Title: Paint Me Beautiful
Author: CM Stunich
Genre: NA Contemporary
Page Length: 100K words
“I'm dying to be beautiful.”
My story isn't unique. You've heard it before. I'm just a girl who doesn't eat as much as she should. See, I have goals, big ones, and nobody is going to stop me, not even a boy named Emmett. He has good intentions and he's hot as hell, but he doesn't understand what it's like to want something so bad that you'll do anything for it. I'm going to become a model, even if it kills me. Dream big or go home, that's what they always say, right?
I set my phone down and get dressed in yet another set of workout clothes. It's surprising how
many sets I have, most of them brand new since I've never really been much of a fitness guru. I
imagine that my lack of exercise is part of the equation that ended up leaving me a fat mess, but I try to
think past that, try to make up for it by killing myself with a new workout routine. I only make it ten
minutes before I have to stop and take a break. In my mind, I have to take a break because I'm
overweight, too heavy to force myself through it. In reality, I'm starving to death. Literally. I'm dying
to be beautiful, and I don't even know it. Emmett does though. He does, and he wants to help me, but
even he doesn't quite realize that the only way he can help me is if I want to help myself first.
I start up the routine again and can only make it through a single set of crunches before I'm
rolling onto my side, wheezing and clutching my aching tummy. It causes me to double over and curl
into a fetal position, but only because my muscles are sore and not because of food. I'm not hungry, not
anymore. It's sort of amazing that I've broken my body's bad habit in just a few days. I tell it when I
eat and not the other way around. I like that.
Ten minutes and a whole water bottle later, I get up and try again. This time, I manage to make
it to the end of the video and feel so damn proud that I reward myself by lying down on my bed to rest
my eyes. When I open them, the sky is dark again and I'm shivering with cold.
“I think your sister only hired me to get at you,” Emmett whispers. I think he senses my
emotions and is trying to distract me, but it doesn't work. I've just spotted Le-freaking-anne and Jenn
in the crowd. Fate? Hardly. Coincidence. Doubtful. I'm guessing Marlena called them. That would
be just like her. Come on guys. Claire, needs all the help she can get. She's a poor, starving fat girl
with bones for days and blotchy skin and these weird ass blue freaking fingernails. I probably
confiscated her friend's phone at work to find out where they were going. Please go stalk her, in the
name of love, of course. I scowl at the pretend Marlena and wish that she would just go and get
married, have kids or something. I'm tired of her treating me like I'm her offspring. “Claire?” Emmett
touches my chin, turns me to face him. When I look into his eyes, I see that they're focused on my
friends. He recognizes them. “Are you okay with this?”
“Did you tell them?” I ask, fairly certain that he didn't but wanting to know, just in case.
“I told your sister where we were going,” he says and then, “I'm sorry. Want to go to the tree
“I want to live in the tree house,” I admit to him as he swings his eyes back to mine. The air in
the car goes from warm to hot and then we're just on each other like we've been glamoured, poisoned
by some ancient faerie with wicked intentions, who people used to pray to, beg for better sex lives, for
hotter lovers, for longer orgasms. Emmett and I bump teeth with a gentle clack and then soften our
frenzy when we taste a bit of blood, gently nipping at one another's lower lips, swirling tongues,
tasting, eating, breathing one another.
“I'll draw you a map,” he whispers. “It's yours.”
“Emmett,” I moan as he gives into temptation and seeks my lips again. We both keep our eyes
open and half-lidded, watching, looking, absorbing. Ah, Emmett Sinclair with the ardent eyes and the
red-hot lips, roasting, scalding, scorching me, leaving a trail of fire in his wake. I am lost to him in that
dark bedroom, buried beneath his passion and his conviction that he will save me, whatever the cost.
I'm willing to die for my dreams. Well, so is he. Emmett Sinclair wants to rescue me from myself, and
he'll stop at nothing to make sure that he does.
I touch his wet hair; he touches mine. We exchange wordless words with nipping lips and touch
and feel and caress. Emmett sees places on me that nobody else gets to see, touches parts of me that I
find putrid, and he looks happy about it, thrilled. His hard body doesn't lie as it slips in and out of me,
and the expression on his face tells me that whatever it is that I see wrong in myself, he doesn't see it.
I am broken in my own eyes.
I am sick in my family's.
I am not good enough in the fashion world's.
In Emmett's, I am whole.
I kiss him again and this time, I don't let him go until I fall into pleasure; I don't even let him
breathe. I keep my arm wrapped around his neck and I absorb all of the good in him, pray that it rubs
off on me, that once this fast is over, once I've got this contract, that I'll be happy, relaxed, pleased to
just be, to just exist.
I come in Emmett's arms and then lie quiet and panting while he finds his, just enjoying the
feeling of him inside of me. When he finally collapses next to me, he pulls me against him and cradles
my head under his chin. Neither of us speaks for a long, long while.
**This book is sitting on my TBR List. I will post a review once I've read it.
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