The Indian SerenadebyLSanders©
"Children," Professor Barnes intoned, "Andrew Wyeth once said, 'I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.' Can anyone tell me what that means? Yes, Mr. Kadesky."
"Creativity lives in the subconscious. Through the leaks and cracks in our conscious, connections are made that allow our creativity to emerge. The more porous our conscious becomes, the more active our creative process becomes," answered Alex.
"Excellent answer, Mr. Kadesky. You may just earn your scholarship after all!" Professor Barnes replied to general laughter around the studio. "How do we ..." His question was interrupted by a loud crash as a stack of plastic tumblers spilled onto the concrete floor. "Miss Crane, might I suggest two trips rather than overload yourself?" he asked in an irritated voice.
Shawnee's face turned red, and she self-consciously tucked her long black hair behind her ear as she scrambled to retrieve all the tumblers she'd been carrying. Alex generally likes Professor Barnes, but he sometimes acted like a real dickhead.
Alex ran over to help the shy student assistant. "Don't worry about Snape," he said in a low voice to Shawnee. She glanced up, startled at his voice and swift appearance for help. Shawnee was still too embarrassed by the mishap and her sudden emergence in the spotlight of the classroom to laugh. Barnes merely shook his head and returned to his students. Alex carried most of the containers to the storeroom.
Once in the storeroom, Shawnee quickly tried to take them from him. "I'm sorry. I'm keeping you from your class," she said in a concerned voice.
Alex smiled at her. "Don't worry about it. At the moment Barnes is having a wonderful listening to the sound of his own voice, and that could go on for ages. You saved me from staring at the clock, trying to decide whether I should hang myself or shoot myself," he said warmly.
Shawnee looked up at Alex for the first time and smiled. Alex was aware of the Professor's assistant, but they had never talked face to face before. He'd noticed how shy she was and how she seemed to hide beneath her baggy sweaters and overalls. She usually wore a ski cap and used her long black hair like a screen to shield her from others. He had no idea how pretty her face was. Shawnee had finished putting the cups on the shelf and was unsure why Alex continued to stare at her.
"I think I can finish from here," she said, breaking Alex's trance.
"Oh, yeah, sure," he said as he handed her the last two tumblers in his hands.
"Thanks for your help," she said as her glance swiveled from his face to the floor.
"No problem. Anytime," he said starting to turn. He paused and started to ask, "Hey, would you like ..." but he was interrupted by the Professor who was bellowing his name.
"You better get back to class," she said as she smiled looking down.
"Yeah ... I ... ok," he said as he walked back to his easel.
A couple of days later, Alex was in one of the campus cafes doodling in his sketchbook when he glanced up and saw Shawnee sitting by herself at a table across the large room by a large picture window. She wore the same basic outfit, but she'd taken off the cap and had released her long, shiny hair from its clip. He spent the next twenty minutes watching her as she worked diligently on something from a physical chemistry book.
He was fascinated at the lines of her profile and how the sunlight bounced high off her glossy hair. He started sketching her profile in pencil from different angles. He looked at his drawings and smiled. When he looked up again, she was packing to head off to another class.
For the next few days, Alex watched Shawnee when he was in art class. Despite the spill from the other day, she was actually quite graceful. She glided around the class so quietly and efficiently that he now realized why he hadn't really noticed her before. She was practically invisible.
Alex went to the same café at the same time for the next couple of days. Shawnee, as he assumed, was a creature of habit. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, she arrived at her table at just about the same time and always hauled out a math or science book to immediately begin working. She was oblivious to the world around her. This enabled Alex to study her from different angles. By the time he decided to walk over to her, he'd developed a whole series of pencil drawings.
"You look like you could use something cold to drink and some company," he said, smiling and carrying a couple of sodas to her table. Shawnee jumped at the sound of a voice so close to her. "Sorry ... I didn't mean to startle you. May I join you?" She was too surprised to do anything but nod yes. Let's see ... p.chem, calc, micro ... pre-med, right?"
"Right," she said with a faint smile.
There was an awkward silence, which Alex finally broke. "So ... you're probably wondering why I sauntered over to interrupt your studying."
"Well, I have a favor to ask, and I think I can do you a favor in return." She continued looking at him with big, dark, questioning eyes. He continued. "I have an idea for my senior thesis, and it involves you ... if you're interested." She continued to stare. "The idea is a series of paintings showing a single model in a kinetic series of poses that interrelate. There's an abandoned cabin I found one day, hiking along the outskirts of the campus property. It's in the woods, and everything is mossy and overgrown, so I don't think anyone's been there in ages. One of the large windows opens to what used to be a beautiful manicured lawn. The setting has great light and would provide a lot of visual texture for the background."
"And, you want me to help you set up and clean up?" she asked.
"No," he said with a pause. "I want you to be the model."
She looked at him like he was crazy. "Me? Model?"
He chuckled. "Yes. Why are you so shocked?"
"The campus is full of pretty girls. Why would you want me to model?"
The very fact that she asked the question so earnestly was a big reason he was so drawn to her. "Here's why," he said softly as he placed his sketchpad in front of her. Shawnee was surprised and embarrassed to see her profile in front of her. Her eyes rolled toward Alex and back to the pad. He turned the page so she would realize there were more. Shawnee slowly scanned the different sketches of her face, her eyes, and her profile. As she turned the pages, she was stunned at how beautiful Alex made her look.
She tucked her hair behind her ear and asked, "How can that be me?"
Alex tilted his head slightly and looked at her curiously. "I'll answer with a question. How is it possible that you don't know how beautiful you are?"
"But, I'm not. I'm ..." He reached out and took her hand. She flushed at his touch.
"You really can't argue the point. The proof is staring up at you from that page. I may not be a good enough artist to do true justice to your beauty, Shawnee, but I'm close enough so you can't deny that the woman looking out from those pages is mesmerizing." She looked down again. She had to admit that Alex had made her look amazing, but she was still perplexed by this whole encounter. "All I want you to do is think about it," he said. Then, he added, "There's one other important thing. Professor Barnes helped me get a $10,000 grant to help with my thesis. I actually only need about $5,000 for expenses, so I was planning on paying the model the rest. I mean, if you could earn $5,000 in a couple of weeks, you could free yourself from the evil clutches of Snape, right?"
She smiled. "I really don't know about this. What would I have to do?"
"Nothing, really. Just be yourself. I'll work out wardrobe and make-up. All you need to do is say yes."
"I'll think about it," she said looking up at the clock. "Oh, I'm going to be late for class."
"Can you let me know by Friday?" he asked.
"Yes. Friday," she confirmed as she gathered her bag and took off. Alex smiled as he watched her leave.
On Friday, Alex walked into art class and set his books down at his easel. He looked around for Shawnee. He spotted her in the workroom and jogged over to get her answer before Barnes began holding court. "Well?" he asked as he approached.
She turned around at the sound of his voice and was biting her lower lip. "Okay. I'll try, but I still don't know why you don't get one of the models from the art department. They're all much prettier than me."
"Yes!" he said thrusting his arms into the air in triumph. "And. No they're not ... not even close. It'll take a few days to get the approval, but I'll let you know when we can start."
As she tucked her hair, she smiled shyly and said, "Okay."
For the next couple of days, Alex spent most of his free time at the cabin. He tested lighting with his camera, cleaned and painted the area he planned to use for his series, and sketched images of what he expected his series to produce.
When he made his presentation to Professor Barnes, the professor wrinkled his nose and glanced in the direction of Shawnee. "Her? You're using her as the model for your thesis? Mr. Kadesky, several of my students have used their theses paintings to launch a career. Are you sure you want to stake your career on her?"
Alex sighed and answered, "Professor, the proof is in the sketches. Shawnee is quite striking, and her dark features will work very well in the setting I'm using. Trust me."
Barnes was skeptical but shrugged his agreement. "The committee will meet Thursday. Stop by my office around 4:30."
On Friday, Alex couldn't wait to get to art class and to tell Shawnee his project was approved. She smiled cautiously and said, "Swell."
"It's not going to be that bad. You may find you like it."
"Yeah ... we'll see. When do we get started?"
"How about tomorrow afternoon? I can pick you up at the Student Union around 2:00, and we'll drive to the location. Oh, and, wear boots or old sneakers for the walk to the cabin. It's muddy. There's plenty of room to change inside."
"Does it have electricity or water?"
"No, but I rented a generator and a spring water contraption we can use to get by." She was still unsure about all of this, but she nodded and went back to work cleaning containers.
The next day was sunny and gorgeous with a light breeze and about 68 degrees. Shawnee was wearing her "uniform" of a flannel shirt and overalls. Alex chuckled to himself as he pulled up to the curb to let her get into the car. It took about half an hour to drive to the location. Alex parked his car in a wide spot along the shoulder. He took a couple of cases from the trunk and led Shawnee through the woods.
When they arrived, she wasn't sure what to think. "Is it safe?"
He laughed. "Yes. It may not look pretty, but it's quite sturdy. I've been here for a few days getting ready." They walked inside, and Shawnee was pleased to see that it was clean and bright with the combination of sunlight and photography lights bathing the main room. The window he was using appeared to have been off the dining room. He'd even mowed some of the yard outside and had cleaned up a lot of the overgrowth. "Well, this will be our second home for the next few of weeks. What do you think?"
"It's actually better than I expected when we approached the place. What do you want me to do first?"
"Just sit on the window sill and look out. I want to take some test photos and play with lighting a little."
Shawnee looked out the window and started thinking about what kind of family might have lived in the house. She imagined a rural, hard-working family with three or four kids, who went to school and worked on the farm when they came home. Alex began snapping pictures. After about 20 minutes, he stopped and said, "That was perfect!"
She looked at him confused. "What was perfect? I didn't do anything?"
"You were lost in thought and were totally natural. That's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for in your poses."
"You mentioned wardrobe and make-up. What do you have in mind?"
Alex walked to the next room and answered, "Come here, and I'll show you." Shawnee walked into the next room, and Alex had a series of sheer gowns in soft neutral colors. "I want to try a few different colors to see what works best with your dark features. Why don't you try a couple on while we're here, and I'll take some more test shots." He turned to walk back into the other room but stopped and turned back. "Oh, and Shawnee, if you don't mind, leave your underwear off beneath the gowns." Then, he closed the door to give her privacy and went to the main room.
Shawnee was uneasy changing into the first gown. She chose a silky peach dress that clung lightly to her. She looked around nervously when she began disrobing. As she laid her clothes on the trunk Alex had placed in the room, she heard the crack of wood outside. She quickly grabbed her shirt and covered herself as she ran to the window to find out if anyone was looking into the room. The only thing she saw was a raccoon foraging. She relaxed and turned back to the gown. It fell in wisps around her body. She was both anxious to be so exposed and exhilarated at the sensation of the cool silk against her naked skin. She walked out of the dressing room with her arms folded over her breasts.
Alex saw the concern on her face and asked, "What's wrong?"
She bit her lip and answered, "I'm not sure this dress will work."
"Why? It looks like it fits great." Shawnee slowly lowered her arms. At first, Alex wasn't sure what the problem was. Then, he realized it was the fact that her nipples were so visible against the material. "Ahh. Shawnee, don't worry. It's just you and me here, and I would never do anything that would embarrass you. You look spectacular in that dress! I kind of figured you had a great body hidden away underneath all that wool and denim, but let me tell you, Shawnee, the real you blows my imagination away!"
She blushed as she looked down and smiled. She'd never had any real attention paid to her looks, and she had to admit she liked being told she was beautiful. She moved to the windowsill and sat with one leg propped up on the sill and let the other dangle. There was something very stimulating about being here with the cool breeze tugging at her hair and at the edges of the gown, knowing that she was naked underneath. If the wrong breeze caught her, she would be exposed. That thought made her moist despite her shyness. Of course, it was only because Alex was so appreciative of her looks.
Alex watched her and chuckled.
"What?" she asked self-consciously.
"You're just such a natural at this," he said shaking his head. "You seem to know what to do before I say a word."
"Oh," she said smiling and relaxing.
Alex took several photos of various kinds and then took out the photo card and popped it into his laptop. "Come here, shy lady. Let me begin educating you on just how beautiful you really are." Shawnee smiled at him, and, for the first time, didn't look away. She walked over and watched as Alex scrolled through the shots ... medium shots, close-ups, profile shots. She had to admit, he had a knack for making her look good.
Shawnee went back to the dressing room and tried on the white silky gown. Alex repeated the process and did so again with the pale yellow gown. Shawnee was becoming more and more relaxed around Alex and with the camera. He was so sweet and kind to her that she tried hard to please him.
She went back one more time to try on the black gown. She picked it up off the rack, and her mouth fell open a bit. It was mostly made of sheer material. She placed her hand behind it and could easily see it. She wasn't sure if she could bring herself to wear such a garment.
"Are you decent?" Alex asked from outside.
"Yes. You can come in."
Alex walked in and saw her standing, staring at the black dress. "Not what you expected, huh?"
"I think black is going to be our best choice. I'm using this gown because it absorbs light and is thin to accentuate your body. It's sleek. At the same time, Shawnee, I don't want you to feel apprehensive. I can also use the pale yellow, but black is my first choice."
She looked at the gown again and sighed. "I'll try it, Alex. I'm just a little embarrassed. I mean, you'll see everything."
He walked over and put his hand on her cheek. "Shawnee, you are one of the most naturally beautiful women I've ever seen. The vision of you in that dress with this setting and lighting is going to be spectacular and will enable me to do something special. But, it's not worth it if you feel uncomfortable. It's not. You saw the pale yellow shots. They're great. If you're going to feel too exposed, we'll go with the yellow." She saw the kindness and concern in his eyes and knew he wouldn't take advantage of her.
She shrugged. "We're grown-ups. It's just a body, right? Let me try it on for some photos. Then, I'll make a decision."
He smiled. "Fair enough." Shawnee walked out of the dressing room a few minutes later, and she was a goddess. When Alex turned to see her, his mouth fell open. She had to stifle a smile at his reaction. He was momentarily frozen as he watched her glide to the windowsill. She struck a couple of poses, and Alex began snapping photos. At one point, Shawnee leaned her head back and shook her long, silky hair in the wind to loosen it. When she turned back toward Alex, he had turned his body so that she saw the distinct outline of his erect penis under his jeans. She felt herself moisten even more. Except for Dave, her boyfriend from high school, she'd never seen a man get hard just by looking at her. She felt her taut nipples tingle. Somehow knowing she had that effect on Alex made her relax. The fact that she also thought Alex was a babe made her feel special.
They looked at the photos together in silence. Alex was staring at her and trying to remain totally professional. Shawnee was looking at the photos and was stunned at how, well, sexy she looked. She'd never thought of herself as sexy, and she was finding this whole experience erotic and fun.
Finally, Alex broke the silence and said, "Shawnee, if you're okay with it, the black gown is definitely my pick."
She turned to him and smiled. "Yeah. Even I have to say I like those photos. I can't wait to see what you do with the oils."
Alex stepped back and studied her face. She wrinkled her brow and asked, "Is something wrong?"
He tilted his head and looked at her a few more seconds before answering, "No. As a matter of fact, everything's very right. I was going to ask my sister to come next time to help with make-up, but, honestly, Shawnee, you're so beautiful just the way you are, that I think make-up would get in the way."
She smiled broadly. "You certainly know how to make a girl feel special."
He smiled back. "I'm glad, but I'm simply being honest. You are stunning, Shawnee, and in that gown ... Wow! ... You could easily be a professionally model."
She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, right!"
"I'm not joking," he called to her as she walked toward the dressing room. She waved backward at him. He laughed.
They checked their schedules and decided to meet every day at 3:00 to catch the afternoon sun. He borrowed a friend's pick-up and brought a sofa as an additional prop. Shawnee felt more at ease all the time. Alex was quickly turning into an expert on her sleek body. He knew every freckle ... every dimple. So, he was somewhat stunned on day two to discover she'd trimmed off practically all of her dark pubic bush. He had a difficult time averting his eyes, since his male instincts were to explore every facet of the burgeoning flower between her dark, slender thighs. His dick was so hard that day that he hid behind the easel as much as possible. Shawnee smiled devilishly at his predicament and grew very wet knowing she was the cause of his discomfort.