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His Treasured Guest

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Golden is the light, glowing from crystal chandeliers overhead as warm strings and smooth brass notes fill the ballroom to the brim with life and laughter. Silken gowns swirl over polished mahogany. Ornate jewellery glitters in the reflections cast in the tall, dark windows. The furnishings are as luxiarant as the prestige of the nobles present, private groups of lords and ladies gathered around small exquisitely carved tables as they gossip and chitter with glasses of wine in hand. One young woman covers her painted lips with a gloved hand as she whispers something to her companion. Another giggles from behind a splayed fan. An elderly gentleman guffaws at the expense of a flustered young man who shares a striking resemblance. And in the middle of it all twirl and sweep pairs of finely-clad guests in rhythmic, practiced dance.

Even now, hardly any of this feels real.

Each time you find yourself fortunate enough to attend an event like this, with all its gorgeous finery and splendid scenery, the sight never grows old. Rather than having stepped through a door in time it feels as if you have walked right into an old painting, all of the antiquated colours bursting with a fresh vividness straight out of a dream. You could almost fancy that the live music you can hear echo beautifully throughout the ballroom is also just a track playing in gallery speakers, its volume and richness amplified by your fantasies.

No. At times it really doesn’t feel like you are here at all, even when you feel the warmth of the crowds as they bustle by and taste the rich wine that is routinely offered upon silver platters.

It’s beautiful.

He is beautiful.

...Do you really belong here? Is it okay to be here?

Darkness clouds your heart, constricting it in venomous vines as you take another lingering, deep mouthful from your glass. You attempt to swat away the thoughts buzzing around your decaying self-confidence, but like flies they just keep coming back - swarming from God knows where. The heat in your cheeks isn’t just from all the gathered bodies present around you either: you know you should slow down on the drinking. It’s not wise, nor sensible. You should know better than to use alcohol as an emotional crutch, especially since it’s not a good one.

But you’re stood there alone.

You’re sure le Comte never intended to leave you by yourself for so long, but you can’t really blame him. He’s a popular man, swarmed even now by smiling, eager faces: what was once intended to be nothing more than a quick greeting soon having amassed a whole crowd of strangers.

You watch him over the crystal-glass rim of your drink, unable to tear your eyes away from the enchanting painting he so effortlessly completes. He’s radiant. It’s obvious in the way other people look at him too that you’re not the only one who thinks so.

Your chest tightens. You’re unsure whether to feel admiration and pride, or jealousy and shame as you stand apart from the scene, a misplaced intruder observing a world in which you never belonged. You never used to see yourself as someone who suffered from a crippling lack of self-confidence but you realise, very suddenly, in this moment with warm wine in your mouth and your corset tight about your waist, that you struggle to stand straight with ease any more. Each gathering you attend, each acquaintance of le Comte’s whom you meet, each extra glimpse into his life you see, it becomes that little bit harder.

Le Comte would be disappointed. He has often said how a woman should hold her chin high, no matter the situation. But those words - words which once offered you so much strength and support - now poison your thoughts instead.

It’s almost unbearable. At least half of the time you can cruise on by, pretending that everything is fine while you bury yourself in helping Sebas with the housework, but the effort you have to exert is becoming exhausting. Love really is a sickness, especially when you can’t find the courage to voice it.

“Mademoiselle!”

You turn at the cry of a familiar, delighted voice, your eyes widening before they crinkle in relieved pleasure. “Monsieur André!” You exclaim in response, glad that your eyes have yet to mist with the tears that had begun to choke your throat. He’d caught you just in time. Your grip tightens at the fragile stem of your glass. “What a pleasure to see you!”

“Not at all, the pleasure is all mine!” He sweeps down into an elegant bow once he reaches your side, capturing one of your hands for a kiss in the same seamless movement. He looks every bit of the gentleman you know him to be, with crisp, neat movements and impeccable posture, well-groomed hair and an affable smile. His dark eyes are warm with genuine joy as they gaze at you, but as a moment of time elapses and he is afforded a pause to really look at you, you detect a flicker of concern.

Oh no, you think. He’s noticed.

In no time at all his eyes dart away from you, immediately locating le Comte still lost in the sea of people like a beacon of a lighthouse in a storm. A wry smile twists Sir André’s lips when his attention glides back to you still standing at his side, embarrassment burning your cheeks. You can scarcely meet his knowing stare.

“You do realise, mademoiselle, that nothing will change if your actions do not, no?”

Your own smile is crooked as you force a small, derisive laugh. “You are not wrong.” You admit. But instead of continuing your sentence you opt for another sip of your drink, realising with surprised disappointment that your glass is now empty. Oh.

You hear Sir André chuckle. “Nevermind!” He declares, then extending his arm towards you. “No use in me harping on with the same old thing I tell you every time: we’re at a ball after all! Let us enjoy it, hrm?”

A moment ago you would’ve sighed at the thought of having to dance, but something about the twinkle in his eye and the playfully expectant rise of his eyebrow leaves your morose lack of motivation in tatters. Despite yourself you smile - more genuinely this time - and reach out to place a hand upon his arm.

“That’s more like it!” He grins.

With a defeated but fond laugh you let him guide you towards the center of the ballroom. Sooner than you realise, his other hand finds your waist, drawing you in close as your first dance of the evening begins. With the knowledge that you’re in trusted and skilled hands you allow yourself to get lost in the music and rhythm. Just for a moment at least, you force away all other thoughts and focus on Sir André’s easy guidance.

---

After the successful completion of a dance, you excuse yourself to a solitary section of the outside balcony. Sir André doesn’t stop you - that knowing look in his eyes again - but he does deny you another glass of wine, instead handing you a flute of water before you leave: and promises to come check on you later, “before the bell strikes midnight!”.

You smirk to yourself at the Cinderella reference as you lean against the cold carved stone of the balustrade. The cool night air is a breath of bliss against your heated face and flushed chest. You have yet to sip at your water, though toy with its glass stem as you do, but this fresh air is another story altogether: you don’t hesitate to drink it in, lifting your chin and closing your eyes to truly savour it. Goosebumps ripple up your arms and neck but you care not. This is nice. And with the clustered din of the ballroom tucked neatly behind you, muffled behind grand panes of glass, your heart is allowed a reprieve of its own. With no more appearances to maintain, the tension in your face eases.

Perhaps it eases too much.

You feel a stray tear prick at the corner of your eye. When your eyelashes flutter open, gasping a little at the beautiful clarity of the stars overhead, you feel it trace an icy path down your cheek. More come, unbidden. Your vision blurs and the stars sparkle ever brighter.

With a resigned smile you realise that you’ve become a captive of melancholy: at once both comfortable in your self-inflicted solitude but also unbearably lonely. You debate heading back inside, so you can escape yourself, but your feet refuse to move. The weight of your luxuriant dress chains you in place. Your limbs lack the life and will to fight it - your heart just as heavy.

Maybe some distance would do you good, you ponder. Maybe you should take le Comte up on that old offer of his to rent a chateau on the edge of town. You can’t continue on like this. But as much as you loathe yourself as you currently are, nor can you find in yourself the courage to press forwards, to attempt to obtain a shred of that happiness you so often fantasise about at le Comte’s side. Yet, as the particulars and specifics of fleeing the picture altogether become concrete in your thoughts, and you imagine a daily life without Saint-Germain, you realise that you can’t run away either.

This is torture. You scoff at yourself. Looking down, away from the starlit night above, you stare at your hands as they crumple into white-knuckled fists. Your shawl is hanging limp and useless from your elbows. The water in your glass as it rests upon the balustrade is so still it’s almost a mirror: it casts a miserable mockery of a reflection.

“Chérie?”

-And the stillness of the reflection is shattered.

The sudden voice behind you makes you gasp, your heart giving one loud, painful thump in response. Viciously, with panicked scrubs, you wipe away the tears still leaking from your eyes. Your pulse is thrumming in your ears like a trapped moth as you pray and pray for that small chance that he doesn’t notice you’ve been crying. Not him, of all people.

Swallowing - hard - you paste on a smile and look back over your shoulder, hastily collecting the shambles of your emotions so you can pretend to be okay. And there he is, le Comte de Saint-Germain, rimmed by the golden light of the ball like some celestial creature. But he doesn’t linger in the light, his silhouette instead soon joining you in the darkness as he swiftly approaches. There’s a concerned smile upon his lips, a faint pucker of a frown drawing together his eyebrows.

“My apologies, I should never have allowed my friends to keep me for so long.”

You shake your head. You’d like to say something - anything really - but you don’t trust your voice to come. Your throat is tight and burning. So instead, you look away, pretending to admire the cityline and all its buds of light, both distant and near.

Your breath catches when you feel Saint-Germain’s touch on your cheek: the back of his fingers softly brushing away a damp trail you had missed in your haste to look fine. For what feels like the longest time he doesn’t speak. And you’re too scared to look him in the eye to see what awaits you there.

Then his voice, as soft as a whisper, teases apart the stitches of your aching heart, “Ma chérie...?” He breathes, caressing your name with cautious compassion. Gently he grasps your chin, turning your face towards him. Again your chest tightens at his touch, your thoughts whirling into a confused panicked mess when he doesn’t let go.

His eyes are narrowed and hard, affection blunting the acute sharpness of his attention but not lessening its hold over you. You begin to feel yourself fall to pieces under his attentive, seeking stare. So desperately you bite down on your lower lip, chewing at it as a shudder tremors through your frame. You will NOT cry. You refuse to do that to him.

“...Who did this?” A shadow darkens his gaze. His smile is all but erased by a stern frown. “Tell me it wasn’t I.”

You can’t respond.

“...Ma chérie?” He presses, becoming impatient.

You feel the growing desperation in his tone, the building heat in his eyes, with startling intensity. Rendered breathless, your lips part. A peculiar mix of apprehension and desire sliding cold down your spine at the stern authority in his voice. This beautiful portrait of a man is here, with you, touching you, looking at you like you’re the only thing in this world - his world. He came for you. He left everything else behind and sought you out. And now you’re stood alone under a starlit sky, in a private little capsule of alternate reality. Maybe all the alcohol has finally gotten to your head, but there’s something about this moment that feels so intimate and surreal that your senses blur and your restraint wanes.

Maybe you could just pretend, for a little while, that this is all just a dream. That there are no complications - will be no complications. That your actions and words are free from the responsibilities of the future. Free from worry and doubt and all those other ugly, painful emotions.

Head muggy with heat, his touch at your chin burning hot, you find words tumbling from your parted lips, clumsy but no less sincere for it, “...You’ve told me before that-… that you would do anything, grant me any wish, if it would make me truly happy.” You whisper, a prisoner in his stare, and as a flicker of uncertainty dances through le Comte’s own eyes you notice that he too, cannot break this spell. He’s as much trapped in this moment as you are: an observation which bolsters your ramshackle, trembling heart with confidence.

“What is it that you wish for, ma chérie?” He presses after a long, hesitant pause.

It pains you to see him like this, his composed exterior shaken, his smile waning and weak. You don’t want to trouble him. You don’t want to hurt him. But-...

“I wish that you would kiss me.” You sigh, yearning tainting your breath with a lustful texture.

You can barely believe yourself that you finally said those words, even as you watch le Comte’s eyes widen with disbelief. But the true length of the moment - and his silence - is lost on you as your own gaze drifts down to his lips. You can imagine their texture on yours, soft and silken. His taste. His heat.

Then they draw closer and you don’t have to imagine any more.

The touch is so delicate. There’s a hesitation to the kiss that makes it feel like it’s almost not there at all: sugar sweet, a teasing taste of bliss. A spark of electricity strikes your heart and you moan softly as your lips part, hating that it had to end - let alone so soon.

You feel your own breath reflect against your parched and needing lips when you look up into le Comte’s eyes, so close to yours. He hasn’t drawn back yet. There’s a question in his stare, vibrant and burning, a conflict of emotion, which you realise is him telling himself to stop, but for all his blatant reluctance he does not budge. Neither leaving, nor approaching. Molten gold his eyes bore into you. The heat you find there, simmering just below the surface, is intoxicating. It’s all aimed at you - all BECAUSE of you. You want it to break through.

“I...wish you would kiss me again.” You plead, beckoning him with you to the precipice of your emotions, to a line you shouldn’t cross.

And so he does. He kisses you a second time.

There is less hesitation now. He is less gentle too. As his lips move against yours - with yours - they become firmer, more dominant, a barely-contained passion forcing them to linger much longer than before. You can feel his restraint and reason crumbling as you both revel in the taste of each other, the moment drawing out, the kiss deepening, a groan of pleasure tremouring up his throat which you capture in your mouth and claim as your own. You ignore the screaming of your lungs and give into your thirst for more, wanting nothing else but for this moment to last forever, but with effort le Comte retreats. Thankfully you’re clutching at the lapels of his jacket, preventing him from escaping far; he doesn’t put up a fight.

Ma chérie,” Saint-Germain exhales, his low, soft voice barely audible over your own needy pants and accelerated heart-rate - can he hear it too? “If this is just a fleeting desire, or your way of seeking comfort as a distraction from something else, I urge you to reconsider.”

“No.” You retort. You watch as a twinge of hurt on his face transforms into frustration - something akin to anger - but you press on, hardening your resolve. It’s now or never. “I’m not going to reconsider, nor do I need to, Comte.”

“There will be consequences.” He warns, strain in his voice. “I may fancy myself a gentleman, but I can only be tested so much. I have told you this before.”

“But this isn’t a test.” Smiling, warmth stinging at the corners of your eyes, your hands trace featherlight up his chest, his neck, his chin, before settling on either side of his face. You press your palms there, relishing in the heat of his cheeks as his heady, warm scent envelopes you. You stare straight into his eyes, swallowing down your cowardice and summoning all your courage as your heart continues to pound against your ribs. “I have wished for this for the longest time, my dearest Count. For months.”

You feel him suffer a sharp intake of breath. But there’s still reluctance in his eyes. Restraint in the tension of his features. You see his lips begin to move but you find yourself unable to bear hearing another warning, another rebuke or rejection no matter how soft, for fear that you too would begin to regret this first step - even completely unplanned as it was. So before he can utter another syllable you press up onto the balls of your feet and pull his face down towards you, crushing your lips against his.

It’s not the most skilled of kisses, you admit. But it’s fierce. Stubborn. You pour all that you have into that one kiss, refusing to yield as your lips consume his. A large - and growing - part of you wants to, and is attempting to, kiss him into silence. No more warnings or rebuttals. You want to muddle his thoughts as he has muddled yours. You want his world to comprise of nothing else but you and this moment. It’s selfish - possessive even - but you’ve already succumbed and there’s no turning back now. Your tongue slips between his lips and you’re pleasantly surprised to find that he has been waiting for you.

His hands are at your waist, pulling your chest flush against his, as he returns your carnal affections without pause. You begin to drown in the moment and it is only out of sheer necessity that you both eventually break away for air. Gasping, panting for oxygen, you look back up at him through your eyelashes and challenge him with your eyes, DARING him to continue saying no - especially after that.

A flash of bemused laughter sparks in his gaze. “So it was me afterall.” He purrs, his breath hot against your swollen lips. Your stomach does backflips, your chest tightening, as you watch his tongue subtly but slowly lick at his own lower lip - no doubt savouring the taste of you still there.

Then he smiles a crooked but still classically charming smile, lifting a hand from the grip around your waist to gently cup the back of your head: his slender fingers threading through your hair. You’re caged in his embrace and can think of nowhere else you’d rather be. Especially when he looks at you like that, with such dark, impassioned lust in his stare. It’s unbearably intense. For a brief moment you fear he will take you right there and then, regardless of your surroundings. Then you realise you wouldn’t actually mind.

“If your tears are because of me,” He presses a soft, delicate kiss just below your eye. The gesture is chaste, yet his voice is anything but as it dips into a seductively low murmur beside your ear, “-then I must take full responsibility.” There’s a lilt of half of a question there, but none of the room for objection.

Gladly, you accept your fate. You can feel your face burning as you surrender with a coquettish smile, moaning out a “Please do.”

---

Hand-in-hand you both ride the carriage back home to the mansion, your fingers threaded neatly between his. Le Comte hadn’t wasted a single moment in whisking you away from the ball, his perfect amiable smile slipping back onto his face with enviable ease as he excused you both with tidy lies: apparently you were tired and needed rest. You smirk a little at the recent memory, recalling your own shock and your fumbling attempts to act the part and of course… the embarrassed wince you gave Sir André when he caught your eye from across the room. He knew exactly what was going on. While part of you hated the man for it, stripping you bare like that with his ever-sharp intuition, you were mostly just glad. It was nice, having a friend outside of the vampiric fraternity in which you could confide.

Cheeks warm you smile, gazing down at your linked hands. Softly you gently knock your head against the solid support of le Comte’s shoulder, resting it there with a rush of thrilled contentment. You notice his fingers flex slightly as he gives you a small squeeze, your joined palms comfortably hot.

You never expected the night to go like this, but you’re definitely not complaining.

“Are you tired, ma chérie?”

You shake your head a little, making a small noise of disagreement in the back of your throat. Thankfully you’ve sobered up a great deal: you’d hate to think how differently le Comte would’ve reacted if he believed you to be drunk. He likely still would’ve insisted on bringing you home but…

You purse your lips, but even that isn’t enough to hold back your small giggle. You nuzzle a little deeper into the strength of Saint-Germain’s shoulder, revelling in how easily you can now initiate such intimate little shows of affection. You’d been holding back for so long. It’s so nice to be so close. So deep in his warmth - the barriers gone. Not all of the issues with this blooming relationship have magically disappeared of course, but the more immediate physical impediments at least have been successfully surmounted. The taste of your small victories is achingly sweet.

A vibration tremors through you as the Count chuckles. “I never knew you were the affectionate type. It’s a pleasant discovery.”

“I’m glad you think so.” You respond bashfully, abruptly self-conscious but choosing to stay as you are nonetheless. Slowly, with a nervous hesitation you struggle to keep at bay, you add, “I’m also glad that you granted my wish, Comte.”

You can’t see his smile but you hear it, his voice smooth with seductive suggestion, “It would be my sincerest pleasure to grant many more, ma chérie.”

Gently he lifts his spare hand, brushing it tenderly across your cheek: the electric warmth of his touch fluttering your eyes to a close so you can appreciate it more deeply. A hum of contentment echoes behind your sealed lips. A hum which is quickly muffled as he leans down, craning his neck to kiss you. Surprised though you are, it is welcome and you eagerly return the favour - smiling all the while. You can feel his smile too as you moan into his mouth, the delicate motions of his lips on yours so heart-rendingly compassionate you melt into him - against him. When he pulls back slightly you fall with him, your weight entirely entrusted to his support. He appears to enjoy it.

“I hope you are prepared, my naughty girl.” He whispers into your ear, sending thrills down your spine. There’s a husky, slight growl to his voice, something carnal that you’ve never noticed there before.

“I’m not sure I ever can be.” You giggle nervously, suddenly remembering that the mansion is also home to more than just you two. Hopefully none of them are awake, though… Sebastian probably is. Ever the loyal and diligent butler you have never seen him not there to await his master’s return. Your face burns deep and hot when you begin to imagine the picture you two will soon paint.

Biting your lip you attempt to avert both your eyes and attention but suddenly you feel le Comte’s lips on your neck. Softly. Gradually. One after another he trials teasing kisses down your supple skin, as if set on mapping every inch of you - of tasting every inch of you - the brief touches of his damp tongue sending shivers of anticipation through you.

Gasping back a whimper you find your hands clutching at the chest of his jacket. “C-Comte-!” You cry, breathless. “We’re still-... Still-!” Argh damnit, you can’t resist. You try to blunder your way through voicing reason but your words grow weak as le Comte continues his affections, sucking softly now at the nape of your neck. Is he marking you?! His breath is so hot against your skin, its uneven rhythm pooling a heat of your own between your legs as lewd wet sounds begin to reach your ears. “Comte, please-! We’re-! We’re not even-... Aah.” A suggestive moan slips past your lips, too quick to be masked by the hand you quickly slap over your mouth. What if the driver hears you!

You feel his sharp teeth - his fangs?! - graze your neck, his hands holding fistfulls of your gown at your thighs as if he intends to shred it apart with mere force alone. Leaning into you his strength increases and you’re all but convinced you’re about to be pushed down on the plush seat of the carriage when very abruptly the whole thing jerks to a stop.

You’ve arrived at the mansion.

Oh God.

Le Comte draws back just enough for you to see the blazing lust in his eyes. You’ve never seen him so disheveled before, so desperate, a bewitching power to his molten gold gaze as it pierces into you and claims you as his own. The intensity of it all takes your breath away. You’re suddenly as terrified as you are excited about what’s to come. What happens when a gentleman like Saint-Germain loses control…? You can’t even begin to guess, but your throat feels parched at just the mere thought of it all, fantasies running riot through your imagination. You’ve wanted nothing more than to be claimed by him for so long, and the realisation that he’s letting you into his heart to ease his perpetual loneliness at last is incredibly humbling.

Fixing his tie, le Comte wordlessly lifts himself up and out of the carriage saying his thanks to the driver before turning and extending a hand back up at you to help you descend. Still at a loss for words and quite honestly struggling a little to stand, (the ease with which he slips back into composure will never cease to both impress and annoy you too), you’re eager to accept his help. You reach out and take his hand-

-But instead find yourself in his arms… Of course. Of course le Comte de Saint-Germain is going to carry you in a princess hold over the threshold of his mansion. Why did you ever think anything less of this charming man who has always spoiled you rotten?

You’re lost somewhere between gasping and giggling as you are hefted weightlessly into his arms, cradled there lovingly. You hang your arms about his neck and bury your burning face into the crook of his shoulder, unable to brave whatever face Sebastian is about to pull in the foyer. You hear the doors creak open and you swallow back a nervous whine, breathing in deep le Comte’s reassuring scent as it encompasses you.

There’s a brief exchange above your head, you hear your coworker’s voice, le Comte’s soft meaningful smile, and then you’re being carried up the stairs without incident. Not that you EXPECTED there to be trouble of course - as if Sebas would ever speak up against Saint-Germain - but you worry if this little incident will make it to the butler’s private books… He won’t be blackmailing you with it later will he? Heaven forbid the incoming head-flick tomorrow morning. Ugh.

The stairs end. Another door opens and closes, your weight shifting as le Comte briefly frees a hand to find the handle. (You marvel at his effortless strength, recalling once again the pure and powerful vampiric blood that runs through his veins.)

Then you’re in his private chambers.

---

You expect to hear creaking bed-springs as you feel gravity return to your limbs, but instead you discover yourself standing: besides the bed nonetheless, but most certainly not on it. Your eyelashes flutter up at le Comte in mild surprise but you’re not left waiting for long, his arms are around your waist, his fingers nimbly pulling apart the same corsetry of your gown he’d help pull together only hours prior. A rush of heat tightens your core as you recall the fantasies you imagined back then and the reality of what’s happening right now.

Then he stops.

You can feel the weight of your gown sagging, hanging precariously from your curves: one more pull of the laces and you’re sure it’d all slip off but-... Le Comte has halted, and looks at you now with teasing expectation. Cradling your face with a spare hand - his other still entangled in the laces with delicate tension - he waits for you to speak. As if you could find your voice right now!

“What…?” You squeak, confused.

His smile grows and you’re very abruptly, very keenly, aware that it’s not just mischief in the curve of his lips. A shadow is manifesting itself deep in his possessive stare. You gasp a little when you feel his hand behind you slowly curl and twist, tightening the corsetry which binds you.

“This dress,” Saint-Germain begins, voice measured and slow. Your eyebrows quirk up in surprise, honestly having no idea where this is going. “I heard you had help choosing it.”

...How did he know that?

“What? Did you send Sebastian to spy on me?” You joke, laughing nervously as you attempt to deflect the intensity of his demeanour with humour. Your hands are flat against his broad, toned chest and you note absently that you can feel his heartbeat just below your touch. It’s not even.

He pulls you closer and your breath catches, the tension gathering around your waist firm and unrelenting. It’s not tight enough to hurt but le Comte is certainly trying to communicate something here. The warm fingers of his spare hand graze your jaw. “How many secrets are you hiding from me, ma chérie?” He inquires below his breath, voice dripping with lethally-sweet honey.

“I-I could say the same of you!” You splutter, defiance flaring in your eyes even as a bundle of nerves chokes up your throat. You’re not used to him being so… openly interrogative, an edge to his teasing which makes you quiver. It’s not a bad feeling. You’ve always wanted him to be more open with his feelings - to express his thoughts more - but you’re too unprepared to know how to properly react.

He almost laughs at that, a mysterious smile forming on his perfectly-shaped lips. “Why Sir André? You have your pick of the crop, le crème de la crème, here at my mansion but instead you choose to befriend someone entirely different. Someone completely removed from our circle-”

“-Someone outside your most immediate area of influence.” You finish for him, a naughty little smile playing with your cheeks despite your better judgement. “I know. And that’s exactly why.” The Count’s eyebrows furrow but he waits for you to continue. “I wanted to surprise you, to become more independent even.”

He pauses at that - a thought striking him. “...Am I too overbearing?” He looks genuinely concerned, the wounded sincerity in his voice making your heart twinge with affectionate guilt.

Hastily you shake your head. “No! That’s not it! I love the way you treasure me, I could never get sick of that. But I-... I… Well…” You swallow hard and avert your eyes, your shoulders scrunching up as you chew on your lower lip. Finding the words isn’t difficult but finding the courage to say them most certainly is.

The tension at your waist eases in response and you feel the hand behind you gently press against your back, the one at your jaw now brushing through your hair: as if by petting you and caressing you he could entice the words right out of your lips. He’s not wrong. You think he might actually do just that. There’s a strange magic to his adoring touch, a heartwarming blanket of comfort so soft you sigh in contentment. You lean into the hand at your face, resting your cheek into his palm before it glides back to paw at your hair again. Le Comte reads the gesture with ease and pauses, cradling your cheek with gratified pleasure. “You…?” He prompts, in an encouraging, tender murmur.

“I…” You nuzzle anxiously into his hand, as if attempting to escape his penetrating, patient gaze. His firm strength doesn’t relent. “I… wanted to become someone who deserved you. I wanted to make myself into a woman you could admire and be proud to have by your side. That’s why I… well, you know...” Your chest tightens with fearful embarrassment at the confession and nervously you press a small chaste kiss to Saint-Germain’s palm, eyes fluttering up at him through your eyelashes as you dare to risk a look.

It’s a look you’ll never forget.

Le Comte de Saint-Germain is speechless. His eyes are wide with surprise. And slowly, but very surely, you spy a rosy blush seep across his cheeks. Le Comte is blushing?!

“S-Surely you knew…” You squeak, a flustered little giggle bubbling up in the pits of your throat. An overwhelming wave of pride washes over you at having inspired such a reaction in the man but at the same time you’re flabbergasted. “All the books, all the times I distanced myself from you to practice my lessons, how I-”

“-Confided in a gentleman like Sir André.” Saint-Germain concludes, realisation dawning on him. You can see the puzzle pieces snapping together, the misconceptions and wrongly-read signals all corrected as a light returns to his gaze. Through the clouds of doubt breaks through a radiant smile, crinkling the corners of his molten-gold eyes. “He’s a very respectable man and well versed in social etiquette. A brilliant partner to study from.”

“And to turn to, when I’m trying my best to keep my secrets.” You admit, with a wry smile. “I-... I couldn’t even imagine attempting to do any of this with you until I felt like I was prepared enough, had become a better woman.”

He cups your face in both hands now, his smile heart-achingly tender as he squints, as if you’re too radiant to look at. The colour in his cheeks suits him well and you feel your own heartrate leap into a staccato as you feel his pulse race below your touch. You’ve never seen a man so in love before.

“I am not sure what I would do if you became even more beautiful.” Le Comte murmurs, an almost pained twist to his smile as he drinks the sight of you in. “I already feel like I don’t deserve you, especially after that you’ve been through and everything you’ve given up.”

Your heart lurches into your throat.

HIM? He doesn’t think HE deserves YOU?! Your jaw drops and you gape like a foolish goldfish, struggling to string together a sentence in response. He chuckles at that, a deep soft thrum of vibration pulsing through you before he bends forward and lightly kisses your brow. “A better woman doesn’t exist.” He whispers. And you believe him. There’s no room for doubt in neither his words, his voice, his expression or even his pounding chest. He doesn’t allow you to doubt it.

And suddenly, you realise how ridiculous you’ve both been.

Overflowing with mirth at the hindsight bestowed upon you, you abruptly break out in laughter. It’s an overwhelmingly happy laugh. A relieved laugh. An amused laugh. It’s also an infectious laugh apparently, as le Comte joins you, both of your voices echoing throughout his bedroom. It’s a delightful sound and your ears sing with pleasure.

“What idiots.” You guffaw.

You realise that you’ve begun to cry - again! - your vision blurring with hot tears, but before you can attempt to scrub them away le Comte’s thumbs are there, delicately brushing the corners of your eyes dry. A sober light briefly hardens his gaze as he adds cautiously, seriously, “You do realise this will be difficult - for both of us. Though I will strive to always bring joy to your life - to make you as happy as you make me and more - I cannot promise that you won’t cry again.”

“Oh Comte,” You laugh, sighing a little. You hold both of his hands as they cup your face, giving them a reassuring squeeze. “I’ve already followed you into a whole other world, and that was before I even knew you. There’s no way I can turn back now, and I wouldn’t want to either. Whatever comes, I want to be by your side. You’ve been alone for far too long, my love. You deserve to be happy and I’d like nothing more than to make that happen, no matter what it costs me it’ll be worth it. We can do this together.”

Saint-Germain’s face reddens even deeper. For a moment you think you see even his own eyes begin to mist with tears, but that flash of open vulnerability is gone before you can think any more of it. He pulls you in for a deep, hot kiss. The building passion of it melts away your thoughts, filling your mind with heat and love and lust. You lean into him, eagerly reciprocating but just as things are about to truly get good he pauses and draws back a hairbreadth, his breath gushing across your ripe lips. You openly groan with disappointment, eliciting a cheeky little smile of devilish charm from the Count, but it hadn’t been his intention to leave you hanging.

“This dress though,” He begins again and you almost roll your eyes. “Did Sir André help choose it, or did he choose it?”

You have to think about that, your eyes drifting up to a corner of your brain as you draw back the memory and ponder over it. “Hrm,” You hum thoughtfully. “I suppose technically yes, he chose it. We narrowed it down to a few different ones in the end but I couldn’t make the final decision and-

“AAH!”

A startled cry rips up your throat as very suddenly you’re very cold, a quick jerk of the corsetry at your back sending your gown plummeting down to your ankles. You actually think you hear something rip but there’s little time to think about that as your chest is crushed against the Count’s and his mouth is at your neck. “It’s far too provocative.” He growls against the tender flesh of your nape. You feel the light brush of his fangs behind his devouring lips, a shudder of anticipation thrilling you to your core. “You’re always free to do as you wish, but I deeply resent the idea of another man choosing what you wear.” His mouth brushes up your neck, coming to a pause at your jaw where he nips hungrily at your earlobe. You moan with pleasure, quivering under his touch. “Especially given the ulterior motives that are so often behind such a thing.”

“Oh I highly doubt he has an ulterior mot-... wait.” You manage, breathless. It’s difficult to make some sense of your thoughts, to hold onto some scrap of reason when heaven and temptation is waiting at the door but- “Wait a minute. Are you saying YOU had ulterior motives when you- AH!” Another delighted cry bursts from your chest as you’re suddenly hefted up into his arms again. He carries you over to his bed, the mattress groaning under his weight as he rests down a knee and begins to undress.

You’re entranced by the sight of him and his slender, nimble fingers as you recline there, your train of thought completely forgotten as you watch him unburden himself of his coat, then his jacket, then his waistcoat and then tugging at the knot of his tie before picking at the buttons of his shirt. All the layers slip off him with ease, unfurling to reveal the toned, lithe figure beneath. Your mouth is practically watering with desire as you marvel at the sight of all his naked flesh, the definition of his muscles and the way his chest rises and falls with quickened breaths. There’s still a delicious hue of pink to his cheekbones, his eyes consumed by primal desire, and you wonder idly how he’ll taste once exertion adds a sheen to his skin.

As his hands reach for the buckle of his trousers - meanwhile enjoying the sight of you, as much as you’re enjoying the sight of him - you stop him. Lurching upright you grab your hands in both of his and fueled by a fierce lust that makes you a stranger to your own voice, you insist, “No. Let me.”

Surprise flashes across his face, but he soon composes himself, a suggestive smile curling his lips. Your heart gives one loud, powerful thump as his hands slip away and he kneels there, above you, granting you the unspoken permission to do with him as you wish. Your fingers are suddenly more sweaty than you realised - no doubt the nerves catching up - but you grab the lustful beast within you by the horns and take control, pulling apart the belt with a tantalising chime of metal. In no time at all you’re peeling open his trousers, pausing briefly as you take note of the hardened bulge pressing against his underwear.

Instead of stripping him completely your hands drift, gently exploring the firmed area with teasing fingertips. You see the muscles of le Comte’s stomach tighten but he makes no noise, a coquettish smirk prying open your lips and flashing your teeth as you look up at the man above you. Something about the way he remains so composed, even now, sends all kinds of temptations through your head. His eyes narrow down at you, hesitation and curiosity burning in his molten gold depths, and you know then that there’s no way you’re letting him get out of this without getting at least a BIT flustered.

So you grin and you kiss his chest, soft, lingering kisses trailing down his torso and savouring the taste of his skin. All the while your hand works his stiff shaft through the thin veil of fabric, a pleasurably slow rhythm building and firming to ensure that he’s completely ready for you once your mouth reaches the hem of his underwear.

Just as the fingers of your spare hand began to tease down the last barrier separating you both, you feel le Comte’s hands thread through your hair. Gently - but firmly - he gives your head a tug, tilting your face up so he can meet your eyes. “Ma chérie,” He breathes. You can feel the heat of his breath from down here. His chest rises, heart thundering, and you note with pleasure how close to panting he is. Tension and anticipation stiffen his entire frame. “You… do not have to do this. I would much rather be the one giving pleasure to you.”

Mischief crinkles your cheeks, your eyes narrowing through the thick haze of desire, “I am sure you will have plenty of opportunities to do that in the future. But for now, my Count, I wish to pleasure you.” You watch the breath catch in his throat and his adam’s apple bob as he swallows it back down again. Whatever face you’re pulling, you know it’s effective. You lick your lips in devilish delight.

Empowered and determined and thirsty you tug down his underwear before he can voice another objection, and in the same moment as his dick bounces free of its restraints you capture it between your moistened lips. Finally he moans, the deep, yearning sound reverberating through your mouth and thrumming through your ears as the hand in your hair tightens into a bestial claw. Your face burns with pleasure and you press your own thighs together, attempting to sate the desire that pools there with mere pressure alone - even if only by just a little.

Then you begin to move. You start slowly at first, lapping at his hardened shaft with your tongue to ensure it is thoroughly moistened with your saliva. Slick and as deliciously hard as can be. You keep one hand coiled around the base of it, keeping the pressure there as you build up pace and savour the taste of him in your mouth. It doesn’t take long at all for his body to begin lubricating it itself, a needful anticipation pulsing through the veins of his dick as they throb against your tongue and swollen lips. He tugs at your head by accident as desperate want growls up his throat, his uneven breathing punctuated by deep, lewd moans which he struggles to keep at a sensible volume.

Embarrassment tickles at the back of your thoughts, but you force it away, lifting your eyes through your eyelashes to stare at him as you work. You feel his dick pulse against the back of your throat when his eyes meet yours, his face red, his eyes dark, his lips pulled back over his sharp, gritted teeth. His fangs are on full display and you smile, withdrawing at last to lick the salty-sweet bodily fluids from your mouth and chin.

“Now I wish for you to lay down on the bed.” You command, high on the power-trip afforded to you. His eyes are watching your tongue, fascinated by your mouth, and with a subtle nip of his lip he holds back a deviant grin and surrenders, his eyebrows quirking with humour.

Brushing past you he reclines back on the mattress and you waste no time in stripping him of his last remaining items of clothing, as you too rid yourself of yours, eager to press your naked flesh flush against his. Now he’s completely bare - completely vulnerable - and with your heart singing in your ears you mount him, fingertips tracing the toned contours of his heated chest as it pounds below you. The sight is so delicious, so tantalising, your mouth waters and you’re forced to lick your lips again, his taste on your tongue.

As you hesitate, burning the sight into your memory, you can feel his dick right between your legs, throbbing with need as it teases the moist entrance. He’s so hard and hot you almost forget to breathe, the anticipation a deadly poison as you debate just letting him stay there, teasing you both on the edge of immense pleasure. You quickly begin to imagine him filling you up and twitch in response, the muscles in your legs tightening with want as your hands claw at his chest. You marvel at le Comte’s self-restraint - and almost rather hate it at the same time - as his hands find the curves of your hips and his trimmed nails dig into the flesh there, holding you tight but not urging you in either direction. He waits.

You feel like you should be the one in control, given your positions, but the way he looks up at you from his recline on the bed tells you that you’re anything but. Dark, impassioned lust burns there. There’s such a possessive power to his stare, a dominating thirst, that you feel like prey caught in an elaborate web of a trap. It’s the sweetest trap. Intoxicating. If this is how it feels to lose then you never wanted to win anyway.

You give into temptation, and begin to fuck the vampire.

Groaning, quickly lifting the back of your hand to your mouth, you slowly ease down onto his firm shaft. Intense pleasure shoots fireworks through your mind, leaves you light-headed, tightens your core as you slip forever down and deeper, sinking onto him until you’re pressed flush groin-to-groin. It’s too much. You want it all. You want more. A desperate cry bursts from your lungs and you twitch around him, thighs and buttocks tightening to hold him fast inside you.

After a moment’s pause to adjust to his girth, you then begin to ride him, bending forwards a little to support your hands upon his chest and give you a fuller range of movement, his groans filling your ears with building need. Lewd, wet noises increase in volume as you pick up pace, revelling in the power, the opportunity and the desire, hitting a rhythm which can fulfil your wanton needs as your flesh slaps together time and time again. His rock-hard shaft brushes past all your sensitive points, pounds against them, filling you up over and over and over again. Your vision begins to fizzle and you’re deaf to your own groaning moans for more - no longer caring about restraint.

And that’s as far as you get.

In one swift, powerful movement, your world spins, the needful space between your legs empties, and very suddenly you find yourself underneath le Comte. He towers above you, pinning you down like a predator would its prey, eagerly devouring your moans in a hungry, breathless kiss. Your wrists are gathered together above your head, locked there by a strong vice-like grip, while his hand other explores your body and all its curves, groping and caressing and savouring it all.

He breaks the kiss just long enough to breath hot into your ear, his voice a honey-sweet low growl of sin. He’s become such a gentle demon now that he’s unmasked, and you love it. “Now it’s my turn, my naughty girl. Everything you have given me I intend to repay you, twofold - and more.”

Without waiting for a response he gives one fierce jerk of his hips and fills you right back up again. You cry out in pleasured desperation as your body struggles to adapt to his girth and size in this new angle, your legs spreading wider to enable him to bury ever deeper, testing the limits of just how far he can go. And over and over and over again he hammers his hard, slick lust and want into you, littering your flushed skin with hungry, adoring kisses all the while.

Even through the hot haze of desire, despite his bestial instincts, he continues to measure his strength and treasure you - careful not to break you. Your heart bursts with love for the man, but your insatiable body thirsts for more, your hands breaking free of his grip as he balances himself, your fingers clawing at his damp, hot back where his muscles retract and contract. “More!” You gasp in a needful whine. “I wish for more!”

And as his fangs are brought to a hesitant pause at the nape of your neck you thrust your hips up against his, and grab at the back of his head, pulling him closer. “Take me. I’m yours.” You cry.

You’re grateful you had the breath left to speak those words because they prove to be exactly what he needed. You feel le Comte’s jaw widen and then he penetrates you, deep, fangs sinking into your supple flesh, slipping into you with ease. The pinpricks of pain are very quickly replaced by a surge of ecstasy, your body hot and buzzing with pleasure.

The last thing you remember that night is your own, orgasmic cry hitting a crescendo over the panting groans of your very own vampire. The lewd sounds of sinful debauchery continue as he drinks deep of your heat and continues to pound at your core, hitting the peak of his long-restrained and now satisfied desires mere seconds after you reach yours. His blissful groan swallows the last of your cry and you’re consumed by a darkness rich and hot.

He is yours. And you are his. No matter what comes your way in the future you know one thing for sure: you’ll never hesitate to stand by his side again.