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Gaius sets down his glass harder than he intends, though it makes no mess when only the dregs remain. “I’ve served in the legions longer than you’ve been able to hold up your own head. Listen to me, Næl, the Viera will not—”

Næl van Darnus sneers at him. “I did not rid this accursed rock of my late father so that another man might take up the mantle for himself.” She gesticulates with her own glass, perched precariously in the palm of her hand, the stem dangling between her fingers. “Would you have me stage a repeat performance?”

Gaius laughs. “I would like to see you try.”

To say that Næl becomes suddenly intense could be taken to imply that she was ever anything but; all the same, she straightens in her chair, bringing her face uncomfortably close across the narrow desk at which they both sit. Sets down her glass on a pile of loose papers without tearing her gaze away from Gaius’ own, and her pale eyes seem very, very bright. “Truly?” she asks, hunger in her voice.

Gaius squares his shoulders. Should he lean any closer to mirror her posture, their lips would touch. “Have you ever known me to say aught I do not mean?”

The girl is already rising from her seat before the words are fully out his mouth, still-gloved hands flat upon the tabletop so that she looms, her teeth bared in a vicious smile. She strikes out, and his back hits the desk before he can draw another breath—her forearm in its armor hard across his throat so that he chokes on the next. He struggles in the hold. Næl pins his shoulder with her free hand, the clawlike tips of her armored fingers pricking the skin of his upper arm even through the sturdy carbon-weave fabric. Few try to overpower him, fewer still can; Gaius knew her strength, but was unprepared for the confidence with which she wields it, a confidence which puts him in mind of the Emperor’s surety when he fastens his belt around Gaius’ throat and orders he pull it taut himself.

“You dog,” Næl snickers as Gaius coughs. She shifts her weight to wedge her thigh between his legs, put pressure against his hardening cock—and he can feel his is hardly the only one. “Let me be clear, old man, that is not the death I mean to offer.”

In her glee she relaxes her grip, and Gaius seizes her wrist, wrenches her arm from his throat. Næl loses her balance, and when she struggles, he grabs the other wrist. She fights well for fifteen, but has learned in training and theory what Gaius has from experience. As quick as she is, he is quicker, more instinctive in his movements, and while she is almost of a height it is yet almost. Gaius is bigger than her, stronger than her, and lacking the element of surprise there’s little question who will come out on top.

While Næl is distracted, it’s a simple enough maneuver to reverse their positions: her breastplate absorbs the brunt of the force when Gaius slams her into the desk, her forgotten glass shattering on the floor, its contents to no doubt ruin the rug. He catches both her wrists in his right hand, his left curling around the back of her bare neck (her hair still tied up for the day). He pins her with his weight, and the edge of her armor’s culet digs into his cock. “So says the girl halfway to pissing herself. Does murder get you off as well as a fuck?”

For once she does not immediately broach a response. Their armor creaks with the force of their breaths, Næl’s coming only slightly faster than his own—and when he realizes she is not simply panting under him but rocking her hips into the hard edge of the desk, Gaius snaps, “Næl.”

She makes an indignant sound, bucking against him, and hisses, “Will you fuck me or won’t you?”

Gaius lets up his hold on her neck to begin the task of loosening the straps which hold up Næl’s plate, keeping for as long as he can her wrists pinned. When he requires the use of his second hand, she’s quick to pry off her own gloves and vambraces, the former with the aid of her teeth, and between both of their efforts her armor quickly falls. Gaius lifts the back of Næl’s cuirass off slim shoulders, not yet filled out despite her strength; lets her up enough to step out of her boots and watches the muscles of her back pull taut as she bends. He considers himself, then opens his trousers and no more. He has little desire to make himself as vulnerable as she, for a rough fuck he does not intend to repeat; less to give the staff a new subject of gossip, should it spread he needed no valet to undress him this night.

When she’s finished, divested of armor and clothing and even the tie in her hair, she puts her elbows back on the desk, bent low with her legs together. With broad hands Gaius spreads her ass, looks at the little hole. He hadn’t expected to be able to fuck it, and to see it he’s made no mistake: tight enough she might take but one of his fingers without pain.

“I’m going to fuck your thighs,” Gaius says.

Næl counters, “Why?”

Why, he nearly repeats in the tone of her own mockery. Having felt his cock, the question is as good as confirmation of her virginity; to be fucked is invariably painful, and all the moreso at her age. While Gaius had taken it when he was no older, it was for the Emperor himself, smaller than Gaius in every way even then—his cock the size a man’s ought to be, not the bastard sword Gaius wields. “You wouldn’t be able to take my cock raw.”

“I’m no coward, Bælsar. Are you?” She arches her back into his touch as he drags his thumb up the crack of her ass, pressing the dry pad of it into her rim. “Spit in your hand like any soldier, and do the deed.”

Far be it from Gaius van Bælsar to defy such a direct order—even one from a girl fourteen years his junior, rank won not through hard work but the theft of two men’s lives. A child at the head of a legion because the Emperor did not deign to forbid her, issuing orders based in naught but puerile fantasy for grown men not to follow but fall victim to: the VIIth, and now Gaius as well. With two dry fingers he pries her open, spitting in his other hand once and then again; strokes the meager slick over the length of his cock. It is barely wet when he presses it to Næl’s hole, and her rim clenches, her body denying what she demands.

He pushes in, tearing from Næl’s throat an eerie, animal noise. It is the same cry of those Viera tempered by the shapeless eikon they call Mist, mindless in their frenzy and more than capable of slaughtering contubernia to a man with claws and teeth alone. Næl does not make to use hers in a like manner, only searches for purchase to ground herself. One hand grasps the edge of the desk above her head, fingers shaking and her forearm flat against the papers strewn about the tabletop. The other curls white-knuckled at the edge digging into Næl’s belly, heel of her palm against the wood. Her elbow digs into Gaius’ own belly when he bends over her, his left hand gone to her neck again.

This time, he fists his fingers in her blonde hair; pulls her head back as he fucks in with hard, short thrusts. When he’s barely half deep, Gaius needs take pause to catch his breath. It’s too hot, too tight—he prefers oil to the drag of friction, even when he is only taking his cock in hand, but he knows well enough his pain cannot compare to Næl’s. After the first cry he won from her, she has made herself hush to spite him, her mouth fallen open, working silently through what are no words Gaius recognizes: the language of Allag, he supposes, that perennial obsession of hers, or perhaps no tongue at all. She has arched her back against him, whole body tense with the effort, and spread her legs wider as if in the way of cunts it might make for an easier fuck. If he believed she would not spurn the advice, Gaius would tell her there’s no point in so trying.

Instead, he gives her more. A kind man would have taken her in hand, slicked his fingers with the mess, worked her hole open upon them until she gaped and squirmed in want of a touch to once more undo her; a kind man would have naught to do with Næl van Darnus. Gaius’ brutal thrusts, back-and-forth to take but an ilm with each, would tear a virgin even with the use of oil. Raw, and there’s blood sticky and clotting in Gaius’ pubic hair, dripping down Næl’s bare legs well before he’s seated fully inside her. Once he is, he groans, right hand slipping from the base of his cock to clutch at the edge of the desk, a match for Næl’s beside it. In the pause before he begins to fuck her in earnest, Gaius says, “Would you have let anyone fuck this virgin hole, or do you only want for wounding from a man unafraid to bloody your thighs?”

Næl scoffs a breathless laugh beneath him, her teeth bared and the dark paint on her lips smeared half across her cheek. “Is this what it sounds like in the Emperor’s bed, pray tell?” she bites, pain caught up in her throat as much as sadistic glee. In a voice unlike her own: “Tell me, dog, how much does my cock hurt?”

“Watch your tongue, girl,” Gaius snaps. “His Radiance is no target for your mockery.”

You are—oh!” Næl gasps upon a thrust which slams her hips against the desk, catches between her pelvis and the hardwood her cock, soft likely since he first fucked into her. The cuisses of Gaius’ armor dig bruises into the backs of her thighs. “What a savage thing you are, Legatus. In what stable did His Radiance find you?”

Næl wants a rise out of him, ever searching for some gap in his armor she might dig into with words and deeds alike—and she would call Gaius savage. He pays no mind to her words, nor her soft cock, and takes his pleasure of her, murmuring filth and watching her fast-twitching fingers express the overwhelm Næl refuses to show on her face.

She hisses her breath through bared teeth, the line of her neck acquiescing to Gaius’ pull; had she tits, the angle Gaius has her bent over would have them just skimming the tabletop. As it is, the flat plane of her chest heaves, the line of her ribcage where it ends moving beneath lean muscle at the apex of each gasping breath. Gaius shifts his grip from the desk’s edge; bites off his glove so that he might slide his hand up the line of her torso, smooth skin beneath the pads of his fingers. Næl is unmarked by scars, having never seen combat upon the front lines—having only seen combat for the first but a few moons ago. At her age, Gaius had already begun the collection of scars which now cover his chest, and he doubts his skin has ever been as soft as hers, or his hair so fine. He rakes his nails down her flat chest, scraping over a hard nipple; feeling himself come close, he pulls out to spill in the small of Næl’s back.

He looks down at what he has wrought: the mess of her, and the mess she has made of him. Gaius letting loose her hair, her shaking forearms do not support her, and she falls to the tabletop; rather than rising out of pride, she turns her head to rest it there, breathing labored and shallow. Should he ask if she were well, her no-doubt biting reply would lead him no closer to determining if she were truly hurt, or merely suffering the pain of losing her virginity to an overlarge cock as good as dry. With his gloved hand he palms her ass, spreads her open to a grunt but no objection, ‘til he presses two fingers into the soft gape of her rim, lacking any of the resistance he had fucked her through.

What are you—” She stops as though remembering herself, and though Gaius waits a moment, she refuses to continue.

“Would you prefer to collapse in the hall or know now if there’s need to call a medicus?” It is less a question than a justification, for he will not leave without either the assurance or a call placed should she refuse him. There is concern, if also an appeal in the indignity—Gaius himself grits his teeth through the act when it is the Emperor’s whim, more acutely vulnerable having fingers in his ruined hole than the cock which had fucked him to that very ruin. He turns his hand at the wrist, rubbing the pads of his fingers along the rim just inside; follows her pained hisses to find where her flesh has torn, smoother to the touch than even her fucked-out walls, and for all she bled they are only shallow, like to heal within weeks without interference.

He curls his fingers simply to hear her curse, then pulls out, wiping his fingers on his trousers. They will already need soaking to be clean of her blood.

“I’ll suck your cock,” he offers.

The sound Næl makes is nothing short of disgust, glaring at him half-obscured over the line of her shoulder before she casts her eyes towards her precious Dalamud, shakes her head even as on her fed-up sigh she orders, “Oh, just get your mouth on me, Bælsar. I tire of listening to your prattle.”

“Then get up on the table,” he tells her. “I shan’t be kneeling before you in plate.” Shouldn’t like to kneel before Næl van Darnus at all, in truth—her ego hardly needed the encouragement.

Selfishly, Gaius enjoys the hiss of pain Næl makes when she complies, all her weight upon her raw ass and on the unforgiving tabletop. There shall be blood staining the most recent dispatches, their marked-up map of Nagxia: a well-worth sacrifice to see her discomfort and the chary shift to take some weight onto the palms of her hands, her fingers splayed, shoulders rolled in. Her hair falls forward in a tangle, obscuring her face when Gaius pulls in his chair to sit between her spread thighs.

He parts them further yet, digging in his fingers; the sharp caps on the hand still gloved bring up pinpricks of blood on her skin as Gaius leans down to take her soft cock into his mouth. Næl’s breath comes in a shuddering gasp, her whole body hitching forward with the sensitivity betraying her youth. Gaius casts his eyes up as she fills out in his mouth, the head of her cock pressing up against his soft palate; finds a blush high in her cheeks, and were his mouth not otherwise occupied he would call attention to it to feel her squirm shy beneath him.

Næl whines when she shifts again, this time to hold her weight with one hand behind her back to free up the other. She grabs for him once it is, catching hair and his ear both, clawing at his scalp as she rocks her hips into his mouth so that he takes her cock all at once, choking on it. She makes hooks of her bare feet, locking them together and digging her heels into his mid-back—the pressure dispersed evenly across the steel boning of the carbon-weave stays he wears in preference to faulds where his cuirass ends—and so there he stays, breathing through his nose with Næl van Darnus rocking into the back of his throat. She comes with a soft cry, her head thrown back and thumbnail scraping hard along the shell of his ear to the place where cartilage curls over itself.

Gaius disentangles himself from the girl, rising from the chair as he touches his ear to find blood on his fingertips. He tucks his cock back into his trousers as Næl slips off the desk, sure enough having left blood streaked across the tabletop and their work upon it. He’s made a right mess of her, her cheeks flushed and hair dishevelled; a line of five welts down the right-hand side of her chest and blood all down her thighs; when she crouches to retrieve the most necessary of her clothes—a tunic to wick sweat from her gambeson, the carbon-weave leggings worn beneath her cuisses and tonlet—she winces for the movement and Gaius can see his spend flaking dry in the small of her back.

Standing up with her underthings in hand, Næl van Darnus locks eyes with him, stares him down he a full-grown man in plate armor and she all of fifteen with spit-shine on her soft cock and blood a trickle down her legs. “Good night, Legatus,” she says, naught but professionalism in her tone—not even the irritation which ever colors it.

Gaius nods. “Van D—” he begins, then thinks better of it. “Good night, Lady Eula,” he says instead, with a softness the legions have no room for: a parting of not colleagues, nor friends, but perhaps acquaintances.

The barest trace of a smile crosses the girl’s lips.