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Black Butler One-Shot Collection

Chapter Text

Just another day, you thought. Your arms already ached from the weight of your work folder and you were so bored of trudging around the school campus to get to various classes. You took several of them to earn more credits, but there was always one class that you could look forward to...and you were on your way there now. The breeze rustled the trees as you walked, lugging your heavy paperwork with you. You were glad that you weren't carrying a multitude of books instead, because the pages would have been all over the place. 

You shifted your folder into the crook of one arm and took your phone out of your pocket to check the time. Your eyes grew wide with horror as you realised that you were still a long way from the building that you had to be in for your next class, and you only had two minutes to get there. You were in trouble and you knew it. Feeling the panic beginning to settle in, you broke into a jog and started to run towards the right building.

You reached the building in enough time to get you to your classroom, but it was on the third floor. You weren't going to chance taking the elevator, in case someone got in with you and wanted to go to a different floor--delaying you--or in case it broke down and you got stuck for an hour, or...or...

"Oof..!" you gasped, dropping to your knees. You hadn't realised straight away what had happened, but as soon as your mind began to make sense of the situation you heard yourself apologising over and over again to someone. You looked up at them and knew instantly that you had run straight into them at the top of the stairs. Your folder had fallen from your arms and had popped open, spewing papers and sheets everywhere across the landing. You shook your head in disbelief, knowing then that there was no way that you were going to make it to class in time...

It was your favourite teacher this time, too...

As you absentmindedly began to collect up all of your papers from the floor--the other student who you'd bumped into didn't even say anything to acknowledge your apology for colliding with them, and they certainly didn't stick around to help you in your little crisis--you thought about this favourite teacher of yours. You had never wanted to disappoint him with anything, and had always wanted to impress him somehow. He could be quite severe and very strict at the best of times, but God was he good-looking. His suave mode of conduct, his sleek appearance including the way he dressed and the way he groomed himself, and his deep, velvety voice was enough to make any girl swoon over him. But you could tell that this intelligent man was not one to go for just any woman. He seemed to be the type to be very particular about everything.

You picked up the last sheet of paper and slotted it into your folder with a sigh. Professor Michaelis was going to be so pissed off by your lateness. You didn't know if you even dared to show your face there today...You had been present the last time he had dealt with a student who showed up to his lesson late. They had truly been subject to his wrath...They'd even dropped out of his class because they were so afraid of him after being reprimanded like that...

Walking with dread in your heart towards the classroom, you then put your hand on the door handle and went inside. Immediately all eyes were on you...Including a pair of piercing, bespectacled amber-red ones.

You didn't say anything but lowered your head in shame. There were several of your classmates who would have liked to put their hands together in prayer for you, fully expecting you to lose your head or something along those lines for turning up late. In truth, there were only two reasons that compelled you to go to class after the little debacle outside, and they were that you couldn't afford to miss any content, and you wanted to see the Professor's gorgeous face...It raised your spirits every day that you saw him.

"And what do you have to say for yourself?" growled the professor, freezing you in an icy stare. He didn't look angry, per se, but he certainly didn't look pleased. In addition to the chilling gaze that he regarded you with, you felt sure that there was a draft blowing through the room. You didn't know what to do, so you traced a small shape on the carpet with the tip of your shoe.

"I-I'm sorry, Professor," you stuttered. "I crashed into someone in the hallway and--,"

"Sit down," he said bluntly, clearly not in the mood to listen to your excuse. You were surprised, though. You had been mentally--and physically--preparing yourself for a verbal attack from him for your late arrival, but there was nothing. He just seemed to let it go over his head.

But you knew better than to believe that. You apprehensively took your seat and took your notebook and pen out of your backpack. You listened carefully as the professor continued with his lecture, but as soon as you looked up from what you were frantically scribbling in your book, you met his gaze and were frozen yet again. He had been watching you while you took notes, and you didn't know why. Perhaps he was contemplating how to punish you. You knew that he knew, though, that you would never drop out of his class. You enjoyed this subject, and you weren't going to give it up just because he might decide to shout at you later.

"...and I want you to start making comparisons, centred chiefly on the theme of conflict, between this poem and this novel..." you heard him say. He was facing the board, now, writing something up for you and your classmates to copy down. You sighed quietly; you were all aged twenty to twenty three years old, you knew for a fact, and yet that didn't mean that taking classes was any easier. You wished that sometimes the professors would give you a little more information to go on, but you were glad of Professor Michaelis' contributions to your lessons.

"Psst..." You heard someone trying to get someone else's attention from behind you. Your curiosity piqued, you turned around slightly to glance over your shoulder and saw one of the boys in your class trying to call to you as quietly as possible. You frowned at him, thinking him very careless and inconsiderate indeed for doing this, something that could get you into even more trouble than you were undoubtedly already in.

"What?" you hissed, glaring at him now. You knew him to be one of a group of lads who seemed to enjoy catcalling you whenever they saw you walk by on campus. He grinned at you; you had to admit that he was probably the better looking one of his friends, but that didn't stop you from being cross that he was moments away from getting you into more mischief.

"What poem and novel are we meant to be looking at?" he whispered. You had no idea how he'd managed to whisper such a long sentence without being heard, but that didn't matter. You had a distinct feeling that you were the one who was going to get caught. You shook your head; you were all working towards a degree of some description...He shouldn't have been behaving as though he was still in compulsory education.

You rolled your eyes and whispered back, "The Charge of the Light Brigade..." you said first, then checked back at the front to make sure that the professor wasn't listening to you. He didn't seem to be, so you turned back to the guy, Nathan. "...and Of Mice and Men,"

"How the Hell are we supposed to compare those?!"

"I don't know, you should work that out on your own!"

Nathan smirked at you and winked. "Thanks though...babe," he whispered, leaning back into his chair. You sighed and looked back to the front, and your heart leaped into your throat and ceased to beat. Michaelis was staring at you with a terrifyingly emotionless expression. The chill that ran down your spine was awful, too.

"See me after class," he said, in an equally deadpan tone of voice. You were having a positively horrendous day...You nodded dejectedly.

The lesson seemed to drag by after that. You wanted so badly to maintain your grades and good reputation, especially in this class, that you were now deeply worried about the repercussions of your response to Nathan's distraction and your own lateness that day. When the hour did finally expire, you looked up at the clock and sighed. Everyone was standing up, packing their bags and leaving the room. You stayed put, doing as you had been told by Professor Michaelis. By the end of the lesson, he was sitting at his desk at the front of the room, writing something or other, and he didn't even look up when people started to head out. You reluctantly stood and approached his desk, wondering what he was going to say to you.

There was deathly silence for a moment, and not even the sound of his pen on the papers he was marking--you could see what he was doing from your new, shorter distance to him--could be heard in the quiet room. You didn't dare be the one to speak first, and so by the time he finally looked up you were almost trembling in your nervousness. Was he going to strike your name off his register? Kick you out of his class? You didn't want to think about the seemingly endless possibilities...

"So," he said slowly, running his gaze over you. You attempted to steel yourself against this intense, burning sensation of being watched by him. "My first question to you is again, why were you late?" His voice was so low that you almost didn't hear him, but its vibrations made your entire body and soul tingle.

"I ran into someone outside the classroom and my papers went everywhere..." you told him, trying your best not to meet his eye. You felt like a naughty schoolchild being told off. "I was already running late because the professor in my last class kept us back to talk to us about an event that he wants us all to help out with..."

He nodded slowly and rose to his feet. He was much, much taller than you and you wondered why he had seen fit to stand. He made a small noise of dissatisfaction, then proceeded with his interrogation of you. "And why were you talking in class?"

"Nathan asked me which poem and novel you wanted us to look at..."

"He should know that already," he growled in response. "So why did you go out of your way to help him?"

"I don't know...I like to be helpful, I guess..." you said weakly, shrugging your shoulders and still desperately trying not to look at him. You couldn't think of a single way to make your excuses sound better, so it all just came out sounding ridiculously limp. Just as you began to busy yourself with something incredibly fascinating on the carpet, you were suddenly shocked back to reality by Mr. Michaelis standing right next to you. "Wh-what...?!" you stammered, becoming obviously flustered as he cupped your chin and tilted your face up to look at him.

"I would prefer it if you would look at me while I am talking to you..." he growled, in a dangerously barbed tone of voice. You wondered--again--what he was going to do to you. The way he was looking at you now suggested that he really was going to kick you out of his class. It terrified you to think that you would lose out on this subject that you enjoyed so much...

"S-sorry..."

He smirked and uttered a low chuckle. "I thought that you were more passionate than this. Perhaps I was mistaken..."

"What do you mean, Professor?"

"Don't call me that..." he thought quietly, willing himself to stay calm. He couldn't scold you if you were being cute like that... "I expected better of you as my favourite student. I rely on you every day to set an example for the rest of those clowns,"

"F-favourite...? You rely on me...?" you parroted, even more curious about his behaviour now. He smirked again, letting go of your chin.

"Yes. Is there a problem with that?" he murmured, coming even closer to you. Your body was on fire with how flustered he was rendering you, and there seemed to be some kind of electrical impulse between you both as he stood near to you, almost like a kind of non-physical static. He was so attractive, you wouldn't have been surprised if it was simply the enormous crush you had on him that made you feel so warm around him.

"N-no...I'm flattered..." you mumbled, unsure of where to look now. He towered over you, and you didn't know what would happen if you looked into his eyes.

"Good. This should make punishing you for your misdemeanours today much easier,"

You looked up at him then, and saw that he had removed his glasses and was now polishing the lenses with his tie. You didn't have a chance to say anything, though, because he let them drop and hang around his neck by the small chain attached to them.

"Professor..." you murmured, wondering what on Earth he was doing as he leaned in closer to you, backing you up against his desk. You would have backed away in a different direction had he not seemed to have herded you this way. You felt the hard, oak furniture against the backs of your legs. Your body temperature was rising and your heart was beginning to pound, your breathing quickening as you wanted desperately to know what he was doing. Your eyes discreetly scanned him for signs of his intentions, but all you could focus on was how strong and toned he looked in that suit.

He didn't say anything now, but his body was almost pressed up against yours. There was nowhere for you to go but you didn't care. His actions suggested to you exactly what he was about to do, and you were correct in the way you read him. He came in quickly and without warning, and pressed to your lips the hottest, deepest, most passionate kiss that you had ever received. Your entire body grew weak and you grabbed his jacket for support. He chuckled quietly--and with great satisfaction, it should be noted--against your soft, rosy lips and gently bit the lower one.  

"I know that you wanted that..." he muttered, holding your hips with both hands. You wanted to nod, to do anything to indicate to him the desire that he had unleashed in your body, but you simply couldn't. What if you got caught...? "We won't get caught unless you tell people about it..." he growled, reading your mind. Your expression apparently told him all about your surprise at his knowing your thoughts, and he just smirked again, leaning in for another kiss.

"Mmf..." You uttered a little noise to tell him that you greatly approved of what he was doing. It only served to make him kiss you harder, growing faster as he went. You made the mistake, however, of parting your lips a little and he slipped his tongue inside your mouth to caress yours. The slick, soft muscle explored your mouth thoroughly, not letting up until he was confident that you were putty in his hands. Which you were. Your lips parted and a silver thread of saliva connected your lips for the briefest period of time. His red eyes bore into your (E/C) ones and in them, you read his own thoughts.

"I'm going to punish you and you are going to like it..." he purred next to your ear, just before kissing your cheek and then nipping at your earlobe. You moaned as he did all of this, and then again--louder--as he manipulated your body under his fingertips. His hand slowly slid up your shirt until it almost touched your breast. You squirmed slightly, thoughts consumed by him and your consideration of the fact that his seduction of you had been so sudden that it only made it all the more arousing.

"Oh, you are a wanton little she-devil, aren't you?" he whispered, slipping his fingers gently and slowly into your bra. You whimpered as he massaged your breast, toying with the nipple every now and again as he worked you with his hands. He was good...You had never in your wildest dreams imagined that he would be like this, let alone with you. It was so bad...A professor and a student. It wasn't allowed, not even slightly...The thought of it nearly set your body on fire.  "I've been watching you for a while now...Do you know how badly I've wanted an excuse to do this with you...?"

You couldn't say anything, but you responded instead by wrapping your arms around his neck. He seemed to appreciate this and kissed your neck over and over again, before lifting you up and allowing you to wrap your legs around his body.

"Professor..." you finally managed to mutter as he kissed your throat. He looked at you with a new expression, and his eyes flashed a different colour. That told you all that you needed to know about him, but you didn't care. In just a few short minutes, he had managed to inflame your infatuation with him to blazing desire.

"Call me Sebastian..." he growled. You knew that this probably wasn't his real name, but that was alright. You would go along with whatever he wanted at this point. And that was just what was about to happen, as soon as you called his name.

"Sebastian..." you cried, voice reduced to a breathy whisper. His roaming hands moved up and down your back, coming down over your hips and then finding their way to your legs. He smirked against your lips and put you back on the floor, before turning you around and slowly, alluringly, running his hands up your legs until he came to the hem of your skirt. You whined at his touch, and it did exactly what you hoped it would. You heard rustling behind you and the metallic tinkling of a belt being unfastened, and then suddenly all sounds were replaced by feelings and sensations. He pushed your underwear aside and thrust himself inside you without hesitation.

"Ahh...!" you cried, hearing him release a deep breath that he had apparently been holding for a while. He was very well-equipped, and he stretched you so much that you could only feel the greatest pleasure. Even though you knew what he was, you were surprised to feel him staying still. You wiggled your hips ever so slightly, ready to beg him for what he could give you.

He held you still with a strong hand, keeping the other on your hip. "Stop it, or I'll..." he muttered, doing his best to stay still. If he went too fast he'd spend. You were everything he wanted, and everything he had wanted since meeting you. You were even more phenomenal than he had imagined. Unable to wait any longer, Sebastian threw caution to the wind and began driving himself into you, hitting your sweet spot over and over again. You cried out with ecstasy, hearing skin hitting skin over and over again. It wasn't long before your mind was ready to go almost completely blank.

"Sebastian..." you whined, over and over again. He made a little noise of satisfaction as you called his name, slamming himself into you harder each time you did so. It occurred to him that he was rewarding you more than punishing you, but he didn't care anymore. He was getting what he wanted too. The more he concentrated on what he was doing to you, and the fact that you were letting him, the closer it brought him to the edge. Finally, without realising that he was so close, he spilled his hot, sticky seed inside you and dragged you over the edge with him.

Pulling out of you, he allowed you to sort yourself out while he did the same for himself. He glanced at you and smiled, still cheekily but softer than before. His breathing was slowly returning to normal, as was yours. "Consider that a warning," he said gently, winking at you.

Your heart pounded hard in your chest and you smiled shyly at him now. You wanted to hug him, to be near him again, but you didn't know where you stood with him now. "Why did you...?"

"Because I like you," he replied instantly. He straightened his tie and his jacket before placing his glasses back on his nose. "A lot," he added.

You tried not to make a sound as you squirmed happily at his words. You liked him too, but you were sure that he already knew that.

"I know that I do not have to tell you this, but keep this to yourself," he told you, clearly nervous despite his trust in you. You thought it was sweet that a being like him, and such a suave, confident one at that, could be made to feel nervous like this. It was quite endearing.

"I will..." you whispered, nodding resolutely. You walked up to him and touched his hand, but he pulled you into a warm embrace. It was a much better response than what you had been expecting, but when you thought about it you realised that you didn't really know what you'd expected him to do.

"Your detentions will continue indefinitely," he murmured to you, grinning as he rested his cheek against the top of your head. "Oh...and make sure you tell me the next time that those boys harass you..."

You smiled as well. "Yes, sir,"

Chapter Text

The latch clicked as the door closed, symbolising your solitude and the beginning of the time that you could take for yourself. It had been a long, gruelling day and all you wanted was to wind down and relax. As much as you enjoyed working here, at the Phantomhive Estate, you couldn't deny that you were run ragged and worked to the bone. Especially when your master's fiancée, Lady Elizabeth, was there. It was absolutely exhausting. You were very fond of her, though.

You allowed yourself a deep sigh, feeling the tension leaving your body as the air left your lungs. The gentle sound of rushing water pouring from the bath taps worked wonders in soothing you, and the heat from that water stroked your face and brought a warm, rosy blush to your cheeks. You closed your eyes and let your (H/C) hair out of the neat style that you had it in, and removed your lace headband. You placed your hair accessories beside the basin and began to remove your clothes.

You hung your--still pristine--white apron on one of the hangers on the wall and then removed your boots, leaving them underneath the now hanging apron. You removed your black stockings, carefully slotting them into your boots for safekeeping and so that everything was in one place. You took off your dress, feeling the steam caressing your almost completely exposed body as you did so. You hung the dark blue dress--it was the same colour as Mey-Rin's for the sake of creating some kind of uniform for you both, the Phantomhive housemaids--on a coat hook next to your apron and then proceeded to unfasten your stark white corset. The laces were long but still very fiddly, and your fingers battled with said laces for a few minutes before finally you felt the garment beginning to loosen. You removed it from your body and the steam was like a warm breath tickling your chest. It was almost time to climb into the bath; with steam this warm, you knew that the water was almost at your preferred temperature.

Looking at the bathwater then back at your hanging clothes, you put your hand in your apron pocket and rummaged around a little, looking for something that you knew you had in there. You had found some lovely, fragrant flowers in the garden earlier on in the day and you had picked a few, knowing that you would be able to put them to good use later on. You had also brought one of the two bars of fruit-scented soap that Mey-Rin had given to you for your birthday a couple of months earlier--you had been waiting for a good time to use it, and now that your muscles were sorer than they had been in a long time you thought that now was a very good time indeed. You took the flowers and bar of soap from your apron pocket and walked over to the bath, leaning over the water and receiving a warm blast of steamy air as you did so.

You breathed in deeply the familiar, soothing smell of the warm bathroom and set about making the bath just the way you wanted it. In went the bar of soap, first. If you let the bar soak in the bath water a little, you knew that it would make a few bubbles and also add the cleansing properties of the soap to the water. Later, when you were actually in the bath yourself, you would fish around in the water for what was left of the soap and use it to wash your body, and you knew that if you rubbed it between your hands you would be able to achieve a lather thick enough to wash your hair. Next, in went the flowers. You stripped the little heads of their petals--feeling a little bad about it--and let them float on the water's surface. They looked lovely, dancing around on the water like that. They reminded you of water lilies, or all of the pictures that you had ever seen of pretty lotus flowers, even though these little ones were yellow and not pink or purple.

"Very pretty..." you murmured to yourself, almost becoming desperate to get into the bath to begin your long, well-deserved soak. Even though this was the servants' bathroom, the bathtub was incredibly large and much more luxurious than anything you had ever seen offered to servants before; you considered your master to be very generous.

You stood up straight and removed the remainder of your underwear, your short--rather saucy--lace and cotton bloomers. You placed them in a neat pile with your corset just beside your boots, and then returned to the bath, turned off the taps and climbed in. The water was hot but that was good; it was purifying and it also meant that even if you spent a long time in the bath you wouldn't end up sitting in a tub full of cold water. The steam was visible to you now, and the room was filled with the hot, white mist. You sat down in the bath, sighing as you did so, before sliding down deeper into the water so that only your head was above the surface.

There you stayed for several minutes, soaking and enjoying the gentle lapping of the bathwater against your jaw and the way it seemed to embrace and accommodate your aching form. Before you knew it, you were slipping into a blissful slumber, napping lightly in the hot water.

-

You were suddenly awakened by an odd sound. Your eyes searched the room quickly for the source of the noise, and when you saw nothing you shifted slightly in the water to look behind you, at the door. To your surprise and absolute shock, someone was now in the room with you. You let out a tiny yelp of surprise and embarrassment, and slid down even further into the bath in an effort to hide your body from them.

"Oh...! Miss (F/N), I did not realise that you were in here. I do apologise," said the interloper. You cringed a little and wanted to slap yourself; you had forgotten to lock the door when you came in. And now here was Sebastian, stood in the bathroom looking absolutely mortified by his own intrusion. Not only that, but you had the biggest crush on him. That made things infinitely worse.

Everything that occurred to you thenceforth only served to make the natural, heat-induced blush in your cheeks intensify and spread to your entire body. You were convinced that your humiliation was going to make the water boil around you. The first thing you noticed was how Sebastian was holding towels--you dragged your eyes away from him to look at the towel rail and saw that there were none there.

"What kind of idiot walks into such a heavily frequented bathroom, forgets to lock the door and gets into a bath without checking for towels...?" you thought angrily to yourself. You couldn't believe that you had done all of this. Getting into a bath without checking for towels was like going to the toilet without checking for toilet paper.

"Th-that's alright..." you stuttered, praying to all compassionate deities in the known universe that he couldn't see anything other than your head.

He nodded and his black hair swished about his face. You loved it when he did that; your body heated up even more as you watched him. The second thing that you had noticed was the way that Sebastian kept his gaze fixed on you. He may have been behaving in such a manner that suggested his embarrassment at having walked in on you bathing, but his gaze said otherwise. That also brought your attention back to the fact that he called you 'Miss (F/N)' and Mey-Rin just by her name. It was almost like a show of respect...

"What is he staring at...? Don't tell me he can see my body...?" you thought, beginning to panic slightly.

"Mey-Rin forgot to restock the bathrooms with towels," he said, changing the subject very quickly. "I thought it pressing to bring them in...It seems that I was correct..."

You watched as a faintly amused smile appeared on his lips and as his eyes traced your facial features. Through a series of discreet, careful checks on yourself, you felt confident that--thanks to the high sides of the bathtub--Sebastian wasn't able to see your body. It was just as well, because the bubbles from your soap had all but popped and you were left in almost completely clear water, with the exception of those pretty yellow flower petals.

"O-oh I see..." you stammered, wondering how much longer he was going to spend in here humiliating you like this. "Thank you for that..." you added, making sure to be grateful for the towels. After all, if he hadn't brought them your bathing session would have culminated in uncomfortably wet garments once you got out--the only fabric available in the room without those towels were your own clothes...

"You are very welcome," he murmured, smiling serenely at you as he always did when something didn't bother him. You nodded awkwardly and he bowed slightly to you, which was strange because he was your superior...You turned away from him slightly to settle back into the still-warm water. You closed your eyes when you heard the latch make its usual noise, and you breathed an almost silent sigh of relief. He was gone. You could stop being embarrassed, for now. At least until you saw him again. But that wouldn't be tonight, you realised.

Just then you felt a light breeze pass over your head and exposed shoulders. You had, since Sebastian's accidental intrusion, sat up a little in order to begin to wash yourself after your unintentional nap. Your eyes snapped open and you suppressed another yelp when you saw what was happening. Sebastian hadn't left the bathroom at all; the latch noise that you'd heard moments earlier was the sound of the door being locked. The steam rising from the bathwater still provided a weak screen of cover for you, but not nearly enough now that the butler was much, much closer to you than before.

He was, after all, in the bath with you. You didn't know what to do, other than cover your breasts with your arm and raise your legs to cover the rest of your body. You curled up at your end of the bath and stared at him with dismay. "Wh-what are you doing...?!" you squeaked, unsure of where to look. His body was incredible, so toned and strong. You didn't dare look any lower than his face now, though.

He smirked at you and chuckled slightly. "Why run a new bath for me when we could just share?" he asked in the most seductive of voices, and with the most tantalising of gazes. His eyes were half-lidded and held in them warmth in abundance. They were soft and charming, and suggested to you that he didn't have even the tiniest problem with sitting in the bath with you.

"B-but...!" You began to protest, but he cut you off quickly.

"Are you embarrassed?"

"Yes!"

All that your answer achieved was another smirk from Sebastian. "Why...?"

You looked around the room, as if the answer would be written on the walls for your convenience. "Because...well. We work together, and..." You trailed off, unable to think of very many good reasons to explain away your bashfulness. It was just a simple fact: you were embarrassed! Again, Sebastian grinned at you.

"Is that all? I am sorry but...that doesn't seem to me like a very good reason. Surely there must be others?" he teased, inching closer to you as he did so. "I'll make you a deal, then...If you can give me a good enough reason, you have my word that I will leave you in peace,"

"...!" You didn't know what to say to that, initially, but then you made a rather pathetic attempt to persuade him. "It isn't proper..." you squeaked, in no more assertive a voice than a mouse's. Sebastian edged even closer to you; you knew that you had failed in this most recent attempt. He actually laughed at you this time, albeit quietly.

"That was precious..." he growled, in a voice so velvety you were certain that you could feel it stroking your body. "Now, how about a real excuse?"

You trembled under his hot, intense stare. He was so close to you now that his knees almost touched you (he had been inching towards you on his hands and knees thus far). You were so attracted to him, so completely under his spell that you were just about ready to let him stay.

"Does anything come to mind?" he whispered, leaning towards you now. He couldn't actually get any closer to you without being on top of you, so he simply brought his face closer to yours. When you said nothing, unable to think while he was so near, the corners of his mouth twisted upwards in a satisfied grin and he chuckled. "I didn't think so..." As soon as he had given you just about enough time to process those words, he closed the gap between you and seized your lips in a hot, passionate kiss. You hadn't been expecting it, preferring instead to believe that he was just taunting you as he so liked to do to all of the servants in various different ways. So unexpected was it that your whole body grew weak--which wasn't helped by the warm water--and you submitted to him instantly, as was his intent.

You moaned slightly against his lips as he touched your leg with his hand. Hearing this he kissed you again, harder and even more passionately. His hand continued up your leg until it reached your knee, pulling it to the side to part your left leg from your right. You were powerless to resist him and his charms, and you simply allowed him to do whatever he wanted with you. As soon as there was enough room for him, he slid forward in the bath again and came to kneel between your legs. 

"You are beautiful..." he growled against your lips, hands sliding up your wet body to your hips. "I've been very taken with you since bringing you here..."

With those words, your face felt as though it had burst into flames and the only response you could give was putting your arms around his neck, showing him that you were, of course, very 'taken' with him as well. He made a small noise of approval and kissed you again before leaving a trail of kisses going from your cheek to your neck, to your shoulder to your chest. Once at your chest, he shifted just so that he could kiss your breasts instead, taking one of the erect nipples between his lips and manipulating it with his tongue. You gasped in surprise, voice little more than a breathy cry that echoed around the bathroom. At the same time, one of his hands moved from your hip to your womanhood and he slipped two fingers inside. You squirmed against him, desperately trying to familiarise yourself with the sudden invasion of your body. You had thought that perhaps, if he was going to do that to you, he would start with one finger then progress gently but no. There was no such thing, and you were certain that you liked this much better.

He moved his wrist slightly in order to pump his fingers inside you a little more easily. The water began to splash around you as his arm and wrist movements became more and more vigorous. He didn't stop until you were gasping every second for air and whispering his name. You whimpered as his fingers left you, and his lips returned to yours. His tongue slipped inside your mouth to dance with yours while his hands returned to your hips. But that was only to mislead you.

He suddenly yanked you towards him and you were now on your back more than sitting up. Your head still above water, you watched him with the lazy eyes of a woman seduced as he positioned himself at your entrance. This time, you didn't expect him to wait and he didn't. He thrust himself inside you and began to move, in and out, eliciting from you those wonderful, arousing vocalisations of pleasure. You wanted him so much, and now that you had him your thoughts were focused on only him and what he was doing to you. The water splashed and sloshed around you and Sebastian supported his weight by keeping his hands on the sides of the bath. Of course, it also allowed him to drive into you faster and with more power, hitting your sweet spot over and over again.

"Sebastian, I..."

"Just let go," he growled in response, eyes clouding over as he felt the approach of his own release. He knew what he was doing to you. The low, beautiful hum of his voice commanding you to lose control of yourself was too much for you, and powerful waves of ecstasy washed over you as he pounded your body again and again. You cried out, loving every second of it. Sebastian gazed at your expression, usurped by pleasure, and was suddenly hit by his release. He gasped slightly, arms trembling as he endeavoured to hold himself up. He didn't want to collapse on top of you. Instead, he slowly lowered himself to you and pulled out, kissing you in the process. He didn't say anything, but lifted you into his arms and turned you around, caging you with his legs and his arms, hugging you from behind.

You were both panting slightly, trying to regain your breath. The sensation of being held in Sebastian's arms was incredible, and there was nowhere else that you wanted to be. You felt safe, and secure. He kissed the back of your neck and hugged you a little tighter. You relaxed into him and felt his strong chest at your back. There was no doubt about it: you loved him. You had never imagined that he would be so passionate, and so tender afterwards. He began to move, suddenly, and you wondered what he was doing but all soon became very clear. He found the bar of soap still minding its own business in the water, and he began to wash your back and your hair for you.

The feeling of it was wonderful, and you felt sure that you would wake up any moment and realise that it was all a dream. But that moment never came, and it delighted you no end. He was so gentle in all of his actions towards you, and you never wanted it to end. When it did, though, you turned around and did the same for Sebastian. He chuckled as you started to wash his hair, marvelling at how incredibly silky it was. When you finished, he stole another kiss from you and grinned an impish, triumphant smile. You smiled shyly back then, putting your bashfulness aside, climbed out of the bath and went for the towels that he had placed down.

Sebastian watched you from the bath, taking in the sight of your wet, naked body in the gentle candlelight. You heard him make a noise, but at the time you didn't register it as a hum of appreciation for what he saw. You wrapped one of the towels around you and offered the other to him. He smirked and stood, giving you a moment to stare in awe at his body. His beauty was otherworldly indeed.

You moved away towards your clothes and began to gather them up in your arms. The servants' quarters were only a couple of doors away and everyone would be asleep at this hour, so you would be safe to go and change in the bedroom that you shared with Bard, Finny and Mey-Rin--for once. Sebastian pulled the plug out of the bath and you listened to the water draining away as you picked up the last items of clothing. Sebastian did the same with his, but suddenly glanced over at you.

"Where are you going?" he chuckled.

You looked over at him in surprise. "To my room...Why?"

He didn't respond but shifted his clothes under one arm. He came very close to you and leaned in to kiss you again. When you were distracted with the kiss, he wound his arm around your body and lifted you effortlessly, putting you over his shoulder.

"S-Sebastian! What are you doing?!"

He simply chuckled before replying. You couldn't see his face to learn of his expression, but his words told you everything you needed to know. "I think not. My room is a much better choice..."

Chapter Text

Running clean laundry back and forth from the washroom. Polishing the silverware and the crystal and the fine china. Dusting and scrubbing the mansion from top to bottom. Attending to the young Master's needs when Sebastian was...also attending to them. Helping Sebastian out by being one of the more dependable members of household staff. Keeping your friends--the other staff--out of trouble and quickly fixing their blunders.

Nothing was too much for you, but sometimes there had to be a limit. You could feel the exhaustion setting in, seeping into your heart, soul and bones. Still you pressed on. It was essential for the upkeep of the great house and your job, as well as your reputation as a good worker.

"(F/N), are you feelin' alright?" asked Mey-Rin, looking over at you as you handed another bed sheet to her for hanging out to dry. You were grateful for a breath of fresh air in the garden; it was well-deserved. "You look a bit peaky, if you don't mind me sayin'..."

You glanced over at her and offered her a grin that you at least hoped was a little reassuring. "I'm fine, thank you," you told her gently. "Just a little tired, that's all,"

"Do you get much sleep at night?" she asked, placing another peg on the sheet.

"Oh, yes thank you. At least, I think so. No more and no less than usual..." you replied, nonchalantly shrugging your shoulders. Still you smiled at her, making sure to appear halfway convinced by your own words.

"If you say so..." said Mey-Rin, shaking her head as though she didn't believe you anyway. You were good friends, so she knew when you were feeling under the weather.

"I'm going to talk to Sebastian about that..." she thought to herself, studying your pale face. Your eyes had slightly grey circles under them, and you were looking a little gaunt. When she thought back to it, she realised that with all the work that you had been doing recently you had been presented with very little time to even eat a proper meal. She felt instantly guilty about this fact...

When the linens were hanging out to dry, you picked up the washing basket and walked back inside, knowing that Bard needed help with the dinner preparations for this evening. Apparently, Sebastian had plans for a slightly grander meal than usual--you couldn't believe that mealtimes for the young Earl could be any more extravagant but you were wrong there--due to the surprise visit that was currently underway from Lady Elizabeth Midford.

Mey-Rin watched you go with concern.

-

"Oh...Sebastian?" said Mey-Rin, approaching the butler--who she so adored--with slightly more care than usual. After all, nothing was broken and nothing was on fire. At least, not to her knowledge.

"Yes, Mey-Rin?" he replied, continuing to decorate the tart that he had baked specially for tonight's dinner. He didn't even look at her, but her heart leaped to hear his voice addressing her. His concentration face was so utterly gorgeous, too...

"Umm...I'm a bit worried about (F/N)," she said timidly, pushing past her reservations as one of his admirers--you and Mey-Rin often stayed up late tittering about how lovely he was--in order to voice her concerns about your health.

Sebastian's face fell slightly, almost unnoticeably, but it did all the same. He feigned ignorance for the time being. "Why would you be worried about her?"

"I think she's working too hard, yes I do..." she mumbled, unable to word it any differently. "It's making her sick, although she'll never admit it,"

Sebastian sighed a little and put the knife that he was using to decorate the tart on the countertop. "I noticed that as well..." he murmured worriedly. Mey-Rin's heart pounded to see Sebastian looking so genuinely concerned, but it was not for her. She supposed that she would have to accept that.

"Do you think that there's something that we can all do to make her job easier...?" she asked gingerly, unsure of how to approach the situation anymore.

Sebastian was about to respond when suddenly Finny came running into the kitchen in a fluster. "Sebastian, come quick!" he panted, tears welling in his eyes.

"What's the matter?"

"It's (F/N)! She's had a fall!" cried the gardener, tears spilling down his cheeks now. Sebastian's eyes widened and his expression went from concerned to panicked. He rushed from the kitchen, with Bard, Mey-Rin and Finny in tow.

-

"Ah...You're awake..." you heard somebody say to you. You felt something cool and damp patting your forehead, as your hair was pushed well back from your face. You felt softness all around you, and knew instantly that you were lying in a bed.

"What happened...? Where am I?" you murmured, cringing through a twinge of pain and a fuzzy headache. You still couldn't see who was sitting with you.

"You collapsed on your way upstairs," said your nurse. Slowly your vision came into focus, and you saw Sebastian sitting at your bedside.

"Sebastian...?" you whispered. "What are you doing here?" You could see that you were not in your own room, rather in one of the opulent guest bedrooms. Why, you hadn't the foggiest. Your bed would have done just as well.

"I brought you here after you fainted, for your comfort and a better recovery," he replied, as if reading your thoughts. "I wouldn't have left you to recover alone,"

You smiled a little, but you were embarrassed to have made such a fuss. "I'm so sorry..." you murmured, regretting the trouble you had caused.

"What is there to be sorry for? You are unwell...There is no helping your body's reaction to that," he replied kindly, dabbing your head with the wet flannel again. "You have a fever...and getting all flustered like this is only making you hotter,"

You took notice of his slightly teasing tone of voice and glanced at his face, instantly seeing the cheeky, albeit worried, grin. "Why are you taking care of me though...? I'm stopping you from doing your job..."

"No, you're not," he said, shaking his head. "The young Master allowed me to stay, but I would have done so anyway,"

Your heart caught in your throat as he spoke, watching him as he dipped the still-damp towel into the bowl of water on the bedside table. He wrung it out and placed it gently back on your forehead.

"W-why...?" you dared to whisper.

He looked at you with soft eyes, something you had never seen before. He chuckled slightly, but for once he actually seemed to appear shy. "...I care about you. I want you to get well, so that I can see your bright eyes and cheerful smile,"

You didn't know what to say, but you didn't have to reply at all. He leaned forwards and gently kissed your warm cheek.

"I will not leave your side. Especially when you need taking care of,"

You smiled at him, feeling your strength returning little by little. It was no longer a weak smile, you knew. You wondered where these sudden, tender feelings had come from but you had decided to stop asking questions and just accept it.

"Thank you, Sebastian..." you whispered to him, feeling the deep feelings that you held for him swelling in your chest.

"Anything for you," he murmured, gently stroking your cheek. Never before had you imagined that he could be so soft and gentle, but you wouldn't have traded it for anything. And it was for your eyes only.

Chapter Text

The busy, bustling marketplace was one of those strange places where you actually felt safe. There was no real logic behind this, except for the fact that you knew these streets like the back of your hand. There was no place that you could get lost, and no place that you could be cornered. You could blend into a crowd like a river into the sea, and you could weave in and out of the many people with ease. On this particular day, you had already bought all of the items you needed and your basket was full of groceries and a few extra goodies for a rainy day. And it certainly looked as though bad weather was on its way.

You slalomed between several more people before setting back off down the main street, towards the taxi rank. You hoped that your favourite taxi driver would be there; you were a regular customer of his, simply because he was kindhearted and always greeted you with a smile. Sometimes he even gave you a discount on your fare, but you usually preferred to pay him the whole amount. After all, the life of a taxi driver--especially in the cities--wasn't the most glamorous life that one could lead, and it wasn't easy either. You smiled as you rounded the corner and spotted him, rushing over before anyone else could occupy his cab. You patted the lovely chestnut horse as you passed her. She nickered gently in recognition of your gentle touch.

"Hello, Mr. Lewis," you said cheerfully, smiling up at him now. "Please may I get a ride home?"

Mr. Lewis smiled back at you and nodded readily. "Of course, my dear. You don't have to ask--I'll always say yes to you," he replied, and jumped down out of his seat. He opened the door for you like a true gentleman and helped you in. You had told him on many, many occasions that he didn't have to do this but each and every time he had insisted. You had learned not to protest anymore, and happily accepted his courtesy and chivalry. What was nicer was the fact that you knew that there were no strings attached; he had a wife and two children, and was old enough to be your father. You had a very 'uncle-niece' relationship with the man.

"Looks like rain," you called up to him as the cab began to move. "I do hope that you don't get caught in it,"

"I hope not as well, but I am more concerned for you, my dear," said Lewis. "I will endeavour to get you home before the Heavens open,"

"Thank you, sir," you replied, smiling to yourself. He really was such a thoughtful man. You knew that driving people around was his job, but you truly did feel like a special customer.

As the taxi pulled away from the rank, you did not notice yourself being watched. But being watched you were, and they were very interested in you indeed...

-

"What are you staring at?"

"Nothing, my Lord,"

-

A week passed you by, and you found yourself in the marketplace again shopping for groceries. Your household needed fruits, vegetables and dairy products, and if you could afford some meat afterwards you would have been very happy. You did as usual, swerving in and out of the throngs of busy people, but as you popped out on the other side of the crowd--having bought all of your supplies--you were overcome by an extremely peculiar feeling. You glanced all around you, sensing that you were being watched.

"How odd..." you whispered to yourself, shaking your head as though attempting to rid yourself of the feeling in its entirety. You set off down the road, heading for the taxi rank again. You could always afford a cab home for yourself because your father would drive the light trap into the city for work--you would go to work in the city every day too--and then you would have enough money for a fare.

Eventually, after making your way swiftly through many winding backstreets and a couple of shady-looking alleyways, you found your way back to the taxi rank. You were glad of your knowledge of the city's layout, knowing the ins and outs of all of the streets. You sighed as you spotted Mr. Lewis' familiar chestnut mare, and hurried over to him. You still felt as though you were being watched, and even worse this time, followed.

"Hello, Mr. Lewis..." you said, doing your best to greet him as you always did. You smiled, but you could sense that it was somewhat weaker than it usually was.

"Hello, Miss (F/N)..." he replied, eyeing you worriedly. "Are you alright, my dear?"

"I'm well, thank you...May I ask for a ride home?" you said, changing the subject as quickly as you were able.

"By all means, love," he replied, smiling at you. You returned it, but before he could jump down out of his seat as he did every time you took a ride in his taxi to open the door for you, you had already climbed in yourself and had settled down in the familiar black fabric seat. You were safe now, you thought. You were tired from your fast-paced detour, and all you wanted to do was get home and have a cup of tea with your mother.

As the cab pulled away from the rank as usual, a smartly dressed man watched from a side street. He blended in very well with the shadowy street, and his red eyes shone as he watched the taxi leave. He knew that its passenger would soon return to the city.

-

You visited the city every single day for work, but you only went to the market once a week, on Saturdays. You would also work on a Saturday, so it was simply easiest to visit on the last day of the week that you spent in the city. Since there was no reason for you to be there on a Sunday, you took solace in the fact that you would not feel as though you were being watched in your own home. But then Monday rolled around.

You were leaving your place of work when suddenly you felt something large and wet hit your forehead. You lifted a hand to your face and touched the spot that you'd felt get hit, and realised that it had been a drop of water. You looked to the skies and realised that it was thick with brooding grey clouds, poised to burst and drench the earth with rain. And that was exactly what happened moments later. You gasped at the touch of the sudden cold downpour and, raising the shawl around your shoulders above your head for shelter, began to hurry for a taxi. You cursed your workplace for being so far away from the taxi rank.

When you arrived, though, you cursed the rank too, although not Mr. Lewis of course. "Damn..." you swore, seeing that there was not a single taxi to be found. They must have all been taken by other people fleeing the deluge. It had, after all, taken you quite some time to get from your workplace to here. You rushed away to a place that you could see was dry, somebody's front porch. You stood in the alcove and watched the rain hammering down in the world beyond. You didn't know what else to do other than wait for the shower to stop.

You stood there for several more minutes, acutely aware of the fact that there were still no taxis to hail and you were wasting your time by standing around in the city doing nothing. You sighed and leaned to one side, propping yourself up on the brick wall of the protective alcove. It felt like your sanctuary at this point, although your clothes were already entirely soaked through. You felt as though you were in a real mess, and sighed again.

"I suppose there is nothing else for it..." you murmured miserably to yourself, lifting your shawl above your head again and making sure to keep the red and white gingham cloth over the contents of your wicker basket. You made to step out into the pouring rain once more, when suddenly you heard somebody speak.

"Are you alright, Miss?"

You whirled around to look in the direction of where the voice had come from. It was deep and smooth, and very charming. The man who it belonged to was equally so, and extremely handsome. You had never seen such a beautiful man in all your days. "I-I'm fine, thank you..." you stammered, not knowing where he'd come from. He was just there.

"Are you quite certain? It looks to me like you're wet through..." he replied, eyeing you while wearing an expression that could only be described as sympathetic. He was holding a black umbrella, precisely the same colour as his uniform. From the looks of him, he was a butler, but you could not see anyone nearby who looked as though they could be his master or mistress.

"I am..." you whispered unhappily, shaking your head as the rain continued to beat down. You squinted through the heavy sheet of falling water--it was becoming like more of a waterfall than a rain shower--at the man and blinked every two seconds as the water dripped into your eyes. Just then the man approached you and shared his umbrella with you, much to your surprise.

"Here," he said. "Please let me help you..."

"Th-thank you..." you said, unsure of exactly why he was doing this. He began to walk--slowly--with you away from the house opposite the taxi rank, and back up the main street. "Why are you helping me?" you asked.

"If I could not help a damsel in distress then what kind of a gentleman would I be?" he replied with a sweet, yet confident, smile down at you. You could not help the blush that followed, flooding your cheeks as suddenly as the rain had started. "May I ask the name of such a lovely lady?" he asked.

"U-um...My name is (F/N)," you replied, as confidently as you could. After all, it wouldn't do to be sheepish in front of such a charming gentleman. "May I ask yours?"

"My name is Sebastian," he said gently, taking great care to keep you under his umbrella. You noticed that his shoulder--the one on the outside of the umbrella--was getting absolutely soaked and you felt awful. "It is a pleasure to meet you,"

"And you..." you said. "Um...Mr. Sebastian? Your shoulder is getting wet. Are you quite alright walking like this?"

He simply smiled at you again and nodded once. "I am. Your comfort is my priority, after all. Please do not trouble yourself, my dear,"

You nodded and accepted what he was saying. He was a very pleasant chap, but you could sense that there was more to him than this. Just as you rounded a corner, and just as you dismissed the thought as resulting from nothing but your mind working too hard, you spotted a rather luxurious-looking carriage waiting by the roadside a few yards away.

"Ah, yes..." he said, as though suddenly remembering himself. "May I offer you a ride?" he asked you, stopping and looking down expectantly. You didn't know what to do; thinking about accepting a ride in a carriage from a total stranger set off alarm bells in your head. It didn't seem right at all, but there was just something about this man that you felt like you could trust.

"Um...I am very grateful for the offer, but..."

"I can understand why you may have reservations about my sudden offer..." he murmured, regretting having worried you. "It was very presumptuous and rude of me. Please accept my apology..."

"No, please do not apologise..." you said, shaking your head. Just then, there was an enormous clap of thunder and you jumped; you were not normally afraid of thunderstorms but the sudden loud noise frightened you. You found, though, that you had accidentally jumped towards Sebastian and were almost pressed up against him.

"Surely you would not expect me to allow you to walk anywhere in a storm...?" he said, tutting slightly. "If you will allow it, I would see it as a personal favour from you if you would accept my offer..."

You sighed slightly and placed your utmost faithfulness in Sebastian. You nodded and gave him a little smile. "I do not know how I will be able to repay you..." you told him, following him to the carriage.

He chuckled and shook his head, opening the door for you. "Seeing you comfortable and happy again will be the biggest reward you could give me," he replied, climbing in after you. He closed the door and rapped on the ceiling, getting the driver to set off. You told him where you needed to go, and he called to the driver about this as well.

"If you don't mind my asking, sir...What made you want to help a complete stranger?" you asked, giving him a curious look from where you sat opposite.

He smiled enigmatically and looked down at the floor for a moment. "I would not say that you are a 'complete' stranger to me," he said carefully. You wondered why, but then he told you outright. "...I have seen you in the marketplace a few times, now..."

You felt a little relieved--in the midst of the simultaneous shock--that he had not been stalking you, as such, but had in fact simply spotted you a few times in the city. "You have...?" you asked, then completely regretted it, thinking you sounded slightly dense asking for clarification on such a simple matter.

"Yes. It was hard not to spot such a radiantly beautiful creature such as yourself,"

You blushed bright red and smiled shyly. "You flatter me..."

"I tell the truth and only the truth," he murmured. "I was hoping that one day I would be able to spend some time in the city without my master, and that I would be able to use that time to speak to you..."

You were very shy, now, thinking that he had been wanting to meet you for a little while now. In truth, if you had noticed him sooner you would have wanted to do the same. You didn't know what to say, but that was alright. Sebastian filled the silence with words for you.

"You do not have to say anything. Only, you would make me very happy if you were to tell me that I could meet with you again someday,"

Your heart pounded in your chest and you suppressed a gulp of excitement. This man was interested in you? This charming, handsome man? It was an incredible twist for you. You nodded timidly, despite your delight. "I would like that very much..."

Sebastian smiled and crossed one of his legs over the other. "We may not know each other very well, but you have indeed made me a very, very happy man,"

The sound of rain hitting the roof of the carriage, the horse's hoof beats and the carriage wheels on cobblestones were the only sounds in the cabin now as you and the mysterious Sebastian smiled gently at each other. He was right: you may not have been familiar with each other but there was time for further meetings to remedy that.

And so marked the beginning of many beautiful days to come...

Chapter Text

You sat at the wooden kitchen table and drummed your fingers lightly upon the surface. You let out a soft sigh, taking care not to draw Bard's attention too much. He would surely ask what was wrong, and since nothing was really wrong you did not want to get drawn into such a conversation. You glanced over at the chef who was, unsurprisingly, evaluating the merits of using a blowtorch to cook the young master's lunch. You knew that Sebastian would be in the kitchen any second now to prevent what would inevitably be an incendiary disaster of horrific proportions, considering the small space that the flames would have to rise in.

Just as Bard played around with lighting the tool, flames bursting from the eye of the torch every time he pulled the trigger, you covered your eyes with your hand and shook your head in dismay. He was a strange guy, but fascinating at the same time. How could one be so brazen as to think that this was an appropriate cooking method? You sighed and stood, walking over to him and touching his arm. He jumped at your cool touch and grinned awkwardly.

"Hey, uh...D'you need somethin'?" he asked as his face acquired a dusting of pink along the cheekbones.

"Do you want some help with that?" you said with a chuckle, barely touching him as you gently took the blowtorch from his hand. "You know what Sebastian will say if he sees you doing this again..."

Bard chuckled too, and rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment. "Yeah, I know..." he muttered, sighing a little as he did so. "He nags me about it all the time..."

"But you have to admit that he has a point," you said with a giggle, jabbing him gently in the chest. He laughed again, softly, and nodded his head.

"Alright, fine," he said. "You can help, but only so I don't get in trouble, ya hear?"

"Oh yes, of course," you said in a teasing tone of voice. "Always looking out for Number One, aren't you?"

Bard heard your tone of voice and knew why you had used it on him. It was fun to play games, after all, and you knew that he liked your company. "Always," he teased back, handing you a knife. "You can help me dice these vegetables,"

"Sure," you said with a grin, taking the implement from him and starting on the veggies that he'd just slid across the counter top in your direction. You had been working for a few minutes in silence when Bard suddenly turned back to you from what he was doing and smiled.

"Thanks, by the way. This really will save me from getting yelled at again..." he said, blushing again but only a little.

"No problem," you said sweetly, smiling back up at him equally so. He was very nice to you, as were the others, and you had found true friends in all of them.

"But hey, if you keep helping me out like this I'll be able to show you how to use a blowtorch too," he chuckled, obviously joking with you. You laughed out loud as you continued chopping vegetables, and in your amusement neither you nor Bard noticed the other person in the room with you. They had opened the door extremely quietly, and so you got quite a fright when you eventually heard Sebastian's voice.

"I sincerely hope that you were joking when you said that," he growled, thinking that Bard had been serious about the blowtorch tutorial. Bard whirled around to face the butler, as did you, and you both stared at him in surprise.

"How long have you been there?" said Bard, furrowing his brow as he looked at the man. All you could do was stand there and admire Sebastian; his form was proud and strong, and his presence absolutely commanded authority and the undivided attention of others. Especially you--when he was present, your eyes could only be in one place and that was on him. "Anyway, of course I was joking. Wouldn't want this little fairy to get hurt doing daft things, would we?" he went on, looking down at you with fondness in his expression. Sebastian did not smile. In fact, he felt even less pleasure to hear the shy, girly giggle that bubbled forth from your rosy, petal-like lips.

"Fairy?" he thought unhappily, trying to shake the thought from his mind. "Since when has he been in the habit of giving people nicknames?" Sebastian tried not to scowl at Bard as he thought this, unable to cure himself of the awful feeling taking root in the depths of his soul.

"Hmph," he eventually muttered, continuing to stare at you both with disinterested eyes. Forced disinterest, it should be noted. "A little too familiar, don't you think?" he growled, obviously referring to his little name for you. Bard looked at the butler in surprise and shrugged his shoulders out of mild embarrassment.

"I don't know...Do you think it's too familiar, (F/N)?" he asked, glancing at you. You looked up and shook your head in an attempt to reassure him.

"Of course not; it's fine," you said simply, returning to your task of peeling and chopping all of the vegetables given to you. Bard was about to ask Sebastian about why he would make such a comment as that which he had just mentioned, but when he turned back to him the butler was gone.

"I wonder what that was all about..." you murmured, busying yourself with your little job. You may have been a household maid--not scullery--but you offered help anywhere around the house where you thought that it might be needed. Bard smirked as he went back to his own task of preparing the meat for the master's evening meal.

"If you ask me, I think he sounded jealous," he replied, nodding his head as though to confirm his own suspicions. You looked up at him in surprise, blinking a few times as if to check that he really was stood there saying such a thing.

"Why would he be jealous?"

"'Cause you're here helping me and not out there helping him, I reckon,"

You didn't say anything in response to that, but you turned back to the vegetables and continued to chop and dice them up. They were already in tiny pieces but that didn't stop you from trying to dice them further. Bard's remark stuck with you and the thought excited you greatly. To think that Sebastian could be jealous of what you were doing, simply helping Bard, filled you with wonder--however unlikely the possibility of Bard's suspicions being correct was. 

You let out a deep sigh and went on with your work.

-

Later that evening, you sat around the kitchen table with Bard, Mey-Rin, Finny and Tanaka having a quiet drink before bed. You were sometimes allowed to share a bottle of wine among yourselves, and so tonight happened to be the night that you had all chosen to do so. Except for the fact that Tanaka was drinking herbal tea, as usual, but that was alright of course. You had invited Sebastian to join you that evening but he had politely declined, stating that he still had the young master to attend to.

On the subject of Sebastian, though, Mey-Rin--in her current inebriated state--began babbling about him and how good-looking he was. You could not help but giggle at this point, since you were a little drunk yourself. "Oh please..." slurred Mey-Rin, leaning in towards you slightly. "Don't tell me you don't think he's lovely?"

You laughed and leaned on Bard, retreating away from Mey-Rin. You didn't say anything but took another sip of wine as Bard wrapped an arm around your shoulders. You didn't see him do it, but he winked at Finny from across the table. Finny shouldn't really have been drinking wine at his age, but it was okay because he had...responsible...adults around him.

Just as Bard put his arm around you, Sebastian walked into the kitchen and saw everybody there drinking merrily with each other. It didn't bother him in the slightest that you had all gone on without him--you had asked him to join you before, after all--but it did bother him--greatly--that you were snuggled up against Bard. He glared at the chef, but looked away before anyone could notice.

"Hi, Sebastian!" sang Finny cheerfully. "Would you like a glass of wine?"

"No thank you, Finny," he said, slightly more gently than he was actually feeling. In fact, he was feeling rather violent at this juncture. Just then, Mey-Rin stood up and threw herself at him.

"Oh, come on Sebastian!" she swooned, trying to pull him over to the spare chair at the table. "Just a little? Pleeease? You're not on duty now, are you?"

"I am always on duty," he growled, resisting Mey-Rin's persuasion.

"Oh Sebastian, you should sit back and relax every so often..." you giggled, grinning at him from where you leaned against Bard. "Please have a seat with us,"

"Great. I cannot refuse (F/N), not with a face like hers," he thought to himself, realising that resisting you was futile. You were much too cute, and he couldn't bear to say no to you. "Very well..." he said with a sigh, walking over to sit down in the last available chair. After all, he also didn't want to leave you in the room with these people, especially with Bard so close to you like this...

It then occurred to you that you would try to test out Bard's theory that Sebastian was jealous of your friendship with him. A sly smirk crossed your lips, although nobody saw it, and you began plotting your little experiment. When you had finally come up with what you thought was the perfect course of action, you began to implement it immediately--by drinking more.

Soon enough, you were reeling and giggling like a mad thing. You were just grateful for the fact that, on many occasions, you had been informed that you were an adorable drunk. This was confirmed once again by Bard--conveniently--telling you that you were a "sweet little fairy" and that you were "cute when you're drunk". You giggled and leaned in to whisper to him, very close up.

"Thank you..." you whispered, making sure to get close enough to him that it looked like you were going to kiss him. "You're kinda cute too..." You said it knowing that he wouldn't remember a thing in the morning, and that was good because you didn't want to lead him on.

You could almost feel the heat radiating from Sebastian's body. You didn't know if it was the wine or some kind of emotion affecting him, but you wanted to find out soon...

An hour later, everybody was just about ready to head off to bed. Even though you were quite obviously, and very, drunk you were the one who offered to tidy up before heading off to bed yourself. Everyone staggered out of the room--except for Tanaka who walked normally--and toddled off to bed. You were left with Sebastian, although unknown to you.

"So..." he murmured, coming up behind you and surprising you. You tried to turn around to face him but he trapped you between his body and the worktop, placing his wine glass next to the others. "...What is going on with you and Bard?" he growled. You could just about hear the faintest of drunken slurs in his voice, but he was still very much in control of himself. You admired him that, too.

"Nothing," you said, teasing him with it. It was like a bone to a dog, and you could wave it around in front of his face as much as possible before giving in to his questions. "Why?"

"Because it looks, for all the world, as though you are a couple,"

"Well we aren't..."

"Then why were you flirting with him?"

"Why do you care?" you giggled. You tried to move and accidentally stumbled backwards, bumping into him. He caught you and turned you around to face him for himself this time.

"I just want to know," he growled, pinning you against the kitchen counter. He was so close to you now, and you could positively feel the beast-like instincts emanating from him. You gazed up into his eyes and smirked. You knew what his game was. It was about time that he realised what yours was too...

"Well, I'll stop lying when you stop lying," you whispered, moving your waist ever so slightly in as seductive a motion as you could manage in your current state.

"What do you mean...?"

"I haven't been entirely truthful about why I was flirting with Bard...and you haven't been truthful about why you want to know," you giggled, propping yourself up with your hands behind you on the work surface. Sebastian sighed.

"Why do you think I'm asking?"

"Because you're jealous?" you guessed, grinning cheekily up at him. He smirked down at you and his eyes flashed.

"Got it in one," he growled. "So you were doing it to make me jealous, then?"

"Yes...but I actually wanted to find out if you liked me...Like I like you..." you said, slurring a little. You hiccupped once, covering your mouth as you did so. Sebastian chuckled.

"You are very cute, as he said..." he murmured, leaning in closer to you. "So, you clever little thing...You tricked me into revealing my feelings. Whatever shall I do with you now?"

You trembled as he whispered this to you, before cupping your face with a gloved hand and kissing you softly on the lips. He tasted sweet, like the red wine, and he then gently snaked his tongue into your mouth to caress yours. You squeaked and tried to gasp as he did so, but you were stopped from moving by his hands moving to your hips to hold you in place. He made a little noise as you moaned, appreciating your approval of what was happening.

"If you are not his, then please be mine," he growled, moving his lips to your neck to ravage you there instead.

"O-okay..." you mumbled, consumed with pleasure. You loved him, and the fact that he cared for you too was almost overwhelming.

"Good," he said, in a low, hungry voice. "Now succumb to me,"

Your eyes snapped open in surprise, but he was already working you with his hands. He lifted you into his arms and turned around in order to lie you down on the table. Your breathing was already ragged and your excitement was building even further as he lifted your skirts, returning his lips to yours. "Sebastian...!" you gasped, squirming underneath him as he pushed your underwear aside. You moaned against his lips as he inserted a finger into your body, forcing you to writhe beneath his amazing body.

"You're mine, remember?" he growled, lightly nipping the soft skin of your neck. "So let me give you this pleasure..."

You gasped as he inserted another finger and made a beckoning motion with them, eliciting from you a helpless little cry of desire.

"Absolutely adorable..." he chuckled, manipulating your body in exactly the way he knew that you needed it to be. You didn't know what to do now, other than lie there and take it. After all, he was much too strong to rebel against, and it wasn't as though you wanted to anyway. He leaned in to kiss you again, and you felt yourself beginning to enter the end zone, the point where you would be easy to push over the edge. He brought you there very quickly indeed...

You gasped and prepared yourself to slip into the abyss of pleasure, but suddenly the pleasure stopped. Sebastian let go of you and, with one last teasing, lingering kiss on the lips, he straightened up and smirked at you. You whined desperately for him, for the gift that he could give you, but you realised immediately what he was doing.

"Two can play the teasing game..." he growled, winking at you from underneath his raven-black fringe. You smirked back at him and chuckled.

"I'll remember that," you said. "Watch out,"

"I wouldn't have it any other way,"

 

Chapter Text

You tossed and turned violently in your bed, blankets and sheets entangling themselves with your limbs. You grabbed at your pillows, at the bedclothes, at anything that could offer you some comfort in the terrible situation that you were in. You were lost, constantly falling through an abyss of utter blackness, and as you fell trailing tendrils from rugged old trees passed you by. You kept reaching out to grab them, to save yourself, but you just kept falling. You didn't know what was going on, really, but you did know that you had been wandering aimlessly in a forest of some description, finding yourself delving deeper and deeper into the emerald green unknown.

And then you were falling. The leafy ground gave way beneath you, and allowed you to drop down into this enormous gap below the ground. It was like falling into an enormous, gaping cave below the woodland, and you could see nothing but the light of the world above you and the boughs of the old trees teasingly offering you salvation. Then, as you were thinking that these were the only things that you could see, you saw something rising up quickly to meet you. The bedrock was flying towards you, and there was nothing you could do to slow yourself down. You were going to crash into it, hard, and you saw no way of surviving such a fall.

*Thud*

"Ahhhhhhhh!!" you screamed, sitting bolt upright in bed. You were trembling, shaking uncontrollably and you were shivering too. Your forehead had broken out into a cold sweat and you clutched at your knees, not knowing what to do with yourself. You looked all around the room and saw nothing but the bluish glow of the moon shining through the window and the flickering flame of the lone candlestick on your bedside table.

Suddenly you heard a click off to your left and your head snapped in that direction to look at the source of the noise. Your heart nearly stopped beating with relief as you saw Sebastian standing there. So you were not still having that horrific dream, and it wasn't real after all. You couldn't believe how glad you were of that fact.

"(F/N)?" he said, calling your name into the relative darkness. Of course, you knew that he could see you even with minimal light to aid him. "Are you alright? I thought I heard you screaming...?" he went on, speaking gently as he came closer to you.

"I-I was..." you stuttered, unable to come to terms with how real that nightmare had felt. You knew that it was ridiculous, and not the worst kind of dream that you could have had, but hitting the ground had felt so eerily real... "I had a nightmare..." you admitted with embarrassment.

Sebastian smiled at you in the darkness. You really were adorable, as he had always thought you were. But this was yet another thing that confirmed his opinion of you. "It's alright now..." he whispered, attempting to soothe your agitated soul. He sat down on the bed next to you and reached out, touching your soft (H/C) hair with the tips of his fingers. "I'm here..."

You didn't know why, but having Sebastian say that rather than anybody else was the most reassuring thing that you could possibly hear. You let out a deep, quiet sigh and relaxed into his touch. "Thank you..." you murmured, wishing that he would stay there with you until you went back to sleep. You knew, though, that it was not proper and also not possible. He had to patrol the house, to make sure that nothing happened overnight.

"Anything for you," he said kindly. You knew that to be sweet was uncharacteristic of him, yet around you he always seemed to offer you such warmth and kindness. It filled your heart with joy, and almost melted it at the same time. Just between the two of you, it was clear that you had feelings for each other. You didn't know what you had done to attract the attention of and win the affections of a demon, but you were simply happy to accept the fact because it was Sebastian. You loved him unconditionally as he loved you.

"Lie down," he whispered, encouraging you to take the first steps back to dreamland. And this time, you felt as though he was going to be the one to lead you back to the good side of dreamland, and not the sinister side.

"Sebastian...I'm scared," you whimpered, worried about having another nightmare. They really were awful, especially when they were as vivid as they had been earlier that evening.

You heard him chuckle lightly in the darkness. "You don't have to be," he purred, gently stroking your cheek with his index finger. "Because I am here,"

"But what about when you leave?" you mumbled fearfully. It was rather unlike you to be afraid at night, but your nightmares had been so frequent and so lifelike tonight that you really were reluctant to go back to sleep. You could just about make out Sebastian's gorgeous smile in the faint candlelight.

"I won't leave," he said. "I promise,"

You nodded, hearing your hair rubbing on the pillow behind your head. You knew that Sebastian probably was going to have to leave you at some point, but at least if he promised that he wouldn't you knew he wouldn't be going for quite some time. You tried to relax into the mattress, but your heart and soul were put at ease--your mind was quite shocked, though--as Sebastian laid down next to you, wrapping you in his arms.

"Go to sleep, my love," he whispered, stroking your hair as he cuddled you. You couldn't believe just how much he satisfied needs that you didn't know you had; without realising it--before now--you had been desperate for the warmth that only another person, specifically Sebastian, could provide. And to feel that warmth, the best thing for it was a cuddle. You felt him kiss the top of your head, and before you knew it you were drifting back off to sleep without reservation. You felt safest with him, safer than you had in a long time.

-

You woke up in the morning to see the bright light of dawn streaming through the window and you blinked a couple of times to get yourself used to it. You no longer felt Sebastian's arms around you, which disappointed you, but you understood why he had to go. You rolled over onto your other side, and came face-to-face with something you never expected to see.

There was Sebastian, still there with you, seemingly quietly napping next to you. You didn't realise that demons slept, and you wondered why he had chosen last night of all nights to do so. You also wondered when the last time he had slept was. He was positively adorable in slumber, so vulnerable and so innocent. You could easily imagine what he must have looked like when he was a boy. You chuckled quietly to yourself; the image you had in your head of little Sebastian was absolutely delightful.

Just then he opened his eyes and blinked slowly, confirming your suspicion that he had been asleep. He smiled sleepily at you, which you returned. "Good morning," he said, slowly reaching out to touch your cool hand. "How did you sleep?"

"I slept well after you came..." you told him, shuffling back towards him for another cuddle. He readily obliged and chuckled as you snuggled up against him like a puppy. He didn't have to be fond of dogs to be fond of the affection and devotion that you showed towards him in much the same way as one would. "Thank you," you whispered, deeply grateful for his company.

"Of course," he replied, resting his cheek on your head. "I promised that I wouldn't leave you,"

"You did..."

"I watched you for quite some time before you--somehow--managed to lull me off to sleep as well," he admitted, blushing slightly although you could not see it. He wasn't sure how you would take his confession of watching you while you slept, but to his relief you simply giggled.

"That's sweet," you murmured, nuzzling into his strong chest. "Who knew you could be such a romantic?"

He chuckled again and rubbed your back gently with his hand. "Only you," he said, and you sighed happily.

"Your secret's safe with me, Sebastian..." you whispered, giggling softly once more. You wanted to stay this way forever, but until a better chance came your way--when he didn't have duties to attend to--you were set on enjoying the time you had now.

Chapter Text

Thick, white snowflakes floated gently past the windows, igniting the excitement that one has in their heart for the fun that winter could bring. The windows had been made steamy by the contrast of the manor's warm interior and the world beyond's bitter coldness, and so you had to use your sleeve to wipe a face-sized circle in the condensation. It helped on the inside, of course, but there was nothing that could be done for the time being for the frost on the outside.

You sighed softly to yourself. It had been a long time since you'd seen snow like this, blanketing the countryside as it did. Everything was white as far as the eye could see, but the thoughts that consumed the main part of your mind, those that were most at the fore, were of your chores. You had plenty to be getting on with, and it wouldn't get done any faster if you were stood around at the windows moping about how you would love to play in the snow. You turned back to the table, and continued to fold the clean, dry linens.

Finny walked into the kitchen where you stood folding the laundry, and when you looked up you saw immediately that he was dressed for the outdoors. But of course he was, you thought; he was the gardener, after all. His job meant that he had to be outside. But then it occurred to you that perhaps he was unable to do his work today because of all the snow.

"Hello, Finny," you said sweetly, wondering why he was in there with you. "What brings you in here?"

"It's too snowy outside to do anything in the garden..." he said, almost mournfully. But then he beamed over at you, seemingly because he wasn't upset about it in the slightest. "Maybe the young Master will let us play outside later!"

You smiled at him and his innocence. You were hopeful as well, but you didn't want to think about it too much. There wasn't much chance of you finishing all of your chores today...Perhaps tomorrow your schedule would be a little less hectic. Again, you could only hope. "Perhaps he will," you said, humouring the young gardener. You smiled kindly at him, and kept on folding the sheets awaiting attention in the basket beside you.

"Oh, hi Bard!" Finny sang, seeing the chef walking into the kitchen. "Are you busy too?"

"Not me," said Bard, smiling in a manner that could almost be described as triumphant. "Young Master's had his lunch already; apparently he's got a lot of work to be getting on with, so he had an early start, too,"

You smiled to yourself, thinking of how lucky Bard and Finny were. They didn't have anything to do for once, and it was all purely circumstantial. You wished that it could have been the same for you and Mey-Rin, but since you were both basically 'maids-of-all-work', you didn't have much of a choice in what you got handed to you. You just had to get on with it, and there were very few circumstances that allowed for a break in your usual duties.

A snow-day certainly wasn't one of them.

"You alright there, (F/N)?" said Bard, glancing over at you from where he stood. He was a fair distance from you, but he made his offer nevertheless. "D'you want some help with that?"

You looked up in surprise and smiled shyly at him. "U-um...I don't mind..." you initially stuttered. Then, "If you wouldn't mind helping me a little, I certainly wouldn't either..."

Bard grinned at your timidness. Your face was bright pink at the thought of being offered help, as well as the thought of accepting it. You were normally so independent, but today was so cold that it was really beginning to affect you. As much as you wanted to play in the snow, you knew that it would make your hands so cold that they would hurt. In the kitchen, it was incredibly cold without the fire blazing. Your knuckles were almost white, and the skin of your hands almost grey with cold.

"I certainly wouldn't mind helping you," he said, moving over to where you stood in order to give you the help he had offered. "How are we doing this, then?" he asked, looking at the neat pile of linens beside you, to ascertain how you were folding them. He gave a quick nod and then pulled another sheet out of the basket to begin folding it in the same way as you had for the rest.

"Thank you..." you said quietly, wishing that you weren't so cold. If you were warmer, you wouldn't have had to accept his help. You knew that, because he had suggested helping you in the first place, it was of no inconvenience to him but you still felt as though you were somehow a burden. That was when you were suddenly interrupted in your task by Mey-Rin bursting through the door, puffed out and red in the face from running to fetch you all.

"What's the matter, Mey-Rin?" said Finny, looking at her with slight concern. She often bombed around the house like this, so it wasn't anything new, but this time she had clearly been in a rush to get to the kitchen to find the rest of you.

"Master wants to see us all in his office right away...!" she panted, bending over slightly to put her hands on her knees for support while she recovered herself.

"O-oh..." stammered Finny. "We've gotta go, then!" he then announced, rushing out of the door ahead of the rest of you. You smiled and folded the last sheet that you had in hand and put it on the pile before taking the one that Bard had done for you and placing it with the others too. You thanked him once again for all the help and made your way out of the kitchen with him and Mey-Rin alongside you.

-

You, Bard, Finny, Mey-Rin and Tanaka all stood in the centre of Ciel's office awaiting his address of you. Sebastian stood nearby, and it was all you could do not to keep looking at your love interest. He looked impeccable as usual, and every time you saw him your heart leaped for joy at how handsome he was. Your mind wandered to thoughts of all the times that you had spent together--alone--and you could not help yearning for more of that in the future. Soon, if possible. He had smiled softly at you as you entered the Earl's study. It made you incredibly happy, but you couldn't let that show too much...

"Right," said Ciel, commanding everyone's attention. "Now that you are all present, I would like to inform you that Miss Elizabeth will be visiting later on in the afternoon. Due to the weather, it seems unlikely that we will be able to do very much outside,"

You all remained still and quiet. None of you were entirely certain of where this was going.

"That being said, I want you all to have the rest of the day off. You may do with your free time as you wish," Ciel went on. He met your gaze as he finished his little speech, and it was almost as if he could feel the excitement radiating from your person. You were positively thrilled that you would get the chance to play in the snow, especially before it hardened and became that terrible grey, hard, icy slush.

A snowball made of that slush was very painful when it connected with a body. That was a lesson that you had learned many, many moons ago.

"Thank you so much, Master!" you all cried out in unison, a few of you clapping your hands together in happiness. Ciel did not smile, but from him you could feel the satisfaction emanating.

"Yes, well..." he said, growing slightly embarrassed at all the attention for being 'generous'. "...You are all dismissed for now," He made a slight wave with his hand and you all smiled brightly, bowing to him politely before leaving. Before you exited the room, however, you allowed yourself one longing glance over your shoulder at Sebastian. You wished that he could join you...

-

Everyone hurried back to the servants' quarters to change into their outdoor winter clothing. You were all very eager to get outside in the snow and start playing. You had promised Finny that you would help him build a snowman, and Bard had vowed to be the one to provide the carrot for Mr. Snowman's nose. You were grinning like a happy child and you simply couldn't wait to hear the snow crunching beneath your feet.

You all rushed outside and everyone cheered happily to be out in the cold, crispy garden. You all knew where the flowerbeds and shrubberies were, so there was no danger of you trampling them in their fragile, frozen state. You immediately hurried over to where Finny was desperately beginning to roll a snowball around on the white blanketed grass. That would be the snowman's body. Meanwhile, Mey-Rin had dived into the snow on her back and was making a snow angel, and Bard was busy sitting in the snow making an enormous round of snowballs that would've been fit for medieval ballistae. Apparently he liked to put a few stones in them, which was alarming...

-

"You want to go out as well, don't you?" said Ciel, watching Sebastian as he stood at the window. Sebastian was a little startled, but he didn't let it show. Apparently his watching the scene unfolding in the garden had been a little less discreet than he would have liked...

"What do you mean, my Lord?" he asked in response.

Ciel chuckled quietly to himself. "I know what you're like when she's involved. Just go," he said, fully prepared to let Sebastian off for the afternoon as well.

"Sir?"

"You might not be one to play in the snow, Sebastian, but I know a look of longing when I see one," said the boy with a smirk. "Go on, I said,"

Sebastian smiled slightly to himself before turning back to his master. "Thank you, Young Master," he said, bowing deeply to him. He had been looking forward to spending some more...casual time with you, even if that meant being around the other servants at the same time. He left the room and went to get his coat.

-

"Ahh!" you screamed, diving out of the way of an incoming snowball sent flying from Bard's direction. You were grateful for the fact that he had decided not to lace any of them with stones this time. "Ha! You missed!" you laughed, pointing a gloved finger at the chef and jeering at him.

"Oh, don't get cocky!" he jibed back, winking at you. He hurled another one at you, but that one missed too. You were too good for him, really. You were very quick, and you'd hit him--and Finny, who was on his team--several times. Mey-Rin had missed nearly all of her own shots--she was on your team and had only managed to hit a window and poor Tanaka sitting by sipping tea--but you more than made up for that.

The game continued for several more minutes, when suddenly Bard leaped out of the way of two snowballs that you had sent soaring in his direction. You missed him, but you didn't miss the person standing behind him.

"Oh my goodness, Sebastian!" you cried, running over to him. The game stalled, momentarily, while you rushed to see if he was alright. Of course, you knew that he would be but you still felt pretty lousy for hitting him right in the face with a wad of snow. "Are you okay?!"

You rose up on tiptoes to brush the snow off him and out of his face and silky black hair. He was strikingly dark in contrast to the bright white snow. "I'm fine," he said, smirking slightly from under his now slightly damp fringe.

"Oh...That's good then. Phew," you said, panting a little from both exerting yourself in the game and also from worrying about him. Just then, you were faced with an enormous, cold face-full of snow. Sebastian chuckled, having been the one to literally rub it in your face. "H-hey!" you spluttered, brushing the snow out of your eyes. You glared at him from behind the veil of snow in your face.

"I was just getting my own back..." he growled cheekily, knowing that it would get you started. You loved him so much; you were just thrilled that he was allowed to come out here and be with you, as well as the fact that he wanted to.

"You'll pay for that...At least mine was an accident!" you protested playfully, prodding him in his strong, toned torso. You laughed then, and kicked up a cloud of powdery snow before fleeing from him, using it as a smokescreen for your escape.

Sebastian laughed and rolled his eyes in jest. He glanced at the others and grinned. "Continue without us," he said, before running after you. All he had to do was follow your footprints, but even if you hadn't left a trail he still would've been able to find you. That was why he was surprised when he couldn't, and you vanished.

"(F/N)?" he said, calling out your name. His voice sounded louder, and echoed better now that everything was covered in snow. You shivered slightly from where you crouched behind a low wall, snowball in hand. You loved the thrill of hiding from someone, and waiting for them to inevitably find you. Eventually. Suddenly you popped up from behind the wall, deciding not to prolong the situation any longer. You wanted to be with Sebastian, after all. What was nicer was the fact that he didn't seem to be bothered about clearly indicating to the others that it was you who he wanted to be with the most.

The snowball left your hand and went sailing through the air, exploding in a cloud of powdery white as it connected with the side of Sebastian's head. You laughed out loud as he chuckled and dusted himself off, and you both walked up to each other.

"Very well done," he said, genuinely praising you for your spectacular skills of stealth and your expert aim. Besides that, you had managed to give a demon the slip. He liked that about you. "Now. I believe that you owe me an apology..."

You looked up at him with great curiosity and confusion, wondering what on Earth he was on about. You asked him as much, and he simply leaned in and kissed your cold lips, warming them instantly with his. You melted into it, like the snow would thaw in the eventual sunshine, and kissed him back as passionately as you could. You adored him, and you could feel the sentiment reciprocated in this loving gesture.

"So...what exactly was I apologising for?" you asked, when you finally parted from each other. Sebastian smirked at you, but his eyes remained tender as they beheld you.

"For hitting me with that first snowball," he said with a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders. Then, with a cheeky grin, he said, "You asked if I was alright, but you never did apologise,"

"Because you covered me with snow straight after!" you teased, smiling back at him. You feigned indignation, and went on. "I think that you were planning to hit me with snow first, and that was why you had snow in your hand when I reached you,"

"You can see right through me," he growled playfully, smiling down at you. He absolutely adored you, and in this wintry setting you were only more beautiful to him. "In that case, I will apologise as well," he added, kissing you again. Snow continued to fall all around you, and Sebastian eventually moved with you to sit on the wall behind which you had chosen to hide. He sat down on the wall itself, while he insisted that you sit on his lap so that you didn't get wet or cold.

There was no need for words now, and as you perched on his lap he held you close to him with his arms wrapped warmly and protectively around your body. You rested your head against his, and everything was quiet now as you were well away from the cheering and shouting coming from the other servants. It was just you and Sebastian, and the tumbling crystal snowflakes.

Chapter Text

You sipped at your glass of red wine, still rather delicately for someone who had consumed at least six generous glasses beforehand. You laughed along with the other servants, both at their jokes and their antics.

But, although one-quarter focused on them, you were three-quarters distracted by Sebastian, who had actually decided to join you all this evening without hesitation.

You wondered if it had something to do with your...recent closeness. It made your heart pound to think that it might.

After a short while laughing along with the others--Finny and Bard's brotherly shenanigans were hard not to find amusing--your eyes flicked briefly to Sebastian, only to find that he was watching you. You blushed and looked away, unsure of whether he would find a staring contest peculiar, even though you had engaged in a fair bit more than just that.

He grinned, loving every second that he spent taking in your adorable features--including that sweet little blush painting your cheeks pink. He loved that he was the only one who could make you do that, to that extent.

Even with the rose-tinted spectacles that came with intoxication, he adored how absolutely gorgeous you were. No questions asked. You were radiantly beautiful and he didn't care that you were human and he was not; he delighted in loving you.

He didn't like the way that Bard would still flirt with you, though. In fact, he loathed it. It made his skin crawl to even think that he considered himself to be in with a chance at having you in his arms.

"No," he thought resolutely. "It would never come to that,"

It was a shame that he couldn't teach the man a lesson in not trying to seduce another man's beloved. He couldn't reveal to everyone that you were on more intimate terms--not yet, anyway.

Sebastian smiled as you giggled again, hiccuping as you so often did when you had been drinking. It was so easy to intoxicate you; it took, perhaps, one glass of wine to get you giggling, and possibly two more to have you reeling.

He wondered how many more it would take to get you to take leave of your senses altogether.

"Hey, Shebastian!" slurred Bard, raising his glass to the butler. Sebastian turned to him with one eyebrow raised, wondering what the fool was going to say.

"Yes...?" said Sebastian, taking care not to reveal his own level of drunkenness. It wasn't usual for a demon to consume human food or beverages, so he hadn't expected to be as much of a lightweight as you were. Although, that being said, he didn't mind that much.

He just didn't want anyone to know, that was all.

"Ain't (F/N) cute, blushin' like that?" chuckled the chef, tipping his glass towards you as though gesturing to whom he was talking about.

Sebastian's eyes widened a little, and you blushed even harder, neither of you realising that anyone had even noticed. You tried to hide your face, but that only made things worse.

"Aww, come on, (F/N)!" cooed Mey-Rin, giggling at your shyness. Even she was too inebriated now to care how she was behaving anymore. "Let 'em see you! I'm jealous of your cuteness, yes I am!"

You wanted to laugh at her mannerisms, although they were no different to her usual ones. "I don't want to..." you managed to stutter out, but someone reached across and forced you to look up by cupping your chin with their hand.

You looked up and saw Sebastian gazing deeply into your twinkling (E/C) eyes with his amazing red ones.

"I also want to see you," he purred, seducing you with just an expression. He was absolutely splendid, in every possible way.

"Y-you do?" you stammered, trying to look anywhere but at him. But it was impossible. He was impossible.

"Yes. Now please look at me," he growled, almost losing himself to you. You could be so adorable sometimes that it just made him want to strip you of that innocence. "Ah, yes..." he went on, pretending to think about what Bard had asked him. "I would say that you are very cute indeed...Adorable, even,"

You were certain that your entire face had lit up red, almost dark enough to be the same sanguine hue as the wine you'd been drinking. You didn't know what to do with yourself; he was a master of manipulating you into doing whatever he wanted of you. He didn't do it often, because apparently your day-to-day behaviours and expressions were enough to please him but occasionally he would mess with you and make you blush as much as he possibly could.

He was a wicked man; you had no doubts in your mind about that fact.

Just when you thought that you couldn't be any more embarrassed--or shy--Sebastian leaned in and kissed you deeply upon the lips, drawing from you a contented, lustful sigh. When he pulled away, you felt as though you had been bruised but it only brought you pleasure. The first thing you saw when you opened your eyes was Sebastian smirking victoriously at you, face illuminated by the soft orange light of the many candles around the kitchen.

But then you saw the astounded faces of the other servants around you. Clearly they were also quite unable to believe that they had really just witnessed that recent occurrence, and--putting their jealousy aside--they all began to whoop and cheer, as well as wolf-whistle. Apparently when drunk they enjoyed a bit of a show of affection.

"Hell, I didn't know you felt like that," laughed Bard, rubbing the back of his head with his free hand. He was not going to put that glass of wine down, not under any circumstances.

Sebastian grinned and chuckled, placing his own glass down on the table. It was empty, to the point where not even a drop of wine sat at the bottom. He had drained it dry.

"Yes, of course. How could I not?" he rumbled while still holding you in his red gaze. He was stunning and you were totally under his spell. You blushed again, even hotter than before; you thought that you would faint before long.

"Well, you two had better get a room if you're gonna start that nonsense," chuckled the chef, implying what you knew was on Sebastian's mind. Fortunately for him--and unfortunately for anyone who wanted to keep your company other than him--it was on your mind too and very much at the fore.

"Don't tempt me..." you mewled, addressing Bard but staring at Sebastian seductively. Without thinking, and without considering the consequences, you licked your lips as though craving the handsome, dark-haired man before you.

Which you were, of course, but nobody needed to know that. Apart from him, in time.

The next thing you knew, Sebastian had grabbed you by the wrist and you were both staggering out of the room. Only now did you truly come to terms with how utterly sloshed you were, but you didn't care. Sebastian was almost just as bad, and it nearly reduced you to laughter.

But he was still hell-bent on taking you to bed with him, and that was fine by you.

Meanwhile, Bard, Mey-Rin and Finny were left drinking in the kitchen without a clue as to what just happened. They were all very jealous of what they had just seen, and what they knew was about to happen, but they were just too drunk to care that much. Besides, it would all be forgotten by morning.

But not by you.

As this was happening downstairs in the kitchen, Sebastian was upstairs with you tearing the clothes from your body and his, and strewing them all about his bedroom. He didn't give a damn about anything else now but you and your warm, shapely body.

He wanted every inch of you, and he knew from past experience that you could certainly give that to him.

Even though he was wobbly on his arms due to the alcohol, he still managed to support himself while pinning you beneath him ready for what you knew was about to happen. All you had to do was lie there and beg him, to spur him on a bit. You knew that he wouldn't need much persuasion to make him cave to you.

Soon his hard member was ploughing into you relentlessly and without mercy, driven by his strong hips and libidinous fancies. All he wanted was you, and all you wanted was him. You cried out softly every time his hips collided with yours, skin clapping against skin as he pounded into you again and again.

Each and every time you heard him pant or sigh with pleasure, you grew a little wetter for him. It wouldn't be long now, you thought, until he caused your long-awaited and much-needed release, drowning you in pleasure with those powerful, all-consuming waves of ecstasy.

The first wave washed over you without you even anticipating it. It simply incapacitated you, rendering you unable to move but allowing only cries of joy to pass your damp, rosy lips. Sebastian found the strength and balance to lean down and kiss you, over and over with passion, as his rhythmic thrusting grew uneven and finally his own release came, spilling into you his thick, hot seed. He almost collapsed on top of you, but restrained himself before inevitably and accidentally crushing you if he didn't act before his own body.

Sebastian crashed down beside you, before entangling you in his powerful arms, pulling you into the warmest of embraces that you could only receive from him. You felt as he kissed the back of your head, then your neck, and then finally your shoulder before suddenly he relaxed entirely.

He had fallen asleep, and you knew that your own slumber was not far behind...

-

You awoke the next morning to find Sebastian still lying beside you, one arm still draped sleepily over your body. Even in the deepest of sleeps, he would not cease to protect you with all his might.

And he was very mighty indeed, if the light ache in your hips was anything to go by. You glanced around the room and saw your clothes strewn messily about the place and smiled. It had been a very sudden and wild night for you and your unholy lover.

He stirred beside you and groaned slightly, almost inaudibly. It was such an adorable sound that you could not help but snuggle into him, pulling the bedcovers up to your shoulders and his chest. He reached up and rubbed his eyes with one hand--treating each eye separately--before finally opening them to look at you.

"Good morning..." he said groggily, but he was clearly happy to see you. "How are you feeling?"

"Surprisingly well-rested," you giggled, smiling up at him as you cuddled him. "How are you feeling?"

"Like I was shot in the head again," he grumbled, rubbing his head as though looking for the imaginary bullet's point of entry. You laughed again, a soft, melodic sound.

"Someone's hungover," you teased, tracing some unknown shape on his torso beneath the duvet.

"I know...I don't need to be reminded," he sighed, staring in pain at the ceiling. "How long does it take you people to get over these?"

"Depends on the person," you chuckled. "I don't usually get them, but if you get a bit more sleep and drink some water it should go,"

"I'll just sleep with you for a bit longer, in that case," he whispered sleepily, winding his arms back around you. You couldn't argue with that, but his duties could.

"What about the Young Master?" you said.

Sebastian smirked and pulled you closer to him, holding you ever tighter but not so tight that he would squash you. "He can wait,"

"But...your contract?"

"That can wait too," he chuckled. "Besides, I don't want to remember that for now. I want to remember last night..." he added, sliding a palm over your naked body. You shivered with excitement and smiled as you melted into his embrace. To be one with him was the highlight of every single day.

"Me too..." you said with a happy sigh.

"Not even wine will make me forget the things that we get up to," he purred, laughing gently as he said that. You didn't have to reply--you could feel his assurance to you of that--but you tried to tell him with your body language that you felt the same way.

This was another morning to add to your list of perfect ones--even though you lay with a hungover demon. He was adorable, and nothing would make you think otherwise.

Chapter Text

You made your way through the bustling marketplace, something you had long been used to. It was late in the afternoon and the sky was grey with brooding clouds. A chilly breeze stroked your clothes, blowing your hair out of your face. You didn't have long, you thought, until it was time to return to Phantomhive Manor. And you wanted to be finished with your chores in the city before those clouds broke.

It certainly looked like rain, at any rate. You could almost smell it on the breeze, that watery scent mixed with heavy air.

"I think that's everything..." you said to yourself, dodging a fast-moving passerby. On the churning streets of London, it was every man and woman for themselves. Time and tide stopped for no man, and the tide of shoppers and workers and carriages certainly wouldn't be stopping for the unfortunate soul who stepped into their path. You checked your basket as you walked, making sure to keep out of the way of the busiest looking people.

After a couple of minutes of checking that you had bought everything that the household needed, you realised that you could not possibly check the items at the bottom of the basket without stopping right in the middle of the pavement. You veered off the main street into an alleyway with much lighter foot traffic. In fact, there was nobody there at all. It was a bit gloomy, but you could still see what you were doing.

As you were rifling through the contents of your basket, you came across the shopping list that you had tucked away after purchasing everything that it detailed. You plucked it out of there with nimble fingers and analysed the beautiful handwriting swirling across the paper. Only Sebastian could make a shopping list look like a work of art. You sighed gently as your eyes scanned the gorgeous script, admiring every loop and sweep of the letters.

You admired everything about Sebastian and even though he never seemed to notice you, it only served to bewitch you all the more. You wanted--badly--to be noticed by him, but you knew that it would never happen. He was too perfect.

Tucking the shopping list back into your wicker basket, you covered its contents back over with the checked cloth that you had been using before. You glanced out into the street, to see if it was any calmer now. It wasn't, so you turned on your heels and scurried off deeper into the alleyway. You knew where you were going, and you knew that you would be able to get a taxi back to somewhere near the Phantomhive Estate if you took this route. Besides, you would be able to avoid the hustle and bustle of busy old London.

It wasn't long before you found yourself in the vast network of side and back streets. You weren't lost, but you knew that now you would have to take yourself through some of the most dangerous parts of London--the areas that were seldom seen. The hidden world. You weren't particularly keen on taking this path, now that you thought about it, but you didn't have the time or the inclination to fight the hordes of people along the main roads.

It was quiet. Too quiet, and as you pressed deeper into the murk you found yourself tingling with the feeling of being watched. It wasn't just paranoia, either. It was well-founded, because you knew that there were people lurking all around you. Behind boxes and crates, behind walls and around corners. It was most disconcerting.

As you tried to occupy your mind with happier thoughts, you stepped into what looked to you like a miniature square, of sorts. An enormous rat scampered past, almost brushing up against your legs and you squeaked in horror, leaping backwards into something solid. It didn't move, but you were certain that it wasn't inanimate. It had a pulse, and now you were truly afraid.

"W-what...?" you stammered, attempting to look at what--or who--you had bumped into. You were met with the sight of a very tall man towering over you, with stubble covering his cheeks and chin and a cap pulled quite low over his wicked, beady little eyes. No sooner had you made eye contact with him than his hands clamped down hard on your arms, and another man rushed forward in front of you to grab your basket.

"What do we 'ave 'ere then?" growled the man, coming dangerously close to touching you somewhere you really didn't want him to. You didn't want him touching you regardless. You squirmed in his firm hold, trying to get away from him but he only strengthened his grip on your arms. "A little bird's gone an' strayed from 'er flock,"

You didn't want to be there, and you vowed that you weren't going to be. You would find a way to outwit them or something, but with the fear coursing through your veins that was almost impossible; you couldn't think of a single thing to help you right now.

"Please...Please don't hurt me. Please leave me alone..." you mumbled, trembling slightly in his hands. He laughed at you, and so did his crony. You thought to yourself that you sounded utterly pathetic, unable to convince anyone of anything. You were in trouble, and you didn't know what to do.

"Aww, ain't that cute?" slurred the tall man's friend, quite obviously drunk. You wondered if the man restraining you was also drunk. You didn't want to stick around to find out, but you considered the possibility of being able to outrun them if this man let you go, and if they both really had been drinking. "Little thing has a voice,"

"She does, and a pretty face," said the man. You wriggled again, and managed to free one of your arms. You were almost away from him, but his friend pushed you back into him and he pinned you between his body and a nearby wall. You whimpered as he leaned in much too close to your face. "What do you think you're doin'?"

You quivered in front of him and didn't reply, not knowing of anything that wouldn't exacerbate the situation. He looked angry enough as it was because of your escape attempt. You could see that the other man had left your basket lying off to the side, but that wasn't a priority anymore. You were afraid for your life as, in the process of spotting your wicker basket, you spotted a knife sheathed at the tall man's hip.

"He's going to kill me..." you thought fearfully, and wished more than anything now that you hadn't chosen what you thought would be a shortcut. Shortcuts were bad, and you wouldn't be doing this again in London. If you survived. "Please don't hurt me..." you bleated helplessly, repeating your earlier plea. He simply smirked at you and made a movement as though to touch your chest. You instinctively swatted his hand away, slapping it in the process. His pupils dilated slightly in anger.

"You'd do well not to fight back," he snapped, forcing you closer to the wall at the same time. You didn't know what to do, and wished that someone would come to your rescue. But that seemed about as likely as these men letting you go. An idea then popped into your head with great spontaneity, even against your mental block. You looked the man straight in the eyes, after glancing left and right to check where his accomplice was, and spat in his face. He recoiled as you did this, and you took the opportunity to run. You positively sprinted off in the opposite direction. You had to get away from them.

As you ran, you could hear footsteps rapidly chasing after you. Every so often, one of the men would bellow at you to stop but there was no chance of that happening. You would keep running until you got to a main road, and never anything before. You were running out of stamina, but your adrenaline kept you going even against the wishes of your aching legs and thumping heart.

You turned a corner, but you were too busy looking over your shoulder at your pursuers to see where you were running. Just as you looked back in the right direction, you slammed straight into something that also felt like a wall. You shook your head, just as the two men rounded the corner themselves. You looked up at what you had run into, and couldn't have been more surprised by what you saw.

There, towering above you, stood Sebastian. He gazed down at you with a peculiar expression, but you had no idea how he'd managed to find you. You wanted to throw yourself at him, to put your arms around him in gratitude for his being there. Your lips rested at a point of being slightly agape, and your shock didn't allow you to rectify such a daft expression.

"S-Sebastian..." you whispered, feeling your knees beginning to give out. The men chasing you were quiet, now, and had stopped in their tracks but you knew that they were still there. Sebastian continued to gaze at you with a relatively indifferent sentiment in his eyes, but there was something else there as well. You didn't know what it was, though, not right now.

He stepped around you and, although unknown to you at the time, made sure that you were safely behind him. You heard him speak to the men in his usual smooth, calm voice. "What were you doing chasing this young lady?" You didn't need to see his face to be able to tell what expression he was wearing now--it was the scary "you'll be sorry" one.

"We..." said the tall man, but Sebastian interrupted him.

"It was a rhetorical question," growled the butler, looking the two charlatans up and down with disgust. "You've made a very grave mistake indeed,"

"What do you care?!" shouted the smaller man, staggering slightly in his idle position. He was definitely intoxicated. Sebastian smiled a slow, menacing smile.

"You shouldn't go around threatening other men's wives,"

Your heart leaped into your throat and you could have sworn an oath that it ceased to beat as you listened to Sebastian's words. What on Earth was he saying? That you were his wife? Why would he say such a thing? It was flattering and exciting, but it hurt because it was untrue. You wished that it was...How romantic would that have been?

"O-oh! Uh..." the men said simultaneously, backing away slowly from the scene unfolding before them. Sebastian, once again, smirked at them from down the alleyway as he began to follow them.

"Where are you going?" he chuckled. "Running away?"

The men didn't reply, but the taller one tried to look around Sebastian to glare at you, which failed. Sebastian continued to force them away from you and out of that particular alleyway, and once he had followed them around the corner again, there was absolute silence until suddenly there came two ear-splitting shrieks from your attackers. You didn't know what Sebastian was doing to them, but you did not cover your ears, choosing instead to listen with morbid fascination. You were staring in exactly the correct spot to make eye contact with Sebastian as he came back around the corner, returning to you.

"Are you alright?" he murmured, gazing at you with surprisingly soft eyes. He was absolutely stunning, and you adored every inch of him. You had sunk down to your knees while waiting for him to finish what he had planned for those two men, and you were even more surprised as he stooped down to take your hands and lift you to your feet.

"I-I'm fine, thank you..." you whispered, searching his eyes for answers. "How did you know where to find me?" you asked. Sebastian grinned, a wonderful, welcome break from his usual diffident countenance.

"I always know where you are," he said with the same smile, and although you did not quite understand the meaning behind his words or the reasons for why he knew where you were, you found yourself willing to simply accept his answer.

"Alright then..." you said, extremely quietly. He was very close to you now, almost close enough to embrace you, and your heart pounded so loudly in your ears that you weren't convinced that he couldn't hear it too. "...Why did you make that comment about threatening other men's wives? That was a complete lie..."

Again, Sebastian grinned down at you. You weren't very used to seeing him smile like this, and you found yourself feeling and exhibiting a glowing pink blush as you basked in his--rather--sunny smile. "Does it matter if you lie to people like them?" he chuckled, studying each and every one of your facial features from the shape and colour of your eyes to the curvature of your lips.

"I suppose not..." you said, feeling a little disappointed. You nodded while averting your eyes slightly, but Sebastian gently cupped your chin to force you to look at him again.

"What is the matter? You look as though you have more questions," he said, smirking a little now.

Your eyes grew wide for a moment, but then you found the courage to speak to him. "I just thought that it was a little strange that you would choose such a lie to tell...Why not say something else?"

Sebastian closed his eyes for a moment, before reopening them and staring you straight in the eyes. His were the most beautiful that you had ever seen, fiery like deepest sunset or the russet leaves of autumn. There were so many things you could compare that colour to, but there was no sensation on Earth comparable to the feeling of his soft lips pressing against yours. You thought that perhaps you were daydreaming, willing yourself to return to a place where the reality of not being with Sebastian was actually a falsehood.

When your lips parted, Sebastian kept his face close to yours as though preparing to steal from you another kiss. His eyes betrayed his true feelings, telling you that he desperately yearned for more. Just like you did, actually. Your breathing went ragged as you tried to take a deep breath, hyperventilating as the air filled your lungs.

"I said that because, perhaps, I wanted it to be at least somewhat true," he purred. Every movement of his mouth ignited the passion in your soul because of the light brushes of the lips that he gave you. He was so incredibly close to you that you felt even the slightest of motions. "There are many things that I would like for you to know about me, and many that I would like to know about you..."

"Y-yes..." you whispered, unable to do much else.

"I don't want anything to happen to you..." he growled, kissing you again.

"B-but I thought that you barely even noticed me..." you mumbled, unsure of why he was really doing all of this. Could it be that he really cared for you?

"Of course I did; I just had to ignore you sometimes or I would never be able to control myself," he admitted, holding you close to him. "I want you for myself,"

So surprised were you that you simply could not find words to respond to him, but he saw right through to your true feelings and smiled sweetly at you. You had no idea that he was capable of being so romantic, even in such an unromantic setting. You wondered what was going to happen when you returned to the Phantomhive Estate.

"Can I have you?" he whispered, wrapping his arms around you completely. "I will not let anything happen to you regardless, but I just want to know that you are mine..."

Your heart was thumping so hard in your chest that you were certain that it would burst out of your chest any minute now, but you wound your own arms around Sebastian as your initial reply. "You can have me..." you whispered, resting your head against his chest. You loved him even more after this incident.

"I may not have been incredibly friendly until now, but...I have always treasured you,"

You looked up and saw a light blush painting his cheeks, and this you found absolutely adorable. You cuddled into him tighter and giggled quietly; the many days ahead were full of promise. "I've always been sweet on you..." you confessed, and Sebastian's arms strengthened around you to hug you tighter, which you relaxed into. After a couple of minutes of just standing there enjoying each other's company, he looked down at you and smiled gently.

"Shall we bring you home, then?" he whispered. You smiled back and nodded.

"Yes please,"

Sebastian nodded, and lifted you into his arms, carrying you back out to the street where there was a carriage waiting for you both. You were placed carefully inside, like a china doll who might break otherwise, and Sebastian climbed in too, closing the door and tapping on the ceiling to get the driver to go. You watched him from across the coach, and as he smiled tenderly back at you, you felt certain that something else flickered behind his eyes. Something wilder and hungrier.

You were looking forward to finding out what that was. You had a long time to spend with your hero.

Chapter Text

Frills, lace and velvet. And pink. Why couldn't it be a different colour, even if it was just red? Pink was only red mixed with white...So why couldn't you wear a red dress? And why did it have to have that dreadful oversized ribbon at the back? Wasn't it bad enough that you had to wear a corset?

You sighed as you stared at yourself in the full-length mirror, shaking your head slightly as you took in the sight of the gaudy pink velvet ensemble. How could your mother do this to you? She knew that you hated all of this pomp and circumstance...and that you didn't particularly enjoy dressing like a precious little doll.

It wasn't that you preferred to dress like a boy, but you didn't mind wearing horse riding gear and similar outfits. They comprised of things like jodhpurs and blazers, and were simply more comfortable and easier to move in than girly dresses. But that wasn't what your mother really wanted to hear...She wanted her daughter to be a doll like she was in her youth.

You didn't begrudge her that. In fact, you quite understood. But the truth of the matter was that you just wanted to spend your time anywhere other than tea parties and the like.

Again you sighed. It was nearly time to go downstairs to the party, and you dreaded what people were going to say when they saw you. Especially those with the knowledge of your penchant for comfortable, outdoor clothing. You took a deep breath and readied yourself for what was to come; inevitable embarrassment.

But maybe there was a way to make it fun for yourself. You wondered about that...

-

You tried to prevent yourself from yawning as you stood beside your mother and father as they chatted merrily away to friends of theirs. Your eyes panned around the great golden and rouge hall, looking for something to do.

Even though you hadn't seen anything yet, you were suddenly overcome by a wave of an idea washing over you. You suppressed the smile that would have undoubtedly followed, and began making plans in your head.

You had remembered the household's gardener, Gregory. He wasn't an old man, but neither was he particularly young and by all accounts he had been a lightweight drinker since his introduction to alcohol. He was your answer to the boredom threatening to overwhelm you.

You splintered off from your parents and wandered off into the crowd, taking care not to trip over your ridiculously frilly skirts. At least nobody had commented on your attire this eve. As you walked, your eyes suddenly met with the sight of two very striking men, one grown and one about the same age as you. Saying "man" was a little too far for the younger one; he looked to be only thirteen or fourteen--like you.

He glanced over at you, much to your surprise, and you saw that one of his eyes was shielded by an eye patch. However, his visible left eye was a colour that you could only describe as ultramarine blue. He was stunning, and you knew then exactly who he was.

Earl Ciel Phantomhive, head of the Phantomhive Estate and the Funtom Company, and one of your father's business partners, as it happened. He had lost his family a few years earlier and was also thought to be dead until he returned to his estate and took his place at the head of the household. He was one to admire, you thought.

But you were a bit busy at the moment. You had pranks to pull, and fun to make. You didn't mean to ignore the young Earl but there wasn't much time before you completely lost your mind out of tedium.

When you were gone, Ciel turned to his butler Sebastian and, unbeknown to you, asked him a question. "Who was that girl?"

"My Lord, that was Lady (F/N), daughter of the Duke," said Sebastian, sighing out of slight exasperation. "Don't tell me you didn't recognise her?"

"I can't say that I did...Apparently she is quite the recluse. She prefers to spend her time away from events like these," said Ciel, almost as though he knew you personally. Sebastian picked up on this and smirked.

"Remember your engagement to Lady Elizabeth, my young Lord," he advised, shaking his head slightly so that his raven black hair gently dusted his face.

Ciel glared at his butler, resenting the implication that he was making. "I'll thank you not to make such vulgar assumptions," growled the young man.

Sebastian chuckled and rolled his eyes slightly. "Whatever you say, Young Master,"

-

You were outside--albeit in the cold but that didn't matter--looking for Gregory. On the way out of the house, you had managed to swipe a bottle of wine from beneath a clothed table near the front door. You were going to get the man drunk, and see what happened...

"Ah, Gregory! There you are!" you called, seeing him sitting on a stone bench amid the ornately sheared hedges. He turned to face you and smiled.

"Good evening, young Mistress," he said courteously, dipping his head in respect to you. "How can I help you?"

"I just felt sorry for you sitting on your own out here so I brought you a present," you said sweetly, behaving like the cute little girl that everyone thought you were.

Gregory looked down at what you were holding out to him, and his eyes widened at the sight of an entire bottle of wine. "Are you sure, Young Mistress? Your parents will not allow me to drink..."

You grinned, mainly to yourself. "It's alright, Gregory; they sent me to find you. Of course they couldn't come themselves because of our guests..."

"Of course..." said the gardener. He looked a little apprehensive about taking the wine but did so nervously. "Thank you, my young Lady,"

"You're welcome," you told him with a smile. Beneath the facade of sweetness there lay an unmistakable impishness. You had also swiped a glass from underneath the table and offered it to him. He smiled and took it from you, pouring himself his first glass.

You stayed, and got him talking.

-

Approximately a half-hour later, you returned to the house after hiding just outside the door. Gregory had gone inside a few minutes before, waving his wine glass around and hollering drunken slurs. You chuckled to yourself as you joined the crowd gathering around him; he wouldn't hold this against you. You were like uncle and niece.

"Good God, what is he doing?!" gasped your father, only just heard by you above the music and rippling whispers.

All you could do was grin as you stood slightly out of your parents' line of sight. However, you were not out of sight of Earl Phantomhive. You flinched slightly as you realised that not only had he seen you from across the ballroom, but he had also spotted your incriminating, highly suspect grinning.

You held your ground, though, and continued to smile victoriously while effectively staring him down.

Ciel did not look away immediately, but eventually he found your defiant (E/C) stare too intense to withstand.

All the while this was happening, your father was busy calling for one of the other household servants to come and whisk Gregory away. He was indeed causing a scene, and while you could possibly have made greater fun elsewhere, this was just about fun enough and disruptive enough, too, to offer a little respite from the stifling formalities of the ball.

As soon as someone came to escort Gregory out of there, your parents turned to face you with a questioning stare each directed at you. You wiped the smile from your lips before they could see it, and looked between them both.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" you asked them, hands clasped innocently in front of you.

Your mother sighed and your father tutted. "This seems like a joke that you would play on us all, and poor Gregory..." he scolded. "You are just fortunate that we do not have any proof this evening, young lady,"

You continued to shoot him with your best puppy-dog eyes and innocent gaze. "I assure you, Father, I do not know what you mean,"

He eyed you suspiciously, but you wanted to laugh because it was so like him to pull pranks on people too. It was from him that your mischievous streak derived. He couldn't stay cross with you for even a minute.

You suspected that your mother would be an entirely different kettle of fish but that would have to wait until later. She didn't seem to be too irked at this moment in time, so enraptured with the wonderful scenery was she. It was quite lovely, in reality, but just as you were about to offer your parents a shred more of reassurance your attention was brought suddenly to the approach of Ciel Phantomhive and his handsome butler.

They made quite a striking appearance together in your bright and airy manor home.

"Hello, Lord Phantomhive," said your father. "Have you met my daughter, (F/N)?"

"I am sad to say that I have not," he replied, in a surprisingly soft tone of voice. Such a dark, brooding and sombre looking young man struck you as someone who would have a deeper, more severe voice but his was rather nice.

"Ah, well then allow me to introduce you both," said your father, who was himself a Duke. "Darling, this is Earl Ciel Phantomhive, head of the Funtom Company and Phantomhive Estate. My Lord, this is my daughter (F/N), the heiress to my estate and business,"

You curtseyed to the young Earl and he bowed to you, before taking your hand gently to kiss it with a feather-soft touch. You were surprised by his tenderness, and the care that he took with your hand.

"A pleasure to meet you," you said as he straightened up again.

"The pleasure is all mine,"

Again, a blow dealt to you in the form of a shock about his softness. He was lovely. But, along with everything you already knew about him, he was engaged to Lady Elizabeth Midford. He would only be a worthy business partner and possibly a friend.

You didn't know this boy, but for some reason the dawning of this truth hurt you somewhat.

"I shall leave you two to talk and get to know each other; you are of similar ages after all," said your father, smiling and bowing to you all before leaving. You watched him go, but your focus was snatched back by Ciel speaking to you all of a sudden.

"You got that man drunk, didn't you?"

You looked at the boy beside you and couldn't stamp out the grin dancing on your lips this time. "He drank the wine himself; he did that on his own,"

"So you are both facetious and naughty?" said the Earl with a smirk. "Interesting,"

"Why do you find that interesting?"

"Because I happen to like people like that," said Ciel simply. "You are not boring, like so many others,"

You smiled. "Good. Because there is nothing worse than being tedious, in my opinion,"

Ciel nodded. "Quite so," He gazed at you for a couple of minutes, and even though you weren't able to concentrate on him for too long--you were looking all around the room at what was going on around you--he continued to watch the ever-changing expressions in your beautiful (E/C) eyes.

After a few more minutes, Ciel finally spoke out again. You hadn't seen him wave his butler away. All you were aware of was his asking you to dance. You were surprised, and didn't know what to say.

"Please, do not be so alarmed. It is just a dance, yes?" Ciel reassured you, offering his hand. You smiled and finally accepted. Again you were surprised, but this time by his proficiency on the dance floor.

"Why ask me to dance, out of everybody here?" you asked, genuinely curious as to what he would reply with. Even though you were quite tomboyish by nature, you were still capable of joining in ballroom dances.

Ciel smiled slightly, so slightly in fact that you could tell that it was directed more at himself than at you. And you knew that he wasn't much for smiling anyway, so the fact that he was doing so as much as this around you filled you with wonder and curiosity.

"I want to get to know you better. I think we could be close,"

Your heart leaped a little, skipping like a fawn in spring. You still barely knew him, and although there was of course time to rectify that you couldn't believe that he seemed to like you already.

"I would like that very much," you replied, fixing him in your gaze. "But, what about your..."

"My...?"

"Well, I hear that you have a fiancée. Will she not get jealous about your dancing with me?" In truth, you were a little worried about this. You didn't want to come between two lovers, however young they were.

Ciel smiled again, but this time it was directed at you. He led you through a slightly more complicated dance step and you wondered who had taught him to dance. The thought soon drifted from your mind as he spoke to you again.

"I can't imagine that she will, but we will see what the future holds,"

So he was thinking ahead. You didn't know what it was about the idea that made your heart soar, but it really did seem quite wonderful, even if you were just going to be friends.

"Yes," you said, with a slight, feminine nod. "That seems like a sound idea,"

Ciel turned you in his arms before pulling you back to him closer than before. You weren't sure how to take that, but you just let it happen.

After all, there was of course the future.

Chapter Text

1898. So much had happened in ten years, but so little had really changed. Ciel Phantomhive sat in his study, facing away from the mahogany desk littered with papers discarded in their addressee's tedium, and staring nonchalantly from the great window behind.

He seldom let his mind wander back to those days when he had cast out his servants and those that he now conceded were his friends. Even Elizabeth, his fiancée, who saw the good in everyone and everything, and despite the contrast between his dourness and her overwhelming sunshine he missed her merry ways.

What had he done? He never asked this of himself, for he was of the darkest mind and the stony coldness of his heart would make even the mountains quiver for lack of warmth.

His eyes flashed fuchsia as he felt the anger rising within him. Damn this demonic existence that he had been cursed with. He had thought that it would be swell, to be able to order Sebastian around for all eternity...

"My Lord, there is another letter for you,"

Ciel turned in his chair to glare lividly at his butler. "What?"

Sebastian remained calm and collected, but did not smile as he used to. He simply held out the letter for Ciel. "Another letter, sir,"

Ciel whipped the letter out from Sebastian's slender fingers and sighed with exasperation, taking a moment to read the handwriting and examine the seal on the envelope.

"What is this?"

"A letter, sir,"

"You've said that three times already. Who is it from?"

Sebastian stared at Ciel in such a way that made him feel as though he was looking through him rather than at him. "Why don't you open it and find out?" he growled.

Ciel still glared at Sebastian and begrudgingly opened the letter. He didn't know why he was still even receiving mail; he was supposed to be dead.

The Earl scanned the contents of the letter, the beautiful, swirling cursive of some nobleman somewhere. A business partnership, it seemed, was being proposed. Did this man, Lord Thurstan, not care that Earl Phantomhive was not necessarily a part of the social scene anymore?

"Send word that I will meet with him at his requested time," said Ciel to Sebastian. He barely even looked at him this time, spinning back around in his chair to face away from the door. He had said--and done--enough.

-

The carriage rolled slowly, almost casually, up to Thurstan Manor. It was actually a more modest mansion than that of the Phantomhives, but Ciel was loathe to admit that it was significantly more tasteful in its understated stonework and grounds. Of course it was still much more lavish than the average home, but still better than his.

It irked him, somewhat.

Sebastian had been the one to drive him there and so the butler climbed down from the front seat to open the door for the Earl. Ciel stepped out without so much as a sideward glance at the other demon, and straightened his suit jacket before proceeding to the front doors of the handsome abode before him.

Ciel was, against his nature, actually pleased with something, and that was his eventual growth into a strapping young man. Not that he thought much of himself, particularly, but he was glad of the height that one week in the past seven years had decided to bestow upon him.

It had been a long time coming. He had wondered if he would remain forever at five feet tall; a twenty-three year old Ciel would not have been pleased to be referred to as a boy for the duration of his existence.

He knocked thrice upon the door, knowing that Sebastian would have gone to park the carriage at the back of the house. There he waited patiently for somebody to answer, until at last someone came to the door. A man dressed in a deep navy suit, patterned with the darkest green thread to make a discreet patchwork design.

"Ah, Lord Phantomhive! It is good to meet you at last," said the man, holding out his hand for Ciel to shake. "I am Lord Thurstan,"

"It's a pleasure," said Ciel, shaking the man's hand. The gentleman before him was a duke, far more lofty a title to bear than his own. He had, upon reading his letter, thought that he would be a baron or another earl...Someone that he could quite easily dismiss. But that had transpired not to be the case.

"The pleasure is all mine. Please, do come inside,"

Ciel followed the Duke inside and was taken aback by the beauty of the house. It was even more exquisite than the exterior. Brown panelled walls, separated by mahogany beams, and the most opulent of wallpapers in a regal shade of emerald.

"You have a magnificent home," the Earl heard himself say, aloud. He wished that he hadn't voiced his true thoughts but it was out there now.

"Thank you very much," said the Duke with a cheery smile. He seemed like such a genuine sort; Ciel could not help feeling at ease in this house.

"We might take some refreshments in the garden, Earl Phantomhive," said Thurstan, with yet another smile directed at Ciel. He was extremely welcoming, and the Earl was not accustomed to this.

A couple of minutes later, the Duke and the Earl sat down at a table set with refreshments outside on the patio. The sun beat down but was not too warm for them in the late spring; it offered a gentle, uplifting warmth instead.

As they took their tea, Ciel decided to ask Thurstan about his business proposal.

"Ah, yes! What would you say, Earl Phantomhive, if I asked you if you would like to form a partnership between my business and yours? I own a firm of suppliers and the resources that they supply...I feel that we could help each other. You do not currently have a supplier of materials for the Funtom Company after your last, do you?"

Ciel had a lot of information to take in, but he knew what the man before him was saying. Just as he was about to take a sip of tea--it was very good tea and he was already on his second cup--and he started to think about the offer of a partnership, Ciel's attention was drawn away from the conversation at hand by a beautiful sight just down the slight hill into the sprawling garden.

The most radiantly beautiful woman that he had ever seen had laid a picnic blanket down upon the grass and was throwing a stick for a spaniel, a dog that the Earl assumed to be the family pet.

He gazed at you from afar, the enchanting daughter of Duke Thurstan. Your glossy (H/C) framed your face, he could see from where he sat, perfectly and shone in the warm midday sun and he could tell by looking at you that you were of the sweetest disposition. It had taken him seconds to become bewitched by you.

Duke Thurstan glanced over in the direction of Ciel's sudden focus. "Ah, that is my daughter, (F/N). You will probably see a lot of her during your time here,"

"I see..."

Ciel continued to stare at you, unable to do anything else. You were absolutely resplendent, and this was something that he desired you to know but he simply could not with your father's weighty presence looming before--and over--him.

Earl Phantomhive resisted the urge to smile to himself. Logic may have dictated that, since your father was human and Ciel was not, getting around him would be easy. Of course, the younger nobleman wanted to be respectful of the Duke and his family, and not offend or defy anyone, but you did entice him so...

He would get to know you in his own way...

-

"Sebastian,"

"Yes, my Lord?"

Ciel was quiet for a moment, before looking his butler in the eyes. Blue merged with red, and Sebastian knew what was coming. It had been a few days since Ciel's visit to the Thurstan Estate, and he could tell that something had been playing on his master's mind since then.

"I need you to do something for me,"

-

You awoke in an unfamiliar setting, staring at a whitewashed ceiling and feeling rather uncomfortable. You looked around and realised that you were lying on a sofa, with a warm blanket draped over your body. You suddenly felt a wave of panic wash over you, realising that this was not your home.

"What happened here...?" you said to yourself, convinced that you were alone. "How did I...?"

"I had you moved here," said somebody behind you. You sat bolt upright and turned to face where you thought the voice had come from. You saw a beautiful young man standing there, arms folded across his chest and hair hiding his right eye. You recognised him instantly as Earl Phantomhive, the nobleman who had come to your manor home a few days earlier.

"W-what?" you stammered, unsure of where to look. He was breathtakingly gorgeous, even more attractive than you had thought him to be when you spied him having tea with your father in the garden. Meanwhile, Ciel stood stock still, admiring your own unrivalled beauty. He had you now, and in the privacy of his own home he could get to know you a lot better than he would ever be able to somewhere else...

"Well, I couldn't very well speak more personally with you at your own estate, could I?" he chuckled. You wondered what had driven him to have you kidnapped, and a cold chill ran up your spine. It filled you with an unmistakable sense of foreboding, and you didn't know what to do with yourself other than continue to stare in dismay at the handsome Earl.

"Why would you want to do that?" you asked, blinking a couple of times to rid yourself of the blurriness of sleep.

Ciel smiled, something that didn't quite seem to belong on his face but was golden all the same. "You seem like a pleasant young woman," he said carefully, making sure not to give too much away. "Why wouldn't I want to speak with you?"

You didn't know how to respond, and you certainly didn't know how to react when he moved over to the sofa to sit beside you. Instead, you simply nodded your head in quiet bewilderment as he offered you tea, a pot of which you did not realise was sitting on the coffee table nearby. The Earl was very tall, contrary to the tales you had heard about him in his youth. Apparently he had been quite a short, slim little boy...He couldn't have been more different as a man. Not only was he tall but he had bulked out considerably and made you wonder if, while he was still very svelte, he was as toned as any ancient statue…

You blushed in shame at your own thoughts. You couldn't believe that such things occurred to you, and so soon after meeting this man...

He offered you a cup of tea and you took it gratefully, sipping daintily and savouring the hot, sweet drink. You hadn't noticed at the time, but Ciel had been watching you closely while you enjoyed the tea. When you had taken your fill for the time being, you looked to him and began the conversation.

"If you wanted to speak to me, why did you kidnap me? You have said that you want to speak with me personally, and bringing me here suggests that you want privacy, but why could you not simply write to me?"

Ciel turned away from you and smirked. You were clever, and he liked that. He wondered why he had not yet heard news of a search party being assembled to find and return you to your family, but he had you now and he wasn't going to hurt you. You were safe with him.

"Because I wanted you here with me,"

You were startled by how forward he was being with you, and you wondered at that. You thought to yourself that there seemed to be very few people around the house, even though you had only seen the room that you were in now. You had always had a sense for other people and their feelings, and even though there was something about the Earl that you found impossibly attractive, you could not ignore the fact that he was both dark and brooding, and seemingly very lonely...

Perhaps that was the root of his strange, impulsive urge to kidnap you.

"Why me? Surely there must be countless other, more suitable ladies deserving of your attention..."

"Not the way I see it," he chuckled.

His personality really had come as a surprise to you, but you couldn't bring yourself to relax. "Earl Phantomhive...Flattered though I am, I cannot help but feel that this is not the way to go about this..."

"Then how would you conduct this?"

"From the comfort of our individual homes...Please, allow me to return home before somebody worries about me and then we will continue our getting to know each other in due course..."

Ciel shook his head in a way that made his hair swish about his face. Something about his expression grew considerably darker and even though you could only see the side of his face you saw clearly the sudden change in the colour of his eye(s). You imagined that the other would have done the same. They flashed an undeniable shade of pink, almost fuchsia, and that chill ran back up your spine.

"I am sorry, but I cannot let you go until I can be certain that I will see you again," he growled, clearly unwilling to release you.

You gasped slightly, realising that you were being held hostage by somebody who seemed to be from another plane of existence, or at least have attributes that a human certainly never would. "You...You can't do that...!" you squeaked, knowing instantly that your plea would never be enough to convince him in that tone of voice.

"Yes, I can. I like you, and I would very much like to keep you,"

"You don't know me,"

"Then let me get to know you," said Ciel, with a smile that settled somewhere between genuine and a smirk. "You don't have to know somebody to like them,"

You sighed, thinking that you were never going to be able to talk your way out of what was happening to you. "And what is your preferred outcome for this?" you muttered, making it obvious how much you disapproved of the situation.

"Well, we will just see how it goes," said the Earl, smiling much more genuinely than before. "You must think that I'm a monster. I know what you saw just a moment ago..."

You were silent for a moment, then shook your head. "That would be very presumptuous of me. While it may have alarmed me somewhat, I cannot say for sure that you are a 'monster', as you so aptly put it,"

Ciel nodded his head and stood, smoothing out the creases in his suit. He looked magnificent in whatever he wore; you had seen him on the day of his visit to your father at your home and he had looked good then, and he did now as well. You could not help but wonder why this handsome young man did not yet have a fiancée, but you supposed that if he was going to keep you there for a while then you might actually learn the truth behind that.

"Where are you going?" you asked.

"I have some business to attend to--it shouldn't take long. Feel free to roam the manor as you please,"

With that, the Earl left you to your own devices. Much to your astonishment. You had no idea what to do with yourself other than sit there staring into space. All you could feel in your heart, as well, was a mixture of longing for home, apprehension about your situation, and the unmistakable thrill of knowing that somebody was interested in you.

You threw back the blanket and placed your feet on the floor. The plush carpet made a soft, satisfying sound beneath your elegant shoes. You were surprised that they hadn't been taken from you before lying you down on the sofa.

All you could do for now was wait until Ciel decided to return you to your family...

 

~ To Be Continued ~

 

Chapter Text

You awoke in bewilderment, as you had every morning for the past two weeks. Still you expected to open your eyes and see the familiar white ceiling of your own bedroom, and not the soft cream one of your chambers at Phantomhive Manor. You turned your head to the side and saw that you had forgotten to close your curtains the night before, and the sun was now streaming in to form a golden pool on your duvet.

"At least the sun is always the same," you told yourself, sighing and pushing back the bedclothes. You glanced downwards and saw that your nightdress had ridden up your legs to a dangerously risqué position close to your womanhood. You were thankful for being a maiden, one who still slept alone at night. How embarrassing it could have been otherwise.

Presently there was a gentle rap upon the wooden door on the other side of the room, and a small click as the doorknob turned and the latch opened. You grabbed the duvet once more and yanked it up to cover your body from feet to hips. The figure you saw standing there was Sebastian, Lord Phantomhive's butler. They made quite the pair of heartthrobs together, both of them exceedingly handsome and possessed of some mysterious quality that, no matter what you opinion of them was, rendered you speechless and somewhat enamoured with them. You would have shaken your head to rid yourself of the thought and sensation, would Sebastian not have noticed.

"Good morning, my Lady," said the butler, bowing deeply to you. You had noticed that his eyes softened considerably, and he used a much gentler voice, when regarding or addressing you as opposed to his own master. It was almost as though he had long since grown weary of the young man. "Did you sleep well?"

You considered telling him, privately, that you wished you could go home but thought better of it. "Yes I did, thank you," you replied, telling the truth. You couldn't lie to him; not only were you an honest woman, but you could also tell that he knew a liar when he saw one. He had a sense for these things.

"I am glad to hear it," he purred, lulling you into a state of tranquillity and contentment. You had nothing to fear from Sebastian, you could tell. It didn't matter that you knew very little about him; you had a good eye for people. Sebastian opened the door a little further to reveal a cart sitting just behind him. "I have brought you some tea, Miss,"

You felt the ghost of a grin flickering on your lips, before it broke out into a full smile of appreciation. "Thank you, Sebastian..." you said as he brought the cart in. He stopped at your bedside and poured you a piping hot cup of tea, placing it on a saucer and handing it to you.

"You are most welcome, my dear," he said, more gently than before. His red eyes came to rest on your (E/C) ones, and you found in them an incredible tenderness mixed with something decidedly inhuman. They were too intense to belong to any earthly being, but you supposed that this was just a combination of paranoia and a vivid imagination. He watched as you took your first sip from the teacup, and kept his gaze trained on you as you closed your eyes in bliss. The warm liquid coursed through your body and heated you up from the inside. It was just what you needed; although your bed was warm, you had awoken with a slight chill.

Suddenly you found yourself acutely aware of another presence in the room. You opened your eyes and looked over to the door, to be met with the sight of the Earl standing there in the doorway, eyes filled with ire directed entirely at Sebastian.

"My Lord?" said Sebastian, upon realising that his master was standing right there, glaring at him with all the malice of a murderer. And he certainly looked as though he wanted to kill Sebastian.

"I thought I told you to ask the Lady to join me in the garden?" he growled, clearly restraining himself from biting at the butler. Sebastian remained calm, something you had quickly learned had the potential to annoy Ciel greatly. Sebastian smiled charmingly, lowering his eyelids to look at the Earl.

"My Lord, I simply thought it good manners to offer the Lady some tea before beginning the day. You wish to impress her, do you not?"

The fact that he was saying this aloud and in front of you was startling to you, and incredibly irritating to Ciel. The young Lord bristled visibly and turned on his heels, leaving you alone with the audacious butler. He chuckled, seemingly to himself at first. Then he spoke to you.

"He likes you a great deal, my Lady," he said, with a note of sadness in his voice. "Perhaps you would like to join him for a proper breakfast, as was his original intention?"

You released an almost inaudible sigh and pushed your teacup around by the handle so that it turned on the saucer, an absentminded gesture that told Sebastian all about your confusion and uncertainty. "Of course. Allow me to dress and then I will join your master," you said quietly.

Sebastian carefully reached over you and took the teacup and saucer from your hands, so that you wouldn't spill any tea on the eiderdown. He placed the chinaware on the cart again, but sat down beside you on the bed before gently taking your hand. "He knows that what he is doing is wrong, but love can drive a man to foolishness. Ordinarily I would never say this to a woman for whom I..." he paused and inhaled sharply before continuing. "...I think you should give him a chance, at least,"

He lightly rubbed the back of your hand with his gloved thumb and then stood. He bowed before excusing himself from your company, leaving you in a state of mild shock and with a warm, tingly feeling bubbling deep within you. Had he been about to confess something to you? Regardless, he had just told you that his master loved you...But how could this man love you if he was holding you against your will in his own home?

You sighed once more and got up to get dressed. It had the potential to be a long day...

-

You stepped out onto the porch to see Ciel a short way off, elegantly sipping tea at a small table set for two. The sun beat down on him, casting light upon his dark, glossy hair. It shone with a distinctively blue hue, a beautiful colour to match his visible cerulean eye. He didn't look up as you exited the mansion, but he did as soon as you came a little closer. That blue eye glittered like nothing you had ever seen before; even the shiniest of baubles couldn't compare. Still, though, he did not smile.

"Good morning," he said in a low voice. At least he didn't sound angry about the morning's occurrences. The blame was not yours, after all. Nor was it Sebastian's, to be fair, but if Ciel had a bone to pick with anybody it ought to have been the butler. "Please, have a seat,"

You went to the seat he was gesturing to and sat down, making sure to keep your delicate skirts in place as you did so. You didn't want to tear any lace by sitting awkwardly. You felt a little strange sitting opposite him now, though, after hearing what Sebastian had to say about Ciel's feelings for you. You wanted to ask him about it, but knew that it was probably not your finest idea.

"Would you like something to eat?" he asked, nodding his head towards the scones, cream and jam neatly set out on the table between the two of you. There was also a bowl of fruit beside the plates and a steaming teapot.

"U-um...Yes, please..." you stammered, not knowing what to say or how to speak to him anymore. Talking had become somewhat easier after a week spent at the manor; you had entered a realm of ease and relative amiability with the Earl.

"What is the matter?" he said quietly as he cut a scone in half for you with a table knife. He looked strong enough to do it with just his hands, which you noticed were covered with white gloves. Perhaps that was for hygiene, you thought. Either way, you were grateful for this kind treatment. He handed the scone to you on a small plate, halved with jam and cream. He poured you a hot cup of tea to go with it.

"Thank you..." you said, accepting the food and tea. You hadn't realised it before, but you were actually very hungry.

"You didn't answer my question," he murmured. You looked up and saw him gazing at you with a mixture of reserved fascination and genuine concern for whatever was on your mind. You just didn't know how to respond. After a moment of silence, Ciel sighed. "It was what Sebastian said in your bedroom, wasn't it?" he grumbled.

"It did render me curious..." you admitted, taking a sip of tea. You regretted not being able to drink all of the cup given to you by Sebastian, but now you seemed to have Ciel's undivided attention.

"What about it piqued your curiosity?" he said, taking another sip of his own tea. He continued to stare at you from over the rim of his teacup.

"Well...Just the part about your wanting to impress me. Is that true?"

He placed the cup down on its saucer again, intertwining his fingers and placing his elbows on the table to rest his chin on his hands. "Yes,"

Your eyes widened in surprise. "Just like that? A simple 'yes'?"

"Is that not what you were looking for? You wanted me to beat about the bush? Not give you a straight answer?"

You stuttered, trying to force nonsensical words to pass your lips. You had no idea what you were trying to say to him; the intensity of his stare increased tenfold and his rapid bombardment of questions was a little intimidating...But then he relaxed back into his seat and dropped his gaze. What had happened to him?

"He also said that I should give you a chance..." you whispered, unsure of whether you actually wanted to impart on him what Sebastian had told you privately.

"Did he really?" said the Earl with a short, singular chuckle. He looked almost as though he'd given up on something.

"Yes...He said that love can drive a man to foolishness,"

Ciel looked up then, but the ferocity had drained from him altogether. You could see no trace of the beast lurking behind that eye. "Sebastian said that?" he said with a shallow harrumph. "Man's full of surprises,"

You smiled then, realising that there was more to Ciel and Sebastian's relationship than just butler and master. Of course you could tell that their relationship wasn't particularly positive, either. That wasn't the point, though; you could see that they also bounced off each other. Ciel caught sight of that beautiful smile of yours, and also found himself smiling along with you. He tried to erase it before you saw it for yourself, but it was too late.

"I was wondering if I'd ever see you smile," you said kindly. "It suits you well,"

Ciel blushed and tried to hide it, but realised it was folly. You had driven him to a state of love-related madness, and there was no going back. How had he not professed this love to you already? Why had he been so cowardly as to have you kidnapped and held hostage at his manor home? "Would you like to go home soon, milady?" he said, hardly thinking twice about the question. His brain didn't even register that his mouth was asking this of you.

You, on the other hand, could scarcely believe your ears. Was he serious about this, or was he simply playing mind games with you? You honestly couldn't tell the difference, but you had noticed the similarities between Ciel's eye and Sebastian's own red ones. Whenever they were playing games with somebody they shone in much the same way, and you could tell that a creature of power resided within. They were the same, and yet so different in themselves.

"Yes, soon...If you will allow it, of course," you said truthfully. You knew that Ciel would be able to sense a lie as well as Sebastian.

"Of course I would..." he growled, clearly affected by the decision he had made to release you. "But would you be willing to make a deal with me?"

"P-perhaps..." you stammered. "Naturally, that depends on the nature of the deal..."

Ciel smiled, genuinely, and looked you in the eye. "If I allow you to go home, I would ask two things of you. The first, that you do not tell anyone that I was responsible for your disappearance, rather that I returned you. I cannot risk my business relationship with your father..."

"Very well..." you said, accepting this first term. "And the second condition?"

"That you allow me to write to and visit you..."

"Why are you asking for these things...Really?" you asked, feeling genuinely curious about his motives.

Ciel stood and walked around the table to your side, holding out a hand to help you to your feet. "Because Sebastian is right,"

"About...?"

Ciel was standing close enough to you that you could smell his cologne, classy yet understated as men's fragrances went. So many of them still used perfumes that could almost be considered feminine, something left behind from a hundred years of fashion ideas you considered to be peculiar at best. His strong chest was right in front of you, and if you looked up you would be able to see every minute detail of his beautiful face.

So you looked up, and his eye locked with yours. "My feelings, whatever they appear to be or for whatever they are worth. And you are..." His breath caught in his throat and he found himself leaning towards you. "...exquisite,"

His last word to you was but a whisper, and you allowed him to come close enough to place his soft lips upon yours. The kiss was tender and sweet, and in that instant you fell deeply in love with him. A man who could bestow upon you such a simple gesture and ignite such rapture and passion in your heart surely had to be the man for you. You tentatively reached out and touched his hand, which he responded to by entangling your fingers together and pulling you closer to him by your waist.

The sun continued to shine down upon you both, as you lost yourselves in this blissful moment, alone together in the garden of Phantomhive Manor.

Chapter Text

The sound of the carriage's wooden wheels turning upon the road was almost hypnotic. In truth, you would have preferred to focus on absolutely anything but your destination. You could no longer stand to look at the other travellers in the vehicle with you. Your mother and your father were the people who had placed you in this predicament, something you had never wanted to become embroiled in. And now here you were, knee-deep in what you considered to be the mire of an arranged marriage.

It simply did not sit comfortably with your spirited and carefree personality. You had wanted to marry when you chose to, find a suitable husband for yourself. Surely you could decide for yourself who would be a good match for you?

Apparently not. Your father had, instead, gone ahead and matched you with somebody who you never would have expected to be betrothed to. You looked out of the window to have your eyes settle on unfamiliar lands. Although they were your family's beloved England, they were most certainly not your region. You were nearing London, albeit the outskirts, and the sprawling estate of Earl Ciel Phantomhive.

A cold shiver ran down your spine.

The last you had heard of Earl Phantomhive, he had vanished for some months and had severed ties with a great many contacts and even those he may have called friends, once. He had been engaged at the time of his disappearance to his cousin, Lady Elizabeth Midford--as was custom among noblemen and women such as yourselves--and yet this engagement had been abruptly called off. This you could not help but consider strange; the two had been promised to be together since birth, and now here you were supposedly preparing to fill Elizabeth's place.

You just weren't ready for such a big step. Least of all with a man such as this. You exhaled a deep, melancholic sigh.

"Oh, don't look so glum, darling. You don't want the Earl to think that you are a sullen young woman, do you?" said your father, desperate for you to cheer up.

You continued to gaze disinterestedly out of the carriage window. "I do not care what he thinks," you mumbled bitterly.

"Don't talk like that. You'll make a lovely couple,"

You glanced over at him and he saw in your eyes the true extent of your enthusiasm--and lack thereof. "You make it sound as though we are to be wed this very day," you muttered.

Neither of your parents responded for a moment, before your mother eventually spoke up. "Not at all, darling. We just want you to make the best possible impression upon the Earl,"

Sighing once more, and resisting the urge to tut and roll your eyes. "We met on many occasions, years ago," you said. "I scarcely think that a man who could move on so quickly from his first fiancée, to whom he had been engaged since childhood, could make for a suitable husband,"

Your parents seemed to be stumped then, but your father gently shook his head. "Please, my sweet, just give the boy a chance. You may even find that he has changed,"

You didn't reply, but continued to stare out of the window. To make eye contact with either your mother or your father would have instigated further conversation in this vein. It was certainly not at the top of your list for conversations to have. To make matters worse, there were but a few miles to the Phantomhive Estate. You muffled the sigh which threatened to escape your lips, but let it swell in your chest instead as the world passed you by.

-

By five o'clock that afternoon, you had taken tea and crumpets with the Lord of the house and given a tour of the premises by him also. You could not deny that you were impressed with his estate but still you could not trust him. He most certainly was not the boy you had become acquainted with all those years ago, but at the age of twelve he seemed to have dropped off the face of the planet and disassociated himself with all those he may have once called friends. After that, you deemed it impossible to trust him. Of course, until now you had thought him nine years dead. Naturally, this had been everyone's assumption but it seemed that your father, at least, knew better.

Your walk with him had been pleasant, if only for the tranquil gardens and gentle sunshine. Ciel was as dark and brooding as ever, though, but you had to admit that he had grown handsome. As a child he had been a very pretty boy, prettier even than some girls you knew of, but now he was quite the heartthrob. Again, you could not help but see straight past that fine visage of his to peer at the darkness within. It sent shivers down your spine, but piqued your insatiable curiosity.

Ciel Phantomhive was now a tall, dark and handsome gentleman, with a voice like spun silk and the mannerisms of a prince. He was everything anyone could have expected him to grow up to be, but you could see that something about him was very different. You just couldn't place what it was. Not now, anyway.

 

As you were walking back towards the house, a cool breeze rustled the leaves on the trees and you pulled your shawl closer to your body. Ciel glanced down at you, and to your surprise offered you an arm to loop your own into. You were about to accept, but he saw the confusion and uncertainty on your face. He sighed gently, and looked back at you with the eyes of a forlorn puppy.

"We are not the same as we were all those years ago," he said quietly. "But I sense that you feel as though I cannot be trusted, or as though I am...rather too different,"

You paused to think about your reply. "Well...I cannot say that I am not surprised that my parents have arranged for me to marry you, especially after all this time and after all that has transpired. Nobody knows what really happened to you, Earl Phantomhive, and I cannot help but feel pity for Lady Midford..."

"So you are concerned about that," he said, nodding his head slightly. He looked down at an angle, at something he perceived to be on the lawn. "I cannot say that I blame you,"

"What happened, Ciel?" you asked, using his name. You had an eye for the smallest details, and it warmed your heart a little to see the corners of his lips tweak upwards in a slight smile to hear his given name. "You were always an enigma, so tell me. Why the change of heart?"

He looked up at you then and offered the most charming, and disarming, of smiles. "I changed," he said simply, visible blue eye glittering. He still wore that signature eye patch of his. "Perhaps I shall tell you more at a later date. For now, the wind is picking up and I can see that you're cold. Come, my Lady,"

He offered you a gloved hand, this time, and in that instant you found yourself both totally forgiving of and intrigued by this young man. Your parents had gone behind your back and engaged you to him, a fact which displeased you greatly, but with the simplest of words and the kindest of tones he had convinced you that he meant no emotional harm to you. You could be safe with him.

It was more than what could be said for others, you thought.

You continued your walk back to the house in relative silence, save your gentle footfalls on the gravel path. Every so often, you would catch Ciel looking down at you out of the corner of your eye, a surreptitious, fleeting glance that you would miss if you blinked. You resisted the urge to smile about it; you could sense that there was more that he wanted to say.

"What is it?" you asked sweetly. Looking over at him, you saw--for the first time, it should be noted--a bright, genuine smile break on his handsome face. You had never seen him smile so wholeheartedly about anything; other things that prompted him so had given you the impression that his delight had been somewhat forced. But now there was no trace of that, and you had a good eye for people as well as details.

"There has to be something said for a woman who can read me so well without even looking," he said, with what sounded like great satisfaction embedded in his voice. "I was going to ask if you truly would be content with me for a husband,"

Your eyes grew as wide as saucers, and you had to fight the compulsion to let your mouth hang agape. Was he asking, in some underhanded way, your permission to marry you? Or was this a sign of insecurity? You couldn't decide.

"I think that you are a fine man," you said, and you could have sworn an oath that you saw his chest swell with pride. "However, I do believe that we ought to get reacquainted with each other. Much has changed, and I fear that I no longer know who you are, Ciel Phantomhive,"

He nodded again and smiled at you. Never before had you seen him so open with anybody. "I can find solace in that," he said. "Now, if I may be so bold..."

"Yes...?"

"I can tell that you are worried that, if you accept me as your betrothed, I may call off the engagement as I did with Elizabeth. Let me reassure you that this will not be the case,"

"How could you tell?" you asked. You stood on the porch now, almost ready to go inside. You could not be certain that this was the same, surly and withdrawn Earl who you had known in your childhood.

"Personal intuition," he said, placing a hand on the door. "Besides...I already know that we all made a very good choice here..."

"How so?"

"You must promise not to laugh," he said sternly, regarding you with a somewhat colder look in his eye. "Lady (Y/N),"

"No, Earl Phantomhive. I won't laugh," you vowed.

"I have never felt connected to anybody before. I feel as though I can be open with you, and honest. We are, for want of a better term, like-minded,"

You could not deny that some things about Ciel's personality resonated with you, and you hadn't realised your attraction to him before. You knew that it would take time for you to be able to trust him fully, but now you saw that perhaps a marriage to him would not be quite as bad as you imagined. You were snapped out of your reverie by Ciel suddenly coming very near to you, and planting a chaste yet tantalisingly close kiss on the corner of your mouth.

"My Lord...!" you gasped. "If my father were to find out about that..."

"He doesn't have to know. It'll be our little secret, yes?" he chuckled. "You are just so very pretty...And I could see that purity, that innocence, a mile away."

You started stuttering, but he chuckled again.

"You are very sweet indeed," he said. "I was going to add, though, that this innocence of yours most certainly guards a darker, guilty curiosity...Does it not?"

"I have no idea to what you could be referring..."

He laughed a little louder that time, and opened the door for you. "Of course not," he said, smiling cheekily. Truly, you thought, you were seeing a side of Ciel Phantomhive that nobody had ever seen before. "After you, my Lady..."