She wakes, ten minutes before the alarm would go off, if she were at home. The sunlight steaming through the window hurts her eyes. Damn, this means that getting vertical is required.
With a painful squint and a bit of a stumble, she drags her heavy body over to the window, pulling drapes to block the infernal brightness. Staggering, she returns to the bed, surprisingly comfortable with delicate linen sheets and a down comforter she pulls around her like a lover's arms. In the fog of her brain, she struggles to remember the night.
The Masque was set to begin at 8pm. It had said so on the dark embossed invitation that had mysteriously appeared at Johanna's abode the week before. Unusual, but not unheard of, Johanna was used to surprise gifts from admirers. Usually she ignored them. Attention was always lovely, but replying might obligate her in some way to return their affection, and Johanna had no intentions in doing that. She was focused, enterprising, dilligant, ambitious. She had no time for dalliances, and certainly nowhere in her blackberry-dictated schedule was there time set aside to fall in love.
However, the grandiose quality of the invite, promising not only a masked celebration, but accommodations at the new Palácio de Amor Perigoso, was simply too good to pass up. And she was SO in need of a weekend retreat, after the presentation she'd put together for the board this week. She needed girly moments at a 5-star spa, and a little celebrity treatment. Not to mention that events like this were like crawling with the most important people, and she longed to be one of the "power players".
Perfection takes time, and it was easily 9:20 before Johanna made her appearance. Hair coiffed just so, she exected to be, as she so often was, a belle of the ball. However, upon arriving it became clear that it was no ordinary evening... no ordinary celebration. Sumptuous red walls, with wrought iron sconces holding dripping candles of shiny black wax; the room was most extrodinarily decorated in half dressed bodies of all shapes and colors. Sparkling fairies, scandalously naked tree nymphs- from fantasy to fetish, an array of forms swayed and undulated to the pulsing deep beat of the otherworldly music pouding from the speakers. No celebrity faces, no power players. Just bodies, estatic in a near carnal way. Johanna, in her ornate gown of shimmering ivory, felt instantly out of place.
With a body posture that betrayed none of the trepidation she was feeling, she crossed the room, heading to the bar for a bit of liquid courage. The dense mass of bodies was difficult to navigate at best, and she had just managed to slip by two pony-esque characters who were lost in each other's sweat and passion, when she found her way barred by a large red chest.
"The musculature is impressive," she thought somewhat haughtily to herself as she let her eyes travel from abs to pecs to the spectacular face attached to it all. Deep crimson body paint covered every inch of naked flesh, and there was tremendous temptation to check lower and see if the god had at least worn a loin cloth.... but the striking dark eyes that watched her intently took all her attention and robbed her of further thought.
"Good evening Johanna", his voice flowed like melted dark chocolate, seductive and tangible, coating her flesh in tingles and twitchs and the irrisitable urged to be touched. Johanna briefly registered that the thoughts now screaming through her mind were not ones she normally allowed herself, but within his physical presence, all she could sense was the salt of sweat and iron-like aftertaste that blood leaves in your mouth. She for an instant wondered if she'd managed to bite her tongue. She opened her mouth to speak, then closed it in stunned speechlessness. Opened it again thinking she'd found words, but closed it almost as quickly, realizing that if she articulated her thoughts, she would not be able to stop the decadant, and completely unlady-like proposition that begged to be spoken.
He chuckled. A deep low rumbling like thunder in a night sky storm.
"My sweet fish, standing there.... desparate for a breath.... feeling so out of your element." He walked around her. With all the gyrating madness that swam around them, he seemed unaffected... untouched. As if the mass of flesh parted to allow him passage. He slipped behind her, so that he could quietly whisper into her ear, his sensuous tones having an even more primitive effect on her when accompanied with his hot breath. "These are dangerous waters. Far more powerful than any of the pinstriped suits you spend your days with." He brought his hands up to her shoulders, and the first touch was explosive in her blood. Trembling, she fought back the fear that she was, for this first time since she could remember, completely out of control.
Strong red hands began to slide her gown from her shoulders. "Ease into the water, my sweet Johanna." Quivering, shaking, her mind screaming "No" as her body played traitor, she could no more stop his hands than she could stop the ragged breaths escaping her. All around, the music swelled and pulsed and pulled at her gown. The heat of the dancers, the taste of the sweat, the colors whirled madly, as .....
*sound of a knock* "Maid Serivce"
Johanna bolted upright in the bed, her head pounding with the movement. Disoriented with pain and dehydration, she angrily responded "Not Now", before flopping back down on the pillow. Instantly she was sorry and a little nauseous. "What a fucked up.... ugh." She rose, slowly this time, and staggered towards the bathroom. What she needed was a shower, something to rehydrate her body and wash this filthy used feeling from her soul. "MUST remember not to do shots of Jagermeister at the next party, " she grimly chuckled to herself, as she turned on the water.
Standing, she caught a moments relection in the 3 way mirror. Down the small of her back were 4 long red scratches, nearly animal in their nature. For a moment, there was a fire in her groin, and then a cold chill in her blood as she desparately sought for the difference between truth and dream. There were no answers in her foggy head, and as she stepped into the shower, she found no comfort in the warm water streaming down.
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