Anna let loose a startled gasp and turned towards the opening door. “NO!” she shouted but it was too late. The harsh light poured into her darkroom and within seconds, her work had been destroyed.
”Oh my God … oh no!” she cried out as she looked around the room in horror. The rolls of film she had shot earlier in the week were now useless as the exterior light crept over them with caustic tendrils.
“Opps,” said a thick voice from the doorway. His large frame was silhouetted in the light but she knew who it was.
“The damned light was on Jason! How could you?” she shouted, angrier than she had ever been with him.
“How could I what? I called your cell phone but you didn’t answer. I wasn’t going to wait all damned night,” he retorted, his tone unrepentant.
“Are you kidding me? You know how hard I worked on this project. I spent the last six months planning and … tomorrow was the deadline!” she shouted as she picked up the overexposed film.
”Oh, come on … you really think that gallery would’ve bought your work? Dirty old man just wanted to get his fuckin’ rocks off lookin’ at your porn,” he shot back as he stormed out of the darkroom.
Anna was stunned into silence. Her work was important to her. She photographed nudes in black and white. She loved the play of light and shadows on the human form; the hollows of a woman’s lower back; the concave dimples on a shapely backside; bodies in the throes of lovemaking; the straining muscles on a man or a woman’s neck just as they were about to orgasm.
Tomorrow could have been an important turning point in her career and he had ruined it. She stalked after him, following him into the kitchen.
”Get out …”
He looked at her dumbfounded.
”Get out … NOW!” Her voice was rising in timbre. She picked up one of the empty beer bottles that littered the counter. “This is what you’ve spent your afternoon doing?” she snapped as she turned and threw the bottle at the wall behind him. He ducked just as it shattered.
”Are you nuts?”
”I must have been. I’m not kidding. GET. OUT. NOW!” she shouted, picking up another bottle.
“Crazy bitch …” he snarled as he backed out of the kitchen. Grabbing his coat and keys, he headed for the door and she stalked after him.
“This is over Jason! Don’t come back!”
He nearly ran head first into Marcus as he stormed out of her apartment. Marcus lived down the hall and was a photography student at the University. In exchange for walking her dog, she let him use her darkroom.
“Anna? What’s wrong? I could hear you yelling down the hall,” he said, his stunning blue eyes veiled with concern. A lock of jet black hair fell across his forehead and she reached out to push it back as she had done a thousand times.
Closing her eyes, she let the tears fall, and then, drawing in a deep breath, she looked up at Marcus. She turned and walked towards her darkroom and he quietly followed behind her. When he saw the overexposed film on the counter, he understood.
“God, Anna … I’m sorry. I know how important this was for you.”
“It doesn’t matter … it’s over now,” she said, her voice heavy with emotion.
Marcus felt his heart break at the sight of her looking so defeated. This wasn’t like her. She was so vibrant and full of life. She loved her work and he knew enough to know just how gifted she was … she was a visionary.
“Do you have another roll or two of film?” he asked and she nodded, a questioning look in her eyes.
“Meet me in the other room.”
Anna picked up her cameras and loaded them with film before she walked to the small studio at the back of the loft.
A startled gasp escaped her lips as she walked through the white curtains and found him waiting for her … naked.
“What are you doing?”
“I know what was on that film Anna … come on … let me help you,” he said, his voice a blend of confidence and uncertainty. It was endearing and so was his offer to help.
“I … I can’t …” she said as she started to back out of the room.
“Yes, you can. You have to Anna. Tomorrow is going to be one of the most important days in your career … in your life. Don’t give in to defeat … it doesn’t suit you,” he argued.
Anna stopped. “Marcus … it’s not about giving in … I … I just can’t let you do this,” she replied, her heart aching at the look of disappointment in his eyes.
“You know I have had feelings for you since the day I moved into this building. And I know you have feelings for me too … come on … I want to help you Anna!”
Anna couldn’t deny there was something between them. The air seemed to sizzle whenever he was around and she found she preferred his company over Jason’s much more often than not. Even though he was a couple of years younger than she was, there was an old soul in that beautiful body.
She hesitated for a moment before she walked over to each of the tripods and set up her cameras, turning on the timer so that they would alternately take a picture every minute. She adjusted the lights for the most dramatic output of shadows. The play of light on one’s body was in itself, a work of art.
Then she undressed while he watched. Her gaze met his as she hooked her thumbs on the waistband of her jeans and lowered them. He never looked away and she found her inhibitions fading as she removed each piece of clothing.
“Anna … take your hair down,” he asked huskily.
Anna did as he asked, freeing her flowing mane of chestnut hair. She walked towards him then and took his hand. It was shaking and she squeezed it reassuringly.
She positioned him in front of the bed, checking the different angles before settling on the final one.
Without warning, he drew her into a powerful embrace and his mouth lowered onto hers, his lips brushing tentatively against her own just before he gently kissed her.
A shiver of desire coursed through her as she looked up at him, her gaze searching his before she walked over towards her cameras and depressed the buttons.
Returning to his embrace, she looked up into his brilliant blue eyes. She saw the fire within them and she placed her hand upon his cheek as his hands caressed her back.
He kissed her again … softly at first. She returned his kiss, still uncertain.
The kiss deepened as their hunger for one another seemed to take on a life of its own. Her lips parted and she invited him to explore her further, her tongue darting against his before she playfully nipped his bottom lip.
He let loose a low moan and her hands moved up the back of his neck, her fingers moving into his thick hair.
Strong hands moved up her back and across her shoulders before making their way up the column of her neck. His fingers ran through the length of her hair, sending delightful shivers through her and eliciting a deep moan. His hand tightened within her heavy mane of hair and he urged her back, forcing her to look at him.
“I want you Anna … I need you … please,” he whispered as he lowered his lips towards her ear. His tongue traced the outline of her ear before his teeth gently pulled against her lobe. She cried out as a wave of heat tore through her.
Marcus took his time exploring her neck, tasting every inch of her sensitive flesh. Then, he stepped back a little and sat down on the antique bed. His hands moved across her mid-section before they slid over her ample hips. He looked up at her and smiled as he lowered his head and let his mouth move over her mound.
Anna cried out as his tongue found the sensitive pearl hidden within. With an almost agonizing attention to detail, he delved into her, using his lips and tongue to explore every inch of her pussy.
She tipped her head back and cried out as she felt a wave of pleasure wash over her. It had been a long time for her and she knew it wouldn’t take much to bring her to the edge. Yet, she couldn’t deny herself the exquisite pleasure he was arousing in her.
“I’m close,” she warned as she placed her hand against to top of his head. He tapered off before he looked up at her. His eyes were filled with such need; such passion. Anna walked over to a small box and selected a condom.
“You don’t mind?” she asked but it wasn’t really an option.
Marcus ginned and took the packet from her. She watched as he unrolled the condom onto his thick cock and she smiled. He blushed and then pulled her down on top of him as he lay back onto the crisp white sheets.
His hands moved over her body, urging her closer to him, as she let her lips brush across his lips before she razed the lobe of his ear with her teeth. A deep moan escaped his lips and he arched his back, exposing his neck to her. She took the same care in exploring the sensitive column of flesh as he had and was rewarded with the most delightful of sounds.
“Marcus,” she said his name as she raised herself up, her palms pressed against his well-muscled chest. She straddled his hips, watching as his hands moved over her breasts. His fingers played against her rigid nipples and she tipped her head back, her long hair a flowing curtain down the middle of her back.
“Now Anna,” he urged and she smiled. She lifted herself up and slowly lowered herself onto his thick, rigid cock. She cried out in pleasure as she took him deep within her.
Together, they set a sensual rhythm and time seemed to stand still.
Anna felt him grow more rigid within her depths and she knew he was close. “Marcus,” she cried out as she quickened her pace, riding him hard. His hips arched upwards as he matched her thrust for thrust.
His hands closed over her breasts and he moved expertly over them, drawing against her nipples again and again.
“Oh, yes … please … don’t stop,” she begged as she felt her climax nearing. Marcus responded by moving one hand between the swollen lips of her pussy and finding her pearl.
Anna cried out, his name on her lips, as a powerful release washed over her in wave after wave of exquisite pleasure. Marcus moaned and came hard within her but his fingers never stopped caressing her and within moments, she came again. Exhausted, she collapsed atop him, his arms encircling her and holding her tight.
Hours later, they stood together in the darkroom, the red light casting a warm glow on their bare skin. Marcus stood behind her, his arms around her waist, kissing the back of her neck as she developed the photos.
The images were the best she had ever captured. She could almost feel the passion emanating from the prints and she wrapped his arms more tightly around her.
“Looks like the beginning of a promising career,” he said as he kissed the back of her neck again.
She turned and looked up at him. “Looks like the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”
Writing as Layla Hunter, I am a member of RWA, NJRW, LSFW, Passionate Ink, FF&P RWA, Elements RWA, IWWG, as well as Romance Divas, Absolute Write and Romance in the Backseat, where I entered and won the New Year’s Writer’s Rumble with my entry, Karma. I have attended the NJRW 2008 and 2009 Put Your Heart in a Book conferences and am looking forward to NJRW 2010. Along with erotic romance, I write contemporary and paranormal romance and currently have several works in progress. You can find Layla here: www.laylahunter.com