I was checking my oil when I first became aware of him. Not aware in that I didn't know he existed, of course. No, aware - aware that he was aware of me, I guess.

Prickling in the back of my neck. I've always thought that was just his imagination, but when I looked around, his gaze was so intense that I could almost believe it would be tangible, that I would feel the caresses of his eyes.

Serve me right, leaning over the hood in a tennis skirt.

"You like the car?" I asked, trying to cover.

"Sure," he said. "Don't see many sights like that."

I felt myself flush. "It's only a Z."

"Uh-huh."

Annoyed, I turned back to my task, feeling his eyes roam over my back, stroking my ass as I bent over. The tingling was making me angry. How dare he ogle me in public. How dare he make me feel like this...

I turned around to give him a piece of my mind, and damn the consequences.

But he wasn't there; he had returned to his own yard, presumably, and the caresses I'd felt really were in my imagination. I flushed deeper, understanding just what I had been imagining, glad that no-one could see me.

He was no stranger, though this was the first time I'd been uncomfortable around him. Ron was my friend Zo?'s husband. Zo? was part of a home-schooling co-op, and I occasionally helped her out. I work from home, as a product rep, so I can easily make time. In turn, Ron helped with handyman jobs around the house, though his avocation was wood-sculpting.

 

I had always done as much of my own maintenance as I could. I would change my own oil (and check it weekly, even when returning from playing tennis), mow my yard, weed my garden. Fix my own faucets. But since my divorce, there are some things I've found where it can be useful to borrow a man. No, not that. Hauling stones for my yard. Unfastening the overtorqued nut holding the outflow pipe.

And when the man is as good with his hands (will you get your mind out of the gutter? For now, at least) as Ron, those tasks can include building bookshelves and coffee tables. I've bought some of his work, other pieces he has made for me in barter for his kids' education and Zo?'s liberty.

So I hadn't felt guilty asking him to put up a Sears' garden shed, so I could get my yard tools out of the garage.

But between the asking and the building were his eyes as I checked my oil.

So when he did come over, I was nervous. I found myself watching him as he worked, sinews taut. For a man as delicate with his hands as his sculptures proclaimed, Ron was big, heavily muscled, with thick wrists and fingers.

For parts of the job he needed help. When I stretched high to hold a wall, my shirt left a two-inch gap of skin above my jeans. He stepped back to look at me, pinned as I was.

"Dammit, Ron, what are you doing?" I yelled.

"Looking at you," he replied.

"I can see that." I was angry. "What the hell for? Help me here."

He took over my hold, and I pulled my shirt tight down to my jeans and crossed my arms over my breasts.

"I was thinking how good a model you'd make, Barbara."

"Model?"

"For sculpture."

I softened my tone slightly. "Really?"

He nodded.

I imagined him studying me, knife in hand as he worked on a large piece of tree trunk. Then I realized what he'd probably be carving. "With or without clothes?" I asked.

"What do you think?" he countered, looking me straight in the eye.

I turned and stalked into the house.

 

Ron finished my shed, without my help, and said nothing about me stranding him mid-job.

A few days later he stopped by during the day to ask if he could move the tools from the garage to my new shed. I had already moved most of what I needed, so I declined, but made him some iced tea.

Waiting for the pot to brew, I was looking out over the garden when warm breath tickled my ear. "You would be such a perfect model," he said. I shivered with his closeness, with the tingling in my eardrum. Then he laid those big hands against my waist. I wriggled away from him.

My heart was pounding, and my breasts felt hot. I could tell that my face was flushed. "Don't," I said. I cowered against the window, arms folded protectively.

Don't misunderstand me. I wasn't scared of Ron. He was so gentle... I wasn't afraid that he might force himself on me. No, I was afraid that he might not have to.

Clearly, he wanted me. But I wasn't even sure if it was desire I was feeling. It seemed more basic than that... more urgent, and harder to deny. Shielding myself in the corner, I could still feel a tingle where I'd felt his hands through the thin cotton of my blouse, and between my legs was warmth and moisture.

After pouring our tea, I sat at the breakfast table, as far from him as possible. Nervously, I tried to talk.

"I haven't seen your sculptures of people, just animals and abstracts."

He shrugged. "Those sell. Everyone wants a carving of a leopard or a buffalo, and the abstracts - I guess folk like to think they understand them."

"Do they?"

He grinned. "If they did, they probably wouldn't buy them. I like to think that pouring the darker side of my soul into my sculpture cleanses me."

"I'd like to see one of your... people," I said.

"Let me go pick up one to show you."

He returned a few moments later with a large leather case. Inside were three beautiful, dark pieces.

One I recognized. "This is Zo?."

"That's how we met."

But it was and it wasn't Zo?. If she had ever had that raw sensuality... she must have lost it years ago, or hidden it. The piece was alive with sex, from the burning eyes to the minute detail on the erect nipples.

Talking wasn't helping me to keep my distance. The sculpture was making me aroused. If he had those depths in him...

"You say that putting your dark side into your abstracts quells it. Doesn't pouring your..." I flushed as I sought the words, "sexuality into these dampen it in the same way?"

He smiled again, his eyes dark and deep. "Quite the opposite," he said.

I had to end the conversation. Hands trembling, I pushed the pieces quickly back into the case. "Take them away, now. Please."

"You still don't want to model?"

"Go away, Ron. Now, please, get out."

Somehow the look he gave me was more intrigued than hurt as he packed up his case and left.

 

After he left, I buried my face in my hands. I didn't understand this feeling, this power he had over me. I wanted to get far away, to take a plane to Australia. Or to Antarctica, somewhere I wouldn't have to look at another person, male or female.

But I couldn't put out of my mind the image of sensuality, the piece I'd held, the wood seeming both glossy and velvet-soft, the erotic power...

And God, if he could draw that out of Zo?...

My dreams were disturbed. There seemed little difference between waking and sleeping. I kept arguing with myself, telling myself it was stupid...

But I had to know.

I found a pretext to call Ron the next day, and he came over.

I couldn't look at him, and I could feel the heat in my face.

"I want to do it," I said.

"Do what?" His eyes were amused when I glanced at him.

"Model for you."

"Great. When?"

"I... need a few days to get used to the idea. Monday?"

"I'll be here."

I don't know how many times before Monday I had my hand on the phone, to call him, to tell him to get the hell out of my life. But somehow it was too hard to do.

Instead, I welcomed him into my house, with a case and a rough lump of wood. I frowned at the latter. "You can find me in that?"

He lifted the wood and caressed it. "I spent hours finding the right piece. Yes, you're in here, I feel it."

I was dressed in a blouse and skirt. "I still don't know about this... taking my clothes off... do I have to do it now?"

"It would be best," he said, gently. "Even for your face... if you're clothed, I won't see what I need to see in you. But I'd like you to hold a sheet, over your waist and stomach, that would be better for the sculpture, and I think you'd be more comfortable with it."

I nodded agreement. I carried a sheet into the bathroom, stripped, and returned with the sheet held around my neck.

He positioned me, still modestly encased in my sheet, on the sofa, then stroked my face and turned away. I felt certain that the gentle touch had left a mark on my face, because I could feel the lines where he had touched me.

Opening his case, he took out a sketchbook, not woodworking tools. "I'm going to draw you, first," he said. "Then I'll work with the wood for a few days, using my memory and drawing. When I'm almost done, I'll come back to add the fine detail. Okay?"

I nodded.

He looked at me expectantly, and I realized he wanted me to lower the sheet. I shivered, though I felt that I was overheating. My nipples brushed against the sheet as I started to lower it, and I realized they were rock-hard, huge and erect.

"Oh, God, I can't do this," I said.

"Sure you can," coaxed Ron. "Be proud of what you are. C'mon, slowly, just let it go."

I lowered the sheet to my waist, watching Ron's gaze start to follow its progress, then become fixed to my boobs. His eyes softened, but the front of his pants grew noticeably hard. I looked away, flustered, heart beating rapidly.

Ron applied himself to his work, occasionally asking me to adjust my position. When he was finally through, he started to put his notebook away.

"Can't I see it?" I asked.

He shrugged. "It's only to remind me," he said.

"I'd like to see." I pulled the sheet back over me, holding it to myself with my left hand, and stood.

"Okay." He held the sketch out to me.

It was incredible. Yes, it was rough, sketched pencil lines, a few corrections. But it was so powerful... he had traced such an expression of passion into my face, I would have said he invented it, yet it was so much me. My breasts were rendered so full, so fine, and the sheet around my waist... he had shown my finger gripping the sheet, white-knuckled, as though I were full of lust and fear, which was so true he could have been reading my mind.

I looked into his eyes, only inches from mine. "You really saw this?"

He nodded.

I couldn't take my eyes off him. The same passion he had shown in my face was glowing in his own. Involuntarily, I moved closer, my mouth dry as my lips parted. He moved closer still, and I felt his hand against the back of my head, drawing my face to his...

His kiss had the power of a steam train, dragging at my rhythmically, and I began to lose control. I still held to my sheet desperately, as my right hand slid behind his neck. My heart pulsed against my throat, and I wanted more.

Squeezing him to me, the sheet wedged firmly between us, I moved my left hand to his shoulder, squeezing the solid muscles in his upper arm. He began to tease the sheet away from me, it dragged against my erect nipples, then he slid the fingers of his right hand down from my neck, down my chest, into the swelling...

I gasped, pushing him away and grabbing the sheet back to myself. "No," I managed, huskily. "No, this is wrong. Go away now. I don't want this."

He stroked my cheek, turning my head gently so that my eyes met his. "Yes you do," he said, "you know you do."

I was wet with desire, with need, but I was out of control, and knew it. I shook my head. "No," I said, more strongly. "Leave now."

This time I could sense his disappointment. "What about the rest of the modeling?" he asked.

"I don't care," I said. "Use the drawing. Invent something. I don't want you back here."

Sadly he closed his case and left.

 

If my sleep had been disturbed before, now it was destroyed. I barely slept for the next two nights, wondering, what if. Wishing that I could see the final sculpture. Wanting it to be as good as his others.

Finally, I knew that I had to see the modeling through. I called Ron on the phone.

"Yes?" his voice was so strong, so confident, that I almost lost my nerve.

"It's... me. Barb. Uh... I'd like for you to finish your sculpture."

"That's wonderful," he said. "I'm almost ready. I was going to put it aside, and hope that you would change your mind."

"I guess I did," I replied.

"Tomorrow?" he asked.

"Yeah... okay."

When he arrived I was already wrapped in my sheet. I held it together left-handed again as he unpacked his woodworking tools.

"Can I see how I look?" I asked.

He drew the wood out of his case. It had come to life. The finish was a little rough, but the figure was beautiful. I asked to hold it, and he handed it to me.

Really, the only unfinished part was the face. He had the features fairly close, but not the hunger which came across in the drawing. The breasts were smooth and full. I snugged the sheet under my arm to stroke the piece, feeling the soft warmth of the wood. I had to keep catching the sheet before it drifted off, and was amused to see Ron's eyes following its movement.

"This is absolutely beautiful, Ron," I said, handing it back to him.

"It's you," he said, simply.

I nodded, slowly. "Yeah, I guess it is." I looked into his eyes. "But it's you, too, isn't it? You make me like that." I reached out to his neck, and drew his face towards me. "Thank you."

This time I kept hold of my sheet as we kissed, holding it tightly to me, so that even when Ron gripped my shoulders, there was no way for him to pull it away. But I had already made up my mind. I took his left hand in my right, and led him back to the couch. I lay back while we kissed, and as my belly became inflamed, I released the hold on the sheet, taking his face between both hands.

Slowly, slowly, he tweaked the sheet away from me, not knowing if I was going to stop him. Instead, when his fingers slid to the edge of my breast, I sucked hard on his tongue, and pulled him closer so that he almost overbalanced.

Recovering, he took my breast in his large, gentle hand, kneading rhythmically as our tongues joined.

Then I took his hand in mine and moved it away. "Stop now," I whispered.

He was obviously puzzled. To have come so far... "Stop?" he asked quietly.

"Yeah," I said, pushing his head down to my breast. "Do this, instead."

He grinned broadly, then slid his tongue over my erect nipple as I put my hands behind my head and watched him. Continuing to move the sheet lower, he held my waist as he circled his face around my nipple, taking it further and further into his mouth, sucking my breast in and rubbing with his tongue.

As his hands reached my hips, I pulled away, then, after presenting the other breast for the same treatment, I hitched the sheet between finger and thumb and drew it completely off.

Ron needed no encouragement, cupping my pussy in his broad hand, and I closed my eyes as he slowly worked a finger inside.

Pressing my legs apart, he knelt before me, still sucking my breasts as he ran his hands under my thighs and over my ass.

Would he?

God, I wanted him to.

He kissed my left breast, starting with the nipple, then to the center. He must have been able to feel my heart as his face was pressed to my ribs. Did the same for the right breast, before leaving them behind as he kissed my stomach.

His fingers had worked their way back into me, stroking, sliding, separating, as he licked my belly-button. Then his rough chin touched my bush... and yes, he would. I leaned back further, breathing deeply as his face slipped between my legs, being rewarded in moments with the feel of his tongue around my pussy.

Slowly he licked my labia and pressed his tongue against me. I felt the desire in my stomach become something else, as I switched from that languid mellow warmth to the sharper need of my body's response. Still, I fought him, trying to relax, to make him work for my pleasure.

At first wincing as he brushed my clit, too early, soon I was able to take more direct stimulation. I tried not to let him see how ready I was, but he must have known from my response, because he circled his tongue around my clit, pressing hard, and I had to fight the climb to glory.

When I started gasping, about to pass the point of no return, I pressed against him, but he used my own tactics against me, backing away, frustrating me right as I felt that I couldn?t wait. He licked my labia again, and I groaned softly, buoyed up, but not enough to rise further. I allowed myself to relax and feel the knife-edge pleasure.

Floating, I didn't even realize when he had started increasing the pace until I was being pushed back into overload, jagged strokes of passion lancing into me. I responded, pressing my pussy into his chin...

And he dropped me again. This time I sobbed slightly in frustration as he pulled away from my pussy, kissing my stomach, stroking my legs, kissing me all over my body. Kneading my breasts with his hands and his tongue, knotting me up inside as he owned my body. His fingers traced my bush, promising but not delivering, and I reached forward and grabbed his head, kissing him hard on the lips, not caring about my taste on his tongue as I just wanted more, and more of him...

He lay against me, still dressed, kneading both breasts as we kissed violently, mouths pressed together hard, moving constantly, joining tongues, separating as I tried to breathe in my excitement, aroused to the very core of my being. I wrapped my legs around him, trying to press myself against him.

Then he pushed me back onto the couch, suckled firmly but briefly on both nipples, then buried his head between my legs and mercilessly sucked and chewed on my clit.

I grabbed the couch with both hands, white knuckled, as the sensations overwhelmed me, dimming my sight and pounding into my groin. No steam train, now, this was a high-speed freight express, heavily-laden and unstoppable, heading towards me with such force that I had to try to hold it off, knowing the impossibility as the stimulation thrilled me, filled me. Time slowed down as I teetered on the edge, rasp, rasp, rasp of his tongue against my clit as I closed my eyes, succumbing...

And my entire body shook as I started spasming, a thundering so powerful every muscle tensed to resist, every nerve carrying rapture through me, pressure squeezing my eyeballs with each contraction. Pleasure pulsed into me, and I moaned.

I relaxed, finally, and dropped my hands to his head, pulling and tousling his hair.

"Do you want me to stop, now?" he asked, voice muffled.

"God, no," I breathed, though I didn't think I'd be able to rise again, as I drifted into pleasant warmth.

He surprised me, pressing his finger against the base of my clit as he sucked at it again, and I cried out in surprise as he dragged me into a second orgasm.

When he pulled away at last, I grabbed at his belt.

He shook his head. "Not yet," he whispered. "I want to work with you just like that."

He studied me, his hands tracing my breasts, as I lay there, glowing inside. Then he went to work with his tools and his pencil.

He stayed in place for several hours, working, small, precise movements. Focused on the figure, and occasionally on me. When he looked at me now, rather than being frightened by the strength of my arousal, I welcomed it. Hoping that soon we could be doing something about it.

I made us coffee, did a little housework, when he didn't need me. Occasionally I remembered to take the sheet. Whether I did or not, his gaze kept visiting my body, and with or without the sheet, I felt naked. Eventually, I figured, why bother, and didn't use the sheet at all.

 

He was studying the wood, tools laid aside, and I leaned against his back, breasts pressing into his shoulders. Nibbling his ear, I looked at the figure.

He had somehow captured my feeling. My face was awash with the glow of sex, a picture of passion. The piece was profoundly erotic. Much more so than Zo?'s.

"Did you use the same technique with them all?"

"What technique is that?" he asked, without looking up.

"Sleeping with your model, looking through the eyes of lust."

He looked up at me. "I can't say. Would you want anyone who sees this piece to know about us?"

I flushed. I hadn't considered that. "Will anyone see it?"

"Zo? will, of course. It would be hard to hide something this good from her." He looked at the wood critically. "Other than her, probably not."

"So Zo? will know?" I asked, dreading the answer.

"Know? That I made this? Yes. That I've seen you naked? No, I'll tell her that I imagined your body."

"She won't believe that."

"Perhaps not," he admitted.

If he really believed that he could hide the nature of the work from anyone who saw it, he didn't understand his own ability.

I took the carving from him. "She's beautiful," I said. "Almost better than the original." Then I set it on the table and pushed the table aside. "But there's one thing she can't do that the original can, and will."

I straddled his lap and took his head with both hands, drawing his mouth to mine. As we kissed, his hands explored, stroking and hardening my nipples, squeezing my ass. Then I used my own, unfastening his shirt and dragging it off, fighting with his belt buckle. I stood for a moment while I pulled his pants and underwear off, then took his stiff cock in my hands as I bit his tongue.

Without further ado, I pressed my crotch into his, feeling his rough cock pushing hard into me. He squeezed my breasts as we started moving, then held my ass, helping me to press tightly to him, and holding me away when he pulled back, so that the entire length of his shaft slid in and out.

Riding him, I almost immediately felt a throbbing behind my eyes as the sharp tingle of pleasure lanced into me. I pulled back from his mouth and pressed my left breast to his face. As he sucked on my nipple, the tension triggered my overstimulated clit, and I cried out, then moaned as the tightness spilled over into orgasm, flowing powerfully into my body, waves of desire breaking into the surf of release.

I felt my pussy tighten around him, and a moment later he bit down on my nipple as his cock started quaking within me. We continued to move, keeping me high, until another climax broke around me, then slowly we allowed each other to descend from the heights into the warm post-orgasmic glow.

 

Yesterday I saw Zo? at the gas station. I tried to act as though there were nothing between us, just saying hi, but she caught my arm and spoke to me.

"I see Ron has added you to his collection."

"Collection?"

"His sculptures. His models."

Yeah, I guess she did know.

"It's good," she continued. "Perhaps his best yet. But I hope you don't have your heart set on working with him again. He never carves a person more than once. Even me," she added, wistfully.

I nodded and smiled as she walked away.

I didn't tell her that he's starting another session with me tomorrow.