She quivered beneath him, excited and yet... frightened. She felt so small like this, her whole body obscured by his, their fronts pressed together.

He was not yet middle-aged but already had a slight ring of pudge about his abdomen. It made her giggle to think about how squishy it felt when he laid atop her, but she wouldn't openly criticize him for it. Not yet. After all, he had never faulted her for her frankly non-existent breasts.

The first time he had undressed her, she hadn't wanted him to remove her top... but he was stronger than her, bigger, and he pulled it up over her head despite her protests. She had blushed furiously, waiting for a comment about how she was less endowed than a first year or perhaps how her front could be mistaken for a boy's. But he hadn't said anything like that – instead, his cool, pale fingers had grazed over her chest, peaking her pink nipples and causing her breath to hitch. And then... he had called her beautiful.

Of course, she had always thought of herself as the epitome of style at Hogwarts – it was hard to be a fashionista in a uniform, but she always wore her thick black hair replete with ribbons, bows, or barrettes and her nails were perpetually varnished pink. Even so, her efforts went greatly unrecognized (could she be faulted for being born with such an unfortunate nose? She was doing the best she could with it, all things considered). That is, until Professor Snape had started to pay attention to her.

She wasn't even sure why he had, just knew that somehow their infrequent discussions in his office after class had grown frequent, and over time had less to do with answering her questions about his lectures and much more to do with staring uncomfortably at one another. Then all of the sudden she was in his lap being undressed and called beautiful. Everything since then had been a blur – and now here she was, shivering underneath him despite the warmth of their bodies.

She felt something blunt pressed there, and she squirmed against the sensation. At least he wasn't looking there, she hated how it looked, couldn't imagine the other girls possessed the same thing. It was just another minor blight, like her nose and too-small breasts. She sighed and supposed this was it... he was going to slide into her and take her virginity. Would it hurt like she had heard? She felt movement and braced herself, but it was upward, not in. A delicious tingling feeling caught her off-guard, and she vaguely realized that he was rubbing his erection against her spot. It might have looked weird, but oh, it felt so nice – but it was on the outside. She wasn't sure what he was doing, but she was relatively certain this wasn't how sex worked.

"Pansy," he growled against the shell of her ear, jolting her out of her worries.

"Huh?" her head back on the pillow, she looked up at him through her eyelashes. "Am I doing something wrong?" she asked quietly, even though she didn't know what else she possibly could be doing. She had left everything up to him so far, and thought that was how it was supposed to be.

"Relax," he said, and though he probably hadn't intended it, it sounded like a command. The man really had to work on choosing a more appropriate tone of voice if he was going to speak during these things, she thought moodily.

"I'm trying," she answered, not bothering to try to cover the whine that had crept into her voice.

Snape muttered something she couldn't quite make out under his breath, and she felt the blunt pressure against her entrance once more. "The pain will only be more intense if you can't manage it," he cautioned.

"Just... just get on with it." It was a plea, she really couldn't take the anxiety of it all for much longer, but it came out sounding rather flippant. She could tell almost immediately that she had offended him. Though he said nothing else, his upper lip always twitched like that when he was annoyed. But she didn't have much longer to interpret his expressions, as soon a searing pain tore through her, the apex of which was located between her thighs. He was pushing into her, but by the gods it hurt! She gasped for breath, almost unable to speak, but she finally found her voice - "Stop!" She was surprised at how urgent, how wild and shrill she sounded. He hadn't been kidding about the pain, though now it was just a sting. He had pulled out.

"Well? I told you to relax."

"I'm... sorry?" she fumbled and couldn't think of anything else to say. His apparent displeasure with her replaced the physical pain with that of the emotional variety. And anger... she had tried after all! Give her credit for that at least! But really, it did no good to get angry at him. She didn't want for him to go back to treating her like a regular student again. If she was too petulant, she feared that might happen, that he would tire of dealing with her and take away these secret meetings, tear away from her the one thing that gave her a sense of importance.

Snape shook his head and rolled off of her. Pansy felt so alone, though he was still beside her on the bed. Without so much as a blanket on top of her, the coolness of the room eventually got to her, causing the short hairs on her arms to prick up as goose-pimples spread over her skin. She folded her arms over her chest and curled her legs up as she turned on her side, away from him.

"You... you're not even going to try again?" she asked after a few moments of continued silence.

"I haven't the patience this evening," he told her flatly. She could hear how tired he sounded... and tried to comfort herself with the thought that it wasn't entirely her fault that it hadn't quite worked on the first try. He had been much too hasty, and he wasn't willing to work through it properly tonight. That was all right, she reasoned, there would be other chances to try, preferably when he hadn't had a bad day. Still... she didn't want today to have been a waste. She knew that he pulled himself away from marking papers and more importantly, away from research to see her, especially recently, with their visits taking place several times throughout the week. If he started to think she was more trouble than it was worth to him, once more the danger of these visits being put to an end loomed.

She rolled back over to look at him. He was on his back, and would have been staring at the ceiling were it not for the arm draped over his eyes. She sidled up to him, experimentally resting her cheek on his chest. She wondered if he would mind... up until then he had always given her instructions to follow, or in the absence of them, she thought he expected her to stay put and stay quiet. It was rather a new thing to approach him with affection herself.

"What else could we do?" She bit her lower lip, glad she had managed to get the words out. She had felt as though her nerves would fail her at any moment. She glanced downward, past his navel... maybe if she touched him it would make up for what they hadn't been able to do. She frowned as she realized that he'd already gone all soft, and she didn't know if she was still supposed to touch him when he was like that. In the end, she kept her hands to herself and focused on the steady beats of his heart as she waited for his answer.

She was beginning to worry with how long it was taking him to respond. Perhaps he was thinking, but of what? Maybe he was planning something awful, or worse yet, thinking of how to tell her to leave and forget that the last few weeks had happened.

"There is something."

She lifted her head at his words, turned to look at him as he moved his arm from his eyes, cocking her head to the side in silent submissive questioning. His hand found its way to her face, and she pressed her cheek to his palm, seeking acceptance in his touch.

"Though I'm certain it wouldn't appeal to you," he sneered.

Pansy stuck out her lower lip, a trick she had all but perfected in childhood. "Don't be so quick to judge," she protested, though she was sort of dreading hearing what it was he'd finally come up with. Whatever it was, as long as it would improve his mood enough to erase the earlier frustration from his mind, she would be relieved. She couldn't stand being unable to come through on her end of this, when she could only imagine the trouble he went to in order to make it all possible... he could lose his position, after all. If he was risking that and getting barely anything in return, why bother keeping her around? Her fear of being cast aside greatly outweighed her fear of the unknown. "So... what is it, sir?"

Snape sat up, and Pansy put her arms out on the bed to steady herself as she slid off his chest. She could feel her pulse thudding in her temples. This was it. Oh, déjà vu ... hopefully whatever he had in mind wouldn't hurt as much as the attempted penetration. And hopefully it wouldn't have anything to do with her arse, oh that was so distasteful even to think about, but she knew some men were deviant in their desires and-

"Blood," he said simply as he swung his legs over the bed and stood.

"What?" she wasn't sure what he meant at all. "Where are you going?" She crawled to the edge of the bed and sat on her knees, trying to see what he was doing.

"Just a moment," he held up a finger to silence her as his right hand went through one of the drawers in the bureau. There was something strange, dark and squiggly, between his wrist and elbow on the hand that he held up, but she couldn't exactly see the details of it... she squinted, but in the low light of the room, it would have been impossible to make it out. She would have to ask him about that later. In the meantime, she huffed and drummed her fingers on her thighs, impatient. As she saw what he pulled out of the bureau, though, the drumming stopped and her dry lips parted.

"Is that... a dagger?!" She instinctively backed up on the bed, tumbling over herself in an effort to get as far away from him as possible. The silver blade gleamed in the low orange light as he turned and stepped toward the bed.

"Not frightened, are you?" His lips curled into a sneer once more as he paused to examine the blade. "It's quite sharp," he said finally.

Her eyes went wide. Sharp, really! As if she couldn't tell! Was that supposed to comfort her? "Just- just what do you intend to do with that... sharp... thing?" She tried to move further back but the base of her skull knocked into the headboard.

"Oh, but you were so eager to please but a few moments ago," Snape's voice was silky as he sat on the edge of the bed. Her heart sank... it was true, she had asked him what else he wanted in an effort to make up to him. Though, why had she been so quick to do that when it had been both their faults, if not moreso his? "You needn't worry, though," he continued, "a sharp blade is to your advantage. It hurts far less than a dull one... and we now know how low your threshold for pain is."

She felt stung by the last few words, but she couldn't exactly dispute the sentiment.

"It's quite possible you'll barely feel it as the blade glides through your flesh," he went on.

"You meant my blood, didn't you?" Pansy asked dumbly as he inched closer. It was so clear now, but she wanted to believe that perhaps she was mistaken... maybe that her hearing was faulty. "When you said blood..." she trailed off, feeling faint.

He nodded, lifting his free hand to stroke her cheek. She flinched, expecting the dagger, but relaxing into his touch when she realized he was clutching it in the other hand. She tried to get a peek at whatever that was on his inner arm again, but it was shadowed. Drats.

"I wouldn't cut your face."

"I never know with you," she sighed, "that you want to cut me at all is-"

"I told you you wouldn't like it."

She bristled. "I didn't say that." But she may as well have, it was true, she didn't like how this was progressing one bit. Still, if this was a test, and the results determined the fate of their relationship, it wouldn't do to fail. Perhaps she was being a bit paranoid, but it was a constant, very real worry. He angered easily, and didn't suffer fools lightly. Pansy was determined not to be something he suffered. She pressed her shoulder to his side. "Am I allowed to scream?"

"Oh, of course," Snape smirked and laid the flat of the blade against the smooth ivory flesh of her stomach.

"Ooh, cold," she shuddered.

"Hmm, yes," Snape agreed as he dragged the flat over her skin. She had been tense at first, but now that the blade was warming, she relaxed against his side. Her eyelids fluttered shut and she sighed dreamily, lost in thoughts of being held by him on chilly nights, anything that wasn't the reality of the situation right this moment. "Getting comfortable?"

"Why, are you going to stick me now?" One eye slid open and she looked up at him.

"I was never going to stab you," he said thickly, "deeper is not always better."

She nuzzled her face to his arm and flushed as she thought about the double meaning in that statement. "No kidding."

"Ready?" Well, he surely didn't waste any time.

"Oh... not my stomach? Please?" she clung sweetly to his arm.

"And why not?" Mild annoyance.

"It feels weird!" She really wished she could better articulate her feelings.

"Where then?" he took the dagger away and fingered the point, watching it poke at a callus.

She unwrapped her arms from his and sat back to think for a moment, before timidly extending her arm to him. "You'll heal me after this, right?"

Snape licked his lips as he took hold of her wrist and turned her arm up such that the soft, hairless underside was accessible. "Yes... it wouldn't do to have anyone question you as to the nature of your wounds."

She nodded, mostly relieved, though part of her wondered what it would be like to have a visible mark remaining. To be claimed. But he was right, if anyone saw, she'd have to lie, and Madame Pomfrey would likely think she had done it to herself and keep her in the infirmary. It was too much to risk... being kept away from him. Possibly being found out. And if not, he still would get bored in her absence... find someone else. All the while she'd be thought of as mentally unstable by her peers. She giggled softly to herself as she thought they'd likely think her more unbalanced if they knew she let Snape fool around with her, and even more, that she enjoyed it.

"I find it hard to believe that your opinion has changed so much in just a few minutes," Snape said as he gingerly poked her near the crook of her elbow.

"Ow!" She scowled at him, the poke having jolted her from her thoughts. Really, was it so hard just to let her have a moment to think every now and again without these ceaseless interruptions? She didn't dare say anything, though... such righteous indignation was better kept within. "No. I was just- I thought you weren't going to stab me?"

"That was scarcely a stab, I merely wanted to make sure you had properly braced yourself. Are you ready?"

"Yes, thanks for asking this time," she huffed.

Snape ignored the tartness of her reply. He took a breath, and then quickly ran the blade down the length of her forearm, stopping just short of her wrist. Pansy gasped at the sharp swath of pain he had carved into her arm, and watched as the once-invisible cut soon filled with blood to become a long red ribbon. "You said it wouldn't hurt," she said meekly.

"Ah... I said it would hurt less than a dull blade," he clarified.

Pansy was still sure he had made some sort of promise about it not hurting much, and frowned. To her surprise, however, the pain was fading fast. Maybe he hadn't lied. It was certainly a more manageable sort of pain than the his attempt to force himself inside of her, that was for sure. She didn't feel as though she was about to be rent apart, and for that she was glad. "That one didn't bleed much," she said as she observed just a few droplets of blood swelling from near the end of the ribbon.

Snape rubbed his thumb over the wound (she cringed, but bit her tongue) and wiped up the droplets as well. "Starting slow is always wisest," he told her as he licked her still-warm blood off of his thumb.

She wanted to say if that was the case, why hadn't he just gone slowly early? But she was distracted as she watched him, suddenly feeling very ill. How gross! "Oh, ew! You didn't tell me you wanted to drink it," she made a sickened face.

He snorted. "I thought that was obvious. What other uses could I have for your blood?"

Pansy shivered, but not for the cold. "I don't know... maybe you just like red, and it is a pretty color, after all," she babbled. "Or maybe for a potion." Hmmm, were those rumors about him true? "I didn't know you were a vampire," she exclaimed. It was only half intended as hyperbole.

"I would have bitten you were that the case," Snape told her matter-of-factly, just as if they had been discussing something as mundane as the properties of dried Billywig stings. Well, he had a point. Plus, she had seen him outside during the day in the past, most notably at Quidditch matches.

"Maybe you're just keeping it under wraps," she said, knowing that she was treading dangerously close to being difficult.

Snape rolled his eyes, then laid the blade over her wrist. "Shall we try a vein this time? As the results of the last cut apparently left much to be desired," he drawled sarcastically.

She looked down cautiously at where he had positioned the dagger, and felt considerably more light-headed. Wasn't that how people tried to off themselves? Mostly Muggles, of course, but she had heard stories of Wizards who lacked creativity to think up something else. "Um... is that particularly safe?" She really wished that she hadn't made that comment about the lack of blood. It had only been an observation! From how he had built everything up, she was expecting to positively gush all over the place. Maybe he was tired of her, maybe all of her fears were coming true, and this was just his plan all along to get rid of her! But that would only call attention to himself, complicate matters for him, plus he had to have some sort of potion that would do the job more efficiently. Still, logically knowing that it was improbable that murder was his motive didn't mean that her other emotions realized it as well. She felt like she might panic.

"I shall head off the bleeding long before it becomes dangerous," he assured, though his tone wasn't consolatory in the least. Typical. She could fairly feel the excitement in his voice, and wondered if his desires would cloud his judgment on when to stop.

"I certainly hope you know how lucky you have it, with me letting you do this," she spoke up bravely. It was frustrating how casual he was acting about the whole thing. Couldn't he drop that icy, clinical demeanor and at least comfort her? But no, it seemed as though he was going to great lengths to keep himself sounding detached. Bits of emotion leaked through, but she knew that it wasn't intentional.

He sniggered, and for a scary moment she thought for sure that he was going to say something along the line of 'You should count your blessings that I so much as pay attention to you.' Because he very well could have said just that, and she would have felt horrible. As it stood, she felt only a little angry and mostly sick, and she could handle those feelings. They didn't lead her to questioning her worth.

She'd have to keep her eyes shut tight this time around.

Her eyes squinched shut just moments before the blade plunged into her wrist, and she took full advantage of the permission she had been granted to scream. Her vision was speckled with bright white exploding dots on the black background of her closed lids, and she felt herself falling to the side, but she wasn't really falling, she was leaning against Snape. The pain didn't fade this time, it only seemed to grow, and was mucking with her perception. She had been faint to begin with, and now she knew that if she opened her eyes, she would surely retch. Then pass out. She buried her face against his side, feeling a wet, sticky warmth dripping down her forearm. He was squeezing her hand too hard, she felt like he was forcing more of her blood out on purpose, but she couldn't stop him, she couldn't will herself to speak.

She couldn't utter another sound at all until she felt his lips pressed to the wound... stinging, burning, as if he were made of salt. She groaned and tried not to think about him slurping at her wrist. She was grateful that she had closed her eyes when she did. It was strange... as his mouth fully covered her wound, the pain seemed to go in fits and bursts. For a moment, it would be this incredibly intense, all-consuming experience, and then in the next moment, it would be as though it hadn't existed at all. She could breathe during those lulls. But even though they weren't painful, per se, they still felt odd. His tongue swishing against the disconnected bits of vein and slashed flesh, it just turned her stomach. And then, as if crashing cymbals had sounded in her ears, she would tense up again as the pain overtook all sensation.

It was because of the pain that she barely noticed how cold she had become. She had been chilled earlier, naked in his dungeon rooms had the tendency to do that, but as her head lolled to the side once more and her cheek bumped against his shoulder, she felt just how much warmer he was than her. Steadying herself with her free hand on his arm, she opened her eyes slowly, careful not to look where she knew her wrist and his face to be. The room was spinning and she clutched at him for support, fingers curling around his bicep. When her eyes focused, she gasped as she saw how ashen her own hand was in comparison to his skin. He was the one with the sallow, sickly complexion! Her natural pink undertones had been completely sapped. "Please," she murmured, distraught.

"Hmm?" Snape let her arm fall to her lap, and he licked at his blood-stained lips. Light from one of the candelabras glinted off the dagger, which was now laying on the nightstand on the other side of the bed. Thank the gods for that, at least.

"Too much," she breathed, but soon her face contorted in further pain at the coolness of the air penetrating her open wound, and she tried to hunch over it, to keep the cold out.

"Ah," Snape reached for his wand and muttered a spell. If she hadn't been so out of it, she might have noted a bit of leaked concern in his tone. If only he would consciously vocalize that concern, say something to her that she didn't have to interpret, she might not have been considering the merits of hating him at that moment. Like that time he had called her beautiful... why did that have to stay an isolated incident?

She felt things wriggling within her cut, and she didn't even want to think about what that could mean, until she realized that it was just all of the inner workings knitting together. She risked peeking at her wrist, and it wasn't as bad as she had thought... her arm was caked in streams of dried blood, but the wound was now almost closed. "What spell was that..."

"One that's been of great use to me over the years."

"Oh," her voice sounded distant to her ears, as if she wasn't really the one speaking. It made it hard for her to be concerned with the answer he had given, and even harder to keep track of her thoughts. "I'm freezing, you know."

"I think it will be best if you stay in bed for a while," he said as he rose and pulled down the duvet.

Pansy decided that sounded like a wonderful suggestion. She wobbled when she tried to crawl under the sheets, though, and as he helped her, she noticed something bobbing between his legs. Another erection? She hadn't seen one up close yet, and had only guessed at what his might look like based on how it had felt and the fleeting glimpses she had caught of it in its deflated state. Somehow, she had pictured something much more imposing for when it was all swollen.

"I suppose you enjoyed it?" she snuggled into the pillows and looked innocently from his hardened member up to his face before letting her gaze fall. It was difficult to keep her eyes open. "Does that mean I'll have to let you have another go at me with that dagger?"

"That shall depend on the outcome of tomorrow evening," Snape told her as he wrapped a robe about himself.

Tomorrow evening... wasn't that rather soon? Pansy drifted to sleep wondering if there would be any way to slyly go about asking for advice from Madame Pomfrey about relaxation methods, or perhaps an herbal remedy.