A/N: Prompt jealous!gannicus from Nalu M and ungcl. Also gannibyl!smut from CarolCB
Its so hard for me not to write the angsty stuff for them. And sex scenes... EEK. LOL
Set during Separate Paths.
Sibyl watched as Gannicus broke words with Saxa. Even at a distance, absent knowledge of the words spoken, she knew something was wrong. Look upon face when he turned back to look at her raised concern. His eyes were troubled, a small frown marring forehead. The rampant euphoria that had thundered through being came to an abrupt halt.
He made way towards her and she straightened. Saxa now kissed the woman Belesa absent care, paying them no attention. Sibyl reached hand towards him but he had stopped just outside of her reach. It was a thing of conscious purpose.
He too had lost the glow of happiness he had not been able to hide. Gone was his teasing smile and flighty mood. Visage was grim, determined, troubled. She felt her insides quake. Their relationship was thus far a fledgling thing. And yet thought that he had tired of her or would place barriers between them brought cruel pain that robbed her of breath and almost buckled knees. She had fallen in love with him, she realised. Knowledge brought lump to throat and fear to heart.
"It is late, moon already greeting dawn. You should make way to bed. Tomorrow will bring long journey and parting of ways." He could not make contact with her eyes, despite fact that she willed it so.
"What is the matter?" He shook his head and offered wan smile. "What words did Saxa have to break?" she pressed.
"Nothing of import."
"Gannicus-" Being so even of temper, she hardly found cause to raise voice. She did now, showing depth of concern.
"It is nothing." He looked around, everywhere but at her. "But tomorrow, long journey awaits."
"You will join me?" she asked with a frown.
He hesitated and she thought he would say no. Eventually, he nodded. "In a while. I would attend business first."
What business? Another woman? Her heart broke, her chest squeezed and she felt ill.
"There is a villa here where you might take rest," he continued.
"No, I would spend final night in camp. It is where we have made our home." She would offer reminder of happy days and nights. She knew not if it made impression. He looked distracted, eager to have her from sight.
He offered no further reply and she felt tears well in her eyes, lowering gaze. She would not cry. Absent heart and words, she turned and fled.
Gannicus saw the tears as she ran and felt own heart expand with yearning. Action was for the best. Was it not? His head and heart rebelled at once, both in agreement that he should correct assumption that he did not care. But Saxa's words haunted, bringing forth image of Melitta as consequence to actions he had played part in. He but made attempt to ensure he did not hurt her. And yet, he knew unexpected rebuff hurt her deeper than any consequence yet imagined.
Without intention to do so, he followed path she had taken, telling self he would ensure she reached safety of the camp. Their home, she had said. Inside he knew his heart was bound to hers, her hurt and disappointment a thing he felt keenly, especially when he was cause of such misery.
She wove through throngs of partygoers, blinded by weight of tears, head down, heavy braid bouncing upon shoulders.
He closed his eyes, almost painful stab upon chest. He wanted her. Saliva flooded mouth as realisation hit. He wanted her. And no matter how past haunted, it did not lessen want nor need. Fuck Saxa. Fuck her words. He would walk upon open flames of a funeral pyre if it meant protecting her. Fuck even the gods. He would have her.
With purpose he followed but stopped when she stood within his brother's arms. Jaw clenched, fists balled, legs spread as Spartacus whispered words he could not hear. He saw Sibyl, her arms resting lightly upon their leader's shoulders, breaking soft words. Spartacus, ever attentive nodded solemnly, lending fucking ear.
Eyes narrowed when he saw Spartacus offer a hug, rage exploding when her small frame was all but enveloped within his arms. When he caught sight of his brother's hands upon her, his chin resting atop her bowed head, like tenuous rope stretched beyond capacity, he unravelled.
"I am well." Sibyl stepped back from Spartacus's arms, embarrassed to have found self within them. He too looked awkward, not used to catching a sobbing woman she was sure.
Around them the party continued. They were jostled by passing strangers, unwittingly pushed into closer intimacy than both desired. He put gentle hand to her arm and guided her into an alcove where they might stand absent push and pull.
"May I offer assistance?" He was sincere, but reluctant. "You uttered that he had tired of you? You speak of Gannicus I presume?" She was mortified to be caught thus.
"No." She shook her head, glad to have regained control of emotions. "I would make way to bed. Day has been long and aids in setting nerves and emotions upon cliffs edge."
She made move to leave but turned back, placing hand to his shoulder and meeting his gaze. "Gratitude, Spartacus. For your kindness."
He nodded gravely, hesitating momentarily before saying, "Gannicus stands as brother. As such, I feel it a duty to say that he is a good man. Perhaps wayward in demonstrating such quality," he smiled wryly, "but honour is there."
"Fact that he is a good man is not cause for debate."
"Whether he acknowledges fact is." She was struck by the intensity of his words, its meaning.
Sibyl looked up into the soulful eyes of their leader and for the first time noticed how handsome he was. It was not that she had not seen his rugged appeal; just that she had not been close enough to appreciate it. He was not Gannicus, she admitted. But she understood why he appealed to Laeta.
She gave him a small smile and squeezed his arm before departing, leaving Spartacus to stare after her.
Spartacus watched the young woman flee and shook head, indulgent smile upon lips. Across crowded room, he saw Laeta break words with Kore. He moved towards them when arm was sized in steely grip.
"I would have words brother."
Spartacus turned so see Gannicus, eyes ablaze with violent rage. He frowned. "Speak it."
"I always thought you a man of honour and principle." Gannicus stepped close and he frowned. "And yet you would lay hands upon her; touch her, a woman who belongs to another."
There was a fierceness that surrounded him as thunderous cloud promising violent storm.
"You call me brother and yet you would make to move against me when I am not even from sight. With nothing but length of this room between us you share whispered words and play upon vulnerable emotion."
Enlightenment dawned. Gannicus was jealous. The man had let the woman loose and yet sense returned to addled mind with thought of another laying claim.
"Did you not set her free?"
"I . did . not." The words were growled, his eyes angry… and a little afraid.
"It was not impression given by Sibyl as she fled, tears in wake." Spartacus made move to remove his arm from pressing grip. Unable to do so without ensuring a fight, he stared his brother in the eye. "See sense return to heated mind. Eyes see what is not there, as bull taunted by crimson cloth."
"I have told you unfortunate tale of Oemanaus's wife."
"Yes." Spartacus's brow rose in query.
"Then you know that I am cursed. I would not be the anchor that drags her to the bottom of oceans floor," Gannicus spat, his anger, pain and guilt a fearsome burden.
"Brother! You are not the same man you once were."
"You did not know be back then."
"But I know who now stands before me. Turn eye to the breaking of a new dawn. This war could claim our lives at any moment. Wrest what happiness you are able to glean."
Gannicus's face turned from rage to disgust, letting go of his arm and stalking from sight.
Sibyl sat upon the floor of the tent she shared with Gannicus and breathed deeply, calming thoughts and allowed self to relax. As was her custom, she knelt beside a low table, upon it incense burned and candles flickered. She continued nightly ritual of offerings and prayers to the gods.
With morning fast approaching, candles offered only light in darkened space. The tent filled with the sweet smell of cinnamon and spices as she burnt them in the hope they would covet divine favour. Her emotions were chaotic, unfocused. And she was afraid. Afraid to lose something that was yet so new. Afraid that the gods had delivered her saviour, but that part of deliverance was not a guarantee of his love.
She heard movement at the entrance and lowered head. He had come. She was half relieved, half terrified. Offering final prayer, she used hands and urged smoke to waft over her before opening eyes and turning towards him.
He stood in shadow, watching. She could not see his face, nor the top half of his torso.
Eventually, he broke silence. "You pray to your gods."
She did not miss emphasis placed upon 'your gods'. She was surprised. She had thought him beyond dismissing her beliefs. Especially when he too seemed to have silently adopted some small measure thereof.
She shifted to face him fully, feeling out of element. "As is my custom most nights."
He stepped forward. If tone had not been enough to indicate troubled thoughts, face and body now gave reason for concern. His shoulders were tense, a fire burning in his eyes.
Since they had become lovers weeks earlier, she was slowly discovering the intricacies of loving a man such as he. While appearance to the world was one of smiles and easy wit, he stood profoundly complex, a man of secrets, hurts and deep vulnerabilities. All qualities, she knew, he would not be pleased to know she had garnered.
He struggled to see self as good, a man worthy of happiness and love. He made light of any praise or thanks offered him and turned from requests to lead their people in battle – a thing she knew he felt not worthy of. But she did not understand why. He did not speak of his past n nor of what haunts him.
He removed swords, laying them carefully upon the larger table. He never had them far from hand. He also shrugged from cloak, removing all else until he stood with nothing but soft cloth that covered his manhood.
She never grew tired of admiring his form. Hard and muscled but warm to the touch. It reminded her of his person - emotions and feelings at first appear untouchable and closed. Upon closer inspection however she found him sweet, tender, loving but hesitant and deeply scarred.
"Do prayers include Spartacus?"
"It does. Of course."
His mouth set in grim determination and she frowned again. Had they had reason to quarrel? Crixus was not in agreeable mood, but he and their leader seemed to be of similar mind in matters of war.
"What is this about? Spartacus? What did Saxa say?"
"The man you consider a god." It was a statement, words held bitter edge she did not understand.
She shook head. "I do not."
"You speak the words and yet they do not match action." He was definitely angry. Her frown deepened. "You risked life to offer blood sacrifice."
"For all who follow his cause," she reminded gently and stood, unable to sit any longer. The space between them was a small distance. And yet it felt as great divide.
"Pray tell," his hands gesticulated, urging her to break words, "how do you feel about Spartacus?"
Cautiously, "I admire him greatly for all he has done for this rebellion. He leads these people and inspires their devotion. Their love." she finished.
"Love," he said wryly. "Does same sentiment beat within your breast for our the fearless bringer of fucking rain?" His words were riddled with sarcasm.
"In a manner." His shoulders tensed.
"Does it now." Tone and inflection reminded her of a time when he had wrongfully accused her of relations with Diotimus. Was he jealous?
"Gannicus," she said softly, her voice a mixture of wonder and exasperation. He turned his back to her, and she felt his anger riding hard.
His emotions made little sense to him. Neither did the anger he felt. Women were disposable pleasures. He had never wasted energy on jealousy. If a woman did not favour him, he would find another who did. And yet thought that she was enamoured with another, that that man was Spartacus and that he had touched her…
He felt her move towards him and his skin prickled, anticipating her touch. He wanted it and yet feared his actions when it came. His emotions swirled, chaotic, unfocused. Then she touched him, her hand cool against his bare shoulder.
"Gannicus," she said again.
He turned, unaware of how confused his eyes were, their depths a pool of tangled emotions, ghosts of pained past evident, making him vulnerable. He did not allow self such weakness.
Her eyes were soft, questioning, equally confused. But still there was understanding, yielding. Something inside of him snapped.
His voice was bitter, rough. "I stand absent experience in matters such as this! I have used woman often and they have returned favour in similar fashion. It is arrangement that has served me well. I have no had cause to concern self with the feelings of another, nor how own actions impact on others. Yet I see you with a man I consider a brother and…" he struggled to find words, disgust upon face. "And I would tear him limb from fucking limb for simply glancing in your direction. For causing smile to bloom upon face."
She would speak. "Do not! Do not offer placating words meant to sooth. I am fucking gladiator. Yet I cannot control emotions you inspire. It confuses and sets senses upon blades edge." His breathing was heavy. Her eyes were confused, lost. "That any would wrest you from me…"
All control fled, primal instinct to possess overriding emotion. He pulled her into him and a cry escaped her lips. It was fleeting because he pressed his mouth to hers, putting end to further sound.
He would have her. He would possess her. She was his.
The kiss was rough, intimate, passionate - all soft lips, scraping teeth and undulating tongue s that flicked and sucked. They separated long enough to gasp a breath, his lips blazing trail towards her neck and jaw before claiming her lips once more.
Without words his hands went to her dress and ripped at the ties. Again she gasped but had no time to lend aid. The fabric fell to the floor, leaving her completely naked. His eyes were stars, bright, intense, unfocused still filled with latent rage. But his hands were tender when they touched her.
His hoisted her up, his hands guiding her legs around his waist. He lifted her higher still, bringing her breasts in line with his lips. His mouth all but swallowed her nipple, his tongue massaging, sucking, licking. She went wild, drowning in sensation as his hands worked her arse, kneading, massaging, spreading her cheeks and moving his long fingers closer to her core.
Her breathing increased exponentially and she held onto his shoulders helplessly as his lips continued their assault. At her core, she was already wet and he had not yet touched her. With her legs spread and wrapped around him, her moist essence oozed onto his stomach as he pressed her closer to him, rubbing her against him, his fingers teasing her feminine folds.
She struggled to draw breath and heard nothing but the roaring inside her own head. Beads of sweat popped onto her brow, her passion a raging inferno. His hands and lips were everywhere, offering pleasure as sumptuous meal.
Gannicus lay her down upon her back, but did not rest between her thighs as she desperately wanted. He removed last vestiges of his clothing and instead he lay upon his side, his lips crushing against hers. She tried to move onto her side to meet him, but he pushed her back, bending his knees and urged her to fling one leg over it.
She was now open to him. While his mouth continued its drugging assault, his one hand trailed across her body. His fingers rolled her nipples around, pressing gently, bringing stinging pleasure. She cried out against his lips, pressing her chest into his palms. Still his lips and tongue plundered her mouth, robbing her of breath, flooding her core with sexual heat.
Her head was spinning. Never had their lovemaking been as intense. His hand moved from her beasts and down her stomach, massaging gently as he felt her stomach muscles tremble in anticipation of his next move.
Their lips wrenched apart, his eyes meeting hers. Both their breathing was laboured, their chests rising and falling rapidly.
"I could not bear it. To have you from my arms," he whispered, in agony. She touched his face and his eyes closed briefly as if in pain. "It is hard thing to understand why I have been blessed thus, with you. It stands absent reasoning. Yet now that you have been offered by the gods, I would send any to the afterlife who would make attempt to wrest you from my arms."
"You stand worthy, Gannicus."
He shook his head and she cupped her hands around his face, forcing him to look at her. When their eyes met, she saw fear, uncertainty and so much pain it almost robbed breath. In moment, all the love she felt for him flooded mind and soul. She would spend whatever time they had left in this lifetime and beyond, ensuring that he knew how worthy he was of love and affection. How he would always be assured of her loyalty and devotion. And that no man, ever, would capture her heart the way he had.
"When I asked the gods to send deliverance, I knew not what form such release would take. Only that it would come. So strong was my belief. The gods sent you. They might have sent another, one more worthy if your thoughts are to be believed, but they did not. They sent you."
His lips silenced her, crushing her to him in desperate passion. Sibyl poured everything into the kiss, her lips parting to allow him entrance absent request. His hands were desperate, incessant, demanding a response. She had no problem providing such.
His hand moved lower and found her core. She gasped as his finger brushed over her sensitive nub, teasing her. With her one leg testing over his and the other laying at her side, she was spread wide. His palm pressed against her and her hips bucked, pressing to him. His head descended and their tongues met as he pressed a finger inside her. She cried out, her scream muffled by urgent lips, eager to inhale her passion.
Sibyl's hands pushed into his hair, pulling his face closer, angling their mouths to afford her better access. Below, another finger slid inside her, so slick was her path. Then another. Three fingers thrust absent any restraint and her hips moved shamelessly to meet his hand.
She felt her pleasure build and spread her legs wider, bending at the knee, pushing up harder, faster as their tongues danced as intimately as his fingers did. In the silence of their tent, all that could be heard was the frantic moist friction of their mouths and his fingers as it pumped inside of her.
She screamed as her climax hit, his fingers rubbing against her sensitive nub. Never had she come as ferociously. Her breath ceased momentarily. But he was not done.
He finally moved atop her, his lips finding her breasts and beginning their onslaught anew. If pleasure brought death, it might be this night. His lips trailed down her body and now replaced where hand had previously been. Her own fingers found his hair and pulled, hard. He paid her no heed. Her thighs closed around him, her legs across his shoulders. His lips and tongue worshipped her and she felt her eyes roll back in her head as a second climax hit her. His tongue darted across her already sensitised flesh, her hips bucking wildly as his hands held her firmly beneath him.
"Gannicus!" She screamed his name as wave upon wave of pleasure speared through her. She pushed her hips towards him, boldly accepting every flick of his tongue, every nip of his teeth. When he moved to her lips, she tasted her essence upon his tongue, her hands touching him wherever she could manage. Between her legs she felt him primed at her entrance.
"I would touch you," she whispered, wanting to return favour.
"I would not last. Tonight is about you."
"Spartacus," she said between kisses against his jaw, trailing to his ear, placing lips there, "is a great man." She felt him tense, his hips drawing back. "But he is not the man I desire. You are."
"I do not desire nor covet the hands of any man upon me. But yours. I do not seek intimate company of any man. But yours. While I may break words with Agron, Nasir, Spartacus or any other within our company, you are the one I always yearn for. I will never love another as much as I love you. I will never be happier than in moments when eyes rest upon you, find you at days end or when you yet lie within safety of my arms."
He thrust then and they both cried out. His was half groan, half roar. She clenched her muscles and Gannicus gave a pitiful half grown, half chuckle, knowing she now tortured him, knowledge only served to heighten both their pleasure. She smiled then too, pushing his hair behind his ear as he thrust again. He rolled over, bringing her atop him, his smile wicked. With his hands at her breasts, she rode him, slow at first, then hard, fast, their hips a blur of moist motion.
Together, they both tumbled over the edge.
"Were you jealous? Why?" He did not answer and she turned his face to look at her. "There is no need for such emotion."
They lay spent, a tangle of arms and legs.
She placed a kiss over his heart and then to his jaw, crawling half onto his chest. "I am yours."
"Apologies," his tone was resigned. "I was wrong to despair."
"What gave you impression I held tender regard for Spartacus?"
The utter look of confusion upon her face made him feel a fool. But also brought light-hearted satisfaction. She was his completely.
"It is an unpleasant thought?"
"No," she admitted honestly. "But I already have eyes upon a different subject. The bringer of rain does not fit mould."
He pressed a soft kiss to her lips.
"What is it?"
Sibyl's look was exasperated.
"I know. Apologies. She reminded that I am a flawed being with many… insecurities… when it comes to you," he admitted at last, deciding to be honest. "I have done things, in years past that I am not proud of."
She lifted head and peered at him, her dark hair a tangled mess as it spilt down her back and over her naked shoulders. Her eyes invited the truth and he would have her hear it. For the first time in many years, he spoke of his past and about Melitta.
"She made valid argument-" She aimed a hard look at him and he felt contrite. "What seemed as valid argument," he amended, "when she planted seed that I might be the cause of your ruin. She knows nothing of my past. Yet words cut deep and rang true. I would have set you free before I saw harm come to you because of me."
"Why do you not see the man I see when I gaze upon you?" She touched his face and he felt his eyes prickle at the trust reflected back at him. Even after tale of Melitta, she still trusted him with her life.
His voice was rough. "You have expectation of me that I cannot promise to live up to! What if I disappoint? What if truest nature reveals self and it is nothing like you imagine I stand capable of?"
Her eyes shimmered.
"I do not want to disappoint you. I would end my own life before seeing harm come to you. And yet I find myself living in fear of doing just that. Hurting you with ways of my kind."
She pushed herself onto his chest completely, her hands arms across his torso to get as close as she could.
"You do not have to believe in the gods. You only have to believe in me."
He smiled, placing a kiss upon her nose. "That I can do."
"Then I," she linked her hands behind his neck, pressing her body flush with his. "I will believe in you."
He sighed. "I do not deserve you."
"Enough," she whispered with all the anger she could muster. "You deserve everything. And I will devote my life to ensuring that you begin to realise it as well."
"I owe my brother an apology."
"What did you do?"
"I saw you in his arms-"
"Gannicus!" she said embarrassed. "He unwillingly, but kindly offered comfort after you offered cold shoulder." She pointed her finger to his chest.
"I did not reject-"
At her heated gaze, he conceded. "Apologies."
She sighed heavily in exasperation and he squirmed in discomfort.
He rolled onto his side, bringing her with him so their heads lay side by side, their faces close, so he could look into her eyes. "Gratitude. For your belief. And for making this space our home. You were right. It is our home. I did not notice how much it has changed in weeks past. The scents and comforts, your rituals and prayers. You are light and provide light. You permeate my things with the sweetest fragrance and I welcome it because I carry you with me upon field of battle. You have made this a place of peace within the chaos of this war."
"Our home." She linked their fingers. He gripped them tightly, pulling her close. "Yet in a few hours we move on."
Their foreheads rested together. "I find home is place where you are."
"We are," she gently corrected. "We are."
Finally, he believed.