It had seemed like such a good idea. Their relationship is something of a show; hard for a union born of political alliance to be anything else, though Jon knows from experience that many can blossom into love. It had struck Jon as darkly comic, even subversive, in announcing their engagement at a costume ball held for charity. He’d actually been looking forward to it, something he couldn’t often say for the usual galas demanding his attendance. But then, that was before Margaery had sent for him to come see her costume, and it had suddenly occurred to him that leaving things to chance where Margaery is concerned might be more than a bit foolhardy.
She’s using his childhood nanny’s apartment to dress for the ball. Jon would have had her moved in weeks ago and been done with it, but his staff would never have permitted it before the wedding, and Jon had long ago decided to accede to their judgment on matters of propriety, but having her haul about town in fancy dress wouldn’t exactly have been good press either, so Old Nan’s rooms had been set aside for her use on such occasions as merited. The place had never looked like this when his Nan was in residence, though, with open luggage and the smell of Margaery’s exotic perfume in the air, earrings tossed carelessly in a cut crystal ashtray, filmy stockings draped on backs of furniture. She’s been here two hours at most and already it looks as thoroughly and femininely lived in as any girl’s dormitory Jon had been snuck into after curfew while away at school.
“Are you ready?” she calls from the dressing room.
“As ready as I’ll ever be.”
The rustle of heavy skirts presages her appearance in the parlor, followed by the leading edge of said skirts – apparently massive skirts, as it takes the rest of her some seconds to follow them through the door. She might be a generic pseudo-historical noblewoman but for the even more massive crown sitting on her head, a gold and ruby concoction that puts anything in the actual Crown Jewels to shame. She strikes an entirely modern pose, hip thrust to the side, hands braced on her waist, and gives him an expectant look.
“My God,” Jon breathes.
“Your Majesty,” she corrects with an impish grin. Jon’s mind can’t quite settle on one reaction. Amusement at her daring. Dismay at the prospective headlines. Admiration. Arousal. He’s equally tempted to let her attend the ball so dressed, and possibly never let her out of the palace again, for reasons both prudent and prurient. He’d underestimated the amount of trouble Margaery was capable of getting into, and he’d already thought she could get into quite a lot of trouble.
“Oh, relax,” she laughs, waving one lace-frothed arm at him, “this is a joke. I just wanted to see your face when I came out in it. I have a very respectable, non-social climbing costume to wear. But it would be awfully funny though, wouldn’t it?”
Both relieved and disappointed, Jon rubs his hand across his chin to hide his smile. “Perhaps more awful than funny once it hit the papers.”
Margaery’s smile turns coquettish. She flirts more easily than anyone Jon has ever known. “Shall I take it off then? Oh, but it’s far too cumbersome to remove by myself. Could you be my lady’s maid?” She hoists the skirts enough to show white stocking clad feet, and wiggles her toes at him. Something about it disarms him completely and though he has a hundred other things to do before the ball, though he still hasn’t figured out how to navigate what it is between them, he finds himself crowding her back towards a chaise as he gathers armfuls of her skirt with both hands, neither of them commenting on the fact that getting the dress off would rather go from the top down.
“I’ve gotten under a few skirts in my day,” he remarks, “but never with so many layers involved.” Margaery puts her hands on his shoulders as her calves collide with the edge of the chaise behind her, unbalancing her. Up close, Jon can see the glue holding in the “rubies on her crown” and the tag in sticking up from the back with cleaning instructions, but it doesn’t lessen the affect. Somehow it seems to increase it.
“No period appropriate wig?”
Margaery makes a face. “The crown is heavy enough, thank you. I hope the real ones are more lightweight.” Jon only smiles at her. It’s been days since he last touched her, a furtive session of kissing and groping better suited to teenagers than a King and his prospective consort and the only sort of thing they’ve been able to manage thus far, but it feels like weeks instead. He’s been dreaming of her, waking in sweat-damp sheets with a painful erection and the imagined taste of her still in his mouth. Maybe it’s the novelty of her costume, or maybe it’s just Margaery herself, but he finds himself quite losing his head.
She gives a startled laugh when he catches her legs behind the knees and drops her onto the chaise so abruptly that she bounces. He’d thought such impulsiveness was driven out of him when he became King but it seems she’s found some untapped well in him. On his knees between her feet, he pushes what seems like yards of fabric up around her hips, then he’s the one giving a startled laugh when he finds her with no knickers and sees the hair between her legs is neatly trimmed into the shape of a heart. It’s not the sort of thing he’d expect from her.
“Is this part of the costume?” he asks, voice rough. She leans back on her hands and smiles at him.
“Only if I were dressed as the Queen of Hearts, which I am not.”
“Then this is every day?”
She arches one brow at him. God, but he’s convinced she could communicate with her eyebrows alone, they’re so expressive. “Would you want it to be?”
Jon doesn’t trust himself to answer. He strokes his knuckles against the excruciatingly soft skin of her inner thighs, loving the way she shivers and her eyelids flutter at his touch. This is the closest he’s ever been to her, the most intimately he’s ever touched her, and he’s torn between making it last and getting his mouth on her as quickly as possible.
“In any case, I’ve better things to do than trim my pubic hair every day,” she says. “This was just on a whim. Though I suppose when we marry, I’ll have someone to do such things for me. Is there a Royal Waxer?”
Jon doesn’t want to reward her cheek with his laughter, so instead he leans forward and presses a kiss to the dainty heart. It ends up being far more tender than he intended, and when he looks back up at her, her eyes have gone soft and unfocused, and Jon decides he’s done waiting.
The first taste of her is bliss, the second, heaven. It’s been some time since he’s enjoyed a woman this way, but even if had been only an hour, he thinks he would feel the same desperate urgency that he does now. Margaery gasps and writhes, her hands first gripping his hair, and then holding his head under the skirts that slip down to cover him. In answer, he works his hands under her bum and angles her hips towards his mouth to eat her out with loud, wet noises that would be appalling if he cared.
He doesn’t. She’s too delicious for him to care, even if he were inclined to in the first place.
She yanks the skirts away from his head after she comes the second time, her hands finding his ears and pulling at him. He should stop, he knows he should, but he can’t help lapping and sucking at her for a few seconds more, just a few seconds, until she pitches into another orgasm and her hands push him away with real force.
He pants as he watches her, his hands still underneath her arse, one of her knees hooked over his shoulder. There’s nothing pretty in it as she comes, grunting and whining and twitching, but it’s the loveliest she’s ever looked to him. He’s careful to keep the smug pride off his face, but inside he’s bursting with it. From the first time he kissed her, he thought there could be something like this between them.
“Goodness,” she says once she’s recovered enough to breathe somewhat normally. Her eyes meet his and dart away, and he realizes that for all her flirtation and confidence, she’s embarrassed at having lost control so thoroughly, and doesn’t know quite how to behave. He’s consumed with an overwhelming rush of affection for her. This he hadn’t known, that there might be something softer and sweeter between them, and the knowledge of it burns in his chest like a brand.
“I may have to keep this costume for future purposes,” she says with a shaky laugh. She pushes him back so she can stand, her fingers squeezing convulsively around his hand when he offers it to her. “Alright, out, darling, I have to get into my actual costume still.”
Darling. Such a common endearment, but one that lodges in Jon’s chest all the more for being offered so absently. Their intimacies have extended only to first names so far, but if she realizes the change, she doesn’t show it. Then, an even greater intimacy: she puts her face up to his, lips pursed to be kissed. It occurs to Jon that this might be an everyday occurrence for him soon, his wife kissing him out not always out of desire, but out of fondness. Out of pleasant, domestic habit.
He moves to kiss her, then realizes with a start that his mouth and chin are still slick with her, and he pulls back abruptly.
“Hang on.” He fumbles in his pocket for a handkerchief, glad that Barlett insists he carry one despite Jon’s grumbling that it’s old-fashioned. Her smirk as he wipes his face clean tells him she would have kissed him anyway, which brings his subsiding erection roaring back to prominence. He’ll have to take the back hallways to his rooms. That, or find a raincoat or textbook to hold in front of him.
She drops a kiss on his mouth, absently swiping her thumb across his bottom lip. It comes away smudged with the red of her lipstick. It’s smart of her, though Jon thinks he might have rather liked having her mark on him, at least for a little while.
“Oh,” he remembers, as he moves towards the door. “What is your actual costume?”
“A nun,” she says brightly. Jon’s hand freezes mid-air over the doorknob. He looks back at her over his shoulder.
“Please tell me this is another joke.”
Margaery only smiles beatifically at him and disappears into the dressing room.