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Rachel Kramer Bussel - First-Timers.docx
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First Sight Laren LeBran

Three pairs of eyes probed my naked flesh. Hers were remote blank discs of impenetrable blue, so impersonal as to leave a chill in their wake. His were clinically appraising—studying me with curious neutrality, making me wonder if my heart still beat.

Only your eyes were alive—slow-dancing over the hills and valleys of my body, dipping into my secret places with unfettered abandon. The satin-covered marble beneath my thighs was slick and unforgiving. If I moved at all, every fragile dream would be exposed.

"Uh...we need a model...for the special class I take at night...to pose," you said, looking past me out the window to the quadrangle far below. "Nude."

I laughed. Wed been roommates for eight months, and you were still shy with me. I suppose it was because when we all showed up for the fall semester and got our room assignments, there'd been whispers about you. Lesbian, they’d said. Carefully polite, but with just that little hint of prurient excitement. Sure, everyone seemed cool about it, but you must have known that everyone was just waiting to see who would be in the bed across from yours, ten feet away, for the next nine months.

I sensed the others stare at me when first your name, then mine, was called. But I was watching you. Your eyes darted to my face and then away, and then cautiously back again. I was still looking at you when you finally searched my eyes for the answer. The uncertainty in your expression made me want to hold you, and Id never felt that way about anyone before. I wanted to say, "I don't care what they say. I don't care who you love. Just don't look so scared." But I didn't know if the words would hurt more than help, so I said nothing. But I smiled, and that

must've been all right, because you smiled back.

"Nude, huh?"

You nodded silently.

"Sure, I'll do it."

"Bend your knee up, please," the faintly accented voice of the instructor requested from just beyond my field of vision. "Very nice. Open just a little... yes, just like that. Perfect."

It was my fourth session, but only the first time I could see you clearly as you worked. I'd been aware of you before, sitting expectantly with charcoal in hand as I removed the white robe and let it drop behind me before settling onto the dais. The room was always very quiet as I bared myself, but the very first time, I imagined I heard a small hitch in your breath. You were careful not to look at me then, at least not until I could not see you.

You were always so careful around me. Careful not to walk in while I was changing. Careful to keep your eyes on the ceiling while we lay naked in our respective beds, talking late into the night or delaying the moment in the morning when we would have to separate. Careful not to ask me about the dates I went on, when I returned to find you still awake, sitting cross-legged on your bed with a book in front of you that I was certain you had not been reading.

I was careful, too. Careful not to tell you that I'd rather stay at home with you, laughing about our day, or bitching about our classes, or confessing what we thought about and dreamed about and hoped for in our futures. I was careful around you the way I never was around the other girls, because I understood that you weren't like the other girls. And to treat you as if you were would have been cruel, as if I didn't know you at all. I didn't tell you I was a virgin, and I don't know why. I guess because you weren't like the other girls, and I liked that.

I liked that a lot, and sometimes, sometimes I wished that you would look at me as if I weren't like the other girls, either.

Once I became "the model," a breathing still-life, I couldn't watch you any longer. I was a prisoner, unbound but restrained nonetheless. I could not turn my head to see if the heat I felt building inside was the result of your charcoal tracing the line of my skin on your paper. And always, when I was finally released from my invisible bondage, you had already risen, and were hurriedly packing your things with a downcast gaze, rushing to leave. I was forced to walk home beside you as if I had not just spent an hour with the promise of your hands upon my body. We never talked about it, and you were so careful not to look at me.

Not so tonight. Tonight your eyes were everywhere.

Tonight, you'd shifted your easel to a new spot. I could look at your face, and you, it seemed, could look directly into my soul. You sat upon a stool, and a rectangle of canvas propped upon wide-spread wooden legs was the only barrier between us. Your face was unmasked, your emotions as exposed to me as my body was to you. Your hands moved out of sight, sliding over my breasts, down my belly, between my legs, with swift sure strokes. Your eyes, wide and dark and unknowingly hungry, swept over my body in the wake of your touch with far less restraint, grazing my nipples to hardness and teasing my inner thighs to a soft sheen of welcome. To everyone else I was a profile, an abstraction, a study in light and shadow. To you alone I bled and breathed and quickened.

You did not know what your expression revealed, and I did not disclose what I saw, lest you hide your passion and your desire. Thus we sat, souls on display, pretending we were blind.

"Thank you, that will be all for tonight."

I read the disappointment in your face, felt the loss of our connection immediately. You did not, as you usually do, immediately begin to gather your charcoals and pencils. I rose slowly while the others prepared to leave. Within minutes, we were alone. I held the robe before me but did not yet put it on.

"You're not finished, are you?" I said at last.

You gave a start, as if surprised that I had spoken. Then you blushed.

"No." You indicated the canvas with a sweep of your hand, your voice laden with frustration. "Tonight was the first time I felt like I might capture some part of... you."

"Why tonight?" Although I knew.

You looked up from the image of me and into my eyes. "Because tonight was the first time I let you see me. Before tonight, you've been the only one brave enough to do that."

"All the other nights," I whispered as I moved closer, "you looked at me, but tonight, you touched me."

You nodded and I saw you shiver. Your voice when you spoke was urgent and low. "I could feel you lead my hands over your body, guiding me, teaching me." You held my gaze so desperately, your longing so open and pure, I ached. "I was almost there."

In the distance, I heard a door close as the others left. I let the robe fall, a ribbon of white gathering between us on the dark floor. "I want you to finish."

You stared for an instant, a soft groan escaping from somewhere deep inside, then you turned with outstretched hand toward your charcoal.

"No." I grasped your wrist and brought your hand to the center of my chest. The edges of your palm nestled against the inner curve of my breasts. "This way. I want you to look at me. I want to watch you looking at me."

Your fingers were hot and trembled on my skin. "Oh god," you whispered as I shuddered.

I focused on your face as you softly traced my breasts, my heart pounding wildly as the wonder rose in your eyes. You stepped closer until your jeans brushed my thighs and you brought your thumbs to my nipples, fingers splayed to cradle the weight of my breasts. I tilted my head back as pleasure bowed my spine, and when you put your mouth on my neck, warm and wet, I made a sound I'd never heard before. A whimper, a plea, a paean of delight. My legs quaked, and I sagged into you, trusting that you would not let me fall.

You pressed your face to my throat, your breathing ragged, while your hands, those sensitive wonderful hands, explored my body with slow reverence. I was your canvas and you painted me with desire.

"Don't be careful anymore," I begged. "Tease my nipples. Touch me. Touch me before I shatter."

You whimpered then, long fingers clamping around the hard points of my breasts. Sharp, pure, delicate pain. My clitoris hardened and ached. I braced my arms on your shoulders and sought your mouth with mine, needing you somewhere far deeper than my skin. Your cheeks were damp, and I kissed away your tears. You drove a thigh between my legs, and I soaked the denim. Seconds, minutes, hours passed as we thrust and moaned and gasped, until I couldn’t stand the slightest barrier between us. I curled my fingers in the thick damp hair at the back of your neck and put my mouth against your ear.

"I need you. I need you inside me."

With your mouth fused to mine, you wrapped an arm around my waist and turned me until my hips hit the stool. I sank gratefully upon it and you pushed between my legs, one hand knifing high between my thighs. I arched to take you in, and you hesitated, fingertips dipping into me, but going no further. I framed your face with my palms, my fingers trembling over your cheekbones and your mouth.

"I've been waiting for you," I whispered. "Please."

You kissed my fingers as you parted my swollen flesh, caressing my clitoris with swift, hard strokes, making me come. So close now, I succumbed to the hunger in your eyes as you slid deep inside me. Filled with you, surrounding you, coming for you, I saw what you hadn't wanted me to see all these months.

Desire. Passion. Love.

You touched me, and, finally, I saw.

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