#baron helmut zemo x you
Cursed - Chapter Two
Baron Helmut Zemo x F!Reader
Summary: Waking up in an unfamiliar yet lavish room, Helmut Zemo is fortunately nowhere in sight. Scared and confused, it is a struggle to remain calm as two kindly stranger try to provide more clarity about your situation.
Enemies to Lovers. Darker Themes. Angst. Falling in Love. Eventual Smut.
🌹Hades & Persephone Themes // Beauty & the Beast Themes🌹
Warnings: Kidnap. Blood. Graphic Description of Injury and Death. Recollections of Animal Death. Nudity. Slight Dub-Con Touching. Slightest Mention of Non-Con Threat. Mentions of Forced Arranged Marriage. Emotionally Abusive Parents. Zemo’s An Asshole.
‘CURSED’ - TUMBLR MASTERLIST
CLINTS-LUCKY-ARROW MAIN MASTERLIST
Word Count: 7.1k
Likes, comments and reblogs are much appreciated.
A/N: Once again, please remember to read the warnings each chapter before proceeding.
Hey Zemhoes! Hope we’re all doing well? To celebrate our Lord and Saviour Daniel Bruhl’s birthday, here’s Chapter Two of Cursed!
Sometimes, there is peace in darkness. Comfort in the unknowing - of not having to know - and a rare bliss in total ignorance. That is, until it is slowly and unceremoniously interrupted. It’s little things at first. The creeping ache of a deep, dull pain making its way in malicious tendrils through your mind. Stroking it into a form of consciousness, so that those other sensations can creep in.
Strong arms carrying you up an endless staircase. The weight of your arm hanging amidst the cold, stale air as goosebumps prickle across your shivering skin. The jolt of warm water brushing tenderly down your wounds, and the touch of gentle fingers as they lift your clothes to stroke over to the cuts that the eye cannot plainly see.
They’re all fragments. Flashes. Shattered frames of the world from behind closed eyes, as you fight to stay in the thrall of nothingness, shying away from a pain that grows in clarity with each passing flicker. And then, voices.
“Is she waking up?”
It’s a man first. Not the one you met before, the one who had utterly terrified you. What was his name? You can’t remember. Not right now in the sluggish delirium. This is someone different, but familiar. That slightly younger voice that you had heard right before the shadows took you. The one who somehow seemed kind.
“Ssh. I’m not sure.”
A woman this time. Older. Her accent… It’s English. That confuses you, because her male companion does not sound the same. No. His accent is different. He speaks again, and it registers. French. Confusion surges, shifting within your chest and moving you with it. Both hush as a grating sound rings through the room. A dull whine that you do not at first register is coming from you.
The man speaks again. “Maybe I should just…”
Fabric shifts, coming closer, and then a sharp sound rings out. Almost like a slap. It’s accompanied by a yelp of pain, and then a low curse mumbled in a foreign tongue. The sudden jolt of the sound knocks you further out of the darkness, and you shift painfully closer to reality.
Something hurts. God. You can feel it growing, spreading like stinging wildfire across your skin. Everything hurts.
The gruff woman speaks again, and beration coats her strict tone. “Give her a minute, Jacques. Step back and let the poor girl breathe!”
“Alright, alright,” the man - Jacques - replies, sounding rather irritated. “You did not need to strike me!”
Bedsheets curl underneath your aching palms as you strain and twist, dragged miserably towards light and pain. It grows brighter with each passing second, swelling against your closed eyelids. They flutter, unbidden, but in response to those sharp stings dancing through your entire frame, and open slightly. Your gaze is bleary, but manages to fix on a high arched ceiling dancing blearily above. Colourful shapes - painted murals on the ceiling above - twist upon the space in bright flashes. With your vision so disconcerted, they almost seem alive.
Slowly, reality filters in.
You are lying on a bed. It is large and sprawling, with thick wooden posters lifting high into the air above where you rest. Curtains sway lightly on one side, falling in thin wisps of lace. On the other they are pulled back, resting gently against the end pillar in order to make room for the two curious figures standing at the side.
Fear floods through your mind on instinct. Sharp agony pulses as you skitter away, up the bed and back all but slamming against the solid headboard. Pain radiates at the contact, but you don’t look away. Wide-eyed and fearful, your frantic, darting eyes pass over the watching figures. The man and the woman.
He is younger. Maybe in his early thirties, with light brown hair and deep blue eyes. A little older than you, but not by much. His arms are extended towards you, and the gesture is almost placating. A woman stands next to him, with her grey hair pulled back in a ponytail. Her face holds more wrinkles, but it is hard to tell her exact age. She is one of those people who looks timeless. Who carries their age in an undefined way, where they could be fifty or seventy, and no one would be able to tell. A set of her fingers rests upon the man’s outstretched arm, in what appears to be a silent bid to hold back.
“Take it easy, love,” she tells you, in a tone that is firm but kind. “No one’s going to hurt you.”
The man shoots her a slightly doubtful look. Quickly realising that you have noticed it, he masks it the following moment. It’s too late, however. Any slight ease that you may have felt at her soft words were washed away before they could even settle.
You try to speak. The words catch in your throat, and jar into a rough cough. The two exchange a look, before the man slowly shifts. His hands creep out, allowing plenty of time for you to track his movements, reaching to pick up a glass of water laid previously unnoticed upon a nightstand just against the side of your bed. That pace maintains as he hands it to you, and the heated brush of his fingers against yours sends a shiver down your spine. It’s only then that you realise you’re cold. Still so cold.
Trembling, you take a tentative sip of the water. Maybe it could be poisoned, but you are too thirsty to care right now. Your throat is parched, as if you haven’t drank in days. The rush of liquid down your throat is almost heavenly. It chases away the grating drought with vigour, and when you try to talk again the words are still a little hoarse but clear.
“Where am I?”
Those two exchange a purposeful look. Silent, unspoken communication passes between their eyes.Something about it has trepidation even further rise in your chest. Your palms sting as your fingernails curl in on them, throbbing even through the strip of bandage. A small wince draws your lips. The swift motion causes your watchers to speak in a rush, words almost falling over one another.
“Our master’s home.”
The castle. Must be. A quick look around the room only confirms it to be true. Given the arched windows, the painted ceiling, and the sprawling furnishings of fine wood lining the space, it is the only thing that makes sense. You’re still here. The mere thought fills you with another swelling prickle of fear. Anxiously, your eyes twitch, moving to flit over the room behind, nervously searching for him.
Thankfully, the man from last night - Helmut Zemo - is nowhere to be seen.
You flinch at the sheer memory of him, and another pang of pain shoots through your body. Carefully eyeing the two at the side of the bed, you lean over to place the glass back atop the nightstand. Once swiftly retreated back against the headboard, your attention slowly drops to your stinging palms. A few specks of bright red dot the white bandages wound around the appendages. Another tight swallow constricts your throat as the memory of last night washes afresh over you. Your heart begins to beat faster once more, quickening with fear. A gentle tut from off to the side draws your attention back to your silent watchers.
"Your hands," the woman says sympathetically. "Oh, you poor thing."
Her tone is caring. Almost motherly. It reminds you of the soft voice of your nanny, the woman who had raised you since childhood. She’d been sent away when you were deemed old enough to not need her, an affront that you had never quite completely forgiven your actual parents for. This lady before you, with her greying hair and pale hazel eyes, holds such a resemblance that a soft urging picks up at the back of your mind, whispering for you to speak again. To tell her what happened out there in those tangled woods.
Voice quavering, you do. "Something chased me.”
She exchanges another long look with the younger man. Before you can continue your stammering recollection, he faces you again. His brow is furrowed into a deep line, worriedly chewing his lip.
"The bear,” he says, shaking his head agitatedly, “It's all but rabid now, and growing even more bold by the day. Something will need to be done."
You can’t quite believe it. “That creature was not a bear.”
Clear blue eyes fix upon your face as the young man gives you a patient smile. “Have you ever seen a brown bear before, ma chere? They are far bigger than most even imagine.”
You pause before responding. The true answer is no, you have not seen such a bear before. Most of your life was spent in New York city, or a little further out at the family summer home in the Hamptons. There were not many in that immediate area, and none had ever wandered into your eyeline.
Another thought occurring, your gazes lift back to your two observers, darting between them as a burning question spills from your lips. “Who are you?”
“I am Cecilia Porthers,” the woman supplies readily. “I act as the Baron’s housekeeper, wherever he may roam. And this is-” Her arm sweeps out to gesture to her companion, but he cuts her off.
“Jacques Lamarre,” the younger man interjects grandly, one arm sweeping out as he dips into a slight bow. “Manservant to Master Zemo. A pleasure, mademoiselle.”
Briefly hesitating, a debate wells inside of your mind. How much do you tell them? Your name - that family name - does not hold as much sway in Europe as in the States, but they may recognise it all the same. Especially given the fact that it was now irrevocably connected to a rather well-known family who conducted a large chain of business over in Germany. They could realise that you were too important to keep… Or it could only further encourage them to keep you as a hostage.
That thought in mind, you only offer your first name. If perturbed by it, they give no sign. Instead, the woman - Mrs Porthers - just steps forward to gently take hold of one of your wrists. She lifts it upwards to the light, tugging the white strip of bandage out to peer at the scrapes marring the skin inside. You hiss a little as the fabric peels away from the cuts, tugging the gaping edges slightly. She pats them reassuringly, and her touch is so light that you barely feel it at all.
Now that you are more at ease, you finally notice that you are in a nightdress. It’s not your own, but an unfamiliar white lace. The hem gathers just above your knees, having bunched when you had scrambled back upon waking. Noticing Lamarre’s eyes flitting uncertainly between the inappropriately exposed skin and your face, your fingers shoot to drag it as far down as it will go. There are also bandages wound around various sections of your legs, and as your gaze drops it takes in your left foot. It is the most heavily covered of all, and a dull throb resonates from the limb. The memory of shattering glass splinters through your mind. Both the recollection and the cold air of the castle cause another pronounced shiver to wrack your frame again.
That kindly grip settles on your shoulders as Mrs Porthers leans in, offering an encouraging smile. “Come. Let’s get you in a nice hot bath, dear. You were asleep for over a day, and quite filthy when you came in. I cleaned you with a cloth as best as I could, but this will make you feel much better.”
“I want to leave.” Your voice sounds too small. Weak. Almost childlike.
Lamarre’s lips twist into a quick grimace. His companion falters slightly, losing some of her composure. That fear starts to well again, and you bat her hands away. Undeterred, she leans in to cup the side of your face. The unexpected tenderness in the touch has you freeze. She presses her advantage with gentle patience.
“That is something that you will need to speak to the Baron about. For now, you need to take care of yourself. Let’s go, love. Time to get up.”
A little uncertain, you do so with a tight nod. They step back as you scoot over to the side of the bed, taking a deep breath before slowly rising to stand. A sharp spike of agony flares straight through your injured foot. The pain brings a harsh cry tearing from your lips, and the trembling leg threatens to give. Hands seize your underarms before you can drop to the floor. With a slight grunt, Lamarre hoists you back upright. His touch lingers until you nod, confirming that you can readily stand, before he slowly releases you and backs away.
It’s the second time that he’s caught you since meeting. You can’t help the heat that swells in your cheeks, feeling a little embarrassed at the thought that every recollection he has of you involves weakly collapsing. Maybe he reads the shame on your face, because a reassuring grin curls his lips.
Your arm loops through the one that Mrs Pothers offers. She guides you across the room, careful to take it slow as you limp with her. However, the pace allows ample opportunity to properly scan the chamber that you find yourself within. Given that you had been preoccupied with the two strangers beside your bed upon awakening, there had not been time before now to get more than a quick flash.
A swift glance at the window tells that you are not on the ground floor. Far from it. While there’s no way to tell how high, the angle of the garden below insist that it is certainly not low. The chamber itself is large, but holds an air of disuse. Dust is visible on the surface of a writing desk, and an armoire that once would have been grand now appears faded with age. At least the carpet underfoot is plush. It is a deep red, complimenting the dark wood decor boasted by the rest of the room. Detachedly, you can’t help but think that any bloody prints trailing from your injured foot would not be visible against those crimson threads.
There’s no denying that it could be beautiful. Very easily so, if they were only to clear away some of the cobwebs and add some pictures to those barren walls. Patches appear faded, as if they had once hosted images which were recently removed. You don’t dwell on it. Not as Lamarre brushes past, leaning forward to silently pull open one of the double doors that loom upon the wall opposite the bed.
Immediately, the air plummets a few degrees. Clad in only that relatively thin nightdress, another shiver runs through your form. Feeling it clearly, Mrs Pothers whispers at her companion to fetch a robe. He disappears without another word, and you catch a look over your shoulder just to see him duck out a large door off to the side of the bed. Behind him, a lock clicks loudly. The sound radiates into the quiet, almost echoing as you step into the enclosed washroom.
The room is circular, which is unusual in itself. Another glimpse of last night resurfaces, showing turrets lining the corners of the castle. This must be one. It makes sense, considering the shape.
The essentials are there - sink, toilet, bath - illuminated in the glow of a stained glass window. Your eyes are immediately drawn to it, fixing on how the simple daylight passes through the tinted panes to become something beautiful. Patches of rainbow colour, broken into shards, except for the centre. A rose sits proudly within that piece, green stem lifting into a burst of scarlet leaves. The contrast against the azure blue background is almost memorising.
One swollen beam of red pours from the flower, resting directly on the large tub laying in the centre of the room. The edges rise high, and the bottom plunges deep. It’s enough to submerge you completely, if you so wished. To your surprise, steam rises off the top of the already risen water.
Noting the lift of your brow, Pothers smiles reassuringly. “I had expected you to awaken soon. Jacques filled it just before you did. It should still be plenty hot, and help chase away some of the chill in this damned place.”
Your nervous eyes cast across the space, searching the shadows just incase someone lurks there. Catching the wary sweep of your gaze, Pothers’ head tilts curiously. You swallow before voicing aloud that inner question. That ever-present fear.
“Where is he?”
She doesn’t need any further explanation to know to whom you refer. Sucking on her cheeks thoughtfully, the housekeeper contemplates it for a moment before answering. “The Baron? I’m not sure. Maybe in his study downstairs. Perhaps in the West Wing.”
Something about that last line draws your attention. Her tone changes slightly when she utters the words. Just barely, but it’s noticeable in your hyper-aware state. The inquisitive words fall before you can stop them. Before you can remind yourself that you are in their home and it may be better to simply remain silent and behave for now. However, it’s too late.
Your voice - higher than usual due to fear - pierces the air. It sounds too loud, too out of place, and makes you regret speaking almost immediately. “What’s in the West Wing?”
Her expression stiffens, but not with anger. “We don’t talk about it, dear.” Sadness is there, drawing the corners of her mouth down. A beat of silence passes as she falls into a sort of lost contemplation. It passes after a few moments, and she returns to reality with a shake of her head.
Quiet persists as she guides you over to the tub. You release her just before it, leaning against the side for support as she hesitates. Her hands gesture at your nightgown, but you shake your head firmly. You don’t want her help to undress. It’s a simple piece, and you can manage it yourself. All the same, she does stay to aid with unwinding the bandages on your arms. Her touch is no less gentle than before, and despite everything, you can’t help but relax around her. There’s no sense of threat here. Not like there was with Helmut Zemo and the other man upon your initial arrival. This woman has been kind to you, and intuition whispers that it is because it’s in her nature.
As she goes to take her leave, to let you remove the rest by yourself, she halts by the door. Sensing that she is about to say something, your gaze rests on the back of her head, waiting for her to speak. Apprehension builds as she turns to look at you from over her shoulder, trying to convey some secret meaning in her eyes.
“He’ll seek you out soon enough. The Baron. Himself and Oeznik have… questions. You don’t need to be scared of him, but don’t provoke him either.”
Quiet spreads as she leaves. You continue to disrobe, aware that she has not gone far incase you need help. The damp air of the castle wraps around your bare skin as the nightdress falls to the floor. Steam lifts atop the surface of the water, tickling your toes as you clamber into the bath. The heat is soothing, however, you can't help but wince. Dozens of stinging cuts react to the change in environment, and it takes a few uncomfortable seconds to adjust. Some break, spilling twisting tendrils of red into the clear water. Amidst the crimson glow of the stained glass window, their combination begins to turn the bath a pale shade of pink.
A few bottles low to the side, a variety of soaps and scents. You pick them up, examining the labels in the tinged lighting. It's a little hard to read given the foreign language, but you substitute by unscrewing them to sniff the contents instead. One smells like rose, and so you tip some into the water. It froths after a few moments, somewhat shielding the view of your naked form, but smells divine. After the filth gathered during your escape through the woods, such a creature comfort is a welcome respite.
Now that your conscious mind has a few moments to spare, the reality of your situation slowly sinks in. You can't help but lift your hands from the water. The myriad of cuts upon your arms seem to cover almost every inch of the skin. Those memories flicker across your eyes - flashes of blood and shattered wood, the screams of the terrified men and the roar of that monster - and a chill runs through you despite the heat of the bath.
As selfish as it is, you can't help but wonder what happened to your trunk. You don't care about the clothes or the jewellery. No. All that you want is Jay's letter. His words, so that you can cling into them through whatever comes next, and the comfort that his familiar scrawl provides. The memory of him only helps to soothe you further.
You can’t help but recall the first time that you met. How he had attempted to approach you during a social gala, dressed in his uniform and boasting his signature easy smirk. The way that he had leaned against the bar and attempted to use his smooth charm. You had stood firm, despite the spell of those clear blue eyes. It was not the first time that a young and handsome officer had tried to flirt with you at such an event, and you knew better than to blindly fall for their smooth words. It was why you’d pretended to hear his name wrong - acting like you were not truly listening to what he had to say - and that joke had stuck ever since. Even now, you can hear the echo of that conversation resounding through your mind.
‘I’m James. James Buchanan Barnes.’
‘Apologies, I didn’t quite catch that. Did you say that your name was ‘Jay?’’
Even the simple memory makes you smile. Those flashes of his grin, his eyes, and that tender touch helps you feel better while trapped in this decrepit place.
The door opens, interrupting your daydream. You look up, expecting to see Mrs Porthers slipping back into the room. However, it’s not the housekeeper. Frigid shock surges within your veins as your gaze settles upon a familiar wordless scowl. Helmut Zemo.
He slides in, the tails of his fine coat - trimmed with fur around the edges - snapping at his heels as he twists to push the door closed behind him. Through the vanishing sliver of space, you catch a quick flash of the housekeeper’s worried eyes as she stands nervously on the outside. That other man is with her. Not Lamarre, but the one from last night. Oeznik, or so the Baron had called him. His frigid stare all but bores into your face. You cringe back, frightened by the coldness in those icy eyes, until the thick panel blocks him from your view, and leaves you alone with his master.
Zemo does not speak. Not at first. Instead, he just leans back. Arms folding languidly over his chest, those thin lips curl into a shallow smirk as he drinks in the sight of you, alone and cowering amidst the tall confines of the tub. Despite the suds that block out your nakedness, the fact that he is in here leaves you feeling bare and vulnerable. Your voice is high and fearful as you try to speak, the strained words echoing through the stone walls of the room.
“Why are you here?”
His smile parts to reveal almost bared white teeth. The look in his eyes is calculating, revelling in your all-too-apparent terror. Footsteps echo sparingly as he pushes himself away from the wall, striding forward with a slow and heavy grace. The movements are unhurried. Almost predatory, as he stalks in a slow circle around the tub, eyes never leaving your face. Your body prickles as he passes behind you, holding your breath as his unseen hand lifts to trail across the nape of your neck. The touch sends a shiver down your spine.
Goosebumps erupt across your skin as he comes around in a full loop. He halts, stopping just off to your right. Standing so close to the edge of the tub that you could reach out and touch the fall of that long coat if you so desired. You don’t. Instead, your hands remain hidden underneath the frothy bathwater, fingers shifting nervously together. The anxious motions cause some more of the cuts to break open again. There’s the sensation of lifting, of blood seeping outwards, coaxed by the thrall of the water to slowly spill free. Zemo watches the slight pink tinge spread further. Underneath the glow of the stained glass, the colour only deepens.
Unable to stop yourself, you scoot away as he lowers elegantly, seating himself upon the edge of the tub. It is deep but unfortunately not wide, and so there is not much space to retreat. He tuts upon noting the motion, leaning forward. Gloved fingers press just underneath your chin, tilting your head upwards to look into those fathomless eyes. They appear nearly utterly black now, pupils blown and irises dilated. Bearing more of a snarl than a smile, every inch of him appears villainous. His touch is insistent, setting your jaw and forcing you to meet that dark gaze. It smolders even as he speaks.
Despite the softness of his words, an audible threat lingers in the air. “Tell me who you are, and why you’re here.”
Revulsion builds at the contact. You jerk away from his touch, hand rising to slap his own away. He doesn’t budge at the hit, but shifts quickly aside to ensure that he doesn’t get splashed by the flying jet of water that follows the motion. Fear rises thick in your chest as you realise what you’ve done. That you literally struck him.
Your voice tremors as an explanation launches free in a stumbling avalanche. “I didn’t mean to end up here. I was running away.”
Your widened eyes plead for him to believe you. There’s something so utterly terrifying of being trapped - naked and so very vulnerable - before a stranger. Especially a man as imposing as this. One who can freeze with the mere brush of his gaze, and cause your heart to stammer in terror with a single tilt of his head. Zemo drinks in your expression thoughtfully, with not a shred of understanding or kindness evident.
Instead, he just continues with his line of harsh questioning. “From where?”
You gulp heavily. “Germany.” It’s a struggle to remove that nervous stammer from your tone, but you try to anyhow. “I was travelling down to the Greecian coast.”
“That’s quite a distance,” he remarks, watching you carefully. One brow is lifted in a display of smooth curiosity. “Why were you going so far?”
There's not really anything to say except for the truth. You're too far in to pull back now. Shaking your head, your lower lip rolls nervously between your teeth as you confess. “To catch a boat. I needed to get away. I… I was engaged. I didn’t want to marry him. The man that I do want is waiting in Greece. He arranged a boat to take us far away. I never meant to end up here, but the carriage-"
"Yes," Zemo interrupts, waving you off. "The carriage and the bear. Lamarre already told me, and I've sent him off to verify your story. Best hope that he finds the proof."
His words bring you to a halt. Despite the fact that he is obedient to your captor, a pulse of apprehension surges within for the manservant. He caught you when you fell last night, and expressed kindness when you awoke this morning. You would feel horrid if something happened to him. All the same, that worry is overshadowed by your very real fear of Helmut Zemo. Renowned mass murderer, though you are not quite sure the specifics of his crimes. Lost in your own dramas, distant news from Europe was not something that had played much part in your thoughts these past few weeks.
Trying not to sound weak, you press on, hoping that somehow your words will reach some empathetic part of him. If he even has one. "Please, if you just let me go, I’ll never tell anyone about this place. I want to vanish just as much as you.”
“And why is that?” More questions, and no answers.
His demeanour has not shifted. No. There’s not a hint of sympathy on his face. Just that frigid suspicion burning behind his eyes, distrust lacing every word. He perches upon the edge of the tub as if you were familiars - intimates - but that couldn’t be more wrong. That blood-red light bathes his face, and the thin line of his scowl could be cut from a razor. Desolation sweeps through you, along with a pronounced shudder. You have no idea what will happen next, but there’s one thing that you are certain of.
This man has no plans to let you go.
That realisation sucks something from you.
Your eyes flutter briefly closed in an effort to compose yourself. When they open again, the room appears even darker. The elegant light above flickers, plunging Zemo’s face into shadows just for a moment. Those eyes - blazing onyx - bore into your face. One of his hands falls, index finger slowly stirring the bath water that you sit in. He doesn’t touch you, but you can feel the water shift at his languid motion.
The gesture is loaded. A purposeful reminder of his control. Letting you know that this place is not like the rest of the world, and there’s no one here to tell him that this is improper or order him to step back. That he can do whatever he wants with an empty callousness that nearly makes you suspect he doesn’t have a soul. Hate starts to simmer within your chest.
That unrelenting gaze reminds you that he is waiting for an answer to that earlier question. Porthers’ words ring through your mind. ‘You don’t need to be scared of him, but don’t provoke him either.’
She would have no reason to lead you astray, and so, you answer through slightly gritted teeth. “Because I despise the man that they want me to marry. Because I wouldn’t be able to live as his wife. Because he’s a monster.”
Because he’s even more of a beast than you.
“What’s his name?” the Baron asks in his low rasp, leaning in to loom above you.
There’s a brief beat of hesitation. His hand stills its unhurried path amidst the water as he waits. Still, you delay, knowing what such an utterance means. That it will expose you. That it will tell him exactly who you are, so that he realises who sits within this tub. Both a valuable hostage, and a young woman that the world will never stop searching for. You’re not quite sure what path it will lead down.
More blood ribbons from your cuts as you answer him coldly. “He’s a Rumlow. Brock Rumlow.”
You see the change ripple over him immediately. There’s not many on the European continent who do not recognise that name. While Brock had been raised in America, his family were well-known on this patch of the world, having originated from Germany. All would be aware of them for their influence was vast, especially when coupled with the notoriety for their not-so-secret allegiance to the supremacist terror group known as HYDRA.
Helmut Zemo’s jaw sets. Something dark starts to blaze in his eyes, and you shrink away, suddenly regretting uttering that name. The effect on him is palpable, and it’s as if the temperature around you has plummeted. Goosebumps break out violently on your skin as you watch him trepidatiously, noting the slow retreat of his fingers from the pink-stained water.
“Rumlow,” he repeats, and the words are barely more than a growl.
Staying silent, your eyes silently track his motions as he pushes himself up from the tub. Footfalls echo as he paces slowly, coat hem lightly flapping at his heels. His vest catches the light, embroidered lines of purple almost sparkling, and suddenly you can’t help but think that he’s handsome. Attractive, in a cruel and calculating way. The unwanted thought nearly has you recoil.
One hand lifts to stroke his chin, a single digit glistening. The touch of his damp finger does not break him out of his thoughts. No. They continue to swirl visibly behind his eyes. All that you can do is sit and watch, feeling utterly exposed and completely helpless. Your body is starting to ache, protesting against so long spent pruning in the tepid bath. It grows, until you can’t take it anymore.
“What are you going to do with me?”
The question seems to jolt him from his trance. Dark eyes seek out your face, and his expression twists slightly. Displeasure dances across his furrowed brow, which is pointed in admonishment for the interruption. He motions to brush you off - to shush you - but the action only serves to do the opposite. Something about it causes that revulsion for him to rise further, thick in the back of your throat.
You’ve told him more than enough. He can share this one thing.
It comes again, in a voice that’s a little stronger than before. “What are you going to do with me?”
Those thin lips twist in displeasure. Something pales even further in the depths of those eyes, matching the cold atmosphere of the room. He seems to grow taller, drawing himself up to his full height as he takes a step closer, moving back towards you.
“I have yet to decide,” he replies in a low, warning rasp. His hand lifts, extending to hover warningly in the air between you as his head tilts to the side. “Do not push me.”
A sneer curls his lips. While you watch, he takes another step closer, and this time his eyes leave your face. They rove down your bare neck, leering upon the exposed swell of your chest and descending to where the frothy water cuts off his view. There’s no lust in his gaze, just cold calculation. It’s another pointed show so that you know he’s looking, and to remind you that there’s nothing you can do about it.
This silent act burns itself through your mind, and that hate rises thick to catch in your throat. You despise this man. Everything about him. His frigid demeanour - cold and harsh as a barren winter - and his many calculated acts of gleeful intimidation. That’s why he’s here, after all, invading your privacy while you sit naked in the pink-tinged water of the bath, feeling the thin ribbons of blood lift from dozens of small gashes lining your skin. Even the simple ability to walk in here is a display of his absolute power. Of how you have no say in anything within these castle walls. Proof that you are trapped in his home, and utterly at his mercy.
A smile lifts the razor line of his mouth as he watches you, and you can nearly feel those dark eyes drinking in the fear and revulsion within your own. He enjoys this. The knowledge that you sit frozen in fear amidst the water brings him an unsettling joy, and it is reflected in every inch of his satisfied stance. That realisation bores deep into you, swirling angrily within the pit of your stomach, and that seething hatred bubbles right up to the fore. It brings a steely resolve. One which screams to not let him have this particular victory, because you’ve lost enough already.
No. You’re going to take some of the power back.
Before your resolve can fail, glistening hands clamp around the sides of the bathtub, and you rise. Water rushes down your body, dripping from the ends of your hair, and cold air shudders around your naked skin as you stand straight within the bath, mouth set into a grim line. Before you, Zemo starts, stiffening. His brow rises into a display of shock that he is not able to hold back. Caught off guard, there is no chance to restrain his eyes as they flit down the rest of your body. Unlike before, he can see it all, and it’s because you are fearlessly showing it to him.
Your entire naked form illuminated in the gentle light of the dusty chandelier overhead, and the Baron has a prime view to every inch.
It’s all on display.
How the iridescent glow of the stained glass window paints your skin, highlighting the swell of your breasts and the curves of your body. Drawing his attention to the dip of your hips and the hardened buds of your raised nipples. The weight of his eyes trace burning lines across your exposed skin as he stares, a muscle jumping in his cheek. Jaw setting in a firm show of resolve, you fight the urge to fold your arms over your chest. That would be a concession, and this is about taking some of that autonomy back.
Instead, your voice remains steady as you extend a hand. “The towel, Baron. If you would be so kind.”
He has no choice but to move. One hand shoots out, paling knuckles lifting the length of cloth free from the brass hook on the wall nearby. He approaches, clenching it far too tightly to be normal, and all the hairs lining your skin rise as he does. Goosebumps erupt over the exposed flesh. Cold air swirls around you - for this place is always so frigid - but that is not what conjures such a reaction. That is due to his heightening proximity. How his steps echo across the tile as he strides closer, heavy boots thudding against the floor, and then the despised warmth of his fingers as he silently slides a formal hand into yours. You hadn’t expected that, but the insinuation is clear.
Neither of you will quite back down. Not just yet.
And so, silent and strained, you allow his sturdy touch to balance you as you step free from the bathtub. Even through the rough mat underneath the soles of your feet, the freezing ground emanates through. Another shiver finally breaks from your damp chest, tremoring up your arm. Droplets trail down your skin, and cascade to the floor in muted drops.
Part of you wishes that he would speak. The other torn piece is glad for a respite from his smug and domineering words.
Still, Zemo does not say anything. There is no crass comment or crude remark. Only the weight of something hanging in the air between you - thick and darkly burdened - which swells as he silently drapes the towel over your shoulders. Those eyes threaten to burn holes into the back of your skull, but you do not turn to face him. Something whispers at you not to. That if you do, something unforgivable may happen.
Because, as much as you despise your captor, there is a rising fascination that grows for him. A strange draw to push him to the limits, and get him to reveal just how truly dangerous he is. To force him to play his hand, and reveal exactly what is in store for you during your time here.
As if reading your thoughts, Zemo takes a step closer, shifting right up behind you. Your head remains boldly forward, focused on the door on the opposite side of the room. There is the faintest brush of his chest against your back, and heated breath puffs against the nape of your neck. Still, he doesn’t touch you. Only leans forward, lips so close to your earlobe that you can feel them hovering against your skin, and lets out a soft murmur of warning.
“Impressive tactic, dragă. Truly, I applaud your courage. However, let me warn you that not all other men are as composed as I. This is not a gambit that I would suggest using again. Not unless you are prepared for what could come.”
His hand ghosts along the curve of your hip, skating through the air only a hair’s breadth away. You can feel his urge to place it upon your body, just those five fingers in the briefest of contact, just prove that he still holds the control here… But yet, he doesn’t. Won’t. Maybe even can’t. The knowledge leaves you with a shaky sigh of relief, because in that moment that you realise while Helmut Zemo is many things - a criminal, a murderer, your captor - he is not the type of man to violate a woman’s autonomy. Trapped in this place with such an intimidating overlord, that is a small blessing which will be gladly taken.
He steps back, and another low command washes over you. “You will join me for dinner tomorrow evening, on the assumption that Lamarre returns to confirm your story. Note that I expect you to be more appropriately dressed.”
There’s no argument to be found within the order. Not a sliver of room to refuse. Just an emotionless decree that has you dip your head in the tiniest of nods.
Agreeing doesn't feel like quite so much of a concession after what just occurred. Now a shred of your power has come back, and you can reconcile that earlier look within his eyes. Admiration. Not simply at the sight of your naked body, but in response to your abrupt show of resolve. To the fact that you had stood your ground with him, which was probably not something that many people attempted.
And besides, such an offer signals something even more important.
If he’s asking you to dine with him, it means that he has no immediate plans to kill you. That’s a better sign than any other, and it offers a chance. Just a shred of hope that you could potentially get out of this place and find your way back to Jay.
A/N: Gothic themes are a lot more fun to write than I expected!
Did anyone suspect that Jay was Bucky? I know there weren’t huge hints, but I’m curious if anyone was suspicious.
If you want more Zemo, I also uploaded the first chapter of ‘Call It A Secret’ last week. This is Zemo’s continuation/spin-off of my ‘Call It A Night’ series. It has A LOT of smut in it, so if you want some of that goodness you know where to go...
Support your content creators! Likes, reblogs and comments are much appreciated.
Link to the next chapter will be added below once published.
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Y/N: You're so cute. Just precious. *cups Zemo's face with hands* You must be protected at all costs.
Zemo: I-I'm the bad guy! I'm the villain. I tore the aven-
Y/N: Yes yes...you did.. You precious little bean.Look at you being the bad guy. You go.
This the entire zemo fanbase in a nutshell 😌
Happy Birthday king 👑❤
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If u r still taking Zemo x reader ideas could I request a one shot where Zemo and the fem!reader are a couple and they have to babysit a baby (could be Sarah's or smth) and he is SO ADORABLE with the baby (bc he misses his son so much) and the reader tells him that she's ready to have a family with him? All super fluff pls? 🥺
Sorry this took so long and I tried my best to write this. I don’t think I made it fluffy enough.
Pairing: Zemo x Reader
Warning: talk of Zemo’s dead son
You and Zemo had been together for almost two years now. After his assistance in taking down The Flag Smasher America, Germany, the country that took sakovia had pardoned him. He was allowed out of prison as lon as he stayed away from wakonda. Sara and Bucky had had a baby, sam still didn’t like the super soldier and his sister together, And sam was still captain America. He hadn’t had as many issues with it as he thought he would no one bothered him about being a black captain America other than racists.
Currently You and zemo were babysitting for Sara, Sam Wilson’s sister, while her sam and Bucky were preparing for a block party type of event. You were making Sara’s oldest boys sone Kraft Mac n’ Cheese while Zemo was watching the baby. He walked into the kitchen talking to the baby in that weird voice people use with children. You thought the voice was stupid but he looked so cute with the baby.
“Helmut you know he doesn’t understand you, right?” You said and he looked at you.
“I know libeling but it still helps when they learn to talk.”
“Honey you have an accent that sometimes I don’t even understand,” You said as the baby started crying, “I think I made the little guy mad.”
“No you didn’t y/n he’s probably just hungry.” Zemo handed the baby to you and you were a little tense. “Don’t be so tense they can sense fear. Do you know if Sara left-“
“She left his bottles in the fridge. Love? Does this babysitting make you miss Carl?”
“Y/n, I always miss Carl. He had his mother and I wrapped around his finger.. All children remind me of him,” He said heating the bottle as the two older boys ran in.
“Y/n! Zemo!” They shouted, “Is dinner done yet?”
“Almost.” You said as she had the boys sit down. Zemo took the baby and fed him smiling. You smiled and gave the older boys some Mac n’ Cheese. Zemo talked to the baby while feeding him. You looked at Zemo in awe and left the room. After dinner you got the older boys to bed and went to check on Zemo and the baby. He was singing the baby a sakovian lullaby. When he set the baby down in the crib you set your hand on Zemo’s back, “Helmut? Do you ever want to have a child again someday?”
“Yes one day but I’d never would want you t feel pressured int that sort of thing.” He said as the front door opened. You and him went to the living room. “James, Sara, Your children are asleep and the baby was fed and is asleep.”
“Thank You Zemo, Y/n. You two are life savers.”
“Anytime Sara.” You said getting Zemo’s jacket and yours. The two of you walked to his jet so you could go home. You were looking at the ground most of the way to the jet.
“Libeling talk to me. Something is on your mind.”
“What you said about wanting to have another chid someday.”
“meine Geliebte, don’t feel pressured by that-“
“No no Helmut I don’t. I didn’t want to mention it until you brought it up but the idea of starting a family with you has been crossing my mind a lot lately.”
“mein schatz was willst du sagen?” He said in sakovian making you sigh. He often slipped into his native language when he was confused or worried.
“Helmut you know I don’t understand Sakovian.”
“Sorry, My darling what are you trying to say?”
“If you want to have a baby, to start a family, I’m ready to do that with you.” You said and he smiled then hugged you.
The two of you wasted no time about two months later Sara and Bucky got a letter from you telling them that you were pregnant.
Tag list: @sebby-staan
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Helmut Zemo x GN!Reader
My Masterlist • Series Masterlist
Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5
“Drop it Zemo.” Sharon orders. You see Helmut place the gun back on the floor.
“Sharon?” Bucky says in surprise.
“You cost me everything.” She states, kicking the gun aside and fixing it towards Helmut. You move to stand in front of him. Sam steps forward,
“Sharon, wait. Someone recreated the super-soldier serum and Zemo had a lead.”
“Well that explains why you’re here, and have a bounty on your heads.”
“So what are you doing here?”
“I stole Steve's shield, remember? I also took the wings for your ass, so that you could save his ass from his ass.” You do not like how she keeps swinging the gun around. “Unlike you, I didn't have the Avengers to back me up. So I'm off the grid in Madripoor.”
“Hey, don't blow that smoke at me. I was on the run, too.” Sam argues.
“Was. Is. Big difference. I don't speak to my family anymore. I can't. My own father doesn't know where I am.” Sam looks away, guiltily.
“Listen Sharon, we need your help.” Bucky pleads. She laughs before sighing,
“This isn't over. I have a place in High Town. You'll be safe there for a while.” It doesn’t take long for the five of you to reach Sharon’s house.
“Looks like breaking all those laws is treating you well.” Sam comments, as you follow Sharon through her house. You pass a large display of art pieces, no doubt a gallery that Sharon owns. She shrugs, laughing,
“At some point, I thought if I had to hustle, I might as well enjoy the life of a real hustler. You know how much I get for a real Monet?” Sam laughs with her.
“Easy. Deactivate your hustle mode. You sell fake Monet’s.”
“No. She means real. This gallery specialises in stolen artwork. Monet. Van Gogh. Classics.” Helmut tells you.
“It's true. You know, half the artwork in museums like the Louvre is fake.” Bucky adds. “Real stuff sits in places like this.” Sam pulls out his phone, stopping in front of a painting,
“Okay, guys, I see what you're doing. You're more worldly than good old Sam.” You follow Helmut as Sharon leads you towards the stairs to her apartment. You hear Sam and Bucky still discussing the paintings as you ascend the stairway. After a small discussion, Sharon leaves your group, telling you to enjoy the party. While Sam and Bucky prepare themselves, you pour yourself a drink before pushing open the balcony doors and stepping outside. Probably not the best idea for someone with a bounty on their head, but you need some air. It isn’t long before you sense Helmut hovering by the door. You glance back at him. The bright neon lights of the cityscape are striking against his face, highlighting his features as his eyes search your expression.
“Are you alright?” He asks softly, breaking the silence between the two of you. You nod, lost in your thoughts for a moment,
“I think so.” He tilts his head aside, his eyes not leaving your face. “This wasn’t how I imagined our first day together.”
“You imagined it?” You turn to look down at the street, avoiding his gaze.
“Of course.” He goes quiet as he considers your admission. He steps out onto the balcony, approaching you slowly.
“I don’t mean to sound like a petty child.” He starts, leaning on the railing next to you. “But you didn’t visit me.” You nod faintly, keeping your gaze on the street below. “Why?”
“I didn’t want you to feel cornered. You were already in prison. I didn’t want you to feel like you had to accept me, because you had no other option.” You pause for a moment, before adding, “I also thought that you’d still be grieving.” He takes your hand, smoothing his thumb across your knuckles. Your mouth opens slightly, wanting to speak, but you hold back at the last second.
“What is it?” He asks gently.
“You were going to say something else.”
“Was Heike your soulmate?” A frown crosses his face and you fear you’ve upset him.
“I could feel your determination when we walked into the bar tonight. Your anxiety when you’d left me with Selby. Your relief when I was back with you. You’re my other half [Y/N]. There’s no doubt about it.” You’re stunned for a moment. All these years, you’d prepared yourself for the worst. For you to live without him. For you to have a soulmate that wasn’t meant for you. And now he’s here. In front of you. Telling you he’s all yours. He continues, “Heike and I. When we married we agreed that should we find our soulmate’s we’d remain living together, for the sake of our son, but that we would always belong to our soulmate.”
“Did she find hers?” He nods. “Where is he?”
“Buried next to her.” You nod tensely, not sure if the ache in your heart is from you or him. “We talked about you.” You look up at him. “Heike would ask after you almost everyday. And I’d tell her. If I told her you felt happy or sad during the day, we'd talk about what you might have been doing. We wondered where you were, and how I’d end up finding you.” You swallow the lump in your throat, tears glistening in your eyes.
“I thought that I’d remind you of her. Of everything you’ve lost.” You admit.
“I had considered that. In my search for the Winter Soldiers, I was consumed. I hate to admit it, but I gave you very little thought during that time.”
“You were rather occupied.” You reason, with a minute smile.
“That is no excuse. Though it is fortunate we did not meet at that time. I was not the man you deserve. Even now, despite my selfish urge to keep you, I believe you deserve better.”
“Helmut, you’re my other half, my mirror soul. Do you really think that, given the situation, I wouldn’t do what you did?”
“You would?” You hesitate, wanting both to comfort him and give him an honest answer.
“I know I’d consider it. I’m not sure if I’d be able to pull it off.” You joke softly. He lets out a light laugh.
“I’m sure you’re underestimating yourself.” Sam knocks against the door frame, but he doesn’t step onto the balcony, not wanting to intrude on your first quiet moment with Helmut.
“Party’s started.” Sam tells you.
“We’ll be out in a second.” You reply. You hold Helmut’s gaze for a moment, neither of you wanting to move but knowing you’ll have to soon. Helmut holds out his arm,
“Shall we?” You smile at him, taking his arm.
The rest of the night passes by in a blur. Throughout the party you spot Sam and Bucky making their way through the crowds, attempting to blend in. You like to think you and Helmut do a better job at mingling, particularly when the two of you take to the dance floor. His hands grasped by your own, or trailing down your sides as the two of you move with the music. Whenever you take a moment for a rest, Helmut’s at your side. Should you stop in front of a painting for too long, he’ll offer to buy it for you. Sam and Bucky approach the two of you as you’re looking at a painting.
“We’re heading upstairs, you two coming?” Sam asks. You glance at Helmut, and he gives you a subtle nod. The four of you make your way through the crowd, towards the stairs. Sam and Bucky head to their shared bedroom after wishing you a good night. Helmut sits on the couch with a glass in hand. You sit beside him, and the two of you talk for a few hours. Before long you’re yawning, your head leaning against his shoulder. He looks down at you, noting your eyes drifting closed. Smiling softly at you, he smooths a hand over your hair, before saying quietly,
“You should get some rest.” You nod sleepily. The two of you walk towards the bedrooms hand in hand. Once you reach your door, Helmut brings your hand to his lips. “Goodnight Liebling.”
Tagslist: @justfangirlthingies @that-stupid-head-tilt-thing @mischief-siriusly-managed @somethingthatsaysbubbles @fillechatoyante @obissimp @fandom-lover-4 @chipster-21 @purehuntress
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You Should (Un-)mute Yourself
Okay I got really carried away with this one, sorry it took so long but when I finished writing this, I had a better idea and rewrote it completely 😂 We all need a Zemo in our life to spice up online-lectures 😁
I hope you like it - Love, Kiki 🖤
Requested by: @baronesszemo-blackwood 🥰
Pairing: Helmut Zemo x fem!reader
Word count: 3k
Summary: You're stuck in a boring online lecture via Zoom, and Zemo decides to take matters into his own capable hands to make it a little more exciting for you.
A/N: Koshechka is Russian and means kitten
Warnings: SMUT (this is ONLY for audiences of 18+ !), vaginal fingering, vibrators
Check out my masterlist 🥰
Every single like, comment and reblog is appreciated 🖤
Also, there's a very sweet and fluffy oneshot coming your way on friday! 🖤
You sighed deeply for the third time in five minutes – they just didn’t feel like minutes, but hours. Summer had swept across the city like a fire-breathing dragon, and the blazing heat was no match for the fan whirring in the edge of the room. You’d already retreated to the one room with the least sunlight blazing in through the windowpanes, which was the bedroom, but it was still not enough. Currently, you were draped over the king-size bed, on your belly, head pressed into the cool, silky bedsheets, to listen to an especially tiresome online lecture on the laptop in front of you.
All your prayers for the Zoom-server to malfunction today had remained unanswered. Plus, you were sweating like a sinner in church. There had been nothing else left to do against the pressing heat than undress yourself, so you’d turned off the webcam and rid yourself of your summer dress, leaving you wearing only the underwear Zemo had given you a few days ago. It looked pretty; the bra was unusually comfortable – there weren’t many men whose priority while shopping dessous for their partner was comfort just as much as design – and it matched the black lace of the panties perfectly. The panties felt a little strange at the seams though, but you hadn’t lingered on the thought when you’d put them on for the first time this morning.
With a yawn, you lifted your head and your glace flicked to the little clock at the lower edge of your laptop screen. Half of the lecture had passed. Half. It felt like watching the shift of a continental plate in real time.
“Is it that exciting?”, a honeyed voice drawled, and you turned to roll your eyes at Zemo. He was leaning in the doorway, arms folded in front of his chest and a mischievous smirk playing on his lips as his watchful eyes roamed appreciatively over your half-naked form draped on the bed.
“You’re free to join me and find out”, you muttered under your breath, “First one to fall asleep gets to cook dinner tonight.”
Ignoring the voice of your professor droning on through the laptop, your eyes stayed glued to Zemo. He wore a simple black t-shirt, and it looked especially handsome with the muscles of his arms on display. He wasn’t bulky – just lean and muscular, radiating a serene kind of sexiness with his smirk that would make even the devil blush, the quiet confidence he carried himself with, the keen intelligence shining in his hazel eyes. His smirk widened as he caught you staring. “Do you enjoy the view, koshechka?“
He knew exactly what it did to you whenever he used this pet name.
“I’m not on mute”, you mouthed and nodded your head in the direction of the laptop, trying to focus back on the lecture – when something started to vibrate against you, and you gasped, rolling to the side to see if you’d somehow lied down on your phone. You hadn’t – and the vibrating sensation against your most intimate parts returned, much more forceful than before, sending a sudden jolt through your body and you gasped at the sensation against your clit. A wave of pleasure seized you – and ebbed again. What the – oh.
The panties Zemo had given you. You’d known they had felt a little strange. You gaped at him, incredulous, before you mouthed, “Oh no you didn’t.”
“Since you told me your online lectures were so tiring, I thought you could use a little…cheering up”, he purred, still leaning in the doorway. He waved a little black remote control you hadn’t noticed before in his hand, and with much of a show pressed the button in the middle. It effectively sent another pleasant shiver through you, and you let yourself fall onto your back with a low moan, biting your lip to silence yourself.
“You should mute yourself, my darling,” he winked, pressing the button again, and your hands gripped the silky bedsheets beneath you for purchase, the vibration of the panties enough to rouse you from your sleepy state and make heat pool between your thighs, leaving you yearning for more.
“Stop it!”, you half-groaned, half-hissed, but your hand already drifted down to the lace of the panties, pressing it harder against the bundle of nerves to intensify the vibrating sensation, and Zemo’s wicked little grin widened. Your hand shut out to smash the mute-button, desperately hoping nobody had heard you. The voices from your laptop were still droning on about the course topic. But oh, did this feel good. So much better than an online lecture.
“You could always take off the panties, of course. Go on. I won’t stop you”, he drawled, “But I have a feeling you don’t really want to.”
You glared at him, and, gathering every bit of resolve left in you, you finally ripped away the panties, discarding them on the floor where they landed with a dull thud.
“There”, you gasped, “You have no power over me.”
Oh God, he had so much power over you. Discarding the panties had done nothing to cool you down again, not with him still hovering in the doorway. Wearing that smirk. And that shirt.
With a deep breath, you sat up cross-legged and tried to resume your focus back on the Zoom-lecture. Your eyes didn’t leave the screen, but you could feel Zemo’s watchful gaze still trained intently on you, burning on your exposed skin like the touch of his hands would, and without taking a single glance in his direction you knew he was grinning knowingly. You could practically feel the smugness radiating off him. He knew he’d stolen your focus, knew what, exactly, you were thinking about right now, and it certainly wasn’t some scientific paper.
“You know,” he finally mused, and from the corner of our eye you could see him take a few deliberate steps in your direction, “Maybe the vibrating panties weren’t convincing enough –“ the mattress dipped as he slowly came to sit on the bed behind you, “ – to show you how much fun you could have right now –“ , he gently gathered your hair in his hands and pushed it over your shoulder to expose the side of your throat, “ – instead of giving all your precious attention to a boring online-lesson.”
With that, his lips were on your jaw, trailing lingering, searing kisses to your ear and finally down to the spot right below, where your pulse was quickening beneath the touch of his lips on your sensitive skin. Reflexively, you tilted your head to the side to give him more access, and your eyes fluttered close at the sensations he was sending through you. Oh my, this was so wrong. Were you muted? You were still muted, right? You blinked to check the little sign at the edge of the laptop’s display – yes, still muted, and the webcam was still turned off as well – and let yourself fall back against Zemo’s firm chest. His familiar scent of the cedarwood aftershave he used, mingling with the slight salty tang of his sweat, was intoxicating when it wrapped around you in time with his muscular arms. While attacking your neck with kisses that grew more and more demanding with every gasp they stole from your lips, his hands began to roam over your body, the caresses leaving goosebumps in their traces, leaving your skin tingling.
“This is not appropriate”, you whispered, “This really shouldn’t be happening, Helmut.”
The chuckle rumbling through his chest seemed to vibrate through your own bones, so close was he pressed against you.
“You can always tell me to stop,” he teased.
“You should stop.” His hands stilled on your waist, and he began to slowly pull back –
“But I don’t want you to stop. Don’t stop!”
Zemo snickered and placed his palms back on the curve of your waist, his fingernails digging into the bare skin while he resumed the hungry kisses, attacking the soft spot right above your racing pulse, and his hot breath fanned against your skin to drive you wild with desire.
As if sensing your growing impatience, his right hand drifted from the curve of your waist down, over your belly button and further, until he finally found the spot where you needed him most, fingertips slowly spreading your slick arousal pooling between your legs before he brushed them over the swollen bundle of nerves, and your muscles clenched with the touch.
“Oh God”, you mumbled.
Your head fell back against the crook of his shoulder while he began playing with your clit.
“So wet for me already and I haven’t even started. But listen to your lecture, my love”, he crooned against your neck, “I would hate to be the reason for your lack of concentration. Can you do this for me while I worship you with my hands?”
You nodded, and Zemo’s fingers ran along your slick folds, and a soft moan tumbled from your parted lips, enjoying the waves of pleasure bolting through your core with every touch of his rough fingertips – but you could tell he was holding back still, teasing you. You growled in frustration, rutting your hips against him to gain more friction.
“I can’t hear you, sweetheart”, he purred.
“Y – yes”, you groaned, louder this time.
“Then be a good girl and un-mute yourself. I wouldn’t want you to be distracted from your lesson.” The tease in his dark voice, husky with his own arousal, and his lips brushing the shell of your ear while he whispered to you, nearly were enough to send you over the edge right then and there. But his fingers stilled, and you let out a desperate mewl in response.
“I won’t continue if I’m distracting you”, he breathed, mock-concern lacing his voice, “I wouldn’t want to be a bad influence – you will just have to stay mute all on your own.” You could feel the cocky grin playing on his lips when his mouth brushed against the skin of your jaw. Desperate for more of his touches, you were eager to oblige and pressed the button to un-mute your microphone. Oh, the sinful things he made you do. But if he was pulling you down to Hell with him, it would’ve been more than worth it, you thought with a grin of your own, before his fingertips finally resumed to circle your clit, and your senses honed on to the pleasure burning through your nerve endings.
A muffled groan escaped you, and you bit your tongue to stifle the sounds he was stealing from your lips with the skilled strokes of his hand, the rough pads of his fingertips against your slick heat. The things he could make you feel…
“You have no idea how beautiful you are, my love”, Zemo mumbled, and his tone was almost reverent, “So stunning, half naked on the bed with only the underwear I gave you. Knowing that you’re mine. How could I resist having my way with you?”
You whimpered, your own eyes falling shut again as you kept savouring the sweet bliss he gave you while your hips moved in tune with his fingers, gyrating against them.
“Does this make you feel good, koshechka?”, Zemo husked against your ear, and you arched into him, “Better than the panties?” You could barely manage a nod, lost in your delirium of lust. He felt so good.
Your mind was hazy with want, with the pleasure that was cascading through your body with every move of his fingertips, every languid thrust of your hips as you spread your legs further to give him better access and deepen the thrusts of your hips against the pads of his fingers, missing him so terribly between your thighs, your velvet walls clenching around nothing.
“I need you”, you begged in a hushed, breathless voice, while sending a silent prayer that you’d been quiet enough so nobody in the Zoom call would have heard you. Zemo growled under his breath. His scent and the heated summer air made you dizzy in all the best ways, his breath caressing the crook of your neck, the muscles of his arms flexing as he pulled you closer so your back was pressed flush against his firm chest – it was stealing your breath and muddling your mind, turning you into a beautiful mess in his hands.
His lust-darkened voice, heavy with his accent whenever he was aroused, murmured against the shell of your ear, “You’re so beautiful when you come undone under my fingers, Y/N, but I’m not done with you yet. Not even close.”
Such a wonderful promise. With these words, he slipped a digit inside you, then a second one, stretching you, and your moans were growing louder and louder as he started pumping them inside of you. His free hand pressed gently over your mouth to muffle the noises falling from your lips, never ceasing to fuck you with his fingers so achingly slowly, teasing you with the movements.
“As much as I love to hear these sweet noises, if you don’t stay quiet, I will need to stop – you don’t want me to stop, do you, koshechka?” His voice was rough when he kept taunting you still, and you could sense his exhilaration at the potential risk of getting caught. It was thrilling, something you’d never done before.
You hastily shook your head, but you both knew you could guarantee for nothing, not with the heavenly things he was currently doing to you.
“Don’t – don’t stop, Helmut. Please don’t stop”, you panted, begging him to go on in laboured, breathless whispers. His fingers curled slightly against your walls you as he pumped them, and the tips grazed that sweet spot inside, eliciting another soft whimper as your back arched, making him hum into your neck in response. His teeth scraped against the side of your neck before he began to gently suck at the skin to leave his mark on you. The pleasant pain shot through you, mingling with the burning pleasure singeing your core with every move of him, every roll of your hips pushing his fingers deeper. It cost so much strength not to cry out his name in the throes of your lust-filled state, to let everyone know what he was doing to you, and you bit down on your lips – hard – from doing exactly this. You could feel his erection pressing against your lower back and one of your hands disentangled from its position in his hair to wander down and give him the same pleasure he was bestowing on you, but his left hand shot from your mouth and down to grab your wrist, stopping you mid-movement.
“Later”, he soothed, “This is about you now, koshechka, not me. I want to make you feel so good. I want to worship you first. I want you to relax and let me pleasure you and watch you unravel on my hands.”
The sweetness of his words, paired with the rasp in his voice, made the tension in your core grow until you thought you couldn’t take it anymore, until you felt as if you’d burst with the sensation of his fingers slowly fucking you.
“Yes, keep quiet my love”, he praised you, “Such a good girl, taking my fingers so well.”
“I’m close”, a broken whisper tumbled from your lips. He curled his fingers against your walls again, hitting the sweet spot inside again and again while his thumb began stroking the swollen bud of your clit, and quickening the thrusts of his fingers, your hips rolling against him, you could feel your own rhythm faltering and your walls clench around him, arousal already running down your tights. “God, yes!”, you groaned, and his name tumbled from your lips in a broken cry as your orgasm washed over you with the force of a thunderstorm. Your hands fell from their grip on his hair to clutch the bedsheets, finding purchase to stabilize you while you rode out your high on his fingers, your back arced while you threw your head back against his shoulders with the hot bliss of your climax lighting up your vision into blinding white, and his praises for you tangled with your moans as you came on his fingers. You own breathless gasps were in sync with his heavy breaths against your sweat-soaked skin, and you could feel him grin against the side of your throat.
Then, someone called out your name. It was not Zemo. With horror cutting through your hazy mind, you realized you’d entirely forgotten how you’d unmuted yourself in the Zoom-lecture.
You could feel Zemo silently laughing behind you as you cleared your throat, weakly asking, “Yes, please?”
“I asked if there were any questions”, the professor repeated, obviously bored by his own lecture, “And you rather enthusiastically called out. So, what’s your question?”
“Um, I think I understood now. No question, sorry”, you replied with a wince, and you could feel the heat creeping up your cheeks at what had just happened.
“Great. Then see you all next week.”
The Zoom call was ended, and you silently closed the laptop with shaky exhale. Zemo was still snickering like the devil behind you, and you turned around to push him back into the mattress and position yourself above him.
“You. This is your fault!”, you chided and pointed your finger at him, and the smug grin he gave you made your frown fuse into a smile as well.
“Well, if you hadn’t enjoyed my ministrations, you wouldn’t have called out as enthusiastically as you did, my love.”
With an embarrassed groan, you rolled off him, letting yourself fall back onto the mattress, soaked with sweat. You pressed your hands over your face, trying to grasp that you’d nearly been caught doing the naughtiest things during an online lecture. Or rather, letting Zemo do the naughtiest things. But oh, had it been worth it.
“Well, I had a feeling you weren’t opposed for a second run”, Zemo purred, leaning over you to place a chaste kiss to your cheek which stood in stark contrast to the wicked expression on his face. He looked rather flustered himself. It made your knees weak all over again. Zemo winked. “If you’re intent on taking revenge…I have no obligations.”
Oh yes. He could bet that you were.
Tag list (let me know if you want to be added to it🖤): @justfangirlthingies @boneheadduluc @trelaney @thesunflowersutra @sokoviandelights @everythingbeginsineternity-blog @stephlent @fandom-lover-4 @cazzyimagines @daniel-bruhhl @aisling1985 @roseabee25 @apparrio @cable-kenobi @marchingicenotes7 @buckyandlokicanhaveme
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A Man After Midnight - Sugardaddy!Zemo x Reader
Masterlist | Story Playlist
Summary: After escaping the RAFT, Zemo hides out in Italy. Reader is a student studying abroad in Rome, but has spent much of her time working in order to pay for school. One day after work she runs into a man while grocery shopping....
Warnings: Smut - unprotected sex, age gap, dubcon & daddy kink (if you squint), sugar daddy x sugar baby relationship dynamics. Alcohol use. Public displays of affection. Italian translations by Google Translate and being an avid fan of The Sopranos.
A/N: This was a request I got on AO3 I took some liberties with. Please don’t try to poke holes in some of the logic in this story (i.e., Zemo going out to a club while he’s on the run), it’s just supposed to be fun. I meant to post this awhile back but it needed more work and I got super busy. Also, I made a playlist for this story, which you can check out here. Please enjoy!
Pocketing the map she’d been using a bit self-consciously, she stopped herself outside the small market. She was nearly successful, finally, at navigating from her flat to the closest place she knew to grab groceries, only having to look at directions once.
Studying abroad was supposed to be fun — at least that was what she had been told — but so far all she’d been doing was working overtime just to scrape by, and hardly had much time to explore the city. But how else was she supposed to afford living and studying in Rome without a proper job? Most of her classes were online, as it encouraged her to spend more time experiencing Italy, but it only gave her an excuse to spend more time at the office, putting in extra hours wherever she could.
It was easy to pick up ingredients for dinner every few days, and once she arrived at the grocer she set about getting all the things on her mental checklist. Mind spinning with thoughts of work — which was a competitive, paid internship she’d scored — her attention was everywhere except in the moment; hastily gathering the produce she needed.
There were a few emails she’d have to answer when she got home, a few files to review before she could even think of her meal and –
Letting out a grunt, she abruptly collided with a broad chest just as she was rounding the corner her way to check out. Tomatoes, apples, and oranges collided with the floor, she’d forgotten the canvas bag she usually carried her groceries in, and had been overly confident about what she could balance in her arms.
“Mi dispiace,” she apologized profusely, using the limited Italian she knew, barely regarding the man in front of her as she knelt to collect the items that had been sent rolling in every direction. “I’m so sorry.”
The man would step around the mess and continue about his day, she figured, but in her flurry to collect everything, a hand holding a bruised tomato was suddenly in front of her face.
Glancing upwards at the outstretched hand, she was taken aback when she saw the stranger’s face, becoming lost in golden eyes, which were sparkling, attentive, gazing at her coyly.
“You might want to get a cart next time,” he said, voice low and even. His accent was European, but she couldn’t place exactly what it was from. However, she had heard enough Italian accents to at least recognize that this was different. It didn’t matter though, because his husky intonation was the most agreeable sound she’d heard since she first arrived in the country. He didn’t seem angry, if anything, he was amused. “May I help?” he asked, gesturing to the groceries in her arms.
It took her a moment to respond as she was too busy checking him out; he was good-looking, and had a vaguely familiar face, though she didn’t know exactly how. Perhaps he resembled an actor she’d seen in a movie somewhere, but she wasn’t going to let it qualm her.
“Oh please, you don’t have to-“ she began.
“It’s the least I could do.” She didn’t argue, and how could she? It seemed almost rude to refuse.
“I take it you aren’t from here…” he stated plainly.
“You can tell?” she asked sarcastically.
He chuckled, a pleasant sound. “Neither am I.”
They made their way to the register, and he paused to grab a bottle of wine off the top shelf of the rack, not bothering to look at the price, although she did, and tried not to gawk when she saw it. There was a short line at the register, and they filed behind other patrons.
“My name is Helmut,” he offered his hand, and she shook it, giving him her name in response, which he repeated once before offering a soft smile. “What brings you to Italy?” he asked, chatting her up. Normally she shied away from small talk, but right now, she really didn’t mind it at all.
“I’m studying abroad,” she answered.
“Sounds educational,” he winked. “Have you seen anything interesting yet?”
She shrugged wondering how much she was willing to share. “Uh, well...it’s a little embarrassing but...not really. I scored a sweet internship, so I’ve mostly just been working.”
“Well don’t work too hard,” he chided. “There’s so much to do here, you won’t want to waste the experience.”
“I know,” she said. “Do you live in town?”
A somewhat sour expression crossed his features, his brows drawing together, eyes narrowing, but then he blinked and it was gone. “No, I’m in town for business, I’m staying just outside the city.”
“Oh nice,” she said, and she realized that she had made it to the front of the checkout line, where Helmut helped her place her items on the counter. The cashier bagged them quickly and she paid, taking the tote in her arms.
“Well it was nice meeting you,” she said, turning to find him watching her attentively, seemingly zoned out or lost in thought, though there was something quite intense in his gaze.
“You as well,” he answered. He paused then, eyes raking her up and down quite brazenly, and she thought maybe he was going to ask her something else, but appeared to decide against it. “Enjoy your time in Rome,” he finished.
“You too.” The cashier pulled his attention away and she left. So far, most of the people she’d met had been friendly, and she didn’t think much of the interaction, leaving him behind in the market as she began the short walk home.
She lounged in a chair by the window in her little bedroom, feet propped up on the windowsill, watching the last sliver of sun slipping carefully under the cover of the horizon, the sky changing colors, from blue to red, to pink, to yellow before her eyes. Her cheap bluetooth speaker played an old Eagles album, and her hands worried about the handle of a mug that contained the remainder of a cheap bottle of Merlot. It wasn’t even a week night, but she was going to have to go to work early the next day just to get a few hours in. There was a good chance she’d be the only other person in the office, but she didn’t have much of a choice, as she needed the extra hours if she wanted to make rent the following week.
The trip was only possible because of a scholarship she’d gotten, but it was barely enough money to cover school, let alone rent and other living costs. The other students in the program had help from their families, or had money saved up, but unfortunately, she didn’t have such luxuries.
The city went on without her that night, and she could hear the chatter of people on the street, out getting dinner and drinks, pregaming before heading out to the clubs. She closed her eyes, taking another sip of wine. She’d have to start getting ready for bed soon, but she was savoring the only bit of city life she could have right now.
That was until her roommate, Tiff, came tearing into the room, wobbling in precariously high heels and a skimpy, skintight dress, a watered-down drink in her hand.
“Uhhh, please tell me you’re going to change,” Tiff scolded, incredulous. She opened her mouth to speak but she was cut off. “Wait...don’t tell me you forgot..”
“Fuck,” she muttered, squeezing her eyes shut, head lolling backwards. “That’s tonight?”
“Yeah, it’s Friday!” Tiff exclaimed.
“I can’t, I have to go in tomorrow.”
“Okay well, you’re coming anyways.”
“I could barely afford it even if I wanted to.”
“Who cares? I’ll spot you, but we’re not leaving without you.”
Despite her insistent protests, her roommates were convincing, and thirty minutes later she found herself on the sidewalk, huddled in a group, headed to a club she’d never heard of. Clad in a borrowed dress that was much shorter than anything she’d ever worn before, throat still burning from a shot of garbage vodka they’d taken just minutes ago, she planned on only staying out a few hours before heading home so she could make it to work the next day.
She’d been in the city for about a month, but it was her first time out, and as she waltzed with her friends down the street, she was struck by its beauty, the crowded sidewalks filled with people headed to various bars and clubs, dressed in varying degrees of formality. For the first time since she had arrived, she felt carefree, happy, excited. At this point, she didn’t care what the plan was, she was just relieved to be out of the cramped apartment and boring office.
The club her friends had picked out was packed, crowded, playing music she didn’t recognize but could easily dance to. It was a little overwhelming, and their group flocked to the bar to get a drink, leaning over to catch eyes with one of many frazzled bartenders.
Scanning the crowd, it was full of people she didn’t know, which was more comforting than anything else, compared to the pubs back home. That was, until she locked eyes with a man at the end of the bar. Wearing a dark shirt with the sleeves rolled up, his long fingers were wrapped around a tumbler filled with ice and amber liquor. She was struck by him instantly, not just by his handsome, confident looks, but….where do I know him from? His eyes narrowed at her kindly as a smile quirked at the corners of his mouth, oh god, he was so hot and she was so-
“What are you gonna get to drink?” her friend smacked her on the arm, and she turned away from the pleasant stranger, as Tiff bobbed her head to the music obliviously, and took in the scene around her.
She shrugged. At this rate, it didn’t seem like the bartender would ever notice them, and she’d practically forgotten about getting a drink, even though she felt like she’d need one soon to tolerate the crowd, which was growing increasingly rowdy. Turning her attention back to the man at the end of the bar, she was disappointed to find him gone. Maybe it had been her imagination, but she couldn’t hide her disappointment.
Sighing, she leaned further over the bar, hoping the bartender would be forced to acknowledge them, until she heard a deep voice in her ear.
“What a pleasant surprise,” it was a low purr that sent shivers up her spine, and she turned around to find the man now standing behind her, lips curled in an ornery grin.
She felt herself smiling like an idiot, absolutely taken, especially as she now recalled how she knew him, the same man she’d met in the market earlier that week. He had been stately before, but she realized she’d been too flustered to discern just how fine he really was.
“Helmut!” she exclaimed.
“I wasn’t sure if you’d remember me,” he said.
“How could I forget?” she blurted, and then felt her cheeks warm, embarrassed at her overt display of enthusiasm.
But he seemed to like it, and smiled even wider in response. “How serendipitous it is to find you here. I’m glad to see you experiencing the nightlife.”
“Yeah,” she appreciated him up close, and felt somewhat awkward trying to figure out what to say next besides just oogle.
“What are you drinking?” he asked, eyes flickering to her friend as well, who had just caught on to what was happening.
“Uh, vodka soda,” she said without thinking, her usual drink of choice when going out. “If we ever get a drink.”
“Allow me,” he leaned over the bar, raising his hand.
As if on cue, a bartender approached him, and as he was ordering, Tiff elbowed her aggressively. “Holy shit, who is that?” she asked, checking him out, and her eyes drifted down to the curve of his ass in his dress pants. Nice, her friend mouthed, nodding in approval.
Shrugging, she was too taken aback to tell the story, and before she knew it, Helmut pressed a cold glass in her hand, offering another drink to her friend who took it graciously.
“It’s on me,” Helmut said before she could open her mouth.
Now, she was able to give him a real appraisal. Stubble covered his jawline, dark hair falling onto his forehead, and she noticed, for the first time, the fine lines around his eyes and mouth. He was older than her, much older – she had to guess maybe somewhere in his forties – but it hardly mattered because he wore it well. If anything, he couldn’t have been more becoming if he were any younger. The dark dress shirt he wore was unbuttoned at the top, revealing just a bit of his bare chest, but not hardly enough, she thought.
The bartender sat down a round of shots as well, ones he must have ordered. “Please, let’s toast,” he lifted the small glass. She didn’t dare ask what the shot even was, and Tiff just kept elbowing her aggressively, like she couldn’t believe what was happening.
“Salute,” the three of them clinked the glasses together and threw back the liquid. It was smooth, expensive, nothing like what she had taken before she left her place that night.
Helmut threw back the rest of his drink as well, and his eyes fixated on her.
“Come dance with me,” he commanded, and tilted his head in the direction of the dance floor. She froze, turning back to Tiff to ask silent permission.
“Will you just have some fun? I’ll find the others. Go on, he’s hot.”
She couldn’t disagree, and took his outstretched hand hesitantly. It was cool from the drink, but felt so nice.
“You aren’t working tonight?” Helmut teased, and she was surprised he’d remembered anything from their brief conversation in the store earlier in the week.
“No, but I have to go in tomorrow,” she rolled her eyes.
“On a weekend? It doesn’t sound like you’re taking my advice.”
“I’ll be short on rent if I don’t, “ she regretted the words the second they came out of her mouth, but she’d never been a great liar. Still, she doubted he wanted to hear about her financial misfortunes. As she expected, a look of discontent crossed Helmut’s features and she figured this would be the blow that startled him away, but it wasn’t, and his expression neutralized quickly.
She didn’t recognize the music, all sung in various languages she didn’t understand, even the songs in Italian she only half comprehended, but it didn’t matter. Helmut’s arm snaked around her waist, pulling her close to him, and she felt her heart rate increase, echoing in her ears, even louder than the bassy club hits. His proximity was intimidating, almost suffocating. She wasn’t used to attention from men like this, and as much as she liked it, she herself wasn’t quite sure what to do. One wrong move might turn him off entirely, and she didn’t want to make a fool of herself.
Finally finishing her drink, she discarded the glass on an empty tray passing by. Her hands rested stiffly on his shoulders, and he pulled away slightly to smile at her. “You don’t do much dancing, do you?” he asked.
She shook her head no, struggling to find words. You idiot! She practically screamed at herself, feeling heat rising up her neck. “I’m sorry,” she managed.
“Don’t apologize,” he said gently. “Here,” Guiding her hands, he laid one on the arm that he had wrapped around her waist, the other to his chest, her thumb mere inches from his exposed skin.
“You can get as close to me as you’d like darling,” he hummed. “I don’t bite.”
His hands were big, the one spread across her waist, thumb lazily grazing her ribcage, warm and gentle, her stomach fluttering at the contact as they began to move in time to the music. There was something almost protective in the way he held her, which had her reeling, despite how little they knew each other.
Helmut’s stubble tickled the side of her face as he talked to her while they danced, and she wondered if he was doing it because he could tell she was nervous. She hoped not.
“Sweet girl,” he murmured in her ear. “Don’t tell me this is your first time out since you’ve been in the country.”
She grimaced, glad he couldn’t see her face. “I’ve just been so busy.”
“You can’t spend all your time working.”
“I don’t have much of a choice,” she was embarrassed truthfully, but she wished they could change the subject. It was clear she sounded like a stick in the mud.
“I might be able to help you,” he purred. From her spot, her chin over his shoulder, against the side of his face, she couldn’t really read him, but she was beginning to feel tipsy from the drinks she’d had. “But enough talking about work.”
It wasn’t clear what he meant, and she didn’t want to press him, didn’t think she would have the audacity to even if she wanted. Instead, she let the liquid courage seep slowly into her veins, the rest of the club, the noise, the lights blending together into a more tolerable backdrop. When she leaned in closer to him, he matched her enthusiasm. Drowning in his scent, expensive cologne, cigar smoke, and whiskey, she gathered he was a man who liked the finer things, the watch adorning one of his wrists could probably pay her rent for the entirety of her stay in Italy and then some.
Growing more and more bold, she moved her thumb over to dip underneath the shirt he was wearing, hesitantly touching the bare skin there. Her thumb began toying with the fourth button of his shirt, and he pulled away slightly to look at her then. Freezing, she wondered if she’d crossed a line.
But instead, Helmut quirked an eyebrow, amused. “Would you like to see more of me already?”
“Just a little,” she felt small, demure in his presence, but there was something kind of appealing about it. Watching her, she unbuttoned the shirt carefully, pushing the fabric aside to splay her palm against the broad expanse of his chest, which was searing hot and damp with perspiration. She gently raked her nails back and forth.
“Oh draga, you aren’t as shy as you lead others to believe, are you?” he smiled at her.
She shook her head no, and at this point the two of them were closer than they’d been all night, his lips just inches from hers. Lifting her chin, she let her eyelids flutter closed halfway, hoping he’d give her what she wanted, and he did, tilting his head down to slot his lips against hers.
Whatever she’d been expecting, he blew that out of the water, the searing heat of his mouth against her own was like stepping into a sauna, sucking the air from her lungs and buckling her knees, a jolt of lighting hitting her stomach and radiating all the way to her core. He was so passionate, so confident. She didn’t need to worry about what to do next as he took the lead, his tongue sliding against her lower lip, one of his hands on the back of her neck, the other on her jaw. Even if she didn’t want to give in, she’d have no choice in the matter, and surrendering to him felt euphoric.
No one had ever kissed her like this before, and definitely not in public, but that hardly mattered because the last thing she wanted to do was stop him, and she let her hands roam, wrapping around his broad shoulders and tangling in his hair.
When his hands pulled her closer, tilting his head and deepening the kiss even further, she let out an unbridled moan into his mouth. It’d been so long since anyone had paid her attention, and now, this, one of the hottest men she’d ever met was making out with her - passionately - in front of hundreds of people.
He pulled away suddenly, she was a panting mess, lips swollen as she sucked in greedy gasps of air while she could, though she’d much rather be deprived if it meant he was going to kiss her like that again. She thought she’d done something wrong until he spun her around and grabbed her hips, wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her back so her ass was flush against him.
He pressed his hips forward, gripping her own with bruising intensity, so she could feel him hard against her and she moaned, plainly, unable to help herself, head lolling back against his shoulder.
In her limited years of life, she never imagined herself in this situation, which made it all the more thrilling. They were invisible among the crowd of people and she felt giddy, delirious. Grinding against him to the music, she threw an arm behind her to grip at his neck, which allowed him to press hot, searing kisses along her sensitive skin as she keened back into him. His lips locked with her own again and she moaned into his mouth.
“You little tease,” he growled, his words had desire settling in the pit of her stomach as one of the hands on her waist slowly drifted up her ribcage and cupped the soft flesh of her breast through too many layers of her clothes.
With every touch of his greedy hands, she was growing impossibly wet, he devoured her shamelessly, for anyone there to see. But no one around them seemed to care.
There was power and powerlessness in her current state, all at the same time. He was cursing in a language she’d never heard before, the one hand that wasn’t on her breast ventured to grapple along her thigh where her dress stopped short. They explored her bare skin, torrid and rapacious, her self-control waning with every press of his sticky palms.
“You look incredible in this dress,” he cooed. “If I fucked you in it right now, I don’t think anyone would know.”
The precipice between her legs ached at his words, clenching around nothing. And Helmut seemed to know exactly the effect he was having on her, but it only seemed to spur him on as he whispered absolute filth in her ear.
“Do you want me as badly as I want you?” he asked.
“Yes,” she cried out as his hand slipped underneath the fabric of the skirt, no one would even be able to see him squeezing and pinching at the inside of her thighs, harsh enough to leave marks behind.
When his knuckles grazed the front of her panties, she could tell they were already damp. He was so, so close to where she wanted him most but he was holding out, refusing to give her what she needed. “You’re so wet for me already,” he chided.
“Helmut, please,” she whined, a simpering mess at this point. She hadn’t even drank that much, but she couldn’t remember the last time she’d been with anyone, and she knew with certainty it wasn’t this hot, hell, she probably hadn’t even gotten off. Mind clouded and driven by pure lust, it was Helmut who pulled away, but only slightly, and she whined at the loss of contact.
“Draga,” he sympathized. “What kind of gentlemen would this make me?”
Her logical brain managed to push through the fog, just a bit, as she turned around to face him once more. With some space between them, she was coming down from her high, realizing that she had never even been that drunk before, just lost in the throes of desire, intoxicated by him and the energy of the crowd surrounding them.
“Be patient, anđele, you’ll be grateful once I’m through with you.”
His words sent another wave of want over her, but she had to fight it, she was tempted to drag him into the bathroom, or worse, back to her flat. But she knew better than that...or did she?
She’d donned her nicest dress, at least, the nicest dress she owned, and had to admit she was feeling confident as she approached the hostess stand. However, she was distracted by the view as the sun set before her, illuminating the skyline of Rome. She took a second to enjoy the moment, to focus on the soon-to-be memory, rather than the elephant in the room.
And as the hostess led her to their table she spotted him, seated by a balcony, looking at the view, nursing a drink. The mere sight of him had desire curling in her belly, and nerves tingling along her skin. It was all so intimidating.
Before she’d left the club, Helmut had asked for her number. The next day he’d Venmo’d her $500 and invited her to dinner. You aren’t working tonight, the memo had said. It sounded like she didn’t have a choice, so she didn’t.
She didn’t have words to describe how she felt about it all. Like she’d said before, she wasn’t used to attention from men, especially not someone like him. And she knew almost nothing about him, what he did for a living, where he was from. Hell, she didn’t even know his last name for fucks sake. This whole situation could be dangerous, but for some reason, she was still intrigued.
“Well at least if you die tonight, I can tell your family it was in pursuit of a sugar daddy,” Tiff had teased as she helped her get ready.
“I don’t know if that’s what this is.”
“Please,” her roommate rolled her eyes. “It totally is, and it’s totally hot. And so is he.”
She couldn’t disagree. But she still wasn’t sure what exactly to make of the whole situation.
“Buona sera,” Helmut stood to greet her. “Come stai?”
“Molto bene, grazie,” she answered softly, though she wasn’t sure if that was honest.
“How lovely it is to see you tonight,” he purred, as a waiter poured them both a glass of wine from a bottle. “I hope you don’t mind, I already ordered a bottle of wine for us. But if you’d like something else, by all means...”
“No this is…” she glanced at the label as her glass was being filled with the crimson liquid. The label looked vintage, and probably pricey. “This is good.”
“I thought you might appreciate a nice Italian wine,” he said. “This one is from Tuscany.”
As if that meant anything to her, her normal choice of wine was Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joes. But, she was still flattered, even though someone with a more refined palette deserved to try it instead of her.
Clinking glasses with him and taking a sip, she looked out over the skyline of Rome once more. The sun had set, but there was still a bit of light in the sky, and they were tucked away from everyone else, out of sight. She wondered if he’d done it on purpose, so he could try to feel her up, not that she would’ve minded.
Taking a deep breath, she decided they had enough privacy to bring up what was on her mind, especially because he seemed to be avoiding it.
“Listen, Helmut, I need to tell you something…” she began.
“About the money you gave me-”
His expression turned from one of contentment to something much darker. “It is impolite to discuss such matters in public, and especially not at dinner.”
“Well when else are we supposed to-”
“After, once we retire to my room.”
“Retire to your room?” she raised an eyebrow. “How presumptuous.”
“Is it, though?” he gave her a knowing look, and a once-over. “Just a few days ago you were begging me to fuck you in the middle of a club.”
It shut her up. That sort of audacity would normally turn her off, but now, coming from his mouth, it sent tongues of heat up her neck. She squeezed her thighs together. His expression softened, and he leaned forward to whisper in her ear.
“Schatzi, I’ve spent much of my life like you, always running around, focused on my next accomplishment. And because of it, I missed many precious moments I’ll never be able to get back,” briefly, a sadness crossed over his features. She flickered down to the hand that worried about the stem of his wine glass. He didn’t wear a wedding ring.
“Let’s enjoy dinner,” he said, leaning back in his chair to look at the menu and take in the view once more. She supposed he was right.
Her evening with Helmut was pleasant, surprisingly so. He was not the party boy she thought him to be, after their first encounter, as he wooed her with his knowledge of literature and history. He was well-educated and well-read, but not condescendingly so. She was impressed by his nature, and despite their clear differences in upbringing, they got on quite well. Most importantly, he seemed genuinely interested in what she had to say, despite the fact that her life was incredibly mundane and boring in comparison to his.
He had a way of making her feel special, the way his eyes met her own, the occasional flirtatious remark he’d make. The conversation rarely lulled and if it did, it didn't feel wrong, and they would settle into a comfortable silence as they ate their food.
By the end of the meal and a few too many glasses of wine, Helmut paid the bill. When she reached for her purse to offer him money, he looked genuinely offended, waving her off dismissively.
Shivering as they stood, Helmut draped her jacket over her shoulders and pulled her towards him by her waist. His touch lit her on fire again, brought her right back to the dance floor, his hands on her hips, the feeling of his cock grinding into her ass. She’d spent each night trying to rid herself of the lingering arousal using her own fingers, but it hadn’t been very helpful.
The suite he’d chosen was nice, though she supposed even the most inexpensive rooms at this hotel were. But she couldn’t appreciate the decor, as the moment they stepped through the threshold Helmut spun her around and pressed his mouth against hers. Snaking his arms around her waist, he took two steps backward and she hit the wall, pinned in place by his hips against hers. She moaned into his mouth, responding to him instantly.
“I’ve wanted to get my hands on you all night,” he growled, his hands dipping beneath the skirt of her dress to trace along her bare skin. It made her squirm, and she began to rut against him, lifting a leg to wrap around his waist.
But before she could find any relief he pulled away, rather abruptly, leaving her breathless, as he stalked to a small sitting area of the hotel. How he managed to remain so composed after kissing her like that was a mystery. He lifted an envelope off the table, pinched between his thumb and forefinger, passing it to her.
“But before I forget, this is for you,” he said.
Opening it, oblivious, she felt her eyes widen when she saw what was in it, a fat wad of cash. “That should be enough to cover your rent for the summer,” he said, sitting down and crossing his ankle over his legs, his arm over the back of the couch. Still dizzy with excitement she looked down at him.
“Helmut, I can’t-”
“Ah-ah,” he tutted. “You will. You’ll never experience Italy if you are working all the time.”
“This is insane,” she said, but was beginning to think her friend had been right.
“I’m a baron, schatzi, that is nothing,” he gestured to the envelope. “Don’t let such things trouble you.”
“A baron…” she trailed off, and her mind began working. It made sense, she supposed, why his work seemed so flexible, why he spent money like it was nothing. But there was something more, she thought.
She’d taken a few classes on European culture before her study abroad semester, and though she’d spent most of it asleep due to her crazy schedule, there was a name in the back of her head that she’d long since forgotten, one written on a whiteboard behind her professor the day after she’d pulled an all-nighter.
“Helmut Zemo,” she said to him softly, finally snapping the final piece of the puzzle into place. It all made sense, why he’d looked familiar when she first met him. A Sokovian Baron, a terrorist. “You’re supposed to be in jail.” He frowned, slightly, but didn’t respond. “Oh my god.’
The envelope, and the cash slipped from her fingers, unceremoniously fluttering to the coffee table, littering the floor.
“Schatzi, come sit...”
Her mind was spinning but she didn’t pull away from him when he tugged her to the couch and tucked her under his arm. And how could she? She didn’t know much about him, really, except that he was dangerous. Or at least, he was supposed to be. He’d only been kind to her, she couldn’t imagine any part of him being cruel.
“I thought you’d already figured it out,” he murmured.
As much as she wanted to be angry, it was hard to be with him so close. His presence was unsettlingly comforting and really, some ugly side of her was turned on by the whole idea. She liked it, though she would never admit it to herself.
The whole story came back to her now. He’d lost his whole family in the Battle of Sokovia, his son, his wife, his father. And although she didn’t condone the extremes he’d gone to avenge their deaths, all she saw before her now was a broken man, seeking companionship. And he wanted it from her. She didn’t understand it, but she supposed that didn’t matter.
“Let me show you Italy,” he coaxed, his deep brown eyes soft when she looked at them again. “You’ll have anything you could ever want.”
“You work so hard to take care of yourself, tirelessly. Won’t you just let me take care of you?”
His voice, a low purr in her ear, rekindled the fire she’d been feeling from a few nights before and she decided it wasn’t her responsibility to turn in a dangerous criminal. Especially not one so handsome, so gracious, so impossible for her to resist. She kissed him this time, open-mouthed and needy. And really, why had she been so stubborn? She would’ve let him fuck her for free.
Helmut must have sensed the shift in attitude, because he spent very little time kissing her before his hands were roaming her body, squeezing and grabbing at her exposed flesh. His hand hooked behind her knee and pulled her across his lap so he could cup her ass.
Every touch reminded her of the night they’d spent together, how close his fingers had been to where she needed him, and he had given her nothing. She hoped he would tonight. “I want you so badly, Helmut,” she mumbled into the skin of his neck.
“Don’t worry, anđele, daddy is going to give you everything you need.”
“Please,” she mumbled after his words, she could feel how wet she was already, aching and clenching around nothing. His hand slid up between her parted thighs, she was still hovering over him, and his knuckles brushed against the front of her panties.
She let out a whimper, even the slightest bit of pressure was a relief, even though it didn’t last long. Pushing aside the fabric, he finally made contact with her skin, fingers dipping into her folds and spreading around her wetness.
“You’ve made such a mess of yourself for me, haven’t you, darling?”
“Yes,” she answered, hoping she was telling him exactly what he wanted to hear. “I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”
Looking down into his burning gaze, he chuckled darkly. It allowed her just enough time to be distracted from the feeling of his hands on her, until, without warning, he thrust two fingers into her soaked cunt.
“Fuck,” she nearly collapsed on him, pitching forward with the sensation, the way it felt for her body to yield to him so easily.
“Ah-” he used his free hand to push her backwards. “Stay on your knees,” he commanded. “I want to see your pretty face when you come for me.”
“Fuck, Helmut, I need-” she cried out, not even sure what she was protesting as he worked her open. His thumb found her clit, pressing down, and she wasn’t sure if it was a response to her inquiry, but it was exactly what she had hoped for.
It was hard to hold herself up, her walls throbbing and fluttering around the intrusion of him, she was growing wetter and wetter, and he was reaching all the spots she hadn’t been able to herself, especially when he added a third finger.
She wasn’t going to last. It was embarrassing but she couldn’t help it. Before she knew it she was rutting her hips against him, seeking more friction. His free hand rose to her neck, squeezing, and she grew even more lightheaded and feeble. Helmut’s fingers curled, finding the spot that none of her other lovers bothered to find. When she looked down to meet his gaze, eyes stormy but warm, she felt herself begin to tighten around him.
“Don’t stop, I’m so-” she began, but was unable to finish her sentence before it happened, tumbling over the edge as she came hard, clenching around his fingers. Everything went black - she wasn’t sure if it was because she’d closed her eyes or it was the intensity of the orgasm alone, but it didn’t really matter. Her knees gave out beneath her, and she fell forward, whimpering and whining his name, head on his shoulder, panting in his ear.
“That’s it,” he praised softly. “Such a good girl for me.”
Slowly, he withdrew from her, pressing a soft kiss to her temple before lifting his digits to his mouth. Watching him, she felt the ache between her legs return as he greedily sucked her arousal from his fingers.
Pitching forward, she couldn’t hold back the giggle that passed her lips, relieved and incredulous. But it wasn’t enough. He cursed under his breath as she palmed at his pants, grappling at him.
“Fuck,” he pulled her hands away from him, forcing her to straighten up as his eyes locked with hers. “Strip for me.”
No man she’d ever been with had been so abrupt, so domineering. And with anyone else, she might have found it dramatic, even embarrassing. But he was so confident, so sure of himself, each command he gave she’d obey without question.
Stepping away from him, she snaked her thumbs under the straps at her shoulders, pushing them off as he watched her under the dim light of the room. Even though she’d never stripped for anyone before, not like this at least, but the way he looked at her, all-consuming with his eyes, made her feel sexy. Slowly, she moved with purpose, delaying his gratification, as she pushed the fabric over her hips, letting it skate down her thighs and to the floor.
His breath hitched in his throat, she could hear it, as he rubbed a hand over his stubbled cheek. As deliberate and sensual as she was trying to be, it was growing hard to be patient when he was looking at her like that.
Off came her bra, followed by her panties, which she had the forethought to match, having some semblance of an idea of where the night might take her. For once, being an overthinker paid off.
“Oh liebling, you are more beautiful than I imagined.”
It was hard not to beam at him, grinning like an idiot, and while she wasn’t sure exactly what this relationship entailed, he still managed to make her blush, whether he was trying to or not.
“Now you,” she giggled, and he chuckled slightly at her.
“Ah-ah….you don’t get to call the shots,” he warned, before growing serious. “I’ll have you on the bed.”
She would test the waters eventually, she thought, to see how far she could push him. But tonight, it was clear she’d get what she wanted if she just listened. And she didn’t think she could go much longer without his hands on her.
Legs still a little wobbly, she made her way over to the bed and he stalked behind her, loosening his tie and tossing it to the floor. He spun her around right as she reached the bed, and she stumbled, falling backwards, only to be met with the plush mattress.
Helmut was on her quickly, pulling her into another searing kiss, and she parted her legs so he could slot himself between her thighs. Impatiently, she fumbled with the buttons of his shirt, managing to work her way down to his belt, and he didn’t protest when she pushed the garment off his shoulders, exposing his bare chest.
His hands roamed her body, met her bare breasts and squeezed, cupping them and pinching her nipples between his thumb and forefingers. Crying out, she was torn away from her focus on his belt buckle briefly. His mouth latched onto another, sucking and nipping and she keened into the contact.
Eventually, she managed to loosen his belt, unbuttoning his fly and shucking down his pants, his hard cock bobbing in his boxers, and she grabbed him through the thin fabric.
He groaned into mouth, she tasted the desire on his tongue, pumped him a few times before reaching her hand under the elastic band, freeing him fully. He was big, intimidatingly so, and she wanted to be concerned about how he would fit inside her but she didn’t have the time, as he pushed her to her back, coming to his hands and knees to hover over her.
“Normally I’d spend more time on you,” he mumbled, as he rolled them to their sides, slotting his knee between her legs so she couldn’t provide herself with anymore friction. “But not tonight.”
“I need you,” was all she could answer.
Somehow soon she was hovering over him, her hips straddling his as she stood on her knees, and he guided the head of his cock to her entrance, teasing her until she finally stopped him. Slowly, she began to sink down onto him, moaning, the girth of him alone was a lot to take.
“You’re so big,” she whimpered, wondering if riding him was really the best decision. But the discomfort was just so, not too much for her to handle. In fact, the burn of him pressing inside of her had her growing even wetter.
“And you’re going to take all of me,” he answered. When she flinched, her body meeting resistance, Helmut bucked his hips up, almost a little cruelly, and she was forced to take him deeper, a sharp cry leaving her mouth.
Once he was fully seated inside of her, he thrusted upwards, so deep she could feel him in the pit of her stomach, the back of her throat. It felt incredible, but overwhelming, so it took her some time to begin to move. The first shift of her hips alone had her eyes rolling back into her head, her limbs growing numb.
But Helmut didn’t allow her to stay still for long, he worked up into her in time with her movements, as she built up a steady rhythm and rode his cock. One of his hands kneaded into the soft flesh at her hips, the other rose to her mouth, thumb tracing along her bottom lip before he pressed it forward, into her mouth, and she sucked on it while she fucked him.
“Good girl,” he praised her, whispering compliments along with other filth she would never dare to repeat outside the room they were in, about how good she was being for daddy, about how well she was taking his cock. And she certainly didn’t mind it. Already sensitive and from her previous orgasm, she felt her second of the night creeping up as he stretched her open and hit every spot imaginable inside of her.
But she was struggling to stay consistent as she approached her release, pausing every now and then to catch her breath and keep her strength. Helmut must have noticed, even he seemed frustrated, and with one swift movement he flipped her over, his body never leaving hers as her back hit the mattress and he was the deepest inside of her he’d been all night. That alone was all she needed and she came again, this time around his cock.
Cursing and whimpering his name, Helmut answered with a moan, but he composed himself quickly. “That didn’t take long, did it?” he taunted, and she didn’t have the strength to answer.
She didn’t need to, as he fucked into her then, leaving her no time to recover. The nerves all over her body were tingling, begging, crying for some kind of break but it was clear Helmut wouldn’t allow it as he drove into her.
“I know you have another one for me, schatzi,” he grunted, frenzied. “Come on my cock again, I know you can.”
“I can’t-“ she gasped, but beyond her body crying for a break came another sensation, another coil winding deep in her belly. “Please, I-”
She was unintelligible by this point, her protests fruitless. He was a man who almost always got what he wanted.
“Yes you can,” he growled into her ear. “Let go.”
There was no way she’d be able to walk straight in the morning, that was for sure. His words had her back arching off the bed, still protesting weakly even as she came for him the third time that night, seeing stars. But even then, he wasn’t finished, he was now focused on his own release and she could hear the slick of herself as her sore and soaking cunt took him over and over.
Their lips met once more, sloppily, feverish, as her nails raked up his back. He was close, no longer holding back, and she wrapped her legs around his hips. Through the haze of overstimulation, she looked upon him. A thin sheet of sweat had broken out across his brow, along his shoulders, heat radiating off every inch of his body, a curtain of his dark hair falling in his face.
Bottoming out one last time, she felt him throbbing inside of her as he came, cursing loudly as his lips latched at her neck, catching the sensitive skin between his teeth. She cried out, startled by the sensation, but it didn’t hurt, at least not yet, while she was still coming down from her high.
In the aftermath he was surprisingly tender, which she was grateful for, as he helped her clean herself up. She slipped under the cool, clean sheets while he made nightcaps for the two of them.
“I’m flying to Lake Como next week,” Helmut said as he handed her a cocktail. “My family has an estate there I haven’t visited in awhile. I’d like it if you joined me.”
Even though she probably had to work, there was a way she could call off, or even telecommute. She wasn’t going to refuse him anymore, especially not if he was going to fuck her like he just had while they were away together. At any rate, she was sure this would be a semester she’d never forget.
Zemo tag: @juice-1981 @marvelsvision @pattispunk @msmarvelwrites @professorrw
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Could you just do something where zemo has a trans male partner, I really don’t care what it is I just wish there was more zemo x trans male content
yes of course!!
Zemo with a FTM trans! s/o
summary: hcs for zemo having a ftm trans!s/o
pairing(s): helmut zemo x reader
warnings: mention of transphobia + homophobia
taglist: @thesuitkovian @charistory
when you first come out to zemo, he'd be incredibly understanding
zemo is a very smart man who does his research and I'm sure he'd already be making up a list of ideas in his head of how to make you feel more comfortable
If you had met him and come out to him before transitioning, he would go to the ends of the earth to help you through the process (making sure you were comfortable with it before obviously)
whenever you are feeling insecure, he always reminds you of how much loves you and wants you to be happy
all of the products he owns for you are of the best quality
he always takes you out to buy you more masculine clothing whenever you want, no matter what the price
if you wear binders, he would buy 10+ of them for you to try and see if they work and if you feel comfortable in them
if you wanted to get top/bottom surgery, instantly zemo would set up a time and date with a reliable doctor and make sure that you get the finest care
zemo is incredibly protective around you, especially in public
if he saw anyone giving you dirty stares or scoffs, zemo is prepared to confront them and even throw a few punches if needed
if someone were to call you a slur or openly insult you, oh boy
he's already got their death planned out in his head and is fully prepared to carry it out
some days that you are feeling dysphoric, he would comfort you in any way you'd like
he constantly reminds you of how much you mean to him
zemo loves calling you handsome
all around, zemo is a very respectful boyfriend and would protect you at any moment he could
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Y/N : Damn... Are you a piece of art?
Zemo: Why?Do I belong to a museum?
Y/N: Oh no papi... Just wanna nail you up against the wall 😏
This ✨️picture ✨️piece of art✨️
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Y/N: I want to wake up with you every day for the rest of our lives
Zemo: I wake up at 5:30 AM
Y/N: I want to see you at some point every day for the rest of our lives :)
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I've been thinking about sugar daddy Zemo taking me shopping for new summer clothes. he heard you complain about your old clothes not fitting you anymore, so he pulled a Regina George and went "hop in, schatz. we're going shopping."
you put on what used to be your best sundress. Zemo, however, must've thought it still suited you because he could barely keep his eyes on the road. it was a hot day, so he had nothing but a button-up with the sleeves rolled up and the collar loosened. it was hotter than the leather car seat under there.
you could see a vein swell on his throat when the store staff wouldn't let him join you in the changing room, so you snapped him a few photos in the mirror and sent them. he deserved something for his patience after all.
when you left the mall, the sun was already setting. he had planned to take you to dinner, but that was before he saw that you'd been wearing nothing underneath that dress. so he pulled up into an empty parking lot and bent you over the still-warm hood of his car. 'thought you could get away with teasing me all day, didn't you, mein schatz?'
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Hello lovelies! I'll open a taglist for my writing, so if you'd like to be tagged in future Zemo x reader or Laszlo x reader (or both), just leave a comment on this post or send me an ask for which of these you'd like to be tagged and I'll add you 🥰🖤
Please respect that I'll only tag people who are 18+ years old, since many of my fanfics contain smut - it's for your own safety as well as mine! 🖤
- Love, Kiki 🖤
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Dance Card - Ch. 3
A Historical!Zemo x Fem!Reader Fic
Chapter Summary: In which there's sunshine, fresh air, and perhaps more in bloom than just flowers.
Link to Ch. 2
Chapter Warnings: dark!Zemo, manipulation, creative liberty with chamomile flowers and peonies (tho, ours shatter if you so much as breathe on them), lush period romance tropes, some creative liberty with Zemo's cannon background
A/N: I'm just over the moon with the response to this fic - y'all are the best! Thank you so much for your continued support & encouragement! Hope you enjoy :) -Cheers, NoraB
Chapter 3: The Gardens
The following day dawned with gloomy clouds. Moisture hung heavy in the air, but no rain fell. You hoped it wouldn’t – despite the warmth of the day, your time in the gardens was a welcome breath of fresh air.
There was so much to take in. Neat paths wove through the manicured grounds, all abloom in midsummer with sprays of vivid color interspersed with trimmed shrubs. Angelic cherub statuary frolicked among the flora, watching in silent vigil as bees buzzed about. Trimmed grass hugged the gardens’ far reaches, revealing paths cut through the trees and maintained woodlands beyond.
It had been easy to spend the morning walking the expansive flower gardens before returning to the house’s loggia for the luncheon arranged by Mrs. Oeznik. But after finishing your last sip of tea, you headed for the woodland paths. Fortunately, the ankle-boots from the late baroness fit your feet just well enough even if they did pinch.
You didn’t bother to hold back your relaxed smile as you took in the tall trees around you, descending an old stone, moss-covered staircase set in the path. It felt like something out of a childhood fairy tale. Various flower beds lined the path on which you walked, throwing splashes of color against the lush greens and earthy browns. Another elegant, stone staircase emerged through the foliage and you continued on your walk, pausing at the bottom step to take in the newly revealed landscape.
A clear pond spread out before you, surrounded by a similarly manicured walking path and surrounding trees. Obviously, you were still on the barony estate and the exclusivity of this pond was apparent. An open-air boathouse adorned one bank with a small dock that extended out over the water. You didn’t see any sign of a boat, either for recreation or fishing, but it made you wonder. It was currently the height of summer, the best time for boating activities. Was this pond not used by the baron?
The baron. Helmut Zemo. Memories of dinner yesterday evening turned over in your head as you strolled alongside the pond, listening to the chirping birds. You’d never met a man quite like him. Or was that how all men behaved in the privacy of their own home? Your only experience was your father, but something sank in the pit of your stomach to think about how Lord Drysdale behaved in private.
Goodness, that’s what you should be thinking about. How were you going to craft your apology not only to him, but to your father? The idea still rotted in your gut, though. You wanted their apologies, their acknowledgement that they were equally at fault. Lord Drysdale had said that new rules would be set during your next conversation, and hopefully once his anger faded, maybe he would be willing to capitulate, or at least negotiate. But even in your head that sounded futile.
Your fist clenched at your side, idly kicking a pebble at the frustration that mounted. You couldn’t summon any words that didn’t sound contrite and disingenuous, and you had no desire to start off any sort of formal relationship with a man on the basis of falsehoods. But would Lord Drysdale accept your feelings on the matter? Would he fairly hear you out?
Zemo’s voice echoed in the back of your mind. His firelight warmed eyes that pierced straight through you, enticing you, engaging you until your words rang off the banquet hall walls. By all rights, it was utterly embarrassing. You should still be offering apologies, but the tingling, goodnight press of his lips had lingered on your knuckles far too long to find the words now. Especially now that early rays of sunset broke through the curtain of clouds to streak across the pond water.
You turned back for the manor, hitching your skirt up the stone steps. Even though you couldn’t see anyone, you had no doubt that you weren’t entirely alone. Mrs. Oeznik may have relented to let you explore the gardens at the baron’s request, but of course, her watchful eye extended this far. It wouldn’t do for you to get injured on the baron’s estate, especially while he was away for the day.
Would he return in time for dinner tonight? Would he push for more open conversation? You were no closer to sorting his riddle of the raven moniker, but in the light of day, you had been able to make some sense of your thoughts and his words. If he wasn’t willing to answer a direct question, if he wanted you to sort the answer for yourself, then so be it.
You reached the top of the last staircase, gazing out over the spread of gardens that led up to the manor house. Undeniably, it was a beautiful barony estate. Fading sunlight splashed upon the stone walls and flowers, bathing everything in a soft, ethereal glow. That’s when your eyes caught it, the faint glows of light that popped into view around the flowerbeds. Your heart lit with childlike glee as you rounded the path, moving closer.
You hadn’t seen fireflies since you were young. For a couple of summers, they had lit the garden of your father’s house with such a glow – you could still remember your governess fashioning a small net from old stockings, and trying to catch a net full of glowing insects. Your lips tugged to a smile, and you fanned your skirt out to kneel down. Sweet, floral perfume filled your nose as you reached forward for a bloom, feeling along the soft petals. The fireflies continued to dance around you, and maybe if you closed your eyes, you could just hide here. You wouldn’t need to think about your father, Lord Drysdale or Baron Zemo.
Footsteps crunched along the pebble path off to your side and your heart sank. You dreaded the severe face of Mrs. Oeznik, a reprimand for dirtying her former mistress’ gown or staying out too late, or any of the other over-worried sentiments she expressed. But, much to your surprise, you looked up to see the baron’s handsome figure. He walked with a leisurely pace, as if he, too, was taking in the gardens at sunset, but his gaze was fixed solely on you. Fond amusement warmed his face as he approached.
He stopped next to you, glancing down at you with a smile. “I hear you’ve spent most of the day exploring the grounds. Yet despite all that activity, you look more refreshed than I’ve ever seen you.”
Your smile opened wider. “Today has indeed been lovely. Your estate offers so much to see.” You lowered your gaze to the flowers in front of you, watching the fireflies continue to glow. “I haven’t seen fireflies since I was a little girl. They were not frequent guests in our gardens.”
“I’m told they only prefer certain blooms. The exact names escape me now, but at my mother’s urging, the master gardener has always seen to their presence in the gardens every summer.” His smile grew with distant memories. “I remember, I used to try and chase them. My mother fashioned a net from an old garment, and my father hardly approved.’
“I did, as well. Tried to catch them, and mostly came up empty handed. My governess sewed together old stockings.” You shook your head, almost wistful. “I have no memory of my father joining us in the gardens, but I don’t know if perhaps he saw us from the library window. I do not think he would have approved, either.”
“And what of your mother?”
“I’ve never known my mother. She…she died in childbirth, and I’m an only child.”
He turned pensive for a moment, still glancing down at you with those enticing eyes. “I am indeed sorry to hear that. The relationship between a parent and child is a horrible gift to have stolen away.”
You felt your throat tighten. “Don’t they say that you don’t miss what you never had?”
“A fallacy at its finest. But perhaps that explains why you were so distraught over the recent theft of your necklace?”
It should probably unnerve you how observant and sharp-minded he was, but all you could do was nod with a gentle sigh. “The necklace was indeed my mother’s. I don’t have much to remember her by…not that I have any memories, truthfully. But the idea of her, I suppose.”
Pebbles crunched under his boots as he crouched beside you. The gentle breeze carried hints of horse and day-worn cologne mixed with the musk of his exertion, your gaze drawn towards the stray locks of hair that brushed his forehead. He reached into his jacket pocket, the corner of his mouth lifting. “Then, I think I have something that should lessen the sting of its loss.”
Your gaze fell away modestly, drawing a breath. He didn’t need to buy you a replacement necklace. No necklace could ever hope to compare. But as he unfolded a simple linen strip to reveal the jewels beneath, your jaw dropped. You didn’t know how, but somehow, you stared down at your mother’s necklace. The delicate pearl drops, the diamond accents were all still there, all still pristine. The chain clasp looked torn and damaged, but that could be repaired. Tears welled in your eyes as you continued to stare, speechless.
Zemo chuckled, gentle and endearing. “Seems my memory served me well. I was hesitant to take such a valuable item on a vague recollection, but I would say that the right men have been apprehended.” He held the cloth out towards you, and you numbly took the necklace in hand.
A tear rolled down your cheek and a wave of embarrassment instantly accompanied it. “Forgive me, please.” You sniffled, blinking up at him. “I didn’t expect to see it again, but I am quite…overcome to have it back. Thank you is not enough, I….,” you sighed, feeling your mouth curl to a smile the longer you looked at him, “you have a very good memory.”
A soft smile came to his face. “I remember thinking it suited you.” His hand rose in the space between you, closing the distance to sweep the tear from your cheek.
The breeze stirred the flowers and fireflies around you, and you instinctively leaned into his gentle touch. You watched the loose hair sweep across his forehead and didn’t stop yourself. Your hand rose, tentatively reaching up to his brow. His hair was surprisingly soft as you coaxed it back to resemble the neatness you knew from him. Of course, after the exertion of the day, the shape didn’t readily hold, but he didn’t look concerned. Instead, his hand withdrew from your cheek to capture yours in midair. Slowly, confident in the ease of his movements, he pushed to his feet, still holding your hand. Of course, it was easy to follow him, rising to your full height, using his hold for balance as you gripped the necklace close in your other hand.
With easy movements, you followed his lead through the gardens as he spoke. “I hope you’ll forgive the informality, but I arranged to take dinner on the loggia.” His thumb brushed along your skin, generating a pleasant warmth. “You’re welcome to join me; or, you may, of course, retire to the second floor living hall.”
Goodness, you had completely forgotten about dinner. “I…I appreciate the offer, but I’m…as you can see, I’m not dressed for dinner.”
“Nor do I intend to change before dining. After certain days, there is a peaceful joy in dining and retiring without all the fuss.”
You’d never heard a more radical suggestion. Every day of your life, you had changed clothes before the evening meal. Even if you were just taking supper with your governess in your chambers, you always changed out of your day dress. Could you really just…sit down to dinner as you were? It sounded so oddly thrilling, but you’d already forgotten yourself completely to touch his hair, to let your hand linger in his. How much farther could you let yourself go?
Still at his side, you crossed up the loggia steps, seeing a comfortable table setting arranged, the white tablecloth swaying gently around the table legs, the candelabra flames flickering in the breeze. The place settings looked simple, serviceable, but certainly more befitting a luncheon.
You tightened your hold on your mother’s necklace, knowing what you needed to say. “This does look quite lovely.” Especially with the setting sun and the fireflies still playing in the flowers, and suddenly you hoped he wouldn’t be too disappointed. “But I think I will retire for the night. I would like to rest and not bore you with exhausted conversation.”
His face fell, but his lips pulled to a resigned smile. “I understand. My only hope is that you haven’t over exhausted yourself with your day outdoors.” He stopped, turning to face you. “I did hear from the doctor today, and within two or three days, he expects to be able to return.”
Your eyes widened in unpleasant surprise, and his hold on your hand tightened as he continued to speak. “Please don’t overwork yourself on his account. The minute you’re cleared, I’ll see to your return home as soon as you want.”
You sighed, reluctantly nodding. You’d already had this conversation with him once before, and you really didn’t expect a different outcome.
He missed nothing, voice carrying low and soothing. “I know you’re anxious to return home for the plans previously made, but I cannot tell if the anxiety is born of excitement or apprehension…more towards the latter, I think.”
Your pulse jumped, feeling your cheeks flush, hating how easily he could see through you. “Both, in truth. Shouldn’t a proposal of...marriage be both?”
“No.” He didn’t even hesitate. “The heart shouldn’t fear those it loves.”
“Then, maybe I suppose it’s easier for a man.”
“Marriages of love are known to happen.”
“Only for the fortunate or the privileged.”
He arched a brow. “And you do not consider yourself of that class?”
You gulped uneasily, feeling like you suddenly stood on quicksand. “Affection is not always returned for the first man who secures a father’s blessing for marriage, and would-be-brides are given very little say. Happiness seems…elusive, but I try to stay hopeful.”
“Even with mutual affection, happiness is elusive. It’s what you make of each moment that counts.”
You couldn’t pinpoint the emotion in his voice, but knowing he was a widower…you should be ashamed of yourself. Of course, he would know far better than you about finding happiness in marriage. Had his marriage been one of romance or convenience? Had love swept him away, or had he learned to love…or had no love been lost at all?
His eyes flickered down to your conjoined hands, raising them in graceful ease to buss his lips across your knuckles. “I hope you rest well after the tiring day. Uncommonly, I have a free afternoon tomorrow. Perhaps, if you’re in the gardens, I will dare to intrude on your time once again.”
“In your home, on your estate, you could never intrude.” You felt your cheeks flush under his words and the tingling heat left behind from his lips. “Thank you for your kind wishes. I will see you tomorrow.”
He lowered your hand with a farewell nod and you both went separate ways. But that didn’t stop you from glancing back over your shoulder, watching him settle at the table with confident ease, accepting a daily newspaper from a footman as wine was served. A stab of regret lanced through you – was it too late to go back and join him?
But you kept moving forward towards the house, towards the waiting figure of Mrs. Oeznik who showed you up the stairs. It was probably good that you didn’t join him. You only wanted to ask him questions that you shouldn’t, but that didn’t stop you from wanting answers.
Had he found that elusive happiness? Or was he so soured that he swore himself to permanent bachelorhood ? In fact, it was telling that a man of his position had not already remarried given that he didn’t present the rituals of mourning. Then again, there seemed to be almost no societal convention that Baron Zemo did not subvert in the privacy of his estate.
It made you want to know him better. To understand why and how he was so comfortable with so much blatant disregard. The green monster of envy reared its head as the bedroom door closed behind you.
Would you ever be able to live so freely?
By mid-afternoon the next day, you grew frustrated with yourself. You couldn’t stop glancing back towards the manor. Hoping. Waiting. But you had yet to catch a glimpse of the baron’s svelte form descending the wide staircase.
Had something unexpectedly come up to detain him? Or could he simply not find you? You didn’t think you were hard to find, walking among the sweet-smelling herbs and blooms. The kitchen gardens held your interest today with the full spread of vegetables, herbs, and scented flowers for the manor. Rather, you tried to let them hold your interest, but you were equally distracted by the baron’s hint of a suggestion that he would join you. And that irked you.
You shouldn’t want anything to do with him. You should be focused on getting home, on making amends with Lord Drysdale…but the more time that passed, the more you hated that your eagerness faded.
Again, your gaze strayed towards the house, and again, you felt the pull of disappointment to see nothing new.
Goodness, what was wrong with you?
You glanced back down to the spread of purple lavender stems. These you recognized from dry bundles used to perfume bed linens, but you’d never seen them live in a garden. As you had done so many times already today, you stooped to take in its sweet, calming scent, letting your eyes drop closed. It washed feelings of peace, of security, of home, over you.
Home. You couldn’t seem to escape it. The one place you did and didn’t want to return to. You knew what awaited you there, and after everything, you couldn't help but wonder. Could you find it in your heart to love Lord Drysdale, or did you already? Was that something you would learn how to do?
But what did love feel like? How would you know?
You ran your fingertips through the tops of the lavender stems, enjoying the soft texture. Would Mrs. Oeznik appreciate it if you picked some for her as a gesture of thanks? Did you dare take from the baron’s garden without permission, though?
“If I’d known you had such affection for flowers, I would have seen to daily fresh flowers by your bedside.”
Your heart leapt at the sound of his voice, feeling your mouth curl in a smile. Zemo stood just down the stone path from you with a hand casually in a trouser pocket and his mouth quirked in obvious amusement. He still didn’t wear a hat, despite being outdoors, but he did retain his suit jacket despite the warmth of the afternoon.
You straightened your posture, pulling your hand back from the lavender. “You needn’t have concerned yourself with anything else on my behalf,” you said, casting a glance around the gardens. “Though, I would say that I am adequately accounting for lost time.”
“Indeed. It’s been some time since Mrs. Oeznik had to contend with someone who wanted to spend so much time on the grounds.”
“Do you think…would she appreciate it if I brought her a bouquet of fresh lavender, as a thank you? If it’s alright, with your permission, of course.”
His mouth quirked with an endearing, bemused edge. “I cannot say if she will appreciate it, but of course, you’re welcome to try. These gardens are grown for the use of the manor, after all.”
Nodding your thanks, you held your skirt out to kneel down by the flowerbed, feeling it fan out around you. Carefully, you reached out, selecting the lushest lavender stems and tearing them gently near the ground. Or as near as you could reach - the bushes were so prolific.
This close, the lavender scent filled your nose and you drew a deep breath to savor it. Another scent mixed with it, something distantly familiar that you couldn’t immediately place. It almost smelled like apples, and seemed to be coming from the nearby spray of white-petaled, yellow-bellied flowers.
Zemo’s voice drifted overhead. “You're also welcome to avail yourself of some chamomile for Mrs. Oeznik, as well. As I recall, it makes an excellent tea when one feels poorly.”
Shifting the lavender blooms across your lap, you reached for a selection of the small white flowers. “You seem unusually knowledgeable about the contents of your garden.”
“I’ve had some unusual experiences in my life. Leads one to accumulate unusual knowledge.”
“Hopefully you do not suffer from too much illness to gain such unusual knowledge.”
Satisfied with your flower selection, but not his answer, you made moves to rise. Gathering the flowers in one hand, you suddenly noticed his extended hand. Biting back a smile, you reached for his hand, using it for balance as you rose.
“There,” you pronounced with a smile as you showed your gathered bouquet, “I hope these will brighten her day.” All too late, you felt a telltale tickle crawl up your nose. Your face contorted on the sneeze, your free hand rising reflexively to cover your nose as the other holding the flowers jostled from the outburst.
Zemo simply reached into his jacket packet, producing a pristine white, handkerchief.
Sniffling quietly, you could do little but accept it, wiping delicately against your nose. “It must be the chamomile, I suppose. Lavender doesn’t -” You stopped as your gaze focused on his dark suit jacket.
A fine, bright yellow powder now dusted the lapel and surrounding panel that was closest to your hand holding the bouquet of flowers. Your cheeks instantly flushed to think that your sneeze had knocked so much pollen loose from the chamomile flowers. No wonder they made you sneeze. You shook your head in disbelief. “Oh no, your jacket - my apologies.”
His brow furrowed in mild confusion as he looked down, taking in the spread of yellow against the dark fabric. “That is hardly of any concern.”
“But if I hadn’t sneezed, your jacket wouldn’t be soiled. Please,” you swapped the handkerchief and flowers in your hands, trying to put more space between the offending flowers and his jacket, “it should brush off.”
You reached your hand with the handkerchief forward, swiping your fingers to knock the pollen loose, recoiling in horror as your hand left wide, thick yellow stripes in their wake. Looking at the handkerchief, you realized it, too, now bore smudges of bright yellow. Had he known that chamomile pollen was so prolific? He must not have, or else why on earth would he suggest that you pick some? Your stomach knotted with more embarrassed regret. “Oh goodness, I am
He shook his head with calming reassurance. “I do wish that you wouldn’t worry about it.”
“But you’re covered in pollen at my doing. If only I hadn’t sneezed, or if I hadn’t -." You stopped talking as he abruptly turned towards the flowerbed.
He took a careful step between the rows of blooms, reaching out to a full-leafed bush bearing large, thick white blooms. He snagged one, coming back to stand next to you. A delicate trail of white petals fell in his wake as he moved to hold it over your head. Without further warning, he gave the flower a couple of harsh shakes and a cascade of white petals fell around you.
You gasped in surprised delight as the petals fluttered against your hair, your face, and the front of your dress. They bore the most pleasing scent, and you drew a deep breath.
“There,” he intoned, a clear mockery of your earlier statement, “now, you are covered in flower petals at my doing. You could say we are even.”
Of course, very few of the petals actually stuck to your dress by comparison to the pollen on his jacket, but you nodded anyway. “You could say, but seeing as you are taller, you at least do not have pollen in your hair. I know I shall have to answer to Mrs. Oeznik when petals fall out of my hair tonight.”
His smile widened in keen amusement. “Then, if my lady is so concerned to have an eye for an eye.” He lowered his head in an obvious gesture before you. “I believe a good shake should do it.”
You scoffed. “You don’t expect me to just...shake more pollen on you. And on your hair, no less!” How utterly mad.
His hand darted out for yours that still held the handkerchief. A laugh burst from you as he guided your pollen-covered hand to his hair, mussing the soft chestnut locks under your fingers with streaks of yellow.
You laughed again, enraptured and bewildered. “You must be mad! I can’t think of any other reason.”
He lowered your hand from his head, straightening his posture, and you forgot yourself. The sun shone bright in his eyes that danced with unparalleled mirth, his cheeks tinged pink from the stopped position, and his hair deliciously tousled from your fingers. Your eyes swept across his face, taking in every detail, landing on the inviting curve of his mouth. You’d never wanted someone’s kiss so desperately. As if your whole body pitched forward, drawn to the gravitational pull of him.
He looked down at your conjoined hands, and you snapped back to yourself. Goodness, what had you been about to do? Even he seemed torn with indecision, wetting his lips in deep thought. Your eyes traced every motion of his tongue, forbidden heat stirring within you.
At last, his gaze found yours accompanied by a smirk of pure affectionate, mischief. “And if I am mad, then what may we infer that says about you?” His fingers threaded through yours, squeezing gently.
Heat crawled up your arm, your skin singing at the contact. You drew a trembling, uncertain breath. “I...I don’t know.” It was hard enough to understand all the physical sensations spreading through your body, but a puzzling idea struck you.
You suddenly remembered his words about the raven as a protector. Is that what he meant? If he was mad, or even if he wasn’t - were you supposed to protect him? But how? From whom? And how could he possibly know that about you - you weren’t his betrothed or his...well, anything.
Before you could summon your courage to ask him, he lifted your conjoined hands, carefully studying the spread of yellow pollen. He arched a wry brow as he spoke. “I’m afraid my customary show for enjoyment of your company must be deferred at present. I do not relish the taste of fresh chamomile.”
Instantly, your heart felt lighter and your mind less troubled. You also turned your gaze to take in your interlaced fingers, the pollen dusted skin, the soiled handkerchief caught in the middle...and goodness, your dress that also bore streaks of yellow pollen, as well as the bouquet in your other hand. Your stomach sank to see the lavender coated beyond measure.
You sighed, your mouth pinching in vague irritation. “I do not wish to give Mrs. Oeznik lavender in such a state. She’d likely never get all the pollen out of the manor.” Your gaze quickly raked his suit and your gown. “In fact, I hope she relents to let us both inside.”
“I assure you that she has had to contend with far worse. But if it makes you feel better, please leave the soiled flowers and pick a fresh bouquet.”
“Thank you,” you gave his hand a gentle squeeze before separating, “though, this time, I will leave out the chamomile.”
“A wise decision.”
You turned back towards the lavender flower bed, setting aside the pollen-covered flowers. Doing your best to knock the pollen loose from your hands without smearing more on your dress, you proceeded to gather a fresh collection of lavender. Even if Mrs. Oeznik wouldn’t accept the flowers as a thank you for the past week, perhaps she would accept them as an apology for your pollen and petal covered state.
Satisfied with your collection of blooms, you smoothed your skirt and stood up. The baron had been quiet behind you, and you hadn’t paid much attention to his movements, but you could immediately see that he hadn’t been idle.
A small bouquet of flowers now rested in his left hand. Picked just as fresh as the lavender you held, but unlike you, he had opted for a selection. Offhand, you spotted pink roses, springs of mint, and white blooms to match the one he shook over your head. You stared at the collection of flowers and herbs, stunned beyond words. Especially as he stepped closer to you, extending the collection towards you.
“Please allow me to correct my oversight,” he said softly, “and start by offering the first bouquet for your bedside.”
Affection burst in your chest, flattered as you never had been in your life. Unable to hide your smile, you extended your free hand to accept his offering. “Thank you...that’s thoughtful of you.”
He tipped his head, but whether in silent thanks or agreement, you couldn't say. His gaze darted up to the house before turning back to you. “Given the hour and the state of our physical persons, may I suggest that we adjourn? We will both need some extended time to prepare for dinner.”
In the confines of the bedroom, Mrs. Oeznik’s disapproval proved a formidable force.
The baron detained her for a private conversation before she caught up to you in the bedroom, but once she ordered the maid to bring hot water for the bath basin, there was nowhere to hide. Pollen dusted the bath basin as your dress fell away, petals littered the carpet as your hair came down. Now as you sat in the sudsy water, grimacing with each tug of the comb in Mrs. Oeznik’s hands, you couldn’t help but wonder if she was getting her not-so-subtle revenge. But for what exactly? Was she tired of you occupying the room of her former mistress? Was she just that displeased with your unladylike behavior?
You swallowed, making your choice. “Mrs. Oeznik?”
The older woman didn’t pause. “Yes, miss?”
“Have...have I done something to displease you?”
Her movements slowed for a brief moment, as if considering the answer to your question. Slowly, she blew a sigh, resuming her full efforts. “I did not wish to say anything, but as you have asked - I find the scent of lavender displeasing. While I understand the thought behind the gesture, the room smells rather heavily of lavender at present.”
Your eyes widened in regret. “Oh goodness, I do apologize. I only wanted to thank you.”
“I mean no disrespect, miss," she continued to work at your hair, "but my concern for the young master outweighs my inclination to accept your thanks.”
You stiffened. “What does that mean?”
“Simply that I do not wish to see the baron suffer further heartache. He has been through much in recent years.”
“I don’t intend to bring him any heartache.”
“Don’t be stupid, girl.” The comb tugged through the final snag in your hair. “I’ve seen how he smiles at you, and the smiles you favor him with in return. I do not know your situation, nor do I intend to pry, but if you are leading him down the primrose path, then I cannot help but disapprove.”
“Disapprove?” You glanced up at the older woman as she handed you a soft sponge. “I’m not playing at deception.”
“No,” she agreed, “you’re playing at something much more dangerous. And fragile.”
Fragile was hardly a word you would use to describe Zemo. You took the sponge to your skin, washing away the day. “Does this have something to do with his wife?”
Mrs. Oeznik paused her organization of the bath tray, her shoulders stiffening. She turned to regard you, her face conflicted. “You asked me about her before, and it is still not my place to say. But you must understand,” she paused with a tired sigh, “the baron lost his wife and only son in a single moment of tragedy nearly three years ago. Darkness has hung over this house ever since...until you arrived.”
You froze at the words. A son, as well? Zemo was a father?
The housekeeper shook her head slowly. “Seeing the young master come up from the gardens with you today...and his smile. It’s been a long time….”
You blinked, trying to understand. “Have you known him his whole life? The current baron, I mean?”
Genuine fondness crept to the older woman’s eyes, the hint of a smile on her face. “Yes, I have been privileged to know him since birth. And cursed to have outlived both of his parents.” She glanced over her shoulder at the window. “He would not want me telling you, of course, that I worry for him, nor that I worry for the hurt you will bring him.”
A knot clenched in your chest. You had never made Zemo any promises. There wasn't even an introduction to your father, a declaration of his interest. But the thought seized you all the same. What if...what if you did leave here wanting to marry someone else other than Lord Drysdale? Would you be allowed to make your own decision? If what Mrs. Oeznik said was true, would Zemo take matters into his own hands to keep you?
Anxious butterflies lit in your stomach. Would you want that? You could just picture it - the handsome baron vying for the right to your hand. Were the past few days a glimpse of what life with him would be like? Sunset strolls in the gardens to recount the day’s business. Dinners of organ music and open conversation. And nights….
You blinked, feeling your cheeks flush as you tried to chase away the images that sprung to life, and your gaze landed on the crystal vase of flowers that he picked for you.
Was this a chance to make a different choice? To find the romance that you wanted? To draw out the baron’s smile every day? To offer him shelter from the ghosts of his past? To guard against the heartache of loss?
You drew a trembling breath, hearing the water in the bath basin ripple around you. Ever aware of the housekeeper’s watchful gaze, you handed her the sponge, offering your best reassurance. “Hurting him is the last thing I ever want to do.”
What You Didn’t See Pt. 1:
Zemo tore through the countryside on horseback. Despite the summer heat, the black wool and fur-collared coat clung to his body, cloaking any identifiable detail. Same with the wine-dyed fabric mask that covered his head and face. Each of his men wore a similar mask these days, all dyed from the same vintage bottle.
It wouldn’t do for any of them to be recognized outside secure walls.
With a spray of water from a stream crossing, he urged his horse to a slow trot, glancing around the tall trees. Of course, it would be highly unlikely that anyone freely wandered this land, but he always checked. That was why this location was selected, a tenant farmer plot that sat unoccupied for years on the border estate of a lesser lord. One of his most loyal men who had also been with him in that hellhole garrison prison.
The cottage rested on the edge of the woodlands as it presided over a rolling spread of green field. Without crops, the natural vegetation had grown wild to afford them even more natural defense against intruders. Not that any intruder stood a chance against him and his men.
He swung from the saddle, untying the end of the lead rope with his gloved fingers. With familiar motions, he tied his horse to the fence that edged the cottage, noting the presence of another horse. Only as he entered the dwelling did he pull his wine-colored mask free, running a hand through his damp hair to straighten it. He shrugged out of his coat just as quick, hanging it on a hook beside the door next to the other. Above the door read a crude inscription that had been installed the day they dyed their masks.
His last military assignment never had an official name, most likely because the missions he undertook were never official. But high command gave them a banner – ecce homo – and they formed in the shadows, calling themselves EKO.
Few others lived long enough to learn their name.
“Colonel, the letter came yesterday.”
Zemo would know that man’s voice anywhere. He turned towards the one-armed man who stood at the large table that dominated the room.
Stepping forward, Zemo reached for the letter atop the collection of maps, notes, and other documents. “When do you set sail?”
The other man grit his teeth. “Not soon enough.”
Zemo skimmed the letter. This news was better than anticipated. The captain of the guard had proved a challenge to track down since he left his post at the Fort Hydranne Garrison, but this was their best lead yet – a townhouse in London, rumors of a family. Zemo locked his eyes to the man across the table who seethed with visible rage. “If the rumors are true, spare the wife and children.”
“If they can love a monster like that, then they shouldn’t-”
“I’m sure they don’t know. How do you tell someone who loves you that you enjoy hurting people?”
The other man clenched his jaw but said nothing. Of course, he remembered just as clearly as Zemo did. The beatings, the interrogations, the sharp blades. The brutality that left the man’s now absent arm in such shatters, there had been no choice but to amputate. The pale-yellow scorpions that were released into their cells as they slept. There was a reason there was only four of them left, and they would never forget.
At length, the one-armed man sighed, nodding slowly. “Spare the family. Yes, sir.”
Zemo nodded in concurrence, setting the letter aside. A map of the east African coast and the Fort Hydranne township came into view on the table’s surface, scored with old notes and markings made when the memories still burned clear and fresh. None of the four remaining members of EKO escaped that coast unscathed and each one had sworn a different path for vengeance. And with time, given patience, and their experience – they were succeeding.
The door swung open, admitting a warm gust of air and drawing Zemo’s attention away from the map. His former second lieutenant stood in the doorway, pulling the wine-dyed mask from his head.
“As requested, colonel,” he said with a nod, “we found them.”
Zemo blinked. “And you have them?”
“Two of them, sir. Waiting for your outside.” The second lieutenant reached in his pocket, producing a linen-wrapped bundle. “Assuming these are the jewels in question.”
Zemo stepped forward to take the bundle, swiftly unwrapping it to reveal the glittering design of pearls and diamonds. The same design he clearly remembered seeing around your neck at the ball. He set the necklace against the table, reaching for his coat and mask before stepping outside as the second lieutenant shifted his mask back into place.
A third man wore his wine-dyed mask and an equally dark, long coat as he stood over two men forced to their knees, hands bound behind their backs. Adjusting the height of his fur collar, knowing the full value of intimidation, Zemo stopped in front of them, turning to regard each beneath his mask.
“In truth,” Zemo said, “I don’t know whether to thank you or slit your throats.”
One of the bound men snarled. “You arrogant bastard – you got no right to tie us up!”
“No right? When you prey upon the defenseless people of this country? When you attack innocent women and steal their possessions?” Zemo crouched down to regard the man at eye level. “Tell me what person loyal to Sokovia would allow you to go on terrorizing her citizens in such a manner?”
The man shook his head. “You can’t blame me for wanting to put food on the table for my family.”
“I can when you do it outside the bounds of the law.”
“You’re not the law.”
“No,” Zemo agreed, pointing up to the other masked man with a gloved hand, “but he is.”
The other bound man looked over, clearly dubious. “Then why the masks? Are you all freaks under there?”
The standing, masked man knocked the thief’s shoulder in warning. “Mind your manners.”
Zemo glanced between the thieves, reaching a hand up to pull his mask away. Loose tendrils of hair curled against his forehead, but he didn’t brush them away, bracing his forearm against a knee. “My name is Zemo, and I am as you see me.” He swept his tongue across his upper lip in a moment of consideration. “I doubt either of you will live much longer, so it doesn’t bother me that you know my face or my name. Especially if more evidence of your thievery was found along with the stolen jewels, then your deaths won’t bother me, either. You can pay for the crimes committed against your fellow compatriots, and for the disruption that you have personally caused me.” He watched fear and panic rise in the thieves’ eyes as he continued to speak. “But rest assured, the recovered jewels will prove useful, and plans have already been remade – I did not leave my family to die in east Africa then spend the next year imprisoned there to leave my work unfinished at the hands of men like you.” He pushed to his full height, nodding to his other masked man.
“You can’t do this!” One of the thieves yelled as Zemo turned away. “This isn’t right! We don’t des-mffmph!” Words dissolved to muffled cries and he didn’t turn back.
It was no concern of his what happened to dishonest thieves at the hands of his fellow soldiers. They never solved one problem while creating another, and the widows would soon be able to secure employment to feed their families. If that had indeed been the truth.
He moved back to the cottage, securing your necklace in his jacket pocket. After a few more words with his men, it would be time to ride to the village.
Time to check in with his young associates - his eyes and ears inside both your father’s and Marquess Thrombey’s houses.
What You Didn’t See Pt. 2:
Zemo’s voice carried. “Mrs Oeznik? A word, please.”
The housekeeper nodded to you, encouraging you to continue inside and not smear pollen on the furniture before she arrived. You turned away, not watching the older lady return to stand alongside her employer.
He folded his hands behind his back, pitching his voice low. “Have the flowers placed in a vase by her bedside. As for the lavender, do what you wish with it - burn it for all I care.”
She frowned, looking down at the purple blooms. “You know I have never enjoyed the scent.”
“I know.” The corner of his mouth lifted in vague amusement. “But I needed to give you an opening.” His eyes darted around, sweeping his tongue along his top lip. “The wolves are closing in, and I need her surrender tonight.”
Her eyebrows rose. "That's quite a bit sooner than you anticipated."
"That's why I need you to play to her emotions."
"Aren't you doing a fine job of that yourself?" Her gaze ran over his pollen-covered suit and hair.
“You haven’t played the part of her confidant, but it’s time to start. Let her think you’re betraying me to answer her questions - that should do nicely.”
“What would you have me tell her?”
He glanced over at the older woman as if it should be obvious. “Play to her sympathy. Play to her ideals of romance. Convince her she’s brought spring to a place where winter has long held sway.”
Mrs. Oeznik fixed him with a shrewd glance. “Hasn’t she?”
He didn't hold back a small shrug of his shoulders, the corner of his mouth lifting. “I’ve never said that she is not lovely. It has indeed been an age since I last took in the splendor of the gardens, but do not think that I have lost my head to my heart. Too many years have passed for that."
She fixed him with another dubious look before nodding slowly. “Yes, sir.”
He nodded gently in clear dismissal. “Thank you, Mrs. Oeznik.”
“Milord.” She bobbed a curtsy before turning to enter the manor.
Tag List: @sapphiredreamer26 @justfangirlthingies @callmedrkhan @somethingthatsaysbubbles @apparrio @mypoisonedvine @river-soul @rootcrop @nymariel @lilith-blackrose @obissimp
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Designer on my sheets Part 1 (Helmut Zemo x Sam Wilson x sbfem!Reader)
Summary: Sam and Helmut are hot billionaire husbands and reader is their sugar baby. (please, I'm terrible at summaries)
Rating: Explicit (Minors this is not for you)
Word Count: 3,081
Fandom/Pairing: MCU: Helmut Zemo x Sam Wilson x Sugarbaby fem!reader
Themes/Warnings: Daddy kink, spanking, light humiliation and degradation, vaginal fingering, mild brat taming
Notes: I've planned this as a four part series
You finished rehearsal, wiping the sweat off the back of your neck and did a cool down stretch before sitting down to take off your pointe shoes. It was hot outside and somehow even hotter in the studio. You grabbed your bag and padded barefoot into the changing area, quickly stripping down before slipping on a tank top and a pair of biker shorts, not bothering with a bra or panties. It was too damn hot. You redid your bun before neatly packing your things into the sports bag, threw it over your shoulder then headed out of the studio. You laughed softly as you saw the sleek black town car waiting just outside. The back window rolled down and his velvety voice called out to you.
“Are you going to get in or just stand there, kitten?”
“I was gonna take the subway!” You could hear his loud scoff.
“Don’t make me get out and put you inside.”
“Calling your bluff on that, you don’t wanna get sweaty and ruin that Givenchy suit.”
The back door swung open before he stepped out and you debated how fast you could run. You didn’t have much time to contemplate before he swung you over his shoulder and carried you to the car. You squealed loudly with surprise.
“Helmut!!!” you complained and he smacked your ass firmly.
“My darling, that is not what you call me and you know it, I think the heat is getting to you,” he said simply as he deposited you into the backseat before climbing in next to you, shutting the door.
“We’ll need some privacy, Oeznik,” he said and the driver gave a simple nod before putting up the partition.
Your bag was on the floor and you were ungracefully still sprawled out across the seat which made you mad for some reason and you gently dug your shoe into his upper thigh. His large hand wrapped around your ankle and held you still. He looked so fucking good in that all black suit and like he hadn’t even broken into a single drop of sweat. The black sunglasses were still on his face. He pulled out his phone and sent a few texts and emails before tossing it aside then slid a hand up your thigh.
“Now what has gotten into you today?” he asked, fingers dug gently into your skin. You just gave a simple huff before reaching up to take the sunglasses off his face then tossed them onto the floor. He just shook his head.
“You know I have no problem putting you across my knee right here,” he warned and you shivered. Oh you knew….you knew very very well. Honestly you had lost count of how many times your bare ass had gotten spanked in the back of this car. You were starting to think his favorite pastime was spanking you every chance he got.
“It’s hot, daddy,” you pouted up at him, trying to get on his good side.
“Is that an excuse for misbehaving?” he hummed, his hand stroking your thigh.
“The heat just made me forget my manners, daddy, it was an accident,” you smiled.
“I see, you are awfully warm, princess, I think I can forgive you for now. But you’ll have to be extra good tonight,” he warned before he picked his sunglasses off the floor.
“Thank you, daddy, kisses please,” you smiled sweetly up at him.
“You’re spoiled,” he said with an eyeroll before pulling you easily into his lap then pressed his lips against yours. You hummed happily, rolling your hips slightly.
“Is this you being good?” he whispered against your lips, hands resting on your waist.
“I’m being good, daddy, normally I’d have your cock in my mouth or my pussy by now,” you pointed out and he chuckled darkly against your lips, reaching up to take your hair out of your bun.
“How did rehearsal go?” he asked, his fingers working against your scalp, causing you to purr.
“Good, daddy, my arms and shoulders are feeling tight though,” you admitted.
“I’ll call Katya and have her come tomorrow,” he replied, fingers wrapping around the back of your neck.
“Thank you, daddy,” you smiled before you tucked yourself against his chest for the rest of the ride back to the penthouse. He wrapped an arm around you, using his free hand to scroll through his phone. You were tempted to knock it out of his hand, but you had promised to be good.
“Your dress is being delivered around four for Sam’s party tonight, you haven’t forgotten, have you?”
“Of course not,” you smiled. You had been looking forward to it all week. Sam had been breaking his back all month to make sure everything was in place for the new tech launch and you were thrilled to be invited. Not that you were kept a secret, getting involved with two married men who were incredibly in the public eye? A secret wouldn’t have lasted for long and Sam thought it was better that it be handled before it became exposed. There had been some backlash as expected and few plummeting stock issues, but Helmut’s reach was far and his influence deep plus Sam Wilson was one of the most likeable guys on the planet who had deep pockets for philanthropy, so it smoothed over after a few weeks. Being wealthy had its perks. Ones that you were able to enjoy a great deal.
The town car pulled into the garage and Zemo moved you off his lap as Oeznik opened the doors.
“Are you coming in or just dropping me off?” you pouted.
“Dropping, tell Sam I love him and I’ll be home in time so the three of us can leave together.” You gave him a nod before sliding your bag over your shoulder, kissing him again and this time giving his lower lip a little bite. Old habits die hard.
“Mmm don’t think I’ll be forgetting about that,” Helmut called after you as you climbed out of the car.
“Oh I’m counting on it,” you winked, giving Oeznik a thank you before taking the elevator the rest of the way up to the penthouse. Penny came scurrying over to you the minute you stepped through the door, the miniature pinscher barking loudly.
“See? That’s a hello a like to get,” you smiled as you scooped her up and kissed her muzzle, tucking her under your free arm.
Sam had been easier to talk into getting the dog than Helmut. “Do you know how much that sofa cost? I don’t want a dog…rubbing all over it.” Really all it took was you pouting a few times and deep throating him in order to get what you wanted. Now you were pretty sure Penny was his favorite out of all of you. What other dog had a customed made Chanel collar? Or got to pose with him on the cover of Forbes?
You spotting Sam standing by the large glass doors that lead out to the balcony and you placed Penny and your bag down, wasting no time leaping into his arms when he turned around.
“Hey baby girl, Daddy bring you back safe and sound?” he smiled as he caught you with ease before he pressed his lips against yours.
“Safe and sound, no marks, you can check,” you smiled, melting against him.
“Which I’m sure disappoints you,” he teased, tapping the Bluetooth in his ear to turn down the volume.
“Considering I’ve got rehearsal for the next weeks, it actually might be a blessing in disguise.”
“How’s that going?”
“Fine, Alonzo could work on his lifts, I don’t need him dropping me on my face.”
“Kick his ass into shape, baby, I know you can.”
You smiled and snuggled your face into his shoulder. “Ok I’m gonna go shower and let you be, Daddy says he loves you and he’ll be home before we leave.”
“Thank you, baby,” he said, placing you down and you headed back to your room, with Penny following behind. You usually ended up in bed with the two men but you had your own space because hell you needed it sometimes and you couldn’t turn ydown our very own walk in closet. You stripped before dumping your clothes and the contents of your gym bag into the hamper before taking a really long, nice shower, scrubbing everything away. You wrapped your hair in a towel then pulled on a plush robe, flopping onto your bed to take a power nap, with Penny on top of your stomach.
You woke up to the alarm going off on your phone and your dress was hanging on the back of your door. You also had a text message from Zemo reminding…more like ordering…you to not wear any panties under it. Probably a little payback from earlier. You took your hair out and pulled off the robe before posing on the bed, a finger between your lips, tits pushed out and legs spread just ever so slightly, taking the snap before sending Zemo the photo as your response. Two could play at this game. “You two can be exhausting,” Sam liked to remind you both.
You smirked as Daddy Z flashed across the screen of your phone. “Yes, daddy?” you asked innocently.
“Jesus fucking christ, are you trying to give me a heart attack?” his voice growled.
“Not my intention, old man,” you teased.
“You’re supposed to be a good girl, right now you’re being very, very naughty. Such a fucking brat,” he spat.
“There’s nothing you can do about it cause you’re not here right now, daddy,” you cooed, feeling a little shiver run through you.
“I think a certain little girl forgets that she has two daddies.”
You stumbled over something to say as Sam walked into the room, his Bluetooth still in his ear. “Penny, out,” he told her simply and the dog grabbed her stuffed carrot toy before padding her way out of the room. He removed the Bluetooth from his ear before walking over to your bed.
“Listen…I was just,” you tried to say as Sam walked over and easily flipped you onto your belly, holding you down with one arm as he pressed the video button your phone then positioned it on the headboard.
“That good, do you need me to adjust it?” Sam asked him.
“Just slightly, a little more to the left,” Helmut mused and you felt your cheeks burn hot as you pressed your face into the duvet. “How convenient that I have some free time right before I need to leave?” Like he just didn’t cancel the rest of his day so he could watching Sam put you in your place.
“Now then what would you like me to do to our little brat?” Sam asked, lifting his arm from your back then trailed his hand down to grasp your ass. “I hear you’ve been pushing limits all day, baby girl.”
“First off, lift her head, I want to see her face.”
Sam’s fingers tangled in your hair as he tugged gently and lifted your face up so Zemo could see it.
“Did you really think I was going to let you off so easy, kitten?”
“N…..no daddy,” you pushed out.
“You know I only put up with bad girls for so long before I put them back in place.”
“Yes daddy, ‘m sorry,” you tried.
“Oh, you will be.” His voice was firm and cold and Sam let go of your hair.
“I need her coherent for tonight, Helmut,” Sam reminded him.
“Of course, you know I would never ruin anything for you tonight, my love.”
“I know, but sometimes you can get carried away without realizing it,” Sam pointed out kindly.
You trembled slightly under Sam’s hand resting on your lower back, just wanting something to happen and it was humiliating listen to them talk about you like you weren’t even there.
“I can’t disagree with you, love, I merely want to hear her squeak and apologize, so why don’t strike her ten time sfor me then rub that lovely little clit of hers until she’s on edge, we’ll tend to her properly after the party.”
“Hmm are you sure that’s it? Seems a bit soft for you, baby, if I’m being honest.”
“You just told me to not get carried away,” Helmut sighed.
“How about ten with the paddle? Make those cheeks nice and rosy for you then I’ll make her a mewling little mess as I bring her to the edge.”
“The art of compromise, get on with it then, I don’t have all evening.”
“You know what? Watch it, or I’m gonna beat your ass later,” Sam warned.
“Hmm, you could try.”
“Keep in place,” Sam told you firmly as he got up and went to get the leather paddle that was Zemo’s favorite.
“You’re going to count them and thank us for each one,” Zemo said seriously.
“Yes daddy,” you whispered as Sam moved a pillow under your hips, raising your ass a bit.
Sam’s hand pressed into your lower back again and caressed your ass with the paddle before cracking it down.
“One daddies, thank you,” you said. The sharp smacks made your body buzz and you did well keeping your count until about the eighth smack.
“Should I have Sam start over?” Helmut mused.
“N…no no no, eight daddies, thank you,” you pushed out, Sam’s hand stroking your lower back.
Sam delivered the final two blows with the paddle and you finished your count.
“Let me see her ass, Sam.”
Sam lifted the phone and gave Zemo a close up of your pink, mottled ass.
“God she marks gorgeously and I can see how wet she is already.”
“She really does, she’s shaking too, baby, I know how much you love that all that juice just dripping down those thighs,,” Sam smiled.
“God, she’s the best when being taken apart.”
“Daddy,” you whined softly at their words, feeling the heat pulsate between your legs.
“You’re not going to get to cum yet, kitten, why are you being so needy, hmm?” Helmut hummed.
Sam’s fingers moved through your folds, one fingertip resting against your sensitive bundle of nerves before he slowly started to rub. Your toes curled a bit and your fingers gripped the sheets.
“Why are you so being so quiet, baby girl? Are you being stubborn?” Sam grinned as you rocked against his finger.
“I’m not stubborn,” you whined.
You absolutely are,” Helmut chuckled.
Sam slipped a finger inside of you.
“Ah, that’s cheating,” you whined.
“I get to make the rules, it’s not cheating,” Sam smirked.
You clenched around him, feeling your stomach tighten as more wetness dripped from you.
“Please please please let me cum, daddies please,” you begged.
“No.” They both said at the same time.
“Please, please, I’ll be so good, I…I’ll do whatever you want, please!” You were annoyed at how pathetic and needy you sounded.
“Why don’t you try and convince us, kitten? You enjoy running that smart mouth of yours. Tell us why we should let you cum?” Helmut mused.
Your eyelids fluttered. “P..puh…please daddies, I’m sorry. I was naughty, but I’m not gonna be anymore….I’m gonna be so so good, for two weeks, I’ll be the best little girl for you! I won’t break a single rule.”
You heard Zemo snort. “I don’t think you can even go two minutes,” he scoffed. Sam’s finger curled inside of you as another continued to methodically rub your clit.
“I will be, daddy, please,” you begged, lifting your head up so he could see your face.
“You gonna go soft on me, baby?” Sam asked him.
“Never, remove your fingers from her. Kitten, valid effort, but I know better. But if you’re a very good girl tonight, I’ll let you ride my face.”
You whined as Sam removed his fingers and you rolled to your side, drawing your knees to your chest, as you tried to calm down, your chest heaving softly.
“Make sure she gets some cuddles and a little cream on her ass, I’ll see you both soon,” Helmut said before he disconnected.
Sam lifted you into his arms and you curled into his chest.
“How are you feeling, baby girl?” he asked you.
“A little bit fuzzy, Daddy, but I’m green,” you whispered. He held you for a bit before applying a thin layer of cream to your pink ass. “Do you want help getting ready?” he asked you.
“I’m ok, thank you,” you smiled and rolled onto your toes to kiss his cheek.
“Baby girl, I’ll be right in the bedroom if you need me,” Sam assured you.
You gingerly sat down to apply your make up and fix your hair before sliding your black Yves St. Laurent gown that Helmut had picked out for you, not putting on a bra or panties as instructed. You added some earrings and a simple cuff before stepping into the main room.
Sam looked drool worthy in his black tailored suit, a red dress shirt underneath and Helmut was perfection in all black as usual.
“Ah, kitten, you look like a dream,” Helmut smiled, beckoning you closer with an open arm. You moved into it, careful to not press your painted face into his chest. “How are you feeling, my dove?” he asked, one hand resting on your dangerously exposed lower back.
“I’m good, daddy,” you whispered.
“Still fuzzy?” Sam asked, his hand resting just above Helmut’s on your back, making you melt a bit. It was always the best when you had them both.
“Nope, much more clear now, daddy, I promise I’m ok,” you assured them, but appreciated that they worried over you.
“Good girl, just one more thing before we go,” Helmut smiled and reached into the inner pocket of his suit, removing a black velvet He opened it and nestled inside was an exquisite diamond choker. Sam moved to lift your hair up as Helmut attached the choker around your neck.
“It’s gorgeous, daddies, thank you,” you smiled, squeezing each of their hands only because you didn’t want to leave lipstick smudges on their cheeks.
“You’re welcome, baby girl, now let’s head out. I’m not sure I can be late to my own launch party,” Sam teased as you looped your arm through his with Helmut trailing behind as you the three of you made your way out to the limo.
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Y/N: Name a more iconic duo than my crippling fear of abandonment and my anxiety. I'll wait.
Zemo: You and me!!!
Y/N, tearing up: Okay....But you still love me right?
Zemo: That’s why I married you maybe??!!!!
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Pleasure Remains the Same
Chapter 2 - completed
Warnings- 18 + only!
Rating - E (not even a question at this point)
The dress is black, long sleeved and stops mid-thigh. The cut of the shoulders is exaggerated just enough to draw attention. But what does it for you—the little bit of something special that no one else can see— is the fact that he had Maureen do some extra tailoring and now you know why he wanted you in this particular dress.
When Zemo stood behind you earlier at the apartment and zipped you up, the high turtleneck slowly closed around your throat mimicking the Baron’s own firm hold on your neck. You’d gasped with a fleeting sensation of panic but calmed when he kissed the spot behind you ear, and grabbed your hips, pressing his erection against your ass as he inhaled the scent of your hair. His muffled moan had vibrated through your shoulders and for the first time you realized the level of restraint his particular kind of kink required on his part too and you felt strangely bonded to him through your wonderful suffering. His lips brushed the curve of your ear as he’d whispered… “So that you don’t forget who you belong to.”
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The Marriage Game (part 3)
Thank you so much for all the comments on part 2! 💕🥰 Here’s part 3 of 4. I hope you enjoy - Love, Kiki 🖤
Pairing: Helmut Zemo x fem!reader (but else there are no descriptions of the reader’s appearance)
Summary: London, 1813. There is new evidence that Hydra - the secret organization that murdered your family - has taken root in Sokovia, under the reign of Baron Helmut Zemo and his court. The ball season has begun, Baron Zemo is visiting London to strengthen diplomatic relationships and gain new allies, and Sokovia is still lacking a Baroness. You, warden of Tony Stark, are the last chance to end Hydra without risking a war and find out if Baron Zemo is really involved in Hydra’s schemes. So, there’s only one thing left for you to do: woo the Baron, gain his hand in marriage, become his Baroness - and bring Hydra and the Sokovian court to its knees.
Word count: 13k
Warnings: SMUT so ONLY 18+. A lot of smut. Oral (f! receiving), penetrative sex, unprotected sex (this is fiction, not real life - please stay safe and use a condom!). Angst at the beginning but it will resolve (*wink*). English is not my native language so sorry for any mistakes. Also, I’m probably going to hell for the smut in this chapter :D
Read PART 1 & PART 2 HERE.
Every single like, comment and reblog is appreciated 🖤
Part 3: The Twisted Game of Fates
When you lay in bed that night, the night before your wedding, your mind wandered to the stories of Greek mythology you’d loved to read as a little girl. The tales of gods and goddesses, monsters and heroes and wars fought over beautiful princesses kept you company during summer days spent in the gentle shade of old oak trees, on winter days when the snow was falling softly beyond the window. They kept you company in the darkest hours of the night when your own demons woke to haunt and taunt you, first in your sleep and then in you gasping, panicked waking hours when the sun was hours from rising and it felt as if the night was as eternal as the lives of the deities you read about. But the story which had always intrigued you most was that of the three ancient ladies weaving the threads of fate, tying and tangling them, knotting them together when paths crossed and snapping them off when they parted, all to form the intricate pattern of a life, meddling with the hearts and lives of humans in their twisted games.
You could imagine those three old hags laughing now, cackling at the twisted game they were playing with your own fate. It must be an entertaining one. The spy who’d been sent to woo the deadly enemy and had ended up falling for him, ending up getting once had been her heart’s desire – only to find that this heart’s desire had changed. You had searched for revenge, and found love instead, unrequited love for the enemy you’d been sent to destroy.
The door to your room creaked open, and you could hear Natasha’s slight footsteps tiptoeing across the floorboards.
“Are you awake?”, she asked hesitantly, knowing how betrayed and furious you felt at them. You knew you had no right to be angry at them for using a scheme to force the Baron into marriage with you when you had been trying to do the very same thing for the past few weeks. Even if you’d always told yourself that it was your goal to make him want to marry you – at the end, the ultimate goal was still to spy on him and betray him.
“What do you think”, you mumbled from your place on the bed, head buried in the pillows. It was the night before the day of the wedding, and the mix of panic and fury – at your own naivety, having thought the Baron could have started to fall for you just as you had for him, at Nat and Tony using you like they had, at the Baron choosing to risk death rather than marry you before he’d given up and succumbed to Tony’s claims. Of sorrow for the love you felt, and the harsh pain of this love being unrequited.
You felt the mattress dip beside you when Natasha sat down on the bed, as she’d done countless nights when the two of you had talked until the wee hours of morning. She was your best friend, your sister, and the chasm you could feel had opened between the two of you after what she and Tony had done in the gardens last night despite you begging them to forget their plan broke your heart. You feared this chasm would turn into a ravine, with no chance to build a bridge to cross it. But you needed comfort, didn’t want to be alone right now, and despite the vile things you’d said to her and Tony when the Baron had stormed off after the duel, she was here now, by your side. And you were grateful for that.
See you at church tomorrow.
“Tomorrow morning, I will be chained to a man who will never love me”, you whispered, hoarse with the tears choking you.
“He will be chained to a woman who will never love him, either – will he?”
Your silence was answer enough.
“What if he’s involved with Hydra, as we’ve been assuming all this time?”, Nat sighed as she stroked your hair in a helpless attempt to soothe you. “You’re so close”
“What if he’s not involved with Hydra?”, you persisted, voice muffled by your pillow.
“There was a time when you despised him as well. What happened to this girl?”
She fell in love. Your silence was answer enough for her, so Nat went on, “The Queen wants war.”
You sat up to gape at Nat. “How – how do you know that?”
“Tony told me. There was a meeting of the Court of Arms a few hours ago. He’d told the Queen of our scheme to infiltrate Sokovian court.”
Numbing shock travelled through your body at the thought of another war.
“The Queen can’t just march into Sokovia without definite proof of the Baron’s allegiance with Hydra. I mean, she could. But then the rest of the continent would be on Sokovia’s side – why would our Queen stop after invading only them, after all? If she attacks without proof, she will fuel the continent’s alliance with Sokovia.”
“But if she has proof that Zemo’s involved with Hydra, she can attack and every other country will fight alongside her”, you finished her thought. Sokovia’s earth would be soaked with blood for centuries to come.
“I’m going to marry a man who despises me for it. I’ll be alone and a spy in a foreign country, and the fate of thousands of people will rest on my shoulders, because if I find the final proof, the Queen’s army and the rest of the continent will ravage Sokovia. If I never find proof, it means Hydra is still planning something so secret not even the court knows about it. If there are no ties to Hydra and we’ve been wrong all this time –“
“Which I highly doubt”, Nat added,
“ – then I’ll still be forced to spend the rest of my life shackled to a man who hates me.”
“It was your plan. It was your own idea to make the sacrifice”, Nat said quietly.
“What am I going to do?”, you whispered, voice breaking with the desperation you felt.
“You try to sleep.”
There had been this moment in the gardens, Zemo’s hands tangling in your hair as he’d pulled you into his kiss with such fierce passion, setting your whole world ablaze with desire and love, when you were sure that your feelings were requited. It had lasted only for so few heartbeats. It had been nothing more than a beautiful, fleeting dream that left your filled with sadness when reality caught up.
When the maids came to wake you with the first rays of dawn against a blushing sky, you were already wide awake, and nausea had settled in the pit of your stomach. You hadn’t found much rest in the night, tossing and turning in sweat-soaked sheets.
They bathed you in rose water, combed out the wet tangles of your hair until it was dry and glossy before weaving flowers and intricate braids into the shining strands; peonies in the softest hues of pink and little jasmine-blossoms that looked like little white stars. You still didn’t feel like a bride.
When your hair was done, your make-up perfected, and the row of peals buttoned at the back of the flowing white gown, the lacy white veil grazing your shoulders, you stood in front of the mirror, wondering who that girl was, staring back at you from the gilded glass. She looked like a ghost, or a girl playing dress-up.
“You look beautiful, my lady”, the maid beside you breathed, her eyes betraying the dream of her own wedding day, of her own bridal dress she would wear to meet her beloved at the altar. Your heart went out to her, and you wished that this young girl, barely on the brink of womanhood, would meet her dream instead of a nightmare when her own father would walk her to the altar one day. You took one last deep breath and took the bridal bouquet the girl was timidly holding out for you; a beautiful mix mirroring the flowers braided into your hair.
“Are you ready, lady Y/N?”, the girl asked. “You must be so happy. To become Baroness!”
Dread gripped your heart like a fist carved out of stone.
Sitting in the carriage to the church, your fingers fidgeting with the satin ribbon holding together your bridal bouquet, you regretted having asked to be left alone on the way to church. Nausea was creeping through your stomach and up your throat as you tried to hold yourself together, but as soon as the carriage came to a stop and you climbed out in front of the beautiful cathedral, you sharted to shake.
Tony, who’d been waiting in front of the church, called out your name and came to stand beside you.
“You look so beautiful. I – should I walk you inside? To the altar?”
You swallowed. “No. I will walk alone.”
Hurt crossed his features as you declined, and it gave you a twisted kind of joy to see him like this.
“I’m sorry it happened like this.”
“Well, it was my plan. But this isn’t a real wedding. There is no need to act as if it were. I want to be done with this.”
And with this, you marched through the heavy wooden doors.
The inside of the cathedral was lit with the light of the morning sun, its rays streaming into the transept through the colourful glass windows. Zemo was already waiting for you in front of the altar, clad into a black suit, his hair combed back. The specks of colourful light from the windows painted patterns across his features, which were as cold and unmoved as if carved out of marble. There was nothing of the usual watchful spark in his eyes as they locked on you while he lifted the veil to reveal your face.
The priest, who seemed to sense the tension freezing the air of the cathedral, hurried through the vows.
Will you take her as your wife, love and cherish her and be faithful until death do you part? Yes. There was so much coldness in his voice.
Will you take Helmut Zemo as your husband, love and cherish him and be faithful until death do you part? I do. I will betray him.
He didn’t kiss you when the priest told him to.
Afterwards, when you left the church, a carriage was already waiting for the groom and his bride. The Baron and his Baroness. There would be no guests to congratulate you, no wedding reception, no dancing into the wee hours of the morning. There was nothing to celebrate. The farewell was kept short – neither Tony nor Natasha, who’d been the only other people at church despite the Baron, the priest and yourself, said a word as they hugged you good-bye. It should’ve hurt to leave, not knowing when – or, should you be uncovered as a spy, if – you were going to see them again, the only family you had left. But everything felt numb, as if the thick mists of autumn rising above the cornfields in the evenings had settled in your chest, obscuring every single emotion. You were glad for these mists, because you didn’t want to cry your heart out in the carriage with Zemo. No, for the breakdown and the tears, you wanted to be alone.
Then, it hit you like a punch in the stomach. You probably wouldn’t be alone. There would be a wedding night, and every other night after this. You were married, which meant you belonged to your husband. To stay covered, you needed to comply, to become the perfect Baroness and the perfect wife. You couldn’t have people in Sokovia, or Zemo himself, starting to ask questions.
The ride in the carriage which brought you to the harbour was short and silent, with you and Zemo both avoiding to catch each other’s gaze, staring ahead in frosty silence. At the harbour, you boarded the small ship already waiting for the Baron and his new Baroness, to carry you right to the shores of Sokovia, a small country nestled at the coast alongside Latvia and Lithuania.
Your elbows resting on the wooden railing, the wind ripping some strands from your careful, intricate braids as if to play with them, you watched in silent dread as the coast of your home became nothing more than a black stripe on the horizon, before vanishing completely.
“Are you going to vomit?”, Zemo asked as he leaned against the wood beside you.
“The first words you’ve spoken to me today and you’re asking me if I’m going to be sea sick? You’re a poet, my dear husband.” You cursed at your naïve little heart doing somersaults in your chest at the sight of him, his handsome features, the slight shadow of stubble on his cheeks. He looked handsome, the way the salty breeze was whipping his chocolate-coloured hair into his face.
He chuckled mirthlessly. “Well, the first words I spoke were ‘I do’, my little harpy.”
“If you don’t remove yourself from my sight, I will be sick.”
“Believe me, there’s nothing I would like to do more, but you should come and have dinner with me.”
Dinner. How fast the day had flown by already.
“I will have to decline.”
“Are you planning on starving yourself?”, he inquired, “Because if you do, I would appreciate it if you could do it while we’re still on board. It’s easier to rid oneself of a corpse if one can just give it over to the sea.”
“I promise you, Baron, that if I go down, I’ll pull you down with me”, you spat, and went inside to seek out your quarters. It would be one night on the ship, and a whole day of travelling by carriage once you’d reached Sokovia.
The sailors were kind, eyeing you with wonder in your bridal gown and the flowers woven into your slightly tousled hair. “Baroness, these are your private quarters”, the bulky man who’d led you below deck said with a little bow – the title sounded so strange in your own ears – “Your husband will reside in the quarters to the left, beside your own.”
“He – we will be staying in separated bedrooms?”
Uneasiness crept into the sailor’s eyes and his face went beet red at the implication.
“The Baron made it unequivocally clear that two bedrooms should be prepared, Baroness.”
You gave him a nod, too tired to attempt at a smile, and vanished into your quarters. The room was sparsely furnished, lit by the light of dozens of candles lining up on every surface, their golden glow illuminating a four-poster bed and a make-up table with a gilded mirror on the wall above it. The wooden trunks containing everything you’d bring with you to Sokovia had already been placed in a corner of the room beside the bed.
Was this normal? Did married couples usually sleep in separated quarters? Or did Zemo’s hatred for you, about the fact that he’d had to marry you despite his wish to remain unmarried, burn so bright that he couldn’t stand to be in the same room with you? Was he just being a gentleman, wanting to give you space and privacy? Why did it even bother you that he wouldn’t spend the night with you? You had once found yourself dreading the wifely duties ahead of you if your scheme succeeded. Maybe you just wanted to be done with it. You know that’s not the reason. It suddenly felt as if the bridal gown was actively trying to choke you, and you reached behind your back to unfasten the row of tiny pearl-buttons, but you couldn’t reach them. A frustrated growl tore from your throat.
“Why are you pacing?”
You jumped with a surprised squeak and whirled to face the intruder. Zemo only frowned back at you.
“Could you not have knocked?”, you snapped.
“I did. Quite a few times. You didn’t answer.”
“Well, then. There is no need to knock on a door if you’re going to barge in, anyway.”
He shut the door behind him and came to stand in the middle of the room, looking a little lost.
“I barged in because I was worried you had done something stupid.”
“Such as jump into the sea to get as far away as possible from you?”
He sighed deeply, and you resumed to your agitated pacing.
“I have some cherry blossom tea”, he finally broke the silence.
“Very nice. You should go and enjoy it, then”, you deadpanned, and you were feeling horrible for how you were treating him. You so desperately wished to go back to the times of dancing, of easy bantering and shared little quips, of the kiss with his hands combing through your hair. Times before you’d given him your heart and he had shattered it into a myriad of pieces.
“It’s imported from Asia.”
Silence. More pacing.
“I wondered if you’d like to have a cup as well. It’s the best cherry blossom tea –“
“I DO NOT WANT YOUR CURSED TEA!” You whirled to face him, and the last word came out as a screech worthy of a banshee. Zemo blinked. Tension-filled silence settled over the two of you, and you waited for him to leave you alone. He bit his lip, and nodded slightly before reaching for the doorknob –
“Wait!”, you called out, and he stilled. “I – I don’t have a handmaiden.”
He frowned, trying to grasp what you were trying to tell him, so you continued, “I cannot get out of this dress on my own. The corset on the back is not tied with lace but with buttons.”
Understanding flashed in Zemo’s dark eyes, and he gave a single curt nod before crossing the distance to stand behind you. You were facing the mirror of the make-up table, your eyes finding him in the reflection as he gently pushed a few stray strands of your hair away from your neck to reach the buttons. His hands brushed against the exposed skin on your neck before he slowly, carefully avoiding to touch anything but the row of tiny pearls, opened them one by one in a line down towards your lower back.
The silence began to weigh heavy between the two of you, and you noticed that you’d been holding your breath in the strange intimacy of Zemo unfastening the buttons of your wedding dress. You wanted him so desperately – his touch, his kisses, his heart. Him. You hated him for rejecting you so brutally, just minutes after he’d kissed you breathless, and you hated yourself for playing your own games with him, which had ended in a marriage he’d wanted to avoid so badly – who, if not a young woman, could understand that the choice if and whom to marry was something precious? You’d robbed him of this choice, and it ashamed you. You were afraid he could demand you to fulfil your role as his wife in the bedroom, simply because it would not happen out of love. At least, not for him.
While your mind was racing, you could feel the tightness of the white gown’s corset loosen with every button he unfastened; he’d worked his way to the middle of your back. The tension between the two of you felt like the electricity sizzling in the air before a thunderstorm at the end of a hot summer’s day. And still, the slight touches of his fingers as he unfastened button after tiny button made you shiver in the best of ways. Your eyes flicked up to his reflection in the mirror. He was stunning. A few unruly strands of his dark hair were falling into his forehead, and you yearned to touch brush them from his face. His long, dark lashes threw shadows across his cheeks in the golden glow of the candles. His eyes were intently focused on the row of buttons.
You set to speak, but as if having sensed it, Zemo’s hands stilled and his gaze flicked up to meet yours in the mirror, before he broke the silence. “There will never be enough words for me to apologize for what I have done to you, Y/N, even if I spent the rest of our lifetime together repeating them. It won’t suffice”, he began, and the coldness was melting from his voice with every word, “So, if I am the reason for your unhappiness, at least I will try to take care of you as best as I can. There is nothing I will demand of you in return. If you wish to take part in the politics of Sokovian court, you are free to do so. If you wish to travel the country and remain as far away from me as possible, you are free to do so, as well. I will treat you as my equal, and nothing less. I will not force myself upon you. In any way. If that is what you want.”
You gaped at him in the mirror, parting your lips to say something, but the words had left you. Zemo had stopped unbuttoning your dress, waiting for your answer.
His eyes held a strange glow in the reflection as he said, “You asked for the reason why I would never want to marry. I still owe you the answer, I feel. After the fire that ravaged half of the palace, it took me three days to find their corpses. My parents, my brother and his wife, my niece. My brother was the firstborn. It was him who should’ve taken Sokovia’s throne – he would have been a far better regent than I could ever dream to be. My quarters were right beside theirs. I wasn’t there, though. I was out in the night, training at swordplay to calm down after an argument I had with my brother at dinner. I so often try to remember what it was about, but I fail every single time. They were all together when the flames swallowed them. I should have been there with them. But I was the one left behind with nothing but the charred bones of everyone I had ever loved. And when I found them, I swore to myself I would never marry. To never have a family, to never be so vulnerable again. Because I fear what would be left of me if I ever again lost the person I loved most. I know it was your wish to choose your husband instead of being forced into marriage to someone you didn’t love. That is why I agreed to the duel with Stark. To hope he would pull back and see reason and let you choose on your own. But I saw that my act of kissing you, and being seen doing it, would ruin you. So I agreed to it. But please believe me when I say that if I ever had planned on marrying, the only choice for me would have been you, from the very first moment you insulted me and stormed off to get yourself a slice of strawberry cake.”
You hadn’t noticed the stray tear rolling down your cheek until Zemo brushed it away tenderly with his thumb before taking a step back, away from you. Your heart was bleeding for him, for everything he had endured, and at the same time, it was soaring on wings of love and happiness.
“You don’t have to give an answer. I will leave now”, he announced softly with a slight tilt of his head, and the familiar movement was all it took.
“Wait!”, you called out, and his hand stilled on the doorknob for a second time. You turned away from the mirror with a swish of your half-opened gown.
You swallowed, grasping for the right words, and this time if was your heart offering them. “I would have chosen you, Helmut. I never wanted anyone else. And it broke my heart to believe you didn’t reciprocate these feelings, to think I was shackling you into a marriage you never wanted –“
Before you could finish your sentence, he had crossed the room, and the look of tenderness and love shining in his hazel eyes, the dancing light of the candles mirrored in their depths, stole the breath from your lungs. And then, his lips locked on yours. Where the kiss in the gardens had been feverish and wild, this kiss was gentle and sweet, a warm wave of euphoria sweeping you off your feet. Zemo’s hands cupped your face, pulling you closer to deepen the kiss, and a soft sigh escaped your lips. You could feel him mirror your own smile while he kissed you, and you let your hands tangle in his hair, the soft strands gliding through your fingers like silk, just as soft as you’d imagined them to be. Helmut Zemo loved you. The happiness you felt radiating through your very soul at his confession made you feel as if you might burst with it, as if it would make your skin glow like sunshine reflecting off a lake.
This time, there would be no interruptions. It was no forbidden thing anymore to kiss him – the two of you were free to do whatever you wanted. However often you wanted.
With gentle hands, Zemo reached up to pull one of the peonies out of your hair, letting it fall to the ground without breaking the kiss. He grasped your arms and twirled you so your back was against his chest, and continued his work. A second one of the flowers followed, and a third. With every flower he pulled from your braids, he placed a tender kiss to the side of your neck, and your pulse accelerated with every touch of his lips on your skin, watching him intently in the mirror. When he’d freed the last flower from your hair, he gently started to pull the pins from your braids, until your was freed, tumbling around your face. Your gazes met in the mirror. When he turned you towards him again to continue the kisses, the movements of his lips against yours became more urgent, and you pressed yourself against him. But still, his hands never strayed from where they were holding your waist.
“Do you remember what you told me when we were dancing in the palace?”, you whispered, and he broke the kiss to glance at you, that mischievous little smile tugging at his lips, and your knees grew even weaker with desire.
“How could I have forgotten?”, he drawled.
“I… tried it”, you continued with a hoarse voice.
His eyes glittered. “And did you enjoy it, darling?”
“I did. But I couldn’t help thinking of you. Wishing it were your hands touching me, instead of my own.”
His gaze dropped to your lips. “I must confess to have found myself in a similar situation”, he finally smirked – how did he manage to look so mischievous and sincere at the same time?
“I still dream of it”, you whispered your confession. The last of his resolve crumbled, and his lips crashed on yours, fiercer than before, and you could feel the familiar embers glowing in your lower belly, waiting to be stoked into blazing flames by his touches.
You gasped as his hands found the back of your dress and ripped it open the rest of the way, sending buttons spilling around you and with a breathy smile, you began to work on his own buttons. In a storm of clashing teeth and desperate hands and burning kisses, you rid him of his upper garments, and his eyes shut at the sensation of your curious hands exploring his bare chest, the muscles rippling beneath your palms as he moved against you. He was stunning. His hot tongue ghosted across your lower lip, begging entrance you granted him happily, and the feeling sent shivers of pleasure through your whole body when his tongue delved into your mouth to taste you. You groaned and pressed your chest against him – but it still wasn’t close enough.
The whimpers escaping your own throat at the feeling of his fingers raking through your hair while his left hand drew circles to the exposed skin on your waist seemed to embolden him further. You’d never felt something like this before, this pure bliss he put you into with only his touches, completely unravelling you under his hands.
Zemo’s hands snaked to your back, to the corset you’d worn beneath the gown, and with deft hands he began to rip open the stings at the back, his lips travelling from the corner of your mouth along your jawline. It left you gasping and breathless and hungry for so much more. The strings came loose, and your corset joined the discarded bridal gown on the floor.
But instead of continuing the desperate kisses, Zemo took a step back to look at you, naked in front of him, and the feeling of his eyes all over your exposed body made you shiver with anxiousness –
“You’re so beautiful”, he whispered, and the sincerity on his face made you swallow. You flashed him a tender smile, allowing to yourself to take in his own, half-naked form. He wasn’t bulky, but the lines and ridges of muscles were clearly visible even in the dim light, and you yearned to explore these planes of his body.
“So are you.”
There was a heartbeat of silence between the two of you, but before he could pull you into his arms again, the ship hit a wave and jolted, sending you stumbling towards him, and he caught you in his arms.
“Eager, are we?”, he teased, and you giggled, before he reached down to lift you as if you weighted nothing, only to carry you to the four-poster-bed which by now had lost its looming presence.
His eyes were locked on yours with a beautiful intensity while he gently placed you down on the mattress. You couldn’t help but notice how the muscles in his arms flexed as he crawled atop you, his hands placed on the mattress to each side of your head, his knees gently parting your legs so he could situate himself between them.
His lips found the spot on your neck, right above your racing pulse beneath the tender skin, and a gasp tore from you when he gently sucked at it, his teeth scraping the skin, and you angled your head to give him better access.
“Does this feel good?”, he whispered, and all you could manage in reply was a breathless nod. It didn’t feel good – it felt ecstatic. He filled your senses with how good he felt beneath your touch, how he tasted, how his smell of cedarwood and something so distinctly him wrapped around you like the gentle air of a warm spring day. It was intoxicating, and you never wanted this moment to end. Zemo trailed his kisses down the side of your neck, over your collarbone, the slope of your breasts and further down your ribcage, leaving you gasping and panting beneath him. You could feel his smile against you wherever his lips made contact, and his warm breath fanning across your exposed skin like the lightest of caresses made you shiver with pleasure. His soft hair fell into his face and tickled your bare skin as he went down on you.
When his trail of kisses had reached the spot beneath your bellybutton, he glanced up at you, a searching look in his eyes, and it flooded your heart with affection to see the tenderness in these mesmerizing hazel depths.
“I want you to know that I won’t do anything you don’t want me to, darling,” he rasped, and the sound of his dark honeyed voice, coarse with want for you, fuelled the warmth blooming in your lower belly. “So if you want me stop, you only need to say so.”
You nodded, knowing that never, not in a thousand years, he could do anything to make you want to stop. No, you desperately needed him to continue whatever he’d been doing.
The smile tugging at his lips was soft, and you took in how stunning he looked between your legs – flushed, his lust-darkened eyes glowing in the light of the candles, hair tousled where your fingers had raked through the silky dark strands which now tumbled into his face as he leaned down. His hands left the mattress to caress your legs, wandering higher towards the apex of your thighs, closer to where you needed him most.
His piercing gaze never left yours as he slowly, so achingly slowly, brought down his head, hot breath tickling your most sensitive parts, the wet arousal already pooling between your thighs. You shuddered in anticipation.
His tongue flicked out, drawing lazy circles over your wet folds, making your hips snap up to meet his mouth. He chuckled into your wetness, while his hands travelled up your thighs, his fingernails scratching the soft skin, to grab your hips and pin them down on the mattress again.
“Do you want me to continue?”, he purred and this time, his tongue hit that sweet spot and you cried out as you rolled your hips, craving more. He moaned in response, sucking at the bundle of nerves, making you writhe beneath his touch with the sensation of his tongue, the vibration of his dark voice against you. You hadn’t though it possible to feel anything like this. Sure, you’d dreamed – more than once since the night when he’d whispered these secrets into your ear – of what it be like to be touched by him in this way. The dream was growing pale compared to the blissful reality. Your back arched, and the pleasure jolting through you intensified with every flick of his tongue against that bundle of nerves, and already you could feel your release catching up to you, slowly and with an intensity you’d never experience with your own hands. The moan that tore from your lips was loud, and you bit your lip to silence yourself.
“Don’t hold back, my love”, he crooned sitting up and his tongue darted out to lap your arousal from his lips, watching you intently, “Sing for me.”
The haze of your relief was addling your mind, but it hadn’t been enough. You needed him, you wanted to feel him as close to you as humanly possible. You went to protest when he rose from the bed, but the words died on your tongue when he relieved himself from his pants, revealing his hardened length. Oh Lord. He was…huge.
He must have seen the shock on your face, since as he positioned himself above you again, his elbows resting at each side of your head to support his weight, he whispered “I won’t hurt you. I will never hurt you – in any way.” His voice was raw with the kaleidoscope of emotion mirrored in his eyes as he took you in, flushed and wanting beneath him. Wanting him. It nearly felt too beautiful to believe, and for a few heartbeats, panic roared in his chest like a caged beast. He couldn’t lose you. If he ever lost you…it would destroy him.
You could sense the shift in his emotions, and his words from earlier came back to you.
“You won’t lose me,” you promised. Are you sure?, the voice in you mind piped up, but you silenced it. You knew that this was real, that he had nothing to do with Hydra and that, however twisted the ways of fate that bound you together, you were grateful for them to have woven your path with his. You knew you loved him, and he loved you. That was all that mattered – in this moment, and in every single one to come. “You won’t lose me, Helmut. I love you. And I want to give you everything; my heart, my soul and my body. They’re yours.”
“I love you, moye serdtse.”
You leaned up to meet lips in a sweet, short kiss while he aligned himself with your entrance and gently sunk into you, eliciting soft moans from the both of you as he buried his throbbing length fully inside you, inch by inch, slowly enough not to hurt you. His soft lips were never leaving yours as he did so. All this time, you’d looked with dread upon the secret of the marriage bed, the wifely duties you’d one day expected to fulfil. The secrets nobody had shared with you, leaving you alone and wondering what it was that could be so special about it, wondering if it was pleasant or if it would hurt. Without ever really knowing what it was that happened between a wife and her husband, you’d been fearful at the thought of being so vulnerable and exposed with another person. Now, with Helmut Zemo as close as humanly possible, you understood. It was the most beautiful thing you’d ever felt, as if your very souls connected, intertwined as your bodies did the same. His gaze was holding yours, telling you he felt the same way.
He waited a few heartbeats to give you enough time to adjust to him, and as you rolled up your hips against him, it elicited the sweetest, most sinful of sounds from his lips. He began to move, gently pulling out of you just to slide back again, your velvet walls wrapping around him, his tip grazing a sweet spot deep inside of you with every thrust. It sent a wildfire of pleasure through your body, tearing moans from your lips. You arched your back, eyes fluttering close with the blissful sensations he was bestowing on you, and when his bare chest met your own, you could feal the tune of your hearts beating wildly in a beautiful synchrony. His own panting and moans mingled with yours in the air around you while his free hand began to trail along the line of your neck and cup your cheek, gently tilting your head to give him access to your neck, his teeth again grazing the tender skin and you cried out in pleasure at the throbbing ache building in your core.
Your own hands, which had been clawing at the sheets on your sides, wandered up over the soft skin of his back, the muscles firm beneath your touch, and tangled in his own soft strands at the nape of his neck. The greedy moan into the crook of your neck your touch earned in response nearly sent you over the edge, and you hooked your leg around his waist to deepen his thrusts. You could feel the throbbing feeling in your core growing, the hot licks of pleasure making you quiver as he hit that sweet spot inside you over and over again with each thrust.
“I’m close”, you panted, just as the burning sensation turned into an explosion that sent currents of bliss through your whole body. You arched your back, and for a brief moment, your mind went blank. There was only Helmut, buried deep inside you, making you feel as if you were flying. Your walls clenched around him as his pace quickened and he was chasing his own height with you, moaning at the sensation of his own climax hitting him.
Together you came down from your heights, collapsing into the sheets; tangled up, soaked, and panting fervently.
You were the first to break the blissful silence of the afterglow.
“I don’t even have the words to describe this”, you gasped as he pulled you further into him so you could place your head on his chest, right above his raging heartbeat, the both of you trying to catch your breath.
“Was I a match for dream-Helmut?”, he teased. “It sure sounded like you had a lot of fun with the secrets I spilled that evening.”
“Not as much fun as I had right now. And I don’t ever want this to be over. We can do this again, right?”
He chuckled. “You’re giving me a run for my money”, he panted, “But give me a few minutes and I’ll be ready for a second run.”
You giggled, slightly embarrassed by how needy you sounded. “I mean, this is not something reserved only for the wedding night, right?”
“We can do this whenever you want to, moye serdtse”, he said softly, pulling you closer into his chest and placed a soft kiss to your hair, leaving no room for doubt or embarrassment at what had just transpired between the two of you.
“What does it mean?”, you asked.
“Moye serdtse? It’s Sokovian. It means my heart.”
Needless to say, the two of you didn’t get much sleep that night, and your eyes fell closed as soon as you’d sat down in the carriage that would bring you to the Sokovian palace. When you woke, though, you were still in the carriage, your head resting against the windowpane – and Zemo was gone. Groggy with sleep, you glanced out of the open carriage door. It was a curious scene playing in front of you. You’d obviously stopped in a small village – or rather, what was left of it. Torn little houses were lining the cobbled street, rubble littering the sides. It was the sight of a village ravaged by war. A war your country had inflicted on them. Because they were hiding the remains of Hydra. But were they? Had there ever been any evidence? Nobody had told you, and it shamed you to realize that you’d never asked.
Amidst all the rubble was your husband – it sounded strange but oh so beautiful to think of him as that – and a throng of children had gathered around him. They laughed as he held out hands full of sweets, and the song he was singing floated through the air towards you. His singing voice was beautiful, dark and deep like the forest of a fairy tale, and you wished you understood the words. It sounded like a lullaby, or an old nursery rhyme. He never saw the tender smile with which you watched him.
“Ah, you’re awake”, he greeted you when he finally climbed back into the carriage. “I didn’t want to rouse you.”
“I never heard of a regent giving sweets and songs to children”, you mused, and sadness nestled in his expression.
“They don’t have much else, since the war. There are still so many villages and cities destroyed, no matter how many soldiers I send to assist with reconstruction.”
“It’s horrible”, you said silently, and Nat’s cautions came to your mind like an unbidden visitor.
The Queen wants war.
“It’s why I travelled the continent ever since the – since I became Baron.”
You head snapped up at his words, tearing you from the thunderstorm in your own thoughts.
“I tried to strengthen the diplomatic relationships to other countries on the continent and make them listen to the other side of the story.”, he added.
“You were searching for allies?”
“No. I was trying to make friends. I don’t need allies, because I don’t want another war. Besides – nobody would ever ally with a country in ruins. Even if there was another war. All I want is peace for my country, to heal.”
“The only version of the story I know is that Hydra tried to usurp the Queen’s throne, but they were stopped and a few of them fled to Sokovia. It was said that your father granted them asylum – so the Queen attacked.”
He tilted his head, his gaze watchful and intelligent as a hawk’s. “And what do you believe?”
“I believe there’s always two sides of a story, and the tale the winners tell isn’t necessarily the right one. So tell me the Sokovian side of the story.”
“I will”, he replied softly. “But that’s a tale for another time.”
When the carriage stopped in front of the palace, you marvelled at the beauty of the ancient white stones, the colourful spires adorning it like a crown, and your gaze momentarily strayed to the rebuilt left wing of the structure before you quickly averted your gaze. Servants were already waiting for you at the wide stone steps to the entrance, and one of them, an old man, greeted Zemo with a deep bow and a smile one would grant an old friend.
“Baronessa”, the man greeted you with another toothless smile, “If you would like a little tour of the palace and the grounds to get to know your new home?” His accent was heavy, and you felt deep gratitude that he was welcoming you in your own native language. But as Baroness, you couldn’t wait to learn the Sokovian langue as well.
Zemo threw you a sideways glance and took your hand, the subtle smile playing at the corners of his mouth telling you exactly what he was thinking.
“I think I should show my wife to our private quarters first”, he finally said, “To rest after our tiring travels.”
You didn’t rest, of course. You didn’t want to, and neither did Zemo – there were far more important things to do than sleep in the four-poster-bed with its beautiful lace curtains.
The following days passed in a haze of palace tours, of introductions to the court and servants alike. Zemo had kept his word – at your wish, you sat beside him in every court meeting, no matter how secretive it was. He listened to you with respect, valued your opinion, and – though at first wary of a woman amidst their political schemes, eyeing you with distrust or contempt – so did the members of Sokovian court, with time. The mornings were spent with politics and court meetings, the afternoons were reserved for only the two of you. You would go on walks, sit together and read, and he would teach you Sokovian. The nights were spent in the throes of passion.
Days blurred into weeks, and you came to realize that you’d never before been so happy as you now were at Zemo’s side, as his Baroness. His wife. You’d found yourself falling in love with the country of Sokovia, the people fighting to restore what was left of it, to bring it back to its former glory. You fell in love with the lilting melody of its language and the tales of the fae folk dancing in the deep of the woods, the Rusalka singing their songs to the currents of the rivers.
You hadn’t forgotten your task – but you were certain now that Zemo had nothing to do with Hydra. If they still existed, he wasn’t involved in their plots and cruelties.
Instead, you were listening, watching, observing and searching for files holding the answers. So far, you were none the wiser. But there were two options you hadn’t tried yet.
The first one were the servants. They were part of the palace, quiet and often unseen – the ears and eyes of the place. Most of the nobility didn’t care if a servant was listening to their private conversations, since secrecy was what made a good servant in the first place. Maybe Nat would have been luckier as a spy if she’d not posed as nobility herself, but come to the Sokovian palace as a handmaid.
So one morning, as your handmaid, Wanda, was busy brushing out your hair, you had taken your chance and asked in the broken bits of Sokovian you’d already learned, “How long have you been working here?”
She eyed you absent-mindedly through the mirror in front of you. “I’ve lost my parents to the war. The old Baron would take in orphaned children from all over the country, and we would be trained to be servants. So, I spent a great part of my childhood here, in training.”
A noble thing to do, you’d thought. And the most certain way to gain another person’s loyalty.
“I grew up as an orphan, as well”, you’d replied quietly. “I’m sorry for what happened to you, Wanda.”
“It’s in the past. It’s on us now to be better for the future. Did your parents die in the war as well, Baronessa?”
You could see how she’d debated with herself if it was adequate to ask her Baroness such questions, so you’d been quick to answer, “No. I lost them before the war started. They were killed by Hydra.”
Wanda’s hands in your hair had stilled, and she’d looked up to meet your own steady gaze in the mirror.
“I haven’t heard this name for a long time, Baronessa.”
“And still, their presence is looming over us.” Like the shadow of a predatory bird right before it would shoot down to catch the mouse.
“Sokovia is a safe place, Baronessa. For all of us.”
Her gaze had fluttered down to the brush she was fidgeting with.
“Is it?”, you had quietly contemplated.
The servants wouldn’t tell you anything, you’d realized then. It would take time to gain their trust, time you probably didn’t have. The last option to glean information on Hydra’s whereabouts was Zemo’s study itself – it would take a few nights to scour through all the letters and documents gathered there. You had already tried this option – but there had been one drawer of the desk which had been locked. You would have to search for the matching key first.
Despite your trust in his innocence, you were sure he was keeping something from you, and it drove you mad not to know what he was hiding, to know that even though you’d taken over your role as Baroness at his side, there was still something left he didn’t trust you with. The thought hurt. It’s ironic, coming from a spy. Did he ever have a suspicion about the scheme which had brought the two of you together? Any suspicion as to what you were doing behind his back, searching for clues about the alchemists of Hydra? You don’t fully trust him, either, the little voice in your head chided. I do trust him, you tried to convince yourself. Really? Then go on and tell him what you are. See what he does. It wasn’t the first time you’d contemplated telling him about your mission, about the suspicion that Hydra had somehow taken poisonous roots in his country and his court. But as often as you contemplated revealing the truth to him when he held you in his arms and told you stories of his family and his childhood, asking about your own childhood after the death of your family, you never did. This part of your heart would stay locked, and so would the top drawer in his desk.
When you woke the next morning and turned so nuzzle against Zemo’s chest, you realized that the other half of the bed was empty. You blinked against the sunlight filtering into the bedroom, and your hand grazed something on your husband’s abandoned pillow. Blinking, you sat up – it was a single red rose, its crimson petals bright against the white silk, like blood on snow.
With a smile, you took the flower and your fingertips traced the soft petals. He was probably in the study already, busying himself with answering all the letters fluttering into the palace every day. A never-ending task. Maybe the time was ripe to hunt for the little key to the top drawer of the desk, at last.
As soon as Wanda had helped you dress, you made your way across the hallways to the study, where you found Zemo amidst a chaos of papers and letters scattered across every available surface, pouring over an official-looking paper. He hadn’t noticed your presence, standing in the doorway, and you didn’t rush to interrupt him but instead opted to use the chance to watch him. He looked distraught, his long lashes fluttering against his cheeks as his eyes flew across the words written on the parchment. The sunrays from the nearby window painted streaks of caramel in his dark hair, and his hand absentmindedly combed through the soft curls, destroying the neat style so a few unruly strands tumbled into his face. He’d rolled up his sleeves, and the strong lines of the muscles in his arms as he shifted the scroll to the side and grabbed another letter reminded you of the other things he could do with these strong arms, the hands currently fiddling with the ribbon that had bound the letter.
“Do you enjoy the view, Baronessa?”
You blinked, torn from your thoughts. Zemo had noticed you standing in the doorway, staring at him absent-mindedly – the smug grin playing on his lips told you he knew exactly what had been going through your mind, and his eyes took on a devilish gleam as they roamed over your body, the cleavage your dress was displaying.
“Do you, Baron?”, you smirked back, pushing away from the doorway to slowly stride towards him.
“Did you find the rose, moye serdtse?”
You raised an eyebrow. “I’d rather have found my husband beside me.”
“To do what, exactly, my love?”, he teased, “There’s a kingdom to lead and laws to pass. By the way – don’t you have a meeting with the court of merchants this morning?”
“I do”, you nodded, your voice growing more husky with every step you took towards him to close the distance. “It should start any minute now.”
“They why are you here with me?”, he taunted as you came to stand in front of him.
“I thought a morning with you could be more exciting than a morning with a bunch of old men spending their time complaining about the expensive tastes of their wives and daughters.”
“I bet if I read you one of these drafts for the laws on the import of wool, you would beg to be left in the company of these complaining old men”, Zemo retorted. “Except the reason for your visit was never the draft law on wool in the first place, but to ogle me. Which would be a real shock.”
“Scandalous, I know. Though you’re giving yourself too much credit of you think your appearance could a greater spell on me than the wool trade. Tell me about the wool, Baron. Maybe I can be of assistance.”
His hand reached out to take yours, and he slowly placed a chaste kiss to the back of your hand – the gaze of his hazel eyes, though, was intently locked on yours, conveying exactly what he was planning to do to you. “Forget the wool”, he husked, “I would be interested in knowing what, exactly, you wished me to do this morning when you woke up all alone.”
Your skin seemed to burn where his lips had grazed it, and the sensation travelled through your nerves like the sweetest of poisons, the first few sparks to rekindle the embers glowing in your core.
“I fear I would offend a lot of dead saints if I spoke so freely”, you teased with mock-innocence, watching as he turned your hand in his to place another kiss to the inside of your palm, searing your skin with the sensation. How could he turn innocent kisses into something that felt so sinful? Your breath hitched in your throat. His eyes had grown darker, the black of his pupils slowly swallowing the hazel of his irises as he pinned you to place with only his gaze, brimming with so much longing and adoration that you found it hard to form another sentence.
“There are no saints in this room, I can assure you”, Zemo smirked. Before you could reply, he was up from the chair, his fingers grazing your hair as he grabbed cupped your face and sealed your lips with his. Your own arms shot up to wrap around his neck in response, your body reacting to the beautiful familiarity of his touch on its own accord. There was no gentle kindling of flames into fire this time, though. He was a roaring wave sweeping you away, drowning you with everything he made you feel, everything he made you want. You moaned into the kiss when he pressed against you, his weight pinning you against the top of the desk, the wood digging into your lower back. He seemed to notice at the same time, and his hands grabbed your butt to lift you and gently place you on the desk, sending papers fluttering all around you like a swarm of birds taking flight. None of you noticed, though, lost in the passion of the kiss.
“We should lock the door”, he murmured against your lips, and you nodded.
Neither of you had the resolve to pull away and do it, though.
Zemo’s hands hiked up the gauzy fabric of your dress and your legs wrapped around his waist to pull him closer while you fumbled with the buttons of his dress shirt. He was already hard, his clothed length pressing against the inside of your thigh with the sweet promise of what was to come.
There was the sound of fabric tearing, and the dress fell away from you in a soft flutter of the fine silk to leave you bare before him with only the corset and your undergarments. Another tearing sound of fabric. Only the corset.
“This was my favourite dress”, you gasped, and Zemo began tracing your jaw with his lips, following it to your ear with a trail of wet, hot kisses, and you arched into the touch of his hands roaming to the valley of your breasts before snaking down to graze the sensitive skin of your now exposed thighs, the skirts of your dress no longer blocking his access.
“I’ll buy you a new one”, he husked, hot breath tickling the exposed skin of your neck as he angled his head and his teeth grazed the curve of your collarbone. Your patience with the buttons on Zemo’s dress shirt was running low, and with a wicked smirk, you tore at it, ripping it open and sending the buttons sprawling across the floor.
“That was my favourite dress shirt”, he mumbled against your skin, and you shuddered with the pleasure of the vibration of his voice against you, pulling him closer.
“I’ll buy you a new one,” you teased.
His deep laugh in response was drowned by your own wanton moan as he rolled his hips against yours and his clothed bulge rubbed against you, arousal for him already pooling between your legs. The sensation which shot through you at the contact made your head roll back, and he gently caught you. You pushed aside the fabric of his torn dress shirt, allowing your hands to wander across the planes and ridges of his firm chest, the sculpted muscles moving under your fingertips while his own hands grabbed your butt to pull you even closer to him.
It would have been a shock for any servant entering the study, to see the Baroness, utterly naked if it beside the corset, sitting on the desk, the Baron standing between her legs while he was attacking her neck with kisses. You knew that there was a chance of being caught – especially if anyone got the idea to look for you and the reason why you hadn’t attended the court meeting yet, but there was a certain thrill to it as well. In this moment, with Zemo’s lips grazing your skin and his touches leaving searing fingerprints all over you, you didn’t care. The need for him, to feel him inside you, was just too strong to leave room for worries.
“What do you want me to do, Baronessa?”, he rasped, lips brushing against your ear as he leaned in to suck at the skin above your thrumming pulse, and you only gasped at how good it felt. His hand tangled in your hair at the back of your head, grabbing a fistful of it to angle your head and give him more access to that spot below your ear. Your answering moan wasn’t as quiet as you’d intended for it to be, and you could feel him smirk against you.
“Do something already”, you urged with a breathless sigh. It would drive you insane with want if he waited even a few seconds longer, teasing you with his hungry kisses.
“Should I take you on the desk?”, he breathed, gently pushing you backwards so your back met the cool wooden surface of the table. His lips left your neck, and he glanced up at you. He looked flustered and dishevelled, and his sharp eyes had darked with lust, burning right through you like twin flames as he most certainly could read every single thing you were imagining him to do with you on this desk mirrored on your face.
The roguish smirk tugging at his lips, the unruly strands of dark hair falling into his face, made the coil in your belly clench even tighter, begging for release.
He continued to talk, the dark streak of desire weaving into his honeyed voice as he growled, “Or should I worship you with my tongue first, taste how wet you already are for me?” It wasn’t a question – the words had barely left his lips when his hands hooked around the back of your knees and he pulled you towards him, gently placing your legs on his shoulders to stabilize you. The cry that tore from your lips as soon as his tongue flicked across your slick folds and begun swirling around the sweet spot where you needed him most, was all the answer he needed, spurring him on.
“You have no idea what these sinful little sounds you make are doing to me”, he murmured, and the vibration of his voice against your most sensitive parts made you writhe with pleasure beneath his mouth, bucking your hips up for more friction. “No idea how lovely you look, losing control like this.”
Your hands grabbed the edge of the tabletop, hips rolling to meet his tongue. It was the sweetest torture, and it wasn’t even nearly enough. All it did was intensifying the craving for him as your walls clenched around nothing.
“Stop the teasing”, you gasped, “I need you. Now.”
Zemo obeyed without hesitation. His strong hands grabbed your waist through the fabric of the corset, and he lifted you effortlessly off the table as if you weighed nothing, before sitting down on his chair and placing you on his lap. Your arms locked at the back of his neck, bunching the fabric of his dress shirt, and while he was busy unbuttoning the fly of his suit pants, you’d already begun rolling your hips languidly against his clothed erection – the sounds it stole from him were too intoxicating to stop.
“Patience is not one of your virtues, moye serdtse”, Zemo panted as his impressive length sprang free and you attempted to shift to align him with your entrance. But he was faster, and his hands found their way back to the curve of your waist, to lift you a little. The muscles in his bare arms flexed with the movement, and the feeling as he slowly pulled you down onto him again, burying himself deep inside you, robbed the breath from your lungs and the strength remaining in your body. You were helpless in his hands, delirious with the feeling of his throbbing length sheathed inside you, and he loved every second of it.
A few heartbeats passed as Zemo waited for you to adjust to him, and when you rested your forehead against his, your gazes locked. You reached up to trace the pattern of pale freckles scattered across his cheekbones with the tip of your index finger, and his eyes fluttered close with the sensation of your gentle touch, of your walls clenching around him as he slowly began to move his hips. Would it ever stop to feel as if some missing piece in the puzzle of your soul had come back to you whenever you were with him? You hoped it wouldn’t.
“You’re mine”, he whispered, “And I’m yours.”
You whimpered as he slightly lifted you again, only to pull you back down onto him, bucking up his hips to meet you. With your own forehead resting against Zemo’s, you savoured the feeling of his trembling breath ghosting across your cheeks and his tip grazing the sweet spot deep inside of you just right with every thrust, and your eyes fluttered close. You lost yourself in the feeling of him, lifting you so effortlessly before sheathing himself inside you again, listen to his laboured breath, the pants and praises for you every thrust drew from his beautiful lips. The world around you was blurring as the two of you allowed yourselves to get lost in the moment, in the pleasure of each other, of your bodies becoming one. The throbbing, burning tension in your core built, like a coil pulled impossibly tight and his pace quickened. Your hands fell from their place around his neck, and you grabbed his hips to steady yourself – when you felt something small and hard in the pocket of his suit pants. Something that felt like a little key. In your haze of lust, there was no room for reason or second thoughts. On instinct, you let your fingertips slide into the pocket, taking the chance when he was distracted by the things you were doing together, and snatched the key, curling your fist so tight around it that the metal dug painfully into your palm. You could feel how close he was, and with a broken moan, you let go, let yourself topple over the precipice of pleasure alongside him.
“I love you”, he whispered as he came undone beneath you at the feeling of your own high, your walls clenching around him with the force of it, little exploding in your vision like shooting stars across a night sky.
The air was filled with your heavy pants, both of you trying to catch your breath in the aftermath of your lovemaking. You opened your eyes and saw that he was looking at you, gently pushing a stray strand of hair behind your ear, and you leaned into the touch. The kiss he placed on your lips would have been enough the rekindle the wanton glow in your belly for a second time, had it not been for the traitorous sting of cold metal in your clenched fist.
“Do you remember when we started at pretending our courtship and I told you that in Sokovia, we didn’t use the term ‘to win one’s heart’ because it sounded too much like a trophy?”, he whispered against your lips, voice strained and rough from the exertion of your activities, and you nodded. “You never told me what you would say instead”, you replied with a little pout, and pulled away from the kiss to look at him.
There was a slight flush in his cheeks, and he seemed to glow with happiness as he gave you a small smile. “I never wanted to win your heart, my love. I wanted to be worthy of your heart.”
The sunlight filtering in from the colourful glass window on the wall behind you made his eyes glitter, fusing their hazel colour into a radiant shade of amber, and the beauty of him along with the meaning of his words took your breath away. A weight settled on your chest like a boulder, seeming to press you down into the recesses of hell where you deserved to be for betraying his love and his trust like this. It made it hard to answer – but Zemo had never expected an answer. He’d just wanted to tell you.
“Since we’ve happily ripped each other’s clothes to shreds, I suggest you wait here while I go and fetch you a new dress”, he proposed.
The metal clutched in your hand seemed to singe your skin when you nodded.
The top drawer of the desk. This would be the last place you’d be looking for information about Hydra’s whereabouts. Tonight, when he was fast asleep, you would go back to the study, unlock the damned drawer and bask in the relief of knowing you’d been right all this time, of knowing the man you loved had nothing to do with the abomination that was Hydra. And then, you would put this cursed task to rest and bury the truth deep in your heart where it could rot away in silence. You would never tell him. Your feelings for him were real, his soul belonged to yours as much as yours to his, and the pain of the scheme you had been playing was a burden you alone would carry, sparing him. You were at his side, and you would never leave him. That was all that mattered, you told yourself.
“And please extend my greetings to the merchants in the court meeting”, Zemo snickered, “They will never shut up about how you let them wait.”
Night had rushed across the palace on black wings, and Zemo had fallen asleep surprisingly fast – your plan had included a bottle of wine to render him sleepy, but the exertion of the court meetings he’d attended in the afternoon were sufficient. You sat beside him, your back resting against the headboard with its beautiful carvings of creatures from Sokovian folklore in the dark wood. The window was open to let in the summer air, the faint sweet scent of jasmine and roses floating in on a warm breeze that rustled the lace curtains of the bed. The moon was high in the night sky, a silver coin bathing the room in its eerie light. Only a few more minutes. Your eyes wandered to your husband, sleeping peacefully at your side. There was the ghost of a smile tugging at the corners of his lips, and his eyelids fluttered as softly as the wings of a moth while he dreamed. Did he dream of you? Sometimes, he would wake up in the middle of the night, screaming the names of his family, fighting against the eternal fire imprinted in the gruesome memory, before you would rouse him from his nightmare and started stroking his sweat-drenched hair to calm him. Tonight, though, you could tell that there was no demon of the past haunting his dreams. He looked serene in the silvery light of the moon. You traced the curve of his dark eyebrows with your fingertips, and the caress drew a contented little sigh from him. Your heart clenched in your chest, grabbed by the cold fist of fear – not of what you would find tonight, but the fear that you could lose him. As quiet as a ghost, you pushed back the bedsheets and tiptoed into the hallway and towards the study.
Files. Documents and records, the Sokovian seal glaring back at you from dried red wax which resembled droplets of blood marring the pages in the light of the single candle you’d brought with you, the weak glow barely able to hold the blackness of the night at bay which seemed to be pressing in on you.
There were accounts written by Sokovian spies about tension at different courts all over the continent, treaties of peace and trade. Nothing out of the ordinary, and you could feel your heart lifting with the growing feeling of relief when you sifted through the stack of papers which had been contained in the top drawer. But why did he lock it, then?
Your eyes flitted across the next page, and you scowled at the name at the top of the document, written in a beautiful handwriting, the S curling like a snake on the page. Viscount Tony Stark, Master of Weapons to Her Majesty. It didn’t make any sense – why should Zemo have whole files collected about Tony?
Your heart thumped wildly in your chest as you carefully placed the candle on the wooden top of the desk beside you to sift through the files.
…though after scouring the remains of the burnt down wing of the royal palace nothing could have been found to prove involvement of arson, we, Your most loyal spies, agree that the flames have been caused by wilful intent…
You stilled, the words blurring in front of your eyes as shock hit you like a gust of icy wind. Arson. The palace hadn’t just burned down – it had been set ablaze. An assassination. Of Sokovia’s royal family… Why hadn’t Zemo told you?
“Heavens”, you breathed, pressing a hand over your mouth gaping in shock. Helmut. Somebody had murdered his family. Someone had tried to murder him –
You quickly grabbed the last three letters you hadn’t yet read and stuffed them into the lacy cleavage of your nightgown. You wouldn’t be able to read them right now. It would have to wait. You needed to – what, exactly? Confront Zemo?
Something cold and metallic suddenly pressed against your throat, and your breath caught. You hadn’t heard the footsteps in the hallway, too distracted by the discovery you’d made and your own mind trying to piece together the mosaic that was Helmut Zemo’s past.
“What are you doing.” Zemo’s voice was as silent and cold as death’s bloody scythe, so unlike the warmth he’d regarded you with ever since his confession in your wedding night. You swallowed against the knife he was pressing against your throat, cold metal against the spot of your hammering pulse, a spot he’d so tenderly kissed only hours ago. Slowly, you raised your hands in defeat and turned to face him. He stood mere inches from you, and there was a storm raging in the hazel depths of his eyes as he regarded you, so close that you could feel his breath ghosting across your cheeks.
“What. Are. You. Doing”, he repeated with barely contained fury, his eyes flashing in the candlelight. Then, his eyes drifted towards the letter you were still clutching to your chest, to the little key glinting on the table in the glow of the candle, and something in his gaze…shifted, fused into a hurt expression.
“That’s the reason you came to me to me this morning. To steal the key.”
“No. No, it wasn’t – you have to believe me. Please.” Your voice sounded weak and frightened.
He only stared at you, tilting his head as his sharp eyes scanned your face for traces of insincerity.
“Tony gave the order to murder your family”, you whispered. Only now did you recognize the wetness of tears on your cheeks. “Did he?”
A curt nod, a brief flash of rage in the depths of his eyes. “He did. He gave the order himself.” It sounded distanced and hollow, and you wished that there was anything – rage, pain, just anything else in his voice than this deadly calm.
“Why didn’t you tell me? How could you play pretend at courting me, laughing with me –“ You faltered as another thought crept into your mind, ugly and rotten and so horribly logical.
“You used me”, you breathed, and the look on his beautiful features, shadows flickering across his face, told you everything you needed to know. “That’s why you proposed our little charade of courting. You wanted to get near me so you – what? Could avenge them?”
“I had a few things in mind.”
“Is that why you proposed to pretend a courtship? Why you agreed to marry me?”, you asked quietly.
“Is that really what you think?” The hurt in his voice stung.
“I don’t know what to think anymore.”
Zemo chuckled darkly, and the press of the blade against your throat loosened a little. “Tony Stark has sent you away, his ward – his daughter – to marry the man whose family he gave order to kill, fully aware that you would be alone in my country, without any means of protection. He threw you to the wolves without a second thought and yet here you are, accusing me of such cruelty – me, who could have killed Stark in a fair duel absolving me of any fault or consequence. Don’t you want to ask why I didn’t do it?”
Your face fell. He was right. But still… “You told me you were in love with me since the very beginning, since the night we met. Was that before or after you’d come to know who I am?”, you demanded. Somehow, the knowledge that he’d used you as a means to his own ends was not a satisfying one. There was only hurt; a beast hacking its claws into your chest to suck out the happiness and replace it with the starless night of heartbreak and sorrow.
His face softened a little, reading your like an open book. “It was my intention to use you, at first, I cannot deny this. But what I told you was the truth. I started falling for you since that first night. And the more I kept falling, the less I cared for Stark. What began as a plot to get to Stark and take revenge fused into upholding our scheme to be near you. And it killed me to think about you marrying someone else, knowing I couldn’t have you because of my own fears holding me hostage. Everything I told you is true, moye serdtse. And you made me the happiest man alive.“ He let the knife fall to the ground with a clatter and reached for your hands instead, gently locking his fingers with yours while he said it.
There was something desperate in his expression as he asked, “I should have told you. How did you know I where to find these papers?”
Lie. Lie! The voice screamed, but you strangled it. No. No more lies.
When you didn’t answer, he finally understood. You could watch the exact moment of his heart shattering, crushed into a million pieces beneath the weight of the truth. His hands let go of yours as if your touch had singed him.
“He sent you. He sent you to spy on me”, he whispered, and his voice broke.
You waited for the shock of your secret revealed to hit you, the tears to spill, but everything was numb. “Helmut –“
“You,” he seethed, venom lacing his tone, and you jumped back at his sudden outbreak, “This whole time, it was you, using me. You and your wretched family. What happened in the gardens the night I kissed you…it was a trick. That’s why they were there –“
“I didn’t want to do it. I told them to stay away –“, you tried, the desperate plea lacing your voice, but he was too far gone already.
“ – you tricked me. So you could come to Sokovia as Baroness, infiltrate my court, and – what? Are you preparing for another war, to eradicate what’s left of my country?”, he spat, and you jumped. “Did you have a good laugh when I fell for your little scheme and agreed to marry you? Did you have a good laugh when I gave you my heart and let you into my bed?” His voice broke, and so did your heart. The helpless rage, the heartbreak and sorrow Zemo shattered your own soul. I want to be worthy of your heart. I cannot lose the person I love most. Not again. Your betrayal would break him.
“I did what I did to stop Hydra. To stop another war between our countries, not start it. I love you, Helmut. I never lied about that”, you pleaded, the tears soaking the fabric of your nightgown, but you could see in his eyes that it was over. “Please. Please believe that I meant every word. I fell for you just as you fell for me. I despise myself for what I did, but I stopped believing you were involved with Hydra. I –“
“I don’t care”, he spat, cutting you off. His eyes had turned into abysses of fury and misery. “Spare your tears. How could I ever believe another word you say? All this time, when I died a little more inside at the thought of having to go back home and never seeing you again, of thinking about you marrying someone else – of thinking I took away the choice from you with that kiss. When in reality, it all went according to your plan. I thought I was the monster. But it was you.”
“I’m sorry”, you whispered, “I’m so, so sorry.” What was there left to say, anyway?
“Do you know what happens to traitors in Sokovia?”, a new calm settled in his voice, dangerous as the sea before a storm. Ready to drown you with its upcoming rage.
“You don’t throw them a revel, I can imagine,” you replied quietly.
“Go. Leave my country.” I never want so see you again.
“It’s my country now, too, Baron.” Please don’t make me leave you. I love you. Let me right this.
“You have one hour. I don’t care how you leave; I only care to never see you again. Because if you’re not gone by sunrise, your way will not lead you back home, but to the gallows.”
The first rays of the morning sun flooded across the treetops in the distance as the ship to London set sail and the Sokovian coast was fading on the horizon. A farmer had agreed to take you with him on his way to the next harbour. You’d told him you’d been attacked by a band of robbers, leaving only the dress you wore – a plain one, hastily thrown over your nightgown – and the man had pitied you. As had the sailors agreeing to take you with them to London on the ship, along with the wooden crates of spices and fabric.
You curled up between the crates on deck and pressed your hands in front of your face before a new wave of tears spilled down your cheeks, and only then did you remember the letters you’d tucked into the cleavage of the nightgown to read them by daylight, where they still pressed against your skin. You desperately needed something to tear your mind from the feeling of your soul being ripped apart with every mile the ship was carrying you away from Sokovia. Away from the man you’d come to love more that anything in this world. You had allowed yourself to dream of a happy ending to this story. All that was left of this dream now was an ocean, separating two bleeding hearts. Helmut Zemo still held your heart, as shattered and bruised and broken as it was. It was his.
You ripped the letters stolen from Zemo’s desk out of your gown and turned the first one to open it – when your eyes caught on the symbol gracing the broken wax seal at the back. An octopus with a single skull for a head. It was the symbol still starring in your darkest nightmares. Hydra. Oh, how the fates must be laughing as they played their twisted games.
Let me know if you’d like to be on the taglist for part 4 (it’s the last part).
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Headcanons for reactions of Zemo being with a reader that has stretch marks (legs or stomach,... because of weak tissue😂) and maybe is self conscious about them when he can see them (in different angles))? :)
As someone who has stretch marks, I've been looking forward to writing this as soon as it came into my ask box.
- When Zemo first got to know you always wore trousers, leggings, anything that covered your legs and he didn't think twice about it. After all in the line of work, you were in being able to move quickly and easily was essential.
- But truly the main reason you wore them, even when you were in hot places was that on your knees and thighs you had stretch marks. They were dark and you felt that if people looked at you they would be able to see the marks a mile off. You felt ashamed of them though there was no reason to. You didn't know why they had appeared, and you hated that you had them, unlike your peers. You wanted to go back to the time before you had them but now they were stuck on you, they might fade in colour but the scars would remain.
- That's why even when you and Zemo finally started to date, you still were very cautious about letting him see them which meant certain activities were off the table for now. After all, if you found them ugly then surely Zemo would find them ugly as well. You didn't want to see how bad his reaction might be to them and you were ashamed for him to see such things.
- Zemo was a gentleman and understood that you didn't want to be rushed into things and so he never pushed you. He would wait for you.
- There came the time when he would eventually see them. You knew this but it came sooner than you would have liked. On one mission you were on with him you were shot in the leg. You were unable to get to a hospital so Zemo ran to grab everything he needed to help the wound and unfortunately that meant for you that you needed to take your trousers off so he would be able to treat you.
- You didn't like seeing them appear as you tug off your trousers and as Zemo sits down to wrap up your leg, you have to look away from him, not wanting to see his face as he looks at them. If Zemo notices them, he doesn't say. Instead, he reassures you about the wound and kindly treats you.
- After he had bandaged you go to pull the trousers over your leg, at least to cover up the scars but Zemo's hand reaches out to grasp your wrist, stopping you. Finally, you turn to look him in the eyes and you could tell by the way his eyes bore into yours that he had finally realised.
- You both don't say anything for a moment, you stare into the eyes of each other till eventually, Zemo's hand reaches over to your leg, tracing the scars upon them lightly. "They are beautiful" he murmurs and at that point, you almost broke down into tears.
- You still hated your stretch marks and though slowly in time you grew more confident in being able to wear shorts you still hated the way they looked and how Zemo could see them but every time he would reassure you that he loved you and that he didn't see them as ugly.
- One night he took off his own top and showed you the scars he got over the years, ones that he felt self-conscious about as well but he felt enough comfort from you to be able to show them to you.
- When you two first decide to sleep together Zemo spent at least ten minutes covering them in kisses, muttering praises against your leg and thigh about how you were more radiant than venus herself, that even the moon in all her glory couldn't compare to the beauty of you.
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Daniel Brühl fans got two moods :
Sees Andrea / Alex : *gently holds* must protect this lil angel. ♥️🥺😩🥰💞
Sees Zemo/Niki/Lazlo : *wanna get choked* fuck me daddy. 🖤🥵😩🤤🤰🏻
There’s no in-between 😌
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pride and prejudice
summary: Every moment Zemo shared with his beloved (Y/n), gets interrupted by Sam and Bucky. They force him to keep his distance. But he can‘t. Because he loves her.
request: Hey! Could you maybe write a Zemo x Reader where he is in love with the reader but she doesn’t know because Sam and Bucky noticed it first and asked Zemo to stay away from her? Maybe he confesses to Sam and Bucky and the boys almost feel sorry for him? Idk maybe with a happy ending somehow? I’d read anything tbh haha ~ anon
pairings: Baron Zemo x Reader, Bucky, Sam
warnings: fluff with a bit angst, forbidden love
a/n: you were one of the first to request something for zemo, so I‘m very sorry that I only wrote it now please forgive me :(
MASTERLIST REQUEST RULES
“Stay away from her!“
“If you touch her, if you even look at her the wrong way, I will break your neck!“
“She is too good for someone like you. So keep your distance!“
The Baron of Sokovia was never one to listen to threats. Numerous people threatened him during his life. But the second Bucky and Sam told him to stay away from their mutual friend, he actually tried to comply.
It’s not that Zemo never felt the urge to get closer to her or even touch her, because he feels like that every second he is in the same room as her, but the words of the two men hold some truth. He doesn‘t deserve her. She is too good for him. He is a murderer, a bad person. And she is so good and sweet.
Nevertheless, every time Zemo sees (Y/n) his heart flutters. His hands start to shake. His breathing is deeper than usual. And above all he feels the desire to touch her gorgeous face, her delicate hands and her soft hair. Zemo is in love.
At first, the Baron felt guilty because of his dead wife and son. But they are gone, and he is still in this shitty world where no one cares about him. He should deserve some love after all those years of pain. But unfortunately, no one thinks like that. He is a monster in most eyes. Probably even in (Y/n)s bright eyes.
Zemo hopes his wife is looking down at him from heaven and even though he killed so many, gives him the permission to love and be loved again. She has to.
So when they are together on a mission, of course with Sam and Bucky, Zemo tries to stay away but get to know her better at the same time. It’s very difficult. Every time the two men enter the room, he takes a step back and almost ignores (Y/n) with a broken heart.
She smiles the moment she enters the big living room of Zemos safe house in Norway. There is a spare seat next to Zemo on the couch. Sam and Bucky are nowhere to be seen.
“They are getting groceries“, Zemo explains as he sees the wandering gaze of his beloved (Y/n). She smiles and then sits down next to him. There are a lot more options to sit, but she decides to be next to him. Zemo smiles.
(Y/n) places her bowl of blueberries in her lap and opens her book. For one second, Zemo saw the cover - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Its one of the older editions he keeps in the bookshelf of the third bedroom in this house. With purpose, he gave (Y/n) this bedroom. She loves books, so she must feel comfortable there.
“Have you seen the last page?“, Zemo asks after some time. (Y/n) looks up with a frown and starts to browse through the book until she reaches the last page. An excited scream leaves her mouth.
Never stop believing in true love, Harrison.
Under these words is a signature, (Y/n) can easily identify as the one of the author herself. Jane Austen wrote in this book. She had this book in her hands. She gave it to the man from whom she rejected a marriage proposal - Harrison Bigg Wither.
Carefully (Y/n) places the book on the coffee table and presses her back against the couch to get as much distance as possible. Wide and tearful eyes stare at Zemo.
“I would have never…I would have never touched it if I knew“, (Y/n) panics. Jane Austen is one of her favorite writers, so of course she is caught off guard by this book.
“I have one edition where Shakespeare took notes in if you want to see-“, Zemo starts with a huge grin, but before he can stand up, Sam and Bucky return. As quick as possible, Zemo slides to the end of the couch and looks away from (Y/n). He misses the pain in her expression.
Their moment is gone. But their love is still there.
The following night is rather cold. (Y/n) wanders through the house, looking for another blanket. At one point she is pretty sure that she got lost, but then she recognises Zemos door and knocks. The sight that greets her takes her breath away. Zemo is wearing one of his silk bathrobes which reveals his chest.
“Do you have a spare blanket…maybe?“, (Y/n) asks while trying to avoid eye contact. Zemo opens the door wider and lets her enter. His room is the same size as hers, but it looks more like it belongs to him. It looks like it belongs to a Baron. His overwhelming sent fills her nostrils and makes her feel dizzy.
Zemo takes a blanket out of one of his wardrobes and hands it to (Y/n). Their hands touch and both feel a tingle running through their whole body, finally settling in their hearts. (Y/n) looks up and meets the soft eyes of the Baron. He tilts his head aside and smiles. Slowly, one of his hands finds its place on her cheek, which is even softer than he imagined.
“We shouldn‘t be doing this“, Zemo whispers.
“But it feels so good“, (Y/n) returns with a sigh and nestles her face closer to his warm hand.
Their faces move closer until they can feel the others breath on their lips. The moment Zemo can almost feel her lips on his, the door gets ripped open and Sam as well as Bucky storm inside with (Y/n)s name on their tongues. Bucky tries to rip her from Zemos side, but she holds the Barons hand too tight.
“We told you to leave her alone. You are a dead man, Zemo“, Bucky screams and walks towards the Sokovian but (Y/n) steps between the two men. One of her hands rests on Buckys chest.
“Step aside, little one. He is going back to prison. That was the deal: He does something slightly treasonable, and he is back in that hole“, Sam explains, but (Y/n) shakes her head.
“But he did nothing wrong. Please…there is good in him“, the woman exclaims with a glance towards Zemo who looks rather intimidated.
“And what makes you think that?“
“Because I love him!“
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Y/N: Okay its just a crush.. A tiny lil crush.... Nothing series.... I got this. Nothing to worry about... Just a crush...He's bad for me.... Yeah definitely BAD.... It's just a crush... CRUSH.... and it will go away once this mission will end.
*Zemo walks out of bathroom in a robe*
Zemo: Hello draga...
Y/N: I love you.
this man should get arrested for being so effortlessly sexy😭 part 42
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