There was an ancient fae assassin in Senga’s bathroom, and she had her hands in his pants.
“I’m capable of taking care of myself,” he pointed out.
“Yes. But you’re my responsibility now.” She peeled his pants slowly off. He went commando; she was going to get the full show all in one go.
“You have other responsibilities. Besides, you gave me something to do.” He stretched back a little bit, consciously or unconsciously showing off. Flat stomach, muscular chest and arms: he didn’t work out so much as he kept his body in perfect fighting condition. Senga didn’t try to stop herself from licking her lips. He was kind of scrumptious, in a way that wasn’t normally her style.
“You liked it?” She looked up to his face, to find his eyes half-lidded like he wasn’t sure he wanted to see her reaction. “Being given something to do?”
“Yeah. I.” He shifted into something she thought was close to a parade rest and studied her. “Yeah.” He swallowed and considered that. “I didn’t think I would,” he admitted. “I don’t like orders.”
“That is going to make things difficult,” she admitted, a little amused despite herself. “Suggestions are easy enough for most things, though. And, ah, nudges. As long as you don’t actually attack Chitter.”
He snorted. “Nah. She’s … I get her. She makes sense. So. Shower?” He took a step back and reached for the tap but stopped short of turning the water on.
“A shower is why we’re in here, after all,” she agreed, or at least suggested agreement, in part to see what he did with something that sideways.
“It is. Unless it’s to show off your really expensive pumps.” He turned on the water. “And my – well, whatever I’m showing off.”
“Most men would say their abs.” He had very nice abs.
“I’m not most men.” He sounded almost prickly.
“No, that’s obvious.” She tested the water and stepped in. “Better-looking, for one.”
She’d had her back to him for a moment and turned around just in time to catch an uncomfortable expression on his face. “Not many people say that.”
“I’m not most people.” It was too easy a line to ignore. “Besides, you really are quite attractive.”
“… Thanks.” He rolled his shoulders. “So uh.”
“So this is where you wash my back.” She turned so her back was facing him. “And then, if we’re sticking with the old adage, then I wash yours.”
She waited and tried not to be nervous. She didn’t spend a lot of time pointing her back at someone, especially not a stranger.
He can’t attack you, she reminded herself, but the logical part of her brain pointed out that someone named Silent Death who her Great-Aunt had threatened her to take into her home on pain of certain murder if she didn’t could probably work around something as simple as just a Bound Servant bond.
The washcloth brushed across her shoulders so lightly she barely felt it. Then a little more firmly, as he gained confidence in himself, and then a little bit more firmly, just enough to actually wash her back while still being rather gentle. “There’s blood back here,” he pointed out. “The bullets went through you.”
“You saw the holes in the dress,” she countered uncomfortably. She didn’t like to think about the sensation, being pierced through, how close one of the bullets had come to her heart.
He was lingering on that blood spot, too. “It’s one thing to see the dress and another to see the blood. No scar – she does good healing work.”
“She gets enough practice.” It was so the wrong thing to say, but she’d already said it.
“Mmm.” Much to her surprise, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against him. He was quite a bit taller than her, enough so that his chin rested easily on top of her head. “I find,” he murmured, so quietly that she could barely hear him over the water, “that I do not like that. I suppose I will help you find jobs that cause you to have fewer holes in your dresses, mmm? And perhaps come along to protect you.”
She didn’t really want to discourage this, she really didn’t, but, “it’s going to be hard to do a honeypot sort of thing with you standing protectively behind me,” she sighed.
“Oh, I can be very, very un-noticable. Even by cameras.” Something in his voice was wild and amused. “But that…” He stepped back and tugged on her shoulder. She took the implied cue and turned to look at him.
He looked serious, a look somewhat ruined by the water pouring over his shoulders. Hopefully Monmartin Manor had a taller shower somewhere. This one was really too short for him. “I am not sure I could stand by quietly while someone attacked you.” He cleared his throat. “You invite intimacy. My previous — That hasn’t happened before.”
“You could probably stand by quietly if you had an order holding your there.” She ran her hands over his chest, following the trails the water was leaving. “I suppose we could test it on an unimportant mission. Then if I’m being set up, I’ll be protected. More protected,” she corrected. “I’m not a helpless flower, you know.”
“I’m getting that impression. You four, you wade right into trouble, don’t you?” He was watching her hands, as much as he could, instead of her face. “It’s interesting. I’d like to see more of it.”
“How about you work on seeing more of me right now and worry about my job later?” Senga suggested. “I’d like to focus on you for a bit.” She picked up a washcloth and lathered up his chest, watching the way his heart pounded as she moved her hands down towards his hip bones.
“You—” He coughed and tried again. “You want to focus on me? I am — that is — I am not very interesting.”
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