It’s not easy, watching her sister cry. It’s like a hand around the heart that’s squeezing very tightly.
The breathing is staggered, the outrageous eyeshadow leaking onto cheeks and turning ever so dull.
Vivacity going gray.
It should be surprising, but it isn’t.
Hilda doesn’t break loudly.
But it still hurts, like the time little Arnie Witzer called Hilda stupid and Zelda punched him so hard in the mouth his tooth split the skin on her knuckle.
Nobody makes a fool of Hilda, except maybe herself, and Zelda when in private company.
But it’s a family’s right, no exceptions.
So when Hilda tells her that cape-and-fangs coward rejected her, there are no exceptions here either.
Only this time, she can’t punch him in the mouth.
But she won’t rule out any options.
She bolsters her sister, says an almost truth (she loves Hilda, truly, but the witch has never hunted any living thing except tadpoles in the summertime or materials for her potions).
She is honestly quite proud of how quickly her sister perks up, how Hilda responds to things she’s said.
She does happen to give excellent advice.
And then the silly thing just drops to the floor.
“Why are our beds so high?”
Zelda sighs, because honestly, but internally she keeps the image of Hilda dropping in front of her (tries to ignore the
crawling) on repeat.
There’s only so much a glamor can do. Clothes, it cannot.
Hilda’s coiffed up her hair, honey gold tresses long and lush and filling Zelda with the compulsion to tug on them, very hard.
So much neck exposed.
But she won’t focus on that.
Hilda’s makeup is pretty, smokier than her cigarettes and really—since when did Hilda learn to look so sultry?
It’s damningly distracting.
With great force of will, she focuses back on the clothes. Still with the floral nightie and quilted-pink atrocity.
Oh, absolutely not.
“Is there anything in your wardrobe that’s less. . . That?”
Hilda blinks, the glamor blinks, and she can see just how red her sister’s eyes really are.
She tries again.
“I just mean — oh, what about that leopard number, from that party in Chicago where everyone, including you, was sure the world was going to end?”
Those wide, wide eyes go wider. Then recognition. Then denial.
“Oh no, no, no, no, no. I can’t.”
“What better print to catch your prey?”
Even the glamor cannot hide her blush.
“But I wore that when I was very drunk, and a little bit thinner, mind you, and we both thought the world was going to end.”
“Add a corset then.”
She can feel the frown on the back of her head even as she digs further into the closet.
Eventually, she hears the scrape of the dresser being opened, the garments being rustled as Hilda rummages.
“Found one yet?”
Zelda waves her hand, magic pulsing as the closet changes again and again, no leopard print in sight.
Part of the symptoms of being a witch — so many accumulated clothes, too little closet space.
“I found one,” Hilda says, sounding embarrassed. “Just uh. . . Keep your eyes closed for a bit.”
“I will do no such thing,” she mutters, but she keeps her back turned and eyes staunchly on the clothing racks.
She still hears the fabric fall to the floor. First, the frumpy sound of a bathrobe. Then, the soft whoosh of cotton.
She keeps her eyes trained forward, lighting upon her expected discovery.
“You can turn around now, I think.”
She doesn’t see for a second, because her eyes are turned heavenward.
But then she looks. And looks. And tries very hard to look like she’s not looking.
Black is a very pretty color on Hilda.
She turns, perhaps embarrassed or just bashful, and Zelda stares much longer.
The tights show off the shapely legs, cling to that pert little ass, slide up and into the corset. Which has fabulous boning structure and golden stays. The strings are loose and dangling.
“I can feel you staring.” Hilda squeaks. “I just, need you to tie it for me, will you?”
It takes Zelda a whole five seconds to will herself to lay the clothes over the chair back (instead of dropping them on the floor), and take a couple steps forward (instead of pouncing quick and wild), and grab the ends of the strings (instead of slicing them and letting the whole business fall down).
She pulls a little harder than necessary.
Hilda keeps making these little gasps and going very breathy, and she feels as though her brain is swimming in molasses.
Her knuckles are white. Hilda’s back looks so soft, the hair covering it even softer. There’s a pulse in her fingers and between her legs that trips to the beat of her tuggings.
She ties a perfect bow, once she’s finished, tucks the ends of the string under the corset.
Her hands graze Hilda’s lower back, upper ass.
The next gasp Hilda makes is not from tightness or shortness of breath.
Hilda turns. Her lips would look so good bitten.
Her chest heaves the slightest bit.
Try as she might, Zelda’s eyes keep flickering down. And when Hilda tilts her head up — oh, she hadn’t realized they were so close.
She can practically taste her sister’s cherry breath.
“You shouldn’t eat cherries on Lupercalia,” she mutters, “unless you want something to pop.”
“That’s kinda the point,” Hilda mutters back. “Isn’t it?”
Hilda shouldn’t blink so much. Or bite her lower lip like that. Or keep her mouth so close to Zelda’s mouth.
But suddenly, Hilda’s statement breaks the spell, and Zelda’s stumbling back.
“You’re right, and good, yes. Cerberus is a very lucky man.”
A man. Who is not Hilda’s sibling.
She goes for the door, turns around.
She’s not sure Hilda’s look of disappointment is really there or just wishful thinking.
“Get dressed, sister.” She points to her shoes on the chair, pokes the air twice for emphasis.
“And wear the heels.”
She hears the annoyed huff and grins. Closes the door, leans back on it.
What strange desires Lupercalia brings.
If only they hadn’t already been living in her for centuries.
It seems the boys cannot take their eyes off Hilda’s assets either.
She gets it, décolletage demands attention, but still.
At least it boosts Hilda’s confidence. The little goose keeps wobbling in Zelda’s heels, she needs a bit of ogling to keep with her all the way to the cafe.
That proud feeling is sticking in Zelda’s chest again, growling fierce and low but also so massively turned on by the cougar image Hilda’s projecting.
She wouldn’t mind taking that image to bed.
But still, something doesn’t feel quite right with her as she watches Hilda trip walking out the door.
Her little sister is klutzy, to be sure, but this is a different sort of clumsy, some awkwardness entirely out of her natural level.
She looks like a seductress. Sexy. Exactly what Zelda told her to be.
So why isn’t it settling well in her mind?
When she comes home, turtle dove hearts in tow, Hilda’s reading on the couch, a rolling pin resting next to her.
She’s back in her cardigans and short curls, eyeshadow blue without even a hint of smoke.
Her shoes are heinous.
She looks happy and comfortable.
It clicks in Zelda’s mind, she nearly sighs as a heart sound goes:
Ah, yes. There’s my Hilda.
She shares her news then, plopping the hearts down on Hilda’s book, grinning at her little sister’s glowing enthusiasm.
Stops cold as Hilda asks if she loves Faustus. She stole the man’s baby, for Satan’s sake.
No, she doesn’t love him. But she does like his power.
But she wants to know about her sister’s night, why she looks so giddy and already back into her domestic dress that Zelda finds she quite likes on her now.
And then it’s out there, Hildy’s found herself an incubus.
A witch who can’t even say the word sex, and a sex demon.
How poetically ill-fitting.
But Hilda seems happy, her back-to-normal is making Zelda’s heart go an odd pitter-pat, and she’s about to accept an offer to be High Priestess.
It shouldn’t feel so much like a consolation prize, Zelda’s not even sure how she’d be losing.
But it does.
The final night of the Lupercalia, Zelda goes home tired and grumpy and still so very riled up.
Sabrina and Nick interrupted her little tryst with Faustus, keeping up her abstinence pretense until their wedding, it would seem.
That pulse between her thighs is now a pound, and she really just wants to go take bath until the scalding water competes with the burn in her cunt.
But as she walks by her door, she hears Hilda’s manic whispers.
“What in Heaven are you doing?”
Hilda squeaks, nearly topples over onto the bed.
“I was, uh. . . Just practicing, Zeld.”
Hilda gestures to herself. She’s back in the cat print, and the tights, and the heels. Zelda can see the outline of a loose corset under that fabric.
She gulps and pretends it’s not a gulp.
That pulsing burn climbs to an inferno.
“I have a date with Cee, next Friday. I’d like to look my best.”
She wobbles, Zelda sees how her ankle gives.
She sighs, but with affection.
“That’s not your best look.”
It’s meant softly, but Hilda looks crestfallen at best. And then, very betrayed.
“But you picked it out for me.”
“I did.” Zelda’s hands are so gentle on her shoulders, smoothing over the fabric, splaying over the terrain on her arms. “And you look. . . Ravishing. But I chose something that I liked on you. I didn’t pick something that you’d like on you.”
Hilda’s head nods reluctantly, thinking she’s got Zelda’s point.
“So, I’m just not glamorous.”
“You know that’s not what I meant.”
Hilda rests her hand on Zelda’s forearm, and Zelda suddenly realizes how much heat is emanating off Hilda in waves. She looks genuinely confused.
“I guess I don’t know what you mean, love.”
Zelda bends Hilda’s neck a bit so she can kiss her forehead, then she walks to the closet, rummages a bit, and comes out with a rusted orange dress. She sets it on the bed, then gets Hilda’s favorite clogs, and the burnt mustard tights, and the reddish wooden beads, and a dry-leaf brown cardigan.
“That’s —" Hilda falters, smiles but still has no clarity. “But that’s my favorite outfit.”
Zelda smiles at her, in her cougar dress and long hair and glamor.
“It’s my favorite outfit too.”
Hilda laughs, disbelieving.
“But you’ve always said you hated it.”
“I thought I did,” Zelda takes the wooden beads, reaches around Hilda’s neck to clasp it closed. She watches how they rest on Hilda’s well-supported cleavage.
“But now, it’s a style that represents you. So, I’ve found I like it quite a lot.”
Zelda’s hands are still on the back of Hilda’s neck, gently scratching the flesh there. Hilda shivers and never breaks eye contact; a faint smile lifts her lip corners.
“Thank you, sister.”
“You’re welcome, Hildy.”
Somehow, yet again, their faces are very close. Hilda smells like mint this time around.
She leans closer, angles her little head so their lips are very nearly touching.
Zelda breathes shallowly, almost not at all, and the pulse in her legs is unbearable now.
If they speak, the plumpest part of their mouths will brush.
She speaks first.
“Now.” She licks her lips, knows Hilda can feel the back of her tongue rubbing along Hilda’s lips too.
“Take off those shoes. They’re mine, and I didn’t say you could borrow more than once.”