Josh Adams was pretty proud of himself. He'd managed to hold his marriage together through grad school, which was a miracle in itself. They'd married a week before college graduation and took a full weekend honeymoon at a state park lodge where they only emerged from their room for meals, and sometimes not then. The summer was filled with rushing from one parent's house to another for proper visits before they packed all they owned into a 4x5 U-Haul trailer and towed it across the country so Josh could start his Teaching Assistantship a week before grad school classes started. Lana managed to get a job as a legal assistant in a reputable law firm that sponsored her admission to Law School the next year. Josh came out of grad school with an MFA in Fine Arts with an emphasis in sculpture. He was hired at a local private college as an art instructor with the promise that he'd have plenty of time and a studio to work on his own projects—a kind of artist in residence.
Of course, what really got him the job was having spent two years as the Teaching Assistant for the State University's very popular Intro to Art History professor, Adam Wilson. Dr. Wilson lectured. Let's be honest. Dr. Wilson entertained. As one of the three classes at a large University that would satisfy the Arts requirement for a BA, Dr. Wilson's classes were held in the University Opera House where the 300 students could be suitably entertained while the professor strutted up and down the stage, flashing theater-sized images on the screen behind him while Josh operated the lightboard, made sure the professor's slides were in order, and patrolled the theater looking for troublesome students.
And Josh graded tests, including the interminable essays that Dr. Wilson assigned. This was a class where a "C" grade was indeed the average.
His second year working for Dr. Wilson almost ruined his marriage. Lana had started Law School and was working late most nights. With 300 students to evaluate while he did his final project for his MFA, Josh was spending more time at school than at home as well. The couple quickly found a routine in which they promised each other not to schedule anything before noon on Saturday. They would wake up when they felt like it, make love until both had been satisfied with at least one orgasm, and find a place for brunch while they caught up on each other's lives. There were times when Josh felt like home was only a place where his dick was connected on Saturday mornings.
Lisa Wright complicated matters even more.
Somehow she always seemed to be in the studio when Josh was. They connected on a subconscious level. She flirted and Josh recognized the flirtation, even giving back a little of what he got. But it never crossed the line of propriety between two students. Lisa wasn't in Dr. Wilson's class, so even though she was an undergraduate Josh had no compunctions about enjoying her company in the studio. She wasn't sucking up as some IAH students had blatantly done in the past. She simply was in the sculpture studio when Josh was. She worked on her project as he worked on his.
Josh was not into realism, so the event that brought the two together was a complete surprise to him. While Lisa worked in clay and plaster, intending to cast a bust out of bronze, Josh was welding massive pieces of iron together, mixing brass rods with the medium to create his abstract version of "Lovers." He had the concept pretty well settled and based on the model that he'd created out of wood at 1/24th scale, he'd even sold the work to an office park that was under development. It would grace the plaza in the midst of the quad of buildings. He was pretty pleased with his work and had been told by his advisor that it was a fine Master's piece.
He held a triangular bit of sheet metal in place against a brass rod as he flipped the welding mask over his face and raised the acetylene torch to fasten the pieces together. He was startled by the sudden shout from behind him.
He withdrew his hand and turned to see Lisa standing about five feet behind him. He turned down the torch, perturbed that she would distract him just as he was getting ready to weld. He pushed back his visor and snapped at her.
"What? Is the building on fire?"
"Then why would you interrupt me when I was so close?" Artists get in a zone when they're working—even those artists who weld pieces of metal together. Interrupting a working artist was tantamount to stopping an orgasm. No one—especially not another artist—did it.
"It's in the wrong place," she said.
"What would you know about it?"
"I know what you are making and I know that piece is in the wrong place. You'll hate it when it's too late to do anything about it."
"Oh. Have you become a critic now? You understand the artwork better than the artist? Why don't you go write a 500-word review of the work and tell me everything you know?"
His words were biting enough that he expected her to turn on her heel and leave. He could see moisture in her eyes, but she held her ground. Then she walked up to him and took the piece of metal from his gloved hand.
"Take your gloves off," she commanded. He did as instructed, caught off-guard by her sharp tone. "Now look. This is where you had it, right?" He adjusted the position fractionally, but the truth was she was so close to where he had started to weld the piece that he was a little unnerved. After the adjustment she held it perfectly in place and continued her instructions. "Put your hand on the horizontal piece above it and lightly stroke down over the piece and along this angled rod you were fastening it to. Close your eyes and just let your fingers feel the metal, the shape, and the texture." He did as instructed. There was something there. He couldn't identify what it was, but there was definitely a problem with the position. Why hadn't he seen it in the model? He shook his head after the fourth time his fingers had traced the outline.
"I don't get it. It's not right, but it looked right."
"Looks can be deceiving. Close your eyes and just hold out your hand. It will take a minute." She laid the metal on his workbench as he closed his eyes and obediently held out his hand as if he was about to receive something. After a moment's wait, she took his hand in hers and turned him toward her. "Keep your eyes closed." He did.
She pulled his hand and he let her lead it until it touched her skin. He nearly jerked back and opened his eyes, but she held him firmly and said, "Shhh. Just stroke along the line the same way you did on your sculpture. Josh gulped. He slowly moved his hand and could tell at once that she had placed his fingertips on her collarbone. She guided his path as his hand rounded her left shoulder and glided down across her breast. He felt her hard nipple with one finger as she kept his hand moving across the lower slope of her breast, her ribcage, and down across her abdomen until just below her navel he encountered her jeans. Then she lifted his hand back to her shoulder and let go. "Again," she whispered.
His fingertips followed the gentle curve of her collarbone, slipped beneath her armpit, and ran lightly across her navel until he encountered her jeans.
"Again." Her voice was a little huskier and she did not attempt to guide his hand to the start. He touched her face first, moving slowly so not to punch her accidentally. She shifted slightly and using her cheek as a starting point, he found her collarbone and repeated the previous path. As he crossed her nipple he felt the sudden twitch in her chest as she gasped for a breath of air. He hesitated, then retreated up the path he was descending and began the descent again, circling the nipple before crossing it and outlining the bottom curve of her breast. He traced the outline of her ribs and kept going. He circled the navel with his fingers before dipping into it and then moving to her lower abdomen. She pulled her stomach in as he moved lower, expecting to find the waistband of her jeans. Instead his fingers brushed against the silky curls of her pubic mound. He heard a soft moan from her and continued down the valley of her vulva, discovering her legs parted enough to give him easy access.
The next thing he felt was a hand on the back of his head as she brought his lips to hers in an intense kiss. His hands wrapped around her body, finding only skin from her shoulders past her ass.
"May I open my eyes now?" he asked softly.
When he did, he looked into the deep blue depths of her eyes. They held each other there for a moment.
He slid his leather welding apron off his chest and quickly removed his T-shirt, shoes, and jeans. She took the opportunity to kick her feet out of the legs of her jeans, lying pooled around her ankles.
"Don't put your fingers in me," she instructed. "You've been welding. Just slide into me with your cock and see me as you see your sculpture."
Josh didn't even consider turning back. Lisa was beautiful. Her breasts may have been a slight bit smaller than the wedge of steel that he was ready weld in place on his sculpture, but they were perfect. He dipped his head to inhale one of her nipples and she spread her legs lunging at his erect cock. He slid in so smoothly it was like a dance move. She hopped slightly and got her butt on the workbench behind her and they began a rhythmic pumping together and apart. Lisa lowered her head slightly and licked across his left nipple, swirling her tongue around and around before capturing the tiny bud between her lips and pinching gently. Josh felt the sensation run in a direct line from his nipple to the tip of his cock.
With very little movement, the couple rocked back and forth, keeping the stimulation of their genitals near the peak without going over. It was sensual, erotic, and almost overwhelming. They brought their mouths together hungrily and savored the flavor. Josh pressed his chest against her breasts and attempted to memorize in an instant the exact placement, shape, softness and hardness, and position of each beautiful mound as his cock slipped further into her folds. He reached between them to stimulate her clit, but she pulled his hand back up to her breast.
"It isn't necessary. I'm at the edge right now. Just love me a little longer. Just. A. Little. Mo..." She clamped her lips together and her eyes closed as she hummed out an intense plea to have him cum inside her. And he did. Using his hand to protect her butt from the hard edge of the workbench, Josh thrust into her once more and let his orgasm flow out of him. He panted in the aftermath, unable to get a lungful of air with her lips clamped tightly over his. He pulled away slightly and they both began kissing each other all over their faces and necks. She must have felt him softening after the earthmoving climax. She leaned slightly away from him.
"Now look," she said. He looked at her, at her head thrown back in ecstasy, her beautiful breasts stretching up toward him, down to where they were still joined. She lifted one hand and turned his head toward his metalwork sculpture and realized they were in the exact same position as his abstract figures. And he could see what she had seen.
"It was in the wrong place. But ... How did you know?"
"I know my own body," she said softly.
They never made love again. She had no desire to interfere with his marriage and he was initially wracked with guilt of being unfaithful to Lana. But the next day in the studio, absolutely nothing had changed in his relationship with Lisa. Only the position of a single triangle of metal on his abstract sculpture.
It was probably that one incident in grad school that made him careless in his new position at the small arts college where he began teaching the next fall. His schedule, of course, included teaching an Introduction to Art History class, but he was really there to provide lab supervision in the sculpture and metal sstudio. There was another (rather famous) sculptor who was the principal director of the department, but like Dr. Wilson, the prima donna had little to do with actually working with the students. He was there to show how it should be done. Most of the students looked to the cute young assistant professor, Mr. Adams, for help with anything they needed in the studio. As a result, he was assigned an undergraduate Studio Assistant.
He had just finished his first lecture in Art History to a very appreciative class when an absolutely stunning young woman with mahogany hair and a broad smile that allowed perfect white teeth to peek between her darkly painted lips. She wore a black dress with a white ruffled insert that plunged down the center almost to her waist. The skirt was short enough to show shapely legs, enhanced by high heeled, open-toed shoes. The scarlet polish on her immaculate fingernails matched that on her toenails.
"Mr. Adams, I'm Sue Stone. I'm your studio assistant."
Josh's first thought was "Oh shit." He runs the dirtiest area of the entire school with power tools, kilns, smelting ovens, and welding and the school sends him a fashion plate for an assistant. This was not going to work.
"Ummm. Do you know what this job entails?"
"Yeah," she said glumly. "How do you take your coffee?"
"No. No. You don't have to get coffee for me. But have you been in the studio?"
"Yes. I'm a Sophomore. I took studio art last year."
"I'm expecting someone who can actually help people with their projects, whether it is casting plaster, bronze, or welding metal."
"I don't mean to jump to conclusions, but it's not exactly the kind of work that a person of your ... impeccable ... taste ... and good looks ... and clothing ... I mean..." As he stumbled through not saying anything that he wanted to say, her smile got bigger and bigger.
"I don't dress like this all the time! It's just first day of school and I try to make an impression. It could be my only chance to catch a cute guy's eye."
"Well, you certainly did."
"You think you're a cute guy?"
"Not what I meant. You made a definite first impression."
"Just tell me my hours and what you'd like me to do. I can handle it. Oh. And how do you take your coffee?"
Josh gave her a schedule of 15 hours per week in the studio. He still had his doubts. She looked a lot older than a sophomore should, but between the class rank and her appearance he had a hard time thinking of her as a competent lab assistant. She didn't flinch at the hours, even though it included opening the studio at 9:00 on Saturday morning and being there until 1:00 in the afternoon plus two evenings a week. Josh had no intentions of ever being out of his bed before noon on Saturdays. It was Lana's second year of Law School and so far they'd managed to keep that time reserved for the two of them. Getting laid only once a week was tough, but Josh figured he could hold on till Lana passed the bar and had a "regular" work schedule. As long as they had Saturdays.
The first time Josh walked into the studio during one of Sue's shifts he didn't see her. There were half a dozen students working on projects and two got up to talk to him as soon as he walked into the studio. The questions were schedule questions, though and didn't indicate that his studio assistant could have helped them. But where was she? He walked around the studio until he found two students standing together at a workbench with a sketch laid out in front of them. He wasn't sure, but he thought they were both girls. One had blonde hair cut in a pageboy and wore a standard college sweatshirt over blue jeans and—he cringed—a pair of flipflops. The other wore bib overalls and a blue bandana tied around her hair. At least she had sturdy shoes on.
"Excuse me," Josh said as he approached. "It's probably not a good idea to wear flipflops into the sculpture studio. We usually require close-toed shoes. The offending blonde spun to look at him with a look of horror in her eyes.
"Oh! I'm sorry, er Dr..."
"Just Mister Adams."
"I'm sorry. I forgot about the rule."
"It's there for your safety. Don't forget next time, Miss?"
"Jamison. Betsy Jamison. I don't have a class with you Mr. Adams. I'm trying to get an assessment of my 3D Abstraction project."
"That's fine, Betsy. What do you have?"
"Sue was just telling me to make a model." Josh spun to the other student and Sue Stone turned to look at him.
"Sorry I missed noticing her flipflops," Sue said. "I'll remember that next time, too."
"Sue? I didn't even recognize you!" Her dark hair was tucked up under the bandana with just a wisp that trailed down across her forehead. She wore no bright red lipstick or apparently any other makeup. Even her nail polish had been removed. Without all the other distractions, Josh noticed how brilliantly green her eyes were.
"You want me back in first impression clothes?" she smirked.
"No! This is much more appropriate." Without all the makeup and finery, she looked much younger than when they'd first met. While her attire alleviated one of his concerns, her age and level of experience made him doubt his assistant even more. Resignedly, he broke eye contact and just asked, "What were the suggestions you were making?"
Betsy explained her sketch and what she was thinking about building an abstract representation of 9/11. She explained that her medium would be found materials, so she didn't see how she could make a scale model like Sue had suggested. It turned out that she'd already found a corrugated grate that had inspired the sketch in the first place. Josh turned to Sue.
"Well, my suggestion was that she use some malleable material like clay or even a block of Styrofoam to carve out a quarter scale model. It wouldn't need to be detailed regarding the material that would be used, though since she already has some of the materials, she could make it more detailed in those areas. I thought it would help to solidify the fact that she actually has a design for a work of art in mind and isn't just hammering together objects hoping they come out looking good."
Josh was impressed. His assistant's assessment had been good, but he could see a storm brewing in Betsy's eyes.
"Hmmm. Good. Both of you. Betsy, I can see that you have put a lot of thought into this with your sketch. You've got a vision. But Sue is also right about needing a 3D plan."
"Just a minute. Let me finish. Just like the rule about close-toed shoes is for your safety, the concept of a model before the finished work is for your benefit as well. You may be the type of person that has such a good visual grasp of what everything will look like that you can work from the sketch and go straight to a 3D realization at full scale. But Dr. Solomon won't be happy with that. He wants to approve your project before it goes to construction. I'd suggest that you continue to gather your materials. This project isn't due until the end of the term. Dr. Solomon expects to see your plan at midterm. A third of your grade is based on your midterm evaluation with half based on your final project. The other sixth is allotted to your participation and testing. So, you need that midterm plan to actually show what you are capable of doing."
"Grades. I'm an artist. I don't do this for grades."
"Do you want people to see your artwork?"
"Public art. Things that appear in plazas, parks, and that kind of thing. Art for the people."
"Who decides what appears in those public places?"