Summary: One-shot – He used her for the pain. She used him for the pleasure. They both used one another because it was better than feeling nothing at all.

Pairings: Galbatorix/Selena, Morzan/Selena.

Disclaimer: I do not own any familiar characters featured in this story. They all belong to the creative Christopher Paolini.

By: Silver pup

She scanned the chessboard slowly, feeling his eyes watching her every move as placing her white bishop down in front of the black pawn. "Check."

He arched a slow brow, lips twisting into a half smirk. His hand, covered in a black leather glove, stroked one of the white pawns he had claimed back in the beginning of the game. Those long and slim fingers stroked the crystal piece up and down slowly, reminding her again exactly what those fingers could do.

She shivered in pleasure.

He noticed her tremble and smirked even wider. His eyes—a deep midnight black—sparkled in satisfaction. "You're getting better at this, my dear. Soon I imagine you'll be beating me at this as well."

She sniffed and flicked a lock of curly brown hair over her shoulder. Her emerald gown was sliding off her shoulder, revealing flawless pale flesh. She didn't bother to push the sleeve up because she knew he wanted to see her skin, and she wanted him to see it too.

She licked her dry lips.

His other hand—covered in the same black leather—reached out to grip the black pawn, his long fingers curling around the crystal piece firmly. Slowly, oh so slowly, he moved to claim the white bishop in a simple gesture, all the while keeping his dark eyes firmly locked on her.

"Any word from Morzan?" Oh, he was cruel. To bring him up now, when they were in the middle of their game. It was just like him to use such a dirty tactic. To make her flinch in anguish at the subtle reminder that he wasn't what she really wanted. That he was just there because he was bored, and she—she because she was desperate.

She clenched her hands into tight fists.

"Not lately. I expect a letter from him to show up soon though. It usually does," she retorted calmly, lazily studying the chessboard even as her heart began to pick up speed and she resisted the urge to break down sobbing. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of seeing her in pain; not tonight, not now.

She made her move.

"Good," he purred, finally looking away to gaze upon the chess board. "I'm sure he misses his little wife and infant son just terribly. But, alas, duty calls first, and he must answer it."

Now she did flinch and glared at him with soft hazel eyes for reminding her that her husband was gone—was always gone—because he willed it to be. You may have his heart, Selena, the words implied, but I will always hold his soul.

Her lower lip began to tremble so she bit on it hard enough that she drew blood.

"On dear. You seem to have had an accident." He was looking at her lips, watching the blood rise and drip down her chin. On instinct she swiped her tongue out to catch the drop of blood, and something in his eyes darkened immediately. "Allow me to help you with that."

She clutched the armrest of her chair tightly for what she knew was to come.

He was tall enough to lean over the chessboard and small table to reach her. His dark eyes were turning darker in desire, and, to her disgust and shame, the sight made her shiver in anticipation.

Her heart was beating so fast that she wouldn't be surprised if the palace occupants could hear it.

When his lips touched her chin she instantly froze. She didn't move as he licked the blood away; moving slowly up from her chin to her lips. She didn't respond when his cold lips pressed against hers; simply opened her mouth to allow him entry.

An image of Morzan flashed through her mind, and she moaned into the kiss.

One of his hands came up and lightly ran across her face before coming to rest on the back of her neck. His mouth was slowly moving south to nip lightly at her throat before stopping to kiss her collar bone. The hand holding her neck tightened and he pulled away from her, breathing heavily with glazed eyes.

Another image of Morzan came to her mind, and she felt something in her break a little more.

"I think we're done for tonight." His voice was husky from desire, but his eyes were beginning to clear up rapidly. He stood up straight and smoothed down the wrinkles of his dark shirt before giving her a leveled look. "Shall we call it a night?"

Images of nightly passions rose to her mind, but with who she could not see.

"I think that would be wise," she answered lowly, her mouth seeming to move without her knowledge. Her tongue darted out to quickly lick her lips clean, and she realized abstractedly that her bottom lip was healed.

The face of her lover became clearer now; mismatched eyes and a tanned face. Morzan, Morzan, Morzan…

"Shall I escort you back to your chambers?" He was just being polite because that's what etiquette dictated him to do. But she knew from his eyes that he just wanted to be alone now. It's been fun, but you're no longer required, his eyes said, so go away now, Selena. I will see you again when I have need of you.

The fact that he openly admitted that she was just a toy always left a bitter taste in her mouth.

"No thank you, your majesty. I can get back just fine." She wanted to go back to her estate now. She didn't want to see him or be with him. She just wanted Morzan to come back and hold her. To reassure her that he did love her, and would always love her.

Her heart ached and ached for her husband even if her body didn't.

The corner of his lips twitched as he gave her a short bow. "Very well then. Goodnight, Selena, and pleasant dreams." He knew what she was thinking. He always knew what she was thinking. How else could he have figured out her loneliness, her despair, her confusion? He could read her like an open book, and they both knew it.

Twisting and turning like snakes, the images in her mind changed and reformed her lover into someone else.

"As to you, your majesty." She stood and gave him the usual curtsy, and when she looked up she found him, as usual, gone already. Disappeared into the shadows like he was a part of them. Sometimes she could have sworn that he was.

The face of her lover changed into one with sharp features and dark eyes. Galbatorix, Galbatorix, Galbatorix…

What am I doing? she wondered, and stared at the chessboard in front of her. The pieces stared back; cold, hard faces with accusing eyes. They knew what she was doing was wrong. And she knew it too. Oh, Morzan forgive me.

Another crack to her already breaking heart.

Looking at the chess pieces, she noticed something. With the pieces in this place, he would have won in just a few simple moves.

Her hands seemed to move on their own; determined to finish the game. A bitter smile tugged at her lips as she recognized the irony of it the game.

The black knight takes the queen, and the king takes the knight. And then…