“Come in, Vera,” Governor Ferguson said. She seemed to have heard her Deputy’s little knock on the door frame, but did not look up from her computer screen. At least not right away.
Vera entered the room, her hands knotted behind her back. She caught herself bowing her head slightly and was reminded of how it was said courtiers would greet a monarch in days long gone. Was this it then? A pose of supplication? She supposed that was how her Governor liked it.
Her Governor. She tittered internally then chided herself for being such a fool.
And she didn’t suppose.
The knowing almost made her smile.
But, oh, smugness would not suit her. No. Smugness would serve only to deprive her of the deep, satin strokes that came when she was good. Oh so good. She needed to behave. She needed to be good. She needed to be touched. She ached for it. She dripped for it.
“You wanted to see me, Governor,” she said in the voice she reserved for her Queen. Her Dark Queen. Her Queen of Sullen Madness and Damned Intent. The poetry of her thoughts caught her off guard and almost made her smile again. She bit her bottom lip to stop the grin. She bit her bottom lip until it felt grim. She chewed her bottom lip until she thought she might taste blood, then she sighed and stopped.
“Yes, yes. Sit down.” Ferguson finally snapped her laptop shut and looked up at Vera with a slight smile.
Oh, fuck, I’m going to blush, Vera thought and her eyes darted to the window for an instant so she could ground herself. She thought of that trick Bridget had taught her. Find five things you can name. Wall. Brick. Window pane. Barbed wire. Bird far off. Okay. Better.
“Vera, do you have any allergies?”
“Um, I’m sorry?”
“Allergies? There was nothing in your HR file, but I thought I would ask you, just to be on the safe side.”
“Nothing I’m aware of.”
“Nothing, then? No allergies to say, tree nuts, or oils, or latex, or anything of the sort?” Her voice twisted around Vera’s neck in a silken scarf and constricted. The lack of air made her feel high. More. She wanted more. She wanted to be choked by that voice. Vera swallowed desperately and then took a quick, shallow breath. Vera’s hands fluttered up and back down to her lap.
“No, Governor. No allergies.”
“Ahhhhh, how delightful,” Ferguson sighed and pursed her lips together in a manner that was not exactly un-lascivious. She opened a small drawer on the side of her desk and took out a small jar. Eyes narrowed, she held the little vessel out to Vera. “I took the liberty of making this for you myself.”
Vera took the item and looked it over curiously. She looked back up and met Ferguson’s amused gaze. “What is it?”
“Open it. That’s a good girl.”
Vera did as instructed. Inside there seemed to be a thick paste or an ointment of sorts. Vera sniffed it and caught a waft of something possibly tropical. She looked back to Ferguson in confusion.
“It’s a mix of coconut oil, jojoba oil- well you know jojoba isn’t really an oil so much as it is a saponified wax that acts as an oil, but anyway- some mint and lemon balm. It’s for your lips.”
“For my lips, Governor?” Vera asked, her voice shaking as she wondered if there was some sort of double meaning.
“Yes. I noticed your lips are perpetually chapped. It is atrocious, really.” Ferguson shook her head and rolled her eyes in disappointment.
“Oh,” Vera sighed, suddenly mortified.
“Now then, don’t become all maudlin on me. You’ll use this on your lips for a week, maybe ten days. And then you’ll use your lips on mine. Do you get my meaning, Vera?”
“Governor?” Vera gasped.
“I want your mouth to be silky smooth when I finally allow you to eat me. Are we understood?”
“Good. That will be all.” Vera sat there for a moment as Ferguson opened her computer back up and started pecking away at it. “Is there anything else, Vera? No? Then close your mouth; you’re apt to catch flies.”
Vera found her feet and found the door. She found her way to her locker and when she was there and was certain that no one was watching, she opened the little pot of ointment. She stuck her ring finger into the oily stuff and raised it to her lips. She smeared it over her lips, savoring the fragrance of the lemon and coconut and mint.
And then she rubbed her chapped lips together over and over again.