Melodie watched from behind the display panel near the front door. That guy was standing in front of the gallery window again. He stopped at the same time every morning to just look in the window and stare at the large abstract painting she had displayed there. It was her own work, and not for sale. The painting had helped her work through some of the anger she still felt every time she glanced in a mirror. She never really looked. The rest of her pain she kept as private as possible. The guy she had been seeing at the time of the knife attack had bailed when he saw the angry red scar on her face. He wasn’t up to the challenge, it seemed.
By putting the painting in the window of the gallery, she was displaying the only face she was willing to show the public. Someday it would end up on the wall over her mantel, but right now, it was where in needed to be. The puckered scar that ran from her right temple down to her jawline was better than it had been when she first came out of the hospital. Then, it had been horrible. Consequently, she looked in mirrors only when absolutely necessary. Two subsequent surgeries and time had made it smaller and lighter in color, and makeup helped as well. But she was still self-conscious and wore her hair longer on the right side in an asymmetrical cut that screened the scar from most eyes. Dr. Goldman said he wasn’t done with her yet, and was far from ready to give up.
The man standing on the sidewalk was tall and well-built. She hadn’t ever really seen what he looked like, because he usually had a hoodie pulled up like he didn’t want to be recognized. She had just gotten a suggestion of long, dark hair and high cheekbones. He usually dressed in black jeans with a lot of leather, but the clothes looked like they might be designer and expensive. Today he was wearing a black T-shirt and black jeans, but he somehow looked prosperous and well tended to her. What did he find so compelling about the painting? She felt it was her best work, but that might be because it had been so therapeutic for her. The pastel colors blended with the eddies of blood-red pigment depicting the anger that still swirled through her mind.
The police had never gotten the man who had cut her. Her handbag and wallet had been found in a garbage can in an alley several blocks away, minus her cash and credit cards. Even though he was still out there, she refused to live her life in fear. He had probably left the area months or years ago. The city’s homeless were migratory and moved from place to place, shelter to shelter. She forced herself to walk to work every day, although she tried to be home before dark. If she had to stay late to meet a client, she called a cab to take her the few blocks to her brownstone. She had made Jasper Winter the manager of the gallery after the attack, and he had done a great job—even implementing some of his own merchandising ideas while she had been in the hospital or laid up at home. She had another remediation surgery to look forward to this winter.
Ah, he was moving on. She wished she had the nerve to just walk outside and ask him what he thought of the painting. Before the incident, she probably would have done just that, but now she was hesitant when meeting new people. She hated the shocked look when they first saw the scar.
* * * *
Logan Hawk stood outside the gallery, staring at the astounding painting that was bathed in a cone of light. The small signature on the bottom right hand corner of the canvas read “M. Buxton.” He knew that was the name of the woman who had been stabbed on the sidewalk just up the street almost two years ago. He could hardly forget that name. It was etched in his mind. He had been walking toward her when he had seen the stabbing and called 9-1-1. Then he had stayed with her until the ambulance had taken her away.
Melodie Buxton was beautiful. She was tall, but not too slender, with glossy, dark hair and haunting deep blue eyes. The way she moved gave the impression that she might have been a dancer at one time. He had noticed her over two years ago on his morning walk for coffee and the newspaper. The gallery was on his daily route from the loft that contained his apartment and the rehearsal space where the band practiced, and where he did his composing.
That day, her blood had been all over his hands and clothes. It had oozed between his fingers. He would never forget the feeling of desperation he’d felt as he knelt beside her on the pavement. He had tried to stop the bleeding by putting pressure on the wound he’d covered with some napkins from the coffee he had been carrying. They were all he’d had to use. He had never felt the same about Starbucks again. Blood and cappuccino—not a good combination.
Now once in a while, he caught a glimpse of her in the gallery. She never came near the window when he was standing there. One of these days, he was just going to open the door, walk in and ask her how she was doing. After the incident, he’d called the hospital for her condition. He had not been able to get much information, so he’d just gone in and made his way to the intensive care unit. He’d bribed an orderly and had found out that she was in a medically induced coma. After that, he had not wanted to intrude on her family. Months later, when he began seeing her at the gallery occasionally, he noticed that she stayed away from the windows. He had seen her on the street a couple of times, but she kept her head down and turned away from passersby as much as she could. It was clear she was not ready to interact with people—particularly strangers. He figured she had to be scarred. The knife wound had been horrific.
He took her hand and led her to the steps going up to the raised sleeping area. When they had ascended to the platform he finished unbuttoning her shirt. She reached out and undid the buttons of his black denim shirt. And then they were all rushing fingers and panting breath.
“I can’t wait to feel you inside me, Logan. Hurry.”
He made quick work of the rest of her clothes and then his. Finally, they were naked. They just looked at each other. When he continued to stare and said nothing, she said hesitantly, “Are you disappointed?”
“Are you crazy? There is nothing to be disappointed about. If you keep that up, you might be getting a taste of that spanking you’ve been worrying about.” He grinned and shook his head. “You think I didn’t know that you were worrying? Your future Dom knows all.” He backed up to the edge of the bed and fell back, taking her with him. She landed solidly on his chest, and he put his arms around her.
He moved fast. Before she could protest, Logan had rolled her under him and had his muscled thigh firmly planted between her now-open ones. She looked up at him in surprise.
“Relax, baby. We have all night. I’m going to play with you for hours. By the time I let you come, you’ll be begging.” He proceeded to explore every inch of her sensitized skin with his lips. He was going to try to take his time. He flicked his tongue over her raspberry nipples. He knew it was his imagination, but he could swear they tasted sweet. And then he got serious.
He felt the wetness of her pussy and slid his body down until he was between her soft, spread thighs. He had dreamt of this many times. Over the last two years, she had never been far from his thoughts. He took her little pleasure button between his lips and started to suck and nip. Melodie began to toss and turn, but his shoulders kept her spread wide for him, and his arms controlled her thrashing legs. “Easy, honey. Just lay back and enjoy. You can’t come until I give you permission.”
She raised her head and looked down her body into his eyes. He could see the surprise in hers. “Really? How can I control that?”
“Try. I’m just giving you a little preview of the D/s dynamic. Don’t worry about it. We’re just playing.” He went back to work between her legs. He felt the quickening of her pulse as he continued to circle her clit with his tongue. He ran his tongue through the ruffled pussy lips that were slick with her juices. They tasted sweet to him as well. She tasted like heaven. He knew she would be begging soon. Now that would be music to his ears. She continued to thrash as she tried to gain closer contact with his mouth. “When I take you under sub training, you’ll learn that that is topping from the bottom and is not allowed.”
“Please, Logan. I need you inside me. I’m burning up.”
“Soon, baby. Soon. You are going to have to learn patience. You have to wait until I decide the time is right. I’m the one in control here.”
“I don’t know if I can do that, Logan. Please fuck me.”
That was it. He couldn’t hold back any longer himself. He was dying to sink into her sweet, wet heat. He moved back up her body, took her wrists in one hand, and held them over her head while he braced on his forearm. His rampant cock was primed and ready and homed in on the destination. He nudged her slick opening. He took his shaft in his hand and guided it home. Soon he was seated up to his balls. Her hot, wet pussy grasped his hard cock, and he could feel her interior muscles gripping him.
Oh, God. It was amazing. He knew he would never have enough. He had fantasized about taking her hard and fast many times, but now he found he wanted to make this last to the absolute last possible second. He felt his balls tighten as he began to stroke long and slow. He had to concentrate. Melodie met every stroke. Their bodies instinctively knew each other’s rhythms, and they were in perfect sync.
“Harder, Logan. Faster.”
He knew he should keep her wanting just on general principles, but she wasn’t a trained sub and couldn’t know she was breaking the rules. He began to speed up his strokes. Her legs were wrapped around his back, and she struggled to take him even deeper, if that was possible.
* * * *
Melodie was coming apart. She had never experienced anything like this before. She was desperate to run her hands down his back and grab his ass, but he still had them clasped above her head. For some reason, she found that incredibly erotic and exciting. She wanted to take him as deep and hard as possible. He was big and her pussy was stretched to the maximum, but she loved the fullness, the friction. She just wanted more. She wanted it all.
Logan was all hard, demanding man, and he played her body like one of his instruments. Even as a girl, she had never been one to have crushes on musicians. She had enjoyed the music, but that was all. She could see that was about to change. Was she going to be a thirty-five year old groupie? She started to giggle. When that got a lowered-brow look from Logan, she burst out in a delighted laugh.
“What’s so funny?” he gasped as he intensified his strokes.
“Nothing is funny. I’m just so happy. I think I’m going to be a groupie.”
She felt her pulse quicken and the ripple of her inner walls around his cock. And then he started to laugh as well.