AUTHOR'S NOTE: I know that I promised a two-shot and that part 2 would have smut, but I found that this would be better off as a three-shot, plus I'm terrible at smut to begin with, luckily I don't have to change the rating because I find suicide attempts to be M-rating material.
the world of Dishonored and all its characters do not belong to me, I merely borrow. Also the story cover does not belong to me either. I only asked for permission.
The role of Royal Protector had been around for nearly as long as the first monarchal dynasty of Gristol. Each Lord Protector was chosen when the charge in question was of the young age of twelve; ensuring that a trust was formed between the Emperor or Empress and the man or woman that would dedicate his or her life to the safety of the charge. The lord protector however was much more than a glorified guard with a fancy title; they had a voice in their charge's court, were given the power and position of a nobleman within the city, and were to accompany the most powerful individual in the civilized world nearly every moment of everyday, often serving as an advisor in some cases.
Of course, with this constant companionship comes a strong feeling of trust and friendship between the Lord Protector and the charge. Though sometimes this bond could lead to romantic feelings between them as well, which was forbidden and looked down upon by the code of the Lord Protector; for as much as a bond of friendship could further the Bodyguard's commitment, the feelings of love could often get in the way of both the charge's and the guard's duties. This usually manifested in the form of a paranoid Lord Protector that could cause more harm than good, or a concerned charge who would risk their own life for the protector's, serving as counterproductive to the protector's role in the first place. And of course there were the political complications; where the Emperor or Empress must marry a person of noble birth, something that the Lord Protector did not always possess, which sometimes led to affairs, and any child born of the two couldn't inherit any title of the royal parent and was titled as a bastard.
And yet, this strict code hadn't stopped Corvo from developing romantic feelings for his charge. They had started out as a simple physical attraction, as any man would feel towards a beauty such as Lady Jessamine; but once he truly got to know her as a person, those feelings cemented into a truer sense of attraction then any physical lust could have ever achieved. She was kind and caring about those she loved and befriended, she was intelligent and understood the gravity of the situation that would befall upon her when she would succeed her father. Though she had been known to be short tempered and headstrong, a trait that was said to have come from her mother, though Corvo never knew Empress Linda to confirm it for himself, but the temper bursts were usually for a good reason. She was firmly set in her beliefs to be allowed a headstrong personality. It seemed as though everything about Jessamine attracted Corvo, and he was helpless to prevent the feelings, he could merely resist their insistent plea to be given voice.
Corvo was driven out of his reverie at the sound of yawning, causing him to focus on the present to find Jessamine slowly regaining consciousness in her bed. Her head turned to face him and when she opened her eyes they quickly put on a sad and guilty expression, as though they were asking why Corvo had interrupted her horrible deed.
"It's my job to protect you," Corvo whispered just loud enough for Jessamine to hear, yet it sounded like a bellowing battle-cry compared to the deafening silence that followed. The two simply stared at each other; one with sadness, the other with calm assurance that things would get better.
"Did you watch over me all night?" Jessamine asked cautiously, as though she wasn't certain if she should even ask the question. Corvo was actually caught a little off guard with the question; making him a little self conscious about the fact that he had indeed, watched over her all night. Not that he had intended anything malicious, he was just watching over her to make sure she was safe, though an outside viewer would find the situation very disturbing.
"I was making sure you were alright, my Lady," Corvo answered in as monotonous a voice as possible, in an attempt to seem like he was more composed then he actually was. However, he quickly scolded himself for saying it like that, all distant and emotionless; cause it made Jessamine avert her eyes and flinch from him like an abused puppy bracing for more punishment from its cruel master.
"Do you think I will make a good Empress, Corvo?" Jessamine asked in that weak voice that was anything but the headstrong, confident Jessamine Kaldwin he knew. When Corvo didn't answer right away she added, "Do you think I will be able to live up to the example that my father made during his reign?"
At that Corvo quickly answered, "Of course you will," but when it didn't seem to convince the Lady he continued, "You're knowledgeable of the Isles and their governments, You hold strong to your beliefs and have good morals, but most of all you're passionate about the people, you see the role of Empress as a duty to help the citizens, not a privilege to control them, and it is that that will make you one of the greatest Empress' in history, I know it,"
"You've always thought highly of me, Corvo," Jessamine admitted with a slight blush, and for a moment Corvo saw the old Jessamine, the one that was playful, kind, let headstrong. But as quickly as it appeared, it vanished; returning to the distressed teenager that had tried to take her own life not ten hours ago.
"It is all true," Corvo spoke quietly as he gave her a reassuring grin that managed to make her relax a bit and return the smile.
At that moment a knock came from the door signaling that someone was on the other side. Jessamine spoke up and gave the visitor permission to enter. The door opened to reveal some handmaids ready to get the Empress prepared for her coronation; and with that, Corvo excused himself from the room so they could have some privacy and left the room.
Once Lady Jessamine was in her new attire the handmaids left as Corvo entered the room to find his future Empress dressed in the outfit that the servants had presented to her last night. It was all black; the top was high collared, with long sleeves that were white at the forearms as well as a long skirt that travelled past her ankles. Her long black hair was put in an intricate braid that sat over her right shoulder. She also wore some makeup, not enough to look ridiculous, but just some purple mascara and eyeliner to help make her grey eyes stand out.
"How do I look?" Jessamine asked with a nervous look on her face. Corvo simply walked over and pushed aside a loose strand of hair out of her face and hooked it around her ear before replying, "You look perfect, my Lady"
Without thinking about it, Corvo cupped her check with his hand and let it rest there. Jessamine slowly raised her hand to his and grabbed it. Her eyes lingered on his for a few seconds; the expression in them filled with warmth before it turned to sadness and they both lowered their gaze, her hand then gently pulled his hand down from her cheek.
Corvo gestured for Jessamine to take the lead with a graceful swing of his hand coupled with a slight bow; the Empress-to-be nodded and walked out the door with her loyal bodyguard right behind her. The two walked silently though the hallways and corridors of Dunwall Tower, making their way to the dining area for brunch, the hour being too late for breakfast, but not late enough for lunch.
The Lord Protector found himself thinking of the moment the two had just shared. He always tried to hide his feelings for Jessamine so he could keep his job, for if anyone saw him making advances on his charge then he'd be reported and fired. Not that it was the job he cared about, but that he could be with and protect her, and strangely it was his lack of showing romantic interest that showed how much he loved her, even if she never knew about his feelings.
Once they reached the dining area; a servant walked up to them to inform the Empress that the coronation will be at noon. That gave them two hours to get a proper meal and prepare for the ceremony. Once that was out of the way, Jessamine was seated with the lord Protector besides her and the servants passed out the food, which included cooked ham, eggs, blood sausage and Serkonian grapes.
"My poor Empress, I rushed back from my summer estate as soon as I heard the terrible news!" came an exclaimed and sneering voice from across the room; Corvo turned his gaze to find the gaunt figure of the Royal Spymaster Hiram Burrows dressed in his usual black overcoat and knee high leather boots standing at the double doors that connected the hall and dining area, his face full of mock remorse that fooled no one of its honesty.
"I'm not Empress until this noon, you of all people should know that," Jessamine coldly remarked at the old man with the bald head and pointed nose.
"Of course your majesty, I only mean proper formalities," Burrows grumbled the second part out as though he was sickened with himself for being polite to the lady in the first place.
"What do you want Burrows," Jessamine demanded before putting a piece of Blood sausage in her mouth.
"Only to offer up my sincerest condolences in person, Emperor Kaldwin will be missed by many," the Spymaster elaborated with mock sympathy.
"You not being among them I'd assume," Corvo countered along with a glare.
"Corvo! You've become such a regular in our fair lady's presence that I almost didn't see you standing there, blending into the background as you do," the spymaster greeted with a smile that seemed anything but friendly. Corvo narrowed his gaze at him, not at the poorly executed insult, but at the fact that Burrows hadn't confirmed or denied Corvo's claim, only changed the subject.
"Is there anything else you'd like to discuss Spymaster?" Jessamine questioned, the implication of his leaving should he have nothing else to say all too clear in her tone.
"As a matter of fact, yes," the old spymaster replied, "We need to discuss the current safety of our proud citizens from the more, degenerate occupants of the less favorable districts of the city,"
"Do you mean the poor in general?" Jessamine said in a tone that was more accusatory than inquiring.
"Why, they're thieves my Lady, begging hard working men and woman to waste their food and coin on them, when they're going to end up dead in some alley anyway!" the Spymaster implored with his biased reasoning.
Jessamine's face was one of pure anger as she coldly remarked, "They're my citizens, and they've become less fortunate than the rest of us and should not be forced to suffer further just because they want a better life!" Corvo couldn't help but smirk at that while he thought, that's my Lady.
"…Will continue this talk after she has gained that title, until then, good day Burrows," Jessamine stated as she went back to focusing on her brunch, making it clear that the conversation was over.
A few hours later, Lady Jessamine was officially proclaimed Empress Jessamine Kaldwin I. The rest of the day was just one important meeting after another; for while Emperor Kaldwin had been a great leader, the city wasn't without its problems. The new Empress met with at least six different noblemen whose families had a voice in Parliament with complaints about the Emperor's policies. After that was the Royal master of coin, who was as always concerned about the funds that had been going into the construction of Kaldwin Bridge during the late Emperor's reign, then High Overseer Rufus Whewell for who knew what with the eighty something year old religious figure, and lastly, Spymaster Hiram Burrows about the decided proper course of action for dealing with the poor. Needless to say it was a long and torturous day for the new monarch. The fact was evident in the way her shoulders slumped as Corvo escorted her up the stairs to her new bed chambers which belonged to her father.
Without receiving orders Corvo wordlessly opened the door for the Empress as she walked through the portal into the bed chambers and sat straight into one of the lounge chairs before the fireplace, her eyes staring at the fire in quiet reflection of the day's events. Corvo silently closed the door and took a seat in the other chair.
"When I was little, my Father would often work all day, because Mother died bringing me into this world, I only had the nursemaids to raise me and educate me, but I remember that after supper every night he would take me into his room on his broad shoulders, have us sit in this very chair, with me on his lap as his arms were around me, and he would sing to me until I fell asleep, his deep voice always so soothing, and that's how I knew, even when he hardly had time to see me, even though I was the reason for his wife's death, that he loved me," Jessamine released a chuckle as another thought occurred to her, "He'd smile and sing for me every single night until I was too old for such things, and it had never occurred to me just how stressful his days as Emperor were and the frustration he was keeping hidden just for me. Perhaps the singing was as much for him as it was for me, give him a chance to unwind with his daughter."
Corvo had remained silent during Jessamine's reverie. He watched her as sadness plagued her features over the memories.
"He was a good man," was all Corvo could say.
"Yes… he was," Jessamine whispered. Her eyes started to water, and it wasn't long before the tears cascaded down her cheeks as she said, "He was the only family I had, and now I have none, I'm all alone."
"You have me," Corvo said quietly, but loud enough for the Empress to hear. She raised her head, "I never thanked you for stopping me from-
-Don't say it," Corvo whispered, not in a demanding tone, but one of gentle warning, knowing that she might feel worse for giving voice to what she almost did.
"You're a good Protector, Corvo," Jessamine stated, "always making sure you do your duty."
Your duty? Is that all she thinks I care about, that this is just a job to me? Corvo thought before saying, "When I took those vows six years ago to protect you with my life, I meant it more than any Lord Protector before me or after," Corvo stood up and walked the three steps to Jessamine's chair and knelt down on one knee to look her in the eyes while placing a hand on her own, "I swore to place your safety before my own, to fight for your honor with all my skill, may my eyes see the blood of your enemies a hundred times over before they lay upon your own, and to surrender only with a bloodied sword in my heart, from that day, till my last,"
The two remained still for a few seconds, or perhaps it was minutes, Corvo always lost all sense of time when looking into Jessamine's grey eyes. Neither knew who made the first move; but somehow their lips found and passionately clung to each other, as though they feared to come apart and be separated forever. Corvo's hands soon found rest on the small of Jessamine's back and the back of her neck, encouraging her to deepen the kiss. Her hands soon snaked up and lost themselves in the jungle that was Corvo's long unkempt hair, caring little for appearances as he did.
After what felt like an eternity of kissing, Corvo regained enough of his senses to realize what he was doing and quickly pulled away, much to Jessamine's protesting whimper.
"I'm sorry, your majesty, I-I don't know-
Corvo couldn't finish is apology for his moment of weakness as he was interrupted by a quick kiss on the lips. He watched as Jessamine's eyes grew lidded with desire and placed her forehead against his own as she whispered, "It's alright, Corvo It's alright."
"No, It's not alright," Corvo admitted solemnly before trying to explaining, "I just… we can't… you're the Empress, and I'm your bodyguard, it can never work out."
Jessamine face turned sad at the words, "Corvo, I'm tired of being thought of by everyone as only the Empress, or the Emperor's daughter that would take his place, I have no one to care about me," she gave a general wave of her hand, "all those other people, they don't care," She then placed her arms around Corvo's neck, "I only hoped that you would,"
"I do care," Corvo admitted, "it's because I care that I can't," It hurt Corvo to say those words, but it was the truth, if anyone saw them, he'd lose his job and never be able to see her again, let alone protect her.
"No, you're right, who was I kidding," said Jessamine as she took her arms off of Corvo, the protector hung his head at that, "I've got no more family, a court full of politicians that only hope to fulfill their lust for power, and a Lord Protector that cares too much to express his feelings for me,"
"Jess…" Corvo started before falling silent at the miserable expression on her face that tugged at his heartstrings. He cupped her chin in his hand to gently guide her eyes to his, "I care about you deeply,"
Jessamine's eyes showed strong passion as she raised her face to Corvo's, only to turn her head and whisper in his ear seductively, "then prove it, my Lord Protector,"
Corvo brought his lips to hers, succumbing to his desires.