I can smell her. Even through the sea of flesh, sweat and sex that gyrates on the dance floor, I can smell her. They seethe around me, completely oblivious to my inner thoughts. Each one of them is lost separately in their own little worlds; the crying voice shaking over the speakers is nothing in comparison to what awaits us when she takes the stage. I stand in the center of the dance floor, a single stoic rock amid the rapids of motion. They flow around me, ebbing and swaying, stamping and sliding. Unconsciously, they avoid me; refuse to touch me. It gives me perverse joy to know they fear me.
I breathe deeply, seeking out her scent from beneath everything. It’s there, like an intoxicating perfume, lingering just at the edge of all my senses. It’s like ambrosia, sweet and rich. It fills my lungs, seeps through my every pore. I want to bask in it, shower in her smell. But I’m content to wait, content to sit in the background.
I move slightly, shifting my weight back and forth subtly. The crowd seems to slide apart as I rock, moving like a river around the obstacle of my form. I walk suddenly, and the dancers jostle. They realign themselves to allow my passage, unobstructed, from the center of the dance floor, to the bar. A stool empties even before I think of taking it, allowing me to slip onto the seat and hunch over. My eyes shift from patron to patron.
There are so many of them that come to see my princess. They are from so many walks of life. There is an accountant, dressed in latex and vinyl; his dual life, a secret to his whole family. There, a schoolgirl who can only feel free in the company of those depraved like herself. I have to admit; she is pretty in the wine-colored velvet bustier, and the flowing heavy brocade skirt. Beside her, sipping a glass of white wine, a tall white-faced boy strikes a sultry pose in leather pants, and a fishnet shirt. They are all here, yearning to see the queen of music. My eyes shift back to the stage, draped in velvet, darkened with expectation.
I feel a tightening in my loins, a hardening that I fight to separate myself from. My eyes close as I tap the bar, pointing at a bottle of brandy behind the dark-eyed bartender. The man wears dark eyeliner, and one of those sloe-eyes closes in a brief wink in my direction. I choose to ignore him, closing my hand around the glass of brandy, making that the focus of my attention.
The bartender gives a huff, his broad shoulders rising in indignation. I sigh with relief as he sashays down the bar to attend someone else. I watch the flirtatious man get turned down yet again, and drop my gaze before he can resume eye contact. I don’t like men to wear so much eye-makeup. I inhale again; the brandy stings, but the undercurrent of her is so heady it nearly sweeps me from my stool.
Ten minutes before she takes the stage. Ten minutes until I can gaze upon her face, and stare into those icy eyes. Ten minutes before her voice rises and thrills, before she allows me to transcend the pain of mortal life. More and more people file in; dispersing through the crowd, waiting, like me, to see the queen of the night. There is motion behind the black velvet curtain; I turn on my stool to watch and wait. My heart betrays me, racing and throbbing, eager to see her, to smell her, to taste her sweat on the air. The brandy slides like water down my throat, incomparable to her.
The lights begin to dim; the thrum and throb of the DJ’s music fades to nothing. Silence brings the gyrating crowd to a standstill. I slide from my stool, as the interior of Cantus is plunged into darkness so complete that it invades the soul. So, I move by touch, laying my long fingered hand on an arm here, the small of a back there, and I slide through the crowd, making my way towards the stage. People move, shift beneath my touch, shying away, sidestepping with a muttered oath.
The stage… there is definitely movement upon the small construction of wood and velvet. I reach my place on the dance floor as people begin to crowd in, rising from their tables and pushing towards the center. The bar, too, empties, as they fight for a view of the phenomenon that is about to take the stage. From the darkness, a voice lifts.
Wordless, low, an ululation that spears straight through the soul; my body jerks in imaginary pain as the lance of her voice slices through me. She brings the lights up with her voice, and her arms, a single steady cry that scales through the notes effortlessly. Her vocal range is astounding; I feel as she raises her pitch, that she raises me above the crowd on the lance of her voice. My eyes are focused upon her form, standing exquisite as a statue within a single, white spotlight.
God… she is beautiful.
Soft raven hair, laying in spikes and layers all around her face. Her skin is a perfect white; her neck a column of alabaster, shoulders sculpted from the same pearly stone. She is a Venus de Milo, female perfection personified. Her lips are painted dark, a shade much like dried blood, maroon, deep and deceptively wet. She reaches the top of her soprano range, a note so pure and graceful that it is almost painful. I am mesmerized; my mouth open, air rasping roughly in my fevered lungs. I want to capture her, to own her, to drink that voice down into my being, and possess her very soul.
So white she is nearly translucent. She holds that note, poised with her arms raised like an angel, her dark tribal tattoos like gashes of black ink against the perfection of her skin. Suddenly, her voice shatters. That high soprano note is suddenly backed up with three-part harmony… There are no other singers. There never have been. It is always just she. Her voice splits, shatters, and falls into different octaves. Three distinct tones exit that one perfect throat.
I tremble in expectation, my whole body rigid and hard. Her eyes open, as she lowers her arms. Those ice-blue orbs meet my gaze; her cheeks apple as the corners of her mouth twist into a smile. She holds my life in her gaze, even as she sings, as she trills and whispers; as the wordless song spins around the club, I am at her complete mercy. Cold sweat breaks out against my brow; she breaks eye contact. No. I can feel myself falling, spiraling down from the high her gaze kicked me on. I must have her. I must feel the silk skirt rip in my hands… I must feel the leather bustier sweat and stretch as I rip it off her skin.
I have to have her… I must. I cannot deny the physical effect she has on my any longer. I am hard, and rigid, straining against my leather pants with painful ferocity. Everyone is entranced by this woman, focused only upon her. Lovers cling to each other, drowning in the emotional deluge caused by her voice. Men, like myself, gaze longingly at this perfect vision upon the stage, wanting, needing, desiring nothing but her. But unlike me, the other men are pathetic, and without the desire to hold her. I will have her tonight. She will be mine.
My hands rub that most painful, sensitive spot. I tip my head back slightly, to watch her through slit eyes as she sways back and forth, her voice pouring forth like water tumbling over rocks. I masturbate to her vision, to her voice, to the smell of her sweat…
Something burns me, gripping my chest in a painful hold. Starting guiltily, I look around at the crowd, but all eyes are on her. Her; it is her! She has my eyes again; she stares directly at me, waggling a finger mockingly. She saw! She watched my actions; I grind my teeth, and my eyes beg her. I push forward a few more rows of people, hoping only to lose myself from the scrutiny of her ice-blue eyes. She rolls from one song to another; this one has words, harmony, and a techno-backbeat that begins to pulse over the speakers. Her voice is like poisoned honey, so sweet and delectable that you want more, though you know you will only drown and suffer within it.
The words shatter the spell woven by her voice. The crowd stirs, pairing off, swaying in singles; the dancing has begun. Like a rock in a river, I alone am still mesmerized by her body, her voice, and her eyes. Dark lashes frame such nearly colorless, perfect eyes. She sings of desire, of wanton destruction, of love and lust, and hatred. She sings of my emotions, my thoughts, and my soul. I was nothing before I heard her voice; she sang me into existence.
I am so close to her that I can smell the shampoo she uses; the sweet scent of soap lying beneath the heady scent of sweat and sex. I clench my fists; I will not touch myself. She has caught me once; I cannot allow her to catch me again. My goddess of the night, my queen… ‘I love you,’ I mouth the words to her, only having the courage to do so because she is not looking at me. No, I tell myself moments later, as she swings her eyes in my direction again. I lust for you.
I can see myself climbing the stage, and taking her, right here, right now, in front of all these people. I could drink her song, steal her beauty and forever possess her, right here… right now. But I cannot. I am weak; I would not be able to carry through surrounded by all these people, stared at by all her fans. I would be mobbed, destroyed, torn into shreds like Oedipus surrounded by Maenads. No, I will wait. I will let her please her fans, then I will force her to please me.
I begin to move then, stiffly, uncomfortably, sneaking around the stage, always keeping her in sight, always watching her movements. I will take her backstage; I will possess her, and own her. My stomach twists and knots, tightening up as I make up my mind. Here, by the backstage door, I will wait, and I will watch her. She will sing my courage into existence, just as she gave me life. This is the purpose she gave me; she needs me to own her. She needs me to possess her. That I am sure of. Together and only together can we both be complete.
How long can I wait? I rake my hands through my hair, as she addresses the crowd. I unbutton the top buttons on my shirt as she thanks everyone for coming. Her voice is like velvet, smooth and soft. Two more songs? Three more songs? I will take her as she rests between sets. She sings for the memory of someone, she claims, but I do not care for memories. There is only the future, and the future is only what you make of it. I can bear it no longer, I slide through the door.
Freed of her image, my eyes ache, adjusting slowly to the darkness. I can still hear her; her voice never seems to be muffled, never seems to be amplified. She is power personified. My heart skips as her voice falls unaccompanied upon my ears. A ballad. Her ballads are heart-wrenching, soul-stopping. Her ballads fill me up, and send me soaring. But I have to concentrate, I have to think. I pause, and glance around, and smile as I am able to see her from the wings of the stage. In profile, she is still beautiful. Curvaceous and sultry, she is like a modern Marilyn Monroe… every inch of her is perfect. Not too large, not too small. I cup my hands and imagine… yes, her breast would easily fit within. My imagination takes flight, as I hoist her up against a wall, and possess every inch of her flesh.
Footsteps break me from my reverie, and I move fast, faster than a man my size should. The draping fall of the black velvet hides my form quite well, as two waitresses move through towards the backroom. Both are plain women, when compared to my diva. They whisper and giggle, and glance out to the stage, pointing at the vision of beauty swaying upon it. Jealousy grips my heart, clogs my breath in my throat. I grind my teeth, unwilling to share her with these two whores. For an instant, I am sure they hear me; for one glances up, and peers around as if she is frightened.
Together they scurry off, to finish whatever duty they snuck back to do. As I sneak back from behind the curtain, boldly before they have gone from sight, I see; they clutch each others hands. What fun tortures slip into my mind, what exquisite horrors I could commit with their young bodies. But through the haze, through the murk of my darker thoughts, a voice cuts through like a shaft of divine light.
Her voice. It cups my ears, blowing seductively upon the flesh. It turns my head just so, fingers of sound tickling under my cheek. It touches my lips, causing me to quiver, promising me sensations of what is to come. My stomach tightens; my pants are already uncomfortable as I strain to escape them. I bite my tongue to keep from groaning as her voice dies down, leaving me feeling spent and used.
She must have a dressing room! She must have something, somewhere I may have a private concert! A private showing! My hands are shaking, trembling like leaves in a winter’s gale. From door to door I turn, touching each knob, twisting it, within my sweaty hands. I grunt, I whimper, and finally I whine. Until I find it, mocking me, laughing at me: the door with the carvings. More than just her name, a string of power, a lilt of runes, carved deeply into the door. My fingers trace the carvings; my other hand falls to the doorknob.
It is electric, the sensation that ripples through my being. My heart, once merely thundering, now becomes unbearable, beating against my ribs with a ferocious tempo. It hurts. My whole body aches with the need to be near her. She is singing again, something from an opera, soaring and foreign. Her voice dances with the electronic darkwave, twisting and turning within the ruins of sound. She takes dissonance and makes it exquisite. My knuckles crack with the pressure of gripping the knob; it holds me in place as half of me yearns to join her upon the stage.
Frozen there, I suddenly realize just what I am holding in my hand. She has touched this! She has defiled this door. This is it! My eyes widen, the whites nearly roll up in my excitement. The door swirls like some macabre Dali painting; vertigo weakens my knees. In my fight to keep my feet, my hand slips, turning the knob. The door pops open; the handle writhing from my fingers. It is a dream, a haze touched, fog plagued dream. I enter this most sacred of holy places.
What do I expect? A shrine to all that is her, all that makes her tick. I am not let down. The walls are not quite bare, solid hardwood, unpolished perfection. In the corner, a knife sticks into the surface, at the tail end of a string of carvings. My fingers tremble as I feel my way into the cramped chamber. The walls are covered, carved, scratched and scarred. The light switch is nonexistent. Instead, two bare wires stick from the wall, sparking and arguing in strain to keep the long fluorescent lights running. There is a chair, and a vanity, both unfinished, the latter strewn with objects.
I fairly throw myself into the chair, releasing my safety grip on the door, and the wall both. As I settle within the unpadded confines, a soft click alerts me to the doors closing. I smile, for obviously the door wants me to remain inside until she is done. I’m shaking, I can hardly breathe. This room smells like her, like sweat and perfume. My fingers are alive on their own, dancing over the table, shuffling through the objects: lipstick, a compact, combs, brushes, and gel. I lift each, and examine it. Strands of her thick black hair cling to the brushes. I pull them off; I hold them to my cheek. So close, I can feel the way her hair would dance over my face, when she will lean to kiss me.
With a thumb, I flip open her compact, and peer at the round pad within. As daintily as I imagine she will be, I lift it, forefinger and thumb only, rub it lightly around on the ivory surface within, and brush it against my face. Her skin will be this soft, like silk, her fingertips lighter than dust. The lipstick too, as deep as blood, receives the same treatment. The cap twists off, and I touch the creamy stick to my lips. Oh, the images that come, the tastes that I imagine.
The rock that has come to rest in my guts aches, breathing is uncomfortable. I drop a hand between my legs, hunching forward in the seat slightly. My eyes catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and I can only smile. I am her. It is her face that smiles back at me. Short, fast strokes, through the denim, relieve only a minute amount of tension. But it is enough; I am determined to save myself for her. My breath is raw, and hard now, panting through parted, painted lips as I survey the rest of the room. A coat rack stands a lonely vigil in one corner. Huddled beneath its feet, however, is a large duffel bag. Yes, now that looks promising. I push the chair back from the vanity, dropping to my hands and knees.
Whispering softly, calling out to the bag, I will it to not fear me. I wish it to not think me an enemy. I crawl forward, bit by bit, until I can touch my fingertips to its canvas lip. Gingerly, I draw it close; I splay my legs out on either side of the bag. The zipper slides slowly, luxuriously, tooth by tooth, only ending when I can census the contents in one glance.
It is almost too much for me. Clothes. Velvet, silk, cotton! Clothes! What I remove first is a shirt, just a tee shirt, black in color. (Now that I think of it, everything inside the bag is black!) But the color doesn’t matter: she wore this! I bury my face inside the fabric; I inhale so deeply I worry my lungs will burst. I hunch over the duffel bag, breathing, hyperventilating, and trying to control myself. A cold sweat breaks out all over, sticking my shirt to me.
I toss her shirt aside, digging through the bag for something better. Ah! Panties! A thong! I cannot help but groan this time as I wad the fabric up and attempt to wrap my nose around it. Perhaps Heaven has found a way to manifest on Earth, and that Heaven exists in these clothes. Her scent is all around me; I rub the fabric against my face, smearing the makeup. I whimper like an invalid when my fingers fumble, dropping dainties upon the floor.
As I fall to my knees, I pause; staring in wonder at the garments before me. Then slowly, I begin to lay them out. First, I place the panties beneath fishnet stockings, beneath leather pants. Then, I lay a lacy bra beneath a silk shirt, assuring myself that the buttons are undone just to the right point. Yes, I murmur to myself, imagining her standing before me, wearing just that. I wish her to wear this when she comes to please me. I lower myself down then, stretching out atop her clothes. I curl my arms around the clothes, her scent. I roll over to my back, pulling the flat effigy of her atop me. My hips lift from the floor, thrusting to the sky, consumed by their own insane desire to possess her.
I am instantly punishing myself, throwing the clothes from me. I jump to my feet, and hit myself in the groin. The pain blossoms purple veins against the back of my eyelids, like a wild vine, coursing through my vision. I bite my tongue, until I taste the ferrous penance for my lack of dignity. There, in the center of her dressing room, I pant, and heave, clench and relax. It feels like forever until that semblance of calm is once again over me. I turn, and bend again, to retrieve the pure happiness that exists in her dainty undergarments.
My reflection catches me. I rub a hand against my chin, smearing lipstick. I drape the panties across my shoulder, so I may merely turn my head and fulfill myself of her. The chair cradles my shape, lovingly, if harshly. A splinter lodges in my palm as I drag the stubborn object forward. A pinprick of scarlet against the black-smeared pale of my hand transfixes me. I do not know how long I stare at the welling blood, until I finally bring my hand to my lips.
My eyes drift shut; I tilt my head to the left. Her warm musk fills my nostrils; ferrous and mercurial tang whets my palate, causing a rumbling within me so deep, it must be carnal. But there are voices outside in the hall. Her voice drifts above the others, lilting, as if she sings even while she speaks. The door jostles slightly, as if someone, or something, leans up against it. I pivot in the chair, turning toward the door. My jaw falls slack; my palms wet with sweat.
The knob slowly turns. Tumblers within clicking and clunking, like the inner workings of some giant clock. I slide, from the chair, to my knees, shuffling forward slightly. My hands are pressed together in supplication. The door swings open, accompanied by the sound of her laughter. Her attention is outside the door, where she waves, and bids a good night. She is radiant, beautiful, like an angel cast from Heaven to make my life worth living.
Her smile is crooked, one corner of her blood red lips lifted higher than the other. But that smile fades as she closes the door behind her. She rolls her shoulders once, as her pale eyes, like ice, settle upon me. I grovel, unworthy of her gaze; I flatten myself to the ground as far as I can go. Now is my chance! I must impress her!
“You are my sun, my moon, and my stars. You are the air I breathe, and the blood that courses in my veins. You are desire; you are death. You are everything to me, and I am nothing without you. I am content to sit in your shadow, and watch you shine like the beacon of brilliant light you are. I am your humble servant, begging you to bestow a gift upon my humble heart. Kiss me? Love me? Give me the nectar you hide within the flower that is your body? I beg you... Have me?”
That is what I want to say.
All that escapes my lips on this most important of all occasions, is a hoarse, throaty moan, rattling with my pent up needs and hours of fantasy. She is silent; I cannot abide her silence. I do not dare to look up. A dull crack is heard, softly; the sound is like the separating of wood planks. I gather my knees beneath me; tucking the balls of my feet against the floor. I begin to stand, my hands are spread wide, palms raised. I move towards her. Her back is to me.
I swear her tattoos move! Writhe and twist before my very eyes! I am only two steps from touching her, from owning her. She begins to turn, and her motion is like poetry. Only too late do I see the gleam in her hand. I grab the crook of her elbow. I touch her! I touch her! The wild purple vines explode all around me.
But I touch her...