Emilie vanishes three days after that episode, and a ransom is posted. You pay it, anxiously despite the differences between you two, you've become friends and wait for her to be returned; upon hearing that her carriage has arrived, you race down to meet her, only to be stopped by a grave-faced Vincenzo. Altezza, I'm afraid that...That Emilie is-

You crumple, disbelieving, as a form wrapped in a stained grey shroud is lifted from the carriage; you watch, stupefied, as she is carried away. Vincenzo pulls you to your feet, embraces you; you bury your face in his chest, let yourself cry, tears soaking his deep blue robe. The ceremony is quiet, solemn, and you stand, pale-faced, next to Vincenzo, as she burns. Void take her. You murmur, and turn away.

xxx

The Kingdom mourns for weeks, and you mourn with it; Vincenzo keeps his distance from you, and you miss him- you miss his casual touches, his comforting presence but you say nothing, only stare at him, try to catch his eye. It's of no use, though; you can only wait for him to drift back to you. Eventually he will, you know. He always does.

But he doesn't, instead choosing to busy himself with the business of arranging for you another ball, another choice- for you must have an heir- and he goes about it steadily, calmly, like it doesn't bother him at all. You can't stand it. You can't stand it at all.

Vincenzo. You finally snap, slamming your book closed as you watch him drawing up plans, I don't want another partner. He glances at you, snorts, and continues reading the guest list; angered, you stand, tear the paper away from him. I'm not joking.

You need an heir, Altezza-

What about what I want?! Does that not matter to you? Do you not care? You snap, glaring at the paper. You make to rip it, but Vincenzo stops you, rough hands stilling yours. Altezza, I'm sorry, but it is necessary-

You jerk away, eyes burning, and tear the page in half, then in half again, again, again, until the scraps fall from your shaking fingers. Vincenzo,please, just- don't. I can't. He watches expressionlessly as you slump to the floor, kness crushing the fallen shreds of parchment. I can't do this anymore, Vincenzo. You finally gasp out, wrapping your arms around his legs; you press your face into the fabric of his trousers, hiding the tears that threaten to fall.

Why are you avoiding me, Vincenzo? You finally ask, voice muffled, and you feel him tense. I'm not stupid. I can tell; I've always been able to tell.

He gently disentangles you, kneels so that he's at eye-level. I... He pauses, as if trying to decide something. I'm sorry, Altezza. It has been...difficult for me, knowing that you will have to arrange another partnership. I...I care for you. Too much, perhaps. And it's finally out; the fact that neither of you have been willing to admit.

You lean into him, wrap your arms around his chest, and breathe him in, the sharp scent of him, and whisper, I care for you, as well. Too much. His arms, hesitantly, hesitantly wrap around you, fingers in your hair, tight, warm-

And finally, finally, you are at peace.

xxx

You had discounted the happenings of before as a mere act of lust, of something that didn't count as anything, something to be forgotten, disregarded, but when Vincenzo stands, lifting you, and carries you to your bed, you realize that it wasn't. It was hardly that.

Vincenzo, I…You murmur, tensing as your back hits the bed. He hasn't touched you since that day, and you find yourself yearning for it, to be kissed and touched by his rough hands; he looks down at you, clearly on the verge between stepping back and laying down with you. Please stay.

And so he steps forward, lays down, covers your body with his, and presses a soft kiss to your lips. Only if you are certain that is what you want, Altezza. You nod, lips brushing his, and you reach to tangle your fingers in his hair, drawing him closer.

I have never wanted something so much before.

Vincenzo chuckles at that, breath warm against your cheek; he nuzzles your jaw, nipping at the curve of it; you shiver, fingers tensing in his hair. One would hope that you wanted the throne more than this, Altezza.

They would be wrong. You reply shortly, and drag his mouth back to yours, pull his body flat against yours; you mold yourself to him, to the hard, muscled planes of him. You are so soft, so fragile, next to him, weak- but he doesn't seem to mind. He plies your mouth open, bites your lips, knocks your teeth together (he is not a gentle lover, you know this much); you roll your body against his, teasing, and he growls an oath into your open mouth.

You are going to be the death of me, Altezza.

He grips your hips, urges you to grind against him, and when you do, his hands trace up your sides, to the laces on your tunic; he stops there, brows creasing, and looks at you. What, you pant (for you are short of breath, heart racing, the feel of him against you is good, too good-), are you waiting for?

Vincenzo grins, rips the laces out, and jerks the tunic from your body; he sits up, straddling your straining hips, and his follows soon after, as well as about four daggers- you count them as he sheds them, despite the haze over your vision- and his belt; here he pauses again, eyes raking down your chest, your stomach, tracing the thin line of hair from your stomach to where it vanishes beneath his legs where the rest on your hips.

I'm going to make love to you tonight. He murmurs words like an electric shock, thrumming through your bones, your blood- you gasp at the feeling, cheeks coloring, and his grin sharpens, more a bearing of teeth than anything else.

Do you want it?

You nod, ignoring the jab at your pride; you will beg, if you must, if only to experience the thrill that went down your spine at the thought once more.

His eyes darken, green blowing black, and he hisses, Do not stop me this time. You nod again, wordlessly, eagerly, hungrily—

Rough hands trace the bones of your collar, pass over your pebbled nipples, drag down the planes of your chest; you squirm under him, trapped by his legs, breath coming in short bursts. Black lust has begun to eat away at you, lust and something else, something that you're still not quite ready to name. He finally, finally begins to unbuckle your belt, tossing it away when he manages to get it off.

He heaves himself off of you, to your displeasure, but catches your eyes as he does; you start as calloused fingers begin to work the laces of your trousers, ripping them through the holes; it's only a short time before you're completely naked before him, exposed, flushed red with longing.

Cazzo, Xavier, he swears, guardati. Bello. You have no idea what he says, but you ascertain the meaning from the look in his eyes- longing, almost worshipful- and your cheeks darken more.

Are you going to talk, old man, or do something?

Vincenzo chuckles, deep in his throat, and pushes you further up the bed, so that you rest among the plush pillows piled at the head. He follows, hands fumbling at the laces on his trousers; once he manages to untie them, he kicks them off, and you gulp, staring at the redness of him, how large he is, compared to you-

He notices your gaze and idly touches himself, a hand roughly pulling down his length, fingers twisting at the tip; you swallow loudly, a lump forming in your throat. Embarrassed, you divert your gaze elsewhere. Thick fingers grip your chin, turn you to face him again; you open your mouth to protest, only to be met with his mouth, tongue roughly pressing against yours.

You kiss him back- though you don't suppose this is really a kiss, more a meeting of open mouths- and gasp into him as he presses his body against yours, hard, cocks pressed together, delicious friction.

He urges your hands to grip his shoulders as he presses open-mouthed kisses down your body; you dig your nails in when he reaches your hips, unsure whether to stop him or press him further down, and, unbidden, the image of him sucking you jumps to your mind again, like the time before; with a whimper, you push him down, press yourself against his cheek.

Vincenzo pauses there for a moment, glances up at your face; he sees something there, you suppose, that makes him nod, slightly, and unceremoniously take you into his mouth, tongue laving up the length of you. You almost scream, hand flying from his shoulder to shove inside your mouth, teeth biting down on flesh. Your other hand moves to grip his hair, nails raking against his scalp.

He sucks you, cheeks hollowing, licks stripes up and down your cock, presses his teeth, briefly, against the tip; you almost scream again, head falling back, into the mattress. He pumps you with his mouth, jerking up and down, swallows you, hands gripping your hips to keep you from moving, from fucking his mouth—

You tug him off of you, blush at the obscene pop that his mouth makes when he's jerked away; precome and spit shine his lips, and you pull him up to kiss him, tasting yourself. Vincenzo, please. Please.

Hands settle on your thighs, spread you apart; he presses kisses into your neck then leans away, reaching into the drawer on the table next to your bed; you're only a little outraged when he returns with some sort of body oil. You kept that in here, Vincenzo? You ask, and he grins, unrepentant.

Would you rather I didn't have any at all?

You have no response to that, other than a gasp as he presses a slicked finger into your ass. It's uncomfortable, and verges on painful when he adds another finger; when another is forced inside a moment later, it burns, and you tell him as much, gasping, panting, erection flagging.

He grips you with his other hand, pumps you in tandem with the thrusting of his fingers, and you finally, finally see why someone would be willing to do this.

You convulse as his fingers brush against something, and he grunts out a finally before pushing his fingers against it again and again, driving you deeper and deeper into a haze of pleasure, muscles contracting, eyes closing, moaning, gasping, panting. He withdraws when you croak his name, beg him for more, more, and hitches your thighs around his hips; you dig your heels into his back, push him, and he presses inside you.

It burns.

It burns more than anything he's done so far, and you feel like he's splitting you open, cutting you in half with himself, and you cry out, distressed—

Shh, Altezza, prometto che si meglio. Prometto. He murmurs, holding himself inside you; you feel the tension rolling off of him like waves, and understand what it must be for him to hold himself back, to wait for you.

Move, you hiss, move, goddamn you.

He thrusts shallowly into you, then deeper, deeper, driving you up the bed, back pressed against the gilt headboard. His mouth locks on your neck, biting, sucking, as he pounds into you; it hurts, it hurts more than you'd expected it to, and you bite your lip savagely to keep from crying out.

He changes his angle, abruptly, and your control cracks, pleasure tingling and arching up your spine. He's found it again, whatever it is inside you that causes this; you moan, loudly, and tell him to do it again, again, more—

He kisses you, murmurs something, hitches your thighs over his shoulders jerks one of his hands down your cock, and increases his pace, a brutal speed that has you screaming into the hand you pressed over your mouth to stifle your cries. Vincenzo rips it away, gasps, Let me hear you, and you scream for him, hoarsely, and come, body tensing, jerking, and, finally, releasing as you go boneless, pliant.

He continues to move inside you, pushing you through your orgasm; when he reaches his- with a low growl, your name on his lips- you're trembling, over-sensitized, and, you realize, sore. Very sore.

He gathers you into his arms, pulls you under the blankets with him, ignoring your protests about getting the bed messy. Relax, Altezza. He grumbles softly, pressing his chest into your back. It appears to be his favorite position, body cupping yours, sweaty and trembling still.

Go to sleep.

And you do.

When you wake in the morning, you refuse to leave the bed, cringing at the light, at Vincenzo, and the dull, throbbing ache in your lower back.


Merry Christmas, Trowa~!