|Art and Vulnerability|
|Location||Gagosian Gallery - New York City|
|Warning: There is some sexy time stuff. (Ask your parents about it if you have questions.)|
Of its sixteen locations around the globe, the Gagosian gallery for contemporary and modern art boasts five active spaces in New York alone. Reputed for its museum quality exhibitions, the site on Madison Ave leaves very little to be desired. The gallery is spacious and sophisticated.
During the day, the gallery’s many showrooms are filled with clean, naturally occurring sunshine. This evening for those VIP patrons, the Gagosian has dimmed the lights so to speak. Cool, transient music comes and goes from inlaid speaker system throughout the building. The varying ambient tones create a sexy, dreamlike atmosphere. The newest exhibition, a German artist by the name of Johan Rathgab, is awash with tired, repetitive themes.
Those in attendance, the creme de la creme of the New York arts scene, practically get down on all fours lick the overly-confident young artist’s boots. This certainly has nothing to do with Rathgab’s chiseled good looks, which have charmed many of the wealthy socialites in attendance this evening, all of whom appear eager to own a piece of his ...work.
Alistair is looking bored. Handsome, tall, and distinguished (and still very ginger) in an appropriately expensive suit cut to flatter his tall lean frame (not a tuxedo; the event doesn't quite rate). It's not clear whether the boredom is due to the art, the society, or is just habit. He may have come here with others, but at the moment he's broken from whatever company he had, and is standing by one of the pieces, pointedly ignoring it, as he reads the gallery's program for the event with a quirked eyebrow that indicates deep skepticism of its contents.
The crowd parts to reveal a young woman with large, thoughtful eyes and sleek, blackish hair. In a sea of black shift dresses, she wears one of playful canary gold and highly questionable length. The garment is held onto her body by little more than a clasp around her throat and leaves much of her tan legs exposed. She balances with cautious grace on a pair of expensive, knife-like stilettos. Accentuated by tasteful, smokey eyeshadow, she looks away from her date in subtle unresponsiveness as he snakes up a hand to press against the small of her clean, exposed back. In her best impression of a certifiable Bond girl, she slowly pops out the slope of her hip in order to curve tenuously away from the unwelcome contact. Her date, one Richard Buchanan, is a well-known playboy and confirmed bachelor of a certain age with a reputation for plucking pretty little ingenues out of obscurity.
With a droll expression, Tiffany rolls her head on her neck and mumbles a very noncommittal response to the small cluster of blustering egomaniacs that surround her. They all chortle quietly in dignified but ernest amusement. “Richard, I adore this one. She’s positively cheeky,” an older woman purrs in delight, swatting a hand not at Tiffany but at Buchanan.
Drawing her attention away, Tiffany’s eyes fall on Alistair from across the room. After contemplating the familiar, yet mysterious (and yes, very ginger) associate of X-Factor Solutions, she slowly tilts her head the other way. She flashes him a brief, provocative look meant to encourage his interest before turning back to respond to a question posed to her. Whatever her flat-toned response may be, more laughter follows.
Alistair is not reading his program closely enough not to feel a look in his direction. He glances up. A brief expression of consternation crosses his face as he recognizes Tiffany--at his worlds colliding, perhaps? A moment later, and his quirked eyebrow only quirks higher. He lowers said program, and makes his way toward Tiffany and company, moving at a slow, unhurried saunter, as if he is going nowhere in particular and they just happen to be in his way.
"Ms. Newetner happens to be quite the poetess," Buchanan explains, turning his chin up that much higher at not having trotted out yet another ballerina.
Their accompaniment hums in vague, unintelligible admiration.
"Poetess, in this instance, is a very unwelcome exotification," Tiffany educates her onlookers with cool apathy as she pats Buchanan's lapel. She tries to press a smile to her lips, but it is brief and diminutive. Her eyes rise up to lock onto Alistair once more, this time prompting the rest of the small group of his ilk to turn their attention to him as well.
"I would think," says Alistair smoothly, without troubling to introduce himself or otherwise indicate he hasn't been part of this conversation, "that 'poetess' is something of a troubling label. Others may disagree."
"She's had worse," Buchanan contends with dry humor as he slides a hand around Tiffany's slender waist.
With a practiced apathetic expression, she places a hand on her date's shoulder and leans into him for support. (She's wearing fucking stilettos.) Still on Alistair, her gaze is as unwavering as it is penetrating. "And much more troubling, if you can believe it," she agrees with dark implication, fluttering her eyelashes.
The peanut gallery chuckles.
Alistair's eyebrow remains quirked, politely questioning of all. "That doesn't mean one should continue with more minor trouble," he says mildly, his blue gaze meeting Tiffany's dark one. "It might seem..." His lips quirk up a little, "a trifle ungallant."
"I've always been of the impression that the level of gallantry one receives, in these sort of circles, is often directly correlated to a person's pedigree," Tiffany observes nonchalantly before turning to regard her date, "Or commodity." It causes him to blush and fluster but he is soon saved as the occupants of the gallery have their attention called to a great spectacle unveiling. In the shifting crowd, Tiffany and her date casually separate from Alistair and the little cluster.
As the course of the evening continues, Tiffany eventually finds herself unguarded and alone as she stares up at a canvas marred with great splashes of color.
"I probably have the wrong sort of mind for these events," murmurs Alistair, voice a low Scottish rumble as he steps behind Tiffany, "I am entirely too practical and lacking in art appreciation--and so on. I look at that and wonder if it is really a painting or if someone framed the drop cloth from his studio."
Tiffany appears unsurprised by the sudden voice. Although she does look briefly down and back up, she remains facing the painting itself. “I’m more literary, myself,” she admits before elaborating, “Theater. Really, anything but this.” Her large eyes shift over her shoulder in Alistair’s direction before she arches forward to inspect the small white paper posted just beneath the canvas. “Hm,” she hums, “Two grand. How much did you pay for your washrags? About the same?”
Alistair snorts at this. He remains where he is, standing a step behind her, his eyes on the back of her head. "Oh, I'm hardly that extravagant." His voice is somewhere between amused and dry, with a roll on the r's. "Quality washcloth construction generally only runs three figures."
Amused by his answer, Tiffany gives him a look that says as much before returning her attention to the art. "Hmf," she huffs in an audible sound of disapproval as if to say, 'So, you're cheap.' Staggered as they are, with Tiffany still showing Alistair the back of her head ...the backless element of her dress leaves much of her spine exposed to him as well. Catlike, the young psionic slowly winds her body, shifting her weight from one hip to the other.
"That's true quality washrags," explains Alistair. He must have edged a little closer, if so silently, because his presence feels warmer and closer, his voice coming from somewhere just above her head. "Designed to last for centuries and be handed down to your grandchildren in your will. Two thousand dollar washrags...those are all bling and hype. Purely for the nouveau riche."
Tiffany’s lashes flutter and coyly, she brings up a hand to pet down her shiney, straightened hair. “Yes, I believe my older sister is currently in possession of our grandmother’s Elizabethan Era scrap cloths.” She reclines her head, arching her neck so as to expose some of its flesh to whomever might be behind her as she runs her fingers through her hair for a second time, “Unfortunately, I don’t stand to inherit them unless she’s baron. It’s an object of great contention at family gatherings.”
"My aunt actually has what family legend claims is a handkerchief once belonging to Mary, Queen of Scot," volunteers Alistair, gaze lingering, first on that painting, and then on the arch of neck. "She thinks it might be a convenient rag with a legend, however." He lowers his head, voice close to her ear now, cheek half an inch from hers, and whispers, as if imparting a comment of great intimacy, "It has a very interesting stain." His gaze flicks back to the painting. "So you have escaped your jailer?"
Curving her body to accommodate the closeness without initiating physical contact, Tiffany pants out another amused breath. She turns cautiously to the side so that the pair may as well be cheek to cheek, "/My/ jailer?" She asks. Her large eyes linger on Alistair's mouth before sliding up to meet his eyes with a glint of mischief. The young woman offers a whisper of her own. "You misunderstand our dynamic."
"Do I?" murmurs Alistair in return, the faintest hint of an upward turn at one corner of his mouth. "You seemed to be trying to wriggle away. It seemed the kindest tone." He considers her face for a moment, her lips, her eyes, before wondering, "Is this an X-Factor job or am I simply not the only one here with double lives that I never thought the twain shall meet?"
"That much was true," Tiffany concedes wryly with a pleasant roll of her eyes. The corners of her mouth upturn very slightly before returning to their usual flatline, "Oh, this isn't a job. And I would never resort to leading a double life." Very cautiously pivoting to face Alistair, Tiff brings up a hand to gently adjust the collar of his shirt. "I just don't have the luxury of declining when a ...powerful," she presses her fingers to his tie to smooth it down, "...wealthy ...handsome man practically resorts to self-flagellation to get me to accompany him to a glamourous event." ... "I'm not a monster." Finishing, she returns her hands to her sides, inspecting Alistair's clothing briefly, "There, that's better."
"Is it?" asks Alistair, with a quirk of a eyebrow. "I thought it was adequately straight before." He reaches up with one hand to ever-so-lightly rumple his tie. "Such a burden, miss. I do feel your pain. And your aggravation, and your boredom." He considers her for a moment. "Do powerful, wealthy and handsome men often abduct you to cultural events?"
"A lot can change in the course of an evening," Tiffany says of the tie. Her eyebrows flit in a vague gesture as she steps carefully away. She prowls the few steps it takes to reach the next painting, "They've been known to try."
"And do many of them succeed?" wonders Alistair, following along beside her. His hands are folded safely behind him, but he walks very close, fitting his long stride to hers. "Although," he adds, lowly, with glance down her legs to those daring stilettos, "I can understand the temptation."
“Sadly, most of them are lured to their deaths,” Tiffany frowns as she extends a leg, sliding back to take in the horrible work of art in before them. This one is even larger, taking up nearly the entire expanse of wall. She clucks, turning to eye him dubiously. Tsk. “Women succeed more often, but then we are the superior sex.”
"Are you trying to bait me with gender politics?" wonders Alistair, with an air of innocence, turning his gaze to the painting. "Sometimes," he murmurs, "I wonder if the entire New York art scene is, in fact, an immense joke played on people with more money than sense." His mouth twitches. "I'm sure you and a woman make a much prettier picture than this."
"Don't stop at the art scene." Tiffany smirks. She takes a short moment to observe the painting once more before slowly closing the distance between Alistair and herself. For a fraction of a second, the fabric that stretches over her breasts comes close to bushes up against Alistair's arm. "If I had this painting, I would lay it down on the ground," Tiffan whispers into the man's ear, "I would unclasp my dress and let it fall to my feet, crawl onto the canvas on my hands and knees. And I would make real art." Continuing her steps, Tiffany's heels click as she begins to saunter away.
Alistair stands very still, his gaze on Tiffany instead of the painting. He lets out a long slow breath as she turns to saunter away, and tilts his head in her direction. He does not chase after her, only asking, voice a low rumble just loud enough to reach her, "Is art, in your world, a solo experience?"
Fortunately for Alistair, Tiffany is in no position to make any quick migration. Only an arm's length away, she tosses her inky colored hair as she slows to a stop. Her heel gives an audible click over the soft music that bleeds out in the air around them. She brings up a hand to toy with a gold teardrop earring as she herself is lured back towards him. It's just one step. Her heel clicks. Her eyes go wide, dulling sadly as she considers his face, "Have you ever looked into a woman's eyes, while she brings herself to climax?" Satisfied with her earring, she drops her fingertips to the protrusion of her collarbone through her dress. Her tone drops ruefully, "Without having to penetrate her?" The implication, by her voice, may very well be that it is a highly interactive experience.
Alistair's lips curve into what is almost a smile. He takes a step--his legs are long; it's a short step--and catches her by the hip. "Oh," he replies, voice low, brilliant blue eyes fixed on hers, "trust me--I am a man of many experiences." His fingers curve about her hip, the warmth of them clear through the thin silk. His next words are a mere husky breath: "And that's _art_."
Although she does arch to accommodate him, Tiffany brings down a hand to clasp tenderly around his wrist. She doesn't apply any real pressure. It's just a faint touch, as if to soothe a savage beast. "Don't touch the art." Her own lips curve up. Her own eyes aren't blue, but dark and warm.
Her yellow dress, which still has its tags tucked away out of sight, will drop to her feet just as predicted. That is, should the evening proceed on its current course. All borrowed or lent, the young woman's expensive adornments will predictably shed away, leaving her just as vulnerable and exposed as she is in her poetry.
"Some art is made to be touched," Alistair tells her, his voice a low tease, but he lifts his fingers from her hip, slowly, so the ghost of the touch lingers. He leans down and over, his cheek once again almost, but not quite, touching hers, and that almost-touch, with only half a millimetre of air between them is almost more electrifying than an actual touch, so tantalizingly almost. He whispers two words into her ear, "Show me."
Resistant to playing the role of doe-eyed filly, Tiffany only tremors minorly at the sudden absence of Alistair's touch. Although as strong-willed as any psionic ought be, she is also gentle and patient.
Once alone with the man, she steps away and watches him as her small hands reach behind her head. Her arms are upraised as the thin fabric of her armor slides away. Tiffany loses several inches without her heels and the difference in the pair's heights only works to further accentuate her fragility. Stepping back from him with shivering feet, she travels only a short distance before lying back. Letting out a letting out a sweet, feminine chirp, she watches him as her hands begin to gently roam over her body.
Alistair ushers her off to a hotel. It's a really nice hotel room, but that scarcely matters; it's simply important it's private and alone.
He watches. He unties his tie with a sudden movement of his fingers, but otherwise remains clothed and armoured, his gaze sweeping the vulnerability of her skin. He is patient, a paragon of self-control, only the heat of his blue gaze and the hitch in his breath betraying his desire, as he offers a few gentle instructions. He's old enough to manage the control _not_ to touch.
Transparent as her current situation quickly becomes, it is not so difficult to perceive that Tiffany wants him, too. Inspired by the loosening of his tie, she relies on her imagination rather that inviting him to join her. The dark haired young woman chews on her lips as she moves fluidly over the course of the night from facing him on her knees to squirming about on her stomach to spreading her legs while she lies on her back. She is never furious. Never fucking. Always gentle and loving. With her eyes still on Alistair, when Tiffany finally does cry out at the height of passion and emotion, before abandoning him to return to her life of squalor, it is her at her most exposed.It takes tremendous self-control to watch her and not leap on her. It's clear in the way Alistair's hands entwine, clinging to each other and the material of his loosened tie, white showing at the knuckles. But she set the terms, and he holds to them, watching her with eyes dark with desire, with all the passion and admiration of a true lover of art. Even as he watches her exposed curves, the way she moves, the way she is laid bare to him with his peripheral vision, his eyes remain on hers, locked fast as he savours the leap of desire and pleasure. When she cries out at climax, he exhales, too, a sudden savage noise. And as she leaves him, he remains sitting where he is, alone with his appreciation.