At nine o'clock in the morning five days after their wedding, Olivia takes a look at the beautiful wedding saddle, then looks at Piotr and starts laughing right there in the stables.
"You didn't," Olivia says. "Oh, Piotr. You didn't."
"Do you doubt me, my lady?" Piotr asks.
"I'd sooner doubt myself, but this is absurd." It's their honeymoon and they're as alone as they're going to be. Olivia has to look down to even remember what she'd thrown on this morning and Piotr is expecting her to go riding on that? Olivia can feel generations of Vorbarras and Vorkosigans rolling over in their graves. Those that were given graves. The ones who weren't are probably wishing they had been, just so they could express their disapproval. "Look at us." Because Piotr's not dressed much better. They may as well be back at one of guerilla camps.
"It's a saddle fit for a Countess," Piotr says. "You are always worthy of it."
"Well, yes, but at our wedding, I was dressed to match it," Olivia says, then gives up the argument. If Piotr wants to parade around with the horses more finely attired than their riders, well, she knew he was horse-mad when she married him. "Where are you surprising me by taking me?"
"It's a surprise," Piotr says.
"And I still hate surprises," Olivia says. "Tell me or I'm going back to bed. Alone. Naked. Lonely."
Piotr blinks at her. "I apologize, my lady. I had not realized you were still tired." He smiles beatifically.
Once upon a time, Olivia would not have been able to see right through him. That time has vanished into the mists of legend by this point. "My husband satisfied me thoroughly last night. If you see him, please let him know I would like a repeat performance. And sometime before the next Cetagandan invasion, if he pleases. If he can find the time for such diversions." She returns his smile, with teeth. "And if he chooses not to, remind him that failure to satisfy your wife is grounds for divorce on Beta Colony. And you know how I revel in my Betan heritage."
"It is not," Piotr mutters.
"You are welcome to call my mother and ask her to deny it," Olivia says. "Until then, my lord..."
"A picnic, my lady, nothing more," Piotr says. "A gentle ride--," Olivia snorts. "A gentle ride," Piotr repeats, "to a beautiful clearing where we will have lunch. A beautiful lunch. That's the plan. Are there objections?"
"It's a stupid plan," Olivia says.
Piotr frown at her. "Olivia, must you argue?"
"Yes," Olivia tells him.
He sighs and waves his hand at her. "What's stupid about it?"
Olivia looks at the saddle. She looks at her husband. She looks at her husband very hard. "Piotr, if you're harboring thoughts about this saddle, you must know that I will do no such thing with your armsmen desperately trying to keep watch without watching."
Piotr drops his pack.
"However," Olivia tells him, crossing the distance between them and putting her finger on his chin. "I will do it when they aren't." She kisses him gently. "Piotr?" she whispers.
"Yes, my lady?" he asks, his hands coming around to hold onto her hips.
"Dismiss the guard," she says against his lips. "And you can have your way with me."
He groans at her teasing, but lifts his right hand over his head and makes three sharp gestures.
"Better," Olivia says. "Now, my lord, you were saying something about a gentle ride?"
Piotr shakes slightly against her in swallowed laughter. "I believe my lady wife expressed her disapproval of any gentleness. I didn't realize married life would mean getting threatened with divorce for being romantic."
"It's been five days," Olivia says. "And you knew you were marrying me." She pushes her leg upward, angled perfectly, and Piotr whimpers. "Well, my lord?"
"Five days," he repeats, sounding as drunk on emotion as he had on their wedding night. "We can defile the saddle later. I want you now."
"Excellent idea," Olivia purrs. She makes quick work of her clothes while he's doing his best at his trousers and then she's on top of him, straddling him and lowering herself down onto his cock. Piotr's always the proper gentleman and she likes to show her appreciation in her own ladylike ways. Which include fucking him as he thrusts up into her, all a tangle of sweat and sensation and heat until she has to kiss him so he won't scream, and their hands all over each other, and him groaning her name like she has a knife to his throat and these are his last words.
They're both going to be sore later in all the best ways. Sore and filthy and happy.