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Passion part 3 by Fantasy Weaver
1:It's been an eternity and a half since I've actually looked at this site, or this story for that matter. The last time this was updated was in 2017. Oops. Well I'm updating now and leaving most of the story as is, if not changing a few -juicy- details as I see fit. Wonderful to be back.
2:Some slightly adult content ahead.
It was a chilly Friday night. As Jasper opened the door to the apartment, he sighed in happiness to be in warmth again. Sebastian greeted the man as he took off his coat.
"Hey, how was the barbershop?"
Jasper came up to him and planted a firm kiss on his forehead. "Busy. I barely got any time to myself today."
Sebastian slid his hands along the barber’s abdomen until his thumbs hooked in the waistband of the man’s pants. "It’s better than not having any customers at all."
"Well when you put it that way, yes." He smiled.
The two men set about preparing diner together.
During their meal, Jasper asked Sebastian if he minded trimming his hair. Sebastian readily agreed.
"I’ll shear you down but I don’t want to tonight, if you don’t mind" the raven offered.
Jasper didn’t question him about it. "Sure, that’s fine with me."
When they were alone in the bathroom, and Jasper was seated on a stool, Sebastian got the necessary tools out to cut the white hair. During their time together, Jasper had taught him basic barbering techniques, and the younger of the two had been happy to learn.
He took out the box for the clipper. As he did so, he turned towards his lover.
The pale man thought for a moment before replying, "An inch at the top, half on the sides."
Sebastian nodded and got out the corresponding attachments. After having done the adjustments, he plugged the machine in and fired them up. During that time, the barber had rid himself of his shirt.
Sebastian started at the bottom of his boyfriend’s nape and moved the clippers half way up his head. A small mound of platinum locks were freed. They fell silently to the floor.
As he concentrated on the task at hand, and smiling at the way Jasper hummed in appreciation, the raven’s mind thought of something else. Now would be a good time to ask for Jasper’s approval, as the man was at his mercy and only half aware of what he would be saying. Sebastian smirked; he would never use such underhanded methods, but at moments like these, Jasper was brutally honest, and that’s what he wanted.
"Jasper?" he asked quietly as the clippers made another pass up his head.
"Hm?" the man hummed.
Another swipe of the clippers. "Do you like it when I make drawings of you?"
With his red eyes half-closed, the older questioned, "Of course I do; why wouldn’t I?"
Sebastian moved over to his left side and started shearing at the hair there. "I was just wondering is all. Because I really like drawing you."
Now Jasper had his eyes completely closed. He purred as Sebastian’s hand caressed his scalp. "Then I must be a good model, huh?"
"Definitely. Any artist would want you as their model." It was working, he was sure of it.
Jasper’s brow furrowed. "I would only want to be a model for you though."
"Really?" This was going well. He continued, moving on to the right side. The clippers sheared a patch behind his ear. "So you wouldn’t mind showing up in some of my works? In public?"
The barber thought for a moment, but eventually said, "As long as you’re the one doing it, I don’t mind being one of your masterpieces."
This made a very pleased smile grace Sebastian’s face. ‘Excellent’ he thought. He turned the clipper off, changed the attachment, then ran the machine across the top of Jasper’s head. The man was nearly asleep.
"Am I doing okay?" the raven asked softly.
"More than okay. Don’t forget to blend."
After a few more minutes, the clippers turned off and were unplugged. Jasper yawned as he inspected his reflection in the mirror. "It looks good. Thanks."
"You’re welcome" Sebastian replied with a smile.
Jasper dusted himself and looked at his lover. "Let’s take shower and go to bed, okay?"
With half lidded eyes and his best come hither expression, Sebastian ran his fingers all the way down Jasper’s chest to stop just short of his prize. "Not to sleep I hope?" he pouted.
Jasper grabbed his raven hair at the nape and pulled lightly. "What do you think?"
"You’re going to do what?" Scarlet blurted out when Sebastian explained his project to her.
Currently, himself, Nicolas and Scarlet were sitting in his studio discussing the details of his final project. Sun was bathing the room in a golden glow from the floor to ceiling windows. Long shadows crept across the floor from where the drawing table and easel were blocking the light.
"You heard me," Sebastian said, not wanting to repeat himself. "Look this is going to be a shock for me, and probably for him, but it’s something I really want, really need to do."
"Listen," Nicolas took on, "I feel honored that you would want to include us in it, but shouldn’t you think this over? You’re basically telling the world you have a hair fetish. Doesn’t that bother you even a bit?"
"Of course it does," Sebastian confessed. "But, I already thought this over. I want to do it. I don’t care what people will think of me after."
"Even your parents?"
Sebastian turned to look at Scarlet with incredulity. Her green eyes were full of worry and concern for him.
"If they disown me," the raven replied in a slow and controlled manner, "so be it."
His two friends sent each other looks that conveyed there was nothing they could do to change Sebastian’s mind.
"Alright, I guess we’re in" Scarlet announced, and Nicolas nodded in agreement.
Sebastian stood up and clapped his hands together. "Then let’s not waste any time. Scarlet, you brought your camera right?"
"Yeah." The woman showed the expensive manual/digital Nikon camera. "I have an empty card, my tripod and a spare battery."
"Good, then let’s set up the studio."
The three set about clearing away unnecessary equipment and various stools to make a clean spot to unroll the white background sheet. Nicolas pulled on the chain and let the eight-foot large roll of paper unwind to the floor. Scarlet and Sebastian busied themselves with setting up the proper lighting.
"Do you want harsh lighting or soft lighting? Or in between?" the red-head asked as she took out the reflective parasols to attach to the lamps.
"Soft lighting won’t do, but harsh lighting will make too many shadows, so in between should be good. If not, we’ll make adjustments afterward."
Nicolas finished placing wood blocks on the corners of the sheet so it wouldn’t roll up, so he helped Scarlet with the lamps. He turned to Sebastian. "What about the pose? I mean, you said you wanted to convey the feeling of submission, so maybe you should do a nude pose?"
The raven thought for a moment. "That might actually be a good idea, though we’d only see my chest, so I guess I’ll just take my shirt off."
The three art majors kept discussing of various details regarding the photo shoot. When the scene was set, and Sebastian had removed his shirt, he took up position. The only woman in the room for her part was in the camera position. Nicolas stayed back for a moment.
As Scarlet made the necessary adjustments on the camera, she frowned. As a test, she took a picture, showed it to Sebastian, and got the same reaction. "Not enough shadows."
"Nicolas," the red haired girl looked at the blonde. "Take that lamp and hold it up over here" she said while pointing to the position she wanted him to take.
The man did as he was told and held the lamp up, moving it around until Scarlet and Sebastian were happy with the outcome.
"How many poses?" Scarlet asked.
Sebastian looked at her with a challenge in his eye. "As many as you can."
For what seemed like the hundredth time that evening, Sebastian right-clicked, selected delete, and confirmed.
After the shoot that day, they had transferred all the pictures into the raven’s laptop. Now the most boring part was left to him; deciding which photos to keep, and which ones to throw away. But, he had made sure to back up all the photos on a USB key before hand. Lord knew how bad he felt about losing some of his unsaved projects.
The poses were good, but he wished he had done something more with them. But he couldn’t have, or the whole piece would’ve been ruined by that one little detail. So he would let his mind work a bit to get just the right position on the canvas. As long as the overall pose was there, he didn’t mind; he could always Photoshop the picture if need be. Besides, he was an expert at hyper-realism. It was a gift really.
His mind snapped out of its daze when his ears picked up on the sound of Jasper’s keys in the door. With as much rapidity as he could muster, he saved the changes he had made and closed his laptop. He was putting the computer in its carrier just as Jasper was entering.
Sebastian greeted him as he came in. The barber did the same as he removed his snow-encrusted boots. When the task had been accomplished, the platinum haired man came over to his lover.
"Hi, how was your day?" he asked with a smile.
"Hectic" the younger replied.
As Sebastian came to give his barber a kiss, he stopped just short of his lips. His nose picked up on the scent of Witch Hazel and the spicy cologne Jasper always wore. As if in a trance, he let his face fall to the man’s neck and inhaled deeply.
Jasper looked confused at first, but then he let himself laugh at the raven’s sudden interest in his scent. He placed one of his hands on the mop of black hair beneath his chin and stroked.
"Why do you always smell so good, you bastard?" Sebastian complained. "You have no idea what it does to me."
The barber scoffed. "Says the guy who enjoys walking around naked in the house. Do you want to know how many times I had to restrain myself to not jump you when your back was turned?"
Jasper felt the man smirk on his neck. "I wouldn’t have minded."
With a strong hand, the pale man grabbed Sebastian’s ass. The man returned the favor with equal force. "Don’t tempt me, Sebastian" was the feral warning Jasper gave him.
With a triumphant smirk, the raven detached himself from his lover. "Fine."
The stapler made a loud snapping sound that echoed off the walls of the studio. Hands lifted the canvas to inspect their stitching work. Satisfied, the owner of the hands set the canvas down. On to the other.
So far, it looked like Jasper hadn’t caught on to what he was doing. And it didn’t look like he would be asking him about it too much. Besides, Sebastian had always made a point of not revealing what his projects were until they were done. It was something the barber was used to by now.
A lock of black hair fell into his grey eyes and, with an annoyed huff, he placed it back as it had been. It just detached itself again, making the raven sigh in agitation. The man went to dig around in his bag for something he had brought just in case his hair started doing this. With a resigned huff, he tied the cloth bandana around his head, making sure his fringe was tucked in and wouldn’t bother him.
Had Jasper been there, he would have probably suggested an imminent haircut, or even something as drastic as getting his head shaved -something he was actually quite tempted to do just now- but that would ruin what he had planned for the showing. He couldn’t have that.
His hand reached out to the next canvas frame and brought it over. He measured out the canvas cloth and tore it down to size. It would be five feet by four feet, small compared to his largest nine by five canvas.
After having placed the frame on the material, he grabbed the stapler and started attaching the cloth in place. The same loud snapping could be heard again. He was used to it by now. He remembered the first time stitching his own canvases and nervously jumping every time the sound echoed off the walls. Today it’s nothing more than another sound (it actually made him think of the snap of another tool…).
As he did his work, he thought of the colors he would need to buy. He had some paint already, but he wouldn’t have enough. A good bluish black and matte black would need to be purchased, as well as titanium white and cadmium red. He might need a tube more of cobalt blue and canary yellow…
An hour went by and he was already at the gesso phase. He coated all canvases with one even coat of the white acrylic base, waited, gave them another coat, then waited again, and added a final coat.
While he waited for the final coat to dry, he opened his laptop, opened his search engine and went online shopping for some of his other materials.
Upon doing a stupid test of a search entry, he stumbled upon the oddest -yet most fascinating- discovery: aftershave scented candles.
He ordered a dozen with a cheeky grin.
There were two other interesting scents: hot towel and hair tonic.
He couldn’t resist the temptation.
After another hour of waiting and impulsive purchases, Sebastian sanded down the rough gesso layer on the canvases until they were as smooth as Jasper’s shaves -something quite smooth he must admit.
Taking the first canvas, he took up his 4h pencil and started doing the lines of his painting.
Sebastian was barely aware that he had been working until noon, that is, before someone knocked at his studio door. With a small jump, as he hadn’t been paying much attention to the world around him, he got off his seat and went to open the door. It couldn’t be Nicolas or Scarlet; they usually just let themselves in without knocking.
Once the door was opened, it turned out to be Helen. The teacher gave him a smile before allowing herself in.
"Sorry to bother you, but we have to note your progress on your piece" the woman announced.
With her, she carried a satchel bag and a clipboard in her hands. There were numerous papers stuck in the clip, and a pencil hanging off a cord.
Sebastian moved back to where he had been sketching on his canvases. Two where already all drawn out, one was halfway done, which left one small one and the huge one to go. Helen noted his progress on her sheets as he explained exactly what he had been up to. He even showed her the pictures he and his friends had taken, as well as showing her the list of things he had ordered off his laptop.
The teacher squinted her eyes at something. "Aftershave scented candles?"
Sebastian felt his face get hot and quickly closed the tab. "Yes, well, anyway…"
"That must be an intriguing smell" Helen interrupted with a thoughtful expression. Though upon seeing that her pondering was making her student uncomfortable, she returned to the more important matter. "I wanted to talk about where we’d be placing the installation. After all, you did say you wanted it to be an immersive experience."
Sebastian nodded. "Yes. I hope asking for a whole room to myself is not too much. I don’t want to be a bother to anyone else."
The woman shook her head. "It shouldn’t be a problem. We always get authorization from the museum of contemporary art to reserve the whole place to ourselves. After all, they help support the art program here, and we give donations to them each year. They return the favor by giving us the place for the student’s showing." She paused to dig around in her satchel bag. After a moment, she produced a sheet which showed the layout of the gallery. "Take a look at the rooms and choose one."
Sebastian’s grey eyes scanned the floor plan. In his head, he tried imagining what the end product would look like in each gallery, but was unable to make a decision.
"Do you think it’s okay if I go take a look at the gallery in person?" he asked.
"I’ll call the manager so he can show you around. Is any time good for you?"
He nodded, and Helen noted this on a sticky note to remember.
Once other minor details concerning the raven’s installation were smoothed over, Helen decided to move on to another part of the showing.
"Did you have any idea which group you wanted to be in to prepare the showing?"
Sebastian had almost forgotten about that. It was customary for the students to organize most of the opening night (or private viewing as it was known to them). There needed to be people in charge of budget, sponsorship, food and drink, photography and more, all interconnected and in contact with each other at all times.
He suddenly felt a bit nervous in that regards. He hadn’t taken into account having to show up to regular meetings -meetings in which his time was wasted on something other than his art.
He thought for a moment. Each option was weighed and verified in his mind. The responsibilities of each department were taken into account, the amount of time needed to be invested… He needed to fit one of them into his busy schedule.
There was one option that was best suited for him when he thought about it. The more he did, the more he could see it working in his favor.
"Is there any room left on the sponsor group?" he questioned.
Sebastian’s teacher went through the papers on her clipboard before looking back up at him "There’s one place left. Do you want it?"
"Yes, I’ll take it."
She confirmed with him and wrote down his name in the appropriate section. Once all was done, she stood up to leave.
"Well, that was it for today. Just to let you know, the sponsor group was planning to meet tomorrow during the free period." She started going towards the door, but turned around as she remembered something. "Oh, and don’t forget that the lead group will be coming by to see how you’re doing. It’s just my job as a teacher to make sure where you’re at too." With that, Helen left.
At the mention of the lead group, Sebastian grit his teeth.
The simple thought of them was making him cringe. The lead group was comprised of students which others in the program, like himself, despised. They were the kind of people who think themselves high and above "vermin" like himself. While he had a strong liking for old art (Renaissance, but Baroque in particular was his favorite), these people prided themselves in their affinity for contemporary art.
Now, Sebastian had nothing against contemporary art. After all, what he was doing could very much be considered contemporary. Hyper realism had only been around for a few years. But he enjoyed passing his time among idealized and coveted paintings by Rembrandt for example. Spending his time among contemporary art just didn’t spark him like traditional art did.
The teachers understood his preferences, while encouraging his use of more modern techniques and themes, but never truly imposing per se. The lead group students however were quite radical in their thinking. "It wasn’t true art" they would say. Sebastian could understand their point of view, as many artists back then were forced to do their work and never made anything for themselves. Yet, who were the ones present in history books? Besides, those students couldn’t even come close to the old masters in terms of technique.
In any case, Sebastian simply did not like their "holier than thou" attitude and their snobbish remarks. They could burn in hell for all he cared. But, proper etiquette prevailing, he never voiced any of his concerns regarding them and acted like the proper gentleman around them.
Most of the time…
After having eaten, Sebastian set back to work. He had just barely touched his pencil to his canvas when the door swung open.
Speak of the devil and he shall come, as the saying goes. The lead group, comprised of three LOVELY students -one man, two women- and, unfortunately, one sorry young girl whom Sebastian actually got along quite well with, barged into his studio uninvited.
The man let his eyes land on the girl, or Leah as most knew her. When he looked at her, he was always reminded of himself as a teenager. This girl however had not gotten over her anxiety it seemed. In the intimidating shadows of the three other students, she blended into the background, unseen, except only by those who knew how it felt to be ignored.
Her small frame was always covered with a soft, woolly sweater that seemed three times too big for her. Her skin was pale, as though she had not spent much time in the sun, and her blonde waves were always loose about her shoulders. Her doe-like features were only accentuated by a pair of large chocolate brown eyes framed by long lashes.
Her intentions for having joined the lead group were, to Sebastian, clear as day; she was a pacifist by nature, and having her in the lead group could calm some of the tension between certain students. She probably knew this too. She kept order and wanted to encourage rather than admonish her fellow students.
"Van Neste" one of the young women, a bossy female by the name of Charlie, greeted him none too kindly. She had always called him by his last name for some unknown reason.
Charlie had obviously dyed reddish-brown hair with a square fringe tied in a short ponytail. One should not be fooled by her round face and soft features, all kept innocent looking with a pair of round wire-frame glasses. She was as severe as could come.
"I hope we’re not interrupting" said the other woman, a tall girl named Vanessa.
Contrary to Charlie, her attitude matched the sharpness of her face. She had a pointy nose and chin, with small eyes and a perky mouth. She made a point of always wearing the most ridiculously high high-heels, which only added to her already imposing height. Her hair was flat and very damaged by days of ironing it down to straight perfection. And, thanks to Jasper, the extensions in her hair were quite easy to spot.
Finally, the only guy on the lead group. He remained silent for now, but later, Sebastian knew, he would be contributing to the conversation they were about to have. His name was Alex -short for Alexander. His pale brown hair was wavy and stopped just short of his shoulders. Though quite long, it was incredibly thin; probably the product of bad genes from his parents. He was one of those guys that wore turtlenecks and looked like he always had something to say. Needless to say, he and Sebastian didn’t get along all that well.
The four students took seats on the various stools and chairs in the room. The three members of "royalty" sat opposite the raven, while Leah, with her kind-hearted nature, sat down beside him. He gave her a curt nod of acknowledgement. To his surprise, the girl actually blushed.
"Alright" Alex started, deciding he would lead the conversation for now. "Since we need to help the poster designers to make the design for our showing, we need to know what all of the graduates’ chosen themes are. That way, we-"
"Can find a common ground to have a base for the poster design; I know." Sebastian interrupted. He was not too happy to have the group here at the moment. He wanted this to be done quickly so he could move on with his work.
Vanessa sneered at him in what was probably supposed to be a patient and kind smile. Well, it didn’t work on him "Right, well, what’s your theme, your concept?"
Sebastian looked at the three pompous students in front of him. With the most unapologetic expression, he said, "I can’t -and don’t particularly want to- really tell you. It would ruin my concept." Charlie was about to retort when he sent her a glare and cut her off before she could mutter anything. "I will tell you that it involves worship and desire mixed in with a little self-fiction. That’s it."
Charlie gave him a look. "We need more than that."
"Really?" Sebastian looked unalarmed. "You said you needed a theme and a concept. That’s what I gave you."
Leah spoke for the first time since entering the room. "He is right though guys. We have what we need…"
"Yeah, but he could give us a bit more," Alex retorted. "The teachers did tell us it was important to explain our concept after all."
With a challenging look in his eye, Sebastian smirked. "You want me to explain my concept? Fine."
Before he could start, it occurred to him just how much he had changed. A few years ago, he would have never imagined himself having such a heated argument with people his age. He had been way too shy back then. He thanked Jasper for having awoken a beast of confidence within him.
He took a breath. "I already explained the whole concept to Helen and John. I also explained to them why it was important for the project that they kept most of that concept a secret for now."
"But-" Vanessa started.
"I’m not finished" Sebastian cut off. "What I have in mind has something to do with me. It’s about something which, counting Helen and John, only five people know about. That’s excluding myself of course. Revealing what that is also part of my piece. If I told you in detail everything about my project now, the whole thing wouldn’t work as it was intended to." He took a breath. "In conclusion, work with what I just gave you."
The lead group was silent for a minute. It wasn’t often that people put them in their place, and when it did happen, their pride was left in tatters to be put back together.
Of course, Leah hung on to every word Sebastian had said and even went so far as to writing his speech down. "It sounds so interesting! I can’t wait to see it" she admitted in an excited manner.
Vanessa stood up to go lean against the drawing table. "Yeah, me neither" she muttered in a voice dripping with sarcasm.
Sebastian turned away from the group. "If that’s all you wanted to know, then can you leave now? I have a lot of work to do."
Charlie slid her glasses up her nose in what was an irritated habit. "Thanks for your time" she also offered with a less than nice smile.
The three left the room, but Leah hesitated going after them. She lingered behind for a moment more. Sebastian, curious, turned to glance her way. Her reaction was to blush and scurry out the door.
The raven raised a brow at the girl’s flustered antics. He shrugged. At least she was tolerable, unlike those other three.
He sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. He had a feeling it would be a long three months.