Love is a Color, Green is a Taste
by Sarah Hilary
I smell the lime first, before anything else. A sharp clean scent I can taste on my tongue, so bright it fucks through the blackness and I see its shape clearly.
Under the blindfold, I blink.
There's a slicing sound. I dip my head and listen. The tang of citrus spikes the air. There's a chink of ice, a slosh of liquid, the tinny fizz of bubbles.
He's mixing drinks?
I imagine something chilled yet warmly spiced. A gingery green drink that slips down smoothly, making silk of my throat. I relax the set of my shoulders and wet my lips.
He was mixing a drink, singular. I hear him lift the glass and sip then replace it on the table.
The sounds are above me, over my head. I'm kneeling on a thin carpet covering a hard floor. My hands are behind my back, the wrists pressed together, fingers interlaced.
I'm being very obedient.
'Open your mouth.'
He doesn't wait for me to do it. My jaw makes a hollow sound as he levers it wide with a large hand. I thrust my tongue for a quick taste of him - sandalwood, musk - earning a cuff on the side of the head because that's breaking the rules and I know it.
I rock to the left. He waits until I've regained my balance and I'm kneeling again, blind at his feet, my hands behind my back. His breath is grazing the air above me.
He thrusts a lime in my mouth.
A whole one. Not the lime he sliced up for his drink. A new fruit, whole.
'Bite down,' he says and plays with my jaw until I do as I'm told.
Zest spurts to the back of my throat, my tonsils quivering as it hits, teeth jangling, tongue stung by acid. I have to work hard to hold the position he wants, the sharp shock of the taste hitting me like a hand.
The fruit first burns and then numbs my lips. He wedges it deep, forcing a wide O from my mouth. Juice trickles down my chin, tickling.
He takes my face in his hands and leans in to lick around the taut shape of my lips.
I swallow, tasting pleasures past. Sherbet sweets. Syllabubs. Martinis. Under the tang lies the sweeter scent of salted skin. The friction of his tongue brings my lips back to life. I can feel the dimpled details in the waxy rind of the lime.
I shudder as his teeth nip, sending a fresh pulse of zest buzzing about my mouth. He follows the trail down my neck and licks, a connoisseur of forbidden fruit, at my Adam's apple.
My skin inclines upwards under his touch. My whole body does. By the time his mouth is between my collarbones I'm levitating, suspended from his kiss.
I'm the latest in a long line of kneeling men. His current squeeze, that's all.
Love is not a safe word, but my mouth is filled with color and my skin sings so brightly it fills the room.
About the author:
Sarah Hilary is an award-winning writer and reviewer whose fiction appears in Smokelong Quarterly, The Fish Anthology 2008, LITnIMAGE, Word Riot, The Best of Every Day Fiction, and in the Crime Writers' Association anthology, MO: Crimes of Practice. Sarah won the Fish Historical Crime Prize in 2008, was a finalist in the Biscuit Contest and has been nominated for the Dzanc Best of the Web series. A non-fiction column about the wartime experiences of her mother, who was a child internee of the Japanese, was published in Foto8 Magazine and later in the Bristol Review of Books, Autumn 09. Sarah blogs at http://sarah-crawl-space.blogspot.com/.