Alexander Pelnaki’s mother looked in on the young teen. She smiled softly and carefully shut the door so as not to disturb him. He was lost in his drawing again, but she was fine letting him do as he pleased. After all, most of the other mothers would have given anything to have a son whose room was kept immaculately clean and never got into trouble. He was a sensitive soul and his room showed his taste. His furniture had been spartan and clean, but he’d decorated everything with personal touches. He’d made a frame for the mirror from some of his drawings that he’d cut out and taped around the edge with waves and mermaids in an art deco or art nouveau style (she didn’t know which). His wall was lined with posters, but unlike the typical teenage boy who might have scantily clad women and cars, he had animation posters. His latest acquisition was from an old anime Howl’s Moving Castle which had made him very happy. Then there was the Spiderman poster, his father had gotten him one but he returned it and picked out his own. The one he’d chosen had Peter Parker with his mask off looking lovingly into his longtime paramore’s eyes holding hands with New York skyline silhouetted by the sunset. He was a sensitive soul, and as a teenage boy that meant he was in for a world of hurt; Her heart ached to protect him.
She couldn’t have known how right she was and the hurting had already started. Alex drew in large part to escape. He could draw and by doing so, control the beauty he was seeing and feeling. He could even create worlds if he wanted to spend the time. Another plus of this hobby was then, unlike his other hobby of romance novels, it helped him to not get beaten up.
He’d been told by a “friend” in middle school that he had a punchable face, whatever that meant. That friendship hadn’t lasted which left a mark of loneliness in his heart. His face was perhaps only punchable because it was so delicate and boys love to break things. Thin lips, petite chin line, a button nose, his face was decidedly feminine, right down to the long lashes and pretty eyes. It’d already been marred, though by a boy in freshman year who’d punched him for some reason or another and left him with a scar along his left brow.
Downstairs there was a knock at the door. It was Jacob, one of Alex’s few friends. His mother let him up.
“Hey,” Alex closed his sketchbook and turned with a sigh to greet his friend.
“Did you finish the Batman poster, like, the one I described for you?”
He shrugged, “I made a sketch.”
Alex already felt the weariness of looking at his own picture. It was wonderful to work on the drawing, but looking at it made him see everything he’d done wrong and needed to do better. Still, it was nice hearing Jacob gush. Jacob didn’t disappoint.
After the gush was done he did have more to add, “One thing though. It’s a little weird, but your Batman has kind of has a Superman feel, right?”
He shrugged, “I dunno.” Jacob was right though. A lot of the Batman artwork was so dark and gritty. But he preferred to think of heros as more regal and kind. Superman was fine, but if pressed, Alex really preferred the Flash or Spiderman, they were light and fun.
Alex was always so guarded with his precious sketchbook, and now that he had it in his hands, he couldn’t resist. Jacob turned away and casually flipped forward to the latest page.
“Hey!” Alex complained. He grabbed it back.
“Woah, she’s pretty. Who is it?”
“It’s not done yet,” Alex protected the shut sketchbook like a wound.
“Come on, Alex, it’s really good. Is that a new superheroine?”
Jacob pleaded, “Come on man, I don’t get you. You have this, like, superpower and you hide it. Chicks love that stuff.”
“Yeah well, I doubt anyone would like it.”
Exasperated, Jacob said, “Bullshit, that girl was gorgeous.”
Alex hesitantly asked, “You think so?”
“Oh yeah, come on, just show me. I’ll tell you how great it is,” Jacob smiled. He knew he had Alex’s number.
He wasn’t wrong. Alex opened it back to the page of the half finished sketch. It was a 3/4 profile of a pretty face with the shoulders just barely sketched out. The hair was mostly just outline, but the eyes, nose, and delicate smile were shaded and colored.
“Oh yeah, she’s kind of perfect,” Jacob went on. “I mean damn, like there’s porn girls with the fat collagen lips and other implants, then you have your Hollywood perfection girl next door types. This is primo Hollywood worthy hotness. Is this based off an actress?”
Alex shook his head.
“A girl at school? You got a crush you’re not telling me about?” Jacob grinned.
Alex blushed and shook her head again.
“Man, I don’t know where you get your imagination, but it’s bomb as hell, yo. That chick is fire.”
Alex’s blush burned up his neck finally making him snap the book shut.
Jacob sighed. With artists you could one minute not be praising them enough, then next minute it was too much. He decided not to press it. The two went on to hang out downstairs playing video games, but Alex was distracted.
Jacob had been so effusive about his last project, and Alex was just thankful he hadn’t gotten to the chest and torso. The drawing was based off of a model, but Alex couldn’t bear to say that it had started as a self portrait. Later on he looked in the mirror carefully. Maybe it made sense that he thought it was a girl. After all he had such a girly face. His hair was longish too. It was a mid-length layered bob cut that framed his face in pieces. It wasn’t nearly long enough to pull back in a ponytail and he’d cut it himself to give it shape while he was growing it out. It was an impossibility; a canvas that was still being sewn on which he had to paint. Was it any wonder that he gave himself an outline of thick fabulous hair?
Then of course there was the other thing. He’d given himself makeup. Not that he could actually do that in this town. But in learning how to draw, he’d studied women’s make-up. The colors were fascinating, it was just another facet of artistry. It was painting on a living canvas. He knew some of the girls in school sometimes complained about having to spend time doing makeup, but he was quietly jealous. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a new canvas every day and create something beautiful. So with his self portrait he decided to see what he could do with a little bit of blush and eyeshadow, and a sconce of a shine effect on his own drawn lips.
The next day at school, he spent the morning before classes started giving “her” the hair he’d been picturing. Kathy, a mousy girl in first period with thin but firey red hair that clung too close to her round head noticed his drawing and whispered to Bethesda about it. Bethesda was a jewish beauty who was too extra to be chained to a four letter nickname.
Beth couldn’t contain her curiosity, “Hey Alex, whatcha up to?”
He covered the picture with a blank sheet and drooped his head, “Nothing.”
“Aww, Kathy told me you were drawing me, I wanted to see.”
“I’m not drawing you.”
“You sure? She said it was really good. I wouldn’t be offended, you know. I actually think it’s kind of sweet.”
He turned to the petite redhead and whined, “Kathy...”
“Sorry,” she shrugged.
He looked up to Bethesda and decided to take the more politic approach, “Bethesda, sweetie, I couldn’t possibly draw you, it’d be ruining perfection.”
“Aww, you’re too much of a sweetheart. Now shoosh up and lemme see it,” she grinned clapping her hands.
He sighed, and showed her.
“Oh wow. That’s ... is that Samanth- no ... Who is that?”
“No one, just - you know - just made her up.”
Kathy jumped in, “It’s really really nice, though.”
Bethesda nodded, “Yeah, can you do me next?”
Alex grinned, “Uhm, phrasing!”
“Shoosh,” she reprimanded, “now come on, draw me next, pretty please?”
Mercifully, the bell rang, but Alex decided not to be saved, “You know I think I’d like to - but you have to let me draw on you first.”
Kathy and Alex both rolled their eyes. “No,” Alex added, “I have this idea for a kind of gothic domino. Could I do you up in dramatic make-up then draw it?”
Kathy perked up, “Ooh, gothic domino, that sounds interesting!”
He nodded, “Yeah, I just need a model.”
Bethesda beamed, “Well, I am model material.”
The three of them left class together into the crush of high school bodies. He went ahead and walked with them to Bethesda’s locker while he chatted about his vision. He would have lost track of time, but they kept him moving along. They barely made it to next period where he shuffled and squeezed between lab desks to sit next to Jacob.
“So glad the three of you could join us,” Mr. Peltier snarked.
“We were on time, thank you,” Bethesda sassed back.
“Sort of,” Kathy added in an apologetic murmur.
He launched into his lecture as Jacob gave Alex an impressed nod. He passed a note that read, “Dude ur pimpin!” Jacob could barely contain himself especially with Alex’s noncommittal shrug. Fortunately, Mr. Peltier usually only spoke for like 10 minutes before letting them to their lab work in class.
He only had to wait those agonizingly long minutes before he got the chance to blurted out, “Holy shit dude, making moves.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You, Bethesda, and Kathy. That’s quite a menage, if you know what I mean,” Jacob looked in awe at his scrawny little friend. Jacob decided that was how it would begin for Alex. It was only a matter of time before he was catching all kinds of tail. Despite Alex putting him off, he was still impressed.
“Teach me your ways, Sensei.”
Alex rolled his eyes so hard he thought they might get stuck in his throat. “Okay, look, I just got inspired, and I think I could make some cool art.”
“Fuckin’ sweet. I knew it. Artist? More like pick up artist.”
“Come on man, it’s not like that.”
“It’s cool, I’m chill.” Jacob backed off long enough Alex to get comfortable again. “Seriously, though, Ericsson is a little on the psycho jealous side, so tread fucking carefully.”
It was sage advice, but not the kind Alex was listening for. He was excited about the possibilities with Bethesda’s high cheekbones and regal look. He sketched out some designs for the makeup and used some of his own money to spring for some grease paint, powder, and various supplies. Combined with the stuff he already had from last Halloween and he was ready.
So ready that he actually sought out Kathy and Queen B to show them the sketches. Bethesda was busy with Percy Ericsson so he ended up just showing them to Kathy.
“She’s going to love it, I bet. And she’s going to be such a great model.”
“Yeah, I hope it comes out okay. I wanna, I mean I see it in my head, but I hope it works you know?”
“I am sure it will. Some girls are just so pretty everything just happens for them, you know?”
Sending her tinge of sadness, he offered, “Yeah it is true. That’s why I couldn’t help drawing you,” he paused, flipping back a page. “I hope you don’t mind, it’s just a caricature, since I didn’t have a pic. Which bee tee dubs why aren’t you on insta?”
“You drew me?”
“Yeah, check it out.”
He showed her the picture. It was Kathy with her flat hair and round cute baby face done up in chibi style as a kitten winking with a smile. Below it, stylized bubble letters spelled out KITTYKATH.
“Awwww! It’s shooo cute!! OMGeee!!!” Kathy was so overwhelmed waving her hands hysterically.
Alex couldn’t help but feel glad he decided to doodle last night. Maybe showing his art wasn’t all that bad. Jacob was right, it was kind of a superpower. He left Kathy with a smile and carried that high through the full day looking forward to the fun of drawing. He was eager and ready for Bethesda pacing back and forth in front of the school’s main doors. He checked his phone, yup, she was still late. It’d probably be better not to seem too excited he thought so he sat down on the bench. She was probably checking her hair and primping, but that made no sense since he was just going to redo everything anyway.
“Alexander,” a deepish voice called to him.
He looked up then smiled and waved at Percy.
“Hey, Alex, I was just looking for you,” his tone was friendly. Overly friendly in an unnerving manner.
“Hi, what’s up? Do you know where Queen B is?”
“Yeah, yeah I do. Quick thing though. You’re an artist right?”
“Great, Yeah that’s great, man. Listen, I heard a rumor that you thought you were going to be drawing my girl. I mean like tonight.”
Alex nodded, but didn’t speak as Percy kept right on talking. “That’s cool, and you said you were going to draw on her, too. It sounds really really artsy.”
“Did you want a copy?”
He chuckled, “Did I want a copy, he asks. That’s ballsy, kid. Wicked ballsy.” He put his arm around the slim boy and Alex became increasingly aware of Percy’s girth. He’s known of Percy mostly from stories of other kids who were either bullied by or protected by Percy, but he hadn’t considered the size of the guy’s body until he was trapped in the crook of his arm as Percy monologue like a low budget movie villain. “Now why would I want a drawing of my own girlfriend done by some other guy? Especially since I’m an artist myself.”
Alex was stunned, “You are?”
“Oh yeah, see we’re both artists and we both make art with our hands. Give me your hand.”
Alex was still entirely weirded out, but just hoping to get along, he offered up his right hand.
Percy took it in his and turned it palm up, “see this hand makes art by drawing and it is so smooth small. So I was thinking,” he suddenly grabbed the Hand twisting it in a way that spun Alex away, “if you’re going to go behind my back and try to get my girlfriend naked and draw with this hand, I thought maybe I could show you what I do to people with my hands.”
He gripped the weaker boy’s hands so hard it was mashing he bones in his knuckles together. Alex’s fear had been rising but now it blossomed into full blown terror as he gasped in pain and grabbed at his shoulder.
“You thought I wouldn’t find out what you were up to? Little bitch? You think I’m stupid? Come on you fucking faggot, you want to try to steal my girlfriend? You trying it?”
Alex tried to answer back, but his series of “please’s” and “no’s” went unheard. There were plenty of people around, not a huge crush but there were people around to see, to witness, and, Alex prayed, to help. But no one stepped up to say anything. No one would help him.
“You want me to break your hand? Is that what you want? Yeah, I think I hear a yes in there. I mean from the sounds of it you are begging for a break. Maybe I do each finger, huh? You like that?”
Tears streamed down his face as his begging turned to blubbering. His hand ached and his shoulder burned, and Alex quietly wished he was never born.
“Let him go!”
With a jolt Alex was knocked down when someone shoved Percy off of him. Alex curled up into a ball weeping and clutching hand.
“Woah-ho-ho, look at this little hero.”
“Back off,” Jacob threatened. He puffed himself up, but his hands trembled with adrenaline.
“Beat it, nerd boy. This is none of your business.”
“It is now.”
“Oh yeah? You wanna take his place? Cause your girlfriend here made a move on my girl, and I don’t take kindly to little faggots trying to-”
Jacob snorted a laugh.
“What’s so funny, bitch?”
“You just said he was my girlfriend and called him a faggot.”
“Yeah,” Percy grinned, “Cause you’re both ass clowns.”
Jacob chuckled, “So he’s a fag right, then why are you worried about your girl?”
“What,” Jacob mocked, “you afraid you’re going to lose your girl to a fag?”
Percy didn’t bother getting into a battle of wits. A quick underhanded swing and Jacob doubled over coughing in pain. “You know what? You’re pretty funny. And you two make a lovely couple.” Jacob gasped for breath while Percy patted him on the back. “Later fags.”
Jacob was the first to recover. He gathered up Alex along with the bystanders who seemed to care now that the danger had passed. They walked in silence heading back toward Alex’s house.
On the way back after the tears had run out, Alex whispered, “Thanks.”
“No problem man,” Jacob smiled, “I wanted to move my stomach over a few inches anyway.” He chuckled and winced.
Alex gave a sad smile, “No really. You saved me.”
“Yeah well, I warned you. But hell, you’re about the bravest guy I know.”
“Me?” Alex was shocked.
“Yeah, dude. Bethesda is a royal hottie, I understand chasing that ass, but damn no way I would have risked pissing off that meat mountain. Even for that fine a piece of ass.”
Alex snorted, “Meat mountain.”
They walked on for a few more steps before Jacob spoke again, “What I don’t get is, how is it you almost got the girl, but I got my ass kicked.”
Later that night, they sat in Alex’s room. Jacob still couldn’t let go of it. “Man, Bethesda. And you got this grease paint for that?”
“Aw damn, I’m just picturing it right now.”
Alex rolled his eyes, “Are you ever going to stop picturing it? It’s never going to happen. Especially not now.”
“Seriously though, tell me, how were you going to do it? Were you going to get her topless and start painting her body all over?”
“Come on man, I gotta have something to feed my jerk fests.”
Jacob dissolved into giggles, holding his stomach, until his ha ha’s turned into ow ow’s.
“Alright, you’re done, it’s time to go home.”
“Come on, hero boy, time to get your ass home.”
“But it’s so much cooler here.”
“Uhm, me? Here? Cool?”
“Yeah, your parents are out. You could totally have a party. Besides, why are we cooped up in your room anyway?”
That struck Alex, “Uhm. Yeah, huh?”
“Come on, let’s check your dad’s computer for porn!”
“Jacob,” Alex admonished her friend. “Do you ever think of anything else?”
“I’m sixteen years old, so no.”
Jacob dashed downstairs to search for porn and was delighted to find the PC didn’t have a password.
Alex shook his head and slowly followed after, “Jacob, my dad doesn’t have porn on his computer.”
“How do you know? You looked?”
“Then how could you know? Logic genius.”
“Fine, whatever,” Alex plopped down and started looking social media.
Half an hour spent clicking through running searches finally led Jacob to relent, “OK, it’s offish. Your dad is a eunuch.”
Jacob slammed the pullout keyboard tray closed, “Well, shit, man, how do you jerk it here.”
Alex shrugged, but he let slip a little smile.
“I saw that, you’re holding out on me.”
“No,” Alex blushed, but couldn’t keep from smiling a little more.
“Come on man, don’t be a blocker. Fess. At least how do you get past the parental safeguards.”
“Okay, look you really want to know?”
Alex just waved his phone.
“Uh, oh, yeah.”
Alex chuckled and pushed his hair out of his face. “Turn on the TV, I’ll put something on.” Alex marvelled at Jacob. How could a guy be so into porn and not even want to talk about the fact that he’d stepped up and stood up to the biggest bully. It was like he didn’t want to take credit for being a hero. That’s when a strange thing happened. Alex felt his heart stir. He chalked it up to gratitude for his friends, but it tingled in his core in a way he hadn’t even imagined before.
Alex sighed, “Oh fine!”
“Now we’re talkin, whatcha got, hardcore dp?”
“You mean hairy pits and stuff? Dude, gross.”
“Shut up and just give it a chance,” Alex bristled. It was a favorite of his, where the young heroine was a talented piano student who got into a prestigious school in Europe only to find everything had gone to hell. At her most vulnerable, she was taken in by a sophisticated older man who takes the most wonderful advantage. She gets to wear lovely dresses, drink wine, and be seduced by a gorgeous and mysterious man.
Surprisingly, Jacob seemed to get into it, even though it wasn’t exactly hardcore dp like he asked for. Alex studied his friend quietly. Jacob was watching with rapt attention, but that wasn’t what was drawing Alex’s eyes. He never really looked at his friend, not really. Not like an artist. He was really a good looking guy. He had more manly features than Alex would ever hope to have, but he wasn’t hard or angular. He still had a little baby fat on him (or pudge as he sometimes called it), but it just softened his face. He was actually rather fit, certainly much more physically strong than Alex himself. He had thick wavy hair that had a desire to curl in odd places. If he just got it cut right and styled it, and maybe dressed up a little neater than just in t-shirts, he could look downright handsome.
Alex took a breath. He could feel his imagination taking him somewhere. He could see it in his mind, Jacob with his new do, dressed to the nines as a wealthy magnate in France. Alex pictured himself as that red head in the movie he was watching. He looked up and Jacob put his arms on his shoulders. He could feel the heat of his body on his back, and even the hardness of- Alex pulled back from his fantasy, realizing he had more than a stirring in his loins. Suddenly embarrassed at the hard evidence of arousal, he got up, facing away from Jacob, and tried to escape upstairs.
“Where are you going?” Jacob asked.
Alex tried to hide his hard-on, “Ah- I’m just going upstairs ... to draw.”
“Yeah. Ok,” Jacob’s voice was kind of dreamy, his eyes settled back on the movie.
Alex got back to his room, and willed it down. Wait, no, that was stupid. He was being stupid. They were watching a porn movie. Of course he was going to get excited. There was nothing wrong with any of it. It was fine. Idiot! Why had he said he was going to go draw?! Alex felt like he could scream at himself.
He grabbed up his pencils and sketch pad and headed back downstairs but only made it part way down. He froze instantly when his eyes fell on Jacob again. Of course, obviously it would happen, what would you expect from a guy watching a sexy scene in a movie. Jacob had a pillow over it, but his hand was moving in passion and it was clear what he was doing. Alex stepped back catching his breath. No. No, he wasn’t going to spy on his friend. He took a breath and looked at himself in his imaginary mirror. It was time to save face. Alex stomped a little bit retracing steps and went back down the stairs. Jacob was covered up and decent by the time he came into view.
“Jeez that was quick,” Jacob marvelled.
“Good movie, huh?”
“Oh, you’re actually going to draw. OK.”
Alex felt a huge weight of awkwardness in their conversation, in himself. His fingers felt fat, his whole being felt tingly and weirded out. “Maybe I shouldn’t,” he flapped up his sketchbook.
“Maybe I should go home.”
“No wait!” Alex panicked, he’d been way too eager to say no. “I- just ... later I was thinking, I got inspired. Just- don’t go, I’ll be upstairs.” Alex fled back taking refuge in his own sanctum. His heart was whirling and his blood was pumping, but beyond that, he felt alive and inspired.
His pencil went straight to paper, bringing to life the images in his head. He whipped through two outline sketches until he found the framing he wanted. Jacob in a suit leaning over the piano player with soft feminine features and red hair that framed her face. Except it was his face and his hairstyle, perhaps a tad longer. The picture cut off before her breasts, but Alex gave her a hint of a cleavage swell. It wasn’t detailed or well colored and shaded. Only the “girl’s” hair and Jacob’s face were done when Jacob knocked on the door.
“You done?” he called from the other side.
“Yeah, close enough, I guess,” Alex wasn’t close to done, but he wanted Jacob to see it anyway. In fact he felt a giddy excitement in his stomach when he came in looking relaxed and casual. “Check it out.”
“Oh shit, that’s kind of hot.”
“I mean you cut out the good stuff, but,” Jacob picked it up and looked it over, “I could hang it up in my room and my mom wouldn’t get all prissy bitch like about some of my other posters.”
“Do you want it?”
“I mean, yeah sure, if you want it.”
Jacob quickly set about putting the book down on the desk and carefully tearing the page out without ripping the picture. “Man, how did you even do this? I mean, it’s me, you drew me and I didn’t have to pose or anything.”
Alex shrugged, “You’re my best friend. I know your face.”
“Well, whatever, that chick from the movie was pretty damn cute, so this is bomb.”
Thankfully that was explanation enough. The two boys polished off an oven bake pizza with ease, and Jacob kept rummaging. Jacob talked about a bunch of things, never once mentioning his heroism earlier that day. Alex mostly listened and watched Jacob and wondered if possibly, just maybe, Jacob ever saw him.
The next day at school, Kathy was looking at him with concerned eyes. “Did Beth talk to you yet?”
He shook his head.
“Well, I’m not sure how it’s going to go, but things kind of went total quag. Everyone was talking about it, and she was so pissed.”
“About what? Oh right.”
“Percival’s roid rampage.”
“Yeah, that thing,” Alex sighed.
Kathy touched his arm, “You don’t have to protect him, we know what happened.”
Alex scratched his head, “I guess I’m just glad-”
Kathy quickly shushed him which made him look up to see Bethesda had come into class. She wasn’t wearing makeup, and yet she was still stunning. Alex kind of hated her for that, but pushed that jealous pang away. It was something he’d only first felt when Jacob had been talking about her, and he wasn’t going to let negative energies ruin his chi.
Beth announced to him straight on, “I am so, so, so sorry, what happened to you was horrible, he’s absolutely the worst, and I am so sorry.”
“It’s ok,” Alex began to offer.
“No, it’s not okay, I was supposed to be there, but he lied to me to get me to go somewhere else, in order to be a dickhead bully. He is literally the worst, and we are so over,” she plopped down. “I can’t believe I did it, I dumped him.”
Kathy’s eye’s popped, “Oh em gee, Bethesda, are you okay?”
Bethesda was getting theater weepy, holding back the false tears bravely, Alex thought. After all, this was all about her, not about him being terrorized, and Jacob getting punched. Shallow bitch.
“I’m going to be fine. I’m strong. I am a modern woman and I really don’t need a neanderthal man.”
Kathy looked on in awe, “Gosh, Bethesda, I’m so proud of you.”
Bethesda put her hands on both of their hands, “Guys, I’m grateful for you. You give me strength.”
Alex held his tongue. He wanted to snap at her so bad, but at the same time, with a single touch, she’d elevated him to her inner circle. There was caché with that and all he had to do was be not shady. She was more than eager to jump at the opportunity of another modelling session.
Jacob was in awe later. He begged to be able to come but Alex absolutely put his foot down. There was no way he was going to bring Jacob over just to drool and ruin everything. Jacob was infuriating. He was beautiful, noble, and kind of a big spaz about girls. Dammit, why did Alex’s heart thump so damned hard sometimes for no damn reason when they were together? He wasn’t an idiot. He knew why it did and why he couldn’t help but doodle Jacob as a superhero. A simple three letter word that sat on the tip of his tongue.
Mom and Dad were home, that evening, so he took the opportunity to ask. “Can I have a couple friends over tomorrow?”
Mom replied, “Sure thing, honey. Do you want me to make some burgers for Jacob and the others?”
“No, not Jacob. He’s not coming.”
He father chirped in, “You two didn’t have a fight or something...”
“No dad, these are just different friends.”
Mom asked, “Oh that’s nice, who are they?”
“Just some friends. I was going to do some drawing.”
Mom nodded, “Oh, was this the reason that you needed the grease paint and powder and what have you?”
“Yeah, so, I was hoping we could have some privacy, to do art?”
Dad nodded, “We heard you, do art, we know. What we still don’t know is what are your friends names.”
Reluctantly, Alex offered, “Bethesda and Kathy.”
Dad looked surprised. Mom even moreso, “Bethesda, isn’t she the Edelman’s daughter? She’s very pretty.”
“Yes, mom, she’s a peach,” he flatspoke. He was trying to contain his inner sarcastibeast, but it was getting harder.
Dad nodded, “Well alright, you’ll have the room to yourself. You can even use my office if you need more space. I’ll be on a bike ride.”
“You’re going riding tomorrow? I thought we were going to run by Home Depot for the thing.”
“Honey we already talked about that, I thought we settled on we’re not going to deal with another remodel.”
“It’s not a remodel, it’s just a little touch up.”
“It I have to pull out my drill, it’s not just a touch-up.”
“You pull out your drill to hang up a picture frame,” she complained.
His parents continued going back and forth in a good natured chit chat, giving Alex the cover to finish his food. For a moment, he thought his dad was going to be all I’m-so-proud-of-you-son-for-getting-hot-girls, instead he offered them his study with the lounge chair and the walls of books. There was plenty of space to stretch out, and plenty of light to read in. It was practically opulent.
Alex hid back in his room and planned for the next day’s visit. When he was bored with that, he drew some anime superhero comic book style with Jacob in a long trench coat looking dapper and ready to fight crime.
Saturday, the girls were actually kind of a blast. Alex got to do makeup, and not only was Bethesda an eager model, but Kathy was eager to be used as a canvas too. He did a quick floral job with Kathy, she had such a round cherubic face that he made her into a woodland nymph with plenty of floral hues. He really wanted to draw her, but Bethesda was not one to be upstaged. For her he went with thick character makeup with a pale foundation to make the black symbols he put on her pop more. He had an arrow/ankh hybrid symbol going over one eye and a half moon down along her neck. She didn’t even mind stripping off her top and asking what else he had in mind to draw. Kathy blushed like crazy, but Bethesda insisted that it wasn’t a big deal. After all, Alex was an artist.
Despite her obvious attention whoring, Alex didn’t let his bristling show through. Once he got her posing she was very good. Of course she was beautiful, but she did a great job finding a pose and holding it. He drew her as a dark goddess, a succubus complete with a heart shaped tail ready to steal men’s souls. She ate it up.
He blew 2 hours on her, and only got half an hour’s work on Kathy before mom came in with lemonade and sandwiches.
“Oh, my,” Bethesda was still walking around topless even though Kathy was the one posing. His mother wasn’t expecting that. “Bethesda, don’t you think you should put on a something?”
“It’s fine,” she shrugged, “Alex doesn’t mind don’t you?”
“One second,” he was focused on Kathy’s hand. Hands were so tough to get right, and Kathy had such delicate little hands.
His mother insisted, “I’m sure he doesn’t mind, but I do. Go on, put something on.”
“Okay, Mrs. Pelnaki, don’t have a ‘sode,” she pulled her blouse back on and started buttoning up.
Alex had half a mind to ask what a ‘sode was, but the other half virulently did not care.
The broke for lunch when Kathy asked, “Do you ever draw yourself?”
Bethesda announced, “That sounded like a yes.”
Grudgingly their incessant high pitched pestering dragged him into showing them a picture he’d done.
“Wait is that supposed to be you?” Bethesda asked incredulous.
“I think it’s beautiful,” Kathy tried to prompt Bethesda, “Don’t you think?”
“Oh yeah, for sure, it’s really beautiful.”
Alex moped, “I know, I don’t have hair like this, I was just, imagining, you know?”
Bethesda played with his hair, “Yeah I could see that. A little more volume here, a little extension work there. It could totes be a thing.”
“Quit it,” he whispered.
“I’m not making fun, I’m serious,” Bethesda countered.
“Do you ever, you know, like practice makeup?” Kathy asked curiously. Beth shot her a look, but she continued, “I mean you’re ridic like pro with my makeup, so I mean, like how, you know?”
Bethesda nodded, “Girl has a point.”
Bethesda squealed, “You do! Oh my god, showtime! I wanna see!” She turned to Kathy, “Good call Kath, I didn’t even think about that. Oh my god this has to be a thing now.”
At their insistence (again) he pulled his hair back as best he could and when that didn’t work he pinned it back with several hairpins and set about his artistry.
With access to all their makeup, he actually had a full set to work with, and with all the tools (except false eyelashes) he gave himself the full look.
“Turn around, turn around,” Bethesda was clapping with excitement. Alex pulled out the pins and made his big reveal. “Holy hell- you’re a hottie!”
Kathy’s jaw dropped, “Wow.”
Bethesda announced, “Alex, if I was a boy right now, I’d totally make out with you.”
“Ew, gay.” Alex said reflexively.
Bethesda and Kathy both sputtered into giggles, and Alex followed soon after. The girls had to leave soon after lunch which left Alex home alone after his parents left for a date night. The doorbell rang.
Alex plopped down the stairs to get it.
“Dude what the fuck happened to you?” Jacob blurted out as soon as the door opened.
‘CRAP!’ Alex thought. He’d completely forgotten about the makeup he was wearing. “Bethesda and Kathy.”
“Weren’t you going to be drawing them?”
“Yeah, but they made me. They wanted to do me after I did them.” Jacob giggled like an idiot. “You know what I mean.”
They walked in, but Jacob was fixated on Alex’s face. “Wait, so did you get to draw on Bethesda?”
“Did you get her naked, was it like sexy and stuff.”
“No, dude, don’t be creepy.”
“Come on, please?” Jacob had such pretty eyes when he made puppy dog eyes.
Alex wanted so badly to please him, “She did go topless.”
He eyes practically bulged out of his head. “Teach me, master.”
“What’s that? Does it mean hornball?”
Alex shrugged, “Might as well.”
Jacob followed him up to his bedroom where Alex plopped down on the bed and tucked his hair back as best he could. Jacob was still staring at Alex’s face and mouthed a wow.
“What? You’re making me nervous,” Alex felt a flutter in his stomach. Why a flutter? They always hung out like this!
“Uhm, no-homo, but man. They did a really good job with your makeup.”
Alex blinked, “Uh, you think?”
“Yeah. I mean, you’re actually kinda- uhm, you know. Pretty?”
“Oh,” Alex looked down blushing, “Oh yeah, uhm, thanks.”
“No homo, though.”
“Right, yeah,” Alex nodded, feeling his heart thumping. Jacob thought he was pretty, and he couldn’t stop staring.
“So tell me! Details, man, gritty sexy details!”
Alex described the scene with Kathy and Bethesda, Jacob hung on every word. His jaw dropped and maybe just a little drool dribbled out when he told Jacob that she’d taken off her shirt. Alex couldn’t help but keep working him up. It didn’t take much cajoling to get him to go over and pull out the drawing he’d done.
“Holy balls,” it was an apt response. Bethesda knew how to pose and with a little artistic license she had more clothes on top but looked way more suggestive. She was dark, sexy, playful with her little devil horns and the sassy little tail. “She was - was like this?”
“No horns and stuff...”
“Damn ... Damn ... Dude, you’re a freaking genius.”
“Yeah, it was really hot. She even ... okay, you can’t tell anyone this, you have to promise.”
“Dude, cross my heart, swear and all that.”
“I’m serious, no playing,” Alex begged with a low quiet voice. He’d leaned in so close to Jacob he could even smell him.
“What, I swear, what?” Jacob whispered back.
“She called me a hottie, and said, ‘she’d make out with me.’”
His jaw dropped, “No way, did you?”
“Are you kidding? No! Not with Kathy there.”
“Damn, but that would have made it hotter.”