Christmas at a Certain Art Gallery

He arrived at the art gallery with tie in hand, collar upturned, his strapping figure silhouetted against the doorframe. Ying liked him immediately.

The gallery owner greeted him with much fanfare, and clucked over his well-being like an adoring mother hen.

Ying’s gaze followed the pair as the mother hen herded her newest chick towards the open bar. His white shirt was sticking to his back like the soggy Vietnamese rice paper rolls the gallery was serving – revealing the deep cleft between the two flanks of his broad muscular back.

“Rice paper rolls, miss?” a waitstaff walked over with a tray.

Ying crammed two in her mouth – if she couldn’t feed her lust, she could at least feed her hunger.

She approached the bar for a refill. He was sipping a red.

“Is that any good?” Ying asked.

They exchanged pleasantries and hit it off instantly over a mutual dislike of childish scrawls masquerading as art. His name was Patrick.

As the evening progressed, Ying became more and more attracted towards Patrick. It wasn’t just his good looks. He had impeccable manners, they shared the same tastes in music and books, and they both have immense respect for Nelson Mandela.

They were having a rather animated conversation over a painting depicting a couple in passionate embrace. Ying thought the sparse use of gold leaf made the painting seem like a poor imitation of Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. While Patrick thought the gold leaf was applied adequately, and served to highlight the couple, almost giving them an aura.

Patrick dribbled on. But Ying was no longer hearing the content, she was fixated on the sensuous curves of his lips. Unwittingly, Ying cupped her hand to her neck and traced her thumb over her lips.

She closed her eyes and imagined what Patrick’s lips would feel like on her throat… His five o’clock shadow grazing her skin, the sensation a delicious burn. Patrick enveloped Ying in a deeper embrace, she took in his scent – musk with a hint of cinnamon and cloves – his warmth sent a shiver up her spine, eliciting a sigh.

Ying felt a squeeze on her shoulder, and opened her eyes. It was Patrick, for real now. He was smiling, “Are you alright?”

Some sauce had found its way to the corner of his mouth. Encouraged by his touch and warm smile, Ying reached up to wipe him off.

“Haha. I’m such a messy eater. Say, would you like to check out the new bistro around the corner after this?”

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