A Model Cold

by Dusty15

Alissa sat down at the drawing horse and flipped open her charcoal pad, preparing for her art class. She was a second year student majoring in fashion and one of her requirements was a class in figure drawing. Each week, her and several other students met in a small, well-lit classroom to practice sketching from both nude and clothed models, sharpening their drawing skills for future work in design. Today, the model was late, and several students were sketching other subjects idly.

The door suddenly swung open and a young man rushed in, out of breath. It was a common practice of the school to hire other students to act as the clothed models, and today, it seemed, they had hired this boy. He was thin, with a subtle bit of muscle hidden under the long-sleeved shirt and dark jeans he was wearing. His hair was an adorable shock of brown that seemed to stick in every direction and curled upward just around the nape of his neck and ears.

“Sorry I’m a little late,” he said to the professor, stepping up onto the platform in the center of the room. He stood still with his hands on his hips and stared off into the distance.

“Okay, this pose is a five minute exercise,” the professor informed the students. “Begin.”

Alissa ran her eyes up and down his body, studying his subtle curves and angular face. He was certainly a nice subject to draw, she concluded. She moved her eyes to the paper, and began to lay out the lines of his legs. Her charcoal paused mid-stroke when she heard some congested sniffles.

She looked up, searching the room for the source and found the model, his nose crinkled up as he tried to stop it from dripping. A warm, burning feeling spread through Alissa and she watched his face intently. He sniffled a few more times and moved a hand up quickly to wipe his nose before resuming his frozen position. She noticed that he seemed unusually uncomfortable and he scanned his face for a hint of a sneeze coming…and then there it was…

Slowly, his nostrils dilated and his breath hitched in his throat fiercely, over and over. Alissa squeezed her legs around the seat of her drawing horse in anticipation, and the model released his pose, bending forward with the force of the oncoming sneeze and burying his face in his hands.


Alissa’s charcoal slipped in her hand and made a thick black line down the paper. The model looked up, embarrassed from the sound, and attempted to re-capture his previous stance. He’d barely settled back into the position when she heard his breath hitch again. He sniffed loudly and Alissa heard the thick congestion. He doubled over again, coughing hoarsely and then “ahhahhtcHOOO!”

She couldn’t take her eyes off him. All she wanted to do was to take him home and tuck him right into bed beside her, letting him snuggle against her and sneeze those delicious sneezes.

“Are you going to be alright?” her professor asked the model, raising an eyebrow.

“I’m fine, I’m fine,” he said, his voice slightly hoarse. “I’m coming down with something, but I think that was the worst of it."

Alissa hoped not, and as fate would have it, only seconds later, the model broke his pose again, cupping his hands to his face and inhaling shallowly.


He moaned quietly and muttered a “sorry” as he moved back to position. Several students were rolling their eyes and sighing, unable to draw the constantly moving man, but Alissa didn’t care about her sketch, she was all eyes for the model. He managed to stand still for a minute more and the professor signaled for him to change poses. Alissa began a new sketch, first making a broad, smooth oval for his head and laying out the lines of his neck when the sound caught her ears. His breathing had changed again, he seemed to pant with anticipation, and then his hands flew to his mouth to stifle three horrible coughs immediately followed by another delicious sneeze. Alissa burned and she was sure that her cheeks were bright pink.

“I don’t think it’s wise for us to continue here if you cannot hold a pose,” the professor told the student. “Ms. Martin?”

Alissa looked up and nodded.

“Would you show Mr. Ellison up to my office? My secretary will record his hours for the semester and then you are free to go. The rest of you, I’ll give you a series of poses for the next fifteen minutes and then we’ll end early. I expect you to enter three anatomy studies in your sketch books for homework, though.”

Alissa couldn’t believe her luck. She gathered up her art supplies and approached the model. He was pulling a sweatshirt on that he had taken out of his backpack.

“Hey,” he said, sniffling. “Thanks for showing me where to go.”

She opened the door for him and they stepped out into the hallway.

“I’m Todd, by the way,” he said, following her towards the elevator. “I’m sorry I was such a lousy model today. I’ve been feeling kinda crummy and…” He broke off, coughing.

Alissa felt as if she could melt into a puddle at his feet. “It’s fine,” she managed to get out. “I’m Alissa, by the way. I don’t think the class minded. You got us out early. And speaking of getting out early, you should take this time to go home and get to bed.”

“I know I should,” he replied. “But I live on the other side of town. It’s a thirty minute walk and I have class over here at four, so I figured I’d come over here this morning for the job and then hang in the commons for lunch before I have to go to class.”

“Here it is,” she said, opening the door to an office.

He signed the pay sheet and met her back outside the door. His nose was running and he was trying futilely to sniffle and stop it, but he was too congested.

Alissa dug into her purse and found a tissue, holding it up. He blew his nose loudly with a wet and gurgling honk, and then sighed.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “This is disgusting.”

He coughed a few times and offered her a small smile.

“It’s fine,” she insisted. “Everyone gets sick now and then.” She noticed a piece of lint stuck to his skin just above his eyebrow and reached to pick it off. “You’ve got some stuff on you.” She grabbed the piece of fluff and was surprised at the heat of his brow. She spread her hand across his forehead and gasped. “You’re burning up!”

He sniffled miserably. “Am I? Damn it. I guess I’ll go home then.”

“Thirty minutes in this weather?” she asked, gesturing to the window. Outside, the ground was wet and damp, and it was fairly chilly.

“It’ll be fine,” he insisted, stifling a few more coughs.

“You don’t sound well enough to be out in this,” she found herself blurting out. “Listen, I know we just met, but I’m done classes for the day and I live just a few minutes from here. My roommate has a car she’ll let me borrow, but she doesn’t get home until six tonight. Why don’t you come over, I’ll fix you some soup, you can relax, and if you feel up to it, you can walk home later. If not, I’ll drive you at six when I get the car.”

Todd’s face lit up, helped by the unhealthy brightness already in his eyes. “Really?” he said. “Oh, Alissa, that’d be great!”

“Let’s go, then,” she said, surprised at the forwardness she’d exhibited in inviting him over. This sexy, sneezing guy in HER apartment? It was a dream come true!

They headed out into the cold and she offered Todd her long brown scarf. He wrapped in securely around his neck and followed her down the street, sniffling and coughing hoarsely. They reached her apartment fairly quickly and she showed him upstairs.

The apartment was nothing spectacular, but they had a spacious couch with a decent TV, a clean kitchen, and their own bedrooms. Alissa sat Todd right down on the couch and told him to make himself comfortable. She went into her room and dug around in the closet, coming up with a pillow and two thick blankets. From the bathroom, she collected some cough drops and some cold medicine.

She found Todd lounging on the sofa, his damp sweatshirt tossed aside. He still had her scarf around his neck and he was shivering.

“Here,” she said, tucking a blanket around his shoulders and putting the pillow behind his head. She tucked the second blanket over his legs and deposited two pills in his hand. “I’ll get you some water to take those. The remote for the TV is on the side table.”

“I can’t thank you enough, Alissa,” he said. “You’re too…”

He paused, his face scrunching up. Alissa felt her thigh muscles squeeze together involuntarily as Todd inhaled with a shuddering breath and…


“Bless you,” she whispered.

He smiled, embarrassed. “Thanks. As I was trying to say, you’re too kind.”

“Really,” she said. “It’s my pleasure.” It was entirely true. She was tingling with pleasure. “I’ll fix you some soup, okay?”

He shook his head. “It’s really fine. I’m not that hungry anyway. I think I’ll just relax for a bit.”

“Do you want some company, or do you just want to sleep?” she asked.

“I’d love some company,” he said with a grin. “I don’t want to get you sick, though.”

“It’s fine,” she replied. “I’m all caught up on homework for the week.”

He tucked his legs up and motioned to the end of the sofa. “Sit down then!”

Alissa grabbed him a glass of water to help him take the pills, and then sat next to him, pulling his legs across her lap. “What do you want to watch?” she asked, flipping on the TV. She went through the channels until they decided on a cheesy afternoon talk show for filler noise.

“So, Todd,” Alissa asked. “What’s your major here?”

“Writing,” he replied, sniffling. “Short stories mostly, but I’d like to write a novel. Maybe some plays.”

Interested, Alissa continued, “Do you have anything published?”

“Just some poems,” he answered, clearing his throat loudly as his voice became hoarse. “Nothing big. And you? You’re a costume designer?”

“Fashion design, actually,” she replied. “It’s really fun. We’re required to take a figure drawing class to learn anatomy for fashion plates and that.”


“Yeah, I love it. I’ve always wanted to do it. When I was little, I had a huge box of my mom’s old clothes that I would cut up and make new outfits with.”

Todd smiled. “And I always had a notebook I scribbled in. My mom used to say that…”

He trailed off, his face contorting and his chest expanding. He reached wildly for the tissues on the table but couldn’t find them as his eyes filled with tears, squeezing shut. Alissa instinctively snatched one from the box and leaned over, clamping it firmly over Todd’s nose. Two explosive sneezes ripped forth and Alissa trembled as the force hit the klennex. Todd inhaled with a miserable slurp of congestion and Alissa pulled the klennex away, wiping the dripping end of Todd’s nose.

“Ugh,” he said, rubbing his face. “I’m sorry. That was repulsive.” He took the tissue from her hand and balled it up. “I’ll get rid of that. Thanks so much.”

Alissa’s mouth moved to reply but no words came. Finally, she was able to spit out, “I have to use the bathroom.”

She hurried across the apartment through the bathroom door and locked it behind her. Sinking down onto the floor, she forced herself to stop shaking. Her crotch burned wildly and she knew that she was extremely wet. Pulling down her pants, she let her fingers do the work but she couldn’t be fully satisfied. She imagined Todd next to her in bed, his hot forehead against her shoulder as his nose dripped onto her chest and he coughed into her arm. And those sneezes! If only he’d press against her, sneezing into her neck, her breasts…anything.

“Enough,” she thought, scolding herself. “He’s miserable and all you’re thinking about is yourself.”

She cleaned up and headed back into the den. Todd was still on the sofa, watching the TV with bright, feverish eyes and a thin stream of mucus ran from his nose onto his upper lip. Alissa sat on the floor beside him and grabbed a tissue, gently wiping it away.

Todd leaned towards her, as if to encourage the action, but continued until he was just centimeters away, then leaned in and kissed Alissa on the cheek.

“Thank you,” he said, but he was so congested, Alissa could barely understand. “I think you are very pretty.”

She blushed. “I think you’re incredibly handsome.”

He laughed and broke into a fit of coughs. “Even like this?” he choked out.

“Even more,” Alissa replied, climbing on the couch beside him.

“Come here,” he said, pulling her to him. He pressed his lips against hers and she tasted the salty sweat of fever and the sweet tang of congestion.

“Let’s get you to bed,” she said when he pulled away to blow his nose.

“Only if you come too,” he replied slyly.

Alissa led the way and shut the bedroom door behind her. Thank goodness her roommate wouldn’t be home until later!