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With my head tipped to one side I sat on the hard floor, bent over my sketchbook and looking a bit like a yoga illustration: legs crossed under me Indian style while my torso is bent completely over and my arms rest on the floor. It was a position of comfort I took when concentrating on what I was reading or drawing. At the moment I was focused on the line I was creating with my charcoal pencil. The sensation of the smooth paper sliding under my hand as it moved across the pad had a calming effect on me.

My long red hair created a curtain around the sketchbook, allowing me to block out the others in the room. Occasionally I caught a snippet of conversation as someone passed close by. I found myself smiling now and again at the explanations given for the painting I sat in front of.

"Oh isn't she pretty!" A young female voice would say.

"She's a Mucha girl." Would be the only reply.

A Mucha girl. The girl undoubtedly had no idea who Alphonse Mucha was, had no idea what a contribution he made to the art world. Hell, he still influences the world today. I had recently discovered his style duplicated in a relief on the wall of a local pub, and again in Oh My Goddess!, a Manga comic. The irony that this great artist unrecognized to a large population of the world sold cigarettes with his artwork and was now helping to sell anime porn years after his death made me chuckle.

I looked up from my poor imitation and studied her once more. She sat perched on a cliff, her legs crossed at the ankles as her feet dipped into the water below. She wore what looked like a sheet wrapped around her loosely, giving you only hints of the luscious secrets she possessed. There were flowers in her long brown hair, and she looked out at me teasingly. The sensuality of the painting was as blatant as the thumb that gently caressed her lip. She was everything Summer represented, all warm hues and lust. How rightly she'd been named.

I must have been staring for a while, entranced in her image and my thoughts. I hadn't noticed someone had approached. "I've always preferred Klimt myself," he said.

I glanced up at him upon realizing he was speaking to me.

"His work just has this intimacy to it. Look at The Kiss, for instance."

"Two lovers intertwined within a blanket, stealing a moment under the stars..yes..I see what you mean." I could see the image all gold and blue clearly in my mind as I spoke of it.

He crouched, his face on my level now, as I straightened. Eyes full of warmth gazed into mine briefly, then swept lower to my sketchpad. My hand slipped to the floor as he picked the pad up and balanced it on his knee.

"This is nice."

The heat that had been rushing to my cheeks was forgotten as my thoughts were redirected. I pushed absently at my dark rimmed glasses and frowned. "It lacks something. I can get the image...but not the essence, not the.."


My voice died in my throat at the unspoken word. I found myself looking into his eyes again. Dark pools swallowed me. His lips tilted up on one side, and my eyes watched them longingly. The scent of his aftershave permeated my senses as he leaned closer.

"Here," He took the charcoal from my limp hand. "try this."

I watched his hand, so much larger than my own, grip the pencil and round the edges on my drawing.

Normally I would have been upset, offended even if someone had "fixed" my artwork, but somehow I didn't care as this stranger made quick smooth marks on the paper. He was explaining why the rounded edges were more appealing, more seductive but I wasn't listening. The sound of his voice wrapped around me like a warm blanket. Klimt's painting popped into my head, and I felt my pulse quicken.


Here I was in this moment with this stranger, and I knew I wanted to tip my head back, lean forward...and kiss him. Feel the smoothness of his lips against mine, his strong hands gently caress my cheek.

But I'm a Mucha girl too. So from under dark lashes I gazed at him..thanked him..and watched as he rose to his feet and walked away. His footsteps were slow, hesitant.

Then I tossed my hair over my shoulder and beckoned him back with green eyes full of passion and promise.

Created for etouffee.

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