Brush Strokes Ch. 01byadrianalalaurie©
Jocelyn stared enchanted at his hand on her abdomen. His long splayed fingers ended in chipped, paint smudged nails. She shivered at the memory of those hands the night before. Jocelyn slid carefully from his embrace to admire him as he slept. Collin's breathing was deep and even, each exhale a growling sigh. She watched the rise and fall of his well shaped chest, her eyes flicked over the flat hard plane of his stomach, and then lower to the perfection of his hips. She loved the perfect hollowness of his hip bones, and the soft curve of his leg.
With shaking hands she ran a finger along the shapely skin of his inner thigh. A mere whisper of a touch, but it brought a tremble from him in his sleep. Slowly she drew her hand away. Collin exhaled, a faint sigh of regret, as if even in sleep he missed her touch. Jocelyn found herself grinning, she could never disappoint him. She reached up tying back her long red hair, and lowered her head to his center. Slowly she drew him into her mouth. Collin moaned in his sleep, and she drew him deeper feeling him stir. She worked him with her mouth and tongue, feeling him awaken, and grow hard between her lips. Jocelyn fought to engulf him one last time, and then drew back at his low moan.
She met his emerald eyes with a finger to her lips, requesting his silence. He nodded and gave her a wicked grin, showing the dimples in his cheeks. She turned her attention back to the task at hand. Her was now fully aroused. She cupped him in her hand, enjoying the silkiness of his skin and how beautifully he was shaped. She began a slow kneading motion with her fingers, she felt him tense, struggling to remain quiet and still for her. She slid her fingers up his shaft painfully slow, and earned his gasp as a reward. Collin's breath came rapid, and shallow. She worked him even faster loving the fine tension in the silky hardness she held in her hand. Strong fingers wrapped around her wrist. Collin was incredibly strong, and she marveled at his control, his touch so careful, so delicate, it took her breath away.
Suddenly his lips were on hers. His kisses drinking her down, she basked in the ecstasy of his touch. Jocelyn loved his sensual pouty lips, and the sand paper scratch of his chin, all too soon made smooth. Collin's arms wrapped around her tight, flipping her onto her stomach, her face to the pillow, and then he was gone.
She moaned her body unable to mask its disappointment. She lay for what felt like an eternity wet and ready, filled with longing. She felt a whisper touch along her ankles. Soft caresses covering the backs of her legs, reaching her thighs, and then pulling away. Jocelyn trembled, and arched her back, her body begging for his touch. Collin's final pass up her leg was painfully slow. She heard a small desperate whine before she realized she'd made a noise. Collin let out a soft chuckle, deep joyous and very male, and plunged his finger inside her.
Jocelyn arched up, her body rising to meet him as he found his rhythm. His touch started as teasing, but quickly escalated to something more. Collin's hands worked her thoroughly, touching each part. She felt dizzy, elated, undone. She gasped with regret as her drew his hand away. A moment of torture and he was inside her. Collin kissed her neck, sliding in slowly. He found the length of her, and then pulled out all the way, leaving her gasping. She cried out, lifting herself to him, this time he took her invitation.
Their bodies met in a quickened rhythm. Jocelyn clenched down on him, and felt him stiffen and swell. His pace quickened yet again. She felt weak with pleasure; sensation drowned her as she bit the pillow to remain quiet. Collin tensed a final time; she felt a lightning flash of pain in her throat. Jocelyn cried out, and he moaned against her neck, each draw at the wound bringing her and him again and again. All too soon he rolled off, of her, placing a gentle kiss on her forehead and holding her tight.
They had been lovers for two centuries. He had long ago learned how much to take and how much to give. Jocelyn was given a taste of his blood each month to sustain her life, but retain her humanity. It was a careful balance, not enough, and she would age, too much and she would be like him. Collin clung to her humanity like a moth to a flame. Their travels had taken them to Europe, Africa, and now this dingy little artists loft in Seattle.
She had come to him as a servant at seventeen, one of a dozen girls from poor families, sent to serve as maids in rich homes. Collin's family estate was located in the English countryside, boasting thirty-two rooms and eight servants. Jocelyn was quickly put to work preparing canvases, and cleaning Collin's studio.
She was fascinated by her masters painting. His portraits were dark shadowy oils, making her feel uneasy, and intrigued. She began stealing remnants of paint and canvas to experiment with her own creations.
This went on for several months until a senior maid caught her. Ms Rosemary Smith ruled the domestic staff with an iron hand. She beat Jocelyn soundly leaving her bruised and crying on the kitchen floor. She dragged herself to her modest room and found a note on her dresser.
Come to me at sundown,
Lord Collin Edmonton
Jocelyn spent the day filled with dread. Ms Smith was nowhere to be found and that also concerned her. Perhaps they would both be dismissed for her indiscretion. At nightfall she went to Collins studio. The door opened a moment before her knock.
"Come in Jocelyn" Her master said, his green eyes flashing in amusement. "We have much to discuss. "
The studio was empty save for a giant empty canvas, a wooden dressing screen, an easel and pallet.
"Jocelyn" Collin said his voice very serious "Ms Smith has been dismissed; I will not have people treated like animals in my home."
Jocelyn sat very still awaiting her own fate. She admired the way Collin's dark hair curled onto his brow, and the fine cut of his velvet coat, its perfection marred by the paint stains on the sleeve. He stepped towards her, his eyes defying her to look away.
"Your work is amateurish, but has potential. I could teach you" He grinned rakishly, "many things. You will pose for me. Your portrait will serve as a tutoring session, then we will evaluate if you are worth my efforts." Collin raised his hands to her red curls. "There is a dress behind that screen, you will wear it for the portrait, and may have it if it is to your liking"
Behind the dressing screen Jocelyn found the most beautiful garment she had ever seen. The dress was deep emerald velvet with a fitted bodice, full skirt and wicked black lace at neckline and sleeves. She stepped out shyly in her new finery.
"Perfect!" Collin said softly. He stepped behind her, fastening the dresses many buttons, then lifting her hair and pinning it up. She felt his breath on her neck and shivered. "Come we begin"
He positioned her carefully and then began to lecture. Collin explained every detail in preparing a canvas several times. He then asked "Why do we go through such trouble?"
"A well prepared canvas will last a lifetime, a poor one perhaps a decade, your work should have the chance to be timeless" Jocelyn replied her voice quaking with nerves.
"Well done. " He smiled his pirate smile again. "We must find you and appropriate pose." Collin circled her slowly, like a predator circles his prey. "Shoulders back, back arched, head tilted slightly to the left." Jocelyn felt strong hands positioning her head and his breath again. He shuddered and stepped back, crossing the room in quick strides.
"Today we do not paint, but work on gesture. We plan the piece in conte crayon, and then keep the sketch as reference. A good quick gesture will help to ensure you are positioned properly in sessions to come"
Collin began furiously sketching, and Jocelyn struggled to remain still. Long minutes passed and she found herself daydreaming about her eccentric employer. She pictured him standing before her, his emerald eyes locked on hers as he closed in for a kiss.
His deep voice startled her. "That is a lovely expression, but you are slouching" She snapped back to attention, her fair skin flushing as red as her hair. Collin's mocking laughter echoed in her ears.
After what seemed like an eternity Collin told her to change, hang up her dress and come out to continue their lesson. She returned from her task and found herself confronted with her own likeness. He had captured the delicacy of her features, her narrow heart-shaped face, large eyes, and the gentle curve of her slim waist.
"This is a gesture?" She asked in astonishment. "But it is so detailed!"
"Hardly" Collin responds his voice sounding bored. "It has nothing of your essence, only your likeness, the painting will have both. You will spend the rest of the evening sketching your hand." He laughed at her bemused expression. "It is a very difficult exercise I assure you. "
Drawing her hand proved incredibly challenging. She bit back cries of frustration as she struggled to capture the curve of her fingers, the line of her palm. Jocelyn let out an exasperated cry. "That's it! Everyone who sits for me will pose with their hands in their pockets!"
Collin laughed at her for several minutes. Giving her a gentle smile her said "Enough, I will see you tomorrow evening. You amuse me, but I am not sure yet if I will make an artist of you. "
The next weeks passed quickly. Jocelyn slept late into the day, and found herself daydreaming the pass the hours until their lessons. Lord Edmington was the most common subject. Every day she grew more fascinated by her teacher. She found her self increasingly stirred by his roguish smile and laughing eyes. Sometimes she fantasized he felt the same for her, only to hear rumors of his exploits with the village women. Collin was not going to settle down for any woman and certainly not for a maid.
Her nights were spent learning a new world. Visiting masters often came to see Collin, and offer advice to his apprentice. Her portrait was finished, and she had begun one of her own, a detailed study of her master. The work was going well, but Jocelyn was struggling to capture Collin's eyes.
One particularly difficult session Jocelyn threw her brush down exasperated. "Stop that! How am I to capture your eyes accurately if they keep changing? Emerald green to the color of oak leaves in minutes! It is impossible, and I am past the point of patience!"
Collin threw back his head and laughed. For the first time since their initial lesson he touched her, his hand finding her cheek. "They change for you" He whispered. They kissed slowly, tentatively, then deeper their passion growing. Moments passed and all Jocelyn felt was the slow dance of his tongue inside her mouth and his hand on her waist. She flicked her tongue into his mouth and drew back tasting blood.
Collins eyes were wide, a vivid chartreuse, vivid an unnatural. He was otherworldly, terrifying, magnificent, and she caught a trembling breath as she struggled not to pull away.
He stepped back. Jocelyn watched his eyes turn the color of dark leaves in fall. "That shade would have been impossible to replicate. I regret more than you know that you have seen it." Collin's voice was cold, and detached, but Jocelyn saw him tremble.
"I am very glad to have seen it." She said, standing up very straight and meeting his eyes. "You are beautiful. How do you come by such odd eyes?" She tilted her head coquettishly. "Are you a fairy? An incubus?"
The pirate smile flickered, and then vanished. "No, I am none of those. Can you be discreet?"
"Of Course" Jocelyn said awaiting his secret.
"Excellent! Discretion will serve you well in Paris"
Jocelyn felt her heart leap with excitement. "We are going to Paris?"
"No, you are. You will stay with a friend of mine. I have nothing further to teach you, and grow tired of my role as mentor. I am an artist not a teacher, and this whole business has become tiresome. You leave in the morning. Pack everything, you will not be returning, and do send me letters of your progress." Collin met her eyes once more holding them. "Good night, good bye."
Jocelyn started speechless as he turned away and left. She was enraged, then sad, then hollow. All her dreams realized in the instant they kissed were now dashed. She felt slapped by his words and broken by the sharpness of his dismissal. With tears in her eyes she packed and prepared for her future in Paris.