By the time Vincent graduates Lutwidge (at the top of his class, mind), seduction is his art.

It is a difficult thing to master for a man in his day and age, but not impossible, and oh, while he likes watching women melt at little more than one of his sideways glances, he loves the way he can make men crumble. A delicate art, that, and it helps that he is prettier than most women. It also helps that he is at least a dozen times subtler, and knows very well the affect of simply tying the layers of his hair up to display the nape of his neck. Girls may want him to touch them, but men want to touch him – to run their fingers along that bare strip of skin, feel the softness underneath their fingertips before they bruise and make him over-tender to their touch.

It makes everything too easy.

"Keep your hands to yourself, whore."

Of course, his talents occasionally are met with disgust – first and foremost, from Ernest Nightray. Vincent supposes he deserves it, after a brief stint that brought him to try and bed Claude (who ended up being far too straight-laced, even if he is and always will be an ass). He smiles beguilingly as Ernest glares at him, and wonders how soon he will be able to kill the wretched waste of space. Should he rip out Ernest's intestines, or start with a more sensitive body part? Choices, choices.

"If I ever see you try to pull any of your… tricks upon another member of this family – "

Vincent's fingers rest lightly upon his own lips, the gesture as contemplative as his lidded, mismatched gaze. "How quaint, Nii-san." The address is mocking and over-sweet. "If I didn't know better, I would think you were jealous."

"What – "

"You can't tell me you aren't curious about what my lips would look like wrapped around your cock."

And Ernest, the ever-collected Ernest that beds half of the maids in the Nightray manor without batting an eye (Vincent beds the other half), sputters, reddens, and storms off without another word.

Too easy – too honest, all of them.

It is that base honesty that brings Vincent to a conquest that is the root of many accomplishments: the bed of Duke Nightray himself.

It isn't a conquest that he even allows a hint of, and fortunately, the duke has brains enough to be equally discrete. What would his wife think? A mistress is one thing, but an adopted son, prettier than any of those mistresses and a fair few years younger at a meager 17? Oh, Vincent relishes the scandal of it all – finds himself giggling at the possibility of exposing the esteemed Duke Nightray as a molester of his own children. But he doesn't expose the man because that would cut off his source of a great many things – information and support, primarily, until he is the source of information and support instead (which doesn't take long, but, oh, likehell he lets the duke think he is anything but in perfect control).

Vincent can't deny that it brings him some kind of sickening, stomach-reeling satisfaction to be used by this man so basely, while his own machinations are far and beyond what Bernard could ever understand. It's sort of fun, really, especially because it makes Gilbert think he and their adoptive father have some sort of tumultuous relationship, considering he always leaves the man's office mussed and shaky. It makes Gilbert worry, makes his gaze linger upon him for more than a split second, and that is indeed satisfying.

The only thing annoying about the arrangement is how it makes him feel a bit guilty to kiss Elliot good-night (because what does the nine-year-old, sword-obsessed brat know about manipulations and machinations?). But that is merely baggage, and doesn't do him any good at all when he is splayed over the duke's bed, the man's pale, frail hands tracing over his flesh. And so, Vincent sighs praises and sweet encouragements, even while he wonders how this man produced five children (especially Elliot, so late in life!) when he can't keep it up without substantial help on his part for more than two minutes. Sigh.

Well, Vincent thinks, at least he isn't Ernest, who tests the family's 'imports', who tosses an unfortunate, clumsy maid to a brothel if she as much as looks at him wrong, and at least he isn't Claude, who is just as guilty, running the finances of such things and far worse. And really, because this is for Gilbert, he has no reason to hesitate – no reason to think such a thing disgusting. Whatever he has to do will be done, no matter the toll on his own mind or body.