"You can do this," Alyssa chanted to herself as she opened the door to the art gallery. Thomas' work was vivid and sensual and he always managed to paint that moment of a woman's reckless desire. Thomas' ability was the very thing that brought her here.

She swallowed nervously as she scanned the room for him.

"Hey, Ally," a sexy baritone greeted her. Deep breath, turn around.

"Hi, Thomas."

"Are you okay?" the concern in his pale blue eyes made her knees weak.

"Yes, I'm fine. I wanted to ask you a favor."

"Sure, what can I do for you?"

Father my children, "I've got an idea for a painting." She pulled at her pinky nervously. "You know that series of mythology I've been working on…" deep breath, "I want to do Narcissus." Swallow, "as a nude."

"You want me to find you a model?"


"Is that all?" He smiled, "No problem, I have just the fellow in mind."

They discussed when and where. Alyssa went home to prepare for Narcissus to arrive at sunset so she could photograph him to make it easier to paint.

She gasped, startled, as the doorbell rang. "Never should have done this." She chanted quietly to herself. Alyssa opened the door, but there was only Thomas… She poked her head out and looked around. "Isn't he coming?"

He laughed, endearingly. "No, I thought I'd take a stab at being your Narcissus." He winked at her, "Do you mind?"

"Uh, no, just –" She turned away, nervous. "I'll get you a robe." She walked back to him with a robe in hand. "Here, you can undress in the bathroom. I'll just be in the bedroom if you need me." He nodded and went in the direction she'd pointed. She chanted quietly to herself, "I'll just be in my bedroom, making no noise and pretending I don't exist." She was mortified. He obviously thought she wanted to see him naked, which she did, but that wasn't the point. A hand landed warmly on her shoulder.

She turned around with a lost look on her face. She wanted him so badly it was like acid in her veins. He was dressed in the robe. Even his feet were bare. She pushed her eyes back up to meet his as he murmured, "Are you sure you want me outside? I'd be happy to oblige you… inside." He breathed the last word an inch from her face. The acid turned to boiling oil. She tilted her face and met his kiss. He cupped her head in his hands as he opened his mouth to hers. She twined her arms around him, allowing herself to feel his perfect musculature. He broke the kiss and tipped his forehead to hers. He took a deep, shaking breath and let it out slowly. "I've wanted to do that for so long. You have no idea."

"Yes – yes I do." He smiled, searching her eyes for the truth and finding it.