Editor’s Note: This story contains knife and blood play. Read accordingly please.
by T.C. Mill
This time of year finds them on the deep porch of the century-old farmhouse. It always will, even if they’re here in another century.
From under the overhang, they watch the rain fall. Leaves fall with it, beaten copper and winking gold coins dropping to the wet-darkened gravel drive. For an autumn day, it’s warm, and the porch is filled not with damp or chill but the sound: rattling and swelling like gusts of hungry breath. The pressure of the house looms above it like another thundercloud.
The last roses, pink as rare meat, have their heads bowed, heavy petals plucked by needles of rain. Out past the garden, along the tree-lined drive, it falls in such thick sheets that the world seems motionless. As if it has always been this way and always will be, seasons frozen in a silver amber.
They both know better.
Beside him, she shifts but says nothing. His eyes cut her way. The knife in its black leather sheath lies in her lap over flower-patterned silk. The silver fittings gleam as her hips move the rocking chair. As always, the hilt is ready in her hand, though her fingers rest loosely on it.
For a time she only rocks, short undulations of her lower body, something building in the creak and heavy roll of the treads against the porch boards, in the shift of her thighs and the way her breasts begin to swing under her buttoned blouse, in the dance of wet light on the silver until old leather drinks it in. Her eyes stare steadily ahead, even when a wisp of dark hair falls loose and swings by her cheek.
As always, she waits until he is ready. It is for him to begin it.
He gets out of his chair and kneels beside hers.
She slows her rocking and reaches for him. One hand tangles in his hair to hold him for a brief kiss, tender. Her other hand runs along his shoulder, over his neck; her thumb beneath his jaw nudges his chin up. His mouth opens. As she releases his hair and draws the knife, his parted lips tremble, just slightly. The blade is cool against them.
It slides in slowly, the flat of it brushing his tongue once as he works to keep it still. His breath is shallow; he barely swallows. The blade is hardly wider than one of her fingers, and though it is long, she is very careful about how far she presses it, her eyes narrow and intent. Yet it’s vast, all that occupies his world: sharp metal like ice filling his mouth with its stinging flavor, and her hand wielding it, and her gaze watching his lips. Steady, oh so steady. If anything unsettles her—in what she’s doing or why, in what he now surrounds or in what surrounds them—she doesn’t show it.
His eyes fall shut. Under his knees he feels the ancient boards whisper as she shifts her feet, planting them firmly with a final creak of the chair. The sound and that distantly felt thrum are the only clues to movement. The blade is a lynchpin fixing everything in place.
“Open your eyes,” she says.
He does, and she looks into them as she pulls the knife away. As he closes his mouth and swallows, the mist of his breath clouding the steel begins to fade.
Taking his collar, she rises, drawing him to his feet, then walks him back to his own chair. He sits, obedient to the command she doesn’t need to speak. And she goes to her knees this time, her hands running down the buttons of his shirt as she does, leaving them parted in her wake. The pouring rain mixes with the pounding in his ears. He bends his head to her, seeking another kiss. She gives it, not in reassurance—of that they’ve already exchanged all they can—but care, and thanks.
Then the knife passes down his chest in a clean line parallel to the slender marks already left for—too many to count now, if he could think to count. His thoughts evaporate as his breath had from the blade. Then the pain comes, heat following the chill, swelling and sweet. It has power. He falls back, arms wide, head lifted, hair falling over his shoulders, all open, and offers the power to her.
The cut, shallow but welling scarlet, stops just above his navel. She bends off the edge of the porch to plant the knife into the earth of the rose garden. Almost soundlessly, the blade sinks, his breath and blood on it mingling with the soil and rain. Its power begins to soak in, a steady drip of it he recognizes but can barely feel above the more urgent pulse in his body. She turns back, and he gives her a look of his eyes again when she starts to open his trousers.
She meets his gaze and smiles, fleetingly. It’s something like her kiss, but hungrier. Now her hands do tremble—one running between his thighs, fingers forming a ring around the root of his cock, and the other unsteadily pressing the base of his throat. From the dip of his collarbone it traces downward.
His hands grip the wicker arms of the chair. Her index and middle fingers come away sleek with gathered red. He hears her inhale deeply. She paints a line along his exposed cock, already aching hard at her touch.
As her tongue laps along the blood, her fingers caress his balls and trace symbols along the shaft—these last are meaningless, just in fun. In fact, he still isn’t certain how much of this is simply fun for her: by this point, all of it feels necessary, each detail of the celebration something he’s glad to take part in. Even as her other hand trails the edges of the fresh cut, sketching pain across his torso. It’s no longer in contrast with the pleasure. All of it, all of it necessary.
His climax gathers at the base of his spine, but before he comes, she stops, stands, makes him rise too once more. She pulls him down the porch steps and out under the sky. His trousers fall on the stairs and he stumbles out of them. In a moment water has already pasted his shirt to his back, though together they peel it off, and a line of pink runs down past his waist. The rain slicks her dress to her as well, but they pull the skirt above her hips.
They sink onto the ground. Grass and mud cling to their legs, their backs, but are washed away by the downpour as their bodies turn beneath it. She takes his fingers into her, her wetness dripping around them, falling to the earth in another flood. She puts her slick fingers into him, seeking out more pain and then vastly more pleasure, until his seed spills. He drops his head to taste her. His tongue circles her stone-hard clit as her inner muscles seize around his touch, and she accepts what he gives her like the land accepts their offering: not desperate or triumphant but ready, receiving what’s due in this season, in ripe celebration.
And from the dark windows of the house above them, they are watched, from the dry gray rooms which they, courteous hosts, have ceded to the guests uninvited which must yet be made welcome. The sort of guests that come to an old house, amidst these old trees and roses, to land of this magic, at this time of the year.
T.C. Mill is a writer and owner of a small editing business in Wisconsin. Her fiction has been published in The Big Book of Submission Vol. 2, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year Vol. 2, Like a Chill Down Your Spine from Circlet Press, and the Haunted anthology from Mofo Publications.