For You I Suffer
When I awoke, I remained wrapped in the dream. The essence of my master hung seductively around me and I could feel the warm weight of his embrace keeping me safe as I slept. But when I opened my eyes, a smile blossoming shyly on my lips, I knew the sensation to be naught but fantasy.
Heero had quit the bedchamber at some point while I slept. My body, unconsciously seeking him, had wormed its way over onto the warm spot he'd left behind. The fact he had been there at all was evidenced only by the scent left behind on his pillow. I had come to with my nose buried in the soft mound, and as reality dash the dream, I sought refuge in the fading reminder.
The minutes lengthened yet no one came for me. Again I found myself at loose ends and decided to stay where I was. Perhaps if I could fall back into slumber, I could recapture the fantasy that had comforted me through the night: warm arms wrapped around me, a steady heartbeat pulsing in my ears, lulling me with the promise of security and love. But I was cursedly well-rested and sleep would not come. With my face hidden as it was in my master's pillow, I only spared one eye to watch the light filtering through the windows move across the dark brown carpet. I estimated it to be about noon when the door swung open and Quatre's tow-colored head popped into view.
"There you are, you sluggard," he chimed fondly. "I thought to find you in the sitting room ready to greet me, yet here you are, still abed!"
I groaned as he swept back the covers and, grabbing my arm, maneuvered me into a sitting position. I had become lethargic from the lack of activity, and he laughed as my eyes drooped comically, my chin dipping precariously down toward my chest.
"Come now, pretty one. Helen is waiting for you. And I suppose you have yet to eat even though it is getting on past midday." The mention of food immediately roused my interest as my stomach sounded its displeasure at my neglect. My growling belly prompted another chuckle from my trainer and I blushed at the indelicacy.
"Am I wanted anywhere today, my lord? Perhaps the baron has called for me?" My tone must have been utterly pathetic to rouse the pity that softened my trainer's gaze.
"No," he replied with a muted smile, "Heero has not asked for you. He is busy today with the delegates and will be thus all day."
"I thought the treaty had been signed." My time spent with the Minister of Trade and his wife was testament to the successful conclusion of that negotiation. I stood at his prompting and followed him into the main room.
"Yes, you thought correctly. But it would be improper for Heero to simply abandon his guests even though their business is done. No," he said, glancing toward the door leading to the hall as it opened to admit Helen. "We are not quite rid of them just yet."
Quatre asked me which I preferred first, food or a bath. I opted for food and begged that he and Helen join me. I was loath to be alone with nothing but my anxious thoughts for company. They obliged and we sat down to a comfortable lunch. As though it was the most natural of acts, I seated myself at Quatre's feet as we ate, enjoying the way his slim fingers rifled absently through my hair.
"You know, Duo," Quatre began as we made our way through a platter of fresh eggs, a rasher of crisp bacon, and lightly browned toast dripping with butter and jam, "I realized that I do not know much about your life before coming to Windshire. What was it like being a gentleman farmer? Did you hold a vast plot of land with lots of cows and chickens and such?" He chuckled at whatever image his words had conjured in his mind. I smiled at his fancifulness, Helen sharing my amusement, since she'd heard much about my previous occupation.
"Nothing so grand, my lord," I clarified. "I certainly would not refer to myself as ‘gentleman farmer' for starters. No, my life was much more of the peasant variety."
I continued talking as we ate, nibbling on succulent smoked salmon complete with capers and cream cheese and enjoying mulled wine direct from the castle's own vineyards. I told him about my tiny plot, my parents' untimely death, and the devastating drought, which ultimately led me to my present servitude. Quatre found the concept of such a small holding to be "quaintly charming," to use his term for it. He thoroughly enjoyed my tales of my more amusing blunders as I learned how to run the farm on my own and was sympathetic when I related the worsening of my plight as the drought wreaked havoc with the land.
For some reason that I cannot explain, I failed to mention Hilde and our imminent engagement. Why I did not speak of her, I cannot really say. She did cross my mind, but perhaps I just wanted to keep that part of my life as separate from this one as possible. I refused to dwell on the more likely truth that I simply no longer desired our union as my heart had turned elsewhere.
When our lunch was done, Quatre turned me over into Helen's care. She oversaw my bath, carefully washing my hair and removing the tangles from the previous day's neglect. After I had quit the tub, she sat me before the fire, chatting with my trainer who seemed to have nothing more pressing on his schedule that day than to indulge my need for company. She brushed my hair until it was dry and shone like carefully polished wood. Her touch was so relaxing that I could not stop myself from drifting into a light slumber.
As I had not woken until noon, the day was much advanced by the time Helen was finished with me and made her farewells. I stirred as she stood and patted me gently on the head. I mumbled what I hoped was a goodbye as she left. As well as I had slept last night, I was uncharacteristically lethargic today. Quatre picked up a dense tome that he had apparently brought with him and began to read. I climbed up on the couch next to him and leaned against the back cushions. But he quickly arranged me how I secretly preferred, my head in his lap and my body curled up at his side. With his hand softly stoking my hair, I was not long for consciousness.
I suppose I should have wondered at Quatre's allowing such abject laziness. Never before had a day passed since my arrival without even the suggestion of employment. My trainer's solicitousness would become clear as the evening progressed, but at that moment, I basked in the warmth and calm of the crackling fire.
I did not stir again until Quatre disturbed my headrest by shifting from where he sat. I sensed him stand as I tried to open my stubbornly tired eyes. But all sleepiness vanished when I heard my baron's voice wishing Quatre a good evening.
"Have you had dinner, Heero?" Quatre asked as I moved off of the couch and resumed a more appropriate kneeling position. I kept my eyes downcast though I longed to indulge myself after a day of deprivation by filling my senses with him.
He did not answer other than to utter a vaguely affirmative grunt. Although the negotiations were done, the delegates continued to be overly demanding of the baron's attention. Gazing surreptitiously through my lashes, I could see the lines of tiredness upon his brow and the tense set of his shoulders. I longed to go to him and give him whatever comfort I might, but as he never once glanced in my direction to acknowledge me, I remained where I was, my head bowed in dejected submission.
Quatre wore an unaccustomed frown of disapproval as Heero headed towards the bedchamber, shedding his brocade jacket as he went. His expression shifted into a smile as he turned toward me, though his gaze reflected the same pity I'd seen in them when I had ask about my master previously.
"Duo, are you hungry?" he asked. I shook my head. I had done nothing that day to rid me of the hearty brunch I had enjoyed earlier that afternoon. "Good," he replied. He seemed reluctant to elaborate but my confusion overcame his hesitation. "It is best, I think, that you refrain from partaking of dinner."
"Why, my lord?" I could not think of anything I had done to warrant such a punishment if indeed that is what it was. His hand, gentle upon my head, insured me that I was mistaken as to his meaning. He smiled again but did not speak. Instead he went to the door and I heard him ask the guard posted outside to fetch Helen.
My curiosity increased with his request. My lack of activity had left me in the same state as I had been when she had left only a few hours ago. Surely I did not require her services unless I was destined for something of which I had not yet been informed.
"Helen, my lord?" I inquired when Quatre returned. "Is my presence required somewhere this evening?" My attempt to elicit an explanation was interrupted by said lady's arrival. Quatre seemed relieved not to have to answer me straight away and my curiosity quickly changed into anxious concern. As she bustled her way into the room, he excused himself to attend to some errand, effectively removing any chance I might have at questioning him further.
Helen took me in hand with her usual brisk efficiency. But rather than bathing me, for surely I did not require one, she sat behind me on the couch and began to fix my hair. She had bought with her a medium-sized box and its contents were revealed as she pulled various hair pins and fancy combs gilded in gold and encrusted with rubies - real or false I knew not, though I suspected the latter - from its confines.
As she stuck sundry of bits and baubles into my hair, pulling and maneuvering it this way and that, I could not help but wonder what was to become of me. Of course, the answer was as clear as the fire dancing brightly in the hearth, but I had discovered within myself a keen ability to ignore the obvious and to acknowledge nothing but my own fancy.
Once she had finished with my hair, her hand disappeared once more into the box only to pull out several jars. Their identity was known to me only because I had seen their like before. I recalled with a shudder that humiliating day in Relena's room when she and her friends had treated me like a dress-up toy. But even to my untutored eye, I knew that Helen was employing a much defter touch than those gauche girls had done. There was no mirror in the sitting room, but I found myself almost eager to see the results of her skill.
Contrary to all reason, I had planted the idea firmly in my mind that she was preparing me for a night with my master. It was a foolish notion to be sure, but I desperately avoided the truth, which tugged insistently at the growing coil of nerve in my belly. My memory turned to the previous night and the vivid sensation of a certain slimy, cunning gaze running with untoward boldness over my naked skin. I shuddered as Helen lifted my face to scrutinize her handiwork.
"Come now, surely it is not as bad as all that. ‘Tis only a bit of color. I wished I looked half as good with paint on my face," she chuckled. I smiled, hoping the stiff turn of my lips did not come across as a grimace. One more time she reached into the box to retrieve a pair of earrings that matched the gold and ruby combs. I recognized the color scheme as matching the banners of Slaburry that I had seen on several occasions fluttering in the halls and in the courtyard. My suspicions were confirmed and my smile faltered.
"These are the type that clip on so we will not need to pierce you," Helen explained as she affixed the earrings to my ears. Unused as I was to wearing such jewelry, the pressure against my lobes was not pleasant but was bearable. When that was done, Helen sat back to critique the results. A broad grin brightened her matronly features and I was happy that at least she was pleased by my appearance.
"Do you think the baron will like it?" I asked ruefully, my tone informing her that I knew somewhat of the truth. Her grin quieted until it matched my own and she tucked a wayward strand of hair away from my face and back into its proper place.
"I am sure he will. Now, come with me. I can see your curiosity to know just what I have done with you."
She helped me to my feet and led me to the door of the bath chamber. Just then, the main door opened and Quatre came into the room. His eyes widened as he caught site of me and I was gratified that at least two people greatly approved of my appearance.
"Helen, you are a treasure!" he gushed, coming over to me and taking both of my hands in his. He spread my arms and looked me up and down, his grin cheerful. But I was not completely fooled and he was unable to completely bury the reluctance that darkened his aquamarine gaze. "Duo, you should see yourself, you look lovely."
"I was just taking him to do just that," Helen explained, waving her hand toward the bath chamber and the mirror that waited there.
"Oh no, there is a much bigger one in Heero's room." Later I wondered if he had some ulterior motive in insisting that we make use of the arguably better looking glass in the master bedchamber. Maybe he thought that if Heero could see me he would foreswear his promise and refuse to let me out of his sight for the night, nay for the rest of my tenure at Windshire. Probably just my own foolishness again, for whatever Quatre intended certainly it was not what occurred. I would never attribute such cruelty to my beloved trainer.
He knocked briskly on Heero's door, a summons answered in a tone so low I could not make out the words. But Quatre must have been satisfied for he opened the door and beckoned Helen and I to follow him inside. I glanced toward the bed as we entered. Heero lay there, the laces of his shirt undone, bearing the broad, tanned expanse of his chest. He was reading and did not look up from his book. So busy was I in indulging my obsession of gazing upon him at every possible moment that I was not paying attention to my own path. I was brought forcibly to a halt before I could run into the mirror and when I turned hastily forward I gasped at my image.
The color on my lips and cheeks was subtle, merely a dusting of red, not garish but deep enough to complement the rubies and gold in my hair and hanging from my ears. The earrings were delicate, dangling about a half inch below my ears from a mesh of filigreed gold. Flecks of ruby, nearly invisible to the eye, encrusted the mesh, but the whole of it caught and reflected the light so that it seemed as though my ears carried pieces of the sun as it set brilliantly in the sky.
Helen had done up my hair in a complicated set of twists and coils so that nearly the whole of the mass was secured atop my head. But it had not been piled high into some unwieldy construction. Rather the combs, offering the same coruscating effect as the earrings, held my hair securely and almost modestly in place. Several long tendrils were left to hang down my back, providing the illusion of cover where in reality none existed.
But it was my eyes that again proved my most illustrious feature. Helen had used the same dark red on my lids as elsewhere on my face, but the effect was astonishing. The amethyst hue of my irises shone, the depth of their color not surrendering even to the dimness of the light. My lashes seemed thicker; no doubt due to some cosmetic trick though Helen would insist later that she had done nothing to enhance them.
Quatre came up behind me with my more accustomed accoutrements in hand. He fitted my collar around my neck and I felt only the slightest twinge as the clamps were affixed to my nipples. I had been without my dildo the entire day and I wondered if my respite would continue as it had the previous evening when the only filling I required was more than provided by Lord Zech's prodigious member. But the wooden shaft was returned to its proper place amidst much wanton moaning from my helpless lips.
After I had recovered my wits, I wondered if I were mistaken as to where I would end up that evening. Why would Quatre fit me with the dildo when it was surely to be removed again posthaste? It was only later that I understood his motive. In some small way, my trainer wished to afford me some measure of protection. I loved him all the more for it, though it ultimately, of course, proved a futile gesture.
Throughout this process, I could feel a heated gaze burning into my back. When I was, at last, turned to meet my master's regard, my breath fled at the desire sparking blue fire from his eyes. He rose from the bed and came toward me, striking me dumb with the beautiful grace of even his most mundane of movements. He stood before me for a timeless moment, so close that I could feel his breath against my lips. If I had leaned forward just the smallest inch, I could have satisfied the yearning in my heart to kiss him. His unfathomable gaze swallowed me whole, consuming me until I longed to fall to my knees and beg him to relieve my suffering.
How long had it been since I had felt the full force of his embrace? How long since he had favored me with the weight of his hand or quenched the fire in my heart with his touch? I felt my body move forward of its own accord, closing that final distance as though I were made of iron and he were the lodestone that I had no desire resist. But in the next instant he was gone, moving to look out of the window onto the shadowed grounds of the courtyard. I did not react except for the single tear that ruined the rouge upon my cheek.
Quatre spoke in offended tones and Helen placed a kindly hand on my shoulder, but neither sound nor touch could penetrate the shroud that descended over me. It was not despair so much as the weight of resignation. My baron had rejected me. I was no longer wanted. No, that was not the complete truth for Heero did not bother to hide the physical desire I clearly still inspired within him. Rather I was no longer favored to him above all else. I was nothing more than a temporary amusement, to be displayed with pride but easily forgotten and more easily given away.
I reached up to pat away the traitorous tear, careful not to smear Helen's careful work. Without waiting for guidance, I left, walking back to the living room and kneeling at the edge of the carpet nearest the door. I was glad that Quatre had suggested I forgo dinner for surely it would have lain as a lump of coal in my stomach. Helen followed me, bestowing more gentle touches and fussing with my hair as though she knew no other way to demonstrate her sympathy.
Quatre spent a few more moments vociferously expressing his opinion to Heero, but I dared not listen. It did not matter what my trainer thought for my baron's will was absolute. I looked downward with my back straight and my hands folded demurely upon my thighs, my posture as perfect as I could manage. Finally, Quatre finished his railing and joined me and Helen, his polished boots the only thing I allowed myself to see. I knew that I could not bear to see the pity that was sure to upon his face.
"Duo...," he began, his voice uncharacteristically hesitant. I did not let him finish.
"I am ready, my lord."