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Penitence

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The resolution of the war with Skaikru and the return to peacetime was welcome to Lexa in nearly all respects. Pike had been deposed and hostilities between her people and Clarke's had been defused with minimal loss of blood (Pike's being the most notable exception). Her triumphant return to Polis with Clarke at her side had been met by throngs of her people cheering in the streets, flower petals strewn beneath their horses' hooves, and, at last, a chance to sink into much-needed sleep, wrapped in each other's arms.

But they were not to get nearly as much rest as they had hoped for, and, in some of her weaker moments, Lexa thought bitterly that they deserved. For with the resumption of peacetime also came the resumption of her official duties. As grateful as they were that a war had been averted, her people also had disputes that needed adjudicating, trade deficits to address…and formal state occasions for her to endure. The first of these, as Titus announced the moment she and Clarke stumbled into the dining hall for a very late breakfast, was the ceremony to acknowledge King Roan's coronation and take his oath of fealty.

“Are you serious?” Clarke burst out, a piece of toast halfway to her mouth. Lexa hastily shut her own mouth at the scandalized look Titus gave her; she had been about to say something similar.

“Yes, I am serious, Wanheda,” Titus said in his sternest tone. “I would not jest about something so important as the renewal of our bonds with Azgeda and the reaffirmation of their commitment to the Coalition, especially given the nature of the succession—”

“Yeah, but do we have to?”

Lexa glanced suspiciously at Clarke. She wasn’t looking forward to leaping back into diplomatic life without even a day of rest either, but there was a whine in the Sky girl’s voice that was not usually present. The outrage on Titus's face grew.

“Yes, you most certainly have to. It is your duty as Ambassador to attend official state functions! If you cannot see why—”

“But I’m tired,” Clarke groaned, and yes, that was definitely a grin tugging up the corners of her mouth. “And I don’t have anything to wear…”

Lexa choked on her tea as Titus spluttered and Clarke's grin blossomed into a smirk.

“This is a crucial state occasion. The delegation will have spent weeks traveling back from the Glacier, and they will not be dissuaded by your sartorial concerns!” Titus shouted by the time Lexa regained her breath.

“She's baiting you, Ticha,” she called over Clarke's rejoinder. “Clarke, enough.”

Clarke slumped in her chair, sticking out her lower lip in an exaggerated pout. “You ruin all my fun.”

Lexa merely rolled her eyes to cover the fact that she'd had the sudden urge to kiss the pout off Clarke's face. When she turned her attention to Titus again, he was staring back and forth between the two of them like he'd just uncovered a vast conspiracy. She opened her mouth to ask him what was wrong, but he spoke first. “My apologies, Heda, for my lack of patience. With your permission, I have more preparations to see to.” She had barely given him a nod before he turned on his heel and swept from the chamber.

Lexa sighed, sitting back in her chair. I guess things really are back to normal…as normal as they can be with Klark kom Skaikru around, anyway. Lexa turned to deliver a half-hearted plea not to antagonize Titus and caught Clarke looking at her sidelong. The grin the Sky girl was struggling to hold back made her pout rather less convincing.

“Could you please refrain from driving him completely out of his mind?” Lexa said.

“Oh come on, you thought it was funny.”

Lexa said nothing, just hid her answering grin with a sip of tea.

***

Over the next few days, Lexa threw herself into planning the ceremony for the King of Azgeda, albeit halfheartedly. In between reviewing provisions and seating charts and dictating the order of events and ensuring that accommodations were provided for all in such a way as to prevent a diplomatic incident or yet another war, she was able to spend very little time alone with Clarke.

The best she got was brief moments snatched between meetings, lingering glances in council that occasionally made her lose the thread of what she was saying, and stolen kisses in dark alcoves before she was whisked off to meet with this advisor or that dignitary. Most nights, she collapsed in bed next to Clarke with a sigh long after her niron had already fallen asleep, only able to stave off her own exhaustion long enough to watch her for a few longing moments.

By the time Roan's delegation finally arrived, Lexa was tired, snappish, and aching for Clarke. Clarke wasn’t making matters any easier: all day long, she'd been a constant source of lascivious glances and sneaky grabs of Lexa's rear when she thought no one was looking. And of course Lexa couldn’t protest, because that would draw attention to the fact that her jump and squeak had not, in fact, been a hiccup as she'd told Titus, but the Skaikru Ambassador's hand on her ass. She'd tried to glare warningly at Clarke, promising dire punishments in her head, but the Skayon only smirked at her, the tip of her tongue poking out of the corner of her mouth.

The ceremony was to begin with a procession: first Lexa would enter her throne room and ascend her throne, then her Ambassadors would proceed in and make their obeisances before taking up their positions to either side of her dais. And then the new King of Azgeda would arrive, would swear his oaths of loyalty to Commander and Coalition, and receive the brand that would mark him as an accepted leader of the Kongeda.

This was a situation fraught with political consequence for her still-healing Coalition, but from the moment Clarke walked into her throne room—last, as she was the junior Ambassador among them—Lexa could concentrate on nothing else. Despite her Sky girl's protests that she had nothing to wear to such a formal event, Clarke wore the same dress she had donned for the ceremony in which she had bowed before Lexa, and Skaikru had been inducted into the Coalition.

No, not Clarke, Lexa thought hazily, as she watched the Skayon pace towards her with slow, deliberate steps, a predatory lope measured by the beat of the drums. Not Clarke… Wanheda.

The war paint streaked across the Sky girl's face made her look nearly as feral as she had been when she'd first been brought in from the wilderness. It made the blue of her eyes blaze like twin flames, and the moment her gaze met Lexa's, she felt all her breath leave her in a rush. Indeed, those blue fires seemed to have stolen all the air from the room. The hush that greeted Clarke's arrival was less deferential silence than breathless anticipation.

Lexa’s heart hammered against her ribs loud enough to drown out the drums' steady cadence. She was catapulted back to that night, the night when Wanheda— Death in all her glory—had walked among them. She had strode through the crowd of staring warriors and gaping dignitaries and gazed up into Lexa's eyes, just as she was doing now.

Reaching the foot of the dais on which Lexa stood, Clarke paused, looking up at her. Lexa knew better than anyone that Clarke was no vengeful goddess, no mythical warrior, but a living, breathing woman who laughed and hurt and loved… And yet, in this moment, just as she had the first night Clarke had appeared before her this way, Lexa found herself wondering. But there was another kind of knowledge in Clarke's eyes now, a sardonic arch to her brow that suggested she knew exactly what Lexa was thinking about. The slight quirk of her lips as she struggled not to laugh made Lexa flush with fury and arousal.

Oh, you'll pay for this later, Sky girl, Lexa tried to tell her with her glare. But Clarke's grin only widened, her eyes only grew a little darker.

And then she sank to the floor.

Despite the awesome and terrible power of being Commander, Lexa had never felt more powerful than in the moment Death had bowed to her—or more vulnerable. Clarke could have undone her with a look.

And worse yet, she knows it.

The look Clarke gave her when she rose from her bow made Lexa simultaneously want to growl and choke back a moan. Clarke's eyes brimmed with mischief, and it was obvious she knew exactly what her gesture of obeisance had done to Lexa, and what the low-cut bodice of her dress, down which Lexa could see perfectly from where she was standing, was doing to her still. The smirk on her Sky girl’s face was wide, and it was only for her. I know what you’re thinking about, it seemed to say. I know what you want to do to me. And I know what I’m doing to you. Lexa’s clit throbbed at the thought and she wondered how someone could make her so frustrated and so aroused all at once.

Somehow, she managed to give Clarke a nod, acknowledging her homage and dismissing her to her place. She made a heroic effort to look anywhere but at Clarke as Roan and his entourage were announced and began their procession to kneel at her feet, but she could still feel her lover’s eyes burning into her skin. The few times that she couldn’t stop herself from meeting Clarke’s gaze, she always wished she hadn’t: the knowing desire in her lover’s eyes never failed to make her smallclothes wetter. She might as well have been standing up there naked, she thought furiously, with the lascivious way Clarke was looking at her.

She made it through the rest of the ceremony in a haze of need and anger. She tried to pay attention to Titus’s long, droning speech enumerating the duties of a vassal and Roan’s equally bored and boring answer declaring his intent to undertake those duties, but it was a lost cause. The only thing she could think about was demanding that Clarke come forward and bending her over the throne. What with the war, they hadn’t had many chances to consummate their relationship, but she already knew that Clarke appreciated a little roughness, and would very much enjoy being punished for her cheek with several well-placed blows to her ass. Lexa could easily imagine the breathlessness of Clarke’s voice as she counted out the blows, the way she’d squirm and pant every time Lexa’s hand came down, the rush of slick that would coat her slit with each spank…

Belatedly, Lexa realized that Roan had stopped speaking, and that all eyes in the room were on her. Inadvertently, her gaze snapped to Clarke’s—and found her muffling a laugh behind her hand. Lexa’s eyes narrowed in fury, but there was nothing she could do. Clearing her throat so she didn’t squeak, she forced herself to look at Roan. She couldn’t be completely certain, given that his head was bowed, but she thought there might be a similar smirk on his face.

Cheeks burning, Lexa said with as much dignity as she could muster, “I accept your oath of fealty and affirm you as ruler of Azgeda, equal among equals in my Kongeda. Rise, King Roan, and present your arm to receive the mark of the Commander.”

As he obeyed her order, Lexa saw no grin on his face, but his eyes were another matter entirely. They danced with knowing mirth and made Lexa want to snarl at him, but she was utterly helpless unless she wanted to provoke a diplomatic incident or, even worse, another war. She couldn’t even take vindictive pleasure in Roan’s pain as the brand with her mark sizzled against his skin; although it must have been agonizing, he barely flinched.

The ceremony was over, but Lexa’s torment was not. There was now to be a formal dinner in honor of the new King of Azgeda and in celebration of the peace and friendship between all nations of the Coalition. As Lexa stalked out of the throne room, she felt the opposite of peaceful and friendly. She was furious and aroused and she could feel her clit throbbing against the seam of her pants with every step she took. All she could think about was getting Clarke alone and—

“Heda, are you all right?” came Titus's voice in her ear, making her jump. She hadn’t realized he’d gotten that close. “You look as though something has disturbed you.”

Yes, something has, Lexa thought. An impudent Sky girl and a royal idiot. But she knew that Titus's question was more of a warning than anything: the mask of Heda was slipping. She made sure that it was back in place before turning to address him.

“I am well, Titus,” she said, giving him a bland smile. “Simply eager for this event to proceed.” Titus looked unconvinced, but he merely nodded and followed her into the dining hall, which she entered with her head held high.

As Heda, her place was at the high table, seated on a plinth that put her head and shoulders above everyone else in the room. As guest of honor, Roan was seated at her right hand; Clarke often dined at her left, but for appearances’ sake, she was eating with the other ambassadors tonight. She watched as the rest of the assembly filed into the hall and tried to take notice of the myriad little power struggles and temporary snubs and alliances that took place as everyone jockeyed for seats, but her eyes kept being drawn to the flash of golden hair glinting in the firelight, or the bright spark of a laugh rising above the general cacophony. To her surprise, her goblet emptied of wine rather more quickly than she’d expected, and when a serving boy came around to fill it again, she placed her hand over the glass.

But the damage had already been done, Lexa realized as she stood to address the hall. She managed to avoid wobbling visibly, but the dizziness she could feel clouding her brain could only have come from the wine. Or some other form of intoxication, she thought, as she caught Clarke’s eye. Snapping her head back to front and center and fixing her gaze on no one, she managed to choke out some gibberish about peace and harmony between the nations of the Coalition, and how glad she was to welcome Azgeda back into the fold. She and Roan shared sips of a ceremonial cup of wine, and she tried to focus on its bitter taste on her tongue, not on the eyes she could feel burning into her skin.

Roan, for his part, appeared vaguely amused, but then, he always appeared vaguely amused about everything. It was a useful quality in a leader, but Lexa had never found it quite so exasperating as now. He made polite conversation as he tucked into his roast, while Lexa largely ignored her own: her stomach was boiling over with frustrated arousal and had little room for food. He was a pleasant enough person to be around, she thought, if she hadn’t known that as soon as her back was turned he and Clarke would be gossiping like a couple of fishwives; but that was nothing she could accuse him of in public.

While he was technically her guest of honor, however, Roan’s attention was soon called away by the ambassadors of the other twelve Clans, all of them eager to meet and reestablish their relationship with the new King. Their table was soon swarmed with well-wishers, each vying for Roan’s attention, and thus it was not so noticeable as it might ordinarily be when Clarke slipped into the chair at her left.

“You look a little flushed,” came Clarke’s whisper in her ear, close enough that she could feel the brush of lips against her skin. Lexa tried not to let it make her jump, and failed. “Are you feeling all right?”

“I’m fine,” Lexa bit off, refusing to look at her. Her eyes darted everywhere, trying to see if anyone had noticed how close Clarke was, looking for Titus, but whether she wanted to make sure that he didn’t notice her predicament, or whether she wanted him to rescue her from it, she could not be sure.

She could hear the grin in Clarke’s voice as she said, “Are you sure about that, Commander?” Clarke’s lips caressed the syllables of her title so fondly that it was almost a term of endearment, but its effect was to make Lexa twitch. “There’s nothing I can help you with…?”

Lexa shut her eyes for a moment, just a moment, cursing herself for being so, so weak.

This has gone on long enough. I am going to open my eyes in another moment, and I will tell her to return to her seat.

Her eyes did open a moment later, but it was with a gasp on her lips. Clarke’s hand was on her leg. Her palm traced a burning trail as it slid across Lexa’s thigh, nearer and nearer to where she so desperately wanted it, but where she also feared the first touch would undo her. With a wrenching effort, Lexa brought her hand down to seize Clarke’s wrist before her hand could reach its goal.

“Enough, Clarke,” she gritted out. “You forget your place.”

Her Skayon’s grin was wide and predatory as she murmured, “Why don’t you remind me?”

Lexa was instantly assailed with images of what that reminder would look like: sweeping the plates and dishes aside to bend Clarke over the high table, flip up her dress, and take her , in full view of the entire hall. Then they would see who Wanheda belonged to, who she knelt for…

Her lapse in concentration was also accompanied by a lapse in her grip, as she discovered when Clarke’s hand reached its destination and cupped her firmly through her pants. Lexa just managed to clench her teeth over a moan, but she was utterly lost in Clarke’s need-darkened eyes. “Please, Heda… let me take care of you.”

Lexa could hold out no longer. Her body had been yearning for Clarke, and her spirit ached to feel the peace that she only felt when she was alone with her niron. The war was over, but being this close to Clarke and yet forced to pretend that they were nothing more to each other than allies, every day felt like yet another battle. And she was tired of fighting.

Threading her fingers through Clarke's so she could neither continue her torturous progress nor escape, Lexa rose. “I am retiring for the evening,” she announced, ignoring the shocked stares of her guests. “Please enjoy the festivities.”

A dozen voices shouted out her title at once, but she paid them no mind. She only had eyes for the door, to which she strode down the hall at a swift enough clip that Clarke was forced to trot to keep up. “Lexa, Jesus, will you just slow down a second? Where are we going?” she heard Clarke say with no small amount of alarm, and a grin twitched at the corners of her lips. She only let go of Clarke's hand long enough to push open the door of the dining hall, not willing to wait for the startled guards to spring into action and do it for her.

Her grin fell away when she swung open the door to the throne room. Titus stood just inside, looking like a disapproving sentinel. His expression suggested he knew exactly what she was about. She raised an eyebrow at him. He didn’t budge.

“Are you going to let me into my own throne room, Titus?” she asked in clipped tones. She could feel Clarke’s hand trembling a little in hers, but she strongly doubted it was out of fear. It was much more likely that her Sky girl was trying not to laugh.

“The feast for King Roan is not expected to end for at least another hour,” Titus said, looking at her exactly as he had the day he’d caught her and the other Nightbloods skiving off training to go to the market.

“Then I shall not be missed for at least that long,” Lexa said, the wine emboldening her tongue.

Titus glared over her shoulder. “I am not certain which other duties take precedence over your position as head of state—”

“There are other duties,” Lexa said loftily, as though she was not trying to justify sneaking off to fuck Clarke in the dubious privacy of her throne room. “Duties which are none of your concern, Titus,” she clarified when he frowned at her. Knowing that she was not going to be able to hold up under this onslaught much longer, she said quickly, “After you have told the staff and the guards that I am not to be disturbed, your services will no longer be necessary for the rest of the night. Leave us.”

“But Heda—

“You heard me,” she told him, daring her advisor with a look to cross her again.

Titus looked furious, but she held firm under the force of his glare as he swept from the room, eyeing him until the guards swung the door shut.

Behind her, Lexa heard Clarke let out a breath. “Well, that was—hey, where are you going?”

Lexa was already on her way to her throne, crossing the room in a few swift strides and taking the steps up the plinth all in one. She executed a crisp turn on her heel and then sat, fixing Clarke with a stern look. “Klark kom Skaikru, you come before Heda to answer for your impudence.” She gestured to the floor in front of her throne. “Kneel.”

Clarke’s eyes went wide and her mouth dropped open, and Lexa experienced a moment of blind panic: Oh Keryon, I took it too far, this isn’t what she was after at all— but then Clarke’s expression of shock morphed into a wide grin. As she sauntered closer, Lexa found herself hard-pressed not to squirm in her seat and give away exactly what Clarke was doing to her.

The Skayon looked at Lexa for a long, lascivious moment before sinking to her knees and bowing her head. Lexa once again found her breath stolen, and wondered absently whether she would ever get used to the sight.

Not jokken likely.

“I am prepared to submit myself to Heda ’s justice and accept whatever punishment you deem appropriate,” Clarke said, her voice low and husky. It took everything Lexa had to nod gravely, and to wrench her eyes up from the perfect view of Clarke’s cleavage that her new position had granted her.

“Very well,” Lexa said, and if her voice shook a little Clarke was kind enough to pretend she hadn’t noticed. She pointed to a spot near her feet. “Come here. As punishment for your crimes, you will serve Heda… with your mouth.”

Clarke’s head snapped up, and again Lexa found herself wondering whether she had gone too far, but she didn’t have to wonder long. Her Sky girl’s face remained serious, but there was delight in her eyes as she rose and made her way up the steps of the plinth to kneel once again. Lexa felt as though she could barely breathe, could barely get enough air to say, “If you perform your duties well, you will be rewarded.”

Clarke gave her the barest hint of a smirk. “Heda is both merciful and just.” She removed her hands from where they’d been folded in her lap and laid them on Lexa’s thighs.

The heat of Clarke’s palms soon soaked through the fabric of Lexa’s trousers. She sucked in a breath, but her Sky girl didn’t go any further, simply gazing up at her with a hooded look that gave the lie to her posture of supplication. After a moment of confusion, Lexa realized Clarke was waiting for permission to continue. Doing her best to keep her arousal and nervousness from her face, Lexa gave Clarke as regal a nod as she was capable of.

The barest hint of a grin twitched at the corners of Clarke’s lips as she slid her hands further up Lexa’s legs, until they’d reached the laces of her pants. Clarke’s fingers made quick work of the ties, but every second felt like pure torture to Lexa: the teasing brushes of her knuckles over Lexa’s throbbing clit made her twitch and ache. But Clarke seemed just as impatient to service Lexa as the Commander was to have the ache relieved, because as soon as she was finished she took hold of the waistband of Lexa’s pants and began to draw them down. Lexa clamped her mouth shut over a gasp and lifted her hips to allow Clarke better access.

The first time she had made love with Clarke, it had been many years since she had been with anyone in that way. Not since the last night she had spent with Costia had she bared herself to anyone, body and soul, and it was a terrifying thing to contemplate, let alone to do. But her nervousness had soon dissipated on that golden afternoon, because Clarke had taken in every inch of her body with reverence, and soon Lexa had been lost in the pleasure of Clarke’s mouth and hands, but—even more incredibly—of being truly seen.

There was nothing of reverence in Clarke’s eyes now, however: only hunger. Lexa felt herself clench around nothing in anticipation as Clarke’s gaze traveled down her body and came to rest between her legs. She was sure she must look a sight—she’d been wet from the moment she first saw Clarke in that dress, and it had only gotten harder as the night progressed not to squirm with arousal and impatience. Her Sky girl looked like she was gazing at a delectable feast and wanted to devour it all.

Lexa felt herself teetering dangerously on the verge of losing control, and she wasn’t ready for that. Not yet. She scooted herself forward so she was closer to the edge of her seat, but took the opportunity to reach out and slide her fingers through Clarke’s hair. Taking a gentle but firm grip on the back of her head, she said imperiously, “You may begin.”

“Yes, Heda,” Clarke murmured, and the submissive tone and posture of her body made Lexa pulse. Then Clarke leaned forward, dipping her head between Lexa’s thighs, and Lexa’s eyes slid shut.

The first touch of Clarke’s tongue made Lexa jump. She’d known that she was sensitive— she’d been tormented all night by the brush of her achingly hard clit against her soaked smallclothes—but she hadn’t realized she’d been quite that sensitive. Blushing, she cracked one eye open to look down at Clarke, but her Sky girl’s expression held no derision, only bliss. She had, in fact, shut her own eyes, presumably in anticipation of losing herself within Lexa. When Clarke felt her hesitation, she looked up again, a question in her darkened blue gaze. Lexa opened her mouth, but no words came out. She needed Clarke terribly, but she couldn’t find the words to ask.

Luckily, Clarke seemed to understand. Closing her eyes again, she flattened her tongue and ran it along the length of Lexa’s slit in one firm swipe. Lexa shuddered, thighs trembling with the urge to clench around Clarke’s head, but she wasn’t about to give in that easily. You’re supposed to be punishing her, remember? Make her earn it.

Her resolution faltered when Clarke’s tongue reached her clit. She flicked its aching tip and then began to circle it lazily, and Lexa’s head fell back against her throne. Watching Clarke pleasure her was too much to bear. Suddenly she was struggling against the urge to groan, to give voice to the jolts of pleasure lancing through her core every time Clarke completed another circle.

Gritting her teeth, Lexa forced herself to look back down, to meet Clarke’s entirely too satisfied gaze. She did her best to control her reactions, hoping to conceal her neediness just a little while longer before Clarke made her fall apart. But the Sky girl wasn’t making it easy. She moved away from Lexa’s clit, making the Commander swallow a whimper, but then Clarke’s demonically talented tongue delved into her opening and her displeasure was replaced by bliss.

Clarke reached as deep inside of Lexa as she could, tonguing a spot that made Lexa see stars. She clutched harder and harder at Clarke’s head, trying to draw her in even deeper. Her hips bucked against Clarke’s mouth of their own accord, and she gradually lost the thread of why that might be embarrassing. Her breath came in heavy gasps and she could feel pleasure building in the pit of her stomach, the embers that had been burning for Clarke all day stoked into an inferno.

Lexa rose toward her peak with shameful speed, but she was rapidly losing the ability to care. All she could focus on was the pressure and heat of Clarke’s mouth, the short, firm movements of her tongue, reaching deep to find the most delicious spots inside her. But as she felt her release racing toward her, she knew she needed something more. The tight coil of trepidation in her belly was whisked away by certainty when Clarke hummed against her. The vibrations stole the words right out of her mouth, and all that came out when she tried to speak was a harsh gasp.

Clarke’s eyes flicked open again as she pulled back just a bit, presumably to breathe, and Lexa felt a momentary stab of guilt—she’d been pressing Clarke against her so hard that it must have been difficult for her lover to get air. But her guilt swiftly turned to aggravation at the smug look on Clarke’s face. With a growl, Lexa took firmer hold of the Sky girl’s hair and tugged her forward once more. Using her hips and her grip, she directed Clarke’s mouth to where she needed it most.

Clarke didn’t fight Lexa’s seizure of control. She latched onto Lexa’s clit instantly, forming a seal with her lips and lashing the twitching bud with her tongue. Lexa clung to the edge as long as she could, but she had needed this for much longer than she realized. The pleasure building inside of her erupted in a silent scream as Lexa arched against Clarke’s mouth, every muscle in her body pulled taut in exaltation.

When she came back to herself, she was slumped against her throne, chest heaving. Clarke continued to suck her through the aftershocks of her release, making her shudder and tremble, but she was much too sensitive to bear such treatment for long. With a low groan, she pushed gently at Clarke’s head, soothing the gesture by running her hand along her lover’s jawline and cupping her cheek.

Clarke shut her eyes and leaned into Lexa’s palm, and for a moment they remained, Lexa’s body thrumming with the echoes of pleasure and Clarke looking blissfully content. But when her eyes snapped open, they were full of the same self-satisfaction that had so irritated and aroused Lexa before. It was clear that her impudent Sky girl had yet to learn her lesson—but Lexa was quickly realizing just how to teach her.

“Did I serve you well, Commander?” Clarke asked, her grin giving her submissive words a hint of subversiveness. Her eyebrows rose, however, when Lexa returned her smirk.

“Very well,” she said, her voice made husky by her harsh breathing. “So well, in fact, that I believe you deserve a reward. However, I’m not sure my legs will work yet.” The chagrin in her tone was real—she could still feel her muscles trembling as though she’d run a very long race.

Clarke laughed, a bright sound that made Lexa’s heart lift, but she didn’t let the sudden surge of affection distract her. Instead, she shifted as far back as she could, making room on the throne’s wide seat. When Clarke’s eyebrows knitted in confusion, she gestured to her lap. “Join me, Wanheda.”

The surprise mingled with renewed desire in Clarke’s eyes made Lexa certain that she had the right idea. Her Sky girl joined her on the throne, pressing her ass against Lexa’s abdomen, and Lexa sighed just a bit to feel their bodies coming together like this. It was not quite the same with layers of fabric in the way, but something in the way they fit together felt something a lot like home.

She didn’t let herself get distracted with such mushiness for long. Wrapping one arm around Clarke’s waist to hold her in place, she hooked her chin over the Sky girl’s shoulder and murmured against her ear, “So tell me, Clarke…how does it feel to be here at last?”

Now it was Clarke’s turn to shudder, and Lexa’s turn to grin as she reached up to the plunging neckline of her lover’s dress and traced her finger along the dip of Clarke’s cleavage. “Is it just like you imagined?” she asked, low, enjoying the shudders running through her Sky girl’s body as she struggled not to squirm in Lexa’s lap. “And I know you’ve imagined it,” she said, hooking her fingers in the top of the dress and tugging down. Clarke still hadn’t made a sound, but Lexa could feel her breathing pick up as more and more of her creamy flesh was revealed.

“Everyone who enters this room has imagined it,” Lexa purred, making a noise of delight as one stiff red nipple popped free of the fabric. She circled it for a moment, feeling it pucker against her fingers as she continued, “To be on the seat of power, gazing down at your loyal subjects… Everyone has wondered how it would feel.” She pinched Clarke’s nipple hard, and felt her lover gasp and jump. But she was already moving to free the other one.

“Your loyalty has earned you this privilege,” Lexa said, punctuating her words with a nip to the soft skin of Clarke’s neck. “And because I am, as you said, a just and merciful ruler, I have also decided that you will have the privilege of giving me your strikwan .”

She brought both her hands up to cup Clarke’s breasts, enjoying the weight of the firm mounds filling her palms. But she couldn’t get enough of the little sounds that slipped out of her lover’s mouth when she played with her nipples, and so with a final squeeze she moved to pinch each bud between her fingers. She could feel Clarke shaking with the effort of holding herself back, but when Lexa brushed her thumbs across the points of her nipples, she let out a long, loud moan.

Renewed desire shot through Lexa’s body even as her eyes darted to the door at the other end of the chamber, directly across from her. If someone came in to investigate the odd sounds emanating from the throne room, they would have a perfect view of Clarke being pleasurably tormented at Lexa’s hands. She had given orders that she was not to be disturbed, but if someone misheard noises of pleasure as those of pain, they might disobey in the interest of protecting their Heda from potential harm.

Clarke had to be cognizant of that as well, but she didn’t show it. She arched into Lexa’s touch, trembling as Lexa resumed her movements, tugging and plucking at Clarke’s stiff peaks. The whimpers spilling from her throat accelerated, urging Lexa on, and a filthy thought entered her brain and took root. Sucking in a breath, she decided to take the risk.

“You know that anyone who came in here right now could see you,” she whispered against the nape of Clarke’s neck. “See you being pleasured at Heda’s hands. Hear you moaning wantonly for more.”

More noises escaped Clarke’s lips. While she managed to keep them low, it was clear from the way her body shook that it had taken a titanic effort. Encouraged, Lexa released one breast to skim her hand along Clarke’s thigh, reaching lower and lower until she found the hem of the Sky girl’s dress. Goosebumps blossomed instantly at her touch and Clarke gasped again as she started to move. Lexa muffled her own noise of triumph with a bite to Clarke’s bared shoulder.

She trailed her fingers along Clarke’s leg as slowly as she could manage, getting closer and closer to the burning heat she was desperate to reach. Her lover was managing to better keep her silence, and Lexa was momentarily worried that she was overstepping her bounds, but as she drew nearer to the join of Clarke’s thighs, they spread to allow her better access.

“Imagine what they would think of you,” Lexa hissed, raking her nails along Clarke’s skin to feel her shiver, “if they saw the Bandrona kom Skaikru spreading her legs for me. If they saw you begging with your body for me to give you release.”

Clarke whined, writhing, thrusting forward with her hips to get Lexa’s hand where she wanted it, but Lexa tightened her arm around her even as she continued to toy with her nipple. “Nou mou,” she said, layering her voice with disdain. “You’ll get nothing from me until you beg with your words.”

Her Sky girl only took a moment to think about it, trembling with need, before she whispered “Please…”

“Please what?” Lexa growled in her ear, nipping the lobe.

“Please, Heda… fuck me.”

Lexa groaned, momentarily overcome. She hadn’t been expecting just how strongly those words dropping from Clarke’s lips would affect her. But she was already moving her hand to the join of Clarke’s thighs, making quick work of her lover’s soaked smallclothes, peeling them away from the dripping treasure beneath. When her fingers finally slid through her Sky girl’s swollen folds, her own moan mingled with Clarke’s.

“You’re dripping for me, Wanheda, ” she muttered when she found her voice. “Is it the prospect of performing your duty to your Commander that affects you this much? Or is it the thought of how anyone who cares to look might see you proving your loyalty?” As she murmured the filthy words she could scarcely believe she was saying, her fingers explored the delicious landscape she had revealed at last. She toyed with Clarke’s lips, circled her entrance a few times, even pressing against it momentarily to feel her lover’s hips jump eagerly—but each time she pulled away, chuckling cruelly. “Patience, Skayon. You’ll get what you deserve soon enough—but only at my pleasure.”

Clarke mewled, twisting in her arms, but she didn’t let herself move too far away, most likely out of fear that Lexa would come to deny her even this torturous pleasure. She heard a strange grating sound and looked down to see Clarke’s nails digging hard into the wood of the throne.

“Please,” Clarke moaned again, a little louder this time. “Heda, please, I need you…”

Lexa no longer had it in herself to deny her lover. “Then take it,” she growled, “and don’t you dare make a sound.” And then she thrust two fingers into Clarke’s dripping heat.

Clarke blossomed open for her instantly, inner walls parting to allow her knuckle-deep before squeezing around her fingers. Lexa knew that neither she nor Clarke would be able to abide a slow pace. The way her lover was clenching around her and bucking her hips against Lexa’s hand told her that her teasing and torment had paid off. Clarke was close, and Lexa wanted nothing more than to see her fly over the edge.

After a couple of testing strokes, she fucked up into Clarke hard and fast, setting a brutal pace. Clarke took it all beautifully, riding Lexa’s hand with her hips and begging wordlessly for more. When Lexa pinched her nipple again, wishing she could wrap her lips around the straining peak and see Clarke’s face as she lashed it with her tongue, her lover’s head tipped back against her shoulder. She took the opportunity to sink her teeth into the soft skin of Clarke’s neck, and felt her lover ripple around her fingers in response.

Sensing that in this mood Clarke probably wanted to be filled, Lexa added another finger on her next stroke. Clarke gasped at the stretch, rewarding her initiative with shivers and a pulse of wetness that soaked Lexa’s wrist. Her arm burned, but she didn’t care. All she cared about was driving Clarke closer and closer to the peak she could tell was near. She hooked her fingers on each stroke, seeking the puffy ridge she could feel pounding with fullness on Clarke’s front wall.

Lexa adjusted her angle so she could grind the heel of her hand into Clarke’s sorely neglected clit and finally got the release that she craved. Clarke gave a sharp cry, arching against Lexa and bucking her hips wildly. Her inner walls clenched rhythmically around Lexa’s fingers, making it almost impossible to thrust, but Lexa continued driving against the swollen spot that she knew would make her lover come even harder. Even as Clarke writhed and thrashed, Lexa fucked her through her orgasm, only slowing when she felt the ripples of her tight channel beginning to fade to aftershocks.

Clarke collapsed against her, gasping and spent, and Lexa pressed a kiss to her sweaty neck. “Yu ste ogud?” she asked, her voice low and rough with use and emotion. It took Clarke a moment to gather herself enough to answer.

“Better than good,” she sighed, and Lexa could hear the weary smile in her voice. “That was incredible. But what about you? Have I earned my Commander’s forgiveness?”

Lexa fought off the urge to grin as she pretended to consider. “I’m not certain. Perhaps we should discuss your crime and punishment somewhere a little more private.”

Clarke gave her a look that made her burn all over again. “I’m your subject, Heda… It will be as you command.”