Harry looked up from his sketchbook and grinned at his best friend, “Hey Liam.”
“You ready to go?” Liam stopped in front of the bench Harry was resting on and threw his thumb over his shoulder towards the ivy covered brick building that housed their art class.
“Oh yeah, sure.” Harry hurriedly shoved his sketchbook inside and threw the strap of his messenger bag over his shoulder, catching a glance at his watch as he did so. “Wait Liam, we still have a half hour until class.”
“I know,” Liam grinned wickedly and grabbed Harry’s arm anyway, pulling him towards the building they spent two hours in every Tuesday and Thursday. “But we’re starting with the nude models today. I figured the girl might need a bit of company before class.”
“Who says it’s going to be a girl?” Harry protested weakly but allowed Liam to continue dragging him. “And what makes you think she’ll be there already?”
“Because I’ve been sitting outside the art building for the past hour, I saw her go in. Now come on,” Liam shoved him towards the stairs. “She’s hot.”
The two boys tumbled into the classroom and bit out of breath and slightly flushed. Their teacher looked up with a knowing but endearing shake of the head, “Hello boys.”
“Hi ma’am,” Liam smiled brightly, his eyes dancing towards the girl standing in the front of the room. She was wearing a thin white robe and with the way the sun was shining through, Harry could see she had nothing else on. He adverted his eyes, feeling bad for her, before remembering it was her job to pose naked for them.
Harry sat down at his easel and pulled out his sketch book, finishing the drawing he had been working on in the park. It was a self-portrait that he had been struggling with for weeks, but he had finally gotten it right. At least he thought he had.
He added a few more swooping curls to his drawing, glancing up when a shadow fell across the page he had set in his lap. The model was standing before him, obviously checking him out and liking what she saw.
“Can I help you?” Harry asked politely, his green eyes blinking innocently as the girl crossed her arms across her chest and stuck her breasts towards him.
“What are you drawing?” she purred.
“Self-portrait,” he went back to adding to the drawing, liking the way the charcoal lines appeared with every move of his hand.
“It doesn’t have a face,” the girl pointed out.
“I know,” Harry sat back and admired the drawing, which was just the outline of his face and curls. There was nothing in the middle. “It’s because I’m not quite sure who I am.” He added a few finishing touches, “I’m just a shell.”
The girl lost interest and moved on to Liam, who accepted her advances a lot more enthusiastically. Soon enough the rest of the class had filed in and the room was being called to attention.
“As you know, we are starting with the human body today,” the teacher gestured towards the model, who was now standing in the middle of the room. “Today’s assignment is to focus on one body part and one body part alone. Good luck.” The girl dropped her robe and Harry heard a few appreciative whispers from the other boys in his class. He knew half of them had only taken it because of this very assignment.
Harry’s eyes roamed the girl, seeing her not as a person, but as an object. Her nakedness wasn’t embarrassing to him anymore. He figured the other boys would be drawing something vulgar, so he settled on the gently curled hand that rested at her side and got to work.
“You know Harry, people are starting to think you’re gay.” Liam’s hands tugged at the straps of his backpack as he and Harry climbed the stairs towards their art classroom.
“Are they?” Harry couldn’t care less.
“Well yeah,” Liam sounded concerned. “Cause you were the only guy who didn’t draw that girl’s boobs the other day.”
“Maybe I care more about the art,” Harry pushed the door to their studio classroom open and Liam followed, biting his lip as he thought about what Harry said.
“I know you do, but people are talking. Just thought I’d let you know.”
“Thanks Liam,” Harry sat down at his spot and pulled out his sketchbook, studying the hand he had drawn last week. He quite liked it.
“I don’t mind,” Liam’s voice was quiet but sure. “If you’re gay or not. It doesn’t matter. You can tell me.”
“Okay,” Harry’s interest in the conversation had disappeared and Liam could tell. He sighed and sat down in his own place. He sometimes wondered how Harry was able to concentrate for so long on a sketch when he couldn’t hold a conversation or sit still through a meal. But that was just Harry.
“Early again are we boys?” their teacher laughed softly from the front of the classroom. “Any particular reason?”
“We were just in the neighborhood,” Liam shrugged. The model from Tuesday’s class wasn’t there. In fact, besides them, the room was empty. “Are we done with the human body?”
“No dear,” she smiled fondly at him. “For the next few weeks we will be working on a full body sketch. We have a new model though, if that’s what you are wondering.”
Liam’s lips drew into a pout but it didn’t last too long. He nodded and lost himself in his phone as Harry turned to the window and stared out blankly.
Within minutes the room was filled with gossiping students and Harry was snapped back to attention as the teacher clapped her hands and explained what she had told him and Liam earlier. Full body portraits.
“We have a new model today, you can come out now hun.”
Twenty pairs of eyes locked on the storage closet in the front of the classroom as the doorknob turned. Harry was the only one not interested, his mind already reeling with how to draw the girl who was about to step out. He hadn’t seen her yet, but he didn’t need too. His mind had already conquered her soft curves, tumbling hair, long limbs.
To say he was surprised when a boy walked out was an understatement. He dropped his pencil to the ground, blushing furiously when the blue eyed boy looked his way, and ducked under his easel to retrieve it.
“Calm down Harry,” he chided himself as he scooped up the dropped pencil. “He’s a boy, so what? Who cares?”
Harry climbed back up and set himself on his stool, making sure his eyes stayed on his paper and not on the boy who was sure to be naked now. Harry had known about the nude models when he had signed up for this class but he had just assumed it would be a girl. He wasn’t expecting a boy.
“Remember full body sketches this time,” the teacher called out over the groans of the students. “This project will be a few weeks long, so take your time.”
Harry finally raised his eyes to the model, starting at the boy’s bare feet and running his eyes up and over his legs, hips, torso, and chest until he reached his face. The kid was looking at him, a smirk on his small lips as he met Harry’s eye. Harry blushed furiously and he noticed that the other boy was blushing too, but it probably had more to do with his naturally milky skin and the fact that he was the center of attention than Harry’s gaze.
As Harry watched the boy lifted the hand at his side and wiggled his fingers in Harry’s direction, smiling for the briefest of seconds before his face returned to a neutral expression.