There she stood in the dark, feeling all the fool she should for letting Renly talk her into coming to this stupid party. Now she’d have to suffer seven awkward minutes with someone who at best would try to make the best of the situation and at worst would blame and mock her for the misfortune of the moment. She hated this particular party amusement. She’d done so well to avoid it until now. She should have known she’d be the perfect pawn for extracting misery from some other unsuspecting party guest. She waited to see who it would be. She could hear the din outside the door as they must now be pulling another name out of the hat. She heard varying conversations carried on around it and music blaring from different rooms. Before she knew it, the door opened and her co-prisoner was shoved in unceremoniously. She wanted to see who it was but the light blinded her just long enough that she could not and now here they both stood in the dark.
“Tarth, where are you?” She felt his tentative hands clumsily reach out and brush her arm and stomach and then latch onto her arms. “Ah, there you are. Don’t hit me.”
“The one and…actually, there are two of us present, but I guess you can figure out which one I am.”
“Um, yes. Look, the time will be over before we know it, so if you don’t want to talk to me, you don’t have to feel the need to.”
“Are you suggesting we should do something other than talk?” His voice, while still the cocky tone she was accustomed to hearing, sounded slightly strained. Could he be nervous? Of course, he could. He wouldn’t want to feel obligated to kiss her.
“No! I’m…I know neither of us wants to be in here. I just meant we could just wait out the time and then everyone will be appeased and we can go our separate ways.”
“How’d you end up in here?”
“They pulled my name same as yours.” She knew she sounded irritated but why would he ask such an obvious question.
“No, no, I mean…you don’t come to these parties often. What made you decide to come tonight?”
“I’m sorry to have ruined the seven minutes experience for you by daring to set foot at a party.”
“That’s not…” She heard him sigh and felt his hands drop from her arms. She hated that she missed the contact. “I thought…”
“What?” Her curiosity got the better of her.
“I know I was an ass when we first met but I’ve apologized and I thought we were kind of becoming friends now.”
“I guess not.”
“No, I…I didn’t know that’s how you saw it. I mean, I guess that is how it seems.”
“So, why are you giving me a hard time?”
“It’s this stupid game. It’s meant to make us feel humiliated.”
“Because you’ll be considered in on the joke and I’ll be the butt of the joke."
“You’re not a joke.”
She didn’t know what to say to that. It was kind. And if she was being honest, Jaime had been showing her a kinder, more thoughtful side of himself of late, still laced with cocky, inappropriate statements, but in what felt like more friendly discourse than mocking jabs like she was accustomed to from others.
“Brienne…” She liked hearing him use her first name. He did sound uncertain, trying the sound of it out on his own tongue. She probably shouldn’t think about said tongue when she was trapped in a dark closet with him and everyone expected him to be using said tongue to some effect. “Addam and Tyrion rigged the game.”
“You never come to these things and they knew that if there was anyone I’d want seven minutes with…”
“You wanted to be in here with me?”
“Oh.” She should maybe have something more interesting to respond with than ‘oh’ but she was rather floored at the admission and hoping that it wasn’t another prank at her expense. “Swear by Oathkeeper.” It was the sword they’d both admired when they’d run into each other at the museum exhibit recently. They’d spoken more than they ever had before about that sword and about the other medieval weaponry on display along with the history of knighthood. She knew Jaime revered that sword and the honor it represented as much as she did. She felt his hands find and link with her own and she bit her bottom lip at the new feel of it.
She felt him move closer, felt the heat of him invading her space further. “The most common reason.” She sucked in a breath. Did he want to kiss her? Did she want him to? She had never considered it a possibility before to have considered if she’d want it. Feeling his fingers lightly squeezing hers, hearing his shallow breaths, and smelling his aftershave and cologne in this darkened space, she didn’t find any opposition within herself.
“Go on then,” she whispered, not sure of herself enough to speak the words in full voice.
He released one hand in favor of sliding his own up her arm to her neck, his fingers sliding into her hair as they cupped the back of her head. His forehead came to rest against hers. “To be clear, I want to kiss you, Brienne. Do you want me to?”
Gods, the huskiness of his voice! She brought her free hand up to clutch at the back of his sweater. It was green. She’d noticed how it had matched his eyes when she’d spotted him at the party earlier. He was the only guy at the party she’d want to kiss. “Yes, Jaime,” she breathed and then she found herself entirely wrapped up in him. His lips found hers and plied at them with gentle eagerness, his hand cradling her head and steadying her. He released her other hand to slide his other around her waist and pull her in closer, her body flush with his. She let her own hand slide up over his shoulder and seek out his lush mane of hair. It felt every bit as silky as she’d imagined it would. He moaned into her mouth and she felt heady with the power of it. She tugged lightly at the strands and met the pressure of his mouth with her own. When his tongue ran along the seam, she didn’t hesitate to grant it entrance. As strange and new as it felt, she enjoyed the gentle exploration and felt encouraged to begin her own. She thought she might understand the name of the game now. She’d pray to all seven gods to get to kiss Jaime Lannister again. She felt like they were really hitting their stride and getting more comfortable with the act and the feel of each other when the door was wrenched open and their small space filled with light.
She pulled back from him, squinting and gasping from surprise and a need to take in the additional air she’d been denying herself. She looked at Jaime to see him doing the same. His hands were still at her waist and in her hair and he looked thoroughly kissed. Flushed with heat, lips moist and reddened. She’d done that. The thought filled her with pleasure, which must have shown on her face because after a moment, Jaime’s well-used lips lifted into the most handsome smile she’d yet seen on them. She felt her own lifting in response. It took several more moments before she noticed the noise that had returned around them. The same blaring music and scraps of conversation but now she also heard cheers and applause. Turning to look at those gathered outside of the closet, she knew some of it was friendly and genuine while from others, it was mocking. She didn’t care. Renly and Loras shot her matching winks while Tyrion and Addam were doing the same to Jaime. He still hadn’t let go of her. She started to move back but he held fast, his head coming forward to the side of her own so that he could speak into her ear. She shivered as his breath ran over its shell, partly from the sensation and partly from his words. “We can continue this elsewhere.” He pulled back to see her response and she nodded, sure her blush was covering her entire body at this point whether or not anyone could see it. Seeming pleased by her agreement, Jaime finally let her go but only long enough to reach down and link his hand with hers as he led her from the closet, ignoring the variety of comments being spewed his way in favor of turning to meet her gaze every few seconds as he led them away from the room the game was being held in.
Once in the hall, he pressed her against the wall and kissed her again, to the shock of those that were milling about who hadn’t been spectators to the game. It occurred to her that he didn’t seem to care…that he was kissing her when their time in the closet was up and it wasn’t expected of him…and that he was kissing her out in the light. The realizations made her feel giddy. She pulled him tighter to her. Jaime’s subsequent moan did bring her back to awareness of their surroundings and their audience. She pushed him away gently and he looked at her questioningly. “Is this what you meant by elsewhere?” she asked, breathlessly.
He grinned. “Here…anywhere. Anywhere you like, milady.”
She laughed at that and this time she took his hand and pulled him toward the front door. He laughed in response and told those they passed to tell his brother that he was being kidnapped and he did not want to be ransomed.
“You’re an idiot,” she accused lightly as they ran for her car.
“I am,” he agreed amiably, “but I think you like me.”
She turned abruptly and he slammed into her, arms coming around her to keep them from falling. “I do.”
“Good. I don’t think our friendship is going to work out though.”
She scrunched her face up at him, trying to gage his meaning. He didn’t leave her in the dark for long, bringing his lips up to brush her own. “We’ve moved beyond friendship. I wanted more than that anyway. I’m a greedy Lannister after all.”
She could barely believe this was not a dream. But the warm body pressed to hers felt oh so real. “Fine. Get in the car, captive, and we can work out the terms of this non-friendship at the beach.”
He smiled and then released her to do just that. Sitting next to him, she turned the key in the ignition, thankful she’d refrained from drinking, especially now that she had other intoxicating activities to engage in that evening. The beach was her happy place and she had long daydreamed of kissing someone dashing with her toes buried in the sand. She looked over at Jaime before pulling out of the space. “Drive fast, Tarth,” he urged, with that husky voice that was quickly becoming her favorite, his green eyes sparkling, his lips curved. She grinned and turned back to the task at hand, pulling out of the space and pressing her foot to the accelerator.