impertinences: (Default)
you're too young & eager to love ([personal profile] impertinences) wrote on August 12th, 2014 at 11:18 pm
This is why you shouldn't write after drinking a bottle of wine. I have no idea what purpose this serves. Oh well!

--


He is not an easy man in any sense of the word. In truth, he is difficult. He is arrogant and pompous and he makes friends with everyone’s enemies. He claps Harrow on the shoulder like a brother, laughs in sport at the brutality of the cage fights, and slides his palm up the thighs of adolescent companions. He has a mouth that is cruel one moment and kind the next. His eyes are vacant but not the vacancy of stupidity. Instead, he knows how to measure a person with a single sweep of his gaze. His ability to be charming depends on what he can acquire from who he is charming; he is still a soldier above all else and such a position requires cunning.

He watches Lene like a hawk – the pull of her muscles beneath her skin, the stoic and statuesque way she stands behind Arletta, the way her eyes can’t help but dart to Harrow’s swan. He sizes her up and finds her wanting. But while she leans against crates, listening to a list of orders from her charge, Roman thinks about the blood beneath her skin – wet and so hot that he would swear it’s close to boiling. He’s never drunk from a shifter before. He’s heard of old rumors, myths and folklore, about certain bloods being better than human transactions. But it’s not her taste that keeps him wondering. It’s the challenge, the quest, the ache for dominance. He would pin her by her throat and sink into her memories, taste all her bitterness and fear and lust and childhood pining. He would make her arch against him, feel the brittleness of her bones, sip from her heart’s core until she groaned and asked for more.

Thinking about it makes his fangs ache.

She’s feisty, and he supposes that he appreciates that. He’s forgotten how to interact with women who possess a backbone. All the women surrounding him are delicate, desperate flowers, barring Kim who is leather and razor-edged. He can’t tell if it annoys or interests him more. Part of him wants to teach her a lesson, and he can hear Adira scolding him, feel her lifeless breath against the nape of his neck. She was always the lesson-giver, the educator, the one who could conquer and explain. But he shouldn’t make assumptions – one woman is not another, and he’s waiting to test Lene’s spirit.

--

It happens in the desert. It happens at night, and he’s hungry, hearing her heartbeat in time with the song of the cicadas. Maybe she’s said something that irritates him, another flippant remark about his loyalty or history or being. Maybe she turned her head the wrong way, rolled her eyes like a petulant child, or shifted her weight to one hip. But it happens, so suddenly that he has a hand around her throat, her body pressed to the shifting sand beneath their feet, and he’s snarling like a feral dog. She laughs at him, but her eyes slant like a carnivore’s and she shoves him away from her with an ease that startles him. He catches her by the elbow when she tries to roll to her side, grabs her hair in his fist, and they wrestle on the slipping slope of a dune. He is larger than her – a hulking bear of a man, carved from marble, impossible to move – but she slides with him as though she is water eroding his sharp edges.

The air around them is frenzied, the heat of scorpion stings. He can feel the urge in her to shift, and he’s laughing at the idea of tackling a mountain goat when she slams an elbow into his ribs. He doesn’t need to breathe but it knocks the air out of him anyway. She scrambles to her hands and knees, throwing sand into his eyes, but he splits her lip when his knuckles collide with her baby doll’s mouth. The cut heels before he has the impulse to run his tongue across it.

Her hair whips across his face, falling free from its braid, and they roll against each other for the second time. She seems to wrap herself around him, her fingers digging into the sensitive joints of his bones, and Roman wraps an arm around her neck and shoulders, his left hand pushing against her hip. Their bodies can’t seem to decide who is winning and the victory is still not declared even when his teeth pierce the vein in her neck. Even when he drinks, she bucks against him.

Afterwards, he straightens his tie and beats the sand out of his jacket while Lene re-braids her hair slowly, rubbing at her neck as though she expects his marks to remain there.

--

The next time he sees her she is dressed in lace and silk. She’s snuck away from one of the compound’s formal engagements, untangled herself from Arletta’s grasp, and walked steadily to Roman’s barren quarters. She sits strictly on the edge of his Spartan bed, and he pushes against her, tall and invasive and breathing in the smell of her sweat and the shampoo she used earlier. He lifts her arm and presses his nose to her wrist, drags it up to her elbow, and she resists the urge to push her hand against his face. She can feel the scratch of his beard against her skin, prickling. He nips at the inside of her upper arm and she jerks, startled by his intimacy. Roman lets his fangs detract, a sound that is nearly audible, and scratches her collarbone with his teeth.

“… You’re wet. I can smell it.” It’s the first thing he’s said and the words are half buried in the crook of her neck. She can feel his smirk against her throat, and she finds herself leaning towards him when his fingers skirt the hem of her dress, lightly brushing the back of his knees.

“I thought this was a business transaction.” Lene nudges her forehead against his, playful yet somehow stern.

“It doesn’t have to be.”

This time, she does push her hand against his mouth, moving his jaw, scraping her nails across his beard. “Let me know when you have a heartbeat.”

Roman laughs and, like a gentlemen, he moves away with the slow confidence of a man who is acquainted with waiting.
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