The paint brush was cold and slippery on Eliza Scorn’s lower back. The bristles tickled at her sensitive skin, the drying paint making the flesh under it feel cracked and constricted. China’s wide, slow brush strokes circled and looped from her shoulderblades down to the curve of her ass. Occasionally China would add detail with a smaller brush and accompany it with a kiss; more often it was a light slap.
Throughout it all Eliza stayed still. She knew the consequences of moving, of messing up China’s work, and the red welt on her thigh still throbbed as a reminder.
Above her, Eliza could hear China sigh, and lean back.
“Which sign was that?” she asked her, careful to keep herself still, her breathing calm.
China made a little noise, a hum of concentration, but didn’t answer. The seconds ticked by as Eliza wondered whether to risk repeating the question, to risk China’s annoyance. She didn’t want this to end, after all. On the other hand, China’s punishments for those who disturbed her were… inventive. Her unpredictable outbursts were one of the things Eliza liked best about her.
Instead there was just the sound of their breathing, mingled, China’s slow and steady, Eliza’s shallow, and the noise of the wet slide of the paint brush in the mixing palette. Eliza could hear it swirled around and around in the bowl, the slap of wet hairs on stone.
Eliza couldn’t help herself.
The brush stopped moving.
“A silencing sigil.”
That was one form of punishing loose talk, Eliza thought wrly to herself.
China resumed her mixing, left Eliza to lie as still as she could, breathing quickening further in anticipation. The pain on her thighs had almost completely dulled, a flat sensation, but it took all her will not to shiver as the cool air passed over her wet skin.
Behind her, China got up, leant over her.
“I’ll need your wrists.”
Eliza brought them up, crossed them in the air above her spine, muscles protesting a little. Her face was pressed even further into the bed, her chest compressed uncomfortably. She didn’t want to smudge anything. She waited a little for China to take them — stupid of her, really, today was obviously a time out day — but instead China simply stood, humming in pleasure. Eliza could almost see her standing back, appraising her, her body, like one of China’s own artefacts. A feeling of warmth spread through her at the thought, going straight to the pit of her stomach.
“Perfect. You look picturesque. So… beautiful.” She grabbed Eliza’s wrists (finally, Eliza thought) and crossed them together, painted a little swirl on the sensitive area covering the veins underneath the palm. It tickled. When Eliza automatically went to pull away, she couldn’t. It was as if yards upon yards of thread had woven them together.
China straightened out the curled fingers on the upper arm, leant in again. Eliza could feel the fabric of her gown drape over her bare back, lightly swiping over her sore legs and buttocks. She kissed the palm, then the lower wrist, then moved backward. Eliza felt the receding of the heavy fabrics as she moved away from her, wanted to kick up her legs and catch China between them, as she so often liked to. Instead, she stayed perfectly still, ignored the stiff feeling of her arms.
“Click your fingers twice if you need to stop. Otherwise, no moving without my bidding.”
She came up behind Eliza again, moved her arms to rest on the small of the back.
“Yes. Good. I’m going to start with five.”
China waited for the finger click, the shake of the head. Instead, Eliza braced herself. China saw, and tutted.
“Oh no, we can’t have that.” She moved back, and spread Eliza’s legs apart, a hand around the top of each thigh, exposing her to the cold air. Eliza swallowed, too-loud, before she could stop herself.
“Someone’s excited,” she said in a low voice. “You’re all hot and bothered, aren’t you.” Her right hand squeezed Eliza’s thigh and then left it, trailing across the faded welt lovingly and then her buttocks, eliciting a sigh from Eliza.
“Is that what you want?” China asked, hand hovering above her groin. Eliza could feel the wrist pressing into her thighs, wanted to tell her yes, of course, right now.
China laughed lightly again.
“Look at you, wriggling around. You’re desperate for it, aren’t you?”
She leaned in, and stroked a line agonisingly slowly over Eliza’s labia, barely brushing over her clit. It was almost too much. Eliza wanted everything now. She strained her arms and ground her face into the bed as China dipped a finger inside her almost too slow to bear -- anything to escape the excruciating waiting.
“Oh my,” China said, sounding a little surprised. “Hot and wet. You’re simply insatiable.” Her hand stopped moving, and Eliza wanted to cry out, wanted to cry at how pathetic she was being, how China had such an effect on her. She thrust her ass out further, wanting China inside her more, wanting more full stop.
“Calm down, Eliza dear,” China murmured, drawing back, withdrawing her hand, and Eliza didn’t know how much she could take of this teasing. China walked to the side of the bed and knelt, straddling Eliza’s back.
“I’m going to move you further, yes? Is that all right?” Eliza nodded into the mattress.
China dipped over her, soft hair brushing her shoulders.
“For easy access, you see,” she whispered in Eliza’s ear. Eliza’s knees felt like they were going to give out. China grabbed her around the waist and pulled a few inches, until Eliza’s head was near the cushions by the headboard.
“Comfortable?” China asked. Eliza nodded.
“You’ve been so good for me, Eliza. So obedient. I’m going to take the silencer off now.” She rubbed Eliza’s wrists, and Eliza heard a panting sound come back into her breathing immediately. China got off the bed again, walked back down to its foot.
“Hmm. Now, where were we… Eliza, where were we?”
Eliza’s mouth was dry. She licked her lips. “You were touching me.”
“And was that what you wanted?”
“Yes,” Eliza said, trying not to say it in a rush. “Yes, it was.”
“So you would like to…”
“Carry on, please.”
“Well, since you asked,” China said, and knelt behind her, braced herself with her left hand, leaned over Eliza.
“My symbols look so beautiful on your skin,” she murmured in Eliza’s ear, as her knees behind Eliza’s own nudged them even further apart. “You look like you’re all mine. My piece of artwork,” she added, as a finger on her right hand thrust slowly and deeply inside Eliza, started up a rhythm. She started breathing deeply, a little faster, her composure slipping. “Would you like that?” She started to thrust faster.
“Yes, yes,” Eliza said mindlessly. “I’m all yours.”
China added another finger. “Tell me again.”
“I’m yours, China,” Eliza said, the words spilling out. “I’m your art. Your masterpiece.”
“Getting a little ahead of ourselves, are we?” China asked, as she added a third finger. Eliza gasped a little at the feeling of fullness. “Too much?” China asked, stopping.
“No,” Eliza breathed, “No, no, it’s perfect.” China started moving again, began kissing the side of her neck, her shoulders. Each touch of her lips felt too hot, like it was burning right through her, all of Eliza’s senses blurring. China’s breathing was heavy now, coming thicker, her kisses more open-mouthed, less careful. She moved faster and faster and Eliza was coming undone. Curses streamed from her lips into the mattress as she tried to escape and sought more of China, all at once, everywhere, and faster.
She lifted her head long enough to say, “Please, China,” and that was all it took, China’s control totally gone now. She pressed further into her shoulders, further inside, further everywhere, and then she jostled Eliza’s strained and crossed arms. Eliza hissed in pain.
“I’m so sorry,” China said, back to herself. She sat up and pulled out, cleaned off the rest of the symbols, rubbed the life back into Eliza’s hands. She kissed each thumb joint, each knuckle, each palm. Eliza sagged into the mattress, her senses firing on overdrive.
“These must be sore, mustn’t they,” China said, sounding chastened. “I’ll have to forgo the sight of my beautiful canvas… arresting as it may be.” She brought Eliza’s arms back to her sides, stretching them carefully, rolled Eliza over.
“I am sorry,” she repeated, staring at Eliza, drinking in the sight of her, limbs totally dead and still breathing shallowly. She leant over and kissed Eliza, rolled her onto her side, deepening the kiss slowly, starting to edge Eliza’s mouth open with her own, smothering her shallow breaths. Her hand dipped back down to pick up where she’d left off, and Eliza grabbed her by the wrist.
“No,” Eliza said, drawing back from the kiss, “I want you above me, like before,” and pulled China on top of her. China squeaked once, a most undignified sound, and then kissed her in earnest, hard and angry, hands coming up to cradle her skull and tug at her hair, pressing Eliza into the bed as if China could push her through the floor, through to the centre of the Earth. Eliza brought a hand up to China’s waist, back, pressed her back against herself, wanting to get as close to China as possible.
“Too many layers,” China laughed against her mouth, and sat up to take off her dress. “We can’t all be naked so quickly like you. So eager, my Eliza, eager and ready…” She moved to kiss her again. “So willing.” She threw the dress over into a corner of the room, body meeting Eliza’s, kissing her deeply. Eliza moved her hand down to China’s stomach, crotch. “Yes,” China whispered between kisses. Eliza moved aside her underthings and found what she was looking for, slid herself in slowly. China kissed her like a mad thing, like she was dying, like the world was ending. They kissed and Eliza pushed harder and deeper and China gave up on kissing all together, mouthing at Eliza’s collarbone, biting at her neck, lightly savaging her as they moved faster and faster. Eliza pressed China against her to stop her moving and crooked her fingers just right and China came, sank her teeth into Eliza’s shoulder as her legs kicked a little, spasmodically.
They lay there a little while, boneless. China wrapped her arms around Eliza, came back to herself, kissed her like a human being again.
“Are you done?” she asked. Her hand played, too-casual, around Eliza’s stomach, hips.
Eliza hummed. “For the moment,” she said, smiling. Let’s lie here, for a moment.”