The next morning, the woman departed, wearing a set of clothing that had once belonged to my older sister, before her death. Although she would not reveal her true name, she agreed to let me choose a name for her, at least for the duration of her time on Earth. I called her Annalise.
I watched her leave with an ache in my heart, knowing that she had captured my desire. It would be torture to watch her complete her mission – I only hoped that the end result would be worth it.
That day, she arrived at Alessandra’s bakery, and I once again steeped a cup of Marble Mountain. By inhaling its steam, I was able to see visions of Annalise’s progress. Even as it pained me to watch, I couldn’t bring myself to look away.
Alessandra was a beautiful woman, herself, with plump curves and honey-blonde hair. It was clear that she was taken by Annalise at first sight, just as I was. Like I said, it was impossible to look at Annalise and not love her.
Annalise made the barest hint of flirtation, and it was enough. Alessandra embraced her, and Annalise allowed herself to be taken to bed.
The week that followed was a nightmare.
Alessandra and Annalise spent all their time together – my visions told me that much. They lazed around in bed, laughing and sharing intimate glances. They derived countless hours of pleasure from each other’s bodies, chasing the ends of bliss with pure sensuality. Annalise was exactly how I knew she’d be – sweet and attentive and caring. She showered Alessandra with love, and Alessandra fell helpless victim to her wiles.
It was a special kind of torment, watching the love of my life seduce another woman. But I was at least satisfied with the immediate results.
Alessandra let her bakery go to waste – she didn’t even bother to take the sweets out of the window, letting them grow moldy for everyone to see. She lost more and more of her will to exist as an independent entity – she was powerless to deny her attraction to Annalise.
By the end of the week, she was exactly as vulnerable as I needed her to be. She was ready for the grand finale that I had planned, the goal of the entire endeavor. As Alessandra slept for a few short hours after their lovemaking, I called Annalise to reappear before me, and instructed her to end it.
The sweetness in her smile was a poison I’d happily drink.
And so I sat with my cup of tea, my skin seared red from the steam, waiting and watching for the results of Annalise’s attentions.