|A Well-Placed Pinch by Jean Roberta|
The King and Queen of the Fairies love to watch the human world through their magic mirror. When they see three young women rehearsing for a university production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy Twelfth Night, the observers see more than the performers know they are showing. Will the shy butch disguised as a page win the heart of her idol, who plays the countess? And will the countess’ maid play a few tricks that aren’t in the script? The royal couple make a bet about how the real drama will be resolved. When the prize is sex, everyone wins!
“Oh!” exclaimed Claire. “I would make up love-poems and sing them to you in the middle of the night and yell ‘Olivia!’ to the mountains to hear the echo.” She reconsidered. “But I wouldn’t do all that for my own sake, of course. My Lady, please don’t mistake me for the one I serve. I am not what I appear to be.”
“I am intrigued, my lad,” announced Olivia to an invisible audience. “What secret could you be hiding? Do you have some monstrous deformity under your clothes? If you want me to believe you are a trustworthy messenger and not a scoundrel or an ogre, you must reveal yourself as God made you.”
Claire hoped Irene didn’t really expect to see a strip-tease. She wondered if this was Irene’s idea of a fair test, an ordeal that a suitor must survive to gain a lady’s attention and respect.
“Rude boy!” exclaimed Rosie, tossing her hair over her shoulder and pushing out her chest. “My mistress wants you to take off your clothes.” Claire tried to think of a Shakespearean response, but words failed her.
“You know you want to,” said Irene.