Hey, y’all and happy fall!
I got inspired by a photo the other day so I’m back with a new short story lol. I’ve been spending a lot of time working on one of my final books for 2017, “Mr & Mrs. Jones,” the sequel to my novella “Girl Code.” In both stories, one of the characters, Amir, is always talking about how another character, Melodee, is his muse. So, this was also one of the inspirations behind the title of this short.
I wrote this short in a few hours and self-edited it in one day. I forced myself not to edit it for longer just to keep to my own challenge of producing a story that’s raw and less than perfect. I’m one of those writers who prefers to organize everything. Flesh out characters and plots. Research and outline details before I even sit in front of a blank page. So, I use my short stories to step out of my comfort zone and to make things up on the fly. And here is the product of that.
The moment I stepped onto the number 1 train, I immediately headed for the empty row of seats near the far end of the car. I sat back and glanced down at my phone’s clock and released a weighted sigh.
“I’m definitely getting fired today,” I mumbled to myself.
I was late, again.
Late on Monday.
Late on Tuesday.
And there was no way my boss at La Cantona would buy the lie I already sold her two days in a row.
From the corner of my eye, I saw a tall, medium build guy step onto the train soon after I did. He immediately sat across from me. Instantly I was annoyed. I turned my head to my left to see rows and rows of empty seats then turned my head to face forward to shoot him an evil eye. He could have sat anywhere else why here?
But instead of shooting him that evil eye, I arched a brow. He was cute. Real handsome. Very good looking in fact. He had an appealing look to him that was highly attractive. Thick lips, full eyebrows. He sported a low-cut curly fade that made him look good from every angle. But it was his eyes that made me look twice. They were a chestnut brown. But the color wasn’t the hook. The energy they exuded was. They were magnetic. Pulling me in before I could catch myself. His eyes gave hint he was daring and very curious. He was bold too, holding his stare with me long after noticing I was looking back at him.
“You know It’s rude to stare, right?” I said to him.
Instead of replying with a slick comeback, which I expected, a slow smile appeared on his lips and my heart melted. I quickly checked myself.
Falling for a nice smile on a cute guy had gotten me in trouble not long ago. Left me heartbroken and looking stupid too.
He moved his eyes away from mine for a moment and peeled open the flap of his messenger bag to pull out a black spiraled sketch pad. Next he took out a black pencil then turned his pad sideways and started sketching.
I rolled my eyes and glanced down at my phone and I would continue to do that for most of my ride.
It was as if time had wheels but the train did not. As the train crawled from one station to the next, time was rolling by quicker than my patience could tolerate. Every so often I’d release tension from my anxiety with a loud exhale or by dropping my head back against the train wall. Dramatic as hell but whatever.
To be honest, tripping over being late was dumb… really.
My job wasn’t that important.
Waiting tables at a Mexican restaurant when I barely spoke the language wasn’t something I looked forward to every day. But shit, it paid the bills and kept me out of trouble. And as a 20-something single woman with no kids, that was what was most important.
I’d been so caught up with getting to my train stop that I hadn’t paid attention to what homeboy was doing across from me that whole time.
Between the new passengers entering and exiting the train, time had passed, and I’d forgotten all about him.
That was until the train pulled into the station before the train station that served as my stop.
My attention was out the window to my right when I felt his arm brush against mine.
I whipped my head quick to my left to see him sitting beside me and looking right at me.
“Man, listen, I am not in the mood. You need to—”
“And?” I asked tilting my head to the side. I’m sure I looked visibly annoyed to him.
He laughed in response, but I didn’t.
“Can you please go back to your—”
Before I could finish my sentence, he showed me a drawing.
Black and white, and of me.
It was stunning. Capturing my beauty, my excellence even when stressed as hell.
He made me look beautiful. Soft. Regal. Like some type of angel.
“Wow,” I whispered.
I moved my eyes off the drawing and looked up into his eyes and felt my heart flutter.
“That’s dope,” I told him.
“You’re dope, uh…”
“Trinity,” he repeated, while nodding and smiling.
He ripped the page out, scribbled something on it then handed it to me.
“That’s my number,” he said pointing down at the numbers scribbled below the photo. “Call me if you want another drawing done of you. Maybe in the next one you’ll smile for me?”
I fought back my smile and nodded my answer.
Called him I did. And we ended up having a lot more in common than I wanted to admit.
He was an artist. A professional one. With a studio and sponsors. The quiet type who didn’t say much but when he spoke his words were profound.
He didn’t care for public spaces, preferring intimate locations like mom-and-pop coffee shops where he could speak candidly and directly with me. Like, really speak with me and not at me… dialogue heart-to-heart.
It always felt spiritual and unforced.
Talking with him became my refreshment. Like the first sip of wine at the end of a long day. I looked forward to speaking with him.
Being around him.
And soon that interest turned to want, a need even. It was casual at first and he was respectful. But his failure to make a move made me feel self-conscious around him. Unworthy even. Confused by his lack of desire to take things there.
It was almost a year after he drew that quick portrait of me on the train. There had been a few more drawings Xavier did of me afterwards but all of them capturing different parts of me.
My eyes, my lips, my legs, my hands.
Silhouettes captured in shades, side profiles drawn from a distance. They were all beautiful without him trying anything with me.
After a while, I found myself getting frustrated in his presence. Wondering what it was I lacked that would have him enamored with me. He never made me feel like I was anything less than important to him but his admiration of my features seemed to be his primary focus. Like he’d placed me on a pedestal that even he couldn’t reach. Better yet, on a shelf only so he could admire me from afar.
I was never touched by him. Never played with.
So, when Xavier invited me to his apartment for a small gathering to unveil his series of drawings capturing me in, as he called it, all facets of my natural beauty, I was excited. But we barely spoke at his event.
He divided his time between speaking with others and separating himself to do the unknown… likely to draw in solitude.
I purposely waited until the party was over and everyone left so that it would be just he and I, alone.
“Draw me,” I told him as we sat on his carpeted living room floor across from each other.
“Not in the mood,” he said low, before taking a sip of Hennessy from his glass.
“Please,” I said, batting my eyelashes.
He chuckled then held a grin on his lips before nodding and standing to his feet.
“Only because you asked me nicely,” Xavier said before leaving the room. He returned with his spiral sketch pad, sat across from me again, and sketched.
I sat opposite him staring. My body’s temperature rising each time I watched a muscle flex on his bicep or when my eyes traced the line of a vein on his forearm as his hand moved along the page, gripping his pencil tighter.
When his brows would wrinkle as he sketched an intricate detail, I’d smile. He’d squint his eyes a little then bite the side of his lip as he examined my features like he was viewing them for first time. Focused.
I was breathing harder when I lifted my hand to the strap of my peach tank.
He released a little grunt through closed lips. “Trinity, you know the routine. Please don’t move.”
“Sorry, but… when I asked for you to draw me, I had something else in mind.”
I pulled the first strap of my tank down my arm. And then the other. As I pulled the neckline of the tiny top down and under my black bra, he licked his lips before he folded them into his mouth.
“I was thinking,” I said leaning back a little to unbutton my jeans. As I slid the denim down and off my ass then over my thighs, my body reacted to me watching him watch me.
He leaned back against the wall behind himself and said nothing.
“Maybe you can draw me naked.”
A sexy laugh left his mouth. “Naked?”
“And what prompted this idea?” He asked.
“Do you find me attractive?”
“Answering a question with a question?”
“Well…” I said stretching my legs out in front of me and leaning back on my hands. “Do you?”
I now sat in front of him partially nude in just my bra and panties.
I hoped his response was something that didn’t leave me hating myself for being so forward but I couldn’t practice patience any longer with him.
It was almost a year.
I wanted more.
“Of course. You’re a beautiful woman. How could I not be attracted to you?”
“But that’s not your real question,” he said, picking up his pad and pencil. He turned the page then resumed sketching.
His eyes glanced up at me then they moved pad, his hands moving quick along the page. “What you’re curious about is if I wanna fuck you.”
I bit my bottom lip, a little turned on by him just saying it. I’d never heard him use language like that with me. It’s like I said, he was the quiet type and very selective with his words when he spoke.
“Would you?” I asked.
“Mmm-hmm,” he answered with no hesitation. Xavier glanced up at me from his sketch pad then focused his eyes back on his work. “But then what?”
I scratched my head, confused. “Uh, what do you mean by that?”
He chuckled. “An orgasm lasts about seven seconds, sometimes more than ten if we’re lucky. But intimacy, real intimacy, lasts much longer. Sometimes a lifetime.”
“So, then let’s get intimate.”
I sucked my teeth.
“The most stimulating thing we can do is converse with each other. I like talking to you. Getting to understand you…” Xavier paused and was quiet for a moment before adding, “you’ve been hurt before.”
I jerked my head back, a little bothered by the accuracy.
“Random much?” I asked him.
“But it’s true.”
“Who hasn’t been hurt,” I retorted.
“But I’m talking about you, Trinity. Sweetheart… you still carry around a lot of that hurt in your eyes,” he said, turning his pad to face me. “See, look right here.”
He pointed at the unfinished sketch. So far all he drew was the upper half of my face from my hairline to the bridge of my nose.
“But this hurt attributes to your inner beauty. And I think you try to hide that part of you when it’s what helped make you the magnetic soul you are today.”
“Does everything have to be so…”
“Deep, with you,” I added.
He chuckled while focusing his attention back down on his pad. “I’ve been waiting for the subject of our conversations to be about that hurt but you’ve been delaying that talk. Before we take things to a physical level, we need to discuss that first. I’m not tryna pay for the last guys mistake. So… you need to get that out if you want anything with or from me. And I got all the time in the world to wait to do that.”
I rolled my eyes.
“I want more than your body,” he added, still looking down at his pad. “Anyone can have your body. I want your trust. Your heart. I wanna set up a home in there.”
I folded my arms over my chest when he glanced up at me.
He sighed. “Trinity.”
“Nah, forget this,” I said leaning forward to balance myself on my hands to stand to my feet.
“Didn’t I tell you not to move?”
“I’m out of here,” I huffed.
“Come on, don’t be like that,” he said looking up at me. “It’s late, anyway.”
“So? I don’t care.”
“Well, I do,” he said back.
It was foolish, but Xavier’s calmness was so irritating.
I folded my arms and stood over him. “So, what do you suggest?”
“You’ll sleep here.” He placed his pad down on the floor and stood to his feet. Now in front of me, he looked down at me and smiled when I smiled.
My eyes journeyed around his apartment.
I’d already noticed he didn’t own a sofa, only a table and chairs for eating and to seat company.
“You only have one bed.”
“We’re gonna sleep in it… together,” he replied.
“Let me guess… without having sex.”
He grinned. “A man and a woman can be attracted to one another, sleep in the same bed, and not have sex.”
“But why would they?”
He laughed while shaking his head. “Just come on.”
We laid in his bed in the dark, me still in my panty and bra and Xavier just in a pair of boxers. We didn’t say a word.
I turned to look at him and noticed his eyes closed. I rolled my eyes and grunted then turned to my side.
My left ass cheek brushed against his bare thigh when I turned over and I couldn’t help the heat growing between my legs.
I turned to glance over my shoulder at him and didn’t see not even a simple change in his position.
He was still lying flat on his back, eyes closed, with his fingers interlocked.
I turned to face forward biting at the bottom of my lip. There was no way I would lay in this bed with this man and we not do anything.
So, I slid the lower half of my body back until my ass pressed against the side of his thigh.
“Trinity,” he said in a groggy voice.
“So, you are up.”
He chuckled. “What’s up? You wanna talk?”
“No,” I said sitting up and folding my legs while facing him. “I’m tired of talking. You know what I wanna do.”
“Tell me about your last relationship,” he said.
I huffed while rolling my eyes.
“Why’d it end?”
“I’d much rather not discuss that.”
“Okay,” he said turning to face me. “Then tell me why you’re so mean.”
I scoffed. “I am not mean.”
Even in his dark room that only had the light of the street lamp outside to cast a soft glow over our eyes, I noticed when he arched his brow. Giving me that, yeah right, look.
“Yeah, you are.” He smiled. “But that’s cool because I like that about you. I just want to know why.”
“Fine.” He exhaled loud. “Then we can talk about the one thing that’s got your mind occupied right now.”
I looked down at him.
“Let’s talk about sex.”
I said nothing.
“When was the last time you got tested?”
“Cool.” He pointed at himself then added, “last week.”
“When it comes to sex, what do you like?” His hand lifted off his side and he glided his palm over my thigh. I took a deep breath then blew it out through my mouth.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “Good sex?”
He let a sexy laugh leave his mouth. “Obviously. But what do you like?”
I sat there for a moment thinking. Just doing it seemed a lot easier than talking about it. Mainly because I was self-conscious and nervous about discussing the act.
“I really don’t know. I’ve never thought about it like that.”
“Aight,” he said sitting up. “Do you like it—”
“I really don’t want to talk about it… if you get what I mean.”
“So, you don’t want to talk about what we should talk about and you don’t want to talk about what’s on your mind?”
“Fine, okay! I did get hurt,” I blurted. “Emotionally. If you must know.”
He leaned his shoulder against his headboard, giving me his full attention.
“I was dumb and too trusting. Gave a lot of time and attention to the wrong guy. Time I’ll never get back. My last relationship ended after I invested five years in it and I realized I was the only one in love. Behaving like a wife when he paraded around when he wasn’t with me like he was single. He met someone else while he was still with me then left me for her. He started a family with that other person and was never sorry about it. Even after I found out and confronted him about it, he never apologized or felt bad about his actions.”
Xavier twisted his mouth to one side.
“He was a liar and disloyal and…” I sighed. “He changed my perspective on being so eager to share my heart and to be loyal to someone who says they love me but never shows that love. So… yeah, that’s the story. Happy now?”
He sat there, silent. Staring at me.
“Xavier, say something.”
He shrugged. “Now, was that so hard?”
“I’m sorry he broke your heart,” he said, placing his hand flat against my thigh. “And I’m sure by now he’s realized he fucked up. But… at the same time a part of me is glad he fucked up.”
I looked at him with a pinched expression on my face.
“Because now,” he said moving in closer. “I can show you how a man is supposed to love you. And now you can know what it feels like to really feel good long after seven seconds… more than ten if you’re lucky.” He grinned.
His hand was on the back of my neck when he brought his lips to mine and whispered, “sometimes we have to experience pain to know what it truly feels like to feel good.”
He pressed his lips against mine and I did the same to him.
His lips were warm against mine and real soft. But there was something else in the touch that turned me on.
“You think your heart is ready for that?” He asked me. “Ready for me?”
All I could do was nod.
“Let me hear you say it.”
“I’m ready for you.”
“I believe you.”
Xavier pressed his mouth against mine again but this time he parted his lips, his tongue slowly brushing against my bottom lip.
I closed my eyes and met my tongue with his, sighing in his mouth when our tongues glided against each other.
I broke our kiss to say, “I thought you said a man and a woman can sleep in the same bed and not have sex.”
“I did and they can. We’re just not that man and woman tonight. We can sleep when we’re done,” he told me as he guided me down onto the bed and laid between my legs.
Our first kiss was cosmic. Soul moving and intrinsic. I felt like I was floating. No bed beneath me, just suspended in air.
Every touch was significant. His hands that I watched him create masterpieces with were finally on me.
Drawing horizontal lines with his fingertips as his digits unclasped and removed my bra. His fingers circled the soft skin of my areoles before he dipped his head low enough to draw each nipple into his mouth.
His hands kneaded my skin, caressing me as his tongue found new places to paint above my waist.
He owned my thoughts and soon my body.
But before we took things there, we laid chest to chest when we were completely undressed. The muscle between his legs was erect and pressed against my thigh as we laid opposite each other staring in one another’s eyes.
It was like he wanted to experience every part of me no matter how long it took. Time was an illusion, there to do with it as we pleased.
Thankfully, I came prepared, handing him one condom I stuffed in my wallet damn near praying we’d go there that night.
And there we went as the girth of him glided between my wet walls.
The anticipation was so grand that I cried out the second we connected below the covers.
Xavier’s hands were all over me, gliding up my thighs and smoothing over my curves. Cupping my breast with his hand before hiking my leg up and around his waist.
Having him inside of me excited me. He made my body jolt with pleasure. Sending my voice through his bedroom wall.
Audibly penetrating sheetrock and vanishing into the thin air. I sonically sketched my moans on his bedroom ceiling. Giving not a single damn if another pair of ears knew what we did that night.
I’d gotten what I wanted and more. Sweet strokes and stimulating conversation. Intellectual intercourse had served as the greatest foreplay.
He was the silent type but in bed he knew all the right things to say. All the right spots to touch. And all the right places to focus his eyes.
“Look at me,” he said over me. And when I looked at him he slowed his pace, balancing himself on his forearms and moving deeper.
I watched his pupils dilate when I hugged him tight with my thighs around his hips. The moment I closed my eyes again he stopped me.
“Nah, keep them open.”
“You feel too good.”
He smirked. “And I’m about to make you feel better.”
I laid still when the wave of that better crept up on me rendering me motionless and wordless.
He clasped his hand with mine as I kept inhaling refusing to exhale.
The crown of my head pushed down onto the surface of my pillow as my back lifted off the sheets with him still sexing me.
He held me down gently then wrapped his arms around me, bringing me so close to him I could feel the rhythm of his heart… in sync with mine.
It was the most intense experience in my life. Magnified by the light touch of his hands pairing well with his deep strokes.
Day had broken as we drifted off to sleep, me wrapped in his arms, sated, grateful, and looking forward to recreating every moment of our first time together within that hour.
Hours later, just after 10 a.m. I opened my eyes to see him sitting on the armchair beside his window, feet away from the bed with a pencil in his hand and his sketch pad in the other.
His eyes glanced up at me before refocusing on his work in progress.
“Good morning,” he said.
“Morning,” I replied. “And why are you doing that right now?”
“Because,” he said, his eyes still on his sketch pad, “you look so beautiful when you sleep.”
“Is that why you drew me while resting?”
He grinned. “I hope that doesn’t bother you too much. I got a new idea for a series.”
I rolled my eyes. “Back to being your muse, huh?”
“Yeah, but I think we can agree you’re a little more than that now.” He winked
I couldn’t fight back my smile after that. “Are you hungry?”
“I am,” he said, licking his lips and looking in my eyes. “For you.”
“I’m not edible.”
“You can’t put me on a plate.”
“That’s aight.” He smiled. “I’d much rather enjoy my snack in bed, anyway.”
“But first,” he said, tapping his sketch pad with the back of his pencil, “don’t move.”
Months then years passed, and I continued to be Xavier’s muse, his inspiration, his woman. I let him draw me maybe a thousand times on paper. Capture my essence in whatever form he found appealing. Because I was someone to touch. Someone to hold. Someone to feel and build with.
I was his muse, his reason for creating. And in my heart, he’d become my muse too by inspiring me to take a chance on love again.
Photo credit: @ReeseRoyce_215