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Scanning the room as he talked Spencer saw all of the suspects that usually haunted the art gallery circuit. Most of them he realized new nothing about art only coming for the food and drink which could keep a struggling artist going for at least a week. He could have named at least three that never bought any food at all. The others were either press or members of the so-called in crowd.
That just left him and a clutch of others, self-styled critics that made or broke the scavenging little cretins that were haunting the buffet table. Only one face stood out from the crowd, A face beautiful enough to adorn any painting. A beautiful face but also an extremely bored one. She was stood away from the crowd in a corner of the gallery that had little of interest to see. She was delicately sipping a glass of champagne obviously waiting until she could leave unnoticed. He smiled only people like these could ignore true beauty when they saw it. He certainly had no intention of making a mistake like that. Using a circuitous route and hiding his assault by passing the usual pleasantries. The going was tortuously slow and the periphery of the room annoyingly large but throughout the journey Spencer knew that it was time well spent.
Halle Berry was bored, bored and annoyed. Her escort for the evening had long since disappeared to take a phone call and had informed her by messenger boy that there was a crisis at the studio and he would send the car back for her as soon as possible. So here she was without transport and surrounded by boring people and with no money all she could do was wait until the car returned for her. The sniveling little runt would pay for this in the morning, the little bastard had been supposed to look after her.
Instead he had left her high and dry. She took another sip of champagne and turned to look at the painting beside her. Halle was about to turn away when someone spoke to her she turned to see a man stood beside to her smiling and talking about the painting.
"Not what I would choose to adorn my any wall of mine with it, but it is striking all the same. I am sorry I seem to have interrupted your train of thought. My name is Spencer Radford."
"I believe I have seen some of your work."
"Oh I'm not an artist."
"That my dear is a matter of opinion."
"I understand that some people are of the opinion that acting is an art form."
"Oh right. I guess you recognized me then."
"Your beauty gave you away my dear."
"You were admiring the painting?"
"Not really to be honest I'm a little bored, Art is not my scene and to be honest I'm not sure some of this stuff could even loosely be described as art."
"Be careful. With comments like that I might suspect that you are after my job."
"Just what is your job Mr. Spencer?"
"Spencer please. I have the honor of being art critic to one of this cities more discerning news papers."
"I am afraid that I still don't like some of this stuff Spencer."
"I honestly can't blame you but perhaps if you knew something of the painting you might appreciate it a little more."
"Maybe, hell I've got time to kill go for it."
Spencer placed his hand on her shoulder and turned her to face the painting.
Take the painting you were looking at. One of the less accomplished works I might add. First of all you should look at the painting as a whole, stand back a little and look at the dimensions. Relax and clear your mind of any preconceptions. Only then can you begin to see the picture for what it is. Notice how each brush stroke is different, each color making a different statement. Notice how your eyes are drawn around the picture fixing on each area in turn. Until you find the focal point and fix it in your mind. Do you see what the focal point is Halle?"
"Not really. I'm afraid I won't get this at all."
That's all right. Look closely at the center of the picture, through the window. That's right the window. That's what the artist is telling you Halle, He's telling you to look through the window. The whole picture is built around the window Halle the window is everything, Do you like looking through windows Halle?"
"I guess so."
"This is a very special window Halle. It's a window into the soul. If you look closely and concentrate hard enough you can see everything you desire. Look closely Halle. Relax and look closely. It's nice to feel relaxed, relaxed and happy. How do you feel Halle?"
"Relaxed. I guess I feel relaxed."
"Relaxation is good Halle. The artist want's you to feel relaxed. You can feel more relaxed Halle. All that you have to do is look through the window. Look and relax. Relax and look. Nothing matters except the window. Forget the rest of the painting Halle, forget everything. I want you to open the window with your mind, open the window and look inside. Do you want to look inside Halle?"
"Concentrate Halle this will be hard for you. I am here to help you but you must listen very carefully, listen to my voice. Will you listen to me Halle?"
"Take deep breaths Halle, deep and along. Each breath relaxes you more and more. I want you to close your eyes and visualize the window. Concentrate Halle and begin in your mind to move closer to the window. Close enough to reach out an touch it."
Halle closed her eyes and breathed deeply she shifted her weight almost imperceptibly as she mentally moved towards the window. Spencer stood behind her and gently began to massage her neck helping her to relax even more. Spencer scanned the room, pleased that no one was approaching them or even appeared slightly interested in what was going on. He turned back and began to whisper quietly in her ear.
"Open the window Halle. Open it and look inside. Look carefully and tell me what you see."
"It's dark I can't see.......anything."
"I can help you Halle. But only if you trust me. Do you trust me Halle?"
"Yes I trust you. Help me to see."
"Very well Halle. Listen carefully and I will help you see. The room is empty Halle just like your life. The room is cold and lonely, with only the dying embers of a fire in the hearth. The fire is dying Halle it needs to be nurtured and cared for just like you. Just like the room Halle you need someone to tend to your needs, someone to share your life, someone that will make decisions, someone you can trust. Can you see more clearly now Halle."
"Yes I see it and understand. My life is empty and I am alone."
"In fact if you look closer you can see that someone is in the room. Someone is tending the fire, bringing it to life. Can you see who it is Halle?"
"I...I....it's still dark please help me."
Halle shivered and Spencer held her tightly.
"Listen to my voice Halle. Listen and concentrate. It is me tending the fire just as I will look after you and end the loneliness. Can you see me Halle?"
"You have looked into your very soul and found me waiting Halle. Do you wish to be alone again?"
"Then ask me to stay. Ask me to look after you and care for you."
"Yes, please don't go. I don't want to be alone."
"There will be conditions Hall. Will you accept them?"
"You exist only to give me pleasure."
"You will obey me without question."
"You will be my slave."
"Who am I?"
"Who are you?"
"Excellent, when I touch your hand you will awaken. You will remember only a pleasant conversation about a painting. But when we meet again and I tell you to "look through the window" that will be the signal for you to become my willing slave. Do you understand?"
He touched her hand. Halle looked at him and smiled.
"I am sorry I was daydreaming, I'm afraid I lost track of what you were saying."
"Never mind my dear, what I said was of little consequence. Perhaps I could offer you a lift. You could look through the window."
Halle's mouth opened to turn down the offer. But instead she smiled and linked arms with her master and strode confidently towards her knew life. Spencer squeezed her shoulder as they walked and dreamed of the chocolate colored flesh that would soon invite his embrace. Suddenly it got harder to walk.
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