Saturday, September 22, 2012


Spencer sat on the steps, staring at a man. Not staring, more like analyzing, and then transferring to the large sketch pad he carried with himself at all times.

He'd managed to shrug Adrian off (At last, he thought with a sigh) and had found a quiet corner to sketch in. And he'd found this man.

A classic beauty, this man was, with chocolate brown hair just long enough to brush his collar, carelessly windblown. He stood there, smoking a cigarette, leaning against a tree, looking for all the world like a rogue model escaped from it's handlers.

Spencer eyed the man, taking in the shape -eyes, nose, profile, everything- and deftly sketching out. He'd always been talented in art, and today's sketch was no exception to the rule. It somehow, in a few wide strokes, managed to capture the very essence of the man. It was quite extraordinary.

Nose...sharper. Lashes...longer...he thought, watching as the man ran his fingers through that tousled hair. He was in the zone, that perfect place in which nothing is out of reach.

At least until the man looked up from his cigarette, looking directly at Spencer.

Shit! Spencer thought, tearing his eyes away. He'd been caught staring. Every single time this happened, he got in huge trouble, with both the staree and Adrian.

Shit, shit, shit. 

Scrambling, he stood up, almost dropping his pencil. In the hurry, he hardly noticed the man had walked up to him, and was waiting patiently for Spencer to notice.

Which he did, almost dropping his pencil again.

"Hello," the stranger said, smiling a little. His accent was British upper crust, refined, elegant.

"Hey," Spencer squeaked, bracing for impact. His accent was pronounced. Awkward. AMERICAN. 3...2...1...

"Hey," the man mused. "So American. I must say I expected you to be French. You certainly look it." He held out his hand. "I'm Ian. Ian Carton. You are...?"

"Spencer Reed," Spencer squeaked again, taking Ian's hand. It was soft, warm, dry...a perfect hand in both shape and feel.

"Hello Spencer. You aren't from around here are you?"

"N-not really."

"I thought not. Most Brits don't ever stare at someone for longer than three seconds. Not that I mind, as I see you are sketching. May I see?"

Seeing no way out of it, Spencer sheepishly handed it over. Ian studied it, his deep black eyes thoughtful, and discerning. Soon, he looked at Spencer again.

"You drew this. Just now. In perhaps 20 minutes, no more."

"Well yeah. It's sort of what I do."

"This's exquisite! Remarkable! You have such talent," Ian handed the sketch over. "I insist upon joining you. Really."

"Yeah! I mean sure, that's cool."

They sat again on the cold stone steps. Ian studied Spencer's face.

"So where are you from?"

"New Orleans," Spencer said, just realizing he had an accent too. A Southern one. Oh lord. "My brother and I got asked to come here, to London for a chance at this scholarship, for a school of the arts. Super prestigious."

"I can see why. Is your brother this talented?"

"Adrian? Not at drawing. He's good at poetry. Writing. Things like that. He's kind of...I dunno, romantic? So he just about lost it when he found out we had to come here."

Ian nodded thoughtfully.


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