The hand mirror is edged in silver and jet, surrounded by broken vines and the skulls of birds and rabbits. Morticia examines her face, smiling at the deep black circles under her eyes and the gaunt hollows of her cheeks. In the flickering, smoky light of the black candles scattered around the room, she looks like a skull in shadows. She knows she is beautiful, a rare treasure like those found deep in ancient burial mounds and sealed in marble tombs. She is a cold, mysterious beauty, sought by few and understood by fewer.
She traces one long nail over the pointed arch of her brows and pushes gently at the lashes at the corners of her eyes. Cocking her head, she looks herself over once more, then drops the mirror on the floor and sighs in pleasure when it shatters with a silvery tinkle. She returns her attention to the canvas beside her and takes her brush and palette from Thing. Midnight mixed with ebony, with a hint of crow's wing and the smallest touch of obsidian. Morticia nods with satisfaction and dips her brush into the paint. She flicks the bristles against the canvas with quick twists of her hand.
The floor behind her creaks and croaks like a raven and she takes a deep breath. "Cadaverous," Gomez says as he moves beside her. "Morbid. Ghastly. Macabre and grim." He rests one hand against the edge of the canvas and gives it a longing look. "You've never been more beautiful."
"Thank you," she says, "but something isn't quite right." She examines her work for a moment, then clucks her tongue. Two quick circles of a thin, pointed brush leave paired scarlet marks on the painting's slim, exposed throat. "There," she purrs, putting her brush aside to fold her arms in front of her. "Much better."
Gomez looks at the painting, then moves the sweep of her hair behind her shoulder to look at her neck. "It doesn't match," he says, and Morticia hides a smile at the slight, hopeful tremble in his voice.
"I know," she says. She turns and sways across the room, her long gown trailing behind her. Taking a seat on a dusty, faded settee, she tips her head back and extends one arm, her fingers arched like claws. "Perhaps you would care to make it match, mon amour."
Gomez swallows, the tips of his mustache quivering, and his heels drum on the floor. "Tish," he says in a strangled voice. He snaps his fingers and twirls across the room, throwing himself to one knee at her side. He grabs her arm and drops a kiss on the back of her wrist. "You spoke French."
Morticia smiles, watching him from under her lids as he makes his way up her arm, the heat of his kisses searing through the silk of her gown. He reaches her neck and growls. Morticia tips her head back and runs her fingers into his hair. "Oui," she says. "Bite."