A tie, a draw, a dance


They make it back unnoticed. Silent as thieves they rushed the leftovers and ate like animals. Arcane energy may speed up the body’s healing but the process is imperfect. Without food and rest, magically healed wounds have a habit of reopening. After they stuffed themselves with meat and bread, fruit and wine, they fell back against the wall stuffed.

There was an uncomfortable quiet in the room, a judging presence filling the emptiness. They were only inches apart, but it felt like miles. He didn’t look but he knew her pinky finger was reaching out towards his. She didn’t dare check, but she knew his foot was subtly, ‘casually’ falling towards hers. Eventually, they reached the end of their tether, there was no way to proceed while maintaining the illusion of an accident. They were fierce and powerful, comfortable in pain and death, but they were, above all else, children. Her heart was racing. His breathing was heavy. Neither dared make the first move. After a while of looking at the moon through the window, examining the linen and the drapes, it all became too much.

“I hear your heart beating,” he whispered.

“I hear your breathing,”

“I smell you,”

“Well, I have running. What am I supposed to smell like, a bed of daisies?” His voice dropped an octave.

“I … smell you.” She froze, terrified. But they were trained to slay fear with faux confidence.

“You should taste me,” Shefa blushed, thankful for the dark to hide in.

“Did you enjoy it… what we did… earlier?”

“No, it hurt.” She could hear his frown. “But I was happy to please you.” Silence slithered in threatening to smother the tiny embers they had stoked. “I did please you … right?”

“Yes.” He could feel tension bleed out of her.

“But you want more?”

“Since when do we let pain stop us? Especially when there’s treasure on the other side?” He nodded to the dark.

“What did I do wrong?”

“Everything,” she said with a chuckle. “You treated it like a fight, like you were more concerned with finishing me than enjoying me,”

There was shame in his voice “I was,”

“How about next time … we make it a draw?” She could feel the disgusting facial expression he made. “Okay, not a draw, how about… A tie? A dance,”

“Proceed as partners rather than competitors? I can do that. A dance? Yeah, I can do that.” He was nodding to the dark, hounded by a fear he couldn’t place of name. He hated every second of it. Action would free him from the torture of feelings. He stood, brought her to her feet. “You remember how?”

She shook her head “I’ll follow your lead,”

Across the room in a bureau was a relatively new invention, a Crystal Quior. A device that looked like an elaborate chandelier, built in rings, loops, and spires. Dozens of crystals hung by golden threads, thin and beautiful, each cut to exact specifications to make very particular sounds, notes the sages called them. In the center of this crystal castle was a tower made of hollow metal wands, when they would strike the crystals in a precise order, at the right speed and in the right space – it would make the most beautiful music.

He cranked the handle, closed the doors, and waited. The first few notes rang so softly he more felt them than heard them. Notes, slow and haunting like a songbird’s sorrow, whispered out from the massive music box. Deep notes, that stirred fire in the soul, joined them as Shefa retook her hand. The wood of the bureau offered a consonance, in tenor and bass, completing the mood.

The moonlight, broken by bars and branches, landed in shards on the cold floor. He squeezed her hand and pulled her to him, his firmness stopping her. His right hand snapped around her waist drawing a squeak, pulling her even tighter against him. A shaft of light fell across his eyes making them sparkle at her. She was breathing hard and didn’t know why. He stood head and shoulders above her, which usually made her aggressive, tonight it made her submit.

She swallowed the butterflies. Left foot, left, right foot, follow. Right foot, right, left foot, follow. The simplest two-step. She moved. He didn’t. He placed her hand on his shoulder and moved his hands to her hips. They were wide and muscular, easy to grip, perfect handles. He swayed her hips left and right in time, then joined her with his own. Stepping one leg outside hers, the other between, he felt a rush of heat, like a cherry on his thigh.

For a while they swayed, feeling each other, letting the world melt away behind them. He noted her head marginally bouncing to the beat, she wasn’t a girl anymore, she was a part of the music, fluid, formless. He whispered into her hair

“Let me be your drum.”

His hand slid down her tight leather pants, slapping her ass to the beat. Her cheeks clenched, her pelvis, hungry, thrust itself into him. She closed her eyes, nuzzled her face in his chest. Her breath was damp and hot, the few hairs on his chest swayed in her breeze.

“Faith, my love,” he begged.

They fell into a twirl. He cast levitate making her light enough to float from step to step. She looked into his eyes pleading mercy. She didn’t deserve this. He wasn’t seducing her, he wasn’t making her fall in love with him, he was making an addict of her. Flowing above the ground, his hands and chest fastening her to him, making them one – they whirled in ever-growing spirals until she forgot she wasn’t a part of him. He whispered again, dark and husky “Don’t let go.”

A moment later his back slammed into the wall. She was concerned, it showed on her face. Her lips parted, eyebrows knitted together, the perfect mix of concerned and confused. He stared blankly at her, giving away nothing but his hunger for her. With a whip he spun her about, her yelp surprised them both. He snatched her back, she slammed into him, roughly. Her eyes fluttered through her eager growl.

The music was loud now, loud enough to feel, loud enough to taste. She ran her silken hair across his face while his hands gripped her entire side making her feel petite and delicate.

“Up,” he said running his hands up her leather-clad body; the leather the softer of the two. He lifted her arms until her hands fell back around his neck, her nails claiming him as her own. He wrapped his arms around her, separating her armor from her pants, then undid her buttons, one by one, to the same thumping beat. When he peeled them open, the night breeze trickled across her belly and he moaned at the goosebumps rising beneath his fingertips.

Taking a fistful of her hair he dropped to his knees, pulling her head back, making them the same height. He reached his other hand between her legs, slapping his palm firm against her venus. He grabbed the waistband of her pants and ripped them down to her knees. An explosive whimper broke free of her as sticky lips parted in eager anticipation.

He pushed her forward til she bent over, folded in half before him, the juiciest parts of her close enough to spit on. She was his now and would never be anything but .

“You said you wanted to try this, yes?”

“Yes,” she quivered with no breath to make sound. And he ate until they both were full.

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