Mitsuhide: A Twisted Tale
“Aleria? Just what are you trying to do?” I rolled my eyes at the curiously amused voice behind me. Considering I was perched precariously on a stool, on my tiptoes, and had a book in my hand about 1 foot too short of the shelf, I figured his question was rhetorical. I answered anyway “Oh, you know, practicing my balancing act for the Sengoku Olympics.” There was a pause. Without looking, I could almost see his eyebrow shoot up in that stupidly attractive way he had of making me feel like an idiot, even though he didn’t know what I was saying. “You say the most quizzical things when you’re frustrated, did you know?” I bowed my head in defeat. No matter how hard I tried, I was never going to have the extra foot of height I needed to get the book back from where Mitsunari had taken it. And the snake behind me wasn’t going to offer to help, it seemed. I took a step back…into nothing. “Ahh!” I screamed for a split second.
Time slowed down, and I could see myself hitting the ground. Ugh. Broken bones were no joke 500 years in the past. As I braced myself for the pain, I waited. And waited. And waited. Instead of the ground, gentle and long arms cradled me against a limber but muscular torso. “You know, Princess, you might be more trouble than you’re worth.” His cool, detached words were out of sync with the warm, amused tickle of his voice next to my ear. I finally opened my eyes and turned my head to look at him. “Mitsuhide… you saved me...” I smiled shyly. “Thanks…” The eyebrow went up, no doubt for the millionth time that day. It was his signature look. “So, I did. What, pray tell, will you give me in return?” A slow, delicious smirk morphed his face into a sinfully delectable sight. I had to look away, else the mind reader would guess what forbidden thoughts crossed my mind at his question. “Oh? Are you embarrassed by my question, Princess?” My body tensed. Apparently, I didn’t look away quickly enough. This man…no…This warlord frustrated me to no end. I’d been in the Sengoku Era for two months, and all he had done was tease and frustrate me, with no respite. Small touches here and whispered words there. And not once, had I been able to turn the tables. It was like he knew when I was ready to return fire and would retreat until he could catch me unawares again. I’d had enough. He had me in his arms, but that meant he couldn’t get away from me either. “Mitsuhide…” I whispered, turning my head to look at him with as much of a sultry look as I could muster.
I knew I’d scored a small point, when the amused look in his eyes was replaced with surprise. His plushy bottom lip separated from the top and a small, nearly silent “oh” escaped. Inside I squealed with satisfaction and delight. I’d finally gotten under his skin. I felt his long, cool fingers tighten their hold on me as he turned me around to face him. “Just what are you trying to do” he asked again. Only this time, his voice was hoarse, and barely a whisper. I smiled seductively and bit my lip, inwardly celebrating as I watched his eyes zero in on that action. “Aren’t you the mind reader?” I asked, in response to his own question. I watched his eyes drift back up to mine and I could see he was warring with himself. His indecision gave way to something dark and delicious and I knew the instant he gave in to it.
His hands let go of me for an instant as he pushed my back against the nearest book shelf. It wasn’t comfortable, but in an instant, I forgot about my back and Mitsuhide’s lips crashed against mine. His hands grabbed my wrists and held them above my head, as his whole body pressed against mine. We were so close, I couldn’t tell where he ended, and I began. And I didn’t care. All I could focus on were the incredible feel of his mouth, coaxing my lips to open. And when I gave in to his demand, I felt his moan inside my mouth. It vibrated into his chest. His tongue delved in between my lips to massage mine. He tasted of sake and sin. I could think of nothing but the desperation of his kiss. It was aggressive and incredible and when I sucked his bottom lip, he hissed in pleasure. Heat pooled low in my stomach and I felt my senses heighten at the feel of his erection pressed against my stomach. “Yes…” I whispered.
Instantly, I regretted the vocal intrusion into our moment. As if ice water had been dumped upon him, Mitsuhide released me and turned away. His hands were trembling. No, I corrected. His whole body was trembling. And so was I. “What is it?” I asked softly, afraid of speaking again. He shook his head, and his white hair swayed with the motion. I took a step toward him, but stopped when I watched his body go rigid, as if he knew I had moved. “Don’t.” He said. One word, but the reverberance of that one word stopped me in my place. His body quit trembling, and when he turned back around to look at me, something cold shivered up my back. The snake was back.
A small, amused smile played across his lips where mine had been ravaged only moments before. “Well, that was an interesting response. Are you quite that loose with all of the Oda Warlords?” I flinched at the insinuation, before getting angry. “How dare you?!” I moved then. My hand lifted and slapped across Mitsuhide’s cheek. Inside, I laughed at the idea that I could, in fact, surprise him in a whole other way. His eyes were wide as he looked down at me. I struggled to get my voice under control. “I thought you...I thought we…” I squeezed my eyes shut for a moment, before opening them to look at Mitsuhide with as much anger and disdain as I could manage. I knew tears were welling in my eyes and I cursed my angry-cry habit. He’d hurt me, but I didn’t want him to know that. “Don’t ever touch me again. Don’t speak to me, don’t look at me, and don’t you dare tell anyone about this. I hate you.” With that, I stormed out of the library.
With a regretful sigh, Mitsuhide leaned down to the table and picked up the book Aleria had been trying, unsuccessfully, to put back in its place. With his back to the door, he placed his other hand on his stinging cheek, before moving down to touch his lips, where the sweet taste of her own still lingered. He’d never lost control like that before. He had meant to bait her, to see her delightfully amusing reactions, but he’d never expected her to look at him with desire in her dark eyes. That look had nearly cost him everything. His role in the Oda Forces was one of isolation. He could not have warmth and affection. People who got close to him could be used against him and he’d made too many enemies. He knew Aleria had not been touched by the others, simply because when he was at Azuchi Castle, he watched over her, for reasons he didn’t want to examine too closely.
With a soft sigh, Mitsuhide looked at the door she had fled through. Now that he was alone, he could confess. “My sweet Aleria... To love you is to put your life in danger. That is the one line I won’t cross. You will not die because my enemies guess you are my weakness. Hate me if you must, but at least you will live.” He shook his head and began to walk out the door of the library. He stopped and looked down at his hands. He still hadn’t done anything with the book she’d been trying to put away. A small grin appeared on his lips as he walked toward her room. He wouldn’t bother her, but he would tease her anyway. He placed the book by her door and quietly walked away, fighting to ignore the sound of her tears on the other side of the paper.
“Is that Aleria crying?” A small whisper came from behind him. Mitsuhide whirled, relaxing his features so Masamune didn’t realize he’d caught him off guard. Mitsuhide forced a shrug and a look of indifference. “Sounds like it.” Masamune took a step toward her door, an unusual look of concern on his face. Mitsuhide found himself placing a hand on Masamune’s shoulder to stop him. “Trust me on this one. Women of her caliber would not take well to your coarse brand of comfort. She will likely take offense.” Mitsuhide knew how to manage his words so Masamune wouldn’t bother her. Masamune hesitated, then nodded and walked away. Mitsuhide looked at her door and wondered to himself if he stopped Masamune because he was afraid Aleria would tell him what happened, of if it was because he didn’t want another man to comfort her. He shook his head. It did not matter. He couldn’t have her. “I’m not for you” he whispered, before turning on his heel and walking toward the war council room.