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a study on the proper way to settle academic disagreements

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In a surprisingly even voice, despite the roaring sandstorm just outside, the wench says, “I did tell you we might get caught in the storm.” Her eyes are fixed on the hood, not that they can see much of it. Jaime observes her profile, her broken nose and her swollen lips and the ridiculously wide, blue eyes that belie her age.

Jaime looks out at the opaque orange sand buffeting against the window, his chin in his hand. “And I told you it would be fine, which it would, if you had taken care of your car better.”

“My car!” she exclaims, at last deigning to look at him. She is all fury and freckles, her lank hair escaping from the bun at her nape. He tries not to ogle, though one of her hands is still gripping the steering wheel, and with her turning her entire torso towards him, the lines of her biceps are decidedly alluring. Truly, one of the many blessings of Dorne. Brienne Tarth is always angry with him in some shape or form, but in King’s Landing, she is very much more… covered. Her crisp dress shirts have their allure, but a tight tank and cargo pants are novelties he intends to relish.

Jaime’s mouth begins to dry, and it has nothing to do with the arid climate.

The wench is oblivious to all this, railing on, “If you hadn’t insisted on heading out to the dig site before even unpacking your luggage, we wouldn’t have to outrun a sandstorm at all. All because of this stupid belief that—”

“You’re misidentifying your artefact,” Jaime cuts in, now also turned towards her, all pretence of preferring the sand over her forgotten.

“I did not. Professor Stark signed off on it. It is an idol of Mother Rhoyne and it was carved during the conquest of Dorne. I know you historians have no knowledge beyond texts, but surely physical evidence trumps whatever flawed records you have?”

That was uncalled for. The records they have are wonderfully preserved, thank you very much, at the very least dating back to the First Men and the Andals. The retort is out of his mouth before he stops to consider it. “Rhoynish worship in Dorne had died out centuries before. You would know this if you opened a book at least once before going to dig out whatever calcified remains of a civilization some tourist stumbles into.”

Brienne’s mouth forms a snarl, though the sound of it was swallowed by the wind and the sand and the flare of lust it incites in Jaime. She has leaned beyond the handbrake, almost crossing the line to his side of the car. So close, he can see the redness that is part anger, part sun exposure. He can smell the sweat lining her temples and pooling between her small, taut breasts. He can see those generous lips, soft even up close, probably lathered with generous amounts of Vaseline and beeswax, the crooked teeth exposed by the snarl. He can see the fine hairs of her knotted eyebrows.

Jaime wants.

It will not do. Trying to calm himself, he briefly closes his eyes, breathes, and licks his dry lips. When he opens his eyes again, Brienne’s expression has shifted, ever so slightly, but he sees it. No one is an expert of her face like she is. Sometimes he thinks himself an archivist of her expressions, for a library only he may enter. He catalogues her at this moment: the snarl that has fallen slack, ever so slightly, the eyelids that droop as her sight is fixed on his lips, the hitch of breath that, while inaudible, can be seen in her shoulders and collarbones.

The wench wants him just as much as he wants her. He’s suspected, of course, wished, even. And now here she is, before him, locked in a broken car in a sandstorm, loathing him. He wonders if she knows how much esteem he holds her in, for he would never waste his time debating an incompetent academic. Does she know that he loves her?

He moves his hand to touch her; his mouth opens to say something he may regret.

She beats him to it, reaching to the edge of a bruise by his designer stubble, her brows furrowed no longer in anger, but concern. “What is this?” she asks, her warm, callused thumb ghosting over the darkened skin.

“I was trying to get a book from one of the higher shelves,” he says, chuckling. “It’s a heavy one.”

Her lips quirk into a small smile. Shaking her head, she says, “One of these days you should learn that you still need the stepladder even if you’re tall.”

“They look silly.”

“Sillier than you standing on your tiptoes?”

Jaime’s eyes twinkle in mirth. “Brienne Tarth, have you been watching me at the library?”

Brienne’s expression fell along with her hand, her mouth beginning to stammer denials, her blush rising high again, and Jaime quickly captures the hand to secure it back on his jaw, for fear of losing it forever.

“Tell me if I am misreading this,” he pleads. “Tell me you want nothing of me, and we will let all this fly with the sand.”

Her lips tremble. He wishes he could still them with his own. “You mock me,” she says, more despair than accusation.

“I don’t. I have mocked you, many times. You know it, so tell me. Am I mocking you, now?”

Very quietly, only a whisper over the winds, she says, “No.”

“No,” he echoes, “I’m not.” He squeezes her hand, then runs his touch down her wrist, to her forearms, up her biceps—they ripple under his touch, making him half-hard—over the curve of her shoulder, and at last resting at the curve of her neck. “Brienne Tarth, you beast of a woman, do you know what you have been doing to me?”

Brienne lets out a small, strangled sob, then surged forward, crashing her lips to his in perhaps the clumsiest, most magnificent kiss Jaime has ever had in his life. He pulls her in with the hand anchored at her neck and her hand fists into his shirt, pulling him. These points of contacts are not enough. More. He wants—needs—more. He has tricked himself into thinking that he is content with taunting her from a distance that when he is faced with the possibility of having her, he is overwhelmed with the magnitude of what he has denied himself.

He breaks the kiss.

She looks hurt.

“Oh, don’t look like that,” Jaime says, unable to not roll his eyes at her. He reclines his seat, all the way back. “My neck’s starting to hurt, all twisted in my seat. Come over here.”

She does as he bids. One long leg after another, she climbs over him, until at last she’s straddling him. Brienne is heavier than Jaime thought she was, though why he ever thought her a light waif is a mystery. She is all muscles and no regard for cosmetic sculpting, her body built for pure functionality and little beauty. Much like the rest of her, except maybe her eyes, all wide and blue as pool water in summer.

He pulls her down again, this time by an arm around her waist. She, in turn, pulls him by his shirt with one hand—the sheer power of it sends shivers through his body—and they meet halfway, him half-sitting up, her bending down, straddling him, and this is better, this is her weight on him and the smell of her sweat mixed with deodorant and lips that are made to kiss, full and generous. He sucks on the bottom lip, then a nibble, then a swipe of tongue as an apology. She makes a sound that’s half-sigh, half-moan, and in return a rumble sounds in his chest.

His family is an old one, one of those that did have a family crest and even still use it sometimes. Right now, he feels like he is about to roar a lion’s roar, like the one on the family shield.

His hand now roams everywhere, to whatever exposed skin he can find, up the hem of her tank, over the curve of her stomach and resting just on her ribcage. He feels it under his fingertips, when her breath hitches. Her head falls to the crook of his neck, then, and feeling bold, he lets his hand travel upwards more, and—

Oh. She wears no bra. The tank top is one with built-in padding, enough to conceal the shape of her nipples, but no support, since her breasts don’t require it. He ghosts his fingers over her nipples and her legs clench around his hips and a moan sounds on his neck and he cannot believe this is how he takes Brienne for the first time. He gently rolls the nipple between his fingers and she moans again, louder, all restraint gone, and he begins to play further when she pulls back and pulls the top over her head, discarding it to the side.

She is exposed to him, now, and he marvels at the view, her flushed chest, her freckled skin, the palest pink of her nipples. So many times, he had wondered what she looked like under the dress shirts and sensible jackets. He runs his hand over the slightest dip of her thick waist, to the undercurve of her breast, palming it, feeling the yielding flesh in his hand. He pulls away, then, making quick work with the prosthetic on his right arm, removing it so the sensitive skin of his stump can touch her, too. He watches her face as he does so, but her expression does not change safe for recognition. There is no disgust in her gaze. He should have expected her to take this in stride, as she clearly knows he wears a prosthesis even though she never brings it up, but a part of him fears. A part of him has been marked by the way his own sister looks away from his stump.

Somehow reading the fear he must be showing, Brienne pulls up his right arm and kisses the knotted scar at the end of it. She moves to turn it, inspecting, her brows furrowing as she catches sight of the chafing left behind. “I have some ointment for this,” she says, reaching over his head to get her bag from the backseat.

Jaime surges up and catches a nipple with his mouth—grinning around it as Brienne gasps—sucking, then releasing it with a pop. She looks down on him, incredulous. He grins. “That can wait, surely?” he asks, but it sounds more like a plea.

“Your wrist is chafed,” Brienne says, annoyingly reasonable even with her flushed face and glazed eyes and even more swollen lips.

“It can wait,” Jaime says again, gritting his teeth in frustration. He grabs her waist with his hand and loops his arm around her back, pulling her down, grinding his erection to his core. He releases a grunt as he does so, and Brienne makes a sound of revelation as she moves her hips to gain more friction, and he has never, in his life, been more impatient. He moves at her pants, unbuttoning and unzipping one-handedly, pushing them down, only to come face to face with skin-tight biking shorts.

The shorts conceal nothing from view, the shape moulded to her, but it poses an obstruction, nonetheless. Jaime makes a protesting noise as his hand tries to peel it off, but this is a task difficult to do with only one. Thankfully, Brienne’s hands are there in an instant, peeling off the shorts along with her underwear, kicking the whole set off. He stares, and stares, and stares. Even her thighs are freckled, and her hair is an even lighter blond there, an untrimmed bush that barely conceals the perfectly pink flush of her nether lips.

He dips a finger between her legs, and she bucks, grinding down to his palm. He explores her, her slight wetness, the clitoris starting to emerge from its hood. Brienne begins to curse. It’s ridiculous since she never curses, but as it turns out if anyone can inspire it of her it would be him and his fingers. Her own hands unbuckle his belt and unbutton his jeans almost in a frenzy, and when she pulls the zipper down, she exposes the bulge straining under his boxer briefs. She palms it and it twitches and she nearly bumps her head on the car roof in surprise.

She makes a delighted, incredulous laugh, which turns into a gasp when Jaime enters her with a finger. She is warm, so warm, accepting his digit with her enveloping tightness. He puts another finger in, starting to pump lightly, but her hips slam down into his hand without abandon, so he ignores everything else and focuses on pumping his fingers in and out of her, his stump pressed against her clit, and when she seems to be on the brink of climax he retreats, eliciting a protest from her. He grins, then he puts in three fingers and she screams, her walls squeezing around his fingers. She has one of her hands on her nipple, and so he takes the other nipple with his mouth, and as she pulses around him, he beckons with his finger, hitting a spot that turns her ramrod-straight like lightning struck her, the scream turning soundless. Her other hand is buried in his hair, fisting, tugging.

He’s so very hard.

She finally falls limp. He pulls his fingers out of her, a small mewl exiting her mouth as he does so. He licks one wet finger—she tastes like sea spray, like the ocean—and when he sees her watching him, he puts the other two fingers in her mouth, and she happily laps them up, cleaning them, bobbing her head along their lengths. Meanwhile, her hips, now back resting in his lap, are grinding down on his erection.

Insatiable wench.

Jaime pulls down his underwear just enough to let his cock spring out, at last free of the confines of cotton and a certain wench’s teasing. He wants nothing but to be in her, already. If it’s anything close to how she feels around his fingers, he might embarrass himself and finish early, but it is a price worth paying. She seems to catch on, already moving to align her opening with the head of his eager cock. Somehow, he has the presence of mind to ask, “Birth control?” to which she replies, “Implant,” before she lowers herself on him.

His head snaps back to the headrest, his eyes rolling backwards. He thinks, this is it. I am done. But he isn’t. Somehow, he is still erect, and the tightness of her around him is almost a torture. He starts to rut, shallow thrusts upward, while she undulates her hips, slow, almost as though she knows the exact way to torment him. Why wouldn’t she? Unknowingly, she has tormented him so thoroughly just by being, so why shouldn’t she know what to do when his cards are open?

He is hers, truly, even though she doesn’t know it. He will always be hers.

Brienne begins to pick up the pace, and Jaime matches it stroke by stroke, every movement pulling him almost out, then as deep as they could go, over and over again. Her hands roam over his chest, rucking up his shirt to run over his abdomen, then to trace the smattering of hair over his chest, then teasing his nipple, and this time he does growl like a lion. Her smile when the sound escapes him is almost beatific. Her hair has fallen out of the loose bun, now a wild mane of gold, bouncing with every thrust. Gods, but she is an image.

Jaime’s thrusts turn rapid, uncontrolled, almost like spasms as he feels a tightening at the base of his scrotum. He is close. He is so, so close, and Brienne knows this, too, so she puts a hand on the place their flesh meets and circles her clitoris with a fingertip, the way she must have done thousands of times, the way she will maybe deign to teach him later if he behaves.

Quickly, she comes, the moan torn out of her in pants, her walls pulsing around his cock.

Turns out, that’s what he needs to come, too, as he empties himself in her, his hips snapped tight, his fingertips digging into her side.

When he falls limp into the car seat, his grip slackening into a quiet touch on her hip, and he grows soft in her, she pulls away, rearranging herself so she can lie atop him, her head on his chest. She kisses his neck, barely a whisper of touch. He runs a hand over her mussed, sweat-damp hair.

Outside the car, the storm has barely abated. They can barely see anything but what little sunlight streams through the cloud of sand and dust. It is almost like they didn’t exist in the same plane of existence as everything else, as if this is a space where only they belong.

“How long do these storms last?”

Brienne hums. He can feel it travel through his ribs. “This is already longer than most,” she says. “An hour, at most.”

An hour. How much time have they spent rutting like fools?

As if hearing the question in his mind, she says, “We’ve been here twenty minutes or so. When the dust settles, I’ll radio the base so they can get us.”

“And then, what?”

“Well, we probably can continue to the dig site, if you still insist that I’m not competent enough to do my job.”

“You know that’s not what I mean, on both counts. You know I’m not asking about the dig site, and you know I do respect your competence, because otherwise I wouldn’t bother trying to debate you.”

Brienne looks up, the slightest frown between her brows. “So, what do you mean?”

Jaime reaches to smooth the frown with his fingertips. “I mean, do you want me to buy you dinner first or should we immediately find the nearest Sept?”

“What?”

He sighs. “I’m asking you to marry me. Do keep up.”

“We barely know each other.”

“False. We’ve gotten on each other’s nerves for almost three years, now. I’ve been in love with you for two years, at least. And unless I read you wrong, you wouldn’t sleep with me unless you feel the same.”

She gapes, the blush returning to her cheeks and the tips of her ears.

“Or would you?”

“Of course not!”

He would laugh at her indignation, but he is far too pleased with the indirect admission to love. Instead, he says, “Well, how about we have as many meals together as you want—and dessert,” he adds, waggling his eyebrows at her to her mortification. “And when you’re ready to go to the Sept, you tell me.”

“What if I don’t want to marry you? Or at all?”

Jaime shrugs. “Then we’ll have as many meals as you want, and yes, dessert, until you no longer want to. Just know this.” His face grows serious, as he wants her to understand very clearly that he doesn’t mock her. “I am yours, if you'll have me.”

Outside, the winds begin to still, the sand and dust begin to fall back to the ground. In Jaime’s arms, Brienne shifts a little, burying her face in his chest, fisting her hand into his shirt, and she says, as quiet as the winds, “I will.”