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The spicy aroma of a man’s cologne teases my nose as he circles me, quietly studying me. Voices waft across the room like currents of air but my observer is alone. Intrigued by what he sees, he reaches out a hand to caress my hip, my thigh. I remain perfectly still as I have been taught, willing away the gooseflesh that threatens to mar my smooth skin and spoil the illusion.
‘Alina,’ he says, reading my name off the little bronze plaque beneath me.
Seeing the man’s interest in me, the curator approaches. He introduces himself and explains that I am new, that this is only my first exhibition, but that I have shown immense promise and he is sure I would be a worthy addition to any collector’s home.
The man nods and reaches up to stroke my cheek. He traces a finger down my throat and along the curve of one bare breast. He cups me gently and I feel my nipple stiffen in response to his touch. It’s exactly the kind of reaction collectors want, the kind that surprises one into remembering that we are human after all. He laughs softly.
‘She’s very responsive.’ He slides his thumb over the hard little bud, sending a jolt of pleasure through my body. I focus all my concentration on maintaining my position. I must not sigh or gasp or moan. I mustn’t close my eyes or even flutter an eyelash. I am a statue. One of warm flesh and blood rather than alabaster but a statue nonetheless.
The man draws his hand down along my pale arm to my wrist. Then he presses against the delicate skin to feel my pulse. Doubtless my heart is beating faster now than when he first approached me and his touch makes it beat even faster. He gives another appreciative laugh.
‘Yes, very responsive.’
He has a nice voice, cultured and kind. I like the warmth in his touch, the amusement in his tone as he examines the rest of me, stroking the soles of my upturned feet and running a finger down the line of my spine. My legs are closed but he comments favourably on my smoothly shaved mound. I fight the blush that threatens to stain my cheeks as he asks whether he might part my thighs to see the rest.
from "Holding Still" by Rose de Fer
Instructed to Play
from Mischief Books