---Adult themes and situations MATURE CONTENT---
Tess has never had sex. Believe it or not, she’s never had a decent kiss.
The aspiring Seattle painter and photographer is still recovering from the trauma of being beaten and nearly raped at a rock show nearly three years before. So she keeps life simple: she goes to school, goes to work in a coffee shop, goes home, goes on living.
But then Ben’s naked body crashes—almost literally—through Tess’s wall against the world.
Ben is doing his dad’s art-teacher girlfriend a favor when he agrees to pose nude for her drawing class. But what he draws is the interest of the irresistible punk-looking girl—and it’s interest he reciprocates, with interest.
Their sexual chemistry is too much to resist. But it’s when they have their clothes on that their heat quickly slips on ice. Ben’s womanizing history is one thing, but it’s history of another kind—related to that fateful night at the rock show—that threatens to tear the young lovers apart forever.
At the end of last week’s drawing lesson, Ms. Sawyer, my middle-aged hippie-chick art instructor, informed us that we would have a male model to observe and paint for tonight’s class. I never gave it a second thought beyond God I hope it’s someone remotely attractive after last week’s lesson of trees. Like seriously, trees?
As always, I am the last to arrive. But, hey, this time it wasn’t my fault. I swear my car keys had more of a social life than me and had a fling with the sneaker I couldn’t find while getting I was getting ready. Rushing into class, I assumed my usual position in the corner table away from “the action,” as Ms. S liked to put it. I flip past last week’s assignment to an open page. God I can’t draw a tree to save my life….
I look to my right to see another student halfway through his drawing, scanning from the top of his pad down to the bottom, and that’s when I notice the subject. I snap my head up so rapidly I think I got whiplash. He’s sitting perfectly still on top of a table, his back to me, thank God, because I realize that my mouth is hanging open. Ms. S clears her throat and I glance at her, as she waves her hand in the direction of the model and forms her hand to look like she’s hold a pencil and drawing… yeah yeah I’m getting to work.
I take in his midnight dark short hair, casually styled as a faux hawk, then I scan to his neck, down to his toned shoulders, which adorn a collection of black and gray tattoo work, but I can’t make out the detail. Man, I should have gotten my shit together and got to class on time. Then maybe I could have grabbed a seat a little closer. One of his arms is bent and appears to be holding him up. His right leg is bent and I can only assume the other is out in front of himself but stupid me—being late, I got stuck only looking at his back straight on…so much for interesting…
I begin to sketch, and by the time I get down to the lowest part of his back, I find myself biting my bottom lip and just staring. Come on, Tess, get your crap together if you want to finish the assignment!
“All right, everyone, class is dismissed. Next week we will continue with our model here,” Ms. Sawyer announces, while winking in the direction of the beautiful creature up on display, and obviously before I can even finish. Damn shame too…
“Tess, a moment please, after you clean up,” she says as I pack up. I look back up to the table for a quick look at the face of the back, but I get only a quick profile look and notice his sleek black leather jacket that hugs his slender frame. Total damn shame…