Paul Peters. It was a hell of a name for kid growing up. He'd been teased unmercifully because of it. "P.P." followed by jeers, laughter and a lot of finger pointing. Not to mention bullies who shoved him into school lockers or knocked his books out of his hands. He'd fought back of course, several times, but all the good it did him was to land him in detention more often than not.
And because of it, he learned to draw. With nothing better to do than just sit there, he drew, sketched, and sometimes painted. Paul's natural raw talent was appreciated and respected by his peers, teachers. But not by anyone that could give him the break he needed. Getting discovered by someone that had connections was harder than anyone might imagine. Though perhaps having a name like Paul Peters, or "Pee-Pee" as he remembered being called, probably didn't help much. He'd even considered changing it, but out of respect for his mother who had died so many years ago while he was still young, he didn't. She had truly loved him and he her though he never known his father.
"One day," she had told him. "Paul Peters will be known for something. Always remember that!"
"Yeah," Paul thought as he stood in the tiny loft of his apartment. "It's stands for nobody."
Paul stood just under six feet. He wore his dark brown hair long though keeping it in a ponytail much of the time. He was neither handsome nor plain. If anything his boyish features gave him a look that accentuated the natural creative talent he had. Provided he smiled, which he didn't do much of as late. Brown eyes that saw color in rich unique blends as he painted, almost unnaturally long fingers from a man, slender but strong from working part-time as a landscaper, but giving him a touch upon the canvas that allowed quick smooth strokes of his brush.
His entire world existed within the confines of his tiny studio. Much of which he'd ever painted sat in domino looking stacks along the walls, even the floor. Portraits, landscapes, even a few characters, and cartoons he had done, though these primarily as a way of expressing his thoughts and emotions more than anything else. Paul could basically sketch or paint anything. It really didn't matter what it was. All that did matter was that he wasn't selling any of it.
Paul opened his tiny refrigerator for the third time. And for the third time, there wasn't much in it that sounded appetizing to eat, let alone still being edible even if it did.
"I really need to do some shopping," he thought dejectedly. "But not now. Now, I think I'll treat myself to a burger."
Grabbing his sketch pad as he never went anywhere with out it, Paul headed down the street to a local diner that was one of his favorite places to 'hang' when he wasn't busy hanging in his studio apartment. Even Gladys, the owner of the café' looked forward to his visits. She was the first, and so far the only one to ever buy one of his sketches, and she displayed it proudly behind the counter where it hung prominently. He'd sat sketching her as she'd worked behind the counter, capturing the smile on her face that she had for each and every customer that came in. She'd noticed it while he was too occupied to realize she was standing there, putting on the finishing touches.
"How much?" she'd asked.
She'd startled him. "What?"
"For the sketch."
"Oh, not for sale," he'd said not meaning to make it sound like he was being rude. "But I will give it to you," he smiled handing her the finished work.
Just before leaving, Gladys had brought him his check. He reached into his pocket for what little cash he had left, picked up his check and smiled.
"One free dinner per week for life," she'd written. "Not negotiable!"
So ok, maybe it wasn't like someone had purchased his work, paying him a lot of money for it. But in a way Gladys had. A free dinner once a week for life wasn't something to shake your head at. In the long run, it could end up being the most valuable piece of work he'd ever done.
"Hey Paul!" Gladys said in greeting when he entered. "The usual?"
Paul waved, nodding his head. He always got her garlic burgers. They were the best he'd ever had or found anywhere. Taking a seat at his favorite back booth that was thankfully available, he sat facing towards the door where he could sit and sketch, often drawing a myriad of interesting customers that came into Gladys place. Sometimes he gave them away to them. Sometimes they actually paid him a few bucks for his efforts. Others looked at him as though he was some kind of creep out to make a buck, which he was... but he never asked for money, not for any of them. And any he didn't sell or simply give away, he just left. What Gladys did with them, he never knew, and she never told him.
He'd just started sketching an old guy that had come in off the streets. Not exactly homeless perhaps, he had enough at least to pay for his dinner. But it was obvious the man lived a hard and tough life. And so he began to sketch. Like always, when he really got into his drawings, paintings, he tended to shut everyone, and everything else out.
"That's pretty good!" he heard someone interrupting.
"Thanks," he responded not even bothering to look up. He'd heard the compliment before, appreciated them when he did. But it didn't buy his dinner or help make the rent.
"No I mean it, you really are good!"
Unfortunately, two compliments meant he actually had to look up. It wasn't within his nature to be rude, or at least that rude anyway. The sight of her nearly took his breath away, and for a moment he forgot all about what he was doing, let alone what he might have said.
Tall, dark shoulder length hair, piercing blue eyes with a smile that showed off her flawless perfect white teeth. She wore a women's business suit, obviously some sort of professional. And though it conservatively hid her femininity, there was no denying she had a body to match hidden beneath the suit she was wearing.
"You do this for a living?" she asked still standing there, obviously deciding he wasn't about to comment on her last.
"If I did, think I'd be eating here?" he answered, immediately feeling guilty for having said that, glancing up in Gladys direction though she was currently busy with customers paying no attention to him. And worse, he saw that beautiful smile on the vision standing before him fade.
"Sorry," she said. "I rather like eating here, they happen to have the best garlic burgers I've ever eaten." She turned beginning to walk away.
"Yes, they do," he answered feebly, apologetically by the tone of voice he now used.
She stopped, turning to face him once more.
"Can I ask you another question?"
"Sure," he said meekly.
She slid into the booth opposite him without being invited to do so. He was glad that she did however, actually smiling for the first time, though he quickly closed his mouth. His teeth weren't nearly as pearly white as hers were.
"By the way, my names Cathy Johnson," she said extending her hand across the table towards him. "But people call me C.J."
"Paul Peters," he said taking it. "But people used to call me Pee-Pee," he thought silently to himself. Thankfully, 'CJ' didn't seem to think his name odd.
"Nice to meet you," she said taking her soft warm hand back. "So... do you just do sketches? Or are you really an artist?"
Paul didn't take offense at her comment, he knew what she meant by that. "I paint too, mostly in fact. Landscapes, people, just about anything, you name it."
She nodded her head, not at all surprised by his revelation. "You ever considered getting into advertising? That's what I do for a living," she offered. "You know, billboards, campaigns, magazines, that sort of thing."
"No, not much call for what I paint or do," he said honestly. "Or if there is, plenty of others already available who are being used. Not much need for one more guy doing the same things everyone else is."
"May I?" she asked.
"It's not finished." Paul allowed her to take the sketch he'd been working on anyway as she slid it across the table towards herself.
"You have a really unique style. Not just capturing how a person looks, but capturing the emotion as well," she added. "You really are good!"
"Would you be willing to consider something?"
Paul looked at her questioningly, without answering. She continued taking that as a yes.
"I'm working on an idea. Nothing concrete yet, but I need to come up with something new for an advertising campaign I'm working on. So far, I haven't had much luck coming up with anything that hasn't already been done. I need something special, something eye-catching that will not only work, but will capture the attention of a prospective client I'm trying to win over to the agency I work for."
"Like I said," Paul began. "I mostly do landscapes, a few people, but nothing like products, cars..."
CJ laughed stopping him. "Would you be willing to give it a try? I'd like you to paint someone for me," she told him. "Actually, what I'd like you to do, is paint ON someone for me!"
"On someone?" he asked. "What do you mean exactly?"
"The idea I've been kicking around is this. A beautiful woman, most likely a model of course. One who is willing to allow herself to be painted in the nude."
"In the nude? Well that settles that then. Believe it or not, I don't do nudes either."
"Hear me out," CJ said sounding a little exasperated. "She'll be nude yes, but no one will know that for absolute sure when your done. The idea is, you paint a landscape over her entire body, or at least portions of it that we can then use. An enticement for a tropical island get away. Paradise as both represented by the beautiful woman lying there on her side, seductively of course, but more dramatically, by the depiction of the island itself as portrayed in the painting over her entire body, using her natural curves to hide the obvious, using aspects of the island topography itself.
"It probably would be yes. But just think about it Paul, you'd have hundreds of photographs to work from, you could paint whatever you wanted to paint. The challenge to you would be, painting it so that everyone knows what's really there, what they're actually looking at, but not being able to see it. Only able to see the obvious, the resort, the paradise that awaits them!"
"I don't know CJ, it sounds interesting, even fun maybe. But it's seriously not quite what I had in mind when becoming an artist."
Paul had taken back his sketch still abstractly working on it while they talked. Now finished, he glanced up quickly, his intention in giving it to the old man. He was gone. As he usually did, he slid the completed work between the salt and peppershakers.
"What are you doing with that?" she asked curiously.
"Leaving it. I usually do. Gladys takes them. Don't know what she does with them afterwards, don't care really."
"Can I have it?" CJ asked.
"Sure, be my guest," he said handing it back to her.
"Listen, at least think about what I said. Give me your number and I'll call you sometime tomorrow."
"I don't have a phone," he responded. "Why don't you give me your number, I'll call you from a payphone."
She glared at him dubiously. "Because you'll probably never call me," she said reasonably. "Where is it you live?"
"Not far. Just down the street from here actually. Why?"
"You have any plans for tomorrow around this time?"
"No... not really. I have some landscaping work to do sometime tomorrow. That's partially how I manage to get by. Working part-time on occasion for this guy I know who sometimes has work for me. Other than that, doing whatever I can."
"So if I show up at your door? You'll be there?"
"Yeah, probably. And don't worry about knocking, too hard to hear anyone do that anyway since my studios upstairs. Just come in. I never lock it, nothing worth stealing anyway."
"I'll see you tomorrow then" she told him standing. "Think about what I said," she added, then turned and walked away. Paul watched as she stood talking with Gladys momentarily, taking what appeared to be an order to go. She stopped briefly, the white sack with her lunch in it in one hand, the sketch he had done of the old man in the other. She waved. Paul waved back watching her leave.
"Well she's not all bad," Paul considered. "She did say she liked the garlic burgers."
Paul stood at one of his paintings, something he'd been working on for several days now when he heard the creek of footsteps on the stairs. "Paul? You here?"
He smiled, she'd actually come. Putting down the brush, grabbing a soiled rag, he began wiping his hands as he crossed the small room over towards the landing. "Up here," he said now looking at her as she took the last remaining steps before joining him. "Excuse the mess," he apologized, though in truth, he had tried to make the place halfway presentable wondering if she really would show or not.
He was expecting "Nice place!" After all, he liked it, and it wasn't half bad once it was cleaned.
"You actually live here?" she said instead. "It's so damn small!"
"It's all I can afford," he replied less than friendly now. "Anyway..."
"Anyway," she interrupted. "Did you think about what I asked?"
"Yeah... just don't see it," he said, only then actually coming to his decision.
CJ stood thinking. "Paul? Do this for me. At least paint a model so I can get an idea if this will work or not. Just something for me to see and review. I'll of course pay you."
"How much?" he asked curiously.
Paul's eyes widened at that. A thousand dollars was more money than he'd seen altogether at one time in a long time.
"You're willing to pay me a thousand dollars for something that no one except you will ever see?" he asked incredulously.
"Yes. I can authorize it under research. So what do you say now?"
Now it was Paul's turn to think. He smiled. "Tell you what. I'll do it under one condition."
"Ok, name it."
He laughed. "You might decide it isn't worth it once I tell you."
"You have to be the one I paint."
This time she was speechless, staring at him with eyes as wide as saucers. "You're not serious!" she managed finally. "I'm no model."
"Maybe not, but if you're the only one I'm willing to let see it, then it makes perfect sense that you're the one I paint. So... take it or leave it," he told her figuring that even though it was a thousand bucks, CJ would throw in the towel and forget this crazy idea. At least find someone else willing to do it if nothing else.
"Deal!" she said instead surprising him. "When?"
"How about now?"
"Now? Right now?"
"Yes! There's a bookstore down on the corner. Go purchase whatever book you want with whatever landscape you choose to see painted on you. I'll get things set up here in the meantime. When you return, we paint. Oh... and you'd better call in to your office, because I intend on taking my time while doing this." He wasn't exactly grinning, but it was the next closest thing to it.
CJ cast him a sly look, then smiled in return. "I've never posed in the nude before," she said openly. "This will certainly be a first."
"For me too," he thought as she turned heading back down the stairs.
He'd straightened his bed earlier. Now however he hurriedly stripped it of its sheets placing the only other pair of fresh clean ones that he had on it. He set the book she's returned with off to one side along with his paints. And then, Paul opened the one and only bottle of really good wine that he had, letting it breathe.
"Ready?" he asked.
CJ had used his tiny little bathroom to undress. Wrapped in one of his towels, she emerged a short time later, an obvious flush to her cheeks as she crossed the room sitting down on his bed, now makeshift couch where he would proceed to paint her.
"Won't this ruin your sheets?" she asked nervously.
"For a thousand dollars, I can buy new ones," he responded pouring them both a glass of wine. "Here, this will help steady your nerves. There will be times you'll need to hold still. Very, very still," he admonished her.
CJ took a sip of her wine. "This is good!" she said looking up towards him. Reaching, the towel she was wearing came away in his hand.
"You're pretty good too," he said softly tossing the towel to the side, sitting down in front of her. Her face turned crimson, her free arm coming up to automatically shield her exposed breasts. "CJ? If you're that uncomfortable around me, maybe this isn't such a good idea after all."
"No! No! I'll be ok, it's just going to take me a minute or two to get used to this," she offered lowering her arm, once again revealing her full exquisitely shaped breasts to him entirely. "How do you want me?" she said, blushing even more profusely at the implication of her words. Paul couldn't help but laugh at that one, seeing her, her look of anguish, feeling his own face grow warm as well.
"How about you just relax? Lie down length-ways on the bed, prop your head up with your hand, get yourself comfortable, then try and stay that way. I'll let you know when you can move, stretch. But eventually, you're going to have to stay in one position for a long, long time while I do this."
CJ polished off her wine, setting the glass down on the small nightstand. Forced to now lie lengthwise, she did more than merely expose her breasts. Now the secrets of her femininity appeared as well. She couldn't help but see Paul's brief, but certain look at her as she stretched. He picked up the photo she had chosen, looking at it, then under the pretense perhaps of trying to envision it, looking towards her once again, as though studying her.
"You really are beautiful," he said catching her off guard. "You make a very beautiful canvas," he added.
She felt lightheaded, dizzy, "Perhaps it's just the wine," she thought, answering, "Thank you."
She hadn't known what to expect of course, but as Paul began applying the first coat of paint upon her bared flesh, she shivered, the light soft stroking not unlike the tender caress of a lover. She closed her eyes in an effort to hide her sudden embarrassment of thought, as though wondering if Paul could in fact read her mind, know what she was thinking let alone now feeling. It had been a long time since she'd been with a man, and the long forgotten need and desire came rushing upon her like wildfire.
"Cold?" he questioned.
"Huh? What?" she said almost dreamily, opening her eyes. He was smiling at her, teasingly. "No, why?" she followed, then realized why he'd asked. As the tip of his soft brush neared her breast, she felt her nipple crinkle in even greater hardness, excitement and anticipation for the actual stroke of the brush itself when it came.
"Don't be embarrassed or ashamed," he said soothingly. The brush is like the touch of a lovers caress. But that's how it should be. I paint as though caressing what I see with my eyes, making my hands and fingers extend that to the image that appears. To become aroused while touching you, while transforming you're outer beauty into an even greater inner beauty is to be expected, hoped for. So just go with it CJ, relax, let yourself feel and enjoy the experience as much as I am. Then maybe laying here for so long won't be nearly as bad."
She giggled, but surprisingly did relax. Though the touch of his brush upon her was beginning to have unexpected, certainly unanticipated results. When the tip of a small fine brush actually brushed her nipple directly for the first time, she found herself holding her breath, sucking her lower lip nearly biting it. "Oh," she moaned quietly without even realizing it. Paul chuckled, making her realize then that she had. "Whew, I have to admit Paul, this is... well it is having an unexpected affect on me." Now he did laugh.
"Me too," he admitted. "Hard enough doing this..."
CJ's eyes popped open, she'd glanced towards his groin almost immediately without really meaning to, seeing when she did the obvious excitement as he sat, continuing to stroke her breasts and nipple with the fine soft tip of his brush.
"What I meant to say..." he started over, catching himself, catching her brief direct look. "Difficult enough doing this anyway, but you really and truly are beautiful. You've got the most perfectly shaped breasts I've ever seen on a woman. Your nipples are sensational, though it's going to be very difficult hiding them the way they are now without some real three-dimensional camouflage as it were."
CJ blushed once again, but laughed feeling comfortable, but highly aroused now as well. Her thought suddenly turning her smile into a worried concerned frown.
"What's the matter?" Paul asked pulling the brush away.
"She couldn't tell him!" she thought, to do so would to be to die of embarrassment and shame. She had felt the first flow of lubrication wetting her nether lips. If there was one thing CJ knew, it was her own body. When aroused, really, really aroused, she did that. She knew her pearly essence would soon gather in even greater amount, that it would eventually flow from her sex, droplets of excitement, desire escaping from the confines of her now quivering, tingling betraying desire between her legs.
"Oh nothing, just a cramp," she explained away.