. She grabbed the nightstand, feeling she might faint, her head swimming, her blood pounding. What the fuck is happening to me? I look like a cartoon character. I’m bigger than Mimi, she thought, her panic slowly draining away as the fuzziness and arousal returned in a flood. I’m even bigger than Alexandra, that cunt, and he’s always going on about how big her boobs are. The nipples looked larger, too, a bit puffier, and they were...
She collapsed back into bed, her brain lighting up with orgasm from the pinch she had given one. They’re so fucking sensitive I could just play with my boobs for hours and come and come and come and then Harlan could fuck me between them and come all over them and in my mouth and on my throat and I’d love it god I want it when’s he coming home I need him to fuck me...
She finally fainted at dawn, one hand on her pussy, the other on her breasts, her scent filling the room.
At the 10am opening, sharp, Joshua opened the door at Fassil Galleries. He had planned to bring the portrait of Hannah along, just to show Fassil for a laugh, but when he called Nachez’ admin and told her it was done, she insisted that it be messengered down to the office at once. Nachez’ orders. Fine, fine, just send the check back as fast, Joshua had thought.
He walked towards the back, barely noticing the pieces on the walls. The door to the back office was open, and he stuck his head through, looking around. No one. He walked through to the next door, also open. Fassil looked up with surprise. Joshua took a quick glance around; nothing on the walls. An art dealer who doesn’t own art, Joshua thought; OK, sure, whatever.
“Oh, Joshua. Hello, please, come in,” Fassil said, coming around the desk, removing a pile of papers from the one other chair. “I’m sorry the place is in such a mess, but we’ve been moving so many pieces these days...”
Joshua sat, looked around. “Thanks, Paul. Um, is Kylie around?” he said, trying and failing to be causal.
Fassil didn’t seem to notice the tension. “No, sorry, Joshua, she’s off delivering some paintings.” He paused, smiled falsely. “Including ‘Odalisque’! Harlan Nachez bought it for a very pretty sum.”
Joshua grimaced. Great, Nachez’ll just snap up all the big-titted realism in the country, he thought. I should get a gang of models and do an assembly line. Kylie delivering it will give him tremendous leering opportunity, since Nachez has a brain and can see that she’s the model.
Paul glanced over his desk, saw something that reminded him of something. “Oh, Joshua, I’m sorry I didn’t think of this when you came in. This is horrible, but one of your pieces was destroyed.”
Joshua sat up, suddenly afraid, but not sure why. “Which one? It wasn’t...”
Fassil continued, still reading the slip. “’National Guard Armory, 1999.’ Claire Baumgarten’s house burned to the ground on Friday. She had just taken it, too.”
He shook his head, put the paper down, looked across at Joshua. I had forgotten about that one, Joshua thought as he returned Fassil’s polite gaze. It was hardly one of my favorites. He looked away, and shrugged. “Thank you. Uh, is everyone...?”
“Yes, no one was hurt. They were all at the Opera,” Fassil smiled. “Thank you for asking.” Another long moment of silence.
He offered Fassil some information about his current work; Fassil listened distractedly, clearly ready to get back to his computer. Joshua took the hint, stood, walked to the door; Fassil didn’t rise to see him out. He stopped.
Fassil had already forgetten Joshua was there, poring over a spreadsheet. “Oh, yeah, what is it, Joshua?”
“I found this great new realist artist. She works in charcoal...”
Fassil waved, not even looking away from the screen. “Realism doesn’t sell, Joshua. You know that.”
Joshua looked Paul up and down, and walked out, leaving the door open.
“Fax for you, Meera,” the perky receptionist said, waving a sheaf of papers in her general direction.
Meera waved back, showed her 2pm client (large, friendly) and attached patient (small, yappy) into the examination room, and came over to collect the fax. Humming softly to herself, she flipped over the cover sheet, and traced one nail down the list.
- St John’s Wort
- Mercury fulminate
- Belladonna (tincture)
- Sulfur (powdered)
Her eyes grew wide. She stopped in the corridor as she finished the list. She looked up.
“Bad lab report?” the receptionist asked, looking with concern at Meera’s expression.
“Ah, yes. Sort of.” She thought. “Could you get one of the techs to do an initial on my 2pm? I need to make a phone call.”
Joshua collapsed on the sofa, having run his errands for the day: fax to Meera, talk to Fassil, dispose of Hannah’s picture. Now, he thought, I’m going to just sleep for a month. Ketan can come by and water me regularly.
He stood up, stretched, and looked out towards the southwest. His eyes traced the streets down, one by one: Bryant, Harrison, Folsom, Howard, Mission... A thought crashed into him, sending him staggering; he grabbed onto one of the beams for support.
The National Guard Armory.
I painted it, he thought. The painting burned on Friday. The building collapsed on Friday. Those fire trucks, they were probably on their way to the fire at Baumgarten’s house.
Joshua slid down the wall. “It has to be a coincidence,” he said out loud, knowing to be utterly false. “It’s just a painting, they’re just paintings...”
He looked over at the table. Sketchpad, filled with sketches of Hannah. He pulled himself to his feet, and walked slowly over, picking the pad up as if it were the bomb that would end his life.
The phone rang. He dropped the pad, and grabbed the handset.
“Joshua. It’s Meera.”
“Oh, god, thank god it’s you, Meera,” Joshua babbled. There was no one he would have rather heard on the phone. “Listen, I just figured something out... it’s...”
Meera’s voice was as sharp and bright as a knife. “Joshua, I will be coming over this evening, after I am done at the clinic. I must talk to you about the paints.”
He shook his head to clear it. “The paints?” Oh, right, the fax. I faxed her the ingredients. “Uh, Meera, OK, but there’s something else...”
“We can talk then. I will call you as soon as I leave the clinic.”
“OK, Meera. Great. But, look, there’s something more, something about the paintings...”
“In the meantime, Joshua, do not use those paints. Namasté.” Click.
Joshua looked back at the sketchpad. His mind whirled, and pieces came together like shards of glass in a kaliedoscope. “Odalisque.” Kylie was delivering “Odalisque” to Harlan Nachez today. Paul had bought “Odalisque,” and then there was that show at the gallery where Kylie had... And Nachez wanted a picture of Hannah, and he had bought “Odalisque,” and Kylie had hair like he had given her in “Odalisque”...
Joshua raced out of the loft, nearly throwing himself down the stairs. He tried to remember when the next Caltrain down the peninsula to Menlo Park would leave, as he ran down towards the station.
Nachez tilted the painting, watching it catch the light. The kid’s good, even if he’s a complete fool, he thought; you’d never know this was done with a brush. The phone buzzed. “Stanley Harliss of Material Neoscience, Harlan,” said Vivian’s voice.
“Thanks,” he replied to the phone, and snatched it up.
“Stan, thanks for being around for me. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s been a while, but I have something to talk to you about.” He leaned back in his chair, painting balanced on his lap.
“What is it? I have a something that I want your lab boys to analyze. I think we may have something huge on our hands. No, bigger than that. Bigger than we can imagine. Yeah, I can imagine big, too. This may be nothing, but it’s worth a shot.”
“Yeah. So, what I need you to do is to take some small samples off this painting, and do the analysis. Then, figure out how to make those pigments into inkjet ink. No, Dynamic isn’t getting into the fucking printer supply business. Stay focused.” He turned the painting again. “You may need a buttload of colors of ink, but that’s OK. We can make that work.”
“Pay for it? Stan, you cocksucker, I’ll buy your company if that’s what you want. If this works, we’ll buy whatever we fucking feel like. Yes, we. Trust me. Just set it up, and call me back. Yeah, a week’s fine; I’m taking a few days off now. OK, let me know. Ciao.”
He hung up, admired Hannah’s portrait for a while longer. He hummed, putting it in a bag with “Odalisque,” delivered not ten minutes ago itself. Today, he told himself, I’m leaving early; I have a lot to do at home.
For the first time in months, Kylie was glad to be wearing heels. They made a wonderful click-click-click noise as she walked out of the lobby of Dynamic Solutions, a sound full of purpose and direction. She stepped out into the heat of the afternoon, and took a deep breath. She walked quickly over to her car, and didn’t let the breath go until she was nearly out of the parking lot.
Nachez had scared her, the first time she met him. The other men that Paul had used her to cozy up to had disgusted her, or bored her, and sometimes they weren’t too terrible to be with, but Nachez... Nachez didn’t look at her like a piece of meat, or a piece of property. She was a test, she was a puzzle to be decoded, a deal to be unravelled.
For once, she had wanted to get to the sex quickly. Nachez was not any great prize, but she would have been happy to have given him a five-hour-long blowjob, just to keep from having to answer his questions. She flirted, she showed off her cleavage, she made suggestive remarks, she made offers, she spread her damn legs and flashed him, and still, he just wanted to ask question, after question, after question. How she met Paul, when did she decide to sleep with him, did she always wear her hair like that, how many times did Paul set her up with other guys, what did she feel, why did she do it... And Paul had told her, “Do whatever he wants,” and so she did. She answered them all.
And then he fucked her. Then he left, leaving her feeling like he was having some big joke at her expense. And now she had just walked into his company’s headquarters and dropped off a painting. Not just any painting, but “Odalisque,” the painting that must have started all this.
Nachez was “out,” and she was glad of it.
She shook her head, trying to clear it. Fuck it, she thought. I’m not going right back to the gallery and watch Paul try to get blood out of stones because he had been a greedy piggy. The signs said “Half Moon Bay / San Mateo Bridge,” and impulsively she pulled off towards the west.
I haven’t just gone for a drive in months, she thought, not since that evening I made the mistake of going to Paul’s gallery and ended up going home with him. She snorted. Going home with him. Right. I ended up bent over his desk being pounded like a cheap drum, and then being installed in his trick pad like his latest sculpture acquisition. Very homey.
She looked at her cellphone, and looked back on the road. Why hasn’t Joshua called back? she thought. Am I a leper or something? She shook her head, again; stop thinking like you’re always in heat, even if you are. He might have no idea why you called. The painting probably has nothing to do with this, and you’re just trying to explain away being a sick fuck with a daddy-master thing going on. No, she shook her head, there has to be something going on, that painting must have something to do with it; the timing was so coincidental, I’d never been like that with a man before, and my hair suddenly deciding it was growing season, and Paul ending up with the painting. Everything together. Something must be going on.
She passed the 280 freeway, up into the hills. I don’t know where I’m going, she realized, suddenly. She shrugged, and turned the CD up a bit louder. It doesn’t matter. I’ll just go, enjoy the drive, and end up back in San Francisco later. Paul can sweat it out. If he gets angry, he gets angry.
She wandered through the hills for a while, pulled off, drove south for a while, letting her mind wander. Soon, main roads gave way to smaller roads and those gave way to steep, winding roads into the heart of Woodside. Kylie had been down here a few times, parties with Fassil, but the preserve of the hyper-wealthy still felt off-limits to her. She pulled over to the side of the road, and stopped the engine.
OK, now what? she asked herself. She realized, for a moment, that she had absolutely no idea where she was supposed to go or what she was supposed to do. I’ve never felt like this, she thought. This is crazy. I’ve always known that there was something I needed to do, for months at least now. I should just drive back. I should just get back to the gallery... but that idea sounded insane, as crazy as driving off into the ocean.
The light filtered down through the trees over the side of the road, making dappled shapes on the car windows. With the air conditioning off, she realized that it was getting warm in the car. She stretched, feeling the short skirt ride up, exposing her pussy; she didn’t care, it wasn’t like there was anyone around. And she was getting horny anyway, a kind of unfocused, nonspecific horniness, a horniness waiting for something. She reached down, started gently stroking herself, feeling her wetness spread under her fingertips.
She stroked herself, not really trying for an orgasm. She felt very vague, very distant, just drifting along the slow river of her arousal. She closed her eyes, licked her lips, started fantasizing about slowly being fucked, or having a cock slowly slide in and out of her mouth, or both, or of two handsome men pulling up in a car behind her and deciding that she looked just perfect to be used and used and used, gently and firmly and for hours on end. Time passed, minutes, then hours.
Suddenly, she heard a car crunch through the gravel behind her, pull to a stop. She quickly yanked her skirt back down, pulled the seat back up. The door to the car opened, and a man got out. Not the cop she expected, but a man she knew. Her whole body turned to ice even as her hand, on its own, rolled down the window.
“Hello, Kylie,” Harlan Nachez said, smiling, as he came up to the car.
“Harlan,” she managed, gasping in quick, shallow breaths. “I... I didn’t...”
“Follow me to my place,” he said, turning around, eyes invisible behind expensive dark sunglasses.
His car pulled out. She started hers, and followed closely behind. She didn’t know what else she could do.
Joshua stared out the windows of the commuter train, watching the peninsula countryside roll by. I feel utterly, completely stupid, he thought. Now, what, O Man Of Action? Just stride on in to Nachez’ office and demand that he hand over the paintings or I’ll tell the world that... uh, that he has two girlfriends. Please, Joshua, on the pathetic scale, this is reaching new depths.
But I have to do something, he rejoined. It’s my fault. I have to do something.
“We’re now arriving in Redwood City, please make sure you take all of your belongings with you, and thank you for riding...” the announcement scratched over the speaker.
Joshua looked off; there, to the west, were the glass towers of Ketan’s employer. Without really understanding what he was doing, he leapt up, down the stairs, and off the train just as the doors closed again. He looked up and down the platform for a pay phone, trying to remember Ketan’s work number.
Kylie sat on the one of the many couches arranged in a circle around the central fireplace of the livingroom. The domed ceiling, afternoon light streaming through the stained glass around the rim, still air and utter silence made the room seem like an abandoned temple.
Harlan sat a few feet away from her. Hannah kneeled in front of him, her back straight, her huge breasts thrust out, her legs apart. She was clearly trying to control her breathing, and failing. Kylie watched, her dress pulled up, slowly masturbating, just as Harlan had requested.
Kylie’s eyes flicked over to the two paintings across the room, one beside the other. “Odalisque,” of course, she was far too familiar with. The other, a portrait of Hannah, was clearly also by Joshua. In it, Hannah lay back on cushions, one hand pinching a nipple of her obscenely enormous breasts; her head was thrown back in an expression of utter, mindless ecstasy, as if that orgasm was eating away at her brain. Her legs were spread, and her pussy bare; you could see how aroused she was, even across the room and in the subdued light. Joshua’s good, Kylie had to admit. After all, look what he did to me.
She turned her attention back to Harlan and Hannah. They regarded each other for a moment longer, before Harlan said, without turning, “Kylie, could you come over behind Hannah? Kneel down behind her.”
Kylie rose, and did as she was asked. Harlan smiled.
Hannah moaned, softly. “Ppplease... Harlan, just fuck me. Please. That’s what you want, isn’t it? Just do it...” She ground her hips helplessly in the air.
Harlan smiled. “Of course I’m going to fuck you, Hannah, but I’m not nearly as impatient as you.” He looked over Hannah’s shoulder to Kylie. “Kylie, reach around and cup Hannah’s tits. Get your fingers on the nipples, but not too hard.”
Kylie felt the heavy weight of the tits as she squeezed them, her fingers lightly pinching the nipples. Hannah gasped, trying to wiggle away, but without real force. “Harlan... god... stop it, I don’t like... girls...”
Harlan made a face. “Hannah, I like girls, and I like my girls doing girls. That’s what matters. Now, Kylie, when I tell Hannah to come, give her nipples a solid pinch.” Kylie nodded, slowly.
He let the robe fall open. “Hannah, come.” Kylie pinched. Hannah screamed and collapsed forward, her head falling on Harlan’s thigh, her eyes fixed on his cock, her legs bucking convulsively. Kylie had a hard time hanging on to her boobs, but she managed. Harlan smiled. “Now, Hannah, let’s talk about what you like to do.”
“... like to do ...” she murmured, still staring blankly at his cock.
He nodded. “Kylie, after I’m done, I want you to tell her all about how much fun it is to fuck girls.”
Kylie could only nod, and wait for her next command, her hands still on Hannah’s tits.
Ketan carefully speared a leaf of his salad. “OK, so, let me get this straight.”
Joshua nodded, peering around the cafeteria, trying to make sure they weren’t overheard. He liked visiting Ketan at work; even wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and covered in paint, he rarely felt underdressed. Working in the Valley was like that. Ketan himself, as befitting his lofty station here, was wearing a severe grey suit and a dark blue silk tie. I cannot believe this is the same guy, he thought, not for the first time.
“You think that if you paint someone, you do something to them.”
“It’s like... oh, fuck, I don’t know, Ketan, it’s like I suck the soul out of them and put it in the picture.”
Ketan said, “The soul. Okey-dokey. So, let’s go over the evidence.”
“You paint one art-chick, matching her hair color to her pubic hair, and she turns up with that color hair, all subby over the guy who bought the painting, who just happens to be a rich gallery owner.”
“Next, a painting of yours burns up, and the building that it is a painting of falls down, on the same day.”
Joshua stopped, and thought. “No.”
Ketan sat back, entirely the Executive Vice President for Advanced Development that he was. Skeptical, cool, composed. “And you think you have some weird power to pop off neo-realist Pictures of Dorian Gray?”
Joshua collapsed. “OK, it’s stupid.”
Ketan nodded, vigorously, sitting forward; his intensity made Joshua pull back a fraction of an inch. “Yes, of course it’s stupid. You’d have to make a pact with the devil or something. It’s not you, loser, it’s those fucking paints of yours that you’ve put so much time into making toxic.”
Joshua just stared for a full half-minute. “Meera called you, right?”
Ketan shrugged. “We’re married. It happens.”
Another long pause. “So, what do we do now?”
Ketan thought. “Well, you want to get Kylie out from under Nachez?” Joshua flinched. “Sorry, bad choice of words, but true, right?”
“OK, so we need leverage. Nachez is not an idiot, it’s safe to assume he wanted the picture of Blondie because he wanted to run an experiment. He does not need this to get pussy... he has something else in mind.”
The image of Hannah’s “portrait” swam up to Joshua. He felt ill.
“OK, Ketan, right. But what would he be trying to do, besides fuck her? And what the hell do we have that Nachez would want to trade the pictures for? That kind of money makes my brain hurt just to think about it.”
Ketan stared off into space. “So, if it’s the paints, do you think that whoever you paint needs to be physically present? Right there in front of you?”
Joshua thought, and shrugged violently. “I have no fucking idea. It’s not like this evil power came with instructions.”
Ketan nodded. “Worth a try. Follow me.” He stood.
Joshua grabbed his sandwich. “Where are we off to now?”
“Library,” Ketan said, striding off. Joshua followed, shaking his head.
Kylie was kneeling down, folded up, and was carefully licking. Her whole mind was focused on the tip of her tongue, as it made firm, delicate circles at precisely the point Harlan’s cock plunged into Hannah’s pussy. Hannah was riding him, screaming incoherently; with both their legs spread, Kylie had her ready access. It had taken Harlan about 30 minutes of one orgasm after another to strip away what was left of the blonde’s resistance, and make her over.
After Kylie had talked her into bisexuality (if a sex toy can really be said to have an orientation), Harlan mentioned that Kylie should have a new portrait done of her, too. I wonder what I’ll look like, she thought idly, as she licked away; bigger tits, I’m sure, and that extra-subby expression that gave Harlan access to Hannah’s mind. She tried to work up an emotion about it, but for some reason, it wouldn’t come.
She wondered if Harlan was planning to fuck her tonight, too.
Then, she cleared her mind of thought, and focused on servicing with her mouth. She was, after all, a slave girl, and a good one.