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“Sorry Megan. I’m nearly finished here,” Don quietly apologised, forms and cheques strewn before him as he added by way of explanation. “Let me finish the last of these late tour bookings and we’re off to breakfast straight away. Give me two minutes. I know you’re probably starving.”
On the opposite side of the counter in the small office, the attractive brunette in the wrap-around skirt stopped fidgeting with his ‘Hostel Manager’ sign. Idly turning her head, she noticed it was 7.15 according to the big clock in the park over the road but 8.15 on her watch. The Shire still hadn’t changed it over to daylight saving again, and it was already a month into summer.
She recognised most of the early-bird locals milling and socialising outside as she listened to her cousin’s pen furiously scrawling away behind her. Any life like Don’s spent filling in forms and sitting constantly at a PC would have driven her nuts she thought. Good. He was down to the last two. Her attention fixed on the lone tourist returning from the monument in the park.
Don looked up in surprise when her hand slid blindly back and touched his forearm.
“Look at that girl,” he heard the low hiss. “Tell me if that’s not the most beautiful face and figure you’ve seen in a long, long time Don.”
The look of utter reverence in Megan’s tone made his eyes join hers. The young girl in the usual backpacker faded T-shirt and shorts and sandals was running her finger down the menu in the window of the cafe next door.
“You’re the painter. I’m just a hostel owner-manager, remember?” he kidded her over his reading glasses. “That’s Ophelia if you’d like a name. German. Checked in here late yesterday afternoon.”
Intensely curious, Megan tilted for a better look. “She’s five foot four, do you think? Just a little under my height?” Her hand lightly disturbed his arm again. “Just have another quick look and tell me, as a red-blooded man, what she hasn’t got, Don.”
“You accuse me of being married to my job!” he scoffed, triumphantly grounding his pen as he went on. “And here you are, just after 8 in the morning, checking out potential models if my guess isn’t right. Well, I’m finished here. To breakfast!”
“Hey, she’s getting breakfast from the cafe,” Megan observed. “We’re off there to breakfast instead, as of right now. Find some way to introduce me, will you? I want to see her close up and hear what her voice sounds like. You know, accent and all that. Does she speak any English? Tell me everything you know about her?”
“That’s not much. Educated in England she said, when I complimented her on her fluent English,” he replied, clicking the last form into his ring binder. “Quiet but friendly personality. Oh, and waiting for someone named Gerhardt to arrive so they can continue touring Australia.”
As Megan all but propelled him through the cafe door, he recovered enough to return the wave from the girl sitting alone in a booth for four by the side wall.
“There, told you she was friendly,” he said to Megan under his breath. “She’s seen me with you and she wants us to sit with her.”
“Ophelia, this is Megan,” he started as they arrived. “Even if she wasn’t my cousin, I’d tell you she’s the best portrait painter in the nation. And she lives right here, on the outskirts of our small country town.”
“I have a small mud brick house with a studio, just where forest starts,” Megan joined in, willingly drowning herself in the wide pale blue eyes that had transferred to her.
“That isn’t your painting on the wall over there by any chance?” the girl offered, pointing across the room. “That one of the beautiful girl holding a glass of champagne to her lips. That’s usually a representation of celebration, yet she seems to have a really lost, wistful aspect to her.”
Megan nodded, impressed that the girl had not only noticed it, but had correctly interpreted its essence. “I did do that. Two years ago. The model’s name was Theresa. She died recently.”
“You’ve already ordered breakfast, Ophelia?” Don joined in. There was a nod. “I’ll put our order in too. I don’t have to even ask Megan what she’s having. It’s been the same every week for years.”
As he dictated to the young fellow scribbling behind the counter, the girl’s face lit up as she smiled nervously at Megan. The artist became even more captivated by her natural innocence and modesty, and ached to do this portrait. Over her tea and raisin toast, whenever Ophelia looked down to eat or focused on what Don might be saying, Megan stole glances at parts of the youthful figure, obsessing about what she would dress it in. Victorian lace blouse and formal dress? Ball gown? Tennis outfit? The T shirt and shorts she had on? They all popped into her mind one after another. This girl would look good in almost anything with that well rounded behind, lightly-muscled limbs, narrow waist and almost pointy bust.
The dream instantly evaporated as soon as she heard the words explaining to Don that Gerhardt illegal bahis was her husband, and that they were newlyweds. A distinct “Damn!” instantly crossed her mind. Yet despite the crushing words, she couldn’t stop the daydreams of garments and poses involving this lovely creature creeping back. She soon had to regroup her thoughts though. Ophelia turned to her to ask about her latest art projects.
By the time Megan hopped into her car to go home, Ophelia had made her promise to come back that very afternoon with a favourite portrait to show her.
When she arrived in Don’s office with it under her arm, he pointed out the side window to the pool. There she saw the newlywed couple, the older husband standing with his wet back turned to his young wife climbing up the poolside steps.
“For such a pretty girl, she doesn’t like to show her body off, does she?” Don remarked. Megan ignored his observation about the awful brown one-piece swimsuit she was wearing. That body would look amazing in a wheat sack. She watched the shapely dripping legs pause behind her husband’s. He ignored her hinting kisses, finishing drying himself before allowing her to take the towel.
“He seems a bit of a cold fish to me,” she observed turning to Don beside her. “Don, do you think if I killed him here and now, a court would acquit me on the grounds that I needed to do it so she would come out and pose for me?” she mused.
The girl’s long arms were taking turns at drying each other, the silky blonde hair swaying to and fro along her shoulder blades.
“There may be no need for a murder,” he mused. “They were arguing in German in front of the tour counter just before you arrived. Since the wife speaks English fluently and he hardly knows a word, he needed her to book their next tour tomorrow,” He paused then continued. “It seems our Gerhardt wants them both to head to the Wilderness Coast for four days of estuary fishing.”
Megan was all ears as he continued. “She of course doesn’t fancy spending time in the middle of some crocodile- and mosquito-ridden mangrove where all you can do is camp and fish with a lot of increasingly smelly men,” he continued. “She also doesn’t want to be left here all alone either, or travel on without him. So when I interrupted to say you constantly needed models and might be prepared to offer free room and board while he was away…..”
“You are an absolute angel Don,” Megan exclaimed. “How did they react?”
“The girl especially seemed interested, but him?” Don said adding a shrug.”Well, judge for yourself when you meet him. He apparently gets to decide yes or no though. Ready?”
Megan nodded, nervous butterflies rising in the pit of her stomach as she left the painting there and followed him out into the hot summer light. The next minute, she was confronting his grim features poolside as Don introduced her to him.
She took over and explained to him that country-based artists like her usually had to comb the city to find the right models for portraits. Ophelia was an outstanding subject who she really wanted to paint if she was willing. Would they like to come out and inspect her property, just a few minutes from town? They could decide if they liked the set-up, and whether they were both comfortable with Ophelia staying there for the next four days.
There was only the slightest glance swapped and a few words of German before he off-handily agreed to Ophelia’s repeated requests to at least go out and have a look.
The couple went off to change. Ophelia was back first, looking over Megan’s painting. It was her only nude, one of Theresa full frontal. The girl loved it but apologetically whispered she couldn’t pose naked like that, warning Megan not to even think about showing it to Gerhardt.
Just over a half hour later, Megan was showing them through what would be the girl’s bedroom, then over the rest of her large mud-brick house. In her large studio, they thumbed through some more frames on the floor, a varied selection of her past portraits. While she went back to the car for the painting in her boot, they both kept wandering about. As she tried to act blasé and put the painting behind some others the couple had already seen, her heart went into her mouth when Gerhardt strolled back and picked it up. He held it out and stared at it before making a terse negative statement in German, jabbing at it as he dictated a long rebuke to a blushing Ophelia.
Embarrassed, Ophelia hesitantly half-turned to Megan wringing her hands before her, trying to mentally paraphrase the loaded question he had dictated at the very end of his tirade. Megan prepared herself for the worst. His indignant stance as he still held it before him suggested to her the dream to put his young wife onto canvas may be about to vanish.
“Gerhardt wants me to ask you something,” the nervous Ophelia began. “He knows little English, almost none at all, but insists you giving him a direct answer to his question. So just use yes or no and use illegal bahis siteleri simple words to explain.” She paused and indicated the nude with a sweep of her arm before continuing “He wants to know whether you intend robbing me then beating me to death?”
Megan had a totally stunned look on her as the girl’s flushed face timidly lowered to the floor. She knew enough German to know exactly what he’d asked. Then she caught on.
“Oh God no”, she said looking straight into his face, maintaining the look and momentum of real shock as she vehemently shook her head. “No! I just wouldn’t do that to such a beautiful girl. Tell him that that was a one-off, something I did over two years ago.”
“Good. You’re my wife. It would be wrong to show too much of your body,” Megan understood him replying to his young wife, getting an obedient “Of course!” in German from her.
Through the girl, she went on to reassure them that there would of course be free time for Ophelia to read, explore or relax. He waved his hands in disdain, not the least interested in benefits for her.
Megan could tell from the way she was constantly looking around that the girl was absolutely rapt in the ambience of her place. And it was only with great difficulty that the artist contained her excitement when Gerhardt shrugged his approval. Yet she also felt sad for the girl. Megan knew now he just selfishly wanted to have his trip knowing his young wife was being safely baby sat.
The next morning was again warm and sunny. Leaning over, she opened the old car door. The lovely face between the cascading blonde hairs flashed the most fetching of smiles, exhilarating Megan. Dressed for the hot forecast, Ophelia had a sheer white summer blouse on, with the same drab shapeless one-piece swimming costume underneath. She was obviously halfway at home already, Megan thought, if she’s subtly hinting for a dip in the outdoor pool. Unable to believe her amazing luck getting to this point, the artist helped ease her heavy backpack over to the back seat. Gerhardt had already headed off on an earlier bus, Ophelia began, correctly surmising Megan might be wondering why he wasn’t there to wave goodbye.
The conversation before they arrived became more natural as the journey progressed. Ophelia had been attending a private girls’ school in England seven months ago, and had met Gerhardt soon after returning home. They had eloped to Australia within two months, a fact her parents were still yet to find out. They just thought she was travelling abroad with a friend.
Megan in turn explained she had given up a lucrative career in catwalk modelling six years ago, hardly returning to the city since coming up. She was only supposed to stay for two days to help Don dispose of this property, a third of it having been left to her in her aunt’s will. She had fallen in love with it though and had begged to buy out Don’s part of it instead. Some money she had also been left soon after provided a God-given chance to pursue a new career in portrait painting which she loved and knew she had some natural talent.
“It’s so lovely here. What do you do way out here when you’re not painting?” the girl had asked as they pulled up and got out. The girl grabbed her backpack straps and dropped it on the ground.
“Anything that pleases me and Rocky, my cat,” she said as the girl marvelled at the scenery surrounding them. “Artists and animals generally don’t obey a lot of the usual rules. You’ll find there aren’t many here.”
“By the way,” she added quietly, taking the girl’s hand in thanks. “I owe you a lot for going so far out of your way to convince your husband to let you pose.” She was astonished at how soft and warm the delicate hand felt, but touched as she saw the tears welling up.
“Thank you for telling my husband you at least think I’m beautiful,” Ophelia tried to say. Megan wondered if the new relationship may already be rocky. She guided the young body against hers and hugged it until the racking sobs stopped. Taking one strap of the girl’s backpack, she quietly helped her carry it to her bedroom, then slipped away
Just as Ophelia finished unpacking, Megan leaned in with glasses of wine in hand, suggesting a wander down the closest forest trail to get to know one another better.
“Let’s have a swim and some sun before lunch. I’ll grab some towels,” Megan suggested as their return trip neared the inviting pool. The girl eagerly smiled, peeling off her blouse off as Megan went the short distance to the house. By the time that she had spread the second towel by the chairs on the plush lawn, Ophelia had waded in up to her knees. Megan mischievously crept up from behind. Seizing the tiny waist, she spun them both wildly around. The two young women screamed as they hit the water together, rolling as they went under in one ungainly tangle.
The ice broken, they were both laughing as they surfaced. Ophelia suddenly became serious. She staring along the extended hands joining them. canlı bahis siteleri Megan guiltily lowered her eyes to her bare brown breasts and goose-bumped brown nipples. As the water turbulence settled, she could almost see some relief in the girl’s face as her lowering gaze found her purple bikini bottoms just under the surface.
The artist let go of the girl’s hands. Thank God she’d decided at the last minute to throw the bikini bottoms on. Had she still gone too far, too soon? The girl had turned and was quietly wading towards her towel. Was she upset?
It may have been Rocky who saved the day.
“Oh, is that your cat?” an instantly distracted Ophelia had cooed in a tone suggesting she had taken the small shock better than Megan believed. “I love cats. He’s just beautiful!” Rocky sat at the start of the forest trail looking their way.
“That’s mine all right,” Megan had smiled. Resisting the urge to put a T-shirt on, she stood hands on hips beside the girl focused on the black and white tomcat. When she called ‘Rocky’, the large cat bounded up the path towards them, slowing and checking out the stranger as he passed her.
“He’s so beautiful,” the girl cooed, stooping and patting him as he worked Megan’s ankles.
“And I’m so hungry, so it’s definitely time for me to bring some lunch out,” Megan announced tying back her long brown hair. “Stay here and get to know one another, you two,” she added as she walked off, the cat already purring away in Ophelia’s arms being stroked.
Returning with a tray a few minutes later, Megan sat in the chair beside the girl with bread, cheese and grapefruit juice. The girl kept patting Rocky madly purring away around her ankles between her eating and drinking. She now seemed at ease about Megan being topless as the artist leaned aside and put the leftovers back on the tray. Offering to also bring back two milkshakes as well, Megan headed into the house with Rocky’s erect tail trotting behind.
When she returned, she was pleased to see that Ophelia had lowered her one-piece to her waist and was sitting there, eyes closed, drinking in the sun. Megan was reminded that the girl was probably only just out of her teenage years. Like twin ski ramps, the firm flesh jutted proudly out from the flawless chest, narrowing banana-like towards each upturned end. Capping both rounded peaks were pale aureoles shaped like small mushroom tops, each tipped in turn by small flat button aimed slightly skywards.
They were halfway through their drinks when Rocky sauntered back. Amelia’s first thought to scare him off was vetoed when Ophelia extended a milky finger.
“Here Rocky,” the girlish soft voice called. Eagerly, Rocky jumped up onto her sun lounge, nose sniffing, scampering down the gap between the girl’s legs. Ophelia lured him closer and closer until he clambered onto her lap. As her hand pulled further back, he put one paw onto the middle of her bare chest and propped, the other swatting at the rising hand. Ophelia gave in and dropped her finger to let him suck.
Within minutes, he had had enough and was padding away in Ophelia’s lap before curling and going off to sleep. He hadn’t taken to anybody before like Ophelia. Not even Theresa, Megan mused.
This was as good a time as any. Raising her behind, Megan pushed the bikini bottoms down her sleek thighs. Easing them over her knees and feet, she dropped them beside her chair and closed her eyes in the late afternoon sun.
Rocky had gone by the time they had both woken. As the girl adjusted her costume, Megan replaced her bikini bottoms and suggested a simple pasta meal as they gathered wet towels and headed back to the house.
After dinner, the girl offered to wash the dishes up so Megan fetched the nude portrait of Theresa. Propping it behind the girl as she put the last plate away, she stood beside Ophelia and put an arm about her shoulders as she decided to share the thought gnawing at her.
“I had never done a nude,” Megan began.”But this girl almost demanded it, her face and body were so stunning. Just like yours. So this is how I think I would also like to paint you. But not if the idea offends you,” she put to the girl.
The girl again marvelled at the painting. “It is beautiful,” she murmured shyly. “I really love it and you truly have such a talent. But I would be so embarrassed taking my clothes off like that. And Gerhardt would say it’s wrong.”
“Well, he would have to shout a reminder very loudly from where he is now,” Megan scoffed. A hand rose to the lovely mouth, too late to mute Ophelia’s sputtering which in turn made Megan begin to laugh.
“I’d like to get under way tomorrow morning before it gets too hot? First thing after breakfast?” Megan continued as they recovered. “Don’t decide now. Think about it overnight and tell me what you want at breakfast about 7.30. Even if you say yes straight away, it’s unlikely you’ll need to be naked for some time.” The girl nodded vaguely, keenly absorbed in the portrait.
Both were ready for an early bed that night after dinner. Despite it being pleasantly warm, Megan loaned Ophelia a thick pair of pyjamas with a “You’ll need a pair of these tonight, for the chill that may come about three in the morning”.
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