Click, click, click, click.

The sharp staccato of high-heeled shoes echoed in the drafty hall. They slowed, and stopped abruptly.

A low voice. "Is it done?"

A sly glance from under long eyelashes. "It is as you said."

Pause. Fingers drumming on a surface, perhaps wooden, or stone. The two occupants of the long room faced each other calmly, neither one making a movement when a chill breath of air swirled around their ankles.

"Exactly as I said?"

A short laugh, perhaps false, certainly charming, and entirely enticing. "You know my ways."

He exhaled slowly, casting his eyes about the room in a measured way. A beat. Two beats. Three beats, and she stepped closer.

"You do not believe me?"

He raised one eyebrow, looking at her almost mockingly. Moved his hand to smooth over the worn surface of the marble throne-like object he was seated upon. Beckoned her on with his eyes.

Click. Long pause. Click. The echo rebounded off the high ceiling and stone walls.

Black. Black dress, like his hall. Uncovered shoulders, bare skin. Pale, smooth, like the marble in the hall.

Another step. Two steps. Calculated, precise steps. They brought her ever closer to him. Coldness emanated from his form, but she moved forwards, drawn by the power and privileges he offered. Driven by her own goals, and, deep down, something craving to be loved and wanted.


Not to be loved, even, but to be used. To know what it feels like to be used and enjoyed, but not loved. Never loved. The room's atmosphere thickened noticeably.

Click. Another swirl of cold air kissed bare skin.

Cavernous grey pierced into unfathomable brown. Haughty lips curved upwards in semblance of a smile. A wanting. Sharp, intense want. Not love. Want.

"Are you testing me?"

Her mouth smiled at him, but those chocolate eyes stayed stony. "Perhaps. And you do not believe me, do you?"

His hands moved fluidly, folded themselves over the edges of the throne's arms. "The proof?"

One more step brought her mere inches away, and the vague scent of cinnamon came to him as she spoke. "I have it." She stood on the step below him.

Click. Her mouth on his, hands moving to her hips, another cold current of wind and neither reacted.

A slight breath. Intake of air. Resisting. A light moan. Pull. Move.

She stepped away, drawing her hand from his pocket. Licked bruised lips. "Next timeā€¦ do your own work."

He leaned forward slightly, pulling the small object from his pocket. Pause. Satisfied grey eyes rising to meet defiant, exhilarated brown ones.

A blink, a movement, and she began to walk away. Click, click, click, click. He settled back in his throne, examining the item.


Slight annoyance. A questioning glance.

"My payment."

His low laugh echoed in the hall. "Of course." Moving slowly from the throne, winding around her taut body like a coiled spring, wrapping an arm about her bare shoulders. Small bones. Must not break. Fragile.

Warmth. Warmth in a cold place. Warmth and temporary pleasure. Not love.

No love. Never love.