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there's nothing that can keep me from falling for you

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Brasidas didn’t let the phantom aches on his back stop him. Months have passed and he knew full well that the scars have healed long ago.

The patrols didn’t make it easy for him tonight, but Brasidas didn’t lose sleep to observe and plan for nights on end only for him to fail.

He did fail once. But the pain and humiliation under the whip weren’t new to him. The agoge saw to it, ingrained it in all the boys and soldiers under its program, and taught them to rise above it all in the face of bigger threats and challenges both inside and outside of Sparta’s borders. Either they succeeded or they died. Brasidas didn’t like it, but he’d learned to begrudgingly accept that Sparta’s bloody traditional training had kept him alive in war campaigns against Athens so far and will continue to do so, gods permit.

All the training in the world couldn’t have prepared him for the horror and guilt he’d seen settle over Kassandra’s features the day she discovered the fresh scars on his back. She’d fought the tears back. Replaced them with anger. With clenched teeth and white-knuckled fists at her sides, she’d just about stormed through Sparta in the middle of Hyakinthia to beat the bloody hell out of Brasidas’ commanders. It took all of Brasidas and her two younger brothers to stop Kassandra from stepping out of their home raging mad.

“You are my husband and I am your wife. I have it well within my rights to bash their noses into their skulls--”

“Kassandra, please--”

“They can’t do that, Brasidas! Let me go! They can’t just punish you for wanting to see your wife--”

“Yes, they can. I was caught trying to slip away from camp. I was rash, reckless, and that is punishable by military law. You know that.”

She struggled against their hold for as long as she could. Then her shoulders dropped. Helpless. Defeated. So unbecoming of his strong Kassandra it broke Brasidas’ heart. “It’s because of me…”

“No, Kassandra.” He turned her to face him. Had to shake her by the arms to get her to meet his eyes. “It was my fault, not yours. Never yours, my love. I swear to all the gods it shall be the last time I ever get caught. I swear to you , Kassandra. Nothing in this world will keep me from coming home to you.”

He’d kissed her then -- strong and true and full of emotion. A seal of his promise to her.

Spurred by the memory of Kassandra’s lips and the press of her body against his, Brasidas crouched further into the shadows. He watched with an eagle eye as the patrol yawned before turning the opposite direction, taking the light of his torch with him, giving Brasidas the chance to sprint with silent feet out of the barracks and into the streets of Sparta.

There were fewer guards in the streets, but he didn’t let that drop his defenses. He stuck to the shadows and the back alleys, controlled his breathing, and kept his senses alert for the slightest sounds and flicker of torchlight in his periphery. It was only when their house came into view did Brasidas let himself breathe in relief and only when he closed the door behind him did he let his muscles relax.

The shadows may have aided him outside, but the complete darkness in their home had Brasidas almost tumbling against furniture, almost tripping up the steps in his haste to reach their bedroom. Reach their bedroom he did, but his heart almost stopped in his chest at the sight of their marriage bed empty and devoid of Kassandra. 

“I like watching the stars.” She’d told him one night. His arm a willing pillow for her head as she gazed at the heavens. “I despise the gods for every moment we’re apart, but I pray they keep you safe too.”

A few long strides was all it took for Brasidas to reach the half-opened door to their balcony. He released the panicked breath he was holding when he saw the silhouette of Kassandra’s form amongst layers of furs and pillows. The furs from the wolves she’d hunted, the pillows a gift from him. To keep her comfortable beneath the stars even without him. 

Worry and exasperation filled him when he saw only the thinnest blanket protecting her from the elements. The thick, dark clouds that had been slowly creeping over Lakonia since sundown didn't assuage Brasidas' concern for his wife one bit.

"Kassandra." Her skin was cool under his touch and he had every intention of warming her back up once she woke. "My smart, beautiful, hard-headed wife. A storm is coming. What are you doing sleeping here when we have a perfectly comfortable bed inside?"

Brasidas' hand stroked her face and she stirred under his touch. In the dark of the night, he felt more than saw the pull of her cheeks and the tug of her lips as she smiled. Brasidas knew his words might as well have fallen on deaf ears.

"Brasidas," she breathed his name so softly from sleep, so sweetly with love it was nigh impossible for Brasidas to swallow the lump of adoration bubbling in his throat. "You're here."

"I'm here, my love. Let's get you back inside." He made a move to carry Kassandra indoors, but Kassandra's hands sliding up the skin of his arms rendered him slow, almost sluggish in his yearning for her. It was all the opportunity she needed to grab his chiton and yank him down to her, lips warm and welcoming beneath his. Brasidas groaned as he let himself be pulled on top of her, coaxed all too easily right between her parted thighs. Her touch had him melting, dropping most of his weight against her with only his forearms to stop him from completely crushing her. Brasidas felt the thrum of Kassandra’s satisfaction beneath him.

It took all his strength to break their kiss.

“Kassandra, we should--”

“I missed you.” She chased his lips, kissed down his jaw, his neck, nipping at skin with her teeth as she went. Her hands traveled down his chest before fumbling his belt loose. “I need you. Here. Now.”

Brasidas prided himself a sturdy man in terms of control and discipline. Firm with his convictions, level-headed in times of conflict. Under the demands of his wife, however, he was nothing but mush with a self-control she could very well throw over Taygetos herself. Kassandra knew exactly what she was doing. Brasidas felt the swipe of her tongue, the smirk on his skin as her hand brushed over his clothed erection in the midst of almost tearing his belt off of him. 

Brasidas groaned and ground his hips against hers, pressing his hardness against her heat. The fabric of their clothing separating them infuriated him, but Brasidas loathed to part from Kassandra long enough to tear them all off. Instead, he unfastened her peplos at the shoulders and pushed the fabric down to bundle around her waist, exposing her breasts to the cold of the night and the heat of Brasidas’ mouth. He reveled in the way she moaned and shivered beneath him.

Once Kassandra rid him of his smallclothes, his hands followed to do the same, pushing her skirt aside and unfastening her covers. A skilled hand guided his length to the fat pads of her cunt and Brasidas felt his knuckles whiten at how tight he fisted his hands on her already rumpled peplos to stop himself from coming then and there. She was so soft, so hot, so incredibly wet and ready for him.

“Brasidas,” Kassandra hissed. “Move.”

Brasidas kissed her in assent, pressing his tongue past her lips just as he plunged his length deep inside of her. There was nothing more delicious than them swallowing each other’s noises before Brasidas started a hurried, desperate pace. Kasssandra’s powerful legs helped press them all the more closer as she wrapped them around his waist. Where he ended and she started, Brasidas had difficulty telling at this point.

He had to breathe to stay sane. So he broke their kiss in exchange for a few quick breaths, only to have his stubbled chin brush against the sensitive skin of Kassandra’s neck. She flinched away and laughed. Brasidas would have focused on how much of an adorable reaction it was for some seconds if it weren’t for the fact it caused her walls to tighten and clamp around him further, once again punching the breath out of him.

“My love, that tickles.” She giggled, turning her head to kiss his jaw and the growing beard there.

If that was how she reacted to his three day old stubble, Brasidas only wondered the kind of delicious reactions he’d get from her with a full beard. A pity he’d have to take a knife to it again in the morning thanks to Spartan tradition only allowing men past their thirties to sport facial hair, but he was glad he’d foregone shaving it altogether before he visited her. Her reaction was a discovery he stored in his memory for now. One to be further explored in the life they had ahead of them together.

A few hard thrusts was all it took to replace Kassandra’s giggles with gasps of pleasure once again. Her nails dug into his clothed back, goading him for more. Brasidas didn’t even give her the chance to further voice her commands as he plowed her into the furs and pillows. Kassandra screamed into the night as Brasidas groaned and bit onto her shoulder as they came together, arms holding tight onto each other as their muscles faltered and spasmed.

They breathed and recovered from their high together until the first of Zeus’ lighting bolts pierced through the sky, briefly illuminating the darkness and allowing Brasidas to see Kassandra’s sated smile beneath him. Thunder followed and he pressed the softest kiss on her nose. Just because he could.

“Will you let me take you to bed now?”

Heavy droplets of water started to rain on them and Kassandra gave him another one of her infectious laughter. “Let’s.”

They stood with hands intertwined as if they’d be wasting the precious seconds they had together if they weren’t touching at all. Kassandra let her peplos fall to her feet, leaving it forgotten on the furs as they rushed back to the safety of their bedroom.

Brasidas hurried to light a brazier to keep them warm. He had every intention of tucking her back to bed like a good husband before he had to leave. He needed light for that. That, and he wanted to drink in all of Kassandra's glorious nakedness while he still could.

Kassandra had different plans, however.

She pushed him to sit on the bed and climbed onto his lap. Her hand found his cock, stroking it and thumbing at the tip to coax him into hardness once more.

“One more, Brasidas.” She breathed into his lips. “Once I’m with child, I can petition for more of your time at home. Your commanders won’t even get the chance to turn me away. I’d face the kings themselves if I have to, make the ephors listen. I’d-- hmm.

Brasidas crushed his lips against hers. He knew very well she’d do it, knew what she was capable of. Kassandra had the blood of kings and legends running through her veins, a storm brewing in the heart of Sparta herself, and gods, undeserving as he was of her, he just loved her so much .

Kassandra saw to his cloak and chiton flying across the room. He then pressed her further into him, grateful for the slide of her skin against his, their hips perfectly aligned so as to have her cunt dripping both her slick and his seed right onto his cock. Brasidas is once again awestruck at how they fit together so perfectly, at how Kassandra seemed to have read his mind as she impaled himself onto his cock until he was as deep as he could go inside of her. A small part of Brasidas hoped the thunderstorm drowned the loud noises they were both making, but a much bigger part of him couldn’t find it in himself to care. Let all of Sparta know Kassandra was his just as he was hers. That the gods made them perfect for each other. That Brasidas was home.

Kassandra called his name over and over, almost in time with the frantic bucking of her hips. Brasidas grasped at her ass, buried his face in the crook between her neck and her shoulders, where the smell of her sweat and skin were strongest, until his senses only knew Kassandra. He imprinted all of her into memory, to keep him company on the coldest of nights and to give him strength to brush off his fellow Spartiates’ advances and offers alike. She’d never fault him just as he’d never fault her should an intense need arise, but Brasidas knew at this point only Kassandra could love and hold him like no other.

Brasidas wanted her to know this too. That no other person in Hellas would pleasure her and know her body like he did.

His hand reached for the apex of her thighs. His thumb pressed and circled her hooded clit with just the right amount of pressure he knew she liked. He reveled in the way Kassandra’s moans turned into whines, breath shivering and muscles faltering in their rhythm under his touch. Brasidas’ other hand wandered, squeezing skin and worshipping muscles, all while he mouthed and suckled her breasts like a starved man.

Kasssandra’s orgasm caught her unawares, judging by the way she yelped, tugged at his hair enough to make his scalp sting, and the trembling of her thighs. Her walls clamped around him, spasming tight it was a wonder Brasidas didn’t come then and there just yet. He held her through it, content to mouth and nuzzle at every inch of skin he could reach as Kassandra rode out her high.

“Brasidas,” she breathed once she found her voice, peppering his head with little kisses as if to apologize for pulling his hair too hard. Her hand reached between them to cup his testicles. Hips undulated just enough to keep the head of his cock sliding in and out of her. “You too.”

“On your back?” Brasidas met her eyes, hoping to convey his love and devotion to her all in that one gaze. “I want you comfortable.”

Kassandra’s smile was dazzling even in the lowlight. Like his own little sunshine in the dark.

She did as he asked, laid comfortable on her back with her legs splayed wide as if to remind him not to keep her glistening cunt waiting. Pillows propped her head up enough to allow her to keep those honey brown eyes trained on him. Sex, for all her astounding stamina, always made Kassandra sleepy afterwards and Brasidas loved the heavy-lidded look she sent his way. This image of her alone would be enough to fuel him through the coming weeks.

Brasidas hooked an arm under her knee to spread her wider before spearing through her folds once more. He kissed her through it, almost soft and light, allowing them to moan against each other’s lips until Brasidas seated himself fully inside her.

As much as he could have taken advantage of Kassandra’s oversensitivity from her two very recent orgasms and have her shaking helplessly under him because of it, Brasidas settled for a slow roll of his hips against hers instead. The gentle motion gave him the illusion of time, made him think they had forever amidst the chaos outside of their home and the grim reminder that Brasidas had to leave her again soon. He relinquished his hold around her thigh to find her hands instead and intertwine their fingers together on either side of her head. Kassandra squeezed his hands just as tight.

Her eyes met his when he pulled away to gaze upon her. And how he’d gladly burn the world just to keep that languid smile on her face.

“Brasidas.”

“Kassandra.”

“You know you don’t have to keep that tight control on yourself when you’re alone with me, right?”

“How could I? You strip me bare of what little self-control I have around you.”

First, the lazy rise and fall of her thighs at his sides. Then, a strong nudge of her feet against his buttocks that pressed him hard inside of her mid-thrust.

“Prove it.”

A toothy grin from Brasidas. Almost the same as the one he’d had as the pining adolescent he used to be when Kassandra first accepted the flowers he’d picked especially for her in Hyakinthia. Brasidas, however, refused to cave. With a nuzzle of his cheek against hers and another momentary appreciation of her reaction towards his facial hair, Brasidas whispered the words into her ear: “I am. I’ve fallen into your trap once more when I should be on my way.”

Malaka, ” she growled. “Why are you still talking.”

Brasidas let Kassandra slip her hands from under his so she could grab his face and kiss him with something fierce. She bucked her hips up to coax the desperation out of him and Brasidas almost laughed at her usual impatience, but how could he when his own desire mirrored hers?

With the push of Kassandra’s tongue past his lips, Brasidas let himself melt and comply with her demands. He gathered his strength to his hips, foregoing speed in favor of pummeling his all into Kassandra’s core so she could feel it for days on end, so she could remember this night with every ache between her legs, remember how she let her husband defile her so sweetly and thoroughly. Kassandra rewarded him with an arch of her back and the press of her breasts against his chest.

A clap of thunder outside. A grunt of her name. Or of his undying love for her. Brasidas wasn’t sure of his words anymore.

“Yes, my love. Yes.

His thrusts became frantic and not soon after came the familiar clench in his gut. Brasidas knew Kassandra felt it too with how she was gasping and writhing beneath him.

“Brasidas. Brasidas, again, I’m--”

“Together, Kass.” He groaned, tasting sweat on her skin. “Come for me.”

Kassandra called his name in a whine and that was enough for Brasidas’ control to break like a dam while her walls tightened around him once more. Her arms around his neck were tight, the colors flashing beneath his lids too bright that Brasidas knew he would have collapsed then and there if he were anything less than a young, fully trained Spartiate. 

After their muscles relaxed and a few shaky breaths were exchanged, Kassandra gently urged Brasidas to lay on the bed beside her. He barely registered her soft laugh of amusement at his limp acquiescence and instead focused on how Kassandra threw her leg over his waist and wrapped her arm around his chest like a cocoon. Kisses trailed his nose and cheeks and jaw, avoiding Brasidas’ chasing lips as if they were playing tag. Brasidas let her have her fun, but after a gentle tug of his hand on her back, Kassandra’s lips were right where they belonged -- right on top of his.

After enough kisses were had and the fog in Brasidas’ head finally cleared, he untangled his limbs from Kassandra’s with a heavy heart but firm determination. The silence of the night outside was his signal to leave. “Kassandra, I have to go. Before the storm worsens.”

Veiled disappointment, but Kassandra acquiesced with a slow release of her hold on him and a small nod. She made a move as if to stand and help Brasidas with his clothes, but Brasidas stopped her with a gentle squeeze on her shoulders and a peck on her forehead. “Stay. Go back to sleep.”

Eyes followed him from across the room as he dressed, as if trying to take in as much of him as possible in the limited time. Kassandra’s lids were heavy with sleep and Brasidas couldn’t help but smile as she attempted so badly to fight off Hypnos with a few shakes of her head. She was more stubborn than he was.

“Can’t you stay for a while? Keep your seed inside of me longer?” Her voice broke the silence between them, fingers dipping between her folds and making a show out of it that Brasidas was sure the sight would have made him hard again if Kassandra didn’t do her best to milk him twice already. Oh, how devious she was.

But Brasidas was anything but incapable of keeping up with her mischief.

“Where do you keep the gift Anais gave you?”

He saw the glimmer in her eyes as she sent him another one of those amused smiles that let him know she liked his idea very much.

“Under the bed.”

A box was right where she told him it would be. Opening it, Brasidas took out the olisbos it held. He let the leather warm in his hand first as he busied his lips, distracting Kassandra with another kiss. Once ready, Brasidas pressed the olisbos into Kassandra’s dripping hole, slow and steady to let her feel every inch of it as she spread her legs wider in welcome. There was a roll of her hips and Brasidas reveled in the way a long sigh escaped her lips and into their kiss. Kassandra hummed in contentment and satisfaction when the entirety of the olisbos nestled within her and the flared base rested against her entrance.

Brasidas resisted the urge to move the object and elicit more of those sounds from his wife. Some other time, he convinced himself. “Stay out of trouble, Kassandra.”

“Be careful.” Kassandra’s hands ran over his back, right where his scars were under his clothes. “Please.”

“I will, my heart.” Brasidas sent another smile her way before rising to his feet and turning to leave.

He refused to say goodbye. Kassandra was his home, and the displaced could always find their way home, after all. No matter how long it took.