Title: Games We Play
Author: Sami
Fandom: Spartacus: Blood and Sand
Rating: R/NC-17
Pairing: Lucretia/Ilithyia
Notes: Set between Whore and Party Favors
Summary: Ilithyia could still see the beast that hid behind lush eyelashes and sultry smiles.

Her chamber was dark, so dark without the light of the moon or a candle, and yet she saw herself more clearly than in a looking glass. She saw herself and all she had done-- it sickened her.

Ilithyia could still see the blood. Her reflection in that crimson pool. The beast that hid behind lush eyelashes and sultry smiles.

The very shadows mocked her. The silhouettes of two, so hopelessly mortal in the guise of gods, rutting with a passion that still chilled her and brought bile to her mouth. Her wretched cunt didn't care about honor and still clenched at the thought of the very moment before she knew the truth, just as she had went to the sky and back. The laughter still rang in her ears.

She was without slaves or torches and still she could see Lucinia's ruined face.

In some ways, it was better than the Thracian's horrified eyes boring into hers as he tried to strangle her. Either were preferable to the memory of looking into that masked face, those blue eyes, as Spartacus fucked her (hard, skilled, and in all the ways that Claudius wasn't man enough too) and planning to make another appointment. When she had thought she was in the bed of Crixus (she suppressed the voice that told her how blind she must be to confuse a lean Thracian with a bulky Gaul), she had understood then why Lucretia would risk respectability for the pleasures of a gladiator's bed.

If only it were darker in this plebeian monstrosity of a villa. Ilithyia might be able to sleep then.

She lifted her head when she heard the light footsteps.

When the servants had cleaned her and brought her to the room, she dismissed them with curses and fell upon the bed with her head at the foot of it. Her hair had been wild and dripping and she could only imagine what the stone-faced slave girls saw in her eyes. Ilithyia should have expected that her hostess (companion, conspirator, lover, blackmailer) wouldn't have left her alone for long.

She was supposed to be acting like a proud patrician. As if she hadn't deeply shamed her husband and butchered the cousin of Crassus only a few days ago and enjoyed both entirely too much. Ilithyia felt more mad than the product of generations of good breeding. Tingles ran over her skin, nipples hardening, and she knew that sleep was futile. There was only one thing that eased the madness.

A grudgingly loved and loathed voice ordered wine before her hostess opened the door and came into the chamber, alone, with an Egyptian oil lamp in her hand. The pattern was almost fashionable like everything else in the villa. Lucretia tried so very hard - in her decor, her socializing, and keeping her temper. Her natural hair spilled over her shoulders like a wave, but the red locks didn't distract Ilithyia's eye from the vein that pulsed in Lucretia's forehead.

Ilithyia grinned widely as she pushed herself up and looked at her dear friend through her tangled damp hair before she tossed her hair over her shoulder. Hopefully, the gloom disguised the insanity she felt bubbling up like the nervous giggles caught in her throat. She sat up on her heels and stretched her arms. The linen robe did little to cover her nude body. Ilithyia's head spun as she got off the bed and walked to Lucretia.

Lucretia set the candle down in a niche in the wall. Her pale face revealed in the flickering light before she turned towards Ilithyia and shadows hid her fine features once more. "You could catch a chill."

"That would lend an air of believability to this affair." She wondered if it was practice or breeding that kept her back straight and tone even.

"Indeed, but let us not sacrifice your health for pretenses." Lucretia watched her; calculation in her eyes; inching closer.

"Pretenses. . ." Ilithyia laughed. "Oh, Lucretia, you're so close to a lady and I'm so close to a-"

Lucretia put her fingers to Ilithyia's lips and said to the servant rustling in the hallway, "Set it on the table and close the door on your way out."

A slave girl walked through the door with an elegant vessel in hand.

The slave's presence was ignored in favor of looking into each others eyes. Different in color, but the same in the ruthlessness that lingered below. It was the first thing she had noticed about the other woman-- there was tiger under the silk tunic. Lucretia could be nurturing, but she had her own delusions and schemes with the gall to carry them out even if it brought her at odds with those she ought to have deferred too. That was the difference between ladies like Lucinia and women like Lucretia.

The door closed.

Lucretia smiled, honeyed and poisoned, as her perfumed fingers drifted to caress Ilithyia's cheek. "You know the truth does not become us. Such things should kept to private." Her smile turned patronizing. "You should practice this now before you return to Rome."

Diana's tits, how she hated and wanted this plebeian wench, Ilithyia thought pushing her against the newly tiled fresco and kissing her with more violence than passion. The bonds of blood pacts were strong. From the moment they had met at the top box at the arena, Ilithyia had recognized her as a kindred spirit. She should have been on her guard then. The trick with Spartacus would have been ever so much fun if it had happened to someone else. In her heart, she knew that she might have done something similar in the other woman's place. She had asked specifically for Crixus, she dared the other woman to react. She wanted to see how low the good wife would crawl for her husband's ambitions. Ilithyia dug her hands into the older woman's hips.

Lucretia's soft palm cupped her face while the other wrapped around her lower back.

Ilithyia ran a hand over Lucretia's silk-covered stomach before tugging up the tunic and slipping her hand under. She pulled back from the kiss. "How you care for me, dear heart." The words, dripped in Greek fire, burned with intensity.

Lucretia tipped her head back, smile crooked, with breathtaking schemes in her eyes. Calm as if they were at a banquet, she held a lioness without flinching. "I could be the truest companion you'll ever know."

Ilithyia wondered if this was how she looked to her own husband at times. This mix of ambition and guise. Once after their passion had been sated and the sweat cooled on their bodies, Claudius had twirled a lock of her hair around his finger and mused about how it had almost been a waste of her talents to make her woman. Staring at Lucretia, pressed against her slim torso and barren womb, she knew how alike they were. How Rome would have trembled and rejoiced if they had been born men. She caressed up the other woman's thigh. "You could be my greatest enemy as well."

Lucretia undid the stylish brass button that held the tunic closed, green silk fluttered to the ground, before wrapping her leg around Ilithyia's waist. Her impish smile made her look more like a maid than a respected matron of Capua. "Couldn't that be said of all your friends?"

Ilithyia nibbled on her friend's pale throat as she stroked her moist slit. She smirked at the tremble in Lucretia's leg around her hip. The other woman wasn't so calm now.

Lucretia bucked against her hand. "We have the same goals. Advancement for our husbands; prosperity for ourselves." She bit her lip. "Secrets shared."

Ilithyia shoved a finger deep inside. "You're not the first bitch to mewl as I fuck them. Just the lowest born." She dragged her teeth a crossed Lucretia's neck. Ilithyia wasn't expecting the push that sent her sprawling back on the wide and low bed. She bounced once, focused on the steel-eyed redhead coming towards her with the confidence of Minerva.

Lucretia straddled her and tugged her up by her hair for a kiss.

Ilithyia reached for her, deepening the kiss, mentally sharpening her claws for her next verbal blow. She moved her hands up Lucretia's torso, one clung to her back before the other kneaded her ripe beast, thumb circling the nipple.

Grinding against her, Lucretia grabbed her wrists and held them above Ilithyia's head.

Ilithyia's pouted in protest. The heat between her legs was intolerable and she needed her hostess to fuck her to exhaustion. She had thought of something biting and witty, but all her thoughts--bad, good, coherent— had faded in the face of the sensations that wracked her body.

She leaned forward and kissed Ilithyia chastely on the lips before she whispered against her ear. "I'm the only bitch that will not trade you to Crassus for the reward money."

Ilithyia's pout curled into a scowl. It was a bitter truth.

Lucretia arched her back, pressing their nipples together, separated by a thin barrier of linen. "Your other friends are beautiful serpents who would sooner strike than offer you a comforting bosom." Lucretia kissed her before saying against her lips, "They might have had the tightest and most noble cunts in Rome, but they would have abandoned you at the first sign of scandal."

Ilithyia pushed the redhead onto her back. "Jealousy is such an ugly emotion." She swallowed back the tightness in her throat as she got between Lucretia's thighs and pushed them open. Despite Lucretia's low birth, she was altogether too wise in the ways of her betters. In hindsight, their friendship was a mistake, but as Ilithyia gazed on the haughty face and the wide pink nipples and she knew she didn't regret all of it.

"I don't like to share." Lucretia's expression was serious.

Ilithyia knew that this would be the closest that the older woman would come to an explanation. She dodged her gaze and kissed around her belly button. Ilithyia should never have underestimated this woman.

The redhead threw her leg over Ilithyia's shoulder with a wanton smirk. "We understand one another well, darling, you know that I am the only one with whom you can be yourself. I don't begrudge you any of your pleasures or gossip in my atrium about them. My catty barbs are for sparring, not aimed for your throat, unlike with your peers." Her smirk was entirely too smug.

"I am all that passes for society in this town." Ilithyia kissed the inside of Lucretia's knee. "You could barely get the 3rd cousin of the magistrate to lower himself to attend your banquets."

"It makes us quite a pair, doesn't it?" Lucretia shook her head and laughed. "Let us kiss and be friends again."

Thoughts of Lucinia and Spartacus were far from her as she nibbled her away down Lucretia's inner thigh. She let herself get lost. Lucretia said that she would take care of her and it would be done. The house of Batiatus needed her. Ilithyia knew that she'd owe the wife of good Batiatus a large favor, but she knew that she could trust Lucretia's desire to advance her tiny husband's career. Ilithyia rubbed her thumb against the other woman's clit.

Ilithyia also knew that she could drag Lucretia, Batiatus, and Spartacus all the way down to Tartarus with her.