Tamina had just finished unweaving her braid when the large door to the chamber swung open with a flourish. It managed to briefly hit the wall before it was kicked shut again, but only after allowing in a rather upset-looking Alamutian king.
The raven-haired woman did her best to hide the smile that dawned on her face as she watched her husband, eyes stormy and complexion the very epitome of displeasure, walk over with his exquisite kingly robes billowing behind him in his vast strides.
She watched him with unmasked amusement while he sat himself huffily on the enormous bed they shared, and it seemed to her like he couldn't get out of his garments quick enough if the haste with which he was trying to get them off was anything to go by.
"This is just ridiculous!" he muttered ill-temperedly as he was undoing the many clasps of his boots. "I can't believe those senile fools! You'd think that I was trying to make them lead an army against the Romans! Unbelievable…!"
He continued muttering angrily to himself as he threw a boot halfway across the premise in his annoyance.
Tamina knew that it was probably wrong in some way or another—and if not, it was most certainly improper of her—but she couldn't help the fact that whenever she saw him being so miffed and pouty about something, a feeling of fondness and endearment swelled in her chest. It was completely irrational and she couldn't reason it even to herself, but there was just something in his child-like ire that made him so dear to her in those moments she couldn't tear her eyes away from him.
"I take it then your meeting with the council didn't go as well as you hoped, Dastan?" she asked, turning back to her task at hand—getting ready to go to bed.
Dastan huffed impatiently while hurtling the other boot to join the other one.
"I sat in that stifling room with those old men the whole accursed day, talking and convincing and explaining to them, for hours on end, why this is important for the people—only to have them completely disregard everything I've said in their every sentence throughout the discussion!" As his exasperation mounted, the volume of his voice rose as well. "So, no, I think you can say it could've gone better."
Dastan heaved a great sigh as he rubbed his brow with a weary hand. He was not cut out for this. Not for the needlessly exquisite and expensive clothes that he was forced to wear every day as the king of Alamut; not the meetings with the elder council that he was forced to attend as the ruler of the city; and certainly not the embittered everyday sermons he had to endure from each and every one of those elders who still could not get over the fact their Princess—now Queen—had agreed to marry to him, a Persian prince who wasn't even of noble descent, the man who had invaded the city they had thought impenetrable.
He had once been labeled the 'Lion of Persia', but now he was reduced to little more than a pet cat—as Bis had helpfully told him on his way back from the meeting.
"You shouldn't let it bother you so much, my King," Tamina said in a coercing tone as she got off the ornate wooden chair she'd been sitting in front of her mirror. She slinked her way across the room until she was climbing the bed from the opposite side on which her husband was sitting. "Diplomacy is a tricky matter that takes time to be established."
Dastan grunted, throwing her a withering look over his shoulder. The innocent expression she had plastered on her face was not fooling him one bit.
"For all I know, you put those fools up to this yourself, my Queen," he quipped back, knowing full well that she'd been teasing him earlier. "God, all I'm trying to get across with them is that this city needs to strengthen its defense a bit! Why are they acting like what I'm saying is tantamount to blasphemy?"
The more his temper flared at the remembrance, the firmer the tension wiring his entire body became. He had not been exaggerating when he'd said he'd spent hours trying to convince the council members to allow him to train the Alamutian army better. The ease with which he had been able to breach the city half a year earlier unnerved him now from his new point of view as the city's supreme ruler.
And yet those stubborn old goats would not let him do as he asked of them, hiding behind stupid excuses and void arguments.
The knot in his shoulder felt so tightly tied as if his shoulder would get dislodged any moment from his neck, if that wasn't physically impossible.
He rubbed the soreness, willing the pain away.
Tamina sighed behind them, and she did in that way that absolutely infuriated him even on his best of days. It was a condescending kind of sigh, like she was wordlessly saying that he was so ignorant and had so much left to learn about governing a city.
"You know perfectly well that I did no such thing, Dastan," she told him matter-of-factly, as if he was a petulant child that refused to listen to reason. It was all he could do to just roll his eyes and withhold the growl that threatened to escape his lips. "And you should know, those "fools" have taken care of this city for years now—a city that is now yours as well—so it would be advisable for you to be more… patient with them."
Her husband huffed again, and she noticed with a slight abating of her amusement that his grip on his shoulder had become almost vicious as he continued to rub it.
"And since they have taken such great care of it, it is perfectly fine to not take any measure to strengthen it after its walls have already been breached once? Yes, that seems perfectly reasonable of an argument."
If she had been paying closer attention to what he was saying rather than what he was doing, Tamina would've probably been quick with a biting retort in response to his comment on her people's failure to protect their city against the Persian raid. As it was, though, she was entirely too focused on the fact what he was doing in attempt to alleviate the stiffness of his neck was probably doing him more harm than good in his overwhelming ire.
"Besides, why do I have to deal with this? You know that I'm more of a strategist than a diplomat. Why don't you handle the meetings with your council? Get tired of dealing with them so you thought it would be convenient to let me take the brunt of their lack of desire for change of any sort?"
Before he could truly hurt himself, she crawled across the canopy expanse of their bed, putting a soft hand on his that was brutally rubbing his shoulder. The simple gesture seemed to shake him out of a daydream of some sort, making the movements of his fingers completely halt under the satin touch of her soft skin on his.
He turned his head slowly to look at her, his fury from a moment ago visibly siphoning out of his system as his attention got distracted from the topic of his displeasure. Tamina gave him a meaningful look that lingered on his face and made his heart leap with a different kind of emotion.
"Calm down, Dastan." She said it with that serene tone that made her seem older than her years, infinitely wiser and thus a tone he was powerless against. He could never object to her whenever she used it on him. "You'll dig yourself an early grave if you continue getting so worked up over trifles with the council like this."
He opened his mouth to say something but in the very next moment it flew right out of his mind as her dainty fingers found the epicenter of the pain in his shoulder and started gently rubbing out the knot in his muscles. Instead of words, he only gave a content sigh as his beloved's heavenly hands continued massaging his shoulder, effortlessly and successfully achieving what he had been unable to do the whole day.
Tamina smiled smugly to herself as she proceeded to work out the kinks in his neck and shoulders. He was a man powerful and famous enough all across the world, nations and peoples feared him and revered him, and yet with just a single simple but well-aimed touch she could reduce that same man to an obedient boy, yearning, craving for more of her attentions. She knew for a fact that she had a power over him that no other had—just as she knew that he did as well.
The only difference was that she was much more prone to exert hers over him in the most opportune moments than he was.
As her fine digits continued to rub against him, his head hung against his collarbone as appreciative groans and sighs escaped him. She'd always liked how vocal he was—about both the things that pleased and displeased him. He was such an honest man, with such genuine reactions—he was so animated she never grew tired of just watching him.
But most of all, she liked how empowered he let her feel when he let her know just how much he enjoyed any of her ministrations over him.
And just as her thought train was beginning to head in a much different direction—more appropriate of the context of the bed they were on top of—his growls took on a guttural sounding that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end and her skin erupt in goosebumps. It was only then that she appreciated just how close to him she was and how delectable his strong, bare neck was under her touch.
She had never been one to restrain herself from what she knew she wanted when there was no legitimate reason to do so, which was why she wasted no time leaning forward to kiss the crook of his shoulder just as her hands slid palm-first to rub against the length of his spine. The rippling muscles on his back beneath her fingers and their familiar, enticing texture made her overcome with the desire to explore them.
His head lifted from against his collar, his breath fanning against her temple and setting her skin on fire all over her body. Curse him for the ludicrously strong reactions he begot from her.
Her hands slid up to his shoulders, cupping the well-sculpted muscles there. Her breath caught in her throat as he angled himself a bit differently, just enough to allow him to place a chaste kiss on the sensitive spot where her neck met her jaw. Her hands stilled as his breath set a trail of searing heat on her skin while he sought her lips with his.
They had been married for six months now and they had never been thrifty in their affections for one another but by the merciful gods that were up there, every time his mouth locked with hers, it felt like it was her first time experiencing it. The thrill of his lips pliant and moulding with hers, demurely forward and yieldingly adamant as his nimble tongue swept over the line of her lips and pleaded for entry. The intoxicating taste of him that made her feel lightheaded and dizzy, making her hold onto him even tighter in need of more closeness, more contact.
He sighed against her mouth as he felt the kink she had been working so hard to rid him of begin to return, making even more uncomfortable the angle at which his head was turned.
So he broke their heated kiss for just a moment—just long enough to fully turn to her and relieve the pain in his neck.
As he eased his queen down against the softness of their bedding beneath them and her arms wrapped around his shoulders while he lowered himself to kiss her again, Dastan thought that enduring those senile fools' blather and the stiffness of his back was a price he was alright with paying for Tamina's expert massages.
A/N: Well, this was rather pointless. :D And the end was rather weak too, but that's how far one can take a pointless story. xD I hope you enjoyed it still. :D