Like a lot of things in Gerri’s childhood, the hot asphalt she and her brother walked barefoot on had usefully toughened her exterior. Each summer the blistering tarmac rough on their soles, forcing their skin to harden or suffer as they hopped like white throated sparrows between the burning blacktop and the cool but prickly scrub of the shoulder. By the time she was a teenager Gerri’s feet were so calloused that not much got in her way. She could practically walk across broken glass. Or hot coals.
Gerri Kellman has always relied upon her own locomotion.
Roman Roy’s feet are soft and pale all over, despite his penchant for wandering sans footwear through the gilded cages he’s kept in. There has always been a carpet to cushion him, or ancient flagstones worn edgeless by centuries of more tangibly working people chasing after the whims of his maternal ancestors. He rarely walks any meaningful distance outdoors, is driven from palace to plane and back again, and when he casually displays the bottoms of his handmade shoes they are usually as unblemished as if fitted that morning, having never had the opportunity to scuff. On the occasions he steps on something uncomfortable, he makes such a fuss about how delicate his feet are that Gerri almost can’t look at him.
Until she does.
Roman having a foot kink was unsurprising, he practically had a neon sign above him, and Gerri had met enough important men in her time to not expend the energy pretending to clutch her pearls over the handful of predictable proclivities that power and money seemed to inject straight into their libidos. Even surrounded by those same men Roman somehow falsely believed his tastes made him a disgusting outlier, but Gerri was just relieved they were legal.
What she didn’t expect about Roman’s ‘foot thing’ was the eventual direction of travel.
After Tern Haven they started having working dinners. Usually at her place. They strategised about Eduard, and taking Waystar private, and because it seemed to be synergistically appropriate, Gerri let Roman touch her feet. Of course he wanted to massage her toes, lick her arches, to be stepped on, fellate her stiletto while he knelt on the floor of her apartment, and the pantyhose variable was a given, but it was after dinner one night when she found herself in territory uncharted.
The glass is thankfully empty when he knocks it off the counter and smashes it across her kitchen floor, and Gerri doesn’t think twice about it but Roman freezes as a fleeting glimpse of terror passes over his face, his shoulders rise and he’s searching her in a panic for something, and an entire second before she realises why, it’s already too late. She’s frowned at him - only with confusion - but she’s activated the flight part of his instinct and he takes a step back right on to a large and gleaming shard.
“Rome!” She grabs his elbow to stop him retreating further into the array of jagged pieces.
“Fuck!” He looks down at his already bleeding foot, spell broken, “Shit, sorry. I didn’t mean to.”
He meets her eyes again, and Gerri squeezes his bicep and smiles as reassuringly as she can. His face relaxes and he breathes out. She lets go,
“I know. But stay still before you turn my kitchen into a crime scene?”
He lets out a relieved giggle, and twists to boost himself up on to the counter, helpfully out of the debris. Gerri passes him a paper towel and then picks her way across the floor to the cupboard containing the dustpan and makes quick work of the initial sweep, then follows with the hand vacuum.
“How bad is it?” she glances at him, already thinking of first aid logistics while she scans the floor for any pieces she missed.
“Superficial,” he dabs at his bleeding foot and replies with a shrug, “Nothing a Band-Aid and a kiss won’t fix.”
Gerri laughs, still scanning the floor, entirely in jest, “Sure. You want me play with your piggies while I’m down there?”
And when Roman doesn’t reply, she looks up to find him for the second time that night with a peculiar expression. This instance she makes sure to analyse it before she reacts.
“Roman,” she tilts her head, watches the flush bloom on his cheek as his eyes dart around the room, “Are you…blushing?”
“No, shut up. Maybe, I don’t know. No.”
She waits him out, and eventually his gaze returns to her, and it’s Gerri being studied,
“What, no further mockery? Roman Roy, I knew you were a filthy little foot licker but this is sick even for you?”
Gerri blinks, impassive. He’ll reveal himself fully if she’s silent long enough. He stares at her for an interminable second before he caves,
“As if the stone cold killer bitch would ever lower herself to care about my disgusting feet, yeah yeah - direct me to your fucking Neosporin and finish your Betty Crocker activities already.”
“Betty homemaker,” she corrects automatically, mulling over his indirect request.
He’s watching her closely, tracking her decision-making process as best he can. He’s still learning.
“Okay,” she straightens up, and he mirrors her in surprise.
“Okaaaay what?” His face is hopeful but his voice small and uncertain, ready to curl into denial if he’s read her incorrectly.
“Hop to the couch. Now. And I’m being literal, Roman, if you get blood on anything I won’t invite you back.”
It’s bullshit, but it adds to the flavour.
The look he’s giving her is not the raw desire of Tern Haven, though that lustful undercurrent remains strong - there’s something new there, something even more vulnerable. Supple and untested, like the skin on his soles. Gerri files it away to examine later.
When she returns from the bathroom with a warm washcloth and her little first aid kit he is awkwardly half on her couch, his no longer bleeding foot propped on her coffee table like she often does when watching television, although Roman doesn’t know that.
Gerri sits a calculated distance away on her L shaped couch, a right angle exactly as far as the length of Roman’s legs. She efficiently unzips the little bifold bag, exposing its orderly tools and packages, resting a finger on each item she’ll require. Feeling the weight of his rapt attention. He can’t see the shape of the game yet, and she knows that excites him maybe more than the actual playing. Gerri never really knows the shape either, until she’s already winning.
She looks up at him finally and pats her lap in a no nonsense way, channeling the starched school nurse who used to travel between classrooms in her county. Roman swivels without a word, and his foot lands so tentatively she almost smiles, doubles down on the brusqueness in compensation,
“Both of them! Chop chop!”
He settles himself after that, leaning back against the cushions, and she neatly rolls up his pants leg on the offending side and grasps his ankle, lifts, running her fingers over the area as though checking for further injury. She hears his breath hitch, but ignores it. Perhaps she should’ve put some disposable gloves on, although he’s never shown an inclination for rubber. But her touching him like this, skin to skin, not a passive participant in his touching of her (always with clothes on, never between the knee and the neck, never any kissing, absolutely not) - it’s rare enough that she finds she’s enjoying it.
And now she can feel that Roman’s feet are as baby soft as they look. They would fry if she held them to the fire. Gerri drags a nail along his instep, testing to see if he can suppress the urge to squirm. His whole body shudders and he gasps, but his foot remains still in her grip, and does not kick in response. He is willingly captive. And it sends a thrill through her. She’s seen Roman’s literal belly but once during the shirts off experience, but Gerri knows there are many pliant parts of a man into which one might sink their metaphorical teeth. She drags her nail across him again, sharper. Roman makes a little Nnnn sound and grinds his other heel into Gerri’s lap in his efforts to be obedient, and - oh.
The pressure on her pubic mound, it’s-
She can already sense her failure to conceal before she looks up, but Gerri’s always been curious, so she doesn’t shy away. Roman brings it out in her. His face is pink and wanting as predicted, but now it’s also a little smug.
“Gerri,” he breathes, and presses his heel into her again.
And maybe there was too much wine with dinner but she doesn’t stop him. She can see his dick twitching to life through his trousers, and the spasm of his cheek as he realises she’s observing.
“Clumsy,” she tuts, and picks up the wash cloth, starts wiping the blood from between his toes.
“Yeah, can’t take me anywhere,” Roman whispers, and Gerri wipes him down with more tenderness than she planned, before temporarily resting his injured foot on her thigh so she can extract q-tips, antiseptic, and a Band-Aid from her arsenal.
Roman’s other foot is still pushed into her crotch, and he wiggles his toes against her stomach like he’s beckoning her closer. Gerri raises an eyebrow, and relaxes her thighs a bit, some breathing room for her knees inside her worn all day pencil skirt, and if his other foot happens to drop down a little, align more with some parts of her…
Some girls learn to masturbate with a pillow or stuffed toy, the animal impulse driving them to rut against their comfort object, some girls learn with their fingers, or a detachable shower head. Some girls learn that if you tuck your leg underneath you just right, and rock steady against your own heel…
Some girls find out a very long time later that it doesn’t have to be your own heel.
By the time Gerri finishes applying the Neosporin and Band-Aid, Roman is concentrating more on his other foot where it’s now firmly wedged, flexing against her groin. Every movement from him is building the tension, she can feel the stimulating rub of her underwear enhanced by the push of his heel. It’s juvenile but it’s working, she knows her temperature is rising, her heart beating faster, the urge to push back growing stronger, but no matter how good it feels she cannot let him have this. This power over her. That’s not how she wins the game.
“All done,” she declares abruptly, putting his foot back down, and it’s like he exits a hypnotic state, his eyes back on hers as they slowly refocus.
Roman’s attention dips down to her mouth, and then to his injured foot, still cradled in her hands.
“Forgetting something?” The hint of a smirk.
He grinds his other heel into her crotch again, and the distant roll of pleasure is still there, it calls her to chase the friction, and Gerri’s back arches just enough for Roman to zero in on the slight rise of her chest. The smirk slides off his face as he sucks in oxygen, wets his lips. Looks desperately up into her eyes.
She nods, just a subtle incline but a well practiced one now, and Roman is unbuckling his pants and shoving his hands inside without breaking eye contact. She does enjoy this bit. His undoing. Only this time it’s different because his heel is still against her, foot moving and he’s sending those muted little pulses through her cunt in a way that will finish her if she doesn’t finish him first. He’s babbling now as he jerks himself, he sometimes does.
“You like…that?” His foot still working in her lap, “I could, Gerri I could - fuck it - I want to do something for you. I could try.”
It’s arousing, she can’t deny it. This offer to even the score. It wouldn’t even really count as touching if he didn’t use his hands. A part of her very much wants to accept and she can see a version of the future where Roman’s heel grinds her cunt to orgasm and her sanity into a fine powder, and in which she can never again be entirely comfortable when he takes his socks off. But instead Gerri arches her back in a more exaggerated way, blouse stretched across her breasts, threatening buttons, and Roman instantly returns to his hypnotic state. She really does enjoy this, loves to watch his world shrink down to the space between each stroke of his hand, nothing but the sound of her voice to guide him through his twisted subconscious.
It’s not just feet. She’s read all the neon signs above Roman’s perverted little head, knows where he’d die to put his mouth, and to have hers. Knows he even longs to put his cock in her, though the potential results of that particular hypothetical must remain opaque to both of them.
His foot in her lap stops moving, the balance of power is restored. But there’s a little sliver of disappointment. There’s also guilt about him bleeding for her careless frown, and there’s a piece of this game left on the board that could look like an apology if you viewed it under the right light.
Gerri lifts Roman’s injured foot one more time, waits until all of his attention is on the distance from her mouth to his toes, and caresses his fragile skin without hurry, from his ankle all the way to the tip,
“Gerri will kiss it better,” she murmurs, soothing, and doesn’t hide her amusement at his undignified squeak, and when her lips finally touch the ball of his foot just below the Band-Aid, Roman comes.