The Artist's Model
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Fawn Lowery
Word Count :3285
Publication Date :2013-05-20
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 0000649
The owner of a new galley collides with resistant artist.
Gina wanted the best and he was it, but his price tag came with some resistance she aimed to charm off him. Derrick objected to the setting and readjusted most of it, including the model. And then the model had him adjusting.
The bell sounded at the back entrance of the gallery and she hurried to greet the painter.
“I adore a man who arrives on time.”
He acted as though he didn’t hear her comment, glanced briefly at her getup, and carried his easel and paints past her into the empty room up the hallway. He crossed the polished wood floor to the double window and threw aside the drapes, flooding the room with sunlight. He set up his easel and placed a new canvas on it—opened his paint case and began accessing his brushes.
The aroma of turpentine filled the room. Gina wrinkled her nose.
Good grief! He stinks to high heaven!
She kept her gaze pinned on him as she crossed the room and climbed up on the unusual looking throne she had one of the carpenters construct. She folded one leg under her butt and pulled up her other knee, placing both hands on her right ankle and tilting her head slightly. The purple feather headdress bobbed with her movements.
“This is the pose I want.”
He turned dark eyes on her, frowned. “And you’re made up to look like what?”
She giggled in spite of his disapproving look. “I’m the queen of sex.”
He chuckled and shook his head.
Gina bristled. “Do you think I give a fuck if you like how I look or not? I’ve already paid your hefty fee—”
He snarled at her and threw his paintbrush back into the case. “Lady, I heard you were nuts—now I know the rumors are true.”
Gina’s jaw dropped open. She scrambled down from the makeshift throne and marched across the room. “You’re not here to express your damn opinions of me! You’re here to paint my portrait.”
“I’ll send your check back.” He slammed the lid on his paint case and began taking down his easel.
“We have a deal. You can’t change your mind. I have a hanger on the wall in the vestibule waiting for this damn painting!”
“Hang something else there.” He glanced at her. “Better yet, get another artist to paint you in your little purple getup.” He headed toward the door of the room, his easel in one hand and his paint case in the other.
Gina rushed after him, hurrying to get in front of him before he exited the room.
Which one of us is nuts?
“You can’t possibly refuse to paint my portrait.” Her voice was pleading. “My gallery opens in one week—there isn’t enough time to find another artist.”
He halted his steps and stared at the purple feathers perched atop her head. “What happened to your hair?”
She shrugged one shoulder. “I shaved it off.”
One dark brow arched. “Why in hell would you do that?”
He was gorgeous. And he oozed sex appeal from every tanned pore. She tried not to notice—tried to stay focused on convincing him not to leave. He towered over her, dwarfing her small frame. She had to tilt her head to look into his face. His eyes were black as night and the ebony lock of hair grazing his forehead only served to call attention to his handsomely chiseled features. His jaw was square and his nose straight—and those full lips—
Gina gulped in a breath of air. Her lungs felt strained. “Listen, we can come to some agreement—can’t we? Do you want more money?”
He glared down at her. “Money isn’t the issue.” He shook his dark head. “You’re dressed up like something from outer space—”
“What does it matter?” She threw both hands into the air in exasperation. “I like weird things.”
“Well, I don’t paint weird things.” He tried to step around her, but she shifted her stance, blocking him from leaving the room.
“Yes you do. What about that portrait of Helen Michaels? She’s about as weird as they come. She has carrot red hair and man-made breasts—”
“At least she has hair!”
“You son-of-a-bitch!” She lurched out of his way. “Leave! Get out! I’ll spread the rumor that you refused to paint my portrait because you didn’t like the way I looked.”
He started through the door, then paused and turned to face her. “That’s not it, Gina.”
His tone pulled her gaze to his face. He didn’t sound angry at all. He sounded…civil.
He emptied his hands and walked toward her, stopping a few feet from where she stood at the window. “Your costume is too…revealing.” He combed his fingers through his hair. “You might as well be nude.”
Gina smiled slightly. “I can do that.”
One corner of his mouth pulled upward for a second. “I’ve never painted a nude.”