A little voice in my head: he’ll make a great husband to some lucky girl. Another thought comes after that, but that thought I don’t allow to sprout. I love Jack. Jack is my dream. I’ve loved Jack all my life and I will marry Jack. Not for anything in the world will I give my Jack up.

He brushes the hair from my face. ‘Is there something else you need to do to end this…ritual?’

‘Yeah, I need to clean my teeth. Stomach acid wreaks havoc with your teeth.’

He stands and holds his hands out to me. I take them and he hoists me up. I move towards the sink and he sits on the edge of the bath while I clean my teeth. I spit and meet his eyes in the mirror.

‘You’re beautiful, Sugar. Every inch of you. Don’t let anybody tell you differently. I came down to ask you to come up. I want to paint you.’

‘You want me to come up into your studio?’

He smiles. ‘But you can’t look at any of the canvasses. That’s the deal.’

‘I won’t look. But one day you’ll show me, right?’

‘Maybe. I’m working on something that’s looking good.’ And his eyes shine.

He makes me drink a large glass of water first, then we go up the stairs together. He opens the door and we are standing in a room that is mostly made of glass. Even half the ceiling is glass. Natural light is pouring in. I turn to look at him.

‘It is the most perfect studio.’

He nods, but he is different here.

‘Take off your clothes.’

‘What, in this bright light?’

‘You were born to be naked, Sugar. There is nothing more beautiful than the naked human body.’ His voice is low, compelling. Totally irresistible. I stare into his eyes. ‘Especially yours.’

I want to ask why especially mine, but I can’t. I feel hypnotized by his gaze. He takes me over to a couch that has had a red sheet thrown over it and strategically placed red cushions.

‘You will be desired, cherished and possessed for the very things you are ashamed of,’ he tells me.

He sucks my bottom lip until it is gorged with blood and swollen. He stands back to see what he has done and nods with satisfaction. Then he starts to undress me. Slowly, deliberately. As my top comes off, he kisses my neck. ‘Beautiful,’ he murmurs into the hollow of my throat. My bra falls on the floor and he gazes at the pink tips, then back to my eyes. His eyes are alive. His hands work on my jeans. He crouches on the ground and pulls them off.

I look down on his head and have such a strong desire to push his face into my crotch that I have to flex my hands. The knickers come off easily, next the shoes, the little pink pop socks.

Naked as a flower I stand over him.

‘Legs apart,’ he says and I spread them. He buries his face between my legs and licks at the wet slit. My mouth opens.

The artist looks up at my face, his mouth glistening with the oils from my sex. ‘There, that expression, that’s what I want.’

He lays me on the couch. Arms flung out on the cushions, legs open and bent at the knee. It is the most sexually arousing thing to lie there with my legs open, and have him stand over me and avidly watch my wet, open pu**y. My arousal did not come from any expectation of what could take place, but from the act of exposing myself.

‘Keep that expression,’ he says and moves away to paint.

I don’t need to ask if the picture will be  p**n ographic. I know it won’t. I know his art is the most important thing to him. For an hour neither of us speaks. Then he does his brushes in turpentine, cleans them on a rag, puts cling film over his palette and comes to me.

He covers my throbbing pu**y with his whole hand. ‘I am going to eat you until you scream.’ Then puts his mouth where his hand has been and sucks me so hard I gasp.

He looks at me. ‘Want me to stop?’

I don’t speak. I grab him by the hair with both hands and pull him towards my cunt. He licks and sucks every inch, lapping it all up like a cat. He comes up and, with the taste of me still on his tongue, bites my mouth. Devouring me like a mad man or a crazed animal. There is none of the control of our ‘lessons’.

The sex is violent. He slams into me. It is almost as if this is a punishment or his inability to control a reckless desire for me. I burn bright as lava moves through my bloodstream. It feels as if every orifice and pore on my body is open and breathing him in.

He goes back to my sex and sucks and bites me there until I am raw and still I have the sensation that he is not able to get enough. Minutes that feel like hours pass. I come in a rush and as soon as I have, he withdraws out of me and comes on my stomach. His seed is like thick hot drops of rain. Unlike the slide of cold gunk on my belly when I had let that boy humiliate me with his emissions.

He leans on his elbow and watches his handiwork. The tousled hair, the swollen red lips between my open legs, the thoroughly f**ked look in my half-hooded glazed eyes and my slack mouth. He trails his fingers up my cheek.

‘I’m sleeping with my muse,’ he says gently.

Still floating, I smile mistily.

It is dark when we go downstairs. He goes to have his shower and I stand in the living room in a robe looking out of the glass walls. It is a clear night and all the stars are out.

‘What are you doing?’ he whispers in my hair.

‘Watching the stars.’

‘You are the only woman I have known who appreciates the stars.’

‘It always surprises me that stars are enormous suns. They look so cold,’ I say softly. ‘Often I open my curtains and look out at them. I know that thousands of miles away these are the same stars that are looking down on Jack, and that makes me feel closer to him. Through them we are connected. And I go to sleep peaceful in my heart.’

‘Have you read The Little Prince?’

It embarrasses me that I know so little compared to him. ‘No.’

‘And at night you will look up at the stars…and in one of the stars I shall be living. I have to go to the stars. And one day, when you look at the stars, you will remember me.’

‘What does it mean?’ I breathe. I know it is profound, but my brain is unable to process it.

His shallow breathing is in my ear, his scent, the warmth of his hard body pressed against mine…all mingled together to send a warm glow of arousal to spread in the pit of my belly. But I do, I really do want to know what he means about the stars. He takes a lock of my hair and winds it slowly in his finger.

And kisses me.

The desire for the secret knowledge about the stars recedes, but does not go away. I know it is important. It contains a hidden message. A clue.

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