Slanting her eyes, the thief incessantly moved closer and arched an eyebrow, cocking her head to the side as the other displayed her wariness, her silence unnerving. "Stop what?"

Flora curled her fingers around her counterpart's shoulders in protest. "Stop this madness—subito."


"I mean it."



Said being said nothing for a while, merely observing her disheveled state through keen eyes as she maintained her grip on the curve of the courtesan's hip, her clothing coarse under her hands. The air between them was tangible, the tension heavy on her tongue, as if she could simply lose her breath if she lingered, and the image of the other's lips burned into her pupils. She reached out and brushed her fingers over the angle of a quivering jaw while her entire body pressed against the older woman's—a hushed protest there, the turn of her head, and the tightening on her shoulders, and Faustina settled her hand on a rouged cheek to still the descent towards denial.

"Why must you always resist when I seek you?" she questioned, the pad of her thumb rubbing on sanguine lips. "Must I go to the ends of the Earth, when you clearly will not let me go yourself?"

"I know not of what you talk about; stop this nonsense."

"I refuse."


"I beg to differ."

And her lips were all she perceived.

The kiss was foreign, if not tentative, in such a way that despite the younger woman's fierce impetus, she was apprehensive of whether her impulsiveness stepped beyond the final line or receded. Slowly, she molded her mouth over the courtesan's and cupped the back of her head, her fingers threading through sepia locks as she embraced the corner of her lips: her hand expertly latched onto a resisting wrist and pinned it against the wall—feeling the trembling, the restrained desire, the small calluses that had seen the seduction of the blade as well as the art of wielding it, and the scarred Templar insigna below the pulse that thrummed into the tips of her fingers. She could perceive the smooth feel of embroidered silk on the heat of her neck, as much as a gasp that was emitted at the new bold intensity of the kiss. By the time she withdrew from the heated exchange, the mollification was apparent in her companion, to the point where the surface of her fan slid across the back of her forearm in returned comprehension.

A diminutive branch of pleasure came when she rested her forehead against the other's sans refusal. "Do you see why?"

As if Flora could speak.

"Then, I will show you."

Breathlessly, Faustina reached for the latter's hand and squeezed, eyes fluttering shut as the alluring scent of rose perfume kindled a low heat in her being. She toyed with the unresisting fingers before she pushed her palm against the zealous thudding in her chest, her lips quirking upwards when soft fingers did not extract themselves from the intimate position, but hesitantly curled into the rough wool.

"The thief, in terms of such, is not I."

"For I have had this stolen long ago."

"Yet, strangely, I prefer the thief to never return it."

"And I hope she values it more than I."