Shakespeare's Dark Lady
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So is it not with me as with that Muse,
Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse;
Who heaven itself for ornament doth use,
And every fair with his fair doth rehearse,
Making a couplement of proud compare
With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems,
With April's first-born flowers and all things rare
That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems.

Sonnets, 21
William Shakespeare

Light riffles over the cellar floor from the candle burning on top of the stove, its translucent sides shading through ocher to menarchal red. The wick burns inches from the bottom, but the outer lips stand half a foot high, engorged and crusted with their own drippings. Veins web the tissue, barbled with rivulets of wax.

She floats close to the four-poster canopied by a damask half-tester and whips off a black duster to reveal a scarlet coverlet. At the head of the bed lies a bolster with a satin sheen.

She skims across the floor to where a rectangular shape looms in the dark and another duster is conjured away, disclosing a full-length looking glass in a boxwood frame. She glides up to it and stands there preening, turning from left to right with one hand behind her hair.

You emerge naked from the gloom behind her.

She spins around. Then, without a word, she plucks a vermilion rose from her corsage. It falls to her feet. You watch as she undoes her busked bodice, all cringles and hooks, tugs it off, flings it away. Underneath she has on a camisole of filigree embroidery. Everything she wears is black, even the fleurette garter around one thigh.

Her face is expressionless. She reaches a hand behind her head.

You stare at her.

She pulls at the ribbon that holds her hair and it tumbles in ringlets around her face. Her eyes meet yours, and for a moment her mouth curves into an icy smile.

Her fingers creep upward. She loosens the laces, one row at a time, and wriggles the garment down to her feet before stepping neatly out and throwing it to one side. The candle's glow ruddles her skin. Her nipples stand out in the cellar's coolness.

She turns in a slow circle and you leer at her legs rising to the croup of molded buttocks, your eyes dressing her down from the contours of her neck to her plush thighs. She removes her undergarments and kicks them aside.

The fleece over her love mound goes higher than most: dense wiry hair. A fine line ascends to a flat navel. A hint of hair shows under either arm.

Your eyes take in every detail as she turns her back. All she wears are single hose and shoes and her garter with its tiny flower. Your eyes explore her dimpled rump. She stands tossing her head, her hair flaming blond around it, and spins to face you across the floor.

"Will you come to bed, my lord?"

"Think on thy sins," you rasp back.

"Why I should fear I know not, since guiltiness I know not, but yet I feel I fear."

You advance on her, then stop two feet away. At first your virility is not upstanding. You seize her hair and strike her lightly across the face with an open palm.

"Perjur'd woman!" You spit the words. "Thou dost stone my heart, and mak'st me call what I intend to do a murder, which I thought a sacrifice."

"O, banish me, my lord, but kill me not!"

"Down, strumpet."

You jerk her hair, drag her to the bed, and throw her on the coverlet where she lies sobbing, face down, legs spread apart, buttocks trembling.

Your eyes gloat over your own now flailing instrument and you bend to pull off her shoes, which you toss on the bed beside her. Her sobs turn to panting. A small gasp.

Her left hand slides between her belly and the coverlet in search of her most intimate part and soon her breathing is rhythmic, matched by the rise and fall of her rump. Her legs are twitching.

You stare all the while at the tips of her fingers where they come and go at the moist apex. The movements of her buttocks grow quicker. She starts to moan.

In your left hand you wield a black pizzle. You raise your arm and bring the strop down on her pert haunches.

She screams. Her body writhes.

"Filth." You throw away the scourge.

"Now, I prithee, my lord." She is on hands and knees, legs parted .

She reaches between her thighs to guide you, crying out, her rump bucking to receive you as you take her by the hind. Her breathing comes in gargled puffs. She thrusts out her posterior, arching her back and lowering her head into the bolster pillow, scattering her hair, and pushes hard back to match your cadence. Sweat gleams on her shoulders.

You pause to look behind you, then recommence your onslaught. Your fingers claw her dainty flanks.

She hovers before giving herself with a scream to climax as you shunt deeper, burying the utmost length of yourself inside her. At the same moment you seize the nape of her neck and ram her head deep into the pillow. Cries thus smothered, she struggles hard. You are too powerful. Her movements weaken. Yours do not.

When the backs of your legs begin to quiver you drive yourself faster till you reach full spate and explode with a hoarse cry.

There is no sound in the cellar. The candle has guttered and drowned. There is only darkness.

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