Taki could still hear their whispers echoing through the halls, though the voices that birthed them had long since faded away. Their words were less easily dispelled. Distance did little to quell them and the unrest their foreshadowed weighed heavy on him. Mongrel. Obscene. Impure. The words weren't directed at him but they stung just the same.

If they knew the truth...

He tried to force the words from his mind but they stuck, nagging like an old grandmother. One day those words would be pointed at him and he would be the reviled one. That day was not today, however, and until his sins were brought to light he must ignore them, ignore everything but his duty, his land, and his people. He concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. Some days he regrets bringing Klaus here, to make him his knight. It's selfish of him, and dangerous. Too late now for regrets though he still feels the sting of shame that he'd let his mask fall, even for a second. The shame, much like the echoed words, would linger with him for a while. His only small consolation was that he'd managed to keep the blush that had been threatening since Klaus had kissed his robes off of his face.

Another pair of footsteps shadowed his own. Their tread was heavier, deeper, more ominous. The way a man walked said a lot about that person. Taki's gait had been breed into him, as much a part of his lineage as the formal robes he wore and the way he spoke. Soft, gentle, inspiring. All things he knew he wasn't, deep down inside. The steps that followed him spoke of purpose and danger, of a man who would let nothing stand in his way. Klaus.

The attendant outside his rooms started to bow, then faltered, his gaze settling past Taki's shoulder. Taki didn't hesitate, kept moving forward, and the attendant quickly remembered himself and opened the door. Klaus followed.

"Will you need- "

"No." Klaus cut the attendant off.

There was a moment's pause as the attendant waited for Taki to override Klaus. He didn't. The door slid shut. Taki paused to toe off his shoes near the door, then moved through the sitting room and past the double doors into his bedroom. Klaus stayed near the doorway. Taki heard the lock snapped shut. Taki listened carefully, waiting for some sign of Klaus's intention, though it wasn't hard to guess. There was only one thing Klaus wanted when they were alone.

He set his sword on its stand and his bow beside it. The ornamental quiver slid from his shoulders. He reached up to hang it on the wall. Thick arms came up behind him and took the quiver from him, setting it gently on its hook. Taki let his hands fall to his side but didn't turn. He wanted to thank Klaus but the words seemed inadequate, too insignificant compared to everything Klaus had just given up for him. Klaus was indentured to him now, his property. The thought rankled almost more than it pleased him. Klaus's hands moved to Taki's chin, untying the headdress with a light touch. The cords fell away. He watched Klaus set the headdress down out of the corner of his eye.

"Do you have so little to say to me?" Klaus's voice was nearly void of emotion. He wasn't angry or hurt or upset. There was a hint of teasing, but no trace of affection beyond that.

He turned and looked up at Klaus. His robes were ill-fitting, not tailored like Taki's but something pulled together last minute for the ceremony. Taki could tell how uncomfortable they made Klaus. They made Taki uncomfortable too. Klaus didn't belong in robes. He looked better in a uniform or a suit. The first day they'd met, Klaus had been wearing a suit. That image was forever burned in Taki's memory.

"What more do you want me to say?"

Klaus chuckled. He curled a hand around Taki's chin. His hand was large enough to cover the lower half of Taki's face, if he just shifted his hand higher. The gesture was both comforting and intimidating. "Why must you always be so obstinate?"

Klaus's lips covered Taki's before he could answer. His arms came up reflexively, hands twisting in Klaus's robes. Every layer of fabric between them felt like a barrier, though Taki had yet to decide if his robes were a shield or a barricade.

He melted into the kiss.

Klaus's hands shifted, searching for the bindings on Taki's clothing. He managed to find the crease around Taki's waist, then fumbled trying to unfold it. Taki took a step back. He averted his gaze, kept it focused off to the side on the floor as he slowly unwound the layers of fabric. The outer robe fell away to pool at his feet. Klaus stayed still and watched, uncharacteristically quiet. Taki unbelted the obi that held his kimono shut. It was awkward doing it himself, with the obi tied up in a complicated loop behind his back. He'd needed two assistants to get into the full formal outfit though much less care was needed to get out. Klaus mirrored him, pulling off his own robes with much less care.

Taki stepped out of the pool of his fallen robes as his kimono fell open. He kept his back to Klaus until he reached the kimono's wooden stand. The outer layer drooped from his shoulders and he slipped it off before threading the arms through the higher part of the stand. He could feel Klaus's eyes on him as the inner layer fell away, exposing his skin to the cool air. Cloth fell with a thud behind him and then Klaus approached. Lips pressed against Taki's shoulder as he hung the inner kimono next to its mate. Heavy hands pushed down his underwear, removing the last of the barriers between them.

"I meant what I said before," Klaus murmured into Taki's skin. "We'll always be together."

Taki forced a smile and turned. "I know." It was a lie. One day, they would be separated. One day, Taki's sins would be exposed and Klaus would be taken from him. One day, he would have to atone for what he'd done and continued to do.

He dropped to one knee and pulled the lacings open on Klaus's boots. It seemed strange mixing Saxon shoes with traditional robes but Taki supposed that was just as strange as they were, a Saxon serving as Taki's knight. Yet, despite all appearances, they fit more perfectly than two sides of a coin.

"While you're down there..." Klaus's hand settled heavily on Taki's head. He looked up at Klaus's face, then forward at the hot flesh rising between Klaus's thighs. He cast a quick glance towards the doors, ensuring they were shut before slowly leaning forward.

Klaus's fingers tightened in his hair and pulled, forcing Klaus deep into Taki's throat faster than he'd anticipated. He choked, just for a moment, and gripped Klaus's thighs tightly. The hand in his hair relaxed enough to let him shift. He pulled back, just enough so that he could breathe. He closed his mouth around Klaus and leaned further back, sliding Klaus's member along his tongue. He kept his eyes closed as he focused on the thick weight of Klaus in his mouth. He bobbed his head, pace controlled more by Klaus than himself but he was okay with that. It felt good to let himself be controlled, to ignore all the expectations and responsibilities waiting for him outside the bedroom door and surrender himself to Klaus.

Taki wasn't good at oral sex. He didn't have much practice. The first time he'd tried, the first time Klaus had made him try, he'd nearly bitten Klaus twice and started coughing uncontrollably after the first few minutes. He wasn't much better now, but at least he could breathe and not choke as Klaus's member slid through his mouth and brushed against this throat. It was a unique sensation, partially unpleasant in the way it made his mouth ache and his throat sore but there were other aspects that offset the unpleasantry, like how Klaus's voice hitched when Taki managed to suck just right and the way it made Klaus's fingers clench in his hair, pulling just to the point of pain.


Taki's mouth separated from Klaus with a loud, wet pop. He opened his eyes and looked up. Klaus stared back at him. His fingers disentangled from Taki's hair as he stepped away. Taki stood slowly, not entirely sure if movement would earn him a reprimand but he needed to take the pressure off of his knee. Klaus moved behind him and then something soft and dark covered the top of Taki's face. He said nothing as Klaus tied the fabric tightly around Taki's face, blocking off his sight entirely. Klaus's large hands settled on Taki's hips, guiding him forward. Taki moved carefully, taking small steps to avoid accidentally hitting anything. After a few steps, he was turned and Klaus pushed down on his shoulders, forcing Taki to bend over. His hands pressed against his bed.

Klaus's hands disappeared and Taki heard him moving around the room. More cloth shifted. Taki had the vague hope that Klaus was hanging the robes before they started to wrinkle but he knew how unlikely that was. Time seemed to stretch out in the silence, giving his mind time to wander back to the ceremony earlier. He'd taken a mongrel into his service, a mongrel that he let repeatedly violate him, making him impure.

A hand smacked sharply against his ass, the sound of impact ringing through the room. Taki gasped but let no further sound escape him. His fingers clenched against the covers. Klaus shifted behind him, knelt, and helped Taki lift one foot, then the other, so that he could pull Taki's socks off. His hands ran up Taki's legs as he stood, curving over his ass and up his back. A hand curled around Taki's wrist and pulled it behind his back, then grabbed the other. Taki prepared himself for the fall as soon as Klaus grabbed his wrist. His face hit the covers and he turned his head so that his cheek pressed against the blankets. More fabric circled his wrists, binding them behind his back. Klaus pushed himself between Taki's legs, forcing Taki's feet apart and them leaning in until Taki's knees hit the bed.

He felt open and exposed but that was likely Klaus's plan. Klaus moved something on the bedside stand and then slick fingers were pushing inside of Taki, three at once. He gasped and bit his lip to hold back a moan. It was too much too fast. He felt his insides stretching to accommodate the fingers inside of him. Klaus waited a second, enough time for Taki to inhale a shaky breath, before he moved his fingers, spreading them inside of Taki to coat his insides with lubricant.

It was over almost as quickly as it started. Taki turned his head and bit the covers as Klaus's hands settled possessively on Taki's hips. There was a brief warning pressure at his entrance and then Klaus was there, shoving inside like a sword sliding into its hilt. Pleasure overrode the pain and Taki clenched his teeth, muffling his moan into the bed. The sound only encouraged Klaus, like Taki knew it would. Klaus's hands tightened, hard enough that they would leave marks, and then Klaus was pushing into him relentlessly, fucking him hard and fast, like this was the last time he'd ever get to have Taki and thus was making up for all future events that might be missed. It very well could be their last. All it would take was a little sound to escape, for the attendant to get curious or for one of the many nobles or officials to barge in, demanding to speak with Taki.

He could only imagine their faces if they saw him now, tied up and blindfolded, being fucked from behind by a Saxon. Their image of the pure "maiden rose" would be forever destroyed, and along with it Taki's position, his honor, his very life and likely Klaus's as well. He didn't know if it was worth it, if this fleeting pleasure that rocked him to his very core was worth the loss of all that. He wasn't sure if it was worth Klaus giving up his home, his life, his right, everything to serve Taki. But he knew it was what he wanted, even if those words would never cross his mouth.

Klaus understood. He understood Taki more deeply than anyone else, more deeply than Taki understood himself. That was why he was in control, at least in the bedroom. He could break down Taki's walls, open him up, and let him be just Taki instead of Lord Reizen or the Maiden Rose. He took away Taki's choice, forced him down and blocked out the rest of the world until all Taki could think about, all he could feel was the steady, relentless pressure of Klaus sliding in and out of him, of Klaus's hands securely against his skin, ready to catch him if he faltered.

His voice carried past the muffling from the sheets, low enough that the sound was audible to Klaus alone. He moaned for Klaus, panted and screamed against the sheets because Klaus made him, because Klaus wanted him to. When he came it was because of Klaus. His hand curled around Taki's erection, burning away the last shreds of conscious thought still lingering in his brain. He stroked Taki and it was too much and also not enough. He needed more. He needed to be pushed over the edge.

"Come for me," Klaus ordered, and he did, screaming into the covers as his seed spilled over Klaus's hand. Klaus kept moving, kept pounding into Taki until he thought that he was going to go insane from sensation. Then Klaus shifted, grabbed Taki by the hair and pulled back until Taki arched off of the bed. His eyes went wide and he bit his lip to muffle his voice as Klaus pounded home once more before spending his seed inside of Taki.

He was lowered gently back to the bed and the ties around his hands and eyes removed. Taki turned his head to stare over his shoulder at Klaus. His breath came in loud, heavy pants. He couldn't speak.

Klaus smiled. "We will always be together. I won't ever let you go."

Taki closed his eyes and relaxed against the covers. They wouldn't have forever, but they had now and now was enough.