Editor’s Note: If you are afraid of spiders you may want to skip this story though I hope you don’t as it’s a wonderful piece.
“Playing With Your Food”
by Sonni de Soto
You hate the gasps and the stares as people around us scuttle away. But I don’t. Whether in the shadows or the streets, I’ve been the boogeyman too long for it to bother me. I smile, flashing my fangs at the full and frightened street, the long curved lengths sharp against my bottom lip, and blink innocently. All six, pitch black eyes. Scenting their collective fear combine and swell, my joints shake, the sensitive hairs along my limbs at attention, as my articulated legs twitch as if to pounce. I lick my lips and feel my heart race.
I look to you, the corners of my lips uncurling. Don’t. Such a small but weighty word. “Don’t be the monster they want you to be.”
Don’t prove them right. Don’t reinforce the stereotypes these people already hold against arachnes and vampires and gargoyles and gorgons and anyone whose existence, for centuries, has been relegated and reduced to the public’s nightmares. Don’t make my life, the lives of others like me—not to mention your life—worse for a fleeting feeling of pettiness.
No matter how good it might feel.
Fine. For you. Because it bothers you. And because I love that you’re not bothered by a girl with six eyes and eight limbs.
Besides, you’re right. We have better things to deal with tonight than stink-eyed pedestrians and pettiness.
You reach your hand out to me. I clutch your hand and tuck another arm in the crook of your elbow. Curling into you, I place my other two hands on your bicep, feeling its strength, being comforted by it, even as I put more sway into my four-legged gait. Screw them. All of them. The whole world. I have you and that’s all I need.
So I let you lead me into the Preyer Service. Now that prey vastly outnumber predators, now that the world’s nightmares have been forced out into the light, monsters need a place to hide.
Yet here you are. Walking among us like there’s no difference. Like you’re one of us. As if we’re just like you. How do you do that?
I follow you as you walk to our favorite spot at the back of the space, your hips swaggering slightly with an easy confidence. My lips curve up, revealing more of my fangs. Cocky, little human, aren’t you? I let you get ahead of me, content to just watch the muscles in your ass flex with each step, feeling my body react.
Climbing the walls, I watch from afar as you take off your shirt, I study your skin, the color of sapwood, like a great oak whose bark has been peeled from its trunk. From high in the corner of the room, I think about the touch of it, soft and smooth, tender flesh over strong muscles.
Eager, I reach for the slip of silk streaming from my spinneret. On an excited breath, I send it across to the other side of the wall, creating a bridge line. Spinning my web from anchor point to anchor point as silk strings shift between arthropodan hands and feet to form a spiral pattern outward, I revel as your body is revealed to me. You peel your jeans down your legs like you’re shedding skin. You stand there, vulnerable and raw, and all I want is for you to wander into my trap.
Deliberately and without fear, you climb my web, letting your movement echo along my strings, vibrate against my skin. It calls me. When you finally reach me, you lean in and kiss me. Your lips touch my chin, my cheeks, my nose, and over each eye. You sigh, breathing me in and out and in again, your cheek brushing against the curve of one fang. “I want you.”
My breath catches.
My fangs are sharp, could pierce and tear your supple skin so easily, yet you don’t even flinch at them. You touch them as if they couldn’t kill you. As if they’ve never killed.
Something uncontrollable bubbles up inside me. “You’re not scared of me.”
“Why would I be?” You shrug as if it’s a ridiculous question.
But it’s not.
I grab your wrist, the swift motion stealing your breath. Grabbing more silk, I thrust your wrist against my web before lashing it in place.
You aren’t scared of me. But, Lord knows, you should be.
We’ve never had the talk. The one where I tell you about my past. The things I’ve done. The people before you. You told me that it doesn’t matter to you. That that was who I was, not who I am.
But it is. “You think you know me.”
“I do know you.”
I stare at you, defiant despite being tied to my web. Quickly, so much more quickly than a human could, I secure your other wrist, your ankles, your knees and waist. With your legs parted and open to me, you cannot move. You don’t even try to.
I want to scream. I climb over your vulnerable, exposed body, locking my feet around your ankles and knees. My hands press against your shoulders and grip your face. I lean over you, letting you stare into all six of my eyes and feel my breath puff hot on your cheeks between my fangs. “Do you have any idea what I could do to you right now?” What, at a time in my life, I would have, without question or hesitation. Without regret and with sincere pleasure.
“Why don’t you show me?” You say it like a dare. With heat in your eyes, you look at me, but you’re not seeing me. The real me. If I had met you back then, before the world changed, we wouldn’t be here.
You wouldn’t be here.
You’d be nothing more than a pile of broken bones left at the foot of some long-abandoned web. I probably wouldn’t even remember your name or face—I don’t remember any of them, any more than you remember what you had for dinner four weeks ago.
The feel and scent of your arousal is both intoxicating and infuriating. And I want more of it. I want it to overtake my senses. To fill my lungs, flood my mind, and make me think of nothing but having it.
Your limbs twitch and your hips sway, tipping upward in a silent, subtle suggestion that disturbs my web and reverberates through me. Sweat begins to bead on your temples, your neck, your belly. Leaning down, I lick the hollow of your throat, my fangs pressing into your collarbones. You groan and arch your back up, pressing your body against mine.
It’s been years since I’ve tasted human. But I still remember. “I want to bite you.” Can feel the itch to open my jaws wide and plunge my fangs deep—in your neck, in your shoulder, in your belly, in your thighs—ache in my mouth. I want to feel you wet and warm against my tongue as your flesh gives to my touch and teeth. “Tell me not to.”
I see your gaze harden, even as your body melts into my touch. “No.”
“I could.” Reaching between your legs and stroking your sex, I feel the sensitive skin smooth and silken beneath my fingers. You’re so hot there, the blood-swelled skin almost scalding against my fingers and palm. “And there’s nothing you could do to stop me.” Your writhing turns into a strained struggle against your bonds. I watch you pull at the anchor points, your muscles flexing and your flesh flushing with effort. Sweat glistens all over your body now and sweet sounds drip from your lips. I want to lap at it all as the strings beneath us tug taut with your every tense toss and turn. I feel it pull and play within me, stirring me like a crescendoing song. “Tell me not to.”
“No.” The word is a moan as you come apart against me. Your eyes flutter open to stare back at me, your pleasure-hazed gaze sure, so much more certain than you should be. “I won’t tell you to stop because I shouldn’t have to.” You lay back, your body relaxed yet still ready. “I wouldn’t be here, be with you, if I had to.”
I want to believe that you’re different from the rest of the faceless prey I’ve known. And you are. Because I’m different. Before, I would never have let you, let anyone, get so close. Would never have let you know me or let me know you.
But I have and I do. And I would miss you, if you were gone. The sound of your voice and the rumble of your laughter. The smell of you in the morning and the way you make the monster in me feel safe. The only person—the only being, including myself—who looks at me like they have nothing to fear.
I don’t know how you do that.
But I pray you never stop.
Sonni de Soto is a kinkster of color who believes how others see us often reflects how we see ourselves, so we should be careful how we look at each other. Please find more of her work at sonnidesoto.blogspot.com and follow her at facebook.com/sonnidesotostories