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Se7en





SKY CORGAN

Text copyright 2017 by Sky Corgan



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Contents





Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

















CHAPTER ONE





I wasn’t serious when I submitted my application. Hell, I didn’t even want to apply for the contest. My friend Mia forced me to.

Even when I made it to the second round where they did a face-to-face interview, I put in a halfhearted effort because I never in a million years expected to be selected for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Sure, I fit the criteria: a virgin between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, willing to submit to a full medical screening and drug test. But I definitely don’t think I’m attractive enough to be a model of any sort.

Now a woman is telling me that I’ll be spending an entire week alone with world-renowned artist Chandler Lexington. He’s one of the most talented painters on the face of the planet. And he’s smokin’ hot to boot.

I try to pay attention to the details as she rattles them off. I can only assume that this is a super-important exhibit to Chandler since he went to the lengths of custom-building a house in the middle of nowhere for the setting. Judging from the application, he’s trying to capture some sort of innocence that only a chaste girl can provide. I can’t help but wonder what he’ll expect from me. Nothing has been made clear. The only information on his website was that he was looking for a model for his special exhibit. One girl. One week. No questions asked.

I’m full of questions, but I suppose I’ll find out what it’s all about when I get there.

In the following days, I float through life like it’s some weird dream. I visit the assigned gynecologist and have my first pap smear, which is awkward, to say the least, but totally worth it to have my future made as the model of one of Chandler’s paintings. Not that being a model was ever part of my life plan. I want to be an artist like Chandler. Well, kind of like Chandler. I draw manga, comics for adults with a Japanese style. It’s a hard market to break into in America, so I’ll probably eventually have to move.

I wonder what Chandler thinks about manga. Will he look down on me for taking a more cartoonish approach to art? Maybe I shouldn’t mention it to him. After all, the questionnaire had nothing about personal details. All it took to get me in were a few photos and fitting his criteria. He’ll probably expect me to stand silently while he paints me, and that’s fine. Whatever his work process is, I’ll go with it. I shouldn’t expect to come out the other end friends with him. He’s a busy guy. He travels the world to create masterpieces and display them for everyone’s appreciation. He probably can’t afford the time to get to know one of his subjects.

Those thoughts are confirmed when I’m called in to sign the waiver. It’s several pages long, and I take my time reading the whole thing. Chandler demands seven days of my absolute obedience. I’m not allowed to say no to any of his requests, no matter how personal. He will cast me out at the first sign of resistance and start the project over with a different model. It’s made clear that I’m replaceable, and while I was his first choice, there are others waiting behind me should I fail.

Reading through the contract leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I’m not sure why, though. I expected half of this. Besides, it wasn’t just a competition. This is Chandler’s work. I should not have doubted that he’d put a clause in there that he could kick me out if I didn’t work for him as a model. At the end of the day, his art is all that matters.

The lawyer gives me a serpentine smile, trying to calm my fears by telling me that everything in the contract is standard legal jargon. Apparently, despite sitting across from me patiently the entire time while I read it, he must think I just skimmed it. I didn’t miss a thing, including the part where it says I can’t take legal action against Chandler no matter what he does. As legal contracts go, it’s a bit unnerving, but I’ve come too far to back out now. And even though I initially didn’t care about being a part of this, I want it now, if only to see how Chandler works.

And so I sign my life away for seven days.



***



Secluded doesn’t even begin to describe where the location is. I’m told nothing as I’m ushered onto a private jet. My only clue as to where we’re headed is the direction that the plane is going in and looking at the scenery below. To be honest, I’m surprised they even let me sit by a window.

The flight is painfully long. Long enough that I see the ocean and know I’m not in the United States anymore. The sun sets. I can’t sleep because I’m so nervous. Then the sun rises again, and we finally land. I still have no idea where we are.

I’m barely down the plane stairs before I’m loaded into a van with tinted windows that reminds me of something that would happen in a horror movie before you’re murdered on foreign soil. There’s a panic attack swirling inside of me, always threatening to surface. I know it’s a mixture of nerves, fear, and lack of sleep. Despite what my illogical brain is telling me, I’m safe here. My parents may not know where I am, but they do know who to turn over to the police if I end up missing. Everything will be fine. I just need to get where I’m going and take a nap. If I’m allowed that. Chandler may want to get started painting me right away. The thought is utterly exhausting, but I would have to bear it.

I’m driven an hour away and then made to board a helicopter. From that point, we fly over the ocean again to what I can only assume is a private island. There’s no landing pad. Just grass.

“We walk the rest of the way,” a man in a black suit tells me when the rotors have stopped spinning enough for me to hear him over the noise. He looks like he should be working for the CIA.

I hop out of the helicopter, feeling dumb for having worn a dress. Then again, no one told me we were going to be hiking, which is obviously the case since there’s not a building in sight. Luckily, there’s at least a game trail that we’re able to take to avoid walking through the dense foliage surrounding us. Or maybe it’s a trail that Chandler made; I can see wheel tracks in the dirt.

I take in the scenery around us, thankful that I’m not the one carrying my suitcase because it’s quite a trek. To the east of us is a gorgeous mountain range with snow on the peaks. Aside from the sounds of birds chirping and insects buzzing, I can hear a river somewhere close by. It doesn’t take long before we break through the forest and it becomes visible. This place is absolutely gorgeous. No wonder Chandler wanted to paint here. The scenery is definitely inspiring.

I wrap my arms around me, silently cursing myself for not having thought to bring a coat, though I hadn’t anticipated traveling to somewhere with a more frigid climate. It’s not quite cold enough to see my breath frost, but almost.

I’m just about to ask the guy in the suit how much farther it is when I see the edge of a deck as we round a bend in the river. A new sound joins the rush of the water: loud thuds in rapid succession. And as more of the house becomes visible, I catch my first glimpse of Chandler Lexington, and he’s every bit as breathtaking as the scenery around us.

The soreness in my feet from treading through the forest in wedges fades, and my body heats up to a uncomfortable level as I stare at Chandler, who seems oblivious to our presence. He’s standing out on the deck shirtless pounding away at a punching bag. It looks like something from a movie with the river passing beneath the stilts of the deck and an entirely glass backdrop for the part of the house facing us.

I’m not sure which is better, spending a week in this fantastical place or spending it alone with one of the most handsome men I’ve ever laid eyes on. In a professional sense, of course. There’s totally no way that I’m going to be masturbating to thoughts of him every night. Nope. Not gonna do that. Not gonna feel the urge knowing that he’s only a few bedrooms away, probably shirtless, lying in bed with that sinfully perfect body.

My God, is he ever ripped. The closer we get, the more muscle definition I see. When he finally notices us and turns with a smile, my heart about stops.

Holy hell. Someone should be painting him because he’s perfection in the flesh.

“Ah, there she is,” he says as we approach the side of the deck. “My muse.”













CHAPTER TWO





By the time we reach the front of the house (which is on the opposite side from the deck), and Chandler comes to let us in, he has his shirt on. I can’t say I’m unhappy about that. I’m already a blushing mess, and it would be hard not ogling his naked torso if I had a chance to see it up close.

The rest of him is just as stunning, though. His hair color matches his eyes. Dark brown. He’s tall, probably a little over six feet. I feel like a hobbit in comparison, a paltry five-two. He still dwarfs me despite my wedges giving me a few inches of extra height. The t-shirt he’s wearing is so tight that it’s stretched around his biceps. They have to be as big as my thighs. The shorts he has on hug him crudely. There’s a definite bulge between his legs, and I don’t even think he’s erect. I stare at it in my peripheral vision, wondering if he knows I can see so much of him.

“You must be Emma,” he greets me.

“Mhm.” I clutch my purse in front of me. My nervousness is shining through full force.

“Thank you for bringing her to me, Joffrey. I’ll take that.” He reaches past me to take my suitcase from Mr. CIA. “You can go now.”

The man in the suit nods and does an about-face, not even telling me goodbye before he heads back in the direction of the waiting helicopter.

“Would you like to come in?” Chandler steps aside to allow me entry.

I glance back at the forest, thinking that it’s a strange invitation when there’s no other option. Whether I like it or not, no matter what happens, I’m stuck here now. Soon the helicopter will take off. There’s no telling if there’s even another human being on this island besides the two of us.

I take a few apprehensive steps inside before turning to wait for Chandler. There’s a sterility to the entire house that’s a bit off-putting. While the side that faces the river was inviting, as soon as we reached the front of the house, the view was a lot different. Boxy is the best to describe it. Flat wood surfaces with an occasional glass wall. The walls that aren’t made entirely of glass have no windows at all. And now that I’m inside, I see a continued theme. Just walls. Flat, plain brown walls. There’s no art anywhere. No sign that this place has been lived in.

“Did you just have this built?” I ask as Chandler closes the door behind us. There’s a panel next to the door. As soon as the door closes, I hear a lock click into place. The green light on the panel turns red.

“It’s been here for a little while,” he tells me. There’s a comforting warmth to his voice. I wish it put me more at ease. “I imagine it was a longer flight than you expected. Were you able to sleep on the plane?” He takes the lead, his steps slow and casual.

“Unfortunately not,” I confess, following him.

“Then I should probably show you to your room first so that you can get some sleep. I want my model to be nice and refreshed before we begin.”

Thank God. I’m so tired right now that I’m practically loony. As it is, I’m running on pure adrenaline—the excitement of being here with him.

The further into the building we go, the more it reminds me of a secret facility. Every room has a panel next to the door. They’re all red. All locked. The floors are a dark gray marble. There are no windows. If the lights went out, we’d be cast into complete darkness; it’s a frightening thought. I’m not sure why someone who creates such vibrant paintings would build a place like this.

Chandler stops in front of one of the rooms and pulls a key card from his pocket, swiping it across the panel before the door unlocks and he’s able to open it. He pulls the door open and flips on the light switch inside before stepping back so that I can enter.

I poke my head inside first before my body follows and I’m relieved to find that it seems a lot more liveable than the rest of the house. Everything is modern, from the bed to the furniture. All contemporary and angular, done in the same dark browns as the rest of the house but with touches of white to make the room seem lighter. The one thing I do not like is that there are no windows. A large flat screen on the far wall depicts rotating landscapes. I know it’s supposed to simulate the real thing, but it does little to make me feel less claustrophobic.

“This will be your room for the week,” Chandler informs me as he sets my suitcase down on the chaise in front of the bed. “You can set that television to whichever landscape you prefer.” He must have noticed I was staring at it. “My room is adjacent to yours. That door connects them together.” He points to a door next to the entertainment center. There’s no panel beside it, so I can only assume that it’s unlocked. The thought that I’ll have Chandler so close and accessible is both exciting and unnerving at the same time.

“Here’s your key card.” He pulls another key card from his pocket and hands it to me. As his fingers brush mine, I feel a jolt of electricity. My cheeks flame and I chastise myself for getting so excited just from being touched by him. It’s not going to be like that. This weekend is completely professional, I have to remind myself. “It will grant you access to all the rooms you’re allowed to enter. Everything else is off limits. Feel free to explore if you get bored.” He grins at me, but there’s something mischievous about it, like he actually expects me to be nosy. He takes a step backward toward the door. “You’ve had a long day, so I can only assume you’ll sleep for several hours. I’ll meet you for dinner in the dining room. Have a good rest.”

By the time I think to ask where the dining room is, he’s already gone. I sigh to myself, sitting on the bed and peeling off my wedges, thankful I don’t have blisters. I guess that’s the advantage painting has over photography, though. If I did have blisters, Chandler could just paint them off. Maybe that’s why he didn’t care to inform me that getting to his place was going to be challenging. Whatever the case, I’m here now, and I can finally rest.

After massaging some life back into the soles of my feet, I stand to explore the room. There’s not much to see. It’s set up like a standard hotel room. The best thing about it is that there are three Chandler Lexington original pieces in the room. I take a few minutes to examine each one. The first is of a woman holding an infant. Judging from the woman’s serene expression, it’s a mother and her child. The other is a man in a suit standing on the railing of a bridge. You can’t see his face, but the gloomy backdrop of the picture sets the setting for a suicide. The final painting is a naked woman lounging on a maroon chaise. The scene looks rich. There’s a gold scarf tastefully draped over her, but all of her most intimate parts are still exposed. I wonder if he’ll have me pose like this, I think as I look at the picture. I hope not.

Chandler is more well known for capturing human emotions in his paintings than for creating nude art. There are several nudes in his overall collection, though. The vast majority are of the same woman. I’ve seen enough of his paintings to know that this one is different. This woman is the mother from the other picture.

Once I’m done gazing at the paintings, I head into the bathroom. The only cool thing about it is the clawfoot tub, though I’m a bit disappointed to discover there’s no showerhead. There’s no shower curtain either. It appears I’ll just be taking baths while I’m here.

Having seen all there is to see, I return to my room and rummage through my suitcase for something more comfortable to sleep in. Not knowing what we would be doing, I brought a variety of nightclothes from pajamas to lingerie. For now, assuming that I won’t be interrupted, I change into a long turquoise t-shirt with the words ‘Nap Time’ on it, because it is indeed nap time.

I crawl into bed, but my mind is abuzz with everything that’s gone on, and I can’t seem to sleep. I think about the foreign location, wondering where in the heck I am—why this place is so private. I consider the many reasons why the building’s interior design might be so sterile and dull. And then my thoughts drift to Chandler standing on the deck shirtless—to everything I felt when I saw him. I think about the jolt of electricity when he accidentally touched my hand. How many women have yearned for his touch?

The more I think about him, the more I think about doing the one thing that might relax me enough to help me pass out. It’s a bit embarrassing and awkward slipping my fingers into my underwear, and I pause several times before they actually find my clit, looking around like a scared prey animal going out into a clearing in the forest. I can’t help but feel like I’m being watched, even though I know that’s ridiculous. Finally, I give myself permission, not so much because I’m horny as because I’m so damn annoyed with being this tired.

I do my business, picturing all of the naughty things I’d like to do with Chandler Lexington, most of which involve me on my back on that deck with him writhing on top of me as the sun sets in the background. It’s movie-perfect. Relief finds me with a soft sigh, and I cuddle down beneath the plush comforter for some much-needed sleep.



***



I wake to the sound of knocking at my bedroom door. My eyes don’t want to open, but I immediately roll over to look at the clock with a groan. Eight PM. Holy crap, I can’t believe I slept that long.

“I’ll be out in a minute,” I call to Chandler as I fly out of bed and head to my suitcase, wishing I had taken a bit of extra time to unpack so that I wouldn’t have to dig through everything I brought. Then again, I had planned to do that after I woke up, having thought it would be at a decent hour.

Frustrated that I can’t find the dress I’m looking for, I throw back on the one I wore on the plane. The last thing I want to do is piss Chandler off by keeping him waiting any longer than I already have. Within five minutes, I’m halfway presentable—presentable enough for dinner, I hope. There was no time to fix my makeup and barely enough time to run a brush through the tangles in my hair.

I grab my key card off the bedside table and open the door to leave, gasping as I come face to face with a woman. She smiles at me pleasantly as I clutch my chest.

“Sorry if I startled you,” she says in one of the most generically friendly voices I’ve ever heard. “Chandler asked me to retrieve you for dinner.”

As soon as the shock wears off, disappointment takes its place. I had thought that Chandler and I would be alone together all weekend. Instead, I have this fox of a woman to compete with. She’s easily five-ten, model height. With her perfect proportions, ivory skin, jet-black hair, and large brown eyes, I have no doubt she’s either Chandler’s girlfriend or his fuck buddy.

At least, that’s what I think until she seats me at the dining room table and then immediately gets to work serving us. A maid? Is that what she is? She’s dressed in a white pantsuit and looks as sterile as the rest of the place. When she finishes setting plates in front of us and retreats back to wherever she came from, I start to see her as less of a threat. Though I don’t know why I saw her as a threat in the first place. This isn’t a competition for Chandler. I’m just his muse for the week. If they have any type of non-professional relationship, it’s none of my business.

“That’s Susan. She’ll be taking care of us while we’re here,” Chandler informs me.

She certainly doesn’t look like a Susan. More like a Gia or an Everly. A name that generic does not do such an exotic-looking woman justice.

I turn my attention to the food laid out before us, various sushi rolls. I’ve never tried sushi before, which is ironic given my love of Japanese culture, but I’m not a big fan of fish in general.

“Did she make all of this?” I ask as I awkwardly pick up the chopsticks laid out on the cloth napkin in front of me.

“Yes. Susan is quite the chef.” Chandler holds his chopsticks like an expert, immediately transferring a few pieces of sushi over to his plate like he’s done it a million times before. I mirror him to the best of my ability. Despite my struggle to use the chopsticks, he doesn’t offer to teach me or switch them out for silverware. He simply smirks in amusement at my plight while I try my hardest not to get irritated. “I take it you’ve never had sushi before.”

“That should be obvious.” I finally give up and stab a piece with the sticks, no longer caring about looking refined in front of him.

He chuckles in response, which should put me at ease if not for that he’s staring at me. In fact, he’s completely stopped paying attention to his own plate and is leaning back in his chair observing me. It’s making me nervous—making my hands shake.

“A little help here,” I say when I realize that I’m almost to the point of just using my fingers.

Keep some dignity, Emma. And for the love of God, don’t sound like an ungrateful bitch.

Chandler finally springs to action. “What would you like?” He hovers above the sushi with his chopsticks.

“Well, I don’t know what any of this is, so I’ll take whatever.” I submit to whatever he feels like feeding me, remembering that I’m not supposed to have any free will here anyway.

“So what do you think of this place so far?” He piles my plate with way more than I can possibly eat.

“It’s interesting.” I nod, noticing that there isn’t any art on the walls in here either. I suppose that doesn’t matter when the backdrop is one big window. We’re facing the river. This is where I first saw him, the wall of glass when we were walking up. It’s a nice view for eating.

“Just interesting.” He doesn’t seem pleased with my answer. “You can do better than that.”

I shift my weight, feeling like he’s putting me under a spotlight. “It has a very sterile feel to it. For you being a famous painter, I figured there would be art on the walls. Did you not have time to fly any in? Or would it have been too difficult getting it here?”

“There’s art in your room,” he points out.

“Yes,” I reply hesitantly.

“But that was what I was going for—the sterile feeling. I want this exhibit to be uninfluenced by the outside world and all of its distractions. That’s why the walls are all bare.”

A bit eccentric, but who am I to question or complain? No questions asked. That’s what I signed up for.


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