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Carmelinda decides to break the rules.

The moon shines proudly, the only light that guides her through the halls of castle Candy. She has memorized the guard rotations, there won’t be another patrol for another 10 minutes, still she walks fast, bare feet against the rugs of the hall. 

When she makes it to Lazuli’s door, she stares, heart hammering in her chest as she feels the first pangs of embarrassment, anxiety, regret- What was she thinking; disturbing Lazuli as she slept? If she was caught she’d not only have to face her mother’s wrath but the scathing eyes of court along side it. The scandal of being out of her rooms in the middle of the night was enough on its own; In front of her betrothed’s door? She might as well walk herself to the confessional booth before her mother could drag her by the ear.

Still she approaches, thoughts racing. What has she to lose? Dignity, respect, status- But she wants. She wants, and she wants and she wants-

Tentatively she reaches out to drum her knuckles against the peppermint wood. Before she can make contact, the door opens and she’s met with Lazuli’s knowing smile. The Mage reaches forward, gently wrapping long blue fingers around Carmelinda’s wrist and pulling her inside, the door clicking shut behind them. 

Books and texts, ancient scrolls, scattered across the room, littering nearly every flat surface, Carmelinda gasps as Lazuli crowds her against the door and presses their foreheads together. Blue eyes flutter shut, and she takes a deep breath as if breathing Carmelinda in. 

“I was hoping you’d come,” Carmelinda smiles, she should have known Lazuli had seen her arrival long before she had summoned the courage. 

She pulls her wrist from Lazuli’s grasp to intertwine their fingers, Lazuli squeezes gently bringing there clasped hands to her chest and then to her lips, pressing a gentle kiss to Carmelinda’s knuckles. 

The duchess’s breath hitches at the contact and Lazuli’s eyes open, boring into her own. 

Lazuli’s stare was piercing, it always had been. It felt as if she was gazing into Carmelinda’s very soul, weighing and watching. It made Carmelinda want to squirm and fidget with the attention. She didn’t think she could ever get enough.

Dark eyes glance at blue lips before meeting her gaze again, a silent question. The Archmage smiles and Carmelinda takes it as permission to tilt her head and press their lips together in a chaste kiss, had Lazuli stood at her full height she’d have to reach on her tip toes. 

They kissed once, and then again, and then deeper, Carmelinda’s free hand reaching to wrap around Lazuli’s shoulders, Lazuli’s finds it’s way to her hip, while their fingers still clasped together between their chests. Carmelinda’s heart soars, reveling in the attention, the way Lazuli’s fingers rest on her hip, pressing into her skin, how their fingers fit perfectly together.

They part to breath, Carmelinda’s pants matching with the beats of her heart,

“Laz..” she whispers her name breathlessly, looking up at Lazuli from under her lashes. At the exhale of her name Lazuli is on her again, pressing a deep kiss to her and then trailing down, mouthing at her jaw, Carmelinda stretches her neck, offering more of her skin to be cherished but Lazuli stops just below her ear, Carmelinda has to hold in a whine.

“Is this alright?” Lazuli whispers, practically breathing the words, before kissing at the side of her face, soft and sweet. 

Carmelinda flushes,

Yes . Yes, please, Laz,” she can feel the curl of Lazuli’s grin. The mage let’s go of her hand, Carmelinda both mourns and forgets the loss in a moment as Lazuli’s hands slide underneath her thighs. The rock candy woman lifts her up with ease, arms holding her secure. Carmelinda’s legs wrap around her waist, both arms winding themselves around her neck and they are kissing again. Lazuli walks backwards until the back of her legs reach the bed and she sits, settling Carmelinda in her lap. Her fingers rubbing circles into her sides, both of them wishing for the night gown to be out of the way.

Lazuli plants a kiss to the side of her mouth and Carmelinda resists chasing her mouth as blue lips trail down her neck, to her chest then shoulder. Carmelinda aches for Lazuli to leave a mark, a claim that she is promised and beloved and here . They can’t risk it, she knows that. She reaches down to pull the sleeve of her nightgown out of the way of Lazuli’s administrations, but to her chagrin the mage stops her, pulling her sleeve back where it belonged, pressing a kiss where skin and fabric met.

“We shouldn’t, your mother is already suspicious-“ 

Carmelinda bends to kiss her,

“To the hungry one with her,” she says it against her lips,

Lazuli pulls away to laugh, pulling Carmelinda against her. She buries her face into Carmelinda’s shoulder.

The duchess sighs, the sound of It rattles in her chest. She rests her chin atop Lazuli’s head, her fingers gently threading through her braids. She’s right, she knows she’s right. That doesn’t mean she can’t be unhappy about it.

“Three more months,” Lazuli muses into her skin, as if trying to console her. 

Carmelinda can’t help but pout. Outside, with anyone else, she is a Duchess, she is engaged and proper and well mannered. 

Here, right now, with Lazuli, she is frustrated, cursing every vein of noble blood in her body, duty and tradition rests heavy on both of their shoulders.

They sit together, basking in each other’s presence.

It’s Carmelinda who breaks the silence,

“What if we eloped?” She giggles at the absurdity of the statement and Lazuli pulls from her shoulder to look at her, one eyebrow raised, the side of her mouth twisted into a lopsided grin

“We could run away from it all, maybe go to the dairy islands? I’d suggest fructera but I don’t think it’d be good for your hair, too humid,” she pulls one long braid to her lips, smiling down at the Archmage.

“Of course, if you were set on Fructera I’d help you with it,”

“Of course,” Lazuli parrots as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world, Carmelinda’s smile only widens. 

“Well, do you see any futures where we make it?” She teases.

Lazuli humors her, closing her eyes as if to actually think about it, as if it was an actual option-

“One or two, but I’m afraid it’s too unlikely,”

Her eyes open, she doesn’t look Carmelinda in the eye.

“In the first we’re caught, your mother pushes the wedding further out, for ‘disipline’,” Lazuli’s distaste is plain in her tone, Carmelinda pulls a face to match.

“And the other?”

Lazuli’s fingers rub circles into her skin, the motion is soothing and Carmelinda relaxes against her fully.

“We manage it, we have a small orchard on the border of Fructera, candy apples.  it’s humble, but muddy,”

“I hate mud,” Carmelinda mumbles

“I know,” Lazuli answers looking up at her now, there is something somber in her eyes, something she’s not saying. 

“It’s too much of a risk though, the future is still so uncertain.” she finally decides on. Her eyes cloud and Carmelinda watches her get lost in her thoughts. 

Her eyebrows furrow, both hands reach up to cup Lazuli’s face.

She lays a kiss upon her forehead. Both thumbs swiping underneath her eyes, trying to pull her out of whatever haze she’s put herself into. She will not ask, when Lazuli is ready and sure she will tell her.

Lazuli sighs, her hands reaching to cover Carmelinda on her face, she breathes deeply, wishing she could forget what she sees. 

“I should go,” Carmelinda murmurs against her forehead, before kissing it again. 

Lazuli pulls her hands from her face and wraps them around her shoulders, wrapping her own arms around Carmelinda’s waist, holding her in place. 

“Cara, stay. Please?”

“I have lessons in the morning-“

“I’ll magick you back before morning then, they’ll never know” she grins, the melancholy twinge is still there, still holds tightly to Carmelinda’s heart. 

“That’s a rather irresponsible use of magick,” she shoots back, smile spreading,

“It’s worth it,” Lazuli says it with such reverence. Carmelinda wouldn’t have refused to begin with, but the added plea; she could never say no to her promised.

“Alright then, I’ll stay.” The risk is large, she would take it any day. 

They settle in Lazuli’s bed, pressed together, sharing kisses and talking until Carmelinda can feel the edges of sleep take her. 

She awakes in her own bed, a blue raspberry flower on the pillow beside her.