I still remember the first time I laid eyes on Annette. She was standing on my doorstep, looking up at me, a hesitant smile forming on her full lips. She was holding a portfolio under her left arm. With her right hand she pushed a wave of auburn hair away from her eyes.
"Mr. Anderson?" she asked.
"Yes, I'm James Anderson," I replied. "And you must be Annette, right?"
She nodded with a grin, and waggled the cardboard folio in evidence. Her eyes flicked past me to the interior of my house. "Umm..."
"Oh, please. Come in. And please call me James. Everyone does."
I stepped aside and she crossed my threshold for the first of many times to come. As she passed me, I caught the faint aroma of an expensive musky perfume that seemed at odds with her appearance. She was dressed in a white blouse tucked into tight-fitting faded blue jeans that hugged her full hips, rounded bottom, and long legs.
As I closed the door behind us, Annette turned to me. "I want to thank you for taking me on as a student, Mr Ander... I mean James!" Now we were on the same level, I realized she was almost as tall as me, five feet ten, including the heels of her brown leather western boots. I looked at her appraisingly without trying to make it obvious. Fine, clear, pale skin, emphasized by the copper glints in her wavy chestnut hair. Light blue eyes. A hint of freckles across her nose. She seemed athletically built, with full breasts and hips accentuating her slim waist. Around thirty, maybe?
"I mean, I know you don't normally take on students at all, and I've always admired your illustrations in magazines." She paused and hugged her portfolio to her chest. "So, this is... well, really exciting!"
She had called me a few days before, asking me to take a look at her drawings -- `fantasy' drawings, she'd called them -- and as we had talked, something in her voice persuaded me offer to coach her, if she thought that would help. She jumped at the chance, and here she was.
"Well, come on through to my studio," I said, pushing open the door to the big, white-walled room I had converted from the never-used dining room.
She had said she'd seen my illustrations in magazines. Surely she meant those mainstream publications, the news stand monthlies, not the more `exotic' magazines that sometimes featured my work. Or did she?
Once we were settled in the studio, I asked to see some of her work. Annette placed her portfolio on my drawing board and held one of the laces between her right thumb and forefinger. She pulled the lace slowly until the bow popped undone and the cardboard flaps of the portfolio sighed open. Unaccountably, it seemed to be a very sensual act, as if, in a way, she was baring part of herself to my gaze. I lifted up the flap to reveal about a dozen black and white, pen and ink drawings on sheets of Bristol board.
"As you might guess, one of my fixations is creating characters for fantasy role-playing games," said Annette as I picked up the first drawing.
"You mean like that `Dungeons' thing?" I asked.
"Well, yes and no," she answered hesitantly. I sensed she was looking at me, and I lifted my eyes to meet hers. "I'm more interested in this kind of thing," she continued, glancing down at the drawing I was holding.
The picture showed a scene apparently on the deck of a pirate ship. A nervous-looking young female in a low-cut peasant blouse and full skirt was backing away from a handsome young man, who was, I assumed, the pirate chief. He looked a little like Errol Flynn, with a mustache and a sardonic expression. He was dressed in a loose shirt and leather thigh boots. Unbeknownst to the maiden, she was backing closer to two leering crewmen who were holding a rope, with the intention, I guessed, of lashing her to the mainmast.
I murmured an appreciative comment and picked up the second picture. This one depicted a scene set in the Civil War. In the background, smoke was rising from the remains of an old Southern mansion. In the foreground, a Union officer with glittering eyes was holding the wrists of young woman whose bosom was almost spilling from the top of bursting bodice.
We looked through the rest of her drawings, all in a similar vein, with Annette explaining the scene or describing a problem she had had with the artwork. Sometimes, she would lay just the very tips of her fingers on the picture, and gently stroke the image. I noticed that she only touched the parts of the picture depicting the `damsel in distress', and her finger tips seemed to caress the flesh of her creations.
I had one or two suggestions as to how she could have improved the drawings, and Annette stood close to me as I sketched my ideas on pieces of scrap paper. Again, I was aware of her musky scent and the warmth of her arm and thigh as they occasionally brushed against my body.
I felt tremors of sexual anticipation, and... and something else that I couldn't exactly explain. Her drawings were filled with a tantalizing promise of something about to happen. But on another level, they were similar to the covers of some historical paperback novels. No. No, there was definitely something more to these pictures of Annette's than you would see in the neighborhood bookstore. And then there was Annette herself. Talented, certainly, and very self-assured. But also a little vulnerable, I thought, and... submissive. Submissive. Why had that word come to mind? I hardly knew her, yet I seemed to sense it, nonetheless. Was she really, or was that merely a wish projection on my part? I knew I must be careful.
"Yes. Yes, I see," Annette was saying, frowning slightly in concentration as she looked down at the sketch I was making of how the material of a sleeve looks when the arm is being pulled back. She nodded and looked up at me.
"This really is very helpful, James," she said. "It's so hard to see one's own mistakes. Having you correct me like this makes all the difference."
Me correcting her. Was it just a turn of phrase? Or was it a thinly-coded signal? Me, James, `correcting' Annette. No! Concentrate! Listen to what she's saying, and make intelligent conversation. My self-discipline was fighting a losing battle with my libido, when I was literally saved by the bell.
The old clock in the hallway struck the hour, and Annette glanced at her watch. "Heavens! Is that an hour gone by already?" she murmured. "Surely not. But, yes it is." She turned to me with an inquisitive smile and her head tilted to one side. Again, a lock of auburn hair fell across her right eye.
"Can I come next week, at the same time," she asked.
I opened my mouth to reply and realized my lips were dry. I moistened them with my tongue, and gave her what I hoped was a reassuring smile. "Of course. I'll look forward to it."
She reached into her purse and retrieved a check, which she had filled out in advance. She laid it delicately, face down, on my drawing table. "Thank you," she said, almost in a whisper.
I followed her to the front door, again marveling at her slim waist and the movement of her rounded bottom. As she reached the step, she turned and offered me her hand. She squeezed my hand once, softly, and then turned again and descended to the street. I closed the door and leaned my back against it, taking a deep breath. I hadn't dared look down at the front of my pants while she was with me, in case her eyes had followed my glance. Now I could see the soft bulge of my semi-erect penis, faintly throbbing through the material of my trousers. I lifted my right hand to my face and inhaled the faint musky aroma that had been imparted by her touch. I was trembling slightly, not with fear but with anticipation. Something very special was going to happen with Annette. I could sense it.
--- The following week, Annette again came to my studio, carrying her portfolio of drawings. This time, she was wearing a pale blue silk blouse that she had gathered up and tied in a knot below her breasts. I glanced at the naked flesh between the knotted blouse and the black suede trousers tucked into black western boots. My gaze fixed for a brief moment on her exposed belly button that pouted at me as she walked in to my studio.
As before, she untied her portfolio to show me her latest drawings. She arranged herself on my high studio chair as I took out the pictures. I swallowed hard.
It hadn't been my imagination. Annette was genuinely interested in depictions of submissive women and dominant men. These new drawings were, if anything, slightly more explicit than the previous week's, without being obviously erotic.
The first picture showed a fairy princess complete with gossamer wings and clinging diaphanous gown. Her arms were being pulled back behind her by two grinning gnomes, stretching the gauzy material taut across her full breasts so that her hard, aroused nipples could clearly be seen. Approaching her was a strange man-shaped creature carrying a bundle of thin twigs in his right hand.
"She is Dianita, a virgin princess who has been given into captivity by her father the fairy king, in order to spare the kingdom from the ravages of Lupine," she pointed to the man-like creature, "and his evil horde."
Once again, she touched the drawing of the princess with her fingertips, lingering at the thighs, as if to brush back the flimsy gown to reveal the naked flesh beneath.
The second drawing was a science fiction setting. Two pretty female astronauts, one blonde and one brunette, were kneeling in an alien landscape. They wore skin-tight costumes that emphasized the curve of their breasts and buttocks. Their eyes were downcast submissively, and their hands were tied behind their backs. Before them stood their captor, a tall, humanoid alien, looking down at them imperiously. He was holding a long, thin rod. Twin moons were setting on the horizon. For a second, I imagined the moons were a pair of pale rounded buttocks, teasingly half-obscured by the distant hills. I squeezed my eyes shut to dispel the image. Surely, I was reading too much into this beautiful young woman's pictures...
Annette was describing the scene she had created, and again, her fingertips gently brushed the drawing, pausing to stroke the bottom and thighs of the female astronauts.
I pulled out a piece of drawing paper and sketched an idea to improve one of her drawings in a small way. Annette nodded, her brow wrinkled with concentration. I was aware of her faint musky perfume as she moved. It was barely perceptible, but for all that, it was strangely sensuous, and I realized I could feel my pulse beating a little faster.
Annette took the pencil from me and began to draw the element I had demonstrated. I stepped back and my gaze fell to the pale naked flesh of her back below her blue silk blouse. Her posture, leaning forward over the drawing table, accentuated the slimness of her waist and the voluptuous curve of her hips and bottom, sitting on the high stool.
I leaned forward and gasped silently. Her position caused the suede trousers to gape slightly at the back. I could plainly catch a glimpse of her panties. Black nylon. Lacy. Stretched tightly across her... Suddenly, she turned and looked at me. I snapped my eyes up to meet hers. She was smiling. Had she realized I was looking down at her panties? If so, she didn't seem fazed in any way.
"Is this better?" she asked me. Her eyebrows were raised questioningly.
I quickly collected my thoughts and stepped up to the drawing table. Together, we went over her new sketch, and I reassured her that it was indeed an improvement. I was standing close to her so I could inhale her muted musky scent. She looked up from the drawing and turned her head toward me, the movement causing her gleaming copper hair to brush my cheek. For a long moment she held my gaze. I was unable to look away. Then the spell was broken by the sound of the clock chiming the hour from the hallway. She took a deep breath and slid down off the stool. She laid the check softly on the table and, gathering up her portfolio, headed for the front door.
"Same time next week, James?" she asked, brushing a tumbling copper curl from her eye.
"Yes. Yes, certainly," I replied. She turned to leave.
"Um, Annette. Something I have to ask you." She paused, looking at me steadily. "What's the name of the perfume you're wearing?"
"Perfume?" She looked puzzled. "I never wear perfume."
And then she turned briskly on her heel and descended the steps.
As the time approached for Annette's next lesson, I found myself pacing the studio, continually checking my watch, unable to concentrate on my work. Finally the doorbell rang. I took a deep breath. I knew something was going to happen; I just didn't know exactly what it was.
I opened the door, and once again Annette stepped over the threshold with a quick smile. Today she had abandoned the trousers and boots. A crisply starched white cotton blouse with short sleeves was tucked demurely into a navy blue knee-length pleated skirt. She walked past me toward the studio carrying her ever present portfolio in her right hand, a navy blue leather purse hung on a strap over her left shoulder. I followed her looking at her legs revealed to me for the first time. Shapely, rounded calves accentuated by the lift of the four-inch heels on her blue leather pumps. As if aware of my gaze, she `switched' slightly as she walked, drawing my eyes like a magnet to the liquid movement of her full buns beneath the swaying skirt.
When we reached the studio, she suddenly turned to me with a conspiratorial expression on her face. "I have something to show you," she said.
She pulled the lace on her portfolio and opened it. "Do you recognize these?" she whispered.
I looked down at the pictures she was spreading out on my drawing table. I gasped and felt the blood rushing to my face. I was looking at tearsheets of my own drawings! Not from the staid publications that I considered my `bread-and-butter' work. These were pages from privately produced discipline magazines. Pen and ink pictures of women squirming over their husbands knee as they received a panties-down spanking. Pictures of girls being caned by a stern governess. And there was one of a mature woman wearing only a corset and stockings, bending over a wooden `horse' while a cruelly-smiling man raised a riding crop high above her trembling, striped bottom.
Annette was staring intently at my face, a slight flush on her cheeks, her lips slightly parted.
"It IS your work, isn't it? It is!" My expression had confirmed her hunch, but I could only stare silently at the pictures.
Annette clapped her hands once, and let out a little whoop. "I was certain they were yours. They're all signed with just a little `J' in the corner, see? But I had to be sure. And now I am!"
I cleared my throat. "Annette, I don't know what to say..."
"Oh, you're too modest. These are great!" She looked down at the pictures, shaking her head slightly in admiration.
"Now I know I can show you some of the other drawings I've done," she said, pulling a page of bristol board out from under the tearsheets. "At first I hesitated to show you this," she continued. "I had to be sure you were who I thought you were before I let you see it. I didn't want to shock you if I was wrong. I had to know for sure that you were the `J' who had created those pictures." Briefly her fingertips brushed my drawing of the woman bending over the horse, lingering briefly on the upturned buns.
"Anyway, here's an example of the stuff I really like to draw." She laid her drawing on top of everything else on the desk.
I looked at it and blinked, my dry lips unable to form words. It was a pencil drawing of a woman seen from the rear as she bends over the back of a large leather armchair. Her dark, pleated skirt is raised up to her waist, revealing her full, rounded, naked buttocks, and her long shapely legs slightly parted and encased in sheer stockings, the garter straps biting into the flesh of her thighs. She is looking back over her shoulder, a tumble of dark wavy hair falling into her eyes. She wears an expression halfway between fear and ecstasy as she looks at a man standing behind her. He is dressed in an open-necked shirt and light-colored chinos, and is flexing a bamboo cane between his hands, his eyes fixed on the quivering bottom before him.
Beneath the picture was a caption in quotation marks, apparently the words being spoken by the woman.
"Please. Don't stop now!"
Finally, I found my voice. "The woman in your picture. It... it looks like you!"
"Does it? Good! It's meant to. She's Anna-Marie, my alter-ego. And don't you think the man looks a little like you?"
I looked at her depiction of the man flexing the cane, and had to admit there was a resemblance.
"It was a little difficult, as I didn't have a live model for the man," said Annette matter-of-factly. "I was trying to remember what you look like, but I haven't got it quite right yet, have I?"
"Well, I..." my voice trailed off.
"Anyway, now I'm here and so are you, and you can model for me," said Annette. "You will, won't you? Remember, you've told me several times that I need to sketch more from life."
I shrugged sheepishly and nodded with a grin. "Yes, of course I'll model. How could I refuse?"
She smiled at me, her eye sparkling. "Good! Now, you'll need this, won't you?"
From her portfolio, Annette retrieved a thin bamboo cane that had been nestling cornerwise, under the drawings. She handed me the cane, or rather presented it to me, offering it on open upturned palms. Her lips were slightly parted and her breasts were rising and falling under her white blouse with each breath.
I took the cane from her. With her cool fingertips on mine, she slowly closed my hands over the thin rod.
"Now, flex the cane slightly, like in my picture. That's it. Bend it so it curves upward between your hands." With a little frown of concentration, Annette began to arrange my clothes, undoing the top button of my shirt, pulling the folds of the material as it draped at the elbow and shoulder, smoothing her hands across my chest and clenched biceps. I was aware of the faint but intoxicating scent that came to me whenever she was near. I wondered if she had noticed the bulge of my thickening penis as it began to push against the front of my pants. Finally, she stood back, her head on one side as she looked me up and down. Then she nodded and reached for her drawing and a pencil.
"There. Perfect! Don't move," she said as she perched on the high artist's stool and pulled a drawing board onto her knees. She placed the drawing on the board then held her pencil out at arm's length, squinting slightly at me, as she checked the proportions of my body against her drawing.
She began to draw, clicking her lips from time to time as she corrected a detail in her drawing. As she looked down at her work, I was able to study her beautiful legs which were enhanced by the sheen of her ultra-sheer pantyhose. Legs that were long and shapely, slightly parted, giving me a tantalizing glimpse just above her knees.
After several minutes, she sat back, looking from me to her drawing. "Mmm," she said. Much better. Okay, you can relax!"
I put down the cane as she came over and placed her drawing on my table. We looked at it together, standing side by side, our bodies almost touching. I nodded, telling her that her rendering of the man was now far more realistic.
She agreed, then tossed her head in annoyance. "But Anna-Marie still isn't quite right, is she? I tried to draw myself by looking in the mirror, but it wasn't easy, bending over like that!" She grinned at me playfully. "Can you help me correct Anna-Marie?"
I looked at her for a long moment, searching her luminous eyes for a clue to her hidden meaning, if there was indeed one. I decided to take a chance.