Blood Tint ~ Part 7
Later, maybe four a.m., we did wake up Neave. Before, we’d spent some time exploring the loft apartment, discovered the antiquated black-out shades and drawn them. They would do. After rousing her, we led the half asleep woman the middle of her studio and took her there, almost limp between us. I stood behind her, supporting and sliding into her as she ground back to me, not fully coherent, but operating on a primal instinct. Daci started by kissing her, long and full, and then gradually slid her mouth lower along Neave until she could lick both Neave and I as I fucked her. This time, we each took just the tiniest tastes; just adding a bit of real crimson to the blood tint of our lust, to call the pleasure crashing back down on her and us, until we all sank to the floor in a tangle of limbs and paint rags.
Eventually, I could feel the sky color grey on the other side of the shades, and Daciana’s morning nerves arrived. She curled against me, her protection from the dawn. Sunset has always been my bane, echoes of a past when it meant something truly terrifying. Daciana’s anathema is conversely the rising of the star. For my part it always makes me feel I can push my luck, just a little bit; catch a glimpse of something real and unfiltered and long, long past.
But this morning it wasn’t just us huddled in the darkness. Neave was here. Neave who had given herself to us as much as we’d taken her. And she was on her feet, if somewhat unsteadily.
We watched in fascination as, almost in a trance, she grabbed a canvas and began working on it. The only light she used was a single small lamp. She used brushes, palette knives and her fingers, filling the portrait rectangle with three vague shapes in grey and black. The style of the quickly emerging piece was the same as that of the portrait at the show, and though she weaved and stumbled here and there, she worked steadily bringing out three recognizable half-faces from the murky background. My nostrils flared as Neave touched clean fingers to her neck and her thigh, collecting thickened drops and smearing them into the pigments directly on the canvas. It was beautiful.
The sun was up now, on the other side of the black, and I could see where the coverings were imperfect, the glare of the sun, barely noticeable to Neave, but nearly blinding to me crept through a seam here and there. I was about to interrupt; tell Neave what I had to do now, when she stepped back from her work with a critical, but half closed eye.
“Am I… yours, now Alak?
“What o you mean?” There were so many answers to that, depending on what she actually knew, what she guessed or assumed.
“Do I… belong to you? Or you and Daciana? Or..”
“In a way, Neave. It’s not like the movies…”
“You said that before.”
“Yes.” I was tired now, too. And, to be true, I didn’t know the full answer yet. We wouldn’t for a little time. “Daci and I need to get into the bed, under the covers for a while.”
A while – sunset.
“Of course. Do you need more blankets? More cover?”
“Yes, something opaque would be nice.” She understood so much so quickly, it felt.
“You know, you belong to me now, too,” she said, pointing to the painting. She’d crossed over to where I was standing myself up, cradling Daciana in my arms. Daci had taken refuge against the morning in sleep. She knew I would take care of her. I wanted to ask her what she meant and how she felt about it, but Neave tripped and sagged against me, almost bringing all three of us down.
“I think we all need to rest now.”
I lay Daci in the bed and Neave crawled in after after pointing to a a chest from which I retrieved a light wool blanket. I draped it and entered the bed on the other side of Daciana, so that her small form was nestled between Neave and I. Our artist was almost asleep already.
“See you in the evening,” I said.
I smiled at her before sliding the cover over Daci’s head and mine. The sleep of day came quickly.