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we’re winning ‘til the curtain’s coming down

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Veludo Way had always been your home. 

In hindsight, everyone already anticipated that you’d have the raw talent that so many aspiring actors seemed to lack. Ever since you were old enough to talk, you’d already been exposed to life onstage, and you grew attached to theater in no time. You had gotten used to juggling both your schoolwork and the responsibilities that came with being part of a theater troupe fairly quickly, too—earning the favor of not just your fellow actors but your parents, as well. Given that the both of them were regarded as prolific actors in the industry, making a name for yourself wasn’t all too challenging either.

The Princess of Veludo Way—that was the title handed to you once your troupe had successfully claimed the Fleur Award some few years ago. But while others would have killed for the chance to be in your shoes, you weren’t very keen with being referred to as such. Flashy titles hardly amounted to anything once you presented yourself as a completely different person before hundreds of people. You never cared about the benefits being an actor had inevitably hauled onto your doorstep. You just wanted to act; simple as that. 

But in the middle of your senior year at Fuyou University, you began to see the beauty of theater through a different perspective altogether.

For one of the final requirements in your degree, you were to put together a stage play and generate revenue along with the other students in your Musical Theater class. It wasn’t completely uncharted territory for you, since you’d starred in a couple of musicals in the past, but you had to admit, memorizing songs along with your usual lines would always be more tedious than you’d like it to be. 

To your dismay, you were casted as the main lead—the warrior queen Boadicea, whom the play’s namesake was derived from. You’d read about the uprisings that the real Boadicea had led in the past, and although you could certainly act in a way that would bring her character to life like usual, you weren’t very fond of these kinds of roles. It reminded you that most people only saw you as the Princess of Veludo Way and not (Surname) (Name). 

Even in your last year, you still had doubts with whether or not getting a formal education about something you loved was a good idea. Your parents insisted that strict schooling often killed the spark that once ignited in your heart. However, despite their incessant persuasion, you decided to devote your life to theater anyway. 

Now here you were, burned out beyond comprehension. 

You were dead set with just getting this whole play over with so you could attend auditions and casting calls in Veludo Way again. To act without fearing you might receive a failing mark. But when you met the man who was to play Boadicea’s husband, Prasutagus, your internalized distress had inevitably gone up in smoke.

Takato Tasuku was one of the more skilled students not just in your class but in Fuyou U as a whole. From years of acting with all kinds of people, you knew from the first time you’d seen him perform etudes in the courtyard that he was gifted. But for some reason, it was like the strings of fate hadn’t meant for your paths to cross until your very last year in university. You’ve been aware of his existence since you were both freshmen, but you’d only been given a chance to work with him side-by-side now. 

Frankly, you wished that you’d approached him sooner. 

The playwrights had altered historical accounts on Celtic royalty and rewrote it in a way that Prasutagus had lived long enough to rebel against Rome alongside his wife. Tasuku provided you with the most support a second lead could give—from swordsmanship training to practicing your lines and songs alone together in the auditorium. You’d never met someone who was as diligent with rehearsals. Not even the dean’s list kids in your class stuck around for longer than they had to. But hey, you didn’t mind a few extra hours alone with a complete hunk. 

...Okay, admitting that he was a hunk was a bit of an overstatement. But maybe it wasn’t. Or was it? God, you weren’t even sure anymore. All you knew was that, after the time you’d accidentally walked in on him changing backstage, you could never look Tasuku in the eye since. You knew that college students had more developed bodies, but damn, were you unprepared for the sight of his perfectly chiseled abs. How could he still squeeze time into working out when you’d been keeping him so occupied at rehearsals? Thankfully, he didn’t seem to notice the way he flustered you.

All was forgotten once opening night came along. Students, staff, and outsiders gave their patronage to the production with open arms and you all managed to raise enough money for the quota your professor had set. It was decided by the entire class that all of the proceeds would go to a foundation that supported small theater troupes in Veludo Way. You received the news with glee, unknowingly inspiring you to give it your all for the rest of the show dates.

When the curtain call on closing night was underway, you grinned from ear-to-ear with your classmates on-stage. Tears were shed amongst the roar of applause and the shower of confetti all around—the fact that this was your final production sinking in a little late. Although you started working on this project in low spirits, you couldn’t have asked for another team to stand right next to you at this moment. Your co-actors were amazing. The costume designers, and hair and make-up artists utterly snapped. You wouldn’t even let yourself get started with the stage staff and of course, the director. 

You’d gotten so used to acting only for yourself that putting into account everyone’s efforts to create such a wonderful play made your heart heavy with regret. Even if you’d done several productions in your four years at Fuyou U, this was the only one where you could truly say you enjoyed. 

And it was all because of one person. 

“So what’re your plans after we graduate?” you asked Tasuku as he punched in a few buttons on a vending machine. 

He cast you a sidelong glance, and you thought he looked a little silly still wearing his kingly robes. “Well, I’ve told you about joining GODza, right? Tsumu and I are going to go at the same time.”

You nodded, almost pouting as he tossed you a soda. Once you caught the bottle, you uncapped it and halved the contents in seconds. You contemplated his words for a moment as you detached your lips. You’d never had any real interactions with Tsukioka Tsumugi aside from the curt nods shared between you once he and Tasuku went home together after rehearsals. He was a good guy, but you were keen to notice the distant look he always had in those clear blue eyes of his.

Given that it was none of your business, you decided not to dwell on it too much.

“Boo. Why don’t you join my family’s troupe?” Jokingly, you nudged Tasuku’s (ripped!!!!) shoulder. “We make a pretty great team, don’t you think?” 

Tasuku spared you a few airy laughs before drinking his own soda. You couldn’t help but eye the way his throat moved with each swallow, making you gulp down the traitorous heat that stirred in your chest. What the hell was that? He was just... drinking, god damn it. 

“I don’t want to ride on the coattails of your success, (Surname),” he admitted, tossing the empty bottle in a nearby trash can. “But you could always invite me as a guest actor once I become a regular in GODza.”

“You’re awfully confident, aren’t you?” You stuck your tongue out at him, folding your arms across your chest. GODza had been one of your troupe’s long time rivals in the business, so you knew exactly how hard it was to get accepted—much more, make it as a regular. 

But you didn’t have it in you to taunt Tasuku about it because you knew better than most that he could make good on his words. So instead, you told him about the fact that not just anyone could receive the privilege of starring in your troupe’s shows.

“Oh? Guess I’ll have to resort to underhanded tactics then,” he replied with something that sounded suspiciously like a laugh.

You arched a sly brow as you made the motions to take another sip. “And what would that be?” 

“Well, do you want to go out with me?”

He timed his question with the soda gushing down your throat, nearly making your drink end up in the wrong hole. You hacked out a few choked up coughs, tears streaking your eyes. If he had meant to come off as sly, Tasuku’s façade was shattered—opting to pat your back as you regained your composure instead. 

“Did I hear you right?” you asked hoarsely before straightening yourself out. “Did you just ask if I wanted to go out with you?” 

With how engrossed he was with theater, Takato Tasuku was the last person you expected would ask you out. Sure, he had the body and the looks that would inevitably magnetize women to him, but he struck you as more of a conservative. A work-now-date-later kind of guy. Yet here he was, casually going against your expectations like it was nothing.

“I didn’t stutter, did I?” He smiled somewhat kindly. (Seeing him smile was already a rare occurrence in itself so that freaked you out a little.)

You breathed somewhat shakily through your nose, still gaping at him. “What made you ask in the first place?”

Suddenly, the space that sat in between you became non-existent. You felt the heavy material of his robes brush against the skin of your arm as Tasuku lifted a hand to brush a few stray hairs out of your face. Your cheeks flushed with heat, and you were no fool. You knew exactly what the way he gazed at you through a curtain of thick lashes entailed. Though you never would have dreamed he would return your subtle attraction in any sort of way, your fantasies came to life right before your eyes. 

“The Princess of Veludo needs a prince, after all.”

 


 

As expected, Tasuku made it big in Veludo Way in no time.

You liked to tease him that he’d only used your relationship to catapult him to where he was, but both of you knew that your boyfriend was talented enough to establish an audience all on his own. Most of his fans didn’t even know he had a girlfriend, which may have resulted in a catfight or two in one of the GODza shows. But who could blame you? You were dating the theater district’s hunk of a rising star! Of course you had to stake your claim somehow

But despite your careers both flourishing after college, you figured that something changed.

It all started when Tasuku got into GODza while Tsumugi didn’t make the cut. You, having become good friends with your boyfriend’s best friend for a good few weeks now, offered some consolation—telling him that there was always a theater troupe for everyone. That maybe GODza just wasn’t for him. But instead of encouraging the guy, your words only turned him further away from theater altogether.

You’d never seen stoic, indifferent Tasuku flit into a rage more quickly than the time Tsumugi informed you both that he’ll be leaving town. You’re a coward, he spat with no remorse. You’re just running away.

What he didn’t know was that he’d come to regret those words far sooner than he thought. 

You knew that he was hurting in his own, quiet way, but you didn’t push on it. And then you knew about how he suddenly wanted to leave GODza, but you didn’t push on that either. Tasuku was someone capable of mulling over his own decisions, just as you were with your own. You both trusted each other enough to choose what was best for yourselves—and him joining the Mankai Company was definitely the breather he needed.

Incidentally, Tsumugi was back in Veludo Way after years of going off the grid. What’s more was that he’d joined the Mankai Company at around the same time as Tasuku did. You were late to catch wind of the news, since you were busy preparing for this year’s feature show, but when Tasuku broke it to you on a much needed movie night, you recognized the edge in his voice almost immediately. 

“You should really give him a chance,” you offered, leaning your ear against his chest. His pulse was steady beneath the warmth of his sweater, reducing the sounds from your TV into background noise. “I’m sure Tsumu feels sorry for just straight up leaving. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t even come back in the first place.”

Tasuku breathed out a forlorn sigh, wiggling an arm behind you to fit your body in the curve of his elbow. “It’s not that easy. We… we had a dream together. Just because it didn’t pan out the way we planned it, doesn’t mean he should just give up like that.”

The hurt in his tone was reminiscent of the time he’d called you up to his old apartment just to lay himself bare with all the emotional baggage he carried. Despite being closer to him than most, it wasn’t like Tasuku to make himself vulnerable like this. You knew how important his dream to act on the same stage as Tsumugi was to him, and even if he would insist otherwise, you were sure that he still felt the same way.

It was only his useless pride keeping him from realizing that dream now, but you figured that there were some things that he was just going to have to figure out for himself.

In the meantime, you distracted him in the best way you could think of.

“Tasuku…”

The pitch of your voice climbed higher each time he canted his hips to meet yours. Your eyes practically rolled backwards into your skull as Tasuku ghosted the crescent of his mouth over your thrumming pulse. The hotness of his breath drove you all sorts of insane, but you knew that even if you wanted him to bite down on your skin hard enough to bruise, he would never do it. 

Tasuku’s calloused hands roamed all over your body, but even if his touch was weighted with the wanton fondness he reserved for you and you alone, it wasn’t enough. He was too tender, too delicate. However, despite your mind’s selfish desire for him to fuck you faster, harder, your body had always been a slave to his ridiculous girth. Your walls clamped around his throbbing cock, still pistoning in and out of your heat, as a hoarse cry ripped past your lips. He silenced your wails of pleasure with a kiss, the press of your tongue against his erotic enough to make you forget what you were thinking about in the first place.

“You’re so pretty when you come on my dick,” he breathed against your mouth, pinpointing his orgasm even if you were still too sensitive to make sense of anything happening around you. 

Your protests melted into a moan as Tasuku rammed you further into your couch. You screwed your eyes shut, focusing on the way he was slowly building you up again. His cock spread you out so wide, you didn’t think anyone else could even remotely satisfy you. He was panting hard and heavy before he dipped back down, planting wet kisses on the side of your face. When you started to lose your touch on reality, you barely caught Tasuku’s words as he leaned closer to your ear.

“Can you come for me again, princess?”

The little nickname did you in, and you came with a cry that you muffled on his broad shoulder. That was all it took to make him fall off the edge too, filling you with his white hot seed before he slumped right next to you on the cramped sofa.

“You feeling a little better?” you asked breathlessly, a lazy grin curling on your lips.

It took him a moment to catch his breath, and you were suddenly hyper aware of the fact that your panties were still hanging off one ankle. Spontaneous sex with your boyfriend often ended up without you taking off your clothes completely. Your libidos didn’t have the patience for stripping sometimes. 

“Am I doing something wrong?”

You startled at his throaty voice, glancing at him, puzzled. “What?”

His brows were puckered with a frown and those lavender eyes almost looked...sad. Tasuku shifted on the couch, pulling his boxers and sweats higher on his waist before meeting your gaze again. 

“I feel like I’m not satisfying you,” he professed, and the sound of his voice reminded you of a kicked puppy. 

Your shoulders tensed at his words, but you supposed you should’ve known better than to think he wouldn’t catch on. Tasuku was a seasoned actor that could convey nuance and emotion through actions alone, so it shouldn’t come off as a surprise if he could pick those out from the way you reacted to his earlier ministrations. You avoided his piercing gaze, fingers curling on the front of his shirt. 

“Well, it’s not that you don’t satisfy me. Just now you made me come twice,” you murmured, hoping he wouldn’t get the wrong idea. “I guess, I just want you to, I dunno, let loose a little?” 

Tasuku propped his elbow on the sofa’s armrest, resting his head on his palm. The expectant look in his eyes prompted you to continue.

You pouted sulkily, not expecting that you’d have to explain yourself. “...want you to be rough.”

“What was that?”

Okay, now he was just gloating. 

“I said,” you started, inhaling through your nose, “I want you to be rough.”

The silence buzzed in your ears like white noise, and the longer Tasuku stared at you with that placid expression that you couldn’t glean a reaction from, the more you wanted to rot in a corner and die. How could he just...look at you like that after scamming you into being up front? Seriously, why did you even date this guy—

“You should’ve told me sooner,” he sighed, one hand going up to ruffle your hair. “I always make sure I’m careful because I don’t want to hurt you.”

Feeling a bit petulant, you swatted his arm away, pressing your lips into a firm line. Tasuku simply chuckled with amusement.

“Well, I want you to hurt me,” you simpered, but in the next moment, you internally wailed. How could you just say something like that?! What’s worse was that you didn’t think you could keep yourself from running your mouth, either. “I-I mean, you always treat me like I’m fragile. Would it kill you to lose control every now and again?” 

Tasuku’s eyes widened a little, your words obviously catching him off guard. But with a sudden spike of courage licking the embers of your desire for him, you leaned closer—pressing an open-mouthed kiss on his jaw. 

“I won’t break, Tasuku,” you murmured, eyes half-lidded as you stared back up at him. 

And from the way a storm brewed in his lilac irises, you knew that you’d be getting exactly what you asked for.

 


 

The springs of your mattress creaked in protest as Tasuku unceremoniously threw you onto the bed. You even hit your head on the headboard a little, making you wince with discomfort. But as you watched your boyfriend strip himself off his clothes, you knew it was a silent cue for you to do the same. 

You shed the only article of clothing left on your person—that being an old Fuyou Falcons shirt from your college years—with reluctance. You knew that you left your shorts and panties in your living room, but you wouldn’t let the reminder nag you when you were once again presented with Tasuku’s statuesque figure. 

If he’d lived in Ancient Greece, he would definitely be a sought after subject for renowned sculptors. His years of working out and going on morning runs already paid off even when you were both still in college, but he managed to retain his figure after all this time. Tasuku was six feet of well-endowed muscle, staring at you voraciously like you were his next meal. 

You propped yourself on your elbows as you whimpered underneath his gaze, instinctively inching your legs further before Tasuku crawled towards you on the bed. When he was near enough, he rested his palms on your knees, thumbs tracing idle circles in a wordless attempt to soothe you. But your false sense of security was stunted when Tasuku snapped your legs apart, pressing your thighs down on the mattress. Your eyes flew wide, unused to the urgency of his touch, but you reminded yourself that you asked for this. 

To your surprise, he inched back a little, lowering himself so that his face was a hair’s breadth away from your slick heat. The realization of what he was about to do colored your face with embarrassment. You tried struggling against his grip to shut your legs, but Tasuku held them firmly in place.

“T-Tasuku,” you mewled as he traced your slit with two deft fingers. “You just came inside me. Won’t it be weird if you ate me out?” 

Tasuku’s mouth twitched into something akin to a smile before he buried those thick fingers inside you down to the knuckle. Whatever objection you had was caught in your throat as you shuddered from the sensation of his fingers sliding in and out easily. You bit your lip, embarrassed beyond belief that it was his come that made it so easy for him to fuck you with his fingers.

“We’ve been together for years and you still think stuff like that bothers me?” he teased, licking a stripe across your drenched folds. “Have a little more faith in your prince, will you?”

You twined your fingers in his dark hair, writhing with pleasure as Tasuku mapped your cunt with his tongue and fingers. He lapped up your juices mixed with his emission like a man starved, curling his digits in your heat to coax all sorts of dirty sounds from your lips. When he swirled his appendage around your clit in tight circles, you could have sworn he’d sent you to the realm of the gods altogether. 

The grip he had on your thigh was meant to bruise, like he was silently ordering you to stay still, and you were more than happy to oblige—still reeling from the fact that he wasn’t handling you like spun glass anymore. 

And your gut only twisted with anticipation for what’s yet to come. 

Tasuku knew the little tells and triggers of your body well enough to make you come in record time—leaving you thrashing around as your pussy convulsed and throbbed from the stimulation. When he lifted his head up, the slick on his face glistened in the lamplight, his lavender eyes having lost any semblance of tenderness in the storm of his desire.

“I want you.”

He pounced on you like a predator in wait, capturing your lips in a heated kiss. You tasted yourself on his tongue, and you groaned at the bruising force behind his lips. Tasuku massaged your breasts with fervor, rolling a peaked nipple between his thumbs. Your helpless whimpers were muted by his mouth as he rolled his hips—one hand rubbing the head of his cock on your slit but refusing to penetrate. 

“Look at you,” he rasped, rocking further into your heat. “You’re so drenched for me, princess. My beautiful, beautiful (Name).”

“Ta—hah—suku!” you whined, arching your hips up to grant you any sort of reprieve from the ache stirring in your navel. You still felt undeniably sore from your quickie earlier, yet your mind was too clouded with heady lust to care for your limitations. Despite your bold request for him to lose control, you trusted Tasuku enough to surrender yourself to him. 

“Not yet,” Tasuku whispered, placing a featherlight kiss on the tip of your nose.

Your face burned from the chaste gesture. He was about to fuck you into the astral plane yet he still had it in him to do that? With a soft laugh, you placed your hands on Tasuku’s shoulders, tugging lightly to catch his attention. Your boyfriend affixed you with a puzzled stare, and you answered the question hovering above his eyes with a tender kiss. 

“I love you,” you whispered, foreheads pressed together as you grinned. 

He spared you one of his own rare smiles, nuzzling your nose with his own before he lowered himself so his eyes were levelled with your breasts.

“And I love you,” he murmured, latching his sinful lips onto your nipple, tongue swirling around the peaked mounds with his eyes trained on yours. You stifled your bated breaths with the back of your hand, shuddering when he used one hand to grasp your hip while the other massaged your other, neglected breast. 

Tasuku suckled on your tits with alternating intervals, the traces of his saliva on your skin suddenly becoming cold in your room. But your boyfriend’s body, practically pulling you flush against him, was enough to quell any chill that rooted itself inside you.

Fuck. You thought he’d just rut you into the mattress like a mindless beast, but you were too lost in the sweet tenderness of his touch to address it. 

When he detached himself from your chest, you nearly whimpered in protest, but then he lazily nibbled on the sensitive skin of your neck—stunting any plan you had to complain. 

“Your body’s too perfect to hurt, you know,” he sighed, nuzzling the crook of your neck. “I can’t hurt you, but I can make you feel good.”

You cried out in surprise when he bottomed out into your cunt without warning, filling you so good so fast that your vision waned for a second. You wound your arms around him, feeling the hard ridges of his back beneath your fingertips. Tasuku began moving languidly, the squelch of flesh the only thing filling your ears. You spread your legs impossibly wider, wanting nothing but to take as much of him as you humanly could. 

He gauged your reactions from the corner of his eye, picking up the pace when he figured that you’d already gotten used to the stretch of his engorged cock. Tasuku gripped your thighs, relishing the feel of your supple skin under his calloused fingers before angling his hips a bit higher. The response he received was phenomenal—a garbled rendition of his name as you let out broken cry after broken cry as he continued ramming the same spot with his length.

“Do you like that, princess?” he whispered, voice hoarse with need. 

“Please,” you begged, fingernails marring his back with angry red crescents. “Fuck me harder, Tasuku. Please, please, I need your fat cock deeper—ah!” 

Your boyfriend flipped you over, forcibly disentangling your arms from his body. You lied on your stomach, eyes wide with shock that you couldn’t quite parse because suddenly, you were filled to the hilt again, taking his girth in your all-too welcoming heat. 

He forced your hips in place as he rammed into you with reckless abandon. With one hand, he then reached to twine his fingers in your tangled hair, violently tugging your head back so he could mesh his mouth with yours in a messy kiss. Your teeth clacked together, and you couldn’t sync your movements from the odd angle. The fact that his cock was making miracles between your thighs didn’t aid your focus much, either. 

When he surrendered his punishing grip on your hair, he grabbed your chin instead—grinning as tears caught in the lines of your lashes. 

“I stand corrected,” he chuckled darkly before letting your upper body fall back onto the bed. 

“You’re more beautiful when you cry for me.”

Tasuku was an endurance monster, but you knew that even he had his limits. You noticed the way his thrusts became more erratic by the second, his mind on a one-track mind to spill himself into capitulation and nothing else. With what little strength you could manage, you reached a hand between your legs, desperately rubbing your clit for a closer glimpse at heaven. Your boyfriend whispered both the sweetest and filthiest words in your ear, which only served to help you reach the highs you both wanted to step into together. 

This time, Tasuku was the first to experience his reckoning—feeling the way he stilled, and the shudder that wracked his body as he swathed your insides with his come yet again. The hypersensitivity he’d planted in you reached its peak as well, and you came with a burst of colors exploding behind your eyelids. 

When reason washed you back ashore, you fluttered your eyes open—staring at the way your boyfriend heaved deep breaths beside you on the bed. His eyes were screwed shut, still relishing in the aftershocks of pleasure that rippled across his skin. With a shaky hand, you cupped his face tenderly; your thumb swiping across his skin with the lightest of touches.

“I feel like I should thank Tsumu for agitating you so much,” you joked. “Who knew that was all it took for you to fuck me silly.”

Tasuku cracked one eye open, sparing you a throaty laugh. “I still don’t forgive him for what he did, though.”

“You will.”

In lieu of a response, Tasuku draped the blanket that fell to the floor across your sweaty bodies—fluffing the pillows before he rested his head on top. You giggled, feeling giddy that he wordlessly decided not to go back to the dorms today.

“Won’t your director get worried?” You posited the question as your finger mapped the thrum of his pulse from his neck. “You have rehearsals tomorrow, right?”

Your boyfriend abruptly pulled you close, the heat of his sculpted chest permeating across your skin. Oh. Okay.

“I’m sure she won’t mind if I spend the night with my girlfriend," he chuckled, and that was the last thing you remembered before drifting off into slumber.