When I meet the artist at a quiet pub near Bankside I’m immediately attracted to her. Her long, dark hair falls to just below where I imagine the curve of her breast lies under her white shirt, her hazel eyes peppered with honey in the late afternoon sun.
We settle into a table with large wines and fall into an easy conversation that romps happily from politics to art to coming out, our words tripping all over each other in that lovely way you get when you click with someone. Her gaze is piercing and I have to look away several times, embarrassed and faintly turned on as I feel the weight of her eyes tremble over my lips and down the curves of my body in a long, sweet lick of anticipation.
“Shall we go to Soho?” she says after our second wine.
“That sounds like an excellent idea” I say, draining my glass.
We head to a bar with velvet booths, sliding into one near the front. It being a Tuesday there are only a few others punters nursing the odd pint.
“Would you like to see some of my art?” she says, pulling out her phone.
I pour over the sinuous sculptures she’s patiently whittled by hand, the wood spooling on the ground in silky puddles. She talks me through some of her inspiration but even without the explanation I’m enthralled.
“Shit you’re so talented!”
“Well, all artists need inspiration…maybe you could be my muse” she grins.
“Paint me like one of your French girls…!” I giggle in a faux French accent.
We head out for a smoke. Buoyed by copious quantities of wine I tell her I want to kiss her, scooping her into my arms and taking her lips in mine, my unsmoked cigarette dangling from my fingers.
“Oi! Watch that fag end on my jumper!” a man bellows next to us and we pull apart spluttering with laughter.
Later I say goodnight as she waits for her train.
“You know, you could always come back to mine…” I mumble into our kiss.
“If it’s okay, I think I’d like to get to know you a bit more first” she replies.
As soon as she says it I know she’s right, that this could be special and that she’s worth waiting for. I head home, tumble into bed and drift off with a smile on my lips and a pair of honeycomb eyes blazing in the dark.