Eros and Thanatos – Ep. 39 of “The Marquis”

The dark tower provides a large view over the fields. Kieran’s serpent eyes penetrate the night, while I stand in the alcove opposite from him, looking up at the painting I made a felt century ago.

The painfully handsome Marquis de Vandenesse looks down at me from the wall, his marble features as ruthless as a young devil’s, but the black eyes that used to scare the life out of me have a creamy softness to them. Indeed, like Kieran pointed out on the Night of Venice, the portrait seems a confession. It allows a glimpse of the boy Kieran Slate behind the powerful Marquis.

I feel him approach, which compels me more than his portrait. A gush of wind from the open window inflates my gown as I turn to look at the serpent Marquis who’s chained my heart to his. Tall and beautiful just like the young man in the picture, he takes my breath away. His shirt is open, revealing the marble sinews of his body, and I can’t help a surge of lust.

“The air carries the scent of death,” he murmurs, casting my senses in a daze.

I have a flashback of the moment we first met – that fated night at the Royale by the sea, when he’d first used his hypnotic powers on me.

“You promised you’d never influence my senses again,” I whisper.

“And you think I’m doing it now?”

“It feels like you are. It’s that opiate effect, numbing the pain I want to feel.”

“I assure you, it’s not intentional, but maybe automatic. I want to keep pain away from you so much, I might do it instinctively.”

He looks down at his hands, and I follow his gaze. My heart skips a beat at the sight of his long fine fingers twisting a diamond ring between them. I swallow the spike of emotion that bolts up from my heart in order to prevent embarrassing manifestations. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize what he’s doing.

“A while ago I crossed Gunnar Lothar’s threshold,” he says, “asking for your hand in marriage. I asked the man I hated for what I thought would be the deadliest weapon against him. Things have taken many unexpected turns since then, and soon there was nothing left of my initial plans, but one thing never changed – my wanting to marry you, Saphira. I desire you as my wife more than I ever desired anything, even revenge. I won’t lie to you, there’s a chance that I’ll find my end tomorrow, and there’s no priest to forge our bond before that happens. All we have is tonight and the deadly breath of the Black Monks out there. Let it be our minister and seal our vows, and be sure that I’ll love you forever even from the Underworld.”

My breath catches at his words, which he speaks taking my hand in his and sliding the ring gently on my finger. It’s a bit of a loose fit, but the intensity in his dark gaze fits mine perfectly.

I stroke his cheek, taking full delight in the feel of him, and I can’t hold back a longing sigh. That sets him on fire, and he takes over my mouth in a hot-blooded kiss, lifting me in his arms. I wind my legs around him, welcoming him between my thighs, rubbing and weaving myself on him as he takes me to the bed. I’ve lost my head for Kieran Slate long ago, but now I let go completely. Death is just around the corner for both of us, so I might as well relish in our love like there’s no tomorrow.

I peel the shirt off him with feverish hands, thirsty for him as I savor his silky lips, his jaw, his neck, and lower my mouth down his smooth chest, my hands seeking the hardness in his pants. He doesn’t have much patience either, breathing hard with lust, soon taking over and kissing me into submission.

Looming over me, he guides me on my back on the satin sheets, his fiery mouth pleasuring my skin all over. Before I know it I’m lying completely bare under him, while he stands on his knees over me, a beautifully shaped marble devil, naked and growing bold. He’s big and hard for me. His hand sinks and my hair, twisting and tugging as he brings himself to my lips. Making sure I want it as much as he does, he glides down my mouth.

His smooth hardness slides over my tongue to my throat, turning me on so bad that I moisten and writhe, my face on fire. I can’t refrain from clasping his backside and guiding him deeper, making him grind into my lustful mouth and moan with unrestrained pleasure. He flexes and clenches his fist in my hair, gritting his teeth and knitting his brows as if it’s too much for him, and then, completely unexpectedly, he retreats and curls at the end of the bed.

I don’t know what just happened, and I stare at him rocking like a hiding child. I crawl to him and touch his shoulder, ready to beg him to come back and take me, but he tenses yet more.

“Please, Kieran, look at me,” I whine, but he’s bracing himself so tightly that the flesh under his fingernails is even whiter than the rest of him, his face hidden, his lamentations low but heartbreaking. I go gently to my knees before him, caressing his thick, black hair. I keep insisting until his face dashes up, and the sight of him sends ice slithering down my body.

His eyes are the black blisters of the serpent, his lips like black leeches, and his flesh turns glutinous as scales slowly replace the skin. I don’t know by what miracle I manage to catch the outcry in my throat before it reaches my mouth. Every cell in my body screams to get away from him, but I force myself to keep still – this is the man I love, a victim of bastards with power over science.

My hand shakes slightly as I take it to his face, brushing a tendril away from his now snake-skinned forehead.

“This is too much for me, Saphira,” he pleads. “My basic instinct runs wild at sudden pleasure, and the beast comes out. I want to make love to you, so bad, but if I lose control fully, it’s very dangerous.”

“Don’t think about that,” I whisper, bringing my face within an inch of his. “This is true love. I love you and I trust you, Kieran.”

A blood tear slithers down his cheek that slowly changes from serpent scales to glutinous mass, then to beautiful ivory skin. His blister-like eyes are still pained and deeply worried, but he does allow me to get closer and closer. I force myself to keep my eyes open as my lips touch his, expecting them to feel like the black leeches they look, but instead they’re dry and pleasant. His kisses are gentle, and his tongue careful as it seeks mine.

There’s a lump in my throat as I imagine that split serpent tongue exploring my mouth, and indeed I feel the two tips, coarse and cold, but their touch is so shy that it makes me grow downright audacious. I sink my hands in his hair and pull him over me on the bed, inviting him to push his tongue down my throat, even though chill after chill runs down my skin.

Flashes of that tongue pulling Pukov’s stomach out lash at me, the white tablecloth splattered with blood, the coiling and wriggling under Pukov’s shirt. But Kieran Slate is the man I love, and I want him inside of me, even if that means having him between my legs in his serpent form.

But instead of disturbing, his love turns out sensual and intoxicating, and I find myself wanting more and more of his scales on my skin. I finally understand that the snake-man is as much part of Kieran Slate as his hypnotic powers, and if we’re both going to die soon, I want to experience him to the deepest level, and to the last cell.

“Use your powers on me, Kieran,” I whisper. “I want to be high on you, and I want an overdose.”

The words are a powerful catalyst for Kieran. His eyes, at first stunned, then confused and then profound, pour themselves like a black drug into mine, and cast me in a spiral trance. I let go of all reason, and my mind goes blank, leaving me fully prey to the sensations Kieran gives me, making me arch and moan under his kisses and caresses.

My thighs part to accommodate him as he slides deep inside me, long and hard and smooth. Moist and lascivious I grind my hips to meet his moves, riding towards the climax that makes all my muscles flex, and Kieran Slate shows his true face above me – his features are prominent, beautiful and white as ivory, while his black eyes bleed, and his sensual mouth lets out moans of pleasure.

I’m still convulsing with the remains of climax as he drops on his back by my side, taking me in his arms and kissing my forehead and my lips and my cheeks. The opiate haze he’d cast over me begins to lift, and I come back to a feeling of happiness and fulfillment that pulses in my chest.

“I love you, my bride.” His voice is creamy and rich, and his hands restless as they caress my body like he worships me.

“And I adore you, Kieran.”

***

To be continued on Friday.

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7 thoughts on “Eros and Thanatos – Ep. 39 of “The Marquis”

  1. Very passionate and intense piece of erotic writing there, Ana.

    Well done. 🙂

    Interesting how the act of making love turns him into a beast.

    This reminds me of the early 1940s film noir film The Cat People with Simone Simone (they did a remake with David Bowie in the ’80s – the latter film relied on blood and gore to shock rather than the psychological horror used in the original) that was directed by Jacques Tourneur.

    Tourneur’s The Cat People is one of the greatest film noir horror films of all time in my opinion.

    In it, Simone Simone’s character refuses to make love to her husband (played by Tom Conway if I remember correctly) because she fears it will turn her into a panther (the belief of the region in Serbia where she grew up- the townspeople thought this of her family).

    So that’s the great mystery of the film – does Simone’s character actually turn into a panther when she feels intense passion, anger or jealousy or is her problem strictly psychological?

    You have to watch the film yourself to discover the answer but it’s one of the most intense psychological thrillers ever made with master use of light and shadow to produce a feeling of terror.

    Anyhow the ideas in this chapter and Tourneur’s film are similar- that making love can turn people into beasts.

    Which I suppose in some sense is true. LOL !

    1. Very well observed, dear Chris 🙂 Indeed, making love can switch on people’s basic instincts, which lets the beast inside on the loose, especially with engineered creatures such as The Marquis. I’m glad you’ve made the connection with a masterpiece of the genre, which is the noir movie you talked about. I enjoy your input so very much every time!

  2. This chapter was as intriguing as mind-numbingly frightful. For me, it started with the title. My fascination with Greek mythology and history coupled with my personal sense of Yin and Yang from the eastern societies alerted on the significance of Eros and Thanatos. On the mythology side Eros, the god of love and Thanatos, the god of death are evident, but it goes much deeper. For me, the understanding also requires the genealogy of these two gods. The parents of Eros being Aphrodite and Ares representing love, beauty, and procreation coupled with the god of war representing violence and conflict. To me, that is an apt metaphor for Saphira and Kieran. Then there is Thanatos son of Nyx and Erebos – the night and darkness and the twin brother of Thanatos, Hypnos, the god of sleep and the genesis of the word hypnotic; a prevalent power of Kieran over Saphira. All very strong aspects of Saphira and Kieran’s story; the darkness and light of human nature. Finally, there is Jung’s expansion which may be the influence of your story. Jung understood how deep in our human psyche the basic drives of self-preservation and self-destruction dovetail with how well the Greeks illuminated these instinctual things in our lives. Eros and Thanatos become our life and death drives our will to live and our desire for destruction or the absence of life. You weave this into a frightening yet erotic scene with exquisite symbolism true to the theme set by the title. Saphira’s acceptance of the visual horror for the sake of love and pleasure, her plea for Kieran’s hypnotic power and the giving of pleasure and submission to the beast under the threat of a final end is incredibly realistic as we’ve talked about men and women will experience overpowering urges to feel the balm of lust and love in long-term stressful environments like epic natural disasters and war. “like there is no tomorrow,” is an old saying and never loses the power of it’s meaning because it is the very essence of how we experience the most powerful of human emotions. Erotic, terrifying, hypnotic. The story is a masterpiece in its exploration of the duality of all things, the Yin and Yang of the east and the Darkness and Light of the west, the Eros and Thanatos of the human experience. Exceptionally well done, cuzz.

    1. Fabulous comment, dear cuzz! Wow, I am blown away, you put it EXACTLY as it is! Both mythology and Carl Jung have been a great influence in this story, and this chapter wishes to capture the book/s essence. Wow, I am blown away and really, really, really impressed! Thank you so much for such wonderful summary of the book/s whole essence! Huge, powerful hug!

      1. Totally my pleasure to read, Ana. After I posted this comment, I thought I got a little carried away but you really nailed it. I think for me this was a case of the title and text in perfect balance. It opened up my thoughts to a place where I could visualize this wonderful connection of Eros and Thanatos to the story and life as a whole. I bow and tip my hat and thank you for such a gripping story.

  3. Intense! I love how they at last look at the picture she painted of him before everything happened and how she was able to capture who he was before the darkness took him over. Super sensual and amazing chapter! ❤

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