Don’t Look Away by Wendi Zwaduk

Payton curled her toes and rolled her tongue around her dry mouth. If she moved too much, the drawing would be ruined. To take her mind off the urge to stretch, she gazed at the artist behind the easel. Mahogany hanks of hair draped over the creases on his forehead. His brows bunched in concentration. A smear of pink chalk marred his whisker-dusted cheek.

Crossing his long arms, Drake stepped away from the drawing. The sinewy muscle of his bare chest bunched. Flat nipples puckered in the cool air. She longed to caress every steely inch of the man, from his square jaw to his muscle corded legs. Restless, she shifted a fraction of an inch and forced her gaze to the stereo in the corner. Would he notice?

Payton held her breath. Desire pooled low in her belly as she awaited his response. Many women begged to pose nude for his world-renown drawings. Somehow, he bestowed the honor to her.

“Don’t look away.” His baritone voice rolled over her senses, sending heat to her core. “Refocus on me so I can finish, little one.”

Licking her bottom lip, she slid her gaze back to the easel. The faint hint of a smile kinked the corner of his mouth before a frown marred his rugged face.

“I can’t get this right.” Drake puffed out a long breath and hooked his thumbs in his belt loops. “Are you tired? You may move.”

Payton wrapped the crisp white sheet around her body, bunching it with one hand between her breasts. Her heart thundered in her chest. Drake complained about his drawings, but never that the image looked wrong. Waving his fingers, he gestured to her. “Come tell me what you think.”

With silent footsteps, she crept to the easel and gasped. The image on the paperboard matched her draped pose on the white chaise bench. Straw colored ringlets cascaded over her creamy bare shoulders. Rose tipped her full breasts. He captured the gentle swell of her belly while giving her a slender appearance.

Shivering both at the image and the slippery fabric toying with her nipples, she pulled the sheet tighter between her breasts. “It’s beautiful.”

“It’s flat… lifeless.” Tension clouded his voice as he sighed. “What do you see? How does this work make you feel?”

Long moments passed before she found the words. “Passion and distance. The artist wants to draw the viewer in, to see the woman in the same awe-inspired light.” When Drake opened his mouth to interrupt, she placed her index finger over his lips. “And yet there’s a distance to this piece. He wants to be close to her, to touch her body with his hands as he has with his tools. I feel the silent invitation in her eyes. She wants to be touched and loved.”

Warm hands caressed her shoulders. Hot breath tickled her ear, sending shimmers of desire rocketing through her system. “And the distance?”

“He’s afraid to get too close; that the image won’t match reality and he’ll come away disillusioned.” A whimper rose in her throat. Did she give away too much of her inner truth? Biting the inside of her cheek, she finished her description. “But she knows his needs and wishes to fulfill them.”

His thick erection pressed against her bottom, stopped by the barrier of cotton and denim. “Does she feel his desire? Does she know how he yearns for her?”

Although his hands remained on her shoulders, the tingles concentrated in her breasts and between her thighs. According to his rules, he refused to sleep with his models. Would she be different? Not if she didn’t take the first step and not if she never revealed her true feelings. The sheet slipped to the floor as she turned to face him. “Then he should cross the distance and take a chance.”

Drake scooped her nude body into his muscle-corded arms. Calloused fingers grasped her ass as he pulled her close and wrapped her legs around his thin waist. His lips hovered a whisper from hers. “I want you, little one.” Heat from his body radiated to hers, eliciting a groan. “You test my resolve in so many delicious ways. I want to lose myself in you.”

Warm breath skated over her skin. “Then take me.”

With long strides, he crossed the room to the chaise lounge and placed her on the supple leather surface. Her hands trembled as she unbuttoned his jeans. A sigh slipped from his lips as she freed his cock from the denim obstruction. “Yes, little one.”

Payton arched up to plant wet kisses on his puckered nipples. A shimmer of need raced through her. Enough foreplay, she wanted all of him—now. Hooking her fingers into his waistband, she dragged the jeans down his thighs and rubbed his cock along her pussy lips. She shivered. “Love me.”

Drake nudged into her tight channel. His thrusts, slow to start, gained speed with each of her screams. The muscles of his arms bulged and flexed as he pumped into her body. “Damn, you feel good. I won’t last.”

She groaned and dug her nails into his shoulders. “Come with me.”

With her verbal cue, he threw his head back. A feral cry echoed through the room. Fanning kisses all over her face, Drake collapsed next to her. His labored breath tingled on her skin. “Thank God I only sell my landscapes.”

She gulped air to calm her rapid heartbeat. Despite the closeness of his body, a chill ran through her veins. Landscapes? If he drew trees and buildings, would he need her as a model? After the mind-blowing sex, would he need her at all?

He crooked his fingers under her chin, bringing her gaze to his. Heat swam in the chocolate depths of his eyes. “Stop thinking, little one.”

“But your work… it’s all—”

He silenced her with a kiss. “I refuse to share your beauty when I can indulge in it all on my own.” Breath escaped her in a gasp. Drake nuzzled her cheek. “Your body enchants me and your smile warms my soul. Until you showed me your true desires, I refused to love another. You’re my only model and my only love.”

A fever washed over her. She wound her fingers in the thick curls at the nape of his neck. “Make love to me again.” Passion flashed in his eyes. “I insist.”

About the author: About the author: Thanks for enjoying this work by Wendi Zwaduk. By day she’s a SAHM of one son, two dogs, and two cats, but at night she lets her inner muse run wild and writes tales of love won, lost, and won again. If she’s not at her computer, she can be found at her local dirt tracks cheering for the Late Model cars or haunting the local library in search of new authors. Her first novel comes out in early 2010 from the Wild Rose Press. Check out her blog http://www.wendizwaduk.blogspot.com and website www.wendizwaduk.com

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