The grass is cold underneath me, and I can only imagine how much worse its going to become. There’s birds up above, high in the trees and looking down on Justin and I as we lay in the garden.
“Okay,” he mutters. It’s the first time either of us has spoken in a while so it causes me to jump in surprise. “Take off your shirt and lie on your stomach, please,” he grins.
“How romantic,” I say as my T-shirt is travelling over my stomach, my chest, my neck and finally, is released from my body completely. The harsh wind breathes heavily onto my skin and I can already see the goosebumps forming; creating mountains all over my body.
Laying down on my stomach, the cold only worsens but I don’t complain. My nipples are being attacked by the grass which is almost wet due to how frosty the early January air is, I have to hold back a gasp when it feels knives against me.
“Thank you for doing this,” Justin says as he rummages through his bag. “I’ve dreamed of doing this ever since I met you.”
“Mhm.” He’s not looking at me, but at the multiple paint brushes - all of them ranging from small to large - while, I’m assuming, trying to choose which would be best to put to use. “It’s like putting art upon art.”
I don’t say anything; I’m secretly touched deeply by his words that I’m sure any words that leave my lips won’t be comprehendible, or of any relevance. Because of this, I merely wait for his next move.
“I’m not too sure what I’m gonna do yet, I’ll just see how it goes.”
“I’m sure whatever it is, it’s beautiful. I love your art.’
Looking at Justin, I could no longer see the full proportions of his face. Although, I could see a slight hint of pink creeping up his neck and I’m sure he was trying to hold back a big grin. I’m already aware Justin’s artwork means a lot to him, but seeing him getting so flustered over a compliment it receives makes it beautifully obvious. I smirk before turning back around.
“Okay, here we go,” he says and I feel him straddle my legs. I tangle my arms together and rest my head in the centre of them. It’s peaceful and I let myself appreciate the soft wind and the chirping birds.
I close my eyes when I feel the tip of Justin’s paintbrush grazing my shoulder blades. The sensation sends shivers down my spine and causes the hairs on my neck to stand to attention; as though a group of people have had their names called in unison and they all rise together. Following this, a feeling that resembles one of drops of water being released onto my back, and then it gliding through the dips and curves, sets through my skin. My eyes become heavy.
“Is that okay?” Justin whispers and it causes me to stir. I nod and hum in response. “Let me know if it gets uncomfortable or anything.”
“It’s relaxing,” I sigh and reposition my head in my arms. The movements the paintbrush is making seems a lot more confident now, meaning it’s pressing harder onto my skin, letting me feel every bristle that swipes across my skin.
I’m unaware how long it takes for Justin to complete the art he’s creating on back because I drift off ever so slightly; allowing the tingles and the cool of the paint to help me drift off into a light slumber. In fact, they’re helping me with so much triumph that I notice when they come to halt. The sudden feeling of nothing makes me stir.
“Well, hello there, Sleeping Beauty,” I hear Justin say, and a throaty chuckle follows directly behind. “Nice nap?”
“It was lovely, actually,” I grin but I know he can’t see it. I lean onto my elbows and rub my eyes with the palms of my hand; a burning sensation buzzes through them for a few seconds before I open them once more. “Are you done?”
He sighs. “I think so. I’m not sure how I feel about it right now, but I guess, yeah, it’s done.”
Justin climbs off of me and proceeds to help me stand by holding his hand out for me to take. I let my own slide into it with appreciation and I’m pulled to my feet in a matter of seconds; the grass is cold against the bottom of my feet.
I’m very aware of the fact that my chest is open to Justin’s eyes. I notice they burn bright as, for only a few seconds, they admire and relish in the sight, but out of, what I’m sure is politeness, Justin quickly averts his eyes to my face and gives me a warm smile.
“Let’s go inside, you must be freezing,” Justin says while resting his hand against my bare back, it does nothing but make shivers run over my body because they’re as cold as icicles. I try not to flinch away from his touch.
Walking through the back door and into the kitchen, I speed up once into the warmth of the house, partly because the cold was becoming too much to bare but also because I’m eager to see the final result of Justin’s idea.
“You wanna go upstairs and look at it?” Justin asks but by the time he’s finished his sentence, I’m already jogging towards the stairs. I can hear his laugh fading out as I move further up the stairs and closer to the bedroom. My anticipation is mixing with a dash of nervousness now.
My bedroom has closet with a mirror doing the job of the door of it, so as I walk in I’m instantly able to see my reflection, my next move is to turn around. I hesitate, but manage to do it eventually.
What I can see over my shoulder causes me to let out the tiniest puff of air. There’s a mix of reds, yellows, oranges and blues, all swirling together to create something breathtaking. It takes my eyes a few seconds to adjust to the patterns Justin has created, but they’ve seen the art and now, they don’t want to look away.
“What do you think?” Justin’s voice echoes through the room, at least, it sounds like it does; I’m unsure. “Do you like it?”
“I love it, Justin,” I breathe out, still looking at it as though it’s going to begin dancing for me, or something of the sort.
“I started by drawing little patterns across your shoulder blades; you can see them there,” he drew an invisible line that felt like a feather across my back because of his little pressure he put upon it, “but then I decided I wanted to draw a sunset, which you can see there,” and again, his pointer finger flutter across my lower back. “But then, I decided to paint this little otter; I don’t know why,” he muttered.
Even though there was multiple little pieces of art, they all seemed to blend and compliment each other; the blues - while contrasting prominently with the reds - somehow seemed to shift knowingly from a bright evening sky to a winding pattern that was almost snake-like, as though it knew the one job it must complete. The baby otter with its dark brown fur lay floating in a swirl of glittering blue water.
“You’re so talented. I love them,” I whisper, continuing to stare in awe. I almost don’t notice Justin coming up in front of me, so I jump when I feel his hands on my bare waist.
“You make my art even more beautiful. I want to use you as a blank canvas all the time.” His hands are warm, warmer than my own, and they create little patches of heat on my skin and attempts to fill the entire surface of my body.
Before I could even comprehend what was happening, Justin had laid me down onto the bed sitting quietly in the centre of the room, and began to leave hot kisses down my neck. We spent a long period of time there; sweating, panting, moaning and grunting like wild animals. We would stop every now and then to catch our breath and even when we’d insist on that being the last time we collapsed and fell apart, our hands would somehow find each other’s bodies once more and we’d fall back into a rhythm that became so familiar.
Justin loves to create art, his reasoning being that it acts as an escape and it fills him with a sense of being that almost nothing else can replicate, at least that’s what he told me when I asked. That night, Justin created two pieces of art - one being intentional, the other being totally unpredicted. As I writhed beneath him, throwing my legs around his torso while his hands gripped my hips, I failed to remember the paint covering my back.
As we rose from the bed, hours later with dishevelled hair and sweat-coated bodies, the bedsheets on which we laid became, just like I had, a blank canvas for yet another piece of artwork. The colours merged mercilessly, the blues and reds had blended into a deep purple and the reds and yellows; orange. Instead of the otter, there was a large smear of faded brown that looked out of place with all the bright colours.
Justin seemed satisfied with the outcome and I caught him staring at it for just a few moments longer than I had. I could see the familiar satisfaction in his eyes while a small smile matched the redness of his cheeks.