For as long as he could remember, Rolo had been told that he was meant to serve the Britannian family. He never questioned that; not when he was sent out on assassinations when he was six, not when he nearly died as a result of a cruel experiment when he was eight, and not when he was gifted to the Second Prince as an all-purpose servant when he was ten.
Schneizel, in a rare lapse of judgment, never really saw Rolo, too focused on another servant he'd recently acquired that was closer to his age and wit. As a result, Rolo did nothing more than running and fetching for three years, until Schneizel gave him to Clovis.
Clovis, unlike his elder brother, actually saw Rolo. Unfortunately, all he saw was what was on the surface, and for another two years Rolo was both a servant and a model. When his body started maturing, growing wiry hair over the soft fuzz, Clovis grew bored of him and gave him to his younger brother, Lelouch vi Britannia when he forgot the younger prince's birthday.
As opposed to his other brothers, Lelouch was half-common born and didn't have a retinue of servants. He had one Knight, a boy his age, and otherwise fended for himself or used the household servants. Rolo rather looked forward to finally being useful.
He'd never expected to be seen properly by this young man.
"So, Rolo." Despite the fact that he was less powerful and that they were meeting in his bedroom rather than in a more formal location, Lelouch managed to exude a princely aura simply sitting on his bed with his Knight standing by his side. "What exactly can you do?"
"Anything, Your Highness."
Lelouch leaned forward. "Anything? That's a tall claim." He shrugged. "I don't have many needs, but I'm sure you can make yourself useful." Rolo had felt his stomach clench with disappointment that Lelouch would be like his brothers, disregarding Rolo's talents, until Lelouch leaned back again, almost overly casual. "After all, one would expect no less from a Haliburton."
Rolo searched Lelouch's face for a long moment, looking for some sign that Lelouch knew his true worth. But Lelouch's bland expression was, as far as Rolo could tell, unreadable.
Then he smirked and Rolo felt a wave of relief and excitement crest over him. "Yes, Your Highness!"
Lelouch didn't react, but his Knight chuckled. "I'll show him around, shall I, Prince Lelouch?"
"That sounds like a good idea," Lelouch conceded, he smiled at Rolo, as if they were both privy to some inside joke. "Your duties start tomorrow, Rolo. Welcome to the family."
Rolo spent the next few months doing typical servant things; helping Lelouch dress in the mornings, running errands and providing small services throughout the day, running the bath and helping Lelouch prepare for bed at the end of the day. Nothing more than he'd done for Schneizel or Clovis. But there were the occasional times that Lelouch would hiss a vague order at him and leave him to fill it ("Guinevere is on her way. Stall her for at least half an hour." "I'm going to need an appropriate present for Odysseus's birthday.") at Rolo's discretion. It was enough to prove that Lelouch knew Rolo's value and talents, making the menial day-to-day tasks palatable.
The only thing that bothered Rolo was Lelouch's Knight, Suzaku Kururugi. No matter how early he awoke to serve his Prince, the Knight was there sooner, greeting Rolo with a smile as he stood over Lelouch's bed. Rolo had no idea how he did it.
He was, however, fifteen and did have some theories.
Still, it was nothing to him how Lelouch chose to treat his other servants as long as he continued using Rolo appropriately. As a younger prince, seventeen steps from the throne, there was less intrigue surrounding him than his elder brothers, and Rolo occasionally felt like this wasn't his place. But the warm way Lelouch looked at him when he thanked him, the cheerful and easy mentorship of Sir Kururugi as Rolo adapted to the household, the way Rolo always felt welcomed… for the first time, he could honestly say he was glad his life was not solely his own.
He knew that it would be an honour and a privilege to die for his prince, even secretly hoped for it one day. It was like his life had changed the moment he entered Lelouch's service.
And if his life had changed when he entered Lelouch's service, it felt like nearly ended on the day he met Nunnally.
Lelouch had been uncharacteristically anxious for the three days before she arrived, to the point that Suzaku actually touched him in public to try to calm him down. It was just a hand on a shoulder, but if Rolo noticed then it was an unforgivable breech, and one that put the Prince's reputation at risk. But at least it worked, and for a good ten minutes the wild look of panic in Lelouch's eyes abated.
It didn't last.
Rolo had no idea how Suzaku was getting Lelouch to sleep, but rough sex and sedatives were both working theories in Rolo's mind, despite the fact that neither Lelouch nor Suzaku moved with a visible limp. Still, apart from that one misstep, they both presented the ideal public picture of anxious brother and detachedly amused Knight. Rolo didn't count walking in on them in Lelouch's room to witness Suzaku physically restraining a visibly shaking Lelouch and whispering soothing words as he rocked them back and forth. That was private.
But it all built up Princess Nunnally in Rolo's mind until she became the source of all the stress in the universe. An exaggeration, perhaps, but watching his cool unflappable Prince flail at small things until his Knight laughed at him made Rolo think that it wasn't that much of an exaggeration.
Suzaku even took a moment away from watching over Lelouch to debrief Rolo on the 'Nunnally situation'.
"Prince Lelouch dotes on her. She's his only full sister, and he'd do anything for her." Even during the lecture, Suzaku kept glancing back at Lelouch, checking up on him. "If anything happened to her, he'd kill anyone even peripherally responsible, then me for not protecting her, then himself." Suzaku finally gave Rolo his full attention. "She's important."
Rolo bit his lip. "Surely not as important as Prince Lelouch. He's the eleventh prince and she's barely in line for the throne at all."
Suzaku snorted. "That's not the only way of measuring importance." He smiled mysteriously. "When you meet her, you'll understand."
Rolo doubted it. He was primed to hate her; for how she made Lelouch act and feel, for the way Suzaku casually dismissed rank and status and prioritized her over his prince. For the way she'd disrupted their lives before even arriving…
Before serving Prince Lelouch, Rolo would never have had such strong opinions and feelings about anything. But now he was able to feel, strongly and passionately, that Nunnally was nothing more than a huge bother, unworthy to call herself a sister to Prince Lelouch.
And then she arrived.
Rolo flanked Lelouch's left side (Suzaku was on the right) as the unmarked car pulled up. The driver opened the passenger door and Rolo steeled himself to keep his expression neutral as a pair of thin pale legs appeared, and a small hand accepting help out of the car. And then he saw her.
She was like sunshine.
Her pale brown ringlets framed the most beautiful eyes Rolo had ever seen, and the sweetest smile. There was just a hint of blush on her cheeks, natural as she was wearing no makeup, and it made the perfect cream colour of her skin somehow even more perfect.
No one bowed, despite the fact that she was an Imperial Princess, because before they had the opportunity to, she raced up to Lelouch, throwing herself in his arms.
The look on Lelouch's face was priceless. Like a piece that had been missing was returned to him. He buried his face in her hair, holding her close. "It's been so long. I missed you, Nunnally."
"I missed you too." Nunnally pulled away to kiss her brother's cheek and Rolo was amazed that the tears collecting at the corners of her eyes somehow managed to make her even more beautiful. "I'm so glad to be home."
Lelouch kissed her forehead and let her free to turn to Suzaku who immediately knelt to her. Nunnally laughed (and it sounded like bells tinkling) and pulled him up for a hug as well. It was improper, but it seemed too natural and right.
And then she turned to him, and Rolo's heart nearly stopped.
He could vaguely hear Lelouch introducing him, and felt his body bend in a formal bow, but all he was conscious of was Princess Nunnally's warm, welcoming smile.
It wasn't until Lelouch took her inside that Rolo remembered to breathe.
It didn't get any easier. Every time Rolo was around the Princess, he grew clumsy and tongue-tied. If Lelouch noticed, he didn't say anything, but he did tend to send Suzaku off with Nunnally while keeping Rolo at his side when the siblings separated. Rolo was unsure if that was because Lelouch wanted Nunnally to have the protection of his Knight, or if it was because he thought something was up with Rolo's reactions to Nunnally.
As time passed, Rolo was better able to hide it, but the effects only grew stronger. Nunnally was probably the most gracious Princess Rolo had ever met, always ready with a grateful smile and word of thanks for the smallest of tasks. Her needs were simple, and easy to anticipate – a cup of tea or diluted wine when she was reading, a parasol for shade when she was outside, the occasional helping hand on walks… small things that made Nunnally smile and look at him.
It wasn't until Suzaku filled Lelouch's cup the second time in one sitting – a job that was one of Rolo's most basic – that Rolo realized he was getting obsessed with Nunnally. Even so, apart from putting more effort into attending to Lelouch as well as paying attention to Nunnally, he didn't change. It was worth the extra effort to be able to watch over her without anyone noticing his attention.
As summer faded into fall Lelouch, with his intense dislike of the cold, spent less and less time outside and more and more often Nunnally and Suzaku went off on their own. Rolo actually found himself pining as he stood by Lelouch's chair, ready for an order, or a sign that Lelouch wanted something. It wasn't bad enough to be completely distracting, and Rolo was able to fulfil his duties, but it was painful in its way.
His agitation seemed to transmit itself to Lelouch and, after meeting with a group of royal advisors and retreating to his room, Lelouch started venting.
"Baron Hildencrest has his head up his ass, but at least his intentions are good. Earl Vespin is a more dangerous ally then enemy! If he didn't have connections to Schneizel, I'd see him dead."
Rolo perked up. "I can have that arranged, Your Highness."
Lelouch stopped, his mouth opened in preparation for another rant, and turned slowly to Rolo. "…what?"
"The Vespin lands are not all that well guarded, and the Earl spends a great deal of time on horseback. Accidents are simple enough to arrange." Rolo frowned when Lelouch didn't seem pleased with his offer. "Or, if you prefer to leave a message, I could infiltrate his guards…"
"No! No, that's…" Lelouch chuckled. "That's quite all right, Rolo." He reached out and ruffled his hair. "I appreciate the offer, but unless I give a direct order, I'd rather you not kill any of my potential allies."
"Yes, Your Highness," Rolo said, feeling like he'd done something wrong.
It took three weeks and a lot of teasing from Suzaku before Rolo got over that misstep. Lelouch never referred to it directly, but there was the occasional wry comment about final solutions or disposal. It was all worth it, though, for the moment, right before Lelouch went to bed one night, when Lelouch grabbed Rolo's wrist before he left.
"I've underestimated you, Rolo. I keep forgetting that you're more than you appear." Lelouch smiled warmly at him. "I appreciate the reminder."
"…and, no doubt, Suzaku appreciated the joke," Rolo grumbled, forgetting himself.
Rather than anger, though, that made Lelouch laugh. "I warned you that you were joining a family, Rolo. Feel free to tease him back."
Rolo couldn't even imagine doing such things, even though he'd been privy to Nunnally and Suzaku ganging up on Lelouch, gently taunting him until he either gave in or just joined in their laughter. Watching the ease with which Suzaku interacted with the close siblings, Rolo had always felt left out.
But there was no real way to fix that, no magic words that would make him as close or trusted as Suzaku. There was history there, not only between Lelouch and Suzaku, but between the three of them. And what was Rolo but an over-trained servant and killer?
The answer to that came a few weeks later, as all four of them were attending a concert. Rolo was pouring champagne for Lelouch when he saw something shiny out of the corner of his eye and heard Suzaku's quick intake of breath.
He was inches away from Lelouch and over a foot from Nunnally, facing the wrong way.
It was Nunnally he dove to protect, shielding her body with his own.
Suzaku had already covered Lelouch and the three shots that rang out over the concert hall hit the wall behind them. In the ensuing chaos, Nunnally called out for her brother, Lelouch yelled something reassuring back, Suzaku barked orders into his earpiece, and Rolo wrapped his body protectively around Nunnally's, feeling his heart race with more than merely fear as he breathed in the scent of her hair.
When he was called into Prince Lelouch's chambers for a private conference the next day, he thought he would be removed from his service for either taking liberties with the Princess, or for failing to protect his true charge, Prince Lelouch.
He hesitated at the door, though, when he heard the sound of raised voices.
"You promised me!"
"I swore an oath in front of the whole country!"
"And you're saying that's more important?"
"Dammit, Lelouch. I love Nunnally, you know I do, but you're my prince. I'm sworn to protect and guard you. Besides, Rolo took care of Nunnally."
"After you'd moved. Don't think I don't remember, Suzaku. You moved, then Rolo did. I'm glad at least one of you was willing to follow my wishes."
There was a long moment of silence and Rolo edged the door open, peaking in.
He didn't quite interrupt them; Suzaku was flushed and his lips were noticeably red and swollen, and Lelouch was still leaning against his desk, breathing hard, but neither one was touching the other. In fact, from the cold glare Lelouch was shooting Suzaku, it was doubtful they'd be touching each other any time soon.
Rolo stepped out of the way as Suzaku bowed stiffly and stormed out.
"Don't worry about it, Rolo." Lelouch gestured for Rolo to sit. "I wanted to talk to you about the concert incident."
And here it came. Rolo steeled himself to accept his dismissal gracefully.
"Any one of my siblings, or any bodyguard trainers, would criticize your actions. You realize that, don't you?" Rolo nodded. "Your first priority should have been my safety. After all, you are my servant, my man, and Nunnally was nothing more than someone who was accompanying me. Furthermore, all three shots were aimed at me; Nunnally was never in danger. How do you justify your actions?"
"I cannot, Your Highness."
Lelouch raised an elegant eyebrow. "Really? This is your only chance to defend yourself, Rolo. There will not be another. You moved, away from me and towards my sister. Why?"
There was no excuse, no real reason apart from… "I didn't want her hurt, Your Highness."
Lelouch smiled. "I see." He gathered up two sheets of paper, handing Rolo one. "Rolo Halliburton, you are formally dismissed from my service. You will receive a stipend to tide you over until you can find other employment elsewhere and a guarded letter of recommendation."
Rolo could feel tears pricking at the edges of his eyes. "Yes, Your Highness."
"Good." Lelouch gave Rolo the second paper. "Now that you're free, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind starting on as Nunnally's personal guard. Your references aren't great, but your previous employer was a bit of a hardass."
"Wh-what…" Rolo wasn't sure he'd heard that properly. "For Princess Nunnally?"
Rolo felt his face burst into a smile so large it physically hurt. "Your Highness!"
"Just say yes, Rolo."
And that was the day that Rolo's life started again. He was presented to Nunnally vi Britannia with slightly more formality than he was given to Lelouch (which was clearly Lelouch's doing rather than any kind of tradition) and started replacing Suzaku at Nunnally's side while Suzaku settled back in comfortably by Lelouch's. They looked good, at least, each sibling with a servant that seemed to have been picked out to match them, but Rolo knew full well that things weren't necessarily as picture perfect as they seemed
He wasn't sure if the damage done by Suzaku's (perfectly appropriate, in Rolo's mind) decision would irrevocably damage his relationship with Lelouch (the relationship that wasn't merely prince and knight), but after a few days, Lelouch regained his occasional smug look of satisfaction over nothing and Suzaku's eyes once again started drifting towards his prince as he and Rolo waited on their respective royal sibling.
Everything seemed back to normal, and Rolo's life was by far the best it had ever been.
Fall turned to Winter and led to a late December snowfall. Lelouch refused to leave the house, no matter how hard Nunnally and Suzaku teased him, so Rolo and Nunnally went sledding together without him. Suzaku likely continued teasing Lelouch after they left.
Rolo vaguely felt sorry for Suzaku; he would have bet the more athletic man would have enjoyed himself immensely. But mostly he felt selfishly happy to be sharing this with Nunnally alone. As excited as she was, Nunnally was a poor sledder, and they ended up falling off the sled more often then not, a giggling tangle of limbs and scarves, breathless and rosy-cheeked.
It was after one of those falls that Rolo stepped irreparably over an invisible line that he had been eyeing longingly for months. He was helping Nunnally sit up, his job complicated by how hard they were both laughing, when he noticed how cold her hands were.
He only had the best intentions as he ripped of their gloves and held her hands together, cupped in his. "Your hands are freezing, Your Highness."
Nunnally smiled and moved closer. "All in good fun. And yours are cold too."
"True enough," Rolo conceded. And then leaned forward to blow over their fingers.
He felt Nunnally's fingers twitch as the warm air rushed over them and reflexively released them, raising his eyes to hers in guarded curiosity. Nunnally was watching him with sparking eyes, as her fingers unfurled and reached for Rolo's face, grazing gently, then pressing softly against his skin. It felt cold, but good, and Rolo realized his face was uncomfortably flushed. "Princess…"
"You're warm," Nunnally whispered, and Rolo's eyes fell shut, his entire body trembling with a totally novel sensation as she stroked his cheeks and slid her fingertips over his jaw line. "Rolo…"
He moved forward, before he could think, and kissed her.
It was just a graze of lips, less than a second in duration, but it sent a shock of delight down his spine, warming him to his toes. Then, a further shock of ohgodwhathaveIdone tore his eyes open as he leapt back in fear and embarrassment.
"You… Your Highness, I'm so, so sorry!"
Nunnally licked her lips thoughtfully. "Sorry?"
"I should never… I wasn't thinking… I…"
Nunnally recaptured his face in her small hands and smiled gently. "Rolo, hush." She pressed her lips against his, a longer but no more experienced kiss, just the warm pressure of one pair of lips against another. Rolo felt time stop as she pulled away slightly, still smiling. "You are very dear to me."
Rolo nodded numbly before standing awkwardly and offering his hand to help Nunnally up. She accepted and they walked back to the palace in comfortable silence.
Which lasted until Lelouch strolled into the atrium, carrying a glass of warm cider for Nunnally. "Did you have fun?"
Rolo froze. Lelouch. He hadn't even though about Lelouch. He smiled at them, the kindly smile he usually wore around Nunnally, as he kissed her forehead and led her further into the house, and Rolo just stood there, filled with unreasoning terror.
Lelouch was going to kill him!
He didn't of course. In fact, after a month of not being killed, Rolo managed to relax again. He and Nunnally were never alone, so for the longest time that first contact was their last. Still, there were fingers brushing against each other everyday and the occasional overly lingering look and even, to Rolo's shame, a moment where he leaned into her, letting his hand brush her elbow.
He felt her stiffen and then lean back against him, and thought his heart might burst from sheer delight.
But that was a moment of foolish weakness, never to be repeated. Most of the time, he served his princess with professional efficiency and nothing more. But the memory of her lips from that cold day never faded from his mind and he still, despite himself, wanted…
As January progressed, Lelouch was busy more and more often, in meetings or functions, sometimes just visiting his siblings. Apart from his more frequent absence, Rolo didn't notice much change in him, but Suzaku was getting noticeably tenser and wasn't sleeping as well. Lelouch was barely a month over eighteen, far too young to be making a gambit for power (especially as he held so little right now) so Rolo was at a loss as to what he was doing that so unnerved his knight.
This served two functions. First, it distracted Suzaku who had always kept something of a mentorly eye on Rolo, and secondly it meant that, apart from the household servants, Rolo and Nunnally were alone in the house together far more often.
Nothing happened. Rolo was careful to ensure that nothing happened and that there could be no suspicion of anything happening. He always had at least one other person with him when he was together with his princess, and ensured that he and Nunnally never spent time alone separately for fear that neither of them would have an alibi when asked if they had been together.
That didn't stop him from yearning and wanting and dreaming.
Nor, it seemed, did it stop Nunnally.
Rolo was in the library, researching the historic alliances of the more powerful nobles, when he heard soft footsteps and caught the faint whiff of that unmistakable sweet scent. Nunnally…
"Rolo. I hoped I might find you here." Nunnally smiled as Rolo nearly knocked over his chair in his haste to stand. "My. What dull reading."
It really was. "I…" Rolo could feel the blood rushing to his face, even hear it. "Just in case, it might be of use to your brother."
"My brother…" Nunnally sighed. "Rolo, I know you're my protector, but… are you loyal to Lelouch as well?"
Rolo hesitated. "If… if he asked me for something that wouldn't put you in danger or go against your wishes, I would do it, Your Highness."
"Good." Nunnally smiled. "Because it's important for me that you like him. As it's important for Lelouch that Suzaku-san likes me." She looked meaningfully at Rolo who was really just confused at this point.
Still, he was certainly able to reassure Nunnally on that point. "I certainly do like Prince Lelouch, Your Highness."
Nunnally smiled. "And me? Do you like me?" She leaned forward, her hand resting lightly on the back of Rolo's.
Rolo felt his heart skip a beat. "Your Highness…"
Nunnally didn't give him a chance to answer further, moving closer and pressing her lips gently against his.
Before he even knew what he was doing, Rolo took Nunnally in his arms, holding her tightly against him and pressing his mouth hard against hers. He had no idea what he was doing, just that he wanted more, so much more and so badly, and Nunnally was making small desperate sounds against him, her small hands clinging desperately to him as he pressed wet kiss after wet kiss against her lips, her cheeks, the long elegant line of her throat.
"Ah, Rolo…" Nunnally's hands were clenched in his hair, holding his mouth against her skin and Rolo felt like he was drowning in her scent, the sound of her shallow breaths, her thin arms, wrapped around his shoulders. "Rolo, please…" Rolo bit down and Nunnally cried and arched into him, perfect and pliant and…
Rolo stumbled back, the sudden realization of what he was doing shocking himself. "Your Highness…"
"Nunnally…" Nunnally corrected with a small smile, touching Rolo's arm and smiling warmly. "Call me Nunnally when we're like this."
He wasn't sure how they ended up in Nunnally's room. He certainly didn't know how they ended up on her bed. And he most definitely had no idea how half his clothes were spread over the floor and his hand was up Nunnally's dress.
He didn't really care, though. Nunnally's mouth was hot and sweet, and she made the most amazing variety of soft sounds when he touched her. Her skin was smooth and soft, and he could feel her muscles tensing under his hands as she sighed into his mouth. She was hardly passive either; it was her fault that his jacket was half flung over the back of the chair, and even now she was undoing his shirt buttons as her legs shifted impatiently, flexing and spreading under Rolo's hands.
Rolo groaned as his hand slid over her thigh, pressing between her legs into the heat there. Nunnally's breath hitched and she lifted her hips, pressing against his palm, urging it higher…
Nunnally shook her head. "Just Nunnally, Rolo." She ducked her head and kissed over his clavicle. Rolo bit back another groan, sliding his hand down her inner thigh and out from under her dress before things got too dangerous.
It felt wrong to address her as such, but Rolo managed. "N-Nunnally… what exactly are we doing?"
Nunnally looked up, the amusement in her eyes making her resemble her brother. "Is there some confusion?" The last button came undone and Nunnally slid the shirt off Rolo's back.
Rolo sighed as her hands traced over his chest. The light, tentative touches were more arousing than the most skilful teasing caress. "This… this is improper… I'm supposed to protect you, serve you…"
Nunnally's hand dipped down over his stomach, hovering over his belt. "Then serve me with all you have." Even Rolo could see the erection straining the crotch of his pants, and as much as it embarrassed him that Nunnally was seeing it too, he couldn't help but feel smug that it had captured her attention.
The soft sound of Nunnally undoing the top button of his pants and the immediate release of some of the pressure against his cock made Rolo moan. He grabbed Nunnally's wrist before she could go any further, not sure if he'd be able to stop if she continued.
"Would be hypocritical to begrudge us this."
…perhaps. Rolo certainly had his suspicions about Lelouch's relationship with his Knight. But still… "He trusted me to guard you, to tend to you…"
"And has that been an onerous task?" Nunnally asked, her blue eyes piercing through him. Any of her previous playfulness was gone, replaced by genuine seriousness. "Have you been discontent in my service? Have you felt pressured in any way?"
"…no, Your Highness."
"It's Nunnally," Nunnally insisted. "I've never… throughout my life, I've always been in sister Euphy's shadow, or Lelouch's. No one even looked at me, but you… even when you were Lelouch's, you were always watching me." She smiled. "I could always feel your eyes one me. You made me feel appreciated, special. Wanted."
Rolo flushed. "I… know what you mean. Your brother was the first to see me, Pri- Nunnally. But I don't think even he saw that."
"Suzaku might have," Nunnally said, amused. "He's always been rather like a second brother to me."
That was possible. The thought of Suzaku finding out was almost as scary as the thought of Lelouch finding out; and one pretty much automatically meant the other.
"Still," Rolo said. "Just because I saw you… just because I fell in…" He ducked his head. "There are better people out there for you, Princess Nunnally."
Nunnally reached out, brushing her fingers over his cheek and lifting Rolo's head up. "Rolo… do you want this?"
Lelouch would kill him. Suzaku would help. This was such a bad idea; it betrayed Lelouch's trust, betrayed Rolo's life of service to the Britannian family, betrayed the role he valued as Nunnally's guard… "Yes."
"Then even if that's true, which it isn't. Even if there is someone out there more suited for me than you… I don't want them. I want you, Rolo."
With a smile and a kiss, Nunnally sealed their fate and Rolo gave in. He'd only ever seen glimpses of Nunnally's skin in the months he'd served her and her brother. Lelouch tended to have her dressed in conservative dresses, high-cut bodices and full-length skirts with long sleeves – tighter in the winter and looser and airier in the summer.
But those glances were more than enough to ignite Rolo's imagination. Her hands and wrists were small and delicate, her neck graceful and pale. Rolo imagined that the rest of her was just as perfect, unblemished skin, soft and unspoiled.
He wasn't wrong.
Once Nunnally had made her mind up that this was going to happen, she guided Rolo's hands over her clothes, until he was holding her dress in one hand and lightly tracing over the lacy edges of her bra with the other. When Nunnally reached back and unclasped her underwear, Rolo dropped the ungainly weight of cloth over the side of the bed and leaned forward to kiss her as he removed that article of clothing as well.
Nunnally's hands immediately flew to his hips, holding him against her as she arched into the hand that cupped one of her breasts. Her breath was hot against Rolo's lips as they moved together. "Rolo…" Rolo kissed her hard, thrusting his tongue into her mouth and her hands slid around the front of his pants, finishing the job she'd started in undoing them and pulling them down.
As his erection sprung free, Rolo bit back a curse, holding himself above Nunnally's supine body, barely resisting the instinct to grind against her. This was too fast; at this rate, Rolo was worried he wouldn't last…
He pulled away, breathing hard, taking the opportunity to just look at the beautiful princess under him. His own skin felt rough and looked dark compared to hers, particularly where he was touching her; her breast, her side. His eyes were drawn to her breasts, both nipples dark pink and erect, crowning small but perfectly symmetrical pale mounds of soft flesh. His hand slid down, over her ribs and the concavity of her smooth stomach, stopping at the top of her lace panties.
Nunnally raised her hips slightly and Rolo took that as permission to let his hand explore lower. The lace tickled the tips of his fingers, so he dipped over the satiny silk that covered the skin between her legs. Nunnally gasped, her legs reflexively twitching at his touch, and Rolo could feel a sticky dampness as he pressed against the yielding flesh beneath the smooth strip of silk.
Rolo was swimming in sensation, his head getting dizzy from lack of air as his breath quickened in harmony with Nunnally's, the ache in his groin getting sharper and more insistent with every moment that passed, every fibre of his being focused on Nunnally and the way she reacted to his touches.
"Rolo…" Nunnally sighed, reaching for him. Rolo swallowed hard, leaning forward into her embrace. Nunnally's beautiful blue eyes were half lidded with desire, her cheeks a fair rose and her lips red and parted in anticipation of a kiss. Rolo was nearly there when the angle made his fingers slip, under Nunnally's panties, pressing against the damp skin and just barely, lightly inside…
"Ah!" Nunnally's eyes flew open in shock and Rolo nearly jumped back. His fingers would have slid out of her had it not been for the pressure of her underwear pressing him against her. As it was, he merely froze until he felt Nunnally's own body pushing back against those fingers. "Oh, Rolo…"
He couldn't resist. He kissed her lips, then her neck as he slid one finger fully inside her. "Nunnally, is this okay?"
"Yes…" Nunnally had a hand in his hair now, pressing him against her as she rocked against him. "It feels good." Rolo was ecstatic at that, amazed that this was really happening, that he was really here, really doing this with his Nunnally. The way she moved against him and clutched at him and panted and sighed were all the reward Rolo would ever need.
It wasn't, though, all Nunnally had in mind. "Rolo, wait."
Rolo did, immediately. "Did I–"
"No," Nunnally answered before he could ask. She slid her underwear off and framed Rolo with her legs. "I just… I was hoping for something more."
Rolo carefully brushed Nunnally's hair behind her ear, buying time. "Nunnally, are you sure…"
"I'm sure." She certainly looked sure. "I told you I wanted you Rolo. I meant it." She arched up and kissed him, with surprisingly clever lips and tongue, drawing Rolo out and distracting him enough that the sensation of her hand wrapping around his cock was a complete surprise.
Nunnally giggled. "I like it when you say my name." She pulled gently, cautiously and Rolo groaned as his eyes rolled back far enough to almost hurt. Nunnally giggled again. "And I like it when you sound like that."
Rolo's heart was racing and he couldn't get enough air. His hips were moving on their own, thrusting into Nunnally's hand, the passage slicked by his precome and sweat. He was close… too close. "Nunnally, s-stop…" He grabbed her wrists and pressed them both above her head as he leaned over her, their faces aligned and his cock dripping on her stomach. They were both breathing hard, but Nunnally was more in control than Rolo was. He planned to change that.
He didn't have large hands, but Nunnally's wrists were tiny, birdlike, and they fit within the grasp of one hand. The other, Rolo trailed down her body; over her neck and breasts, dipping into her bellybutton before sliding through the gentle hairs between her legs. Nunnally gasped and squirmed under him, her hips brushing against his erection, and Rolo pressed her more firmly into the mattress. "Shh… just let me…" He licked at her neck as he slid his finger inside her again, biting lightly when that made her move. "Be still, Nunnally." He explored the warm wet depths cautiously, feeling the walls constrict and relax around him as he searched out the places that made Nunnally cry out. He waited until she relaxed and quickly slid another finger inside, pushing in as far as they could go.
"Rolo!" Nunnally arched and actually fought against his grip. "Oh, that's…" She was moving again, writhing under him and Rolo realized that, one way or another, she was going to make him come. He just couldn't take it anymore; the way she looked and moved and sounded, the way she smelled and tasted and absolutely everything about her.
"Nunnally, can I…"
"Yes!" The moment she wrangled herself free from Rolo's grip, Nunnally's hands flew to his hips, holding him in place as she arched up against him. "Please, Rolo…"
That was all Rolo needed. He slid his fingers out of her, guiding his cock to her opening and pressing in.
It was tight, but it was slick and wet and he seemed to fit Nunnally's body perfectly. Tears pooled at the corners of her eyes, and Rolo kissed them away as he gently rocked into her, inch by inch, doing everything he could to prolong the sensations. "Nunnally…" She was so perfect, so lovely, so…
"Rolo…" Nunnally's arms clutched at his back as he carefully lifted her leg, opening her up more, and slid in completely. "Oh, Rolo…"
She was still holding him when Rolo kissed her and leaned forward, pressing his lips against her ear. "I'm going to move, okay?"
The first thrust forced a cry past Nunnally's lips and made her grip tighten. The second one provoked an even louder cry and Nunnally shifted her grip to hold Rolo's shoulders. The third had her arching back, her eyes wide open with shock. "There! Oh, Rolo, right there…"
Right there. Rolo didn't hold back after that, thrusting and aiming for the spot that made Nunnally scream. She was very vocal, not shying away from using his name, and moved into his thrusts with as much enthusiasm as he moved into her. At one point, he'd managed to raise his head and capture her lips in a kiss, but it was quickly interrupted by her tearing her head away to all his name to the heavens as her entire body convulsed and tightened around Rolo's; her arms and legs and, most of all, the hot pressure around his cock, drawing out his own orgasm a mere two thrusts later.
It never occurred to Rolo to pull out or away from his princess. He wanted to be closer to her, even deeper inside of her. He clutched at her shoulders as she clutched at his, holding each other as they came together; still embraced in each other's arms as the last waves passed, leaving them sated.
Nunnally, Rolo decided, looked even more beautiful like this; flushed and glowing, nearly overflowing with life and vitality, with a small, satisfied smile that just touched the corners of her dancing eyes.
"Rolo." She kissed him as they rolled over to lie, still in each other's arms, beside one another. "You were wonderful."
Rolo knew he was grinning like an idiot, but was too happy and sleepy to care. "You were…" She'd said he was wonderful. "I…" He tried to blink, but couldn't quite get his eyes open. "I love you."
When he woke up, the first things he saw were Nunnally's eyes, gazing at him with a kind of proprietary fondness. "Hey."
"Hi." Rolo smiled. Then his eyes widened and he jumped out of the bed. That hadn't been a dream? "Y-y-your Highness?"
Nunnally sighed, sitting up and letting the thin bedsheet pool around her waist (first of all, Rolo didn't remember a bedsheet, and second of all why wasn't she using it to cover up?) as Rolo yelped and whirled around rather than stare at his princess's naked body.
…only he'd done that hadn't he? That and more. Much more…
"Yes, Your Highness."
"Turn around." Nunnally sounded impatient. "We can hardly have a conversation like this. And I told you to call me Nunnally."
Rolo gradually turned around, his training to follow orders strong enough that, even when he saw Nunnally nude from the waist up, he faced her. "I… I apologize for my actions, Your Highness."
"Nunnally." Rolo bowed. "I… I took advantage of a situation and forced my affections on you and…"
"Oh posh." Nunnally rolled her eyes (her beautiful, beautiful eyes). "You were appropriately reluctant, Rolo. And performed admirably once you got over it." She smiled and patted the bed beside her. "I really hoped we were over the whole 'inappropriate' thing by now."
It was only then that Rolo realized that he too was naked. And that his cock was more or less at Princess Nunnally's eye level. And that she had seemed to notice that as well.
Given the limited number of choices, he got back into bed, covering up his groin with the sheet and wishing there was something similar to cover up his blush.
Nunnally just leaned over and cupped his face, gently kissing his cheek.
"It's Nunnally." Nunnally sighed. "I doubt Suzaku calls Lelouch 'Your Highness' when they're done."
…Rolo wasn't touching that. "Still, Princess Nunnally…" that was a decent compromise. "I truly believe that this… relationship… is not one that is to your advantage."
"My advantage?" Nunnally asked. "I'm 88th in line for the throne, my only allies are my brother's, and I have no ambitions save to use what little power I have to make the world a better place." She smiled. "The only relationship I'm interested in pursuing is one where there is mutual affection and mutual enjoyment. If those are not present, I'd like to hear about it now."
"That's not…" Rolo protested. "That's not the point! You're important! You're a princess, and Prince Lelouch's little sister. You're one of the few genuinely kind people in the royal family, and that's important too! You're beautiful and wonderful and if you wanted you could have any man, and I'm just…"
"You're just everything I want," Nunnally interrupted. "Lelouch and Suzaku-san, Cornelia and Guilford, Schneizel and Kanon… this is far from unheard of, Rolo. And you're everything I dreamed of… my white knight riding to my rescue… someone who treasures me." She leaned in, close to Rolo. "Someone who loves me."
…he had said that, hadn't he. "Princess Nunnally…"
"I love you too, Rolo." Nunnally kissed him. "And that means something. It means more than titles or rank or power, don't you think?"
Rolo bowed his head. Who'd he been trying to fool? He could never have resisted Nunnally. "Yes, Your Highness."
Nunnally swatted his head. "Stop calling me that!" Rolo grabbed her wrist and pulled her towards him, pressing their bodies together and kissing her deeply.
"Yes, Your Highness."
They were both still laughing (between kisses, at least) when they heard Lelouch and Suzaku returning from their trip.
Nunnally was dressed faster than Rolo, but her hair took longer to fix. It didn't help that they kept getting distracted with stealing kisses, or that the place that Rolo had nipped Nunnally was still faintly red. Or that watching her cover it up with make up made him want to make another one on the other side…
No. That was not what he should be thinking. He should be thinking of what face to show Prince Lelouch once they encountered him. Was there a particular expression that transmitted the message 'no, I didn't just fuck your baby sister'? Rolo decided to go with blank obedience; it was his default in any case.
"Done!" Nunnally declared, grabbing Rolo's hand. "We can meet them now."
Rolo held her back. "Nunnally… don't you think we should keep this a secret from Lelouch. For now at least?"
Nunnally frowned. "Why? Do you think it will upset him?"
"Oh." Nunnally nodded. "Then we'll have to butter him up first. Or get Suzaku-san on our side." She grinned. "Don't worry, Rolo. Everything will work out fine."
Rolo just sighed and decided to trust her.
It turned out they needn't have bothered. Lelouch and Suzaku were both distracted, arguing quietly with each other when Rolo and Nunnally entered the room. Rolo took one look at the way Suzaku leaned into Lelouch's personal space as they fought and the way Lelouch let him, his body language practically inviting Suzaku closer even while it radiated irritation and wondered how anyone couldn't see that they were together. Lelouch was the first to look away and notice their arrival.
"Nunnally!" He stepped away from Suzaku, the underlying tension in the room broken as easily as that, and towards his sister. "How are you? I missed you."
Nunnally took Lelouch's hands in her and leaned up to kiss his cheek. "I missed you too. I hope you and Suzaku-san had a productive trip."
Lelouch laughed. "About that… mind if I talk with Rolo for a quick moment?"
"Of course! There are some things that Suzaku-san and I need to discuss as well."
Alone in Lelouch's room, the cheerful visage cracked and left behind a serious prince. "Rolo. Do you remember the time you offered to eliminate Earl Vespin for me?"
Rolo flushed. He hadn't been teased about that for months. Still, this didn't seem like the start of a joke or prank. "Yes, Your Highness."
Lelouch leaned forward. "I haven't forgotten what you really are, and what you can really do. I have a mission for you."
Rolo listened and agreed. It felt good to be properly useful, for the first time since he'd been given to the Britannian family, but… he no longer was living just for himself. He had Nunnally and her feelings to think of. Still, this was his duty.
"And Rolo," Lelouch added, just before Rolo left the room to carry out his orders. "Come home safely. I wouldn't want my baby sister to cry." Rolo froze, turning around and meeting Lelouch's grave expression with a nod. How much did he know…
Hopefully less than Suzaku if the way the knight grabbed Rolo by the front of his shirt and slammed him into the wall in the hall outside the room moments later was any indication. "If you hurt her, I'll kill you."
Rolo managed to nod, agreeing easily enough to the ultimatum given that the last thing he wanted to do was hurt Nunnally. Suzaku eased off, letting him down. "Just so we're clear."
"We are, My Lord."
"Great." Suzaku grinned. "Nunnally seems to like you a lot. Lelouch is going to make life hell for you. Welcome to the family."
Rolo sighed. "Easy for you to say. You just had Nunnally to impress."
Suzaku's eyes grew distant and a little nervous. "That was… not as simple as you might think. She is, after all, Lelouch's sister." He managed to smile again, but it was wavery. "Still, she really does seem to like you, so. Congratulations!"
Rolo accepted the shoulder slap and tried not to think too deeply about that. Nunnally was the sweetest, gentlest, kindest person he'd ever met. Suzaku must have been exaggerating.
Still, when Nunnally caught him just before he left and kissed him goodbye, Rolo couldn't help but take her parting words seriously.
"Be careful, Rolo. I love you. Come back to me." Rolo had smiled and promised, nearly out the door when her voice, low and certain wafted to his ears.