Now for your enjoyment, ladies and gentlemen, I’m happy to present a wee sample of Lovely. While this novella is erotic, the excerpt is worksafe.
Lovely by Kris Starr
“It is like being with a lover. One must know precisely how to stroke, and precisely what pressure to use.” I lift the brush from the paper and tilt my head, studying the image I have begun to create.
Alexandre shifts in his seat, his clothes rustling with the movement, and the sound interrupts my musings. I glance at him, seated on a chair to my left, somewhat surprised to find his gaze again unwaveringly upon me.
It was on his third visit that he inquired about the painting hanging above my dresser—and the knowledge that I had created the artwork had infused him with immense excitement. At that moment, he’d insisted on seeing my other works and made much fuss over each. From that moment on, he’d requested I spend some of our time together painting. I could not find it in my heart to argue—for truly, I am happier painting than doing anything else, and—I cannot lie—I have discovered no greater comfort than to be able to sit and converse with Alexandre while allowing my muse to fly free. It would be dangerous to examine this feeling of contentment, to imagine it something more, so I do not.
Then again, I could also be damned for a liar.
I rise from my chair and gesture toward it, indicating that he should seat himself at the easel. With the barest hint of wariness he complies, and I move behind him, placing the brush in his hand.
“Is the talent ingrained, then? Effortless?”
I frown slightly, thoughtfully, contemplating his question. “Not precisely. Although I would suppose in some it might be so.” I flash him a saucy grin. “Consider the lover again, Alexandre. A fortunate few are born with the skill to provide exquisite pleasure without any form of instruction at all. Yet most could improve through a measure of gentle enlightenment.”
I sense his discomfiture without even a glance, and I cannot help but smile. The last weeks have improved him somewhat, but even now, the smallest thing will induce shyness. Alexandre changes the subject of conversation.
“Have you not tried oils?”
“Oils demand precision; perfection. They are unyielding and will not bend. I cannot abide that sort of rigidity. Watercolours are forgiving and will not punish mistakes. They are changeable, adaptable and ask less of the artist.”
“Then it is that freedom that appeals to you. The ability to be able to do what your heart desires, without fear of reprimand or chastisement.” He is silent for so long that I must turn and look at him, unable to predict the path he treads.
“You are the gentle dove in the gilded cage, Angelique. Yearning for a freedom that is nowhere near your grasp.”
I find I do not have the words to respond. His perceptiveness frightens me more than a little, and I can only turn to what I know best—to the thing with which I am most familiar. The touch of the flesh.
I take his hand and guide it, leading him to the image on the easel. So very gently, with my hand atop his, we add a line of the palest indigo. The bristles swirl and slither along the paper. Pressing more firmly intensifies the hue, and a lighter touch adds a mere caress of tint.
Alexandre’s own color is heightened, his chest rapidly rising and falling as he breathes.
Again and again, I take him back to one place, varying the brushstrokes, sometimes lingering, sometimes pausing only for a brief heartbeat. The paper becomes flesh, the bristles an extension of the fingertips.
Heat travels along my limbs in response, and I cannot stop my legs from trembling.
He notices. And very carefully, as one would handle glass, he pulls me around to the front of the chair. And with only the slightest hesitation, Alexandre draws me onto his lap.
Oh, how the room spins! The heat of his skin reaches me even through layers of wool, cotton and lace, and it is a tinder that I wish would spark and consume my flesh.
His unencumbered hand curls around my waist and his palm rests atop my belly. The heat of his breath warms the side of my neck, and I know he has pressed his face into my curls.
“So…warm.” The words are mere whispers, faint as breath, and I do not believe Alexandre knows he has uttered them. I dare not acknowledge his speech for fear of ending this spell. Instead, those words are imprinted upon my memory, to be held and cherished long after the breath that spoke them has faded.
I tread on dangerous ground, but retreat is impossible. I could banish him from this chamber, never again speak his name, but the thought causes unbearable pain. Now more than ever, I wish to know him fully, to seek seduction where I am certain the fire smolders.
How easy it would be to open his flies, lift the layers of my own garments, and welcome him deep within. My breasts are heavy with desire, my quim more damp than in all memory.
He and he alone would grant me release. Finally sunder those bonds.
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Kris Starr writes erotic romance and erotica. Find her at her website, on Twitter, and you can even look her up on Facebook. She always loves to hear from readers, so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org