A Creative Challenge Ch. 17byPvidal©
"Sam, I do believe you're a bit jealous."
"Yes, I think I am."
"That's so sweet. I never promised you fidelity, though, did I?"
"You never promised me anything."
"I know that. So what's your problem?"
"No problem. You just asked me how I felt about you having sex with Tracey, that's all. So I told you."
I was beginning to wish I hadn't told her the truth. I should have lied, and said I didn't care that she seemed to really enjoy fucking Tracey, and that it didn't bother me at all to watch her orgasming in someone else's arms. But she had asked me almost as soon as she had arrived back at the studio, and I hadn't had time to think about doing anything but giving her an honest answer.
"It's just sex," she said. "It doesn't mean anything."
"It always means something, Amy, you know that."
"OK. Yes it does. But sex with Tracey didn't mean anything important as far as you and me are concerned, if that's what you mean."
I wasn't sure how much sex with me meant to Amy, either, but I didn't want to open up that can of worms. Tracey had come to the studio and modelled for me with Amy – really modelled – several more times since the visit from the police, but Amy had been spending a lot more time with her away from the studio, and some nights she had gone to Tracey's place and not come home.
"Any way," said Amy, "I won't be seeing Tracey any more. Except at lectures and tutorials, of course."
"Now you're trying to make me feel selfish and guilty. You don't have to stop seeing her if you want to. Don't do that on my account."
"I'm not. Tracey dumped me."
"Oh. What happened? You two seemed to really like each other. "
"We do. But not in the same way. Tracey realised that I was never going to become the long term partner of her dreams, so she decided to cut her losses and quit before it got messy – messy for her I mean, not for me. She knew that to me she was an adventure, not a real lover. And she wanted someone to ... love, I guess."
"Most people are looking for love, Amy."
"Most?" She gave me a puzzled look. "We're ALL looking for love, Sam. Even you."
Like most men, the idea of Talking About Our Relationship is about as exciting to me as contemplating root canal surgery, so I changed the subject quickly.
"I'm not going to say 'what do you mean, even me?' because right now we have a problem. I was going to tell you about it as soon as you arrived, but you distracted me."
"Well, you're very easy to distract", said Amy, lifting each of her arms up to its shoulder and taking hold of the little straps of her top. In one unhurried but fluid movement, she slipped them off her shoulders, put her thumbs under the fabric at the side each breast and pulled her top all the way down to her waist.
I tried, for what seemed a long time but was probably more like two seconds, to continue to look her in the eye and not at her naked torso, but by the time her top was down to just past her nipples, my eyes were drinking in the perfect shape of her breasts and then they were caressing her revealed belly. Any other thought in my head was now gone completely.
She undid the waistband of her jeans, slid down the zip, then pushed them down, dragging the top down over her hips with them. When the pants were down far enough to just see the beginning of her pussy crack, she paused, and waited.
"What problem?" she said, enjoying the power she knew she had over me.
"Huh?" I reluctantly looked up at her face, knowing from her tone of voice that she had asked me something, but clueless about the meaning of the sounds. She was smiling, but shaking her head.
"Sam, you are SO predictable. I said, what problem?"
For a moment I felt like a daydreaming schoolboy who had been called on by the teacher to answer a question that he hadn't heard being asked, and then I remembered.
"Greta rang just before you arrived. She's been arrested."
"When? What for?"
"This morning, about two hours ago. For indecency."
"You're kidding me. Greta is straight, she wouldn't do anything... oh, it's about the pictures of me and Tracey. Right?"
"Where is she now?"
"Back at the gallery. They questioned her, and let her go. But they told her they are going to have to charge her under the statute that they use to close down porn peddlers."
"Is she upset?"
"No, she's delighted, believe it or not. I'm the one who's upset."
"Why wasn't Greta pissed off, too?"
"Because she – we – will get lots of publicity and the demand for my work will go up again. And if it ever goes to trial, she thinks we'll win big and then she'll sue for defamation, and it will all be great for her business."
"You know the press will be all over us again, don't you?"
"That's why I'm upset. I'm tempted to switch the phone off so I don't have to talk to them."
"You'll have to deal with them sooner or later."
"Then it can be later. You still have some more distracting to do."
"I've got a better idea."
"Better than taking off the rest of your clothes and fucking me?"
"Who said I was going to fuck you? I might have just been playing with you."
"The tabloids would love that story – "Famous artist confesses: I was just my nude model's plaything."
"Do you? Really?"
"Of course not. Sam, that was a silly thing for me to say. I like us the way we are."
"And what way is that?"
The words were out of my mouth before my brain could censor them. I had, quite skilfully sometimes, been avoiding any discussion of 'Our Relationship', but there it was. I had asked a question for which I didn't already have an answer. It would serve me right if it bit me.
"You know. The way we are," said Amy, pushing her jeans down to her ankles but not looking at me as she stepped out of them and folded them up, as if what she had said was a good enough answer, and was all she needed to say.
"And what way is that?" I asked again, not having the good sense to recognize that I was being offered a way out on a plate. I think part of me was experiencing some residual and long-buried Catholic guilt because I had been enjoying far too much the way my life had changed since Amy had entered it , and if I was to lose her it was better to force a confrontation now rather than later. If she was just toying with me, I should know now.
Amy stood and faced me now, and although I was tinglingly aware of her deliberate attempt to distract me with her nakedness, I was able to look her firmly in the eye, because I felt that what happened next between us was more important than the immediate visual pleasure of exploring her body, however exquisite the experience. Amy was quiet for a moment or two, thinking. She was clearly as unsure as I was about what she was going to say.
She could tell from my immobile face that wasn't good enough either.
"OK. We're... very close. I don't mind that we're so different in so many ways, I truly don't think that matters. I like the way that together we are open to anything, that neither of us is judgemental. I love the way we encourage each other's sexual fantasies and don't play ego games. And I really loved the way we were happy not putting pressure on each other... until right now."
"But?" I pushed, not making any apology for the pressure.
"But I don't do commitment very well, Sam. And, frankly, I don't want to do it very well. I tried it. It hurts. I know I said that we're all looking for love, but I'm not ready to find it, so don't ask me if I love you and please don't tell me you love me."
I thought I had maybe pushed her too far. These last words had come out hard, like a threat, and for a moment I felt myself withdrawing from a tension between us that I had never felt before. Then, as if someone had thrown a switch somewhere, she smiled me her warmest smile. Her shoulders relaxed, her head cocked to one side, and the palms of her hands down by her side turned towards me. Her whole body was saying "OK?", and that was fine with me.
"OK," I replied.
"Are you going to answer that?", said Amy.
Until that moment I was indifferent to the fact that the phone was ringing. I had heard it but as if it was in the distance, somewhere unconnected with where we were at that moment. When Amy drew my attention to it, it muscled its way into the foreground of my consciousness, and I had a sudden impulsive thought.
"No. I don't think I will. Amy, let's go away."
"I've only just got here."
"I don't mean this minute, I mean let's go somewhere else as soon as we can. Somewhere away from all... this." She knew I didn't mean the studio or the house, but away from the notoriety and the press and the phones.
"A vacation, do you mean?"
"A vacation. Yes. We'll go and lay on a beach somewhere. Until the fuss with the gallery dies down."
"That could take a while."
"Then it takes a while. By the way, what were you going to say earlier?"
"When you said you had a better idea than distracting me by taking the rest of your clothes off?"
"Believe it or not, I was going to suggest we went away somewhere else for a while."
"Why didn't you say so. Somewhere warm?"
"Definitely. Sun, sand, sea..."
"I thought you'd never ask," said Amy, getting down onto her elbows and knees on the little platform, presenting her beautiful bare ass towards me. "Pretend this platform is a sand dune, and you can practice distracting me on the beach."