"We belong to the light
We belong to the thunder
We belong to the sound of the words
We've both fallen under
Whatever we deny or embrace
For worse or for better
We belong, we belong
We belong together"
Pat Benatar/We Belong

Touched

"Well, I'd better get going." she said, looking at her watch, "It's a lot later than I thought." She stood up and started to collect her things.

"Let me repay you in some way." he begged, "Why don't you come here tomorrow night after work and I will sketch you? You will be the first to have an original Noah Sanders drawing of herself." She considered his proposition. He stood there waiting for her answer, and she couldn’t help but smile at his eager face.

"Alright," she answered, actually liking the idea. "I'll see you tomorrow then?"

"Yes!" he said, a bit too excited about it. "I mean sure, it will be a challenge." She closed the door behind her and hurried down the stairs into the night.

The next day came and she spent it in anticipation of the night to come. She had no idea how he could sketch her if he couldn't see her, but he seemed to have an inner vision about these things that she couldn't argue with. When the hands of the clock reached five she was already out the door and on her way to his place. Why was she so nervous? He himself never made her nervous before. In fact she was so relaxed with him that sometimes she forgot everything else on her agenda. She went up his stairs and rang the bell.

The loud buzzer made her jump, so was so nervous. She turned the knob and went inside. He met her at the door and gave her a tender, quick hug hello. "Well, you seem a lot better than you did yesterday." she offered, noting how his wounds were healing fast.

"Thanks to you!" he offered with a broad smile. She settled into a chair and waited for him to tell her what he wanted her to do. He came over and sat down opposite her. She felt a warmth from him that was even greater than the heat of the night.

"First, you have to tell me the color of your eyes and hair." He listened carefully to her voice as if he could see her by her speech.

"Okay, well my hair is a dark brown and my eyes are blue." He listened intently, his head cocked slightly to the side, "Okay, now the rest of you. How tall are you and about how much do you weigh? "I am about 5'4" tall and weigh around 125lbs or so." she answered. He got up from his chair and came around the table, crouching down next to her. They were eye to eye and she gazed deeply into his sparkling yet silent green ones. He reached up his hands and brought them to her face.

"May I?" he asked before touching her.

"Sure." she said, understanding that this was a way to help him "see" her. The moment his fingers grazed her cheeks she felt a familiarity that went beyond mere touch. His palms cupped her chin, traced her forehead and ran through her hair. He was totally lost in what he was feeling. His hands knew this face, and yet he had never touched her before. He caught his breath and backed away.

"Alright now, you just sit there and we can chat while I start, okay?" She had reached up to touch her hand to her face, expecting to find that his fingers had left something behind.

"Yes, that sounds great." she mumbled in response. "Are you alright?" he asked, sensing a change in her voice.

"What? Oh I am fine, just a bit hot from the weather." She said to him, tears in her eyes for no reason at all. "Well, you know you can take your clothes off…" he smiled at her. "Oh no, no nudies!" she smiled back and finished it with a laugh. "Are you worried about the blind man seeing you naked, perhaps?" he answered, his innocence totally charming.

They talked together for about an hour or so, learning more and more about each other as the moments went by until he suddenly stopped drawing. "Are you done?" she asked excitedly, walking over to him. He moved to block her way.

"Oh no you don't, not until it is done." He was serious, he did not want her to look until it was completed.

"This is going to take some time, maybe a week or more to get it the way I want it so how about you come back tomorrow night and we can continue?" he asked and then added "That is, if you have no other plans and you don't mind?" She really did have other plans. In fact, her boyfriend was getting a bit annoyed at her preoccupation with this artist. But she found herself saying yes without hesitation.

The next night she made sure she brought a change of clothes with her so she didn't have to sit there in the heat with her work clothes on. This time they talked about politics, religion and their families. They found that they had a lot in common. The more she saw of him the stronger he seemed, more confident than any person she had ever met. He went out of his way to have the fridge stocked so he didn't look that bad off, but she suspected what he was doing and they feasted on cheese and crackers almost nightly. Sometimes during the evening he would come over to her and trace her face again with his hands as if his fingers needed to be refreshed before continuing to draw. Everytime he did this she would feel a tingle run through her spine. She was really tired that night, so she laid down on his bed and slept while he continued to draw. She awoke to find him standing over her, his eyes closed, just listening to her breathing. She had never felt so sensuous in her entire life, that a man would be standing silently over her just to hear her breathing. It was both innocent and erotic at the same time.

"Oh, I'm sorry." He said apologetically, fumbling for words. He had been listening to her sleeping for a good half an hour, just standing over her and listening. For the first time in a very long time he wished he had sight. It wasn't enough to just hear her or just touch her face, he wanted to see her. If what he saw with his eyes was anything like what he saw with his heart he would have been blinded all over again by her brillance. He turned and went back to his canvas, her breath echoing through his very being. "I guess you should be going now." he said, knowing that he really didn't want her to go but also knowing that she must. "Will you come back tomorrow?" Her heart was beating rapidly and her breath was caught in her throat. Tomorrow was Saturday, and she obviously wasn't going to be at work. In fact, she had promised… absolutely guaranteed that she would spend it with her boyfriend. She also felt she needed time to sort out her very confusing emotions. "No, I can't make it tomorrow, I promised my boyfriend I would go out to dinner with him." Her words ran through him like a knife. "Well, how about during the day? I can make sure you are home for your dinner?" he betrayed himself with the tiniest bit of begging in his voice. "No, it will be a bit too much to cram into one day." She answered truthfully, "I will be back on Monday night though, okay?" He was going to ask her about Sunday, but he stopped himself. He could tell that she wasn't exactly lying but she was not telling the whole truth either. "Alright then, Monday night it is." he smiled her way and she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek as she left. He touched his face with his hands and smiled.

Part 42