Author's Notes: Written for HedwigBlack's Almost Kiss Competition on the HPFC forum.

Write a fic about a couple who almost kiss but don't for some reason.

Also for my Livejournal dark_bingo card with the prompt "Unfaithful".

Enjoy!

)O(

The Dark Lord's hand rested lightly upon Bellatrix's waist, drawing her close to him, and her breast heaved in anticipation. She was trembling lightly, thrills running through her body at his every touch, and she looked up at him from beneath lowered lashes, a small and – she hoped – seductive smile playing upon her lips.

"You are a most… interesting woman, Bellatrix," he told her. He was looking at her as though she was a particularly interesting plant in a herbology classroom. "I must admit to having been intrigued by you since you first expressed your desire to join the Death Eaters…"

"I knew that I could… serve you… well, my Lord," she murmured. "And I will, Master, rest assured that I will…"

"I do not doubt you, Bellatrix." He pressed his hand a little more firmly against her waist. "I am sure that you will prove yourself most capable of any task that I set you…"

"I will, my Lord." Her voice was low and husky and she was finding it rather difficult to think when she was so very close to her Master. "My Lord… if I may?" she added tentatively, slowly raising one hand and moving it towards him. He inclined his head, and she laid it upon his chest, stroking gently with her fingertips and feeling the sharp ridges of bone beneath his robes.

He breathed out slowly, then his free hand – that not resting on her waist – moved to beneath her chin, lifting her head. Bellatrix's lips parted in excitement.

"Oh… Master…"

"I desire you, Bellatrix," he told her, and her entire body quivered with delight at the statement.

"Oh… but…" She closed her eyes momentarily, then opened them once more, smiling coyly, "I am married… perhaps we ought not do this, my Lord," she murmured, though her body was aching for her Master's touch and she wanted nothing more than to feel his lips on hers. "My husband…"

"You are worried about being unfaithful, Bellatrix?" he whispered.

"Mm… perhaps slightly…" She looked up at him through her eyelashes, willing him to tell her that that was foolishness and sweep her off her feet, throw her upon the bed and take her.

"Then…" He straightened up and stepped away from her, his expression inscrutable, "I would not wish to violate your moral codes."

"What- my Lord…" Bellatrix sputtered, confused. "I- I didn't mean…"

"Out, Bellatrix," he ordered her. "If you consider yourself to be above adultery, and if your husband matters so much to you, then I have no need for you."

"But, my Lord–" She had expected him to disregard her little protests – expected him to take control no matter what she said and perhaps even mock her for caring about her husband – not comply with them…

"Out!"

Tears of anger at herself – for saying what she had thought he wanted to hear and being so terribly mistaken – filled Bellatrix's eyes, and she turned and fled the room before her Master could see her cry.

)O(

Fin