[GLBT Fairy Tale Week] Excerpt from Shanna Germain’s “The Princess of Silk and Pain”

I don’t want to see the pea tonight, but I don’t know where else to go. My exhale is hard out my lungs with every breath. I slip off my outer shoes in front of a gaping wolf’s maw, leave my inner shoes for the mice. My petticoats slide from me in front of the mound of straw, I leave a blue scarf hanging from the top of the glass mountain.

I’m naked by the time I get to the door of the Food Hall, shivering, the very air seeming to burn into my skin. Pushing the handle open, fingers scratched by the wood, as though they’ve been suddenly freed to feel again. I don’t know, is this alive?

I step in, and she’s standing at my pea. I know instantly that she’s the slippery shadow from the other night. It’s the fire-red of her hair, the way it curves halfway down her back, wild and untamed. In her hand, something long and heavy, a dull shine at the end. An axe, I realize, and I wonder for a fleeting moment if she’s come to kill me. It’s a thought that fills me with nothing like fear.

And when she turns at the sound of my approach, all pond-blue eyes and a dark, sharp smile.

“Red,” I say, but it’s more like the sound of a breath, as though I’d just remembered how.

“Lily,” she says.

Yes, Lily, I think. That’s who I am. “What are you–?” But she steps forward out of the light, shushes me with the touch of a single finger to my lips. The pain of her first touch radiates outward, sends a sliver of pleasure right into my very heart.

“Oh, Lily, I missed you,” she says. “I heard you were here… I knew he couldn’t be right for you.” And even in her voice, I realize she’s Red, my Red, but she’s not either. She’s harder. Deeper. Stronger.

“It’s been ten—”

“I know,” she cuts me off, her voice dropping.

So many questions, but she won’t let me ask them.

“Come, Lily,” she says.

And as her fingers dig into my flesh, pulling me forward, into the Hall of Glass, I don’t even want to ask them anymore. I lean my hips into her touch, the heated center of me aching, following through the dark.

Red rests her axe against one of the glass cases, then pushes me back against the crystal mountain, the pressure making me cry out. I had thought the sound would be pain, but it’s mostly pleasure, flowing beneath my skin in sharp pulses. I can’t help it. I kiss her, my lips crushing against hers, the bruising sharp and shattered, my breath the same. She tangles her fingers into my hair. My scalp prickles and burns.

She cants her head, dragging her teeth down the side of my neck, sharp, biting, biting and my whole body spoons upward, curls into her press. Her head slides down, nibbles at the curves of my breast, lips closing over the point of a nipple. Piercing my skin with her teeth.

Rumpled Silk Sheets: Contributors include: Shanna Germain, Sunny Moraine, Vivica Lace, Kilt Kilpatrick, Michael Jones, GG Royale, Kenzie Mathews and Jean Roberta

Available from Ravenous RomanceFictionwiseARe, and Kindle

Shanna Germain still hasn’t found her “Red” but that doesn’t keep her from wandering dark paths, looking for a flash of silver and crimson. Her writings about lust, love and leviathans have appeared in places like Absinthe Literary Review, Best American Erotica, Best Gay Bondage, Best Gay Erotica, Best Gay Romance, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Lesbian Romance, Dirty Girls, X: The Erotic Treasury and more. Walk her dark woods at www.shannagermain.com.

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