Soundtrack, Adam and the Ants, Ants Invasion Live 1980
Inglorion tells Lucius that he needs a month to think about his potential engagement to Lucia, to review his situation and decide what’s best. Lucius is dissatisfied, but agrees.
It is a stupid request. Inglorion doesn’t want to marry, and he won’t feel any more inclined to do so in a month. Really, it’s a method of procrastination. Inglorion hopes vainly, with the impracticality of youth, that something will change within that time that will relieve him of the necessity of making a decision. Perhaps Lucia will become disillusioned with him, or Lucius will recognize that his demand is unreasonable. Perhaps a final, apocalyptic battle will break out between the forces of light and darkness, rendering moot uncomfortable questions about marriage.
During this time, Inglorion receives a note from Artemisia apologizing and saying that she will be absent for a few weeks taking care of estate business that she has postponed for too long. In her absence, Inglorion turns to a very different lover, Camilla. She’s much younger than Inglorion, and human, which always feels strange. Humans are particularly inclined to see elves as mysterious, enchanted creatures, which means that they’re easily seduced, but have odd expectations. Camilla is poor. She lives in a tiny shack close to the river, and it’s not clear what she does for money. She’s not a prostitute, but Inglorion suspects that she does something connected with the drug trade, and once he starts to see her more frequently, he realizes that she’s probably high while they fuck.
The Sunday after Artemisia’s departure, Inglorion is fucking Camilla in a workmanlike and dutiful way. She’s distracted and distant, and he has the sense of working hard for very little yield. Usually the more time he spends with a woman, the more he feels attuned to her wishes and desires. The opposite is true with Camilla. This afternoon in particular he has a demoralizing sense of diminishing returns. He’s never felt more like just walking away from a job half-finished. She’s not lubricated, and though she adjusts somewhat mechanically to allow him to enter her, she doesn’t really open up for him.
Finally he calls a break, withdraws, gets a drink of water from the tiny, filthy kitchen. When he returns, he sits down next to her, takes her hand, and says, “It seems like you’re not really enjoying this. Are you OK? Is there anything I can do?” He gives a rueful little smile, tries to catch her eye. “We can always just call it, you know — pick it up later when you’re more in the mood.”
“No, no,” she says vaguely. “It’s fine.”
“My dear, I wasn’t born yesterday. I can tell you’re not enjoying yourself. I’m happy to do something different. If you just need me to get out of your hair, that’s fine, too. We don’t have to do this.”
She sighs, looks exasperated. “I do wish…”
“Well, you could be rough with me. I like that.”
“What did you have in mind?”
She mumbles, “Hit me.”
“Hit me. It helps a lot when I’m like this, when I’m not quite — when I can’t — just slap me across the face, hard.”
Inglorion blinks a few times, swallows. He knows of such things, of course, and he and Artemisia often play a bit rough. When he smacks her bottom, though, or pins her down, it feels like a natural extension of healthy passion. He’s never hit a woman in cold blood, and the idea is distinctly unsexy, like he’s being told he’ll have to perform minor surgery on her as a warmup.
And yet, it’s what she wants. Everything he’s tried so far hasn’t worked, and he’s reluctant to admit defeat in the bedroom.
“Strike you across the face. OK. Anything else?”
She says hastily, in a distracted, flat voice, “Hit me, pull my hair, scratch me. You can choke me, if you want. Just hurt me. It will really help.”
And so an awkward episode ensues, in which Inglorion begins to kiss her — he needs to do this in order to maintain his own interest — and breaks off intermittently to slap her. She keeps urging him to do it harder, and when he finally gives her a couple of solid cracks across the jaw, she begins to warm up. He’s afraid he’ll injure her, but also somewhat encouraged by this success, so he tries to follow her instructions, slapping her breasts until they’re purple and red, pulling her hair as her kisses her, biting her nipples quite hard. He doesn’t do any of it as hard as she wants, but it seems to be enough. Slowly, lying there with her eyes closed, face and neck and breasts marked, she starts to show signs of real desire.
He’s not particularly excited, so she grabs his cock and starts to suck it. As he gets hard, she forces it down her throat, gags herself on it. The sensation is exquisite, but he has to close his eyes — he’s uncomfortable seeing her face red and her eyes streaming with tears. He knows she would like him to push her head down and really choke her with it, but he absolutely can’t do that, so he withdraws, throws her down on the bed, and starts to fuck her.
She’s very excited now, and that does help. Even as he plunges into her and she’s slick and willing, he knows that she’s impatient for more. He slaps her gently a few times, bites her neck. In the end, as she works towards climax, she starts to hit herself again and again, slapping her own face and jaw, twisting her nipples frantically. Finally he pins her arms to her sides and fucks her hard, partly to excite her, partly because he can’t bear to see her hurt herself like that. Somehow she manages to climax, rearing up against him, clamping down hard on his cock, biting her lip.
For Inglorion the entire operation was precarious — he’s never been so close to a critical hardware failure. He very much doubts that he can climax after what just occurred, so he withdraws as soon as he decently can, and flops down next to her on the bed, uncomfortable, bewildered and impatient with himself.
“Was that OK?” she asks.
He temporizes, “It may take me awhile to get used to that. It’s hard for me to hit a woman.”
“Mm,” she says dreamily. “I think you could get used to it. You’re strong. I like that.”
Inglorion is silent.
Presently she asks, “That whip you carry, what’s it for?”
He sighs. “There’s a disarm maneuver you can do. It’s mostly to punish and demoralize an opponent — humiliate them. I last used it in a bar fight — thrashed a guy badly — really cut him up.”
“Mm. How accurate are you?”
“Very accurate. It’s a formidable weapon. When I hit him, I drew blood. He carried the marks for weeks.”
Inglorion doesn’t sit up or pull away from her, but he says very deliberately, “Camilla, I don’t think I could hit you with a bullwhip, any more than I could cut you with a longsword or shoot an arrow into your neck.”
“You might be surprised.” She snuggles down into the covers and seems inclined to go to sleep, so he disentangles himself gently, gives her a quick kiss, and slips away.