A total blast from the past this week - but keeping up with my Eroticon fantasy theme. Here's one of the least troubling scenes from Burning Bright, which is a swords 'n' sorcery fantasy with a sorta dark Bollywood vibe. I had to censor a LOT of this novel before publication - it was a bit much for Black Lace at the time...
|I love the title font though|
There was a woman standing among the rocks downstream, cloaked in the shadow of the ferns.
Veraine’s irritation shifted into something else. For the briefest moment he hoped it was Teihli, because he was itching for some relief from his tension, but then he realised this was a stranger. She didn’t look startled by his presence; she looked as if she meant to be there. But she was naked from the hips up, clad only in a tight skirt of dull and mottled cloth. Her breasts were small and high and dark as if never hidden from the sun, providing a distracting backdrop to an elaborate gold collar that spread below her throat from shoulder to shoulder. She looked at him without a word, then raised one hand and beckoned.
Veraine stood, rather conscious of his wet clothes and wondering who she was. She didn’t look like one of the village women, who were inevitably modest in their dress and never wore jewellery so magnificent. He strode toward her slowly across the rocks, but when he’d closed half the distance he halted. Something within him was growing wary of her stillness and strangeness, and the knowledge that he’d left his falchion behind on a rock was preying on his mind for no reason that he could put his finger on. He sized her up. She was just a young woman, unarmed and very slight; she couldn’t possibly represent a threat – not in herself. Her skin had a glisten as if freshly oiled. Her hair was so short that on any other woman he’d have thought it ugly, but her bones were so fine that it seemed to suit her. He looked beyond her, checking for signs of an ambush. ‘What?’ he said softly. ‘What do you want?’
I have something to give you, she said. Her lips hadn’t moved: the voice was in his head, sibilant and cool. Veraine felt the water droplets on his spine turn icy. He took a step back as she came toward him, but he couldn’t retreat on ground this rough without turning and running, so he had to stand and watch her advance. His heart kicked in his chest. She did not walk across the boulders; she glided, her legs never moving though her hips undulated. Behind her something like a dress-train slipped among the rocks.
‘You’re not real,’ he whispered.
She smiled and clasped her hands at the back of her neck, weaving her torso from side to side as she closed on him, displaying her little breasts to their best effect. It was almost enough to distract him from that which, below her hips, was so terribly wrong. Almost. He finally realised that what he’d thought of as her skirt was not an item of clothing; from the hips down she was encased in mottled scaly skin, and there was no line of a human leg beneath it - neither legs nor feet. Instead she had the tail of a huge snake, as thick through as her torso and many times her body-length, its coils stirring lazily on the moss. The interlocking pattern on that snakeskin was echoed too in the arrangement of the tight, scalp-hugging knots of her short hair, and a fainter patina on her human skin. He thought he could discern a silvery etching like scales.
He grimaced and repeated louder, ‘You’re not real, are you?’
Not real? That from a man who doesn’t even know what he is?
Her words wiped the smile off his face. ‘You’re a figment from my mind,’ he said grimly. ‘The fight, the stress of battle, the heat of my blood … It’s gone and knocked something loose in my head again.’ His teeth were gritted. ‘You’re just a vision.’
Then what do you have to fear?
He couldn’t answer that. Her eyes were beautiful; huge black pupils surrounded by golden irises; eyes he felt he might fall into. There was something almost hypnotic about them. But she didn’t blink. She hadn’t blinked since he’d first seen her. ‘What do you want?’ he asked harshly. His mouth was dry. He wanted to reach out and grasp her, to prove to his hand that she was real enough to touch, but he dreaded the consequences too much.
I wish to make a bargain with you. I offer… She cocked her head. Understanding.
That sounded a little too equivocal. ‘Of what?’
Of yourself. Of the past you have lost.
His heart skipped a beat. ‘You know?’
The serpent of the mind represents wisdom, and I am nothing but a vision in your mind, am I not? What can I offer on my side but insight?
‘In exchange for…?’
For a little seed. Seed for my hatchlings. She looked pointedly down at the white cotton of his loincloth, still wringing wet; despite the folds of the loose cloth it was translucent where it clung to his thighs and crotch.
He balked. ‘Ah.’ If not truly erect he was pumped up and distended – partly the result of the fight, partly due to her proximity. Those bits of her that were not serpentine were powerfully attractive. She put her hand on his breastbone and he felt her warmth, like that of an iron blade left in the sun. She reminded him of a knife in many ways; slim and hard and deadly. Now he’d been given the proof of her solidity he’d desired, his skin shivered under her touch. ‘You want-?’ he whispered. She had no legs, no buttocks; he couldn’t even guess where her sexual opening might be located.
She smiled and slid in a circle around him, her hand trailing on his chest. He shuddered but stood still, like a horse too spooked to move, only his head turning. By the time she was behind him her hands were sliding round his waist. He felt the sinews of his legs and buttocks tighten and the skin up his bare back crawl in anticipation. She was looping his feet about with a great coil of her tail.
You fear my poison? She came back round his right shoulder; her palm was splayed across his stomach, pressing upon the hard abdominal muscle, smoothing her way down to the edge of wet cotton that was his only line of defence. She smiled, showing white teeth that seemed quite human, then stretched up to kiss his cheek briefly. You will take no harm from me.
He put his hand on her breast - just to be sure. Her skin was neither oily nor cold as he’d feared, but dry and very smooth. She isn’t real, he told himself, brushing her hard nipple, but his body believed otherwise and his penis kicked, finding instant comfort in the palm of her hand. There was a taunting glitter in her eyes. Only the twin tips of her pale, forked tongue spoiled the effect as they flickered into view across her lips. It was a narrow tongue no thicker than a finger, and entirely inhuman.
He clenched his teeth. ‘No.’ A woman could not be a snake; a snake could not be a woman. This was something from a forest legend and he did not have to believe it.
Don’t be afraid, she said and slid down before him. She didn’t drop to her knees because she had no knees; she simply lowered herself on her huge muscular tail. I will not bite. She nipped the skin of his chest between her teeth: No harder than this.
The breath caught in his throat. I don’t have to accept this, he told himself as she sucked his nipple and teased it to stiffness with that bestial tongue: I can stop her. But his resolve was weakening. When she slipped the knot of his loincloth and dropped a fold to uncover his cock he noted that it was already standing, swaying a little. The stream water had done nothing to cool his blood and his flesh looked very dark jutting out against the white cloth.
Oh yes, she said with satisfaction. Her mouth, when it descended, felt like pure liquid pleasure - and with that touch he was lost. No longer capable of resistance, Veraine let his head roll back as the sensation of physical relief washed over his senses. He felt her encompass his cock not just with her lips but also the paired tips of her coiling bifurcated tongue, her grip firm and sure. He surrendered to it completely; unreal or not, it didn’t matter in that moment. Above them the stone walls of the ravine seemed to lean in to watch. When he looked down again all he could see was the back of the snake-woman’s head rising and sinking as she sucked and licked. As he put his good hand on it and pulled her closer, feeling the hard ridges of her knotted hair beneath his palm, the first memory burst in his skull like a flash of lightning: a glimpse of a sun-drenched courtyard and young men in white tunics involved in some sort of skirmish, armed with dummy wooden swords. He gasped.
Then he shut his eyes the better to see, as flash after flash exploded in his skull.