Black, White, and Colors Ch. 01-02bycsn61©
Pete looked at the beachfront entrance car park and sighed.
There was no sign of her.
Janet was getting unusually late to his appointments these days. He looked away from the window at the canvas and paint crayons.
He still had lot to do with the portrait of hers.
Pete was fairly good with his work of painting portraits of his female models.
He had started about four years ago as a hobby painter and had then turned commercial slowly and he found his paintings sold quite well in Europe and South Africa already at moderately good prices.
He had made his mark.
Janet was one of the newer models to have entered his studio. She was good and after a little bit of persuasion had agreed to do become clad in only with a silken veil on her shoulders with bare breasts and erect dark nipples hidden and revealed at the same time beneath the translucent fabric.
This is what Pete was good at. Not too naked but enough hint of hidden nakedness that made his painting neither just classic nor purely erotic. The mysterious Latinas in semi naked or tribal attire sold very well. It was a purely commercial decision, when he painted her portrait thus.
But then well into the evening and surely at bedtime, when he could recall all her delicate curves and the seductive angles he had seen and painted with keenness. They would flash across his mind's eye; now as a man would become aroused.
Pete used to get confused at those times.
Was he an ethical painter, he would ask himself?
Was he completely professional as a painter or not? Was it right to harbor such feelings about his models?
All said and done he could not erase the memories of Janet and other women who caused feelings of sexual arousal in him and finally he would relieve himself by masturbation and go to a disturbed sleep.
She was a Latina, quite rare in Kenya and that was one of the reasons he could not find replacement quickly too if she really quit his work.
He sighed and reached for the half empty coke bottle.
He was living in a calm area off the Mombassa beach and was quite alone in his small fruits farm.
At 27 years of age, 6 ft 3 in tall, he was the colour of dark ebony, had cheerful calm face and gentle eyes and sported a gymnasium trained athletic body. He earned well and lived well.
His last girlfriend was one Mary, his old school mate and he had caught her cheating with another guy and that was that. The six-month courting brought to a painful halt.
He had no courage to test another romantic relationship with any woman as yet.
But he was a young man with a normal quota of sexual needs. But for the fear of spreading AIDS in the country, he had sustained himself on a daily quota of masturbation than going to bed with some hookers and risk death by such an infection.
Suddenly breaking his reverie, the phone rang. He started, calmed down and reached for it.
"Hello, Is this the residence of Peter MBB..." The lilting female voice struggled with his surname.
" Its Mbewe. You can call me Peter.." He completed it for her.
"Oh...Ok and Thanks. So you are the artist who does those lovely portraits I saw in Johannesburg shops the other day, isn't it?" She sounded amusingly musical in the question.
Peter swallowed." I am a painter and I sign off on the canvass as Pete..Yes, Is that what you saw, madam?"
" It's Dolly McDowell.. Call me Dolly...Yes, Those female portraits, the shopkeeper told me you are Peter who lives in Kenya"
Peter straightened himself and said," Ok, thanks...How can I help you?"
Dolly chortled on the line," Help, young man? You may recall the name McDowell Industries in UK and South Africa in the textiles field?"
Peter blinked," Of Course..Yes. Who hasn't...Its the leading brand. It.."
She cut him off with a swift " Yes. We own it. I mean my late husband used to and I am now the CEO"
Peter sat down. He needed to drink that Coke badly now, but he couldn't as the woman went on,
" I need for you some work actually...I need a portrait of mine done...Can you do it?"
She was not a woman given to waiting. She jumped on people and got her work done, he gathered.
The CEO, after all, of McDowell's...
Peter couldn't think fast enough "Yes, why sure. But when?".
Dolly's calm and collected voice came across," I am there tomorrow evening by South African airlines flight From Jo'burg to Mombassa. If you can give me specific driving instructions to my secretary how to reach you, I will drive down to meet you"
Peter hastened to reply," That won't be necessary. I am coming to meet you at the airport. The pleasure is mine."
Dolly was silent, but only for a second," Well I guess that's OK then...Come to the Airport by a Taxi. We will drive back in my Rolls to your place. Lets talk during the journey...
I have only two hours for you tomorrow...So see you there in the Airport at 6". She paused." How will you know me"?
Peter blinked. Was she joking? " I will know you. Seen you on papers and TV"
Dolly persisted," Peter, How will I know you?"
"I will wait in the VIP lounge and when you come out, I will come to you myself...I will have twin yellow roses with me to offer you".
He was sweating by the time he completed this. His mind was in a whirl.
" OK.. So sweet to hear that...Then see you at 6. The airport. Bye"
The click of the phone dropping on the other side was like a shot to his heart. Abrupt. No time wasting in even one extra word.
He drank all his Coke in one gulp and swore " YAYAYA" to himself! < The African equivalent of' Man, man, Man'! >
After awhile his mind cleared and noted that Janet hadn't come at all. Hell, she hadn't even called him.He didn't want to call on her Mobile. Not now.
His mind became preoccupied with the thoughts of the phone call.
Dolly McDowell. Big Name. Big Woman.
He had seen her umpteen times on the Newspapers, magazines and on TV news clippings. Most times with her husband George.
She was a white Anglo Saxon lady, the ones he had never done a portrait of before. That was the first hurdle.
She was a redhead and he could recall a plump smiling aristocratic face and thinking hard, he thought she had a voluptuous figure, may be slightly on the fleshy side. Couldn't be more than forty, he guessed. He had never thought of her as his model and even now couldn't even to begin to. He thought there was a big class difference between them.
He was free spirit and was used to getting the best out of his models by making them pose out of his choice and for durations of his liking.
But, Dolly McDowell? The CEO and a rich aristocratic lady.. How do you command her to accept his way of working?
Would she like it?
But he could work only HIS way. And She HERS. Then how could this work out?
His mind became fuzzy and he switched on the TV but he barely watched it. The cook called out to him hours later that the dinner was ready and would he please come?
He was silent during dinner and could hardly remember what he ate or how much afterwards.
When at last he hit the bed that night, for the first time in many days he did not get an erection. Nor sleep.
The drone of the South African Airways plane had hardly stopped when Pete stood up as if to receive his visitor. A few others in the Arrival Lounge looked at him strangely and he realized he was over-reacting and sat down embarrassedly. He had arrived by Taxi to the lounge an hour ago making sure he would not be late.
He noticed he was sweating slightly even in the Air- conditioned interiors of the airport.
Dolly McDowell made a dramatic appearance, from Pete's point of view but probably she was used to it.
There were some Paparazzi reporters and local journalists following her, flashbulbs popping.
Pete stood to attention, tightly gripping the two Yellow rose bouquet and he saw Dolly leading the pack all smiles, and behind her a shorter bespectacled Mulatto lady and a tough looking body guard in Uniform keeping in step with her as she cheerfully answered the curious reporters but giving nothing away.
She waved at them and hastened towards the Lounge. It took her may be two seconds to place Pete and she came towards him smiling but when some reporters still persisted the Bodyguard gave a growl and flexed his muscles and his gestures were enough to drive them away.
" Hello, Pete. It's you, isn't it" she asked sweetly but there was something businesslike in her smile and the handshake was feminine but firm.
Pete saw a 6 feet tall aristocratic white lady, a Redhead of about Forty but looking to be in thirties wearing a perfect Cream and Blue Business suit and gold rimmed spectacles that sat on her elegant nose smiling at him confidently.
" Yes, It's me. Peter Mbewe" his voice quaked at first but he said more reassuredly," I hope you had a good flight, Madam!" offering her the twin yellow Roses.
"Oh Yes. I never have problems with any flights, Pete...
Shall we go?" Her eyes twinkled with brimming confidence of a woman in whose world nothing ever went wrong.
The roses quickly went to the hands of her Mulatto assistant who put them away in her cabin baggage.
They hustled past the Security barrier and were met by a Uniformed Chauffeur and local manager of her Company who made up the Official reception party.
" Madam, This way," The manager started but Dolly smilingly cut him off with,
"That's Ok, Jack. Thanks. He can take me there" She said pointing to the local chauffeur.
"This isn't Official, You know!!" She smiled to take the offence out of the statement, but point went home nevertheless.
The Manager knew more than to argue with her.
"That's Perfect, madam. Hope you have a good stay... Call me if there is any problem"
"Oh Sure. Between Alice and me, we will manage...Jack, Bye then"
The manager went away a little bewildered. She always came to the Company Guest House. Where is she off to this time? He wondered.
Pete hurried along with her. She kept up a brisk pace.
So Alice was the name of her Mulatto assistant, Pete gathered.
Alice glanced at him approvingly and gave a wan smile.
Dolly caught the glance and asked her,
" Not the way you thought the painters looked like, eh, Alice?" she poked her in the ribs and Alice winced playfully.
"Pete, I'm so sorry.... She is Alice D'Souza, my Personal assistant" Dolly formally introduced her assistant.
Pete and Alice shook hands walking along to the car park.
The woman though managed to look demure seemed to have something burning in those bespectacled eyes, Pete gathered in that Nanosecond before his eyes left hers.
There was only one Rolls Royce sitting there in the far Corner of the Car park. It was gleaming blue and seemed to be in mint condition.
Alice and Pete sat on either side of Dolly in the rear seat and the Bodyguard next to the driver.
The car skimmed along the road towards the City.
The driver looked to be a local Kenyan and so Pete gave some basic route instructions in Swahili, the popular East African language.
Dolly's eyes sparkled as she said, "I just love the way you guys speak that language. Want to learn it someday!"
" It isn't difficult, Mrs. McDowell. It has some native Asian tongues mixed in it"
"Call me Dolly, Pete. It isn't necessary to call me Mrs. McDowell any more. Ah, I liked the term you used though" She giggled conspicuously.
Pete stared and cleared his throat "Which term?"
" The one about tongues mixed. What do you say, Alice? Isn't quite pretentious and cute?"
It was Alice's turn to giggle but not very conspicuously like Dolly.
Before Pete could react, Dolly became a little serious and asked Pete, looking straight at him,
" Look Pete, I liked your work and I thought I would hire you to do my portrait. What are your terms? How much do you charge?" The businesswoman was back in her Boardroom.
Its time she came down to earth, he thought.
His earth. He cleared his throat.
" Firstly, No one hires me, Dolly. Secondly I always choose my models. OK Your case has been a little different. You have just proposed first, but that's all. I need to know what you want actually. Money isn't of consequence right now".
There was a moment's silence as no one spoke and Alice stared at him from the other side her eyes widening.
It wasn't every day that someone spoke back to her boss so daringly.
Suddenly Dolly smiled. There was a hint of admiration in her eyes as she turned fully to him and said,
" Hey, Pete... I like a man to speak like that.
Alright then... we will discuss your terms when we reach your place"
She leaned back in her seat and that was the first time Pete noticed her bust line.
The White Cotton shirt hugged her big globes delightfully and just as he watched the car hit one of those notorious potholes on the Kenyan roads. The breasts jiggled delightfully despite Rolls' well-oiled shock absorbers.
He tore his eyes away but not before Dolly Noticed it.
Her voice dropped to a notch softer,
" Is it TOO difficult to paint a woman like me, Pete?
I couldn't be an ideal Model as models go...Hmmm..."
She shrugged. That movement in her shirt again.
He was hardening inside his pants now. He gulped and looked outside the window.
He replied, " It's not the question of difficulty. I am used to painting certain types of models and certain poses are favorites of mine. It may not suit everyone at all times; you know..."He tried to explain sanely.
Dolly looked straight ahead and said with a calm voice,
" Yes, I understand. Besides, I want my nude portrait... Complete one... You can do it Of course?"
Pete looked up sharply.
She was asking it so plainly as if ordering a pizza in The Pizza Hut.
Alice was looking at him goggle eyed.
The car turned mercifully into the street where his house was located and he turned his attention to the Driver to give final instructions, escaping answering her audacious request for the time being.
It took them ten minutes to settle down in his bamboo thatched Verandah and all of them were nursing a drink each. The Bodyguard stood a little away as Dolly instructed chatting up the local driver.
It was then that Dolly brought up the question again.
" Don't pretend as if you didn't hear me, Pete...I want my nude portrait done. Birthday suit! How about it?"
Pete was ready this time around.
He said calmly,
"Look Dolly, I do not know what gave you the impression that I was a Nudes painter. I am not. I haven't done any such work yet. I do semi dressed erotic cum classic paintings of women. Come to that, I haven't done one such of a White woman yet either. You are the first white model. And I am not going to try something I am not used to with an important person like you"
Dolly said as if she didn't hear,"Why Not, Pete?"
Pete's mouth opened and closed as if he was searching for words.
"You are Mrs. McDowell! I can't risk my career or reputation making a disaster out of your painting in an uncomfortable category. I..."
Dolly raised her hands but gave him a smile that hidden meanings as she quietly said,
" Why don't you take a look at what I am selling, dear, before you get all hot under your ears?"
Pete stared uncomprehendingly.
Dolly continued as if making final cinch on a business deal,
" I can pose for you the way I want to be portrayed.
"Yes. In the buff! You take a look and decide, Pete!"
She arched her eyebrows again challengingly at him.
Pete's heart thudded loudly as he said,
" That's not the point. You are a beautiful woman but I haven't done any Nudes at all... I"
Dolly leaned forwards and he saw her fair legs below the skirt hemline uncross themselves.
" I'm a beautiful Woman, eh? How do you know, Pete?
If that is so, it could hardly be the reason to refuse me, isn't it? Now, come to your inexperience on Nudes. You have done Semi-nudes and so there's always a first time for anyone...MMMM?"
This time as she leaned, her two upper shirt buttons almost popped and he could see fair milky globes of her breasts clearly.
Pete made a futile bid to escape the inevitable.
"Dolly, you talk well and I can't. But I know what I am talking about..."
Dolly stood up and smoothened the dress over her well kept alluring curves that showed up even below a Business suit.
" In that case, Lets NOT talk anymore, I say. It's time for action. Let's go to the studio and you can check me out..."
As they climbed the steps to his studio, she turned to him and whispered loudly " Any which way you want, Mr. Clean!!"
Again Alice couldn't suppress her giggle.
To Be Continued...