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19. May, the second year
To the gallery that night, I wore the dress that I had originally bought to seduce Tom and Lindsay. It was only the second time I ever had. Unlike that first time, a cold winter night a year and a half ago, I wore lingerie under it to my senior exhibit: new sexy underwear that was meant to be barely visible even under the sheer ivory of the dress. The most expensive lingerie of my life. Yana and Jeni had helped me shop. It was scandalous, I suppose, but mine was a daring exhibit: Kelly McGullycuddy, Senior Exhibit: 36 Nudes. I was so nervous I could barely stand without shaking.
A 8-shot, 14×16 print series of Lindsay on the kitchen table opened my show. It had taken more than a little pleading before she agreed to allow me to use them in a public showing, even if only for this show. The series started with her standing on our butcher block table, holding a wisp of tulle, and continued as she sat, one knee up, one knee out, revealing all. In the last few shots, she was rolled halfway onto her back, legs apart, bathed in natural light. The effect was lovely. I felt, erotic without being remotely pornographic. All of my budding skill was required to get the exposures just right for her skin tones without their being over-exposed by the sun streaming in from the window behind her. That light gave her a golden glow which complemented her hair, and she looked so beautiful. Still, she was naked and on display in my exhibit, and that made her nervous about my using them. She might be somewhere in the gallery now, fully dressed, probably hoping no one recognized her with clothes on.
Amy and Yana had yet to show. I had sent invitations to each of the models whose work with me would be displayed in my show. I doubted Yana would be as shy as Lindsay, but Amy was pre-law. She might give the exhibit a miss. In one shot featuring them both, with two other models; Amy’s hand is frozen as she fluffs her hair, giving the tableau it’s only sense of motion. It is one of my favorites. Again, the lighting is what makes it special. The models are all lovely, but it is that right side wash-out and Amy’s hand and falling hair that make it speak. The second one I used from that shoot had been taken just afterwards, with Amy stepping back and light flooding over Yana’s left shoulder. The only detail that can be seen of her left breast is her areola, a ring of light color, nipple standing up, in the pinkish hue that spills over her and the other three models. Both images had been enlarged to 18×24 without giving them a grainy look.
Four more of my prints followed in that series. I was moving up the negative size with each set, from the 35mm shots of Lindsay, to the 2 ¼ format for the next several. Besides the two of the original group of four models, I had another eight images of multiple models. Amy was in one. Hung beyond them were eight I had shot with a 5×7 Deardorff camera I had been allowed to borrow from my photography professor, Ethan. One was a shot of Tom and Amy in an intimate embrace. Both would laugh at that characterization. It had been a lot of really hard work to make the image.
Neither of them is very identifiable. I had made the photograph by framing only their torsos, very close to them. Their bodies are falling away from one another as she straddles his lap as he sits in a straight-back chair. You can see the dampness on their skin. Amy’s hand is clawing the air. She is cumming, but only the three of us would ever know that for sure. There is a sense of motion that I captured only by ruining a box of film. That this shot actually is of their orgasm is a testament to that hard work.
Yana is the model in all but one of the rest of those I made with the Deardorff. I love the results. I really do think that girl can read my mind when I am at the viewfinder. Her exquisite figure, with its luscious curves, doesn’t hurt the final product, but I knew by now that simply having a naked girl pose for you doesn’t mean the results will be any good, no matter how good-looking she may be. I have hundreds of bad shots in my files. No, I considered these special. I was proud of them.
The next to last image was made with an 8×10 view camera. I had practiced and practiced before approaching the model to sit for it, working with her in each of the other formats first. I didn’t want to mess it up. She was more than willing to sit for me and refused to accept a modeling fee, but with-held her release for any use other than this exhibit, like Lindsay. Instead, accepting a fee, when she found I was hoping to own a large format camera of my own, she bought one for me. I assured her I would pay her back, but she laughed it off and told me she had always wanted to be a patron of the arts. She included a Hasselblad too, along with the view camera, saying the store had taken it in on consignment and it made a nice companion to the larger format camera. Liar.
In her portrait, Jeni sits erectly in that same straight-backed chair, görükle escort not quite touching the lattice of it. She is in partial silhouette, but turns her shoulders toward the camera. Back arched, her long, fair hair falls to the curve of her ass as her head lifts only a little bit, she looks beyond the camera. Both of her breasts are up thrust and visible, nipples stiff, and her left leg is falling away toward the camera. The print is 36″x48″. It became a project to try to print it. I wasted a lot of paper learning how.
The doors had been open for several minutes by then. I was so nervous.
“That is an incredible image,” my advisor, Ethan told me as he came to stand beside me as I finished my path past my photos. He was rapt before the image of Jeni. I stood dumbly before
6, a self-portrait. “Who is the model?” he asked, still looking at Jeni. Of course he wanted to know. Who wouldn’t?
“Some girl,” he repeated but conveyed an entirely different meaning. He chuckled, but it wasn’t terribly funny. “Have you considered marketing it?” That’s as good as it gets from Ethan. I had graduated, in his eyes. Time to get to work. High praise, from him.
“Can’t,” I say simply. “The release is for this exhibit only. Those,” I indicated the 2 ¼ images and the 5×7 enlargements, “are the only ones I can offer for sale.”
Ethan again strolled past those images I had pointed out, hands behind his back, scrutinizing them all. He had seen most, but not all of my prints, as we had finalized my requirements for the exhibit. He studied all 34 images before returning to stare at Jeni. He finally noticed the 36th image, the self-portrait. He had not seen it before. “Kelly, when you told me last winter that you were going to devote your senior year to studying nudes, I thought you were crazy.” He was talking to own my nude image. It was odd to have a conversation, fully dressed, with a man who was staring at my unclad body in a photographic print.
“I remember. You tried to talk me out of it.”
“I’m now glad I was not successful. You struck me as far too naïve and unsophisticated to handle such subjects with style. Conventional. I expected you to turn in poorly posed shots of your friends in bad locations with horrendous lighting. I did think you had some minor talent. A good eye for framing a shot. Pleasant work. Nothing special. The images you submitted for review to that point were technically good, for the most part, but without a signature. You have one now. You deserve that fellowship to the Art Institute”
I thanked him. It was quite a compliment from him, even if he also revealed he hadn’t thought much of me at one time.
“You also have an agent, if you want one,” he said, a goofy smile on his face. He handed me a card. “She and I have known each other for some time, and I took the liberty of showing her some of your proofs. I told her you would call her tomorrow. She may show up tonight though. I invited her. She said she had another commitment, but I’ll introduce you if she makes it.”
I looked at the embossed board and felt giddy. I had an agent? Thanking Ethan again, I excused myself, feeling awkward and foolish. I needed some me time.
I moved away from my exhibit and meandered over to my refreshments—I’d had them catered by the restaurant at which I once worked—and accepted a glass of wine. I was already floating, having downed several glasses at home to calm my nerves. I avoided my section of the gallery, and took time to admire the work of my fellow graduates. I was looking at a cityscape, when Yana found me, holding a glass of wine for herself and slipping an arm through mine.
“You have made me look stunnink,” she cooed in my ear. Her accent is almost gone now, the once incomprehensible pronunciations replaced by a lilt that is sensual candy for the ear. “And, loath though I am to admit it, I know at last why I am only the second most beautiful woman you know. That photo of Jeni took my breath away.”
I slid my arm around her and drew her close before kissing her cheek. Yana is my best friend. She is my lover.
Tom joined us as I leaned against her. He was wearing a tweed jacket and even a tie, and he looked so handsome that I felt a little clutch in my belly when I saw him. His eyes widened when he saw what I was wearing. I guess he didn’t feel like he had to be polite and pretend he couldn’t see through it as everyone else did.
“I don’t look horrible, do I?” I asked as I flowed into his arms and hugged him fiercely.
He kissed me. “No, Kelly, you look beautiful.”
I curled into him and felt safe again, for just a moment. A little drunk too. Yana joined us and came up on her toes to kiss Tom on the cheek as he still held me. She looked terribly sexy in a very low-cut little black dress. With the high spike heels she wore, we were nearly the same height, even though I wore heels too. Her brown hair was swept up and her light makeup drew attention to her eyes and orhangazi escort how clear and blue they were. She looked sensational, and she knew it.
“Has Lindsay come?” Tom asked.
I shrugged. It was not lost on Yana. She lost no love on my former lover. Yana moved away from us for a moment as I held on to Tom, before appearing again with wine for all of us.
A hush fell through the entire room. The three of us turned our heads and beheld Jeni sweeping into the gallery with a small entourage. Even as tall as she is, she wore heels as high as Yana’s and a tiny halter dress that moved with her body as she walked. Her hair was loosely pulled back, clasped at the base of her neck. She floated. I had never seen her look more glamorous. The girls with her were gorgeous and dressed as she was, formally, for a gallery opening. Even so, each gown exposed a lot of girl. Courtney, Heather, Ingrid, Sierra: I jolted to realize I’d had been with each of them. Wildly, uninhibitedly, unabashedly, and passionately, each woman had been my lover. Was that why they’d come? I kind of, wickedly, hoped it was.
Jeni sashayed up next to me, oblivious to Tom and Yana in the moment, leaned down and kissed me like a lover. My body remembered the way she kissed, and I was wet in an instant. Nothing else mattered except her lips on mine for that moment.
She insinuated herself between me and Yana, taking both my hand and Yana’s in her own and turning to kiss Yana almost as hard as she had kissed me. My girlfriend just let her. Who wouldn’t?
“Show me my picture,” Jeni said. I hung on to Tom’s hand as I moved all three of them back to my exhibit.
As we began the tour, she said, “Kelly, you have made Lindsay look glorious.” I thanked her, but she dismissed my self-effacing politeness and said she was serious. She spent a lot of time looking at the group shots, finally turning to Yana and whispering something to her that I could not hear as she looked at the one that featured Yana’s nipple so prominently. Yana gasped. Jeni admired the next series too, tearing away just enough to lean back toward Tom over my shoulder as she kept her eyes on the photo of him and Amy. “She’s in orgasm, isn’t she?” she asked him.
“Uh,” he said. That’s my boy. A gorgeous six-foot-two-inch blonde in heels and a short skirt asks him if the photo of him and a lover has captured her at the moment of climax, and he gets all eloquent.
Jeni scrutinized every other image, casting an appraising eye over each. At the last, she said something to Yana again that made her gasp again. And Yana does not embarrass. At all, as far as I know.
Finally, Jeni stopped in front of her portrait. Letting go of our hands, she moved from one side to the other, stepping back and crossing her arms under her breasts as she looked at herself. “Kelly,” she said, dropping her arms to put them around me, “I absolutely love it. I must have it. Is it for sale?” Her lips curled into a pretty smile.
“Only with the model’s permission,” I laughed, as if she didn’t know it was hers for the taking.
“I don’t think that will be a problem. How many pictures have you taken of me?”
“About a thousand.”
“Please,” she murmured, kissing me like a lover again. “Take one thousand more.”
She stopped at my self-portrait. “And is this for sale?”
I demurred. “I hadn’t thought…”
“I offer one 8×10 view camera with a Hasselblad thrown in,” she smiled.
“Jeni, that’s too much.”
That smile denied any further objection. “Deliver it with my portrait, please,” she concluded lightly.
Squeezing my hand with love, she let me go, wet and torn, back to Tom and Yana. Both followed her with their eyes as she and the entourage undulated back and forth among my photos, commenting to one anther on each, pointing to favorites, especially the ones of Yana. Heads pivoted from image to model and back.
“I think they like you,” I whispered as I kissed her ear.
She laughed, her eyes on Jeni. Then she turned and hugged me. “You’re wet, aren’t you?”
“I am too. Her kisses are…” She sighed. Tri-lingual, and a kiss from Jeni left her speechless.
I was leaning against Tom, still holding Yana’s hand when Lindsay and Jan arrived. They were holding hands too but dropped them when they saw us. They looked guilty. Both of them. Lindsay was wearing black slacks and a jacket. Jan looked much the same. They weren’t even as dressed up as Tom. Neither looked comfortable about being there either.
I moved away from Tom and Yana to lead Lindsay and Jan through the exhibit. Moving as one, we stopped long at the Lindsay series. Jan turned to look at Yana when they got to the next set, whispering something to Lindsay that I could not catch, but Lindsay’s eyes shot over to Yana for a brief moment. As we stopped in front of Jeni’s portrait, I crossed my arms under my breasts just as she had done.
Jan asked Lindsay if she mudanya escort knew her.
“Yeah, we both fucked her,” I answered, dropping my arms and leaving them gaping at the photo.
I shouldn’t have said that. I was drunk. I was wet from a lesbian’s kiss. My former girlfriend had come to my senior exhibit holding hands with another woman.
“The pictures are all really good, Kelly,” Lindsay said. “Even the ones of me. I’m glad you talked me into letting you show them.”
Jan mumbled something about thinking they were nice too. She’s so articulate.
“Thank you.” God, I sounded so formal. “I’m so glad you like them.”
“You’re really good, Kelly. More than I understood. You need to take that scholarship. Seeing your stuff on display—seeing me—on display” she gave a little shudder, “—well, you’re just really talented.” She looked over my shoulder at Yana. Her brown eyes were impossible to read.
I nodded. She wasn’t going to kiss me. Fucking Jeni had kissed me and made me wet in front of Tom and Yana and Ethan and the whole Fine Arts Department, but my former girlfriend? No. No, can’t kiss me. No, no, no.
“Thank you both for coming,” I said, holding my head high.
They stayed long enough for the moment to become tense. Lindsay took Jan’s hand again and they made their way to the door.
I followed, not meaning to stop them. Not going with them. Just being rid of them. A stunningly dressed older woman stopped them before they got to the door, seeming to recognize Lindsay, and spoke briefly to her before handing her a business card.
I turned away once they were out the door. Ethan caught me again. “Kelly,” he said, “I was going to ask you to join me for a drink after the exhibit ends, but I see now I have way too much competition.”
“No, Ethan, you have no competition at all,” I smiled back, just as charmingly. He’d graduated me. I graduated him.
He laughed charmingly. “This is Elizabeth,” he introduced me to the woman who had given her card to Lindsay. “The agent I spoke to you about.”
“I was hoping to you call in the morning,” I told her as we shook hands. “I’m excited to think about showing more of my work.”
“I’m anxious to help you do so,” she told me. “Let’s go have a look, shall we?”
Once more, I led a tour of my senior project. Amy and Karl were viewing the images as we walked up, with Karl agape at how beautiful his girlfriend looked in my photographs. I was so proud of them, of her, of everything. I introduced Amy and Karl to Elizabeth, who ran appraising eyes over Amy. Her eyes flicked to the photographs as she identified her from them.
“Are you interested in modeling professionally,” Elizabeth asked.
Amy shook her head and laughed. She really wasn’t.
“Pity,” said Elizabeth as she put away the card she had ready to offer Amy. I let Elizabeth examine the rest of my show without my lead. I bit my lip nervously as she appraised each and every one. When she finally returned, she smiled broadly.
“We’ll make money together, Kelly. You have a marvelous eye. The tall blonde in the chair alone could bring thousands.”
Thousands? Oh, puh-lease. Really?
“Not for sale, I’m afraid,” I told her. The model is adamant that the release is for this show only.”
Elizabeth smiled, condescendingly, I thought. “We’ll talk. And while I don’t handle models myself, I do like to put good ones in touch with the photographers I represent. You have at least four I would love to see do more work. We’ll talk,” she repeated. Making her way back to Ethan, the two of them put their heads close in private conversation
Twirling, I left her behind and went in search of my boyfriend and my girlfriend.
Tom welcomed me back into his arms. I kissed him and told him I loved him.
“I love you too, Kelly.”
Yana joined us, hugging tightly, kissing Tom and then me.
“Let’s get out of here,” I said. The gallery was quickly emptying, closing time having come and gone. Had two hours passed so quickly?
The three of us went outside. Tom lifted me into the Jeep, and I moved over to make room for Yana, by half sitting on the cushion on the overturned bucket between the seats as he closed the door for us.
Once out of the parking lot, I flopped over and began to unbutton Tom’s jeans. We were in love. We’d both earned our degrees. Life was about to change for us, but just then I needed to be loved. I wrapped my fingers around his cock and lifted him from his pants. He was getting hard already. I let go of him long enough to unbutton my dress and slip down my panties, kicking them free with Yana’s help. Her soft hands caressed my legs as I turned to Tom again and took his cock into my mouth. My lips closed over him as I wrapped my tongue around the shaft. I lifted my head, then plunged it back down onto him. I hollowed my cheeks with each upsweep of my head, pulling the skin of him as I did, easing as I brought my face down again.
I twisted my body on the bucket, half lying on it, half falling off of it. Yana’s fingers were moving between my legs, slipping into me as I sucked him. I lifted onto my left hip and raised my right leg and let it fall completely open across her lap, needing their touch, wanting it.
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