Somewhere in Europe, 16th Century
She smiles at him through the dim gas light and candle smoke. He always works with candles and incense, regardless of time of day. The natural flame brings him closer to nature. The incense awakens all of his senses. It is raining today so he cannot use the day light while he works, but he must see her and so bids her come to his studio every day, rain or shine. She is naked and he is both aroused and inspired as he continues to sketch her. His paints are nearby, as is an empty canvas, but he will not paint her when the sketch is complete, he will sculpt her. The fire burns upon the wide hearth.
“What could be closer to God?” he asks himself. “I sketch, I paint, now I sculpt, imitating my creator and creation.
“Master, I must shift,” she whispers.
“Very well,” he answers. She moves an arm of fairest skin, turns from the profile to mostly frontal, shifts her hips slightly, to reveal both nipples. He exhales luxuriously. She keeps her legs closed, frustratingly for him, but the mystery is kept alive. He wonders at what treasure is hid there, between her thighs. He must be patient, he knows, he will fulfill that desire for both of them when the work is complete, he hopes.
It grows darker outside. The scent of the damp mingles with her scent, the other scents in the studio. Could she be damp as well, he wonders, flatters himself that she must, for the unmistakable must of her sex comes through the other aromas to tantalize him. “What man does not enjoy the scent, the taste of a woman?” he ponders to himself. “To just watch a woman move, walk, the undulation of her buttocks, the rhythmic bounce of her breasts, the glow and swish of her hair, the gate of her hips…” he continues gulping the view of her into his psyche as he works on, until evening comes.
He must dismiss her for the evening or rumors will abound. His work is advancing as his reputation in artistic circles is excelling. He cannot risk wagging tongues and whispers about his reputation.
“We are finished for the evening,” he smiles. He moves toward her as she turns to face him and they embrace. He gives her a kiss and she repays it willingly. He is closer than ever to completing his work with her, both on paper and in bed. But not yet.
“Until tomorrow,” he whispers.
She breathes in, nods, begins to dress. He continues to watch her every movement, which she apparently loves and he completely immerses himself in her visage and scents. She pulls on her cloak, covers her head and most of her face with her hood, as he opens the door for her.
The rain is coming down heavily. The gas lamps out on the street hiss in the downpour. She hurries out and he shuts the door behind her.
Turning a corner, she proceeds on her way home down a narrow alley. Suddenly someone is behind her. She quickens her step. The footfalls behind her hasten. She begins to run, her heart pounds. But she is no match for her pursuer. Someone is grabbing her, on her, pulling her down. She attempts to cry out, “Master!” but only the taste of leather glove is in her mouth, no words, muffling her, smothering her. Her eyes widen as a blade is drawn across her neck. She feels the life ebbing from her body as if she is slowly falling. The attacker lets her slip from his grasp and she quietly collapses in a heap. The last thing she hears is the attacker’s footfalls retreating, along with her life. The blood spills from her into the puddles of the cobbled lane. She is too weak to cry for help. Darkness creeps in, her eyes are fading. The last image that crosses her mind is of the Master, the firelight, his smile, her delight, but now her life is over. She dies. The rain continues to fall.
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