Mika had enough silk on her walls to clothe the entire royal family. Twice. Violet banners of the stuff spiraled across ceiling like a great, cloth, spider. Sunlight pierced through the skylight in the room’s center and cast her bed in a warm, purple, glow.
Rivek hovered in the prostitute’s doorway until she pointed at a crimson pillow and told him to sit down. She went to her dresser and picked up a scroll of parchment. Even rolled, it was the length of her arm.
“Ah, my new banner is here.”
“Banner? You seem to have enough in here.”
“Not for my room, pumpkin. For,” she winked, “advertisement.” She opened it on the bed. “Something I came up with. To keep my girls safe. Until a client has paid, they see pictures instead of people. Care to see?”
Knowing it was probably rude not to, Rivek stood and walked over. The unfurled scroll stretched half the length of his body and beamed with vibrant color. Mika’s portrait flirted with him under half-lidded eyes. Her ruby dress had slipped precariously down her arms. The image ran her hands through her red-streaked hair and blew him a kiss over her shoulder.
The real Mika held the piece closer to the light for more professional scrutiny. “They did a pretty good job on this one. But I’m almost sure my breasts are bigger in reality.”
Although tempting, Rivek thought it wiser not to verify that statement.
“I’ll have my assistants put this up in the morning.” She shrugged, rolled the paper up again, and set it on a blue robe that Rivek assumed was tomorrow’s clothing. “Do you mind if I change? Orlion prefers a different outfit.
“Who’s he? Your favorite client?”
“Something like that.” She disappeared behind the folding screen, and Rivek saw her previous garments thrown to its side. “Now, about that deal. You wanted a spy. And you said your little girlfriend has a solution to my problems.”
“Not my girlfriend. My employer.”
“So, more like the relationships I deal in, then.”
“No! It’s nothing like that.”
“I tease, pumpkin.” Mika laughed over the screen. It matched the tinkling of her jewelry.
“She’s a doctor.”
“I’ve had plenty of doctors.”
“She has magic.”
“Do you think I’m impressed by magic?” Mika strode out in a pair of boots laced to her thighs. Each step gave a floppy echo, implying they were at least a size too large. Her violet robe, belted low on her hips, sagged down her shoulders and trailed behind her as she walked. Gold spiders danced along its hems. Rivek wasn’t sure if she wore anything underneath, but he actually had no desire to find out.
“Do you think that’s a bit large on you?”
“Not at all.” Mika’s face began to change. Her cheekbones rose, and her jaw widened. Her breasts flattened, and her hips tightened. Limbs thickened to fill the awkward clothing. She stretched upward as if to stand straighter, but Rivek could tell she actually had grown taller.
Rivek blinked and closed his mouth once he realized he’d left it hanging open.
Mika picked a slender pipe off the desk and lit its end. The scent of sweetened tobacco filled the air. She - now ‘he’ - gave a full-throated, definitively masculine, laugh. “What’s with the surprise, Ailinar? You are a Shifter. And I am a Skinthief.”
---View on Tumblr
- 095/100 Themes.
Mika’s family is part of an elite group of mages known as the ‘skinthieves,’ people who can alter their appearance at will. In particular, Mika has the ability to swap genders. As a result, she is a high-ranking prostitute - she is completely confident in her body and her sexuality. In exchange for treatments for sexually-transmitted diseases, she and the rest of the Indigar brothel tribe agree to back Tyris in the war.
For simplicity’s sake, having been born female, Mika should be referred to with female pronouns.More Art/Writing Featuring These Characters:
Mika Indigar and Rivek Ailinar belong to Grace Fong,