Ars Satanas
Highlander/Raven slash. Amanda. NC17.

She had already died, once, before she knew the word fellatio (cunnying came much earlier). Though the language changed through the centuries the act itself did not. Perhaps she had learned a little more finesse but no one in living memory had ever complained so it was difficult to be subjective. Certainly the man on the bed had raised no objections in fifty years.

"Gods woman!" he wheezed as she straighted up. "You'll be the death of me" He laughed, breathlessly.

She swallowed carefully, then gave a wintery smile. "Get dressed, please. We're late." It was sad really. These days his meagre load was easily spent. She missed the stamina of his youth, the long summers days in the Japonais garden watching the ships enter the safety of the harbour below; the hours high on the terrassed lawn hidden from their servants by the laurels (and his atrocious temper); teasing him with tales of a footman until his hose ran wet and he accused her of witchcraft. Now there were left to her only memories, and the knowledge that for him the night was drawing in. Still she clung to each event, savoured and tasted every stolen collision. That she remained in love with him was never questioned.

"Marcus? Our guests are waiting." She averted her gaze as he struggled to untangle his thin legs from the heavy sheets. The moment she had been dreading was fast approaching. "You are so beautiful my dear," he said. It wasn't yet an accusation. Not quite. She still had time then.

Safety beckoned from the dresser. With world weariness stoppers were pulled, powders dabbed onto a well-favoured wig. An apothecary's covetiousness of admixtures poured, stirred, blended. She began, as Rebecca had taught her, the ritual dance of the brush. Slowly, precisely, she built up the broken blood vessels, liver spots, wrinkles of a face a tenth her age. Marcus's eyes never left her back. For a brief moment tears threatened to undo her efforts.

He coughed, the act distracting him enough for her to finish. He was staring at his limp genitals as if willing them into a resurrection. It was unlikely they would couple for a second time that day.

Perhaps if she had bourne him a child – laughing bitterly for all those times she had been 'careful' – but such a thing had been forbidden to her by nature. He had wanted a child once. A son to inherit. But he had never foresaken her, even for that failure.

Now… Now it was all changing. The knowledge of his own aging would soon leech bile into his deeds. It would start with a sullen peevishness, the unexpectedly cruel remarks in public. Their friends would assume she was having an affair. They too would side against her. It had happened before. It would happen again. And again. She knew that. Part of her even accepted it as a normal progression of relationships. But this one was a long time in coming. And she couldn't bear to leave him until the bitter, bitter end. Until that day she had her mirror, and her paints.

He was talking now, pulling on his pearl grey socks. "Don't forget the wart. You know I just love their faces when they see the wart."

Wordlessly she reached for the container.