The flame casts a truly beautiful glow across her face, her chest, her bare shoulders. She's concentrating, intently, on the candle she is holding in her hand. The flame is rising; it's almost two inches. I feel like I'm stealing a glance into a private moment, seeing something I shouldn't be privy to.
I turn back, in the pillow, before she can catch me watching.
I can barely see the flickering shadows on the walls out of the corner of my eye. I wish for a moment that we were doing this at night, instead of in the light of morning, but I seriously doubt this will be the last time. She has a hand on my back, holding me down gently, so that my whole body, nose to toes, is pressing into the black sheets.
"It's taking a bit to melt. Are you ready?"
How do I prepare for a pain I haven't experienced before?
I take a deep breath, trying to stop myself from tensing in anticipation.
The pain is exquisite. I begin to whimper, immediately, muffling the sound in the pillow.
It's not the sharp intensity of a needle, though it's focused into an equally small surface area. It's not the wide, warm, tingling friction of a paddle or a hand, yet, there's a similarity to the heat that fades quickly as the wax cools and solidifies on my skin. The sensation disappears so quickly that I find I miss it; I don't have the time to love it or hate it, but only to remember it.
She pours it in drops, beginning at my shoulder blades, across my upper back. The splatter feels wonderful, the pain skipping across nerves to land unexpectedly. I so enjoy the way the sensation spreads across my skin, in an increasingly wider surface area, when the heavy droplets splatter.
My whimpering increases with the pain, until it's almost a moan. It's quick and fluid; I don't have time to tense up between drops or even mentally retract from the pain. She stops to admire her handiwork. "There's a gorgeous X across your back."
How cruel. She knows I want to see it.
"Can you take more?"
There's no hesitation in my response. I don't even look up.
She drips it down, across the tattoo on my back, on to my ass. I'm scared for a moment that it will splatter in places I don't want to be cleaning wax out of, but she controls it deftly.
I begin to squirm from the pain and my thoughts end, as I can't seem to redirect my mind from focusing on the sensation. The heat spreads faster, becoming more intense, and I'm whimpering though the sound doesn't feel like it's coming from me. My skin feels like it is on fire at a very low heat, but the fire moves as each drop cools and dries and another droplet burns in succession.
She stops as I begin to struggle with the pain, squirming because I can't hold still. She blows out the candle, and sets it back on the mantle. My breath quiets again. The hardened wax drops feel like a casing on my back, the skin tight and untouched underneath. She traces the drops with her fingers, from my shoulders to my ass and back again, spreading across the small of my back.
"Can I see?"
She takes a picture with my phone, and the image is riveting. The droplets are tiny, most smaller than my pinky, but there are a mess of hundreds criss-crossing my back, almost hiding the black ink of my tattoo. It would be gorgeous intertwined with rope.
I turn to my side, and she leans down to kiss me, gently, in an almost surreal juxtaposition to the pain. I pull her in, roughly, and lean up to whisper in her ear.