The Last One

He watched her, seated atop the rock. Sometimes she moved a great deal, and others she was utterly still. He worried when she was still for so long, and he often thought of approaching her, to see if he might move her and know that she was still within, still breathing, still alive.

She had been so still this time that he was unsure she was even blinking. He was worried, uncertain what to do. He watched closely, hovering nearby, willing her pale eyes to close and open again. It scared him that this incredible being might depart his sight. He had protected her, defended her, guided and listened to her. How long had he remained a mere breath away?

Finally he moved close enough to caress her cheek. Her eyes fluttered and she touched her long, delicate fingers to her skin where he had been. He breathed a sigh of relief and it made strands of her pale hair rustle and settle into new places along her slender neck. He delighted in seeing the effect, of having changed her that little bit.

“Why are you so still?” he breathed some time later, having finally summoned the courage to give voice to his question.

“Because I am the last,” she answered, raising her head. A tear slipped from her eye. He touched it, turning it to ice, and let it fall into her lap.

He stirred her hair gently again as he nodded. He couldn’t believe he was actually talking to her. He had not braved talking to someone in so long, he worried his voice might break or that his words wouldn’t come out at all. But she was talking back, and that delighted him.

“I am alone,” she whispered, lowering her head and holding the solid, glittery form of her tear. Another joined it then, sliding down her porcelain  cheek. He caught this one too, icing it with little more than a thought, nudging it into her palm.

“You’re not alone,” he whispered. “I’ve always been with you.” This time he wrapped her in his embrace, giving her his warmth, feeding her body with his heat, swirling around her. He kissed her neck, and she sighed softly and closed her eyes. He kissed her eyelids and she offered her lips, raising her chin. He kissed her there, too, tenderly touching her skin.

Wind settled then, and watched her once more.

Featured shoe: Reign Dare Knee High Boots in White by Kenadee Cole

Other details:

  • Skin: Le Forme Anna Catwa Skin Applier in Light Tone by Louise Marsault
  • Lipstick: Bold and Beauty Lindsey Lipstick by Jourdan McMillan
  • Head: Catwa Annie by Catwa Clip
  • Ears: BentBox Sylvan Ears by Tiflye
  • Eyes: Mayfly Liquid Light Eyes in Ghost True Grey by Arkesh Baral
  • Body: Maitreya Lara by Onyx LeShelle
  • Dress: Zenith Ballerina Dress in Snow by Miffyhoi Rosca
  • Necklace and Circlet: Plastik Darknys in Pure by Aikea Reiko
  • Hair: LeLutka Alice in Arctic by Thora Charron

Scene details:

  • Skye Ice Sheets & Forms by Alex Bader
  • Skye Falling Snow System by Alex Bader
  • Skye Water by Alex Bader
  • Pose 1: oOo Studio Pretty_four by Olaenka Chesnokov
  • Pose 2: Custom by me

Bait & Switch

Dean thanked the assistant who had guided him through the labyrinth of cords and wires to the chair he sat in now. Half a dozen people were on the set, moving things, testing other things, using a language of their own to say that this was ready, and that was next to be done.

Charlotte wasn’t visible, but he had heard her laugh somewhere in the darkness that surrounded the one area that was well lit. He’d spent his time admiring the motorcycle on set, even though he had never ridden one. It looked like a powerful beast, and he appreciated that.

When she had told him she was a model, he hadn’t quite believed her. She wasn’t the lying type, and she was really attractive, but he remembered staring at her and the words not registering, and then he’d composed himself and said something he hoped was neutral. Seven months down the line, and she finally invited him to actually come to the set. In the meantime, she didn’t talk about her work, and he didn’t really ask. Seeing all these people today, and seeing that they were professionals and not holed up in some little warehouse shooting soft core porn made the whole scenario a bit more real to him.

So far, everyone had come and introduced themselves, shaken his hand in greeting, and smiled. They were all very attractive people, too, and if he had thought his way along a bit more, he might have been intimidated. But he was here at her invitation, and that apparently opened more than a few doors.

John, the British-accented photographer, called out, “Shooting set 3!” The noise level dropped around them, and Dean settled back into the canvas chair. A big, industrial fan started, John took his place behind the camera.

And then a tall, leggy redhead stepped into the lights, sitting gingerly on the bike, leaning forward to get her foot on the peg and steadying herself with her other foot on the floor. She reached out for the handlebar and raised her head. Dean froze, his mouth hanging open. The moment she looked up, he actually recognized her. THIS was Charlotte. And she was stunning. The fan caught her hair, blowing the long, straight strands away from her face. She looked toward John as he barked some movements she should make, and her eyes were the most intense green he had ever seen.

Flashbulbs popped and Dean shied back a bit at the bright glare. His eyes still weren’t able to reconcile the woman he knew with this person he was seeing. All the features were there, of course, but makeup, clothing, a different hairstyle, all made her into this person he barely recognized. It was remarkable, he thought.

A short time later, she came off the photo set, and put her hands on the arms of his chair just as the lights in the building came up. At close range, he could see exactly what sort of magic had happened to transform her from the Charlotte he knew, into model Charlotte. He kissed her nose, and decided that he really liked his Charlotte better.

Featured shoes: Essenz Stockholm in Black by Senzati0n Domenitzo

Other details:

  • Head: Catwa Annie by Catwa Clip
  • Eyes: Mayfly Luminous in Deep Paris Shadow by Arkesh Baral
  • Skin: Bold & Beauty Lindsey in Fair by Jourdan McMillan
  • Body: Maitreya Lara by Onyx LeShelle
  • Makeup: YS&YS Kate by Monicuzza Babenco
  • Hair: LeLutka Pocahantas in Jessica by Thora Charron
  • Jacket: Addams Charlize Biker Jacket in Black by AmaliaRainwood
  • Shirt: Addams Rubik Tank Top in White by Amalia Rainwood
  • Jeans: Emery Kerr Jeans in Dark by Sunami Beck
  • Jewelry: Mandala Nyorai Silver Choker by Kikunosuke Eel
  • Hands and Feet: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands in Casual; High Feet by Siddean Munro
  • Manicure: Hello Dave in Nude Mattes by Maia Gasparini

Scene Details

  • [Con.] The Garage Collection – Industrial Fan by Wavie Haller (gacha item)
  • (fd) Workspace Table by Toast Bard (gacha item)
  • Trompe Loeil – Brooklyn Carriage House by Cory Edo
  • [sau]mouse[Lite][Black] by NiR McBride
  • (fd) Camera + Tripod by Toast Bard (gacha item)
  • (fd) Umbrella Light by Toast Bard (gacha item)
  • (fd) Softbox by Toast Bard (gacha item)
  • (fd) Large Backdrop by Toast Bard (gacha item)

Crimson Darling

The knock on the door made her jump.

“Crimson,” came Margie’s voice in a near whisper from behind the door, “it’s about Randolph.”

Xi Xi sighed and rubbed her thigh where the prosthesis met her flesh. Randolph had left only fifteen minutes ago, but apparently had not gotten far.

“What is it?” she asked, and Margie’s blond ponytail swung around the door before her pinched little face was visible. Her mouth hung open as she looked in. Margie wasn’t usually privy to seeing Xi Xi as Crimson Darling, her work persona, especially seeing her so quickly after a customer had left. Her watery brown eyes were as big as saucers. They scanned the worktable, the sitting room, and seemed to take note of the made bed in the distance. Margie probably thought Xi Xi slept with her clients, but she wasn’t about to correct that thinking. Skills like hers were best hawked by the people who knew her worth was more than merely physical.

Xi Xi turned her head and pushed her hair out of her right eye, staring at Margie. “Yessss?” she prompted, irritated by the interruption.

“Randolph says he would like to come up and talk to you for a while, if you ‘are amenable,'” Margie said, imitating Randolph’s accent.

She really didn’t want to see him again, even though he was partial to telling her things that were of interest to her. Randolph worked for the Illirium, an underground network of information runners she shouldn’t have known about. But he paid her well to keep his secrets, and she knew he often tested her by telling her things that no one else knew, just to see if the word got around. Of course it hadn’t. Xi Xi was legendary for the length she would go to keep her secrets. The dull ache in her leg reminded her of just how far that was. Those who wanted their secrets kept paid her well to keep them. Since that money came while she learned things, it was a trade she was often willing to make.

“Tell him I have 30 minutes, have him pay Money before he comes up, and prompt him away when time is past.” Margie nodded and ducked back out of the doorway. Xi Xi tightened the strap that held her leg to her thigh, then checked the movement of her foot via the electrodes, to make sure nothing had been disconnected while she had prepared to remove it. She could only hope that Randolph had something interesting to say tonight. If he didn’t, it was going to be a very long half hour indeed.

Featured shoes: [ContraptioN] Classic Leg Prosthesis in Gunmetal by Faust Steamer

Other details:

  • Head: Catwa Annie by Catwa Clip
  • Eyes: Mayfly Luminous in Palest True Grey by Arkesh Baral
  • Skin: L’Etre Xiaoyu in Buttermilk by Dam1710
  • Body: Maitreya Lara by Onyx LeShelle
  • Hair: LeLutka Dakota from the Range set by Thora Charron
  • Lingerie: Dead Dollz Victoria in Brown by Kiddo Oh
  • Watch: Mandala Billionaire Genius in Brown by Kikunosuke Eel
  • Hands and Feet: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands in Casual and Mouse; Flat Feet by Siddean Munro
  • Manicure: Hello Dave in Nude Mattes by Maia Gasparini

Scene details:

  • NOMAD // Microscope by Piraiyah Novikov (gacha item)
  • [TheForge] Lampv1.2 by wiredexperiment (Premium from Epiphany)
  • NOMAD // Armillary by Piraiyah Novikov
  • -David Heather-Industrio Book Stack2 by Gianni Broda
  • Fashionably Dead Cat – 02 Sleeping Curled by Toast Bard (gacha item)
  • Apple Fall Crumpled Newspaper by warehousefifteendesigns
  • +Half-Deer+ Great Horned Owl – Brown (Forward) by Halogen Magic
  • Paper Moon Qitou – Paper Parasol – Peach/Lotus by Sohma Dix (gacha item)
  • [ContraptioN] Decor: Mark’s Lamp by Faust Steamer
  • junk. bartlet wheel table. worn. by Tab Tatham
  • junk. redfern chair. mustard. by Tab Tatham
  • Bazar Paris – Wine set by Ria Bazar
  • Zigana . holiday spirit . books by Nalena Fairey (gacha item)
  • Ex Machina Bookcase Ending Element by Hatris Panacek
  • Ex Machina Bookcase Element B by Hatris Panacek
  • junk. cage stool. by Tab Tatham
  • POST: Damaged Gorodetsky Nouveau Rug by Van Auster
  • Ex Machina Prof Baltazar Lab Table by Hatris Panacek
  • Ex Machina Vulcano 2 by Hatris Panacek
  • Ex Machina Zeitgeist Clocktower Skybox by Hatris Panacek

The Devil, You Know

Thompson Fargate trudged through the long hallway of stone, as prompted forward by the beast-like creature who followed close enough that he could feel the breathing on the back of his neck. The creature — hulking and slime green-skinned, with a jutting lower jaw fitted with tusks and a missing eye which seemed to have been scratched out by long claws — had been aboard the boat that sailed across what he guessed from his little living knowledge was the River Styx. A hooded figure guided the craft through murky gray water. He could have sworn he heard voices in it, but he shut out those thoughts quickly to keep himself from asking or looking more closely.

Red light was visible at the end of this surprisingly long tunnel, and his worn boots — nice of them to let him keep them in the afterlife, he thought ruefully — echoed back at him dully. The stone walls yawned open into a cavern where red light shone through stalactites from an unknown source and illuminated…

He gasped quietly, but the sound echoed throughout the entire space. The dark chaise lounge in the center of the room was occupied by what may very well have been the most exquisite woman he had ever seen. Pale flesh was covered with intricate tattoos along her arms, and her body was long and slender, wearing almost nothing except heavy jewels at neck, bicep and thigh, and a rather small bra and panties. Her red hair seemed like it was made of fire beneath a crown of black jewels and spiraling red horns. She had wings made of bone that seemed to be dripping with bloody gore, but the fact that she had wings at all was scary, creepy, and strangely exciting. Her mouth was crimson, and the thought of blood there on her lips made him shiver. The cavern, he realized then, was ice cold, and yet she seemed perfectly comfortable.

The creature behind him pushed him forward and he walked, never taking his eyes off her, until he was close enough to see that even her eyes glowed a sunset orange-red. She was mesmerizing.

He was shoved hard to his knees. The stone immediately froze his flesh right through his jeans, and he grunted.

She considered him, then looked at his escort behind. One brow arched questioningly. “Something of note, Jasper?” she said, her voice soft, low and menacing. Thompson shivered again.

“This one bears the mark, milady,” said the creature behind him, in the most perfect, normal, upper-class British English he had ever heard. Thompson turned around and looked up at him incredulously, but the creature’s attention was totally focused on her. He turned back around.

“MY mark?” she asked, completely surprised.

“Yes, milady.”

“Well fuck me,” she said, her eyes opening wider and looking carefully at Thompson as though he had suddenly become a hundred times more interesting… as a snack.

“I’d love to,” he breathed, unable to keep the words from coming out of his mouth rather than staying in the relative safety of his brain.

“I don’t doubt that,” she said, still eyeing him like a piece of meat. Her mouth opened slightly and she licked what he could have sworn was a long white fang. It was sexy and scary all over again.

“Who ARE you?” he asked, finally managing to say words he meant to say.

She laughed, stared at him. She leaned forward, and it seemed like she was trying to make him recognize her, like he should know who she was. Finally, when he had managed nothing but admiring her and staring stupidly, she spoke.

“Well… I’m the Devil, you know?”

Featured shoes: Reign Inferno Heels in Black by KenadeeCole

Other details:

  • Head: LeLutka Karin by Jadenart
  • Eyes: Mayfly Luminous in Blood Fire by Arkesh Baral
  • Skin: Glam Affair Megan in Polar by Aida Ewing
  • Body: Maitreya Lara by Onyx LeShelle
  • Lipstick: Deetalez High Gloss Lips for LeLutka by Steffi Villota
  • Tattoo: Speakeasy Memdi Tattoo by JamesEdwardQ
  • Hair: LeLutka Bey from Set 03 by Thora Charron
  • Lingerie: Erratic Scarlett in Black by Erratic Rain
  • Jewelry: Aisling Faranth by Druunah Esharham (gacha items; wearing rare necklace and headpiece, bracers and thigh in black)
  • Hands and Feet: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands in Elegant 1; High Feet by Siddean Munro
  • Manicure: Hello Dave in Rich Reds by Maia Gasparini
  • Claws: CerberusXing Hayop for Slink Elegant 1 by Kamayari
  • Wings: Jian Ravaged Wings by Kalia Firelyte

Scene details:

  • Roawenwood The Duchess – [Domina Series Recline] by Roawenwood (pillows hidden)
  • ISON – books and skulls by Harry Hyx (gacha item)
  • Cheeky Pea – Winter Warmer Chaise in Biblio by Isla Gealach (pillows hidden, blanket tinted)
  • Caves and rocks by Fanatik Architecture by Kendra Zaurak
  • Pose 1 custom by me. Pose 2 from the Gos & oOo Studio Pouffe collection available at either store.