(A/N: Sorry to all my readers about another long respite. But there are all times when we must burn. This is dedicated to a specific one, one who drew a response from Muse that I have not seen since ... Thanks to Elder-Master for beta.)

(Winter Palace: Main Library)

The atmosphere had changed drastically since a few hours before. After Miyuki turned tail and left, Nagisa had taken to browsing the library. It had taken some effort to get Chiyo to leave, but after she departed the Lady of Hapsburg had begun to scan the rows of books. The servants departed on sight of the noblewoman and the room had all but emptied.

"Mmm. This one…" Nagisa said as she pulled out the leather bound text. It appeared to be somewhat aged, but was lovingly taken care of. Nagisa took the book with her, tucking it under her arms as she made way to a lovely chair. As she sat down, she opened the book looking at the index to find what she was looking for.

"Purgatorio…" Nagisa spoke as she began to submerse her mind in both word and canto. Holding her finger over the delicate pages of the book she began to scan the Italian text. Nagisa began to mouth the words as she continued to read aloud.

"You prefer reading about ascending a 'mountain'?" Nagisa heard a familiar voice behind her. "It is better then reading about descending into an ice pit, Her Highness." Nagisa quipped back as Shizuma joined her. Standing next to the chair, Shizuma kneeled down so that she would be at even height.

"There is no need for that here." Shizuma said with a melancholic look. "Though I wonder why you picked such a book as 'that' one."

"It was simply the first that caught my eye." Nagisa said as she turned her head to face Shizuma. Though what she saw surprised her. It wasn't the condescending glare she most often received. Nor the absolute declaration for obedience. No, this was something different. Nagisa saw the face of another woman, not a groom and not a future ruler.

"You naturally assumed that I would prefer 'Inferno'?" Shizuma chuckled lightly and for Nagisa she heard something that she thought she would never hear, least of all from this woman. "I suppose I deserve that. I'm certain my 'conquests' have become legend around here."

"I have heard no such legends." Nagisa said with a huff turning cold to Shizuma. The last she wanted to be reminded of was thus conquests. Shizuma however didn't really react with anything other then a slight grimace. "Please, do not be like this with me. I do not like being patronized."

The sting of these words must have been harsh because Shizuma's expression hardened as she stood. "I suppose you fancy yourself hard to catch. You need not worry wife, I have your chain already." Nagisa's eyebrows twinged as she turned to Shizuma, her brown eyes alight.

"I should have expected this from you. That whore you …" Nagisa gasped in surprise as she felt an open hand across her cheek. The sting in her soul just became something tangible from the words she had uttered.

"I have tolerated many things from you. I have tolerated your attitude, your self-importance as well as your need to cling to your chastity. But there is one thing you will not say, one place you will not tread. I do not care if you are betrothed to me or not. You will not speak of Miyuki like that. She has only ever been what I have needed of her. Her body has been a gift to me, not an offering." Shizuma seethed as her eyes were also now alight.

Shizuma heard the book hit the floor and felt the sting of Nagisa's hand once more. Something that she craved yet would never admit it. Ever since meeting the noblewoman she had wanted her anger, her wrath. Shizuma wanted to stand in the hottest fire of this woman's darkness. Only so she could finally capture her.

"You …"

Her soul…

"You harlot…"

Her existence…

"How dare you"

All hers and only hers.

So when Nagisa's fists meant to strike Shizuma, she took hold of them. When Nagisa's strength meant to sweep her aside, Shizuma stood firm. And when Nagisa's mask shattered into crystalline emotion…

"Why do I have to be yours?"

Shizuma held her walls up.

"Why do I have to belong to you?"

As Nagisa's will waned and she threatened to fall into despair, Shizuma fanned the flames of her rage. The feel of Shizuma's lips forced upon her own caused Nagisa's will to burn brightly as pushed her aside. And as her despair fell away from her, Nagisa spat upon Shizuma, to show her, the god child that she was not worthy of her.

She was not worthy of any of her and all of her.

"You will never have me. I don't care if you were the daughter of Christ himself. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ME… EVER!" Nagisa's words struck and impaled themselves in a way that made Shizuma's soul howl and burn. Shizuma sneered at Nagisa. And as she wiped the spit from her face, she could only chuckle at Nagisa.

"I will burn in far hotter fire then this. You are meat. You are meant to serve every desire. It is your flower that will give me sweet nectar! It is your body that will give me joy. That is all you are! You may be dressed in fine clothes and be well bred but you are still just a heifer! A head to be traded…"

Perhaps Shizuma was running out of this to say. Perhaps it was because she was relieved. But when she felt the noblewoman's lips against her own and her gasps for air as her tongue clumsily reached inside Shizuma's mouth to be met with resistance. Shizuma did not feel her loins heating up. Nor did she feel the tightness in her chest. She felt something else. Perhaps a desperate plea to never be separated from this sweetness as her soul begged for more.

The sense was nothing and everything. Something that Shizuma could not bear to know but something she could also not bear to lose. In her mind everything but Nagisa had melted away. In Shizuma's mind she could see Nagisa's tear shaped bosom. In Shizuma's mind, she could see the thick wonderful garden of a noblewoman, the wonderful curves of her delicate backside. All of these things Shizuma could see.

But none of it mattered. They were burning, they were burning together. They were burning wonderfully and exquisitely. The pain was sweeter than the sweetest nectar. It was everything.

"Wha…?"

And it was nothing.

Nagisa quickly backed away clearly disoriented and quickly made way out of the room. The sound of her quick steps distancing herself from Shizuma caused the latter to fall into the chair. And as Miyuki emerged from the shadows in just her slip, Shizuma didn't move as Miyuki straddled her lap and rested her head against Shizuma's as she worked Shizuma's jacket open.

"She is … fire." Shizuma said as she was still despondent.

"I will heal your burns …" Miyuki said unevenly as she began to kiss Shizuma's neck.

"Miyuki …" Shizuma began to speak but was pacified quickly as Miyuki kissed her. And as Miyuki leaned back pulling the slip from her back Shizuma grasped her hips and felt her libido begin to return.

"I do not care Shizuma. Just let me…"

Miyuki sighed in need as she leaned forward kissing Her Highness. Her breath slowed as she took her time and attempted to cool the smoldering Shizuma.

"Let me be yours."