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A.S. Byatt

“When the morning light came into the room it found them curled together in a nest of red and white sheets. It revealed also marks, all over the pale cool skin: handprints around the narrow waist, sliding impressions from delicate strokes, like weals, raised rosy discs where his lips had rested lightly. He cried out, when he saw her, that he had hurt her. No, she said, she was part icewoman, it was her nature, she had an icewoman's skin that responded to every touch by blossoming red. Sasan still stared, and repeated, I have hurt you. No, no, said Fiammarosa, they are the marks of pleasure, pure pleasure. I shall cover them up, for only we ourselves should see our happiness.

But inside her a little melted pool of water slopped and swayed where she had been solid and shining.”


A. S. Byatt, Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice
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Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice by A.S. Byatt
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