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"The mice pricked themselves and cried, but they still ate the cactus."

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His embrace is warm and sticky. Rudolf closes his eyes and falls into it, like into a soft, friendly, squishy quagmire. He buries the nose in his neck, listening to his slow viscous whispering. Taaffe tells him how wonderful he is, how handsome he is, “my boy,” - he says, being a bit sappy. He strokes his hair and gently kisses his cheek. Rudolf closes the arms behind his back, feeling the sweaty skin sticking to the sweaty skin and how warm he is, like a stove. Usually Rudolf quickly sent him away, being disgusted with himself, he wanted to take a bath as soon as possible, but today, for some reason, he complied.

He wants to hug, old fool. Old mendacious fool. How can he still fuck, how is he not rusting like his bloody iron ring which strangles the entire country? But no, look at him. Made his way into the prince’s bed.

Rudolf snuggles up to him, almost feeling his fatty little heart beating, and wants to cross the legs behind his back again so that he wouldn’t let him go. It feels good, being in his hands. It’s hot and smells of sweat, but it’s cosy. Warm. Nice things are whispered in the ear.

Lying bastard. He hates him. He is ready to confess his love in bed to anyone, he has nothing to love with, and definitely not Rudolf.

“Tell me you love me,” - breathes Rudolf into his neck.

“I love you.” - His voice sounds like velvet, stroked against the grain. Rudolf starts to move and Taaffe, thinking it means that he’s uncomfortable, pulls off gently. His eyes look at him with that wet gleam in semidarkness.

He loves him, yeah, right. The only thing he can love is that Rudolf sleeps with him. Oh, it must be so enjoyable. The dear of the empire - all his. Quarter of the century younger, symbol-of-the-bright-future heir lies under him and throws back the head, showing his vulnerable neck. What a cherry on top of his high cake of power lurching under its weight!

Taaffe lies beside him. The bed screaks under him, his hands stroke Rudolf’s chest, meditatively tracing lines with a nail.

Rudolf wants Taaffe to rape him. Rudolf wants him to grab his wrists and kiss away tears on red cheeks and vulgarly whisper that Rudolf will love what is about to be done to him. And Rudolf would love it. And he would be hugged after, just like now, and be told how good of a boy he is and how he is very-very much loved.

Rudolf feels so sorry for himself. So much he wants to cry.

“Should I leave?” - Taaffe asks, ever so feeling the current conjuncture, even in bed.

“Yes.”

Rudolf turns away and doesn’t look at how Taaffe picks up his suit. He imagines his face if he told him to be violent in bed, and it cheers him up a little. Before leaving, Taaffe wishes him goodnight and, judging by the pause, bows.

Rudolf pulls his knees up to his chest. Disgusting, disgusting. He wants more.