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Taste of a Renegade

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When your childhood friend Phillip Carlyle introduced you to the great P.T. Barnum, you had to stifle a gasp. You had seen him in pictures, yes, in the posters and cartoons printed in the paper; yet, none of these depictions did him any justice. Emanating confidence with every step and shift of his figure, he had strutted up to the pair of you in a flurry of red and gold. His mouth drawn into a wide, mischievous grin and eyes sparkling with an untamed youth, he took your hand and pressed a kiss to your knuckles.

“P.T. Barnum, at your service. And you are?”

“(Y/N),” you replied. His eyes never left yours, shining with the magical quality of making you feel like the most important person in the entire world. Damn, they weren’t kidding when they called him charismatic. You felt the slightest flush creep up your neck. “Quite the show you have here.” He tilted his head, just slightly, and your eyes were drawn to his silk hat for the briefest of moments.

“That’s the idea,” he grinned. His eyes finally left yours, now looking to Phillip. “I’m guessing you two have previously been acquainted?”

“Yes,” Phillip cut in, “our parents were friends. We never quite managed to get along, though, did we?” You chuckled softly.

“It’s not my fault you grew a stick up your ass!” you retorted. “The older you got, the stuffier you became!” Phillip rolled his eyes, and Barnum’s eyes widened in delight.

“Yes, yes, I get it,” Phillip huffed. He turned back to Barnum, missing the way you stuck out your tongue at him. “(Y/n) is here because she could use a bit of—assistance, financially—”

“Oh, just cut to the chase,” You snorted. “I’m broke, I need a job, and I like your circus. I’m good with numbers; I can handle your mess of finances for you. It wouldn’t need to be a permanent position…” you trailed off. Phillip leaned in to murmur to Barnum.

“Look, her parents are like mine. She’s far past the marrying age because she kept scaring every suitor they sent her away; something about them ‘being too boring’ or the like. I think she’d get along quite nicely with us, don’t you?” he winked. Barnum smirked in reply.

“I see nothing wrong with that,” he said. He held out his hand, and you shook it gleefully. “You can start tomorrow.” Still holding your hand, he took off his hat and bowed with a little flourish. His eyes twinkled with an energy that you couldn’t place, and he said in a voice laced with charm and excitement:

“Prepare for the greatest adventure of your life.”

 

*****

 

You held your breath as you followed Phillip backstage later that night. Sure, you were considered strange in your social circles, but that didn’t mean you belonged here. Yet, they had accepted Phillip, hadn’t they?

Phillip stopped, and you glanced curiously over his shoulder. The circus performers stopped their chatter one by one. After a moment, the room was quiet.

“Alright everyone, this is (y/n), and old friend of mine. We’re putting her in charge of budgeting.”

“Why her?” called a voice from the back. The speaker came forward; it was the performer who played Tom Thumb. He regarded you suspiciously. “Why here?” Phillip opened his mouth to speak but you cut him off.

“Because the snob life is boring as shit,” you answered matter-of-factually. “I want to do something other than sit around and avoid the morons my parents try to set me up with. Plus...” You waved your hand nonchalantly. “Why not?” Tom Thumb nodded to himself, seemingly accepting this explanation.

“I like you,” he grinned. “I’m Charles.” He proceeded to introduce you to a few other members of the cast, and soon you were tipsy and caught up in a raucous game of poker.

A couple hours and a couple more drinks later, you were in the middle of a discussion about trapeze art with Anne and W.D. when Barnum entered, grinning broadly at his crew. They each greeted him as he passed, laughing, telling jokes, and you were fascinated by the way he seemed to make whoever he talked to glow. Anne followed your gaze and smiled when she saw the ringmaster herself.

“P.T.! Over here!” she called. His deep eyes met yours, and you felt the odd instinct to shiver as he strode over. You excused yourself to stand against a nearby stack of crates, uncomfortably aware of the alcohol seeping into your system.

“Anne, W. D.! You both doing alright tonight?” Barnum asked, voice velvet and charming. Their conversation soon melted in your ears, each word dripping into the next as you nursed your liquor. Geez, how drunk were you? You kept losing your focus, transfixed by Barnum’s extravagant gestures and lulled by the throaty rumble of his voice. Your head spun, and memories began to swim before your eyes…

When you first arrived, the bar had been cold, but as the hours passed and the glasses drained, you warmed up just fine. The weight of your decision was crashing down on you.

Yet, you didn’t regret it. You had always known you’d snap someday. You just wished you had planned it better. Now you were stuck in some dingy, almost-empty pub near the harbor with nowhere to go. Considering your options, your eyes hardened.

You knew you couldn’t go back.

You glanced up as the door opened and were startled to see none other than Phillip Carlyle., dressed in the red and gold of a ringleader. He sat down and gestured to the bartender, who poured him a whiskey.

“Phillip?” you mumbled. He looked over at you and his eyes lit up.

“(y/n)! What are you doing here?” His expression was amused but quizzical, taking in your haggard form. You laughed bitterly.

“I did it. I finally did it. I ran away.” He nodded, mostly to himself.

“I always knew you would,” he chuckled. “What are you doing now?” You grimaced.

“That’s the problem, I have no idea.” You swirled the liquor in your glass and took another sip. Looking at him, you were struck with sudden inspiration.

“What if I joined the circus!” you exclaimed, wincing at the volume of your own voice. Phillip raised his eyebrow, amused.

“You, in the circus?” he said.

“You, in the circus?” you parroted, mocking. “Come on, that’s not nearly as crazy as YOU joining the circus.” He raised his glass in agreement, taking another swig.

“Touché. I’m sure we can work something out.” He held his glass up again. “To… running away to join the circus.”

“To joining the circus,” you smiled. You clinked your glass against his, hopeful.

You were snapped out of your memory when you heard your name.

“(Y/n)?” Barnum repeated. “Are you okay?” He reached out to touch your shoulder, and you tried to ignore the twist of nerves from the simple movement. Gentle concern was painted across his face, and he leant down a little to maintain eye contact. His eyes were soft, deep, and you found yourself falling further and further into them. You blinked, realizing you had been staring and glancing away. You shook your head to try to clear it, pressing your palm to your temple.

“I’m—drunk,” you mumbled, leaning into his grip. “Just a little. And—tired. I’m okay though, don’t worry.” You sent Barnum a small, amused smile. “I’m not nearly ready to go home yet.”

With a strange rush of confidence that was definitely aided by the alcohol flowing through your system, you winked at him. Your cheeks were undoubtedly flushed red, and you wet your lips nervously. His eyebrow raised almost imperceptibly, his eyes dropped to your lips for a millisecond, and his mouth quirked in his signature smirk.

“Well,” he said after a moment, “A toast: to you…” He spun to the rest of the crowd and raised his glass, “To (y/n), and avoiding bankruptcy!”

“To (y/n)!” Lettie echoed, downing another glass. A chorus of toasts followed from the other performers. You smiled warmly. For the first time in years, you felt like a part of something beyond yourself.

You might finally be where you belong.

 

*****

 

Weeks passed in a flurry, and your job soon extended from just the arithmetic you signed up for. Now, helped the performers prepare backstage, designed advertisements, and managed orders of supplies. You were able to wear trousers; it was such a simple thing, but it made you feel free to be yourself in a way you never could before. You felt at home, more joyful than you had ever been, and every night you got to see the incredible spectacles for free. Even though you had seen each of the acts dozens of times, moments like Anne soaring weightlessly through the air or Lettie hitting that high note never got old.

And, of course, there was the ringmasters themselves. You grinned proudly whenever Phillip would lead, of course; he was all grown up now, but you couldn't help but remember the prissy little boy you played with as a child. He seemed so happy; he watched the performers, the audience, and especially Anne with an awestruck joy you had never seen in him before.

Yes, Phillip was wonderful, but you found yourself watching in awe every time Barnum ran the show. He was positively magnetic, his intoxicating voice weaving a spell over the audience and somehow you still fell under it every time. Once, you had been watching him spin his cane with expert hands and a confident flourish when his eyes had found yours in the corner of the room. He had smirked, brushed his thumb along the edge of his silk hat, and winked at you, and your heart had stuttered under his molten gaze.

Now, you smiled at the albino twins as you took inventory of the bags of elephant feed. The backstage was alive with noise and color: the trumpeting of elephants, grumbling of lions, and the easy laughter of performers. Absorbed in scribbling down numbers, you didn’t hear the footsteps behind you. Your heart just about leapt out of your chest as you felt a warm hand brush against your waist, and suddenly Barnum’s voice was by your ear.

“Thank you,” he said. You blinked, trying to fight back the blush from his sudden presence and the intoxicating scent of his cologne.

“For what?” you asked, voice traitorously shaky. You cleared your throat. He grabbed the papers from out of your hand, stepping back. You sucked in a breath now that he was out of your space, both disappointed and relieved.

“For this!” he said with a sweep of his hand. He paused to look over your notes. “You’ve certainly made my life much easier. And Phillip’s, I’m sure.” His wide smile warmed you with a dizzy pride, glowing beneath his praise. “And the performers seem to love you, too.”

You both smiled fondly at Charles, who waved as he ran by in his Napoleon uniform, cackling madly. You turned back to Barnum, and he handed your papers, moving to walk past you. When he was next to you, he paused, his strong shoulder brushing against yours, and his large hand wrapping gently around your bicep. You flushed as he leaned to speak in you ear again.

“Keep up the good work.”

He smiled, charming, almost enigmatic, and walked away, leaving you dazed and a tad starstruck. Damn him, and his damn voice, and his damn charm. You sighed, shaking your head and getting back to work.

 

*****

 

Moments would pass like that: soft, sudden touches that would catch you off guard. You found yourself losing focus just remembering him as you tried to work. He was so friendly and affectionate with everyone; why couldn’t you get used to it like everyone else? And his voice…

His voice had a rough edge that would come out as a growl, especially when he sang, and it made you weak. It was like a darker side to his easy charm, and you often wondered how it would sound in… other situations.

Yet, your nerves usually got the best of you. You tried to avoid being alone with him whenever you could to preserve your sanity. He was at least ten years your senior, for god’s sake, and divorced, not to mention your employer. Why would he ever be interested in you? In the past, the few times your parents had considered setting you up with an older man, you had always been passed over because you were “too crass.” Yet…

Did he really have to whisper in your ear just then, breath hot and voice a soft mumble? Was that really just a friendly touch on you waist, or something more? Did that comment have a double meaning, or was it just your head stuck in the gutter? Did he just look at your lips? Was that a loving smile? And above all else, what did that goddamn spark in his eye mean?

Lost in your reverie, the hours flew by and you found the circus had grown quiet. The muddled thoughts in your head made it hard to focus, and the numbers were swimming before your eyes. You leaned back, closing your eyes and massaging your temples.

“Can’t sleep?”

You groaned slightly, opening one eye to look at the intruder. Barnum’s hair was mussed, and the playful youth was mostly faded from his eyes. He shed his ringmaster coat, draping it over a nearby chair, and sat down across from you.

“No…” you sighed. “Just finishing up some paperwork.” You wrote a few more numbers and shuffled the papers together, setting them down in front of you.

“(y/n)” he said, reprimanding, “you don’t need to be working this late.”

“Yes, yes, I know,” you muttered. “I just—can’t focus. I know, I need sleep.” Barnum watched you for a minute, an unreadable expression written across his face. At another time you would have been embarrassed under his scrutiny, but you were too exhausted to care.

“How have you been doing?” he finally asked. You raised an eyebrow.

“What do you mean?”

“You left your entire life behind,” he said, “and while clearly this life is infinitely better—” he gave you a cheeky wink, “I wanted to—check on you, that’s all.” He watched you intently as you sat and thought, staring off into space for a moment.

“I mean, I miss my parents, but… I’m way past the age I was supposed to move out, so it wasn’t that much of a shock.” Your lips curled in a smile. “Plus, I’m finally free to do what I want, be who I want…” Your eyes met his. “Love who I want.” His lips parted, just slightly, and you realized the weight of what you had just said. You glanced away and shrugged, trying to be nonchalant. “Life is… finally exciting.”

You sighed, reaching for your pencil, but Barnum took it before you could grab it.

“Uh-uh, no more,” he chided. You stuck your bottom lip out in a slight pout, groaning again.

“I just want to finish, okay? I’m almost there.” You grabbed for your pencil, missing the way he licked his lips.

“I can help you finish,” he said. His voice was low, and your eyes widened slightly as you realized the potential innuendo behind your comment. You blinked, not quite meeting his eyes, and leaned back. You felt heat rise to your ears, but you chose to take his statement at face value. Surely he couldn't mean…

“O-okay, then can I please have my pencil back?” Your eyes finally met his, reaching out, and was that a flash of—disappointment? Whatever it was, it was gone quickly, and he flashed you his signature grin as he handed it to you. “Thanks,” you muttered. You quietly showed him what you had to finish, and you each went about your work.

Absently, you started humming softly to yourself, filling the late night silence. Barnum glanced up, watching the way your lashes fluttered as you worked. The song from today's show bounced around in your head, creating a strange focus that you were all too thankful for. You had to finish quickly; too long alone with Barnum and you thought you'd burst. Just a few more figures, and—

“Done,” you said.

“Me too,” he replied, eyes never leaving you. He handed the papers back to you, and you stood to file them away. You closed the crate where they were stored, a new thought occurring to you.

“What about you?” you asked, turning to him. His brow furrowed.

“Come again?”

“How are you doing? After everything that happened with…” you trailed off, chewing your lip. Probably an overstep of my boundaries… Barnum watched you as you shook your head slightly. “Ah, nevermind. Sorry I asked.”

“No, it's fine!” he said, standing. “I just wasn't expecting you to ask.” He looked away, and the two of you stood awkwardly for a moment.

“I'm alright,” he finally said. “Charity and I are still—friendly, and I can still see my daughters.” He sighed, and for the first time you could see his age catching up with him. “Of course I miss them—I wish I could have been a better father to them, but the separation was probably for the best.” He offered you a sad smile. “I had to be here for my circus family.” You smiled warmly, affectionately at him.

“Now, I guess I'm just… lonely.” He looked at you as he finished, eyes deep and sad and you wished there was something you could do to take his pain away.

“We're here for you,” you whispered. Something in his eyes seemed to soften. You gazed at him for a moment before snapping out of it, clearing your throat.

“I-I should go get some sleep,” you stuttered. He nodded and smiled kindly.

“Yes, you should,” he said. You walked to the tent flap, lingering for a moment.

“Thank you, Barnum.” You looked back at him over your shoulder. “Goodnight.”

“You're welcome,” he whispered. “You too. Oh, by the way: you have a lovely voice.” You blushed slightly, opening the flap to step outside. Your blush deepened when you heard his voice quietly from behind you:

“I'd love to see what else it can do.”

You shook your head. Damn him, and damn your dirty mind.

 

*****

 

Another laugh punched its way out of your lungs, warm with the buzz of two glasses of whiskey. A couple of rounds and a handful of poker matches had followed this night’s show, as the cast celebrated another success. You were disappointed that Barnum didn’t seem to be joining in the fun, but you imagined that he probably had to prepare for tomorrow’s show.

“So just how many guys have you been with?” Anne asked, impish. She was sprawled halfway across a very tipsy Phillip, but he didn’t seem to mind. You scoffed.

“Please, when you say it like that, you make it sound like I screwed them all. Now, my parents have tried to set me up with—let’s see—31?” You smiled smugly. “Idiots, all of them.”

“Surely at least a few of them were good looking?” said Lettie. “I mean, look at pretty boy over here,” she grinned, cocking her head at Phillip. He chuckled and tipped his hat at her.

“Pretty, maybe, but they make up for it by being total airheads. Plus,” you said, leaning in and dropping your voice, “the few I did fool around with were just awful in bed. No idea how to touch a woman, let me tell you.” You chuckled, leaning back, and your friends laughed with you.

“So you’re into older men, huh?” Charles snickered. You narrowed your eyes at him suspiciously.

“I guess you could say that, yes.” You could feel the tips of your ears turning pink, but kept your poker face. “Not too old, of course. Just old enough to have some… experience.” You bit your lip and frowned. Anne leaned in, a dangerous, knowing glint in her eye, and you immediately regretted everything you had said up to this point.

“Experience like… being the ringmaster of a circus?” She smiled devilishly, and your face flushed. You opened your mouth to protest, but she cut you off. “Honey, I see how you look at that man, don’t deny it. You may be fooling him, but you aren’t fooling any of us.”

You sputtered for a moment, looking for an excuse, but you knew it was pointless. You sighed, red blush still splashed across your cheeks. You dragged your hands over your face in exasperation before looking up.

“Fine, but NOBODY can tell P.T., okay?”

“Tell me what?” a familiar voice said from behind you. The color drained from your face as you turned to see the man himself at the tent-flap, as sharp-dressed as ever in his classic red and gold.

“Speak of the devil…” you muttered. He just looked at you with that familiar glint in his eye, an eyebrow raised in curiosity. You turned and scowled at Anne behind you, who seemed to think this was the funniest thing in the world.

“Nothing,” you said, rather forcefully. “Nothing you need to worry about.” He nodded as if in acceptance of this, but he clearly still didn’t believe you. The pause following stretched out uncomfortably, and you chewed on your bottom lip absentmindedly. You glanced up at him every few moments, unable to hold his gaze but still wanting to gauge his reaction. After staring at you for a few tense seconds, he cleared his throat.

“Anyway,” he said, looking around the room amiably, “I just came to ask (y/n) to help me finish up the last of this paperwork, because it looks like I have some things missing.” He finished with another mysterious smile at you: one you were too preoccupied to unravel.

Alone with Barnum? Now of all times? You could have sworn that you’d finished everything, but clearly you hadn’t. A traitorous voice in the back of your mind wondered briefly if he actually needed your help, but you dismissed the thought. If Barnum needed your help, you’d help him. The nerves began clenching in the pit of your stomach, but you forced yourself to smile and stand, walking over to him.

“Of course,” you replied, slightly too cheerfully. He stepped aside, holding open the tent flap for you, and you sent one last withering glance back at your friends. They were soon forgotten, however, when you felt the gentle brush of the ringmaster’s hand on the small of your back, guiding you forward. Your heart jolted at the contact, nerves fizzing under your skin.

You expected him to pull away as the flap closed, but his hand lingered there, warm and strong, just long enough for a flush to creep up your neck. Your eyes met his, and he had that infuriating glint in them again, the one that makes all your hairs to stand on edge. One second, two, and he seemed to snap out of whatever trance he was in and started moving forward.

You almost mourned the loss of contact, dizzy from a simple touch. Quickly, you hurried your pace to keep up with his long, confident strides. The cool evening should have been calming, but instead it only heightened your senses, brisk air brushing goosebumps across your skin. You noted how oddly quiet Barmun was; normally he was bursting with the chatter of dozens of ideas. It wasn’t until you entered his smaller tent nearby that he spoke again, and you immediately regretted everything.

“So, older men, huh?” he said, that goddamn spark twinkling in his eye. You swore and stumbled in shock, just barely regaining your balance before you could plummet to the floor. You sputtered, a deep red, but he just laughed a throaty laugh that twisted your stomach in knots.

“H-how much did you hear?” you asked nervously. His grin turned smug, devilish.

“Enough,” he chuckled.

He leaned in closer, and your heart stuttered in your chest because fuck, you could feel the heat radiating off of him and it was not fair. You went to step back, apologize, turn away, but were stopped by his index finger tilting your chin upward. Your mouth parted in awe and surprise, and you felt yourself grow warmer beneath his piercing gaze. You gulped as he brushed his thumb against your plump lips, eyes frozen in his.

“It's amusing, really. Endearing.” He hummed to himself in amusement before his eyes hardened and he dipped to whisper in your ear.

“If you wanted to get fucked," he growled, breath burning on your ear, “then all you had to do was ask.”

Your knees buckled and would have given out beneath you had it not been for the hand gripping your chin, and the other that snaked around to your back, pulling you into his chest. You head spun; where did this come from? You had expected to lose your job! Heat rushed to pool between your thighs, and as shocked as you were, you realized you couldn’t pass this up. You breathed out a soft mewl, and the devilish gleam in his eyes shifted into something hungry and feral. His thumb shifted to rub that spot behind your ear just so, and your eyes fluttered closed.

“Would you like to see the greatest show of your life?” he whispered, voice laced with filthy promise.

“Please,” came your breathless reply, and his lips slammed into yours.

You melted into him, his lips firm and demanding and harsh. He growled low in his throat, tightening his grip on your waist and pressing you further into him. His teeth quickly found your bottom lip and bit down almost hard enough to draw blood. You became dizzy from the pain, from the sweet cologne Barnum was wearing and the strength with which he held you. You reached up and curled your fingers into the hair at the base of his neck, and he grunted approvingly.

You sighed as his tongue slipped past your lips, tasting you deeper. He tasted so unbelievably Barnum, so strong and dark and magical, and you gave no protest as his hand slid down to squeeze your ass. You squirmed as he kneaded you for a moment; then his hands slipped further down to the backs of your thighs, lifting you effortlessly.

He broke the kiss long enough to shove some papers off of his desk and set you down, pushing your knees apart and settling his hips between them. He ground against you once, smirking as your head arched back when you felt his hardening length pressing against you.

“So you're telling me,” he purred, a hand slipping beneath the hem of your shirt, “that a pretty little thing like you has never been properly fucked?" You whimpered as he palmed one of your breasts, giving it a rough squeeze.

“N-no, I—shit, Barnum, please—" you tried to hook your legs behind him, pull him closer, move, anything. The voice in the back of your head briefly wondered just how long he had been listening to your conversation, but the thoughts were quickly silenced as he pressed another hungry kiss to your lips, stealing your breath away again. His lips shifted to your jaw, where he left a line of teasing bites, chuckling darkly. You tilted your head to give him better access, and his mouth wandered down the column of your neck, sucking harsh marks but never lingering long enough for you to adjust. You could feel his lips curl into a smirk as he reached the base of your neck, pausing.

“You’ve wanted this since the day we met, haven’t you?” he muttered. You could only nod weakly, curling your fingers into the fabric of his shirt and crying out when he sunk his teeth into the spot where your neck met your shoulder. Pain and pleasure bled into each other as he sucked a dark hickey. “Dirty girl,” He chided. His large hand massaged your breast, flicking his thumb across the hardening nipple. This seemed to bring him pause; he pulled away to look at you and you whimpered at the loss of contact. Through the haze of pleasure you realized he was tugging at the hem of your shirt, pulling it over your head in one fluid motion. Your bra immediately followed, leaving you flushed and exposed, nipples pebbling in the cool air. You bit your swollen lips, and his eyes followed the motion.

“I suppose I can’t really talk, though,” he mused with a deceptive calm, and you tilted your head in confusion. His eyes raked your exposed skin, and you saw the predatory glint return to his eyes. “You’re a vixen," he snarled, the growl of his voice making you even wetter. “A temptress, did you know that?” He grabbed your waist, tugging you close again, and gripped your other breast tightly.

“I’ve wanted to fuck you since that first goddamn wink."

He rocked into you roughly, and you gasped at the sharp pain of his nails digging into your arm. Realizing how uneven the playing field was, you tried to tug at any edge of clothing you could reach. You only managed to pull loose his tie when he pulled back, eyes burning in the sun-bright way they do when he has an idea.

“Give that to me,” he ordered, and you didn’t hesitate to comply. Barnum had an authority, a power, wherever he went; his presence commanded an attention that you were all too happy to give. “Lift your hands above your head,” he instructed. A spark of curiosity burned in your chest, turning into wide-eyed want as he tied your hands to the tent pole behind you. He pushed you down with two fingers in the center of your chest until the back of your head hit the desk behind you, and the knot in your belly twisted tighter from the vulnerability.

“Yes, much better,” he purred, “good girl.” Your hips bucked slightly, and you let out a soft whine.

Please, Barnum,” you whimpered. His fingers moved from where they were just below your collarbone to pinch your nipple sharply, rolling it lazily between his thumb and forefinger as he looked up at you. You thrashed, and he stopped suddenly, leaving you mewling at the loss.

“Please, please—”

“You’ve gotta sit still, doll. We wouldn’t want the tent to come crashing down on us, now would we?” You nodded, scrunching your eyes shut and chewing your lip, willing yourself to be still. He grinned, and you relished in the feeling of him towering over you.

You yelped as he leant down and closed his mouth around a nipple, sucking harshly. He paired these attentions with sharp pinches from his other hand, and you fizzed with a delicious pain. He tugged on you with his teeth and drank up every squeal and moan you made greedily. You shuddered as his fingers began to brush against your lower stomach, briefly pressing in to your clit over your trousers.

“Fuck, Barnum," you gasped. His hand slipped beneath the hem of your pants, finger swiping between your lower lips.

“So wet," he rasped, “so beautiful.” His mouth moved lower, leaving wet kisses across down your stomach. His fingers curled around the waistband of your pants and slowly pulled them down, eyes wide and hungry as you were revealed to him. He slid them down to your ankles and removed them, along with your shoes.

You were completely exposed to him.

He brushed his fingers over your clit, far too lightly, and the sensitive skin of your cunt. You sucked in a sharp breath, biting your lip and whining again.

“Please,” you begged, and he finally ceded, finding your entrance with a thick finger. He slid in easily, and you cried out as he curled it upward.

“You like that?” he growled. You could only nod, face twisted in pleasure. He slid it in and out for a moment before adding a second finger, stretching you deliciously. You moaned, and he smirked in triumph. “Yes, you take my fingers so well,” he praised, “and I bet you’ll take my cock just as well, won’t you?”

Ah-ah—Barnum, shit, don’t stop—”

“Moaning so pretty for me, you sound even better than I imagined.” He added a third finger, curling the digits upward to stroke your walls, and you let out a strangled cry. You felt your orgasm building in the pit of your stomach, a tight coil of heat twisting sharper, sharper—

He pulled away, and you moaned brokenly.

“Wh-why’d you stop, please, B-Barnum, I—”

“Shhhh,” he whispered. “I’m gonna make you feel even better.” He leant down and planted a sloppy kiss to the bottom of your stomach. His lips traced across your hips and down to your thighs, breath ghosting across your cunt, and you shivered.

“I bet none of those rich boys ever did this."

He placed a slow kiss on your lower lips and looked up at you, eyes hooded with lust, hooking your legs over his shoulders. You whimpered at the sight of his plump lips and smouldering eyes gazing up at you from between your thighs, hair mussed and clothes wrinkled. He licked his lips and leant down to lick a long stripe up to your clit, and you cried out, clenching your hands around nothing. He spread you open, circling your clit with his tongue before closing his lips around you and sucking.

“Holy fuck," you sobbed, bucking your hips. “Barnum, I-I can’t—I need—”

“I know,” he crooned, mouth making a wet popping sound. He licked back down to tongue at your entrance and you clenched at the foreign feeling. Everything was hot and wet and good and you moaned every time his tongue entered you. He hummed in delight at the sounds you were making, sending vibrations buzzing through you and multiplying your pleasure and oh—

Your orgasm came rushing towards you again, your moans jumping in pitch, higher and higher, closer and closer until—

Barnum pulled away again, leaving you gasping and sobbing. You thrashed wildly, pulling against the fabric around your wrists, desperately searching for some sort of release. Barnum just chuckled darkly, eyes deep with pride and lust, and you groaned in frustration.

“Barnum!” you cried indignantly, chest heaving. “God, please, don’t stop!" You tried to sit up somehow, but to no avail. He sat back, smug, and you scowled at him.

“Tell me what you what,” he said, and you sighed, trembling.

“I want—I want to touch you,” you begged, eyeing his tented pants, “and see you, and—” you cut off, flustered despite everything.

“And what?” he prompted, voice rough and deep. You flushed red again under his intense gaze.

“I want you to fuck me, dammit! I want you to make me come!"

That seemed to finally be enough for him, because he snapped, quickly untying your wrists and pulling you in for a rough kiss. You moaned at the taste of your wetness on his lips, carding your fingers through his hair. He ground into you, reminding you of the straining erection in his pants and groaning. You pushed him back and tugged at his coat, and he finally, finally started to remove his clothes. Coat and shirt were quickly shed, and you marveled from your spot on the desk at the strong torso that was normally hidden. Shoes and pants followed, and your eyes bulged as his well above average cock sprang into view.

Fuck.

“Like what you see?” he teased. He gave himself a few confident strokes, looking through his lashes at you, and you shuddered. “I bet you’ve never had a cock this big.” He pulled you close again, brushing the head of his dick against your entrance. He swiped his fingers, using your wetness to coat his length. The anticipation is burning through you like a live wire, breath coming out in short gasps.

“You ready?”

“Yes, please."

He slowly pushed in to you, and you keened, your cunt stretching deliciously to accommodate him. Your nails scratched deep red marks down his back, whimpering as he bottomed out. You felt so good and full, your jaw dropping open from the sheer depth of him. Looking up at Barnum, you could see his smug composure breaking, his face twisted in pleasure. He waited for a few seconds, the softness returning to his eyes as he let you adjust. You bucked, clenching around him, and his stare turned hungry again as he pulled out and slammed back into you.

You wailed as he set a quick but steady pace, pounding into you with rough but controlled movements. You clung desperately to his strong forearms as he held your hips steady beneath his relentless thrusting. His breath grew ragged, voice coming out in short grunts, and his eyes burned into yours.

“So tight,” he snarled, “so good for me. Look at you, taking my thick cock in your tight little pussy, tell me how good it feels.”

“Oh my god, B-Barnum, fuck, please don’t stop, ah-a!”

You shrieked as his angle changed and he hit a new spot inside you; one that made sparks flash in your vision with every thrust. He quickly realized this and began directing all of his thrusts at it.

“Yes, I found the magic spot, didn’t I? You like that?” You could only cry out his name over and over, the pleasure searing through you in sharp jolts before twisting into a sharp knot. Barnum began to pant with every snap of his hips, and you could tell he was getting close. Your fingernails dug crescents into the skin of his shoulders, holding on for dear life—

Your orgasm came rushing forth again and through your sweat and moans and tears you could only pray Barnum will finally give you release…

“I want you to scream when you come,” he growled in your ear. “I want you to shout my name loud enough for the whole world to know you’re mine as you come all over my cock.”

“Yes, Barnum, please.” He reached down between you to rub at your clit vigorously. His thrusts became erratic but more forceful, until he slammed into you with the last of his strength.

“Come for me” he whispered. “Come, right now, come for me—”

“BARNUM!” you screamed as your orgasm crashed through you like lighting with a rush of white-hot pleasure. You arched back, vision whiting out as you came harder than you ever had in your entire life. Wave after wave of ecstasy slammed through you, and distantly you heard Barnum groan and shudder, spilling himself into you.

Eventually, the pleasure began to fade to a dull, pleasant buzz. You clung to each other, breathless and dizzy. You looked up into the eyes of a very winded Barnum, who smiled sheepishly. You stared starry-eyed at him, and he tucked a stray hair behind your ear. You marveled how the man who had been whispering obscenities into your ears merely a minute ago was the same man nuzzling into your sweat-soaked skin.

“Are you okay?” he mumbled, concern bleeding into his gaze. “Was that okay?” You smiled softly, nodding.

“Never better,” you sighed. “That was—incredible, to say the least.” Pride seeped through his easy smile.

“So did I guess right? You like it rough, no?” His grin became teasing, and you smirked shyly, hitting him lightly on the chest.

“Yes, apparently I do, you scoundrel,” You ruffled his hair, and he dropped his jaw in mock offense.

“Scoundrel? I prefer showman.” He planted a goofy kiss to your cheek, and you laughed.

He pulled away, and you shivered at the sudden cold. You stuck out your lip in an exaggerated pout, and he chuckled. His grin faded into something milder; not quite a smile, but the affection pouring from his eyes surrounded you with a warmth you thought could never end.

“Hey,” he said softly. You perked up, watching him. His face was painted with an impossible mix of confidence, affection, and nervousness. “Would you like to come back to my place for the night? We wouldn’t have to—”

“Yes, I would love to,” you interrupted. His gentle smile split into a toothy grin, and he pulled you into a tight hug. Pulling back, he looked disoriented for a moment at your naked form.

“Right, right—clothes are a thing,” he muttered to himself. You giggled as he tossed you your shirt and trousers. Soon you were both dressed, but you were still shivering; the temperature had dropped during your little… escapade. He noticed your struggle and wrapped his ringmaster’s coat around your trembling shoulders. Despite everything, you blushed; his coat smelled just like him, and the weight of this simple action was not lost on you. He pulled you close, pressing a gentle kiss to your swollen lips. You melted; this kiss was so different from all the others you had shared. Easy, slow, and affectionate, you felt a sense of peace spread all the way down to your toes. He pulled away, brushing his thumb against your cheek.

“Shall we?” he whispered.