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The heavy sound of drums fills the large room and I'm trying as hard as I can to NOT look at the Commander.

Bowing in front of her was the right thing for my people, but in doing so I betrayed myself.

I'm still angry at her.

Looking back, I know that the "Mount Weather betrayal" was her doing what she thought was best, that it wasn't meant to be an attack against me. It still felt like one.

The party is large and even though the vast majority of grounder's ambassadors were unhappy with her decision to include us in the coalition, they're not ones to turn down an occasion to partake in festivities.

Most official representatives chose to stay seated while drowning their worries, watching as scantily clad dancers move gracefully in the center of the room.

My eyes follow the curves of men and women alike, caught in the primal way they move, muscles rippling in tune with the beats. Their dance feels like a promise. A show of what we're missing out, an invitation to explore, to get caught in their web of raw passion.

I wonder if she-

I catch my gaze before it reaches her.

Angry at myself, I stretch my hand to grab a full cup from the nearest waitresses' plate. If my mind is too stupid to not go there on its own, I'm not above numbing it.

- Hey Princess, maybe you should slow down with this.

I raise a challenging eyebrow at Bellamy. He of all people should know exactly why I need it, why I have to wash the bitter taste of betrayal, of guilt, of unmet hopes.

I take his hand and drag him to the center of the room, in the middle of the pulsating crowd.

Other people have started to dance and I have enough of a buzz to forget about the audience anyway.

- Clarke, what is going on?

Barely holding back a sigh, I take his hands and put them on my waist, my back to him as I say over my shoulder:

- Just dance with me Bellamy.

As soon as he feels my hips move, he's pressed up against me, his arms encircling me.

I'm not thinking about how wrong he feels against me.

My right hand moves behind me to grab the back of his neck, getting tangled in his curly hair.

I'm not thinking about braided wavy hair.

The beat is accelerating and I'm trying my hardest to get lost in it.

I open my eyes and immediately find the Commanders'. An outsider would still see his usual cool-as-a-cucumber Heda but like I told her once, I see right through her. The clench of her jaw, her whitening knuckles on her thrones' armrest and her eyes, full of cold fury.

I'm not thinking about why it feels so good to see the mighty Commander upset.

I consider smiling at her but refuse to acknowledge this show was meant for her. For it's not. Cannot be. (Could've been).

My eyes close and I turn around, placing a hand on the small of Bellamy's back to keep him from moving away.

Not that he tried.

As we continue to move together, one of his hands gets bolder but stops dead just shy of reaching the curve of my ass.

Did my mother see him?

- Care to explain why the Commander is giving me a death glare?

Detaching myself from him, I look up and just shrug, not dancing anymore.

- Bad day maybe. It's not like you're her biggest fan either.

He's not buying it, but not calling my bullshit either.

- Clarke... You disappeared without an explanation and the last place I expected to find you was kneeling in front of her. And yet here you were.

He's scrutinizing my reaction, searching for answers I don't have, or refuse to acknowledge.

I don't want to talk about this.

Not now.

Not ever.

Ironically, my savior is a grounder, one of the dancers I previously admired.

- May I have this dance?

Her hair is black as night, just like her eyes appear to be in the sparsely lit room. She's not one who would ask me questions. Her revealing outfit reminds me of the promises her body made on the dancefloor. I'm more than willing to be swept up in whatever she has to offer.

She misinterprets my silence as hesitation and adds:

- Beja?

Looking back at Bellamy, I try to let him down as gently as possible:

- It's a long story. I just want to enjoy the party.

Grabbing the dancer's hand, I lead her to the edges of the crowd, where we have more breathing room. I feel like I might need it.

Plus, if Heda likes to watch, might as well give her a better point of view. 

Grabbing another drink from a nearby tray, I down it and turn to my new partner:

- Teach me how to dance like you.

Let your Commander know what she's missing.

- Sha, Wanheda.

Whatever-her-name-is is bold, I'll give her that. She takes hold of my hips and slides a muscular thigh between my legs.

Looking over her shoulder, I see that I still have the attention of a certain someone.

I press my body to the dancers, offering my leg in return. The grounder doesn't hesitate and starts moving, sending a sinful grin my way.

I follow her rhythm, grinding unabashedly against her.

If I had as little clothing as she did, I could ask people to pay for the show.

It feels good to finally let go. I'm not the Skaiprisa, or Wanheda. Just an 18 years old girl at a party.

Her hands roam the back of my body possessively and I might have stopped her if not for the way it triggered Lexa.

She's burning holes in the back of the dancer's head, her cool demeanour completely forgotten. I make sure to catch her gaze before letting my head fall to the side, presenting my neck to my dance partner.

Understanding my silent invitation, I don't have to wait long to feel soft lips on my skin and a bit of teeth. A few seconds later she's trying to mark me and I let her.

As a powerful shudder courses through me, I close my eyes and let out a small grunt.

She's good. And giving me exactly what I need.

Regaining my senses, I open my eyes just in time to see the end of Lexa's red sash go through the open doorway.

I freeze instantly, realizing I did what I wanted to avoid.

I made it about her.

Punishing her.

Letting her taste the betrayal.

I jump back like I was burned. Before I have the chance to apologize to the dancer, she shushes me with a finger to my lips. Lips curled in a semi-sad smile, she simply whispers:

- Mochof, Wanheda.

And with that, she's gone.

The awful feelings I was trying to avoid are back with a vengeance.

Fucking Heda.

Can't even have fun without her ruining it.

Not letting myself time to analyze my questionable reasoning, I jog to the entryway through which Lexa disappeared. Time for us to have a talk.

Confronted to the many closed doors in front of me, I realize that I have no clue as to where to search. Just as I'm about to forget about her and go back to the dancers whose promises might be held, I notice that only one of the doors is guarded.

I power walk to the stoic guards and demand:

- I want to talk to your Heda.

I can't help the venom with which I say the word and they size me up to determine whether I'm a real threat or not.

- I dont have time for this.

Pushing past them, I storm the heavy door open. They take hold of me and I immediately fight back.

- Let me through!

The room is fairly dark save for a few candles and the moonlight filtering through the closed drapes, but I see her alright, hands on the war table, eyes on the map.

Probably planning her next betrayal.

She sighs and says:

- Let her go. And leave.

Her back is still to me and if not for the order she gave one would think she's unaware of my presence.

Except that I know it's the exact opposite.

For a moment I consider finishing what I couldn't do this morning.

Kill her.

That's the only way to move on.

After what felt like an eternity, she turns around and sits on the table. Her eyes are on me and her seemingly aloof demeanour deceives no one.

She doesn't say a thing, just raises an eyebrow, waiting for me to explain my presence.

When I don't say a word, she just shakes her head and announces:

- I'll have you escorted to your chambers.

Not letting her time to move towards the door, I move forward, stopping when I'm only a few steps away. Standing as tall and proud as I can, I demand:

- Why did you leave?

She scoffs and her face hardens as she says:

- You know of the deal.

I can't believe the nerve of this girl. She knows what I'm referring to.

- I'm not talking about Mt Weather. Why did you leave the party?

She seems taken aback but quickly composes herself.

- The ice nation didn't take too kindly Skaikru joining the coalition. They'll probably make a move. Soon.

She gestures towards the war table, as if it would be enough for me to believe her.

Lexas' eyes close for a second and I absolutely hate the condescending way in which she addresses me:

- You drank too much Clarke. Go to sleep. We will talk in the morning.

Sure I've had a few drinks. But I'm sober enough to know what I saw.

I take the remaining few steps and snarl to her face:

- You're a coward.

Her jaw hardens and she sits taller on the table, her top lip pulling back in a feral warning:

- Careful Skaiprisa...

Holding her gaze, I repeat myself, cutting through her with each word.

- You. Are. A. Coward.

She stands abruptly, pushing her chest against mine in a gesture of power:

- Ai laik Heda. Mind your tone.

I can't stop the angry huff that escapes me. She never gave me the "I'm the mighty Commander" treatment and I'm not about to let her start now. I'm not afraid of her. She already gave me her worst.

- Or what? You'll make me bow again?

Her breath puffs against my lips in rapid successions and I'm glad to see that I'm getting to her.

Even though putting oil on the fire might not be my greatest idea, the surging rush of adrenaline it gives me cannot be denied.

Her green eyes darkens and narrows for a moment before a smug smirk graces her full lips:

- If I recall correctly you did it on your own. There was no dagger to your throat.

I hate how beautiful she, how right she is, how I would bow time and time again if she asked me. But I can't let her know that.

- I bowed to my people's needs. Not to you. Don't be mistaken.

The smugness never leaves her features as she announces:

- Your people took my brand. Their needs are now my own.

Taking a few steps back, I pull my sleeves up and say:

- I don't see your brand.

Her eyes take into account the perfect unmarred skin on display and I seize the opportunity to flick my braided hair to the side, showing her the dancer's hickey on my neck.

I see her tense.

Checkmate.

I don't want to dwell on the reasoning behind my provocations, on why all of it matters.

It's not like making her suffer, reminding her that I'm not hers will change the past.

She stalks her way to me and I know I got her good when her usual composure is nowhere to be seen. She backs me up to the wall, holding my body up with her own. Her nostrils flares and she growls:

- Leave.

Her eyes widen almost comically when I turn the tables around, trapping her, my hands on the wall pressed on either side of her head. But she doesn't try to break free.

- No.

She quickly regains her composure and her lips press in a thin line, betraying her anger, before she asks in an angry whisper.

- What do you want?

Offering her a cruel smile I press on:

- I've seen the way you look at me Commander. I know exactly how much it kills you to see me with others. Have your scouts told you about the friend I made while I lived in the woods?

She closes her eyes and she forces her way past me when they reopen.

I think I hit a tender spot.

I should stop. Before I get her to the point of no return. But I revel in the power that I have over her. The grounders who worship the ground on which she stands would be so surprised to see how much mere words break the carapace of their Heda.

How bare it leaves her.

My traitorous mind conjures images of Lexa bare in totally different ways.

I almost moan at the powerful surge of arousal that courses through me at the thought.

Something clicks inside me at the sudden realization.

I want her writhing beneath me.

I need to have her give herself to me with abandon.

Her unrestrained.

I -

- What do you want of me Clarke?

Circling her, I'm not surprised to see her chin defiantly up, eyes towards the ceiling, unwilling to match my gaze.

I take a second to watch her face, half cast in shadow, to memorize the moment.

It will either make or break us.

But then again, is there anything left to break? Do I still have something to lose?

She values peace too much to take revenge on my people to punish me.

- I told you. Your brand was taken by my people. Not me.

I see her clench her jaw and I know that I'm reaching the last of her restrain. Pushing the limits of her patience. Her voice is tense and rough when she answers, looking right into me:

- You made that perfectly clear. What is it you want of me?

Her eyes are hard and surprisingly unwavering. Now or never.

I stop my pacing to catch her by the back of her neck, pulling her towards me, stopping only with her face a few inches from mine.

- Claim your brand, Commander.

And I kiss her.

It's not tender.

It's not a declaration of love.

It's rough and possessive.

I'm not going down without a fight.

She answers immediately, pushing me backwards until the top of my thighs hit the war table.

Lifting me, she sits me on the map and takes a spot between my spread legs, bunching up my skirt in the effort to get as close as possible.

She pulls back and orders:

- Take off your top.

I just look at her defiantly.

Her eyes gets impossibly darker as she understands how it's going to play between us.

The glint of her knife in the candlelight is the only warning I get.

The sound of the ripping fabric tears through the silence, as I see the blade sliding through my top, leaving me bare before her. I place my hands behind me on the table, exposing myself. Her eyes roam hungrily over my chest and I can feel my nipples straining for attention.

She lets out a growl and bends to take a nipple into her mouth, while her hand takes hold of my breast.

Refusing to let her know how she affects me yet, I desperately fight to keep my moans Inside. She scrapes her teeth on my nipple and pulls back, taking hold of my neck and returning to kiss me.

Although I'm not usually for one-sided action, I need to feel her fire and I hope to get burned.

Leaving my mouth, her lips latches on my neck, kissing, sucking and finally biting. My moan is unexpected and loud, tearing through the silence.

Her fingers are toying with the buckle holding my skirt in place, making me pant in anticipation. I know she is loving the way my body responds to her.

Her short nails scratch the skin covering my ribs and I hear her smile when she feels me shudder. The material of my skirt falls apart, letting the air come in contact with my damp underwear.

I want her to take me.

Claim me.

I can barely wait.

As her mouth attacks my ear and her short breaths let me know that I'm not the only one worked up, I realise that I will not have to wait long.

Without an ounce of hesitation, her hand cups me over my underwear.

She growls "Mine" into my ear and I almost come undone at the sound.

I bite my lower lip to keep myself from responding, already giving her too much with the way my hips buckle instantly against her touch.

Her lips return to mine, muffling the moan I let out when her fingers slip past the fabric. She plays with my nerves by grazing the top of her fingers along my drenched folds, not touching me where I need her.

- You're so wet...

- Lexa...

Her lips pull back and I find myself pushed flat against the table.

She stands before me, regal, fully clothed, her ceremonial paint barely smudged by our activities. She looks all powerful and I'm wondering how I managed to resist her the first time she kissed me.

Her eyes hold mine and if possible I feel myself getting wetter when I hear her say:

- Commander. 

Breathless, I nod and whimper:

- Commander, beja.

Next thing I know my panties are ripped and her fingers are on my clit.

My head hits the wood when it falls back against the table. One of her knees is placed next to my hip, supporting her while her mouth latches on my breast.

Between the sweet pressure of her fingers between my legs and the sight of her tongue toying with my nipple, I feel myself getting closer.

Unfortunately, so does she.

Her hand cups the back of my head to help me keep it up and she kisses me passionately.

My body is almost there when she stops her movements on my clit.

I whimper the loss of her fingers and moan when she says:

- Not until I say so.

Her slender fingers tease my opening and I can feel my muscles trying to pull her inside me. She stays still a few seconds and I know it's to let me realize how much I crave her.

My eyes close when she slips two fingers inside me, a moan slipping past my clenched teeth. She sets up a relentless pace that has me gasping for air. My hips are moving uncontrollably as ripples of pleasure course through me. Her thumb is brushing against my clit every time she enters me, never failing to hit the right spot.

She's sucking on my pulse point and I know that I've been officially claimed by the Commander.

Once satisfied by her markings, she says:

- You're close.

Unable to answer, I just nod frenetically.

- Open your eyes Klark. Watch me claim you. Show me how you fall apart.

I fight to keep my eyes open, to watch her fuck me with abandon, to meet her gaze. I don't want to miss a thing.

At this moment, it's perfectly clear to both of us that she owns me.

Though it shouldn't, my orgasm surprises me by its intensity, rippling through me and leaving nothing behind. The Commander accompanies me while I ride it.

I'm a quivering mess and barely conscious when I realize that she hasn't stopped. Her fingers, though less merciless, are still stroking me inside. Her thumb is barely grazing my clit, knowing how sensitive it is and how much I feel the barely-there touch. Her eyes find mine and she smiles when my moaning picks up in intensity.

When it's clear that I'm ready to go again, she stands up and pull me towards the edge of the table with her free hand. I get the hint and help her turning me around, not an easy task considering my legs feel like jelly and that she hasn't stopped stroking me. My feet touch the floor and my breasts are pressed against the maps on the table, my most intimate parts presented to her at the edge of the table.

If anything, it excites me more.

Her movements picks up in intensity, the new angle destroying any chance I had to hold back my pleasure. I'm writhing and moaning non-stop and I'm coming all over her hand in just a few moments.

She waits for my walls to stop their quivering to pull out of me, leaving me with an empty feeling.

I don't move for a few minutes. I don't think I can, trying to catch my breath.

I roll around, sitting on the edge of the table and unable to hold back a laugh when my eyes fall on myself, assessing the state I'm in. The map imprints are now on my chest as well.

Oh well.

My laughter dies in my throat, replaced by renewed arousal upon seeing Lexa. She stands tall, watching me with a hunger that lets me know that she's not done with me. Her fingers are in her mouth, licking away the traces of my arousal.

I don't know how I managed to avoid touching her so far, but it's not going to last.

I stand up valiantly on shaky legs and before I can open my mouth, she issues a command:

- Bow.

My surprised eyes meet her unwavering gaze and I know that this is a test.

A pleased smile graces my lips as I murmur:

- Sha, Heda.

The floor is cold against my bare knee and I probably look ridiculous with my destroyed top, open skirt and torn underwear still attached to my leg, but if you ask me, I've never been so proud in all my life.

Her hand caresses the top of my braids and I look up to her, asking:

- Beja, take me to your bed.

 

-------

The guards were dismissed before being privy to my disheveled condition. My skirt promptly refastened and my top being held closed, my hand never leaves hers as she guides me towards her chambers.

Once the door closed, she leads me to the edge of her gigantic bed. The furs look heavenly but I refuse to give up on something:

- Would you mind lightning some candles?

She smiles at me, knowing exactly what exactly it is I wish to see.

Meanwhile, I'm removing what's left of my top and skirt, wanting nothing between her and me.

She comes back to me and lets my trembling hands take off her clothes and signs of power.

I do it as reverently as possible, knowing that this is the turning point. I dealt with the Commander, but I'm about to take care of Lexa. 

I let her bindings fall to her feet, caring only about the soft flesh on display.

Her breasts stand proudly in the dim light and I have to take a moment to catch my breath when her undergarments are the only piece of clothing she still wears.

- You're beautiful.

The tip of my fingers traces some scars, and the two tattoos that I can see up front.

- Klark...

Her voice is pleading and I know that this is not the time, my exploration will have to wait.

When my fingers grip her underwear, her hand comes on top, stopping me for a second.

I barely recognise her voice when she says:

- I haven't... Not since....

Costia.

Nothing appropriate comes to mind so I prefer to stay silent. How a woman like her could stay single is beyond me but I'm not about to complain.

I nod my understanding and kiss her softly, bringing our naked bodies together, hoping she'll get that this is a special moment for me too.

She does I guess, since her hand frees mine. I kneel to be on the first row when the curtain falls.

I wasn't prepared for the onslaught of want I'd feel upon seeing her glistening folds.

She's drenched.

Because of me.

For me.

My breath picks up instantly.  

I look into her eyes, seeing a vulnerability that wasn't there. She shouldn't worry, I can't deny her, especially not now.

Holding her hand, I guide her to sit on the edge of the bed.

She seems to realise what I'm about to do as my mouth kisses the inside of her thigh.

- You don't hav-

- Let me take care of you.

I keep on placing kisses, coming closer and closer to where she needs me the most.

My tongue parts her folds and I can't hold back a moan. Her eyes are on me as she tries to hold herself on her elbows.

I'm trying to memorise everything about this. Her taste, the way she twitches when my tongue comes near her entrance, how she groans when I suck her clit.

But I want more.

I need to devour her.

Own her like she owned me.

I hold her legs open and catch her eyes when my tongue enters her. She's valiantly trying to keep looking and oh so beautiful.

I feel her fluttering against me and there's nowhere else I'd rather be. I keep this up as long as possible but she'll need a bit more to go over the edge.

Pulling back, I lick my lips and do not shy away from her gaze. I notice the way her eyes take me in and smile at her. The bottom half of my face is glistening with her juices and I know her enough to understand how it turns her on to see the mighty Wanheda on her knees in such a state.

And loving it.

I'm tempted to see her squirm for me, to tease her but to be honest I don't think I could stand it.

I need to have her, all of her.

I need to feel her come in my mouth.

My mind made up, my tongue comes back to her clit, alternating between flicking and sucking. I enter her with one finger, slowly, then adding another. Her hips are bucking wildly on my face but I make no effort to hold her back.

It's ok, she can use me as she pleases.

This is not about me.

She dictates the rhythm and my fingers and tongue follow. Her hand comes to the back of my head, not pushing nor pulling, just there.

I like to think it's because she wants to make sure that it's real, that I'm here.

- Clarke... yes !

When I feel her contract and pulsate against my fingers, I know that one time will not be enough. She comes into my mouth and I take it all, lapping at her for all I'm worth.

I will crave that feeling, this moment, this rush for the rest of my life.

She falls back to the bed, breathless and boneless and I can't help but be pleased with myself.

- Come here.

I stand up, ignoring the mess between my thighs and crawl on top of her, moving together to the center of the bed.

We both moan at the contact of our naked bodies, this feeling totally outshining the softness of the furs below us.

I place small kisses in her neck, resisting the urge to mark her. Hopefully she'll tell the world she's mine on her own time.

After a while, I feel her trembling and lifts my head up, fearing the worst.

Only to find her grinning like a fool and chuckling.

I raise an eyebrow at her. She answers my silent question:

- This is not how I imagined the night to end.

- Are you complaining?

Her eyes met mine and I feel the sincerity of her words when she says:

- Never, niron.

I don't ask her what it means, I can see it in her eyes.

 

THE END (or, more accurately, the beginning).