“What do you take me for? Of course, I do.” Grinning, I got up and put two of them into the toaster and waited before carrying her over a plate.
Her mouth was full. “These are so good.”
“I make sure to have them on hand now in case you happen to show up randomly in the middle of the night.”
“Are you serious?”
“I wish I weren’t.”
We spent the next hour playing music, going through all of my CDs one by one. She picked out songs that she wanted me to burn for her.
Sitting on the floor with her legs crossed, she sifted through my father’s old CDs and broke out in laughter. “Being here…drinking beer. There are just so many reasons why I’d be crucified for this.”
“Everyone needs a night off from that world once in a while.”
“There are way worse ways to sin than with beer, Pop Tarts and music, I suppose.”
I chuckled. “If those are your worst sins, I’d say you’re doing pretty well.”
“I only sin when I’m with you, Sevin. What does that say?”
“That I’m a bad influence. Everyone always said my mother was a sinner and a bad influence on my dad. I guess I inherited that gene from her.”
“She would be really proud of you.”
“Because I’m a sinner or a bad influence?”
“Neither. Because you’re a good, non-judgmental person like she was, and you’re a hard worker. I see you at the plant. Daddy’s always bragging about you, too. But you also show me a side of you that no one else gets to see. I’m lucky that you’ve trusted me. I’ve gotten to see your passion and your vulnerability…your need to be loved.”
“I’m pretty sure I killed the one person who would have loved me unconditionally despite my faults.”
“Is that what you believe? That you’re not capable of being loved by anyone else?”
“Unfortunately, sometimes I do believe that, Evangeline.”
“I can assure you that’s not true.” She closed her eyes, looking like she wanted to say so much more. Her voice was barely audible when she opened them and looked up at me. “When I asked you to draw me, it was because I wanted something from you that’s just mine. I can see now how beautiful your art is. I just wanted to be a part of it, experience it with you—experience something passionate with you. I know it’s wrong, but it’s something I could keep forever.”
“You want a keepsake. Because you’re leaving…”
She didn’t say anything. She didn’t have to.
In all those years of drawing the women, it was almost as if through practice, I’d been trying to create the perfect one to no avail. From almost the first moment that Evangeline came into my life, there was no need to imagine it anymore. Nothing that my mind could ever conjure up compared to her.
A mix of anger and selfish desire consumed me. “I changed my mind. I want to draw you.”
She could see the seriousness in my expression before she quietly followed me back to my room.
Opening the drawer, I nervously fumbled for my supplies. It somehow felt like all of my experience drawing until now had been leading up to this moment. I used two different kinds of pencils, one for outlining and one for shading. I stuck one of them behind my ear. Sitting on my bed with my legs crossed, I stared at her as she stood against the wall. Her chest was rising and falling.
“Don’t be nervous.”
I was telling her not to be nervous when I had to keep my own body from shaking.
“I’ll try,” she said, her voice trembling.
“Stay where you are, okay? Don’t come any closer to me.”
She nodded. “Alright.”
Since I only had one lamp, my room was dim. Lighting a match, I lit three candles and placed them on the bureau next to where she was standing. The light from the flames cast a glow on the wall, causing a shadow behind her.
I wasn’t going to tell her to disrobe. Instead, I’d try to draw how I imagined her, hoping that she wasn’t disappointed in my interpretation.
Hesitant to start, I rubbed my fingertips along the thick paper of my sketchpad and closed my eyes for a moment to grab my bearings.
When I opened them, my heart skipped a beat before pounding out of control. Her arms were slowly lifting the cotton white nightgown she’d been wearing up and over her head. She’d completely closed her eyes so that she didn’t have to witness what she was doing.
My conscience was screaming for her to stop, but I said nothing because I wanted this more than I ever wanted anything.
I couldn’t believe she was letting me do this.
Evangeline reached around to her back and unsnapped her bra, which fell to the ground. I swallowed hard as I took her in, but there didn’t seem to be any saliva left in my mouth.
Her breasts were so full, so heavy and perfectly symmetrical. Her nipples were darker than I imagined—a beautiful mauve—and a little larger than half-dollars. Yearning to suck on them, I licked my lips. My dick hardened. I needed to adjust myself but wouldn’t dare in case she opened her eyes at that exact moment. Thank God her eyes were closed because I couldn’t help the painful arousal now straining through my pants.
She was ten times more perfect than I could have ever imagined. Her eyes were still closed as she slowly slid her white panties down her legs. My heart was pumping faster than it ever had before. Remembering how my father died, I wondered if I were genetically at risk for a heart attack.