The opera was in the final act, and Daryl was growing noticeably restless. She fidgeted in her seat so much that Setzer leaned down to hiss a whispered plea for her to still herself and let him focus on the show.
But she couldn’t. All she could think about was Maria, and the order she had given.
Daryl toyed with the bracelet encircling her wrist while on stage, Maria lifted her voice in a breathtaking cadenza. But Daryl was too distracted to properly enjoy it. Sighing inwardly, she gave up on trying. Besides, if she waited until curtain the crowds would all be bottle-necked at the theater doors. If she left now, she’d have time to get to Maria’s dressing room and… prepare herself.
“I’ll see you tomorrow morning,” she whispered in Setzer’s ear, “when you deliver the gold you owe her.”
“Have fun, darling,” he replied with a knowing wink, brushing a soft kiss on her lips before she stood and made her way out.
The hallway was empty save for an usher at the door and a bored looking cashier at the ticket counter. Daryl ignored them both, moving with the confident stride of someone who knew exactly where she was going and affecting the mien of having every right to do so, despite the fact that patrons weren’t generally permitted backstage. She didn’t have to truly go very far behind the scenes, though - the door to Maria’s dressing room was just off the main hallway.
After pausing a moment to admire the carved gilt facade of the door itself, Daryl let herself in, and locked the door behind her. She trusted Maria would have a key, and if she was to be so bold as to await Maria as instructed, she didn’t want to chance a servant or staff member coming in to find her.
She walked over to Maria’s large stand-mirror and smiled at her own flushed complexion, cupping one pink cheek in her own palm, the comparative coolness of her hand refreshing. Still studying her own reflection, Daryl unwrapped her sumptuous cloak, folding it and setting it on the stool in front of the vanity. Turning back to the mirror, she reached behind herself and began undoing the closures on her gown. Riveted, she watched azure satin slide down her body to puddle around her feet before delicately stepping free from it and kicking it to the side.
Here Daryl paused, regarding herself in the looking glass once more. Her undergarments were utilitarian, but she rather liked the contrast between plain linen and the bracelet sparkling around her wrist. Using that hand, she cupped her left breast, thumbing the nipple through her brassiere until it hardened to a peak, wondering what it would feel like when Maria touched her.
But Maria wanted her to be wearing her skin and the silver, so Daryl stripped off her underwear briskly and tossed them to land on her discarded dress. After a moment of deliberation, she stepped out of her shoes and rolled off her stockings.
She tried to see herself as someone else would see her, someone who was seeing her body for the very first time. Her skin was pale, and Daryl knew from things Setzer had said that she flushed down to her navel at the height of her passion. Overall, Daryl found herself quite unremarkable to look upon, but she imagined that was pretty typical of most people. She lifted the arm bearing Maria’s bracelet again and traced her fingertips from sternum to hip, smirking at her reflection as she dipped her fingers between her legs.
This wet, just from flirtation and the power of anticipation.
Daryl heard the thunderous applause that came with curtain call and laughed softly, the sound low and liquid. She crossed the dressing room to lay down on the divan. There was a blanket folded over one end, and Daryl took her time arranging it artfully, wanting to leave something to Maria’s imagination until she ripped the blanket away, unveiling Daryl to her hungry eyes, and…
Okay, yeah, this waiting and daydreaming was definitely working for her.
She heard the applause increase in volume and figured it was a standing ovation. While Daryl was glad that Maria was getting such adulation from the crowd, she was growing impatient for some ‘adulation’ of her own. Full lips twisted into a momentary pout before curling in a mischievous grin.
Maria said to wear the bracelet and nothing else, but didn’t say Daryl couldn’t start without her. And those brief touches before the mirror had left her revved up and ready for more.
She tipped her head back against the arm of the divan and allowed her eyes to close, reaching beneath the blanket as she allowed fantasies to drift through her mind. Some of Maria, some of Setzer; some of all three of them entwined in a debauched ménage à trois. So caught up was Daryl in the imagery seen by her mind’s eye that she didn’t hear the creak of the door opening, nor the click of the lock. But she did hear the sharply in-drawn breath, and opened dark, heavy-lidded eyes to meet the sparkling azure gaze fixated on her.
Maria was staring openly; the diva was not shy. Her rosebud mouth pursed in a bemused smirk, and she gave Daryl a lingering once-over. Daryl wasn’t even trying to be coy about the fact she was fingering herself beneath the sumptuous coverlet, and as she watched, she saw Maria shake her head and heard her delighted, melodic chuckle. Smiling at her, Maria said one word: “Wow.”
After that, there wasn’t much talking at all.