As Lexa dressed, the flickering candlelight dancing her shadow across the tent's walls in a manner almost more alluring that the shaded bronze body going back into hiding, Clarke luxuriated in her nudity. There wasn't much right in her life. She was determined to enjoy what she'd found with Lexa. Ignore all the things that didn't make sense. Embrace all the things that felt right.

She reached out, fingers alighting on the decorative carvings marking the vambrace that laid on the ground. It was usually quite hard to see, Lexa's arms either locked at her sides or moving in clear, sweeping gestures. Now Clarke marveled at the intricacy that had gone into the carving. The determination the artisans had shown in honoring their Commander.

Lexa took hold of the vambrace, ready to put it on, and Clarke playfully hung on. Lexa tugged on it for a moment, then with a sharp grunt of effort, she ripped it out of Clarke's hands.

"You cannot do that," she said simply, teeth clenching, then relaxing.

"Why? Are those the sacred armor pieces of Morlock, passed down from generation to generation…"

"They are the property of the heda," Lexa said, patience growing thin. "The property of the heda is beyond sacrosanct. You cannot take liberties!"

Clarke watched silently as Lexa strapped the vambrace on. She had to think about whether pouting would annoy Lexa or earn her some sympathy points. She decided not to chance it.

"You're in an awful hurry," she observed instead. "One you didn't seem to be in last night."

"That was last night. If I am short with you, it is not because I am angry. It is merely because—" Lexa looked to be having trouble adjusting her vambrace. She gave up on it for the moment, facing Clarke instead. "The role of the Commander does not come as naturally to me as you might think. I am not without weakness; I simply have to suppress it. I… school myself in the ways of a good leader before I present myself to my troops. I prepare myself so that their eyes do not find weakness when it is mine alone."

"You put your game face on."

Lexa nodded and said a phrase in her own language that Clarke didn't yet know. It actually sounded like 'game face' and Clarke guessed it meant the same thing. An actual bit of pidgin English that had survived all the years. Clarke wanted to laugh.

"Well," she said, "your secret's safe with me."

"It's not," Lexa insisted. "The way you treat me in the privacy of this tent is not the way you must treat me outside it."

"No kissing for the boss, huh?"

"Not quite. I am the Commander. I am subordinate to no one. If you were known as my mate, you would be expected to be… submissive to me. In all things."

Clarke blinked. "That's not what I seem to recall making you come this morning…"

Lexa closed her eyes slowly, opened them slowly. Grounders didn't blush, but if they did, that would be it. "And that is why I have taken no mate—officially. As a fellow leader, you can be respected. As a lover, you would be my property. That is our way."

Clarke raised an eyebrow. "That doesn't sound so bad…"

"I would not make it so. But you could not lead your people and be mine at the same time. A new representative of the Sky People would have to be sent." Lexa suddenly smiled. "And I just finished training the old one," she added wryly.

Clarke ignored the jibe. "So no handholding? No hugs?"

"Not in front of my people." Lexa returned her attention to the vambrace. It fit in smoothly now with the rest of her armor. "Don't feel any need to keep this a secret. It is expected that I may conquer someone as comely as you."


"Just do not lay claim to me and do not imply claim on yourself."

"So I'm a one night stand?"

"Who would believe you could take more than one night?"

It was a day of celebration for the Grounders. The week before had been marked with great hunts, cooking, distilling, gifts back and forth to the Sky People to add to the bounty. Now the feast was prepared. On an elevated mound, the high table of the Grounders seated Lexa in the middle, with Clarke at her right hand and the best warriors of the Battle of Mount Weather flanking them.

Clarke let Lexa give the speech—something crisp and clean about how awesome they were, that flowed from her people's language to English like a river turning into whitewater rapids. Finally, Lexa sat back down. The feast began. Wine, women, and song—it all flowed. The Grounders gorged themselves on the meat while it was still warm from the fire. Clarke just relished a brief moment going by without anyone expecting anything of her. She felt free.

Free to do anything except touch her girlfriend in public.

Well, be seen touching her girlfriend in public.

The other warriors at the table only had eyes for their plates. Clarke looked around. Something like a mosh pit—Grounder dancing—had started on the other side of the table, at the bottom of the mound. Everything was loud, fast, chaotic.

Clarke reached over and touched Lexa's thigh with her left hand.

Lexa stiffened instantly. "What is your intent?"

"Guess," Clarke shot back, reaching under Lexa's skirts. The table hid her hand, her expression hid everything else. Casually, she cupped Lexa's groin through trousers that were thin and soft to the touch. Had to be, when they didn't have underwear.

"I… you…"

"Relax." With her other hand, Clarke picked up a fork and speared a section of her beef. "It wouldn't do for the Commander to be seen losing her composure."

Lexa pressed her lips together in a firm line as Clarke's hand crept up to the waist of her hands, then teasing at the hard muscle of her belly—pressing back downward, under her trousers, finding a lengthy scar, then the hair of Lexa's crotch. There was a warmth to it that was completely surprisingly. Clarke ran her fingers through it as she brought the beef to her mouth, bit, chewed.

Lexa's face was locked in blankness, even as a server brought a pitcher of wine to their section of the table. He offered.

"Oh, I'd love some wine!" Clarke enthused, her free hand picking up her goblet and offering it. "Isn't it nice, just letting the wine flow?"

Lexa nodded stiffly. She could feel Clarke exploring her cunt. Knew where she was going, the light caress starting at her clit and moving down over her sex, callused fingers giving her contact but no pressure, they felt so soft…

"Meat, Commander?" Clarke was passing a tray of meat to her, a freshly cooked chicken. She set it down before Lexa. "Fresh meat—on the Ark, all our meat was dry and tasteless. Here it's still tender. There's nothing like a juicy thigh, is there, Lexa?"

"Fuck you," Lexa whispered under her breath. "I'll excuse myself, then you can follow me into the woods within a few minutes and we'll—"

"No. We're doing this right here," Clarke said through a frozen smile. "Unless you want me to stop."

Her fingers stopped. Right at the bottom of Lexa's cunt. Just as she was starting to press a little harder.

Lexa held in a sigh as a wave of desire all but consumed her. Clarke could feel her rigid self-control cracking. Lexa thrust her hips at Clarke's soft, caressing fingers, imprisoning them inside herself.

Clarke cracked a grin as Lexa tried to fuck herself on Clarke's hand while not giving away that was moving at all to anyone in the vicinity. She tapped her middle finger on Lexa's wetness, bringing the Commander to a shuddering stop. Lexa froze, eyes shut, as Clarke played at entering her.

"We're allies," Clarke said, her smile not so frozen anymore. "Anything you want, you just have to ask for."

Lexa forced herself still, quieting the sway of her body as she girded herself with her hands on the edge of the table. "Please…" she muttered, nearly inaudible.

"Please what? You know I'd give anything to the Commander…"

Lexa leaned over until her lips brushed against Clarke's ear. "Please fuck me, Clarke."

Clarke reached inside Lexa, three fingers at a time, Lexa's hips twitching into the contact. When Clarke touched her spot, she seemed to go into a trance, her lips hanging open just under her sharp teeth, almost slavering like a feral jungle creature. Her eyes gleaming wickedly as Clarke stroked her again, again, again; her proud breasts heaving as she drew in a great draught of air between the pleasures Clarke brought her. Clarke knew she was probably spraining her own wrist, but she went faster and faster and faster, feeling Lexa grow warm against her palm, wet and warm, her thighs rubbing together as if trying to trap Clarke's fingers inside her, feeling how long they were and how firm they were and how fast they were.

Then Clarke grinded the heel of her hand into Lexa's clit.

Lexa gripped the edge of the table so tightly it nearly drew blood where it cut into her palms. She shook, once, then set her jaw, struggling not to visibly spasm as everything below her waist became wetness and heat and what Clarke was doing to her.

Lexa collapsed back into her chair, head tilted back, eyes closed, breath coming in heavy gulps. She was dead to the world. It was all she could do not to smile.

"Commander? Are you well?" Indra asked from the other side of Clarke.

"She's fine," Clarke said. "Just a little headache. I've already given her some medicine for it."

Indra watched Lexa blink herself back to awareness. "Perhaps you should give her her medicine somewhere more private."

"Perhaps," Clarke said, and reached for a bowl of berries nearby.

She used her left hand. Moaned gently as she ate them. Licking her fingers when she was done.

"This is a great feast," she said. "Everything tastes so good."

Lexa closed her eyes slowly. Opened them slowly.

"Clarke, you can't just… pleasure me like that," Lexa said as they walked away from the table, the festivities over, many of the Grounders collapsed where they had stood to sleep off the night's events.

Clarke walked next to her, occasionally pulling at the long hem of Lexa's jacket to throw her off-balance. "I think I can do anything I want when it makes you come that hard."

Lexa stopped to glare at her. "So long as you know the consequences your actions will draw."

Clarke pulled on her hem again, drawing Lexa right next to her. "Yeah? And what's that?"

"A repeat performance," Lexa said, dissolving into a rare smile.

Clarke was just about to kiss her when Abby caught her eye from about twenty feet away, in the middle of a chat with Octavia. Her mother just shook her head. Maybe they should've gone into the woods, Clarke thought, blushing and looking away.

"What's wrong?" Lexa asked, though she somewhat smugly relished Clarke's blush. It was good to know how much better she was at limiting her body's reaction than Clarke was.

Clarke sensed her thinking. "Yeah, laugh it up, you're not that great at keeping it on the downlow. My mom knows about us."

Lexa just laughed. Clarke smiled at her before she punched her in the arm.

"Guess it does save me the trouble of telling her."

"That's not what I was laughing at." Lexa leaned into Clarke's face, fixing Clarke with the hardened stare that meant she was about to kill someone—or, if it was directed at Clarke, meant she was in for a wild night. "We're going to my tent now, where we will have our repeat performance. And once you feel my touch upon your body, the whole camp will know 'about us'."

"Like you're the only one who can keep a poker face?"

Lexa frowned. "Whose face do you want to poke? Do you want me to poke her face?"