Shades of Twilight
A story set in the Water Witch universe
In the fantasy novel, Water Witch: the Deceiver's Grave (PD Publishing), in the course of her adventures, the pirate Bess O'Bedlam falls in love with a thief, Marguerite DeVries. This is a scene which did not make it into the book, but as a piece of erotica, I believe it stands alone.
Marguerite moaned, a low animal sound, when Bess pushed her naked to the bed—not with violence but with a focused intent shining in her eyes.
Dusky lavender shadows were darkening to indigo-violet as twilight settled over the island, the sun a mere hot glimmer striping the bottom of the sky. Sweat trickled between Marguerite's breasts, under her arms, crawled over her temples and pooled in the hollow of her throat. Wisps of hair clung to her face. Trembling with need, she moaned again.
Bess climbed onto the bed, the feather mattress dipping under her weight. Marguerite took a gasping breath, the inhalation cut off by Bess' mouth descending on hers. The gentle touch was dry but sweet, and soon belied by the roughness of Bess' callused palm as it slid over her belly, down and down to cup the burning ache between her thighs.
Marguerite arched her back and rocked her hips, rubbing herself against that firm touch. Pleasure thrummed through her, a thrill that jolted along her spine. The bang of her clitoris against a particularly rugged callus on the heel of Bess' palm was painful but delicious, and she increased her pace. Before the pleasure reached completion, Bess removed her hand, making Marguerite whimper at the sudden loss.
“Please, liefje , let me,” Marguerite begged, clutching at Bess' forearm. She owned no shame, not here in the gloom under her lover's hot gaze. The scent of urgency was pouring out of her, she was certain; wave after wave of mussel-shell musk redolent of female desire. “Please, you must… I have to...” she choked.
Bess raised herself on an elbow and bent over, each motion deliberate. She nipped at Marguerite's lower lip, and the sharp sting of teeth made Marguerite's fingertips dig deep into the solid muscle of the other woman's arm. Bess' tongue demanded entrance; the insistent pressure opened Marguerite's mouth. Every nerve in her body flared alight when the tip of Bess' tongue licked past her teeth, then wet softness met softness. Marguerite's hips bumped up of their own accord, impelled by the fierceness of her desire.
A groan escaped her, a wanton sound. Bess tasted like the bonito they had eaten for dinner, and the dull green turtle soup with its calipee and glutinous calipash, and the flowery white wine cooled in the sea. Beneath these flavors lingered a taste belonging to Bess alone—slightly bitter with an underlying tang more addictive than opium.
Marguerite's hunger eased under the kiss, soothed by the unhurried caresses that turned her pliant. She sank further into the mattress and sucked on Bess' tongue languorously, a long slow deep suction without a hint of urgency. She felt as if time had been suspended, forbidden to pass in its seconds and minutes and hours. Nothing existed save themselves alone, the world narrowed to encompass only this tender meeting of mouths.
The last paling glimmer of sunlight at the window was fading when Bess pulled away, her reluctance plain. Marguerite's swollen lips throbbed. She swept a hand through Bess' disheveled chestnut curls, her heart overflowing with affection. Bess said not a word but reached over to the other side of the bed, striking flint and steel to light a candle. At once a mellow glow pierced the darkness, though the outer edges of the bed remained in shadow. Marguerite blinked, her vision adjusting to the transition.
Illumination splashed gilt over Bess' skin, the perfect gold and cream interrupted by the silver lines of old scars. Without warning, Bess rolled one of Marguerite's puckered nipples between her fingers. A levin-bolt of sensation flashed through Marguerite; she strained towards Bess, all complacence gone, her urgency kindled once more.
Bess' grin was maddeningly smug. Using her thumbnail, she delicately scratched the nipple, coaxing the rosy flesh to draw tighter and stand prouder. It hurt but also felt amazingly good. Marguerite gasped, her toes flexing, digging at the counterpane.
She shifted to her side and suddenly Bess' body was there, pressed tight against hers, belly to belly. The desire twisting inside her was almost more than Marguerite could bear, a fire in her softest places, a sultry heat that replaced her blood. Bess mouthed the juncture between her shoulder and neck, moist caresses that forced the fire within her to climb higher. Breathless, wordless, Marguerite clutched at Bess.
Marguerite crashed their mouths together in a spit-slick kiss that was all honesty and hunger, lacking any artifice. Bess held her in place, loosely fisting her hair. A bite to the fullness of her lower lip made Marguerite open her mouth wider, then Bess bit her tongue and she screamed, the sound muffled. Scarlet encroached on the edges of her vision and she squeezed her eyes closed, the better to savor the pleasure heightened by the pain that rushed through her. Bess knew how to keep her trembling on the knife's edge; she knew how to balance gentle and rough love-play to bring her to the height of ecstasy.
Bess nudged her over onto her back. Marguerite did not resist, though she felt wrecked and ruined, and at the same time glowing with love for this woman in her bed.
She stared into Bess' eyes, her heart knocking against her ribs Something feral lurked within those storm-grey depths, something wild that had never known a cage. Marguerite had been unanchored and set adrift by their earlier kissing, but the untamed creature gazing back at her with frank and unabashed admiration sent a chill crawling over her skin. Not precisely fear—Marguerite knew that Bess would never really hurt her—but the thrill dried her mouth and arched her spine in a silent plea for more.
Bess obliged, her teeth prickling against the skin just above Marguerite's breast. Marguerite inhaled, tensed and waited for the piercing sharpness that was sure to come, but instead her nipple was engulfed in satiny liquid warmth. Primal pleasure uncoiled as Bess suckled, tugging and torturing the achingly hard nub with her lips and tongue. Marguerite sank her hands into Bess' hair, the silken strands slipping through her fingers.
It was beautiful.
It was terrible.
She could bear no more, yet she did not want the moment to end.
At last, Bess began kissing her way down Marguerite's torso, licking her hip and the crease of her thigh. Marguerite let her legs fall apart but frustratingly, Bess did not take the hint, only patted the crisp mat of curls on her pubic mound much as she would stroke a demanding cat, and circled Marguerite's hip bone with her tongue, a light teasing touch.
“Do it properly, godskannone !” Marguerite gritted, trying not to whine.
She felt the woman's grin against her skin, then Bess bit into the soft flesh of Marguerite's inner thigh and sucked hard. The fingers of her other hand spread over Marguerite's belly, holding her in place when she tried to buck against the howling sensation spreading upwards from the point where it seemed Bess was close to drawing blood.
Marguerite cursed, a stream of mixed Dutch and English pouring babbling from her mouth. “Ah, don't, liefje , don't… don't stop, I swear if you stop…”
She thought she sensed the place on her thigh swelling, growing swollen to near splitting ripeness as Bess continued to suck on it, the tiny vessels bursting and blood rushing hot to blotch the skin. The bruise would be the color of a plum by morning, a livid reminder that would last for days. Bess released her after another moment. Moving with fluid grace, she settled between Marguerite's legs. Marguerite looked down the length of her own body at Bess, who stared back at her with naked appetite emblazoned on her face.
The first touch of Bess' tongue inside her made Marguerite fall into the inferno.
They did this often but it never palled, the velvety intimate swirls and laps that were indescribably good. Marguerite tilted her hips to give Bess complete access. She was melting, melting, every bit of tension melting away under the ministrations of the darting tongue that circled and swept over the core of her arousal. Jesus, Maria and Joseph! Marguerite hooked her legs over Bess' shoulders and tried desperately to remember how to breathe.
Bess clasped her buttocks in both hands, her fingertips leaving more bruises on the soft flesh. Marguerite lifted her head to look at Bess again, meeting the woman's gaze and feeling a shock of contact that was near palpable. It was almost enough. Almost. Marguerite shook, consumed by cresting pleasure, hovering on the edge, able to hear nothing save the pulse-beat throbbing in her head, seeing nothing save the bursts of white and red behind her closed eyelids, unable to make a sound until Bess' teeth scraped her clitoris. Ecstasy erupted in shuddering wild release, and a wail was torn out of her. The clenching spasms peaked, a rapturous wave that took her to the heights and brought her wandering back to herself to find Bess was nuzzling her lovingly, persistently, bare little flicks against her sensitive flesh that sent sparks of near intolerable pleasure racing up her spine.
Marguerite sighed and stretched to ease the cramp threatening in her calf. Apart from that minor irritation, she felt languid and relaxed, entirely boneless and content to remain so. Bess' head was a weight on her thigh, her breath cool against Marguerite's sweaty skin.
After a moment, she felt Bess roll over, and heard the woman rummaging in the ironwood chest next to the bed. Something was pushed into her hand. Marguerite smiled, recognizing the object by its smooth texture. During a trip to Cartagena de Indias , Bess had paid for a diletto to be purpose-made by an Italian saddler of her acquaintance. The instrument had the shape of a man's love-thorn , cunningly crafted of the finest fawn's leather stretched over an ox horn form.
The clink of a small bottle was followed by the cold sensation of oil trickling over her fingers. Marguerite's eyes were still closed; she envisioned the leather growing darker as it absorbed the oil slicking its surface in drizzles from the flared mushroom head to the base that she clutched in her hand. Although she regretted the inevitable staining of the counterpane—grease could never be got out of silk, not completely—she would not break the mood over trifles. She opened her eyes in time to watch Bess squatting over the diletto .
“Wait,” Marguerite whispered. Bess paused, and Marguerite went on, “Show me.”
She watched while Bess adjusted her stance, keeping her balance easily, for though the mattress made a precarious platform, it was nothing compared to the rollicking of a ship in a squall. The woman reached down and splayed apart the lips of her womanhood, flashing moist coral flesh that contrasted strongly with the dark pubic curls that framed it. Marguerite held the diletto firmly while Bess guided the head to her entrance, then she sank down with deliberate slowness, bit by bit of the well-oiled length vanishing into pinkness under Marguerite's fascinated gaze. At last, Bess' knees rested on the bed on either side of Marguerite's arm, and she bent over, offering her mouth for a kiss.
Marguerite kissed Bess but remained otherwise passive, letting the woman take what she needed and be in control. They did many things together—neither of them was much inhibited, and the ironwood chest contained other pleasurable devices—but Bess allowed this kind of penetration rarely. Marguerite did not ask why. Thinking about such things made it hard to breathe around a hard knot of something close to fear that filled her throat. Neither of them was without scars… but she pushed that observation away. It was enough to be here in the house with the blue door; it was enough to be allowed to warm herself in the wake of her lover's fire. The past had no place here, and neither did the future. Only the present existed.
She heard Bess moan, and opened her eyes. Bess had straightened and was bobbing smoothly in place, riding the diletto . Exposure to the tropical sun had tanned her lower arms, her calves and feet, her face and neck, but the rest of her skin shone white, touched with the candlelight's gold. Marguerite watched the muscles working in Bess' thighs, drawing taut on the upstroke only to relax when Bess sank down again on the solid shaft. Her fingers were restlessly kneading her own breasts, plucking at her nipples.
Bess was so beautiful when she disposed of her cares, forgot her responsibilities, and simply let herself feel. Marguerite believed this was Bess at her most womanly, her most vulnerable, every mask shed in the joy of sheer abandonment, her true self shining through the rough façade. It could only happen because Bess trusted Marguerite with more than her life; she trusted Marguerite with her very soul.
Suddenly, Bess' eyes fluttered open, and she gave Marguerite a breathtaking smile. “What you do to me, dear heart,” Bess whispered as she leaned forward, each puff of breath like a benediction against Marguerite's mouth. “What you do to me.”
Bess' coarse pubic curls tickkled Marguerite's fist where she held the base of the diletto , grooved to give her fingers purchase. Craning her neck, she kissed Bess, a careful press of lips, a brush of tongue against the woman's closed mouth which Bess opened, accepting the deepening caress. Her undulations on the diletto 's greased shaft increased.
Marguerite broke the kiss after a last, long, sucking bite to Bess' lower lip. Turning her head, she found one of Bess' small, firm breasts near her face. She licked and sucked the tantalizing nipple until it was cherry red, hard as a bead on her tongue.
Bess was kneeling over Marguerite at an angle with her hands braced on the mattress, a tangle of chestnut curls hiding her face and tickling against Marguerite's cheeks. Bess let out a groan that was partly a sob. Her body trembled.
“Let go, liefje ,” Marguerite said. Her wrist hurt; she felt the burn of abused muscles up to her elbow, but that did not matter. Her sole concern was the woman who was quivering, her head thrown back, her mouth agape, helplessly panting, transfixed on the point of pleasure.
Finally, Bess ground herself down on the diletto , whining through her nose. One of her hands clenched in the bedclothes; the other she raised to her mouth, to stifle her scream with a fist when she convulsed. Marguerite felt warm wetness smeared on her hand from the woman's release. After a long moment, Bess ghosted a sigh. Marguerite let go of the diletto so that Bess could pull it out, then shift position and lie down at her side.
“Dear heart,” Bess murmured.
There was a thud as the discarded diletto rolled off the bed and onto the floor. The candle guttered and went out.
Marguerite turned on her side so that she could take Bess into her arms and curl around the woman like two spoons in a drawer. Their bodies were damp with rapidly cooling sweat, , but Marguerite did not care. She was warm, sleepy and comfortable. It did not take long before Bess went completely limp against her and started to snore, a soft buzz that had become familiar through many nights on shipboard.
She drank in Bess' wild smoky scent until her eyelids drifted closed and she fell asleep, dreaming only of loving and being loved.