The Choosing of the Fairest
I would have given you grace in battle,
skill in war,
wisdom beyond the telling,
more than any mortal man should have.
I would have given anything
to see the mantle of fairest
around my pale shoulders,
to cradle the golden apple.
To be, just once,
thought fairer than she.
She is the sun and I the moon.
A grey-eyed woman
pale next to her golden self.
The embodiment of beauty.
She let you slake your lust.
But oh, what I would have given.
I would have given you so much more.
I would have given you wisdom -
which, having not,
you chose without.
I stood in the antechamber, trying not to shiver. I had followed all of the instructions - had entered, disrobed, and tied on the heavy black blindfold. It felt like silk, but a thicker silk than I had ever felt. I traced the line of it against my cheek, making sure I could see nothing. Those had been her rules.
I’d never serviced a woman before. I was new to this altogether - my friend had assured me that this escort service was reputable, treated their people well. They’d been good to me so far. Sure, it was sex work, but I wasn’t hooking on the Strip - I was in five-star restaurants, pricey hotels. The sort of hotels that don’t need Sphinxes or castles. Discreet. No one in my everyday life would ever know where the rent money came from.
It had just been men so far. It hadn’t even always been sex - sometimes just accompanying them to a Cirque show or a company function. But the sex had been good, when it happened.
I’d never been with a woman.
She paid extra for that. That, and the blindfold. More than double what my other clients paid.
I tried to summon up something of the spirit of the courtesan. Tried to be that, instead of a fumbling girl. I imagined myself regal - but started when her throaty laugh filled the room.
She walked around me in a wide circle. Inspecting me, I’m sure. Her skirts whispered along the ground, a soft hissing. “You’re the new girl.”
“What did they tell you about me?”
Her scent was heavy - earth-dark, vetiver, resin. I tried to focus through it. “That I’m not to look at you.”
“Under any circumstances.”
Her cool fingers grazed my cheeks, my forehead, making sure the blindfold was secure. Her hands slid down my arms, taking my hands in hers. The hissing was a bit louder, though she hadn’t moved much. What fabric is that? “Come with me,” she said quietly, leading me across the room, setting me on a bed She sat behind me and her hands darted back up to the blindfold, tying tighter. Smiling, I offered my wrists; I expected her to tie them next. She ignored them, nudged my arms aside, lowered me to silk sheets, lowered her head. “They told you nothing else?”
“Just that you must obey, and must not look.”
“I will tell you this.” Her voice was sibilant, lingering on the s. “Do not be afraid.”
I was, a bit. But more than that, I was curious, and more aroused than I thought I’d be.
She slid down my body; when she kissed my belly, I felt a dozen shocks of a dozen, two dozen, small rasping tongues on my skin; I cried out, overwhelmed, body arching up to the greedy little mouths, and she laughed quietly. “We may have to tie you down after all.”