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Gaining Advantage

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The palace is, of course, ridiculously opulent. Hux takes in his surroundings with his usual bored expression, giving nothing away as he catalogues the size of the place, the entrances and exits, and the staff sent to greet him. The invitation was a personal one and, as such, he has come alone. All he has is the blaster at his side, but he’s fairly certain he won’t need it. This is clearly a play for his support in the Senate, and as Kylo Amidala wants Hux on his side he doubts he’ll be shown anything other than perfect hospitality.

Indeed, his heavy outdoor cloak is taken from him, and a few moments later he’s shown into a reception room. Kylo is already there, and rises to greets him, a smile on his immaculately painted face. The extravagant gown he wears sighs softly against the floor, the layers of blood red satin and black lace moving gracefully with him as he approaches, and the jewels carefully resting in his intricately styled hair shimmer in the light, drawing Hux’s eye for a moment. Even adorned in such finery, Kylo Amidala is beautiful.

“Senator Hux!” he says lightly, leaning in and kissing the air just next Hux’s cheek before repeating the action on the other side. Hux catches his scent – a mixture of delicate perfume, fragranced powder, and warm body heat – and holds himself impassively as he can as a jolt of arousal courses through him. This close, Kylo is distracting, probably deliberately so, and Hux’s thoughts immediately turn to ruining that makeup and tearing away the layers of expensive clothing to see how pretty Kylo is everywhere else.

“I’m so glad you could come!” Kylo – completely unaware of Hux’s fleeting, sordid thoughts – continues, moving back half a pace. He’s still smiling, his dark, expressive eyes fixed on Hux. Hux isn’t sure what to make of the amusement he sees in Kylo’s expression, and keeps his own as impassive as ever, giving nothing away.

“It was an honour to receive your invitation,” Hux replies politely.

“Oh, I can assure you the honour is mine,” Kylo says without missing a beat. He gestures along the hallways and Hux follows as Kylo leads the way. “Dinner will be served shortly, but I thought we could perhaps get to know each other a little better in the meantime? I’ve so been looking forward to meeting you properly.”

“As have I,” Hux nods in agreement, happy to play along with Kylo’s little game. He seems intent on trying to win Hux’s support through praise and flattery, and Hux is not opposed to the approach at all. Others have tried it in the past, to no avail, but none were so pretty and inviting as Kylo. It will be fun to watch him try, and to see how far he’s willing to go. Several tempting thoughts of the other man in compromising positions offer themselves, and even if nothing happens this evening Hux can entertain himself with them later. It’s not as if it would be the first time.

“You handled the Senex-Juvex issue with the utmost skill and discretion,” Kylo continues, walking at a slow pace. Hux is more interested in the man by his side than that lavish decorations he’s no doubt supposed to be admiring. “I only wish I’d been able to express my admiration at the time.”

Hux can’t help feeling a little smug at Kylo’s words. He’d been instrumental to the resolution of the conflict, but due to his relatively weak standing in the Senate it was easy for others to try and take the credit from him. Many who had opposed Hux’s plan at the outset had quickly changed their tune when they’d come to realise it was the quickest, most profitable route open to them, and more than a few had tried to overstate their part in it. It was those who listened and been supportive of his proposition from the start which Hux had taken notice of. Kylo had been one of them.

“As I recall, you played no small part in the matter too.”

“Perhaps…” Kylo gives a knowing smile. “But you know, it would seem, Senator, that we are more often than not on the same side.”

Although it’s a little early in the evening for Kylo to broach the subject, Hux expects Kylo to continue that line of conversation. He’s surprised when they stop outside a closed door and Kylo gives a soft exclamation.

“Ah! Here we are! I do hope we share other interests as well, Senator.”

And with those ambiguous words, Kylo pushes the door open and leads Hux in. Hux isn’t sure what to expect, and barely has time to gather his thoughts before he’s confronted with one of the bizarrest rooms he’s ever been in. It’s like stepping into the past, and he can almost feel the cold press of time bearing down on him from the ceiling-high bookshelf lining the far wall and the cabinets displaying all manner of artifacts. It doesn’t take him long to realise the common theme: weaponry. The room is littered with knives, spears, blasters, swords – almost every weapon the galaxy has known in the last millennia. And the books… Hux can only guess at their contents.

“Go on,” Kylo encourages, his eyes alive with excitement. “It’s not often I get to show off my private collection.”

Hux wanders into the room almost in a daze. His attention is almost entirely on the books, but the gleam of fierce looking weapons draws his eye too. He carefully walks around a glass cabinet displaying what he’s almost certain is an ancient Rh’oth scimitar.

“These are all yours?”

Kylo moves into the room after him, his fingers tracing fondly over the cabinet containing a set of throwing knives. “Most of them, yes. Some are heirlooms, some were gifts, and others are on loan or have been entrusted to me for safekeeping.”

Reaching the far wall, Hux reads the spine of the first book he comes to and finds it to be in a script he cannot place.

“And the books?”

“Journals, testimonies, treaties on the art of war, histories of ancient civilisations.”

Hux takes half a step back, awed by the volume of works before him.

“Is it to your liking?”

Hux gives a dry huff of laughter, unsure as to how to respond. He turns to Kylo, who looks as beautiful and resplendent as ever, even amidst all the weaponry and whispers of violence, and can see – or thinks he sees – a very innocent longing for approval. He’s surprised by it. In politics it doesn’t do well to give away your thoughts and feelings. Kylo, however, seems completely unguarded.

“It’s astonishing,” Hux manages. “I can’t quite believe…”

“Go ahead. Take something down if you like.”

Hux looks back at the books. “I wouldn’t know where to start.”

“Here,” there’s the soft sound of fabric swishing against the floor as Kylo moves closer. He stops next to Hux and carefully draws a black, leather-bound book from the second shelf. “Try this one. I think you’ll like it.”

Hux inhales sharply, able to read the title.

“‘ Gloriae Imperium ’. Where…? How…?”

Copies of the text are few and far between, and highly prized. How one came to be in Kylo’s possession Hux cannot guess. In the chaos that ensued after the fall of the Empire, many treasures were plundered and lost, and there is still the pervading fear amongst many that remnants of that time are dangerous. Hux has never been allowed to forget that he comes from old Imperial blood, and is treated with as much suspicion and wariness as the book he now lightly touches. He’s had to prove himself, time and time again, and even then there are many who hold him in deep suspicion.

Looking down at the book, Hux feels as if he has found a lost part of his heritage. He doesn’t know what else to say.

Kylo carefully reaches over, his hand brushing past Hux’s, and opens the cover. The pages are heavy – durable – and the text utilitarian.

“I’ve read it,” Kylo says gently. “I believe in balance in everything. To be an advocate of peace, you should understand conflict too.”

“A sensible philosophy,” Hux hears himself agreeing reflexively, although he’s more focused on the paper beneath his fingers than his own words. “How did you get it?”

Kylo shifts beside him and leans idly against the bookshelf, the fabric of his gown gathered around him. “I’ll tell you some time. But for now, I have an offer for you.”

That’s enough to draw Hux’s attention away from the text and up to Kylo’s captivating face.

“Oh? And what would that be?”

He knows it’s about the book. It’s clever. He’s not sure how, but Kylo has managed to find something that Hux wants more than anything anyone else can offer him.

“A few pages of the book, for an hour or two of your time.”

Kylo smiles sweetly, but there’s a flicker of uncertainty there too.

“What I mean to say is,” Kylo starts to elaborate, “you’re a busy man. Your time is invaluable. I completely understand the pressures of office, and of the Senate, but I’d like to hope that when you find the opportunity to enjoy more relaxing pursuits, you might chose to spend some of that time here, with me. I would so like for us to be friends, and I regret that we haven’t had the chance to become better acquainted before now. I’m happy to allow you access to my library, if that’s what you wish.”

Hux opens his mouth to speak, ready to respond as delicately as he can to the blatant play for his support, when a gong echoes throughout the palace, distracting him.

“Dinner is ready,” Kylo announces with a sigh. “Come. This way.”

Putting Gloriae Imperium back on the shelf is one of the hardest things Hux has ever had to do. His gaze sweeps longingly over the innocuous black spine, and even as he turns he can feel it pulling at him, trying to draw him back again. He follows Kylo diligently, and is shown to a modest dining hall. The moment they are seated food is brought. Hux watches the vast array of plates and dishes being laid out before him, feeling a little overwhelmed. There are so many foods – so many colours and smells – arranged on each that he has no idea what is expected of him.

Opposite him, Kylo peers at the food and turns to one of the serving boys, speaking to him in a low voice. The boy hurries off and Kylo seems content.

“I couldn’t settle on one particular meal, so I requested the kitchen prepare a buffet, of sorts,” Kylo explains. “I hope there are some dishes you like. I’d recommend pretty much everything from the Vandelhelm plate, although I know the seasoning isn’t to everyone’s taste.”

Hux can’t even guess what half the dishes in front of him are, but as the final few are placed on the table he at least understands the theme. If Kylo wants to impress him, he’s most certainly done that. Each platter and bowl is filled with carefully prepared canapes and bites from different planets and sectors all over the known galaxy. Kylo is already filling his plate, using his fingers for some of the quiche-like delicacies Hux thinks are from Ando Prime, and it quickly becomes clear to Hux that he need not stand on ceremony.

He’s just finished filling his plate and sampling the first few bites when Kylo fixes him with a distracting look. Hux falters, forgetting to chew for a moment, as he watches the silver of the fork slide smoothly from Kylo’s mouth, the metal doing nothing to disturb the immaculate lipstick of his upturned mouth.

“You like it, then?”

Hux swallows with difficulty, looking down at his plate. All thoughts of food fled at the sight of those plush, supple lips, and he struggles to remember what he’d just been tasting.

“Hux? Is it not to your liking?”

He sounds worried, and when Hux looks up he’s surprised by Kylo’s open concern. The other man seems so eager to please, and that distracts Hux even further. He can’t help returning to his earlier thoughts of compromising positions, and of smudged makeup and discarded finery.

Not the headgear , Hux thinks, taking in the way the intricate web of jewels has been woven into Kylo’s hair, like stars hung in the night sky. No, I’d leave that on .

“I’ve never had anything like it,” he manages to respond.

“Senator,” Kylo says gently – carefully – after a pause. “Do you think we could drop all pretenses for a moment?”

Hux is immediately on guard, and ensures his expression gives nothing away.

“What is it you wish to discuss?”

“The manner of our arrangement.”

No such thing exists, yet, but Hux nods, humouring Kylo’s frank words. “What of it?”

“I would very much like for us to part as friends this evening – the very best of friends, even.”

Kylo falters, his gaze flickering downwards for a moment as he bites at his painted lip. It’s an oddly endearing, vulnerable reaction, and it warms Hux’s blood. Nothing, however, compares to the way Kylo looks at him a moment later, his eyes betraying the blush the heavy makeup disguises.

“I’m very eager to secure your support.”

It feels like all the blood in his body pools in his groin, and Hux suddenly finds himself short of breath. There’s no mistaking the way Kylo rises, managing to seem demure and inviting despite his size as he takes a step closer to Hux.

“If you would have me…”

A thousand reasons why he shouldn’t do this cry out in Hux’s mind, but he’s transfixed. He wants this. Uncharacteristically without words, he rises, moving closer to Kylo, and when Kylo takes another step towards him, seeming to shiver in anticipation, he steadily closes the distance. Face to face with the other man he can see the minute details of his makeup, feel the brush of full skirts against his own clothing, and smell the warm, alluring scent that’s beckoning him even closer. Kylo’s pulse flutters rapidly beneath his pale skin, and his breath ghosts over Hux’s skin in an intimate, tender caress.

Hux reaches up, his hands coming to rest at the back of Kylo’s hair, where his fingers push into the soft, luscious locks and close into a fist. The grasp isn’t even that tight, but Kylo gasps, shivering.

“If you would have me, I’m yours.”

Kylo’s words are like a spell, and Hux breaks free of restraint, surging forwards to claim Kylo’s lips in a fevered kiss. It doesn’t matter to him that they will be equally bound by this deal; he doesn’t care. They both want this, and gladly break against each other. Hux’s other hand shifts to touch Kylo’s face, his fingers smearing a layer of makeup as he deepens the kiss, and Kylo’s hands are all over him in return, tugging and pulling and urging him on, until they twist, turning so that Kylo is pinned between Hux and the table. The kiss breaks messily as they both reach down, fumbling with and trying to draw Kylo’s skirts out the way. As Kylo leans back Hux offers one hand to help with the task of clearing enough space for him to lie back, pushing dishes out of the way, and he can’t find it in himself to care when he hears the plates smashing against the floor.

Kylo clearly doesn’t care either, and hurriedly pulls Hux down with him, grinding against him as best he can while one hand works to free Hux’s cock from the confines of his trousers. Hux can feel the lipstick smearing across his own skin now, and whimpers, blown away by what is happening. He knows he should stop, but Kylo is too warm – too real and inviting – beneath him, and he can’t think of anything in the galaxy he wants more than to bury his cock in the tight heat of Kylo’s body.

The cool, unmistakeable touch of lubricant to his cock startles Hux, and his hips jerk involuntarily, thrusting into Kylo’s fist. Why Kylo had the lube in his skirt pocket and how he retrieved it Hux doesn’t know, but it doesn’t seem important. The only thing he cares about is what Kylo wants him to do, and as he’s guided to Kylo’s entrance it’s inescapably clear.

Hux doesn’t even break the kiss. He pushes forward, trusting Kylo’s eagerness and finding the ring of muscles yielding without any need for preparation. He fumbles with the fabric of Kylo’s skirts, trying to hold them up out the way, as he thrusts forward and withdraws a little, before pushing in again. It’s only when he’s fully seated, Kylo tensing around him and both of them panting at the effort of it, that a wave of jealousy hits him. It feels like Kylo has done this, recently.

The thought of Kylo whoring himself out for political gain leaves Hux breathless. He rocks his hips sharply, revelling in the way Kylo whimpers and clings to him. The next thrust draws a cry from his lips, and Hux instinctively brings his hand up to cover Kylo’s mouth, silencing him. He quickly changes his mind, though. Kylo gazes up at him, dark brown eye blown with pleasure, and Hux quickly decides he doesn’t care who hears and who knows. He welcomes the perverse thrill of it.

Kylo’s lipstick is badly smeared, and as he draws his hand away Hux trails his thumb through the mess. Kylo’s eyelids flutter closed, as if in pure ecstasy, and he parts his lips to catch the withdrawing digit. His tongue wraps cleverly around it, offering stimulation that tears through Hux’s body, further robbing him of thought.

Hux can’t get enough of Kylo. When he pulls his hand away and grasps at Kylo’s waist, he knows he can’t stay his completion much longer. Kylo seemed loose when he entered him, as if he’d been fucked recently, yet he cries out in such relief, as if he hasn’t been taken in years. His duality – his size, his grace; his beauty, his power; his apparent innocence, his experience – bleed together to create the most intriguing, desirable creature Hux has ever known, and he clings to him, desperate to find his release in such chaotic perfection. The pale cheek against his lips is smeared with ruined makeup, and Hux kisses it with hot, laboured breaths, loving every beautiful, contradicting moment. He knows he shouldn’t be doing this, and that he should never have accepted the offer in the first place, but he can’t bring himself to care. He’ll do this again and again, if he’s allowed to.

Hux’s orgasm blindsides him. He barely registers the change in Kylo’s body before they’re both coming, either pushing or dragging the other with them– Hux can’t tell. The point at which their bodies join tenses and spasms as Hux empties himself into Kylo, every ounce of strength leaving him for a moment as his mind all but shorts out.

The first thing he registers is the tangle of hair around his fingers. He loosens his grip, but finds that it wasn’t tight to begin with and gives a sigh of relief. He can’t help touching Kylo, tracing his fingers through the ruined makeup and over high cheekbones as he leans in to kiss him. Kylo returns the gesture with a little more fervour, tightening around Hux as best he can. It has the unfortunate effect of pushing Hux’s spent cock from him, though, and Kylo whimpers at the loss. Hux doesn’t need to look to know that his come is already leaking from Kylo, staining the expensive skirts.

“So,” Hux whispers, moving to tenderly kiss Kylo’s nose and then nuzzle at the sensitive spot in front of his ear, “you sold yourself to me like a common whore for my support. What would the members of the Senate think, hm?”

An echo of perverse thrill ripples through him at his own words, but Hux is more focused on ensuring he has the upper hand. He quickly finds he has it. Kylo inhales sharply at his words, grasping desperately at him, and when Hux pulls away he’s met by the most pitiful, pained expression he’s ever seen.

“Do you not want me?”

Kylo looks so hurt by the notion that Hux feels something within him shift, dislodging uncomfortably. He vows that if Kylo is playing him, the other man will come to know the true meaning of vengeance.

“I didn’t realise you were being so sincere.”

Kylo looks away, and Hux backs off, finding Kylo’s arms loose around him and no longer holding him close.

“What else did you think this was?”

Hux doesn’t answer. They both know the answer to that. He feels embarrassed.

“I’m sorry, I—” he begins, tucking himself back into his trousers, but he stops short. He’s suddenly confused by his own actions – why is he backing away? He doesn’t have to.

Carefully, he extends his hand. “Yes,” he say as firmly as he can make himself. “Yes, I want you.”

Kylo gives a tiny flicker of a smile, still seeming lost, but he takes Hux’s hand and allows Hux to pull him up and embrace him, smoothing over his ruined hair.

“And I believe we can reach a mutually beneficial arrangement,” Hux continues, taking care to avoid the jewels in Kylo’s hair. “Although you will have to tell me what it is you want of me, and will gain from all this.”

Kylo’s smile grows into a more confident, knowing one, and he seems to return to more his usual self.

“That’s a discussion for after dinner, I think,” he says ambiguously. “And after we’ve gotten cleaned up.”

Able to feel the smudges of makeup on his own skin as well as see the damage he’s done to Kylo’s, Hux can’t help agreeing. He can only imagine the mess smeared on Kylo’s thighs, although finds himself fond of the image. He’s less fond of the mess they’ve made of the floor, though, and glances uncomfortably at it.

“Don’t worry about that,” Kylo says confidently. “Come, the refresher is this way.”

When they return to the table some time later, they’ve both cleaned up a little, although rather than reapplying his makeup Kylo has chosen to go without it. His face, Hux decides, is even more remarkably beautiful without the layers of paint.

When dessert is served, Hux pays the dishes little attention.

There’s something far sweeter he’d rather enjoy.