| "Pandora's Box"
by Adhara Law
(c) 1998 Adhara Law. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced
without express written permission by the author.
Pandora likes her lipstick the shade and depth of freshly drawn blood. She
applies it slowly, first along the bottom lip, then methodically layering the
heart-shaped peaks on top. She applies a second coat before blotting.
Her hair fawns and preens under the ministrations of her slender fingers until
it has pleased her as thoroughly as it can, sighing happily into loose curls and
shining waves in a bright aureole around her head. I've watched her to see how
she does it, but it's as if her hair has a life of its own and lives only to
please her. My own hair is a dull, limp shade of brown; my eyes, the color of
The first five dresses are, of course, completely unsuitable for the occasion.
The first is too long, not showing enough leg. The second is something she
really should have gotten rid of years ago -- utterly out of style. Finally,
with a happy shriek, she fishes a backless Christian Dior from the murky depths
of the closet. Perfection. It slips over the sharp angles of her bare shoulder
blades and caresses the light curves of her hips as if it were her lover,
dressing her instead of undressing her. A seduction in reverse.
Pandora doesn't go anywhere without making sure that her entrance will be
nothing short of a media spectacle. Tonight it's a local bar. Meticulously
manicured nails -- raw, bloody red, like her lips -- tickle the handle of the
door as she pulls it open and graces the room with her presence. I watch her and
envy her. I don't know how she does it, though I know I should.
I already know that will stop in mid-sip to stare at her. I know that women
will raise eyebrows, both in jealousy and admiration. I know that Pandora will
take it all and amplify it the way a tuning fork responds to its own frequency
of vibration. This was Pandora's frequency of vibration, this dark box filled
with unspoken lascivious thoughts and eyes staring only at her.
She slides onto a barstool and orders a trendy import beer. Others in the bar
drinking the same thing look fake; I can see the search for acceptance in the
way they lift the bottle to their lips and watch the green triangle of lime bob
in the amber liquid. But not Pandora. Somewhere in the brewery where this beer
was created was a who put together the hops and barley in such a way as to
please only her. I was sure that it said in fine print on the bottom of the
label, "brewed only for Pandora".
Then he comes in, right on time. Pandora's eyes traverse the hills and valleys
of his sculpted biceps as he slips onto a stool at the far end of the bar from
her, ordering the same beer she's drinking. I've been watching her watch him for
a long time. Tonight she'll stop watching.
Carrying her beer between blood-tipped fingers, a nail teasing the moist neck of
the bottle, she walks over to him. Not purposely -- more like she needs to
stretch her legs and just decides to head in his general direction. She stops at
the stool next to his. "Hi," she says.
"Hi." His eyes travel from head to toe and back again, and not discreetly. It
makes her smile turn up a little higher in the corner of her mouth.
She sits and they talk. It doesn't matter about what; by the end of the night
the conversation will have become irrelevant. I know. I will watch it happen as
I've watched it many nights before. Her legs cross as she traces the mouth of
her beer bottle with the tip of a nail. Her fingers push an unruly lock of hair
over her ear. He stumbles in the middle of a sentence about where he grew up.
Pandora smiles. I watch.
The conversation peters out, a train losing steam; it's time. They don't have to
say what they both know -- it will be her place. Bills are thrown down on the
bar, beers are finished, and both of them get up to leave.
I am there when she unlocks the front door, watching him slip his hands around
her waist and nip at her earlobe as she slides the key into the lock. The door
shuts absent-mindedly behind them as she leads him past the rest of the house to
the bedroom. I am there, too, when she begins pulling the tails of his
from his jeans, breath filling the room in ragged pockets as buttons are popped
and zippers are pulled. He lifts the black silk of her dress over her head and
throws it to the floor, gasping now because she's found what's waiting for her
under the zipper of his jeans. I see his eyes close; I see her wordlessly finish
undressing him and push him roughly to the bed.
Even as I get caught up in the spectacle unfolding in front of me I question her
draw, what it is that makes her the center of her universe. Is it the crimson
lips he's kissing, lips that move down his neck to his chest and nip at the
round peaks of his nipples? Or is it the hips his hands grip tightly now as they
position themselves over him and rock seductively and teasingly against his
She plays with him, tickling his ribs with her tongue and watching him gasp for
breath. She moves down, further down, and after a few tense moments, his eyes
pleading with hers, she slips his cock expertly into her mouth and listens to
him groan in almost painful enjoyment. There is an invisible smile. She keeps
him like this, on the verge of coming, enticingly moving her tongue around him
but holding back until she is ready. Pandora loves control.
I watch her move over him and pin him down at the shoulders, staring down at his
helplessness with pure pleasure in her eyes. If he is resisting, I can't tell.
I'm too entranced by Pandora to notice. Like him, I'm trapped by the way she
guides him into her with only her hips, the way she begins fucking him
with slow, circular movements and light pulls upward away from him. The way she
enjoys the power she has over him at this moment. And like him, I'm only
released when she closes her eyes and begins to rock faster, working him into
her as far as he can go, and crying out in little gasps as she comes with no
regard to who sees it.
Later, he leaves with a kiss to her faded lips and the unbinding promise that he
will see her again. And I ask her, as I always do, looking in the mirror: what
is it? She doesn't answer. So I take off the earrings and put them in their box,
wipe the vixen paint off my lips and comb the perfection out of my hair.
Back in your box, Pandora.
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