When it happened, Percy and Vex had been together- or at least sleeping together, there wasn't much more "together" they could be when they were in each other's pockets as it stood- for a number of weeks. It was long enough for things to get worn in, comfortable; Vex wasn't to the point of taking it for granted, as if their relationship was a given, but she was satisfied enough to relax, let her guard down.
Perhaps she never would have noticed otherwise, without plenty of time to map Percy, study how he reacted. Perhaps she wouldn't have noticed if she hadn't let him in, let him slip past her defenses. Perhaps if he hadn't gotten so close, it wouldn't have stood out in sharp relief.
But she noticed, and it did.
It wasn't anything out of the ordinary, which was no problem when the ordinary was quite extraordinary; Percy had her on her back, her legs wrapped around his waist, thrusting in deep and hard and exactly how she wanted. Percy was very good at that, giving her what she needed even if she wasn't quite sure what that was.
Only the look on his face didn't match it; the more she studied him, the more uncomfortable he looked, like something was missing, like something about this was wrong. He didn't waver from his task, but Vex wondered how much he was really enjoying it.
"Darling," Vex said, cupping her hand around the back of his neck. "Tell me what you want."
"What?" he said breathlessly.
"What do you want?" she said, her hand combing through his hair, fingernails on his scalp in that way that made him melt.
"I want-" Percy stammered, seeming lost, caught out. "I- I want- Vex-"
"Anything," she panted. "Anything you want. Just say the word."
In that moment, Vex would have sworn that Percy looked somehow disappointed, like it wasn't what he wanted to hear. All of a sudden, though, he seemed to snap out of it, like he was coming back to himself. "Just like that," he said, gripping her hips tighter. "If you would."
"So polite," Vex teased, to cover up her confusion. "But I suppose I can accommodate you."
And the night proceeded, and everybody had a good time, and it stuck in Vex's head like a stubborn thorn. Still, that might have been the end of it; people got weird during sex sometimes, transient problems where a word or a touch hit the wrong way.
Instead it opened Vex's eyes. Separately it wasn't much, but it formed a pattern, little things that Percy did to keep her at arm's length. She could see him pulling away, keeping his distance; it didn't happen in a fight or in his workshop or in a simple conversation, but he was holding back something during sex, and the more she thought about it, the more it grated.
Vex was largely a woman of action, one to pick apart a problem and demand its resolution, but she had no idea where to start with this particular one. It seemed counterproductive to just confront him about it, likely to drive him deeper into his shell. She couldn't risk that, not when it might bleed over into other things, pushing him way from her entirely.
This was her grand design, to keep silent and observe until she found her way in; it was also not at all what happened.
It was just another night in Scanlan's mansion, and the two of them were getting in some much-needed stress relief after a long day's travel, punctuated by dire wolves. She sat on the edge of the worktable in Percy's room, Percy standing in between her legs and kissing a line down her neck; he ended it by sucking on a spot just above her collarbone, not quite hard enough to bruise, but enough to make her gasp and lean into it.
Vex put her hands on the sides of his face, pulling him up and kissing him hard. When she let him go, that distant look was on his face, and she snapped.
"Stop," Vex said, pushing him gently backwards and pointing at the bed. "Sit."
"What's wrong?" he asked as he sat down.
Vex crossed her arms over her chest. "Why don't you tell me?"
"Why would there be anything wrong?" Percy said, looking panicked, and all of Vex's suspicions were confirmed. "Nothing's wrong."
"I am very good at telling when you're lying, and you're not making it hard for me," Vex said.
"If I were Scanlan, I would have such a witty response to that," he pointed out.
"Focus," she said, snapping her fingers in front of his face. "There's something wrong that you're not telling me. Don't bother to deny it."
"I wouldn't say 'wrong', precisely," Percy hedged. "I think we're doing fairly well, all things considered."
"We can do so much better than fairly well, but only if you'll tell me what you want," Vex said, not letting him get away with it. "It can't be as bad as you think it is." She gave him a look of concern. "Can it?"
"It could be worse, I think," Percy said.
"Tell me," Vex ordered.
"What if I told you what I wanted was not to get what I wanted?" he said, after a pause.
Vex frowned. "I don't understand."
Percy's face said it was the wrong answer, not that Vex knew what the right one was. "It's not important," he said, looking away from her.
Vex put a hand under his chin, turning him back to face her, a little more roughly than she intended. "You don't get to say that," she told him. "Explain yourself."
A curious thing happened; Percy's eyes went wide and glassy, his throat working. Vex had seen a look like that before, but only in very specific circumstances. Naked ones.
"I have," Percy said haltingly, making no move to extract himself, "a set of tastes."
"You're stalling, darling," Vex said, letting him go and patting his cheek. "Speak plainly."
Percy didn't speak for a long while; at least twice he opened his mouth as if to say something, only to lose it again, looking frustrated. Finally, he said, "I would very much like not to be in control of what happens between us," all in a rush.
"So you want me to take control?" she said, the words feeling strange in her mouth. "To deprive you?"
"Yes," Percy sighed, looking relieved.
Vex pursed her lips. "If this is a punishment for-"
He shook his head. "As distressed as I seem by this conversation, you doing this for me would be the opposite of punishment," Percy said.
"Then why do you want it?" Vex pushed. "There must be some reason, and I have to know what it is."
"I get off on it?" he said in a small voice, cringing at his own words.
The incongruity of it, the way it broke the tension, was enough to make her laugh. "Fair enough." She paused, unsure how to phrase her question. "How do you know you want this? Have you done it before?"
"Um," Percy said, looking sheepish. "No, but I've spent a lot of time making plans."
"That is so like you that I almost can't believe it," Vex said. Percy looked surprised when she straddled his lap, but it didn't stop him from putting his hands on her hips to hold her close. "Alright, then. Tell me about some of these plans."
"They are many and varied," Percy said, which wasn't a surprise, "but there are themes, one might say."
"Might one?" Vex returned.
"I-" he started, but he stopped again, biting his lower lip. "You'll tell me if I go too far?"
"I will," Vex promised, kissing his forehead. "Go on. Try me."
Percy took a breath as if steeling himself, then let it out slowly. "I want you to hold me down and take what you want from me." Vex's breath caught in her throat. "You can be rough with me if you want- not hard enough to hurt too much, but enough so that I know you're in control. Tell me everything you want me to do, then see to it that I follow instructions." Percy hesitated for a moment, and Vex knew that look, the one where he decided whether to fling himself over the edge. "And I don't want to come until you allow me the privilege."
"I like the sound of that," Vex said. It shocked her how much she did, though it was better for Percy to not know that. She curled her hand around the collar of Percy's shirt; perhaps it was time to make her own leap. "Maybe I'll wait until I have four or five before I let you have one."
"Oh, fuck," Percy breathed. He looked at her tentatively. "That was alright?"
"You did a marvellous job," she said, running a hand through his hair. "I'm proud of you." Impulsively, she leaned down to speak into his ear. "You've been such a good boy."
He swallowed hard before speaking. "I didn't even tell you about that one."
"It seemed like the next logical step," Vex said. She fisted a hand in his hair, tipping his head back. "Now what do you want?"
"Anything you'll give me," Percy replied, with such a look of open honesty that Vex had to believe him.
Vex grinned. "Greedy, aren't we?"
"More than you know," Percy said. "But delighted to repay in kind."
"We'll see about that," Vex said, putting her arms around his neck and kissing him. "Just promise me you'll stop me if it's too much. I know you've imagined it, but that's not the same as doing it."
"I'll try," Percy said earnestly.
"Don't try," Vex said, her voice hardening, and she pushed him down onto the bed. "Do exactly as I say."
"Yes, ma'am," he said, and a thrill went up her spine.
"You'll do anything I want?" Vex said, disengaging momentarily to shed the rest of her clothing.
"Say the word," Percy said.
"Then hold still," she said, climbing onto him.
"I hope you have more for me than just holding still," Percy said, nothing but his eyes moving as she made her way up his body, straddling his chest.
"Wait and see," Vex said.
To his credit, Percy did just that, staring up at her like he was just seeing her for the first time, like things were brand new again. She was surprised by how much it felt that way, as if a piece had been missing and just found, sliding in to make a new whole.
"You know what to do," she said, her knees on either side of his head, hands braced on the wall on the other side of the bed; she hoped that was true, because she didn't quite know herself. Percy had been the one who wanted to try it like this, which was probably some kind of warning sign, but she'd demurred, a little afraid she was going to suffocate him.
Percy made a somewhat distracted noise of assent, but Vex couldn't really fault him for it. He put his hands on her thighs, pulling her down so he could get his mouth on her, and any doubt she might have had left her mind almost instantly. He was just too good with his mouth, and he used it unreservedly, all propriety forgotten when he pleased her like this. He always gave it his all, but he was working even harder than usual. Clearly all of his was having an effect on him, and Vex was definitely reaping the benefits.
Her orgasm crept up on her, little by little. It was never hard to come when she had Percy like this; on the contrary, she usually ended up holding back, trying to enjoy it for as long as possible before she let go. Quite suddenly, things had become different. Maybe Percy had earned some encouragement; maybe letting him have the privilege of getting her off was just the thing.
She wasn't sure if any of this was true; it was entirely possible she was just trying to find a good reason to come early and often.
Either way, she let his wicked mouth pull her over, grinding down against his face when she came. She felt guilty moments later, sure she was crushing him, but Percy neither stopped nor complained. His tongue kept working; she considered letting him go, being content for the moment, but she didn't. She couldn't always come twice like this, but today was different, her body still ready for it, still greedy for more.
She lost track of time, too focused on the feel of his mouth to care; his jaw was going to be very sore, but still he didn't slow down. She'd thought perhaps he'd regret doing it like this, but that seemed unlikely. Perhaps this was another one of those things he'd made so many plans for.
Her second orgasm was just as easy as the first, leaving her gasping; she pounded the wall with her fist, not sure how else to express how she felt without screaming. She thought perhaps someone pounded back, but that wasn't important for now. Still she wasn't finished, but she had other plans for Percy.
"Stop," Vex said, pulling back from him; for a moment it seemed like he was going to protest, but he let her go, staying put as she moved back down his body, climbing off of him to kneel on the bed next to him. She ran her thumb through the moisture on his face, slipping it between his lips, and he licked it clean without prompting. "Such a useful boy."
"I aim to please," Percy said, and Vex leaned down, kissing him, tasting herself on his tongue. He broke away when she ran her hand over the hard line of his cock, but she caught him again, kissing him harder.
"I think maybe it's time to pay some attention to this," she said when they parted, squeezing his cock gently through his trousers.
Percy groaned softly. "Whatever you want."
"You really would, wouldn't you?" she marveled, the idea still fresh and powerful. "You'd let me walk away, leave you desperate, just because I wanted to."
"Yes," Percy said, with a note of absolute certainty in his voice. "I can't say I'd necessarily enjoy it at the time, but I wouldn't complain."
"To my face," Vex said.
"To your face," Percy agreed. "In fairness, who am I going to tell?"
"Good point," she said. He made a desperate noise as she slipped a hand into his waistband, stroking his cock. "But for right now, I want this in me."
"By all means," Percy said, reaching down and quickly undoing his trousers. Vex pulled them out of the way, far enough to free his cock; there was something she probably could have done here to seem powerful or imposing or whatever she was supposed to be, but in the moment, nothing mattered like having him inside of her.
"Now, remember," Vex said, as she threw a leg over his hips; Percy made a broken noise as she slid down around him, taking him all the way in with one slow glide. "Good boys don't come until they're told."
"I suspect it will be hard to remember anything else," Percy said.
"There's more than that to enjoy," Vex said, moving her hips slowly, savoring the stretch of him inside her. "It's a journey, not a destination."
"It's a journey with a destination," Percy countered; he put his hands on her waist, stabilizing her as she started to ride him.
"One you won't see for a long time if you cross me," she said sternly, and Percy bit his lip hard.
"Wouldn't dream of it," Percy said, voice strained.
Vex moved faster, taking him deep with every stroke. Percy might have been trying to hold back, but she wouldn't have known from the way he put himself into it, pushing up to meet her, his hands roaming her body. She put both her hands on his shoulders; it was meant for stability, but Percy groaned, his hips bucking. Vex pushed him down harder, experimentally, and he only seemed to enjoy it more.
"Is this how you thought it would be?" she asked.
"Better," Percy said. He looked hesitant for a moment, though he didn't so much as pause his movements. "Do you like it?"
Vex grinned. "I fucking love it."
"Oh, good," he said, in the most understated way, and Vex laughed, bending down and kissing him.
She leaned back, keeping him pinned while she rode him harder. It was a little strange, knowing she was doing this for her own pleasure, Percy's a secondary concern, but there was something powerful in it, using him like this. He'd gladly give her anything, but there was something about taking, having this man at her mercy, to do anything she wished.
The way things were going, she wasn't going to last long, but she honestly didn't know how much she had left in her anyway. She ground down on him harder, hips moving to push him towards that perfect spot inside of her. Percy didn't miss a step; he knew exactly what to do, reaching between them to rub circles on her clit, just the extra push she needed.
She tipped her head back and came, a low moan spilling out of her. Percy's fingers tightened, and for a moment she thought he'd come, which would really be a shame after all this. But no; he kept his hips moving, letting her ride it out, until she finally slowed to a stop, sated.
By the time she recovered, Percy hadn't moved, waiting for instruction; she kissed his forehead before dismounting, watching him bite his lip while she did it. It was intriguing to watch him try to hold back; he breathed in heavily, one hand tensing and releasing. He'd obviously done it before, and Vex pictured it, Percy alone in his room, keeping himself at bay for- who, exactly? Himself? Some nameless fantasy woman? Her?
She knelt beside him again, taking his cock in her hand and stroking it quickly, and he gasped at the sudden stimulation. "I'm going to let you come, but only if you ask prettily enough," she said. "Tell me why you deserve it."
"I've done my best;" Percy said, and she could see the way he strained with the effort of not thrusting into her fist. "I did everything I could to satisfy you." He looked straight into her eyes. "But I don't deserve it unless you say I do."
"That is a very clever answer," Vex told him, moving her hand faster.
"Thank you," Percy said, if a little strangled.
"Come for me, my clever boy," she whispered into his ear. "You do deserve it."
Percy groaned loudly as he came, striping his stomach with white, his back bowing. Vex put a hand on his chest, holding him down, grounding him; he reached out, and Vex took his hand in her free one, giving him something to hold onto, an anchor. Finally he collapsed against the bed, wrung out, giving Vex's hand a squeeze before letting his fingers go lax.
Vex gave him a moment to recover, running her fingers through his hair soothingly. When he seemed stable again, she pushed at him until he lay down properly on the bed, his head on the pillow, and lay down at his side.
Then she smacked him hard in the chest.
"Ow!" Percy said, rubbing the offended area. "What was that for?"
"That's for not telling me," Vex said. "Honestly, Percy, I thought something was actually wrong. There could have been any fucking scary thing coming between us."
Percy didn't speak for a moment. "I thought I was wrong," he said, and it struck Vex between her ribs.
"You're not," she said firmly. "I don't want to hear any whining about how this makes you abnormal, because it doesn't. You're just a person who understands what he wants."
"Yes, ma'am," he said, putting his arm around her waist and drawing her close to him.
Neither of them said anything for awhile; the silence was easy, sated, more a moment of satisfied stillness than lack of conversation.
"So the exchange rate is three to one," Percy said, breaking it. "I'll make a note."
"Today," Vex said. "Tomorrow, who knows? Maybe it's four to zero."
He lifted himself up on his elbow, looking down at her. "I want to make sure you know I'm serious about that part."
"You were very brave today," Vex said seriously. "I know what you told me was hard to get out. I'm not going to deny you when you deserve a reward." She smirked. "Yet."
"You are an extraordinary woman," he said, kissing her.
"Now," she said, running a finger along his stomach. "You know you're not allowed to touch yourself without me, don't you?"
"I already don't," Percy admitted.
Vex laughed. "You are a marvel, darling."
He took her hand, kissing her knuckles. "The same to you."
"Now rest up," she said with a grin. "Maybe I have a few little plans of my own."