Part 1 of 3: Hunger
pairing: vexx serif/f!traveler (Adonia)
ratings/warning: mature-some light spice. angst
words: 2.2 k
a/n: parts 2 and 3 are written I’m just editing them. this is very self indulgent and my first time writing for a6 so please be gentle 💜
this is a prequel fic set right after the flashback scene in chapter 3. spoilers for chapter 5
read on ao3
Adonia’s heart is pounding as they round the corner and slide into yet another of the hidden passageways which traverse the palace walls and grounds. She isn’t sure if the guards figured out the entrance behind the tapestry or not, but they wouldn’t be so lucky twice.
She slumps against the cold stone wall of the passageway. A laugh threatens to bubble up and burst out of her chest. She can’t remember a time when she’s felt so alive. The whole night feels like a dream, a wonderful dream, and she never would have experienced it if it wasn’t for Vexx.
She never would have been brave enough, or reckless enough to attend if it wasn’t for him. She’d gotten so used to just creeping through the empty halls and watching others’ lives unfold from the shadows.
Her heart swells as she looks at him. He’s hard to see in the dim light, especially with his ear pressed up against the false wall listening for any sound of pursuit. Not that she needs to see him to picture his face. His green eyes shining with mischief behind his simple black domino mask and his hair in messy tangles after an evening of dancing and leading his fellow guards on a merry chase.
“It looks like we lost them,” he says as he turns to face her. He dips into a deep bow before rising and offering her his arm, “shall we promenade your highness?”
“But of course, my dear sir,” she says with an extravagant curtsy as if they are still in the center of the great hall before a gaggle of assorted nobles rather than in a cramped cobwebbed passage with only the spiders to observe them.
Adonia slips her arm into his with a giggle and he takes the opportunity to pull her closer and place a brief kiss on her cheek. It’s enough to make her heart skip a beat. It’s almost too easy for him to effect it.
They set a slow and leisurely pace along the passageway. Neither of them seems to be in any hurry to reach the other side. Their steps are soft, but still echo in the confined spaces. They don’t speak. There’s no need, and besides they’d rather not alert any one to their presence in the walls.
When they reach the end, Adonia hesitates before stepping into the moonlit gardens. Even the familiar paths feel more magical tonight, the white blossoms glowing as if lit from within. The air is sweet with their fragrance and she can still hear the music from the party. It is faint, but she can still pick up the melody. She lingers at the edges unwilling to step onto the manicured path. It’s one step closer to this night ending, and if she could, she would stretch this moment out forever.
Vexx tugs on her hand, “don’t expect me to carry you. I told you not to wear those shoes, besides it’s not much further.” He gestures with a toss of his head to where her rooms lay just across the way.
“It’s not that,” she says with a roll of her eyes. “Thank you for tonight, Vexx. I don’t know if I ever had so much fun.”
“Not even watching those street performers last month?”
“Not even then,” she answers with a smile.
They’d stayed out later than usual that night. Both unwilling to return to the confines of the palace and their assigned roles. It was so much easier to be Addie than to be the Princess Adonia Selene Peg’asi. The performers had been fascinating and delightful, but what Adonia remembers more is the way that Vexx kissed her when they finally maneuver through the patrolling guards and found themselves in the familiar darkness of the passageway.
He’d never kissed her like that before, always so careful. Hands on her waist or cupping her face. His kisses soft and tender, never pushing, but that night he had pressed himself against her, his hand tangling in her hair and pressing her back against the wall of the tunnel. She remembers in perfect clarity the shock of his hand delving under her shirt and running over the bare skin of her back.
It’s not that Adonia is oblivious about sex. When you spend a good part of your free time creeping through abandoned halls you come across some pretty interesting scenes. She remembers a few years ago when she happened across a pair of guards tucked into a corner. She had fled from their soft moans and whimpers a profound feeling of embarrassment overwhelming her normally curious nature.
She hadn’t been able to run from the way that kiss had made her feel. In the month since there had been a hunger to their kisses that hadn’t been there before.
“It doesn’t have to end so soon,” Vexx says and Adonia’s skin heats at the way his eyes trace over her body, linger on the curve of her breast, and finally fixate on her lips. “We can still hear the music, how about one more dance?”
This dance feels different from the ones they’d shared in the ballroom. There it was all fun and laughter, but this feels heavy and wanting. When his hand drifts lower on her back it feels like a question, one she isn’t sure she knows the answer to, but she wants to find out.
He hums as they spin in the garden pulling her much closer than propriety would allow in the crowded ballroom, even for an anonymous masked couple.
“I didn’t know you were musical, Vexx,” she teases. “What other secrets are you keeping from me?”
His steps falter and she almost loses her balance from the jarring movement, “there was a rock,” he mumbles by way of explanation. They find their rhythm again quickly this time without any humming from Vexx.
Even this attempt at elongating the night comes to an end and they stand in front of her bedchamber door.
“Good night, Addie.” He drops a brief kiss to the edge of her lips and begins to walk away back toward the barracks.
“Wait,” she says the word a little too loud for the quiet hallway.
“I could use some help,” her voice shakes but she swallows down the nerves that threaten to overwhelm her. “With the dress, I mean.” She turns to show the long line of buttons lining the back.
She’s thought about it for weeks. Lain awake and imagined his lips and the feel of his bares skin under her hands. They have already thrown caution to the wind tonight, so why not this?
Her face burns as she waits for his response. His hand reaches out and his finger runs down the line of her spine along the neat row of buttons sending a shiver through her body.
She can’t read the expression on his face, and she can’t bear to wait for his response. She leaves the door open behind her as she enters her room and crosses to turn on the small lamp beside her bed.
She hears the door click shut behind her and her breath stops until she hears his footsteps approaching her. Her heart is beating so loud, he can probably hear it. She doesn’t know what to do with her hands or her arms or any part of her, so she just stands at the edge of her bed waiting.
He doesn’t touch the buttons, but instead reaches up to untie the mask covering the top half of her face. Her hands shake as she removes it, but she’s at least happy to have something to do with them.
His hands sweep her hair out of the way before placing a soft kiss to the side of her neck. A small whispered gasp of surprise escapes her lips and she feels more than hears the soft chuckle that escapes him.
His nimble fingers make quick work of the buttons as his lips ghost over her neck. She can feel each kiss like a brand on her skin.
He reaches the end of the buttons. She swears that, even though they aren’t touching, she can feel the heat of his body on the exposed skin of her back. She thought she would feel more afraid right now, and she does, but more than anything she feels an excitement coursing through her veins.
She turns to face him and lets the dress drop. It flares out around her as it falls like the petals of a gigantic flower.
“You’re so very beautiful, Addie.” The words hold none of Vexx’s usual snark. His eyes trace over her face his hand skimming down the column of her throat and dancing lightly along the edge of her breasts.
Perhaps she should feel bashful, feel nervous and exposed under his gaze, but all Adonia feels is breathless. She could spend forever under his gaze; she hopes she will.
He still has his mask on. She reaches out and gently removes it from his face. His green eyes are darkened by desire. Desire for her. It’s a heady and new feeling and causes warmth to pool in the pit of her stomach.
“I am yours. You have to know that,” she says answering his question from earlier in the night.
She’d been his since that day he took her hand and led her out into the city streets. She’d been his since he called her Addie and looked at her like a real person.
The kiss starts gentle. Vexx is tentative, but she is done with being tentative. Adonia wraps her arms around his neck and parts her lips with a sigh, inventing him to deepen the kiss, inviting him to take her breath away. With a groan he pulls her body flush against him. One palm is firm on her lower back keeping her pressed against him while the other hand roams over the bare skin of her waist.
She feels dizzy like she forgot to spot. She is already spinning; it’s too late now. Perhaps she should be afraid, but with his arms firm around her Adonia feels safe. He will not let her fall. Her Vexx would never let anything happen to her.
He walks them backward until she feels the edge of her bed pressing against the edge of her legs.
“Are you sure?” he asks as he breaks the kiss his eyes searching hers.
“yes. I’m sure,” she responds. And she is. She wants this; she wants him. She wants to feel his body against hers and lose herself in his arms.
His next kiss is hungry. Hungrier than any of the stolen kisses they have ever shared. He pushes her back onto the mattress and then he is hovering over her, his hands skimming along her waist gripping her thigh, pulling them closer together. His lips leave hers to kiss down her neck. Trailing over the thin gill scars. Her hands knot in his red hair.
It’s as if he is everywhere. She feels consumed by him; His name leaves her lips in a soft moan. Her heart is swelling, overflowing, overcome with love. She loves him.
“I lo-“ she begins as their eyes meet, but something she sees there makes her pause. Where only a moment ago there was nothing but desire in his eyes something else clouds his expression. He leans forward to press his forehead against hers.
“Addie,” he whispers before kissing her. This kiss is soft, a gentle press of their lips against each other. The heat that was there only a moment ago is gone, replaced by something stiff and distant.
“Adonia,” he says as he pushes himself off the bed and into a standing position. A chill runs through her as the cool night air fills the space he had just occupied.
“It’s late, you should get some rest Princess,” his voice isn’t cold per say, but formal. The way he would address her in a room filled with other people.
Adonia’s heart plummets and she feels a sinking pit of dread in her stomach. Had she pushed too far? Was this not something he wanted to?
“Is something wrong?” she hates how pitiful her voice sounds. “Is this not what you want?”
“No, it’s not that!” he answers stepping towards her as if he wishes to reassure, but pulling back before he touches her. “It’s been a long night. I don’t want it to be one you regret, Princess.”
There it is that Princess again. He hasn’t called her princess in private for months. He rarely even calls her Adonia anymore. She’s always Addie with him. She’s only Addie with him.
Words die on her lips as she takes in the firm set of his shoulders and the grim line of his lips. Lips which only minutes ago had been blazing a path over her skin. It doesn’t matter that she’s thought about this a hundred times. He’s made up his mind, and to admit that now would only leave her more embarrassed than she already is.
He spares her any need to respond. She can feel the tears rising up in her eyes and she tries to blink them away. What had gone wrong?
“Goodnight,” he says before slipping out her door.
tagging: @alavidzes @pearlsandsteel and @roses-and-roo
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Title: happiness is not a place
Pairing: Vexx x f!Traveler
Summary: just a snippet of the start of one of the princess and her trusty guard's many adventures before everything fell apart.
"Do you trust me?"
What a question. Trust was nothing more than folklore to people like her, raised in the highest position in Goldis. It was a lofty notion, like chivalry or courtly love... things that only held a place in stories told to starry-eyed children, unaccustomed to the dark things that lurked in the corners of life.
She was not a child and yet— and yet.
The impulse to take the hand Vexx extended out to her from where he perched in the now open balcony window was so natural she wondered for a blink, for a beat, for a breath... was this trust?
Saying yes felt like an act of rebellion. Small and insignificant in the scheme of things, but within her own breast it sparked across the kindling of her heart and set to flame something that she knew somehow would only grow.
She took his hand and in one smooth movement, Vexx pulled her up unto the edge with him, a smile breaking over his face. He laughed for no reason. She loved that about him. His smile, the ease in which he touched her in a way so many would have considered irreverent and thus inappropriate for someone of her position. But that too, she loved.
That word came up so often when she thought of Vexx.
"What now?" she asked, feeling the chill of the night air on her legs beneath her dress.
His smile fell, still present, but slyer. Mischievous. He had tied a rope to the balcony and fashioned a rappelling that looked sturdy enough.
"Now, you hold on. And we see if I can get you to scream."
She flushed hot, smacking his arm with a nervous laugh of her own as he all but cackled. He snaked his free arm around her waist, lifting her with ease to settle her on his opposite side as he turned, back to the open air.
"Ready or not..." Vexx said, clearly just noting how close her face was to his own with her arms looped around his shoulders. Something softened his eyes, but it only lasted for a moment as he grinned widely and kicked off the balcony edge.
The ground rose up so quickly, wind rushing through her hair and taking her breath before she could even work up the air for a scream. The landing was not perfect. Vexx swore and teetered and let himself fall back to carry out the rest of the momentum, her atop him.
If he had felt warm in her arms, the heat that shocked through her with him between her thighs was scorching. Her dress had pushed up high on her legs and she nearly flinched when she felt his hands on her bare skin. His hands were cool.
Vexx lay back into the grass, looking up at her with all the contentment of a cat. Unaffected by the weight of her settled on his waist.
"You okay?" Vexx managed, masking a laugh, "Sorry, your face."
A pout spread across her lips.
“Well, I didn’t scream!”
“Yeah, you’re a real trooper.” Vexx said teasingly, affection laced through the words. She almost felt a pang of disappointment when he sat up and she had to slip off of him. Vexx unfastened the rope
She brushed grass from her knees and dress, Vexx’s touch gentle as he swiped back some of the strands of hair that came loose around her face.
Vexx’s fingertips lingered on her skin, tracing down her cheek and then jaw before he caught her chin and tilted her face upwards.
Her eyelids lowered as he drew near, his breath soft against her lips as he hovered there for a moment and then moved upwards, sealing a gentle kiss to her forehead.
Now she was really pouting. The expression pulling a startled, yet amused chuckle from Vexx.
“We better hurry, before a patrol spots us.”
The hand that touched her face fell to take her own in its grasp, pulling her along until she matched his stride and walked together with him.
"Where are we going?"
"You'll see." Vexx replied, his voice cheerful.
She didn't even know why she bothered asking anymore. Not because he liked his surprises, but because in all honesty it didn't matter.
She'd follow him anywhere. Everywhere. She didn't know it yet, but one day she would know the name for the ache in her chest when she looked at his face.
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