Painting Temptation (Part Two)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Short story tie-in to my "Moonlit Wings" series of novels. Mya persuades the dark angel, Mazriel to pose nude for her new painting and is forced to deal with his ego, his teasing, his seduction, and his lovesick heart.

Submitted: August 14, 2010

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Submitted: August 14, 2010

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Now that I knew Maz was on his way and would be here by nightfall, I got to work blocking out the overall composition of the painting in graphite pencil.By mid afternoon, I had my base colors done and come evening, I had finished most of the background.

I took a break to make myself a grilled cheese sandwich and a pot of coffee.I wondered if I should whip up something with a little more substance for Mazriel to eat.The very least I could do was feed him.I was sure he’d be hungry by the time he got here.It wasn’t like he could stop at a Taco Bell along the way.

While I was standing by the stove, spatula in hand, through my kitchen window and out of the corner of my eye, I saw him glide to the ground and land just outside Idlewild’s ornate gates.

As if reacquainting himself with the place, he paused and took the time to look around the cemetery, which gave me a moment to take in the sight of him.

Mazriel was a strikingly handsome man, but he was a magnificent-looking angel.He stood well over six feet and had an imposing, aristocratic carriage and natural grace that in itself was an attention grabber.This wasn’t the first time I’d seen Mazriel in his true form, but standing there in the full moonlight the way he was only reaffirmed my decision to use him for this painting.

He was even dressed to seduce—if bondage and intimidation were your thing.His muscular bare torso resembled the marble statues marking the graves beyond the iron gates, smooth but chiseled like a stone sculpture.Around the base of his neck he sported a kind of spiked collar with numerous thick hooks.Criss-crossing leather straps with an excessive amount of small silver buckles draped over his shoulders, two of which fastened the straps to one of the studded belts circling his tiny waist.I counted no less than four belts total, but they weren’t the only accessories wrapped low around his svelte hips.Thick silver chains gleamed through the heavy shadows giving shape to his leather-clad lower body which blended so seamlessly into the darkness, it made him look like a legless apparition. His long dark hair would have been hidden in the shadows as well if not for the thick tendrils spilling over his paler skin, down the front of his chest.I noticed his hair had grown since I’d last seen him six months ago.

He must have felt my eyes on him because he turned and looked right at me, folding his wings down the center of his back.Those full, curvy lips of his parted and he flashed a rather dazzling smile at me.Even from where he stood, I could see the warmth radiating from his deep set golden-colored eyes.Obviously, he was pleased to see me.

I was pleased to see him too, though I probably didn’t look it.I realized all this time I remained awestruck and immobile by the window, brandishing my spatula like a scepter, with my mouth hanging wide open.

I snapped it shut and tossed my spatula aside as Mazriel strode this way and told myself to walk across the kitchen and let him in the back door.I tugged open the door and was surprised to find him already at my threshold.

“Hello my lovely,” he greeted, bending forward to touch his lips to my cheek.

In response, I stretched up on my toes and planted a kiss on his mouth.

“Thank you for this!” I told him, breaking into a smile of my own.I wanted him to know right off just how much I appreciated what he was doing for me.

“You’re welcome,” he replied, lowering his voice almost in reverence and passing the tip of his tongue over his upper lip like he was trying to capture any lingering taste my kiss might have left there.

“You made good time.You want to maybe sit for awhile before we get started?I can make you something to eat.Are you hungry?”I ran my fingers along the center of one of his chain belts, getting an idea.“You know, I think I’m going to have you leave these chains on.They’re real sexy and kind of…symbolic.”I knit my brow as something else occurred to me.My eyes drifted up the straps crossing over his chest.“These will have to go though.”My hands rose up the center of his chest along the path my eyes had just taken and I toyed with the black and silver collar around his throat.The curved spikes reminded me of sand shark teeth.I pricked my finger on one, noting they were just as sharp too.“Now this…definitely stays.This pretty much says it all.”

“I’m glad you like it,” he replied, his killer voice sounding a little breathless and thick.

Maz had just a trace of an accent which was so peculiar I never could place it.Once I found out what he really was, I just put it down as being angelic.

“I can tell you’re anxious to begin,” he continued, “so I won’t keep you from it.You can always make me breakfast tomorrow morning.”

I felt a little embarrassed by the fact I wasn’t giving proper consideration to his needs over mine.Of course I was anxious, but I shouldn’t have let him know the extent.I knew he’d rather deprive himself if he believed it would please me and earn him Brownie points.He tended to do things like that to further demonstrate his devotion to me since I’d all but forbidden him to show his feelings any other way.I wouldn’t even allow him to tell me he loved me, but I had good reason.He had abused it too much in the past to have that privilege now and had yet to earn it back.

“You took tomorrow off work?” I questioned, raising my brow.

He kind of half-shrugged as if it really were of no consequence.“I had to, Mya.There was just no realistic way I could be up all night, leave here in the morning, and arrive back at Remy, Paul, Jackson, and Jackson at eight-fifteen as my alter-ego.And even if I could, for the sake of argument, I wouldn’t be any use to anyone.”

I took a step back from him and gnawed the inside of my cheek fitfully.“I guess I hadn’t thought about all that when I asked you to do this for me.”

“No, you didn’t,” he was quick to point out.“But then you know how I adore that inconsiderate, selfish side of you.”

I frowned.“Oh, don’t tell me that!If you make me feel guilty about this, I’m going to send you home.”

He shook his head.“Don’t.I like that I can make you feel guilty.It shows me you care.”He offered me a teasing smile.

Problem was, I did feel guilty now.If I had stopped to consider the fact he was going to lose a day of work on top of everything else, I could have at least waited until this weekend for him.I could have always added moonlight later.A month later.

“It’s just that I get kind of single-minded when I come up with an idea for a painting,” I went on to explain.“I’m afraid I’ll lose the image I have in my mind if I don’t get it out of my head right away.I have before.That’s why, at this stage anyway, there’s always that sense of urgency.”I looked up into Maz’s eyes and offered him an apologetic smile.

“I understand and I’m fine,” he gently chided.“Don’t worry.I just took a personal day.”He sank into the nearest kitchen chair.“Just give me a minute to sit before we get started.Could I trouble you for a cup of coffee?”

I frowned again.I should have offered him some before.I really was being inconsiderate.“Of course!It’s no trouble.I’ve already got a pot made.”I went to the cupboard and took out a mug, but then got stuck watching him preen his flight feathers with his hand like it was the most natural thing in the world for him to be doing at that moment.I’d never been privy to witnessing this process before and found it mesmerizing in a way.

He looked up at me after awhile and grinned.He inclined his head in the direction of my coffee maker.

“Coffee?”

At that, I snapped out of my self-induced trance and whirled around on my heel.

“Oh!Right!”I quickly poured him a cup and actually got it over to him this time.“Sorry.”

“Thank you,” he said and released his wing, letting it slide behind him.“Cheers.”He raised his cup to me and took a sip.

I nodded at him, but my eyes were still fixed on the angel’s large wings.My gaze glided along the majestic arch rising from the point just above his shoulders where they connected to his body and then curved down into a sleek cloak of darkness ending mid-calf.Initially, his wings appeared to be black, but actually they were iridescent—like a grackle’s feathers in the sunlight.Even under the overhead kitchen lights, I could make out flashes of indigo, emerald, and plum.

“I might have to take some pictures,” I mumbled.My mind was already busy plotting the course of action needed to properly paint his wings and do them justice.“I think this is going to be the most challenging part.They’ll certainly take the longest.But I want to take my time with them.They deserve to be done right.They’re absolutely beautiful.”

I slipped behind him and ran my hands over the swell of muscles beneath the dark plumage, feeling my way along the bone structure beneath.

With a startling hiss, Mazriel jerked away from me and shot to his feet, turning around to face me and effectively putting his wings well out of my reach.

“Mya!” he said, his tone sharp.For a moment he stood glaring at me, but then his expression softened along with his voice.“Do you have to touch me?”

I realized right then how difficult this was going to be for him.I got a sudden mental impression regarding his present level of sexual arousal and knew I should have never put my hands on his wings.

“Oh.Um…you too, huh?”

He grimaced.“What?”

I gestured behind him.“They’re, ah, extra-sensitive…in that respect?”

In an overt display of indignation, Mazriel raised his chin and peered down his nose at me.

“But you said—“

“Because they’re one of Pershabael’s erogenous zones too,” I told him without really thinking.

He shrank away from me further and the look on his face told me all I needed to know about what he was thinking now.

“Did you have to tell me that?” he growled.“I could have happily gone the rest of eternity not knowing that about him.T.M.I. my lovely.Too much information.”

I couldn’t help but grin.He so openly despised my guardian angel.I held up my hands in surrender.

“I promise I won’t touch you.I shouldn’t have touched you and I’m sorry.”

That appeared to appease him.The tension in his expression ebbed and he took a slow, deep breath.

“Don’t apologize.”He gestured at me.“I suppose I should have expected to feel a little uncomfortable doing this for you, but to be honest, I thought I’d be the one making you uncomfortable.”He paused and leaned towards me a little.“Your eyes have been roving my body in the most provocative way since I got here and I haven’t even taken my clothes off yet.If you truly want me to behave myself and abide all your ground rules, then I’m afraid I’m going to have to draw the line at being touched.”The corners of his mouth twitched as if he were fighting back a smile.“Unless you want me to ravish you outside the gates of the graveyard.”

I smiled back at him.“I promise.No more touching.No ravishing.I just got a little carried away.”

Now he frowned.“Well, it was worth a try.”

I stood back and gave him a quick once over.“I wasn’t aware I was looking at you that way, Maz.I’m just excited about using you.I can’t believe I never had you pose for me before.”

He sighed.“If you remember, we haven’t exactly been on the best of terms for the most part.”

Nodding, I blinked up at him.“I know,” I acknowledged, feeling a stab of regret along with it.

It was still too easy to recall the night I had hidden from him inside Idlewild’s gates on the cemetery’s sacred ground, genuinely afraid of what the dark angel could do to me and the influencing power I knew he had over me.I didn’t like being afraid of him and strangely enough, he didn’t like it either.I believe it was a major motivating factor in getting him to change the way he behaved around me.I was glad we’d since come to an understanding, and were now friends--even if his idea of friendship included certain benefits.

“What’s the matter?You have the oddest look on your face,” he noted.He was regarding me with a visible curiosity in his eyes, his lips pursed as if in thought.

I shrugged, feeling a little melancholy.“Sometimes I just wish…things could have been different between us.”

For a split second, the angel lowered his eyes and then raised his gaze and fixed it on me.

“I do too.”His voice had gotten soft and quiet.Then, not even a moment later, his brow knit and a frustrated-sounding growl escaped his throat.“Of course I do.I’m the one who got the short end of the stick.Your angel left me with nothing after he’d finished with me.”

I ambled over to him and placed my hand on his cheek to soothe him.

“Not true,” I stated, peering into his eyes.“Even after everything you did to me this past year, he and I still let you be a part of my life.That’s got to count for something.”

“Mmm,” he seemed to agree, closing his eyes.“True.You are either too compassionate…or insane.Anyone else in their right mind would have refused me.”He turned his head, sliding his face over my palm and then placed a languid kiss there.His hands came to rest on either side of my waist and he drew my body against his.

Now I felt his lips slide down the side of my neck and the heated moisture of his exhaled breath on my skin.

I wiggled out of his grasp, patting his hip.“Stop now.No touching, remember?”

“You touched me first,” he protested, pouting like a little kid.

I frowned.“Oh, I did, didn’t I?My bad.”

I must have gotten him started however because he wasn’t so easily dissuaded.He reached for me again, grasping my left hand in both of his.He raised my wrist to his mouth and dotted it with kisses.His free hand smoothed up my arm.I tugged it away.

“Who promised me he was going to behave himself tonight?Wasn’t that you?”I looked out the kitchen window, turning my face away from him so he wouldn’t see the blush he’d put on my cheeks.“C’mon.The moon is rising.I need to start making my masterpiece.”

Mazriel sighed and folded his arms across his chest. He shifted his weight to one leg, looking petulant.

“Wouldn’t you rather start making me?” he teased, picking up the double-entendre I’d inadvertently dropped.“Since when did my caresses stop having an effect on you?”

I grinned.If he believed that, I was a better actress than I thought.He wasn’t going to behave himself and I don’t know what had possessed me to actually think he would, but tonight, I had to be the one calling the shots.

“Outside, Maz.The next time I see you, you better be naked.”

That earned me his most wolfish grin yet.“Aren’t you…coming?” he quipped in reply, tossing his head to flip his hair over his shoulder.

“Ah, good one,” I commented, realizing we could probably keep this kind of banter up all night.“I have to get my supplies.Do you want a robe?”

I had a man’s robe in my closet but it didn’t belong to anyone in particular.Since the majority of my paintings were of nudes, providing my models with robes to wear before and after sittings was just a common courtesy.It wasn’t considered kosher for an artist to have a model strip in front of them—or get dressed for that matter.Slipping in and out of a robe seemed to take away some of the underlying sexual connotations involved with getting naked in front of a stranger.

Mazriel and I weren’t strangers, but being former lovers actually made it worse.I definitely wanted to utilize the robe tonight.Another unwritten rule I should have heeded was one of my own which wisely advised not using ex-boyfriends as models.Especially since this particular ex didn’t care to be an ‘ex’ anymore.Without waiting for Mazriel to reply, I retreated down the hall to fetch the robe.He was going to wear it whether he wanted to or not.

“Here, put this on once you get undressed,” I more or less commanded him, throwing him the wadded-up garment.“You can tie it around your waist.Wait for me in front of the cemetery gates.”

Mazriel caught the robe and unfurled it.If I hadn’t been looking right at him, I would have missed the flicker of hesitation that crossed his face.When he spoke, his tone was one of bored observation however.

“I can’t go inside the gates.”

I paused and put my hands on my hips.I got the impression he thought I sometimes forgot what spiritual side he was on and felt the need to remind me, even though he didn’t like to.

“I know and I’m not asking you to,” I said, keeping my tone just as nonchalant.“Having you outside the churchyard gate is a way to symbolically show what evil temptation lies beyond the sacred realm, waiting to prey on the innocent and unsuspecting.”

Mazriel looked less than thrilled with that description however.

“Ah.No wonder you wanted me to model for this,” he grumbled and studied the green plaid pattern on the robe he held with open distaste.“You certainly couldn’t depict your beloved Sweetness and Light so demonically.”

I sighed.“Pershabael would have worked too—he’s just as seductive.But I wanted you for this because…me knowing the temptation you pose adds an element of truth to the art.”I came towards him.“I’m not going to paint you as some leering, wild-eyed devil.There won’t be anything grotesque about this depiction.I want this painting to be like a warning.You once told me evil has to have a certain allure in order to be tempting.I want you just as sexy as you can be tonight.I just hope my talent can do you true justice.”

The angel’s scowl eased into a slow smile.He took a deep breath and seemed to shake off his previous indignation.

“I have faith in you—if not anything else.”He paused to trace the curve of his upper lip with the tip of his tongue.“I promise to be very sexy for you tonight so that you’ll be tempted in all the right ways.How does that sound?”

Frightening, was the first thing that came to mind.Mazriel didn’t have to try to be sexy, and imaging him actually putting an effort into seduction made me feel very vulnerable all of a sudden.Almost subconsciously, I twisted my wedding band between my fingers and gave Mazriel a wary sideways glance.

“Maybe a little too perfect,” I told him, trying to keep my tone casual in spite of the fact just the way he’d said the word ‘sexy’ was enough to make my mouth water.

He grinned.

To show him I fully intended to stay detached and professional about this, I purposefully stepped closer to him, even invading his personal space.

“Remember, I want you to leave the chains on.”I reached up to toy with his collar.“This too.Definitely.Everything else comes off.”

He looked down at me and shrugged.“Whatever turns you on.”

I planted my hand on the center of his chest and shoved him towards the door.“Go.Now.I’ll be out shortly.”

Without another word, Mazriel tossed the robe over his left shoulder and pulled open the door.

I took a deep breath, feeling a strange sense of relief, and then hurried down the hall into my studio to gather my supplies.

***


© Copyright 2020 BeElleGee. All rights reserved.

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