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The bindings are time-consuming. Winding the thin silken cord around her limbs and the brass bedstead is finicky work, even when she so eagerly positions herself to assist you. Still, her skin is flushed, and her eyes are dark and wide as though she were in the grip of honey or fever, and desire swells in your veins, burning under your skin like Hell's favorite brandy.

When she is finally securely ensnared in your web you pause a moment to admire your handiwork. It's a pity your photography equipment is back in your Doubt Street office; you should like to preserve this image of her, clad in silk in a rather different fashion than usual. The fibers wound around her torso rise and fall with her breath, and her hands move restlessly where they are fixed to the frame of the bed at her side.

You cannot help but touch your own skin, teasing up goosebumps even in the exquisite warmth of your rooms at the Brass Embassy.

"I feel as though you might just devour me whole," she says, her voice is clear and fluid, even when her eyes remain dazed.

You settle in the space between her open and restrained legs and gaze at the exposed heart of her, glistening and ripe. "So do I."

You reach down and stroke over the inside of her thigh, feeling the warmth and softness of her skin through the silk and in the gaps between bindings.

"Put them on. Please."

"Of course," you say, and you crawl over her and up the mattress to retrieve her prize. You arrange yourself at the head of the bed and tug them on, enjoying how her dark eyes drink in your every languid move.

The Spiderchitin Gauntlets have been painstakingly altered, such that the gleaming, jointed casing covers the wearer's fingertips and palm. They fit you like, well, a glove. You wonder whether she made them herself. Whether anyone else has ever worn them for her.

You walk a couple of fingers up her silk-cocooned arm, and she gasps aloud, eyes sliding shut. You think of her face, avid in the glow of Mr. Chimes's lamps as she described certain species' penchant for smothering their prey.

"If I'm to play the spider-queen, then perhaps you should pay me tribute," you say, and crawl into position over her, lower your aching flesh to her mouth.

The position in which she's held by your silky webbing is somewhat limiting, as it prevents the use of her hands and prevents her gaining leverage enough to shift your position or her own. Even so, she demonstrates substantial expertise in the application of her lips and tongue, the effect of her own desperate breath and muffled noises against your skin. The imperfect angle doesn't matter a bit when you prickle your eight fingers through her dark hair and her enthusiasm redoubles itself beneath you.

When you raise yourself away from her, sated and still shuddering, she looks lovelier than ever: hair disheveled and beginning to curl in the fine sheen of perspiration at her temples, mouth slick and swollen, eyes drunk on you as if on wine. You lean down to kiss her firmly, sweetly, and begin to walk your stiff, chitinous fingers down her form, grazing at her skin through and between the silk that holds her at your mercy.

The gloves isolate you from the texture of her skin, but when you press your fingers inside of her, you can still feel the heat and hunger of her body surrounding them, the glide of her delicate skin over the rough plates of the gauntlets as she surges up into their spidery surfaces and clenches helplessly around them.

When she is finally spent, languorous and lax against the sheets, you slice through the cords that fasten her to the bed frame, and lie down. She presses against you and falls to sleep, suddenly and peacefully, wound up in scraps of silk and you.