He watched her watch him. It was amusing how her earnest blue eyes narrowed just a fraction, her lips pulled back in what was something of a mix between a grimace, a snarl, and perhaps even a grudging smile. Naturally, he smiled back and now her expression wasn't a mix at all. No, he thought as his smile widened, she looked positively murderous. Positively beautiful too, but even he had enough sense not to say that. He did, after all, like having his head attached to his shoulders.
"What are you doing here, Xellos?" She bit off each word, each syllable, really, with an almost vicious ferocity. Would it be rude, he wondered, to tell her that she would have made a wonderful mazoku? Probably.
"Why, Filia, I'd almost think you didn't like me." He was careful to grin just so and… yes there it was that twitch above her eye that told him he'd succeeded. Anger rolled off her in thick, delicious waves and he couldn't help but twist the knife just a little bit deeper. "Were you perhaps worried about me?"
"I wasn't worried about you!" She shot to her feet, the table clattering as she reached for her mace.
"You do you realise what a wonderful view you give me every time you reach for that mace, don't you, Filia?" He winked at her and began to count down in his head.
Three. The mace twitched in her hand and he couldn't tell if she wanted to throw it at him or beat him over the head with it. Knowing her, she'd probably try to do both.
Two. Her face contorted marvellously and she bit her lip hard enough to draw blood. It took everything he had not to stand up and taste it – while it was still on her lips, of course.
One. Her eyes flicked to the row of teacups behind him, no doubt weighing the cost of smashing him to bits against the price of all the stock she'd ruin doing so. The gleam in her eyes told him that she'd come to her decision and it wasn't the less violent of the two.
Zero. The mace rose and fell.
Only he wasn't there anymore.
Instead, when the mace hit, smashing the table, he was behind her. He felt her surprise and shamelessly pressed his advantage, tugging her flush against his body. Furious, she turned, her eyes wild with emotion as her lips parted to insult him.
"You really should stop struggling, Filia," he murmured his lips pressed against her ear. "You have no idea how fetching you are when you struggle." She stilled instantly and he grinned. How predictable. "Although you're also quite fetching when you just give in." He punctuated each syllable with a brush of his lips against the sensitive skin of her jaw and the mace fell from suddenly slack fingers.
"What… what?" she stuttered before she started struggling once again.
He took a moment to savour her struggles – he hadn't been lying about how fetching he found them – and then let one hand splay across her belly.
"Let go of me!" she shouted. "Let go of mumph –"
Rather than continue to let her wail, he opted instead to silence her in the most effective way that he knew. He kissed her. She went limp in his grasp, stunned perhaps, and he ran his tongue across her lower lip. Her blood was salty yet sweet, an intoxicating flavour that made his sense spin. Ruthlessly, he sucked on her lower lip until she gave a muffled mewl of pleasure and pain. He deepened the kiss, tasting her fully, and her mewl became a wonderfully wanton moan.
Finally, he pulled back and he took a long moment to savour the sight of her. And what a sight she made, cheeks flushed with something other than anger, eyes glittering and half-lidded, and her lips slightly swollen.
"So, Filia, is this how I should settle our arguments from now on?" he whispered, lips so close to hers that she must have felt every word.
Her eyes focused and lost their glazed look as realisation set in. Anger and pride warred on her face before she settled for the familiar and shoved him away from her. He let her push him away and ducked a haymaker aimed at his head. Laughing, he skipped out of range, his grin nearly wide enough to split his face. Trust his angry dragoness to be one to punch instead of slap as punishment for inappropriate behaviour.
"What was that?" she spat although the venom was spoiled somewhat by the way she licked her lips as though savouring the taste on them. "Well, Xellos, what was that?"
He smirked and took a moment to weight up his options. He could, of course, shrug off it as the latest escapade in a game they've been playing for quite some time. On the other hand, perhaps it was time to move things along. She'd been running a long time and while he'd never tired of chasing her, it was about time he caught her.
"I think you know what that was, Filia." He opened his eyes so that she could see how deadly serious he was. She took a slow step backward, but he had no intention of letting her run, so before she could move again, he caught her by the wrist, his grip firm but gentle. "Don't you know it's rude to run away when someone's talking?"
"Let me go, Xellos." Her voice was scarcely more than a whisper and he could feel her trembling beneath his touch. It would be easy – too easy for his liking – for him to simply twist his hand and break the slender wrist he held. Instead he shifted his grip and lifted her hand to his lips, pressing a soft kiss against her knuckles.
"I'm not letting you go, Filia." The whole time he made sure to hold her gaze so that she understood that he wasn't talking about her hand at all.
She swallowed thickly and he took a second to admire the graceful column of her throat. "I need to fix the table… it's… it's a mess."
His lips curved upward. "Leave it, we can have tea in the kitchen." And because he wasn't sure how much longer she'd let him hold her before she panicked outright, he let her hand slip from his, though his eyes never left hers.
She stumbled into the kitchen and he followed her, careful to give her a little space. She was shaken certainly, but he couldn't push her too far lest she shy away completely. When it came to Filia, he could so easily just take what he wanted, but that wouldn't mean anything at all. No, if he wanted it to mean anything, she'd have to give and give willingly.
He watched her silently as she prepared two more cups of tea. Her movements were easy from many years of practice despite the fact that she was practically on autopilot. When she was done, she handed him one cup, mindful not to let their hands touch, and then practically fled to the other side of the room with hers.
"I'll be back tomorrow, you know, Filia."
She glared. "Why do you keep coming back?"
He took a sip of his tea. The tea was hot with a faint hint of bitterness, much like their relationship. "I think you know why."
X X X
I neither own Slayers nor am I making a dime off this.
Well, a Slayers fanfic from me? Meh, stranger things have happened. I was reading something this morning and this just popped into mind and I had an hour free between watching the World Cup and doing some paperwork (why is it that every time you master the forms you need to submit they just come up with a bazillion new ones for you to do?).
Anyway, I look forward to your feedback.
And yes, I am a Xellos/Filia fan. They are awesome. In fact, the only thing more awesome than Xellos and Filia is Luna, because anyone who terrifies Lina has to be ridiculously cool. Damn, she needs to get some actual screen time.