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The approach to their home from the docks feels longer than it ever has before, her borrowed horse slow and unwilling. But she makes it, stumbling into their house with a grateful sigh. It is early enough that the sun has not turned the sky anything other than faintly rosy at the horizon, so it is not surprising to find her lover still in their bed.

Quietly, Kassandra strips her armor, placing it on the stands to the side of the room. She feels the air in the room change as Brasidas sits up in bed, but she hesitates in turning. Having been away from home so long, it slipped her mind that her lover is a consummate soldier, woken by even the slightest noise.

She takes a deep breath, smoothing her hand down the scuffed surface of her breastplate and wonders when he will notice.

The half light of the room disguises her figure, allows her to cross to the bed and settle over his lap before he can see too much. His hands come to rest at her hips (wider, marginally) and squeeze, glad to see her back with him.

They’ve long since moved past the need for words whenever she returns to him. Her kiss is greeting enough, the hunger with which he meets it his own welcome home. He slides one hand up to cup her breast and Kassandra gasps wantonly into his mouth.

She is learning so much about many things she has long dismissed as foolish old wives’ tales… the weariness, the tenderness, the desire.

Her body responds to his touch as quickly as ever. More so. Embarrassingly quickly she is wet against him, rocking her hips into his growing length. Brasidas chuckles, husky, unwilling to let her go to comment on it. But his hand presses lower on her backside, urging her closer.

His other hand settles on her stomach (softer) as he presses a warm kiss over her heart, chased by a grunt of pleasure when she shudders. His thumb searches for her clit, rubbing in time with the little circles of her hips.

All too soon she is gasping his name, fingernails scratching at his scalp. But he does not let her rest, easing his cock inside her while she is still pulsing, his pleased smile hid in the skin of her throat.


Brasidas wonders when she will tell him.

He thinks maybe when his hand spans the base of her stomach for a moment too long, his fingers spreading, measuring, weighing the possibility.

Or when he suckles at her breasts and she nearly breaks at that alone, more sensitive than she has ever been before.

He groans, quietly, hungrily, when her heat surrounds him, Kassandra half insensible with pleasure already.

When did it happen? Before she left for Messenia, naturally. Was it during the Hyakinthia, perhaps? Or on that final night before she sailed when he would not let her out of his embrace, frustrated by her choice to take the contract in the first place?

That would be a finer story, no doubt, whether or not he acted honourably.

Yet it is difficult to pin down, with the amount of evenings (and other times aside) they spend tangled together, ensuring their capability to endure whenever one or other of them is called away.

Brasidas smirks. At least, it sounds like a good excuse.

There is nothing quite like this. Kassandra, silken and clutching at him, her eyes squeezed shut against the rolling of sensation. He thrusts up, hard, just to see her mouth fall open, her eyebrows pinch together.

Gods, but he is a blessed man. And now, twice over.

The thought, the hope, the potential. It coils in the back of his mind, and paired with Kassandra’s teeth at his shoulder, her nails biting into the base of his skull, Brasidas gives over to desperate release, stars dancing behind his eyelids.

He holds her for as long as it takes to recover, arms tight across the width of her back. She shifts, eventually, pressing upwards and staring at him with eyes that shine with emotion.

It seems incredible that he was ever struck dumb by her before… She has never looked more striking than she does now, eyes bright, cheeks flushed, lip caught nervously between her teeth.

“I have some news.”

Brasidas catches up her hand, pressing his lips to the backs of her knuckles. He waits, with a faint smile, and watches the realisation bloom in her eyes.

He knows.