I step out of the limousine and into the sodium-yellow of the city lights. Dressed to the nines: sequins and lace and sheer silks. Shoes that cost hundreds, with a heel that I can barely walk in (let alone dance in) but without which the look would be incomplete. Because the point is not function. The point is the form and fit.
It's like a hundred other events. Premieres, thousand-a-plate political dinners, grand-re-openings of whatever building has been newly renovated this year. It's like them all, and I'm not even sure what this one is celebrating, only that I have to attend, have to look good on his arm, because that's what my job is.
So I'm smiling, taking the hand of that acquaintance, telling him how long it's been, cocking my eyebrow in the way that implies I find him attractive, that I could have been his, if he'd only been as great as my husband is. It's reflexive, born of four years' practice. And it's tedious. But I do it again to the next guy, too. And the next. Because part of the alpha-male dominance game is letting them know what they're missing, and I know what's expected of me.
Beatrice Shellesworth, matronly and insipid, takes my hand and marvels at how good I look, and how much she missed me at the charity gala last month. I respond with the appropriate noises, the brimming-over enthusiasm which is supposed to tell her how much I regretted having to make the trip to London for the business conference instead. She is not fooled; she knows the game, too, and was playing it long before I entered the scene. Bitch.
I hate them all. Myself not least.
Then there's the entrance, with its doormen and luxurious red carpeting, and the elegant table with the gilt-lettered parchment, Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Plantagenet. I'm just Mrs. Him.
The wine is typical-- the best doesn't get any better if you've had it seven times in the last year-- and the conversation doubly so. This is all building to a fever pitch for me, and with a fixed smile I excuse myself to powder my nose... and head instead for the exit. My head is ringing, and my ears are buzzing and for some reason tonight, my God, tonight I just can't fucking take this at all for one minute longer and I need to escape.
The limo driver looks confused; he's not even pulled away from the line of cars at the curb, yet, and already I'm leaping into the back seat. My face is in my hands, and I'm trying to breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. Keep it together.
"Mrs. Plantagenet, are you okay?"
"Mm-hmm," I reply, barely audible.
"Uh, I'm getting to the front of the line, soon. Did you... did you want me to take you someplace, or just park across the street?"
"No! Get me away from--" I stop myself. I don't need this guy to know how upset I am. I need to regain control. "No, I'm just feeling a bit ill right now. Can you drive around a bit? A long trip would not be bad. With the windows open, for some air?"
He nods, looking at me sympathetically. I'm not sure he buys my sickness line, but regardless, he does what I request.
* * *
The city is a cacophony of colored sparkles against a background of concrete gray, and it soothes me in ways that the thrum of the limo engine only touch on. I've always loved the glory of urbanity: the buildings, the way the sound of car horns never abates, even the smell of grease from the local grill, mixed with the barest tang of gasoline fumes. I've heard the complaints, and I can't deny them, but they are outweighed, for me, by the vibrance and the sheer immensity of man's creation, and I love them all the more. It's why I came here.
Came so long ago that the city is in my bones, now, but every now and then there is the recollection of that plague of a place where I was born. Of those people who wanted nothing more for me than pregnancy and housekeeping, and who scoffed at and even openly scorned my desires to improve myself and be a part of a larger world. "Stay here and you'll have the love of your family to guide you, the love of good, clean land, and God," that creature who named himself my father had said to me as I packed my bags that last night. "You go to the city and you'll be nothing but a rich man's whore."
I damn him for being a sodomizing, incestual sonofabitch. I damn him for the ignorance-loving, self-righteous bumpkin he was. Most of all, though, late at night as I wash Joshua's filth from my soul, I damn him for being right.
I'd come to the city, worked my way into the money needed to go to college, and there in some godforsaken class on English composition I'd met my destiny. He'd been quite charming, and willing to spend money to make me happy and keep me happy, and had opened doors to a piece of the city I'd only seen in films and glamour magazines. The shimmer had entranced me even as it had blinded me to the trap I'd walked into, and it wasn't until five years in that I realized when I became his I'd lost all the things that were delightful and unique about myself. And what was more, I knew I'd never have the will to leave.
My nausea passes slowly, but the inner demons still haunt me, and it is a while before I see the streets as anything corporeal. When I realize that we have passed the fourth bar denoting "Old Style On Tap", I know we are far from the place I call home and that I will get out here. Somewhere here. Soon. I see a line of people entering the door of a grubby building with no sign and order the driver to stop the car. Here.
"Mrs. Plantagenet?" he inquires.
"I want to get out here."
"Mrs. Plantagenet, I don't think that would be a good idea."
"Neither do I." I pop open the door before he can say more and the clicking of my heels gives a response to anything he might still have left unsaid. I cross the street and walk to the front of the line, where a burly man with an untrimmed beard checks identification. I have no handbag or wallet, but either he can read my age on my face or he has looked me up and down and decided I am more of an asset to the establishment than a liability. He gestures for me to enter.
I'm grossly out of place here, with my elegant coiffure and my thousand-dollar dress: most of the women here are wearing black and the ones who are not are wearing their underwear as outerwear. Or so it seems to me. The miniature piercings of my ears seem silly and trite next to the piercings in evidence on the rest of the patrons, male and female... and the tightness of the womens' garb makes it evident that other piercings are present and half-concealed. Only my heels are appropriate, and then only due to their height and the sharpness of the points to which they are whittled. No one else is being seen in ivory.
It's reassuring. There is a world away from my own, a planet where Joshua doesn't belong and couldn't belong. A place where my life can be a distant memory.
I head for a table and order a drink from the obviously-amused barmaid. Something strong is required-- straight vodka, some top-shelf brand named "3". I drop it down and demand another, throwing her my American Express and asking for a tab. It's smooth and not punishing enough. I switch to Popov for the next three.
It is there and then that she finds me: blurred vision, slumped atop a bar stool with my hair in disarray from repeatedly, violently throwing the drinks back, smelling of the other patrons' cigarette smoke. She is dressed in white, too, but somehow does not look out of place.
"Hello, angel," comes the voice, and I assume it's from her lips. I can't concentrate because the pounding of the music is playing games with my perception.
"I'm no angel," I return with a smirk. "I live in hell."
"Welcome to heaven, baby," she laughs, grabbing my unresisting hand and dragging me to the dance floor. I can't dance in this state, but I don't need to: she's dancing me around, rubbing herself against me in calculated attempts to arouse me. Successful attempts, I am surprised to discover. I don't love women. Not that way. Not usually.
Her arms are wrapped around me, now, her pubic mound grinding into mine as her thighs part my own, slightly. I'm teetering on the edge of unconsciousness and lesbianism and she's the only thing holding me up. I moan into the side of her neck and beg her to take me... "home", I'm thinking, but somehow never get around to adding that word. She wraps me in her strong arms and eases me out a back entrance, where a uniformed woman of her apparent acquaintance waits and helps drag me to a black sedan.
The blurriness from the music is gone now, and I'm starting to recover my sanity, and I reach for the door handle to escape, but at a word from her I lose volition. Tears streak down my face as my conflicted emotions struggle for control of my expression.
"No, angel," come her words, and this time I can see that her lips have not moved. She brushes aside my tears and tastes their saltiness on her fingers. "You are mine, now. You are mine to control." Her hands have torn the front of my dress askew and my panties are on display. She grins and paws at my pussy through them. My moisture has made the thin fabric slick and her fingers slide easily where she wants them. Where I want them. "You belong to me."
No. I don't want to belong to anyone. Not Joshua, not her. No one. But the only thing which can break through my lips is, "I don't... I don't want that. I want to be free."
"You have to submit to be free. You have to give up your self-control, but when you do, you can truly be Free."
"Free..." I chant back, and my inner muscles contract with the sound of the word, with the sound of her voice, with the sound of my moans. I'm coming, and I cannot stop, and it feels oh so good, and I want to be like this forever.
* * *
I'm wearing white, a cheap dress on a cheaper girl. The tight rayon hides nothing of my body, and I purposely don't shave my cunt because I want it to show through the translucent material when I'm walking down the street. I'm in the artsy side of town, because the high concentration of lesbians there means I get to eat pussy more often, and eating pussy reminds me of who made me this way, and I can come without even touching myself. Come hard. I have to take care to readjust my makeup after each session, because the cunt-smeared lipstick gets onto my cheeks and chin, and even though I love the "painted" look, I've found I get fewer customers that way. Who'd have thought people renting a whore would be so picky about where she'd been last?
I'm completely out of control of my life. I'm fucking strangers with the body I call my own, lips coated with come and with pussy almost twenty-four hours a day, and giving Her Ladyship the cash proceeds.
But I'm me. I'm not Mrs. Anyone.
I'm finally me.