Text for Video "River of Beauty" Reading with Art Slide Show [NSFW]

This is the text for the video in this post.

This is Sharon Wachsler, and I'm going to be reading the beginning of my story, "River of Beauty." It's in the Big Book of Bondage: Sexy Tales of Erotic Restraint, edited by Alison Tyler, published by Cleis Press, January 2013.

Mayra stands in the center of the room, taking it all in: the furniture against the walls, the people in evening dress seated in a line of chairs in front of her, and at her side, dominating the room, the wheel. Nearby, a small table holds her sponges, brushes, and arty cakes. Underneath it is a sealed case of champagne. Cattiveria isn't normally open on Mondays, but the owner is a friend.

The new art is up and lit – an assortment of time-pieces in acrylics, with a twist. Her favorite piece hangs behind her. The pussy is lifelike, in mauves, purples, and browns. The lips unfurled and swollen, the cunt fairly drips arousal. She's particularly pleased with her use of trompe l'oeil: the second hand appears to be moving – ticking back and forth over a pulsing clit – while the minute hand snakes into a glistening slit. A short, fat hour hand, shiny with cum, rests on the labial fold at “10.”

Mayra's gaze falls on the femme sitting by herself below the picture. Her straightened black hair hangs like a curtain, concealing her face. She is shrouded in a black dressing gown, the collar flipped up to hide her neck, the bottom trailing on the floor hiding her feet. How long it's been since Avril sashayed through the door to Cattiveria in red leather, pink fishnets, or spike heels, her head thrown back in laughter or tilted forward in flirtation.

Mayra turns her attention toward the wheel. If not for the setting, it could be mistaken for a kitchen table – except for the Roman numerals around the perimeter and the sheepskin-lined restraints. That would make for interesting dining.

Mayra beckons Avril to her side. Clutching her robe about her, Avril moves in her uneven gait toward her Mistress. Avril's stuttering steps tonight are not solely due to her right leg.

Her hands, never affected by the accident, tremble, and her olive skin is deeply flushed. Mayra's groin tingles. A blush of embarrassment can turn to a blush of arousal, the heat of shame to the heat of pride.

Mayra steps forward.“Thank you so much for coming,” she says. “Especially those who helped me create—” She gestures to the five-foot diameter, horizontal wooden wheel next to her, covered in canvas painted doe-skin, stippled and lined to suggest human flesh.

“As you can see, it's on its way to being the last in my series.” Mayra nods at the hourglass painted at the bottom between the “V” and “VIII.” It's an odd image. The small pile of sand in the upper bell doesn't rest in the neck, but defies gravity, clinging to the roof of the bell. A straight line of sand falls from it, through the neck to a much larger pile on the bottom. The hourglass is tilted back, conveying movement, with the base sliding forward.

In the heavy silence Mayra feels her pulse in her neck. All the quiet discussions and loud arguments that led here fill her head with buzzing. She remembers the night, lying in bed, when she finally asked, “As an artist, as your lover and Mistress, after all we've gone through – do you trust me?”

Avril whispered, “Yes,” with eyes blazing, and kissed her fiercely. After making love, Mayra began to sketch the wheel.

Avril's touch on her arm brings Mayra back. “It's time,” Mayra says.

Time for their Cattiveria friends to see Avril without the scarves, turtlenecks, and long dresses she's been wearing for two years. Time for Avril to see them seeing her. Avril lifts her head.

Everyone's accustomed to Avril's face by now, except . . . tonight she's not wearing the heavy foundation the medical cosmetologist gave her to cover the purple-red scar running up her throat and across her right cheek.

Avril unties the sash with stumbling fingers. Then, holding her breath, she lets the gown fall to the floor, gasping like she's ripped off a bandage that took away hair and skin.

“Breathe,” Mayra instructs. Avril nods and exhales in a whoosh. She clenches and unclenches her hands as if yearning to grab the gown pooled at her feet.

Mayra takes in Avril's generous curves at breast and hip, the pouch of her belly, her strong hands. The scars that keep growing, adding dark layers of irritated collagen, are part of Avril's uniqueness. Though the keloids are painful and itchy for Avril, Mayra can't find ugly what marks her partner as a survivor.

“Come,” Mayra says, helping Avril slide carefully into the center of the wheel.

To read the rest of the story, check out the Big Book of Bondage, in paperback or ebook.

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