For You I Suffer
Trowa had kissed me before, but as he relentless explored every corner of my mouth, it was as though I had never known him at all. Where I had always seen him calm and composed, now there was only fire and overwhelming passion. His tongue swept boldly over mine until a lack of air left me feeling light-headed. But rather than the paralyzing fear I was wont to feel, it was hunger rather than terror that possessed me.
I clung fiercely to Trowa's broad shoulders as he lowered me to the shrouded sofa. So entranced was I by the unexpected display of emotion, I barely noticed as the sheet touched my sensitive back. The entirety of my awareness was focused on the strong hands that swept down from my face, leaving a trail of warmth as they traced over my neck and shoulders. The power of his kiss dulled my awareness as he caressed the length of my arms. But when he abandoned my limbs in favor of more expansive terrain, I gasped, desire sweeping recklessly through me as those capable hands began to travel slowly up my sides.
But even here, in this impromptu haven of unleashed passion, reality intruded, reminding me of the ugliness that had so changed me. I tried to ignore the niggling sense of alarm that sparked in the back of my mind as Trowa's fingers found the first of the scars that criss-crossed my ribs. But when they began to trace around my damaged nipple, I could not help but stiffen and shy away in shamed mortification. Ever had I striven for perfection, but it had been forever ripped away from me just like the golden clamp that used to adorn the torn flesh.
"Don't," I pleaded.
I shivered at the thought of what my ravaged flesh must feel like to him. I had tried my hardest to avoid touching any of the raised scars that covered me nearly from head to toe. But I was unable to evade them completely as I could not, of course, escape my own skin. They had healed for the most part, though the new scar tissue was pale and shiny. I looked like nothing so much as a snake that had recently shed its skin. Where the cuts from the flog had been the deepest, however, the scars were raised and welted. It felt as though worms had burrowed just beneath my flesh, their fat bodies trapped but trying to get out all the same. I had become nothing more than a reflection of Dorothy's demented cruelty.
I felt hideous and deformed; the mere sight of myself caused my gourd to rise in disgust. I was horrified at the thought of Trowa's certain revulsion. My distraught mind readily ignored the fact that he had recently touched all over my back, by far the locus of my worst disfigurement. For this was no longer the impersonal encounter of a healer and his charge. Trowa had professed to love me, and I instinctively wanted to be beautiful for him. The impossibility of such a goal flooded my mind with panic.
I raised my hands to push against his shoulders, but he wrapped his long fingers around them and pressed them into his chest. My own fingers curled helplessly as the steady thump of his heart vibrated against my palms.
"No, Duo," he whispered hotly in my ear, sending shivers all the way down to my toes. "Don't push me away."
"I'm hideous," I cried, turning to press my face into the back of the sofa until it was hidden from his sight. Unfortunately, the scar on my cheek was still exposed and I shivered as a warm tongue traced over it, stopping only when it reached my lips.
I whimpered as Trowa claimed my mouth once more, his gentle yet firm grip against my chin turning me back towards him. The fingers that had threatened the ragged peak of my nipple conquered my attempts at resistance. Desire stabbed through me, radiating from the spoiled peak straight to my cock. My head flew back as a stuttering moan flew from my lips. The gamesman took advantage of the newly revealed column of my throat and applied his lips and tongue in ways that proved disastrous to my sanity.
"You're beautiful," he growled, his teeth nipping mercilessly at the tendon pushed to prominence by the wanton stretch of my neck. I inhaled sharply as those sharp teeth turned to bedevil my jaw at the same moment the firm length of his thigh pushed between my legs. Spread ever wider, I shook my head in rejection of the need that possessed me to grind my throbbing cock against him as much as in denial of his words.
"Believe me, Duo." My eyes had closed in reaction to the sensations rolling over me, but they opened wide when Trowa's fingers tunneled through my hair. He held my head so that I was forced to meet the brilliant emerald of his gaze.
"It doesn't matter what that bitch has done. It doesn't matter that she tried to satisfy her bile with a pound of your flesh." The imagery he spun only brought home more firmly the evil Dorothy had wrought upon me. I tried to look away again, but he would not allow it. "No, look at me, Duo." Tears made his image blurry as I gave in to his command.
"What you have, no one can take from you. From the moment I first saw you pulling that ridiculous conveyance, I knew that you were the most incredible thing I had ever laid eyes on."
Sobs shook me uncontrollably, but the gamekeeper's hands tried to soothe me with gentle caresses as if I truly were the beast of burden I had once appeared to be.
"No matter what superficial flaws you might carry, you will always be beautiful. Even if others refuse to see it."
He stroked me gently, trying to quiet my tears. But Pandora's box had been opened with a few ill-chosen words.
I ignored it at first, allowing myself to be swept away by the powerful need Trowa was so skillfully creating within my needy flesh. He paused to rip his tunic over his head, and when he laid back against me, the warmth blazing from his strong chest wrapped around me like a blissful cocoon. All throughout my recovery, once the pain had subsided enough for me to desire it, I had longed for the intoxicating touch of a hand employed in passion rather than practicality. But the dizzying reality of Trowa's hands against my skin was almost too much to bear. He kissed his way down my chest, pausing to worship my injured nipple with his tongue until my throat was hoarse from my grateful shouts.
I tried with all of my might to be satisfied, to silence the accusing whisper in the back of my mind. But it spoke in my own voice and refused my fervent efforts to deny it.
Not content to drive me to madness, Trowa continued the devastating use of his tongue and lips, laving my navel and making me squirm while my swollen cock brushed maddeningly against his chin. The rising heat from our sweat-slicked bodies wrinkled the hapless sheet and filled the air with the acrid, masculine scent of lust. Trowa nipped at the tender strip of skin that stretched between my navel and the thatch of hair that protected the base of my jutting erection until the pulsating organ stiffened to an almost painful degree.
I buried my fingers in his thick, brown hair, unconsciously trying to push his head down to the center of my agony. He resisted for a teasing moment, chuckling at my groan of disappointment before giving into my mewling demands.
"Ahh!" I screamed as he took the whole of me down his throat. My hips bucked upward unconsciously, but Trowa took the surge in stride, his throat massaging my hardness as his hands took hold of my ass to do the same to the twin mounds of flesh.
I feared that I might explode from the unbearable pleasure, that I might disintegrate into ashes as I burned up from the incredible heat of his mouth. My skin became flushed and sweat stung my still-healing skin. And though I tried with all my might to ignore it, the back of my neck ached with a burn in the damning shape of a royal sigil.
I cursed Trowa for raising the baron's specter even as I drew him closer. I wanted to hate him for not allowing me to escape the hounding sense of guilt that refused to let me lose myself in his touch. But such emotion was misdirected at best. Holding nothing back, Trowa had revealed his heart to me, had given me everything of himself. Yet it was I who was even then unable to forget the heady intoxication of my master's touch.
It was my own weakness that made me cling to something that was doomed to be forever beyond my reach when the promise of comfort was right in front of me. And if I suspected that emotional calm would not be accompanied by an equal measure of happiness, I refused to entertain the notion. Was I so insatiable, so difficult to please that I must have the fruit that hung high and temptingly when a lower branch promised delicious nourishment?
I sat up suddenly, pulling Trowa's mouth away from my cock and back to my own before he could question my unexpected aggressiveness. I wondered at my own temerity as I initiated the kiss, though I was most grateful when he quickly regained control. He seemed content to devour me, to take ownership of my tongue until it surrendered to his adept direction. But I could not be satisfied with just a kiss.
"Take me," I murmured, my lips pressed firmly against his. "I want you."
There was no reticence, no hesitation in my request. From the moment I had first seen him, the gamesman had continued to fascinate me. But his attractiveness and self-possession prompted just a small part of my interest. Rather it was the unabashed, if reserved, forthrightness with which he had made known his desire for me. I had been fighting against him all this time, and why? Because the baron had demanded that I see none but him? Because my master had endeavored to wrap me in silken chains of helpless desire, which for all their beauty were still a prison?
But it was not the lofty lord of the realm who had held me and kissed me and relegated the wretchedness of my appearance to the depths of irrelevance. No, it was Trowa alone who had done this for me when the only thing I had received from the man I professed to love was constant worry and heartache. This was the end, I swore to myself. I was determined to return the sentiment that this unique man had offered to me without reservation. For if I was certain of nothing else, I knew that a life with Trowa meant a life without the constant highs and lows that battered me about at the dictates of my master's whim.
All sense of embarrassment and shyness was swept away by my eagerness to force my heart to submit to the dictates of my reason. I knew that only by claiming complete ownership of my body would Trowa finally banish the phantom of my impossible desire. And if my heart screamed at me that my hopes were futile, that I was forever destined to be the baron's manzoku no dorei no matter what freedoms my body might enjoy, I firmly shut the door on that turmoil until all that was left was the sound of Trowa's ragged breath.
"Take me," I repeated, my voice no louder than a whisper. I pushed at the waist of his breaches until they slid down the tempting curve of his ass. "Make me yours." Make me forget, I added silently.
He gazed at me for a long moment, his thumb wiping away tears I had not even realized had fallen. His smile was strangely sad, but before I could question it, he abolished all thoughts with another devastating kiss. He made short work of his breeches, unlacing them hastily and tossing them to the floor alongside his tunic. Before I could catch my breath, long fingers, slicked with the same ointment that had eased my back, teased at my entrance. I protested and wiggled, silently urging him to abandon caution. Pressing my case, I slid one hand down the muscular plane of his chest and stomach until I found the proud column of his arousal. He growled low in his throat at my presumption, and I threw my head back on a loud moan as, at last, he heeded my silent plea.
It had been weeks since the last time something had penetrated my most secret place in this way, and a streak of intense pain briefly made me regret my haste. But the hurt was quickly forgotten as Trowa massaged my uninjured nipple with his thumb and sucked gently at my neck. Slowly but surely, he coaxed my hole open so that he could ease another finger and then another into the hot grip of my clenching passage.
"Unngh! Now...," I gasped, my hips moving of their own accord as I rode his fingers.
"I want inside you," he groaned. I whimpered as he abruptly pulled his fingers free, torn between wanting them to return and needing something more. Trowa urged me to turn over onto my knees, and my brow furrowed in confusion as I looked back at him over my shoulder.
"Better for your back," he explain succinctly as he slathered his hard shaft with all of the ointment that remained in the bottle. And with that, he threw the jar onto the expensive carpet that had been a gift from that unknown noblewoman and thrust into me as though he had been dying to his whole life and could not wait one more moment.
I howled at the brutal force of his entry, lust rather than discomfort evoking the primal shout. His member was long, thick, and hard as stone, and he filled up every needy place that had been neglected for so long. Beads of sweat sprung up over every inch of my skin, joining with each other until they formed rivulets that ran down my body to drip onto the hapless sheet. My breath rasped harshly in my throat as I struggled to match my own rhythm to the determined strokes that threatened to rob me of all coherence.
"Ah, yes!" I cried. "Faster! More! Please, I beg you, don't stop!"
Trowa answered with his body, quickening the movement of his hips until the force of his thrusts promised to shift the heavy couch that was the platform for our passionate dance. My fists clenched into the sheet, digging into the cushion below and I hung on for dear life. Trowa maintained firm, almost bruising grip on my hips, pulling me to him so that every impaling push reached to my core. His cock pressed against that special bundle of nerves with every stroke, and it was not long before my arms lost all strength. My head dropped to the cushion as they gave out, and the change of angle made his assault all the more devastating.
I was so close, so close that I could see the shimmering haze of release floating before my sightless eyes. I called to it with the moans that slipped from my lips with every pummeling thrust, beckoning it ever closer. Deep shutters began in my core, spreading out until my entire body shook from the force of them.
"Help me," I begged breathlessly, afraid after all of my bravado to take that final step that would forever lead me away from my master's side.
But when his hands left my hips, I could feel only the weight of them on my back rather than the actual sensation as they ghosted over my flesh. The stunning realization that Sally's dire prediction had come true stole away all desire. Trowa leaned over me, his hand taking hold of my sagging cock, unaware of my distress as his own lust blinded him to all else. His rhythmic grunts told me that he was close to his own completion, but I knew that I could no longer join him.
Nerve damage. Permanent loss of feeling. The inability to feel another's touch on my skin. Dorothy had taken away even this from me. I might congratulate her on her victory if I had not known I would never see her again. The true extent of the damage she had inflicted fell upon me like a crushing weight, the reality what I had lost sounding in my head like a verdict of my own crimes. My passion fell away to nothingness. All of the desire that Trowa had engendered in me vanished as though it had never been.
I could no longer indulge in the fantasy that the gamesman's affections would save me from myself. My punishment for this foolish attempt at self-deception was etched upon my own flesh. For my offense was that deadliest of all sins. Betrayal of my lord, betrayal of my heart. Against all sense and contrary to all reason, I knew I would be forever enslaved to a fathomless pair of deep, blue eyes. My heart belonged to a powerful man who may hold me in contempt, but would forever assert his mastery over my heart.
And what did I not deserve if not the harshest of condemnations? What I had done to Trowa I had done not from love, but from cowardly selfishness. Despite knowing deep down that it was but a mere a fallacy, I had tricked him into thinking that I would share my heart rather than just my body. Though I wished with all my soul that it were different, I could not return his feelings. Even this proud man who was able to tame wild beasts and coax life from the earth was unable to sway my wicked heart from my master's side.
Once, long ago, I had accepted the truth, swearing my fidelity with all of the unmitigated love in my heart. For you I suffer, I had promised, and no amount of time would ever erase that vow.
At the moment of my painful revelation, Trowa was having another of a much more pleasurable kind. He collapsed atop me, too exhausted to notice that I had not come in kind. My chest ached with guilt and grief - guilt that I had let this go so far and grief that it would likely be our last encounter. After this, I could never see him again. I was too weak, to susceptible to the serenity he offered to risk depending on my own will.
I knew that my desire for the baron to possess even a fraction of the love I felt for him was likely nothing but a madman's dream. And I feared that I would face much more heartache and frustration in the pursuit of it. But even so, I could not give up, no matter how futile the attempt. Love such as mine might seem foolish and irrational to the prudent mind, but what place had wisdom ever played in matters of the heart?
And as for this little tryst - this flight of glorious fancy - I would forever treasure it. I did love Trowa in my own way, and I would always be grateful to him for giving me back a piece of myself when I had felt so lost and adrift with despair. But I hoped that I had not become so cruel as to string him along just to appease my own ego. No, this would remain our beautiful secret, one I would always remember.
"Trowa," I whispered, my heart hammering with anxiety. Determined to deliver the cut as kindly as I could, I swallowed and tried again. "I...."
Before I could speak another word, the cottage door burst open and three figures barreled into the room. The late afternoon sun hung low in the sky and for a moment, all I could see of the intruders were their silhouettes. I blinked, frantically trying to adjust my sight, while Trowa raised himself onto his knees, pulling me with him. His arms had locked about me in a protective cage just as a horribly familiar voice reached my ears, stopping my heart cold.
"I swear to you, my lord, he was perfectly fine when I left him," Quatre exclaimed in a rush. "I am certain that he is quite well...."
Quatre broke off with an ooph as he ran into the back of the tall man who had halted suddenly in front of him. The third man gasped as the small blond looked around the taller figure to see what had caused him to stop so abruptly.
"What is it?"
Quatre and the other man, who I eventually recognized as one of Lady Sally's medics, stared at me in disbelief. But at that moment, I did not see them, nor did I feel Trowa's arms as they tightened about me until my ribs threatened to crack anew from the strain.
"Duo," my trainer breathed, his tone betraying his utter astonishment.
But his shock was nothing compared to my own as my eyes stretched with horror as my gaze locked with a sliver of murderous blue.
"It seems you were correct, Quatre," Heero said calmly. "My concern was clearly misplaced. I can see that he is quite well."
Heero spun around on his heel and left the room while Quatre and the other man continued to stare at us.
"Oh, Duo," Quatre whispered. "What have you done?"
All I could think of was the look on Heero's face. There was anger, of course, of such intensity that it filled my gut with rocks of ice. But I thought I had seen something like guilt fleeting behind his eyes, and beneath it all, a hint of stunned disbelief. I did not take even a moment to consider that I had never before seen such a range of emotions on his face. Without a word, I pulled away from Trowa and rushed out of the cottage hard on Heero's heels.
"Duo, wait!" Trowa shouted, but I did not heed him. Quatre and the medic followed us, and Trowa appeared only a moment later, his hastily donned breaches still undone.
"My lord!" I called out to Heero's retreating back. He stopped once he had reached his horse, but still he did not turn around. "My lord, please say something?" I begged, irrational in the belief that, if only I could see his face again, I would know his mind.
I cannot say why I was so eager to receive Heero's judgment. Perhaps I needed his condemnation to validate that which I had already given to myself. But when he did turn, he did not look at me. Instead, it was the gamesman who faced the brunt of his attention.
"You are to be gone from Windshire lands in three days. At that time, I will send a contingent of guards to make sure that you comply." Every inch the baron, Heero's had schooled his expression into a cold mask as he made the pronouncement. "It is only because of your years of loyal service that I do not have you clapped in chains forthwith and thrown into the dungeon. Do not make me regret my leniency."
Heero again turned toward his horse, mounted, and without a single backwards glance, spurred onward the beast with a none too gentle kick. As I watched him ride off, all of the confidence I had convinced myself I possessed draining from me in a debilitating rush.
"Duo," Trowa said, stepping towards me bare-chested and barefoot, but I could not look at him.
"I'm sorry." My voice refused to rise above a choked whisper. "I'm so sorry." Trowa started again in my direction, but Quatre grabbed his arm with surprising strength.
"Have you not done enough?" he grated, his aquamarine eyes filled with consternation. He released the gamesman and came over to where I stood frozen, still trying to catch a final glimpse of my master's dwindling figure. Ever mindful of my injuries, Quatre took me by the shoulder and led me to the same carriage in which he had brought what seemed a lifetime ago.
I did not resist as I was sorely tired from the emotional whirl that had begun with a simple offer of kindness. Quatre was helping me into the carriage when Trowa spoke again, his voice tight with helpless anger.
"Let me at least get his cloak." He returned to the cottage and soon emerged again with my cloak in hand. Quatre took it from him as he subjected the gamekeeper to a searching look that demanded answers. The taller man's jaw clenched obstinately.
"I'm not sorry," Trowa in a voice tense with his struggle to keep his emotions firmly in check. "Even if he orders me killed, I'll never be sorry." Quatre closed his eyes as though he was in pain, opening them only to look up at the sky with a deep sigh.
"I know. And I swear I am not even certain that you should be." He placed a hand on Trowa's arm, his grip heavy with the weight of their long friendship. After a moment, however, he let his hand fall. "But what you have done is inexcusable. Surely you must see that." Quatre glanced in my direction.
"He is not yours," the blond said with quiet firmness. "He has never been yours." Quatre turned away from the erstwhile gamekeeper and joined me in the carriage. "Do take care of yourself."
Trowa remained in the yard in front of the cottage as Quatre slapped the reigns and started the horse on its journey. The medic had come on his own mount and hastily made to join us as we rolled away.
Never once since Heero had left had I let my yearning gaze stray from his departing path. So I was immediately aware that he had gone in a direction that would not lead him back to Windshire. My stomach was tied in knots as I wondered how I could possibly beg his forgiveness for my heinous treachery. But I had to try. My heart demanded nothing less no matter how difficult a task it might prove to be.
But Trowa and his dire fate weighed on me like a heavy stone. It was all my fault that he had come to such a disastrous pass. I had given in to a selfish, impulsive urge, and a good man's life was ruined because of it. I ached with sadness as though my very body wanted to reject the misery that I had brought down upon Trowa's head. But more so, I was despondent that, even with everything that had happened, I was still unable to return his love.
I tried to stop myself, but I could not help but look back at Trowa's lonesome figure as he stood before his soon to be abandoned cottage. I watched him until we rounded a curve in the road and he was lost to sight behind a stand of trees.